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Month: February 2004

Denial denial

William Cork is keeping a very good blog on The Passion. I pretty much concur with his thoughts on the movie, which are summarized here.

I still think Mel Gibson is a well-meaning individual, but until he takes a deep breath and acknowledges that his father is a lunatic and that his movie is going to inspire hatred, it really doesn’t matter what his motivations are. Take a look at some Hutton Gibson quotes from the link above (via Orcinus):

“I don’t know what their [the Jews’] agenda is except that it’s all about control. They’re after one world religion and one world government. That’s why they’ve attacked the Catholic Church so strongly, to ultimately take control over it by their doctrine and make one world religion and one world government.”


“To a Jew a Christian commits idolatry every time he looks at a crucifix and says a prayer. You know they’re in control and they’re going to get in control the way things are going. Because they get all of our people…They killed several generations of us Americans [referring to WWI and WWII] … The Jews weren’t in the army much in WWI that because they were fomenting a revolt in Russia. America had no right to fight in foreign wars.”

This is purely and utterly sick. Expect to see more of it. The white supremacists are coming out of the woodwork on this one; the silver lining to all this is that it’ll get some of them out from under their rocks.

Weird bar

Wednesday Weird #3 asks us to weirdify the classic bar scenario. It’s 6 AM and I’ve been up since like 4 AM, so I think I’m good to go on this one.

OK, so there’s a bar. I guess it’s a fantasy world, but it doesn’t really matter that much. Maybe it’s Shadowrun. It’s better if there’s not a lot of magical healing, though. The point is, there’s this bar, and you can’t die as long as you’re inside it. You also can’t get any better. It’s like you’re stuck at whatever age you were or with whatever wounds you had when you walked in.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of room.

So you have the regulars, and they’re really regular. Never leave the place. There’s the guy who took down an Emperor, and in the city outside there’s an entire clan of assassins that’s spent five hundred years waiting for him to come out. There’s the old adventurer who’s seen it all and knows a little bit about everything; good source of info if you can get to him when he’s not drunk. There’s a god with no worshippers. (Some people say he made the bar in the first place, to save himself from oblivion.) There’s the bartender, who is missing the lower half of his body, but he’s always cheerful anyhow. There are horrible injuries. There’s a gloomy albino with a big black sword which constantly begs its master to leave.

People like to have duels right outside, just in case. For a while, there was a guy who built a wall around the bar and charged admission. He got rich and moved to another city.

There’s a cult that worships the bar. Fat lot of good that does the forgotten god, though.

Honorable nature

George Bush, of course, got an honorable discharge from the National Guard, which should erase any question of wrongdoing while he was in the Guard. Sorta like John Muhammad, who was court-martialed twice (once for hitting a non-com), and later got an honorable discharge. The Fox News story says the honorable discharge can’t be confirmed, but the AP story and the ABC News story linked above both claim to have a source for that portion of the tale.

Via Matt Lavine, who keeps track of right-wing dog injuries. He also once summarized a post of mine as noting “that absence of evidence about absence might not mean evidence of absence, but that there is evidence which already shows absence by the absence of evidence of presence. Yeah!” Which is an accurate summary and you gotta love that.

Meeting the President

Saith Rex Hammock, upon meeting the President:

He is definitely not a wonk, but he knows clearly what he believes needs to happen for the country and its eocnomy to prosper. I don’t think the circular arguments regarding “what ifs” and “what abouts” interest him.

Rexblog is kind of neat, actually — he’s a small business owner in the magazine industry. I like the focused special interest blogs that never get any attention most of the time. And I like publishing.

Gotta say, though. Bush doesn’t like what ifs and what abouts, huh? Who’d’ve guessed?

Tables turning

The Apprentice has been pretty much enh for a couple of weeks — one team was clearly better, and they were destroying the other team. There was some amusement value from watching Jessie stab Kristi, and then get fired the next week. (Kristi: “What should I do?” Jessie: “Oh, don’t say anything until Mr. Trump talks to you.” Kristi: “OK!” Later, Trump: “You’re not very assertive, Kristi. You’re fired.”)

Oh, and the bit where Troy carefully manipulated the Fab Five into giving him a good item for a charity auction? That was great. He told the camera what he was gonna do and say, he did it, and it worked like a charm. But there weren’t a lot of good moments like that.

This week, on the other hand, ruled. It was a nice simple contest; the two project leaders negotiated for their choice of two apartments, each team renovated the apartment they wound up with, and the side that got the best percentage increase over the base lease price for the apartment won. For the first time, you had two contestants negotiating with each other, and Troy destroyed Katrina. In the end he got what he wanted by the flip of a coin, but I’d say he still wound up with an advantage because Katrina was seriously pissed off about it. If he’d lost, he would have shrugged it off.

Side note: the real question was not which apartment looked nicer, but which apartment had a lower base lease price. A hundred dollar increase over the base price means a lot more if the base lease price is low. Because the show isn’t really about business, nobody mentioned that.

Tammy sucked down the loss for being disloyal, which is a recurring theme. Also because she’s been startlingly non-effective in general, but mostly because she wasn’t loyal to her team.

It’s getting down to the smart people. Right now I’m betting on Troy and Amy, or perhaps Nick. Most likely winner is Troy, because he’s a very good manipulator. He had a better chance before Amy wound up on his team, though; he was going to slip right through till the end but now he has real competition on his team.

Media similarities

The media that has convinced many people that John Kerry is a dull and boring campaigner is the exact same media that convinced a lot of people that Dean was a dangerous scary angry man. Kerry did not win Iowa by accident; he won Iowa by having a kick-ass machine on the ground and by campaigning his heart out and by attracting people on his own merits.

It wasn’t media. The media wrote him off as dead. The media storyline challenger for Dean was Clark.

Bush is raising lots of money? Eeek. Didn’t someone just prove that the money leader doesn’t always win elections? Oh, yeah, that was Kerry.

Me, I liked Dean better than Kerry, but right now? I wouldn’t put money on Bush against Carol Mosley Braun. The funniest thing in the world is watching the Democrats maneuver Bush into bragging about job growth, cause every time Bush says there are more jobs, another few unemployed people get pissed off. Kofi Annan is carefully setting Bush up: you think he doesn’t know that the Iraqi Shi’ites aren’t going to tolerate anything other than direct elections? The next step is a UN recommendation that we wait until December or so to hand over power.

The National Guard story tested really well, and now it’s going to go back to sleep until someone trundles it back out in August or so. Plame may yet be an issue. Some of Bush’s base is losing faith with every day Bush fails to call for a DOMA Constitutional amendment, while a quiet plurality of Americans are wondering why they should care if two guys want to get married. The Senate document theft thing isn’t going away just yet. And the White House press briefings are getting brutal.

It’s going to be a very rough 2004 for the President.

Hail Britannia

I take no responsibility for the following list of eight names, other than that they’re in a notebook I own. His fault.

  • Jack Dandy
  • Man of Steam
  • The Gurkha
  • Ironclad
  • The Boffin

    • Bright Young Lad, his robotic sidekick/assistant

  • Bulldog Jill
  • Diamond Jubilee

My crystal ball

Huh, my predictions weren’t too bad. Kerry took 40% of the votes in Wisconsin; Edwards took 34%, and Dean took 18%. I underestimated the Edwards surge again. The undecided voters went for Edwards in a big way.

This is no doubt energizing for the Edwards campaign; he’ll be in at least until March 10th. Super Tuesday will tell us a lot. He’s not going to take on Dean as his Vice President, and if he does he’ll lose — you don’t want a VP who’s going to draw controversy and in some ways outshine you. Dean will also have more influence if he converts his campaign into a 527 and becomes a political center for grassroots populism, so I’m not sure Dean would bite on that either.

When expectations for the March 10th primaries settle, Edwards will know what he needs to do to sustain his candidacy.

Addendum: Al Giordano thinks it comes down to New York. He’s been right before.