September 30, 2005

Judith Miller and the Year Old Waiver
— Dr. Reo Symes

Recently, someone on (formerly) jailed NyTimes reporter Judith Miller’s team started the ball rolling toward her release by contacting the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald. The story they told him: the only reason their client was still sitting in jail, refusing to testify, was because Joe Tate (lawyer for Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby) told them a year ago Libby’s waiver wasn’t really voluntary.

Fitzgerald apparently sent off a heated letter to Tate. I say "apparently," because though we don’t have that letter, the NyTimes obtained Tate’s excited response. They also have Floyd Abrams' (Miller's lawyer) reply to Tate and released them both today.

Comparing them, it seems obvious they can't both be telling the truth. The NyTimes Adam Liptak writes:

The dueling letters give sharply divergent accounts of what was said a year ago when lawyers for Ms. Miller and her source, I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, discussed the possibility of Ms. Miller's testimony before a grand jury investigating the possibly unlawful disclosure of the identity of a C.I.A. officer.

That summary doesn’t do them justice. To get the real 'No, you’re lying. No you are' schoolyard sizzle, you have to read the actual letters (link in Liptak's article). Or just read this: more...

Posted by: Dr. Reo Symes at 11:07 PM | Comments (21)
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Daily Kos Diarist Calls For Streets Awash In Blood
— Ace

Quick, before it gets deleted:

It's become more and more apparent to me over the past five years that all the activism and non-violent protesting in the world will do precisely squat. When you're dealing with evil people who have no shame, the old rules of the game don't and, indeed, can't apply if you have any hope for success. Hundreds of thousands of people have marched, millions of letters have been written, tens of millions of votes cast, and hundreds of trillions of electrons expended pontificating on blogs...for nothing. Nothing has changed. Nothing will change. Not unless it comes in the form of something akin to the French Revolution.

We need terror. We need horror. We need the streets running awash in rivers of blood of these thugs and criminals and zealots. Activism didn't prevent 60,000 deaths in Vietnam. All the activism of the Civil Rights era has gotten African Americans precisely nowhere. Segregation may not be the law of the land anymore, but it's still the de facto state of America.

When y'all want to start throwing molotovs and sniping from windows come and talk to me. Until then, I will be content to retire, be a hermit, and laugh at everyone. Even then, I may still just feel like laughing as the world falls apart around me, but at least I'll be willing to listen.

Believe it or not, this Kosmonaut fears she's losing her grip on reality:

My mental state is collapsing and deteriorating almost daily. It's so consistent you could practically graph it.

Yes, they have a machine for that and everything. It's called an EEG. And you should see this other cool machine they have... it delivers the most pleasant electric shocks to the frontal lobe of your brain. Some people swear by it!

Thanks to Bareknuckle Politics.

Posted by: Ace at 09:14 PM | Comments (169)
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Louisiana Democrats Know How To Get Buses Moving, When It's Important
— Ace

Like, for example, when they need to get voters to the polls or lose their jobs:

....a thousand people all were part of the push that got nearly 186,000 voters to New Orleans polls on Election Day and gave Democrat Mary Landrieu a U.S. Senate victory.

...it was Morial's get-out-the-vote teams that won the day for Landrieu...

For instance, when the management team got word at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday that a GOP tracking poll showed Jenkins ahead, it was time for an instant parade. "Within 45 minutes, we arranged a motorcade," Tucker said. "We found Mary and Marc, got school buses for workers and sound trucks with music and put on a parade to flush out our voters."

Landrieu and Morial waved from campaign manager Norma Jane Sabiston's convertible..."We moved them into the major housing project areas blowing horns and playing New Orleans music..."

Thanks to RCL.

Posted by: Ace at 09:03 PM | Comments (16)
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The Shining: The Feel Good Family Fun-Ride of the Fall!
— Ace

A trailer for a recut, happy sort of Shining.

Thanks to VonKreedon.

Posted by: Ace at 08:02 PM | Comments (9)
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Friday Haiku Flame War
— Ace

Been a while.

A Rustling in Dave's Pants

Powers Boothe's got
a lot of hate in him. I wish he'd put
some of that hate... in me.

Posted by: Ace at 12:07 PM | Comments (188)
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Terrorists Target Paris' Metro
— Ace

As Karol snarks, it's probably due to those 5,000 French troops in Iraq.

Posted by: Ace at 12:05 PM | Comments (7)
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Worst Movie Sex Scenes Of All Time
— Ace

There's a lot of bad sex in Hollywood. Only 0.1% gets filmed, though.

An infamous swimming pool-based clinch from the much-criticised 1995 film "Showgirls" received the dubious honour of being named the worst sex scene in the history of cinema.

Paul Verhoeven's film, starring Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle MacLachlan, was critically mauled on its release, to the extent that it is now viewed by some as a cult classic.

...

Other titles in the top 10 include Madonna's 1993 potboiler "Body of Evidence", where she drips hot candle wax on Willem Dafoe, and part of recent Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez flop "Gigli".

"Unfeasibly bad, the pair, while sexy as hell on their own, together here couldn't generate enough heat to toast bread," the magazine complains.

Eh. Affleck and Lopez were just fine in that scene. It was Affleck's toupee that really phone in its performance.

I'm not quite sure how they missed Deliverance. Definitely not hot.

Well, a tiny bit hot, okay.

All right, very, very, very hot. Ever since that scene I get a "funny feeling" when watching the Superman movies. OOOO-tis!

Posted by: Ace at 10:36 AM | Comments (26)
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I Thought This Tiger Steak Had A Certain Wang To It
— Ace

Not good:

Want to become strong and potent like a tiger? Then why not try our special tiger meat dish? This was the question posed to customers at a restaurant in Hailin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The establishment was later fined and ordered to close for inspection, after a local newspaper revealed its recommendation of the outlawed dish.

...

The restaurant was offering a dish of stir-fried tiger meat with hot peppers for 800 yuan (US$9 , according to reports.

...


The tiger-meat story published in a local newspaper has created shock waves.

Police subsequently raided the restaurant and confiscated the so-called tiger meat.

After inspection, the owner, Ma Shikun, confessed that the so-called tiger meat was actually donkey meat that had been dressed with tiger urine, to give the dish a "special" flavour.

Yeahp. It tasted like chicken.

Thanks to cutaway.

Posted by: Ace at 10:30 AM | Comments (16)
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Religion of Peace (TM), Part 8,735
— Ace

Two "mosque leaders" indicted in NY for conspiring to support terrorism.

Another shocking development.

Posted by: Ace at 09:49 AM | Comments (5)
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Bill Bennett's Slip of the Tongue
— Ace

The book Freakonomics noted that abortion had reduced the crime rate, by reducing the number of children born to poor, unmarried, often teen mothers, the children most likely to commit crime later on.

Bennet, in discussing bad arguments for and against abortion, noted that just because you could abort "every black baby" in this country, and it be "an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do," but conceded "the crime rate would go down."

Liberals, and Media Matters of course (the link above) are of course making a major fuss out of this.

Yes, he mispoke. It's wince-inducing statement, something you know someone shouldn't have said. But while Media Matters righteously points out that Freakonomics did not make a "race-based argument," it does seem to me that poor unmarried teenagers having babies will, as a statistical matter, skew fairly black.

He shouldn't have said it -- no need to say "black," and "black" isn't the right word anyway; the theory talks about poor children born out of wedlock, some of which are black, but many of which aren't, and of course many black children aren't born poor or out of wedlock -- but one can hardly cry "racism" for making this inadvertant equivalency while speaking extemporaneously.

Mark Levin at the Corner is having none of it.

I like this line:

Let's not cede the moral high ground to people who've never held it.

Via the Blogometer.

Posted by: Ace at 07:37 AM | Comments (160)
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House Votes To Reform Endangered Species Act
— Ace

Making it a little more friendly to humans:

Among other things, the bill would mandate the federal gummint to compensate private property owners whose development plans are blocked under that law to protect critters and creatures. The bill also removes certain protections for animals when land usages severely would be limited as a result thereof.

Posted by: Ace at 06:22 AM | Comments (14)
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September 29, 2005

Let's Get the Kids!
— Harry Callahan

Animal rights terrorists start targeting children.

Such progress!

Posted by: Harry Callahan at 08:41 PM | Comments (16)
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More Good News for Meeses
— Dr. Reo Symes

Crazy.

Genetically altered mice discovered accidentally at the Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania have the seemingly miraculous ability to regenerate like a salamander, and even regrow vital organs.

Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back.

The results stunned scientists because if such regeneration is possible in this mammal, it might also be possible in humans.

The researchers also made a remarkable second discovery: When cells from the regenerative mice were injected into normal mice, the normal mice adopted the ability to regenerate. And when the special mice bred with normal mice, their offspring inherited souped-up regeneration capabilities.

The article even has nice pictures of a mouse’s ear with a pretty good size hole (I dunno, maybe baseballish were the mouse man size) just healing itself up. No scars.

You know, I read stuff like this about every two weeks it seems. Not the same story, just researchers somewhere doing something so mindblowing, the only way to deal with it is to pretend it’s Sci-Fi or that i didn't read it. Stuff that calls into question too many assumptions hard wired into my brain.

We live in amazing times.

Posted by: Dr. Reo Symes at 06:59 PM | Comments (26)
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This One's for Arafel
— LauraW.

Hey buddy. This is your call to arms!

Apparently Australians take procreation pretty seriously.

During a budget speech in May last year, Costello urged Australians to have more children, telling couples to "have one for your husband, one for your wife and one for your country."

I can't say that's really such a big idea. I mean, what else do Aussies have to do?
Its sad. Hump, or wrestle crocodiles? Make love, or skin another kangaroo?

Someday, we have to send a group of Missionaries down there and fix that place up for civilized people.

Posted by: LauraW. at 05:53 PM | Comments (21)
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N.Y. Times' Judith Miller Out of Jail
— Dr. Reo Symes

Judith Miller, jailed since July on contempt of court charges for refusing to divulge conversations with 'confidential sources' in the Valerie Plame matter, was scheduled for release late next month.

She got out today.

What changed? Well the article doesn't come right out and say it, but presumably she's decided to talk to the Grand Jury. What the article does mention:

[Miller] was released after she had a telephone conversation with the Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, sources said. In that conversation, Libby reaffirmed that he had released Miller from a promise of confidentiality more than a year ago, sources said.

So it sounds like she got the 'no for real, really, you can talk' super-release she wanted from her source, which now looks like Scooter Libby.

This apparantly ends the speculation she was covering up for another media source, Plame herself or even Plame's husband, ex-diplomat, puffy blowhard, Joseph Wilson.

I'm sure we're setting sail for a whole new world of stories as to why it took this long to get the release straightened out, (What, did Miller lose his number? Some burly jailhouse Brenda been hoggin the phone since July?) and even more "Plame Game" rehashes. Bring a pillow.

Update: A link not requiring registration confirms she will testify Friday.

Posted by: Dr. Reo Symes at 04:07 PM | Comments (15)
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UPN's Censors Let Obscene "Shocker" Gesture Get By On Veronica Mars
— Ace

Two guys talking about getting some action flashed each other the "shocker" hand-gesture, one of the more obscene gestures out there. So obscene, in fact, that a high school had to re-do its entire yearbook when 34 students were pictured flashing it.

I'm not a prude. Seriously, I'm not. I'm just sayin'. If you can't show the almost-cute-and-dainty middle finger, you really oughtn't be able to show this one. It's as crude as they come... except that most people don't know what it means.

CONTENT WARNING on the link above, which describes what the gesture is supposed to mean. It's basically a variation of the British two-finger salute, if you know what that's all about.

Posted by: Ace at 03:39 PM | Comments (188)
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Vote Or Die (Really!): Sheila Jackson Lee Blames Katrina Deaths On "Suppression" of Black Vote
— Ace

Dagnabit, if only George Bush would stop being so "divisive" we could finally return to a pre-impeachment-war period of civility and reasoned political discourse.

The Bush administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina may be the result of minority votes being suppressed and Democratic candidates losing the last two presidential elections, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus has alleged.

"Watching family members and others cling to rooftops in Hurricane Katrina, I wonder whether or not the absence of attention [to the recovery effort] is attributable to the loss of a vote in 2000 and 2004," U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, said.

She added that the government's hurricane response gave her the feeling of "deja vu," following the Republican Party's alleged attempts to undermine the black vote in those two presidential elections.

Let me put aside that this is yet another high Democratic official engaging in moonbat conspiracy theorizing that would make a run-of-the-mill paranoid schizophrenic blush. "There there now Old Man," the razor-cut-striped lunatic would say. "Let's not go off the deep end here now, eh? Let's be a tad more rational about all this."

It's crazy, yes. But it's worse than crazy, which I've come to expect. It's fucking stupid. It doesn't even make any fucking sense.

How does the "suppression of the black vote" lead to killing blacks (or deliberately letting them be killed) by a hurricane? I mean, you know, if we're already effectively suppressing their votes, why do we have to kill them, too?

When you think about it, these "suppressed black voters," being Democrats, would have a much better chance of having their votes registered at the polls if they were dead than if they were still alive.

Let's grant her her premises:

A) The racist white Republican power structure ("The Man") suppressed black turnout in 2000 and 2004.

B) Some blacks couldn't vote, although, as usual of late, they did vote in pretty high numbers.

C) Therefore... we killed them.

What? How do you get from A to C? If anything, the failure to effectively suppress the black vote would lead to killing them. If we can't suppress them, I guess, we gots to takes them out.

Seriously. Most conspiracy theories, no matter how batshit crazy, make a kind of sense if you accept the dubious premises that undergird them. This one just doesn't make any kind of sense, except, perhaps, to a partisan retard like Sheila Jackson Lee.

Note the operation reporting this is the conservative-leaning on-line CNSN. Do you expect the MSM to take Ms. Lee to task for her hateful lunacies?

Of course not. We need a diversity of viewpoints, and the poisonous rantings of the bitter left are important to hear... but not important enough to hear, I guess, for the MSM to actually bother reporting on to a broader audience. The MSM is very protective of the Democratic Party, and doesn't want this sort of fever-swamp fantasia heard by anyone except the hardcore Democratic base, always in need of being "excited."

"News judgment" and "years of journalistic experience" dictate that moderate voters, who might be swayed in the wrong direction by such demented dipshittery, just don't need to hear stuff like this, and so the MSM won't trouble them by repeating it.

And Eff Off, Bill! Update: Okay, Bill doesn't really have to eff off. But he'll probably say something about neutral evaluation of a story's newsworthiness leading to this one getting little play. There are other reasons, apart from partisan bias, that animate the MSM's choice of what to report, and what to embargo.

What poppycock, if I may use such bold language. I'm getting weary of of hearing about these supposedly "neutral considerations" when time and time again these "neutral considerations" dictate, we are told, balls-to-the-wall flood-the-zone coverage of embarassments for conservatives and total disinterest in, bordering on active suppression of, any story that might tend to hurt the Democratic Party.

If these considerations are indeed "neutral," wouldn't one expect that about half the time they would help the Republicans, and only the other half they would help the Democrats? How does this coin-flip of a situation always seem to come up heads liberals win, tails conservatives lose?

Don't believe me? Hypothetical: A conservative Congressman wonders if swaths of the black population of New Orleans deliberately engaged in criminal behavior in order to garner political sympathy and federal dollars.

Think Ted Koppel might lead with that story tonight? And tomorrow night? And the night after tomorrow?

If we're going to have an "honest discussion about race" in this country, there has to be some, you know, actual honesty involved. Whether it hurts the Democratic Party or not, and whether or not it hurts the feelings of blacks to hear that many of the conspiracy theories their leaders offer (and which many believe) are simply insane and as viciously, unhingedly racist as any of the crap the Ku Klux Klan ever cooked up.

Posted by: Ace at 12:54 PM | Comments (37)
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The Last Nerve: Sullivan Says You're All Nazis
— Ace

Bumped for Update.

Quothing Hitler, now, Andy?:

Why babble about brutality and get indignant about tortures? The masses want them. They need something that will give them a thrill of horror. - Adolf Hitler.

Let me cite the useful and justifiably-famous Godwin's Law of Online Debate:

Andrew Sullivan is a hissy-fit hack of a drama-queen douchebag.

Well, that's not the law so much as a related axiom.

Let me quote someone else:

My training is now complete. When I left you, I was but a learner. But now I am the master. -- Darth Vader

Only a master of evil, Andy.

Thanks to Allah.

Torture Works: You can be against torturing -- or, as we're actually doing, physically coercing -- terrorists who intend to kill dozens if not hundreds of innocent people, and whose silence does in fact equal death.

But you cannot enter the debate with eyes closed. Torture works, and if you're not willing to lay one unwelcome finger upon people who would maim and murder scores of civilians, you are required to justify your opposition in more nuanced terms than "hurting people is bad."

Is it more immoral to twist an arm or subject someone to stress positions or to allow innocent civilians to be butchered? Excitable Andy never seems to even consider the balance of harms.

Because preening self-righteousness is his stock in trade.

How can he offer such high-quality moral peacockery at such low prices? Three words: Volume, volume, volume.

A Perfect Day For Silly Nazi Name-Calling: It's the 64th anniversary of the massacre of Babi Yar.

On the morning of September 29, tens of thousands of Jews arrived at the appointed location. Some arrived extra early in order to ensure themselves a seat on the train [believing they were merely to be deported]. A large crowd formed. Each person held onto their family members and belongings. Children were crying. They couldn't see what was happening up ahead.

Most waited hours in this crowd - only slowly moving toward what they thought was a train.

The Germans were counting out only a few people at a time and then letting them move farther on. Machine-gun fire could be heard nearby. For those that realized what was happening and wanted to leave, it was too late. There was a barricade staffed by Germans who were checking identification papers of those wanting out. If the person was Jewish, they were forced to remain.

Taken from the front of the line in groups of ten, they were led to a corridor, about four or five feet wide, formed by rows of soldiers on each side. The soldiers were holding sticks and would hit the Jews as they went by.

...

In small groups of ten, the Jews were taken along the edge of the ravine. One of the very few survivors remembers she "looked down and her head swam, she seemed to be so high up. Beneath her was a sea of bodies covered in blood."

Once the Jews were lined up, the Nazis used a machine-gun to shoot them. When shot, they fell into the ravine. Then the next then were brought along the edge and shot.

According to the Einsatzgruppe Operational Situation Report No. 101, 33,771 Jews were killed at Babi Yar on September 29 and 30. But this was not the end of the killing at Babi Yar.

The Nazis next rounded up Gypsies and killed them at Babi Yar. Patients of the Pavlov Psychiatric Hospital were gassed and then dumped into the ravine. Soviet prisoners of war were brought to the ravine and shot. Thousands of other civilians were killed at Babi Yar for trivial reasons, such as a mass shooting in retaliation for just one or two people breaking a Nazi order. The killing continued for months at Babi Yar. It is estimated that 100,000 people were murdered there.

Mark in Mexico has more on the massacre.

Thanks to Allah for pointing out Sully's serendipity in accusing his myriad persecutors of being Nazis on this dread anniversary.

Posted by: Ace at 12:39 PM | Comments (44)
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Gay Marriage Will Lead To Polygamy? What Are The Odds Of That?
— Ace

Pretty f'n' good, as it turns out. The first three-party marriage -- well, "civil union" -- has occurred in the Netherlands.

Asked by journalists to tell the secret of their peculiar relationship, Victor explained that there is no jealousy between them. “But this is because Mirjam and Bianca are bisexual. I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult.”

Just a little. How the hell did this guy manage this, anyhow?

Oh. Well, now that I see the man's blazing animal charisma, it's all so clear to me.

I owe someone a hat-tip, but I don't know who. Whoever you are-- thanks!

Posted by: Ace at 10:26 AM | Comments (67)
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And When You Gaze Into The Abyss of Government Power, the Abyss of Government Power Gazes Back Into You
— Ace

Anklebiting Pundits notes that, yes, Power Corrupts.

It would at least be nice if more Republican officeholders made a pretense of resisting the corruption of power.

I'm sorry, but today's GOP seems to have a theory: Democrats spent an awful lot, but we'll spend even more, mostly just to continue buying off our constituents with pork projects they don't even particularly want. And we'll get away with it-- because ten or twenty years ago we were known as fiscal disciplinarians, budget hawks, and general tight-wadded pricks. This reputation will continue to insulate us against the naked fact that what was for Dan Rostentowski and Tip O'Neill a mere wet dream is in fact the 2004 budget we passed.

Guys-- we're not that stupid. I mean, stupid, certainly, but that stupid? Only on off days.

I remember a time when Woody Allen was actually funny. That doesn't mean I rushed right out to buy a ticket to Hollywood Ending.

In the words of Janet Jackson -- Miss Jackson if you're nasty -- what have you done for me lately?

It hurts to say but it's true. And it's time we began saying it, loudly. Bill Clinton showed much more fiscal discipline than George Bush.

Was he forced to do that by a Republican Congress? Partly. But it seems that the Republican Congresses that restrained him did so out of partisanship, not principle, because when a Republican is President, they want to spend like it's going out of style.

Posted by: Ace at 10:14 AM | Comments (29)
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