June 30, 2005

You've Got to Admit

. . . that Durbin tried really hard to figure it all out.

Posted by Attila at 02:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Crude, Vulgar Birthday Blegging

My birthday is in nine days, so I think I'll let those of you who care to know about that.

My PayPal button is to the left, and my amazon wishlist is here.

In addition, the Attila Hub and I could use some more military history, like the DVD of Band of Brothers (we've worn out the VHS). We also don't have a copy of Ken Burns' series on the Civil War, or any of those great specials on the founding fathers (Ben Franklin being a special favorite).

We always watch a lot of war around this time of year, starting with The American Revolution and going forward.

K. is permitted to send me fresh mangoes, and nothing else.

Thank you for your patience, and, yes: I know I'm a spoiled brat.

UPDATE: Attila Hub informs me that we do have that cool War of 1812 special, so I've deleted it above. We also have that one on the French Revolution, which is fun (abeit a little gory). So we may be alright for a couple of months. But I will be Jonesing for Band of Brothers soon.

Someday I'll stop embarrassing him, but I don't think today is that day.

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Finally (drum roll)!

The long-awaited fourth installment of this week's Cotillion went up a little late, due to technical difficulties. Go ahead and catch it here. Now you have links to carry you through the end of the week! Plus nice pix of pinup girls!

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June 29, 2005

Crisis of Faith

When I heard about Abu Ghraib, I thought it was a few isolated incidents. And I winked at Gitmo's abuses, because, well—detainees there are rumored to actually gain weight before they leave.

But prison ships; I hadn't heard of these being used since the revolutionary War, when thousands of privateers were held in squalor in New York Harbor by the British. It's inhumane, and I just don't know if I can go on making excuses for this kind of thing.

This could be a turning point for me.

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As I Grow Older

. . . I'm more and more in awe of Mark Steyn. How can one man stay right on top of politics in the U.S., Canada, England, and Europe in general all at the same time?

I had a boyfriend who used to refer to Isaac Asimov as "the Asimov brothers." That's how I feel about Steyn, who is always just brilliant—whether I agree with him or not. He's a top-notch writer and a top-notch thinker.

In his latest Right Wing News Interview with John Hawkins, Steyn discusses his favorite—excuse me, favourite—bloggers, reserving his highest accolades for Canada's Kate McMillan, who is indeed one of the very best out there.

Needless to say, we were all button-busting proud at the Cotillion.

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Scroll Down

. . . and check out the Andrew Sullivan freak-out advisory on my left sidebar. I'll have to pop over and see what the poor dear is waxing emotional about.

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Mayor Sam

. . . has a thing or two to say about the "caveman element" within the California GOP.

A lot of us share this feeling: both parties in the Golden State are controlled by their extreme wings. It benefits no one.

A lot of people like to point to Reagan as a genuine conservative. He was one. But he wasn't anti-gay, and he discussed immigration issues without coming across as racist. We need someone positive, who can truly appeal to disaffected Democrats. Arnold is a start, but he's one guy, and we need more people to do the work in the most populated state of the union.

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. . . has a jolly little story about monkeys. Even better: the story is "found art" from his in-box.

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Interesting Discussion

here about the "chickenhawk meme," and how morally and logically bankrupt it is.

Everyone's quoting Hitchens, who slices the meme into ribbons.

Goldstein would like us in the 'sphre to put an end to this "chickenhawk" bullshit once and for all.

Do, let's.

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Just Don't Call It "Unexplodable."


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Edloe's Gone

I'm sorry, Laurence. I know it's tough, and you'll be in my thoughts over the next few days.

I'm afraid I just didn't realize how serious this was. Not at all. I thought she just had a kitty infection.

But, please: I love "Ask the Cats." Check in with the other kitties in a few weeks and see if they want to continue: maybe in a vertical "stacked format" or something like that. Don't be hasty! What would Arafat do? (Oh, wait.)

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Hope for the New York Times?

Holy fucking shit.

I'll believe it when they ditch the airhead for a chick sporting a brain. (See post below.)

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Cathy Seipp

Delivered the ultimate smackdown to Maureen Dowd in NRO.

Dowd's relentless shallowness and silliness are her most obvious crimes against readers. And because she's the only woman with a plum twice-a-week spot on the New York Times op-page, the tacit and insulting message she gives off is that female political thinkers can't be expected to actually think. Sometimes when she's skittering around, like a water-beetle on a pond's surface, Dowd happens upon a notion she likes a lot. But rather than develop it into an actual argument, she just repeats it endlessly, like an eight-year-old with a knock-knock joke.

That's it: the editors of the New York Times are convinced that women can be brilliant thinkers. So much so, they give the prime space to an airhead. But because most of her readers agree with the general notions floating around in her columns, they haven't noticed that the Empress is a nude, ditzy chick.

Via Decision '08, who shares his own views on what a jackass Dowd is.

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June 28, 2005

A Question for My SoCon Friends

If a close friend of yours confided in you that he/she was homosexual, what would you do?

a) try and get him/her into counseling that will "cure" the problem;

b) renounce the friendship;

c) kick him/her out of your church;

d) pray for him/her;

e) tell this person that despite your conviction that homosexuality is a sin/character flaw, you still care about him/her, and always will.

Posted by Attila at 11:38 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Kinky Michelle Malkin

Excuse me. That's Kinky Friedman and Michelle Malkin, here together talking about RoveGate at Trey Jackson's pad.

Malkin: "What was the whole Guantanamo debate about anyway, if not a demonstration of what Karl Rove was talking about?" (I'm paraphrasing, but I think it's pretty close.)

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Dr. Cruise

on the psuedo-science of gynecology.

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The Cotillion

is up and running.

Here, at the mother ship.

And in the blogs themselves:

Maxed-Out Mama, Not a Desperate Housewife, and Right Wing Sparkle.

Dance well, and feel pretty.

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Hotel Souter,

where every room will feature a copy of Atlas Shrugged, rather than the Bible.

I mean, if we're going to abuse eminent domain endlessly, let's get right to it, and start with the Justices who supported this particular attack on property rights.

Via Tall Glass of Milk.

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Wow. April Winchell.

She was always someone I'd heard about as being incredibly talented, yet ferocious in that way that comics are sometimes. Within most really funny people there is a dark side that ofen leaves me unsure when they are going to pull the switchblade out.

April, in particular, had the reputation for being a tough woman, someone whose bad side you never wanted to get on.

But I've always enjoyed listening to her on Mr. KABC on Friday nights; I think she's with him one night out of the month (and they do occasional specials together, like they did this past Halloween).

I cannot feel anything but deep respect for a woman who lost her father a long time ago, and finally, mere days after he died, was able to write this. (No permalink; see the Monday evening entry.)

I have plenty to say about complicated father-daughter relationships, and dysfunctional families. And how even Christopher Milne (of all people) felt estranged from his dad. Later, though. What I admire are comics who are able to come to terms with their pasts, and talented people who deal with their demons in the here-and-now.

Sure: it's good to share your talent with the world. But it's more important to be a human being.

Huzzah, April.

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. . . deconstructs her friendly neighborhood "feminist" bigot.

One of my blogging ambitions, of course, is never to make Ilyka mad. Go see why.

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June 27, 2005

As We Get Ready for July 4th

. . . Goldstein is on the case.

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Lair Is

. . . a very bad boy.

Bad. Bad!

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June 26, 2005

On Fatherhood

Debbye has a terrific post up about the importance of fathers in the lives of boys. Fathers are equally important to girls, of course.

The specifics of the lessons could vary from generation to generation, of course (that is, we could argue all day long about whether it's a dad's duty to teach his boy how to fight). But the man's presence is paramount, and his abillity to convey an ethical code is absolutely critical.

And the woman in this situation needs to reject the fashion of belittling men and convey her respect for (and unity with) the man of the house. Likewise, of course, he needs to back up her decisions when she's taking the lead.

I know everyone's going to get mad at me, but I'm not trying to be PC, here. I'm trying to come up with a model of what might actually work. You know: in real life.

Posted by Attila at 11:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Adoption and the Single Girl

So much of life isn't what we're told it is when we're young. Professor Purkinje talked a lot about this when he and his wife were coping with infertility: "they said science was hard, but getting a girl pregnant was really, really easy. It turns out that science is relatively easy, but getting my wife pregnant is next to impossible."

It's so easy to slip into the completely sexist mindset of thinking infertility is more painful for the woman. But it can be just as devastating to the man involved. I'm involved in an "infertility and adoption" group through my church, and I was talking to a guy about my regrets that I had had an abortion at the age of 20. Of course, it turns out he's going through the same thing: one of his girlfriends had an abortion when he was in college. It's especially painful for those of us who desperately want kids to contemplate the fact that we could have produced them at one time, but destroyed them instead.

"I had so much family support. I could have raised the child. But at the time no one thought about it: abortion was just what you did."

"I wasn't ready to raise anyone," I insist. "I just wanted to make an adoption plan. I was with So-and-so, however, who was very controlling: adopted himself, he nonetheless couldn't stand the idea that there was a child of 'his' out there."

"Has he ever tried to make contact with his own birthmother?"


"Would he have signed the paperwork for adoption if you'd refused the abortion?"

This caught me short. I've been berating myself for over 20 years for not standing up to this guy and having the baby. But perhaps he would have insisted that we keep the child and try to raise it. And he was twisted: a practicing alcoholic at the time. I wasn't any better. And my relationship with my mother was so stormy she didn't even know I'd been pregnant until it was all over. I'll never know what would have happened if I'd shown more backbone.

Fathers have rights, and it's a good thing, too. And the knee-jerk rush toward abortion as the only solution to the problem of unplanned pregnancies is a tragedy for men and women.

Girls should grow up with good men as fathers. In the same house with them. That way, they will recognize true strength when they see it, rather than mistaking stubbornness for real masculinity. They'll be a lot less likely to "fall in love" with someone merely because they appear smart.

Evaluating a potential spouse's character is one of the most important things we'll do as adults, and we need good parents to do it.

That's all I know right now: don't have sex with people you can't trust. And most certainly don't move in with them.

(I picture young people around the world linking this entry and poring over every word, because they are so well-known for seeking out advice from their elders. I also believe in the Great Pumpkin, by the way.)

I don't care if you're liberal or conservative, athiest or a member of some faith. There are alternatives to the wholesale taking of human life we engage in. We need to make more use of them. Please think it over.

Posted by Attila at 10:21 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 25, 2005

Adoption Update

Friday I went to see the social worker with our "adoption profile" in tow. Seeing her always reminds me anew how deep and dark my problem with authority figures truly is. When we had the home visit I managed not to freak out, but I was being asked for paperwork when I'd already cleared away all my clutter so the house would look neat. I did feel at times like I was close to tears.

Now I feel all those same things, but they don't get as close to the surface, post-prozac: I can maintain a little bit better. And I needed to on Friday.

The adoption "profile," at our agency, consists of two different things. First, there's a resume, which is silly information about age, religion and ethnicity, along with a photo (which renders some of the info listed below rather redundant: after all, can't the average birthmother look at the photo and figure out that we're white, and what color our eyes and hair are?). On the flip side of this sheet, in the same plastic protector, is a "dear birthmother" lettter, in which we talk about ourselves and our approach to parenting.

The second part of the profile is a photo album, and I was rather pleased with mine. I have a magazine background, so the layouts were clean, and my use of color was good. On the cover was a beautiful, artistic portrait done by Scanman in our backyard: Attila the Hub and are holding a tangerine out toward the camera, our eyes wide and knowing. It was a hip photo, beautifully composed, and my hand—along with the tangerine—was distorted because it was so close to the lens. The tangerine also lent it such a strong splash of color that I put this picture against a yellow background, and then constructed the "spine" of the notebook/album out of orange construction paper. On the back cover is more yellow background and a small, goofy picture of us eating home-grilled burgers and ears of corn on one of our anniversaries, with a little note: "thank you for looking at our profile." No one else does this on their profile albums, and Attila Hub compared it with those movies that have a small scenelet right after the closing credits, as if to thank people for sitting through them.

The social worker didn't like the front picture at all. "But it's art," I wanted to protest.

"You're not even smiling," she replied. I mentally stomped my little feet.

She got out a few other albums from her shelves. "This is what you're up against," she asserted, and then added quickly, "not that it's a competition."

"But it is," I acknowledged. And I looked through the other albums. They were very warm and reassuring. People smiled a lot. But the shots were ill-composed and the use of color was dreadful. Design elements were thrown around like so much confetti.

I was being told we might not get a child because we weren't Philistine enough.

Next she deconstructed the portrait of us that I'd used for the resume page (the flip side of the "dear birthmother" letter). Now I hadn't liked the way my hair looked in that shot, but Scanman and his office manager felt that the devoted way I looked into Attila the Hub's eyes said something about the relationship (probably that I'm terribly codependent). Scanmaster also insisted that Attila Hub looked younger in that particular frame, and that was important for adopting. (In retrospect, I think this might have more to do with Scanmaster's anxieties about fatherhood than the birthmother's, but we'll let that one pass. The fact is, Attila-Hub is, technically, on the far side of fifty despite his dashing good looks and even-steven blood pressure.)

No, no, insisted the social worker, who is a very nice person despite the fact that her job is to ride herd on me and push all my buttons. You both need to be facing the camera, and you both need big smiles. After all, a lot of the birthmothers see this one sheet first: we show them the resume before they see the album. If that single photo is appealing enough, some of them make their minds up just from looking at that.

I faced her and gave her a big smile. But my heart wasn't in it.

Meanwhile, she was scouring our album for more signs of my husband's teeth. "How come when he smiles we don't see his teeth enough?" she asked. It had never occurred to me that there was a correct number of my husband's teeth I should be seeing when he smiles. She turned to the trainee next to her and remarked that "Attila Hub has a marvelous, dry sense of humor."

I want to ask whether it would still be dry if he broke out into hail-fellow-well-met smiles all over the place, but I just folded my hands in my lap and tried to look obedient, and like I was hanging on her every word. And like I didn't think that the process of adoption—all things considered—sucks big donkey dicks.

In point of fact, she was probably right about all of this. But the life of a visual snob is hard and lonely, at least if you let on what you're thinking half the time.

If I had a blackboard here at home, I'd write on it : "I will not be arty, I will not be arty, I will not be arty."

And I guess I'll go look for more pictures of people—my husband in particular—showing teeth.

I can't go on; I'll go on.

Posted by Attila at 12:41 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

June 24, 2005

Al Qaeda Targeting American Women in Uniform

Nice. We protect the privacy of Iraqi women by having female soldiers and Marines search them, and now a group of predominantly female Marines was taken out by AQ bombers. The highest female casualty rate in the entire war.

And this after the women in charge of searching women and girls requested teddy bears for the young ones passing through the checkpoints. Of course, this from guys who behead those they kidnap—male or female.

And all of their most egregious strikes are calculated to get Americans to overreact.

Still: I want these guys dead, and then I want to piss on their graves. From a squatting position.

Posted by Attila at 11:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 23, 2005

Great Info

on the history of stewardesses in WWII over here at the United Airlines web site.

The fact that many stewardesses were nurses reminded me of my late mother-in-law, whom I never met (though I like to think she's present in our lives in some sense; I pretend she takes my side in family arguments, since my own mother tends to side with Attila the Hub). She served all over the world as a nurse in WWII, after having attended nursing school in London during the blitz. This included at least one very close scrape, and the experience left its mark on her—as it would on anyone.

She was a great Irish woman, and (later) a great American. She's been a grandmother several times over, and will be one anew sometime soon.

Posted by Attila at 09:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Silver Linings and Eminent Domain

Apparently, only 4 1/2 of the Supreme Court Justices are smoking crack.

UPDATE: Hubris has discovered that eminent domain gives him a right to tear a testicle out of the Supreme Court Justice of his choice. (Or an ovary, in the case of Ginsberg and O'Conner.)

Can someone name me one item in the Bill of Rights that hasn't been mutilated by John McCain, the gun grabbers, or the Supreme Court? Thought not.

UPDATE 2: Goldstein has commentary, and the key to the roundup kingdoms.

UPDATE 3: Reynolds has a few entries on this, of course. Here's one with a few links on it, but you might also want to scroll his main page.

Posted by Attila at 08:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 22, 2005

Honda vs. Toyota

We have to buy a new car soon, and our passionate love affair with Saturn has come to a screaming halt (long story, but it did us wrong).

The new car will most likely "belong" to my husband for a year or two, after which I'll adopt it as my daily drive.

V-6: probably not; we're getting stingy with gasoline in our old age, and the House of Saud doesn't need my money.

Manual transmission: I'll probably have to sacrifice this. We're between two model years, so if we want to cut a good deal we need to buy what's in stock from the 2005s. I'm inflexible on the sunroof and a decent sound system, but I think I can survive an automatic. That way I'll have a free hand for slapping Junior/Juniorette when he/she misbehaves. (Can't you guys take a fucking joke? Sheesh.)

And it's not that I don't love cars. I do. But until I get rich and can afford to tool around town in a '68 Mustang convertible, I just don't care much what sort of econo-box I drive. If it gets me to the Bay Area every few months, I'm a happy girl.

Bottom line: we're almost certainly going to get either a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. And I'll probably end up driving it well into its dotage, as I'm now doing with my old Saturn SL.

Your thoughts?

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What's Next?

Apparently, Pakistan.

Oh, how I love the smell of imperialistic American aggression in the morning!

Posted by Attila at 10:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

And Even More Blessed Events!

Froggy's got a brand-new tadpole, who appears to be skipping the "newborn" stage: he already looks like a strapping little boy.

Go take a peek, and congratulate him.

Posted by Attila at 09:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Was Thinking of Going to T'ai Chi Tonight.

Instead, I might stay home and burn the American Flag.

You know: because I still can.

For crying out loud. Do they have nothing better to do than deal with imaginary issues?

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June 21, 2005


. . . has apologized.

But only because the Joooooooooos made him. Damn the Jooooooos. And those whiny Cambodians, too. And those troublemakers in Russia and places like that.

Damn them all.

Posted by Attila at 11:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Cotillion Ball

. . . is up. Please see the first three entries: "The Importance of Manners," "Luau at the Links," and "It's Time to Dance!"

(As usual, our carnival is in three parts, hosted by three vivacious bloggers, or available at the link above.)

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Sean Penn

experiences Tehran.

Via Beautiful Atrocities.

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June 20, 2005

Immoral Equivalence

The Anchoress on Richard Durbin's remarks, and how few Democrats are saying anything about them:

If Hillary Clinton does not have the moral compass to know that this is a time to break ranks with her party and come down on Durbin for his remarks, then no matter how much she purports to support the troops, she can never be their CIC. If her instincts, in this matter, are not fine-tuned enough to know what to say and how to say it, then how will she ever get a clue as to how to serve our nation or win a war on terrorism? If Hillary Clinton simply tries to duck and fade (with the assistance of the press) then there is simply no way she is demonstrating the leadership abilities necessary to govern a nation.

Disappointing to see that Joe Lieberman and Chuch Schumer had nothing to say about Durbin’s remarks, either.

Hubert Humphrey would NEVER have stood for Durbin’s remarks. Nor would either Jack or Bobby Kennedy. Or Scoop Jackson. They would have been the first to jump on him and demand his absolute retraction of those statements, and they would likely have told him to resign his leadership position while he was at it.

I mean, if you recall…Trent Lott resigned his leadership position for much, much less. He resigned because he’d been over-exuberant, spilling into offensiveness, when he wished a 100 year old man a Happy Birthday. And he resigned because his own party, the GOP was embarrassed, and had the sense to tell him to resign.

The Democrats can’t do it.

Read the whole thing.

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June 19, 2005

Winning the Fourth World War

A week or two ago, I finished America's Secret War, by George Friedman. It was a lovely book: insightful enough to be interesting, and wonky enough that I could use it to read myself to sleep with confidence. (The next day, I'd have to re-read the parts I'd read at night while the ambien was kicking in, but so what?)

Check it out.

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My Father Called Me Today.

And I'd forgotten it was Father's Day, because of yesterday's all-day workshop and the recent trip to Skokie. It's easy for me to get confused, too, because his birthday is so close.

And I missed my aunt's and my cousin's birthdays this month; it's been a hectic June.

Dad had sounded so stressed when he first called that I imagined something had happened to my grandmother, and was relieved to find out that this wasn't the case.

Well. I'll take him out to lunch a bit later in the month, and all will be better. But I hope my brother and half-sister were a bit more attentive than their flakey sister is.

No matter: I'm not going to get an A+ in every subject. As a matter of fact, my current area of concentration with respect to my parents is just being polite (you know: not snapping, not being irritable; really listening to them). Matter of fact, I'm working on that with everyone.

Dad? Sorry, man. I'm a work in progress.

It's circa 1979, and my dad and I are about to embark on a road trip. My father lives on the East Coast, so he flew out and borrowed one of his parents' cars. We've just spent half an hour listening to cautions from his parents, who forbid him to take it to Mexico, and emphasize over and over that he must be careful with the car.

As we pull away from their house in Whittier I ask why grandma and grandpa were so concerned.

"They think I'm 17 years old," he tells me.

"Why?" I ask, rhetorically. (In fact, I'm 17 at this point in time).

"Because I was until I was 42," he responds.

"So you're grown up now?"

"Yes. I'm grown up now."

I'll be 43 this summer, so it could just be that I'm lagging a bit behind the old man, developmentally speaking.

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And More Congratulations!

Margi's pregnant. Very cool.

Via Ilyka.

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Faith Quiz

Via Mark at Decision '08:

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic


Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical






What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
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Congratulations Are in Order!

James Joyner is engaged.

Posted by Attila at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I've Been Looking

. . . for a good challah recipe for years. i'm glad Jeff re-ran this one.

UPDATE: New and improved! Now featuring a link to the entry I'm talking about!

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Total Sloth

I'm sitting/lying in a sleeping bag in a sunny corner of the living room, reading and basically deployed for any sudden naps I might want to take (although I already had one today, in this very spot).

I'm reading my nice book about maggots, and acting like one myself, except that I think I squirm a little bit less.

We didn't even go to church today. My husband just arrived on the couch, where he's digging back into Dostoevsky.

At some point I really ought to go out and get food for the coming week.

Posted by Attila at 06:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jane Novak

compares the study of democracy in Yemen with the study of unicorns.

It could be that there are more unicorns in Yemen than indications of democracy; I'll ask the ghost of James Thurber about that.

Please keep the people of Yemen in your thoughts and prayers; they need our help.

Posted by Attila at 04:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Better Than a Lava Lamp

I find myself utterly fascinated by this. I halfway want to go score some pot, so I can watch it stoned.

I got it from a terrific site, Watching America, that provides links to articles from all over the world, many translated from other languages and a good number of them exclusive translations.

It's a set of prisms for seeing how the rest of the world views the U.S. (The prisms are distorted at times, of course, but we nonetheless need to look through them.)

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Richard Durbin

. . . lands in Iowahawk's crosshairs, with hilarious results.

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That Coffee Shop in Skokie

I so loved being able to tell my husband's relatives that I was meeting with a client while in the Chicago area. It made me feel so grown-up. In fact, we were in town for my niece's graduation, and I met with B. because I was there that particular week, while I was still looking through the materials she'd sent. Had we lived in the same city, the meeting would have occurred two weeks later.

It's okay, though: I warned her in advance that I might not have anything too intelligent to say, but wanted to get some specifics from her about what her goals are, so I could formulate my plans around that. Essentially, I was going to have more questions than answers.

The day Attila the Hub and I arrived in Skokie, we had dinner across the street from the Holiday Inn at a coffee shop called Jack's, which was a 24-hour restaurant during my husband's youth. He'd landed there with his friends many times after some hard drinking. We were both exhausted, and we knew once our bellies were full we'd simply go back to the hotel and read ourselves to sleep.

My kind of coffee shop: not only does it serve breakfast anytime, but it's got latkes and blintzes, just like the West Coast delis. They took care of us, and we staggered back to the hotel to crash.

Several days later, I was there with B. I'd picked the restaurant partly because I knew I could just walk there, and I therefore wouldn't have to take the rental car, in case my husband might need it.

B. drove all the way out from Deerfield, so I decided it was a "consultation," and I was definitely off the clock. But we both had our notebooks out, and we kicked around some ideas for promoting her project. I continued to compile an action list, and then the food was placed in front of us. The notebooks went off to the side of the table for a moment, and then our waitress appeared.

"I just want to request that you have enough respect for yourselves to stop working for five minutes and eat your food, because cold food sucks."

B. and I sort of blink, but we see that it's a good idea and we clear our notebooks off the table. The woman nods approvingly, and tells us she'll be checking on us.

We continue to kick ideas around as we eat. Because I'm the world's slowest eater, B. finishes first and her papers appear back on the table. Suddenly our waitress is at our side.

B. looks up at her. "I'm finished," she explains.

"But she isn't," the waitress proclaims, pointing to me. Of course, I'm in terrible danger of giggling, because I think the woman from Jack's is being sweet and funny at the same time.

"You see," explains the waitress, "when you take proper meal breaks you can think more clearly, and then you make more money."

B. hides her notebook again, and I take a few more bites. When the waitress comes back, I've pushed my plate away and we're both furiously taking notes again. She starts to collect the plates, and sees me smiling up at her. "What are you laughing at?" she asks in mock rage. "And don't tell me you're laughing with me."

I just shake my head, because I never say I'm laughing with people; it's a cop-out. But my eyes twinkle, and she smiles back as she whisks the plates away.

B. insists on picking up the tab, and I declare that in that case I'm leaving the tip. And I make sure it's a good one.

Posted by Attila at 10:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 18, 2005

What's Everyone's

. . . favorite traffic meter? I'm beginning to suspect that SiteMeter is leading me down the primrose path to the everlasting bonfire.

Posted by Attila at 11:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Three Hours of Sleep Last Night,

and I was doubly on duty for today's fundraiser: head of the food committee, and I also spoke. Attila the Hub came by to listen to my speech, such as it was, and refused to criticize it (probably a good thing—it was, after all, my first speech for this organization).

Then he came back. Not exactly because he wanted to, but because his Saturn broke down again: that thing has been in its swan song for six weeks now. We thought we were fed up before, but we really are now. Attila Hub says he'll accept another Saturn if the dealership almost gives it to him in return for the old LS. I love my ancient SL, but our recent experiences have been so bad I'm really thinking Toyota or Honda this time around.

So, tomorrow we start car shopping again, and I have to dig out the old notes I hoped I wouldn't need again (because they Really Fixed It, This Time).

Tonight, however, I'm goofing off. I'll either hang out online or read some juicy crime, engaging in the Sloth of the Just.

Posted by Attila at 07:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

From the Mailbag

One of my readers writes to ask why I usually get men to guest-blog for me when I'm out of town.

Of course, I'm not so sure that's the case: I've only had two guest bloggers, Desert Cat and William Teach of Pirate's Cove. As a member of the Cotillion, I'm hardly ashamed of my femininity.

But variety is the spice of life, and I certainly try for people who have different "takes" or attitudes when I get someone to cover for me.

And there's nothing wrong at all with a shot of testosterone here and there to balance all my girly blogging.

Hope this helps.

Posted by Attila at 03:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Back from the Land of Dramatic Weather!

Wow. Attila the Hub and I had a great time in the Chicago area, where we caught up with most of his relatives and experienced that interesting weather one associates with the Midwest and the East Coast (especially Florida): it can be a hot day, and then it begins sprinkling.

I tried to explain it to my mother: "imagine being at the beach, where the wind can whip up at any moment and you really don't know how to dress from hour to hour. Then add another 20-degree variation and the possibility of rain at any time."

But it was so beautiful: the clouds in the sky shift around all the time, and there's a continual light show. And without hills, the horizon goes down just about to your feet. Lots of drama. I found myself wishing I could be in that area for one really good thunderstorm, warm and cozy and a few floors up, watching the light change through a picture window.

And Skokie!—I loved Skokie. Where else do you go into an ordinary coffee shop and order deli food (latkes, matzo ball soup, blintzes)? But don't get me started on Chicago food, either: those sandwiches with the peppers are terrific, and they have that incredible pizza—either super-thin or mega-thick.

My niece just graduated from DePaul, and one of my cousins (the one who lives in Indiana right now) has a little girl who turns three this fall and is the cutest, smartest little girl in the world. Once Attila-hub and I get our own baby, we may be able to work out a "child-exchange program" over one summer when ours is a toddler and hers is 5-6. That might be a lot of fun. (More likely, we'll just plan a few long reunions when the kids can get together: who am I kidding that I'll be letting my child out of my sight?)

Thanks so much to Desert Cat for holding the fort down here: it was nice to see interesting entries on my blog when I went back to the Holiday Inn and went into nightly family-driven fits of exhaustion.

I'm speaking at a local charity event tomorrow, so posting could be light over the next 24 hours. But know that I'm grateful to everyone who frequents my blog—it's good to know you're there.

Posted by Attila at 01:07 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 16, 2005

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Little Miss Attila should be home any time now from her vacation.

I sure hope she gets a good night's sleep before she discovers the hairball that I accidentally hacked up in her Persian sweater drawer. I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me...

The houseplants aren't my fault though. They fell over by themselves. I swear! I was just sitting there. Well, ok. There WAS a bird at the window momentarily...

Thanks anyway! I appreciated the opportunity. For the rest of you, don't forget that my usual drivel can be found here at Desert Cat's Paradise.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Posted by Desert Cat at 09:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 15, 2005


Got an active blog? Need to be away from it for a while?

AutoBlogger is the perfect solution:

As anyone who has ever had one can tell you, the
experience of running a popular blog/online
journal is a double-edged sword.

While it may be gratifying to know your words are
viewed by hundreds or even thousands of readers
per day, the challenge of developing fresh content
on a regular basis remains a constant struggle for
even the most creative of souls.

In the cutthroat world of online writing, every
blogger is only as good as his last update.

You have a life.
AutoBlogger helps you live it.™

What a way to bust through writer's block! Software to do it for you.

I just need this.

It's fascinating to see who some of the BIG NAMES IN BLOGGING are who utilize this software.

dead mousie to SondraK

Posted by Desert Cat at 08:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Preach It!

Bush: "If leaders of the other party have innovative ideas, let's hear them. But if they have no ideas or policies except obstruction, they should step aside and let others lead,"

The truth is, they have ideas and policies. Their reluctance to push for them openly in the "arena of ideas", stems from their knowledge that those policies tend to be rather unpopular except amongst a hard core of supporters (think HillaryCare).

Nice move, goading the other side to expose its positions. They won't of course, (unless they don't mind losing again). But that too sends a message. The majority isn't so dumb that they can't tell the difference between real policy proposals and obfuscation and rhetoric.


Update: More HERE

Posted by Desert Cat at 08:11 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

June 13, 2005

Iran Ripe For Counterrevolution?

If Lebanon is any indication of how it happens, revolution may be imminent in Iran.


"Hundreds of women staged an unauthorized demonstration in Tehran today, protesting sex discrimination under Iran's Islamic leadership just days before the June 17 presidential elections.

The protest was the first public display of dissent by women since the 1979 revolution, when the new regime enforced obligatory veiling.

"We are women, we are the children of this land, but we have no rights," they chanted. More than 250 marched outside Tehran University, and about 200 others demonstrated two blocks away after hundreds of riot police swarmed in and barred them from joining the main protest."

Click the link above for the rest of the story, AND photos.

More HERE from Ace.

Posted by Desert Cat at 07:07 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

'Not Guilty' On All Counts

So Jacko the Wacko walks. Hmh.

It's not what I expected, because so much about Michael Jackson is just...creepy. But then I wasn't sitting on the jury and did not hear all of the testimony.

My gut tells me that money and fame just purchased another acquittal though.

Posted by Desert Cat at 07:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 11, 2005

Time For Action

Peter Guither is the host of a blog called Drug War Rant wherein he chronicles the onging travesty that is the "war on (some) drugs".

As I expected, he is on top of the current efforts to push for passage of an amendment to a spending bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with medical marijuana patients in states where medical marijuana has been legalized.

I have quoted his post on the topic below. Please click over to his site and take a look at some of the online petition letters he links to. If you support the right of the individual states to make their own decisions regarding the medical use of marijuana, I'd appreciate if you would take a few moments and sign one or more of the petition letters. They will be automatically sent to your congresscritter. Or better yet, print the letter out, sign it, and send it via snail mail. Apparently the congresscritters take snail mail more seriously than e-mail.

Drug WarRant: "Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment coming to the floor on Tuesday!

The latest news is that the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment is likely to actually hit the House this coming Tuesday (this is an amendment that prevents the federal government from spending money to interfere with medical marijuana patients who are following state law in those states that have medical marijuana laws).

This is great, because it takes advantage of all the recent press and reaction to the Supreme Court decision.

It also means that we must act now!

* DRCNet instant letter to Congress
* Drug Policy Alliance instant letter to Congress
* Marijuana Policy Project instant letter to Congress
* NORML instant letter to Congress

The links above are the bare minimum. If you really care, call your Congressional office on Monday morning and tell them to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment when it comes to the floor.

Get all your friends to act, too. All of them. Seriously...

Are you afraid to tell them you support medical marijuana? Are you afraid to tell them that you believe it's wrong for federal law enforcement agents to harrass sick people who are following their doctor's advice and state law? Are you afraid to say that tax money would be better spent going after terrorists than breaking open the heads of cancer patients in wheelchairs?

If you were disappointed with the Supreme Court decision, then you must act."

So says Cat too. Go! Do!

UPDATE 6/15/05: This amendment was referred to the Health subcomittee yesterday. So if you have not already contacted your representative, it would not be too late to do so.

Posted by Desert Cat at 11:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

When Attila's Away, The Cat Will Play

...this mike right here?


*#IS*THIS+THING*.ON?.*.#*.. .

Oops. Heh. I guess it is...

*ahem* Hello. This is Attila the Cat. I'll be keeping the throne warm while Little Miss Attila is away this week. Although from the look of things, she's not so much "away" as "here, from elsewhere".

Rats. I was really looking forward to declaring this party underway, just as soon as I found the keys to the liquor cabinet.

So-o. Plan B is to see what I can do to keep you entertained and informed (and maybe irritated) as long as I've got the run of the palace this week.


Oh, and before I forget, I want to thank our hostess, Little Miss Attila for the opportunity. Guest blogging here really is like trading in my paper cone megaphone for a 500 watt PA system.

Posted by Desert Cat at 10:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Holiday Inn

. . . in Skokie, IL has WiFi. It's a little slower than my Mac Airport DSL connection, but still far better than dialup. It's wireless, and it's free.

Now I need to either go off to sleep, or go get my Indian name.

Posted by Attila at 05:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Airport Shuttle

. . . gets here in two hours. It's 4:30 in the morning, Los Angeles time. Attila the Hub and I are flying to Chicago for my niece's graduation on Sunday, and we'll be in the Upper Midwest for six days, catching up with family (and, in my case, touching base with one client).

This happened last time we both flew out to Chi-town together, back in 1998. I was up all night and damned bitchy the next morning as my husband dealt with the car-rental people.

I'd like to think I've grown so much in the past several years that I'll get through the next 24 hours without snapping at anyone. But let's just say I'll be putting the old antidepressants to the test soon.

Posting from me will be light to nonexistent; Desert Cat, however, will be checking in over the next week, performing guest-blogging duties and sharing his unique perspective. Be really polite to him; no trolling for the next week.

I'll be 43 in less than a month; I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for all-nighters.

Sweet dreams, boys and girls.

Posted by Attila at 04:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2005

How to Survive Marriage

David Sedaris, in the midst of a very funny New Yorker story, discusses how he handles fighting with his boyfriend:

We’ll be arguing, and I’ll stop in mid-sentence and ask if we can just start over. “I’ll go outside and when I come back in we’ll just pretend this never happened, O.K.?”

If the fight is huge, he’ll wait until I’m in the hall, then bolt the door behind me, but if it’s minor he’ll go along, and I’ll reënter the apartment saying, “What are you doing home?” Or “Gee, it smells good in here. What’s cooking?”—an easy question, as he’s always got something on the stove.

For a while, it feels goofy, but eventually the self-consciousness wears off, and we ease into the roles of two decent people, trapped in a rather dull play. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“You can set the table if you want.”

“All-righty then.”

I don’t know how many times I’ve set the table in the middle of the afternoon, long before we sit down to eat. But the play would be all the duller without action, and I don’t want to do anything really hard, like paint a room. I’m just so grateful that he goes along with it. Other people’s lives can be full of screaming and flying plates, but I prefer that my own remains as civil as possible, even if it means faking it every once in a while.

Via Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by Attila at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sage Words from "Sam Yorty"

The blogger currently known as "Mayor Sam" has some advice for Los Angeles GOP (and, yes—he's talking to both of you):

We've recounted several times that the Republican party under control of Linda Boyd here in LA has got to make some radical changes if we ever want to elect any GOP candidates in LA.

Its bad enough that Linda and her husband Doug treat the party as their personal little social club and do stupid shit like endorse James Kenneth Hahn for Mayor, while never supporting actual Republicans like Walter Moore or going a step further and trying to recruit someone who could win like Keith Richman to run.

One of the problems the Republicans have is their constant rebuffing of gay Republicans. Now Mayor Sam is not gay, but to me a Republican is a Republican. The GOP in LA could make HUGE strides in local races if they could begin to include gays in the mix. Many gays are high income indiviuals with views that reflect a world with limited government and a strong defense. But for now many gays toss that aside because stormtrooper Republicans have hang-ups about buggery. Hey, no one is having sex in the voting booth, so get a grip. Even though they want lower taxes and less government, most gays still vote Democratic.

I honestly think that purging the homophobes from the party would open things up quite a bit. (And, no: homophobe doesn't mean someone who thinks that civil unions for gays is a reasonable compromise, or someone who feels gay marriage can wait a few more years until everyone's used to the idea.)

Posted by Attila at 10:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 09, 2005

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

I'm now past the 100,000-hit mark. Very small change compared with some others, but satisfying nonetheless. (For instance, James Joyner took three months rather than two years to reach the same watermark. But I'm a boutique blog, and I'm happy.)

Posted by Attila at 04:04 PM | Comments (2)

Women as Property

I had meant to link this post last week: Stacy discusses the extreme misogyny in much of Islamic culture (while showing off her rather impressive arms).

I would assert that there are strains of Islam that are not any more oppressive to women than, say, Orthodox Judaism (in fact, the restrictions are similar: covering the head and so forth). But certainly our enemies, the Islamo-fascists or Islamists (versus ordinary Muslims), view women as slaves. A woman in my country in the nineteenth century was far better off than most women in many Muslim countries.

I don't happen to be against Islam, but I am dead-set against Islamo-fascism, and I don't care for those who believe slavery is A-OK as long as it's "part of your culture."

Posted by Attila at 12:58 AM | Comments (4)

So We're at Mi Piace

. . . in Oldtown Pasadena. I'm having waffles, but everyone else—my husband, my father, and my father's wife—has decided it's lunchtime, even though it's only 1:00 p.m. They're eating seafood or something yucky like that.

Dad ordered red wine like he always does no matter what he's eating. And when it came he complained that the glass wasn't full enough. I instantly mutated into a fourteen-year-old and almost died of embarrassment, right then and there. They poured some more wine into his glass.

Somehow the 2008 elections came up, though my husband and I try to avoid talking about politics with . . . almost anyone in L.A. who doesn't belong to the Bear Flag League.

"It's almost certain that Hillary will run," I point out. My father's eyes light up, and he smiles and sort of coos, even though he hasn't had that much wine. "She has such a nice . . . smile," he tells us.

"And she may be running against Condi Rice," I add. Dad's eyes get big once more and he remarks, "oh, she's so . . . nice, too. Though I could never vote for a woman who was once a Goldwater Girl."

If people knew what Goldwater was about they would have been down on their knees begging for him.

I want to remark that the next presidential election is not Dad's own personal swimsuit competition, but, you know—he's 68 years old. And if I had said something he would have almost died of embarrassment, right then and there.

So I remained silent. Thank you, Mr. Prozac.

Posted by Attila at 12:36 AM | Comments (1)

It Looks Like the Tide May Have Turned

. . . on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." 'Bout time.

(Via Beautiful Atrocities.)

Posted by Attila at 12:20 AM | Comments (2)

June 08, 2005

The WSJ Editorial Pages

. . . didn't support the Golden State's "medical marijuana" laws, but it doesn't approve of the Raich decision, either.

Neither do I, and I'm wondering what part of "enumerated powers" the Supreme Court doesn't understand.


Posted by Attila at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

What's Next—Visalia?

The FBI may have just broken up a terrorist cell in Lodi, California. Yes: that Lodi. Yipes. Or, rather: Oh, Lord.

Posted by Attila at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

Jane Galt

. . . has an interesting discussion going on in her comments section over here. I'm only a quarter of the way into it, since it got Instalanched and is very long. But it's fascinating.

Fighting poverty nation by nation is perhaps the hardest job in the world today. A while back I had an interesting debate with Laura, of the ever-excellent Apartment 11D, on whether or not "unregulated capitalism" was good for the third world. My answer is that when we look at the third world, our heart cries out, as it should, but that doesn't mean that those in the third world are victims of anything but nature. The appalling poverty of Sri Lanka or Mozambique is not some bizarre aberration that can be tracked to a cause we can cure. We are the aberration; Sri Lanka and Mozambique are the normal state of human history.

Via Insty.

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

White Trash Wednesdays

Start with Beth, whose blog got hijacked by a white-trash abortion activist. Then follow the links!

Posted by Attila at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2005

California Dreamin'

Miller's Time has an excellent roundup of the Bear Flag League blogs.

For those who don't know, the BFL is a coalition of Golden State bloggers, and it's grown from around 20 members (when I joined) to around 100. We're going to be hosting a political blogging event in July, so stay tuned for that. (Credit for organizing this event—and the League itself, for the most part—must go to Justene of CalBlog. She's a whip-smart lawyer and dedicated mom, as well as being a neighbor of mine in my little town near L.A.)

Posted by Attila at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)


Rick at Right Wing Nuthouse has some misapprehensions about female warriors:

“Who guards the louvetrain? The direct approach to Politburo?

Avtari blanched when he glanced down at the map. “Attila.” he whispered.

Superhawk pondered that bit of news for a moment. The former barbarian queen and her horde of Amazonian warriors were a formidable opponent. But ever since her marriage to the son of King Rusty of Jawa Land the Amazonians had forsworn war and taken up farming. Superhawk also remembered Attila’s tender caresses, the warmth of her kisses, the softeness of her…

The Barbarian King sighed. It woudn’t have worked. Both of them wanted to lead. Neither could yeild. Their parting was for the best. Perhaps he could buy her off with chocolates? It had worked in the past. Or some shiny trinket? That’s it!

“Avtari, send a rider and have him fetch the Jewel of Mathwrate. Instruct him to present it to Queen Attila with my compliments and these words; ‘You are my one. I am yours. When next Siddira opens her arms, I will be with you again.”

“But M’Lord, the moon will be full in less than a fortnight. How can…” Superhawk cut him off.

“Leave that to me. Unless I am mistaken, the Queen will take our bribe and slip quietly away. And without her, the Amazonians will not fight.”

Ah, but long-ago peacetime pleasures are lost in the crush of war, and my husband won't let me accept trinkets these days, unless they're from him. So the Amazonians fight. Which is bad news for the wingnuts, since most of my Amazonians are about twice my own height, and they all carry M16 A-2s.

And the Commissar admits that we might have a problem on our hands.

But remember, Kids: sometimes war is the answer.

Posted by Attila at 09:26 AM | Comments (2)

The Cotillion Ball

The Ladies of the Cotillion are hosting their usual Tuesday morning party, and everyone's invited to read the linked posts:

This week, your hostesses are Merri Musings, American Princess, and American Housewife.

And, of course, the Cotillion has its own site, here.

Posted by Attila at 08:39 AM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2005

Time to Act Like a Grownup

Although I never thought I'd see a situation in which O'Conner would get an issue right, and Scalia would get it wrong. What is that man smoking?

Scalia is a piggy cow, I tell you: a piggy piggy piggy cow.

Posted by Attila at 11:51 PM | Comments (7)

My Husband

. . . is running a lot. So he's dutifully cross-training, and that means he's at the gym several times a week. One time he was chatting with another guy who wanted to know what vitamins he took.

"I'm not sure," he told the guy. "Every day my wife gives me several pills. I just take them, and try to stay on her good side."

I try to reassure him that I probably won't administer any poison that way: "don't worry until you see me wearing gloves when I hand you your vitamins."

Posted by Attila at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)


Eric remembers.

Posted by Attila at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

CNN's Inside the Blogs

A few of us just got featured on CNN's "Inside the Blogs." This particular segment focused on bloggers' reactions to the Supreme Court decision on medical marijuana. Included were Pennywit, ScotusBlog, and—me.

Yipes. But that was fun; I haven't been on CNN in 12 years. (I appeared in a small segment for them in 1994 as a feminist—and female—supporter of the Second Amendment.)

Posted by Attila at 01:43 PM | Comments (7)

Coalition of the Chillin'

The Commissar has a new map. This one's devoted to those (like me) who didn't feel that the infamous Senate Compromise on Judicial Nominees was likely to end all life in the universe. (At least, not anytime soon.)

The names are lovely and charming, as usual. And it's great fun to guess which blogs they represent.

Posted by Attila at 09:21 AM | Comments (1)

Medical Marijuana

For those who need background, here's the previous Althouse summary of the issues. Apparently she plans on reviewing the decision today, and posting a new analysis.

I'm not a lawyer, and I simply don't agree that growing pot for use at home is "commerce." And I think this whole affair is an egregious intrusion into state matters by the Feds.

But, you know: that's me. Just a chick with an opinion. We'll see what Ann has to say.

UPDATE: Ann's got a couple of entries up on the subject; hit her main page, and keep scrolling.

Posted by Attila at 09:09 AM | Comments (2)

June 05, 2005


. . . discusses, once more, the crazy world of American book publishing. Very illuminating.

And depressing.

Posted by Attila at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

If You Didn't Read

. . . Jeff Percifield's amazing "In the Future, Everyone Will Be Hitler for 15 Minutes," you can find it here.

Every once in a while I think "that boy has peaked with that entry. It can't get funnier than this." And then, later, he writes one that's even better. This one was linked by everyone, though, including Lileks (who claims first use of the Warhol update phrase), and then Reynolds himself.

Then Jeff went on vacation, but you should still check in at his site this week: he's re-running some of his classic posts, which you probably received as e-mail forwards from your friends ten months ago. Now you can enjoy them again.

Posted by Attila at 03:51 PM | Comments (1)

Please Pray for Sam

The Anchoress has an entry about a very little boy in medical distress who needs our help. It appears that cancer treatments may have damaged his kidney functions, and it's unclear if they will return to him.

Please pray, if that's what you do. Otherwise, please direct postive mental energy to this case.


(Via the Cotillion Ball.)

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

"Thanks for the Money. Here's Some Nice Propaganda for You."

Kate of Small Dead Animals discusses an article about the BBC in the U.K. that she feels could just as easily have been written about Canada's CBC. The extreme leftist bias in both cases is not a conspiracy at all; it simply reflects the world view of those who work there.

These news agencies are only a few degrees further left than our own heritage media, though in the U.S. the anti-American bias has to be muted somewhat, made palatable to the masses (who aren't as stupid as the media elites imagine, and are simply voting with their remote controls).

The difference, of course, is that in Canada and the UK these agencies are state-run, supported by tax dollars. Here in the U.S. we only have to put up with National Public Radio, which appeals to a niche market, and (despite its being far-left) I rather like. Still, there is something maddening about the idea of the person who works at 7-11 having to pay taxes to support media organs that present only a tiny piece of the spectrum of political thought. Especially when these news agencies do not acknowledge this bias in the least, or even really see it.

Posted by Attila at 10:59 AM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2005

Hillary '08

Sissy Willis is covering the movement to impeach President Bush; hit her main page, and keep scrolling. I've tried to write about this issue, but I just collapse in giggles. My bottom-line advice to the Democrats is this: knock yourselves out. No, really—have fun.

Of course, it doesn't weaken Hillary's hand at all: the sillier the supposedly mainstream Dems act, the more Hill looks like The Only Electable Person in her party.

And I still believe that in her first term she would govern from the center; it's only in the second four years that she will become truly dangerous.

The world needs grownups, Zonker.

Posted by Attila at 08:05 PM | Comments (5)

Highlights of My Trip to the Bay Area

I just did the usual quickie Bay Area trip: drove up in one day, spent two days there, and drove back on the fourth day. This experience included:

1) Seeing my aunt's new house in Walnut Creek, which is nicer than the one that burned down last year. I spent the first night there, listening to my aunt talk for two and half hours about what kind of furniture she plans to buy. It was interesting talk, but there was a lot of it, considering that I'd just spent over five hours on the road. Damn, though: I was gratified to be a good niece. My relatives can't help it that they talk too much. And neither can I, of course, when I get going. It's in my genes.

2) Having to choose which social engagement I would take. I have so many friends in the Bay Area that I only see each person every 2-3 years or so. If I didn't make this rule, I'd never spend enough time with my family.

3) Finding out at a family dinner that my "little cousin" (he's almost 40 and towers over me) is now engaged to the Very Nice Girl he's been dating. Being genuinely glad that my cousins are marrying such sweet, ethical women.

4) Eating ice cream at Fenton's in Oakland with my mom.

5) Getting lectured by my mother about how I need to cut down on carbs and sweets—over her third dessert. No, really; there was something kind of charming about it.

6) Letting my mom spoil me: she crashed on the couch, and I got to sleep in her brand-new queen-size bed, which includes a remote control that lifts the foot—hospital-style—and tilts the head. One almost doesn't need pillows, and it's terrific both for reading in bed and increasing respiration (because one is sleeping almost upright, at the precise angle of one's choosing). It was the second most decadent experience of my life. (The first: going to the 21 Club in New York City after my husband won his last Emmy.)

7) Lunch on Friday with my brother in Dublin, where he works. This has become my custom on the days I drive back to L.A., and it compensates a little for the fact that he and his family don't join the rest of us for dinner too often.

But no internet access for four days. That hurt. And I missed my biggest traffic peak of all time (1,100 hits in one day, double my previous high-water mark). The Ladies of the Cotillion danced on in my absence, aided by an Instalanche and a Malkinization.

Dang, but I'm content, probably because this Prozac shit is starting to really work. And I'm going to bed now.

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

Immigration and Abortion

I've been looking for a flashlight to shine my way through the fog of immigration. Here's one, by a friend of mine who was ostensibly writing about abortion. Not so incidentally, she makes some good points about what amounts, in a lot of cases, to a sub rosa system of indentured servitude.

Or: slavery in the present day in this country.

It has to stop, but I don't think the answer is to militarize the border and to kick all the "illegals" out of the U.S.

Posted by Attila at 12:42 AM | Comments (2)

June 03, 2005

Remember the Ladies . . .

The Cotillion now has its own site: your one-stop shopping for some of the best libertarian/right opinions out there, written by women of distinction.

I don't always agree with the other ladies, but that is exactly the point: thoughtful people are supposed to exchange views, rather than simply talking at each other.

I'm deeply honored to be part of the cotillion, and thrilled that we can all now blog openly about this exciting project.

Posted by Attila at 11:08 PM | Comments (2)

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
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