Sunday, July 31, 2005


I'm not complaining or anything (well, not much), but how do Barbarians talk? If we were pirates we could talk like pirates, but we're not, we're barbarians, and I don't know how barbarians talk.

I only know how they drink, quaffing brews from tankards and spilling great quantities down their muscular naked chests.* And that's what we, the BARBARians, will be doing at Zeitgeist in San Francisco this Tuesday, starting around 6.

*Sorry, I have no pictures. You're just going to have to trust me that we have muscular chests. How could we not, though; we're bloggers.

Go Figure

When Rick Barry (90.0% career free throw percentage) offered to teach Shaquille O'Neal (53.1% career free throw percentage) how to shoot free throws underhand, O'Neal responded that he'd "rather miss every foul shot than shoot them like a girl."

O'Neal is over 7' tall and weighs well over 300 pounds. He is the dominant physical force in the NBA, and he's concerned about appearing girlish?

What a wuss.

From the File of "Things I'd Deliberately Forgotten"

From a John Colapinto "New Yorker" article...

"Last summer, the F.D.A. approved the leech as a medicinal device, making this only the second time that the agency has authorized such a use for a live animal."

And the first time the F.D.A. issued such an approval? 2004, when they approved the use of maggots to be applied to wounds to consume necrotic tissue.

Nice. Hope I didn't catch any of you with this while you were eating.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just Kidding

Hey, you know what would be fun? Dress up in a dark suit, get a phony badge, and go over to the home of some Republican and say you're from the Secret Service and have some questions concerning comments you've heard he made that threatened the President. Don't worry, you won't get in any trouble. Apparently impersonating a Secret Service Agent is now as acceptable as blowing the cover of CIA operatives.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Tube Shooting

Speaking of the shooting by London police of Jean Charles de Menezes, who apparently had nothing to do with terrorists, London Mayor Ken Livingstone said, "This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility."

On the one hand, this is clearly passing the buck for the actions of London police. ON the other hand, though, it's clearly correct. It also counts as a clear victory for the terrorists. When police start fatally shooting unarmed "terror suspects" who are completely unrelated to terrorist actions, the terrorists have gone a long way toward more than disrupting our way of life, but toward undermining our commitment to due process and the rule of law. Despite the mewling fears of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, the terrorists do not pose an existential threat to us. The best they can hope for is to paralize us with fear and get us to turn on ourselves. Those who are willing to jettison our constitutional safeguards to combat "terror" serve the terrorists.

(Update: Ah, I should have known better. As too often happens when I stray into areas like this, King of Zembla already covered this point, more thoroughly and better.)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The New Supreme

In his weekly radio address yesterday, President Bush said the person he nominates to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will be "a fair minded individual who represents the mainstream of American law and American values" and "will meet the highest standards of intellect, character and ability and will pledge to faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country." He continued by saying "our nation deserves, and I will select, a Supreme Court justiec that Americans can be proud of."

Apparently, and much to my surprise and delight, he will not be nominating a Republican.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Craptacular Times

Writing in the New York Times about the Plame affair, John Tierney comments,
"Well, there's always the chance that the prosecutor will turn up evidence of perjury or obstruction of justice during the investigation, which would just prove once again that the easiest way to uncover corruption in Washington is to create it yourself by investigating nonexistent crimes."
Could somebody with a Nexus subscription please find for me the column Tierney must have written 7 or 8 years ago similarly addressing the Starr investigation?

Double Standard? No, he's just a bitch

In a July 6 column in the LA Times, Rosa Brooks questioned the widespread embracing of the Queen of Iraq for her martyrdom in the name of a free press. In response to that, Tucker Carlson referred to Ms. Brooks as "catty." Ms. Brooks responded in a July 13 column by wondering if Carlson was employing a double standard, whether he would have referred to a male columnist at catty (don't you love the way folks like Carlson and Brooks make use of such valuable media real estate?). Since the adjective that best describes Carlson is "bitchy" ("prissy" comes in second) and he is unquestionably a punk-ass bitch, I think it's fair to say that he wasn't being sexist.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Race is On

While my BARBARian compatriot Scaramouche is pimping the blog "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" as it approaches it's millionth visitor, I have to throw my substantial blog weight behind Sadly, No's longshot effort to get there first. I can't link to Skippy 'cause if the hordes of you who read this blog and follow my hyperlinks clicked there the bad guys would win.

Best Governator Money Can Buy

At least he isn't in the pocket of special interests.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Anatomy of a Smear

Great job by Digby summarizing the Plame Affair from the beginning. In words so simple, even a Republican could understand it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hey, It Was Rove!

So, to recap.

A "Senior Administration Official" leaks to the several members of the press that Valerie Plame is a covert CIA official.

The President says he will fire whoever it is.

It turns out to be, whoa, big surprise here, Karl Rove. Either Rove failed to tell the President that he was the leaker, which for some people would be great lapse in judgment (both the leaking and the failure to tell the boss), or he told Bush and ole George just blew it off. Bush has been revealed (again) as either an emasculated chump or a liar.

When asked if that means Rove will be fired, Scott McClellan says, "Any individual who works here at the White House has the president's confidence. They wouldn't be working here if they didn't have the president's confidence."

That's really going to be the end of it, you know. The press will whine for a couple of weeks and the Democrats will fulmininate, but nothing else will happen. There will be no Congressional investigations, there will be no convictions.

Did any of you really think this would turn out any other way?

Torn From the Headlines

Headlines from this week's particulary strong Ironic Times:
America's Response to London Bombing Debated
Some top Bush advisers want to invade Syria, others Iran.
Judith Miller Being Treated
Well in Prison

According to high-level White House source.
Columnist Bob Novak Reveals
More Names of CIA Agents

Judge sends more New York Times reporters to jail.

Go. Read. Chuckle.

Played For Patsies

Over at Tapped, Garance Franke-Ruta writes, regarding the obvious lies Scott McClellan has been tossing off from his podium over the last several years, "If there is one thing that reporters hate, it's being played for patsies."

I think we've all seen ample evidence that this simply is not true. They'll allow themselves to be played for patsies from now til sundown, as long as at the end of the day they still have access to those "anonymous senior administration officials." The problem here for reporters is that they've been exposed as having been played for patsies. It's not that they have any integrity; it's that they want us to think they do.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Bush and Anti-Terrorism

This seems like as good a time as any to point out again that if Bush were really serious about combatting terrorism, then nearly 4 years after 9/11 Osama wouldn't still be at large and some effort would have been made to capture Zarqawi before the Iraq invasion, while he was in the area of Iraq not controlled by Saddam, rather than leaving him alone so that he could be used as an example to a credulous public of how Saddam harbored al Qaeda.

Of course, if America really cared about fighting terrorism, we wouldn't have reelected somebody so demonstrably incompetent at and/or indifferent to the effort.

Just saying.

Conservatives and Evolution

Over at Hullabaloo, leading conservatives comment on their feelings on evolution and "intelligent design." It's a pretty mixed bag of responses, with fewer than I would have expected outright rejecting evolution and embracing ID. Most in fact, kind of weasel their way out of the ID question by saying they just don't know much about it. David Brooks was fairly typical in his response, "I've never really studied the issue or learned much about ID, so I'm afraid I couldn't add anything intelligent to the discussion." If only he would apply that standard to other topics he rights about.

To my surprise, among the most clearheaded responses was from Krauthammer, who said of whether he believes in evolution, "of course," of what he thinks of intelligent design,"At most, interesting," and on whether ID should be taught in schools, "The idea that [intelligent design] should be taught as a competing theory to evolution is ridiculous. ... The entire structure of modern biology, and every branch of it [is] built around evolution and to teach anything but evolution would be a tremendous disservice to scientific education. If you wanna have one lecture at the end of your year on evolutionary biology, on intelligent design as a way to understand evolution, that's fine. But the idea that there are these two competing scientific schools is ridiculous." Wow. Apparently Dr. Quackenstein has some integrity left, after all. Who knew?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Not Again

This is not what you want to wake up to the day your 16 year-old daughter and her mother are scheduled to fly to London.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Well, He Won't be Causing Any More Trouble

In what amounts to a throwaway line in a recent column (and apparently since followed up by a whole column - I would link to it but registration is required and I found the Philly Inquirer registration process peculiarly problematic) about how the conditions in Iraq have deteriorated since her most recent previous visit in January, Trudy Rubin wrtes, "my wonderful translator, a young doctor named Yasser Saliee, was shot dead by U.S. soldiers on Frday as he drove on an errand."

I can't help but wonder if he's been counted as a dead "insurgent" by the "we don't do body counts" Pentagon.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Replacing O'Connor

Remember all the nonsense during the Gonzalez confirmation hearings about how Democrats who opposed Gonzalez did so because they are anti-Hispanic. Here's a chance for Bush to test that theory; he can appoint Edward Prado to replace O'Connor.

Revisiting Plame

Via Atrios, an entry at The All Spin Zone describing why the Plame affair is important.

The media have gotten so caught up in their little part of this story that they've lost sight of what the real story is. A highly placed official in the Bush Administration leaked the name of a CIA operative to members of the media in retaliation for the operative's husband daring to call bullshit on the flimsy Iraq-African uranium connection, compromising national security. I'm sorry, why are Miller and Cooper the focus here? Is it because covering the real story makes the press's collective head hurt?
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