Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Even I, cynic that I am, am mind-boggled by this.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


The Norwegians have recently discovered what the Jews have known for centuries--that there is a link between survival and humor. Andrea sent me this article on a study by a Norwegian researcher that concluded that people with a good sense of humor live longer. Apparently the more central a role humor plays in your life, the more years you'll spend on the planet. I, who have often said that I can survive anything as long as I have my sense of humor and my Mastercard, feel that I am bound to live a good long time. Perhaps the fact that I surround myself with punsters will make up for a lack of exercise.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Third war's the charm

Our government is founded upon the intelligence of the people. I for one do not despair of the republic. I have great confidence in the virtue of the great majority of the people, and I cannot fear the result. Andrew Jackson

I belong to an organization that has a truism: "Insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results." And this is the line that came to mind when I read this morning that the Dems have decided it's not a good idea to limit Bush's ability to go to war with Iran. To be more specific, the House is contemplating an appropriations bill that would hemorage another 100 billion dollars into the war effort. The bill would require troops to be out of Iraq in 18 months, which of course, the executive branch finds appalling.

I tell you the whole thing makes me sick and angry. And to think I was actually contemplating a blog entry this week on Hillary being wrongly maligned for her stance on the war. [The NYT has a side-by-side comparison of the candidates vis-a-vis the war, and their Hilary quote:
If I had been President in October of 2002, I would have never asked for authority to divert our attention from Afghanistan to Iraq, and I certainly would never have started this war.
got me curious what exactly she did have to say in 2002 when she voted yes on HJ Res 114.

Salon had an article last month lambasting her for her refusal to admit she was wrong on her initial support of the war, and rather than finding it convincing it actually made me concede that Clinton has been more consistent on her war position than I initially granted her. In her speech on the resolution she says:
...I will take the president at his word that he will try hard to pass a U.N. resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible....I urge the president to spare no effort to secure a clear, unambiguous demand by the United Nations for unlimited inspections ... A vote for [the resolution] is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our president and we say to him: Use these powers wisely and as a last resort.
Which brings us to the issue of Iran and the Democrats decision to give Bush a blank check to go to war. Hell-oooh??? It revolts me that we're not even talking anymore about the US's dogged refusal to learn from history. Now we're talking about some sort of mass amnesia regarding five years ago. Maybe the Senators could take the memento approach and start tattooing important facts on their forearms ("Don't give president authority to go to war!")

This is from the AP article:
Public opinion has swung the way of Democrats on the issue of the war. More than six in 10 Americans think the conflict was a mistake--the largest number yet found in AP-Ipsos polling.

But Democrats have struggled to find a compromise that can satisfy both liberals who oppose any funding for the military effort and conservatives who do not want to unduly restrict the commander in chief.
Why is it that Republicans are the only ones who seem to have figured out that public opinion will follow them if they lead? Why are the Democrats so retarded???

I really want to believe in democracy. I really do.


Monday, March 12, 2007

It was a dark and stormy title

While I've always gotten a chuckle out of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, the fact that all of the entries are made up takes some of the fun out of it for me (though see this page on the Bulwer-Lytton site which contains actual published gems such as ""She stuck to his prime-grade A tush like shrink-wrap to a rump roast.").

The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year on the other hand, has only bonafide publication titles competing. This year's entries (see the lower right-hand corner of the page) include a range of future classics such as How Green Were the Nazis? and The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification. And the lists from previous years were enough to make me laugh out loud even today, a Monday made worse by the need to "spring forward" this weekend.

My personal favorite is probably The Art and Craft of Pounding Flowers: No Paint, No Ink, Just a Hammer! but that may just be a reflection of my mood today. (A thanks to Nick for forwarding the URL.)

Friday, March 09, 2007


Newt Gingrich to James Dobson, explaining why it wasn't hypocritical of him to be gunning for Clinton even as he was shtupping some chick who was not his wife:
The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge.... as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials
It makes me think of the times they arrest people for resisting arrest.

Misappropriation of funds--now that's a different story.

I know you are but what am I?

While I tend to think of YouTube as that great site that brings us classics like this, it is, apparently, ground zero for a virtual "war" between Turkey and Greece with people in both countries volleying nationalistic insults back and forth via online video clips. But Greece has gone a bridge too far in the latest pixelated grenade by calling Ataturk, and Turks in general, gay, and Turkey is banning YouTube entirely. Truly the whole thing is pretty remarkable. It's like what if PeeWee Herman were in charge of diplomatic affairs. Not only are there hundreds of edifying videos like Ataturk is not Gay! and Gay Greece, they each have long threads of "whoever smelt it dealt it" sorts of comments:
I am a gay Turk and am sick and tired of village idiot Turks comming on here and pretending that you cannot be Turkish and openly like bum sex. It is so macho to be a Turk accept when they are busy bumming each other and then pretending that our founder was not a bum bandit.
Makes you glad to be an American; we only have to worry about our Founders being slave owners.