A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

31 August 2006

File This One Under "Intelligence Failures"

From the "guns don't kill people, idiots with guns kill people" file, via CNN.
Frank Sendejo, who lives near the apartment complex where the explosion occurred, said Wednesday he had given a group of children a 40 mm shell. Police said they have talked with Sendejo.
I'm sure his neighbours would like to have a little talk with him too.

What can one say in the face of earth-shattering stupidity like this?

I'm going to guess that Mr. Pendejo, sorry Sendejo acquired his 40-mm toy as some kind of souvenir.

I really, really hope this guy doesn't turn out to have a service record. If he does, the US Army will have to change their slogan:

An IQ of One

[Although given their "commander-in-chief" couldn't they (a-hem) steal a march on history by changing it now?]

30 August 2006

Happy Birthday To Yooouuu

Mr. R. Crumb was born today. Well not today, but on the same date a buncha years ago.

Crumb is famous for his "Truckin'" picture, his exaggerated, "balloony" style and self-mockery.

He is also particularly known for drawing women with what must be (lovingly) referred to as haunches. One wonders whence he draws his influences:

Much of his work was wonderfully scurrilous, and a massive amount of it was devoted to his own masturbatory fantasies. His comic creations have included Devil Girl and "That Madcap Ol' Mystic: Mr. Natural".

But he's also famous for his twisted cute-fuzzy-animal comic Fritz the Cat. It's been made into two different films, the first of which was the first ever "X"-rated cartoon. Crumb hated the film so much that he later wrote Fritz a story in which he sells out for fame and fortune, and is stabbed to death with an icepick.

A couple of other items:

Crumb had two brothers, both of whom were artistically gifted. All three were reckoned unstable, and Charles Crumb eventually took his own life.

Crumb has been the subject of a documentary.

He was instrumental in bringing Harvey Pekar to public notice, and thus launching American Splendor, which was filmed with Paul Giamatti, lately of Lady in the Water and more famously Sideways.

Wikipedia bio here.

It is an exaggeration, but not too much of one, to say that by printing the first fifteen hundred issues of Zap comics, Crumb helped launch the underground comix genre.

Daleks and Cybermen, Oh My!

And now a list of the Five Most Humanoid Robots, courtesy of Techeblog, which most assuredly rocketh.

I notice that the neither the current lame duck nor the vice president made the list. Neither did Steve Harper.

Initially I thought it was oversight, but then again, they're none of them particularly convincing as humans, really.

That shot of the Weekly World News' Cheney cover came from Mr. Mark Farmer, who provides some very pretty pictures, and makes for interesting reading, too.

Read the WWN. It's possibly my favourite newspaper; its biases are right on the cover, it sells itself as Truth with a capital "T" and has tried to trademark the term, and it's every bit as believable as the Asper papers or Fox.

29 August 2006


I've been swapping comments with Raincoaster over at, well you guess where. Some of the comments are happening in seriously disparate places. For example, I commented on her Absolutely Fabulous post (the show--the post was okay, not fabulous in itself ... ). I also dropped in a comment or two on her Dalek & Cyberman posts.

But it gets hard to keep track of it all so I thought I'd see where one might find Doctor Who, the Daleks, and Joanna Lumley all in one place. Where was that place? Right-o! I tube, we tube, YouTube!

Here is the 1999 Comic Relief Dr. Who episode (non-canonical, if you care about such things) The Curse of Fatal Death. Total time's about twenty minutes, so why not grab yourself a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster first? Oops--wrong series.

Part II (part I is below)

Part I (part II would be where, then? Right!)

Efficiency--it's what I'm all about, eh?

One Year On

From The Writer's Almanac:
It was on this day in 2005 that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans. The National Hurricane Center first took notice of the storm on August 23, when it appeared over the Bahamas. At that time, it had 35-mile-per-hour winds. It was named "Tropical Depression Number 12." The following day, it grew into an official tropical storm, with winds of more than 40 miles per hour, and the Hurricane Center changed its name to Katrina.


On the second day of the disaster, the reporters at the Time-Picayune evacuated their building. Two hundred and forty employees and some family members piled into all the newspaper delivery trucks available, and they drove out of the city. When they reached dry ground, they split up. One group of volunteers took a delivery truck back to the city to continue reporting on the flood.

The Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss wanted to publish a newspaper for the next day, despite his staff's evacuation from the city. He knew that the Times-Picayune hadn't failed to publish on a single day since the Civil War. They eventually set up a new office in Baton Rouge with help from the Louisiana State University's Manship School of Journalism. For the next few days, the newspaper was only published on the Internet, but it turned out to be an incredibly important source of information for displaced families.

Reporters on the staff continued working and writing even though many of them didn't know what had happened to their homes or even their families. By September 1, the newspaper had begun printing the paper again, and they delivered it free to shelters and hotels around the city. On Friday, September 2, reporters brought copies of the newspaper to the Convention Center, where many people had been living for days. Witnesses said that the people at the Convention Center wept at the sight of their hometown newspaper. The Times-Picayune eventually won two Pulitzer Prizes for its Hurricane Katrina coverage, including a gold medal for meritorious public service.

There's been a lot of discussion about the who's and why's of the Katrina disaster. Today I'll leave it to someone else. Reduced to the barest bones, it was a natural disaster and a tragedy, and today that's all that needs saying.

Let's read about someone who's doing some work down there: Via November Song (where there appears to be no way to permanently link a given post, sorry), and thus to George Rodrigue, we have the Blue Dog Relief fund.

28 August 2006

Sometimes a Certain Justice

Via I came across this beautiful video of Anne ("Stop me if you've heard this one before") Coulter getting stepped all over.

Things to enjoy: Her verdict on the search for Bin Laden: "Irrelevant" and her remark that "Hannity lets me finish". The maraschino cherry on top is the fact that this is the famed "Hannity and Colmes" talk show from the Fox "news" network, where a right-wing flamer named Sean Hannity (he's actually more of a right fielder, as in "so far out in that he's out of the ballpark) stages "discussion" with a slightly-less-so named Colmes. It's as staged and predictable as pro wrestling, of course.

Fox calls it "liberal-conservative debate" or some such.

What this means is: This is the one network a raving Nazi like Coulter could usually expect to be allowed to express her views on unopposed, and they don't!


Eventually she tears off her mike and clearly heads off in a tantrum.

In related news: a much cuddlier Coulter. Perhaps it's like pandas, and if we get them together they'll mate?

Nah--some things you just can't force a horse to do.

And just to round up the news: Progress on the war on terror. I've mentioned in other places that one of the advantages England seems to have in fighting this "war on terror" is that they actually treat it as a crime--a gradiose and vicious one to be sure, but nonetheless a crime (thank god for appointed judges). But recent noises from the White House indicate that the protection of law for terror suspects meets with a certain disapproval.

I think that as long as they're going to harrass people who haven't actually done bugger-all, and continue to profile anyone who looks a little too tanned, they need to make damn sure to apply the protection of British law to anyone coming within their sweep.

Hurry Up and Build the Damn Thing, Richard!

Among the people with more money than they know what to do with and who want to make their major contribution to Earth by departing from it are Bill Shatner, Victoria Pricipal, and Paris Hilton!

I'm starting a collection to get the Dubya cabinet in there. He was reluctant at first, until I told him that a one-way ticket would cost half as much as a return ... and that he wouldn't have to actually pilot anything. Plus, he can be assured that his popularity in a space shuttle might top 30% of registered US voters onboard.

Branson's going about this the wrong way. He should accept payment only for taking them up there. Upon their arrival in orbit, people on Earth log on to a special web site where you can donate towards a bid to either bring them down again or leave them up there.

I notice that Morgan Freeman's planning on going up too. Doesn't he watch the movies? He'll be dead within the first forty minutes!

Of course, if I were heading up on a shuttle with William Shatner I'd want to make damn sure my first name was printed on my red shirt.

That's it! From now on we'll call her "Ensign Hilton"!

26 August 2006

You Know You're a Blogger When

Well first off there's the constant parsing of your entire life into bloggable chunks. It's not unlike, presumably, that train of thought that passes through the minds of the people whose home video you see on television:

$#!7! That car just hit that old lady, flipped three times through a kindergarten, then two guys jumped out and sprayed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with bullets before the cops pulled up, parked on a flock of endangered penguins, tasered them all and started beating on those nuns with their nightsticks! Some of 'em are badly hurt! They need help!

I better go get my camera!"

A blogger would be administering CPR and saying to him/herself: 1 ... 2 ... 3... (£µ©λ have I gotta blog on this) ... 1 ... 2 ...

And of course there are the days when you don't feel like posting, but are doing so anyway.

Today: Honda manual hooks you up; courtesy of Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, also yclept Rusty and Dusty (from the Pixar film "Cars"--must be legal trouble as the link's no longer on their site). While you're there, check out their list of the 10 best and 5 worst movie cars.

I notice "Drowning Mona" didn't make it in there. Come on! Where else are you gonna see a car chase involving five Yugos?

25 August 2006

Productivity Killer!

Raincoaster has dredged up some less-than-repressed memories.

I never got Chez Héléne. I grew up in French Canada, where I assume it wasn't supposed to be needed, according the Parti Quebecois master plan. The hostess spoke almost entirely in French, but the audience crossed language lines. Shows you what kids are capable of when adults don't interfere, I suppose.

But while looking it up I found a few things from my own kidhood, and I'm too busy with work to write a real post (though it tempteth me greatly O Avid Fan, it doth!):

Bobino & Bobinette (also here).
It's weird. Having grown up with black and white TV, I don't remember the intro looking quite like that.

Nic 'n' Pic [WARNING: LOUD theme!] was a series which I actually saw in both English and French. And in colour, somewhere. We were one of the last families I ever knew to buy a colour television, but at the time I was young enough to watch these shows I knew only a few people who had télécouleur

But my heart belonged to Princesse Saphire. It was by Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy and much of the body of classic "Japanimation", as it was known. Tezuka was a brilliant perfectionist, master of the form and of character development. His last film was a re-vision of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

I have remembered this theme and the swamp opening across an intervening umpty-ump years with astounding accuracy. Possibly it's due to the impact the show had on me.

I didn't speak French at all well when I was watching it, so I have no idea how many episodes I saw before I realized the main character was a girl (in my defence, a girl dressed as a boy--it was a law-of-inheritance issue).

I've loved tough chicks ever since.

24 August 2006

Guns Don't Kill People: Morons With Guns Kill People!

Via Nag on the Lake:
Cullen told firefighters he wanted a cat rescued from his tree and knew they would only respond to a fire call, Edwards said. A battalion chief told Cullen to call animal control or wait for the cat to get hungry and come down.

Cullen apparently didn't like the response, Edwards said.

"He went back into the house, got a small black revolver and came outside shooting," she said.

This tells you most of what you wanted to know about pet and gun owners.

Why couldn't he just shoot the cat out of the tree if it was so urgent?

23 August 2006

In A Contemplative Mood

Mme Metro surprised me this evening with something I hadn't really had the capacity to enjoy as it deserved for some time.

No, not that. You came here for the Paris pictures, didn't you?

Now that he's gone: It was Live Between Us, the Tragically Hip's sort-of senior year album.

I think that a live album tells us that a band has, arrived, for lack of a better word. And that brings me to my loss of the capacity for enjoyment.

I haven't bought a new album in a long time. It's not that I don't enjoy newer material--although I confess a detachment from the constant repetition of "I-me", "I-me" that seems the hallmark of modern music.

But my musical taste grew, perhaps hardened, in the '90's--the second age of the hippies. In the mild euphoria that a president who never inhaled brought to the scene--a contact high from the last rush of joy that the baby-boomers had before they sank into fear and age, and the ease of the bars of a cage. And somewhere down the line I ceased to groove on good tunes.

I think perhaps that now I have arrived too. That I spent a long time on that ol' hamster wheel trying to get somewhere, and that finally I've been able to settle into a job I like, with a person I love, in a place I enjoy.

Now I can look around, get my head up and ... what, exactly?

"I fucked up," says Gord Downie in the background "Just a loss of momentum," or something.

Well for the moment I can bask in the monologic stream-of-consciousness rock that is the Hip on stage.

There's a certain risk in this sort of post. Wonder if you'll guess what it is?

Today I Notice

1)We have a new case of mad cow disease. Biiig whoop. The fact that we've caught 8 of them from a beef herd of however many millions suggests that the odds of getting a mad-cow steak approach those of winning the lottery. So I've decided that if I win the lottery I'm giving up beef.

I know, I know. You're saying "But Metro--that's just tempting fate!" Well I promise that I will devote part of my lottery winnings to the feeding and care of cows suffering from mad cow disease. That oughta satisfy Karma, eh? 'Specially since mcd can only be detected by postmortem.

Back during the second wave of mcd in the UK, my grandmother phoned my dad and explained that she'd given up beef, due to the risk of mad cow.

"Mum," he explained loudly (she was very deaf) "It takes twenty years to affect you. At 80-plus I don't think you have anything to worry about."

2) A Canadian soldier has accidentally shot a ten-year-old in Iraq. I suspect this was in order to show the IDF how it's done--accidentally.

Here's an interesting question. In Canada we have legal means to seek justice after someone kills somebody we care for. Lawsuits, disciplinary hearings and the like. What mechanism exists when your kid accidentally gets killed in a war zone?

The US military apparently has such a mechanism, but doesn't actually cover innocent bystanders per se. They compensate for accidental deaths caused by US soldiers, which seems to be a different thing from deaths occurring as a by-blow of combat operations. But there's no certainty as to numbers, and many families aren't sure how to apply for compensation.

So what was this? The boy apparently rode through a secured perimeter (one assumes it couldn't have been well-marked) as a passenger on his 17-year-old brother's motorbike. Soldiers claim the two ignored repeated warnings to stop.

I'm glad I didn't have to make the hot-button decision. Imagine being keyed up and watching that bike coming at you. In the event, it seems the soldier guessed wrong. I sympathise.

So what happens for the family now?

3) This "war against terror" thing--does anyone still think it's working out there? If so, here's a link from Terrorism News, a well-thought out and thorough sort of place where at the moment, Michael Schuer is holding forth, fifth, and sixth on the "progress" made against the idea of terrorism.

4) And a brief rant--dear gods do I hate fake websites. You know the sort I mean, the "search pages" that pop up in Google or what-have-you, but look from their summaries like real sites dedicated to whatever you're searching for. You have to look very carefully at the URL, and even then you may have trouble. Microsoft is currently suing some websquatters for trademark infringement and you know what? I'm actually with them for once. Unlike the ridiculous business of Mike Rowe, there's legitimate reason for a company which has a reputation (whatever that may be in your eyes) to take on people who pretend to be linked to the company.

Why I have this particular burr under my saddle: Today I went searching for parts resources for my Yamaha U7e, of the which I have blogged earlier There was bikezbiz, a garbage site, and a couple of those sites that say "find parts here" but mean "here you will find a million people trying to dig up the same bit's you're looking for and with no more sucess". And then a masterpiece of the genre cropped up. I read the landing page and thought it looked odd. No link on the picture saying "Browse our Catalogue", a field of text written in the oddly stilted way that lets you know it was a translation job (though that's par for the course with an ancient Japanese bike like mine), a few other details. But still it took me three page views to confirm what I suspected. Another @0))@^^|/| "search site". I wanted to link to it as a terrific, almost entertaining example.

But then I thought "screw 'em--why should I drive their traffic?" Go here instead: Swarm and Destroy!.

22 August 2006

It's Only a Matter of Time

Before my entire childhood turns up in little snippets on YouTube.

These are from the Electric Company TV show. All sung by Tom Lehrer, judging by the sound, although I've only ever heard him credited with writing the first two.

I've been waiting for someone to put this one up: Silent E

And for Mme Metro, whom I dragged out to "Tomfoolery"--an evening of Tom Lehrer covers:


And just one more to kill off your lunch hour:

Oh all right, just one more--but none after this, you'll have no room left for dinner!


21 August 2006

The Amazing Inflating Head Trick

From the ever-reliable YouTube and the unsteady-but-often-hilarious Joel Veitch

If you have enjoyed this twisted bit of weirdness, aren't calling the police to have me arrested (it's not as though it's never happened), and think you might like more, why not check out's famous Viking Kittens--(thanks to Frontier Editor for the link) long since departed for the voyage to Valhalla, or possibly Val's Halal Kebab Emporium (warning--stuffed full of offensive material, and I don't mean donair meat).

Hey, and if you made it this far click here for your special prize!
Okay--that's just a shameless plug to keep my picture up on

One of These Things

Is not what you thought. The charming Meander in her comment below, called my attention to the fact that one of those pairs of "breasts" on is in fact a guy's ass. This butt man has definitely gamed the system here. I have not myself viewed that particular picture closely enough to determine it. But at time of writing, there are only two cleavage pictures on the page.

Obviously a fair number of people are cruising sites looking for pictures of tits and ass. Or blogs that use the words "pics", "tits", and "ass" a lot! Who'd'a thunk it?

The butt man must be defeated! I'm not against boobs or butts, but I have a big problem with false advertising (see "WMD" anywhere in this blog). And also with the idea that a guy out there might have shaved his ass--ugh. So (shameless plug here) go click on, and click my pic!

I'm sure you'll recognize it. It contains no sleazy teens.

20 August 2006

Now They Tell Me

"Place the following snippet of code in your blog, to include your unique referral number to Your peep will gain in popularity with each unique referral."

Basically, I got nowhere from the hits I got yesterday. Boo!

Do me a favour--click on "25peeps" up there--even if you went already. Let's keep my "face made for blogging" on the page, eh?


Lying Abed

Not Abdul Abed--he's funnier.

Mme Metro came into the room and said:
"Hey--I'm on!"

I raised myself blearily on an elbow.
"Damn," I said "I thought they were supposed to e-mail us when our picture was put up."

"I didn't get one," she said "but my pic's up."

So I went to have a look.
"Hey," I called out "I am up there!"

Married to a blogger for five months and she can't recognise my profile pic. Whaddaya gonna do?

The worst thing is--she took it!

Since the point of 25peeps is sort of a game of "keep up", please go click on my profile pic to keep it alive.

I'm putting up pictures of myself around the house in an effort to keep my phiz in Mme's mind longer than it stays on 25peeps.

18 August 2006

This Explains a Lot About Iraq

President *** thinks the recent Israeli war on Lebanon was a win.
"The first reaction, of course, of Hezbollah and its supporters is to declare victory. I guess I would have done the same thing if I were them," Bush said. "Sometimes it takes people awhile to come to the sober realization of what forces create stability and what don't. Hezbollah is a force of instability."
As opposed presumably to the IDF, which stabilizes countries by waging proxy wars against what it so charmingly terms "civillian targets".

I know a destabilizing force that would not be missed, or are Iraq and Afghanistan stable yet?

And I know how to get rid of it. ITMFA!

*** was defending his criminal wiretapping program--No, no, he's not listening to criminals--unless you count the cabinet. He came up with this program to bug people. Any people. At all; without reason, without warrants, and without limit. In clear violation of the constitution he swore to "defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

He needs an issue he can win on for the Senatorial elections. Only 37% like how he's running the economy (the single-biggest vote-loser he's got, and he's got a passel of them). About the same number and falling like what he's up to in Iraq. No-one wants to modify the Constituion for him (on gay marriage or that polished perennial flag-burning). So what's a guy to do?

Listen to his neighbours, apparently. And repeatedly chant the mantra "We're at war!"--only he always forgets to add "because of me!"

Oh--and keep an eye out for another "terrorist plot broken up" OR a "successful terrorist strike" before mid-term elections. Two months to go.

I'm not "hoping" for one and I'm not even saying that the *** White House is deliberately "catapulting the propaganda" by making splashy headlines with TWAT whenever they're in trouble, but it's an amazing co-incidence.

And all it would take to confirm that suspicion for me is another distracting "success in the war on terror" being trumpeted just as the GOP machine starts to creak off to the junkheap it properly belongs on.

Shall We Tell the President?

Oh--that's right. He developed the approach. A bunch of clerics from Africa are holding their own conference on fighting AIDS with the assitance of the Almighty.
Olusegun said it was unplanned that the event coincides with the International AIDS conference in Toronto, Canada.

"This is a conference with a difference because God is part of it," said Olusegun, sparking a round of "Amens" from his fellow Organizers.

While delegates in Canada discuss the latest medical discoveries, Olusegun said any advances in treatment or a cure would be the work of God. "Scientific breakthroughs are God's blessing to society."

Inspiration for the conference came from a passage in the Bible that recounts a plague stopped by divine intervention.

"We are anticipating a similar response from God to the HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Olusegun, CEO of the South African-based Institute for Christian Leadership Development.

"If the guys in the Old Testament can get that response we know we can too."
Okay--firstly, God started the Old Testament plagues. Seems to me that he had the responsibility to clean them up!

Second: why would God suddenly clear up AIDS now? After however many million dead already? If you're able to cure AIDS by thinking about it, wouldn't a just and benevolent god have done it in say, 1979? Or is AIDS a curse on people who had shag carpeting and track lighting? Given where the major impact of the epidemic is being felt, probably not.

If you're a big fan of "faith-based" medicine, next time you're suffering from appendicitis or something, please don't go hogging precious hospital beds that us heathens need!

What I want to know is--how many actual scientists were at this second conference?

Near as I can figure, these clerics are saying "We're expecting God to cause AIDS to spontaneously vanish. But if scientists cure AIDS, it's only because God caused them to." Nice way to hedge your bets. Of course hedging your bets isn't what faith is supposed to be about ...

To prove the value of this "god-centred" approach Dick Cheney should have his "pacemaker" (it may actually be a liquid helium pump) removed and "give his problem to God", as they say. Let's see how well this idea works.

For the rest of us, let's keep in mind that while faith was responsible for the initial advancement of science, it is science that has since been responsible for the advancement of faith, which has tried to retard science ever since. Telephones and the internet made possible mega-churches, which made possible a president with no respect for nor understanding of science, which made possible an anti-AIDS policy without condoms or proper sex ed.

The equivalent would be to give a child a tricycle with only two wheels.

Hey--I have a terrific idea! A bracelet for born-agains that says: "Who would Jesus cure?--not those hellbound homos!"

Or--"If Bill Frist gets involved--PULL THE PLUG!"

Oo! Oo! This'll be a best-seller:
"Do not resucitate--I'm SAVED!"

17 August 2006

An Infinite Number of Co-Incidences Add Up To ...

What, exactly?

As the warning in this report states, beware what they call the "tautological" fallacy (actually it's the concurrence fallacy, or possibly the post hoc propter hoc): Just 'cause X and Y happen at the same time doesn't mean X caused Y.

From YouTube via Maribel:

Is there anything to this? The conclusion is left as an exercise for the Avid Fan. But when you hear hoofbeats, you expect horses, not zebras.

It looks increasingly like the Bush administration is no longer able to hide the fact that they're using The War Against Terror to manipulate people. I'm not a conspiracy nut. But I do believe that playing with "terror alerts" is an easy way to distract the public. Especially when your six years in power have been for the most part an unmitigated disaster in all arenas.

What would really confirm it for me would be another alert, or maybe an actual terror "success", happening soon to stop people from saying this sort of thing.

I'm sure they've noticed legislation isn't working.

Overheard in a Meeting

The outfit I'm now employed by is famous for meetings. As we operate across borders, time zones, and cultural gulfs, quite a number of these take place by teleconference, usually between groups of people gathered around a speakerphone looking like druids at a very small Stonehenge.

My uber-boss is a manic control freak from Connecticut. He has ideas so fast that sometimes they all come tumbling out of his mouth at once in stuttering spurts. His conversation loops and swerves, seemingly at random until someone in the audience takes control of the conversation and says facilitatively:

"So you want us to print another issue?"

More looping and swerving, then finally:

"Well ... I guess ... do we want to do that? Yeah. I guess. I mean, how do you guys feel about that?"

The last time I had the dubious privilege of being in on one of these things, I was bemused and secretly thrilled to hear the boss say:

"Are we limiting our market here? Temporally, yes; spatially no."

And I experience the following train of thought, quite clearly:

That is, our market is limited in time, but not in space.

Does he know something we don't? Is this an Earth-as-Krypton scenario? Perhaps we are secretly constructing a rocket to take our work to those three new planets which are as yet devoid of workplace industrial safety literature?

I wouldn't trust NASA with it--they can't even find the Moon landing tapes. Naturally--the whole "Moon Landing" thing was faked out at Trinity and then blown up with a nuclear bomb so no-one could ever prove differently. JFk planned it that way--just like he faked his own assasination and the death of Marilyn Monroe. People don't see the truth, but I see the truth.

You don't know psychiatry, I do.

I suspect my boss may be contagious.

It's wonderful to have what is sometimes a long stretch of correcting the same old errors from people who can't spell relieved by meetings with a man who thinks temporally, but acts spatially.

16 August 2006

Good News For the GOP

President *** did the best thing he could have done for Connecticut Republican senatorial candidate Alan Schlesinger: he failed to endorse him.

It makes good sense. As noted earlier, Karl Rove personally phoned Joe Lieberman (a once-credible, middle-of-the-road Democrat who voted for the Iraq war) during the Democratic primary to choose their candidate, despite knowing full well that Lieberman faces charges of being too chummy with the *** White House.

Lieberman's challenger Ned Lamont, who looks much left-er by comparison and opposes the war, was selected and will face Schlesinger in the senate election.

Lieberman has decided to run as an independent.

Rove's strategy is pretty brilliant here--he's already split the Democratic vote. Now to cap it off he's clearly advised his boss to avoid splattering the GOP candidate with the manure that now clings to him like a cheap suit (you know, the kind so badly tailored that it bunches up between the shoulder blades during a television debate?).

For possibly the second time in history (Clinton being the first) a president can do more good by not endorsing a candidate.

That way the hard-core Republican voters (who the hell are these people anyway?) can vote for their guy without the attached worries they have about the incompetent boob in the White House coming into play.

With the Democrat vote likely split, who knows. I mean, if that little tit *** actually got himself elected (that is, if he actually won the last presidential election--barring machines that voted for him and his, judicial errors, etc, etc, etc) then maybe Schlesinger can too! But if not, then he's quite likely to get Lieberman again, which hasn't exactly hampered him so far.

Birthday of Another Dead Poet

How that can't be an oxymoron I don't know. Nonetheless, in 1920 on this date, Charles Bukowski was born. I haven't read much of him, but Mme Metro really enjoys his work, and I've liked what I've read.

So, lifted wholesale from the Writer's Almanac for today:
Poem: "Girlfriends," by Charles Bukowski from Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line the Way. © Ecco. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


the women of the past keep
there was another yesterday
arrived from out of
she wanted to see
I told her

I don't want to see
I won't see them.
it would be
gruesome and

I know some people who can
watch the same movie
more than

not me.
once I know the
once I know the
whether it's happy or
unhappy or
just plain

for me
that movie is
and that's why
I refuse
to let
any of my
old movies play
over and over again


It's the birthday of Charles Bukowski, born in Andernach, Germany (1920). His family moved to Los Angeles when he was two years old. His father was a milkman, and so frustrated with his own life that he became very abusive. He once beat Bukowski with a two-by-four because the son hadn't mowed the lawn correctly.

Bukowski studied literature and journalism for a year at Los Angeles City College. His father threw him out of the house after reading some of Bukowski's stories. For the next several years, he lived as a hobo. He made money working at a slaughterhouse and a dog biscuit factory, and for the American Red Cross. While trying to write, he starved much of the time, limiting himself to one candy bar a day, while he wrote up to five short stories a week. Often he had no typewriter and hand printed his work.

He finally got a steady job as a postal clerk in the fifties. In 1960, when he was forty years old, he published his first book of poetry, Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail (1960).

He published more than fifteen books of fiction and poetry in the next ten years, including Run With the Hunted (1962) and The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills (1969).

Late in his life he said, "Every day I'll wake up around noon. Then I'll go to the track and I'll play the horses. ... Then I'll come back and I'll swim and ... have dinner and I'll go upstairs and I'll sit at the computer and I'll crack me a bottle [of wine] and I'll listen to some Mahler or Sibelius and I'll write, with this rhythm, like always."


Bukowski was also immortalized in the film Barfly, starring Mickey Rourke. My friend and Nanaimo Bulletin writer Eugene Krebs is fond of quoting the drunken toast of Rouke/Bukowski's rummy: "To all my friends!"

His epitaph was: "Don't Try".

On my own account I wish to ask Mme Metro whether there's not a message in the poem above regarding the increasingly unwieldy and unwatched DVD accumulation occupying serious shelf space in the basement?

15 August 2006

In Keeping With Today's Theme

i.e., Me not saying anything, here's a sweet little piece from the Fuggers.
I wish to state in advance that I give not a $#!7 about fashion, and that the machinations of the Big Brother television show are basically unknown to me. But given the week I've had so far (and O €λ^!$7 it's still only Tuesday!), letting mere ignorance stand in my way seems daft. So here it is:
I wonder how Jesus would feel about the fact that she is furiously exposing herself, all in the name of having enough chest space to accommodate the enormous cross hanging around her neck. If you believe my somewhat sacreligious Sunday-School teacher from my grade eight pre-Confirmation classes, Jesus would have loved this, because he was always a party animal and the first one out on the dance floor with the whores (I'm not kidding -- he said that). But I prefer to believe that Jesus would a) have bristled at the unflattering cut of her bra, because it doesn't give enough love to the female form his father busted His ass to create, and b) resented giving a cross the same genre and acreage of real-estate one would afford some $0.50 Mardi Gras beads, in part J.C. knows how people come by Mardi Gras beads and I really don't think he dug the word "tits" or "titties," which goes to show that Jesus is/was a smart guy indeed, as I know no woman who finds "titties" adorable or charming.
Clearly Metro and the Fuggers don't hang out in the same bars. Personally I kind of liked the outfit.

Coming soon (as I get around to it) a reflective post on women, and if you're good I'll tell you why Mme Metro thinks I have lousy taste in them.

Nothin' to Say Here

today. So I'm letting Garry Trudeau say it for me.

The ceasefire in Lebanon seems to be holding. Fingers still crossed. Lots of work to do that I'm so far ignoring today. I gotta get going.

14 August 2006

Whoa, whoa!

Okay, I enjoy my jokes. However, it seems I took this one too far:

Public announcement: Despite any statements or implications I have made to the contrary, Raincoaster (there's another link!) did not steal her cauldron image from this blog.

I apologize for any misunderstanding.


It is a mark of respect that having been thus plagued by Raincoaster (look--another link! Her plot is working, I guess) that I still permit her posting access on this blog, in the sure and certain good faith that she would never be so very, very small as to attempt to misuse the privelege.

Any more than she already has.

To End the Continual Whining

Raincoaster has been kind enough to point out, in her helpfully incessant and repetitive way, that I have thus failed to acknowledge my other failure this week.

I linked to a picture of a cauldron via Google's image search engine and mistakenly credited it to The Onion. The picture actually came from this site.

There, darling. I've said it. Now explain to me again how it occurred that this same picture turned up on a certain blog within hours of my linking to it? I'm perfectly willing to accept your explanation that it's pure co-incidence.

Honestly though. I'm not upset. Imitation is after all the sincerest form of flattery. Personally I believe it's all because Raincoaster, it is known, would do anything for a link. And now she has two. I'm sure she's thrilled.

13 August 2006

The 11th Hour

Finally a ceasefire has just about been thrashed out between Hizbullah and Israel. It's looking a bit wobbly going through the Lebanese parliament, but I think it'll hold.

Attampting to score some sort of military success, Israel is pouring fire into Lebanon until the deadline. Yesterday, as Cold Desert explained, jets targetted a major Beirut power station.

Why? Of all times why now, and of all targets why that one? If it had military value they'd have hit it already. It's not as though Israel's been a model of restraint and judicious use of force for the past month--so why this target and why now if not to just screw things up worse for the survivors, the disposessed, and the many, many wounded?

It's the behaviour of a bully--having been told he must stop hitting the other child he stamps that child's toy flat before leaving. Not that I really expected much else by now. I just hope the ceasefire goes in on time, and holds.

And perhaps Israel will remember how little they've accomplished through force the next time they face a choice like this one.


Mme Metro and I are walking past our local park, where a group of lissom and lithe young things is giving an exhibition of belly dancing.

Among their number is a woman I'll call Fatima. I don't know who she is, but she deserves a name like that to go with the way she throws her hips and shakes her ample booty around.

Fatima's race and her creed don't matter here between us, O Avid Fan. What matter are her stats. She is posessed of heavy, ripe breasts covered by a blue brassiere, and a sweetly curved fundament decorated by a classically filmy pair of harem pants; and in between her belly rises like BC place.

She has a dreamy look on her face, kohl rimmed eyes half-closed in an ecstasty that seems more than half-sexual. She is entirely captivating.

As I stand there with Mme, wrapped in reverie, a coarse voice cuts through the air:

"I can't believe the fat chick's up there."

A look over confirms my initial assessment. The speaker is six-foot-plus. Ridiculously, he is slab-sided and thick through his middle. The whole of his massive and hairy body is insufficiently hidden by a ratty black T-shirt and cargo shorts. White, dingy socks disappear into runners that look as though they've tired of holding his bulk. One meaty arm is clutching a cardboard carton of fries with gravy.

The cauldron calls kettle black I think to myself.

Mme Metro has a Saying:

"Dont feed and water your bastards". Briefly, anti-social behaviour should not be encouraged by paying it a blind bit of notice.

What this attitude could do to the careers of Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, Anne Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh unfortunately remains to be seen.

On the other hand, while cleaning the slurry out of the comments pile today, I found this:
Anonymous said...
Ahh...what would you do without other people's material Metro? Heaven forbid you have an original thought.

At least you admit when you're worng. I'm wrong most of the time. There...I said it.

Rainscoaster, no offense bro - but you annoy me.
You're correct anonymous--you're "worng" most of the time. At least if you're the same anonymouse I've seen in my comment section before.

Other people's material is my stock in trade--no, wait. That's Mizz Coulter. But it is an important feature of this blog. For example, I don't hesitate to use anonymous commentors who aren't willing to even assume an identity as fodder for a post.

C'mon, whaddaya think? If you post a comment as "Joe 7211" I'm gonna send the Terminator after you?

I, and the Metro persona, have a reputation, a small and fragile thing it's true. But people who come to this blog regularly assume certain things of this persona. One of them being that I will speak my part in this conversation honestly.

So when Metro screws up, he admits it, attaches his name, and posts it publicly. He also amends the original post.

"Anonymous" is exactly that. Nemo, no-one. No reputation, no fear of having to eat his words because he can always pretend to be someone else. Again.

Speaking of original posts. I'm reasonably sure that I do produce original work. And even the most derivative stuff I post here is 100% written by me. If I was to go around the 'net posting "anonymous" comments, then I'd be unoriginal: just like all the other 'nonymice. Wouldn't I?

Oh, and if it's important to you to say that bloggers annoy you, at least learn to spell their handles, eh?

For my part, it's important to mock anonymice.

11 August 2006

It's Not Miller Time!

Or at least not the Miller I thought it was.

A few days back I posted a rant & riposte here on Metroblog. Ahmad thought it was good enough to link to (thanks, Ahmad), and the ol' hit counter started ticking over pretty fast.

But, (and as Orson Welles used to say, it's a big butt!) I made one major error. The piece I quoted wasn't written by Dennis Miller, but by one Larry Miller. I discovered this only when I was cruising over at the invaluable Snopes Urban Myth Reference Pages. This is my failure to do due diligence. I can only say that the person who forwarded this piece to me is such a trusted source that I never thought to question the claim of authorship.

I still think Miller, D. is a right-wing blowhard. But I was wrong in my attribution of this remarkably vile piece to him. I'm not alone. In fact, Larry Miller's pieces have been linked to Dennis Miller at least twice!

So to Dennis: Until you do a piece this bad (though I have little doubt it'll come), my apologies.

And my apologies to the record number of Avid Fans who came over from Cold Desert and from Lebanon Hearts.

However, let's be clear on this: Admitting I was wrong as to the source doesn't mean I suddenly agree with the content. Miller, L. is still a gold-plated (yet disturbingly, uncomfortably small) prick, and his opinions weren't worthy of the time I wasted refuting them.

Again, I apologise for misleading all you Avid Fans out there. The right-wing unprintable who wrote this screed was a less-famous Miller than I originally believed.

I was wrong, and I admit it.

(Let's see anyone in the White House do that!)

10 August 2006

Fox "News"--Fairly Unbalanced

Nope--that's not a laugh track. That's whatever bunch of rednecks got a free ticket in their packet of chewing tobacco this week.

The problems Fox is known to have with the ideas of "fairness" "balanced reporting" and "journalism" are well known. But perhaps it's time to consider the role of the audience in this?

--via Nag on the Lake

Sometimes You Just Gotta Blog It

"World Trade Center:

Any concerns that left-wing rabble-rouser Oliver Stone would make a controversial 9/11 movie can be put to rest. He's left his balls at the door."
--Courtesy, did they but know it, of The Onion A.V. Club

Calling Oliver Stone a "left-wing rabble-rouser" is kind of rich. Like calling Ehud Olmert "wise, just, compassionate and merciful".

The Kiss of Death

Karl Rove (Republican Svengali) called Joe Lieberman (ex-Democrat, now independant) to wish him luck during the Democratic primary Tuesday. I'll let the piece speak for itself:
"'I called him. He's a personal friend,' Rove told reporters [...] The call was made late Tuesday afternoon, the day of the primary won by challenger Ned Lamont, who painted Lieberman as too cozy with Bush."
Now Rove is the clever dick who set up phone "polls" when the current lame-duck president was facing John McCain in the deep south.

The calls pretended to be from a polling organization (rather than a Republican PR storefront) and asked about whether respondents had any feelings about "mixed-race" families, implying also that McCain had had a black daughter.

In civilized society no-one gives a rat's ass about that sort of thing. But in the group Rove targetted, you might well expect a few voters to swing a little.

So assuming Rove isn't as stupid as his former boss ... why did he want Lamont to win?

09 August 2006

What the Hell Are They Playing At?

I've about had it with these @$$#0[€s.
Now Israel is saying they need thirty more goddam days?!

Why? Can't Olmert sleep at night knowing that a Lebanese kid might grow up hating him?

This reminds me of something--ah, yes:
2:16. Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry: and sending killed all the menchildren that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

2:17. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying:

2:18. 'A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.'
--from the Book of Matthew

Much good it did Herod in the end, too.

And all I can do is wait for Mr. "measured and proportionate" Harper to mumble some excuse that'll allow him to stand idly by while Olmert continues to try to prove his manhood.

You want a good reason not to have mandatory military service? So young men don't stay insecure about the size of their dicks when they get to be old men.

Olmert didn't do combat service time (though unlike *** he can actually prove he served)--he was a reporter. Combat journalism in those days wasn't as dangerous as it is now, and clearly Olmert feels he has something to prove. His defence minister also didn't see combat duty.

All of which explains a heck of a lot about the current war. Real soldiers don't buy into "death or glory"--they know too much about both.

I wonder if the IDF know that their bosses are committing them to a war that they seem less likely to "win" as time goes by? How do they feel about the fact that their kids'll have to fight the orphans they create today? Or are they just going to play it safe and commit outright genocide?

Clearly, no-one in the security cabinet has learned the lessons of history. Damn them.

Commentary From An American Jew

From this item from the Hartford courant:
Nor should the fact that the Israeli public seems unusually united in favor of the current offensive silence those of us who want the killing to stop now. Most Americans supported the hopeless, pointless and reckless war in Vietnam - which killed far more civilians than soldiers of any kind - until its last years, but the war's critics were right from the beginning.
--From Warren Goldstein

O Rapture!

Via Raincoaster, the Rapture Index, an apparently serious attempt to tell Jesus when Earth's ready for him to turn up. Again.

Sounds like the "terror alert system", which tells you what level of terror the US government wants you to feel. It comes in a bunch of colours, with the highest threat being red.

Ever heard anyone say that "today's terror alert level is green"?
When was the Rapture Alert Level last at zero?

The other problem, of course, is that all the people who truly believe in this idea of rapture (and smug, self-satisfied people they usually are) have hoodwinked themselves. So let me prick their balloons for them here.

The idea of rapture is that somehow, if you're "saved" (a True gun-totin', fag-hatin', Pat-Robertson-votin' Believer), you get scooped up alive before the Armageddon $#!7 hits the fan. Presumably your car then careens out of control into a school bus, killing all the little children aboard. You then get a box seat while the armies of good and evil fight their way to the end of the world.

But for the moment, god is okay with people making a fast buck off the idea, I guess.

Only one problem: there ain't no such animal as the "Rapture", and no biblical evidence for any. Most of the people who really believe the crapture know only two biblical verses: John 3:16 and Leviticus 18:22. So they're cruising through life believing they have advanced booking on game day and let me tell you--it just ain't so. The Bible clearly states that everyone gets to endure the final war.

If some of these forsaken redneck believers knew that, do you think president ***'d still be lounging on his ass in Texas while Lebanon burns? Or would he, maybe, actually be trying to exert some pressure to stop the killing?

He's a True Believer, though. So deep down he probably hopes this is the beginning of the End.

As for me--you have to ask yourself: Based on what these people tell me, Curt Cobain, Freddy Mercury, Jim Morrison, Ann-Margret, Dorothy Stratten, and Elvis are all probably in hell.

Well maybe not Elvis (for some reason most of the same people who condemn womanising, drug use, dancing and alcohol are united in their velvet-painting worship of a man who practiced all of the above).

On the other hand, heaven gets a bunch of ignorant, high-toned, literal-minded, self-righteous matrons with their sphincters torqued to 90 ft/lbs.

I mean, which one would you pick?

I'm not crapping on Christians--that is, those who walk the talk. My own parents belong to a Christian sect. I'm just doing what I do--crapping on a holier-than-thou mindset that stands against everything that I was ever taught Jesus stood for.

J.C., as I understand it, did not go a bundle on war, generally.

08 August 2006

Is This News Anymore?

Israel bombs Labanon. Again.

Despite clear opposition from civilized society and the UN, Ehud Olmert has taken the brakes off the Israeli war machine:
"There are no restraints on the army," Olmert said. "We are not stopping. The Katyusha (rocket) fire must be stopped. A situation in which a million Israelis are confined to shelters is unacceptable."
from Google News

Mr. Olmert is correct--there are no constraints on the IDF, just as there are none on Hizbullah, and for largely the same reasons.

Clearly a thousand dead Lebanese civillians are acceptable whether or not they had anything to do with Hizbullah. And I'm sure the rocket attacks will stop any day now: look how well the war's working so far.

To those who complain that Lebanon has rejected the UN ceasefire proposal: You shouldn't need a ceasefire to stop deliberately hitting civillians.

On the other side of the argument, a ceasefire is what you have to do before anything else can happen. The problem for Lebanon is: If you'd had recent experience of the IDF treatment, as the 700,000+ Lebanese refugees have, would you be anxious to return home, with the Israeli army still there?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, US president *** showed his commitment to the peace process by, as usual, having a lovely vacation.

07 August 2006

Nothing Today

Today is a holiday in many Canadian provinces. At the command of Mme Metro, I will be away from the 'net for the rest of today. God knows what she thinks can keep my attenion outside of cyberspace.

So I'm taking a short vacation

Hey--do you think Wal-Mart is going to start giving its employees paid vacation time?

Doubt it.

Maybe they could try for a living-wage-and-benefits package?

In any case, I'm not blogging today. Well, I kind of am, but you get the point. You'll also notice I'm posting this at about 4 AM to avoid the wrath of Mme M.

06 August 2006

With the Best Will in the World

I sat down just to look at the stats and here I am two hours on. I have to go. I got $#!7 to do today. So I'll let Larry Gelbart say a few words.

Gelbart is the TV writer and media producer originally responsible for M*A*S*H, and for a string of movie hits including the "Oh God" series and "Tootsie".

I always loved M*A*S*H, both the movie and the series, with its perpetual unstated tag line: "War is hell".

Note: "Oh God" is being re-made and is expected for release in 2008. I speculate that George Burns will reprise the role of God.

Here's Gelbart's blog post. Via Huffpo.

I Got One!

I got a Norwegian!
Dances around room hugging self.

Ha! And Raincoaster said it wouldn't happen--for years!

Of course without Ahmad, and Dennis Miller it wouldn't have. Ahmad's link to my counter-rant has given me six or seven times the number of hits I usually get. At time of posting, my Neocounter (below and right) says I've seen 365 visitors from 46 countries.

So if you haven't been to read his blog, please do. It's one of the places where people are trying to talk sensibly about the Israeli war on Lebanon. Though you'll have to forgive the odd Lebanese citizen losing it in the comment section ... hard to blame them, though. For myself, I'd appreciate more links to Israeli bloggers who are writing about this war in a measured and thoughtful way.

Current news in the war on Lebanon includes:

New Hizbullah rocket attacks have killed ten people. Yeah, they're @$$#0[€s. And that's the point, really. Israelis raids killed about eight. How different is that?

Some Israeli pilots are so sickened by the continuing slaughter that they have refused to hit "civillian targets" (an oxymoron if ever there was one).

The thing that gives me hope that peace is possible is that this happens (and gets hushed up) almost every time the war hawks start whacking people around: from 2003. Israel needs more pilots willing to make this sort of statement.

A UN resolution might bring hope of a ceasefire. It ain't much, but it's a start.

And the thermometers in hell dropped a degree today as Stephen Harper tries to recant-without-recanting his statement about "measured" and "balanced" Israeli attacks. He's clearly noticed that 45-55% of Canadians disagree with his stance on this.

Notice though, his claim that the opposition, by calling his initial response out-of-line, is essentially supporting Hizbullah's terrorist activities:
“What's the neutrality here? Are we neutral with regard to Hezbollah? Are we neutral on a terrorist group? I don't think the opposition wants to say that ... but if they want to say it let them say it explicitly.

“What exactly are they saying? Are they suggesting Israel unilaterally stop defending itself, or stop participating or declare a unilateral ceasefire?”
Tough words Steve.

Does not wanting Israel to bomb the $#!7 out of Lebanon mean I have to support Hizbullah rocketing towns in Israel?

At the moment though, I have another dilemma altogether:

Is Iceland still considered part of Scandanavia, or can I say I have the whole set? The official list at the Scandinavian tourist board is:

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • Iceland

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • But Wikipedia specifies that Scandinavia includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden and sometimes Finland. On the other hand, they say that "Scandinavia" often refers to the Nordic countries, as listed above.

    So I've either got one too many, or I'm still one short.

    Of course, some kind soul with a server in Iceland could help me out and end all this right now.

    05 August 2006

    It's Evening Time Here

    When I got up this morning I read my mail, and I got angry. So I wrote a long post to counter something I should have ignored.

    Ahmad kindly linked to this post both at his own Cold Desert and at Lebanon Hearts.

    Most likely it was because he flatteringly described it as "as interesting as a movie" (Thank you, sir), but today there've been about five times more hits than normal. If the theatres were open in Beirut I probably wouldn't have had any at all!

    There haven't been as many comments as I thought there might. I find that something of a relief--it means that you either feel I'm being at least truthful (flattering--I try) or regard this as harmless (which it is).

    My whole point was that there's more than one way to view the historic aspects of the Middle East conflict. There have been shameful acts on all sides.

    In the interests of fair disclosure let me say that I don't feel quite that way about the current Lebanon conflict, though. Nearly a thousand Lebanese dead. How many were Hizbullah guerrilas? Even the IDF puts it at no better than one in ten. Statistics like that aren't "collateral damage"--they're war crimes.

    Anyway ...

    I always keep in mind the possibility that I might be dead wrong about something. And when I saw all the people coming here I thought "$#!7--I sure hope I got all my facts straight".

    No-one has yet seen fit to slap me down if they weren't.

    The reason I felt it necessary to follow up is that I really just wanted to say "thanks".

    I hope some of you will come over sometime and have a read when I have something more pleasant on my mind.

    Oh--and one last item: at time of writing my little Neotracker below and right lists 43 countries. But still no Norwegians! C'mon. Please? All I want is one!

    And maybe an Icelander ...

    Long Post

    I mean really long. I mean, go-grab-a-drink long. If you're here for a quick and easy read from Metro, you won't get one today. Today I have written a long rant with my friend, Mr. Dennis Miller.

    Note to Avid Fans: Shortly after I posted this rant, I discovered that the piece cited below was not the work of Dennis Miller, but rather of an actor and commentator named Larry Miller.

    I apologise to my Avid Fans and to Mr. D. Miller for the error. Full details here. Still, my points are valid and my feelings on this screed remain the same. Please read on:

    A friend whom I regard with the greatest respect recently surprised me by sending me a rant by Mr. Miller, a US comedian. The person who sent this to me is one of the most gentle and respectful people I have ever known, and I confess that his agreement with Miller's position on this astounded me.

    Miller used to claim he wasn't conservative, but that's kind of fallen by the wayside. I leave this to you to decide, O Avid Fan.

    That he stopped being funny some time ago, when people who shared his views actually started running the US, is self-evident.

    Like Rush Limbaugh, he's a self-important blowhard schmoe with a show. Just as I am a self-important blowhard with a blog. The difference is he gets paid to do his thing, and one has to wonder why. I mean, the White House does better comedy: "We don't torture"--a classic! I'm still wiping my eyes.

    Below is reproduced his rant, as I received it, on the subject of the Middle East. In between his statements I have placed my ripostes in italics.

    For the record, Mr. Miller, I support the existence and the right to self-defence of the state of Israel. I don't believe in conspiracies Jewish, Arab, or otherwise. I dislike one-sided argument, though. So here's my take on yours.

    "A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.

    Deeper study, understanding and comment aren't necessary and would only get in the way.

    Here we go:
    The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention.

    Likewise "Israel" is a state conjured from nothing and built on Arab land to provide a homeland for the displaced Jews of Europe after WWII, because Flying Spaghetti Monster knows we didn't want them settling in England!

    Not to mention the millenarian Christians who were trying to hurry Jesus up.

    Oh--and Mr. Miller, ever heard of the British Mandate of
    Palestine? It pre-dates Israel, and occupied the same space plus.

    Note: Many Christian evangelicals support the state of Israel because just before Jesus returns, according to certain interpretations of the Book of Revelation, the whole place has to get wiped off the map.

    Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians." As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation." So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths, until someone points out they're being taped.

    What word shall we use, then for the sake of "honesty" in referring to the citizens of Israel?--And I guess you never saw a US citizen jumping for joy as the tanks flattened Kabul or Bagdhad. And clearly neither Israelis nor Americans rejoice at the slaughter in Lebanon.

    Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death." I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David but if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

    Wow. So, again--what's your term for the folks who are currently slaughtering Lebanese civvies left, right and centre?

    It's also worth pointing out that one may find it easier to put up traffic lights and a chamber of commerce if:

    1)You aren't ghettoized by the people who conquered you forty years ago and who haven't seen fit to accord you any sort of basic guarantees to ensure economic viability, like the freedom to move around to buy and sell things, etc; And

    2) your lights and town hall are likely
    not to get bombed to rubble as soon as the trigger-happy yutz watching you gets an itch.

    It's only in the last decade that they could have had their own country, really--at least one resembling the one they were asking for--which was a little piece of where they used to be before the arrival of some European DP's.

    The sticking point last time was Jerusalem. The Israelis just didn't want to share. Sure Arafat decided to be a dick about it, but he had plenty of help.

    That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course -- that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel.

    Hard to disagree with anything but your unstated contention that this somehow gives Irsrael moral superiority. It sure looks like they like a nice crispy pile of dead Arabs themselves.

    Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth . . . you know that's really saying something.

    Y'know--you're right Dennis! It's tough to understand how these backwards states survived without the help of some major powerful friends. Look at Saddam Hussein--a dictatorial regime propped up by ... oh. Okay--let's try another example: Saudi Arabia? Um, maybe someone else? Oh--Iran, no way the US ever helped them out, eh? Well except for the Shah, and those nuclear reactors.

    It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Midleast. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

    Just because you can't understand it doesn't make it a bad thing: take the Canadian medical system, f'rinstance.

    Or history.

    Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs; 5 million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

    What do numbers have to do with this? You can be hated just as easily by people you outnumber as vice versa. But if you insist on rendering this down to geographical area and football metaphors, consider this: If your two or three teams have been playing on the same field for two thousand years, how do you feel when a bunch of people with guns show up and draw a big circle in the middle of the pitch, then say "Play around that"?

    Not to mention that the numbers we're really interested in are things like "20" (as in "-mm cannon"), "16" (as in "American-supplied M-") and "18" (as in "F-")

    Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea?
    'Oh, that? We were just kidding'.

    I notice that you don't address the possibility that quite a number of Israelis feel that way about their neighbours too. It's just that when they say it, CNN doesn't broadcast it.

    My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine 500 million Jews and 5 million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.
    Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense.
    Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible.
    Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.

    " ... Strapping on dynamite?" Yeah, actually, I can. Menachim Begin was reviled as a terrorist for years. It wasn't until he settled down that he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Many of the early Knesset members knew how to wire a car ignition, set tripwires and kill silently. I assume they just picked those skills up from the BBC World Service Home Improvement Week?

    "Marshalling their forces" ... Oh forget it. Lebanon, that's all I need to say.

    "Dancing for joy" ... covered earlier. And Lebanon. Oh--and is that anything like getting your kids to write "With love from Israel" on the shells?

    "Spreading and believing lies" ... Without addressing your continued confusion of Judaism and Israel, which are very much not the same thing:

    1)Those lies are far, far older than Israel. They date back past Medieval history (y'know, all that stuff with the knights in armour and the Holy Grail that happened just before George Washington invented the wheel?) to beyond the Roman conquests.

    And those rumours get spread
    everywhere including your very own nation, Mr. Miller.

    2) Believing those lies? Well as your own president knows, you can fool a slight majority of the people some of the time.

    And it's easier to believe bad news about someone if they're firing missiles into your towns in "targetted assasinations" that take out your kids. It's also easy to believe in dark forces if a friendly outsider is supplying those forces with weapons, equipment and training.

    Oh, and let's
    honestly reverse the situation: If the Israelis had a great big 'omeland and someone dumped a huge crew of refugee Arabs, each of whom believed that this land was theirs by God's Word, what do you suppose the Israelis would do? Co-exist peacefully (as you do)or offer them a scenic drive into the sea?

    No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

    Ah--that's what flattened Beirut was it? A lengthy debate?

    Left to themselves in a world of peace, Mr. Miller, it's quite possible that the people you spit on for "never having accomplished anything" (at least in your lifetime) might actually get back to doing something other than building rockets. But of course that might lead to more algebra, and Mr. Bush fears that more than anything Osama could do to him.

    Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that, with vital operations in Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of super models who've just had their drugs taken away.

    Arab allies? Y'mean all those countries you've been reviling as backward and undemocratic? Surely America would never side with them?

    And those "vital" operations in Iraq--weren't they occasioned by the need to stabilize the place after some foreign army kicked the structure they had before to matchwood? But of course, that was necessary--to find and destroy the WMDs. No--to stop a mad dictator. No--to spread democracy ... or Santorum, I forget which.

    However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight.

    Wow. An example of understatement, Mr. M. I never thought you could do it. Let's see--moral-weight losers ... domestic espionage sans warrants? Invading countries unnecessarily, causing hundreds of thousands of unneeded deaths? Circumvention of the Geneva Conventions? Oh--and here's a goodie: Torture! ... I could go on. And on. And on.

    We've already lost some.

    Um ... [Opens and shuts mouth silently in wonder]

    After September 11th, our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day), start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

    Just the icing on the bullshit cake, my friend.

    If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan.

    Yep. But fortunately you have friends for that. Or so it seems. This just looks like another piece of the Bush Doctrine of preventing terrorism by killing terrorists before they can strike the US--along with baby terrorists, woman terrorists, grandmother terrorists, and donkey terrorists.

    Which of course in no way serves the interests of terror groups by providing them with the examples of hideous cruelty they so much desire, and driving survivors into their recruiting officers' loving arms.

    Not at all.

    04 August 2006


    Pat Robertson, who milks sincere believers for everything they're worth by shilling Jew-hatred, Muslim-hatred, political asassination and superman shakes, has suddenly emerged blinking into the light of the rational world.

    The damn-near-eighty-year-old claims that this summer's scorching temperatures across the US have converted him into a believer in global warming.

    My prayer: Dear Jesus, don't let anyone tell him his air conditioner's on the fritz!

    03 August 2006

    Good News From Iraq

    The situation is "not hopeless".

    Here at this blog I supported the Iraq war under the reasons we were at first given--remember that business? "Weapons of mass destruction". Ha--the old ones really are funniest, aren't they?

    Then came "links to terror"--I'd already fallen off the bandwagon by then--then "regime change", followed by "spreading democracy".

    With a hundred people a week dying in Bagdhad all these excuses seem insufficient.

    And with the war (and president ***) at an all-time low in popularity (except with AIPAC, for the moment) various people who want to keep their cushy jobs on Capitol Hill after the upcoming elections are now making rumblings about a timetable for departure. There's talk of bringing home a third of the forces currently stationed in Iraq.

    Doubtless once the troops are gone (and let's face it, most of the coalition of the pressured have left already) Iraq will suddenly become a stable, just democracy under the rule of law and the love of freedom so well-demonstrated at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

    So much for the "New Middle East". So much for stability. Even the politically expedient has taken a back seat to the desire of a small man to be a big one.

    The Number-Five Headline on Yahoo! News

    Hizbullah is asking for a cease-fire.
    Hizbollah warned Israel on Thursday it would fire rockets at Tel Aviv if Israel targeted central Beirut, but offered to stop its rocket barrage if Israel ended attacks on civilian areas in Lebanon.

    "(If) at any time you decide to stop your campaigns on our cities, suburbs, civilians and infrastructure, we won't strike with rockets any settlement or Israeli city ...," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a taped televised message.
    Now's Israel's chance to look good by stopping what they increasingly realise is doing them more harm than good. Let's sit and watch what they do, shall we?

    Oh. They've threatened to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure if Tel Aviv gets hit. Uh--guys? How much is left to destroy?

    So: faced with an enemy who agrees to do exactly what Ehud Olmert said Israel wanted them to Israel's response is to threaten more violence?

    Well thank god Stephen--I mean Steve--Harper's on the job. If he'd gone to the trouble of actually standing on his hind legs and saying something encouraging, well just think of the wasted energy.

    What the £µ©λ are all these dopey @$$#0!€s playing at?

    Taking Any Bets?

    I don't like linking to Murdoch or anything to do with the wizened old crank. But (speaking of crank) sometimes a terrific article just begs for attention. Like this one.

    Not unlike the Canadian Senate, this is a giant jerk-fest, with the difference that this may produce results--and money for charity.

    If Stephen Harper wasn't apparently sitting on his hands I'd nominate him as a constestant. From his creepy public persona and personal charm level it's evident he's got serious wood ... may be made of it, in fact.

    Too bad he's not made of tin, then he could get a heart from the wizard.

    02 August 2006

    He Cares! He Really Cares!

    Prime Minister (See: History, Accidents of) Stephen--I mean Steve--Harper has responded to my petulant and angry letter of some time ago, third in a series, concerning Lebanon and the outright murder of civillians by the Israeli Defence Force.
    Mr. Harper:

    Following the indiscriminate targeting of non-combatant
    institutions and infrastructure, and the deaths of 600
    Lebanese citizens, the vast majority civillians, at
    the hands of the Israeli Defence Force I have to ask

    Do you still consider Israel's bombardment a 'measured
    and appropriate response'?

    If you still feel that the killing of 600 is an
    appropriate response to the deaths of eight soldiers
    and the kidnapping of two more, then what is the
    appropriate response to the deaths of at least nine
    Canadians since this war began?

    I have written you twice previously on this issue. So
    far you have not deigned to respond.

    This is a time for action and leadership--Your silence
    shames Canada before the world.

    Tell me Mister Harper: When you speak grand words
    about humanity and suffering in the world, and about
    the need for action--in Darfur, Afghanistan, or Iraq,
    for example--who will believe you now?


    I had given up on hearing from the S.H. when the following graced my inbox with its presence:
    Dear Metro:

    On behalf of the Prime Minister, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail regarding the situation in the Middle East.

    Please be assured that your comments have been carefully reviewed.

    Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.

    L.A. Lavell
    Executive Correspondence Officer
    for the Prime Minister's Office
    Agent de correspondance
    de la haute direction
    pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre
    I notice he doesn't say who it's been reviewed by. I suspect CSIS.

    In Other News

    After some initial confusion that led to Tracksy thinking that I was, by myself, several dozen different visitors, I have straightened out my hit counters for the moment. I'm flattered to see people here from 30 nations, including Israel, Lebanon, and Singapore!

    But still no Norwegians. Could anyone living near the Finnish, Danish, or Swedish borders please step over and ask someone to visit this blog? I'd sure appreciate it.

    Iceland could be trickier, but first things first, right?