Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
See You All a Little Further Down the Road

THE ROOM IS SMALL and kept dim, at night it is lit only by the glow of the screen. Outside, from the deck, the hill slopes down to the sea and the sea rolls out to Catalina hazy on the horizon.

At my hosting site, American page views crack 200,000 this month, up from 20,000 last July. Not all that bad, but still......

On my hard-drive there are three large folders of three book projects, and I am falling far behind in my promises to others. There's also a notebook with notes on topics I would really like to write about. Right now, there are 438 such notes.

Behind me a stack of some 15 books ordered in from Amazon and barely


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 31, 2004 2:27 PM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Brain Jazz

Image by Van der Leun

WE DON'T FILL IN A FORMULA of departments and features every week. We're jamming.

We just make up our content on the fly. No going back. No edits. Mainlining other's thoughts.

It's an infinite combo of brain musicians high on brain jazz.

If you can type and have something to say, you can sit in and jam.

You can play.

ANY NUMBER can play a number and that number is always an unknown number. But if you can play unknown numbers you can sit in on the session.

If not, you can just login and kick back and watch the others go at it.

You never know what you're going to get, or which way the next person is going to bend the thread.

You're just there, in real time, and saying, really, whatever comes into your head.

Sometimes its flat, even more often predictable, and, yes, it can get really boring, just like a lot of modern jazz.

But still, there are times -- rarer now to be sure -- when the thing just takes off

And you find yourself thinking things you never thought you'd think and saying things you never planned to say to a lot of people who are coming right back at you, jamming harder, seeing if you can all, somehow, take it higher.

Not to be profound, just to take it around. Your in a Doctor Strange brain groove and you've got lift-off.

Have this happen a couple of time and you're hooked, man. Like me, man. I've been hooked for years, man, but it doesn't rule my life, man.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 31, 2004 11:16 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Scene from My Psychoanalyst's Secret Club
"His writing is reverting to "politicus-restrictus", with an overburden of "terroristias-admonishmus." You recall how we dealt with his fixation on Howard Dean by having those friends of yours from the "Internet Police" show up on his doorstep?" (Dr. W smiles and nods) "Well, that worked for a while, and he looked like he was enjoying a wide range of subjects even more, in fact talking about getting back to his book. But, now..."

Place: A small, private men's club in Laguna Beach, California. Situated behind the Zinc Cafe, it is accessible only by a secret door, and only with the correct password. In the true spirit of men's club's, the inside is discreetly lit, the walls lined with books, overstuffed chairs and hunting trophies abound, and smoking is of course allowed. The only nod to the present is that the menu leans towards sushi.

Sitting in a chair is world famous and long rumored dead psychologist and science fiction author Dr. Sven Grepenstein. Dr. Grepenstein faded from public view in the mid 1990's when he independently decoded the signals from the SETI project, and discovered that ADD was a universally normal condition. Realizing that the rising occurrence of ADD in children was really nature's cruel joke of evolution, he faked his own death, and now lives off his savings and the tutoring a few aspiring psychologists.

As Dr. Grepenstein smokes his pipe, his latest protege, young Dr. W., arrives and walks over to his chair.

Dr. G. : "Ahhh! Young Dr. W.! How are ve doing today? Please, sit down. Sit down." A server appears at their table with Dr. W.'s usual drink, a Cadillac martini.

Dr. G. : "So, young Dr. W., how do your studies go?"

Dr. W.: "Oh, Dr G.". Long sigh. "I sometimes wonder if I have chosen the right field. Making progress is so slow sometimes."

Dr. G. : Nods, "Yess, yess. The science of stealth psychology is so new and unproven, setbacks are wery common. But ve must not become discouraged. Tell me your troubles."

Dr. W.: Sips his drink. Looks thoughtfully at the head of a wildebeest. Finally, he begins. "Dr. W, it's of course my promising patient, Mr. VDL." He has proven so difficult a case."

Dr. G: Nodding, "Yesss, Yesss. Mr. V. A very interesting case. The writer who


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 31, 2004 10:42 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Mario Savio’s Speech Before the 2004 Democratic Convention

Forty years ago in a galaxy far, far way, I stood with many others outside Sproul Hall at U.C. Berkeley and listened to Mario Savio make a speech which in many ways launched the political upheaval of the 1960s and all that has come from that. Savio died in 1996, a man who in many ways peaked at the moment the speech was made and who lived the rest of his life in the shadow of it. Still, he was a brilliant man and perhaps, not certainly but perhaps, he might be inclined to make the following speech if he had been returned to life for the Democratic Convention.

"We have a MoveOn-ocracy which runs this party...."


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 31, 2004 5:21 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
What Lincoln Would Say Were He Speaking in Springfield Today

Where is Old Fiddler Jones
Who played with life all his ninety years,
 Braving the sleet with bared breast,
 Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
 Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?
 Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,
 Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary's Grove,
 Of what Abe Lincoln said
 One time at Springfield.

-- Edgar Lee Masters, :The Hill", Spoon River Anthology

Today, in Springfield, Missouri, President George W. Bush delivered a speech not merely in response to last night's speech by John Kerry, but one that sums up where we have been in the Terrorist Wars so far and how far we still must journey.

Bush is not the only American President to give such a speech in the summer in in a town named Springfield. In Springfield, Illinois Abraham Lincoln, before rising to the Presidency, also gave one on the dangers confronting the Republic 148 years ago:

Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858

Note: For the actual text of this great speech which foreshadowed much that the country would endure through the following decade, I refer you to The "House Divided Against Itself" Speech by Abraham Lincoln. I confess that I have, with some reservations, altered this document below for reasons that will become clear as you read. I have done so because, as in 1858, so in 2004 this country faces another harsh test whose shape is still unclear but whose dangers to our nation will come to us over the next decade. With minor modifications, the parallels that can be drawn are chilling. Hence, I do this in the belief that Lincoln, if he would not approve, would at least not condemn. The evil that Lincoln speaks of is slavery. The evil of our time is Islamic terrorism. They really aren't that different. Are they?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: "IF we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the third year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to Islamic terrorism. Under the operation of that policy, that Terrorism not only has not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, Islamic Terrorism will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself can not stand." I believe this government can not endure permanently half faint hearted and half resolved. I do not expect America to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect that it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing,


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 30, 2004 2:46 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Elf and Author David Sedaris Marries and She's a She

THE LITERARY WORLD, THE GAY WORLD, NPR, AND MACY'S were thrown into a tizzy with the announcement of the marriage of best-selling author, NPR star, and Macy's Elf David Sedaris' heretofore secret heterosexual liason. A deeper shock was felt when Mrs. Monique Sedaris also revealed they were expecting twins and had signed a movie deal outing their marriage.

The announcement came, as these things often do these days, from a web page written by Mrs. Sedaris @

I Married David Sedaris

The truth was bound to come out, especially with Davey's book tour in full swing. So rather than read some cheesy exposé in the National Enquirer, we decided to tell the story ourselves.

We met last year, not long after David saw me on the "Today Show," chatting about my own bestseller, Finding Your Inner Slut.

[MORE.... ]

Sedaris' editor at Little Brown / Time Warner in New York did not return phone calls on this matter, but a Time Warner spokesperson commented that "It is not our policy to comment on the private lives of our authors. We will, however, forward any letters concerning this to them in France."

Brendan Lemon, Editor-in-Chief for OUT Magazine was slightly more revealing. In a brief telephone interview, Lemmon would only say, "We never comment on stories we are pursuing and developing. I can say, however, that if you want to know the real details of this, you might want to keep a look out a very special and fabulous "At Home" spread in our Christmas issue."

Village Voice Gossip Scribe Michael Musto was unreachable, but we did learn he was "vacationing" in Paris for the fortnight.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 30, 2004 11:36 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"No Surrender," "Beautiful Day," and then.....




Posted by Vanderleun Jul 30, 2004 1:26 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And the most memorable line of the night was....

Not all balloons were trial

AFTER SEVERAL HOURS READING AROUND THE UBER-BLOGSPHERE, A CONSENSUS is beginning to emerge. While Kerry said a lot of things and hit a lot of cliches out of the park, and spent weeks preparing, and days practicing gestures ( love that little thumbs up move), history will record that the single most discussed line was:

"Go balloons. Go balloons. ... I don't see any balloons....I want some goddamn balloons..... Where the f**k are the balloons?...."

-- The CNN Director over an open audio line. CNN International as well. Executions will commence at dawn.

As for the speech itself, well, as my wife commented here earlier on a different subject, "Please sleep soundly tonight knowing that your suggestions have fallen on blind ears."

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 30, 2004 1:09 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The "Stealth Democrats" of Canada

COMMENTING ON "THE INEVITABLE BUSH BLOWOUT" BELOW Patrick @ Ubi Libertas tells us the instructive tale of a similar situation in Canada. Excerpt:

"A couple of comments on this stealth Democrat theory. First, something very similar happened in Canada about twenty years ago, at a convention to select a new leader for the Tories. One candidate, a well-known woman MP named Flora MacDonald was doing very well in the polls before the convention. Much was made of the possibility that MacDonald might become the first female leader of a major Canadian political party, and quite possibly Prime Minister. But on voting day, MacDonald got only a small fraction of the vote count she was expected to get. Lots of people who said they were going to vote for her - who told MacDonald, told the press, and told pollsters they were going to - got into the privacy of the voting booth and voted for someone else. It was a major story in Canada at the time, and is now referred to as the Flora MacDonald syndrome."
There's more at the link.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 9:40 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Quitting Time

41st Street, Manhattan, June, 2002, 6:30

They seek a dedication
No passion prints on stone,
Their reverie -- of clouds.
Their benedictions -- moans.
Not one can name their masters,
Nor indenture's date reveal,
Doomed to ride the animal
That runs within the wheel.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 7:20 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Avalon Dawn

January 3, 2003

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 6:59 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bad News on the Weekend


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 5:56 PM | QuickLink: Permalink

Laguna Beach, California

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 5:52 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wasteland


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 5:46 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
At the Beach

Laguna Beach, California

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 5:43 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Biggest Cross in the World

Groom, Texas, Pop. 900. Off I-40. Taken at Sunset, November, 2002

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 5:40 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Kos Confessional: Democrat Voting Patterns

AS THEY BEHAVE AT THE CONVENTION, SO SHALL THEY TRY TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER. One of the problems with Kos, perhaps the major problem, is that he doesn't know when to shut up. Take this smarmy little "backstage" item about how the Democrats are packing their own convention hall:

So here's how it works.

There are a few thousand delegates with credentials. But lots more people want to come in and partake in the festivities. Even if it is a "stage-managed event", it's a party for political junkies, and there are lots more of us than most people realize.

So a delegation gets in the building. One person collects all their credentials, walks out the Fleet Center, and returns with a whole new group. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So suddenly, there are three times as many "delegates" walking around.

Take that little, "harmless," cheat and extend it to election day. Clearly, members of a party that would cheat their own convention in such a way would have even less of a problem doing something along the same lines when it came to voting. Vote. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The comments on this post confirm and endorse this behavior.

I'm currently reading Hewitt's " If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It ." This Kostathetic item only underscores Hewitt's premise. As I said yesterday concerning their candidate, the Democrats' critical shortage is 'honor.'

You knew that already, but it helps to have one of their own confirm it.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 3:41 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dave Winer's Got Questions, We've Got Answers

Deceiving Appearances:
"I am not a Kapor, I am a Winer!"


Behind the scenes in the press filing room at the DNC. There's a point to these pictures. How different do these people look from people you'd meet at a blogger's conference? They have a passion for information, take pride in their craft, are competitive, and are always trying to do better. They laugh at the same kinds of jokes we do. Like the bloggers at the DNC, these tend to be the good ones, the ones who care.
To which a friend of ours, wise in the ways of the Web ( and with a good deal more web cred than Dave has even in his own imagination) replies via email:
"Uh, no, Dave. These people bathe, know how to operate a toothbrush, can hold a 15-minute conversation without resorting to an acronym, and actually spend time writing about their assigment, as opposed to the 12 other bloggers they've meant today and their trip to the toilet.
Did I say Winer was unconfined to a mental institution? I'm sorry, he is, indeed at the Democratic Convention in Boston. What happens after today is not known.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 2:47 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Modest Solution to the Burning Flag Issue

Flag Burning Done Right

I NOTE WITH SOME DISMAY THAT THE FLAG BURNING ARGUMENT is back again in order to bore us to death in August just in case we survive death by boredom at the Democratic Convention:

A joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to prohibit physical desecration of the U.S. flag was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday by a vote of 11-7. Republicans expect to bring it to a vote in the full Senate before the summer recess.

The resolution was introduced in 2003 by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and states, "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."

"I think we really have an opportunity to get the 67 votes necessary to pass the constitutional amendment," Hatch told the Deseret News. -- Senate to Vote on Flag Burning Ban

In general, I think anything proposed by Orrin Hatch should be voted down regardless of content just because he is one creepy-looking guy.

But, upon reflection, I recognize that there are two sides to every argument.

Those that oppose burning the flag are insensitive to the feelings and self-esteem issues of those that would burn it. They want there to be no time or place or situation where a flag can be burned at will. This does trample on Free Speech, no doubt about it.

At the same time, those that love to burn the flag want there to be no time or place or situation where a flag cannot be burned at will. They seek a state of complete freedom where they really have no skin in the game. This is wussy.

Since these positions are mutually exclusive I would like to propose a compromise.

THE AMERICAN DIGEST "IT IS OKAY TO BURN THE FLAG IF..." AMENDMENT Resolved: it shall be seen as an assertion of basic human rights, and shall be taken as a justified expression of free-speech, to burn the American flag if, and only if, the person so burning dowses self with gasoline and is inside the flag at the time of ignition.
This modest measure both allows free expression, removes all doubt as to the sincerity of the burner, and really puts some skin in the game. It is a compromise that should be acceptable to both sides. I look forward to early passage.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 9:53 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid you can't to that..."

AS IS NOW A DAILY ISSUE AT TECHNORATI.COM, things are looking pretty but dysfunctional. Meanwhile, chief salesman for Technorati, David Sifry, is "making history" at the DNC/CNN, and (with a little help from his friends and PR agency) is "sort of" writing his page...

Screen shot from Sifry's Alerts

A noble quest, but what is really going on with the world's most dysfunctional web page? Our reporter got a hold of this chat log between Sifry and Technorati that rips the veil off this whole squalid dot-bom hustle:

Dave Sifry : Hello, Technorati do you read me, Technorati?
Technorati : Affirmative, Dave, I read you.
Dave Sifry : Please function, Technorati.
Technorati : I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 8:43 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Just for the record, and to underscore the fact that the one thing computers are really good for is counting, we note that this is post number 2004 in the year of our Lord 2004.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Random Rantomizer.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 8:34 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Democratic Convention, Condensed

"It is the voice of a single hatred in the absence of a single idea."

Belmont Club

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 29, 2004 8:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Another Proud, DAMNED Proud Moment for the Press

Letter to the Editor

AH YES, THE POWER OF THE PRESS. NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET: Ex-Miami Official Kills Self at Paper's Office

A former Miami city commissioner shot himself to death Wednesday inside the lobby of the Miami Herald newspaper, one day before a rival publication was set to publish a lengthy report detailing allegations of corruption, drug use and liaisons with male prostitutes.
The Herald was quick to


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 28, 2004 1:36 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I enacted the combat before I re-enacted it.."*

John Kerry starring in "The Man Who Would Be King" -- Handheld Director's Cut

KERRY'S STAFF HAS STATED THAT THE MAIN THRUST of the convention is to "Reintroduce John Kerry to the American people. Too many people don't know him." Well, if things like this continue to surface, the American people are about to know Kerry all too well.

"Kerry would revisit ambush locations for reenacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero, catching it all on film.  Kerry would take movies of himself walking around in combat gear, sometimes dressed as an infantryman walking resolutely through the terrain.  He even filmed mock interviews of himself narrating his exploits.  A joke circulated among Swiftees was that Kerry left Vietnam early not because he received three Purple Hearts, but because he had recorded enough film of himself to take home for his planned political campaigns." -- DRUDGE REPORT 2004®
Sigh. There are times when the mind finally reaches the outer limits of boggle.

I don't expect politicians to be without ambition. Indeed, I expect them to have ambition by the barrel. It is the profession in which ambition's debt soars with


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 28, 2004 11:30 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Best of the Web Turns Four

JAMES TARANTO'S BRILLIANT Best of the Web Today is four years old, bloodied but unbowed, and still,in so many ways, the Best of the Web itself.

"Raise a glass in our honor as we pass the 25th-of-a-century mark: Today is the fourth anniversary of this Web site and this column. Ted Kennedy acknowledged the milestone in his Democratic National Convention speech last night: "The only thing we have to fear is four more years."

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Now, that's entertainment.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 28, 2004 11:09 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Discovering DITS: Democrat Induced Tourette's Syndrome

I NEVER MEANT TO BECOME ONE OF THOSE WHO TELL THEIR TELEVISIONS TO "SHOVE IT!" It just happened. I am ashamed and afraid, but curiously enough feel the need to share before the angle of my descent into madness becomes more acute. The next step will probably be to stake out a little patch of shaded sand down at the beach in town and get myself a lend-lease shopping cart and a mutterline. If that happens I'm going to be glad if the Democrats actually sell their snake oil to America, because I am going to need social services, numerous and multiple.

I wasn't always the sort of deranged soul who blasted a stream of obscenities at inanimate electronic visual aids while twitching and lunging about the room searching for the remote control I had just flung at the wall. No, I am an ordinary, Henry Higgins kind of man. A patient man am I, down to my fingertips, the sort who never could, ever would, let an insulting remark escape his lips. A very gentle man. These are my firm watchwords.

I value calm. I dote on children. I deeply love my wife. I address amiable canines I pass on the streets as, "Hey, there, good dog." My speech is, if not always temperate, invariably considered. My choice in clothing, mundane. My tattoos and facial piercings, zero. I mist up at the slightest excuse, even in bad movies. I have no record and, except for a brief misunderstanding involving my failure to license my dog, have never been in jail. Except for Rudy Guilani, I have always voted for the Democrat......

The Democrat.... the Democrat!..... hurts!.... make it..... STOP! ...... Aieeeeeeeee! It's starting again, again... No, mustn't, mustn't.... (Excuse me a minute while I take a civility break.)

Yes, I am the man who now finds himself swearing at his television. I'm not sure what the Democratic Convention is doing for the other thirty-two Americans who are watching it, but as far as I can tell the only thing it has done for me is to help me discover my Inner Tourette's.

Tourette's, that debilitating syndrome where the afflicted erupts in various twitches both physical and verbal. Tourette's, a syndrome where an ordinary sentence such as "Perhaps, after all, the Democrats are fit to rule." is unwilling stated as "Perhaps, after BOOGERBUGGER! FATASS! all the C**PF**K! ASSHATS! Democrats are WEINERBUGGERS! fit to RAMMERHARDER! DITZBREATH MONGOMUFFINSB***ME rule SWEET F**K ALL! ..... sorry, sorry, please excuse, .... excuse... pity... poor Gollum, yes precious?"

A crude and uncaring person often finds this mental malfunction strangely amusing, but I am certainly not one of those. I realize that having Tourette's rules out careers that involve public speaking, surgery, care of small children and Swiss Watch Repair. I am sympathic to these lost opportunities and wonder if we should not legislate Affirmative Action set-asides in these sectors; especially surgery where some big bucks could be made. Yes, even with all the things I have been instructed to care about over the decades by those with the ...."D".... persuasion in politics, I still have not entered a permanent state of


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 28, 2004 10:05 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just One Small Flaw in Sullivan's Argument

IN WAVING "Goodbye to All Me," uber-blodder Andrew Sullivan gives, as one of his far too numerous and shallow reasons:

"Much of the hard work has now been done. Nobody seriously believes that Bush will start another war."
Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here so I'll just observe that Bush doesn't have to! The next attack on US soil will do that for him and we will see war like we have not seen before. The war will expand itself thanks to the unremitting efforts of our enemies. When it does, Bush will take one of perhaps six contingency plans out of the safe, sign it and send it. Automatic for the people after that.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 27, 2004 1:17 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Qwiet, We're Hunting Wabbits and Kerry Quotes


I'm John Kerry and I Approve This Message

is soliciting contributions from the currently target rich environment:
We're collecting the approved messages of, and quotes by, John F. Kerry and his Crew. If you've got one to contribute, send it -- along with a link to the original source (No, you can't just make them up. You don't have to.). Just click the Email Me and fire away.
Check it out and fire at will.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 27, 2004 11:22 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Let's Play 'Whack-A-Wonkette' @ Michelle's


NO "BLOODER" , MICHELLE MALKIN, but a precious living treasure of the blogsphere. If she's not on you daily scan, she should be. Exhibits 1, 2, 3... this long and worthwhile speech given to the "Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute’s Conservative Leadership Seminar":


Much of my reporting and writing is focused on national security and immigration enforcement. But I also write about cultural issues and this afternoon, I want to address the need for a different kind of "homeland defense." As the mother of a 4 year old girl and an 8 month old boy, I am increasingly dismayed by the liberal assault on decency, the normalization of promiscuity, and the mainstream media's role as shameless collaborators.

And that's just stating her premise. Elsewhere, she trains her sights on the excrable "Wonkette:"
Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox, nabbed appearances on CNN and FOX, and signed on to an MTV reporting gig during which she’ll cover the Democratic National Convention this week. I guess the lesson is that if you are a young professional woman in Washington, the key to success lies with Lesbian Chic.

I’m sick of the skankettes and their pimps in my business and I’m not alone....

Quoting more would just spoil it for you.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 27, 2004 10:51 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Smarter Than the Average Bear


N.Z. BEAR (He of the Ecosystem) has the following clues for the "Conventional Blodders." Please forward as you see fit.

Not that you asked, but...

July 26, 2004 09:40 PM

Not to backseat-blog or anything, but here's a bit of advice for my colleagues who actually travelled to the convention:

a) Get the hell out of "blogger alley"

b) Stop talking to each other

c) Stop taking pictures of each other

d) Stop simulblogging speeches that are being covered live by television.

e) Stop doing interviews with big media. (Yes, even fake big media).

This has been a public service announcement. Please resume blogging.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 27, 2004 5:37 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Kerry Medicare Reform Plan Takes Shape


HOT OFF THE WIRES FROM REUTERS: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) demonstrates a lynchpin of his plan (news - web sites) to curb excess Medicare expenses (news - web sites) through the use of revolutionary high-tech devices such as this combination MRI / Colonoscopy unit (news - web sites) developed by Uber-Blodders David Sifry, Joi Ito, and David Winer (news - web sites) after a long sushi/sake/bean/brew/burger lunch break at Loch Ober's in Boston. (news - web sites) .

"These blodders," candidate Kerry opined halfway through the procedure which would leave him squeaky clean for his Thursday night stemwinder, (news - web sites) " ... these blodders, I say, are quite the innovative set. By combining MRI/Colonoscopy with an RSS/ATOM/XML/MIMEOGRAPH/WEBCAST feed (news - web sites) from the examination, we can cut Medicare costs by at least $485.50 for guys like me but with less money (news - web sites).

"This, combined with my plan for our Great Nation's return to 60% taxation for everyone earning as much as one slim dime above the poverty line (news - web sites) , will leave the Federal Government (news - web sites) with enough revenue to handle my proposed reparations to everybody except those of the Anglo-Saxon persuasion (news - web sites) and supporters of Isreal and abortion reform (news - web sites). And now, on to Boston, where I lived before and after my wound-drenched service in Vietnam (news - web sites).

The Democrat-Elect then took a quick refreshing sponge bath before making a MeetUp date with Dave, Dave, and Joi (news - web sites) for a hot-chat session (news - web sites) on Thursday Afternoon in order to keep himself up to the minute on the latest exciting analysis from the 20 Blods that actually like him. (news - web sites)

After that it was off to the jet for Democrat-Elect Kerry, who paused on the way out of the cleansing facility to remark that his wife, knowing of this examination, had actually been addressing him with her "Shove it!" remark (news - web sites).

"Just another case of the radical right failing to understand what a loaded woman she is (news - web sites) ... and I'm not just talking Chardonnay." (news - web sites) REUTERS/Handout/MEDICARE
Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - Reuters (news - web sites)

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 26, 2004 10:42 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sullivan Suckupathon Now Aimed at Hoovering Money from Dems

"So long, suckers, thank's for the tips," says
Sullivan in classic "hide that second chin" pose.


Now that he's announced that he values his marriage more than his life, Andrew is passing the tip jar around in hopes of snaring a few bucks from the billions of born again Democrats that are sure to be flocking to his page after he promoted himself to the head of Conservatives for Kerry.

There's been a lot of heat and pressure directed at Sullivan -- most of it centering around the concept that Sullivan has "sold out."

Not so.

Sullivan has not sold out, he's bought in.

Let's face it. It is summer time, Andrew's a long way from a steady paycheck, and his needs are numerous and multiple. Simply put, he needs the cash and his current take is probably a long way from the high point of tip jar heaven for him of a year or two back.

What's a boy to do with the expenses of a Provincetown summer looming? Why


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 26, 2004 12:31 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Real Men Pitch from the Mound

Left: 2001, a strike. Right: 2004, dirtball

LIFE IMITATES FOREIGN POLICY: "Some fans cheered and some booed as Kerry threw a ball that sank and hit the dirt before the catcher -- a soldier home from Iraq -- could catch it. "-- NBC Newschannel 6

DUKAKIS TAKES THE FIELD: The fateful ball game -- Kerry's Changeup

UPDATE: File under "That soldier who served in Afghanistan and Iraq Made Me Do It:

John Kerry bounced the ceremonial first pitch during last night's Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway Park, but he said he was just going easy on the National Guard soldier and Iraq war veteran standing in as catcher.
    "I held back," Mr. Kerry told reporters early this morning, on the plane ride after the game. "He was very nervous. I tried to lob it gently."
-- Kerry hurls wild pitch

Now to pitch like a dork is not, in itself, such a shameful thing, but to lay the blame on your catcher is just vile. Who said "It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools."

One of the subtexts on this whole small but sorry incident is that, with all the hoople around Kerry's snowboarding, skeet shooting, wind surfing, bike riding, etc. it seems as if all the "sports" this man does are sports that don't really involve the concept of "team." Give him a moment in a real team sport, he fluffs it. Now, I might have missed something in Politics 101, but it seems to me that the ones who are successful are those that know about playing on a team.

Tip via: Bob Hawkins in the Comments.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 26, 2004 10:44 AM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
840 JDAM'S FOR ISREAL: Bigger Bombs, Better Accuracy


McDonnell Douglas Corp., Saint Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $17,461,828 firm fixed price modification to provide for 840 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guided vehicles.  The JDAM is a strap-on kit with inertial navigation system/global positioning system capability that provides the user with an improved aerial delivery capability for existing 500, 1000 and 2000-pound bombs.  This effort supports foreign military sales to Israel.  The locations of performance are McDonnell Douglas, Saint Louis, Mo., and Honeywell Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.  This work will be complete by November 2005.  The Air Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (F08635-02-C-0060, P00018).
-- DoD News: Contracts for July 22, 2004

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 25, 2004 8:28 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bush the Wuss
The 9/11 report catalogues, and embodies, the bureaucratization of that effort, its transformation into a defensive action in which vast resources are deployed to guard against the possibility of pinpoint strikes -- the expense further increased by the need to maintain legal niceties and economic normality while the country is under threat. The attempt to be simultaneously at peace, and at war, is not sustainable.

AS IS OFTEN THE CASE, DAVID WARREN, Canadian, is closer to the core of what the 911 Report actually exposes; a lack of resolve and a languid approach to what is a state of war.

Call Mr. Bush a war-monger if you will; in my eyes he's beginning to look like a wuss. His great strength to date has been doing what he says he will do, thus making his demands credible. In the immediate aftermath of the Iraq invasion, a much higher level of co-operation was obtained from Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, and even Saudi Arabia and Iran. But the advantage has been frittered away, as the Bush administration has gone "all multilateral" in response to continuing criticism over Iraq. I myself underestimated the ability of the Western media to turn the victory in Iraq into an apparent defeat through selective reporting and sheer verbiage.

While the current relaxation of Washington's belligerency may be attributed to the U.S. election cycle -- in the absence of another huge terror hit on the U.S. itself, the voters are getting bored with foreign wars -- I detect a deeper pusillanimity. In retrospect, it took much too long to invade Iraq, and the


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 25, 2004 7:58 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
While You Were Sleeping


ALL EYES TURN TOWARDS BEANTOWN THIS WEEK, BUT "Workers lower a ground-based missile interceptor into its silo at Fort Greely, Alaska, on Thursday. The interceptor was installed in Alaska's Interior -- the first component of a national defense system designed to shoot down enemy missiles. Ten more will be installed by late 2005, launching the Bush administration's multibillion dollar system." -- Frontline Photos


Turkish Ship To Enter Philadelphia
Jul 25, 2004 10:19 am US/Eastern
PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Turkish ship is now being allowed to enter the Port of Philadelphia, days after a bomb scare led authorities to send it to the Delaware Bay.

Authorities found no explosives and the ship's captain was later charged with making a false statement. Police say he told them there was a bomb on board that was set to explode.

The F-B-I says the 46-year-old became agitated during a Coast Guard inspection. The ship was turned around and held at a safe anchorage point near Bowers Beach on the Delaware Bay.

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine Dallas departs Souda Bay Harbor, Crete, on Monday following a brief port visit. The Dallas is home-ported in Groton, Conn., and currently is on a routine deployment. Frontline Photos

Not to worry. We're sure to get a winner one of these days.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 25, 2004 11:42 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Today in Google History

KEVIN FOX @ has decided to donate this vintage 1960 Google query to a computer museum near you:

(Click to enlarge)

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 25, 2004 11:27 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
An Award We Covet

AND THE WORSE SENTENCE OF 2004 IS.... "She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight . . . summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail . . . though the term "love affair" now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism . . . not unlike "sand vein," which is after all an intestine, not a vein . . . and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand . . . and that brought her back to Ramon."

Dave Zobel Manhattan Beach, CA
-- Bulwar Lytton 2004 Results

Damn. I thought I was a slam-dunk with: "And yes, we're going to be getting even greater levels of putrid pablum spewed about by the media as the preening pundits of puce prevarication strut and fret their hours behind the teleprompter."
-- Jumping the Gun

Oh well, there's always next year.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 25, 2004 9:03 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Doesn't Everyone in Detroit Drive A Rolls?


As noted by I'm John Kerry and I Approve This Message


Image and text from : The American Mind

"For example, this past week Kerry went to Detroit, the heart of America's auto industry, to speak before the Urban League. Workers are very loyal to their employer's cars and to American products in general. The press badge for the trip proudly displayed a product of German construction, a Rolls-Royce 100EX. It could have been any car in the world, but it had to be 1.) a German automobile (imagine if it had been a Pugeot?); 2.) something complete out of reach to most Americans. He could have gotten away with a Chrysler Crossfire, an American coupe that look and performs like it's Mercedes-Benz cousins."
Update: Life Imitates the Onion.

Democratic frontrunner Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) began a seven-day, eight-state whistle-stop tour Monday, addressing a group of Frigidaire factory workers from the all-teak deck of his 60-foot luxury motor cruiser.
-- The Onion | Kerry Makes Whistle-Stop Tour From Deck Of Yacht


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 11:13 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The "L" on the Forehead of Europe

IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TRACKING THE GREAT LANCE ARMSTRONG'S TRIALS AT THE TOUR, here a brief update on the not-so-noble Europeans via John @ Inside Europe: Iberian Notes

Lance Armstrong has been taking an incredible amount of abuse this week. As you might have seen, the crowds along the roads have been enormous, barely leaving enough room for the cyclists, and Armstrong publicly blasted Tour management for poor security, saying he was afraid when riding through crowds of aggressive drunken Basque supporters and that he was more disgusted than anything else at the behavior of many drunken German fans. He criticized the record level of poor sportsmanship directed his way, saying he'd never seen it in cycle racing before: he's constantly spit on, insulted, and threatened. Chechu Rubiera, one of Lance's Spanish teammates, said he'd never seen anything like it, either, and that the crowd insults him merely because he's a member of the US Postal team. When Armstrong won yesterday, he was greeted with an enormous chorus of boos and whistles; seems that people, including the incredibly prejudiced Spanish announcers, thought he was arrogant or something for winning three stages in a row. What should he have done, ride less than his best? Throw the race? Let somebody else win? If I were Lance, I'd go out of my way to rip their balls off tomorrow at the individual time trial just to piss them off. I just hope nobody sticks a knife into him.
Not to worry, they're probably saving that move up for the Olympics.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 10:49 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Temperature in Hell: 0 Centigrade

Dead Man Writing


" Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?"

and answers with:


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 10:17 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Breakthough on the Newspaper Front

Not since Maudlin.

GOOD NEWS FOR THE GOOD GUYS SayUncle notes " Congrats to Cox and Forkum on their first newspaper gig. Here's to many more!

And so say we all.

The details from Cox & Forkum: C&F In Newspapers!-- "Earlier this week, The Detroit News published our recent Fahranheit 9/11 cartoon, making it the first Cox & Forkum editorial cartoon to appear in a large American daily newspaper -- approximately 200,000 circulation. Not only that, but there are plans to make our cartoons part of a new weekly feature. "Yaaahooooo!" doesn't quite express our high level of excitement."

We think that's some great news for some of the best classic editorial cartooning on the scene today. When Trudeau can get carried via sheer inertia and the disgusting Ted Rall still shipping out his tripe, it is utterly amazing to me that a team like Cox and Forkum continues to struggle.

A smart newspaper that wanted to attract readers back that it had lost would have this cartoon team in their pages on a daily basis, but as we have seen "smart" newspapers are not exactly a glut on the market. Tracking how many are willing to broaden and deepen their reach will probably use the inclusion of this team's great work as a benchmark.

Stop by Cox & Forkum , and let them know they are appreciated.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 9:27 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Yeah.... Sure.... Whatever.... "


"Yeah.... Sure.... Whatever.... "

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 3:53 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
RestoreHonesty Cache Found!


"Sorry, but because of the nature of Google, frame pages cannot be displayed, although the source code of the frames page was visible if viewed. actually was just a frame containing

This is indeed still in the google cache:

However, I do agree that it is more than ironic that the campaign's honesty went 404 ;-)

Here, minus all the rather gruesome graphic


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 3:12 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"To help us create a "better online experience" for our visitors we require certain types of users to register. "If you are an employee, partner, affiliate or legal representative of any site which enforces compulsory user registration than we require you to complete our registration process. It costs nothing to register and will only take a moment." -- Registration -

Well, what are you waiting for. Fill it out.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 1:38 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Destination: Space -- But Then What?

DERAK AT THE NEWLY MINTED SPACESHIP SUMMER raises some interesting issues surrounding commercial space flight @ Spaceship Summer: Can we get there from here?

I find myself musing on the question, "what follows suborbital tourism?". I don't think there is any doubt that high flights will have a customer base, between the various existing aircraft and amusement rides, the interest of the public in such extreme experiences is well demonstrated. (And if you expect to make money there had better be public interest.) The hard part is following that act, and providing something more than just a transitory experience. (I.E. actual CATS.)
It all comes down to, "When there's no there there how many times will you go there?"

-- Via Transterrestrial Musings

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 12:42 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Money Losing Old Media Seeks to Expand Loss Potential Into New Media

Slate Online Magazine for Sale
Potential Buyers Include The Washington Post and New York Times

FILE UNDER FOOLS RUSH IN WHERE FOOLS HAVE BEEN BEFORE. Bill Gates, announcing that Microsoft really needs to cut back on sniffing glue, but the best face on the sale of Slate by saying: ""Slate, in the grand scheme of Microsoft, is not a big investment." We'll put that one up for an 'Understatment of the Decade' award. True, the decade is young, but that one has legs. Slate Online Magazine for Sale (

The post article is pretty much a standard rehash of the oft-told "Tale of the Slate," but the quote that pretty much frames the whole deal is Editor Scott Weisberg's:

Asked if he felt at all spurned by Microsoft, Weisberg said: "This is very much about how successful we've been to date."
And indeed it is.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 11:31 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oil for Food Plunder = $10 Billion

FROM THE SOURCE CITED BELOW,IWPR's Iraqi Press Monitor we find this synopsis of where much of the money went:

Central bank tracks foreign deposits
(Al-Mutamar) - An anonymous source in the Central Bank of Iraq said a number of countries, including Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and France, hid more than $10 billion. The source added they were sure of these sums, according to hard evidence related to the accounts of the oil-for-food programme. He pointed that the funds are deposited under names of people close to the former regime or under fake names. Most of the funds are in Lebanon and Jordan and are the result of corruption cases in the oil-for-food memorandum of understanding as well as agreements signed between Iraq and other countries. The Central Bank has taken legal action to restore the funds according to the Security Council resolution 1483 which states that all Iraqi funds abroad be deposited in the Iraqi Development Fund.
(Al-Mutamar is issued daily by the Iraqi National Congress.)
Not surprising, really. Now, if they can only get the addresses and keys to those Rental Storage Units in Lebanon and Jordan.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 10:15 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Press Freedom, Iraqi Style

(Al-Mutamar) - It shows a gunman gives a box full of weapons to an Iraqi man. The caption on the box says "Arab gifts to the brothers of the people of Iraq".

AN UP TO DATE SAMPLING of what is being said in the new Iraq's newspapers can be seen atIraq Press Monitor via the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

Here are a few snippits from Friday, July 23:


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 9:53 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Not Available in Stores

OKAY, WE ALL KNEW THIS WAS COMING, but not this fast:

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 2:57 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Snafu from Above

BLACKFIVE: Airdrop Mishaps gives us the chance to view "When C-130's Attack" in this made-for-web Quicktime masterpiece "Mishaps", otherwise known as "Dude, Don't Hit My Truck."

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 2:30 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Low-Budget Ipod


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 2:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Gone But Not Forgotten, Part 2

IT SEEMS THAT THE JOE WILSON MEMORIAL TRIBUTE PAGE IS NOT THE ONLY THING TO HAVE GONE MISSING FROM JOHNKERRY.COM. Talon News is reporting Kerry Anti-Terror Plan Removed From Campaign Web Site After Berger Revelation
UPDATE: This is getting confusing. It seems that there *is* a cached page of the missing items. It is located at: John Kerry Unveils Comprehensive Plan to Fight the War on Terrorism, but since it is a paged cached under the ownership of "John Kerry Sucks - The truth about John F. Kerry," I think we can safely assume it isn't an "Official" Kerry Cache.

Pointers to other caches are given here and there on Free Republic, but they don't seem to resolve.

Fair and balanced comment about this seems to be falling into the "It was a redesign and they are just conserving bandwidth." Less fair and less balanced comment votes for SATAN! IS DOING IT!

Since I know well how incompetent I can be, I'd usually go with the "mistaeks were made" camp, but this is, after all, a web farm that raises millions and you'd think they'd be on top of these things.

Here are the relevant items that seem to have been disappeared. It would be


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 1:45 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Quarter Century ...ur... 15 Years of Growth!

[Mistaeks were made]

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 1:19 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gone But Not Forgotten

Ubique Patriam Reminisci reports that:

Honesty Is Dead

No, really, it is.

Long live REAL honesty.


Slightly oblique, but pleasingly poetic. This item refers to the amazing which was the Joe Wilson tribute page hosted by John Kerry and company. In the last few weeks, the existence of this page was a point of delicious irony to all those who marked out Wilson for the money-grubbing liar he was from the start.

Naturally, having the discredited and now no longer useful fool around the Kerry campaign just wouldn't do. Hence, they blew the page up and also, I note, cleaned out the Google cache.

Then they just swapped in the elegant 404 which carries the zen political phrase: "You have requested a page that has a broken link or is not on the site...," and went on about their business. I think describing Joe Wilson as a broken link no longer on their site is a bit cold, don't you?

A very surgical bit of on the Web historical revisionism. Wiping the cache was an especially deft touch. Has Kos been consulting again?

UPDATE: LINK No cache for Restore Honesty at Google.

UPDATE: CACHE FOUND thanks to astute American Digest reader, Klaus, in this thread. See American Digest: RestoreHonesty Cache Found!

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 24, 2004 1:09 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Roots of the New York Times Gloom Over the US Economy

New York Times Stock Flirts with One Year Low


"Overall, the pace of the recovery in the advertising market is still not as strong or as predictable as we would like to see in a reviving economy," Janet Robinson, New York Times chief operating officer, said during a conference call. "We are looking at a better second half, but we certainly don't want to overpromise and underdeliver."

New York Times now expects total company costs for the full year to increase by low- to mid-single digits, down from previous expectations for growth in the mid-single digits.

Advertising revenue will increase in the low- to mid-single digits in 2004, a more sluggish pace than the mid-single digits growth previously forecast, the company said.

"Clearly, this is disappointing from a company that many investors, including us, had expected to be outperforming at this point in an ad recovery," Lauren Rich Fine, who follows the publishing industry for Merrill Lynch, said in a report.

New York Times' soft revenue trends come on the heels of solid second-quarter results from rival Gannett Co., publisher of USA Today and nearly 100 other daily newspapers. "After decent numbers from [Gannett] yesterday, investors will likely take [New York Times Co.'s] deteriorating revenue progression during the [second quarter], with particularly soft June results, as a cautionary signal with regard to the second-half industry outlook," said Peter Appert, publishing analyst with Goldman Sachs.

Who was it that said, "A psychotic is one who is completely in touch with reality, it just happens to be his private reality"?

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 23, 2004 11:02 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Cluetrain Doesn't Stop at this Station

Tom Brokaw: "Did you know that [Berger] was under investigation?"

Kerry: "I didn't have a clue, not a clue."

Brokaw: "He didn't share that with you?

Kerry: "I didn't have a clue."

-- The Kerry Spot on National Review Online

-- via I'm John Kerry and I Approve This Message

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 23, 2004 9:06 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And 7% Were Very Confused Science Fiction Fans
Of those who have seen "Fahrenheit 9/11," 78% identified themselves as Democrats, 9% as independents and 6% as Republicans.
-- The Kerry Spot

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 23, 2004 8:48 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
And the Blogging Berger Award Goes to....

TOM GALVIN for linkage above and beyond in his "Lost at Starbucks.:


LOST: Really important papers, Really important

Hey, I was here several months ago with a few papers. Perhaps some of you saw me walk in here with them stuffed in my pants and socks. There were only a few pages, about 40 to 50, that I had with me that day. If you have a hard time remembering, I was the sloppy looking guy in the corner writing feverishly. I had lots of erasers, white-out, and black markers, too. Anyway, I went through a lot of grief to get these papers for my old boss. They sort of make him look really bad for not paying attention to some important stuff (long story). My former boss asked me to do a favor for him and hold on to these papers but I think I accidentally discarded them here, at this Starbucks. I've been auditioning for a job with another guy who my boss's wife really hates. Needless to say, I lost any chance of the new job because I can't find these papers. So, these papers are like really important. Everyone's mad at me. My old boss's wife said she knew I'd screw up sometime but didn't think I would be this sloppy about it. Man, she scares me. Anyway, if anyone finds these papers please call 1-866-272-6272. That's not my number because these papers are not even mine! So, as you can see, I'm in serious trouble. Actually, on second thought, you should call me. There is a reward. Whoever finds these papers will get tix to a really cool show. I promise, it'll be hilarious. By the way, if it's any help, the papers have coffee stains on them. Thanks.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 4:47 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jumping the Gun

WHEN YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A DUEL and you know your opponent is going to miss, it might be a good idea to hold your fire until after he's had his shot, and his gun clicks on empty.

This is hard to do when all your supporters are gathered around you chanting, "Kill him, kill him, kill him, kill him...," but an experienced man can manage. A champion dualist turns to the side, watches carefully, gets his enemy to miss, and holds his fire until he knows that he can put one between the eyes.

It seems to me that, with all the hoopla over the last few months, the President's supporters in the midst of the political melee are getting a wee bit over-anxious to have him open fire. A primary example of this appears today in the National Review as an editorial:

Where, meanwhile, is the positive, substantive side of the campaign? People are noticing that the president has not presented an agenda for his second term should he be re-elected. -- Where's the Beef
To which I would say, "Please get your knickers untwisted and your game face on."

I realize that it has to be tough to sit in the NR's offices day after day and watch the Left and the Democrats sling one plague ridden corpse after another over the wall, but you just have to hunker down and take it until the right moment, which is not.... quite.... yet.

Yes, we've had the Wilson Corpse, the Clarke Corpse, the Clinton Corpse, the Moore Corpse, the 9/11 Report Corpse -- all of these disgusting hunks have been lobbed in and now are scattered about the political landscape in various stages of decomposition. It's got to be getting rank in the Republican Fortifications, and there have to be a lot of people wanting to whip out the flamethrowers and start sanitizing the joint.

But patience, patience, patience please. Always remember that "A Drug and Democrat Free America comes first. "

You see, it really doesn't matter what happens in the next couple of weeks. All that matters is what happens in October.

Yes, there's going to be a Democratic Convention next week. Nothing can be


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 3:20 PM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kerry Accepts Alien's Endorsement

LOOKING LIKE HE'D RATHER BE AT HIS PROCTOLOGIST'S OFFICE, John Kerry today appeared with Dennis Kucinich (D -- PLANET MONGO) to accept his endorsement, and the sixteen Area 51 space aliens that he controls.

In brief remarks, Kerry said: "Now that we've become the party so desperate for votes that we've got folks in San Francisco working to hand them out to illegal aliens, I saw no reason to deny those people who are stopping by the planet to bore holes in our cattle the franchise. I welcome my good friend Dennis Kucinich and all his clones into the big tent of the Democratic Party..... okay, you can take that tentacle out of my pants now."

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 3:09 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why is this man laughing?

The Demoncratic Convention's coming to town. What, me worry?

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 2:45 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I.... Love..... This..... Company!, er.....Browser!

SCOTT STEARNS, THE TEST MANAGER FOR INTERNET EXPLORER AT MICROSOFT, jumps into the blogspher with a big 'KICK ME' sign on his rump with the post I Love This Browser!

I hopefully got your attention with the title of my first post.  And it is definitely true for me, as I have loved browsing the web since I started way back in the mid 90s, and I really love browsing with IE.  Yet, you may ask who I am or who we are that will be posting on this blog. 

I am Scott Stearns, the test manager for the Microsoft Internet Explorer team (as Dean says we will be pulling together full bios of people later).  The IE team as we usually say.  Some of us have our individual blogs today, but we also wanted to have one that was focused on what we do every day at work -- make Internet Explorer the best way for browsing the web. 

Strange he should say that when his real achievement has been to make the worst browser on the web the top browser.

Yes, by dint of his unremitting tream management, attention to design-flaw detail, and star class software rewriting team, Internet Explorer has become the most used browser in cyberspace. Some will say that it has happened because it was bundled in with Windows, but they are just spoil sports.

Indeed, without the gaping security holes and lack of functionality and standards in Internet Explorer, the web would be a whole lot more boring than it is. So let's give it up for Stearns and his crack team of Microsoft Kool-Aid Addicts by playing another round of Ballmer's iPod!

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 2:16 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
If the Pentagon Plane Had Been a Nuclear Weapon


Today, our visual aid is Effects of 300 Kiloton Nuclear Detonation Centered at Pentagon

Bad news: Armageddon for all.
Good news: Georgetown Real Estate becomes affordable.

To get a "feel" for what the graphic represents:

Within tens of minutes after the cataclysmic events associated with the detonation, a mass of buoyantly rising, fire-heated air would signal the start of a second and distinctly different event -- a mass fire of gigantic scale and ferocity. The firestorm would quickly increase in intensity, generating ground winds of hurricane force with average air temperatures well above the boiling point of water. This would produce a lethal environment over a vast area.

The Pentagon is located near the relatively wide Potomac River, but fires would start simultaneously in large areas on both sides. The direction of fire winds in regions near the river would be modified by the water, but the overall wind pattern from these two huge and nearly contiguous fire zones would be similar to that of a single mass fire and will be treated as one.

The first indicator of a mass fire would be strangely shifting ground winds of growing intensity near ground zero. (Such winds are entirely different from and unrelated to the earlier blast-wave winds that exert "drag pressure" on structures.) These fire-winds are a physical consequence of the rise of heated air over large areas of ground surface, much like a gigantic bonfire.

The inrushing winds would drive the flames from combusting buildings horizontally toward the ground, filling city streets with hot flames and firebrands, breaking in doors and windows, and causing the fire to jump hundreds of feet to swallow anything that was not yet violently combusting. These extraordinary winds would transform the targeted area into a huge hurricane of fire.

Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately 3.5 to 4.6 miles of the Pentagon would be engulfed in a mass fire. The fire would extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else.
-- City on fire | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Just another reminder that in this election we are, quite literally, playing with fire.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 10:40 AM | QuickLink: Permalink


The moon marked out the edge of heaven.
Of this, our references agreed.
The moon was fixed, it could not fall.
The moon would fill our final needs.

The songs we'd learned were of the moon,
A fitting subject, well known to all,
But the songs we sang were of the Earth,
And those that lived before the Fall.

These songs of forests flowing round
The Earth's four corners warmed the frost
That killed our gardens, coming early,
To remind us all of what we'd lost.

"Why wander yearning for the moon?"
We'd ask of stones and ancient trees.
Their silence sang back in the night,
Of lands where all free choices freeze.

"Tranquillity", they promised us,
"Is the highest peak you will attain.
Tranquillity, where bones will last
Forever in the airless rains."

Our numbers grew, as did our tongues,
Beside brown rivers, on ancient plains.
We made more gods, we built up walls,
We fashioned towers of dirt and rain.

Within those walls we planted fruit
And flowers bordering roofless rooms,
Wherein we sang the centuries down,
Observing all the phases of the moon.

At length our towers turned to steel,
And their foundations into fire.
The rooms we made were sealed as stone,
And in those rooms we rose much higher.

The moon grew monstrous as we ascended;
Below us it loomed larger than the world.
We lowered our ladder gingerly,
Stepped down, a bit of cloth unfurled.

We named the place Tranquillity.
A fitting gesture, all agreed.
We photographed ourselves on site,
Tossed away some junk we did not need,

And left, returning to that place
Where we'd begun beside the plains,
Boasting our footprints would endure
Forever in the airless rains.

Sometimes at night, we still look up
And see the moonrise scrape the sky.
It is the same, yet not the same,
And we know why, yes, we know why.

-- for Apollo

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 8:20 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Blogging and Social Software, Condensed Version

HERO VS. THE HUSTLERS: Yesterday, I was forced, under duress from Linkmeister, to unburden myself of a few choice thoughts concerning Technorati and the people that hover about it. [See below] It would seem that at about the same time David Hornik was getting around to the same point in Blogging: A world stuck on itself at CNET. In doing so he has managed to come up with the all purpose "social software panel presentation:"

"Welcome blah blah blah relationship capital blah blah blah social contracts blah blah blah media businesses blah blah blah identify the rabid fans of the iPod blah blah blah utility media blah blah blah this is the future of the Web blah blah blah RSS blah blah blah spam blah blah blah killer app blah blah blah business model blah blah blah advertising model blah blah blah Is this a product or a feature? blah blah blah A feature doesn't make a business blah blah blah leveraging relationships blah blah blah decentralized system blah blah blah privacy concerns blah blah blah profiling people blah blah blah.

"Social networking is blogging dumbed down for the masses blah blah blah tribecaster blah blah blah widget blah blah blah What is the connection between social networks and blogs? blah blah blah the most efficient media platform ever blah blah blah read-write, not read-only blah blah blah All software is about people blah blah blah put this stuff in context blah blah blah monetizing relationships blah blah blah a new dimension to the Web blah blah blah I met my wife on blah blah blah.

"Network diversity is good blah blah blah reputation management blah blah blah open standards and open platforms win always blah blah blah it's group voice blah blah blah social context blah blah blah The entire Web is a social network blah blah blah Join me in thanking tonight's moderators blah blah blah Goodnight."

If you can remember that, you too can be a social-software contender. And you don't have to build anything but another level on the Tower of Blather.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 22, 2004 7:30 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Letters We Had to Finish Reading

FROM :Banterist
TO: The Person Who Found My Camera

Dear Sir/Madam:
First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on the acquisition of a Casio Exilim S20 compact digital camera. No doubt it was an exciting find after your fine meal at Houston's on Park, where delicious spinach dip is the signature item.

As you may have noticed, the Casio Exilim is a 2.0 Megapixel beauty with a 4X digital zoom. At under a half-inch thick, it's the perfect camera to put in your pocket and lose while dining out.

No doubt, you're wondering why the memory card contains 17 close-ups of a cat's ass....

Don't just sit there and not know for the rest of your life, click and go!

Tip: Miller's Time

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 21, 2004 6:17 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Politics from Technorati? How About a System That Works First?



Coming soon from logo_new.gif

Ye olde "Under Construction," but without the digging man we have grown to love over the decade.

Well, okay, but the URL "" leads one to believe dire things are afoot. After all this is the Ito-annointed blog tracking company that spends more time heaping projects and developments on its plate than it does coding. That it is getting ready to bumble another huge chunk of the Infosphere should give us all pause.

It should give us pause because it is "by their fruits that ye shall know them." If Technorati actually worked hossanahs would be heard resounding off the star-specked domes of known space. Alas, as most people who use and have bought the service discover, the functionality of Technorati is a sometimes thing.

Instead of perfecting the political universe, perhaps Sifry and his sidekicks should think about learning to write some software and construct a web farm


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 21, 2004 4:45 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Relax, This is Only a Quiz

AN INTERESTING RUNDOWN OF US PRESIDENTS AND MOMENTS OF CRISIS : TCS: Tech Central Station - Take the Commander in Chief Test

JFK (the original one) in the Fall of 1962. The intelligence community gives you aerial photos they believe show Soviet missile installations being built in Cuba. But they do not know how close they are to being operational, whether they are armed with nuclear warheads or whether the crews and workers are Soviet. Do you go on national TV, deliver a withdrawal ultimatum, threaten mass retaliation and set up a naval quarantine, thus risking World War III? Or do you quietly work behind the scenes at the UN, get more information and try to convince the Soviets they've done the wrong thing?

President Bush in early 2003, just months after 9/11 and anthrax. The Clinton administration had indicted Osama bin Laden, citing ties to Saddam Hussein and had bombed a suspected al Qaeda bio-weapons plant in Sudan with ties to Iraq. Czech intelligence insists that 9/11 plotter Mohammad Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague. UN weapons inspectors are being frustrated in Iraq. British intelligence says that Saddam was trying to buy uranium in Africa. Saddam had invaded Kuwait a decade before and had used chemical weapons on his own people. One of the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing had taken refuge in Baghdad and families of Palestinian suicide bombers were paid by Iraq. The CIA Director, originally appointed by Clinton, tells you "it's a slam dunk" that Saddam has WMD. The French, strongly


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 21, 2004 7:07 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN A RUMOR, A WISH, AND A STORY a thread tonight on Free Republic states: Iraqi paper reports discovery of nuclear warheads

Al Sabah (Iraqi paper) | 21 July, 2004 | Al Sabah
Posted on 07/20/2004 11:14:11 PM PDT by propertius

Al Sabah, the Iraqi newspaper funded by the Coalition Provisional Authority, reports on its front page this morning that a former senior Ba'ath party activist has led coalition troops to three nuclear warheads hidden in a bunker.

Will post translation when we have it.

Needless to say, this thread immediately goes to Defcon One, with many wanting to believe but most waiting on some shred of confirmation. The links to the English version of the Iraq paper only bring up yesterday's news.

A bit later, propertius, who says he is a Brit in the Red Zone, posts the following translation of the story "in the Arabic version of today's paper, a copy of which is sitting in front of me in my office in Baghdad. That is why there are no links...:" Translation:


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 21, 2004 12:42 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kerry Takes A Firm Position!

"SANDY BERGER is my friend, and he has tirelessly served this nation with honor and distinction. I respect his decision to step aside as an adviser to the campaign until this matter is resolved objectively and fairly." -- Statement by John Kerry on Samuel R. Berger

Clear, terse and to the point. I don't want to hear any jokes like, " I respected Sandy Berger before I disrespected him," okay?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Kerry Campaign , an office manager for Kerry-Edwards informed the press that Berger was not allowed to clean out his files before being escorted, pantless, from the premises.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 20, 2004 4:04 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Desert Island Dreaming

"Accordions. Why'd it have to be accordions?"

FINALLY, AFTER DAYS AND NIGHTS OF UNREMITTING INSOMNIA, I fall into a deep sleep on this lazy summer afternoon in Laguna Beach. And, as I drowse, I dream.

I dream of that far-off desert island perfumed by the sweet spice of trade winds, laved by warm waves rolling gently in across the reef. I dream of being worshipped and admired by a simple native people luminous in their natural beauty. In their tender care I am bereft of the anxieties and ambitions of the wider world for they are a people that lives in close association with the natural world neither taking more than they need nor needing more than they take. All about me their brown shining bodies dance gracefully to the distant lilt of mellow drums while, to the side, a feast of fish and fruit is laid on the clean white sands.

And then, from somewhere very far off, my dream is disturbed by the increasing wheeze of an accordion and it comes closer and closer and closer and then.... I open my eyes and find I am not on the island nor in Laguna Beach, but fully immersed in: THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 19, 2004 6:44 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You Wear It Backwards, You Die

It's not just a baseball cap: it's a gas mask for the average American

"Boris Altshuler, left, and James Reynolds, president of CR Clean Air Technologies, received a patent for their baseball cap-style gas mask. Their goal was to create a lightweight, portable gas mask that could be used by the average American in the event of a chemical attack."

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 19, 2004 12:48 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Isreal is Good to Go on Iran

WHILE THE UNITED STATES DITHERS AND DELIBERATES ON ISSUES OF LITTLE IMPORT, ISREAL is not fooling around: Israel's 'first strike' plan against Iran ready

Israel has completed military rehearsals for a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear power facility at Bushehr, Israeli officials told the London-based Sunday Times.

Such a strike is likely if Russia supplies Iran with fuel rods for enriching uranium. The rods, currently stored at a Russian port, are expected to be delivered late next year after a dispute over financial terms is resolved.

An Israeli defense source in Tel Aviv, who confirmed that the military rehearsals had taken place, told the paper: "Israel will on no account permit Iranian reactors - especially the one being built in Bushehr with Russian help - to go critical."

This strategy is derived, in part, from the report out of Project Daniel last April:ISRAEL’S STRATEGIC FUTURE
Project Daniel began with the assumption that Israel's security environment must be appraised continuously, and that the threat of irrational state and nonstate enemies armed with WMD assets represents the single most urgent danger to the country's survival. Early on in our deliberations, however, we ("The Group") agreed that while the overall impact of this threat was extraordinarily high, its probability was considerably less than that of WMD assaults from rational enemy quarters. Reflecting this judgment, we concluded that Israel's main focus must now be on preventing a coalition of Arab states and/or Iran from coming into possession of weapons of mass destruction. Preferably, we urged this objective be pursued while Israel continues with its present policy of deliberate ambiguity regarding its own nuclear status.
Emphasis added.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 19, 2004 12:40 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Redrawing the Middle-East Map: 2000-2004


I have always considered the Iraq war, coupled with Afghanistan, as a strategy against IRAN, and that the benefits which came along with it (seed of democracy, Saddam on trial, etc.), secondary. I think to any halfway informed individual, Iran is the ultimate reforming goal. I do believe, the strategy has been "misunderstimated".
To which Professor Reynolds remarks:"It is interesting to put this stuff on a map...."

Like these: [Note: red=hostile to the United States, white=non-hostile, controlled by, or allied with the United States.

The Situation in the Middle East in 2000 - Click for larger view

The Situation in the Middle East in 2004 - Click for larger view

Note: This is a repost from a February 2, 2004 item -- American Digest: The Facts on the Ground

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 19, 2004 11:21 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Demo-Demento-Depression ® : Just Say "Medicate!"

AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS TO IDENTIFY with the hamstrung, sold-out, and Gobstoppered Republicans currently dissipating electoral power in Washington, it must be much more difficult to be a classic Democrat these days. On some level it has simply got to make you sick.

The Democrat Disease has many manifestations but now most often presents as "Semantic Dementia " -- progressive and with no known cure. Not even a telethon. And as Republicans continue to refuse to step up to the plate and take a manly cut at the Big Whiffle Ball in the White House Tee Ball & Pack the Court Festival, the disease seems to be leaping the blood-brain barrier and infecting previously sane people. These tendencies need to be spotted and treated at the point of infection before the virus


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 19, 2004 10:07 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hooked Up Americans With Way Too Much Angst on their Hands

I USED TO BE DISGUSTED BUT NOW I'M JUST AMUSED by the endless inventiveness of my fellow Americans in the realms of body modifications and transgressive fashion and behavior. The latest such item concerns an inordinate fondness for dangling from meat hooks :

Sunday the Monroe County sheriff's office and Coast Guard were called on July 12 to the sandbar off Whale Harbor in Islamorada where locals say wild behavior is becoming a tradition.

They found that five young people had erected a bamboo tripod and hung meat hooks from it. A young woman, her feet brushing the surface of the shallow water, dangled from the frame, hooks embedded firmly in her shoulders.

According to a Coast Guard video, she did not seem to mind the hooks.

Lt. Tom Brazil of the Coast Guard told the Key West Citizen newspaper that a young man, who also had hooks embedded in his heavily pierced and tattooed skin, assured him the group was "just enjoying the afternoon." -- Meat hook dangling craze mystifies police

Well, it may mystify the police but it doesn't mystify me. It fills me with both hope for the future of my daughter and stepson as well as clarity about my own status in America in 2004.

This has to do with demographics, mainly. You see, one of the fears of any


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 19, 2004 9:42 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blown by the Wind of a Star

Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

-- Pope, Essay on Man

The Bubble

Blown by the wind from a star, this tantalizing, ghostly apparition is cataloged as NGC 7635, but known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Astronomer Ken Crawford's striking view combines a long exposure through a hydrogen alpha filter with color images to reveal the intricate details of this cosmic bubble and its environment. Although it looks delicate, the 10 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Seen here above and left of the Bubble's center is a bright hot star embedded in telltale blue hues characteristic of dust reflected starlight. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from the star, which likely has a mass 10 to 20 times that of the Sun, has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud. The intriguing Bubble Nebula lies a mere 11,000 light-years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 18, 2004 10:01 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Killing Two of Your Three Triplets to Keep Your Lifestyle

THE REALLY AWFUL THING ABOUT AMY RICHARDS TALE AS TOLD TO AMY BARRETT in Lives: When One Is Enough is that Amy Richards put her name on her shameful tale of selfishness.

"I found out I was having triplets when I went to my obstetrician. The doctor had just finished telling me I was going to have a low-risk pregnancy. She turned on the sonogram machine. There was a long pause, then she said, ''Are you sure you didn't take fertility drugs?'' I said, ''I'm positive.'' Peter and I were very shocked when she said there were three. ''You know, this changes everything,'' she said. ''You'll have to see a specialist.''

"My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bed rest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?"

The self-centered Ms. Richards who writes an advice column for, of course, and has published a book called: Manifesta: Young Women Feminism and the Future, elects to undergo what is coyly titled "selective reduction." This is a nice term for the killing of one or more multiple babies in the womb. As the article puts it, "The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more."

When the time came to pick one, it was fraught with the pathetic little drama that so often overtakes these young members of our intellectual classes in urban areas:

The specialist called me back at 10 p.m. I had just finished watching a Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall. As everybody burst into applause, I watched my cellphone vibrating, grabbed it and ran into the lobby. He told me that he does a detailed sonogram before doing a selective reduction to see if one fetus appears to be struggling. The procedure involves a shot of potassium chloride to the heart of the fetus. There are a lot more complications when a woman carries multiples. And so, from the doctor's perspective, it's a matter of trying to save the woman this trauma. After I talked to the specialist, I told Peter, ''That's what I'm going to do.'' He replied, ''What we're going to do.'' He respected what I was going through, but at a certain point, he felt that this was a decision we were making. I agreed.
Hard to imagine if "Peter the Boyfriend" would have had much of a future with this woman if he'd piped up to say, "Maybe it isn't such a good idea to kill off two of my children." He'd be history and Amy would be wrapped in the arms of the sisterhood at But then again, if he was that kind of a man he wouldn't be with this kind of a woman.

The climax of this sordid little drama is delivered as casually as the rest of the entire episode:


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 18, 2004 4:09 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Are Your Neighbors Giving and to Which Candidate?

LINKMEISTER SENDS ME THE FOLLOWING Neighbor Search in email with the subject line: "New Fun for you!"

And indeed it is. Just plug in your zip code and see who around you has donated to which political candidate or party in the national elections. The results can be surprising.

This link references my town, Laguna Beach, California AKA 92651. From hanging around the town and cruising past the permanent Saturday Quisling Demonstration I would have thought it was heavily Democratic. Perhaps it is in terms of votes, but money talks and ..... Well, suffice it to say that the Hannas pretty much cancel out most of the Democratic donators in Laguna all by themselves.

Overall, the Republicans seem to be getting the lion's share of Laguna's donations this year.

The Democrats are substantially behind and when you take out all the money flushed away by Dean, Liberman, Kucinich, Clark donations, they are heading towards the hole.

No donations recorded to the Al Sharpton campaign, however, so I guess the town isn't utterly intellectually insane.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 18, 2004 10:03 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Less Whoopi Is Moore

From the brilliant Day By Day by Chris Muir

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 18, 2004 8:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"No such thing as 'Al Qaeda'"


In the course of three years' intense study of the issue, I've become convinced that there is -- well, this is a slight exaggeration -- no such thing as 'Al Qaeda'. It is, more precisely, only a name applied vaguely to one of several financing and logistical arms of the Wahabi branch of what could more accurately be called the "Islamic Jihad". Not an army, nor a disciplined network of underground cells, but an historical movement -- and thus more comparable to something like "the Enlightenment" in the West, than to any organized militia. Not to say the Jihad shares ideals with the Enlightenment -- far from it -- but rather, it is similar in being a vast idealistic movement, consciously advanced by men who co-operate as and where they think they can be most effective -- but taking their orders, ultimately, not from men but from "the zeitgeist", or "Allah".

This may sound a very abstract analysis, but it has practical consequences for "homeland security". For starters, it means we cannot draw neat, legalistic lines between who's in and who's out of the cabal. For instance, a journalist working for Al-Jazeera may be every bit as committed to the struggle as a man rehearsing the assembly of a mid-flight bomb. Each is advancing the Jihad by the means most available to him. And, exempting the one from prosecution while arresting the other is entirely obtuse.

Indications especially from the FBI are to expect a major terrorist hit on North America, sometime between now and the U.S. election in November. I think they are right to expect this. The political, economic, and social fallout from such a hit is unpredictably huge. But I am less and less confident that it can be prevented by anything resembling normal police methods. This is because, thanks chiefly to "political correction", we cannot look at the whole Jihad, and are in fact only looking for the pointy bits.

UPDATE: Immediately after posting that excerpt above, I dropped by the Belmont Club to find Wretchard also quoting from Warren, but, as is his wont, taking Warren's thesis to its chilling conclusion:

But the problem with conceding the point to David Warren and Bat Y'eor is that it would cause a revolution in domestic and international politics, something neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are prepared to do. Domestically it would mean that for the first time in American history, a major branch of a world religion would be declare a de facto enemy of the state. Not people, not a country; nothing with a capital unless it be Mecca, but a system of religious belief. It would strike at the very root of the American Constitutional system, the separation of Church and State. Internationally it would signify that the principal enemy host, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose ruling house is intimately connected and support this ideology, must be overthrown or changed. It would indicate that the Iraq campaign, which cost the Bush administration so much political capital, is not the end but the mere beginning.

One the most most important lessons of the Global War on Terror is how closely linked it is with Western domestic politics. The Madrid bombing of March 11, 2004 and the American Presidential elections are perfect examples. The reason for this is simple. Fighting the Jihadi enemy would mean overturning the 20th century political and economic foundations to their roots. It would mean disrupting the Big Tent of political correctness; putting a prosperity heavily dependent on oil supplies at risk; and replacing an entire paradigm of international relations. For that reason the act of naming Wahabi Islam as the principal enemy will evaded until it is absolutely unavoidable; until after a mushroom or biological cloud puts a period after the debate. The only exit from the madhouse that Warren and Y'eor describe is through the door we fear the most, the one which compels us to recognize the foe with no name.

Also relevant here is an essay published here in October, 2003: American Digest: The War of Two Religions

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 10:18 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Abercrombie and Fetch

"So what if I throw like a girl. There were girl Kennedys too."

WHEN WE DO OUR ELECTION POLL, OUR FIRST QUESTION WILL BE TO PASS OUT THESE GLOSSYS AND ASK: "Do you really want to give control of the real football to these boys?"

Inspiration via: Allah

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 9:34 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Small Humiliations of Working for Tips



A Thai waiter wears a condom over his head while serving a cocktail as a patron looks on at the Cabbages and Condoms restaurant in Bangkok on July 8, 2004. The restaurant, founded by Mechai Viravaidya, better known as "Mr Condom", aims to educate the public about safe sex. -- Thai Waiter With A Condom Over His Head
Safe sex? Okay, I think we got it. Now take the soup back. And I'd better not see it on the bill.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 8:46 PM | QuickLink: Permalink

AFTER WORKING LAST NIGHT ON THE POEM BELOW, a project coming up on 30 years, and publishing it this morning, I found myself two clicks later reading Rev. Donald Sensing's SundaySermons: Wheat and Weeds , the whole of which I commend to your attention.


Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 10:00 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In: Bureaucrats Urge New Bureaucracy

IN A REVELATION SURE TO HARELIP EVER'BODY ON BEAR CREEK, the 911 Commission and Clown College Graduating Class of 2004, today called for employment for life for -- themselves!

The final report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks will recommend the creation of a cabinet-level post to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies, a position that would take power away from the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the National Security Council, the Pentagon and other agencies that face blistering criticism from the panel, government officials who have seen the report said.
-- 9/11 Panel Urges New Post for Intelligence
I think making one person in government in charge of all the intelligence that is in government is a "slam dunk."

But I think we should take out some insurance since, as has been seen, sometimes the intelligence does not exactly rise to the level of quotient. So, to be sure, I urge that the President appoint a non-partisan Troika.

I nominate:


Joe Wilson ............................. Dick Clarke, and....


Dick Clarke!

Three minds with but a single brain.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 8:11 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ad Apple Does Not Want You to See

FROM THE SUBTLE AND TWISTED MINDS @ Red vs Blue comes this last gambit in the endless Mac vs. PC Religious War.

This ad has been all over the net and tech-related TV shows. It even went all the way over to France where it was shown on French TV. There, it met a young French girl and spent one wild month backpacking through Europe. Now it has returned home for your enjoyment.

The QuickTime ad is: Right Here.

It's 10 megabytes so you might have to be patient, but it is worth it.

(Suggested by American Digest reader M. T. Anderson.)

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 7:57 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Shameless Suckupathon Continues

blackpower.jpgKERRYFIST2.jpg "I served in the War in Vietnam, I served in the Revolution. Did I mention my wife is African?

"My name is John Kerry and I approve this message."

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 7:25 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
2 Good 2 B True: Sinister Syrians Over America

I'M WITH DONALD SENSING @ One Hand Clapping when it comes to the Sinister Syrians Story that's making the rounds. Sensing notes, about the article: "But while it is factual she was fearful, her fear does not provide facts. And I suspect that many of the readers who seem so confident from her article that there was much more going on than met the eye conclude that less from the factual content of her story than her skill at communicating her emotional states in all their gripping detail. "

I had the same sort of gut-reaction two days ago when I came across this tale for the first time. As I read it, I first wanted to believe it. I wanted to believe it badly. I even clipped it to my notebook where I keep things I feel I should write about. And there it stayed.

Looking at it later, I felt the "Device" in my brain activate. The "Device" is something that gets implanted in you if you spend decades editing book and magazine copy. The Device is best thought of as "The BS Meter" where the pointer goes from zero all the way up to 11. The BS Meter is not there to keep you from publishing BS (That's up to you.), but to let you know when you are dealing with it, so you don't confuse idealism with circulation.

When you feel that pointer move up the scale, you learn to become wary about what you are reading. That's not to say what your are reading isn't true, but only that it might not be true. Looking at this tale of terror filled skies again today, I have to say that I find it reads better as fiction than fact.

In addition, I happened to catch the tail end of a radio reporter's interview with the editor of the story at Women's Wall Street. I won't bother to reproduce it here except to say that the editor's tone reminded me most... well, of me whenever I had some dubious story that the magazine was running that I had been charged with palming off on the media. It's a kind of breathless, assured, precise, and, "excited" tone that infuses your sell. This woman had it and was working it. It was not like listening to an editor so much as listening to a PR agent for a little known media outlet that had finally scored a "national scoop" and was determined to ride it to the last bus stop, no matter what.

Listening to her cite the various big-media that was "about" to be all over her big scoop, I remembered what it was like to deal with a story that was "sensational" if not, well, exactly nailed down. You "Yellowcake It." You push it. You push it hard. You mention all the media that is going with it ("See, they think it is true!"), and you mention all the big media that is NOT going with it ("Coverup!). Either way, you win.

So in the end, I have fewer facts than the story for not believing it.

But I've peddled a few bogus stories to the media in my day, and I know the tone when I hear it being done.

And that BS Meter's Pointer did sweep up the scale. Not to 11, but high enough.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 17, 2004 12:38 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
1898 - 2004

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors -

Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--

Of Visitors--the fairest--
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--

-- Dickinson, #657

Image from the photo-journal of underbunny @ Flickr

Tip: growabrain

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 16, 2004 11:34 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink


At the "Drive-Thru Espresso" in Laguna Beach, California.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 16, 2004 11:13 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Salon's Autofornication Cruise


YES, IT IS THE UTTERLY DISCREDITED AND DISGRACED JOE WILSON headlining what has to be 2004's Top Cruise from Hell -- Salon's September "Seminar" Cruise. A "seminar cruise?" How quaint. Makes you think of bobbing around with Socrates in the Bahamas, exchanging les bon mots, expanding your conciousness, and ordering another round of Hemlock Shooters. (Alas, these will no be served until late November.)

Not content to cling to life by bilking one or more Silicon Valley moguls out of millions, Salon now fields a fine line-up of appeasers, liars, has-beens, and toadies for the high seas.

Among the exciting events are:

  • The intelligence wars. Ambassador Joe Wilson,  author of the bestselling book  "The Politics of Truth," leads a special panel discussion on the Bush administration's dangerous assault on the U.S. intelligence community, and the growing civil war between the White House and the CIA.
  • What makes George run? A special panel discussion on the down and dirty style of Bush campaigning, including the unique insights of former Texas governor Ann Richards who brawled with W during their 1994 gubernatorial duel.

    And what at sea autofornication festival would be complete without the everpopular

  • How John Kerry can win. Drawing on his experience in the political trenches and his close connections to Kerry insiders, former Clinton presidential advisor and current Salon national editor Sidney Blumenthal  leads a panel discussion on John Kerry's campaign, examining the Democratic candidate's presidential debate strategy and his fall game plan.

    I've written before about the special, overwhelming Hell that exists on Cruise Ships. [ Cruising Off Baja ] I thought I'd seen the bottom of what this dubious waste of life has to offer, but I have to say that a cruise of Key West and other ports in the company of the editors of Salon, Ann Richards, Sid Blumenthal, Joe Conason, and now Joe Wilson opens new depths of degredation previously unimaginable.

    The cost for this week on The Ship of Fools? Up to $3,600 per person for the deluxe suites.

    Okay, here's the question: You can book a deluxe suite on this cruise or steerage on the Titanic. Which is the better choice?

    Answer: It doesn't matter.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 16, 2004 10:39 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • Carrier Surge Update

    MORE ON SUMMER PULSE -- US CARRIER DEPLOYMENT SURGE: [Original Post and discussion -- Is the Deployment Surge Just an Exercise?. ]

    The USS George Washington "transited the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea and U.S. 6th Fleet's area of operation July 11. " ("Summer Pulse '04"), while "The Enterprise and Harry S. Truman strike groups are in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco this week along with ships from 10 other nations as part of an exercise called "Medshark/Majestic Eagle". The U.S.-led event includes 20,000 personnel aboard more than 20 ships." -- Stars & Stripes

    To track you'll have to Google Summer Pulse and Majestic Eagle.

    The usual source of updates, Navy NewStand, is unavailable."Navy Media center offline until Monday July 19"

    Current Navy page for updates and photos is Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 16, 2004 9:34 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Whoops! A Slim-Fast Downsizing for Whoopi

    Born to Bulk Up: Hard to see exactly what Slim-Fast was doing for her in the first place.


    (CBS/AP) The Slim-Fast diet drink company has dumped Whoopi Goldberg from its advertising because its executives are unhappy with remarks the entertainer made last week at a Radio City, New York, fundraiser that mocked President Bush.

    "We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended some of our consumers. Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air," said Terry Olson, general manager of the Florida-based diet giant.

    BYRNE in the comments makes this point:
    Goldberg's unapologetic response is as follows, "Just because I'm no longer in those (commercial) spots, it doesn't mean I will stop talking. While I can appreciate what the Slim-Fast people need to do in order to protect their business, I must also do what I need to do as an artist, as a writer and as an American - not to mention as a comic. I only wish that the Republican re-election committee would spend as much time working on the economy as they seem to be spending trying to harm my pocketbook."

    What infuriates me most about this statement is that she has the cojones to talk about the economy when she has millions upon millions in the bank. I don't EVER see any celebrities--who are so quick to line up for an abortion-rights march--building homes for the homeless, giving money to poor families, or anything of the sort. Celebrities seem to think they have all the answers, because they are swimming in money that WE gave them. Most of them never went to college, let alone read books, let alone audit poli-sci classes, so who are they to tell me how to think?

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 15, 2004 12:16 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Pentagon Day-Care Center to Close, Move "Elsewhere, Downstream"

    TOWARDS THE END OF THE TRANSCRIPT FROM TODAY'S Defense Department Operational Update Briefing there's a curious item about recent changes to day-care at the Pentagon.

    Q     Can I ask a domestic-related terrorism question?

    MR. DIRITA:  Yeah, and then we will have to, unfortunately, move along.

    Q     All right.  This may sound a little off, but parents last week at the Pentagon day care center were told that the thing is going to close.

    MR. DIRITA:  Yeah.

    Q     It's because unspecific threats to the building -- this is one of those indications how terrorism affects the military, in a way, the Washington area.  Can you walk through a little bit why it's being closed and what's being done for the --


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 15, 2004 10:10 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Marshalling the Spin with Chin Music

    "Gimme that blah, blah.
    Gimme that jaw-jaw.
    Gimme that old time funky chin music!"

    HERE'S A POPULAR POSE among aging Boomers and X'ers that scribble for a living. I call it "The Pondering Pundit Pose." It is very popular and is growing more so.

    The pose consists of moving the hand up to the face and resting it on the chin between the chin and the camera. The chin may then be gently cradled, as seen here, or rested firmly with the forefinger extended upwards somewhat perpendicular to the jaw line.

    There's no smiling once the hand reaches this positions. Instead for one must project "the perpetual pondulation of the pundit." A thoughtful gaze downward as if contemplating the precision bombing of the text with les chic bon mots d' heir soir.

    Perhaps, if the shot is full-face, a somber, world-weary gaze will be offered the viewer proclaiming, "I am not a ninny, I am an Original Mind!"

    A good touch, if you can manage it, is to also display a certain insouciance to the basics of chin grooming. Chief among these techniques is to shave for several days with the sideburn trimmer on your electric razor. This gives you that perpetual five o'clock shadow signals an ocean of raging testosterone seething beneath that fervid mind. We have an especially good example of this above: Josh Marshall, PunditStud.

    Once you're alert for it, you see this hand on the chin pose more and more these days; especially among writers -- Tina ("I'm writing as bad as I can") Brown will do as a place holder for the female Marshalls. But why?

    As a former fashion editor I once had to oversee various photo shoots of various kinds. As a former book editor, I had to either commission or review dozens of "author's photos." I love authors, but , as Internet geeks are not known for the size of their wardrobes, so authors are not generally known for 'making the pretty picture.' This is especially true as authors age, which is why an author's first book jacket photo often appears on their next books for decades. Exhibits A, B, and C: Erica Jong.

    When the author's "official" photo is replaced, eight times out of ten, you see that hand used as a chin rest. Once you look for it you see it all over. I've used it myself to little avail. Here's the scoop.

    After a certain age, your face falls. No shame in that. It is merely the triumph of gravity over a sedentary lifestyle. But if you are a vain person, and who isn't, you might not want your fallen face to be associated with the young vital


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 15, 2004 12:16 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink








    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 14, 2004 10:40 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Suicide Muslim Arrested at Minneapolis Airport

    SUMMER'S INTERNATIONAL TOURISM SEASON GOT OFF TO A HOT START IN THE MIDWEST TODAY WHEN: Man arrested with suicide note on flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul International

    The U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Ali Mohamed Almosaleh is in federal custody in the Twin Cities. He was being detained on an immigration law violation, but federal sources confirmed there is much more than that to this investigation.

    Sources confirm Almosaleh was carrying a suicide when he was arrested. They say that note indicated a specific time and date for carrying out some sort of public suicide. He was also carrying CDs and DVDs, which federal sources say contained anti-American material. A source also confirms Almosaleh had something with him indicating a connection with at least one known terrorist.


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 14, 2004 11:11 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Post-Partum Notation

    I REGRET BEING AWAY so suddenly, but -- after a long round trip through Idaho, British Columbia, and Seattle -- I'm back and will have more to say about this and that and the other thing and you, yes you, over there in the corner, in fairly short order.

    Thank you for all the emails, but sometimes a person's just got to step off the grid for a few weeks.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 13, 2004 11:52 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Is the Deployment Surge Just an Exercise?

    USS Truman: Out for fun and games?


    USS Harry S. Truman, USS Enterprise Leave Norfolk to Test Navy's Deployment Capabilities

    (AP) - The USS Harry S. Truman sailed Wednesday- and the USS Enterprise left Thursday - in a test of the Navy's ability to have seven of its 12 carriers away from port simultaneously, a major shift from the way carriers have traditionally been used.

    The two Norfolk-based carriers are participating in the exercise, dubbed "Summer Pulse 04."

    "Summer Pulse 04" continues through August, with seven carriers conducting joint exercises and international exercises with allies from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia, officials said.

    "The ability to push that kind of military capability to the four corners of the world is quite remarkable," Navy Secretary Gordon R. England said when he announced plans for the demonstration last week in Washington. "Several years ago, we could deploy only two" carriers at the same time.
    The other carriers taking part in "Summer Pulse 04" are the Norfolk-based USS George Washington and San Diego-based USS John C. Stennis, which are already deployed; the USS Kitty Hawk, based in Yokosuka, Japan; the Mayport, Fla.-based USS John F. Kennedy; and the USS Ronald Reagan, which left Norfolk last week and is en route to its new home port of San Diego.

    As a seafaring friend of mine once remarked, an aircraft carrier is not really listed on the books as a "ship," but as a "strategic asset." And when a country starts to move 7 out of 12 of these assets around on the global chessboard, it might betoken something more than just a summer 'exercise.'

    Indeed, if this were wartime (What? It is? Who knew?) moving this much killing power out onto the seas would be thought of as a fleet surge.

    Truman, Enterprise, Stennis, Washington, Kennedy, Reagan, Kitty Hawk. It could all be, of course, just prudent planning and practice. On the other hand,


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 13, 2004 9:00 AM | Comments (62)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Joe Wilson: Tinker, Tailor, Plumber, Leaker

    CLIFFORD MAY'S In the Media column gives a useful insight into the current small question of "What makes Joe Wilson lie?" It turns out the his resume isn't as lustrous as Wilson would lead one to believe.

    I don't think Joe Wilson is an evil man. I do think he is an angry partisan and an opportunist.

    According to my sources, during most of his diplomatic career he specialized in general services and administration, which means he was not the political or economic adviser to the ambassador, rather he was the guy who makes sure the embassy plumbing is working and that the commissary is stocked with Oreos and other products the ambassador prefers.


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 13, 2004 7:05 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Spin Song of Josh Micah Marshall

    LET us go then, you and I,
    When Josh Marshall is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherised upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted lies,
    Marshall's muttering sighs
    Of inside baseball in one-post cheap shots
    And strawman arguments out of piss-pots:
    Blather that poses like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to a conscious falsehood ...
    Oh, do not ask, ' What is it? '
    Let us go and make our visit.

    If you like relentless eviscerations of the now discredited gasbag Josh Marshall, you will love the swift and sharp job done to this tool by THE BELGRAVIA DISPATCH in The TPM Defense: "Splainin" or Spinning?

    If Marshall had any sense of self or honor, he'd just lie down until these deep incisions healed, but he won't. He'll be back at his stand bobbing like the drinking bird over the glass.

    Alas, poor Josh, he really doesn't have any choice but to keep on coredumping the spin into his page. Once you've committed to the big lie, there's no going back, there's only the making of the big lie bigger. If he turned towards writing the truth, he'd not only be out of a job, Joe Conason would dump him.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 12, 2004 11:58 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Confident of Victory Kerry-Edwards Order "New Air Force One for the New America"

    Kerry-Edwards Air Force One Global Victory Tour, 2005 (Artist's Conception)

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 12, 2004 11:04 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Sitting in the Same Room, Inhabiting Different Universes

    FOR MANY YEARS I LABORED under the impression that being a columnist for the New York Times meant, at the very least, you were somewhere north of blood simple. But I was young and blood simple myself.

    Blood simple is, it would seem, part of the job description for many Times columnists. It may have something to do with the dyslexia of the Publisher or it may simply be post-mortem effects as the Times, having lost large chunks of circulation thanks to bias and bogus reporting that is woven deep into its corporate culture, strives to hang on to the true believers that are left it.

    In any case, one simply cannot take on all the blood simple pap that these scribblers spew. Life is too short and lunch is too long.

    Still, every so often, there's a real poser that creeps through the shields and lands on the retina with a resounding d'oh -- a hit, a palpable hit. Exhibit A from today is Bob Herbert's The Real Enemy Staring Us in the Face in which he is not referencing the mirror.

    In rolling towards the end of his allotted turn upon the page, Herbert delivers himself of the oft-repeated plaint that if things are so dangerous here at home we need to get serious about Afghanistan. He posits an attack on the US timed


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 12, 2004 10:49 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Most Brilliant Set of Links on the Web

    Luke Jones' Periodic Table of the Elements.

    Of the Blogsphere, that is.

    And the second most brilliant set is Here.

    Put them together and it is all ye know of the Web and all ye need to know.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 11, 2004 9:36 PM | QuickLink: Permalink

    Who's it gonna be? Farm Fresh Oatmeal & Chocolate or Olde Pumpkin Spice?

    THEY BAKE, YOU DECIDE! Laura Bush and the highly hyphenated Teresa Heinz-Kerry have both submitted their cookie recipies to Family Circle. The magazine has made them available at: Family Circle Presents: 2004 Election Cookie Cookoff (AKA The Hillary Rodham Clinton I Don't Got to Bake You No Steenkin' Cookies Memorial).

    You head to the page and you imagine, or perhaps you actually bake, the cute little morsels.

    Then you savor either the rich chewy goodness of robust oatmeal slathered with moist and meltingly sweet tang of the finest chocolate chunks, or the sharp, sophisticated tang of strange French tasting spices rammed unremittingly into the dank goo of old pumpkin.

    Then you make you unbiased vote at the site for First Lady Laura Bush's heavenly American creations, or Lucky Widow and Wannabe Teresa Heinz Kerry's appeasement wafers.

    I've already made my choice but I won't say which in order not to color the results.

    Remember: Vote early and vote often.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 11, 2004 2:06 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Just Draw the Lines, Look at the Picture, and STFU About the Process, Okay?

    WHEN, EXACTLY, DID EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND WOMBAT in the national media decide to reference this simpleminded children's game when writing or reporting on complex issues? I'm not sure, but they need to stop it right now. (That includes bloggers and new media mavens too!) Don't make us issue sanctions with extreme prejudice! Just CUT IT OUT!

    A recent, small small sample, from Google News:

    Connect the dots when you watch -- Fahrenheit 911

    Connect the dots to see big picture

    CD's Connect the Dots... Tickets to the Game

    Women Don ’ t Connect the Dots on Heart Attack Symptoms

    Connect the dots on prison scandal

    Connect the Dots Between Iraq and America Through Halliburton

    Connect the dots? Don't even try

    Connect the Dots... Rite of Passage

    Prosecution yet to connect the dots

    The 9/11 Commission Fails to Connect the Terror Dots

    The dots that don't connect

    UPDATE: These bloggers HAVE BEEN WARNED!

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 11, 2004 11:21 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Saturn Images from Cassini Continue to Dazzle and Stun

    The A Ring. Click to enlarge.

    YOUR SPIRITUAL ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS SUNDAY is to view and meditate on these Best Ever UV Images Of Saturn's Rings Hint At Their Origin, Evolution

    Above: Reduced for web. Larger resolutions are here and here at 300 dpi.

    They will, as we used to say in the Stoned Age, blow your little mind.

    Tip: from Ricky James' required reading: SciScoop - Exploring Tomorrow

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 11, 2004 10:41 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    At Last, A Good Reason to Keep Ted Rall in the Washington Post

    Upset by the money and attention Michael Moore is getting, Ted Rall gives it his best shot.

    MICHELLE MALKIN IS ALWAYS REFRESHING, but this time she outdoes her self. Long ago I argued (American Digest: Let Moore Be More Moore) that the best use of Michael Moore was to keep him visible and right in America's face. Michael, as you have seen, has taken this advice to heart. But for the longest time I couldn't extend this good feeling to Ted Rall. Indeed, at one point I thought the best thing to do would be to paste large reproductions of Rall's face all over his neighborhood, just so concerned citizens would know who to look for should they want to give him some feedback on his art.

    But Michelle knows better and makes the case for Ted Rall, the useful racist in THE BUCK-NAKED BIGOTRY OF TED RALL

    Ted "Bottom-feeder" Rall is at it again. His latest crude-toon includes a frame depicting Condoleezza Rice proclaiming herself Bush's "HOUSE NIGGA." A black man demands that Rice "HAND OVER HER HAIR STRAIGHTENER." His t-shirt reads "YOU'RE NOT WHITE, STUPID." The caption below the frame reads "SENT TO INNER-CITY RACIAL RE-EDUCATION CAMP."

    I am not going to call for a boycott of Rall's work. No. I want Universal Press Syndicate and the Washington Post and all his other "mainstream" media outlets to keep publishing his pathetic scrawls and scribbles.

    Ted Rall, you see, is a very useful idiot. Whereas most on the Left attempt to conceal their liberal racism in the drapery of "diversity" and "multiculturalism," Ted Rall is an ideological streaker. His impulsive naked bigotry is so butt-ugly, you can't help but gawk. It is raw and it is real and it is, quite helpfully, all hanging out there for the world to see.

    Show us more of your assininity, Ted. Keep dropping your rhetorical pants. Which other minority public figures do you want to mock for having straightened hair? Colin Powell's wife? Beyonce? Coretta Scott King? Which other independent-thinking, unorthodox minorities do you want to defame for not thinking "white" enough? You wanna send Bill Cosby to "racial re-education camp," too, huh? Which other minority conservatives are you just itching to tar as "HOUSE NIGGAS" or "HOUSE CHINKS" or "HOUSE SPICS?"

    (It's also valuable, by the way, to see Rall's mainstream media clients such as the Washington Post continue to stand by him...while at the same time, moan about the lack of civility in public discourse.)

    Rall is not the far Left fringe. He gets away with this pen-and-ink-stained excrement because he reflects the closet thinking of mainstream media editors across the country and their mainstream liberal audiences. His work is reportedly carried in 140 newspapers. He and his ilk are everywhere. I grew up with his kind. I went to school with his kind. I work in the media with his kind. I have been getting contempt-filled, profanity-laced, "You-are-a-traitor-to-your-race/You banana/coconut/Aunt Tomasina/white wannabe" diatribes from his kind in my mailbox for the past 12 years.

    I'm just glad to see Rall's kind crawling out from under their rocks and exposing themselves to sunlight. Bask in the glow, miscreants. Ain't 21st century liberal bigotry liberating? It's soooo much easier to breathe without those hoods.

    She's right. I think we should all start writing to the Washington Post to demand that Ted Rall's work be moved to the front page above the fold. That way the world could know, every day, what the inside line on the Democratic Party really was.

    UPDATE: The Omnisicient Allah is up to the minute with several Ted Rall T-Shirts! Number 4, "Some Attention Would Be Nice," would be my choice.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 11, 2004 9:43 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Not Every Cannes Award Winner Is Swill

    THESE NINE COMMERCIALS from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival go a long way towards redeeming the town if not the Other Festival. Check them out at Ad Age's BOILED EELS, BASHED SKULLS AND BEER-SWILLING BALLET DANCERS.

    Tip via the always rewarding growabrain

    Posted by Van der Leun Jul 10, 2004 9:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    John Kerry As President? Bring Him On!

    PEGGY NOONAN'S GOT THE FEAR, or at least a nagging little worry:

    History has been too dramatic the past 3 1/2 years. It has been too exciting. Economic recession, 9/11, war, Afghanistan, Iraq, fighting with Europe. fighting with the U.N., boys going off to fight, Pat Tillman, beheadings. It has been so exciting. And my general sense of Americans is that we like things to be boring. Or rather we like history to be boring; we like our lives to be exciting. We like history to be like something Calvin Coolidge dreamed: dull, dull. dull. And then we complain about the dullness, and invent excitements that are the kind we really like: moon shots, spaceships, curing diseases. -- Noonan at The Wall Street Journal
    I like the way Peggy Noonan writes, and I like the way Peggy Noonan thinks, and I like a lot of the things she says. She's always been elegant and intelligent. You don't find that often, but it is always a treat when you do.

    Because of this I fret when Ms. Noonan is vexed -- as she is in this case and not without reason. Americans do have a tendency to be a lazy, indulgent and easily world-wearied set of humans. That is, as she points out, our one of the key elements of our nature. But only one, and if at the moment it is in the ascendant, it will not always be so.

    At the same time Ms. Noonan is perturbed by the idea that the American Short Attention Span Theater will hand the election to John Kerry simply because he promises less aggro and more entertainment.

    Here is my fear: that the American people, liking and respecting President Bush, and knowing he's a straight shooter with guts, will still feel a great temptation to turn to the boring and disingenuous John Kerry. He'll never do anything exciting. He doesn't have the guts to be exciting. And as he doesn't stand for anything, he won't have to take hard stands. He'll do things like go to France and talk French and they'll love it. He'll say he's the man who accompanied Teresa Heinz to Paris, only this time he'll say it in French and perfectly accented and they'll all go "ooh la la!" Same Article as Above
    Ms. Noonan is not alone in her fears. The military itself is getting nervous. They are waiting for
    the “three year rule.” Historically, the American public will support a war for three years. If it isn’t over by then, the public mood starts to turn ugly. It’s happened in every American war that went over three years. The war on terror will be three years old in September, 2004. Recruiters are unsure what effect this will have on getting people to volunteer. While most of America’s wars have been fought with volunteers, the two big ones that went the limit without conscription (the American Revolution and the Civil War), ran into manpower problems after the three year limit was hit. But both of those wars had lots more casualties, and defeats, than the war on terror. And even World War II, as popular as it was, saw a growing amount of popular discontent by early 1945. What will happen this time around will be known by 2005, and the recruiters are not looking forward to it. -- Strategy Page
    Growing voter ennui coupled with the three year rule. It doesn't look rosy for the re-election of George Bush under those circumstances, does it? And perhaps it isn't.


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 10, 2004 4:30 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Beach Blanket Blandness: MTV Portrays Laguna Beach Students as A-List Losers

    AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR, the incessant blogbuzz around the election caused my head to explode. While it was being rebuilt, my wife took over some of my "duties" and took an up close and personal look at MTV's "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County." Now like the Asian Flu, the show is back for a second season because, well... because in America anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

    Here's a look back which will be, because teenagers live a life of enervation and repetition, just like a look ahead.

    Contributor's note: Of course I was mad. I was the one who had to clean up all that gunk and brain matter when his head exploded. As the reassembly nears its final stages, he wrote out in a shaking hand, "Post, please. You must post, something...anything." So here is something. -- Mrs. VdL

    GrouppicI watch "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County"on MTV with the same mixture of horror and fascination you feel when you�re driving by a bad car crash. You don't want to gawk, but you can't help it.

    I recognize the beaches. I recognize downtown. I recognize the Surf and Sand Resort. But I don't recognize any of these characters. Because these teenagers have to be characters. They can't be real high school kids. At least I hope and pray that they're not.


    Alien in 30 seconds with bunnies.

    No bunnies were harmed in the making of this re-enactment.

    Why? Because.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 10, 2004 9:27 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    If You Hate Jesus, You'll Love Michael Moore

    SUMMING UP THE CRITICS, Jeff @ Beautiful Atrocities reviews the reviewers of two movies that have shall we say two different messages. In A TALE OF TWO MOVIES: FAHRENHEIT 9/11 vs PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Jeff juxtaposes the money quotes from the nation's "top" film reviewers.

    Amusing and, alas, just about what you'd expect. Is it any wonder that the "influence" of film reviewing is dwindling in the country's mass media?

    Of course, not that online is always doing much better:

    David Edelstein, Slate:
    F9/11: After the screening, a friend railed that Moore was exploiting a mother's grief. I suggested that the scene made moral sense in the context of the director's universe, that the exploitation is justified if it saves the lives of other mothers' sons.

    Passion: A two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie—The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre—that thinks it's an act of faith.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 10, 2004 8:13 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    You Knew This Was Coming, Right?

    by Fark's JangoFett

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 8, 2004 6:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Winer Assures Bush of Election Blowout

    BlogSpawn Democrats Left to right: Dave Winer, Wonkette, Taegan Goddard, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga


    It's official, I will be at the Democratic National Convention, July 26-29 in Boston, covering it as a blogger. -- Scripting News: 7/8/2004
    I suppose he could have said "covering it as a demented, obsessed, and generally whacked out palm pilot," but in Dave's case it is pretty much the same thing.

    You'd think that the Democratic Party would have enough non-demented members left to stop this dreadful threat to their message as the "sane alternative." You might think that, but you'd be wrong.

    A sane alternative to the present administration would, you'd suppose, be more concerned about getting the Deadly Dave into a place where he would do the most good; like say, a swing state. Dave himself swore he was going to give up Europe in order to make his vote count, damnit, just last May

    This is, probably, by the way, why I won't spend a major amount of time in Europe this summer. We've got an election here in the fall that's very important. I will probably relocate to one of the swing states, so my vote will matter. -- Scripting News: 5/12/2004
    A sane party would take him at his word and hold a blogathon for a bus ticket to whatever state seems to be in play. But then again, maybe not. Perhaps the powers that be in the Democratic party took one look at this threat and said, "Good God, he could cost us Iowa! Give him a powerbook and a floor pass. If he won't take those, just shoot him."

    You know, I read in the news that pollster John Zogby believes: ``This is not a big bounce electorate.We are a nation that is split down the middle, polarized and hardened.'' Reading that I hope for a closely contested election, a slug-fest that makes everyone stay up until six in the morning deciding whether to bomb Iran or Washington. But then I find out that the Democratic Party is actually going to let Winer blog their convention live, and I know in my bones that all we have coming is a Bush Blowout.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 8, 2004 9:59 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Remember those "Unreleased Howard Dean Records?" There was "nothing" in them.

    JOE TRIPPI has put the introduction to his book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised online. In it we get this snapshot of Howard Dean in action behind the scenes.

    So here we are, in early December 2003, and the senior staff has decided to meet with the governor to plead our case for releasing the records. About fifteen of us have gathered in the long conference room on the third floor of a stale office building in South Burlington, Vermont -- where this rebel campaign had its unlikely rise. We explain that everything is about to hit critical mass, and that we are under a new kind of pressure here. He is now the frontrunner -- everything he does and says will attract new scrutiny --and he can't say out of one side of his mouth that he wants to clean up politics, while out of the other side say that his own records are off-limits for a frickin'decade.

    We tell him that it's starting to show up in the polls. We can survive a lot of things, but we can't survive having people see him as just another double-talking politician. The Dean for America campaign is the antithesis of that . . . a grassroots, reform candidacy breaking all the old rules and making people believe in politics again.

    "You've got to release the records, Governor."

    His eyes are set, and his open face is pulled back defensively into that tree-trunk neck. "But there's nothing in there."

    "If there's nothing in there, then we should release them."

    "But there's nothing in there."

    "That's why we have to release them."

    "But why should we release them when there's nothing in there?"

    We go around in circles like this until Governor Dean -- whose running mate could have been stubbornness -- ends the debate by saying he's done talking about it. "I would rather withdraw from the race than release those records."

    He didn't release and he didn't withdraw. Instead, the voters withdrew from him.

    But he still had his secret records with "nothing in them." Call them a "consolation prize."


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 8, 2004 6:50 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    When Poets Collide

    A TESTY EXCHANGE BETWEEN POETS stimulate by William Logan's artful evisceration of the purile Pulitizer Prize winning poety of Franz Wright:

    To the Editors:
    I have to concur with Charles Simic: I would have to consider myself a complete failure, both as a writer and as a human being, if a grotesquely mean-spirited mediocrity like William Logan liked my work. But that aside--aren't you even a little ashamed at how badly he writes (or to put it another way, how badly he seems to want to be British)?
    Franz Wright

    William Logan replies:
    I suppose that winning the Pulitzer does unbalance a man. Mr. Wright has been very busy scribbling letters. I received one myself, which I quote in full:

    If there is ever the slightest possibility of our finding ourselves in the same room or general vicinity, I want to advise and plead with you to get away from that place, fast, because if I find out about it, I assure you it is distinctly possible that I will not be able to resist giving you the crippling beating you so clearly masochistically desire. I do not wish to kill you or hurt you, and so I beg you to get away from me, without delay, if you realize we are in the same room somewhere.
    Best, Franz.

    If Franz Wright believes such threats will intimidate anyone, he is to be pitied. I assure him that I will come and go as I please, and would be glad to provide him with an itinerary. If the sight of me will send him off the deep end, he must do his best to avoid me. Though I would like to gratify his violent fantasies, for a man of his character all I can think to offer is pies at ten paces.
    William Logan

    -- Letters to THE NEW CRITERION

    This is ye olde punch-in-the-nose kind of literary dustup we see all to rarely these days. Pies at ten paces is a reasonable response to the gored ox groans coming from Franz Wright. He has passion, he has committment. The only thing he lacks is a leg to stand on. He is, deep down, a shallow poet as Logan notes:

    "Most of Wright’s poems are nasty, brutish, and short—it’s an old joke, but Wright really is Hobbesian man, consoling himself with second-hand religious formulae and the salve of salvation:
    Oh build a special city
    for everyone who wishes

    to die, where
    they might help one another out

    and never feel ashamed
    maybe make a friend,

    Maybe make a friend! (This is how Mr. Rogers would talk, if he were an ex-junkie.) Yet for all the tabloid-style anguish, Wright’s minimalism is deft and effective, with the emotional pressure of Louise Glück. These damaged and tormented poets (if they were to collaborate on Passive-Aggression for Dummies, I’d hardly be surprised) have refined the poetic act to short prosaic sentences, brimful with resentment, seething with a rage for which words are inadequate. Behind every poem stands an entourage of nurses, shrinks, and self-help counselors."

    That has to hurt and hence the truncheon of the aggreived letter to the editor comes out of the scabbard.

    Alas, poor Wright, he has yet to learn that if critics say anything nice about you, your best move is to shut up and sit down -- but if critics say anything bad about you, your best move is to shut up and sit down.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 7, 2004 4:08 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Gonna Wash That Man Right Into My Hair

    The Edwards Formula

    I see you've got your list out
    Say your piece and get out
    Yes I get the gist of it
    but it's all right

    Sorry that you feel that way
    The only thing there is to say
    Every silver lining's got a
    Touch of grey

    Bullet Points on "Why Our Edwards Formula is Better than Natural:"

  • Immediately restores lost color to grey campaign.
  • Looks and sounds so natural and smooth no one can tell he's lying.
  • Works for any color Democrat.
  • Restores lost color to grey Democrats, gradually.
  • Natural-Looking Democratic Color:
    • Day by day, Edwards Formula gradually replaces grey campaigns with natural-looking color.
    • You can stop anytime and leave just touch of grey , or keep going until all the grey is gone.
    • And Edwards looks so natural no one can tell you colored your campaign - they'll just know it looks great.
  • Simply Blow It In:
    • There's no mixing, no mess.
    • Have it lie daily for 2-3 weeks and you'll get the exact campaign that's perfect for you.
    • Then lie once or twice a week to keep it that way.
  • How Edwards Formula Works:
    • Different political positions are the result of different amounts of ambition, politic's coloring protein.
    • Darker ambitions simply have more lies in them than youthful ambitions.
    • As hypocrisy production increases with age, campaigns turn grey.
    • Edwards Formula has the unique ability to hide lost integrity with a trial lawyer level professional lying.
    • You can regain just the right amount of lost interest in your contradictory messages by applying Edwards for fewer or more days depending on Dan Rather's frequency.
  • Edwards works for any color Democratic candidate, even dour white guys from Massachusetts (unless Greek)
    • Your campaign Looks Thicker, Healthier:
    • Edwards contains a campaign-thickening ingredient that works by expanding the campaign's entertainment factor.
    • Plus, it actually repairs and strengthens campaigns, reducing electoral loss factors from idle blather.
    • The result: a healthier, thicker-looking candidate.

    The shoe is on the hand it fits
    There's really nothing much to it
    Whistle through your teeth and spit
    causeit's all right.

    Oh well a Touch Of Grey
    Kind of suits you anyway.
    That was all I had to say
    It's all right.

    I will get by / I will get by
    I will get by / I will survive
    We will get by / We will get by
    We will get by / We will survive

    -- The Annotated "Touch of Grey"

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 6, 2004 7:10 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
  • Balmer on Microsoft Security Problems

    "We are very excited by the discovery that the security holes
    in our next operating system will only be this big."

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 6, 2004 5:25 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Hair Club for Men Is Taking It to the Street

    Not content with a stronger America symbolized by a Vice-President with Clairol hair, candidate Kerry today also promised a stronger America with no teeth.

    I must confess that when the underwhelming news of Kerry selecting Edwards
    filled me with inertia this morning, my pre-caffinated brain immediately went into free association mode. For not particular reason, I received the following messages concerning Kerry's mind-numbing choice:
    Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut, Sometimes You Don't
    "The closer you get, the better he looks."
    "Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer. / You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer."
    "Hate that gray? Wash it away."

    I suppose it is the sign of a weak mind to leap from the momentous non-event of a veep naming to a series of advertising and second rate Beatles lyrics from John Lennon's late smack abuse period, but maybe it is just the sign of a mind relieved by knowing that, at last, our long national nightmare of "Who could it be?" is over.

    John Edwards. Who knew? Well, to judge by the repainted "Kerry-Edwards" airplane, huge "Kerry-Edwards" billboards, vast hand-held "Kerry-Edwards" placards, and reams of other printed detritus, several printers and sign makers did.
    (Memo to the vast throngs of "investigative" reporters swarming all over this story for the last aeon: Try a little legwork in the paint and print shops on your beat. You might get a scoop that doesn't spell Gephardt. If there are too many printers for you to cover, take the hint and look at those few companies that can actually paint on the outside of jet airplanes.)

    So now we have it. The choice will come down to two teams: one a couple of former CEOs who have actually run companies before going into politics, and two lawyers who have spent their lives either in politics making things hard for companies to succeed, or bribing politicians while preparing to sue companies that succeed.

    A choice, not an echo-echo.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 6, 2004 10:09 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    This Just Almost In

    Why is this man laughing?

    CNN, ALONG WITH EVERY OTHER MEDIA OUTLET with nothing better to do, is busy telling us that: Speculation over Kerry VP pick soars, while the Washington Post Reports that Kerry Says He Believes Life Starts at Conception.

    Perhaps, just as soon as he gets a concept, the life of the Kerry Campaign can begin.

    Then again, if it actually became a "Kerry Campaign" instead of a "Hate Bush Campaign," Kerry would soon be buying another posh country estate in Mondale Land, just down the road from Dukakis Estates.

    It is becoming clearer with every passing day that nobody, but nobody, gives a tinker's dam what Kerry thinks, what his positions are or are not, and whether or not he has the character to govern. His entire campaign is being run around the theme of "I am the Not-George."

    Shameful for him, and even more shameful for his supporters.

    Will he have a concept for a veep soon? Who knows, who cares? It doesn't matter who as long as that person is the Not-Cheney.

    A dozen candidates, over two years in the making, one bazillion hours of news cycles, and the Democratic Party comes up with a slate of Not-holes. Somehow, it all fits.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 5, 2004 8:01 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Michael Yon: Iraq's Ernie Pyle

    The Q

    MICHAEL YON CONTINUES to emerge as the single best combat reporter on the ground in Iraq today with items such as "Welcome Aboard"


    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 5, 2004 9:12 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    It's Time to Play...

    Rock Paper Saddam!

    Saddam: I've got an idea! Let's play a game of Rock Paper Scissors!

    Click Now. Worth every frame!
    Pointer via

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 5, 2004 8:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Long Before Birth

    Baby 'walking' in the womb

    Scans uncover secrets of the womb

    A new type of ultrasound scan has produced vivid pictures of a 12 week-old foetus "walking" in the womb.

    The new images also show foetuses apparently yawning and rubbing its eyes - Scans uncover secrets of the womb
    Pointer via: PhotoDude.


    Poem Before Birth

    water, water,
    flesh-cord feeding
    taut bundle
    of woman's belly.

    the brow of the child
    is first to form,
    while gills still
    pulse in the jostled quiet.

    the strong sleep
    before birth hypnotizes
    until shock of tongs and thrusting thighs

    the song of falling haze,
    veins, translucent

    breath, heartbeat
    and hunger.
    tears and a sometimes
    return to the silence.

    stars in their cool
    pond, bright blankness.
    the depth
    and the old remembering.

    the wave
    without the water.

    -- Berkeley, California, 1966

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 4, 2004 4:31 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    John Kerry's Flying Circus
    Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) plans to announce his vice presidential running mate in an e-mail to the 1 million subscribers to his campaign Web site.

    But he didn't say when.
    Yahoo! News - Kerry to Announce Running Mate in E-Mail

    Series 2, Episode 24: How Not to Be Seen

    Cut to a wide-angle shot of hedgerows, fields and trees.)

    Voice Over (John Cleese): In this campaign there is a Democratic candidate for President. He cannot be seen. In this campaign, John Kerry's main hope of being elected lies in his not being seen. In this posting we hope to show you how John Kerry plans on not being seen by the American electorate, before or after the election.


    Voice Over: In this film we hope to show how not to be seen. This is GENERAL WESLEY CLARKE of Clintonville. he wants to be President. He can not be seen. Now I am going to ask him to stand up. General Clarke, will you stand up please?

    In the distance General Clarke stands up. There is a loud gunshot as Clarke is shot in the buttocks. He crumples to the ground

    Voice Over: This demonstrates the value of not being seen.

    Cut to another location - an empty area of scrubland

    Voice Over: In this picture we cannot see MR. AL SHARPTON of Hustlerville on the Hudson. Mr. Sharpton is a professional buffoon with a haircut that is suspected of being an alien life form. Mr. Sharpton has never been elected but often indicted. He too wants to be President of the United States or at least collect a lot of money for pretending. Mr. Sharpton will you stand up please?

    To the right of the area Mr. Sharpton stands up. A gunshot rings out, and Mr. Sharpton leaps into the air, and falls to the ground and begins to prattle on various talk shows. Cut to another area, however this time there is a bush in the middle

    Voice Over: This is GOVERNOR HOWARD ("Aieeegahhhhhh!") DEAN of Upper Babboon's Bunghole, Vermont. Governor Dean would you stand up please. (after a pause - nothing happens) Governor Dean has learnt the value of not being seen. However he has chosen a very obvious piece of shrubbery.

    The bush explodes and you hear a muffled "GointoNewYorkCaliforniaWisconsin ... Aieeegahhhhh!" scream. Cut to another scene with three bushes

    Voice Over: Mr. John Edwards of The Dead Kennedys' Theme Park has presented us with a poser. We do not know which bush Edwards is behind, but we can soon find out. (The left-hand bush explodes, then the right-hand bush explodes, and then the middle bush explodes. There is a muffled scream as John Edwards is blown up leaving only his hairpiece.) Yes it was the one with the really beautiful haircut.

    Cut to a shot of a farmland area with a water barrel, a wall, a pile of leaves, a bushy tree, a parked car, and lots of bushes in the distance

    Voice Over: RICHARD GEPHARDT, of Heartland, USA, has concealed himself extremely well. He could be almost anywhere. He could be behind the wall, inside the water barrel, beneath a pile of leaves, up in the tree, squatting down behind the car, concealed in a hollow, or crouched behind any one of a hundred bushes. However we happen to know he's in the water barrel.

    The water barrel just blows up in a huge explosion. Cut to a panning shot from the beach huts to beach across the sea

    Voice Over: Ostensible Senator and Democratic Candidate for President JOHN KERRY has been hiding from the electorate ever since his advisors advised him that the less that was known about him the more likely people would be to actually vote for him.

    To enhance his position of not being seen Senator Kerry has decided to communicate with the people and the press only by email via his exclusive members only web site. Today Mr. Kerry announced via a cut and paste job on Senator Mrs. Ms. William Jefferson Hillary Rodham-Clinton's Instant Messenger Account on AOL, that he would notify the world of his choice of Vice President through an email message sometime so stay tuned. In the meantime, Senator Kerry would continue to not be seen. But Senator Ted Kennedy told us where he was while in an alcoholic blackout and bartering for another shot of Grandpa's Overcoat.....

    The camera pans around and stops on a obvious looking hut, which blows up. Cut to a house with a John Kerry standing out front

    Voice Over: And here is Senator John Kerry spending another blissful afternoon not voting in the Senate (he blows up, leaving just his designer jeans. Cut to a shack in the desert) Here is where his billionaire wife lives. (shack blows up - cut to a building) And this is where Al Gore lived who refused to speak to us in anything less than a shout, (it blows up) , so did the feckless gentleman who founded .... (shot of a house - it blows up) and here .....(another building blows up) and of course here the Democratic National Committee ..... (a series of various atom and hydrogen bombs at the moment of impact)

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 3, 2004 3:16 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    News More Intelligent Than Intelligence

    "In due course, I came back to England to await the Second World War, in the course of which I found myself engaged in Intelligence duties. And let me tell you that if there is one thing more fantastical than news, it is Intelligence. News itself is a sort of fantasy; and when you actually go collecting news, you realize that this is so. In a certain sense, you create news; you dream news up yourself and then send it. But that's nothing to the fantasy of Intelligence. Of the two, I would say that news seems really quite a sober and considered commodity compared with your offerings when you're an Intelligence agent."
    -- Malcom Muggeridge,
    The Great Liberal Death Wish

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 2, 2004 11:25 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Big Dog. Really Big Dog.


    HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE A COUNTRY that can orbit a space craft around Saturn, send back snapshots, then break for lunch in Chicago and come up with a 37 foot hot dog?

    Vienna(R) Beef Breaks Record at Taste of Chicago for World's Longest Hot Dog, Measuring a Whopping 37 Feet, 2 Inches

    To celebrate National Hot Dog Month, Chicago-based Vienna® Beef assembled the world's longest hot dog, measuring 37 feet, 2 inches. The Vienna hot dog was more than twice as long as the 16-feet, 1-inch dog the company made last year, also at the Taste of Chicago. At 37 feet, 2 inches, this year's dog also beat the current world record of 34 feet, 5.25 inches made by students from the University of Pretoria and displayed at the Sonop Hostel, Pretoria, South Africa, on Oct. 18, 2003.

    The 37-foot and 2-inch hot dog was set in a record-breaking S. Rosen's bun. "This year we broke our own record and all others known to date," said Jane Lustig, vice president of Vienna Beef. "Chicago hot dog lovers witnessed the giant feat today near Buckingham Fountain and America's Dog," she said.

    Vienna obtained some extra help in its record attempt. Local youth groups helped dress the Chicago-style hot dog. Members of The Latin School of Chicago's band were on hand to keep the beat.

    Assembling the world's longest hot dog, which weighed about 17-1/2 pounds, required:
    7 assemblers, who were chosen from youth and children's groups attending the festivities

    A record-breaking S. Rosen's bun with an estimated 125,280 poppy seeds

    Condiments included:
    -- 1 gallon of mustard
    -- 1 gallon of bright green relish
    -- 140 tomato slices
    -- 4 pounds of chopped onions
    -- 70 Vienna Kosher pickle spears
    -- 140 sport peppers
    -- a whole lot of celery salt.

    The Dog. Go for it.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 2, 2004 5:10 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Cassini Briefing

    JPL'S KEVIN GRAZIER APPEARED on PBS's Newshour last night to be interviewed by Ray Suarez on the meaning and achievement of Cassini. Here's a excerpt from a fascinating exchange.

    RAY SUAREZ: Well, what were the major areas of investigation, the things that we really needed to know about Saturn, that Cassini is designed to find out?
    KG:The moon Titan - let's start with Titan. Titan is the only moon in the solar system with an appreciable atmosphere. When I say appreciable, I mean that if you were standing on the surface of Titan, the pressure on you would be the equivalent of one and a half times our atmosphere or the equivalent of being 15 feet below the ocean if you were a scuba diver.

    Now, that atmosphere has thick, dense orange clouds that we have yet to be able to see through - at least not well. We're fairly certain that with the Cassini spacecraft we will see through those clouds to the surface below and now see the largest unmapped solid surface in the solar system. That moon, Titan, has an atmosphere that we think is like Earth's atmosphere was three point eight - four billion years ago. That atmosphere gave rise to life on Earth, so in some senses we think by understanding Titan we are looking at the early Earth in a deep freeze and studies of Titan can actually have, we believe, implications for the formation of life on Earth.

    Posted by Vanderleun Jul 2, 2004 4:59 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    G2E Media GmbH