June 29, 2005
— Ace Vladimir Putin just made off with Bob Kraft's 2005 Superbowl ring:
Russian President Vladimir Putin walked off with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring, but was it a generous gift or a very expensive international misunderstanding?
Following a meeting of American business executives and Putin at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg on Saturday, Kraft showed the ring to Putin who tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, said Russian news reports.
It isn't clear yet if Kraft, whose business interests also include paper and packaging companies and venture capital investments, intended that Putin keep the ring.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Wednesday that Kraft was traveling and he hadn't talked to him in four or five days, despite e-mails and calls. "He's still overseas, I can't even tell you where. ... He's not due back until next week."
"It's an incredible story. I just haven't been able to talk to Robert Kraft to confirm the story," James told The Associated Press.
However, a Kremlin official who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of compromising his position said the ring was a present. "Such a present was made," the official said.
This is going to make the Pueblo incident look like a John Mayer concert.
— Ace If they'd just watch their dumb mouths and avoided saying what they really think, they wouldn't be forced to subsequently say all these things they don't really believe at all:
Senators from both sides of the aisle competed on Monday to extol the humane treatment of detainees whom they said they saw on a weekend trip to the military detention center at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba. All said they opposed closing the center.
"I feel very good" about the detainees' treatment, Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said.
That feeling was also expressed by another Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
Nothing makes a Democrat serious about national security faster than a competitive seat.
What a gob-smackingly vile suggestion.
— Ace Around the edges of the president's demeanor and rhetoric, I sensed a little panic. -- Excitable Andrew Sullivan
But of course you did, darling. But of course you did.
Andy also gives us the left's new talking point, reading an awful lot into a sentence by Bush. Joe Biden hit this point last night; all the liberal parrots will be, um, parroting it soon enough:
I do think that the following, however, was pretty striking:
To complete the mission, we will prevent al-Qaida and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends. And the best way to complete the mission is to help Iraqis build a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.
The inference here is clear. The U.S. intervention, and its ill-planned, under-manned, haphazard execution, has made Iraq more of a terrorist threat than it might otherwise have been.
No terrorists in Iraq before the war-- none. Certainly Saddam Hussein never hosted a terrorist conference, nor refused the extradition of Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist Zarqawi.
Nor did he expressly offer Al Qaeda a safe haven and operating base in Iraq (an offer which Al Qaeda refused for its own reasons; but Saddam made the offer).
But that's the
day's week's month's year's talking point. So get used to it.
— Ace As a commenter pointed out, the fallen hero whose burial was so viciously tainted by "FAG BODY BAG" placards was not, in fact, even gay.
Fred Phelps and his merry band of morons just think that this sort of horrific acting-up is a good way to advance the cause of getting all the homos (even the closeted ones) out of the military.
Yeahp. That should enlist public opinion on your side, Fred. When they're not dreaming of PR campaigns like this, they're smoking Meershaum pipes in their basement lab-or-atories splittin' atoms.
Karol argued on the show yesterday that this guy wasn't "of the right," which is a fair point, although I think a semantic one. Obviously he's not part of the mainstream, or even close to mainstream, conservative movement or GOP. How do you characterize extremist folks like this? As I personally lump in the lefty nasties with the left generally, it would be inconsistent of me to argue too strenuously he's not somewhere on the right.
— Ace Some of Applebaum's conclusions are a bit glib, but it's interesting to note that British lower classes like America, while in India it's the wealthy and well-educated who do.
June 28, 2005
— Ace I didn't watch the President's speech, alas. Had some things that needed taking care of.
But Dave from Garfield Ridge did. Sure, his commentary is "old," but what the hell.
I guess I'll have to watch the Fox repeat later tonight. Although I know what I'm already going to say: B-. That's what Bush always delivers.
It was okay. But it was mostly just rhetoric, and mostly just a restatement of previous rhetoric to boot. It was subdued and sober and serious, an appropriate tone. And Bush showed that bit of emotionalism at the end, which, look, if I were a liberal, I'd be claiming he was doing on cure.
But there really weren't any new facts, and I think facts persuade. Rhetoric really doesn't, or only a little and only for a time. Yes we're making some progress with Iraqi army and all that, but it's not like Bush could blow our minds with some new metric of progress. I suppose in that respect I'm evaluating the speech based on a criterion it couldn't possibly deliver; but that's why I generally don't bother with speeches.
A fair speech, well-delivered. Meh.
— Ace Hey, he wrote the ruling, so why not?
Surely we can imagine better uses of his land than a simple residence. So why not turn it into a hotel>
— Ace Right-wing/libertarian-leaning comedienne Julia Gorin. A lot of people in New York know her well, as she's part of the "Republican Riot" comedy revue that happens at a caberet called "Don't Tell Mama" every month.
And she'll be calling in from Vegas.
When she's not workin' the big rooms, she's busy writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal.
We'll be talking to her about... well, everything, really. Durbin, Rove, liberals' idea of patriotism, maybe South Park Republicanism, maybe even sex.
Well, probably not sex. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Then again, who knows? I'm sure she's got a few bits about sex. It's one of the four food groups of comedy (sex, masturbation/porn, the difference between men and women, and, of course, airplane peanuts, even though they don't even serve those anymore).
Call in, you bastards. I don't care if you have nothing to say; you think Karol and I do? I assure you we don't. If no one calls in, I'm going to just start naming my all-time favorite breakfast cereals.
Clocking in at Number One: Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and/or Kaboom
And someone please say "Long time listener, first time caller." I only did this dumb show so I could get to hear that once.
Like the only reason I started having sex was so I could hear, "Baby, that was great."
Still waiting on both.
But-- fingers crossed!
Never Thought It Would Happen To Me: I just used the words "revue" and "cabaret" in the same sentence.
What is happening to me?
Plus... Special guest blogger commentator Dorian Davis.
He has this cool little skill where he can (he claims) tell you when any Number One song hit the Billboard top position and for how many weeks. He's also writing a book about Iraq.
— Ace Because I can just sort of put that Pete Townsend internet-child-porn thing out of mind long enough to dig 5:15 again, but then he does something stupid again.
Like speaking up on behalf of Michael Jackson:
PETE TOWNSHEND is thrilled MICHAEL JACKSON has been acquitted of child abuse charges, and has slammed the star's harrowing child abuse trial as"absurd".
The WHO guitarist, who was also at the centre of a media frenzy after he visited a child porn website for research purposes two years ago (03), sympathises with the THRILLER singer, and is convinced his intentions around children have always been pure.
A statement on his official website reads, "So, another absurd celebrity trial collapsed. I was pleased Michael was cleared.
"My only experience of his dealings with children is that he's unselfishly helped every cause, and individual child, I have sent his way."
Next up: Tom Sizemore and Robert Downey Jr. defend Nick Nolte and Billy Joel.
Daniel Baldwin will defend them too, but who the hell cares about Daniel Baldwin? On the Baldwin-meter, he just barely rates above Cousin Bernie the Accountant.
Thanks to Master of None.
— Ace So, a Special Forces soldier was killed. Apparently he was gay. OR WAS HE? See Update below.
There is homophobia -- of the genuine, not phantasmal sort -- on the right, same as there is genuine racism.
This is sadly undeniable.
Let's assume that these people are correct that God looks quite disfavorably on homosexuality. Does God want his name invoked, in this hateful fashion, at the funeral of a man who gave his life for his country?
I also can't help noticing that the Ten Commandments don't mention anything about homosexuality. Nor did Jesus (I think; feel free to correct me). So, again, assuming these people are right about God's stance on homosexuality, they seem to be elevating that to a higher priority than God Himself made expressly clear.
I'm sure some slain soldiers have coveted their neighbors' wives. Why no protests at the funerals of those soldiers?
These people have issues. I don't like the kneejerk cliche that anyone who opposes some part of the gay agenda must himself be a closeted, panicked gay, but plainly, this isn't just politics to these folks. It's personal. And I wonder what makes it so personal.
Swiped from Andrew Sullivan, whom I only read because I wanted to see his response to Taranto's/my citation of his Rove-like trashing of liberals. So far, he's ducking it; perhaps he's not so stupid as to not know when he's beaten.
Why Hollywood Should Stop Making Racists and Homophobes Like This The Villains In Movies: Because they're fucking stupid, and we all know it, and a good bad guy has to be smart.
"Fag Body Bag"? Are you kidding me wit this shit?
Somehow I get the impression that the meeting of the local MENSA chapter was not adversely affected by the fact that these people had alternate plans.
Not Sure If This Is True, But I Am One of Those Irresponsible Bloggers: Russ tips--
From what I've heard about the situation, the soldier being protested wasn't gay. Phelps and his merry band of morons (most of them family members & in-laws - anyone hear the theme from "Deliverance" playing in the background?) consider those who fail to condemn homosexuality as rabidly as they do to be as bad as the homosexuals themselves. Since the armed forces have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, they are advocating homosexuality in the eyes of Rev. Fred, and might as well go ahead and wear a dress.
Reminds me of a favorite quote from Catch-22:
"You'll be convicted," Yossarian told Havermeyer. "It doesn't matter what the evidence is. They hate Jews."
"But I'm not Jewish," Havermeyer said.
"That won't make any difference to them," Yossarian said sagely.
Or something like that.
— Ace Another bang-on post from Lorie at PoliPundit.
He won't liberal-bait, except perhaps in the most oblique of terms. Lorie's Point 7 gets at that.
— Ace They say never bring a knife to a gunfight. I don't know what the rule is regarding pot paraphrenalia.
Never smoke a white bong after Labor Day? Nah, that's not it.
A 22-year-old man was wrestled to the ground in the Germantown Police Department Friday afternoon after threatening a dispatcher with a glass bong and a shotgun, police said.
The man walked into the department and handed a threatening note to the dispatcher at a her window around 5 p.m., police said.
As she read the note, he threw a glass bong at the bulletproof glass, police said.
The bong shattered, but the window did not.
He then pulled out a shotgun, but three officers using a taser and pepper spray were able to subdue him, police said.
Going into a police station with a shotgun, delivering a threatening note, throwing a glass bong at a bulletproof window, and then putting your finger on a shotgun's trigger when surrounded by heavily-armed cops?
Funny. This guy doesn't seem like a heavy pot smoker or anything.
Thanks to NickS.
— Ace I just hope they don't go all Pet Semetary on their owners:
SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.
US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.
Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.
The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.
But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.
And there's a military application:
Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Centre.
[A short period of suspended animation] should be enough to save lives such as battlefield casualties and victims of stabbings or gunshot wounds, who have suffered huge blood loss.
Okay, but what about Pet Semetary Syndrome?
Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage.
"The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor.
Thanks to LauraW.
— Ace So he alleges, anyway.
He claims New Line didn't allow competitive bidding for some ancillary (merchandising) rights for the films but instead gave the rights to other companies in the Time Warner family in a bit of self-dealing.
Time Warner denies, saying that "most" rights went to outside companies.
Sort of a problem.
I'd like to see Republicans screw Hollywood and do a general public service. Hollywood's accounting practices are notoriously shady. They should hold hearings on that and maybe pass legislation to clean up Hollywood's business practices.
For example, the original two guys who pitched the original Batman movie were given "net points" in the profits when the project was taken away from them. Everyone knows "net points" are a polite way of saying "fuck you," because Hollywood always claims that no film ever makes a net profit and thus net points are worthless.
But... Batman went on to gross over a billion dollars. You'd have to think in this one instance Hollywood would be compelled to admit that yes, they'd made a profit, and therefore they owe someone some cash, right?
Wrong. At least as of a few years ago, Warner Bros. was still claiming that the original Batman had not turned a profit. They have some system where they charge the costs of failed films against the costs of profitable films and thereby claim the profitable films really weren't profitable at all.
Which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, and anyway, it's almost certainly total bullshit.
Hollywood is the Enron of the left. Why not force these people into more transparent and sensible accounting? It's only fair... and the studios would hate it.
Then again, the producers and stars and writers and directors might appreciate it, so who knows, there might be some influential people better inclined towards the Republican Party.
— Ace Unbelievable. Bury that lede, boys. Bury that lede.
Thanks to NickS.
June 27, 2005
— Ace Goofy but kinda true:
British men are being told to be alert to a condition that could "put them on the fast track to extinction".
Symptoms of the "illness" that has been dubbed "mantropy" include a penchant for pedicures, fruit smoothies and small dogs.
American Maxim, one of the biggest-selling men's magazines in the world, has defined mantropy as "a silent killer which strikes men in the prime of life".
The magazine has been urging American men to be macho rather than manicured and to indulge their passion for cars rather than clothes.
The campaign coincides with research that shows that men and women are being increasingly turned off by media images of well-groomed, feminine-looking men.
This research reinforces the findings of a poll published in April which found that 90 per cent of women preferred a man who was "low-maintenance and easy-going."
The magazine's website says: "If you are male, you're at risk. Mantropy knows no social or economic boundaries, attacking men of all races and tax brackets without warning."
Well, if Maxim says it, it must be true!
But... I don't know. I don't read the, uh, "lad-mags." Isn't Maxim just Details with pictures of models and stuff, so you can pretend you're not, well, "that way"?
(Ducks head; I have a feeling I'm about to be told off.)
Yannow, I had those Sullivan quotes and the King of the Hill poll-group story before you posted, Chief.
Hey, at least give a link to the Sullivan Freak-Out Advisory.
— Ace Just click. Click, or click not. There is no try.
I've got to comment -- briefly for once -- but I don't want to give away the joke. So I'll tuck my comment into the extended entry. Click, and then come back. I'll wait. more...
— Ace Bullying is bad, and I don't want to just knee-jerkedly take a position opposite to liberals by suggesting it's character-building or anything. It sucks. Losing a leg might be "character building," but most would prefer to keep their current complement of limbs rather than gain some character, and most kids would rather live their lives without ridicule and beatings than "learn to toughen up."
Dont Laugh at Me (or dlam) was born when Yarrowa veteran of the civil-rights, gender-equality, nucleardisarmament, peace, and Amtrak-subsidization movementsheard a country ballad of that name at the Kerrville Folk Festival, in the summer of 1999. Moved to tears by its swelling harmonies and first-person testaments to the effects of ridiculeIm a little boy with glasses, the one they call a geek / A little girl who never smiles cause Ive got braces on my teethhe decided to incorporate the tune into Peter, Paul & Marys repertoire. At a gig with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the group played the song. The principals gave a tremendous response to it, and said, We need this in our schools, Chic Dambach, Operation Respects president and C.E.O., said the other day. And Peter, being the activist and the organizer that he is, said, You wont just have a song but a whole program. dlam is now used in at least twelve thousand American schools and camps.
Next up [in the "dlam" performance piece set] was The Big Betrayal Conflict Script, a skit about two friends, Terry and Sasha, who get into a fight at a basketball game. The exercise emphasized using I messages, as opposed to those that begin with you and, therefore, can put their targets on the defensive. (dlam also recommends having students simulate the sound of a rainstorm and discuss a story called The Maligned Wolf.)
Just make sure theyre sticking to the formula, Hurdle-Price advised. I often get students who say, I feel that you are stupid.
"Teachable moments"? For crying out loud, you have children figuring out the way around your dumb "I messages" rule.
I believe that you, Peter Yarrow, are a fucking moron.
Pssst-- and remember, this is the "reality-based community" that's all into "complex thinking" and such.
Thanks to JackW.
Multimedia Bonus! Guy points out you can listen to "Don't Laugh At Me" here.
A kid who's gotten picked on before. Maybe a little dorky, a little gangly, or a little fat.
And now imagine this bullied kid playing this fucking pussy-shit song on his iPod. And having someone overhearing this saccharine sap.
I believe you, Peter Yarrow, are a goddamned sadist trying to get these poor kids murdered.
Son of a Bitch...! Update: I was going to make some nasty joke about never trusting these guys. I don't trust "adults" who are so into child-culture. I think there's usually an agenda there.
A sexual one.
"Puff the Magic Dragon"? Ummm... sounds an awful lot like a come on to a child.
I avoided making the joke because, well, lawsuit, yannow?
So, an unnamed commenter makes the remark that he would have guessed Peter Yarrow was a child molestor. I cautioned him that that was close to slander.
Pleaded guilty to taking "immoral and improper liberties" with a 14-year-old girl back in 1970.
As reported at the time, the girl and her 17-year-old sister went to Yarrow's hotel room seeking an autograph. Yarrow answered the door naked and made sexual advances that stopped short of intercourse. The 14-year-old resisted his advances but did not call for help. Yarrow served three months of a one- to three-year prison sentence and was pardoned by Carter in 1981.Peter Yarrow was married to the niece of Democratic Senator Eugene J. McCarthy at the time of the pardon.
The singer has acknowledged the incident as "the most terrible mistake I have ever made."
I had no idea. I know this is "old," as Dave says, but it's very new to me.
What the hell is this pedophile doing anywhere near schoolkids?
And why the f' does PBS inflict this no-talent douche-band's horrific music on us in "very special" concerts three f'n' times a year?
— Ace Several days old, never got around to posting it. But cool:
A 73-year-old Kenyan grandfather reached into the mouth of an attacking leopard and tore out its tongue to kill it, authorities said Wednesday.
Peasant farmer Daniel M'Mburugu was tending to his potato and bean crops in a rural area near Mount Kenya when the leopard charged out of the long grass and leapt on him.
M'Mburugu had a machete in one hand but dropped that to thrust his fist down the leopard's mouth. He gradually managed to pull out the animal's tongue, leaving it in its death-throes.
The leopard sank its teeth into the farmer's wrist and mauled him with its claws. "A voice, which must have come from God, whispered to me to drop the panga (machete) and thrust my hand in its wide open mouth. I obeyed," M'Mburugu said.
Ummmm... well, I guess it worked, but why didn't the "Voice from God" tell him to try whacking it on the head with the machette first to stun it or something?
Thank Goodness the Voice didn't say "reach up its ass and try tearing out its duodenem." I've tried that with gators, and trust me, if it doesn't work, you've got one pissed off gator.
Although about one in ten don't seem to mind so much.
But Reuters won't rest on its laurels reporting just that. It's ace reporter nails the story, buttoning it up with elan and punch, with this terrific quote:
"This guy is very lucky to be alive," Kenya Wildlife Service official Connie Maina told Reuters, confirming details of the incident.
In related news, Reuters can now confirm that Michael Jackson is "very lucky to be a free man."
Thanks to JH.
— Ace Alex notes--
If Soros wants a 'Why do they Hate Us' retread of everything every school child has already learned in high school about his country's checkered past--his monument will simply have no visitors--it will mean nothing.
Great point. How fucking condescending is it that these douchebags think that Americans don't know about Jim Crow?
I really wish the left would give up its constant didacticism.
America is not a classroom, you are not professors, and we are not students seeking your wisdom.
Okay, I'm on a liberal-baitin' jag lately. But here I go again.
Liberals have far too much of their self-worth deriving from the fact that they are liberal. Otherwise marginal intellects get to think themselves near-genii just because they think all the right things, read all the right books (or, let's be honest, read the New York Times reviews of all the right books, but claim later they actually read the books).
And, just as the sort of "Jeebus-lovin'" Kristian Konservative Kooks they deride, they gain a sense of moral superiority from their Belief in a Higher Power.
In this case, that Higher Power is Bill Moyers. Which is pretty sad. At least the higher power in Scientology wrote some halfway decent pulp sci-fi.
And the fact that they derive a such a potent sense of intellectual and moral superiority from These Things That They Believe means they really can never, ever
Just. Shut up. About it. Already.
What good is moral and intellectual superiority if you never get to share it with your friends? Or, for that matter, perfect strangers?
Liberals speak of "teachable moments." Conservatives don't. We view politics as politics, as rhetoric, persuasion, and, yes, even a little demagoguery sometimes.
Liberals view it as something more annoying. Not demagoguery. Pedagogy. It's the eternal, boundless classroom, where they are forever the wise instructing the young, dumb, and/or morally unformed.
Sort of like Robin Williams in Dead Poets' Society but with fewer references to Lord Byron and more mentions of Supersize Me.
Even food is now politicized. And liberals have to tell us, constantly, how much healthier we'd all be if we stopped with the meat and grease and fries and all.
Here's my usual political discussion with a liberal:
LIBERAL: But how can you believe that?
ME: I'd rather not discuss it. Let's keep this light. Say, I just saw The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. I've got to say I've had it with that guy's fey and hyper-mannered directorial style.
LIBERAL: I don't want to talk about that. I want to hear how you can believe such a thing. I want to understand you.
ME: There's nothing to understand. We disagree, and we're probably better off leaving it at that. Hey-- you know what would be good right about now? Popcorn shrimp, that's what. I tell you what feller, nothing hits the spot like popcorn shrimp.
LIBERAL: I cannot discuss such trivialities as popcorn shrimp with you abnegating--
LIBERAL: --abnegating my very sense of self-worth. Let me explain to you what you should think, and why I'm wonderful for thinking these things already.
ME: Oh, God. Here we go.
LIBERAL: It's interesting you mention "God." I suppose you're one of those religious loonies. Ah, well. We'll get to that soon enough. Now, we begin with Willie Horton...
I'm quite serious about this. Conservatives don't usually want to discuss politics with those who disagree, because, well, it's disagreeable and there's little point.
But dang-- when a liberal finds out you're not a liberal... most really, really want to talk their way through this massive problem in the relationship.
Even if you barely know the person.
It's a political movement made up entirely of Overweening Jewish Grandmothers, always nagging, always kvetching, always offering advice you're just never gonna take, and then always wondering why "Mr. Big-Shot" has no time to call back anymore.
Well, Grammy, look, we know you mean well and all, but stop with the unending lecture. Boring as it is, we'd rather hear about your gardening than the latest tirade about how we should really be more like Cousin Efram.
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