May 30, 2004

More Mandatory Reading

Bill Whittle is at it again. The guy who brought you the mind-blowing essay "Magic" is at it again, with a two-part article entitled "Strength." (As in, why being strong should not make us hate ourselves.) It has to do with why we will not give up the faith, and why we cannot. And why this war is crucial to the survival of the West. It's about the length of an Atlantic feature, so make yourself comfortable.

It contains within it both a defense of the War in Iraq and a defense of U.S. strategy in Fallujah.

This one is impossible to summarize, but here's a passage I like because it's acerbic, and well-written:

Senator Kennedy claims Abu Ghraib is simply Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers “under new management – U.S. management.” Taking him at his word – a somewhat iffy proposition right out of the gate – he apparently cannot see the difference between the humiliation and bullying of enemy combatants, which is shameful, disgusting and reprehensible, and the gleeful, mocking murder, torture and gang rape of over 300,000 innocent men, women and children -- which is something worse. So Senator, here is a helpful analogy which you may find useful: The difference is about the same as pulling over and leaving a young female secretary on the curb in the rain, which is shameful, disgusting and reprehensible, vs. leaving her trapped in the car at the bottom of a river while you look at the bubbles and ponder the political repercussions.

Which is something worse, Senator.

Americans living today have never known torture or oppression or state-sponsored murder, and so it becomes nothing more than a rhetorical concept for most of us. People who defend Saddam and Kim and Castro have no idea at all about what that life entails. None. And so, in their safe and antiseptic little worlds of coffee shops and chat rooms, it all reduces to rhetoric. And since, in the end, it’s nothing but words anyway, they feel they can win an argument because their rhetoric goes up to eleven.


(And, by the way, if you're too young to know what Bill's talking about with respect to Senator Kennedy, you need to Google the name Chappaquiddick, and/or drop by here, to find out why the Third Brother was never considered Presidential material.)

Via Reverend Pixy.

Posted by Attila at 11:39 PM | Comments (1)

May 29, 2004

A Plague on All Your Houses


Hey--the pics are hot. I can just see the video: Debbie Does DC, with a Good Friend. Behold Wonkette (left), and the Washingtonienne (right), enjoying a night of Being Seen on the town. Negotiations continue with Hefner's people.

Suddenly, we're all supposed to weigh in on whether it's okay for young staffers on Capitol Hill (e.g. the Washingonienne) to do some hooking on the side in order to meet their expenses when they are only making $25K a year. The whole subject makes me tired. But, okay:

1) What exactly are their bosses doing for money? Some of our legislators may not be turning tricks, but they're certainly willing to put the national interest aside in order to get a few dollars from home constituents who want the pork barrel projects to keep rolling in. There is whoring, and then whoring.

2) It's easy for us to get self-righteous about how we got by in our youth without selling our bodies. I mean, Wonkette got a little mean-spirited at Michelle Malkin's expense, but it's true that not everyone has the same survival skills as everyone else.

3) Nonetheless, there are media interns living dorm-style in Manhattan on 20K. It means bunk beds and little privacy, but it can be done. And, unlike being in politics, most media jobs really are a vow of poverty--it really means years of under-earning. (Let me put it this way: it makes teaching salaries look good, at least for the first 20 years.)

4) I managed to live on 16K in West L.A. in the early 90s. Though I didn't enjoy it, and

5) I lived as a good friend's paid mistress for five years before that, partly because he was a nice guy and could afford it, and partly because I just didn't have any marketable skills or self-confidence at all.

6) Is there any chance we bloggers could actually talk about Real News, rather than weighing and chronicling the life choices of shallow people who are relentless users of men (though if we must, Kevin's done a bang-up job, so to speak)? And, regarding Wonkette, who seems to be garnering even more resentment than the Washingtonienne herself, I usually vote WRT her the way I used to vote against Howard Stern: I "change the dial."

And, let me put this to rest: I'd just like to say right here and right now that there is no truth to the rumors that Baldilocks and I will be doing a centerfold together in Penthouse. Although we've told 'em they can place hundreds of thousands of dollars in our tip jars, if they like. To pay us for our writing. (Remember that?--writing? Some of us are still doing that. It saves us scads on all that K-Y jelly.)

Posted by Attila at 03:52 AM | Comments (3)

May 28, 2004

The Song of the Queen Bee

A friend sent me this, via e-mail.

I heard this on CD, read by EB White's son, Joel. It cracked me up.

E.B White: Song of the Queen Bee
New Yorker Magazine 1945
"The breeding of the bee," says a United States Department
of Agriculture bulletin on artificial insemination, "has
always been handicapped by the fact that the queen mates
in the air with whatever drone she encounters."

When the air is wine and the wind is free
and the morning sits on the lovely lea
and sunlight ripples on every tree
Then love-in-air is the thing for me
I'm a bee,
I'm a ravishing, rollicking, young queen bee,
That's me.
I wish to state that I think it's great,
Oh, it's simply rare in the upper air,
It's the place to pair
With a bee.

Let old geneticists plot and plan,
They're stuffy people, to a man;
Let gossips whisper behind their fan.
(Oh, she does?
Buzz, buzz, buzz!)
My nuptial flight is sheer delight;
I'm a giddy girl who likes to swirl,
To fly and soar
And fly some more,
I'm a bee.
And I wish to state that I'll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

There's a kind of a wild and glad elation
In the natural way of insemination;
Who thinks that love is a handicap
Is a fuddydud and a common sap,
For I am a queen and I am a bee,
I'm devil-may-care and I'm fancy-free,
The test tube doesn't appeal to me,
Not me,
I'm a bee.
And I'm here to state that I'll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

Mares and cows, by calculating,
Improve themselves with loveless mating,
Let groundlings breed in the modern fashion,
I'll stick to the air and the grand old passion;
I may be small and I'm just a bee
But I won't have science improving me,
Not me,
I'm a bee.
On a day that's fair with a wind that's free,
Any old drone is a lad for me.

I've no flair for love moderne,
It's far too studied, far too stern,
I'm just a bee--I'm wild, I'm free,
That's me.
I can't afford to be too choosy;
In every queen there's a touch of floozy,
And it's simply rare
In the upper air
And I wish to state
That I'll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

Man is a fool for the latest movement,
He broods and broods on race improvement;
What boots it to improve a bee
If it means the end of ecstasy?
(He ought to be there
On a day that's fair,
Oh, it's simply rare.
For a bee.)

Man's so wise he is growing foolish,
Some of his schemes are downright ghoulish;
He owns a bomb that'll end creation
And he wants to change the sex relation,
He thinks that love is a handicap,
He's a fuddydud, he's a simple sap;
Man is a meddler, man's a boob,
He looks for love in the depths of a tube,
His restless mind is forever ranging,
He thinks he's advancing as long as he's changing,
He cracks the atom, he racks his skull,
Man is meddlesome, man is dull,
Man is busy instead of idle,
Man is alarmingly suicidal,
Me, I am a bee.

I am a bee and I simply love it,
I am a bee and I'm darn glad of it,
I am a bee, I know about love:
You go upstairs, you go above,
You do not pause to dine or sup,
The sky won't wait --it's a long trip up;
You rise, you soar, you take the blue,
It's you and me, kid, me and you,
It's everything, it's the nearest drone,
It's never a thing that you find alone.
I'm a bee,
I'm free.

If any old farmer can keep and hive me,
Then any old drone may catch and wife me;
I'm sorry for creatures who cannot pair
On a gorgeous day in the upper air,
I'm sorry for cows that have to boast
Of affairs they've had by parcel post,
I'm sorry for a man with his plots and guile,
His test-tube manner, his test-tube smile;
I'll multiply and I'll increase
As I always have--by mere caprice;
For I am a queen and I am a bee,
I'm devil-may-care and I'm fancy-free,
Love-in-air is the thing for me,
Oh, it's simply rare
In the beautiful air,
And I wish to state
That I'll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

Remember: In every queen, there's a touch of floozy. E.B. White, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by Attila at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Here's a list of the seven people we're supposed to be looking for, with pictures. (I'm still seeking out the alternate pictures for each of these people that show the different ways they look sometimes; I'll post it when I find it.)

Know your neighbors.

Posted by Attila at 12:31 AM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2004

The Population Bomb

Dean Esmay discusses land mass on our little planet, and how there's a bit more of it than you might think. It's required reading, so get to it.

Posted by Attila at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)


I hear that Gore's family is organizing an intervention to get him into treatment. The crack situation is out of hand.

The full text of his embarrassing hiccup of a speech is at Salon. The New York Times also has a brief summary. (It's lovely to note that although several of the officials and cabinet members Gore called upon to resign issued brief "we serve at the pleasure of the President" statements, Condi Rice didn't dignify Gore's remarks with a response. Quite right.)

I won't fisk it or anything, but there are a few priceless quotes:

In my opinion, John Kerry is dealing with this unfolding tragedy in an impressive and extremely responsible way. Our nation's best interest lies in having a new president who can turn a new page, sweep clean with a new broom, and take office on January 20th of next year with the ability to make a fresh assessment of exactly what our nation's strategic position is as of the time the reins of power are finally wrested from the group of incompetents that created this catastrophe.

Kerry should not tie his own hands by offering overly specific, detailed proposals concerning a situation that is rapidly changing and unfortunately, rapidly deteriorating, but should rather preserve his, and our country's, options, to retrieve our national honor as soon as this long national nightmare is over.

In other words, the Democrats should get to throw grenades at the President's plan without having to offer any real alternatives. Vote for Kerry! Take Door #3! The Lovely Carol Merrill will show you what you've elected!

How dare the incompetent and willful members of this Bush/Cheney administration humiliate our nation and our people in the eyes of the world and in the conscience of our own people. How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace.

Honestly. When my husband and I saw this we just burst out laughing and looked at each other in amazement. Because, of course, this is Clinton's Vice President discussing dishonor and disgrace. And all we could think about was Clinton in the Oval Office, discussing troop deployments while getting a blowjob. American lives were, to him, just part of the high of abusing the highest office in the land for cheap thrills. Talk about dishonor.

Gore didn't just look bad in terms of the silly things he had to say: he also really looked bad. I mean, he wasn't that bad a specimen in his psuedo-hippie days, but isn't he getting a little fat in his embittered middle age? I'm just asking . . .

But there's this, and it's serious:

He has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack by terrorists because of his arrogance, willfulness and bungling at stirring up hornet's nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us . . . . It's not the central front in the war on terror, but it has unfortunately become the central recruiting office for terrorists.

And that is the part that isn't funny. Because what Algore is trying to do here is prepare us for another terrorist attack. And program us to receive this news, when it occurs--for it almost certainly will--as something that is Bush's fault. We are to accept any terrorism over this long, hot, event-filled summer not as evidence of a flaw in our defenses, but as something provoked by the behavior of the President. Gore wants us to blame George W. Bush for the next attack, just as his political allies blamed Bush for 9/11--against all reason.

There are some in the Democratic Party that hope more dead American bodies will pave their path to the White House.

They are hoping al Qaeda will succeed this summer.

It is disgusting, and egregious. And it brings a new definition to dishonor.

Posted by Attila at 02:43 AM | Comments (2)

May 25, 2004

Roe v. Wade

I hate to link back to another blogger in two consecutive posts, but it's going to happen on occasion, especially with people like Dean Esmay and James Joyner.

This time it's Dean, who's written an especially thoughtful entry on abortion. I think that most of us can agree that the Roe v. Wade case was especially destructive to the national psyche, in that it was not a thoughtful decision legally--and that it Federalized something that should have been left to the states. It exacerbated tensions on the matter, and has kept the wound festering for forty years.

Official bias statement: I'll stipulate that I'm pro-choice, except in the case of partial-birth abortions, which I would prefer to allow only if the woman's life is in jeopardy. (I'd love to leave the language "life and health" intact, but health is often interpreted very loosely. [That is, sometimes it's taken to mean the woman's fertility. Others, it's taken to mean "mental health," which in practice equals "if she'll be upset by a live birth in any way, she gets to kill the baby."])

Dean discussses the gender gap on the issue, which falls contrary to where stereotypes place it: more women are pro-life than men. This has often been atrributed to various factors: 1) men are more likely to be interested in "no strings" sex (I'm unconvinced that this is the case WRT women in their teens and early 20s); 2) women carry children, and this experience (or even sometimes its potential) is more likely to give women a certain reverence for nascent life; 3) older women will sometimes get married, get pregnant, look at the ultrasound pictures, and have a "holy fucking shit!" moment. That is: "if it's a baby this time around, what was it that first time?" Answer: a baby.

I have something to say about each side, here. First, I'll look at something I see among some pro-lifers. I'm always confused--and perhaps even taken aback--by those who say that they are adamantly pro-life, but favor exceptions for rape victims. If your position is that the rights of the fetus should be respected, how is it different for a fetus that was conceived during a violent act? He or she can hardly be held responsible for that. To me, this position appears to represent the point of view that pregnancy is a punishment for sex. Since the woman isn't responsible for the sex act, she shouldn't have to endure the "punishment" for it. If that's your position, fine. But please acknowledge it for what it is. And admit that you only want to protect some unborn children, and not others. I don't think it's a position without merits, but it has an intrinsic contradiction, and there's a faintly sex-negative smell to it.

I also want to say a word to the pro-abortion people. One of the concerns that the anti-abortion people have is that the word "choice" is used a lot by those who would give young women no choice at all. That is, "I want my daughter to have a 'choice,' so I can pressure her into getting an abortion." Or: "I want my girlfriend to have a 'choice,' so I can threaten her with awful consequences if she doesn't terminate the pregnancy." After all, the debate over counseling usually comes down to neither side trusting the other to counsel young girls in a truly neutral way.

There is a tendancy for the "adults" around a young woman to go into histrionics at the idea that she might experience nausea that could affect her GPA. Or that she could have a rough trimester and have to take a term or two off from school. There is such a concern about the slightest delay in her getting that all-important education.

Say what?

I live in the richest country in the world. I belong to a gender that out-lives the other by years and years. If there is one thing we should have time and money for, it's having babies. (And, believe me--if you're young and pregnant, there are Christian groups [Catholic and Protestant] that will help you with prenatal care and the other costs you incur by carrying this baby to term.)

Graduate a little later. Have the kid, and have it placed. Years later, if you can't have children because you waited too long, you'll feel better asking young women to let you raise the kids they bear.

Trust me on this.

There's also that "selective sentimentality" thing, wherein young women are encouraged to feel so sentimental toward the little lives inside them that they can't possibly "give them up for adoption." But they can kill them. The most loving thing you can do when you haven't yet finished your education is to allow someone who has to raise that baby in a good environment.

What if we were to take the words "safe, legal and rare" seriously? What if we really tried to make that a reality, and stopped pressuring women and girls into having this procedure?

I think we'd be better off. I really do.

Posted by Attila at 03:47 PM | Comments (9)

May 24, 2004

News Sourcing

If you have a blog--and you discuss news at all--take a moment to go over and sign the Blog Sourcing Petition. This is a way that the blogging community can demonstrate that it's serious about sourcing news. I really feel that it's up to us (in a David-and-Goliath sort of way) to show mainstream media how things ought to be done. They are losing their audience and readership to us: let's show them why.

If another blogger breaks the news--or begins the meme--you link back to that blogger. It's the smart thing to do, and it's the right thing to do.

(I just found this on my own, you know. I didn't get the idea from Dean Esmay or anyone like that.)

Posted by Attila at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

The Sopranos

There's no way to talk about it without discussing the plot points. If you're following the show and didn't watch last night--but plan to see it later in the week--don't click on the extended entry.

Last night's episode, number 64, is entitled "Long-Term Parking." There are at least three meanings: collect 'em all.

Oh, and Kelly also took a crack at this show. We're all so shook up, doncha know.

It's hard not to obsess about Adriana, because that's been coming for so long. Though I know the coming showdown with Johnny Sacks is probably a much bigger deal.

One thing that's impossible to ignore in this show is just how rotten the Christopher Moltisanti character is. He is a much colder man than Tony is: as a matter of fact, if he were the main character the show would be unwatchable. Chris makes his decision to betray Adriana not out of fear, but materialism: the last thing we see of him before she's killed is him looking at his Hummer appreciatively, patting it. He's not doing this to save his life, but to live the Good Life.

What a long, slow death. All Adriana can see out the window of the car is trees. And she knows.

That has to be some of the best acting I've seen from Steven van Zandt, who shows us that acting is actually part of the mobster's life: the character Silvio has to put on an act in the car, being reassuring and paternal. It's only at the end when he knows she's sure he is going to kill her that the character can let his real contempt and rage show.

And she dies, as my husband points out, "like a dog, on all fours."

Silvio is the obvious choice for this "job" for two reasons--other than being Tony's right-hand man, and the best guy for any confidential project that Christopher wouldn't be asked to do--he's also the guy who's accustomed to being violent toward women (other than the violence they all permit themselves against wives and girlfriends in the heat of anger). We've seen before, in the "Traci" episode, that part of Silvio's job as manager of the Bing is to cuff women around.

At first I thought the choice Christopher has to make in this episode is similar to the one Tony has to make, but on reflection, I don't quite think it's so. Tony is willing to let TonyB be killed, but he isn't willing to let him be tortured, and Johnny Sacks is stubborn on that point, presumably because he's grown fed up with Tony Soprano's bullshit (Tony reneging on a deal to take out Carmine for him, Tony lying to him about TonyB's participation in the Joey Peeps murder, etc.).

And now there will probably be a war--or at least a minor skirmish.

What remains to be seen is who will outmaneuver whom: both men are smart, and both have blind spots. And both are capable of nearly unquenchable rage.

Meanwhile, we see that for women in this world there is only one role: that of a prostitute. The successful ones, like Carmela, just set a high price. The scene in which Tony and Carmela get back together is almost as painful to watch as the one in which Adriana gets killed: they are negotiating how much money Tony has to pay to move back into the house. (The promise he makes, that no woman will ever call the house again, is one he can't necessarily keep, except by luck and hard threats: he really cannot control that, especially given his taste in women [he likes 'em a little crazy].)

Carmela has also decided she prefers The Good Life. And the other man in her life--her father--will likely not help her get her business off the ground unless she gets back together with Tony. Like Adriana, she lives in a world where you can't run away from home, because you don't have permission to cross the street. It's the hand you're dealt, and there's only playing it well (Carmela) and playing it badly (Adriana).

Adriana's and Carmela's problems have less to do with an addiction to material things (big houses and Jimmy Choo shoes) than a fear of what it would be like to be out there hustling in the real world without anyone looking out for you at all. And Carmela has seen that she can't function in a normal relationship: manipulating men is practically instinctive at this point.

One more thing: did you catch the right-wrong mirror image in Adriana's story? In her backward universe, the only real wrong you can do is to talk to the authorities. In the world of the Sopranos one can be seduced by "evil" a little at a time, by making a series of bad decisions. Just like the world we live in--only reversed, of course. Had Adriana come clean with Christopher and Tony after her first arrest, she would have lived. And had she cooperated fully with the FBI, she would have stood a fighting chance. Instead, she never fully picked sides, and was protected by neither side.

What remains to be seen is Tony's motivation for moving back in with his wife and son. Is this because he cannot live without Carmella, or is it because threats were made by the New York family against his own kin? We don't know for sure. He may be dependent upon Carmella, or he may feel that he has to be "on site" to protect her and Anthony Jr.

Because there are bears in the back yard. Lots of them.

Posted by Attila at 05:21 PM | Comments (2)

Intel Dump Dumps Blogspot

The Westside's* own Phil Carter has moved his blog. Update your blogrolls.

Via James.

*Not in New York, silly. LA. Specifically, Santa Monica IIRC.

Posted by Attila at 01:07 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2004

Absinthe: It's What's for Dinner

Via Desert Cat, we find this means of attaining real absinth*, which is apparently legal in the U.S. if it is only for individual consumption and not for re-sale.

Ith must be a happy girl indeed. I wonder if she is sometimes tempted to simply drink milk . . . after all, it isn't easy to get the good stuff.

* Eastern European spelling.

Posted by Attila at 02:25 AM | Comments (2)

May 21, 2004

Clean Money

I'm in negotiations for a possible long-term project--and things are going pretty well, though I have to remind myself that the person I've been dealing with isn't the real decision-maker. Let's say I seem to have gotten over the moat, but still have to scale the castle walls.

Meanwhile, I'm working this week. Another book manuscript, and my first time reading erotica. I mean, reading it for money.

I also met with my friend the sales expert, whom I finally allowed to look at my resume. She pointed out that I've been finding ways to short-change myself in describing my qualifications--such as using the word "some" next to parts of my job descriptions ("some writing for various magazines put out by Blankity-Blank publishing company"). It's the Anglo-Saxon in my soul, and it's got to stop.

It takes a big editor to admit she can't edit her own work.

Okay, it takes an editor who's five-foot, one and a half inches tall. Don't forget that half inch--we dwarves are sensitive about these things.

Yeah, I'm giddy. Probably because things are looking up. And it's been a long drought.

Posted by Attila at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2004

Cannes It

My thanks to Mikal for tipping me off; please go to his site and check out all the obscure and outrageous books he's offering today.

Isn't it nice to have Rachel Lucas back? Things weren't the same without her.


Apparently Rachel had the idea, and LagMonkey executed it. Now we need to get them printed professionally; as Rachel points out, it would be just like printing money.

Posted by Attila at 02:18 PM | Comments (7)

Talk about the Man in the Moon

. . . Andy Kaufman's back. Alive. And more obnoxious than ever. He has a blog. Of course.

Via Kelley.

UPDATE: Guess not. I swear, I'm so damned gullible at three in the morning. You know how it is in the middle of the night: You want to believe in something. Anything.

Posted by Attila at 03:18 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2004

Best. Post. Ever. (as they say)

Kate of Small Dead Animals finally lets the cat out of the bag. Here are a few of the money quotes (I've Dowdified it for those who are in a hurry):

Over at the Shotgun, Laura is frightened.

"This is scary shit. The prison abuses are scary shit. All of the lies are scary shit."

Well, Laura, you found us out. I confess... there is a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and nobody noticed until now. I know this is true, because, well . . . I'm in it.

There never were any weapons of mass destruction. None. Anywhere. We knew that all along - there never was a Halabja. It was filmed in a remote part of Texas hill country. Mexican illegals, playing dead for the camera.

We murdered Vince Foster, just to watch him die. And so we could blame Hillary.

Udday was gunned down by the capitalist forces of globalization. His hands were in the air, his fingers pleading - "Peace". He knew the cure for cancer, so they couldn't let him live. There were panties on his head.

Nick Berg is on a secret tropical island, with his Helliburton pension, golfing with Jack Kennedy and sharing peanut butter and bacon sandwiches with Elvis. Yucking it up with Danny Pearl. There's a greenish glass jar in the entertainment center, beside the big screen TV. Inside, a Roswell alien floats gently, gently, upside down. A pallid little creature bobbing in a lava lamp. Some sick bastard has slapped a decal on it; "Don't Mess With Texas."

"Don't Mess With Texas," Laura.

There are alligators in the sewers of New York. I once had a friend who knew someone who had a Doberman who choked on the finger of a burglar. In the fifties there was a engine that got 200 miles to the gallon but Big Oil stole the plans and murdered the inventor. The drug companies created AIDS through genetic engineering to kill the gays. Ronald Reagan told them to. The WTC towers were taken out by Israeli missiles, there never was a Holocaust and the JEWS RULE THE WORLD!!!

So, Laura, there you have it. You're free to go. You've got the truth now - spread the word. Proclaim it far and wide. Write your newspaper. Nobody will believe you, because...

We're a vast right wing conspiracy.

And we own the media.

Be afraid; be very afraid. And go read the whole thing; it's mandatory.

Via James.

Posted by Attila at 02:22 PM | Comments (1)

No Honor Here

Venomous Kate discusses a practice that makes me see red, every time:

Even so, “honor killings” are believed to be on the rise in Turkey as rural Kurds immigrate to the cities where their daughters, previously sheltered from objectionable lifestyles, are now exposed to situations which their parents believe justify their deaths. As recently as May 1, a 14-year-old girl was buried after her father strangled her with a wire, his idea of expiating the “dishonor” brought to his family when his daughter was kidnapped and raped. (The girl’s father, brother and uncle - who committed the murder at the behest of a family council - have been charged with her death and were released pending their trial.)

The increase in honor killings isn’t limited to the Middle East. In Rochester, New York last month, a Turkish immigrant was charged with killing his wife and fracturing the skulls of his 4- and 22-year-old daughters in an “honor killing” after learning that his own brother had molested his wife and oldest child. He has pled not guilty, explaining to investigators that it was an “honor killing.”

Slow as it is, progress is still occuring. Pakistan’s President Musharraf has called for a ban on honor killings, despite the practice being outlawed already. Hundreds of such murders are believed to occur in Pakistan each year.

But the tide may be turning, as not only the Pakistani ban but similar legislation in Jordan seems to indicate. Much of it is due to women who are willing to speak out and demand an end to this ancient form of victimization. Recently, a woman known only as Souad published what is believed to be the first book by a survivor of a failed honor killing. The book, Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men, is receiving worldwide attention from human rights groups due to its powerful look into a practice so poorly documented in the press.

What knocks me out about this is the fact that in the Middle Eastern tradition rape brings dishonor to a family--so that rape victims are often killed by their own fathers and brothers (and sometimes mothers). It's hard to even wrap my mind around that concept.

It makes me want to go there and start handing out Beretta Tomcats to the entire female population, but I'm afraid the solutions will be more complicated. And it'll take a lot of time to educate people and change the laws. Change those fucking laws.

Posted by Attila at 01:04 AM | Comments (3)

Tony Randall

I was oddly saddened and startled by Tony Randall's death. I guess I sort of thought he would go on forever, like he always had.

What a great guy--and, BTW, a great exploder of stereotypes about straight men.


Posted by Attila at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)



Believe exactly what you want to believe.

Via Kelley.

Posted by Attila at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2004

Arrests in Nick Berg case

Four people were arrested as suspects in the murder of Nick Berg. We don't know whether they were the four guys shown in the video alongside Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, though I'll bet they are. Al-Zarqawi himself remains at large.

Posted by Attila at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

More on Video Enhancement

Yeah, I know: a few of you are sick of the Nick Berg issue. But murder is one of the things I've studied, so this case is going to hold an enduring fascination for me.

Dorkafork points me to this article, which discusses (briefly) the analysis the video is being subjected to. I get the impression from the story that the FBI is simply using the version off the web, and does not have access to the original, though in the digital age that probably makes a lot less difference. Dorkafork has been complaining about the quality all along, but I suspect the original is just as bad as what we've been viewing. Still, it might make a difference in terms of things like blowing up the images of the perps' hands to check for distinguishing characteristics.

Posted by Attila at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

Only the Strong . . .


I can't wait to see what the challenges will be.

Posted by Attila at 01:46 AM | Comments (0)

Gone, But Not Forgotten

There's a small wrapup on the Izzedin Salim assasination in the Toronto Star; the article also discusses the Sarin gas incident.

A lot of stories aren't pointing out that the position Salim held was a temporary one: the council chair rotates every month. So while Salim was an important figure, he wasn't as pivotal on the IGC as some would have you believe.

There's some discussion of who might have done the deed: the American authorities suggest that it looks like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, our favorite murderer, but the al-Rashid Brigades also claim responsibility.

This is bad, but it isn't quite the disaster we've been led to believe by some news accounts.

Posted by Attila at 01:35 AM | Comments (0)

I Hope So

Smash makes a reasonably good case that it's over in Fallujah, and that we've effectively won.

Via Outside the Beltway.

Posted by Attila at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

Sarin Gas in Iraq

The best information on the Sarin gas story appears (as always) to be at The Command Post.

It's worth noting that several mainstream sources seem to want to either gloss over the story or somehow minimize it.

But it's absolutely huge: clearly, this stuff is around, has been around, and those who thought Saddam got rid of his stockpiles of WMDs without documenting that fact (the "secret compliance" theory) need to re-think their position.

Posted by Attila at 12:52 AM | Comments (0)

The Couple that Blogs Together . . .

Am I the last person to find out that Deb and Jay are blogging their pregnancy? Wow. Cool idea. Maybe the Attila Hub and I should start a separate blog for the ups and downs in our adoption process.

Okay, here's one for you: is it better for a married couple to have a joint blog a la Deb and Jay or Asparagirl and Dr. Suarez, or is it preferable that the blogs be separate, as the Esmays' are, and the Noggles'?


Posted by Attila at 12:33 AM | Comments (3)

May 16, 2004

The Sopranos

Is still good. I'm tending to agree with my husband: it's clear that the season we're watching now was written when negotiations were ongoing, and it wasn't clear whether this might be the last season. I'm wondering if subsequent shows will feel "tacked on." It feels like the overall story is peaking now.

As last season's climax drew near I was knocked over by the fact that Tony and Ralphie were tied together by a horse, and by two women. The horse appeared to symbolize women to a certain degree (and, for crying out loud, its name was "Pie Oh My").

This week's episode confirms it: the woman Tony "stole" from Ralphie, whom he first met at the stable, gets burned (just as Pie Oh My did last season). And in one dream sequence Tony is mounted on a horse in his wife's living room (see what I mean?). He tells Carmella he wants to move back in, and she says if he does that the horse has to stay out the house. In another dream sequence, Tony is screwing the wife of his childhood friend, the restaurateur, as the friend watches from the bedside and tells Tony to "stroke her muzzle."

Horses are women, and women are horses on this show. And women are animals in general: Tony is capable of displaying emotion when women are killed, as he usually cannot for men. (For instance, Tony strikes Ralphie repeatedly--and has to be pulled off--after Ralphie beats the stripper Traci to death behind the Bada Bing.)

Because animals--as with the ducks from the first season--are family (and Tony is reminded of Traci at one point, after her death, by his own daughter). And his family--his mob family in particular--are animals.

Posted by Attila at 11:53 PM | Comments (1)

Nick Berg, Monday Edition

Xrlq discusses the Berg murder, and responds to a few of Venomous Kate's theories regarding same. (Also, see the comments thread on Kate's own post for more input.) A few Xrlq's commenters (including the Angry Clam, whose own website seems to have disappeared from the blogosphere for the time being) have some comments on the blood issue that concerns Kate so much.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media are nowhere to be found, and are still obsessed with Abu Ghraib. "Out out, damned spot!"

Posted by Attila at 11:34 PM | Comments (2)

We are Golden

Heather explains that it's possible to eat at McDonald's without getting fat.

Posted by Attila at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

We are NOT

. . . obsessed with the Nick Berg murder, and the strange circumstances in Berg's life that led to his destiny at the edge of a big knife. Contrary to some people's assumptions.

I mean, I just blogged about having lunch in Marina del Rey. And Kelley wrote a nice humorous piece that I linked to.

It isn't really "all Berg, all the time" on the Blogosphere . . . except to the degree that people out there are hungry for information, and want to know the truth. If at all possible.

Posted by Attila at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

Final Ultimate Nick Berg Link (for today, that is)

Just pop over here and tell me what you think of the "two camera" theory. It does appear to solve a few problems rather tidily.

Do you dare me to send the link for that post to friends in the entertainment industry, who know about film editing? Double-dog dare me?

Posted by Attila at 03:02 AM | Comments (1)

Nicholas Berg, once more

Venomous Kate is back, and badder than ever. This is her take on the Nick Berg murder, and it's a fresh perspective I haven't seen elsewhere. While I'm unconvinced about the "time lapse" issue as her post has it, she may have a point about the blood pooling: I'd like to see larger versions of the video stills than I have so far before I venture an opinion on whether Berg for sure and for real dies at the exact moment suggested.

As for the rivalries among the various jihadist groups, I think those are very real, and I'm hoping we've got a lot of very smart people putting a lot of time into figuring out how best to exploit them.

Posted by Attila at 02:47 AM | Comments (0)

Just When You Thought

. . . there was no more fun to be had from strange Google searches, Kelley comes along and makes you spit up on your keyboard.

She's going back out to Hawai'i to visit Venomous Kate again. I'm jealous, but that just means I need to get out of California more. Of course, I'll probably be e-mailing them both every five minutes once the baby gets here.

Posted by Attila at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2004

Nick Berg, Part III

The Berg-est blog at this point seems to be Wizbang!, which is giving us nearly up-to-the-moment news on the Nick Berg Mysteries, and features a lot of links, both to the beheading video and to the best articles/blog entries. There are links to roundups as well, so this is truly a good place to start.

But the deeper you get into the water, the muddier it looks.

The conspiracy theorists are jumping in, pointing out that it's a little odd for Berg's kidnappers to have dressed him in an orange jumpsuit, as if he were a prisoner in an American institution. I wrote that off as part of the "theater"--that they were attempting to pass this off as revenge for the Abu Ghraib abuses. But I wonder what the answer really is.

No written confirmation yet, but one report a friend passed along suggests that video enhancement shows a gold wedding band on the finger of one of the captors. This same friend points out that this is against Muslim law.

And then there is that 11-hour gap in the videotape itself. Curiouser and curiouser.

I wonder if we'll ever have answers, or whether this is going to be one of those things like the Kennedy Assasination or the Oklahoma City bombing that drops question marks onto the pages of history and leaves people wondering and speculating forever.

And I'm pretty irritated that the news accounts can't seem to agree on whether or not Berg spoke any Arabic: my impression is that he knew a little--but not much.

Personally, I think the kid was a right-of-center version of Rachel Corrie--idealistic, a bit of an idiot--and I'm willing to live with a couple of coincidences/ironies in his life. But that's me.

Posted by Attila at 01:20 AM | Comments (4)

May 14, 2004

More on Nick Berg

There are conspiracy theories in the air, and a lot of data are floating around. Larry Elder has been talking a lot about all the Berg Mysteries, and based on the documents he has available to him--and has discussed on the air--I have a few conclusions:

1. Nick Berg was raised in the suburbs and had a very sunny, optimistic view of life. He saw bad events as, by definition, things that happened to other people--never him.

2. Nick Berg was a free spirit, and didn't want to be ruled by fear--or pragmatism.

3. Berg had an Israeli stamp on his passport, and this looked suspicious to Iraqi authorities.

4. He was held by the Iraqis for a time, and was in American custody long enough for them to beg him to leave the country, which was a dangerous place for a young man to be without friends, an employer, or even a translator.

5. He refused to do this, preferring to travel over land. This appears to have been a fatal mistake.

6. His father is a wingnut to begin with, and now near crazy with grief. Rather than accept the notion that evil is real and needs to be dealt with, and that he was mistaken about its nature all along, the senior Berg prefers to pin the entire chain of events on George W. Bush, against all reason.

7. Possibly because of the father's wingnuttery, the family has had previous brushes with the FBI.

8. At no point was Nick Berg mindful of the fact that he was in a war zone; just before he disappeared for good he sent one note home to friends in the States to the effect that he'd been out drinking heavily the night before. A Jewish-American guy who goes out on the town, unaccompanied, in Baghdad, is not being careful of his own safety. Not at all.

9. I do not happen to believe that his captors tumbled to the fact that he was Jewish. I suspect if they had that he might have got worse treatment--like what happened to Daniel Pearl.

I've heard about the e-mail passord business, but I haven't so far seen any evidence to link Nick Berg with AQ or other extremists. I suspect this was just coincidence--or possibly another manifestation of the same carelessness that got Berg killed.

To be clear, I don't think this kid was at fault in his own murder. I also (so far) don't see any evidence that he was guilty of anything other than thinking he'd live forever--or at least long enough to tell his kids and grandkids about his swashbuckling adventures in a war zone someday.

He was 26, and appears to have been almost criminally naive. The luck that got him through one previous trip to Iraq and a few forays to other hot spots finally ran out.

And it's a damned shame.

Posted by Attila at 03:27 AM | Comments (0)

California Dreams

I had lunch today with the Left Coast Conservative, a charming engineer who spent ten years with the Navy and has lived a pretty interesting life. He's a good conversationalist--and sharp--and has a lot of sound ideas about a great many things. He had just met up with Boi from Troy the evening before; apparently they had a lovely discussion over apple martinis.

He's also among the very few Northern California Bear Flag League Bloggers I've met. I may need to start calling more of the Northern League people on my periodic trips to the Bay Area.

The Bear Flag League (see my sidebar for their blogroll) is one of the many, many reasons I feel blessed to live in the Golden State.

Posted by Attila at 02:48 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2004

The West Wing

. . . has gone all Jane Austen on us. I mean this in a good way, of course. That show is getting better and better.

Posted by Attila at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

On the Ground in Iraq

James shares some good news with us regarding Iraq--both in terms of winning "hearts and minds," and in terms of Iraqi security forces gaining some legitimacy in the eyes of the general population there. Looks like things are cooling down a bit--which is a much-needed bit of cheer.

Posted by Attila at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2004

Angry? Do Something.

Alan and Michele of The Command Post have a brilliant idea for channeling our anger and disgust at the Berg murder into a tangible good.

In the meantime, my husband and I will be writing letters to public officials involved in the war effort--from the President on down--expressing our support and gratitude.

Posted by Attila at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

In Praise of Consumer Goods

Stephen Green, under the influence of Virginia Postrel's new book The Substance of Style, has an epiphany to the effect that as long as we Americans remain as shallow and greedy as we are, the economy will do fine.

Of course, a martini might have been involved as well, for all I know. But go RTWT anyway.

Posted by Attila at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

You Forgot the Early Clint Eastwood Movie

Michele actually runs a picture of the latest obscenity from Mickey D's:

This is a McDonald's Adult Happy Meal. Salad, water and a prize of a fitness book and stepometer.

That is not a Happy Meal. It is a Sad Meal.

Ice cream, tequila, nachos and a prize of porn: That is a happy meal.

Posted by Attila at 01:53 AM | Comments (2)

Nick Berg

It is a dark and stormy night. That is, it's sixty-five degrees outside and there's no wind. Beyond the lights of the nearby houses I can see stars. This isn't, you'll note, the kind of storm that requires one to move the balcony furniture inside and grab a flashlight. It's a subtler variety.

It's stormy in my soul as I grapple with the murder of Nick Berg. I go up and down the scale of grief, from horror to anger and back again. I honestly half-believe I could go to Iraq right now, find these guys, and kill them with my bare hands. "Look, Ma--no gun!" My reason seems to have fled; I hope it'll come back soon.

Here's what I do know:

First of all, there's no real reason to think this had anything to do with the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib. This truly appears to be a crime of opportunity: I suspect the AQ operatives got the bright idea of mentioning the prisoner abuse issue before they shot the video. They suddenly realized they could paint this as vengeance for the excesses at the prison. You'll recall that this is only one in a long string of attacks on Americans and other Westerners, including 9/11, the murder of Daniel Pearl, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole . . . I could go on and on. None of the previous attacks were related to the actions of Americans in any way. These guys managed to capture an American, and there was a media circus going on, so they felt bringing that issue up would muddy the waters a little.

I believe the very same thing about their contention that they had been in touch with the U.S. authorities and offered to save Berg in exchange for Abu Ghraib prisoners: that truly appears to be another red herring. I don't believe the U.S. should bargain with people like this, but I don't think in this particular instance the attempt was even made by our friends in AQ. That line appears to be a way of trying to create a stress-fracture between men and women in the U.S. Or between those who support this war and those who think there are other, better ways to fight terror.

I also think that our friends in AQ are idiots. In those moments when my grief and anger ebb, I can almost laugh at how strategically stupid it is, with a group of photos circulating that embarrass the U.S., to release a video that makes your own cause apppear much, much worse than the Americans ever did their own.

The Arab street, much-maligned and written about in such patronizing tones by our friends in journalism, is not going to be turned on to jihad by this video: AQ will lose a lot of potential converts as the images get wider and wider circulation. No one is going to be fooled by people chanting about God as they murder an innocent man.


There is something that was said a lot about the jihadists after 9/11 that I kept remembering today as the awful news leaked in: these guys underestimate us because they have, fundamentally, no idea what we are about as a nation and--speaking of the Western World that still wants to survive (including England and Australia)--as a force of fucking nature. There seems to be this idea that an atrocity will make us flee. Wrong, Buck-O.

We are not the rich spoiled people you see on television. We are not the people of the obesity epidemic, who gorge on McDonald's food and never exercise. We are not the sex addicts, the beer men who go to strip clubs for a cheap thrill on a Saturday night. We're much, much more than that, and each time the jihadists try to prove how weak we are they will be dealt another crippling blow until they have trouble finding a goddamned Western kitten to kidnap and torment.

We are halfway done. Keep the faith.

The BBC story is here.
The Command Post piece, which supposedly has pictures (I can't get them to load properly).
The New York Times gets in on the action. And another NYT article discusses the Berg family's concerns.

And one more thing: if I hear one more comparison between the actual Abu Ghraib incidents and this murder--with us coming out ahead--I'm going to puke. You might as well say you live a moral life because you don't kill as many men (or fuck as many women) as Tony Soprano or his real-life counterparts: no one convinces anyone of their morality by comparing themselves with society's reprobates. Stop it.

Posted by Attila at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2004

And Now a Word

. . . from a former Navy Intel officer, now living in the Upper Midwest. This is my cousin, who gathered intelligence during the Vietnam War. He has a thing or two to say about the Abu Ghraib scandal.

I am not sure I agree with what they did, and I don't know if I condone it, but having been in the service during a war, I certainly understand it.

I cannot honestly say I feel bad for those prisoners. Having been in the field and collecting intelligence, I can tell you we miss out on a lot of good intel by interrogating as we do. I consider myself a civilized person, but a very rational part of my mind refutes the cries of the liberal do gooders (and many honestly good people) in thinking that when you fight people who follow no rules, you must win by following the rules.

I do not really believe that we stoop to the level of the terrorists when we employ their tactics. It matters not the size of our forces: the bad guys will eventually wear down the morale of the good guys by decrying their use of tactics the terrorists themselves use. With the press bombarding the public with negatives, it is an uphill battle to win against someone fighting with no rules, when you yourself are bound by civilized actions.

My biggest fear is that the press will scare honest Americans into self-destructing with all the negativity. Also my biggest dilemma is how far do we go into the rules (or non-rules) of the terrorists. A truly sticky problem here. According to some rules of war, it was a crime. More realistically, it was a horrible lapse in judgement by a bunch of young people in a situation most Americans won't experience even in their worst nightmares. In addition, the brass will engage in a full-court cover your ass (liberally stuffed with bullshit), and those few will suffer the brunt. Six ruined careers and probably six ruined families.

For what it's worth, it looks like some of the shit that getting thrown around is, in fact, landing on officers. And while we may never settle the issue of responsibility (that is, Army Intel vs. CIA vs. the MPs) in a totally satisfactory way, the rest of the world is seeing the U.S. reacting to this, including Congressional hearings. The Arab world saw the President of the United States offer an apology. Much as that action may defy logic in some bloggers' minds, it made a big impression on many observers, a few of whom asked, "hey--how come our leaders never say they're sorry?"

It's a good question, and one for which even Al-Jazeera doesn't seem to have a real answer.

Posted by Attila at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Abuse of Iraqis IV

Donald Sensing on why people--people like me, I think he means--need to stop making excuses for the guards who abused Iraqi prisoners. And/or stop comparing these crimes to those that occurred under Saddam.

The absolutist point of view (this is always wrong, we cannot ever condone it or even accept it) appears to be the dominant view among the Milbloggers, as it runs counter to their training (which is damned gratifying). I'm just not sure it encompasses all the truth.

For more, see Sensing's comments thread, in which some people explain why torture may be justified under some circumstances. Not fun reading, but important, I think. The best comment was from someone named Yehudit (whose home page is here):

I also agree with Donald that torture should never be officially sanctioned. This may have been in the Atlantic article: they interviewed an Israeli human rights worker who said that in her experience, if any torture is allowed (even by special warrant) it always grows into gratuitous abuse, it is never restrained to the specific case. She said you have to make it illegal, knowing it will go on anyway, but make sure the interrogators know they will face heavy punishment if they are caught. If they are convinced it is necessary anyway, if they are willing to take that risk, then they will go ahead, but they will be much less likely to use it gratuitously.

I don't happen to think this applies to the current situation, in which the guards were apparently trying to keep the Iraqis awake, and either went over the line or were ordered over the line (I want to see the evidence presented at trial) but it's probably the best balance between letting thousands die for our principles in a ticking time-bomb scenario vs. becoming the thing we are supposedly fighting against.

Hat tip: James, who doubtless disagrees with me heartily on this score. (I may stop actually writing and just link to Outside the Beltway from now on; it would certainly save time. Or I could re-title my blog the OTB Amplification Page.)

Posted by Attila at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

Abuse of Iraqis III

James discusses the standards for training of MPs, and how these are going up: there will be more specialized training for military prison guards than there have been in the past. But he points out that every soldier is instructed in such basics as the Geneva Convention and general standards for treatment of prisoners, and those who are MPs are given a special course in this as well. James has insisted all along that there is no way the soldiers involved did not know they were acting outside accepted guidelines.

(Non-military people: no matter the branch of service an MP [Military Police member] is in, he or she always gets the MP training through the Army. For instance, my husband is a former Marine, but he received his MP training at an Army base.)

Posted by Attila at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2004

Stories You Won't See On CNN

Via Blackfive, the Navy Cross was just awarded to Marine Captain Brian Chontosh for his heroic actions during the drive to Baghdad last spring. He was in charge of a string of vehicles that was suddenly ambused. Under heavy enemy fire, he ordered the Humvee he was in straight toward the enemy position, and jumped out firing. When he ran out of ammo he switched to his sidearm; when his sidearm ran out he used AKs seized from the dead Iraqis. He killed 20 and probably wounded as many. And he saved the lives of his fellow Marines.

Blackfive's commenters inform us that "it's 'OOH-rah,'" contrary to the way the news stories about Chontosh have the Marine saying. Nice to know; I hate to wake my husband up for little questions like that.

OOH-rah, indeed. And Semper Fi. This guy is the real deal.

Posted by Attila at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

Abuse of Iraqis II

Via The Command Post, an Iraqi blogger gives us a view of Abu Ghraib from the inside. (Americans reading this should note that I believe "hall" means "room"--I believe the usage here is like that in "dormitory hall" or "study hall." More European than American in that sense.)


Yesterday a friend of mine, who’s also a doctor, visited us. After chatting about old memories, I asked him about his opinions on the current situations in Iraq. I’ve always known this friend to be apathetic when it comes to politics, even if it means what’s happening in Iraq. It was obvious that he hadn’t change and didn’t show any interest in going deep into this conversation. However when I asked him about his opinion on GWB response to the prisoners’ abuse issue, I was surprised to see him show anger and disgust as he said:

- This whole thing makes me sick.

- Why is that?! I asked.
- These thugs are treated much better than what they really deserve!

- What are you saying!? You can’t possibly think that this didn’t happen! And they’re still human beings, and there could be some innocents among them.
- Of course it happened, and I’m not talking about all the prisoners nor do I support these actions, and there could be some innocents among them, but I doubt it.

- Then why do you say such a thing?
- Because these events have taken more attention than they should.

- I agree but there should be an investigation on this. There are other pictures that were shown lately, and there are talks about others that will be shown in the near future.
- Yes, but what happened cannot represent more than 1% of the truth.

- Oh I really hope there would be no more than that.
- No, that’s not what I meant. What I’m saying is that these events are the exception and not the rule.

- How do you know that!? I must say I agree with your presumption, but I don’t have a proof, and I never thought you’d be interested in such [an] issue!
- I was there for a whole month!

- In Abu-Gharib!? What were you doing there!?
- It was part of my training! Did you forget that!? I know you skipped that at Saddam’s time, but how could you forget that?

- Yes, but I thought that with the American troops there, the system must have been changed.
-No it’s still the same. We still have to do a month there.

-So tell me what did you see there? How’s the situation of the prisoners? Did you see any abuse? Do they get proper medical care? (I was excited to see someone who was actually there, and he was a friend!)
- Hey, slow down! I’ll tell you what I know. First of all, the prisoners are divided into two groups; the ordinary criminals and the political ones. I used to visit the ordinary criminals during every shift, and after that, the guards would bring anyone who has a complaint to me at the prison’s hospital.

- What about the 'political' ones?
- I’m not allowed to go to their camps, but when one of them feels ill, the guards bring him to me.

- Are the guards all Americans?
- No, the American soldiers with the IP watch over and take care of the ordinary criminals, but no one except the Americans is allowed to get near the political ones.

- How are the medical supplies in the prison?
- Not very great, but certainly better from what it was on Saddam’s times. However my work is mainly at night, but in the morning the supplies are usually better.

- How many doctors, beside you, were there?
- There was an American doctor, who’s always their (His name is Eric, a very nice guy, he and I became friends very fast), and other Iraqi doctors with whom I shared the work, and in the morning, there are always some Iraqi senior doctors; surgeons, physicians…etc.

-Why do you say they are very well treated?
- They are fed much better than they get at their homes. I mean they eat the same stuff we eat, and it’s pretty good; eggs, cheese, milk and tea, meat, bread and vegetables, everything! And that happened every day, and a good quality too.

-Are they allowed to smoke? (I asked this because at Saddam’s times, it was a crime to smoke in prison and anyone caught while doing this would be punished severely).
- Yes, but they are given only two cigarettes every day.

- What else? How often are they allowed to take a bath? (This may sound strange to some people, but my friend understood my question. We knew from those who spent sometime in Saddam’s prisons, and survived, that they were allowed to take a shower only once every 2-3 weeks.)
- Anytime they want! There are bathrooms next to each hall.

- Is it the same with the 'political' prisoners?
- I never went there, but I suppose it’s the same because they were always clean when they came to the hospital, and their clothes were always clean too.

-How often do they shave? (I remember a friend who spent 45 days in prison at Saddam’s times had told me that the guards would inspect their beards every day to see if they were shaved properly, and those who were not, would be punished according to the guards’ mood. He also told me that they were of course not allowed to have any shaving razors or machines and would face an even worse punishment in case they found some of these on one of the prisoners. So basically all the prisoners had to smuggle razors, which cost a lot, shave in secrecy and then get rid of the razor immediately! That friend wasn’t even a political prisoner; he was arrested for having a satellite receiver dish in his house!)
- I’m not sure, from what I saw, it seemed that there was a barber visiting them frequently, because they had different hair cuts, some of them shaved their beards others kept them or left what was on their chins only. I mean it seemed that they had the haircut they desired!

-Yes but what about the way they are treated? And how did you find American soldiers in general?
- I’ll tell you about that; first let me tell you that I was surprised with their politeness. Whenever they come to the hospital, they would take of their helmets and show great respect and they either call me Sir or doctor. As for the way they treat the prisoners, they never handcuff anyone of those, political or else, when they bring them for examination and treatment unless I ask them to do so if I know that a particular prisoner is aggressive, and I never saw them beat a prisoner and rarely did one of them use an offensive language with a prisoner.

One of those times, a member of the American MP brought one of the prisoners, who was complaining from a headache, but when I tried to take history from him he said to me “doctor, I had a problem with my partner (he was a homosexual) I’m not Ok and I need a morphine or at least a valium injection” when I told him I can’t do that, he was outraged, swore at me and at the Americans and threatened me. I told the soldier about that, and he said “Ok Sir, just please translate to him what I’m going to say”. I agreed and he said to him “I want you to apologize to the doctor and I want your word as a man that you’ll behave and will never say such things again” and the convict told him he has his word!!

Another incidence I remember was when one of the soldiers brought a young prisoner to the hospital. The boy needed admission but the soldier said he’s not comfortable with leaving the young boy (he was about 18) with those old criminals and wanted to keep him in the isolation room to protect him. I told him that this is not allowed according to the Red Cross regulations. He turned around and saw the paramedics’ room and asked me if he can keep him there, and I told him I couldn’t. The soldier turned to a locked door and asked me about it. I said to him “It’s an extra ward that is almost deserted but I don’t have the keys, as the director of the hospital keeps them with him”. The soldier grew restless, and then he brought some tools, broke that door, fixed it, put a new lock, put the boy inside and then locked the door and gave me the key!

- Did you witness any aggressiveness from American soldiers?
- Only once. There was a guy who is a troublemaker. He was abnormally aggressive and hated Americans so much. One of those days the soldiers were delivering lunch and he took the soup pot that was still hot and threw it at one of the guards. The guard avoided it and the other guards caught the convict and one of them used an irritant spray that causes severe itching, and then they brought the prisoner to me to treat him.

- So you think that these events are isolated?
-As far as I know and from what I’ve seen, I’m sure that they are isolated.

-But couldn’t it be true that there were abusive actions at those times that the prisoners were afraid to tell you about?
-Are you serious!? These criminals, and I mean both types tell me all about there 'adventures and bravery'. Some of them told me how they killed an American soldier or burned a humvee, and in their circumstances this equals a confession! Do you think they would’ve been abused and remained silent and not tell me at least!? No, I don’t think any of this happened during the time I was there. It seemed that this happened to a very small group of whom I met no one during that month.

- Can you tell me anything about those 'political' prisoners? Are they Islamists, Ba’athists or what?
- Islamists?? I don't care what they call themselves, but they are thugs, they swear all the time, and most of them are addicts or homosexuals or both. Still very few of them looked educated.

- Ah, that makes them close to Ba’athists. Do you think there are innocents among them?
- There could be. Some of them say they are and others boast in front of me, as I said, telling the crimes they committed in details. Of course I’m not naive enough to blindly believe either.

- Are they allowed to get outside, and how often? Do they have fans or air coolers inside their halls?
- Of course they are! Even you still compare this to what it used to be at Saddam’s times and there’s absolutely no comparison. They play volleyball or basketball everyday, and they have fans in their halls.

- Do they have sport suits?
- No, it’s much better than Saddam’s days but it’s still a prison and not the Sheraton. They use the same clothes but I’ve seen them wearing train[ing] shoes when they play.

-Are they allowed to read?
- Yes, I’ve seen the ordinary criminals read, and I believe the political are allowed too, because I remember one of them asking me to tell one of the American soldiers that he wanted his book that one of the soldiers had borrowed from him.

- So, you believe there’s a lot of clamor here?
-As you said these things are unaccepted but I’m sure that they are isolated and they are just very few exceptions that need to be dealt with, but definitely not the rule. The rule is kindness, care and respect that most of these thugs don’t deserve, and that I have seen by my own eyes. However I still don't understand why did this happen.

-I agree with you, only it’s not about the criminals, it’s about the few innocents who could suffer without any guilt and it’s about us; those who try to build a new Iraq. We can’t allow ourselves to be like them and we can’t go back to those dark times.

As for "why"; I must say that these few exceptions happen everywhere, only in good society they can be exposed and dealt with fast, while in corrupted regimes, it may take decades for such atrocities to be exposed which encourage the evil people to go on, and exceptions become the rule.

What happened in Abu-Gharib should be a lesson for us, Iraqis, above all. It showed how justice functions in a democratic society. We should study this lesson carefully, since sooner or later we'll be left alone and it will be our responsibility to deal with such atrocities, as these will never cease to happen.

-By Ali.

Posted by Attila at 03:51 PM | Comments (3)

Now I've Got a Bellyful

Dean Esmay gives us word of a new drug that may help prevent and treat obesity. Not a moment too soon.

Posted by Attila at 02:29 PM | Comments (1)

You're in the Administration Now

There's a great discussion going on at Outside the Beltway regarding Donald Rumsfeld, and whether or not he'll be asked to resign from the administration. Novak thinks so, and is quoted taking the temperature of the Army (in particular). James makes the point that only someone like Rumsfeld--who doesn't care whether or not people like him--could achieve what he has in such a short amount of time, in terms of transforming the military into the lean machine it (almost) is now.

The husband makes the remark that it would be great if someone would do the same for the intelligence agencies. The problem with these, of course, is that they operate in the dark, so it's hard to know whether and how they are changing. I'm hoping that seeing blood on their hands after 9/11 caused a lot of soul-searching.

But I'm the idealist in the family.

Posted by Attila at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2004

Help for the Weary

Madfish Willie is re-running some of his classic entries, including a series on how to cope with hangover (including preparing for a night out). There's a significant caveat to the effect that any given person should only have to use this advice once, as alcohol poisoning is real--and dangerous.

Posted by Attila at 02:00 PM | Comments (2)

The Measure of a Man

This wouldn't be enough to change my decision about whom to vote for. But it makes me feel good about the decision I happen to have made.


Via Dean Esmay.

Posted by Attila at 03:29 AM | Comments (1)

May 08, 2004

Back in the City of the Fallen Angels

I didn't hit the road today until 1:00 or so, so I didn't get back home until 6:45. That's 5 3/4 hours, and not quite my personal best along Highway 5 (that would be five and a half hours).

We used to consider the LA-Bay Area trek (and vice versa) a 7-8 hour trip, but that includes things like meal breaks, which I'm far too butch to engage in. (I have snacks in the car, supplemented by cold cans of Coke obtained at gas stations when I gas up and pee.)

Driving is the most wonderful thing--particularly when there's no discussion with the CHP; frankly, I don't miss our heart-to-heart chats. It's been years.

Particularly when you have a tape in the car with a few full-on rock numbers to get you over the grapevine. Today it was "Los Angeles," by X (how appropriate), and "Ain't This the Life," by Oingo Boingo (also pretty appropriate).

I'm considering getting a convertible as my next car. One hopes my practical side will take the reins before I do such a thing, but one never knows: it's beautiful outside right now, and the PT Cruiser has a turbo version.

I'm tired, sweaty, and covered in road dust. I'll be in bed soon, sleeping the sleep of the okay. The sleep of the not-too-egregious.

Posted by Attila at 01:17 AM | Comments (1)

Big Fat Liar

I have some real mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, I don't like anything that smacks of censorship, and I despise the idea that Jeb Bush might somehow retaliate against Disney if Miramax distributes Michael Moore's latest piece of shit. If true, that's unacceptable behavior for a governor. Furthermore, I believe it's idiotic of Disney to acquire a film company known for "edgey" material and then forbid it to get involved in edgey projects.

On the other hand, I'd like nothing better than for the community of responsible film producers to wash their hands of this man and disassociate themselves from his lies.

The compromise might be for the film industry to produce and distribute his work, but not to nominate anything for an academy award in the "documentary" category that's really fiction.

Posted by Attila at 12:53 AM | Comments (6)

May 04, 2004

Light Blogging . . .

for the rest of the week. I'll be at my mother's, where it's all dialup-at-best. So I'm hoping the munuvians and the Bear Flag League will keep people so busy they won't notice I'm barely here.

Posted by Attila at 12:58 AM | Comments (1)

Kerry's "References"

Apparently a lot of men who served with John Kerry in Vietnam will be getting together tomorrow to publicly sign a document that makes a remarkable assertion: they don't feel he would be a good commander-in-chief:

“What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension,” John O’Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told . The event, which is expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

“We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief,” O’Neill said.

Via James, who makes this point:

There’s nothing new here, just a renewal of the debate over the Winter Soldiers hearing and Kerry’s anti-war activities. Presumably, these things have been factored into voters’ minds at this point, to the extent anyone much cares thirty-odd years later. Further, this is in some sense the mirror image of the chicken hawk argument. Since all they’re doing is assessing purely political matters, I’m not sure why the opinion of Kerry’s former Navy mates should have any special weight.

What is relevant to the question of Kerry’s fitness to serve as commander-in-chief is his present maturity on defense matters. Given the advantage of thirty-odd years additional seasoning and reflection, what are Kerry’s views on Vietnam now? More importantly, what is his vision for the war on terror and our future in Iraq? It’s still very early in this campaign but Kerry will need to give a much more coherent view on those issues than he has so far.

And that's the hard part, for Kerry. He wants to be everything to everyone. This may change a few moderate minds in the months ahead, if the story has "legs." It does have a certain drama in it.

McCain will be pissed, of course.

Posted by Attila at 12:13 AM | Comments (5)

May 03, 2004

Abuse of Iraqis

I'm going to wade in, here. I may not have any friends left after this--online or off--but . . . easy come, easy go. I'd been meaning to catch up on my reading anyway.

Let's start with the primary links:
The Abuse Pictures
The CBS Story

Full disclosure: my husband is a late-Vietnam-era MP, and a former Marine. His cousin was a spy throughout most of that conflict.

I've experienced the same shocked outrage most of you have. And I would love to see the grinning idiots in these images prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law--something that will certainly happen. But let's get a few things straight.

1. There are two different locations being discussed, with different parties involved. Most incidents under discussion occurred at Abu Ghraib, one of Saddam's most notorious prisons. We are now using it for detainees. The alleged beating incident--thrown in the middle of the Memory Hole photo essay--took place (or didn't) at Camp White Horse, and the accused men in that case are Marines. (Please note that the Marines are [sort of] part of the Navy, and any investigation into this White Horse incident is therefore going to be under that branch of the Armed Forces.)

UPDATE: There is one allegation of a beating death at Abu Ghraib, so that photo may indeed be in the right place. The story is developing.

2. The descriptive information under the photos varies a lot according to what web site you view them on. The one of the man standing on a box sometimes bears the explanation that the man is holding wires, and was told he'd be shocked if he stepped off the box. Sometimes we're told he has wires running to his testicles. Sometimes it's suggested that the electricity was actually going to be turned on. Let's remember that we don't know yet, and cannot rely on most explanatory material that appears with these pix.

And the ones showing detainees fellating each other are blocked out so that we aren't sure whether the sex act is truly being performed or not. There is, obviously, a huge difference between posing these people suggestively and making them have sex.

3. Some critical information we--the public--don't yet have has to do with the affiliation of the "interrogators" who were on-site, and allegedly encouraging these servicemen and -women to "soften up" the detainees for questioning. Some sites or articles--even from mainstream sources--claim that there is no way to try or punish these "third parties." This is untrue: civilians who are in an installation under military control can be tried by the FBI, who should--I feel--be brought in. But more on this later.

4. The term "prisoners" used in a lot of the articles and essays being written on Abu Ghraib is probably inaccurate. These are not Iraqi soldiers who fell into the hands of irresponsible servicemen/-women. These are people who have been brought in for interrogation. They have information we need, presumably in order to save our boys and girls from being blown to bits in another ambush.

5. Intelligence-gathering is probably like laws and sausages, to some degree. Of course, we regulate the making of the second two, and need to set clear limits on the first.

6. Snapping a photo as a trophy is not the same for the young war-hardened soldiers of today that it was for their fathers in Vietnam. In the old days you could put a cigarette in the mouth of a deceased Viet Cong, put your arm around him and get a photo. No need to be revulsed by this until years later, when you come across the snapshot in a drawer and recoil in horror. Now every time a picture is taken you have to assume that, in the digital age, it can and will end up on Al-Jazeera.

7. Studies have shown that people find it easier to do cruel and inhuman things when they are part of a group than alone, and often surprise themselves at how cruel they can be when ordered to. I am attempting to explain, rather than offering excuses.

8. Torture is not simply humiliating people. A lot of the pictures show juvenile pranks that are unacceptable conduct, but don't warrant the word "torture." I'd prefer that we not use that word untiil some of the more serious charges are proven (e.g., sodomy).

9. The investigation has been going on for months, and so far at least 17 people have been relieved of their command, including a Brigadier General.

10. There are spooks in the shadows, and not just army intelligence people. Probably CIA, though there are other US agencies that could be involved, and British intel is another possibility. Come on, people: there's a lot of hand-wringing out there to the effect that we're shocked, shocked to find out that "private contractors" are questioning "prisoners." Whatever companies are supposedly involved, we are obviously not giving the guys who maintain the trucks control over interrogations. These are not security guards doing this.

11. I must say that I keep hearing how "humiliating" it is for Arab men to be nude. Most of their prudery, however, seems to be reserved for the female of the species. I certainly don't want to paint all Muslims--or all Arabs--with the same brush, but if I were involved in an interrogation and I found out that the subject had been involved in an "honor killing" of his sister or daughter because she had been raped, I would have a hard time forgetting that fact.

12. All of the above notwithstanding, what happened is not okay. The pictures are not okay, and there are failures within the command structure. I want to see courts-martial that go significantly up the chain of command.

But I also hope we don't overreact to the point that no aggressive questioning is ever permissible--because that is a sure way to lose more lives.

Here's a little Feedback on the CBS story.

A piece on the Camp White Horse story helps keep that inquiry distinct from Abu Ghraib.

Brain Shavings discusses the beast in all of us.

James Joyner has written five or six posts on the subject so far (I'm sure there will be more--keep scrolling).

John of Argghh! shares his own thoughts and a mini-roundup of reaction from warbloggers.

Michele calls the actions of the army reservists "treason."

Smash has a thing or two to say.

Posted by Attila at 01:59 AM | Comments (10)

May 02, 2004

G.W. Bush Popular! Film at 11!

James discusses a new ABC poll that shows Bush/43 scoring somewhat higher than John Kerry on "likeability" and "compassion."

If this holds, Bush will be re-elected much more easily than most of us have been predicting. [Editor's note: except me, of course.] It’s probably not surprising that Bush is considered more likeable but Democrats tend to have an edge on the “caring” and especially “shares my values” question.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single presidential election . . . where the candidate that was perceived as more likable and compassionate lost. I’m not old enough to remember the Nixon elections; he was an odd duck [anyway] . . .

I've said all along that it wouldn't even be close. Barring some unforeseen disaster, it'll be Bush by a comfortable margin.

Posted by Attila at 11:48 PM | Comments (1)

Ahoy, Pedophiles!

Thanks for finding my site by entering disgusting phrase combinations into Google. If I ever figure out how to capture your IP and match it to those searches, I'm going to send your information to the police.

If you're lucky.

Have a really special day.

Posted by Attila at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

May 01, 2004

Dean Esmay

Has, very foolishly, given me the keys to the car.

And it's a V-8.

Posted by Attila at 03:35 AM | Comments (3)

A Job Well Done

Final results on the Spirit of America Fundraising effort:

The Fighting Fusileers raised $26,597.39
The Victory Coalition raised $18,910.44
The Liberty Alliance raised $9,884

Therefore, the blogging part of this campaign is responsible for $55,391.83. With a total of over $1,500,000, we therefore brought in a bit over 1/30 of what was raised, nationwide. Not bad, considering that the blogosphere was "competing" with the likes of The Wall Street Journal. And we raised five grand over the goal originally set for the blogging portion of the campaign.

What blows me away, though, is the generosity of the American people. The fundraising goal was $100,000. Now there's a little left over for the Marines' next few charity projects in Iraq. Past work has included outfitting schools and hospitals, and buying toys for Iraqi children--who are apparently partial to Frisbees.

Here's the word from Jim Hake:

Today we delivered to Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA the equipment that will be used to equip Iraqi-owned and operated television stations in Al Anbar province. On Saturday, May 1 the Marines will fly the equipment from March Air Force Base to Iraq. This initiative and the original request is described here. We try hard to provide rapid response to requests we receive. Here is the timeline of this project:

April 8: SoA receives Marines request for television equipment.
April 14: SoA posts the request on our Web site and begins fundraising.
April 29: SoA delivers $82,687 of TV studio equipment to Camp Pendleton.
April 29: Marines pack donated equipment and prepare for shipment to Iraq.
May 1: Marines fly equipment to Iraq.

This rapid turnaround makes a difference in Iraq.


Please check Friday’s Wall St. Journal, Dan Henninger talks about Spirit of America in his column on the editorial.

We have received $1,532,931 in donations in the last two weeks. Contributions from 7,438 donors have been made to every request and every area of Spirit of America’s operations. I can’t begin to describe the effects this generosity will have on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan - both in helping the people of those countries and in supporting the hard work of those serving there.

As encouraging as the last 14 days have been, I believe we are just at the beginning of seeing homefront support for America’s efforts in Iraq. We’re fortunate to receive emails, letters and handwritten notes from our donors that thank us for finally getting the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution. Since 9/11 many have felt helpless. That no longer need be the case.

You can find more on what’s happened and what next at Spirit of America’s blog. As promised, we have an accounting there of how the money was spent on the first phase of the Marines TV request.

And just about 100% of this is actually going to the people it purports to help. Excellent.

This is, by far, the best stunt pulled on behalf of this effort; some men just weren't meant to cross-dress, and I think he's one of them.

Joanie has pictures.

Smash got an interview out of this.

And Spirit of America made The Wall Street Journal again--alas, without any mention of the blogosphere's role in the fundraising effort.

Sleep well, my friends. And have a wonderful weekend: you deserve it.

Posted by Attila at 01:07 AM | Comments (3)

The Only Post

. . . you'll ever need to read on the war in Iraq, Ted Koppel, freedom of speech, or Pat Tillman is over at A Small Victory. Get over there.

Posted by Attila at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: is currently inaccessible

My Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!