September 29, 2005

I Got an Even Better Idea.

I'm going to start the latest Harry Potter book. To feed my soul.

I looked at The Half-Blood Prince, and then the three virgin mysteries I have in my "to read" pile.

I figure if I jump into the J.K. Rowling I stand a better chance at sleeping tonight than if I were to begin reading a Michael Connelly or a T. Jeff Parker.

Posted by Attila at 07:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I Just Called My Nephew

. . . to wish him a happy 12th birthday. His voice is changing. No one warned me.

If my family is going to swap cute little boys out of their homes and exchange them for young men, I'd like adequate notice, please. The same thing happened with my little cousins, who now tower over me, wear baggy jeans, and listen to rap music.

I demand warning.

Posted by Attila at 05:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Darleen Weighs In

. . . on the questions: "is our culture broken? And, if so, where does it hurt?"

And she's spot on.

Posted by Attila at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


it looks like I'll be home tonight. Most likely, I'll be polishing the chapter I'm working on in Ye Olde Murder Mystery.

But if I finish early, I might watch TV. Anything in particular I should catch?

Posted by Attila at 12:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005


. . . is panache.

Posted by Attila at 04:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Assume

. . . everyone's really proud of me for watching two (2) hours of television last night.

My husband sometimes reads during commercials. But for the most part I think the commercials are better: they're written very tightly, as they must be. How else do you tell a story in 30 seconds? Some of them are awfully clever.

Posted by Attila at 12:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

But Boston Legal!

Fascinating! It's like a restoration comedy: pure artifice. Very stylized. Yet interesting: they've created their own little world.

I wonder if Ally McBeal led the way for this?

Posted by Attila at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This Geena Davis Thing.

It's a bit tough to suspend one's disbelief. I'd say it's beyond "cheesy." It's pretty lame.

Of course, if Geena plays this right, she'll never be Thelma in anyone's mind ever again. So there's that.

Posted by Attila at 11:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

And, By the Way,

this is why I quit college. (Well, that and a dumb boy problem.)

Posted by Attila at 06:39 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

So What's a CT Scan Like?

They want to do one on my sinuses, as part of a Grand Project that might enable me to breathe through my nose.

Will it be icky?

Posted by Attila at 06:22 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

I Think

Goldstein would be easier to read without all those big words.

Let's make him cut 'em out.

Posted by Attila at 06:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


My favorite version of "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"? This one.

Posted by Attila at 05:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Speaking of Music,

I assume everyone is aware that the music for "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" is actually part of Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu." Though, truth be told, it's not my favorite part. The beginning of that composition is really sexy to me.

Posted by Attila at 05:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Used To Envy

. . . people who could take naps. I guess I assumed that the ability to fall asleep during the day translated into an ability to fall asleep at night. This turned out to be untrue.

Live and learn.

Posted by Attila at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2005

How Many Protested in DC?

Wind Rider has that panoramic shot everyone's been looking for, and reminds us what 100,000 gathered near the Washington Monument really looks like.

h/t Goldstein.

Posted by Attila at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Really Miss

. . . Freddie.

I've thought about trying to see "Queen" when they play SoCal, but I know it wouldn't be the same; it might just make me very, very sad.

Posted by Attila at 10:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thank you, Jim.

You're a doll.

Posted by Attila at 05:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

More on Mitchell and Bowie

And, speaking of music, riddle me this:

If you could only collect the albums/CDs of two musical artists or groups, which two would they be?

Posted by Attila at 02:28 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

"How Can You Only Listen

. . . to two singer/songwriters?" my friend Lorna earnestly asked her crush Elaine. "I like Bowie a lot, but doesn't a steady diet of him and Joni Mitchell get dull?"

This was in the late 70s. Elaine responded, "I'm afraid to listen to anyone else. If I decided I liked them, I might be tempted to buy their albums. And, above all, I'm cheap. I can't afford a new artist or group."

Posted by Attila at 02:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We Saw the Eagles Play

at Staples Center tonight.

They played guitar and sang pretty songs.

We were in the balcony, with all the drunk people. But it was still fun.

Okay, bye.

Posted by Attila at 12:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 24, 2005

John Little

. . . has some fascinating reporting on the atmosphere in Houston, which didn't get knocked nearly as hard as we all expected. Especially noteworthy is HPD's muscular response to some pre-storm looting, and the efforts of a few armed citizens to also be visible.

Posted by Attila at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2005


. . . has a series of news updates, including one on lefties who plan to improve on their poor performance during Hurricane Katrina. Go. Now.

Posted by Attila at 11:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Test Post By Pixy

A Lady who Thinks She Is Thirty
by Ogden Nash

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
How old is Spring, Miranda?

The Firefly
by Ogden Nash

The firefly's flame Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
person's posteerier.

The Guppy
by Ogden Nash

Whales have calves,
Cats have kittens,
Bears have cubs,
Bats have bittens,
Swans have cygnets,
Seals have puppies,
But guppies just have little guppies.

Just Keep Quiet and Nobody Will Notice
by Ogden Nash

There is one thing that ought to be taught in all the colleges,
Which is that people ought to be taught not to go around always making apologies.
I don't mean the kind of apologies people make when they run over you or borrow five dollars or step on your feet,
Because I think that is sort of sweet;
No, I object to one kind of apology alone,
Which is when people spend their time and yours apologizing for everything they own.
You go to their house for a meal,
And they apologize because the anchovies aren't caviar or the partridge is veal;
They apologize privately for the crudeness of the other guests,
And they apologzie publicly for their wife's housekeeping or their husband's jests;
If they give you a book by Dickens they apologize because it isn't by Scott,
And if they take you to the theater, they apologize for the acting and the dialogue and the plot;
They contain more milk of human kindness than the most capacious diary can,
But if you are from out of town they apologize for everything local and if you are a foreigner they apologize for everything American.
I dread these apologizers even as I am depicting them,
I shudder as I think of the hours that must be spend in contradicting them,
Because you are very rude if you let them emerge from an argument victorious,
And when they say something of theirs is awful, it is your duty to convince them politely that it is magnificent and glorious,
And what particularly bores me with them,
Is that half the time you have to politely contradict them when you rudely agree with them,
So I think there is one rule every host and hostess ought to keep with the comb and nail file and bicarbonate and aromatic spirits on a handy shelf,
Which is don't spoil the denouement by telling the guests everything is terrible, but let them have the thrill of finding it out for themselves.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon
by Ogden Nash

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called hum Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
and Blink said Weeck! which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

Belinda paled, and she cried Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.

But up jumped Custard snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm,
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets, but they didn't hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim.
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pirate.

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,
I'd been twice as brave if I hadn't been flustered.
And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,
We'd have been three times as brave, we think,
And Custard said, I quite agree
That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
by Robert Browning


Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.


They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladle's,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

At last the people in a body
To the town hall came flocking:
"'Tis clear," cried they, 'our Mayor's a noddy;
And as for our Corporation--shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you're old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!"
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

An hour they sat in council,
At length the Mayor broke silence:
"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell,
I wish I were a mile hence!
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain--
I'm sure my poor head aches again,
I've scratched it so, and all in vain
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!"
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
"Bless us,' cried the Mayor, "what's that?"
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle, green and glutinous)
"Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!"

"Come in!"--the Mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in--
There was no guessing his kith and kin!
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: "It's as if my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!"

He advanced to the council-table:
And, "Please your honors," said he, "I'm able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep or swim or fly or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole and toad and newt and viper;
And people call me the Pied Piper."
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
To match with his coat of the self-same check;
And at the scarf's end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)
"Yet," said he, "poor piper as I am,
In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarm of gnats;
I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampyre-bats:
And as for what your brain bewilders--
If I can rid your town of rats
Will you give me a thousand guilders?"
"One? Fifty thousand!" was the exclamation
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives--
Followed the Piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,
Until they came to the river Weser
Wherein all plunged and perished!
‹Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar,
Swam across and lived to carry
(As the manuscript he cherished)
To Rat-land home his commentary:
Which was, "At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider-press's gripe:
And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks:
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
Is breathed) called out, 'Oh rats, rejoice!
The world is grown to one vast dry-saltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!'
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said 'Come bore me!'
-- I found the Weser rolling o'er me."

You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
Go," cried the Mayor, "and get long poles!
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!
Consult with carpenters and builders
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats!"-- when suddenly, up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
With a, "First, if you please, my thousand guilders!"

A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;
So did the Corporation too.
For council dinners made rare havoc
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
And half the money would replenish
Their cellar's biggest butt with Rhenish.
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
"Beside," quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink,
"Our business was done at the river's brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what's dead can't come to life, I think.
So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something for drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!

The Piper's face fell, and he cried,
"No trifling! I can't wait! Beside,
I've promised to visit by dinnertime
Bagdad, and accept the prime
Of the Head-Cook's pottage, all he's rich in,
For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor--
With him I proved no bargain-driver,
With you, don't think I'll bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe to another fashion."

"How?" cried the Mayor, "d'ye think I brook
Being worse treated than a Cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!"

Once more he stept into the street
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning
Never gave the enraptured air)
There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering,
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
Unable to move a step or cry,
To the children merrily skipping by--
And could only follow with the eye
That joyous crowd at the Piper's back.
But how the Mayor was on the rack
And the wretched Council's bosoms beat,
As the Piper turned from the High Street
To where the Weser rolled its water's
Right in the way of their sons and daughters!
However he turned from South to West
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
And after him the children pressed;
Great was the joy in every breast.
"He never can cross that mighty top!
He's forced to let the piping drop
And we shall see our children stop!
When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side,
A wondrous portal opened wide,
As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed;
And the Piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last,
The door in the mountain-side shut fast.
Did I say all? No! One was lame,
And could not dance the whole of the way;
And in after years, if you would blame
His sadness, he was used to say,--
"It's dull in our town since my playmates left!
I can't forget that I'm bereft
Of all the pleasant sights they see,
Which the Piper also promised me.
For he led us, he said, to a joyous land,
Joining the town and just at hand,
Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew,
And flowers put forth a fairer hue,
And everything was strange and new;
The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here,
And their dogs outran our fallow deer,
And honey-bees had lost their stings,
And horses were born with eagles' wings:
And just as I became assured
My lame foot would be speedily cured,
The music stopped and I stood still,
And found myself outside the hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before,
And never hear of that country more!

Alas, alas for Hamelin!
There came into many a burgher's pate
A text which says that heaven's gate
Opens to the rich at as easy rate
As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
The mayor sent East, West, North and South,
To offer the Piper, by word of mouth
Wherever it was men's lot to find him,
Silver and gold to his heart's content,
If he'd only return the way he went,
And bring the children behind him.
But when they saw 'twas a lost endeavor,
And Piper and dancers were gone forever,
They made a decree that lawyers never
Should think their records dated duly
If, after the day of the month and year,
These words did not as well appear:
"And so long after what happened here
On the twenty-second of July,
Thirteen hundred and seventy-six;"
And the better in memory to fix
The place of the children's last retreat,
They called it the Pied Piper's Street,
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor
Was sure for the future to lose his labor.
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern
To shock with mirth a street so solemn,
But opposite the place of the cavern
They wrote the story on a column,
And on the great church-window painted
The same, to make the world acquainted
How their children were stolen away,
And there it stands to this very day.
And I must not omit to say
That, in Transylvania there's a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
To the outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbors lay such stress,
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterranean prison
Into which they were trepanned
Long time ago in a mighty band
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why they don't understand.

So, Willy, let you and me be wipers
Of scores out with all men--especially pipers!
And, whether they pipe us free, from rats or from mice,
If we've promised them ought, let us keep our promise.

Posted by Pixy Misa at 04:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Nancy Drew, Redux

I'd love to get my hands on some of the earlier versions of the Nancy Drew stories. And it would be lovely to have multiple versions of my favories (e.g., Mystery at Lilac Inn) just to see what details were changed over the decades.

In a way, Nancy is my first girl-detective role model. However, if I had to choose, I'd root for Trixie. Because I'm a dirty turncoat.

Posted by Attila at 02:06 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

There's Something Indecent

. . . about setting Nancy Drew in the present day. When I was growing up the editions I read tended to have details from the 50s: there were lots of sweater sets. I'd never seen one, and wondered what they looked like.

Posted by Attila at 02:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Hope We Aren't

. . . stereotyping innocent ghosts.

Posted by Attila at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Still No Word

. . . from Rightwing Sparkle.

I suspect that means she and her family decided to get out yesterday, and are further North by now. Good on her.

Posted by Attila at 01:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. . . sent his wife off to safety (via train, as I understand it) and is toughing it out with his cats. He's got a few pre-storm photos and is (of course) planning his last "kitchen-cooked meal."

He also has an extensive collection of links to Houston and Galveston bloggers.

Posted by Attila at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Appetizer-Size Entries, II

Which means that I'll very likely go back to the local Genius Bar, point to my PowerBook, and say "make it happy again!" (The Mac people really look forward to these little chats.)

Then I'll go and get ecto to streamline my blogging life. Yay!

Posted by Attila at 12:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Appetizer-Size Entries

I just wanted you to know that some of our best people are working on my technical problems, and we should have entree-size entries soon. By "our best people," of course, I mean Pixy Misa.

He's going to try creating a medium-length entry here, so we can see if it's something related to my computer (which it probably is).

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

Wow. Cool Site.


And they're an advertiser! I was afraid it might be an extremist so-con gay-bashing enterprise, but it's well within the Goldwater mold. (That is, not bigoted.) I'm always so afraid of that, and it almost never happens, even with my "Christian right" friends (I'm Christian + right, and there's a subtle distinction).

Posted by Attila at 01:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

In Case You Haven't Read Bill Whittle's Latest

Here you go.

Pour a cup of coffee, and enjoy (though this is shorter than a few of his mega-essays).

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Last Night's Crash-Landing

If you didn't see the crash-landing at LAX, we aim to please.

(I was listening before my T'ai Chi class last night, but had to rely on the radio announcers' descriptions, of course.)

Posted by Attila at 12:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005


From now on, this blog will be structured like the movie Memento, and will not make sense until the very beginning/end. Also, it might be a little fragmented.

But that will make it more interesting.

Posted by Attila at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Vote "Go."

Laurence, who's been loading, unloading, and reloading his truck all day:

Hell, send Hurricane Sam, Timmy, and Ursula here and I'll be at 175 pounds in no time.

Posted by Attila at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

If I lived in the Houston area I'd have a delicious Clash bassline ringing in my ears right about now.

Rightwing Sparkle:

I just can't decide whether to leave or not.

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Jodie Foster, II

Sorry about the broken link in the entry below. My lords and masters at Movable Type have decided that changing a closing to tag to [/a] vs. [/i] would make the post too long and ruin everything.

It's like being on a verbosity diet.

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Writer's Group Night.

Everybody said what they always say: your narrative voice is so strong. Your dialogue is so rich. Your descriptions really bring the settings to life.

And "what the hell is the main character's motivation?"

I consider killing them all, but I failed to bring a gun with me and I'm outnumbered.

Posted by Attila at 11:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sometimes I Wonder

. . . whether my husband has pangs of regret for not having married a normal person.

Then I think about how hellish his life would be with a normal woman, and I don't feel guilty at all any more.

Posted by Attila at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Drugs I Don't Understand

2. Weed.

Okay, so I could smoke some dope (or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays) and then go snack on some high-carb food.

Or I could jump directly to the snacking, save some money, and be able to get a little reading in before I sleep.

Why do I need a middle man?

Posted by Attila at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Drugs I Don't Understand

1. Speed.

WTF? You come home from work, and you're tired, but too keyed up to crash just yet. So you decide to artificially stimulate your adrenal glands or whatever into keeping you awake until next Wednesday, but you'll be too jittery to get anything done.

Some of us are like that to begin with.

Posted by Attila at 10:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Saw the Best Minds

of my generation destroyed by blogging: starving, hysterical, cliquey.

Posted by Attila at 10:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

Please Post: Titanic/JFK Murder

. . . your favorite Titanic trivia in the comments.

If you don't have any stories regarding the Titanic disaster, please post your favorite theory on the assassination of JFK.

Otherwise, tell me if you think the word "assassinate" has too many s's in it.


Posted by Attila at 09:18 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

And, Speaking of Katrina

. . . there's a movement afoot to recall Gov. Blanco. I'd love to see that happen.

(h/t: Reynolds, Goldstein)

Posted by Attila at 09:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Patriotic Pork Reduction

More here. I suspect the Golden State will even more fertile for this blogospheric grass-roots action than it is for lettuce and grapes.

Posted by Attila at 09:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. . . maybe MT has my best interests at heart. My traffic is up, so I suppose the shorter posts are working.

It's a sobering thought, if you want to know the truth.

Posted by Attila at 08:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Help the Victims of Katrina (and Future Katrinas)!

Help us to cut government waste.

Posted by Attila at 07:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Do You Think

. . . it might be something horrifyingly simple, like I'm typing evil control characters into my entries by mistake, since I'm a lousy typist?

But I've been a lousy typist for years, and why would MT choose this particular moment to judge me for it?

(Not that I'm taking any of this personally, you understand. But you try being rejected by a computer program and see how you feel!)

Posted by Attila at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Plot Thickens.

I tried posting at my alternate blog on Blogger, and got this message:

"There were errors."

Asked for details, the helpful program told me this:

"001 EOF while reading from control connection".

But that didn't help me at all.


Posted by Attila at 07:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Well, I've Checked My Settings.

I can't figure out what is causing MT to reject most of my entries that have any sort of substance.

And they're all sitting in an MS Word, file, man. Every word is a freakin' pearl. They'd bowl you over if you could read them.

Posted by Attila at 07:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 19, 2005


maybe it's just me. But I'd rather see Ellen DeGeneres making clean jokes dressed in a tux vs. Whoopi Goldberg making crude jokes in a velvet gown.

DeGeneres did a fabulous job, and I'd love to see her promoted to the Oscars.

Posted by Attila at 11:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. . . Talk Like a Pirate Day be here! William Teach be handing out links, rations of rum and bonny wenches over at Pirate's Cove.

Posted by Attila at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sale on Blog Ads!

For the next two weeks, I'm keeping my rates at $0.50 per 1000 impressions. But I will be raising my prices in early October. As I recall I have two more weeks on the Condi ad, but there are two other slots open on this page, and there's even a fourth one ("silver") that I can add if need be. And anyone who wants the slot now occupied by Americans for Dr. Rice can pre-arrange to take that spot at the current low price.

Posted by Attila at 02:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

Dream Diary

See the comments.

Posted by Attila at 11:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Might Even

. . . attempt

a posting


a whopping




Posted by Attila at 10:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What If

. . . I attempted

to post


that contained

six lines?

Would that work?

Posted by Attila at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I'll try this.

Let's see

if I can post

a five-line

post without getting an error message.

Posted by Attila at 10:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Television Academy

to the blogosphere: "Fuck you."

I'm watching the replay of the primetime Emmys, with Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather onstage, supposedly in a tribute to Peter Jennings.

The entire audience stood up when they walked out. I wouldn't have.

Posted by Attila at 10:22 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

"Safari Can't Open the Page.

Safari can’t open the page “” because it could not load any data from this location."

And it won't work in Explorer, either.

Very annoying.

Posted by Attila at 10:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Another Test Post

I wonder whether memory problems in my Mac might be related to my inablity to post anything over four lines. Anyone have any ideas about that? So far I've been very lucky in not needing to upgrade my memory, but I know with a Mac one always gets needs to upgrade, sooner or later.

Posted by Attila at 06:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 17, 2005

It's Definitely

. . . worrisome.

Posted by Attila at 01:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Maybe This Will Be Good For My Writing

MT has decided I'm too wordy, and will only accept entries that are a few lines long.

This could be an opportunity to Become Concise. Or, perhaps, find out how far into the yard my computer would go if I threw it right through the freakin' window as hard as I could.

Posted by Attila at 12:25 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 16, 2005

After Reading

. . . this post over at Hubris, I considered proposing marriage. Then I remembered my husband's views on polyandry are not flexible at all.

So scratch that. But read the freakin' post, okay?

Via the gossip in my Cotillion Ball in-box.

Posted by Attila at 11:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

Is Goldstein

. . . getting a mite testy with the good Senator?

Posted by Attila at 08:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You Know, Traffic is Down.

How on earth do you expect me to post interesting things if you don't stop by?

Visit more often, and I'll post. It's only fair.

Posted by Attila at 08:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Naughty, Naughty Movable Type

Testing again. I'll best this one actually posts. The thing to do is trick it, by titling something "Test," and then posting an actual blog entry.

Posted by Attila at 02:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 14, 2005

Cotillion Ball!

Be sure to check out this week's roundups of smart-chick commentary.

For one-stop shopping, check out our main Cotillion site at Munuland, and just keep scrolling down; everything is cross-posted there.

Posted by Attila at 04:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Test Post

Hm. Wonder what's going on, here. MT appears to have some sort of mental block.

And, you know—it's a lot younger than I am. Definitely on the other side of that 40-divide. So there's no real excuse for it.

Posted by Attila at 04:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

Mary's Spinning So Hard

. . . she's going to collapse from dizziness. Or was that ditziness?

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila at 12:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Captain's Quarters

. . . has a nice little summary on why the FEMA response to Katrina was faster and more efficient than what is usual and customary, and why the local and state authorities are supposed to be able to handle the situation for at least 72 hours.

Posted by Attila at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. . . compares Federal failures on 9/11 to local/state failures during Katrina, and asks which level of bureaucracy would you rather be let down by?

Certainly events in NO haven't shown us our favorite side of human nature: not for the most part.

Posted by Attila at 01:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 11, 2005

Over at Protein Wisdom

. . . Goldstein takes Newsweek to task, ever-so-gently, for an article that appears to ask the eternal question "who's your Daddy?"

And to answer itself, "The Federal Government, of course."

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

Four Years Ago

. . . I was sleeping in the living room, because I was slightly under the weather. The phone rang and it was K calling from Florida on my husband's land line. She was saying something about what sounded like an armed standoff at the Pentagon and another bomb at the World Trade Center. "It sounds like we're under attack," she exclaimed, and under stress, her voice betrayed the years she'd spent in the Upper Midwest, the word "attack" coming out with a slight Chicago accent.

It was too far to grab for the phone, but I made a mental note to find out what was going on. One of us would call her back—probably my husband would do it as I went to work. I knew I should wake him up, though.

I had overslept slightly, so I started to run the bath water in the master bath; I needed to shave my legs before getting dressed. With some sort of crisis happening, the radio had to go on, but it's not a nice thing to wake someone up with media blasting in their ears, so I needed to nudge my husband awake first.

It was around 7:30 a.m. I had to hit the road by 8:10, which was fine: instead of breakfast, I'd drink a Slim-Fast in the car on my way into Los Angeles. I shut off the bath water and kissed my husband, letting him know his ex-girlfriend had called about something weird unfolding on the East Coast.

"Honey, we have to listen to the radio now," I tell him. "I think there's been another bomb at the World Trade Center or something."

"Sure," responds. "Turn it on."

In the master bath I flipped the radio on loud enough for us both to hear it and started to take my clothes off. Bill Handel's voice came on; he recapped the morning's events for people like us who don't get up early. I was down to my underwear as he announced that planes had hit both of the World Trade Center Towers. I forget about bathing and went back into the bedroom, wide-eyed as we both listened to Handel. Our eyes locked as Handel announced that "both World Trade Towers have been reduced to rubble."

I sank down on the bed next to Attila the Hub and he crossed himself. We were looking at each other, each hoping that we'd somehow heard wrong.

Ten minutes later I got a call from one of the managers at work, who told me that because of the uncertainty about what the attacks in New York and Los Angeles meant, I should stay home that day.

"Call K," I told my husband. "And then I'm leaving: I've got a manuscript at the office I want to retrieve."

"I'm driving you," he insisted. He returned K's call as I got dressed. We proceeded slowly back through Los Angeles, which had become a ghost town, and cautiously parked at the office building near Museum Row where I worked. We gathered my manuscript up so I could bring it home. It wasn't clear how long I'd be stranded at home, so I piled together all the reference works I could, but we also tried to minimize our time in the building, because we still didn't know whether there would be attacks on other business districts. The silence all around us was eerie.

Hustling into Attila the Hub's Saturn, we made our way back home to the hills near Pasadena.

In the big cities most people were still glued to their televisions, watching planes fly into buildings over and over again, and crying. I tried to give blood because it was all I could think of to do, but the hospital was swamped, and they sent me home, telling me to try again in a few hours. I lay on the couch and fell into the kind of sleep that comes from feeling overwhelmed. Attila Hub headed out to meet his sister, who was swinging through Southern California on the last leg of a car trip. They had lunch at a local coffee shop, but not for long: she was feeling the homing instinct too, and wanted to hurry back to Arizona. When I awakened my husband was there again, and I headed back to the hospital with yet another book in my hands, hoping they would finally let me give blood.

As I waited I alternated between my book and the television, looking back up as they announced that another office building next to the WTC had collapsed from the stress it endured that day. Another hour of waiting, and the clock ran out. They sent some of us home without getting our blood. We feel cheated, as if we'd had rainchecks for products we were going to buy on sale, but the store ran out of them. And we knew it was absurd to feel that way. At this point the nation was still hoping for survivors, like there had been after the Oklahoma City attack. A sinking feeling in our hearts, however, told us there was little chance anyone's blood would be any use at all.

By day's end I was a different person than I had been when I woke up.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dreams; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connelly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

—William Butler Yeats, "Easter 1916"

As I lay down that night I mentally told Al Qaeda "you have no
idea what you've unleashed. None at all."

Posted by Attila at 10:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2005


. . . has a roundup on the Gretna bridge incident, wherein people from New Orleans were being cut off and not allowed out of the city. This roadblock may be the single worst scandal to emerge from Katrina.

One of the debates going on about this roadblock of the only dry route out of New Orleans has to do with whether Gretna police locked their city down out of racial motivations, or out of real fear that their town would be overwhelmed, or that criminals would cross the bridge and cause problems in their neighborhoods. All that aside, it still looks heartless: had I lived in Gretna, I would have been happy to take some of those people in, and I'll bet the town's residents feel that way too.

And, of course, the other question has to do with where the fucking Governor of Louisiana was at the time. You know: the chick who's trying to blame this all on the Feds, but wouldn't give them the authority to come in—nor use the National Guard to restore order so it would be legal for regular troops to take up positions to help.

UPDATE: Video here.

Posted by Attila at 11:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Oh, Hey.

Let's just Federalize all disaster preparations, and then get a dirty martini with three olives, made with Tanqueray Ten.

Goldstein attempts to point out the problems therewith, including that Constitution thingie.

Posted by Attila at 08:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

So This Is the Real Shape of Days

Jeff Harrell expresses his contempt for a would-be blackmailer, and raises funds for Katrina relief at the same time.

Actually, I'm hoping he spends some of the money on a tripod. The right tool for the right job, ya know.

WARNING: Not suitable for my sensitive readers. But straight chicks and gay men, in paricular, will be delighted.

Posted by Attila at 04:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005


An amazing eyewitness account from NOLA. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to verify it. But it's dramatic, for sure.

I'll snoop around over the weekend to see if I can authenticate it. Or, if you know its origins, leave the source in the comments.

UPDATE: The concensus appears to be that this narrative was strung together from a series of rumors. Unfortunately, we don't know which ones are true and which aren't. Like the Titanic disaster, this situation will be argued about for years. If there are hearings, perhaps historians will be able to figure out the main strands of responsibility—beyond Mother Nature's fury.

I did see the leftist bias in this narrative, but there are some factual problems: C-rations haven't been used in years (they are all MREs now), and National Guard units are deployed as units, rather than one guy from this one, two guys from that one, and the like. A lot of people have expressed skepticism about the notion that any authorities would actually physically confiscate food from citizens.

I do suspect there are elements of truth in this, but which aspects one tends to believe will probably depend upon one's political leanings.

That's why I'd like to see hearings: it would be nice to have someone other than Snopes trying to separate fact from fiction.

Posted by Attila at 01:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Interesting Article

. . . by one of GayPatriot's readers in this post, which posits that overreaching by activists could have the effect of setting gay rights back in this state for years.

Posted by Attila at 05:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How Louisiana Spent Federal Money

. . . which was apparently higher in that state under Bush vs. Clinton.

Posted by Attila at 03:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Covington Update

We have a family friend who, with many of her relatives, evacuated Covington (adjacent to New Orleans) before the storm hit. Please pray that her three remaining nieces and nephews are found alive.

Her home survived; the house of one niece was destroyed.

Covington is on its own, and the Red Cross is not operating there at all. Citizens are taking it upon themselves to try to get food to those who need it. Many of them are carrying firearms, since people undertaking rescue work have been carjacked (and boat-jacked).

Our friend asks that people not give money to the Red Cross, as it isn't present outside New Orleans at all. She has found that her Amex card actually works, so she is getting cash advances to people who need money.

Obviously, her friends here in Los Angeles are trying to figure out a way to get money to this woman and/or the local Baptist Church in Covington, which is the staging center for the local citizenry.

I'm a little concerned about how my friend is going to pay her Amex bill, since most of her income comes from tending bar (a bar in New Orleans that presumably doesn't exist any more).

If anyone wants to Paypal me, send me a note designating "barmaid" or "Baptists," and I'll hold it in my business account until we can figure out a way to get it to the church—or to my friend.

In the meantime, please don't forget those in the areas outside N.O. who are struggling with no power, no phone service, limited gasoline for rescue missions, and little food/water. People like my friend are hiking out to centers where MREs are being distributed, and taking them back to those with limited mobility.

They can use your prayers right now.

Posted by Attila at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Regan and Preston

. . . tell us it's time to re-think politics in Louisiana and in New Orleans. Too late, for sure—but perhaps not too little.

Posted by Attila at 03:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The "Tired But Happy" Post

After a mad drive back to Los Angeles from Scottsdale, AZ on Monday I spent a day preparing for a visit from my sister-in-law, and I've been playing hostess for 36 hours or whatever.

No, I haven't caught up on my Arizona posting, but I've got several more entries in draft that I'll polish up and post as time permits.

Tomorrow (okay, today—it is after midnight) I'll be catching up on some personal business and then frantically putting together another chapter for my murder mystery. It is, as my husband reminds me, the reconvening of our respective writer's groups tomorrow: how glorious and awful.

I had lunch today with a family friend I'll call "Ship Ahoy," a man I've known since 1988. In that time we've been colleagues at two different organizations. I was his editorial assistant at one local magazine, and he was my managing editor. I transferred to another department. I fell in love with someone else who worked in editorial, and ended up marrying this person, to my eternal good fortune. Eventually, Mr. Ship Ahoy worked for me at an outdoor magazine; I was his ME that time around.

This time, Mr. Ahoy had looked over the outline and sample chapters for my book, and was giving me his input in exchange for lunch. We talked about the problem of motivation, which is pivotal for anyone who's writing about mysteries that are not police procedurals. Ultimately, one has to "sell" the idea that Lord Peter preferred solving murders to seducing young heiresses—at least part of the time.

I sighed, because I hear this from my writer's group all the time. None of them are big mystery fans, and they'd all like to know why any normal person would try to figure this sort of puzzle out, instead of leaving it to the police and coroner, and knocking off early for a gin and tonic vs. looking at dead bodies.

Mr. Ahoy doesn't think the motivations for my characters are watertight.

"You do understand," I ask him, "that real fans of the genre might be willing to suspend their disbelief?"

"Yes," he tells me. "So you have a tactical decision to make. Do people have to enter the world you create, or are you going to bring it to them?"

"I do want it to be enjoyable by non-mystery fans," I tell him. I resist the temptation to add, "and fuck you." (Because he's doing me an enormous favor, and because I truly admire him.)

He hands me the pages as we part ways, and asks to be kept abreast as I produce more chapters. He explains that he found "a few little things," which scares me because I'm a copy editor/proofreader myself, and I know "a few little things" generally means a mass of pencil markings all over one's [previously] clean, white paper.

I promise myself that I'll look them over later, because I have errands to do before I go home. I make two stops, and then I can't stand it. Getting back into the car, I sit in the back seat and read his remarks. One has to do with a man's non-jealous reaction to the news that someone's been putting the moves on his fiancee. In retrospect, I realize that it serves my plot for this character not to care too much. Mr. Ahoy simply writes, "not a 'guy' reaction. He would either be pissed or extremely pissed." Fair enough. So he would.

A woman honks at me as she tries to maneuver out of the space adjacent to me, so I close the passenger door and realize after I've finished going through Ahoy's notes that—once again—I've locked myself into the back seat of my own car, because it has some sort of childproof feature that keeps it from being opened from the inside. So I climb over the front seat and free myself from the tyranny of my own scatterbrained nature.

And I exit the parking structure smiling. With something that looks almost like a plan to fix the plot holes. Or at least a renewed commitment to a project that's as maddening as it is fun.

Bear with me, okay? (Actually, there aren't any bears here at all. I don't know why I said that.)

Posted by Attila at 03:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dean's Got

. . . the most novel fundraising idea I've ever seen. Give money for Katrina relief and he'll write an essay on any topic you like. Including "How to Understand Women," or "Why Cancer is Good and We Should Have More of It."


Posted by Attila at 02:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

No Transport, No Peace


Behold the Nagin "Black Magic" Water Park. Isn't it spooky?

Posted by Attila at 12:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

Presented Without Comment

Authorities were . . . castigated by British bus driver Ged Scott, from Wallasey, Merseyside, who was on holiday in the New Orleans area.

He stayed in the Ramada Hotel during and after the devastation with his wife, Sandra, and seven-year-old son Ronan. At one stage, Mr Scott, 36, had to wade through filthy water to barricade the hotel doors against looters.

He told the Liverpool Daily Post: "I couldn't describe how bad the authorities were. Just little things like taking photographs of us, as we are standing on the roof waving for help, for their own little snapshot albums.

"At one point, there were a load of girls on the roof of the hotel saying 'Can you help us?' and the policemen said 'Show us what you've got' and made signs for them to lift their T-shirts. When the girls refused, they said 'Fine' and motored off down the road in their boat."

Via Lair.

Posted by Attila at 10:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is It Me, Or

. . . is Goldstein a little tense?

Posted by Attila at 04:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Via Mayor Sam

Bob Denver of Gilligan's Island just died.

Posted by Attila at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Back in the City of the Fallen Angels

I still have a lot of entries from my stay in Scottsdale to bring up out of "draft" format and get onto the main page.

In the meantime, I've been listening to a lot of criticism of New Orleans officials—and some in Louisiana—who just did not appear to take this impending crisis seriously until it was too late. Some people chalk this up to the corruption that's rampant in the Big Easy, but I'm not so sure.

I called my husband yesterday morning from the desert to ask if this kind of negligent response would have occurred in Chicago under the first Mayor Daley.

"No, no," he tells me. "They were crooks, but they were competent crooks. That's why the people of Chicago went back to the Daley dynasty: ultimately, the matter of honesty mattered less than having a well-run city."

Posted by Attila at 11:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005

Goldstein Confronts Kingfish

—who seems a little defensive.

Posted by Attila at 03:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jonathan Rauch:

With It Takes a Family, Rick Santorum has served notice. The bold new challenge to the Goldwater-Reagan tradition in American politics comes not from the Left, but from the Right.

Terms like "left" and "right" become meaningless after a point, but Rauch's take is that replacing the individual with the family as the basic unit of society is an invitation to governmental growth, and that Santorum is drastically revising—perhaps even reversing—the Goldwater-Reagan formula.

Posted by Attila at 03:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Junkyard Blog

. . . seems a mite irritated about all those unused buses owned by the City of New Orleans. Instead of carrying thousands of people to safety, they are now ruined by flooding, rusting away with massive oil slicks caused by their engines.

There's even a satellite photo showing how close the buses were to a freeway that led right to the Superdome.

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila at 02:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Everyone Knows

. . . the difference between "looting" and "emergency commandeering of supplies."

Or they should.

Of course, they should also know the difference between "rioting" and "rebellion."

As the Los Angeles riots of 1992 commenced, no one was under any illusions about what it meant: color was irrelevant, and the only distinction to be made was between those who had some kind of values and those who were using the situation as an excuse to loot stores—and worse, much worse. I drove around town then in order to get across it—avoiding the center of the city—and spent the night in my boyfriend's more quiet neighborhood.

First, of course, I had to spend an hour in line at a Glendale supermarket, rubbing elbows with black and white and Asian people who all understood the score: there is something broken in human nature, and when it's not practical to fight it, you need to get out of the way.

So we all loaded up our grocery carts and prepared to stay off the streets for however many days it took before the thugs lost their stranglehold on L.A.

It appears that it could have been a lot worse. God have mercy on those who took advantage of the situation in New Orleans in order to commit violent acts.

I'm sure there's a special place in Hell for them.

Posted by Attila at 01:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

This Kid

. . . is going to go far.

This action is the only thing he needs on his resume; he'll be working for the rest of his life.

[h/t: Goldstein.]

Posted by Attila at 01:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

And Yet More on NFRA

I'm at the Ronald Reagan Awards Banquet. In a separate entry I will list the winners of the various NFRA Awards. Soon, there will be a showing of In the Face of Evil, the documentary about Ronald Reagan's fight against communism, and how it bears on the current terrrorist threat. Of course, I've already seen it, at the Liberty Film Festival last fall, where as I recall it was the world premiere.

At the moment, Tom Tancredo is speaking, and giving an eloquent argument against illegal immigration—an issue that most of you know I've been vascillating on for some time. (Why? Because part of the whole issue has to do with how the economies in our border states are going to conduct their business without the labor normally provided by "illegals," so the "seal off the borders and everything will be lovely" people [those who oversimplify the practicalities of the process] bother me. But the security issues tied into this are sobering, and a good place to start.)

Tancredo discusses the fact that some misguided teachers in schools with a lot of immigrants teach a cartoonish version of multiculturalism, encouraging high school and junior high school students to identify with their native lands rather than this country.

"I don't care whaere you come from," he says. "All I ask is that once you get here, you do what most of our grandparents did, and become part of this nation."

He gets a standing ovation.

And I have a lot to think about.

Posted by Attila at 09:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Chief Justice Rehnquist

. . . has just died.

Posted by Attila at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


has an interesting compilation of statements from those who saw this coming, along with a few well deserved digs at the media vultures who like to overhype any hard rain as a "storm"—making it less likely that people will heed the warning when there really is a threat.

Posted by Attila at 07:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. . . remembers his Winnie-the-Pooh.

Posted by Attila at 05:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sex and the Married Conservative

Dr. Judith Reisman is speaking on the counter-assault against Alfred Kinsey and his research, for which she has led the charge.

Her thesis is that Kinsey's research is based on outrageous sampling errors, and that some of his claims about the sexuality of the "greatest generation" reflected some of the claims made by Nazis in propaganda distributed to British and American troops.

One of the most egregious aspects of Kinsey's research, of course, was his promotion of the notion that young children were sexual in a way that excused adult-child sex.

There's more. I'll definitely have to read Dr. Reisman's latest book, Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences and review it herein.

Posted by Attila at 03:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More from the NFRA

The official slogan for this year's NFRA convention is "turning up the heat on the left." Get it? We're in Scottsdale, Arizona, toward the end of the hot days of summer. This is a glorious part of the country, though: the physical beauty here is astounding.

Mike Spence, introducing Bob Barr as the keynote speaker, modifies the slogan, making the point that what NFRA really needs to do is to "turn up the heat on the GOP."

Bob Barr is speaking on the inadequacy of passively depending on the two-party system to represent the people. He makes a number of truly excellent points, one of which hit me right over the head: Republicans continually preach to African-Americans about the need to objectively evaluate what the Democratic Party is (and, more usually, is not) doing for them. True conservatives need, he tells us, so "practice what they preach.

Rep Barr also analyzed Ronald Reagan's presidency, pointing out that he was an outsider at the beginning of his first term, and remained an outsider until he left office.

Rep Barrr is an amazing thinker, attempting to raise the level of debate about all issues, and explaining that the important thing is to talk about substance, rather than to go along with the prevailing wisdom. Make sure to talk reasonably with people whom you disagree with, he exhorts us: you may have an opportunity to carry an important message.

He defends his relationship with the ACLU, pointing out that despite the many areas of disagreement between his own positions and those of that group, there are important discussions to be had about some provisions of the Patriot Act, and we'd be derelict to gloss them over.

In conclusion, he reminds us that "expediency is for cowards. Principles are for winners."

Posted by Attila at 02:05 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Kate and Jeff

. . . have a dialogue about how the New Orleans disaster is finally clearing the way for a discussion about personal responsibility, the entitlement mentality, and the politics of racial division.

Read Jeff's analysis, and then follow the link back to Kate McMillan's original essay—because they are both mandatory reading.

Posted by Attila at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Over at Huffington's Toast

. . . "Jacques Chirac" makes a statement about indifference during natural disasters.

They are the champions, my friend.

Posted by Attila at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Ebb and Flow Institute

. . . lists some lectures none of us would pay to hear. Sample: "Sexual Harrassment: My Hidden Shame" from Helen Thomas.

And it gets better.

Posted by Attila at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Mayors . . . Unmasked

Mayor Sam and Mayor Frank have disclosed their secret identities, and show no sign of wanting to lay off of the Los Angeles City Hall.

God bless Hizzoner and Hizzotheronor.

Posted by Attila at 01:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Fork in the Road for Vermont

I had a wonderful discussion at the Goldwater reception with Greg Parke about his campaign against Sanders in one of the most interesting states in the union: from where I sit Vermont appears, like Southern California, to be an area of libertarian principles that have become so watered-down as to turn the entire state a sort of pale blue hue.

And yet, Vermont has an extraordinary commitment to the Second Amendment, and awash in firearms, which can be carried by anyone. There are those, of course, who maintain that Vermont is adversely affected by people from the northeastern metropolises, who live there only part-time—but vote "full-time" in Vermont as well as their home states. This theory holds that the full-timers—"real Vermonters"—aren't big nanny staters. I'm not so sure, but I'd like some sort of national resolution on this issue, since plenty of New Yorkers declared openly in 2004 that they intended to vote in their home states and the state that contained their vacation properties. (After all, Florida was a big swing state, and the end justified the means.)

Whatever the situation, Vermonters need to consider whether they were well-served by Jim Jeffords, and want to repeat the "Democrat-in-independent clothing" mistake.

Parke is a personable man with a passion for this country that is underscored by his two decades in the USAF. He cares about the people of Vermont, and wants to educate New Englanders about the true consequences of statism. He and I and another charming Air Force man from a blue state (Massachusetts) talk about how insidious the liberal argument is, and how willing people seem to be to give up liberty for the illusion of safety. We've all had these arguments with our liberal friends, and all experienced that exquisitely frustrating "Ben Franklin" moment in which we declare they deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Do we mean it? Well, probably not. But the whole thing is an uphill battle.

If you're in New England, spread the word about Lt. Colonel Parke. If you're in Vermont, remember to vote, and consider helping out with the campaign.

Posted by Attila at 01:01 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Drafting Dr. Rice!

I'm live-blogging the Goldwater reception at the NFRA, where Glorious Johnson is speaking in favor of drafting Condi Rice for the presidency, an idea that some in the room seem skeptical about as she begins her remarks. Johnson's speech is taking the shape of a history lesson, explaining the relationship between the black population in this country&mdashblack women in particular—and the GOP.

Did you know that Sojourner Truth was a Republican? Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican? Rest assured that the ladies Councilwoman Johnson spoke of were all represented in my high school women's history class, and they include my all-time favorite black female historical figure, Harriet Tubman, who rescued more slaves than anyone else in American history, and carried a gun as a conductor on the "Underground Railroad." Councilwoman Johnson notes that Tubman was also a soldier, a spy, and a nurse in the Civil War. Johnson furthermore mentions Ida B. Wells, Mary Terrell, and Mary McLeod Bethune as historical figures with ties to the GOP.

Dr. Rice is ready, Johnson assures us, ridiculing the often-repeated notion that Rice needs to go to Alabama or California to run for some small office before she can represent this country in the White House. (What we have in Condi Rice, as Dr. Mason of AFR constantly reminds us, is a candidate who has virtually served an apprenticeship for the highest office in the land.)

Johnson's speaking style is very dynamic, in the gospel-influenced cadence of many African-American orators from the South, and she dominates the room—not an easy task while there's a bar and a buffet in the back. A lot of the NFRA delegates haven't seen each other for a long time, and they are dying to get re-acquainted: Johnson reminds them of the important task facing this party over the next two years in picking the leader of the free world. Her voices carries, and her message resonates. Despite themselves, the socializers in the back are carried up in the excitement, and begin chanting "Condi!" under the councilwoman's direction until the whole room is united.

Johnson is, she tells us, on a mission. It's a mission shared by many others. Most of the people working on this campaign have had a sort of "Eureka!" moment in which they take the idea seriously for a minute or two, and then the light breaks as they realize that Dr. Rice is uniquely positioned to carry on the aspects of the President's legacy that are working well, and to improve on the areas where it isn't.

There's usually a moment in which they consider who can best stand up to Hillary Clinton in a Presidential debate, and then a smile begins to play on their lips. And then they kind of exhale and admit that "there might be something to this. Perhaps she isn't just a fantasy candidate after all."

Get out your surfboard, and ride this wave. Because it's coming at you soon.

Posted by Attila at 07:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Live, from Scottsdale . . .

it's Little Miss Attila! I'll be here all weekend, blogging the NFRA Convention. This is the organization that Ronald Reagan called "the conscience of the Republican party," and it's an important voice (or rather, an important set of voices) within the conservative movement.

Ironically, WiFi is easier to access here than it is from my hotel room a few miles down Scottsdale Road at the Holiday Inn. If I'm not successful at logging in from there tonight or tomorrow, it's all over between me and the Holiday Inn. I thought it was True Love (plus, with my Auto Club discount, it was $15 cheaper there than it would have been to stay here at the Chaparral Suites), but the WiFi here is better, and I may just return all the jewelry and lingerie Holiday Inn has given me and leave them for good this time.

I mean it. Do you hear me, Holiday Inn Express? I even joined your little business travellers' club and everything. I feel so used.

There's a sense of excitement here as the various groups set up their booths and begin setting out their literature. The John Birch Society has a table here, as do the Stop the FTAA activists. And, of course, Team Condi.

I'll try to resist the temptation to make up a series of fake off-hours "adventures" to regale you with, in the manner of Goldstein's RNC convention blogging. But I won't make any promises, other than to say I really am here at the convention site, and it's pretty thrilling, to tell you the truth.

The Goldwater Reception begins in less than three hours, so at some point I do have to hop back to my hotel and put my suit on. Councilwoman Glorious Johnson of Jacksonville, Florida is speaking on behalf of Americans for Rice and the National Black Republican Convention, and I don't want to miss that.

If you're trying to get through by e-mail, rest assured that I shall get your missives at some point, from one of the two hotels. But you might want to send a carrier pigeon into the desert as a backup.

Posted by Attila at 03:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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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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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.

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