Archives for August, 2002

BLOGORAMA REDUX: Radley, Brink, Julian,

BLOGORAMA REDUX: Radley, Brink, Julian, and I, footsoldiers in the Cato Blog Mafia (well, maybe Brink’s a capo) are hosting our second Blogorama free-for-all (Click it, you won’t be sorry). Here’re the details from Radley’s site:

Date: September 19
Time: 7ish. Or thereabouts.
Place: Rendezvous Lounge, 18th and Kalorama (same as Blogorama, the first)

All D.C. bloggers, friends of bloggers, readers of blogs, friends of readers of blogs, loathers of blogs, and those indifferent to blogs are invite and encouraged to attend. Bloggers are encouraged to promote the event. On their blogs. Of course. Blogorama I was a smashing success. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 people.

Posted on Aug 31, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

BLOG OF DEAD: Saw And

BLOG OF DEAD: Saw And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (or “And You Will Know Us by Our Incredibly Long Band Name,” as it said on the ticket window) at the 9:30 Club last night. They are an unattractive, chicken-chested, bowl-cut sporting, geeky bunch of dudes from Austin who have somehow perfected the art of looking supercool when they play. They put on a great show, and unlike Fugazi, they don’t harangue the audience about the evils of gentrification or suchlike nonsense (plus they let you mosh).

I was a little worried when I discovered that Trail of Dead have a blog. I like TOD’s music, so I didn’t want to have to learn that they were morons. Instead they’re possessed of good old Texan common sense:

On MTV’s “Real World”:

Even the name “Real World” is an oxymoron Ã?Â?Ã?¢Ã?¢?Ã?¬Ã?¢?? is that the world you live in? When’s the last time you were given a house for free to live in with seven other naÃ?Â??Ã?Â?Ã?¯ve, yet amazingly self-absorbed cretins?

On Euro Anti-Americanism:

I used to be among those who felt inclined to criticize the US for numerous things, but lately I’ve been feeling more than a little tired of this whole anti-US thing over here. For one, if I have another fucking person ask me what I think of George Bush the minute I mention that I live in Texas… Hey, at least we didn’t nearly elect a fascist to power, like the French did recently. Sure, Texas has the highest number of death penalties on the planet Ã?Â?Ã?¢Ã?¢?Ã?¬Ã?¢?? but Sweden has the highest suicide rate in the world. And at least in America they put toilet seats on the fucking toilets, o.k?

Of course, TOD being a rock band, there had to be a Spinal Tap moment or two:

And ideas, difficult to articulate, began to form in my mind about the river of history, which never actually repeats. Because how can a river repeat? It certainly doesn’t flow in a circle. No, history moves forward and tributaries of different branches of human history connect to flow into the great main channel (and if we continue along this line of metaphor I suppose we eventually reach some sort of sea, but hopefully that won’t be for a while yet, and will probably involve aliens).

Posted on Aug 31, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I’m cancelling my plans for

I’m cancelling my plans for a Cuban vacation

Posted on Aug 31, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

…HIM AND JOHN WAYNE? Was

…HIM AND JOHN WAYNE? Was Elvis “straight up racist, simple and plain” as Public Enemy sang? Not according to Alexander Cockburn, my favorite commie, now that Christopher Hitchens has gone over to the neocons.

And, while we’re on the subject of the King, I simply must see this.

Posted on Aug 31, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Here’s another job I’d rather

Here’s another job I’d rather have than be a big-firm lawyer.

Posted on Aug 31, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

MAYORAL FOLLIES: Here’s a nice

MAYORAL FOLLIES: Here’s a nice surprise: there’s a guy running for D.C. Mayor who’s pro gun:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, mayoral hopeful [Rev. Douglas E.] Moore contributed $300 to [GOP Congressman Ernest] Istook in August 2000. Moore, who runs Moore Energy Resources Corp., a minority-owned business that supplies coal and natural gas to PEPCO and Washington Gas, also made contributions to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) in 1996 and 1997 and Rep. Ron Klink (D-Pa.) in 2000.

Moore offered a very precise explanation for his financial contribution to the Republican: “He’s a life member of the [National Rifle Association], and I support NRA members,” says the Democratic candidate for mayor.

As a member of the D.C. Council from 1974 to 1978, Moore proudly mentions, he was the only councilmember to vote against a prohibition on handguns.

Hero. Unfortunately, he’s also got a conviction for biting a tow truck driver:

Moore, pastor of Elijah United Methodist Church in Poolesville, was, indeed, convicted of assault in 1978 for biting a tow-truck operator in a dispute outside City Hall three years earlier. He was required to undergo a psychiatric examination regarding his self-control.

As you likely know, campaign irregularities have forced Mayor Williams off the ballot. He’s now running as a write-in against, among others, Rev. Willie Wilson, also a write-in. This should be sweet: Williams vs. Willie Wilson in a write-in campaign in a city with staggering literacy problems. “Does that say ‘Williams’ or ‘Wilson’ or ‘Willie’?” Hanging chad ain’t got nothing on this, boy.

Mulling over his options in the race, Mayor Williams said:

“If you run as an independent, aren’t you, like, abandoning the Democratic Party?” Williams said. “Then you have Doug Moore representing the Democratic Party. Didn’t the guy, like, bite a tow-truck driver?”

I like the Mayor, but if I catch him saying “like” in two consecutive sentences again, he’s gonna, like, lose my vote. Maybe I’ll pull the lever for “Faith,” (one name, like Sting) the former exotic dancer. I miss Marion Barry.

Posted on Aug 28, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

FIRST THE AMERICA WEST PILOTS,

FIRST THE AMERICA WEST PILOTS, NOW THIS: A suburban Detroit man will appear at a pretrial hearing on Monday on charges he was driving drunk on his way to perform a circumcision. Samuel Greenbaum, 58, is one of five Detroit-area mohels, those who perform a delicate Jewish ritual, called a bris.

Posted on Aug 28, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

“WHAT A DEPLORABLE BUNCH OF

“WHAT A DEPLORABLE BUNCH OF WANKERS” Tom Jenney says: “Be sure to read the letters to the editor in today’s Tucson Citizen. The whole letter section is people writing in talking about the proposal to take away U of A mascot Wilbur the Wildcat’s pistol. My favorite is by Earle Stephen.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

“ENTERTAINMENT WITH CLASS”: “Thugs 4

“ENTERTAINMENT WITH CLASS”: “Thugs 4 Christ? The ‘Rumpshaker of D.C.’? Porn-n-pool go-go parties? The next time somebody tells you D.C. is boring, send them this.”:

She’d agreed to work a couple of nights at the club for extra money. Backstage, Ice laid his hand on her famous posterior. “I thought, ‘I am the Rumpshaker of D.C., this is so beneath me.’ But I needed the money,” Samantha laughs, telling the story now.

Posted on Aug 27, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

POSTAL WORKERS GET NO RESPECT,

POSTAL WORKERS GET NO RESPECT, in Australia either. If we were still a commonwealth country, would we have to spell it “faeces” as well?

Posted on Aug 27, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

CUCKOLDS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

CUCKOLDS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! You have nothing to lose but your horns…

Posted on Aug 27, 2002 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

AND PEOPLE GOT PISSED ABOUT

AND PEOPLE GOT PISSED ABOUT THE McAFRIKA BURGER? “Lobsters, Caviar, and Brandy at Summit on Starvation” in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Posted on Aug 27, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

DISSENT AS PSYCHOSIS: No, I’m

DISSENT AS PSYCHOSIS: No, I’m not questioning the sanity of those who disagree with me on Iraq. I’m drawing your attention to an interesting column by Myles Kantor on China’s abuse of psychiatry to imprison those who are crazy enough to want freedom.

Posted on Aug 25, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

READER MAIL: Alex Potapov asks:

READER MAIL: Alex Potapov asks:

How would you respond to the idea that once Saddam gets nukes, he’ll be able to deter us? I mean, can’t you imagine him saying, “OK, I’ll be taking Kuwait now, and stop me if it’s worth a couple of cities to you?”

The prospect of Hussein with nukes is troubling, but less so, I think than the nukes Pakistan already has and the stability of that regime (which may be severely undermined by a regime-change policy that makes the “clash of civilizations” a self-fulfilling prophecy). As for Kuwait, I didn’t consider who runs it a US national security interest in 1990/91, and my views haven’t changed since then.

Also, aren’t you underestimating the risks associated with Saddam’s death? Not only is his son scarier than he is, but it also seems likely that any successor will have some trouble holding Iraq together after Saddam is gone. Do we want to constantly worry about Iraq the way we constantly worry about Pakistan’s changes of leadership and loose Russian nukes?

I thought Hussein’s death was what everyone wanted. I don’t think it’s a given that little Hussein takes over after Dad dies given the enormous benefits to Iraq attendant to a government run by someone (even a Baathist general) not wholly identified with the prior regime. And if you’re worried about the Musharaf regime, think about how Musharaf fares when the US crushes another Muslim country and starts running protectorates in two Muslim countries instead of one.

No matter what happens to Hussein, WMD proliferation is a problem we’re going to face more and more in the coming years, and it’s not apparent to me that crushing Hussein is going to do much to solve it. Indeed, it may exacerbate the problem. It’s simply implausible that anti-American regimes (for other candidates besides Iraq see this excellent piece by William Saletan) are going to take the following lesson from our invasion/occupation of Iraq: “oh boy: they’re serious. Let’s halt our nuke/chem/bio programs.” Other rogue states know that if their nuke programs are deep underground, an Osirik-style surgical strike is no longer possible. They know that chem and bio weapon labs can also be put deep underground or, as Donald Rumsfeld has said, be put on trailers and moved. They know that to really eliminate their programs, the US needs troops on the ground and will have to take responsibility for the post-invasion regime. They know that US resources aren’t limitless and the American public’s patience isn’t infinite. They know we can’t be everywhere at once.

Deterrence may have its limits (though the case against it right now is based on speculative nightmare what-ifs) but it seems to me the alternative–perpetual war in the name of global weapons control–has a lot less going for it.

Posted on Aug 25, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

JIM BAKER III joins the

JIM BAKER III joins the group of Gulf War I hands who are less than giddy about the proposed sequel. Sure, he says it can, and maybe should, be done, but the note he sounds is hardly enthusiastic:

The only realistic way to effect regime change in Iraq is through the application of military force, including sufficient ground troops to occupy the country (including Baghdad), depose the current leadership and install a successor government. Anyone who thinks we can effect regime change in Iraq with anything less than this is simply not realistic. It cannot be done on the cheap. It will require substantial forces and substantial time to put those forces in place to move. We had over 500,000 Americans, and more soldiers from our many allies, for the Persian Gulf war. There will be casualties, probably quite a few more than in that war, since the Iraqis will be fighting to defend their homeland. Sadly, there also will be civilian deaths. We will face the problem of how long to occupy and administer a big, fractious country and what type of government or administration should follow. Finding Saddam Hussein and his top associates will be difficult. It took us two weeks to locate Manuel Noriega in Panama, a small country where we had military bases.

Unless we do it in the right way, there will be costs to other American foreign policy interests, including our relationships with practically all other Arab countries (and even many of our customary allies in Europe and elsewhere) and perhaps even to our top foreign policy priority, the war on terrorism.

Posted on Aug 25, 2002 in Uncategorized | Comments Off