July 31, 2008

I'm Sorry.

But the Freakazoid! DVD is slipping in the Amazon rankings. It was in the twenties, and it was number two among family animation DVDs. But they are losing ground.

I'd hate to have to shutter the blog because Freakazoid! didn't sell enough DVDs of the first season.

And, of course, I'm not promising that I'll publish a "deep cleavage" shot of myself if sales perk up, but . . . I most certainly won't if they don't.

Remember: every DVD you buy from the first season of Freakazoid! increases the odds that they'll release the second season, despite its containing—the way I got the story, and I might have it wrong— Copyrighted Music That Could Well Cost Money.

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Obama as a "Gaffe-O-Matic."

Comedy gold.

The guy is obsessed with race. Perhaps he doesn't think Condi Rice or Colin Powell are "Americans."

Here's a helpful metric: When he discusses race, he isn't really talking about race.

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"It Takes Ten Years To Get Oil."

It always takes ten years to get oil.

As a matter of fact, if I wanted to fetch some olive oil from my pantry tonight, I wouldn't really be able to sauté anything with it until 2018. At the earliest.

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Dog Bites Man.

In Hollywood, of course.

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Um. There Is a Naked Girl on My Sidebar.

I believe I can speak for my entire readership when I say, "kewl."

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More Homework for Everyone!


Today (well, yesterday, strictly speaking) I was on a conference call with Senator Richard Burr (R, NC) and a baker's dozen of other bloggers about the energy crisis we're experiencing now (which, as Burr points out, is more or less a continuation of the energy crises of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s).

I can't really do the discussion justice right now, so I'll have a fuller treatment tomorrow. Suffice it to say that this is a good time to keep the pressure on Reid and Pelosi, and to let them know that you're noticing which party doesn't want to solve the current energy crisis until after the fall election, at which point . . . lather, rinse, repeat. (We tap dance and try to kick the can down the road. But it'll be okay, if we've got Obama in the White House!)

Yeah, well.

I think it's clear to most multi-cellular organisms that we can't solve our energy problems with any one "silver bullet": it's a multi-faceted problem, and it'll need a suite of solutions.

It's no secret that I'm partial to a lot of the proposals that Zubrin puts forth in Energy Victory, and that I therefore think flex-fuel vehicles could be pivotal in achieving energy independence. And we must increase supply in the short-term with good, old-fashioned petroleum: we've got to drill like we've got a purpose, while looking to Brazil for ideas about the future. And building nukes and wind farms.

But in the meantime, I'd like to see the Zubrin ideas I'm so taken by—in particular, his notion of switching to an "Alcohol Economy" that leans hard on ethanol and methanol—compared to the Pickens plan. Or: the Pickens Plan.

So, discuss, please, my engineering-minded homies. And I'll have more thoughts for you tomorrow. Or at least more data.

Actual coverage of the discussion with Senator Burr, from those who didn't spend the day handling computer upgrades and buying furniture:

Flopping Aces; and

Betsy Newmark.

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Do as you must, Jeff. And thanks for the memories.

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Good News and Bad News

The bad news: the $50 iTunes gift certificate my sister-in-law got me a year and a half ago for Christmas has run out, and I now have to spend Actual Money for my music (other than physical albums, which I still buy because I like to go on musical journeys while I drive: full-on LPs albums; complete works).

The good news: Scars on Broadway is now available, so I was able to snag the non-radio version of "They Say," which is real rock and roll—it could fit into any decade. (I know: a bit nihilist, so perhaps the 1980s would be a better fit for it, vs. The Pepsi Generation.) But it does rawk.

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I'm Not So Sure.

Sadly, you can't choose the people you fall in love with.

—Al Stewart

Is that a cop-out? Discuss.

I saw him live, once. Mid-80s. It was fun.

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July 30, 2008

Oh, Ace. Ace.

When he's good, he's good; but when he's bad, he's better:

This couple certainly is very taken with itself. The four-way sex with the Obamas and their throbbing, outsized egos must be pretty hot.

Just like Mae West, that one.

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July 29, 2008

Light Blogging Tonight (or Wednesday Morning, for You East-Coasters)

I'm having a small midlife crisis, but I'll try to make it brief. In the meantime, there are some badass bloggers listed on my sidebar, over to the right somewhere . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Coates . . .

is jumping over to join The Atlantic's blogging team.

Via McArdle.

Oh, sure: officially he's a lefty. But he's a commonsense, ultimately centrist kind of guy, and I enjoy his writing.

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Come On, Now.

Help Paul Rugg get his body back; buy the Freakazoid! DVD:

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Earthquake in L.A.

Just happened; nothing broke, and the power's still on, but it seemed to go on for a minute or so. It was one of those rolling types. Afterward, I suggested it had been five-something, but A the H insisted it was six-something.

'Course there's no way of knowing until we find out where the epicenter was, and how things were there. (UPDATE: Chino Hills.)

More later.

UPDATE: 5.8.

It's so funny, because the house in La Canada was always shaking—whenever a big truck drove by there'd be a bit of a shiver, since the place was built on stilts (well, I-beams and cables—it was eccentrically engineered, built more like a bridge than a house).

So for a split second there was this "is this . . .?" But of course it was: it wasn't just the shaking, but with a quake there's always this noise. The big ones set off car alarms, but this time it was only my martini glasses tinkling against my Waterford crystal. I remember vaguely hoping that if something had to break, it'd be a martini glass (or a cheap wine glass) instead of the Waterford. But nothing actually broke here. After a moment I got up, just in case it wanted to get worse—I'm from the generation that likes to get into a doorframe, or under a sturdy table, if things get intense, like they did in 1994—at least, I like to look around and make sure I'm not close to any windows or mirrors. The shaking still wasn't too vigorous, and I could tell it was that rolling type of earthquake, rather than the sudden violent spikey more-destructive kind, so I didn't imagine it was going to get bad.

But I wandered into the hallway; my husband had come out of the den, and we just sort of looked at each other for a moment.

"Everything okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, fine," I answered, but as I said it I mentally calculated how long it would take us to get to the two bathroom doorways if the shaking got more intense (it's usually best to have one person in each doorway, to be able to watch for the closing of any doors, though two in a doorway isn't horrible; it's about protecting one's head in case there's some sort of structural collapse or falling plaster).

And then, of course, it was over in another moment, just as I'd suspected it would be. And we made our best guesses about where it had placed on the Richter scale—naturally, I was right, because that's the sort of thing I'm right about.

Now let's all locate our flashlights and our candles and our lanterns and our backup canned foods, shall we? And buy a few extra gallons of water to keep around the house, mmkay?

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July 28, 2008

Friday Night in San Diego

. . . A the H went to bed early, so I dropped by the informal salon that was happening in one of the local hotels, featuring The Eminent Graphic Novelist, and all of his cool writer/publisher friends. We discussed, among other things, the advantages and disadvantages of living The Nocturnal Lifestyle, how difficult it can be to choose between creating something Beautiful or Real, vs. Making a Buck.

"If you're lucky, they're the same thing."

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Pelosi's Too Busy Getting a Pedicure to Call for a Vote on Offshore Drilling.

Okay; I don't know what she was doing instead, but even the WaPo asks "If drilling opponents really have the better of this argument, why are they so worried about letting it come to a vote?"

No; I do not think that drilling on the OCS is the most important part of the set of solutions we need to deploy against our energy problems; after all, the East Coast and the West Coast have less provable oil than ANWR does; only the Gulf is competitive with ANWR in its longterm potential.

But showing that America is serious about developing its own domestic alternatives is one of the actions we can take that will help in the short- and medium-term. (Along with increased use of methanol and ethanol, the mandating of flex-fuel technology in all vehicles, even for hybrids, and a handful of other measures, including increased use of natural gas, clean-burning coal, wind farms, and more nuclear reactors.)

Back to the WaPo:

WHY NOT have a vote on offshore drilling? There's a serious debate to be had over whether Congress should lift the ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf that has been in place since 1981. Unfortunately, you won't be hearing it in the House of Representatives -- certainly, you won't find lawmakers voting on it -- anytime soon.

Instead of dealing with the issue on the merits, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a staunch opponent of offshore drilling, has simply decreed that she will not allow a drilling vote to take place on the House floor. Why not? "What the president would like to do is to have validation for his failed policy," she said yesterday when asked that very question. "What we're saying is, 'Exhaust other remedies, Mr. President.' . . . It is the economic life of America's families, and to suggest that drilling offshore is going to make a difference to them paycheck to paycheck now is a frivolous contention. The president has even admitted that. So what we're saying is, 'What can we do that is constructive?' "

If there is an explanation buried in there about why that makes offshore drilling off-limits for a vote, we missed it. Ms. Pelosi is correct that drilling is no panacea for the nation's energy woes. The short-term effect of lifting the moratorium, if there were any, would be minimal. That doesn't mean the country shouldn't consider expanded drilling as one of many alternatives. There are legitimate concerns about the environmental impact of such drilling -- environmental concerns that, we would note, exist in other regions whose oil Americans are perfectly happy to consume. But have technological improvements made such drilling less risky? Why not have that debate?

When they took the majority, House Democrats proclaimed that "bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the Minority the right to offer its alternatives." Why not on drilling?

Meanwhile, the dispute has snarled progress on spending bills for fear of having drilling amendments attached. Citing "the uncertainty in how the oil and gas drilling issue is currently playing out on the Senate floor," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) called off committee consideration of spending bills on which Republicans were threatening to offer drilling amendments. The result threatens to be the first time since at least 1950 that lawmakers will go home for the August recess without either chamber having passed a single appropriations bill.

Have the vote, Pelosi. It's called "Democracy," and it is (as Martha would say) A Good Thing. Just ask Leonard Cohen

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Cassandra Is a Bad, Bad Girl.

And she should be spanked.

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July 27, 2008

Freaka-Teaser 2

Well, you know: as long as I'm pimping, I might as well really pimp:

Okay. That's it. No more animation-blogging from me for, um . . . 48 hours. All right?

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is Stacy McCain in Trouble?

I dunno. Ask his wife.

In the meantime, here's an oldie-but-goodie from Darrell:

DS Credo.JPG

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Sure. I'll Make You a Fucking Sandwich.

But first, buy me a drink. Dirty martini, Tanqueray, extra olives. Light on that vermouth.

(Warning: this is a minor resurrection of the old "are women underrepresented in the blogosphere?" issue. Proceed with caution.)

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Super-Teen Extraordinaire!

X-Box provides some fun coverage of the Freakazoid! and Tiny Toons panel at Comic-Con 2008, which should help to promote the upcoming release of the Freak! and Tiny Toons DVDs. (Both first season DVDs come out on July 29th, but you knew that—right?)

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David Linden, Doing that Science Thing

Hittin' the ground running at the Journal of Neurophysiology:

My challenge to all of you DM readers is to put forward ideas that could reasonably be implemented at Journal of Neurophysiology (or similar journals) that would be steps in the right direction. However, I would appreciate it if the suggestions weren't heavily expletive-laden. That fucking shit just gets old really goddamn fucking fast, eh?

I like someone who can bring some seriousness of purpose to an endeavor and cuss up a storm at the same time.

Fuckin' damn right. Glad to see some seriousness of purpose among biologists.

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July 25, 2008

The Warner Brothers Dream Team

Many of 'em, anyway. Tom Ruegger is conspicuously absent, but for some reason he couldn't make it to Comic-Con.


The writer's sick; we have no script. Why bother to rehearse?

UPDATE: The Freakazoid/Tiny Toons panel at Comic-Con 2008: Bruce Timm, Sherri Stoner, Rich Arons, Andrea Romano, John P. McCann, Paul Dini, Jean MacCurdy, Paul Rugg (moderating).

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Light Blogging From San Diego.

I'm having plenty of adventures over here. I lost my cheap video camera, but kept checking back at the lost and found (where they thought I was crazy for expecting to get it back), and praying to St. Anthony.

Yesterday evening I received a call from the woman at the lost and found, who had finally consented to accept my business card, with my cell phone number on it. Sure enough, someone had turned the camera in.

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July 24, 2008

Live Long and Prosper

I'm here in San Diego, where we are temporarily staying at the Hard Rock Hotel. I love the whole concept of the Hard Rock: the art is great, the decor is wonderful. It has that mini-suite feature that I admire for business digs, wherein there is a physical separation between the bedroom and the front room, so if you do run across a long-lost half brother from near Baljennie, or if your convention is maxed out, it is still vaguely possible for 2-3 pepole to share a room. Very efficient.

The Hard Rock does not have what I consider the minimum requirements for a place to sleep: it doe not sport free wi-fi, so I don't know if I'd come here if I were on my own dime. It is obnoxious enough when they charge a girl for water. But when they charge me for an internet connection, I start to feel that civilization is crumbling around me, and I ought to watch Escape from New York for tips on how to handle the coming catastrophe.

Here is my other issue with the Hard Rock Hotel, and you are going to laugh: it's noisy. I mean, one can turn off the music in the rooms and so forth, but in the lobby, and in the restaurants and bars, there is all kinds of . . . well, . . . music playing.

Terrific photos from the rock 'n' roll greats. But, in the background, while one is tying to talk . . . all kinds of noise.

Which leads me to the conclusion that when I argue with my nieces and nephews about the music versus noise issue, and maintain that the stuff they listen to is noise, whereas my favorites constitute music, I'm skating on paper-thin ice, logically speaking.

Of course, most of what I'm worried about right now has to do with the fact that we don't have anything appropriate to wear here: I do not possess Vulcan ears, or a Klingon costume. I will be running around San Diego in shorts and a T-Shirt. This gives me pause, under the circumstances.

But, here I am. tomorrow will be consumed with an attempt to figure out and document what the worker bees are up to; over the weekend, we shall probably party a bit.

And, if we're smart, figure out how to make a bit of money.

After all, next time I stay in the Gas Lamp District of San Diego, I'd like it to be on my own dime. Just to say I did it once.

The murder mystery-graphic novel/cartoon contest continues in my household. If I'm the next person around my condo to get a film option, that's really good: after all, it means I won. Winning is excellent, because it can be exchanged for dinner out and sexual favors from my husband. This leads to happiness and shit like that.

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July 23, 2008

I Just Cannot Imagine

. . . what it would be like to live on a boat, Michael Connelly's imaginings notwithstanding.

I think after my mom and The Genetics Professor broke up, he moved to the boat for a while. But I'm not sure that was, like, his choice. I mean, I think he might have been pushed into it by a woman with a strong personality.*

Do you know what the name of the boat was? Do you want to guess?

"Okay: I will tell you." It was Ishmael. (And, sure. Drop by Wikipedia, if you like. No one has added either the Moby Dick reference to Ishmael, nor the meta-reference thereto by Laurie Anderson. Do I have to do all the fucking work around this asshole internet myself? Not that I mind, God dammit to hell; just though I'd ask.

* Did tell you that 1-2 generations back, women in my family had strong personalities? No, really: they did. I'm so glad we purged that from the genetic line.

Mother Mac (Not my mom, mind you; the "mother ducky" in my husband's narrative think tank) asked me tonight if my husband and I edit each other. Everyone seems to want to know that. I gave her the standard answer, because it is the honest one:

"Much, much less than you'd expect," I tell her. "Like, rarely do we make each other read a short story; we save each other for screenplays, novellas, book-length manuscript—that kind of thing. I mean, as it is there's plenty to fight about, because we live together. Who did the dishes, who folds the laundry, why my side of the room always so cluttered. You know."

"Come on," my husband interjects, "it isn't like we're always arguing about adjectives."

"But there've been some knock-down drag-out fights over adverbs," I remind him.

"Sure," he concurs. But he reminds me: "adverbs are tough."

They are, mates. They are.)

Please don't marry a writer or an editor. Particularly if you are one yourself. And if you're in a creative field, might I suggest that you find a life partner who does actual work?—I hear that these people, these "real contributors," are all over the place. Also, if they dig ditches or stuff like that they might have some, like, awesome upper-body buildup going.


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July 22, 2008

There Isn't Too Much Else to Say . . .

Got it via Insty.

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R. Stacy McCain on the Evil of War.

And why John McCain "gets it":

The possibility of defeat is among the reasons why war should be avoided if possible. I am reminded of Nicias, the Athenian general who argued against undertaking the fateful Sicilian expedition in the Pelopponesian War but who, once the decision was made to undertake the expedition, insisted that it be made with all available force. Athens could afford the expedition, but could not afford defeat.

John McCain has indicated his disdain of Bush's jocular "f--- Saddam, we're taking him out" attitude -- an attitude he says the president manifested a year before the invasion. But McCain has steadfastly insisted that, if we were going to fight in Iraq, we make the fight full-strength. Fight to win, or don't fight at all.

Obama considers defeat an acceptable outcome; McCain doesn't. This is the real difference.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:26 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Coates and McArdle

I really dug this bloggingheads dialogue between two of the most independent thinkers out there today--on growing up in B-More; the politics of drug legalization; the power of demonstrations, the war in Iraq, etc. etc.

McArdle needs a bit of help with her makeup; I think she was under fluorescents or something like that, so it yellowed her out just a little. Coates looks great, like black people often do in indoor lighting conditions (no strong sunlight, no visors--none of that stuff that makes black people invisible without a fill-flash). I'm sure there is a good cottage industry to be formed around do-it-yourself makeup for home-office conditions, to cater to the "Bloggingheads"-syle formats.

Anyway, cool stuff to be found therein. For the record, I probably disagree with both McArdle and Coates at least 50% of the time: but they always make me think, which is rawkin', intellectually speaking. They are therefore both completely addictive.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Apparently, McCain's Gonna Go First

. . . in that game of "Veep Chicken."

I don't think it's any secret that I'm rooting for Jindal or Palin, but if it's Romney, I'll live. Life will go on.

If it's Huckabee, I'll forego the assassination option (just for you, my beloved friends in the Secret Service). But I might well stay home. I've made my peace with voting for Johnny Mac; but he can only push a girl so far before she gets "ballot flu."

Johnny, you are a bit long in the tooth to bring a light-up, extra-constitutional, brain-free, pseudo-Christian, purely decorative populist asshole onto the ticket with you. I must be realistic and regard whomever you pick as a potential leader; choose wisely, or we're through. Again. And this time, I'm giving you back your class ring.

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July 21, 2008

Freaka-Teaser 1

See if you can recognize the voices of the individual writers/producers commenting on thisFreakazoid!* episode, recently uploaded to YouTube by Warner Brothers to promote the new first-season DVD:

To do that, I think one has to:

1) be paying careful attention;

2) be hella-hardcore as a fan; or

3) be me.

The best thing about Cave Guy was, without doubt, his voice. And the fact that he had a subscription to The New Yorker. One must admit that this is rare in a super-villain.

The Batman allusion, is, of course, quite topical at this moment.

h/t: Write Enough.

* It's my understanding that Spielberg has been bought out, and we can now refer to the series as Freakazoid!, rather than by the rather long, ponderous original title, Steven Spielberg Presents Freakazoid!

I'm sure that if I am incorrect I will be sued regarding this oversight: one does not mess with The Steven.

Naturally, I'm longing to remove the exclamation point from the name of the series, since it screws up my syntax. But it's a short hop from mandating that in the style sheet of one's blog, to mandating a consistent use of the definite article in the titles of periodicals.

Next thing you know, your style dictates that you treat The New York Times the same as the Los Angeles Times, even though the latter does not have a "the" in its name.

The following week, Western Civilization ends, due to a lack of rigor in the style sheet for one's blog, and one is left in a dystopian landscape out of the beginning of The Terminator. "No more big wheels; fleas the size of rats suck on rats the size of cats, and ten thousand peopleoids split into small tribes."

My understanding is that this is bad.

All for lack of a bit of stylistic consistency.

UPDATE:Oh, right: here's part of the original that the commentaries above were lifted from:

Is it me, or was there a lot of Jerry Lewis in the early Freaks? I meant that in the good way, of course . . . Wait. No. I didn't. I never "got" Jerry Lewis, and I watched him, like, almost once or so.

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More Defense of Starbucks.

Are you kidding me? Does no one remember what life was like before Starbucks popularized the idea of an American Coffee House (which, until then, had been a contradiction in terms?)

The problem went far beyond the crappiness of American coffee, though that wasn't insignificant. What changed was the idea that it was okay to hang out in an establishment for a little while. One could talk, read, study, write, without having the coffee-shop waitresses giving one dirty looks and rapidly calculating how much money one was losing them because they weren't "turning their tables over" quickly enough.

When I was a young teen I got 86'd from the Tiny Naylor's on Wilshire and Westwood for hanging out with a crowd of people who just went there too much, and stayed too long. That was in Westwood Village. We staggered it out after that, hanging out alternately at The Criterion Cafe (no longer there, and long-since replaced by a shopping center); Ship's (same); and Lum's restaurant, both in Westwood and Santa Monica (same; same). Sometimes we went to the Taco Bell in Westwood Village, because it was okay for us to stay there for a while.

Point is, before Starbucks brought that cool aspect of Euro-culture to the U.S., it just wasn't okay to hang out in restaurants, and therefore if you weren't old enough to go to bars (or not rich enough, or didn't care for the idea of being around drunks) there was noplace to go.

I mean, I survived by completely changing social crowds, and starting to socialize with teenagers whose family dysfunctionalities were further beneath the surface, so we could actually exist in their homes for long periods of time without being hassled by whatever parents lurked on the premises.

But not everyone's that lucky, and Starbuck wins big points in some quarters just for de-crapifying the coffee-drinking experience, which is achievement enough.

A common meme is this idea that Starbucks is a hotbed of elitism in the bosom of no-nonsense, egalitarian America, as opposed to good ol' Dunkin Donuts. This is a lie. Maybe people who live in La Jolla or Coral Gables get sick of elitism, but for the vast majority of us who live out in the great long tail of American mediocrity, a place that has pretensions to upper-middle-class culture, however transparently self-serving and delusional, is more than welcome.

The Starbucks I go to is next to a Burger King, a muffler shop, a Chaldean hooka joint, a dirt-cheap barber shop you could clear out instantly by shouting "La Migra!" and some sort of store front holy-rolling student ministry. On a typical 102-in-the-shade summer day, with the 18-wheelers rolling by on their way to El Cajon, I can do with the AC blasting and some gal crooning about whatever is troubling her sensitive soul at that moment.

It may not be America. I live in America and I want a place I can get away from it for 45 minutes and pretend I'm in Portland or wherever. Dunkin' Donuts is just more of the same. You go into Starbucks, buy The New York Times, listen to jazz, drink your latte, and for a little while, you experience a kind of relief. If you are worried that it's not authentic, then you really do have a problem.

So lay off Starbucks. America needs a big phony retreat from reality into a smug liberal fantasyland, where everything is hip and cool and the coffee is not OMG can-you-taste-the nuttiness-in-the-finish, but not half-bad, which is a lot better than most places can manage. A place where nobody knows your name.

A least, a "third place" wherein one isn't getting molested up in the bushes near UCLA by a 17-year-old of negligible intelligence.

Save Our Starbucks, indeed—though I think I might see a market opportunity for Seattle's Best, here.

Via Insty.

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Dutch Has Some Suggestions

. . . for new Constitutional Amendments. Some of these are keepers:

A healthy, hearty breakfast, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to make and eat pancakes, shall not be infringed.

Style, affordability and comfort, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to buy quality foot wear shall not be infringed.

Lethargy, sloth and ennui, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to watch c-span’s coverage of the House of Representatives shall not be infringed.

Read the whole thing.

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That Rejected McCain Piece

. . . that The New York Tmes didn't think was "fit to print" is here at Drudge, in case there are any multiple-celled organisms still on the earth who have not yet read it.

UPDATE: Insty has a mini-roundup on Gray Lady-gate.

Sometimes I wish that the Legacy Media would just go gently into that good night.

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Another Review of The Dark Knight.

Danny Barer has a review up of the latest Batman movie. I simply haven't heard anything but accolades about Heath Ledger's take on The Joker, and I may have to actually break a couple of my personal rules soon by

(1) leaving the house, other than to go to Ralph's or get my meds refilled; and

(2) seeing a movie before it comes out on DVD, which entails . . . well, (1).

In fact, we may have to actually either start going to The Cinema again, or break down and buy ourselves a relatively up-to-date television set. The one we are using now is hooked up to cable, but doesn't have a DVD player (it's the one that resided in my den at the house in La Canada).

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How Funny.

Ryan Lizza, author of that New Yorker piece that was insufficiently complimentary to Barack Obama, can't get a seat in the press section of Obama's plane.

It's not about the color of Obama's skin: it's about the thinness thereof.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What Do Unicorns and Sub-$5000 Cars Have in Common?

They are both mythical beasts.

I'm sorry, but if people didn't think Yugos provided sufficient protection, they are not going to buy inflatable cars.


h/t: Insty.

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July 20, 2008

Fun Ways to Fight Poverty.

Via a link at The! New! Ace of Spades! (posted by one of his "morons" as an "open blog" dealio), I got turned on to a series of PM articles about this rather amazing woman, MIT's Amy Smith, who works with people in the developing world to figure out ways to make life easier, healthier, and more productive.

It seems to go along with a lot of what I've been reading in Zubrin's book, about how if we switch from petroleum-based products to (phased-in) alcohol-based energy sources (ethanol and methanol), we could really transform life in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world. Ethanol, especially, can be made from so many kinds of biomass that it might really level the playing field between farmers in rich nations and farmers in the Third World, without throwing the former out of work. Creating a market for ethanol would be, in effect, to make a bigger agricultural pie for the entire world.

And then we might see "free trade" and "fair trade" co-exist. Which means that the libertarians and the progressives would have to fight about other issues. Fortunately, we're unlikely to run out of 'em any time soon.

Which is why I've come to believe that (at least in the short term) there's nothing wrong with making biofuels out of edible materials like corn and soybeans: the higher the prices for these materials, the more of 'em will get planted. And the more ethanol becomes a standard fuel, the more of it will get made out of nonedible material, or material that is otherwise a waste-product from producing food (stalks and leaves from corn; bananas that do not make it to market before they become overripe).

If we build cars that can run on ethanol, it will come.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:39 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Simon on Energy . . .

over at Classical Values:

If we can't drill our way out of our immediate problems, there is no immediate solution. Why? It is a matter of logistics and infrastructure. Our experience with the transition from wood to coal and coal to oil is instructive. Those transitions took about 75 to 100 years. Why? Whole new methods of production and infrastructure had to be developed. It is a problem of capital and logistics. Take our automotive fleet. It turns over at the rate of about 6% a year. That means a 15 or so year transition period if ALL the new vehicles embody the new energy technology. Add in another 4 to 10 years for the design of the new vehicles and the development of the support infrastructure. Say the new technology is electric of some sort. We need to be able to produce 15 million automotive qualified electric motors a year. So before we can even get up to full scale production of the transition vehicle we need quite a few new electric motor factories. How about power electronics to control the motors? Say the typical motor had a peak rating of 50 KW. That would require 750 megawatts of control electronics a year. Which is no small amount. We don't have the capacity for it. It takes 3 to 5 years to raise the capital and build a new semiconductor plant. Just to get a 15 year transition we would have to build all the support industry all at once. That will take around 5 years provided we know exactly what we want. Which just goes to show that nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it.

He concludes:

There is no magic bullet. We are going to have to muddle our way through. Slowly. For as long as it takes.

There are a couple of things to do while working towards change:

1. Do not panic
2. Drill for more oil

Read the whole thing.

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I Like the Fact That the Justices Included Drawings.

That's some attention to detail.

Supreme Court Rules Death Penalty Is 'Totally Badass'

Nice to see a little rigor in the current court.

h/t: Rachel.

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Well, Why Not Open Up the Whole Internet, Then?

No more screen names! No more anonymity! We could make the online world into a stalkers' paradise! Thanks, Virgil Griffith.

I know Wikipedia is different than the net at large, because of corporate users distorting their entries. But just as the solution for the problem of free speech is more speech, perhaps the problem of Wiki-bias is more bias.

The strange thing about Wikipedia is how little some entries are patrolled, but how heavily others are. I have a bad habit of editing articles about people I know, both to screen out some details that might be too useful to stalkers (the first name of someone's wife, which is immaterial to his career and—given the minor nature of his celebrity—unnecessary) and to add juicy little tidbits that I find interesting. Of course, finding published sources to back this information up isn't always easy, or possible. Sometimes my helpful additions get tagged as "unsourced," which is vaguely irritating: if I had time to write full-on biographies of these people, would I be noodling around on Wikipedia? There are only so many hours in a day, and there's the laundry to be done.

I'm particularly amused by how vigorously people patrol Adam Carolla's article on Wikipedia. I had placed a sentence in the "personal" section of his entry about how he likes pie, and prefers it to cake on his birthdays. This notation was removed within a few days. I asked the editor why he'd taken it out, and was told that since the factoid was "unsourced," it seemed like it might constitute "vandalism."

It occurred to me to just say "ask anyone—ask any of his friends. Ask Adam. He's into pie. He just is." But I didn't happen to care enough, and I let the edit stand. But I'm still enchanted by the idea that suggesting that someone prefers pie to cake is libelous. Didn't Oscar Wilde once sue someone for accusing him of liking pastries that featured fruity fillings? Maybe I'm confused on that score.

Another piece of my "vandalism" on Carolla's entry that was removed immediately had to do with the fact that when he and my husband were roommates (for about a month, in the 1990s), they had a big Moe head in the living room (one of the Pep Boys: you know—Manny, Moe, and Jack). I had thought that was safely in the public realm, because my niece tells me Adam has discussed living with my husband, and their having that Moe bust, on the air. But that datum was also taken out, perhaps because of the totalitarian overtones of the Pep Boys. How is it, I've always wondered, that they know what I'm after? Are they like Santa Claus, creeping around in my mind, determining if I'm naughty or nice? Who are St. Nick, Manny, Moe, or Jack to judge me, after all?

Of course, it may be that neither any of the Pep Boys nor Santa Claus know me as well as Virgil Griffith does. He might be the scariest figure of them all.

Wiki-hacker link via Glenn Reynolds, who may have more on people than Griffith himself. Those two could put together a nice little blackmail business together, come to think of it; the very idea makes me shiver.

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I've Always Liked Whoopi Goldberg.

But she's kind of a nigger; had you noticed?

UPDATE:I'm sorry; it's just that forbidden fruit thing.

Coates argues in favor of keeping the embargo as a whites-only deal. That has the advantage of making it perfectly clear that no one is saying it with malicious intent.

The disadvantages: (1) it gives white people too much power: after all, if context doesn't matter at all, then you've just handed me the verbal equivalent of a machine gun by virtue of my paleness. Shouldn't I have to work a bit harder than that to really hurt someone's feelings? There's nothing particularly clever or original about the word "nigger." Why not simply laugh at me and expose my supposed full-auto for the harmless cigarette lighter that it is?

(2) Doesn't the "non-whites only" rule get us into some sticky weeds? Are Asians allowed to use the word? How about other ethnic groups that—while Caucasian—are often considered nonwhite, such as Indians from India, American Indians, and Latinos? How about Jews, who (after all) are considered nonwhite by those who subscribe to exotic neo-Nazi philosophies?

Is there an alternative for such people? How does "nonwhite person, please," sound?

And then there's that issue of whether it's cool for Quentin Tarantino to write the word down in a script with the intent that it be uttered aloud by Samuel L. Jackson. Okay, or not okay? Spike Lee says "wigger, no." But doesn't that put white writers in handcuffs, and give black ones a bit of an unfair advantage? Or is that part of what Spike Lee wants to do?

(3) We haven't agreed on a definition of "black," which we'll need in order for this system to work. My understanding is that if someone is half-black (e.g., Barack Obama, Tiger Woods), then he or she is still qualified to use the term. But how about people who are only a quarter black? A sixteenth? At a certain point, doesn't it become a crap shoot?—as a practical matter, isn't one's vocabulary, a fe generations down the line, determined strictly by the accident of genetics? If you look black enough, you're qualified to use the word. But if you don't, you aren't. This leads to the awkward situation of two siblings—one of whom is pale enough not to qualify, and one of whom is dark enough that he/she is permitted to say it. (Remember the era of slavery, and how some black people were able to "pass" as non-slaves, or as non-blacks? I hope they didn't utter the word "nigger" while spying for the other side. That would have been naughty of them.)

I'm not theorizing, by the way: my brother and I look like we are different ethnicities, and his two sons look like they are different ethnicities. I look like a typical pale Euro-girl, and my brother looks like he's Latino or American Indian or something like that. (It happens to be a mix that includes some of the latter [we're 1/164th Osage Indian], but might also include African ancestry, and/or Jewish ancestry; I don't know, and I don't care.)

The fact is, I look white, and my brother doesn't. My father suggested that because of his dark skin, the sibling should change his last name to Gonzales, and apply for a scholarship to college as a Hispanic. The bro declined.

And even though my maiden name is very unusual, there have been people in our childhood and in our adulthood who knew both of us, but whose minds it never crossed that we were related. One teacher of mine in junior high school was just shocked to hear it; she couldn't quite believe that I was related to that guy who was two years older than I was, was also bright, and had the same last name.

In adulthood, another friend ended up working for the same company as my brother—it's a large software company. I asked her via email if she knew him, and got a rather astonished response: yes, she did. Was I sure that he was really my brother? (He had been for decades. We grew up in the same house, with the same parents. We shared household jokes. And then, there was the photographic evidence. I was pretty sure.) Again: skin color trumped the fact that we had the same unusual name, and that she knew I had a brother working in the city she had ended up moving to.

Race is largely a construct, and an irrelevance.

And you can call me "bitch" anytime you like; I don't think it's an inaccurate term for me at all.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 19, 2008

Housing and the Madness of Crowds

I was intrigued by this article in The Atlantic that discussed the housing bubble, and in a sort of Malcolm Gladwell-esque way, suggested that economic "bubbles" might be treated like viruses, and prevented in analogous ways to how we work to contain the spread of diseases.

I was of two minds about the premise: on the one hand, I suspect we will be able to eliminate bubbles easily once we eliminate human nature. But another part of me feels that—as Professor Sowell himself has suggested—a certain level of economic literacy is required for any citizen to function effectively in society, and that teaching our kids a bit more about the dangers of "over-exuberant" speculation might really work to take the edge off of economic highs and lows.

Thoughts? Can bubbles be avoided? Will the housing collapse have far-reaching effects over the next several years? And given how ingrained this sort of behavior is into human nature, is there something we should be teaching the youngsters that might do them any good? (Or will they, as young people are wont to do, insist on learning the hard way?)

(X-posted at Right Wing News.)

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July 18, 2008

Holy Shit.

Charles Krauthammer just kicked Obama's ass so hard, the entire state of Illinois is bleeding.

Get some ice on that, folks.

Sheesh. My life's ambition is now to make sure that Krauthammer never finds out that I exist, or that I have an ego of any heft whatsoever.

h/t: Memeorandum.

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Look. The Issue of Climate Change Has Been Settled.

If you start opening the debate up all over again, you won't have any time left over to do science. So stop that!

The earth is getting warmer, and it's my fault, and I need to either plant some more trees or stop breathing. Or maybe I could reduce it, you know: if I just sit here, very still-like, and don't do much of anything.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More Oleaginous News

Keepin' those Alaskan pipelines full, while protecting the environment. That's a win-win.

Aside from the prospect of expanding domestic oil supplies, the new production would help alleviate worries about the viability of the Alaska pipeline system.

The pipeline is transporting 700,000 barrels of oil daily, down from 2.1 million when the Prudhoe Bay fields were at peak production in 1988. If the amount of oil in the pipeline falls too low in the bitter Arctic climate, it is no longer able to flow south to the tankers that take it to California for processing.

Once more, an Ed Morrissey analysis is in order:

Oil prices have tumbled the last two days since Bush lifted the executive order. The price on a barrel of oil fell more than $10, the largest such reduction in almost 20 years. Analysts in the media claim that the prices have fallen due to “demand destruction” and the fears of a long economic slowdown in the US, in which less energy will get expended. However, that doesn’t take into account the rising demand from China and India, which is expected to grow — and so a lack of American demand doesn’t make a lot of sense as the reason for the sharp drop. The markets may have begun to factor in more American production — and more moves to open resources in the US could add to the momentum.

It's almost as if good news is reassuring to the markets or something. Weird.

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Not the Comfy Chair!

Now this is downright charming:

The Air Force's top leadership sought for three years to spend counterterrorism funds on "comfort capsules" to be installed on military planes that ferry senior officers and civilian leaders around the world, with at least four top generals involved in design details such as the color of the capsules' carpet and leather chairs, according to internal e-mails and budget documents.

Production of the first capsule -- consisting of two sealed rooms that can fit into the fuselage of a large military aircraft -- has already begun.


I'm not against providing luxury accommodations for political and military leaders, particularly given that we know sometimes they have to spend ridiculous amounts of time in the sky after terrorist attacks. I want them to be able to sleep aboard aircraft, if they have to be making decisions from the air.

And we might even need a version of Air Force One that has two beds; I remember thinking it was a shame that former President Clinton had to sleep on the floor when he traveled with Former President [H.W.] Bush. (A shame, but always appropriate for the younger man to grant the bed to the older man.)

But given what our troops are putting up with, and given what civilians are putting up with when we fly, this is an obscenity. If we've got that much extra cash lying around in the terror-fighting coffers, what a about coming up with a passenger-screening system that doesn't degrade the average tourist or business traveller, so we can be safe and still have . . . oh, I dunno: economic activity?

Captain Ed:

Perhaps the Luxury Pod has some sort of application for actual counterterrorist operations that we cannot yet discern. Maybe they’re meant to replace Gitmo as an interrogation capsule that would pass muster with Amnesty International. However, I’d prefer that counterterrorist funds get spent on actual counterterrorist operations, and not featherbedding the travel accommodations of VIPs and Air Force staff.

Un-frickin' believable.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 17, 2008

But at Night It's a Different World

. . . Go out and find a girl;
Come-on come-on and dance all night,
Despite the heat it'll be all right.

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
That the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city.
In the summer, in the city . . .

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The Drill Bit . . .

Mitch McConnell suggests in the WSJ that—notwithstanding it being an election year, and all that—Congress might consider doing its job with respect to the energy crisis:

The Gas Price Reduction Act is composed of just a few ideas. But taken together, the proposals will address the problem head on. They include deep-sea exploration more than 50 miles off the coasts of the states that want it, lifting a ban on development of the promising and plentiful oil shale deposits in western states, and increased incentives for the development of plug-in electric cars and trucks. The bill also includes provisions to strengthen U.S. futures markets and guard against excessive speculation.

The Gas Price Reduction Act is a sensible approach to gas prices that squarely faces something too many in Washington would rather ignore: the law of supply and demand. Conservation is an idea that both parties support and both parties have addressed legislatively. But if prices are going to go down, supply has to go up too. This means Democrats will have to abandon their traditional opposition to domestic exploration by lifting a congressional ban on off-shore exploration.

Don't forget the flex-fuel vehicles, guys: they're just as essential as hybrids/electrics to the transition we're entering. Probably more so. Unless you wanted to re-build the entire transportation infrastructure of this country from scratch? I didn't think so . . .

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

Via Hot Air.

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Now . . . About that Outer Continental Shelf Drilling . . .

It would be a good start.

I've been noticing that gas-price duality among the liberati for years now, and of course it's always made perfect sense to me. That's why I could hear NPR do a piece about the evils of high gas prices in the morning, and that afternoon report that our gas prices are very "low" by the standards of other developed countries. There's no contradiction, really: my lefty friends want to make things hard for the working class at the same time that they want to delude themselves that they really want to make things easier. Give with one hand; take with the other.

I still think we need flex-fuel vehicles (as Robert Zubrin insists in Energy Victory), and an eventual transition to alcohol fuels such as ethanol and methanol. We certainly need to end the tariffs that keep sugar-cane ethanol out of this country, and we must obliterate the ban on the use of shale-oil products in the U.S. military. But we also need to keep the oil flowing, preferably from non-OPEC sources. Like, um, let's see . . . how about the United States? That's one of my favorite non-OPEC oil-producing countries. I like Canada, too. And Mexico's cool. Also: the less we schlep our petro products around, the smaller our carbon footprint. Let's tread lightly on the Earth.

Drilling the OCS is only the beginning; we also must make better use of our own shale oil. And, contra Senator McCain, we must drill in ANWR. As Alaska's Governer, Sarah Palin, is fond of pointing out, the footprint of the proposed facility is the size of a metropolitan airport: in the vastness that is ANWR, you'd be hard-pressed to even find it if you didn't know where to look (or unless you had an ugly-meter on you—that is some hard-core ugly terrain).

So, yes, please: keep the pressure on. Drill that Outer Continental Shelf. But let's press on, here: just a handful of common-sense actions can bring us the energy independence we so desperately need, and bring us relief at the pump.

h/t: Ace of Spades

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

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No, No. I'm Home Tonight.

I'm not in Austin for the Defending the Dream Conference.

I'm not in San Francisco for the BlogHer Conference. (But please—call that city "Frisco." It makes people from the Bay Area go all red in the face, and it's fun to watch. Like anthropomorphized lava lamps, all of 'em.)

On the other hand, I will be in San Diego next week for Comic-Con (no, I'm not a fangirl; I will be there, as Joan Didion once wrote about the experience of going to college and thereby exploring the realm of the abstract, "on a forged passport"). But I'll be digging it anyway: I love the SD convention center, and the nearby gas lamp district with all those bitchin' art galleries. I'll be breaking in my new videocam at the convention, though I cannot vouch in advance for the quality of the footage.

But let me know if you'll be nearby and might feel an overwhelming urge to buy me a good cup of coffee (or a martini, for that matter). It's what you'd expect: there are certain parties I must attend, and those that I can blow off. So try me.

And I'll most definitely be at Siggraph this August. (Though the Free Pass Fairy hasn't been here yet. Hm. Free Pass Fairy, are you reading? Chop, chop.) I've been trying to talk the other locals into getting a room/suite for one night downtown so I can crash in his/her/their/its room instead of having to drive back home. But none of my friends seem to understand that my need to party trumps that $200 or whatever it is that's burning a hole in their pocket. (I have no idea what rooms cost in downtown Los Angeles. I don't care. I only know that I'm being asked to engage in mature behavior by attenuating my drinking, and that the very idea is offensive to me. Someone was supposed to simply take care of that problem, and I'm suffering. Suffering.)

So if you're going to be in L.A. for that computer graphics thingamabob in August, let me know. Especially if you've got a room. I'll be by around 2:30 a.m. with a sleeping bag and a bad case of the giggles. If you try to cop a feel, I'll blow your brains out with my Glock. But in the friendly way. The good way. I happen to b a great shot when I'm in my cups.

Where I am, tonight, if you must know, is in Glendale, California: I'm playing The Slider Game. The Slider Game is that fun little romp in which one opens various windows in the condominium, figuring out which ones will let in the most noise. Or, rather, the least amount of noise, but the maximum amount of air. This involves computing the way voices bounce off of the neighborhood's closest swimming pools and various external walls. At least, it would if I were one of you engineering types—but I'm not. Instead, I'm employing the Empirical Method to see how well I can cross-ventilate this place without enduring too many screams of childish laughter from the local kids, or too many earnest discussions over strong coffee in Armenian. (Because earnest people make me cranky, no matter what language they are speaking.)

Now some idiot is going to suggest that I turn on the A/C. No. We do not turn on the A/C unless the temperature reaches 100 degrees. Did my forebears, crossing the Oregon Trail in their covered wagons, go around turning on the air when the ambient temperatures were in the double-digits? They did not. They merely had an extra glass of pinot grigio that afternoon as they watered the horses. Or, if all their friends were having fun in Austin, TX, or in SF, CA at some sort of blog-related conference, they treated themselves to an extra olive in their martinis that evening as they circled the wagons.

The next morning, they started out again, ferrying the rest of their charges out here to the West Coast for whatever reasons people came West in those days. (Gold, or agriculture, or filmmaking, or computer programming, or defense subcontracting/space exploration: it's all the same, no?)

I come from pioneer stock, and I'm tough. No air-conditioning for me. It's cooling down, anyway. I might have some mango-pineapple juice, though. The white-trash-WASP forebears were way into that stuff as well.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

This Is Why I Can't Get Fat.

I'm just not smart enough to keep track of all the diets out there. Just reading about it all makes my head hurt.

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I'll Be Back to Blogging Later on Tonight.

Right now, though, I have to finish my waffle:

h/t: Right Wing News.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, You Know . . .

When I drop an earring at night while getting out of my car, I always lock the car door and head out for the area underneath the nearest streetlight, because if I'm going to look for an earring, I want to do it where the light is strongest.

Likewise, Democratic legislators are now very pro-drilling. They aren't in favor of drilling where there's a good chance of finding oil, but they are pro-drilling. Surely that's progress . . . !

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wants people to know that Democrats like oil drilling. A lot. They're just very picky about where.

"Democrats are saying let's drill. Let's explore. Let's get energy for Americans from America and have it for Americans," Hoyer told reporters Tuesday. He was announcing that Democrats will unveil an energy production bill Thursday.
Asked a minute later if the proposed bill would allow new offshore drilling, Hoyer told IBD no.

"There is not offshore drilling" in the bill, the Maryland Democrat said. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is similarly off-limits. Instead it focuses on drilling in already-leased areas.

Read: areas where the oil companies have already looked for oil, and found none.

Gotta go now: I'm headed to the latest Brighton outlet. Somehow, I never did find that missing earring. Mysterious, no?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 16, 2008

"Self-Defence" Is Not Granted by the Government.

It is a God-given right.

At least Britain is moving in the right direction.

Via Hot Air.

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I Think It's Probably More Difficult To Do a Great Job

. . . . when you're at war with the White House; that takes a lot of energy, you know.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coming Soon!

The Food Police hits Los Angeles. Yipes!

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 14, 2008

I Hate It When My Breakfast Cereal

. . . messes with my mind.

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

Your Move, Pelosi.

The President has just lifted the ban on offshore drilling. (That is the Executive Order side of it: the congress has its own ban, which remains intact.)

Pelosi calls this move a "hoax"; she'd prefer that we simply raid our own oil reserves. (Because why would you get a job and earn money when you could simply withdraw from your own savings account? The suggestion that we drill in the U.S. and off of its coasts is simply crazy talk.)

People are getting fed up with this obstructionism.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:40 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

The Politics of Selling Magazines

It is utterly impossible for me to look at the new New Yorker magazine cover as doubly ironic: that is to say, as meant only to make fun of some of the silliy ideas floating around out there about Senator Obama. (That he is secretly Muslim, that he and his wife hate America, etc.)

And because I'm unable to entertain the idea that the pubishers of The New Yorker are anything but staunch Democrats, I find myself somewhat confused.

Certainly the The New Yorker may publish what it likes, because (1) this is America, and (2) Obama isn't a Muslim. (And Mohammed is not present in the caricutature. Also missing: dogs and pigs.)

So to the first question that crossed my mind last night, as I toggled back and forth between being offended myelf, ("they've crossed a line this time, and for no real good reason") and childish partisan glee ("this cannot hurt McCain"), the answer seems to be "yes." There is nothing about political figures in this country that are sacred; there is no taboo against doing what the New Yorker did, and therefore no reason to do it just for the hell of it, just to make a point about what speech is and is not permissible in this country.

So did the folks at The New Yorker do this simply to . . . sell magazines? Just to get those of us who rely for our news and opinion on this internet thingie to march down to a magazine stand and ask for a copy of the print version of their little rag?

Oh, yes. Hell, yes.

It isn't that "New York Money Men" don't like guys whose middle names are Hussein. It's that New York Money Men find that they have a strange desire for . . . well, money.


It's not yellow journalism! It's journalism that's been color-corrected for what used to be a blue-ish tint.

The Obamas burn a flag in the Oval Office under a picture of Osama bin Laden, while unwinding in their favorite leisure wear: Muslim garb, military-style fatigues, a 'fro for Michelle, and an AK-47. No scare tactics here

Captain Ed at Hot Air:

Obviously, the New Yorker wanted to go for satire, poking fun at what they see as the image of the Obamas among conservatives. Just as obviously, the editors of the New Yorker showed very poor judgment in approving this cover. A satirical cartoon on the inside would have been more appropriate, but having this on the cover shouldn’t just offend the Obamas, but also conservatives who have a number of substantial issues with Barack Obama.

This makes the third bigoted attack from the Left on Obama. Two weeks ago, it was Ralph Nader acting as the arbiter of black authenticity, and last week it was Jesse Jackson wanting to castrate Obama. One side in this cycle certainly seems obsessed by identity politics, but so far it isn’t the Republicans.

Update: “Third bigoted attack” was tongue in cheek, people. Get a clue. The New Yorker is attacking conservatives, but Obama’s the one taking offense (and for good reason). Obama warned that the Republicans would obsess over his ethnicity, but so far only the mainstream Left has made it an issue.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:45 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 13, 2008

I'm Still Here.

I'm working on a few posts, but they aren't the "just throw 'em up" type.

There have been some family obligations today, and it's still going to be a few more hours before I'm back at the keyboard.

I promise, however, to be extra-brilliant tonight to make up for taking most of a day off.

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July 12, 2008

Goodbye, Tony Snow.

The first several words that come to mind when people young die so young of cancer are generally considered unprintable . . . not that I wouldn't print 'em. But it seems more respectful to the dead to let them go, rather than turning a public moment into my own private vendetta against cancer.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

AQ Is Downsizing . . . Um, "Right-Sizing." I Mean, "Adapting to the Market."

Basically, if Iowahawk didn't exist, we'd have to make him up.

But he does exist; thank God.

You know how I'm voting, right?—
"Burge-Goldstein, 2008: Hard Men for Hard Times."

Jeff and Dave? Sticking it to the Middle East and Central Asia! (That is to say, the parts that need to be stuck!)

I'll be in my bunk until Christmas, at least . . . send lots of pizzas and . . . . um, D batteries, just in case. Maybe an absentee ballot, to be safe.

Via the entire blogosphere, essentially.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:32 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 11, 2008

Speaking of Energy Policy . . .

". . . there's a mighty wind a-blowin', 'cross the land and cross the sea.

It's blowing peace and freedom; it's blowin' equality."

It's also blowin' increased exploration, enhanced use of shale oil, and environmentally sensitive off-shore drilling. It's blowin' development of that tiny pocket of ANWR right next to Prudhoe Bay, where happy caribou cavort around the oil operation and look up at us with their big caribou eyes, silently begging for one more little oil operation in the area, which will give them more warm pipes to nest under.

"More, please," they are saying. "And faster, please."

Listen to the wind. Listen to the caribou. Listen to the new polls. Listen to your heart.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 10, 2008

Uppity . . .

Injuns. Don't they know that we need to, like, tread lightly on Mother Earth?—but that, especially, they do?

Don't any of they people know their goddamned place?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Smells like a Zubrin-Zucker collaboration . . .

Unless I'm mistaken.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm Afraid I Just Don't Have Clarity on This Jesse Jackson Business.

Was he in Hymietown when he said it, or not?

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2030 Seems Late.

I'll take a look at this estimate for when we'd feel the effects of offshore oil drilling, but I would think that the effects would hit the market much, much sooner—particularly given the issue of speculation.

Right now, the Gulf and ANWR seem like the most petro-fecund areas, but we shouldn't be taking anything off the table.

(And, you know: hybrids. Flex-fuel vehicles. Fuel-cell research. No tariffs against Brazilian ethanol. More effective use of rail on the Continental U.S. And let's build us some sweet, sexy nukes.

But first—drill, Baby: hard and fast. You know how I like it.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yeah; It'll Fly.

Frankly, I don't personally have a problem with the ad. As for how effective it'll be in grabbing the swing vote—they're on the right track.

Via Hot Air, where Captain Ed calls the spot "provocative." Oh, I think if the McCain people had wanted to, they could have found imagery a bit more tawdry than hippies making out in Golden Gate Park.

But this is just a way of giving those Hillary supporters—feminists, blue-collar voters, and "Reagan Democrats"—a soft landing. And it's going to work. "We aren't against making out in the park. It's just that once in a while there are more serious things that need to get done, ya know? Like, beyond the hopey changeitude stuff."

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So, Let Me Get This Right.

Southwest may be on the list of "airlines that suck less." But the less-sucky ones aren't available through most of the standard online air booking services: you must actually go to their own website to buy a ticket there.

Of course, if there are only 3-4 non-sucky airlines, this doesn't sound too arduous. Now if someone would only create a price-comparison website for the Airlines That Don't Suck, we might have something.

Of course, as it is, including non-sucky airlines on the price comparison charts with sucky ones doesn't allow for an apples:apples comparison. So maybe it's just as well for the time being.

h/t: Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2008

I Just Watched A Thousand Clowns Again.

It was a birthday treat from the husband. As God is my witness, for years the title of that movie was generally treated with the numeral: 1000 Clowns. But now "1000 Clowns" is a rap group, and IMDB lists the movie as A Thousand Clowns. Amazon is using the words for it, but won't sell it. [Cue Charlton Heston voice: "Darn the luck!")

This movie is my family's signature film in the way that Harvey is my husband's family movie. But K Clowns always makes me cry (not in a bad way), for two reasons: (1) in this storyline the main character, eccentric as he is—beautiful and charming as he is—is forced to comes to terms with the world of work, of conformity. Of dealing with what he cannot help but perceive to be lesser minds. Contrast this with Harvey, wherein Elwood P. Dowd has to make a sacrifice similar to that of Harry Potter in The Deathly Hallows. In a move that must feel like a kind of death to Elwood, he is forced to put his love for his sister above his love for a (possibly) imaginary creature who happens to be his best friend.

But in Harvey, Elwood's sister realizes that forcing her brother to give up the "delusion" of a six-foot rabbit would change him, and ultimately she doesn't want her brother changed.

Deus ex machina. To some degree: the willingness to sacrifice turns out to be sacrifice enough, as in The Deathly Hallows (at least with respect to Harry Potter's own life).

In A Thousand Clowns, the Jason Robards character has it tougher [always the way, when one is grappling with oneself]: in order to retain guardianship of his nephew, he is required to get a job (a notion that truly horrifies him), and that means (as he vaguely conceives it) being nice to people whom he feels superior to. People he may in fact be superior to, the movie allows.

His quandary finally requires that he act like an adult, rather than drifting along in the dysfunctional role-reversal that has characterized his relationship with the nephew he had been raising, in his own way, up to that point.

A Thousand Clowns is a tough movie for Bohemians, for iconoclasts, for rebels who do and do not have causes—because in this story middle-class morality—the need for a modicum of conformity&mdashwins. Ultimately, playwright/screenwriter Herb Gardner suggests, we can each listen to the beat of our own drummer, as long as we don't do it on the clock. And no matter how bright we are, we must make our peace with the larger society around us. Do things that might appear to be "beneaath us." Engage in activities we don't particularly feel like. No matter how hippie-like we are inside, we all have (Gardner and K Clowns tells us), the responsibility to figure out what we want. And then—at least with respect to that one thingmdash;we must grow the fuck up.

Not a cheerful little movie. And yet still a very charming one, because the potentially distressing message is delivered with love. Or, perhaps, because it reflects the larger notion that dying to one's shortcomings/sins may bring about new dimensions of life we'd previously only dreamed of.

Dealer's choice.

* * *

A Thousand Clowns is also difficult for me personally to watch because it reminds me of Dick Siegel. That is, Richard W. Siegel, the former geneticist at UCLA, who was my stepfather (not legally, but for all practical purposes) for several years. Not only does he look vaguely like Jason Robards in the movie, but he turned my mother on to that film, and she took my brother and me to see it when I was something like seven years old, and he (the brother) was maybe nine. It was playing in a revival house in Maryland somewhere, and we got to stay up late on a school night to see this funny movie she thought we'd like.

It is a funny movie, but in a tragicomedic way, so I always weep just a bit when I see it on that account. And the rest of the crying—which I try to hide from my husband, lest he think I'm not enjoying it—has to do with how haunted I am by Siegel. By not knowing whether he's even dead or alive right now. By having lived in such intimate quarters with him for several years, and then having had to cut off all contact. (And that was a necessary evil: my mother simply could not keep her balance with that man around; it was a severely unhealthy relationship. Mom is a sensitive lady).

Still: for me, cutting off part of the past felt like—feels like—amputating a limb. (Yes: the neurons are still signalling from my stepbrothers and stepsisters in the Siegel family, with whom I've largely lost contact).

Last I heard, Dick had retired to the Pacific Northwest (a not-atypical thing for Southern Californians to do). Somehow I hope he's still alive, and that if he isn't, he died a happy man.

In the meantime, I have a black and white movie he turned my mother on to that features "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby" (which Dick, also, used to sing around the house).

I never learned to play the harmonica, as he could (though I tried), or learn to speak other languages, either (which did not really try to do). I was always very narrow, and rather alien. I ultimately didn't fit into academia any better than I fit into any other professional niche in this world. (That is not really good or bad; just a fact.)

As a child I was, more than anyone else, like the 12-year-old Nick in A Thousand Clowns, trying desperately to find the humor in all the silly, zany things others called "physical comedy." And trying to be polite about it. (Only two people have ever made me laugh at physical comedy: Steve Martin, and Bryan Cranston of Malcolm in the Middle. Cranston really gave me an appreciation of that art that no one ever had before. The couple of years that Attila the Hub and I watched Malcolm and the Middle regularly (because it was the only sitcom he could bear, and he loved it) didn't just made me laugh: they made me realize that I wasn't a total freak. (Just mostly one.) Because that one guy—Bryan Cranston—made laughing at absurd bodily movements the most natural thing in the world.

* * *

So thank you to everyone, for a terrific birthday: thanks to Attila the Hub, for the nice presents and the beautiful movie. Thanks to Fred Coe, for directing A Thousand Clowns, and to Herb Gardner for writing it. Thanks to Dick Siegel for stopping by in my life for a few years, and telling me tales about New York City and Real Delicatessens and Serious Academic Life.

Thanks to Jason Robards and Barbara Harris. And thanks to Barry Gordon, for being Nick.

And thanks to Bryan Cranston, for helping me break free of my (sometimes) overly cerebral sense of humor.

Sweet dreams, beautiful world.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Yes, Virginia . . .

there is such a thing as alcoholism.

With it being so overdiagnosed, and used as such a catch-all description among the twelve-step crowd for any essential element of human nature, it's easy to forget that there's a real phenomenon of addiction to alcohol.

So you could read this, or go to New Zealand or Tokyo something to remind yourself of the dangers of Demon Rum.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:53 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Essay Question

Friend Rin is back in the country, and would like to know how, exactly, the lives of people in developing countries have been improved by capitalism and trade.

Please don't giggle; just break it down in the most logical fashion you can, because I don't have the heart to assign her Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat as summer reading—particularly given how each revision of that book seems to make it longer and longer. It's like the Gravity's Rainbow of popular economics.

Better, perhaps, to give her the juicy Thomas Sowell Econ primer I started right before we moved. Unfortunately, it hasn't shown up just yet: I definitely outwitted myself when I packed it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Robert Zubrin and Energy Victory

I'm only on page 30 of Energy Victory, but the man is speaking my language: his first point is that there is one thing the U.S. government can do to facilitate effective research into new energy sources, and create a more neutral relationship between the petroleum industry and the U.S. economy: mandate that all cars be flex-fuel. Not just ethanol and gasoline, but methanol and gasoline as well. We will always need liquid fuels because of their greater efficiency, so government's place now is to create the conditions such that gasoline, methanol and ethanol can compete on a flat playing field.

And that doesn't exclude hybrid/electric cars: I'm a big fan of both. I just think that there will likely always be a need for some sort of liquid fuel liquid fuel, and we cannot tie our hands regarding what that turns out to be. I love my mom's Prius (except when I'm on a sustained incline), but there's no reason that the internal combustion engine in it has to be petrol-powered. And it's the same for the Volt.

Joy's Program to Save the World:
(1) Flex-fuel vehicles,
(2) enhanced domestic drilling,
(3) continued research into fuel cells [combined with bitchin' cool forms of electric power], and
(4) increased use of alcohol-based fuels.

There is more, but these are the fundamentals right now; I just wonder why no one else sees that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes? Sit him up!

We'll see if Zubrin rearranges my priorities 2-4 above. Right now, though, he and I see eye-to-eye on that first point.

But make no mistake; increasing domestic drilling is only a hair's width behind on my priority list right now. We can't do research properly without buying ourselves the time to do it. And necessity may be the mother of invention, but blind panic is not.

The energy problems are solvable, but we need time, good research, and flexibility.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 08, 2008

You'd Think

. .. rural areas would be more flexible about letting high-schoolers ride their horses to school, under current conditions.

You'd think.

But you'd be wrong!

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Good News: The Fever Has Broken.

The other good news: tomorrow I turn 46. I liked being an age that represented a venerated caliber and rock and roll singles.

But this age is divisible by two. I mean—all other things being equal—aren't even numbers preferable?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:40 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Aw. Come On.

Proper computer wear for conservatives consists of panties, a tank top or loose bra, and a robe, hoodie, or flannel shirt nearby for when the midnight breeze rushes in through the sliders. (Close the windows? No, never: it ranges between 80 and 95 degrees during the afternoons around here.)

And socks. Always socks. Wool most of the year; cotton during the dog days.

Let's stick to the facts, Chris.

And full-on pajamas? Strictly for wimps. With, um, all due respect.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:32 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

In Defense

. . . of futures trading, with a lesson from the past in case Congress decides to blame them for the current energy crisis.

They will anyway, of course. What else are they going to do?—look in the mirror?

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

I'm Still Around, But I'm Sick.

So between my head cold and a slight case of clientitis, blogging may be bogged down for a couple of days.

What I'm doing at this moment is watching an insane amount of Star Trek over the web, in an attempt to fill in one of my educational lacunae (as W.F. Buckley would have put it).

I don't know if anyone's noticed this, but William Shatner is . . . I mean, he looks young. Did they do that with makeup? Soft lighting? He looks like jailbait or something.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:21 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 05, 2008

Why Does WikiPedia Fascinate Me?

Is it some sort of self-destructive urge to squander my talent, or is this more like the William Butler Yeats problem?—

The Fascination of What's Difficult

The fascination of what's difficult

Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent

Spontaneous joy and natural content

Out of my heart. There's something ails our colt

That must, as if it had not holy blood

Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,

Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt

As though it dragged road-metal. My curse on plays

That have to be set up in fifty ways,

On the day's war with every knave and dolt,

Theatre business, management of men.

I swear before the dawn comes round again

I'll find the stable and pull out the bolt.

But we almost never do, and most of us are never quite sure whether that drive to do the Hard Thing (oh, shut up, ya pervs) is a measure of sickness, or the spark of something divine in human nature. How thin is the line, after all, between heroism and dysfunctionality? There are places where it is crystal clear, but they are in ministries and war zones: where I live, it's more complicated.

So, here's a true story: I'm eating brunch with Dr. Nurse, the Sexy Anglican Biblical Scholar. There is a salmon dish in front of her, and some sort of exquisite salad at my place setting, and no bottle of wine on the table.

Because if we order an entire bottle of wine, that indicates Intent. Far better to simply buy by the glass. Sure: it might cost more&mdaash;especially on Montana Avenue—but pinot grigio by the glass is Morally Sound, and you can't put a price on that. Furthermore, if the spirit strikes, you can order five glasses, which last time I checked is greater than 4.5. [Perhaps my engineering and/or math-oriented readers can back me up on the arithmetic.]

(Oh, get off your high horse: like we don't walk along Montana Avenue for two hours afterward, and window-shop and talk about sex and theology. It's not like I'd let her drive tipsy: I barely tolerate her driving without any alterations in her biochemistry at all. But I'm not her husband—for better or worse—so I'm not supposed to worry about all this.)

The point of this story being that she's smarter than I am, and once in a while it really shows. For instance, I only know the first two and the last two lines in the Yeats poem, but the good doctor is grilling me about why business is so interesting to me. (Perhaps it's because I need the money, Doll-face. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

"Oh," I mutter. "Just the fascination of what's difficult." I grab a bite of salad, being careful to spear lettuce, cheese, and papaya on my fork, all together. Otherwise, why bother?

"Right," she responds. "It's dried the sap out of your veins, and rent

Spontaneous joy and natural content

Out of your heart. There's something ails your colt

That must, as if it had not holy blood

Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,

Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt

As though it dragged road-metal. So your curse on plays

That have to be set up in fifty ways,

On the day's war with every knave and dolt,

Theatre business, and management of men."

I swallow my bite of salad. "You got it, Babe," I tell her. "I swear, before the dawn comes 'round again I'll find the stable, and pull out the bolt."

But, as discussed, we know I will not.

I flag down the waiter and ask him for two more pinot grigios, and flash him some eye-contact in case that might speed things up. (Laugh if you must, but it does: I got carded again on Thursday.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 04, 2008

Yes. I Am, Indeed, From Whittier, California.

But it was really James Thurber who turned me on to this poem, which has been going through my head all day for obvious reasons:

Barbara Frietchie

By John Greenleaf Whittier

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain wall;

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town,

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind . . .

. . . the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

"Halt!" —the dust-brown ranks stood fast;
"Fire!" —out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word;

"Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tossed
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night . . .

It isn't quite the same without Thurber's illustrations, which I may try to scan in tonight. But those lines: "'Who touches a hair of yon gray head / Dies like a dog! March on!' he said" always make me want to cry.

That is, there are principles of humanity, and decency that go beyond just about any conflict we might have as human beings. We wanted to know if we could end the evil of slavery in this country and still have a Federalist system that included reasonable states' rights.

The jury may be out on that, but respect for the loyal opposition and deference to one's elders are not a bad place to start in addressing our remaining challenges.

Happy Independence Day, everyone.

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Well, Goodbye Jesse Helms.

I woke up this "morning" to a debate among my sisters as to whether he was a warrior on the side of the angels, a crass legislative power-broker, or simply an asshole.

I know which way I'm leaning, but sometimes we get more objective information after people die. And in any event, the husband was a fan of his fiscal stubbornness.

In any event: RIP, Senator Helms.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Plague . . .

on both your houses.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy Fourth of July!

Those founding dudes were, like . . . smarter than the average bear, unless I'm mistaken.

Anyway, I'm still swamped with work-work, but I shall ask one provocative question, then go sleep for a while and come back to check in with my e-homies . . .

Which vegetarian hamburgers are palatable? Which ones even actually taste good? I'm especially interested in hearing from non-vegetarians on this issue, because I have a THEORY. So you need to feed me DATA. It's all very SCIENTIFICAL.

Oh, right: Question #2 would be something like--

If you do believe (as I do) that Thomas Jeffereson, et al. achieved some sort of real breakthrough in human governance, which of the founding fathers was the biggest genius? Who contributed most significantly to the things we like about the U.S.?

Remember: neatness counts.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:42 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 03, 2008

Tomorrow Is "Energy Independence Day"!

What a clever idea! But let's carry this into next week—as a matter of fact, the entire month of July should be Energy Independence Month: we've got to step up the pressure on our congresscritters to address this issue with something other than magical thinking.

Here's How the American Solutions is promoting the idea (and I'll have some more thoughts later; this is simply a Public Service Announcement):

Thank you for joining more than 1.2 million of your fellow Americans in signing the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition.

Congress has heard the message loud and clear, but many Members of Congress are still not listening to the will of the American people. This is why we need your help to declare this July 4th Energy Independence Day!

This week, Congress is on recess for the Fourth of July and will return to Washington, DC on July 7. During their 10-day recess, Members of Congress will be holding townhall meetings, attending parades, and talking with their constituents in their districts.

We encourage you to attend any one of these meetings to ask your Member of Congress if they support the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition. If possible, bring a video camera along to capture their answer. If you're unable to attend these meetings, be sure to either call or write your Congressman's office instead.

Here are a few more steps you can take to make this July 4th Energy Independence Day [and the entire month Energy Indepence Month!—Ed.]:

• Tell five friends about the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition;

• Call your local talk radio show about your Representative's position on the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition;

• Write a letter to the editor about your Representative's position on the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition;

• Download and print our handout to distribute at your townhall meeting or parade;

• You can find a new YouTube video, sample talking points, letter to the editor, and other action-oriented materials to guide you here.

This list is by no means exhaustive. In addition to getting your Representative on record, we encourage you to create your own activities surrounding Energy Independence Day. Your Fourth of July parties, BBQs, and neighborhood gatherings would be great opportunities to talk to your friends and family about the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition, and ask them to sign it.

Finally, after Energy Independence Day, email us your stories, photos, or videos to drillnow@americansolutions.com so we can highlight all of your hard work.

With your help, this Independence Day we will declare our energy independence. And we give our elected officials this choice:

Either take action to drill here and drill now for American oil or the American people will take action this fall!

Thanks again for joining the more than 1.2 million Americans of the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" movement.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

Working Tonight on Freelance Stuff.

So go over to Hot Air and have a good giggle at Harry Reid, who will be solving the nation's energy problems with solar power, wind power, and magic pixie dust. Fortunately, there are no difficulties in storing the latter to use for transportation and other costs.

Read Ed's commentary, too: the problem is not that alternative energy sources don't have potential; it's merely that they are not yet ready for prime time, and pretending that it's otherwise is merely going to risk at least a nationwide recesssion—and possibly a worldwide one.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Hanoi Hilton vs. Harvard Law School

Tony Blankley at Townhall:

Wes Clark is right. Merely being a war hero is not qualification for the presidency, although it is a hell of a start when compared with those of us who never served in uniform. And the more than five years as a prisoner of war with constant torture that McCain suffered through is also not qualification for being president -- even when compared with Obama's tough seven years of service at Columbia undergraduate and Harvard Law School.

But just maybe, the strength of character and the wisdom of knowing what really matters in life that young John McCain formed on the anvil of his captivity -- just maybe, those attributes are the beginnings of qualifications for leading the rest of us through a dangerous, morally ambiguous world. And when a man so formed then dedicates the next 30 years of his life to studying and leading from the United States Senate on national security issues, perhaps then we have the makings of a man fit to be president.

The test for Sen. Obama in this campaign will not be whether he can fly a jet fighter under enemy fire as well as McCain did or whether he can put up with torture in as manly a fashion as McCain sustained for more than five years or whether he can go through his life not being able to raise his arms to his shoulders because his body was broken by the [ . . . ] torturers. Obama, just as most of us, has been spared facing such tests and perhaps been found wanting -- as many of us surely would be.

So far, Obama has faced less taxing tests, such as whether to wear a flag lapel pin. So far, he has scored an incomplete after three tries. First he decided to wear a pin. Then he thought better of it and announced that he no longer would wear the pin, explaining: "You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11 -- particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security -- I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that'll be a testimony to my patriotism."

Then on his third try, during the heated climax to his primary campaign, he started wearing the pin again, I suppose as -- in his previous words -- "a substitute for true patriotism." Hard to know for sure what his calculations are on this vital matter. But that he does calculate constantly whether to wear the pin or not, there can be no doubt. The demands of patriotism are sometimes hard to know. What's a patriot to do? Life can be hard, very hard, out on the old campaign trail.

. . . . . . .

Anyway, John McCain had it easier over the North Vietnamese skies. He didn't have to decide about such things. He was required to wear his dog tags -- evidence of his patriotism. Some people get all the breaks.

h/t: Carol, The "Median Sib."

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Way Too Many Words in This WSJ Article.

But the way I read it, the impact of speculation is such that any obvious steps we take toward energy independence (drilling, alternate fuels, conservation, efficient vehicles) will affect prices much more quickly than one might expect if supply and demand were the only variables involved.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

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

So How Many Other Things Do Islamists Have in Common with Glenn Reynolds?

Hey—I'm just askin'.

The story just put me in mind of Blender Man—that's all.

(Look, I don't want to be an asshole, though I guess I am one when all is said and done. But if piggies are bad and doggies are bad and footsies are bad, and genitalia are bad, and all parts of the female body are bad . . . um, what are we allowed to talk about? Shouldn't there be a few things out there that aren't taboo, just to humor the writers and the poets and the photographers, and Madison Avenue?)

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2008

Slow, Slow Blogging Today.

For, lo—freelance obligations call, and the house is now so filthy that the entire building is about to be condemned. (Which I think would be a great achievement considering the fact that we've only lived here for a month—the husband, however, doesn't agree with me about what an honor it would be to manage that.)

But I shall be so scintillating upon my return that you won't even recognize me.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

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

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

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
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This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Cañada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

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

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

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: http://rpc.blogrolling.com/display_raw.php?r=59e4b55f70f50de810150859b200a635 is currently inaccessible

My Amazon.com Wish List

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

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

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

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

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

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


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

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


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

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

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


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

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

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

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

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

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

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

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

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

Mike Church,
King Dude

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

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

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

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

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

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


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