Monday, February 28, 2005

How Do You Like That For a Declension? 

Via Rox Populi, this humble blog learned of an exciting opportunity available to idiots with too much time and money on their hands:

Center for the Study of Popular Culture
- London June 2005 -

Tour London with Christopher Hitchens and David Horowitz
When: June 6th – June 15th 2005
Where: London, England
Who: Authors Christopher Hitchens and David Horowitz

If you’re curious, I already went on the trip in its initial test run a couple months ago, and translated the event into this handy instructional play:

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Left
A Short Play

Starring Christopher Hitchens, left, and David Horowitz, right.

Act One
“Fun and Games”

A room at The Athenaeum Hotel, London. CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS and DAVID HOROWITZ enter and switch the light on. Horowitz is drunk, laughing to himself. Hitchens, tired, lights a cigarette and gets himself a drink from the mini-bar.

“What a dump!”

Hitchens ignores him.

“What a dump!” Who said that?

I’m afraid I don’t know, David.

Of course you do!

I don’t know, David!

What’s it from, for Christ’s sake? Some damn leftist blog, some goddam neo-Bolshevist college professor.

I’m going to bed, David.

You can’t. We’ve got guests.

Why the hell must you always spring things on me?

They’re the goddam contest winners, Hitch. That big home-schooled lad, and the "athletic" blonde… you know, the one who’s waiting for marriage to—

I’m tired, David, and I don’t want to hobnob with your bloody acolytes!

Awww, poor Christopher Hitchens – poor, sad Christopher Hitchens! No one lets you smoke anymore and all your commie friends are mad at you! Well I’m sorry fucking Katrina vanden Heuvel and Edward Said aren’t coming over. Hey! Hey! [Singing] “You better run for your job if you can, Richard Perle! Hide your head in the sand, Richard Perle! If they blame you for the exit plan, that’s the end, Richard Perle!” Ha ha ha HA!!

Hitchens does not respond.

What’s the matter? Didn’t you think that was funny? You laughed your ass off when Norman Podhoretz sang it!!

If you say so, David.

The doorbell rings

David -- don't start in with the bit about our supposed love of and respect for intelligent, rational discourse, ok? And your thing with the professors?

Why the hell not? We're both shmart, educated people, right?! We both reshpect academic freedom, don't we?! I'll shtart in on the importansh of the Academic Bill of Rightsh or Freedom or whatever if I want to!

Just leave my lingering intellectual credibility out of it, ok?

Hitchens swings the door open.


Make sure to stay tuned for the whole gripping week! Horrible secrets will be revealed as Hitchens and Horowitz trade accusations of treason and latent Islamo-Fascism! Horowitz will add Hitchens to The Network! Hitchens will endorse three competing political parties, one at a time! And learn the amazing truth about their conspicuously absent intellectual credibility -- it's all an elaborate invention!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Down With the Ten Capitalist Ministers! All Power To the Soviets! Paul Giamatti Was Robbed! 

I'm on the network! I'm on the network!

Discover the Network, everyone's favorite treason-insinuating experiment in applying neo-McCarthyite (two can play at that game, Mr. Horowitz) plausibly-deniable slander to web design, has put me on the map -- or quirkily laid-out grid, as it were -- by labeling me an traitorous Enemy of the State, vaguely connected to everyone from Ramsey Clark to Ramzi Yousef! No, I haven't made it into the actual "network" yet, but the official "Discover the Network" Blog has called me out as a dangerous radical. Check it out!
February 15, 2005 9:17 pm
Neo-Bolshevist blogger Buck Hill sneers, "I Knew Danny Glover was Connected to Mohammed Atta."

Omigod! I'm a famous fifth-columnist! A "neo-Bolshevist," even! I mean, they have pretty high standards when it comes to assigning ideologies, you know. Wonkette stand-in Choire Sicha is mislabeled as a "Leftwing blogstress" (Mr. Sicha is, in fact, a radically anti-Catholic free-soiler blogstress), and everyone else is called a "liberal" or "leftist." My post's revolutionary sarcasm was clearly enough to push me past mere bourgeois liberalism to actual Marxist-Leninism. Peace! Land! Bread! Blogs!

Gimme Site-Specific Art 

Saw Albert Maysles today. I was walking around Central Park shouting "where the hell are the 'Gates'?!" and selling construction-site safety vest swatches to German tourists. The legendary documentarian was riding a golf-cart with his crew and some of those Gates employees with the big tennis-ball lances. When they started filming I considered finding a hippie to stab, just to liven things up a bit, but the nearest ones were way back at the sparsely attended anti-war (?) protest on 82nd.

If you haven't seen The Gates, you've missed your chance. You'll just have to make your own gigantic populist public environmental art. Wrapping Castle Clinton in gaffers tape hasn't been taken yet -- get your application in soon. You'll want to finish your work by the fall, to beat out the SoHo-based husband and wife artists who are dressing up Garibaldi like a mummy.

Seriously, though, it was pretty neat. And that's about all you can ask of $21 million temporary large-scale public art these days, isn't it?

Conventional Wisdom From a Parallel Universe, Delivered To Your Doorstep 

Thankfully, the Magazine ain't gettin' all salt-of-the-Earth on us:
"A few years ago, diners became fascinated with roasted beef marrow, which is eaten by scooping the wiggly marrow from leg bones and spreading it on toast."


The City section discovers Queens:
"New York is still mostly made up of regular people wearing regular clothes, eating regular food and going to bed at a reasonable hour[!]"


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I Was Out Late the Other Night 

President-For-Life Sheelzebub is taking applications for Cabinet Appointments.

I've always considered myself good tyrannical dictatorship material, so I've obviously got my eye on a few positions. But it's so hard to narrow the choices down -- look at the openings:

Minister of Village Green Preservation; Undersecretary of Honky-Tonkin'; heading the Department of Monkey Business; Chairman of the Sideways Was Overrated Committee; Secretary of Dandyism, Foppishness and Coxcombry; Speaker of the House Party; Minister of Bands That Sound Like Television... or, of course, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Perhaps, in honor of our departed Doctor friend and the fact that I'm going to see Jon Langford on Friday, I'll declare myself Minister of Fear and Whiskey.

And you shall all tremble before the power of literate leftist country-punk! I shall tour and record for almost 30 years with recognition and respect only from rock critics and aging hipsters! I will see country and punk merged with great success and renown by other artists a decade after having pioneered it! I will be a test of musical snobbery! I will be really fucking good, seriously!

The Best-Of Post 

Buck Hill, named after The Replacements song named after the shitty "Ski Area" (it sounds a little bit like "Fuck You," you see), is now a year old. It was started in the wee hours of a night much like this one, while my roommate was listening to Journey. It shares a birthday with Johnny Winter, W.E.B. DuBois, li'l Dakota Fanning, and the Polio vaccine. The day I started, Secretary of Education Rod Paige called the NEA "terrorists" and Atrios linked to two hot congressional candidates (the guy, more leathery than hot, lost).

New visitors will note that the archives skip a few months -- much like Andrew Sullivan, I am a lazy, easily distracted little prick with a short attention span; which is to say, I took last summer and most of January off. But if you're new here, here's some old shit -- it's new to you:

I'd Rather Be Right Than Be Henry Clay
I'd noticed a paucity of meaningless lists in political blogs -- this was quickly rectified.

God's Consolation Prize!
I almost wish this little jerk hadn't disappeared off the face of the Earth. He'd make a worthy adversary.

Shadow Puppet Government
This one's pretty fucking timely, ain't it? We were so young then...

West Virginia: Thin Skinned
This one ends with a funny joke! (The article in question was about a hilarious t-shirt that said "It's All Relative In West Virginia" -- better commentary available here, but don't tell anyone)

National Commission On Those Who Trespass Against the United States
Janet Reno + O'Reilly = Comedy Gold!

Featuring the now-famous Farmer-Labor Robot Joke. Jeez, you can't go anywhere without hearing that one these days. The rest of the post isn't that great.

Urban Renewal and Other Modern Tragedies
This one's for the Minneapolitians. Especially that fascist Lileks, who talks real pretty 'bout old buildings, but who would personally tear down First Avenue if it made his white ass feel safer downtown.

Someone Give Me a Fucking Book Deal
Still the number one result for a Google search on "Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia summary".

Something That's Been Bothering Me For a Long Time
Occasional contributor Ross discovers the horrifying truth.

'W' Is For Women. White Women.
The New New Security Moms

NYU Will Raise Enough Money To Rebuild Iraq, Then Spend It Educating the Olsen Twins
In which I fisk the Dean.

Nast Comic Standing
Political cartoon. See also the following post.

Get Your Smear On
Was I the Ur-Rude Pundit? No. No, I was not.

Town Fulla Losers
In which I exploit the biographies of loved ones for a laugh.

Ceaselessly Into the Stupid
I beat The Daily Show to this story.

The Selling Of the Internets
I'm still kinda proud of this post I wrote on and then..., though the critical reaction, if I remember correctly, was negligible. It's the only serious piece on this list, I promise. Clunky writing, now that I re-read it, but the point is one I will probably try to make more gracefully over and over again for the rest of my life.

Anyway, enjoy. Because I'm fucking retiring from the money I made on this bitch.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Not Perfect Grammer, Always Perfect Timing 

Please note a few additions to my well-groomed and neatly tended blogroll, left.

Rox Populi, from whom I stole the funny picture of Lego Andy Warhol and Batman, and whose Hunter S. Thompson Random Reader was (and remains) the best collection of online material penned by or relating to the Good Doctor available since that Dark Day.

The Rude Pundit, whom I am deathly afraid of.

And Corndoggerel, whom, after a scant month of blogging, probably already gets more traffic than me. And he drops science like Galileo dropped his orange.

Also - Why Is There No Pornography On the Internet? 

I think in the recent Estrich/Kinsley/Drum/Slightly-more-than-half-the-species debate, something has been missing. Specifically, where are all the Conservatives in the blogosphere? A quick glance at my own blogroll shows there is only one, a General J.C. Christian, heterosexual patriot, whom I have linked to primary out of a concern for balance.

But even long searches of the blogrolls of other bloggers on my blogroll turns up nothing. Look at the recent "Koufax Awards" -- were there any Conservative (or even moderate Republican!) bloggers nominated? No. No, there were not. Not one. None. Just kidding there is one are two but on one blog. But only two. Because there are hardly any conservative bloggers at all, and those few that exist are unpopular because I have never read them, which means they are not very good.

I wonder why that is. No, scratch "wonder," I agonize over this alarming fact. Is it because of the Internet's roots as a method of distributing bootleg recordings of Phish concerts? Because blogging is an essentially useless act of complete political impotence, thus lending itself well to modern Democratic thought?

Perhaps Conservatives are too stupid to learn the basic HTML necessary to "link" to things. Well, if Conservatives want a piece of the blog revolution (which will be both televised and liveblogged, and then fisked), either they will have to adapt or I will have to ask again in a few months.

Next week: Why are there no blogs written in other languages? And why doesn't anyone post pictures of cats?

PRETEND UPDATE: I was alterted to the conservative-leaning Giblets at fafblog, along with the moderate Medium Lobster. That is a group blog that tends to be dominated by the liberal fafnir, but, nonetheless, I have added them to my above post and re-calculated.

New York: Where the Police State Has a Sense of Humor 

If you've spent much time in Union Square in the last, oh, couple years, this article is damn funny.

Mr. Blank was on trial for refusing to get up from a front row bench in a courtroom. The row, as court enthusiasts know, is reserved for police officers and lawyers. Mr. Blank, however, was representing himself in a case related to a protest and argued that he should be allowed to remain. A court officer disagreed, and Mr. Blank was charged with attempted criminal contempt.

Mr. Blank, 30, a gadfly of the city's criminal justice system, is perhaps best known as one of the leaders of discussion sessions held three times a week in Union Square Park. His arrest in the bench dispute and subsequent trial was a chance for him to be heard on some of his favorite topics: police states and higher-power conspiracies.

Last week, the court was a reluctant but captive audience. In four full days of trial, Mr. Blank held forth on everything from American settlers to a secret plot by the head judge to destroy him. Judge Ferrara listened, his face strained but his tone polite.


The defendant, his shoulder-length hair tied in a ponytail and his slightly rumpled suit jacket hooked behind a blue plastic comb that poked out of his right back pocket, said, "Judge, bear with me. If I can --"

"I will no longer bear with you," the judge said in a controlled tone. "I have been bearing with you for four days. Finish your testimony."

At another point, Judge Ferrara rebuked Mr. Blank for "flipping through papers and fumbling and not speaking."

But Mr. Blank, who frequently rummaged in a blue canvas bag stuffed with a legal pad, file folders and various plastic bags, absolutely refused to be rushed.

"I have case law on this," he said. "It's in my bag. By the time I find it I won't be able to finish my speech. It's called ... Oh, I can't remember."

Problems with organization continually dogged Mr. Blank. For example, he was not allowed to call a witness from the audience because he had not gotten her full name.

"What is her last name?" Judge Ferrara asked.

"Her name is Lauren," Mr. Blank replied.

"Lauren what?" the judge asked.

"I don't know her last name," Mr. Blank said.

"Denied," the judge said.

Some of the back and forth was a legal primer. The judge at times instructed Mr. Blank, who had spent hours in a law library in Brooklyn preparing for his case, on procedure.

"You can't take it back," Judge Ferrara said, when Mr. Blank wanted to strike something he had said, while being questioned as a witness. "You put it on the record."

Mr. Blank attempted another tack: "Well, withdrawn."

"You can't withdraw testimony," the judge said. "You are testifying."

Monday, February 21, 2005

Four More Years 

What can we do to help him? I do not know him, except from his books, which are brilliant and honorable and valuable. The evidence in those argues that reality is killing him, because it is so ugly and cheap.


As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about it. I am told that he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily sane. But we will be doing what he wants us to do, I think, if we consider his exterior a sort of Dorian Gray facade. Inwardly, he is being eaten alive by tinhorn politicians.

The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can do for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor. From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter Thompson's disease.

- Kurt Vonnegut, "A Political Disease", 1973

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself
ASPEN, Colo. - Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of journalism in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.

When the Brown Buffalo disappeared, we all lost one of those high notes that we will never hear again. Oscar was one of God's own prototypes-a high-powered mutant of some kind who was never even considered for mass production. He was too weird to live and too rare to die....

Public Art Brings Out the Smartass In All Of Us 

Batman, Famous Bear, and Andy Warhol visit "The Gates"

(via Rox Populi, who got it via someone else, and so on ad infinitum)

The Discourse Is, At This Point, A Superfund Site 

Time Magazine's "Blog Of the Year," POWERINTENSITYNETLINE, still riding the wave of their successful campaign to imprison (and hang, like we useta doit back'n Dubyadubya Too!) Jimmy Carter (the former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, not the submarine) for treason, continue to demonstrate the frank, honest, straight-talk that has made them Time Magazine's "Bestest Blog Ever." When a post of theirs was challenged by a lesser blog, one that Time Magazine has never even heard of, POWERINTENSITYNETLINE bloggers responded with their typical award-winning rhetorical prowess:

You dumb shit, he didn't get access using a fake name, he used his real name. You lefties' concern for White House security is really touching, but you know what, you stupid asshole, I think the Secret Service has it covered. Go crawl back into your hole, you stupid left-wing shithead. And don't bother us anymore. You have to have an IQ over 50 to correspond with us. You don't qualify, you stupid shit.

The P-ETC. blogger who wrote that was Harvard Graduate and attorney at asbestos-defending firm Faegre and Benson, John H. Hinderaker. You may know him better by his nom de ridiculously-stupid-for-a-grown-man, GIANT ENGORGED GUN... er, HINDROCKET. Feel free to shoot him a super extra-polite note about his continued misrepresentation of the Gucket story (he still refers to left-wing bloggers "posting" nude pictures of Jeff/James -- as if we stole them from his nightstand) at POWERINTENSITYNETLINE@GMAIL.COM!!!! -- I know I will.

Semi-Famous People You Should Either Lose or Gain Respect For 

Paris Hilton has the following people's phone numbers:

Wilson, Luke
Perlman, Ron
King, Stephen
Newsom, Gavin
Dave, Super

(It's hard to justify my having cared enough to look through Paris Hilton's illegally hacked address book, so I'm not going to. But Gavin Newsom, people!)

Discover The Hackwork 

Discover the Network's charming blog, "Eliminationist Rhetoric Central", features a post that seems to be saying we should have Ward Churchill hanged. Wait, strike that "seems to be saying" -- they are demanding it outright. And about damn time! The poster is himself a professor at the University of Haifa, so he ought to know that Academic Freedom only goes so far -- and it certainly doesn't protect unpopular ideas!

Here are the relevant bits, awful writing partially expurgated, incomprehensible argument intact:
Comrades! The time has come to give Geoffrey Perry his rightful place in history. Perry is one of history’s great unsung heroes. His act of courage illustrates how the world once dealt with the pro-terror professors and "intellectuals" of the West and perhaps how it might deal with some members of the anti-Western Left today.


Lord Haw-Haw was the Ward Churchill of World War II.


Haw-Haw’s ass made a rapid recovery that allowed him to be hanged as a traitor later the next summer. Yes, Britain, the mother of all democracies, hanged traitors. It did not give them tenure at its universities.

And all in that oh-so-funny style that passes for "satirical" on the other side of the aisle. Seriously, Horowitz -- aren't you rich or powerful or something? Can't you buy better blogging than this? There aren't even any fucking links in that post! Back when you were a Stalinist you published Hunter Thompson and Pete Hamill and Sy Hersh and Adam Hochschild -- sure, they're commie fascist jihadist satanists according to your new ideological classification system, but at least they could string a meaningful sentence together!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Land of 10,000 Assholes 

Those wacky Minnesota Republicans -- previously seen forbidding poor people from enjoying themseves and attacking F. Scott Fitzgerald for being less wholesome than comic strip children -- are still plugging away at their long-term goal of making their midwest-progressive liberal home state into Mississippi with snow (and a dose of Plymouth Colony Puritanism -- a decent jury-rigged fit with the otherwise bland Lutheranism of the state that still retains the strictest blue laws this side of Connecticut):

Castration proposed for sex offenders
Serious sex offenders who prey on children in Minnesota should be subject to court-ordered castration -- surgical or chemical -- a group of Republican legislators proposed Thursday.

"At first glance that may seem to be a little overboard," said Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, chief sponsor of a bill introduced in the House to promote what he called "asexual rehabilitation" for pedophiles. "But it would control the urges that they cannot control themselves."

Honestly, these people play the political game with such naked cynicism that it's occasionally surprising, but damned if it ain't effective. The Republican legislator method of Crime Prevention is to pick a group that most people don't like (child molesters, poor people, smokers), and promise swift and righteous punishment for them. The legality or effectiveness of the punishment as a deterrent (or even as a plain old punishment) aren't the issue -- even getting the damn bill passed isn't the issue -- it's being on record as strong-to-the-point-of-sadistic against immoral behavior of any stripe. It may as well be Witches they're going after (surely Wiccan Schoolteachers or some other such nonsense are on some wannabe State Senator's Get List for the 2006 campaign) for all the difference it makes to victims and perpetrators of actual crimes (or to those lazy welfare mothers or murderous smokers -- not to mention the dreaded single-mother/smoker/welfare-recipients who eat junk food). So you just have to come up with some off-the-wall ripped-from-Nathaniel Hawthorne punishment for any invented/overblown threat to decent (read: white) hard-working (read: economically comfortable) moral (read: suburban two-holiday Christian) folks, and those people will say, "gee, I don't see the Democrats coming up with a solution to the shoplifting crisis or those people in the city who take public transportation to public schools to DEAL DRUGS -- I may not agree with everything Mr. Emmer says, but I do know that he shares a similar distate for drug dealers," and then the Eliminating Bus Lines Taken By Drug Dealers To Public Schools Act of 2005 is passed by the House to great acclaim, and anyone with any sense moves to New York and watches their home get taken over by toothy assholes with talk show host hair who talk friendly to th' white folks while destroying the cities for their crimes, chief among them being having too many disenfranchised brown (and red and yellow) people without money. And the Democrats (who in Minnesota borrowed the name but not the principles of those lamented old socialists the Farmer-Labor Party) will run the undying, immortally useless spirit of Hubert H. Humphrey, taken human form in his clone-children Buck Humphrey, Skip Humphrey, Biz Humphrey, Fab Humphrey, and Zeppo H. Metrodome Humphrey-Terminal, all of whom are unthreatening to either business interests or the nationally funded and professionally groomed Republicans they'll lose to. Finally, the dream having been achieved, we'll all have a statewide celebration at the Capital to unveil our new slogan, Minnesota: South Dakota Without Tourists.

Mark E. Smith Stars In SHREK THREE-AAGGHH 

Today's Jim/Jeff/JD/Guckert/Gannon Wrap-ups here and here, you filthy perverts.

In other, more important news, the Silver Jews are recording again with an all-star (used loosely, semi-ironically, whatever) lineup -- it's practically a Pavement reunion, featuring Stephen Malkmus, Bob Nastanovich, and Steve West. Scott Kannberg and Mark Ibold were not invited, but they totally don't care. Gary Young is, as far as I know, still alive.

Paul Westerberg is touring, but doesn't seem to be heading out to my coast any time soon. Reunion talk is in the air these days (thanks to the Pixies, and, credit where credit is due, A Flock of Seagulls), but Replacements fans shouldn't get their hopes up (not that they ever have) -- Christopher Mars would have to be dragged kicking and screaming from his table at the Uptown Art Fair back to a drumset, and Tommy Stinson may still technically be the property of Axl Rose. But Paul does let slip that he and Tommy have recorded a song for the upcoming Sony pseudo-Pixar animated movie "Open Season," (???) for which Paul is also recording a (raspy, weary) voice part. It's some sort of movie about a cute bear and a park ranger, or something, and the IMDB says the current cast is (in its entirety) Ashton Kutcher, Martin Lawrence, Debra Messing, and Paul Westerberg. In terms of creative casting, this is something like "Shark Tale 2" starring Jason Biggs, Chris Tucker, Cameron Diaz, and Thurston Moore.

Paul will be playing a charming, wisecracking emu who is constantly pissed off that Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams and Rob Thomas all got filthy rich ripping him off.

Improvised Explosive Light Orchestra 

Remember when the National Guard Band was shipped off to Iraq, along with the first entire National Guard division to be deployed since Korea?

Well, the New York Times has a fluffy feature story about it today!
The 199th Army Band has had to cut back on its repertory these days. After all, it is not easy playing Sousa when half your woodwinds and a quarter of your brass are in Iraq.

"Sergeant, I'm going to need you to cover the tuba part on this one," the conductor told the trombone at a recent rehearsal.

"Yes, sir," came the answer.

The tuba was in Tikrit.


"The band's upset," said Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Martellaro, its conductor and commander. "Everybody thought the band was a sacred cow. We all thought there's no way they'll send a Guard band to Iraq."


Today, it is made up mainly of high school band directors, music teachers and professional performers. Mr. Martellaro, for example, leads a high school band in Highland, N.Y. His French horn, Sgt. Peter Bellanca, teaches music at the College of New Jersey. Sgt. Thomas Gorman plays trombone for Off Broadway theaters and acting troupes in the Hudson Valley. In his spare time, he plays with a group that performs Renaissance music.

The band is typically called upon to play at state military ceremonies. It might perform when a commander leaves a base or at a Veterans Day parade. Two weeks every summer it goes on tour around the region playing outdoor concerts or the occasional Nascar race. Like all Guardsmen, its members gather once a month to practice.

So it was something of shock when the band was told last spring that more than a dozen of its members would be heading to the war.

Huh. So we're sending high school band teachers and Off-Broadway musicians to put down the insurgency? Thank god we have finally, as of January 30, turned the corner in Iraq. Because all the high school band teachers I ever knew couldn't even get five clarinets to play in the same key.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Conjecture: It's Why You Read These Damn Blog Things 

If you can't get enough bloggin' 'bout Jeff Gannon or Jim Guckert, the best post so far is on World O'Crap (be forewarned -- it's really damn long, and you already have to have read most of the original posts at AmericaBlog or Media Matters to understand the significance of the whole brouhaha, if it can be said to have significance [and we're trying as hard as we fucking can trying to make it important, people -- I've been linking to as many as three or four different sites a night that, in turn, link to other sites that have done extensive research, often involving search engines and Boolean logic]).

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Looking Forward To the Senate Confirmation of Defense Secretary General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez 

New York Times:
President Bush nominated John D. Negroponte as the first director of national intelligence today, a post intended to take charge of American intelligence agencies at a crucial juncture as they try to recover from embarrassing missteps on Iraq and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

After a prolonged search in which several others turned down the job, Mr. Bush turned to Mr. Negroponte, a career foreign service officer who served in the president's first term as ambassador to the United Nations and to Iraq and whose decades of diplomatic experience have left him intimately familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of American intelligence agencies.

He was confirmed by the Senate for the earlier jobs by large margins, in 2001 and 2004, despite questions about his performance two decades ago as ambassador to Honduras, where critics said he had turned a blind eye to human rights abuses.

And that's it. You can stop reading there, because Jehl and Bumiller do not feel like elaborating. Instead, we hear the fascinating story of how Mr. Negroponte is universally beloved by all and very experienced and quite pleased, and oh, what a pleasant surprise this was. Ha ha ha, tra la la.

Choire Sicha, guest-Wonketting, has the best take.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005



Google Is the New Deep Throat (Except Full of Lies) 

Slowly getting somewhere:
Further researching the board of directors of GOPUSA, records within the public domain for any public or private corporation reveals the name of one Richard Powell, as a member of it's board.
See Richard Powells Bio from GOPUSA.com: (These links have since been removed from all GOPUSA sites, this is the cached Google page)

Richard Powell, is none other than the husband of Dina Powell, Assistant to the President as the White House Chief of Personnel.


According to the official org charts of the White House, http://www.americanpresident.org, Dina Powell, only 31 years old, works directly for only three people. President Bush, Andrew Card (all paths and positions lead to Andrew Card) and none other than Karl Rove....

So, recapping, we have a fake reporter, for a fake news agency that was allowed daily access to the Whitehouse. We have a board member of the fake news agency tied to Austin, Tx whose wife is a high level staff member in the Oval Office, a staff position that carries with it the absolute final word on who gains access to the White House.

Requisite "why this is important" bit: Gannon/Guckert was one of only two real, regular contributors to "Talon News," owned and operated by GOPUSA, run by wealthy Texan Republican donors in their spare time. So one of Gannon/Guckert's bosses (and he had but very few -- this is a "corporation" with a total staff of 8 and a couple "volunteers") was married to someone very close to the presidency, specifically someone who, it sounds like, is in charge of vetting potential hires -- you'd think she wouldn't have let this one slip in, what with the tax evasion and the prostitution, but there you go. Atrios is already calling this "The Gannon/White House Connection" -- it isn't quite there yet, we're still playing 6 Degrees of JD Guckert; but it's damn close. And it raises more questions -- what the hell is GOPUSA? Why did they hire Guckert?

From any angle, at this point, this should be a big fucking black eye for the White House: this guy (Guckert) was being paid by very prominent Republicans, including the husband of one of Bush's Assistants. Bush didn't know who he was? Two press secretaries didn't know what "Talon News" was? Increasingly unlikely. Is the White House connected to GOPUSA? Now, clearly, yes.

(Forgot to mention this: "Gannon" at as press briefing before the creation of "Talon News". So he's there without a "news organization," while his escort sites and ads were still active...)

UPDATE: Just kidding. It turns out this "Richard Powell" is different from a bunch of other Republican Richard Powells. The one married to the assistant to Bush is, in fact, Ricky Powell (who, long-time readers will remember, dicked your girl). The White House was connected to JD James Jeff Guckert Gannon for one all-too-brief, glorious moment of half-assed blog research, but no more, alas. Thanks to the magic of self-correction, I can absolve all responsibility for being too lazy to look into this shit myself. In a few weeks, this post too shall be in the never-visited archives, reached only by the occasional Google search for fucking big black secretaries. I apologize for getting your hopes up.

I See Spencer Tracy As the Paleoanthropologist 

Oldest Remains of Modern Humans Are Identified

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new analysis of bones unearthed nearly 40 years ago in Ethiopia has pushed the fossil record of modern humans back to nearly 200,000 years ago -- perhaps close to the dawn of the species.

Researchers determined that the specimens are around 195,000 years old. Previously, the oldest known fossils of Homo sapiens were Ethiopian skulls dated to about 160,000 years ago.

Genetic studies estimate that Homo sapiens arose about 200,000 years ago, so the new research brings the fossil record more in line with that, said John Fleagle of Stony Brook University in New York, an author of the study.

Look! Now the fossil record places the birth of Homo Sapiens at around the same time the genetic evidence suggests!

An interested crowd gathers.

Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

IRISH COP WHO IS ALSO A CREATIONIST smashes the bone fragments with a billy club.


If you don't pipe down, I'm going to intelligently re-design yer face! Keep moving, folks, ain't nothin' here but some bits 'o bone, 'tain't older than precisely 6,000 years. And you, sir, a man of science, go home to yer ma an' leave th' "interpretation of evidence" and "testing of hypothoses" to th' church.



Hateful bigots occasionally produce intelligent, reasonable children.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I Knew Danny Glover Was Connected to Mohammed Atta 

I had this whole post about this site, specifically the portion of it that claims that over this last summer I wasn't a run-of-the-mill "canvasser" for a political non-profit, but rather a violent felon who worked for a "shadow party" and intimidated people into voting through threats of violent consequences for those who didn't, but then Firefox, memory hog that it is, crashed and I lost it, which is a shame, but you should check out the site anyway, because some of your friends might be on it -- really, their definition of a "network" is pretty loose, unless someone smarter than I can come up with a way to meaningfully link (and this is just in the "media" section) fellow nasally Minnesotan Garrison Keillor, Norman Mailer, Al Jazeera, and Paul Krugman, who, the website happily reports, is a socialist, according to noted economist Bill O'Reilly (later amended to "quasi-socialist") -- the whole list reads like it's being said by a B-list celebrity in the final round of The $25,000 Pyramid, and as I scanned it I kept shouting "Things you find in the kitchen! Things you find in the newsletter of the John Birch society! Things that keep David Horowitz awake at night!"

It's all very ominous and makes me feel dangerous, like George Soros is going to invite me to his underwater moon-base (he's that rich) and say, "here's $2 billion and a soy latte, go character-assassinate a decent, hard-working Christian White House correspondent -- my corrupt mafia-linked AFSCME henchmen will assist you, and your limousine will be arriving shortly -- Allah Akbar!"

UPDATE: Welcome, fellow members of the International Leftist/Islamofascist Conspiracy! Check out the rest of my site to see the amazing (true!) connections between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and The Nation (he was kicked off the masthead for not supporting the Sandanistas)!

Note: Aforementioned connection not actually mentioned in rest of site.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Tell Your Friends 

I'll just state this as clearly as I can manage.

"Jeff Gannon":
A former marine (or possibly a man who enjoys pretending to be a former marine) turned gay prostitute operating under a fake name managed to get White House Press Credentials while volunteering for a fake news agency (seemingly without pay) in violation of a number of strict security rules on Capitol Hill. At least one other press corps member reports seeing Gannon with a "Hard Pass," allowing him entry to all press briefings, in direct violation of White House policy. He was allowed to ask a question of the President in a mostly scripted press conference.

Then, he was given access to documents that exposed the identity of a CIA agent.

Jesus Christ, this is weirder than Profumo.

Who was he fucking and who was paying him?

Honestly, what the hell is going on?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sunday Reading, Serious Edition 

I don't pretend to know a goddam thing about the Israel-Palestine conflict, but I thought this Harper's article from last month was quite good.

It's a very touchy subject for a goy in New York, and it's safest, when pressed, to claim to be ignorant of the whole matter. This is a town where the left-est of the lefists can be more hawkish on matters Israeli than Richard Perle -- you just never know until the shouting begins and the insults start flying, at which point it's best, if one can't extricate oneself from the debate, to change the subject (if possible) to something a little less contentious; like, say, abortion. Or affirmative action.

An exerpt, though you should read the whole thing:
Wistfulness goes well with what is probably the most common conception of Israel that educated people in the West have: that it was once a nicely social-democratic state that is being ruined by the blowback from its occupation—by its quickly multiplying and pietistic settlers, whom successive governments somewhat naively tolerated—that if only Israel could end most terrorist attacks, emancipate itself from the occupation, and replant most settlers back within the Green Line, the internationally recognized border prior to 1967, then Zionism could get back to being itself. This half-truth often is posed against the big lie—that Zionism was just a remnant of great-power “colonialism”—and so Jews have an understandable reflex to defend the moral prestige of historic Zionism and deflect criticism of its legacy. But even David Ben-Gurion, the country’s first prime minister, knew that Israeli democracy had serious problems before there was an occupation: specifically, that ultimately it would be folly to preserve the Zionist movement’s improvisations and institutions in a democratic state. Thinking back to 1967, certainly, it is obvious that the settlers’ ideas and stridency did not just grow out of thin air. Both emerged from a revolutionary Zionist logic and a powerful Zionist bureaucracy—right for their time, in the 1930s and ’40s, but terribly wrong once the state was firmly established, after 1967—a Zionism that automatically assured Jews privileges that other people, non-Jews subject to Israeli sovereignty, could not get.

I am not speaking here of the reasonable discrimination of a nation-state in favor of a dominant national culture: a day off for the Jewish Sabbath, support for the Hebrew University, the Star of David on the flag. I mean material discrimination by the state in favor of Jews as individuals. Settlements may seem part of a grand, premeditated national project, and were to some extent, especially around Jerusalem. But they were more often a spontaneous series of decisions by quasi-official Zionist offices to continue putting families formally defined as “Jewish” in and around where Arabs lived, or to support Jewish squatters, while excluding non-Jews from living there.


And what exactly is Jewish nationality? Now we are getting to the other side of the problem, the Zionist movement’s historic (and largely opportunistic) merging of rabbinic and state power. From its inception, Israel recognized two forms of personal status, ezrahut, most commonly understood as “citizenship,” and leom, which meant “nationality” or “peoplehood.” All citizens are entitled to equality in civil society, but people legally designated a part of the Jewish nation are entitled to immediate citizenship, and supplementary material benefits start from there. The courts came to rule that, insofar as the Law of Return applied, the child or grandchild of a Jew, or a convert by a recognized rabbinic authority, is a Jew. Under the pressure of the National Religious Party—to which Ben-Gurion pandered in order to maintain his own party’s hegemony in the early 1950s—other privileges were reserved for Jews as they are defined by Orthodox rabbinic courts. Moreover, a burgeoning, official rabbinical caste now supervises marriage, burial, and kashruth—critical for the restaurant, food-processing, and tourist industries. There is no civil marriage in the country, so no state official will marry a Jew to a non-Jew. Today, some 80,000 children in Jerusalem alone study in ultra-Orthodox yeshivas, which are state subsidized in numerous ways. The state directly supports an even larger Dati Leumi (“national religious”) school system. Arabs have their own system, segregated and underfunded.

One Arab Israeli friend, the novelist Sayed Kashua (author of the Hebrew novel Dancing Arabs), told me recently that his childhood friends are feeling hemmed in and enraged, their towns in commercial despair, many coming under the threat of youth gangs. “When these towns blow, Israeli Jews will no doubt say it is for political reasons. But if the government would give us two meters for development, we’d all be volunteering for the army. Every time there is a suicide bombing I think two things: thank God my daughter is not among the victims, and I hope there is an Arab Israeli among the victims, so they won’t blame my daughter.”

The whole piece is from, I think, Bernard Avishai's upcoming book. And once you read it, you'll know more about Israel than Jonah Goldberg knows about Iraq.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Blogroll Additions Plus Gratuitous Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Reference 

Continuing my tradition of being too lazy to add blogs I regularly read to the blogroll, left, I have added Michael Bérubé and Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness after months of secretly enjoying them and finding them generally superior to my pink half of the blog pipe.

Friday, February 11, 2005


EASONJORDONGATE has come to an exciting and dramatic close! I know how closely all of you have been following it, so I won't waste your time recapping this exciting story of "bloggers" taking a break from all that self-correction to start correcting the personal opinions of CNN employees with no control over editorial content.

Yes, Mr. Jordon was a relic, a dinosaur, an old-media giant who should have known better than to say anything potentially outside the center-right mainstream of political discourse, especially before a very small audience and with no transcript available, thus giving him the oh-so-convenient excuse of being taken "out of context" or "apologizing" for claiming that there was anything whatsoever worrying about "the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq."

Yes, Mr. Jordon, who possibly didn't say what he's reported to have said, and didn't actually seem to be claiming that the Army was intentionally killing journalists, just that they were indiscriminately killing anything that moves (something journalists are known to do every now and then), was clearly a subversive element, who needed to be dealt with. Indeed. Heh.

On the other side of the blaisle ("blog aisle"), the left has continued its persecution of poor, misunderstood Jeff Gannon, whose only real crime, when you come down to it, was possibly operating an escort agency, having access to classified CIA documents as part of an administration effort to discredit a respected ambassador through illegally leaking the identity of his CIA operative wife, and gaining access to the White House and President Bush using a fake name while working for a fake news agency, after failing to have passed the security check necessary to get him Capitol Hill press credentials.

Clearly, the left is in the grips of a homophobic gay panic, focusing so intently on the man's confused sexual politics, his glistening, sculpted figure, his strong opposition to gay marriage and support of Senator Santorum, and his continuing to pay the costs of maintaining the domain registrations of MilitaryEscortsM4M.com and MilitaryEscorts.com.

Why does the left insist on "outing" gay people who are actively working, with god on their side, to make all their gay friends into second-class citizens? Maybe because they hate gay people? And love terrorists?

First correct answer receives a free subscription to Editor and Publisher.





Thursday, February 10, 2005


"No real journalist has worn a hat since 1925."
-William Serrin, NYU Journalism Professor

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Shooting Dirty Pool, Talon Dirty Lies 

Ok, ok. I'm sorry. I haven't written a damn thing about what could very well be the funniest few days in blog history, or bligstory (short for "web ligstory"). Funniest, at least, since that thing last November -- what was it called? It turned my index finger magenta, that's all I remember...

To summarize, for those of you residing in the world of respectable newsmedia, a White House Press Correspondent working under the psuedonym (a practice not allowed for anyone else in the White House press corps) Jeff Gannon, famous for "asking" ridiculous soft-ball "questions" during press conferences and then transcribing GOP talking points at his phony Republican-front website Talon "News", was revealed to be a possible military-fetishist and closet-case named Jim Guckart -- the relevant details being summarized nicely here and here.

Things got weirder when his AOL personal homepage (confirmed as actually belonging to Jim Guckart, who is almost certainly Gannon, by a newsletter from his frat) featured a nearly nude picture of the guy, and he was further shown to have registered (but, sadly, left undeveloped) these (among many other) domain names:

Then he announced his retirement, tore down all his webpages, and went home. A congresswoman wrote to Bush demanding an explanation

And weirdly (though I don't recall seeing anyone else notice this), a site that up until fairly recently used to be another of Gannon/Guckart's personal homepages features this bizarre little free-verse poem, floating in an unlinked, context-less sea:



Don’t ask, don’t tell

Boy scouts

Girl scouts, lesbo camp

Civil unions, gay marriage

What the hell does it mean? Was Guckart hacked? Who wrote this? Are these unreleased Scissor Sisters lyrics?

{Note as to why this is important: Is Gannon just a run-of-the-closet wingut, a harmless inept crank whom we've persecuted unjustly? Sadly, No -- he was working under a psuedonym at a White House that doesn't even allow married female journalists to use their professional/maiden names. If sites like Militaryescortsm4m.com ever had content on them along the lines of what their names suggest, it's an act of blatant (and possibly illegal) hypocrisy by a very loud and proud conservative Christian. Oh, and also -- "Gannon" is one of those lucky journalists being subpoenaed by the grand jury looking into the Plame case, on account of his having access to a CIA memo naming Plame as an operative -- a memo that (although possibly forged) no one else had. The guy clearly has powerful friends -- that fact that they're trying to use this nimrod who is but slightly worse at covering his tracks than E. Howard Hunt proves only that, as we've known all along, our current rulers' capacity for iniquity is matched only by their stunning incompetence.}

Sadly, No! has been added to the blogroll (short for "web logrolling"). I'm really not sure why they weren't there before, but that's life.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Remember When Anonymous Sources Didn't Endanger the Lives of CIA Operatives? 

Editor and Publisher wants you to tell them: Who is Deep Throat?

John Dean, who has made a pretty good career out of not being Deep Throat, claims the famously anonymous source is near death, and his (or her -- ha ha, just kidding!!) identity will soon be revealed by the Washington Post. If that's true, then it's totally obvious who it was all along. Although the E&P poll results indicate that another likely candidate is Kanye West.

Once the truth is revealed, the least wildly off-mark guess sent to Editor and Publisher will receive... a subscription to Editor and Publisher, the newspaper about newspapers -- self-reflexively postmodern since Grover Cleveland's first non-consecutive term!

"It's the Sunset Boulevard of monthly trade journals!"
-Pretend Jim Romenseko

Without E&P, I would not have known that funny-pages resident and ur-Sex and the City character Cathy is finally getting married, to similarly blobbly outdated '70s archetype Irving.

E&P reports that cartoonist Ms. Guisewite is hard at work on a second joke.

Aack! indeed, Cathy fans. Aack! indeed.

This concludes the Tuesday installment of Easy Target Theater. For more cheap shots, please return to Gawker. (someone's got to give those rock critics what-for!)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Superbowl Prediction: I Will Be Drunk 

Buck Hill has a CurseRank of 10.

I'd like to thank all you sonsabitches who made it possible. Pigfuckers.

(via BlogBites: like soundbites, but written late at night by lonely malcontents)

Bloomberg To Gays: Drop Dead, Then Vote For Me 

Well, it didn't take long for Mayor Bloomberg to make me look a bit naive, did it?

Turns out, he really didn't have to kowtow to either his liberal-ish constituency or his Republican overlords. He has taken a definitive stand, announcing his staunch support of both camps.

A day after a judge in Manhattan issued the first New York State court ruling in support of gay marriage, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said New York City would appeal the decision, effectively closing the door on such marriages until the issue is decided by a higher court.

There. He is against it and will appeal the ruling.

Let's hear his justification:
"I think people have the right to love, to live with and to marry whoever they want, regardless of their sexual orientation," the mayor said as hundreds of guests stood and cheered.


So he claimed publicly for the first time that he is pro-gay marriage, shortly after announcing that he has effectively sent it to die in Albany (Court of Appeals: 4 Pataki conservatives, 3 Cuomo liberals, one big nail in the coffin).

In a sense, he's done what I predicted by proving himself no real supporter of equal rights, but he's managed to do it in a way that ought to piss off everyone involved -- I commend the mayor for his ability to turn a potential wedge issue into an astounding political fuckup.

Next up for Mayor Bloomberg: He will announce his strong support of the Harvey Milk School, the public school serving at-risk GLBT students, then withhold its funding.

Yes, ho ho, that would be a funny and purely hypothetical example of political opportunism, wouldn't it...

Requisite link to story illustrating that precise hypocrisy here.
When the school first opened, Mayor Bloomberg told reporters, "“I think everybody feels it’s a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools. It lets them get an education without having to worry.”"

But today, the mayor’s office does not return calls about the school. Another ominous sign of cooling passions within City Hall for the Harvey Milk High School are recent reports that it failed to get promised funding increases to expand from 100 to 170 students. Spokespersons for the school deny that funds were withheld, and say that the decision not to expand was made by the school itself, which feared “overcrowding”— -- a nonsensical claim, given that the $3.2 million renovation and expansion was expressly predicated on planning for an ultimate enrollment of 170 kids.


Friday, February 04, 2005

Anti-Tree Marriage Law Ruled Unconstitutional 

New York is one step closer to a visit from Buster (and the pursuant street-side man-on-pan-on-tiny handbag-sized dog sex orgies across Chelsea) with the news today that the gays can get hitched -- and good on them.

As the Voice notes, the ruling doesn't come into effect for another 30 days, precisely enough time for a media circus to plant tentstakes outside the courthouse and for Mayor Bloomberg to royally fuck over the New York GLBT community (and not in the fun, quite recently legally-sanctioned way). Bloomberg is at something of an impasse, facing awful approval ratings but also a reelection bid that most people consider quite winnable -- vast name-recognition and vaster riches will do that for a guy, even an unqualified non-charismatic fuckup like this).

Giuliani, fascism aside (but not too far aside, we'll need it later), was an occasionally enthusiastic (but always politically pragmatic) supporter of gay rights -- appropriate for a mayor whose governing style was best symbolized by a forced sodomizing -- which translated into support from most self-identified "gay" people in his reelection and none whatsoever from African Americans (and, I think, only one vote from a gay black man).

Bloomberg has worked almost as hard as the post-9/11 Giuliani to cozy up to the ruling Republican theocracy, allowing them to hold their "no gay sex please, we're Christian"-themed convention in the comfort and safety of a New York unburdened by actual New Yorkers, with sidewalk traffic lighter by 2,000+ people. More to the point, he's refused to support same-sex partner benefits for New York workers. But unlike his Kerik-stained predecessor, Bloomberg still has to deal with the New Yorkers who elected him, then voted decisively against four more years of his peer in the Grand Old Party, Mr. I Once Shouted in a Bullhorn At Ground Zero, But Neglected To Mention That the Air Was Still Poison.

So we'll see what the hell happens now. Bloomberg will now show himself to be a New Yorker or a Republican. I got as much faith in him as I had in the Vikings this year. Which is to say, put your money on "Republican."

I'll let the last word be had by my favorite theologist and cultural critic, who we met in San Francisco last year:

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Breathin' That Plastic in the Factory 

Our President:
Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back, by irresponsible class actions and frivolous asbestos claims - and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year.

Oh, the Frivolilty:


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