Friday, April 16, 2004

Did you really forget?

Did Dick Armey somehow upset you?
After suggesting Hank Kissinger — who will no longer travel internationally for fear that he might be captured and tried Pinochet-style — head the commission, anything goes!


I'm not going to join in the chorus of conservative voices calling for the resignation of former Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick - her presence on this farcial too little, too late committee is symptomatic of the disease, not the cure.

However the sheer awfulness of her name does raise the specter of just who some of the "hidden" appointees of the present administration might be:

Billy Scrotumsfeld
Harry Bush
Janet Fondle-Cheney

Further suggestions are welcome.
Invite me to the seance when you arrange it, eh? I've some questions for Madison and he better have some answers, dammit!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

That's nothing!

Italian scientists have found a matching image of a man's face and possibly his hands on the back of the Turin shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, one of the researchers said on Thursday.[More]
That's nothing! I've recently came across artifacts with the images of our founding fathers, only to find a ghostly image of each of them elsewhere on the artifact.

I do not know why the Founders have chosen me among all others, but I also intend to "use [my] position to help explain America's involvement in Iraq".
Do you suppose Washington, Franklin, et al., were Changelings? Can we look forward to President Odo?

Uh. Huh?

Yoda's cage mate, Princess Leia, is a much larger female who uses her body warmth to keep [him] from freezing to death.[More]

Sure, you've probably seen the story and been waiting for me to say something about it. If not, first let the image wash over your brain like some some kind of acid bath before clicking on the link to find out what the heck's going on.
Editing, creative it is. Intentionally, information distorted I have. Good, yes. Strong in the Dark Side have I become.

Civil Disobedience

The MPAA has established a nationwide telephone hotline for cinema employees to report violations. Studios and cinemas are also investing in metal detectors and night-vision goggles.[More]
I'm calling on all readers of this blog to bring a camcorder to the next movie you watch — and record your facial reactions to the movie. This gross violation of personal privacy in the defense of corporate property must be stopped!

Chinatown's economy is at stake, here.
Sure, you'll have to skip your methadone session, but it's worth it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Send in the Hotties!

What is she — Don Rumsfeld's kid? Nice circular argument, lady. Perhaps I shouldn't expect more from a beauty pagent contestant. Perhaps I shouldn't expect more from a Republican?

Hmmm. NBC is owned by GE, a notorious defense contractor.... I see wheels within wheels....

Just kidding. I'm glad that she has an opinion and a "position" that can help explain to the American people exactly what we're doing in Iraq. The fact that she has worked to integrate mentally retarded children into regular classrooms should really help with getting that message across. Perhaps it's just too complex for me to understand. Hopefully, a blonde with a hard body and no inhibitions can help me get it.
What is it with you and the Post? Don't you get it? They're bad news. Bad, I tell you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Miss USA, hailing from Dick Gephardt's home state.

"A Republican, she told Reuters she would use her position to help explain America's involvement in Iraq. "What needed to be done had to be done," she said."
Dennis Hopper, too, but no permalink.

Straw Men

Cool! I just read the definition of "straw man". Let's make sure that I have it right: going after, say, Richard Clarke, with ad hominem attacks is the administration's attempt to use a "straw man" instead of attacking the real problem if their incompetency.

Ain't education great? Thanks for teaching me this new information, Brian!
What about when the British Foreign Secretary does this? Is it then a Jack Straw straw man? For years, I thought "Jack Straw" was some kind of British term, like "John Bull" or "Winston Churchill".


I remember distinctly when I first realized that the reason there are 360 degrees in a circle is because there are roughly that many days in a year. I remember it because I thought about the orbit around the sun, the diffference between the elliptical path known now and the circular path thought of then, and, perhaps most of all, I remember that moment of understanding so well because it happened so recently. Please don't ask how recently; it's kind of embarrassing.

So, since we're in the completed orbit, let's look at how our views have traveled.

Hmm. Looks like they haven't much.

By the way, I usually think Rooney's an idiot. Him saying that our warriors — and that is how I see our military and that is how they train — are not heroes is sheer stupidity. I never look to him for any kind of cultural direction, and I don't believe that trash-talking our proud warriors will earn him any points.

I think that the one thing everyone on this blog will agree on is that our military should be supported. I just personally think that I can best support them by usinng my freedom of speech to make sure that the Administration has the interests of the military at heart. After all, for all of the elected persons in DeeCee, only one of them has a child in the service. Did anyone in the Executive branch serve? Ever?
Thanks for the instruction on ad hominem. I don't know rhetoric very well and will try to fill in that gap in my education. In the meantime, feel free to disassemble my "asinine" argument.

365 days later

We're still live.
And we've survived multiple moves, new members, and another new reader from the methadone clinic!

Monday, April 12, 2004


Andy Rooney has opinions about who deserves to be a hero and who doesn't.

How can a coward like Andy Rooney have any idea what heroics are all about from his papmered existence in Hollywood?

And that, boys and girls, is an ad hominem attack. In rhetoric, an ad hominem attack is designed to distract the reader from the larger issue at hand. It is lazy - but not nearly as lazy as my other favorite rhetorical trick, the straw man:
It would be interesting to have a reporter ask a group of our soldiers in Iraq to answer five questions and see the results:

1. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into Iraq?

2. Are you doing what America set out to do to make Iraq a democracy, or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed?

3. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation?

4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take?

5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you?

Those are all straw men - easily phrased questions which can be knocked down by your side, but are a bitch for the other side. Cf. Groucho Marx: "When did you stop beating you wife?" The only thing lazier then an ad hominem attack is the straw man. I should know - one of my favorite cheap rhetorical tricks around here is to build one up just to knock him over.

But Rooney is not happy with that. He must take his dislike of the present administration and turn it against the men in uniform --
We must support our soldiers in Iraq because it's our fault they're risking their lives there. However, we should not bestow the mantle of heroism on all of them for simply being where we sent them. Most are victims, not heroes.

The funny part of this is that Rooney himself was a draftee during WWII - a guy with absolutely no choice in the matter (other then prison). Without trolling for the obvious ad hominem attack, we're left with more of this goddamn Vietnam War syndrome that the Left is presently flagellating themselfes with. They need it to be Vietnam, because without Vietnam, Bush is right.

Shawn's family has a proud tradition in uniform - he understands that the sacrifices made by these men isn't always falling on a grenade for your buddies - sometimes it means four years in some godawful military town in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes it means running up the stairs into the fire when the others are running down. Sometimes it means having to spend months or years from home and reading tripe like the above in your local paper.

But since Rooney is a commentator for CBS, the most conservative of all the networks, he ends with an appeal to sanity (from the Silly party):
President Bush's intentions were honorable when he took us into Iraq. They were not well thought out but honorable.

Bush's determination to make the evidence fit the action he took, which it does not, has made things look worse. We pay lip service to the virtues of openness and honesty, but for some reason, we too often act as though there was a better way of handling a bad situation than by being absolutely open and honest.

I have no idea what openess and honesty have to do with anything here. Perhaps he is lambasting all of us on the wacko right for demanding that the war be prosecuted to its full and final comclusion. Perhaps . . . Perhaps . . . I'm honestly stuck.
That was too damn long. I didn't have enough room to stomp on your asnine "every day is September 11th" argument.


In fact, some scientists believe the eradication of worms from human stomachs over the past 50 years may be behind the rise in [inflammatory bowel disease]. [More]
Does this means that parents should encourage their kids to eat dirt??

"Dante, I know you think I'm a bad parent now because I'm making you eat a mud pie, but you'll thank me later when you don't get Crohn's Disease."
Mind you, I wouldn't feed him dirt or mud from New York City — no one would be that crazy.