November 30, 2004

Holy smokes

How much thorazine did it take to accomplish THIS?

I have this vision of a pool cleaner/chlorine barrel of it, with the daily dosage label reading "two shovel fulls before each meal. And that INCLUDES snacks, fat boy!"

What, you say, I'm criticizing the master, and that in Amerika dissenting from dissent is not free speech and should be stopped? All I can say to that, is, "hey, do you think they've been tricking Mikey into taking his Thorazine by grinding them up and telling him they are sprinkles on his 5 boxes of Krispy Kremes each morning?

Posted by Steve at 11:24 PM | Comments (8)

So much for the sablogatical

Rusty promises to blog less and enscoce himself amidst the bosom of his family, before letting rip on a wicked jag of bloggy goodness.

As I've said before: Testors is the mid-morning break for blogging champions!

SECRET MESSAGE FOR MACKTASTIC RUSTY WICKED: I know you are keepin' it real---I'm just trying to keep the east coast/left coast blogger rivalry alive!

Posted by Steve at 11:14 PM | Comments (3)

The sinister grievances

of the resentful left.

Posted by Steve at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

Darth Mickey Update

"Animal Kingdom"...."Savannah Rooms".....God give me strength........

Posted by Robert at 01:59 PM | Comments (12)

A Book Meme? Are You Kidding Me?

Steve-O picked up on Hugh Hewitt's meme earlier today about which modern novels people read more than once. Steve's post is such a classic in and of itself that I'm just going to leave it alone and answer here.

I have a very bad habit of reading certain books over and over again. Yes, I'm well aware of how much time this takes away from new materials. But I've always felt that good literature, like good music, is something to be experienced repeatedly. And the mark of really good literature is that one comes away from it each time with something different.

Given that, here's a brief list of modern authors and/or novels that I have read more that twice, most of them many, many times:

P.G. Wodehouse - Too many books to list individually.

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit, LOTR and The Silmarillion. Are you surprised?

Evelyn Waugh - I read the Sword of Honor trilogy about three times a year, and many of his other novels as well.

Robert Graves - I dunno whether he counts as a modern novelist, but I've always enjoyed his historical fiction, not only the Claudius books, but his retellings of the stories of Belasarius, Jason and the Argonauts and Odysseus. And of course, although it's autobiographical, I reread Goodbye To All That all the time.

Patrick O'Brian - The Aubrey/Maturin novels up as far as The Wine Dark Sea.

Michael Shaara - The Killer Angels.

Derek Robinson - Piece of Cake. The story of a Hurricane squadron at the outself of WWII.

Douglas Adams - Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the first three books of the Hitchhiker's trilogy.

E.E. Somerville and Martin Ross - The Irish R.M. Okay, it's a set of short stories, not a novel. But they go together as a cycle. In any case, I never ever get tired of them.

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting, but this is a good representational sample.

Posted by Robert at 01:44 PM | Comments (4)

Remember, Indeed


The Maximum Leader reminds us that today is the 130th Anniversary of the birth of Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. Go on over for a fitting tribute.

Some people believed that Churchill was the reincarnation of King Arthur who, it had long been foretold, was destined to reappear to save the Kingdom at its darkest hour. Myth? Perhaps. I won't say that I believe it, but then again, I won't say that I totally disbelieve it either.......

(Incidentally, I'm currently wading through Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples for the first time. (Well, not "wading" so much as "sailing".) Next stop will be his Memoirs of the Second World War.)

Posted by Robert at 01:19 PM | Comments (8)

Read This Or Your Child Will Die

Sheila links to Tim Blair, who links to Joanne Jacobs, who in turn links to this article by Richard Bailey on the culture of fear in child-rearing. Bailey speaks most specifically about the issue of taking kids on adventure outings, but his words are relevant to just about every other aspect of parental responsibility as well. One of several money quotes:

No environment will ever be completely safe and risk-free, and even well-supervised children manage to hurt themselves. But by speculating on what can possibly go wrong rather than on what children might learn from experiences, we are in danger of creating anxiety in some children and recklessness in others. Children who are fearful will not be able to learn, and those who are overconfident will be unable to make sensible judgements about risk, because their learning environment has become sanitised and over-managed.

In other words, by obsessing too much over the kiddies' well-being, we are, in fact, in danger of producing a generation of neurotic twits and idiots.

I'll leave it to everyone else to insert their own "When I was a kid...." stories.

Hyper-protective parents hellbent on preserving their little hothouse flowers from, well, Life, are a favorite topic of mine. I find such behavior appalling, not least because I think a lot of it (at least among the parents that I know) is based on those parents' own sense of guilt over other aspects of their performance. (Sure, they're both away 19 hours a day and the help is raising little Jason, but by golly, he's gonna have as soft n' cuddly an environment around him as money can buy! But that's a rant for another day.)

Children are naturally equipped to deal with the slings and arrows - both physical and mental - that are hurled their way by Fortune and traditional notions of child-rearing, including letting the kids loose in the socio-physical laboratories of the neighborhood woods, the school playground and other minimally-supervised places, allowed them to gradually hone their defenses, including both autonomic systems such as immunities and conscious ones such as judgement. The burned hand teaches best? The playing fields of Eton? Hello? (Slipping in one personal anecdote after all, ask me how many times I had to get beaten up before I learned not to throw mud flops at bullies on bicyles.)

I also believe there is an insidious snowballing effect in all of this. If you isolate the little darlin's from all the dangers associated with freewheeling youth, I believe their defense systems actually begin to invent new threats. I have nothing at all except empirical observation to go on here, but I think it is no co-incidence that we have seen an explosion of peanut allergies, lactose-intolerance and other such maladies since going into Full Protective Crouch over our kids in the last twenty years or so. Ditto with the apparent mass epidemics of various behavioral problems, ranging from attention deficit disorders on up to heightened junior high assimilation angst (a favorite topic in my neck of the woods). Oh sure, we're hot on the trail of various pharmaceutical and theraputic treatments for these new threats. And we've gone great guns to cleanse our environments of their physical manifestations. But even if you stamp them out, something else is going to pop up. Today it's peanut butter. Tomorrow, it'll be, I dunno, bologna.

Look, I'm not suggesting that we leave loaded guns, gasoline and matches or our Ginsu Knife collections lying around in the open for the two year old to play with. Nor am I suggesting that schools institute a daily Lord of the Flies period. And no, I'm not arguing that things like tougher seatbelt laws have not been beneficial. What I am suggesting is that it's okay for kids to fall out of trees or off monkey bars. It's okay for them to take a toss from their bikes or skateboards. It's okay for them to learn to fight it out amongst themselves - whether in an organized activity such as dodgeball or in the more free-flowing atmosphere of playground politics. And yes, it's okay if, despite all your warnings, sooner or later they manage to touch a hot iron or stove-top. Sure, all of these things can produce short-term traumas - burns, scrapes, broken bones - but in the long run, they also will produce kids with the skills and capacities to survive and thrive in the Real World where, once they grow up, no one else is going to look after them.

Posted by Robert at 12:27 PM | Comments (7)

Here's a meme to get the blood flowing

Wrasslin' devotee Sheila O'Malley is starting a game combining two of our favorite themes: Star Wars and the Amerikan Revolution.

Here are my nominations for her game:

Obi Wan Kenobi------John Locke
Luke-------------------Thomas Jefferson (particularly when he's getting very self-righteous)
Han Solo--------------Alexander Hamilton
R2D2-------------------James Madison
Chewbacca-----------Ben Franklin (except in this version, Chewie nails Leah)
Yoda-------------------John Adams
Princess Leah----------Mercy Otis Warren
C3PO-------------------James Monroe
The Emperor----------George III
The Jawas-------------The Hessians
Admiral Ackbar-------Admiral de Grasse (with a strong family resemblance)

and, of course

Darth Vader-----------Dick Cheney, immortal font of evil that he is!

Dare we go for the bonus round---pre Civil War politics through the lens of Battlestar Galactica?

The Cylon King--------John Calhoun

umm, maybe not.

Posted by Steve at 11:17 AM | Comments (3)

Sell out.


Posted by Steve at 11:01 AM | Comments (1)

Fear the Teraflop?

I don' understand eeet, but DAMN!

Posted by Steve at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

Meme du jour

Hugh Hewitt is asking folks for what modern novels have they read more than once?

Fortunately, it's times like this that I'm glad that my co-blogger is such an erudite chap as Robbo---for as our regular detractors (Hi Bill and Jeff!) know, I am actually illiterate: the character of "Steve-o" is actually played by a howler monkey from the Cleveland Zoo named "Dave" who pounds with his toe fingers on a specially designed Dell Laptop that can withstand regular rants of political invective, not to mention the odd thrown clump of feces.

Say hi Dave: "Oooh Ooooh AHHHHHH AHHHHH AHHHHHH!!!!!!! (insert sound of hurled feces hitting the bars of the monkeyhouse cage)

Anyhoo, there's a whole bunch of novels I've returned to over the years, but the one that I would have to say I've reread the most would be Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. I started writing on the title page each time I've read it again on the now-decrepit paperback version that I got in the summer of 1987. Since the first summer (when I read it twice), I've revisited the Library 9 times. It resonated at first because of a class that Robbo and I had together (which I believe was the only one we had: Rob was an English major and I was in this wacky insane program called the College of Social Studies which was a triple major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Let's just say Dave the monkey got very good at flinging feces at the computer extra fast), where was I? oh yes---we were in this art history class on the gothic cathedral. I remember doing my paper on the role of political symbolism for the Capetian kings of France in the development of gothic style, at the same time I was doing a papaer for class in the major on the political theory of Aquinas and the Scholastics. Eco's themes and his characters just exploded into my psyche, and to this day, when I want to get myself into a particularly tight frame of mind, I envision William of Baskerville standing in the winter garden, trying to think his way through the problem.

That, plus it is one of the greatest works of detective fiction ever written, the genre which is my favorite. (And, ignore the hell out of the movie. It sucks)

Oh yeah, and it had reeeeeeaaaaal purty pictures. (The other Eco book that I recommended the other day as an alternative to the Dan Brown schtick is Foucalt's Pendulum)

What about you?

(PS---I'm going to catch holy heck for this but I've only read the LOTR series once, and haven't ever had a hankering to go back through it)

Posted by Steve at 10:36 AM | Comments (5)

Could it be.......?


WASHINGTON - The economy — helped out by more brisk consumer and business spending — grew at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter, a performance that was stronger than previously thought. The new reading on gross domestic product, which is based on additional data, was up from the 3.7 percent growth rate first estimated for the July-to-September quarter, the Commerce Department (news - web sites) reported Tuesday.

GDP (news - web sites) measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the broadest barometer of the economy's health.

The 3.9 percent growth rate registered in the third quarter represented a pickup from the second quarter's 3.3 percent pace and marked the best showing since the opening quarter of this year.

The latest snapshot of economic activity was brighter than economists were expecting. They were predicting economic growth would hold steady at the previously estimated pace of 3.7 percent.

The main reasons for the third-quarter improvement: stronger consumer spending, which grew at the fastest clip since the end of 2001, and more robust business investment in equipment and software. Better growth in U.S. exports also helped.

Although the economy is expanding at a solid pace, private economists want to see continued improvements in the labor market, where the recovery has been somewhat sluggish. In October, the economy added a sizable 337,000 jobs, the most since March. While many of those jobs were for hurricane cleanup, the report still raised hopes that the job recovery might be becoming more firmly rooted.

Economists predict employers expanded payrolls by around 200,000 in November, and that the jobless rate will dip down to 5.4 percent from October's 5.5 percent. The employment report for November will be released Friday.

So much for JFK's "worst economy in 70 years" crapola.

But we all know this sort of news means but one thing: Ace......has.......COWBELL!

Okay, Ace hasn't signed in yet. But when he does, we'll link the cowbell (and for those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, trust me: you won't be disappointed. Except if you don't think Will Ferrell is funny, and then you'll just be scratching your head and saying, "what does a guy who looks kind of like a goat banging like a madman on a big ol' cowbell have to do with good economic news?"

And you know, I really don't have a good answer to that.)

Posted by Steve at 10:24 AM | Comments (1)

Wait For It

Back in a while.....

Posted by Robert at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2004

I don't know how I missed this

Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam

An idea whose time has come.

Posted by Steve at 11:49 PM | Comments (4)

Now I am officially 128 years old


Of course, when they start using Human League to sell dandruff shampoo, I'm cashing in my chips.

UPDATE: Now here's a good cloudy Tuesday contest: what would be the absolutely worst use of 1980s songs to sell products to aging post-boomers?

I'm thinking 1.) the Violent Femmes Add it up to promote Charles Schwaab's new 401K retirement plans.
2.) Baby-got-back to promote the new female talking oven mitt for Roy Rogers. Or for Hardees.

3. But of course, Duran Duran's (or, as the girls used to refer to it in the day, Duran^2) Hungry like the wolf for the new breed of Euro chi-chi Hungry Man dinners.

4. Last, and certainly least, the Hall & Oates disaster epic ballad Sarah Smile for the new age fluffy poetry reading sensitive guy male enhancement pills.

5. Or, anything by the Dead Milkmen to sell products relating to digestive and/or prostate medicines.

Posted by Steve at 11:41 PM | Comments (8)

Happy Birthday, Israel

Remember when the UN was capable of ethical action? No? I do.

Granted, Kofi was in diapers at the time, and hadn't yet learned how to solicit a bribe.

Posted by Steve at 11:14 PM | Comments (1)

File under the "Hey, it could be worse: it could be raining" department

The Redskins stink, but hey, at least they aren't the Chiefs.

Posted by Steve at 11:09 PM | Comments (3)

I can't do this post justice

Katie describing her History of Musical Theatre class when it gets to Andrew Lloyd Webber....

now I have to go clean up having just blown vanilla yogurt and crushed pineapple out of my nose.

Posted by Steve at 11:05 PM | Comments (1)

Category: Asshat

FARCer plot to assasinate Chimperor Foiled: Drew cries into his Yoo-Hoo.

Duke still sucks.

Posted by Steve at 10:41 PM | Comments (1)

Keith and the Fat Man

Ace has a great idea for a new buddy private detective show, but I've got a better one: Olbermann, P.I., with Mikey Moore as Higgins. He doesn't know how to work in Oliver Willis, though: the answer, of course, is he gets to fly the rainbow-striped helicopter!

BTW....Is it just me, or would it be hilarious to have Ted McGinley mount an independent third-party campaign for the presidency on the West Wing? Kind of a Ross Perot meets Ashley Covington Evans meets Jefferson D'Arcy? And his campaign slogan could be "The Ultimate REAL DEAL!"

Posted by Steve at 10:31 PM | Comments (1)

Just in time for the gift shop in the new William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library, Casino, and Head Shop

Ladies and gentlemen, the glo-in-the-dark thong.

How different would the last two centuries of capitalism have been if Adam Smith, when writing the Wealth of Nations and developing his concept of the Invisible Hand, had been able to talk of making glo-in-the-dark thongs instead of metal pins?

Posted by Steve at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)

Mommy! Daddy! Don't fight! Pweease?!?!?!

Okay, this is weird: we've been googled three times today for people searching for:

Alex Trebek Kent Jennings fight

I'd take Jennings in the fifth round, only to have the crap beat out of him in the alley behind the studio from the chick finalists from the Teen Tournament.

Posted by Steve at 10:13 PM | Comments (1)


Oh my.......

Of course, I'm not even going to ask "Greco-Roman or Texas Cage"?

Posted by Steve at 09:56 PM | Comments (2)

Okay, folks, we need to raise a million bucks. fast.

INDCent Bill is offering subject himself "to daily, nude whipping on national TV for a cool mill."

Just think of how we could clean up on the pay-per-view!

Somehow, though, I think if we come up with about sixty three bucks he'd do it on Fairfax County Public Access Cable.

Yeah, and he talks about some other stuff. Waaah.

Posted by Steve at 09:50 PM | Comments (1)

It's Monday night, so that means

Annika has her MNF picks up.

They are starting to get back to their old tricks in the lee of Nicolettesanstowelgate. Bart Starr, Joe Namath, and....Ben Stiller?

Just say no.

Posted by Steve at 09:35 PM | Comments (1)

The obnoxious Walmart price cutting smiley face

is loose in Mosul.

Posted by Steve at 09:28 PM | Comments (1)

You know, this is getting ridiculous

It still kind of puzzles me that almost a month after the election we're still getting googled for people looking for "Jennifer Millerwise," a spokesman for the late great Dubya for Emperor campaign. Usually, they'd just be looking for Jennifer or Jenn and sometimes Jen Millerwise, but a couple of pervs googled us for Jennifer Millerwise + naked/nekkid/nude/nudie pics. I mean, some people!

It seems our new pal DanielWCasey is having the same problem, except for people looking for pics of one Juliet Huddy. I didn't recognize the name, as we don't have cable, and it turns out she's some sort of nooz babe at Fox.

So this is just a warning to you pervs out there: you will not find any naughty, bawedy, nude, lewd, salacious, bodacious, cretaceous pics of Juliet Huddy here, nor for Julliet Hoddy or Joilet Hutty either. Nada. Zip.

In a related note, did I mention one of my favorite new books? It's Up from Bondage: the Literatures of Russian and African American Soul by Dale Peterson. That, and the new book by Kinky Friedman.

Posted by Steve at 05:22 PM | Comments (7)

Christmas shopping...

with the Cranky Neocon. Not any cranky neocon, mind you, but THE cranky neocon. And you know what THAT means....

Posted by Steve at 05:04 PM | Comments (1)

You're a much better person than I

One of my favorite movies is High Fidelity, and one of my favorite scenes in that movie is when record store owner John Cusack fantasizes about cold-cocking a particularly obnoxious Tim Robbins in the mouth with a phone--and not some namby-pamby little cell, but with the base of one of those good old 1940s black metal ones. Teeth visibly go flying, followed by frenetic Jack Black who jumps over the counter and starts beating him severely. Then he looks up, and the daydream is over....

Anyhoo, that's what my reaction would have been to this situation, and it's proof why Jen is a far better person than yours truly.

UPDATE: D'Oh! Link fixed. My bad.

Posted by Steve at 05:02 PM | Comments (4)

What the....?

I knew this was legal in Vegas, but doesn't this take link-whoring to the next level?

Yips to Jen of All Things Jen, an official member of the Jen-Blog consortium.

Posted by Steve at 04:53 PM | Comments (2)

As Gollum Is To Hobbits....

So this Alpaca is to us Llamas:


"Why does it wish to go to Peru, we wonders. Aye, we wonderssssss..."

Brrrrrr! I'm having a Sam Llama Gamgee Moment right here.

Yips! to Rob A. at Fine? Why Fine?

Posted by Robert at 04:52 PM | Comments (4)

Niche marketing goes too far

when a personal-injury law firm sponsors the in-game injury update.

What? Why not just advertise your law firm on the side of the ambulance, or, better yet, on the ceilings of emergency rooms (so the folks lying on the stretcher have something to look at. Now that marketing has penetrated the sacred confines fo the men's room, why not emergency room ceilings? )

Posted by Steve at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

The other llamabutchers

In responding to a jibe from our old pal Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities, I did a quick google search on "slaughter spitting ruminants" and found that indeed there was another website for the llamabutchers.....

Dirt, soil, body discharges and excreta from animals in holding pens or lairages are the primary sources of contamination of carcasses in the later stages of the operation. This happens irrespective of whether or not the animals are fit and have passed antemortem inspection. In some establishments, the animals are washed just before stunning and bleeding. This step has the added effect of cooling or calming down the animals which factor is of importance in securing good quality carcasses.

For similar reasons, it is advisable to avoid operations on the floor. Hoisting during sticking, skinning, evisceration, washing and inspection is recommended in even modest premises, including makeshift ones. This, in effect, necessitates the provision of adequate floor space with suitable assembly of equipment to handle the animal bodies. In this respect it is advisable to have only a few workmen on the floor specialized or experienced in the various steps to handle the operations separately with quick and rapid dispatch. Where this is not possible or where floor space does not allow, the principle of separating dressing operations from offal cleaning ones must be strongly adhered to (Chapter 3)

If you add "and make sure you have plenty of caffeine, plus firefox, which has that cool multiple uncluttered browser page option" I think that describes my blogging pretty adequately....

Posted by Steve at 04:36 PM | Comments (1)

Dangerous Trek Conundrum

Would this qualify as an event horizon?

Posted by Steve at 02:22 PM | Comments (1)

Inquiring minds want to know

A traffic/link stunt to crass even for Beautiful Atrocities Jeff?

Posted by Steve at 02:21 PM | Comments (2)

My sentiments exactly

I'm going to have to go with Annika on this one in re the latest faux-celebrity Christmas special. I think she sums up her review quite succinctly.

A group of Goth biker elves with nasty punk reindeer tats just beat Andy Williams to death with a gold plated 9 iron, just to see him spin in the grave at the latests defilement of a once-great genre.

Let's just say I'm a little old school on my Christmas tee-vee and just leave it at that.

Me, personally, I'm going to miss the Martha Stewart Christmas Special. My favorite one was from 1994-ish, and featured Miss Piggy, Aretha Franklin, and Hillary Clinton as the guests. Hillary was ice cold and nasty, and Martha was stepping on her toes and delivering some nasty elbows to the chest that would have made Kevin McHale proud. Miss Piggy? Well, Frank Oz must have been on speed, because the divine porcine diva was downright rude to poor Martha the whole jingle-belled way. The high point came, though, when Aretha was making her secret recipe for glazed ham, and she pulls out the secret ingredients: a big box of brown sugar and two 2 liter bottles of ginger ale. When Martha asked, "and how much of the sugar do we use?" Aretha looked at her as if she were stooopid and said, "Child, we use the whole thing." In goes the whole bag of sugar, and as the ginger ale is slopping in Martha asks, "and is there a, umm, variation we can use for those who are watching their sugar intake?" and Aretha brushes her aside and says, "not if they want all the taste there aint." For some odd reason, the next year the guests were the Whiffenpoofs, and boy were they a lot more cooperative.

Posted by Steve at 02:08 PM | Comments (2)

On the Mouse Ears Of A Dilemma

Most people who know the Butcher's Wife like her for her kindness, her consideration and her sense of fair play. What they fail to appreciate is that she can be very evil when she wants to be. Allow me to explain.

You see, for quite some time now the Missus has been trying to dragoon me into a family trip to DisneyWorld some time next spring. Most readers of this blog probably would not be surprised when I say that I find the entire concept of Disneyworld and everything in it to be perfectly loathsome and, as a result, have so far steadfastly refused to be hustled into going.

But this weekend, the Missus upped the ante by saying that if I do go, I can write whatever I like about it here. Arrgh! What a diabolical ploy! The prospect of all of that material for a wall-to-wall snarkathon puts things in an entirely different light. I haven't formally agreed yet, mind you. But she's undoubtedly found the talking point. Damn her!

The other thing she keeps saying is that if I do go, I have to promise that I'll smile and look happy. Feh. I've been resisting that one too, but last night I got thinking that, in fact, artificial enthusiasm was perhaps the perfect behavior for a visit to such a place after all.

All I can say is that if this deal goes through, you guys are in for some choice ranting.

Posted by Robert at 01:29 PM | Comments (6)

Entirely a question that you would expect Cliff Claven to have the answer to

The Brain is playing "6 Degrees of John Ratzenberger." To be perfectly honest, it's the reason why I can't take the otherwise excellent "A Bridge Too Far" too seriously: I mean, there's Robert Redford, looking absolutelyl dashing in casual olive twill and gold leaves, talking about how they're going to have to paddle their rubber boats across the river in face of stiff Kraut machine gun fire, and there's Cliff Claven, standing next to him. It would be like having Mr T showing up as one of the Nazis chasing the Von Trapp's through the convent. But then again, his range is impressive, having not only been in every Pixar movie, but also in his career making role as Achmed in 1979's Arabian Adventure, not to mention the pivotal character of "General Joe Brodsky" in the William Devane biopic "Time Stalkers."

UPDATE: Speaking of A Bridge Too Far, Rae has the goods on what memento the Marines left on the bridge into Fallujah.

Posted by Steve at 01:11 PM | Comments (3)

Just say "yo" to "Chicken Mo Fo"

Here's a friendly reminder to vote early and often on Ted's poll to name his savory Chinese chicken dish. How can you say no to chicken mo fo?

And speaking of polls, be sure to get over to Beautiful Atrocities, where Jeff's polling on bisexuality in movies (umm, err, there's perhaps a better way to phrase that), and the correct answer of course is "The LLama Butchers."

Posted by Steve at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

Def Jam Sam Gamgee

Mother of God, it's the Taters Song. All LOTR Geeks should go on over if they want "boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew" burned into their brains for the rest of the day. And who wouldn't want that?

Yips! to Freakin' Jen.

Posted by Robert at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday, Sir!


Today is the anniversary of the birth of Clive Staples Lewis in 1898. Whilst rooting around the web about this, I came across this site dedicated to all things C.S. There are, I am sure, a gazillion others.

I have practically nothing to say in honor of the man's birthday beyond the fact that reading his works makes me feel like an idiot, and a particularly sinful one at that. I mean this in a good way - such a light of intellectual integrity and spiritual purity emanates from his writings as to make the pages practically incandescent. In fact, they are almost painful to read because while they fill me with inspiration, they also remind me that I could never possibly achieve Lewis' level of enlightenment and, well, grace.

As I mentioned a week or two ago, I'm hoping this winter to start reading more biographical material. I've read a great deal of what Lewis himself wrote, but I haven't read that much about him. Correcting this imbalance will help me appreciate his own writing even more.

YIPS from Steve: The only thing I have to say about C.S. Lewis was that last Tuesday night, my 5 1/2 year old son were finishing the last chapter to "The Silver Chair," the penultimate story of the Narnia series. When we got to the part where King Caspian died, huge tears--and I mean huge, the size of small grapes---started streaming down my son's face. He had dressed as King Caspian for Halloween, as we were reading the Voyage of the Dawn Treader then. I tried to read on, when Lewis describes Caspian coming to Aslan's mountain, and how with a drop of Aslan's blood he rises as a young man. Resurrection is a tricky concept to explain to a 5 year old, and by the end I was crying too.

All I can say is thank you, C.S. Lewis.

Posted by Robert at 12:35 PM | Comments (8)

Well, It Was Fun While It Lasted

Alas, we seem to have devolved back to Large Mammal status in the Ecosystem. I have no idea of how we managed to go from 900 plus links to 345 in just a day or two. However, I wonder if there is any connection between this and a certain somebody messing about with the blogroll over the weekend.


YIPS from Steve: I'm going to stand by my observation from the end of last week that something's been screwy with the TLLB for a couple of weeks now. My observation (much derided by Bill) that something was screwy was correct (and my hunch is that Worstall's theory that for some reason TLLB was counting links to some blog's archives was in fact correct, and it seems that TLLB has corrected this. My response? Good.)

FURTHER YIPS from Steve: Well, Robbo, if you think you had it bad, check out this Turkey Day from Hades story from new-to-me Moo Knewian "Key" at Key Issues.

Posted by Robert at 12:04 PM | Comments (9)


Lionel Shriver uses the recent extraordinary efforts of Britain's Labour Party to successfully ban fox hunting as the basis for a discussion of the split between Self-Satisfied Lefty Urban Prigs and Knuckle-Dragging Redneck Tories there. Sound at all familiar?

I hope the hunters stand there ground on this. Just think of the civil disobedience rock n' roll one could create with a party of well-dressed, stirrup-cupped horsemen and a large pack of hounds!

Posted by Robert at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

Coming Out Of The Food Coma

Yes, I'm back at my post. Sort of.

This year was the first time I've ever had brined turkey for Thanksgiving. It was guuuuuud.

I'm still feeling rather groggy. Worse, my muse is still conked out on the sofa with her head thrown way back and a puddle of drool in her lap, snoring like a sum'bitch. So if the Tasty Bits (TM) seem a bit, er, weak today, you'll understand why.

Posted by Robert at 10:04 AM | Comments (3)

November 27, 2004

Ishtar with Elephants update

Kathleen the Cake-Eater weighs in her with takedown of Alexander and it's defender, Gore Vidal.

The sad thing is, good old Gore probably pays good money to have a sharp lass like Kathleen beat him silly...

Posted by Steve at 02:31 PM | Comments (5)

It's a holiday weekend, so you know what that means

guest bloggers over at Protein Wisdom.

Posted by Steve at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

The Saturday Quiz

Michele is reading The Da Vinci Code and is soliciting comments from readers on the oevre of Dan Brown.

My question is: what would the Da Vinci Code movie look like if it were directed by Micheal Bay?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by Steve at 01:46 PM | Comments (3)

Holy cow!

This just defies words.......

Posted by Steve at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

Sex, porn, and irony

Nobody does it better than Sadie Mirth.

Posted by Steve at 11:14 AM | Comments (2)

Rethinking the Netherlands

Nicole at Potomac Ponderings, with an insightful post about the aftermath of the Theo van Gogh murder/declaration of war/jihad that I missed earlier in the week.

Posted by Steve at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2004

You are reading Danielwcasey blog, aren't you?

To wit: "The Poles, more than anybody, are the authentic voice of Europe. They suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists, and came through it with their moral compass intact. One senses the Chirac won't worry about anything until there are tanks rolling down the Champs-Elysees."

Posted by Steve at 02:25 PM | Comments (3)

This is hilarious

Loretta Sanchez, letting rip on the subject of media bias and the future of the Democratic Party.

I don't know why I find her comments so hilarious---pathetic, yes, but still hilarious.

Posted by Steve at 02:20 PM | Comments (3)

Hot for Franklin Pierce

Our old pal the Irish Elk offers up the Tasty Bits on Amerika's studliest failed president.

Forget Texas/Texas A&M or Georgia versus Tech: he also notes America's second oldest football rivalry---second of course only to Stonington versus Westerly. Go Bears! (UPDATE: These are just a miserable pack of lies.)

SECRET MESSAGE TO THE ELK: Has it been twenty years since "Flood Tide"? I'm officially ancient now....

Posted by Steve at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)

Blogosphere triumphalism run amok

blogosphere triumphalism run amok.jpg

Personally, I'm absolutely disgusted with this display of the blogosphere triumphalists run amok! Have you no shame Professor Reynolds?

(With apologies to Neuman, for the episode in which he dreamed Kramer was a giant roasted turkey....)

UPDATE: Did anyone else make the mistake of watching the Seinfeld "special" last night? Was it just me, or was that the stupidest such thing since the Beatles thing a couple of years back? And when did Mike Richards get so old? He looks like he's aged 30 years since the series ended. And was Jason Alexander always such a pompous twit?

UPDATE DEUX: What, he's got a blender on the deck now? Has he no shame?

Posted by Steve at 12:26 PM | Comments (7)

The people have spoken!

The "People Have Spoken!" in our LLama Poll over which blog would be the first to, err, mount on top of Wonkette in the TLLB Ecosystem. The polling (conducted by our trusted friends at Dieboldaburtondeathstar Inc.) was supervised by the public integrity division of the New York Times, in conjunction with the ethics in accounting department of the United Way.

poll results.jpg

While there was no surprise that "Penicilin" came in first, our congratulations go out to Ace of Spades HQ for winning the overall balloting. Personally, I'd pay for the Spectravision showing of it all, as I'm pretty sure they'd do a reasonable interpretation of the duet from "Paradise by the Dashboard Light."

Runner up award goes to My Pet Jawa---runner up in the polls, but let's face facts: Rusty's going to win this, umm, "prize."

rusty 2.jpg

Why? Because of fearless and peerless reporting like this.

Something must be screwy with TLLB these days because this CAN'T be right:


Let me say for the record: the Comrade is a genius, INDCent Bill is a triple threat talent, but we're just hacks.

Posted by Steve at 11:39 AM | Comments (9)

November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving from the LLamabutchers!

pizza with giblets.jpg

I loved the Fusco Brothers---it's their humor, even more than the odor of Bill the Cat, that has soaked into the shag carpet adorning LLama Manor.

However, THIS is the greatest Thanksgiving gag of all time: "I thought turkeys could fly!"

Something more serious to cleanse the pallet? Annika's good not only for MNF picks and anti-Helen Hunt tirades, she's also good for poetry. Here's today's classic. Visions of a disembodied Brain, floating in a large glass vat of translucent goo, mixing up some Thanksgiving goodies? Sure, why not----The Brain is on a roll as of late. I would say "Read and scroll, baby" but I don't feel like paying Steve Green 5 cents. And avant guard menus? Rae, of course. And, shiver me timbers, but Kathleen is talking about basting....which is definitely a NSFW type posting (if you work at a tofurkey plant, I guess). And my answer to THIS? For the love of Gawhd, no. But what a drumstick.... Sarah at Trying to Grok has some serious and joyful things to be thankful for to put it all in perspective for us civilians. Me? I'm thankful that THIS jackass isn't my boss (not Stephen, the principal). And thanks back at ya, buddy.

What the.....? Definitely NSFW in the tofurkey plant.

And last but not least, do not forget Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities on this our annual Thanksgiving Day. Remember the scene in It's a Wonderful Life where the bridge keeper is sitting in his little room by the drawbridge, drinking whiskey out of a big jug while warming his butt next to the pot-bellied stove? Think that, in color, with wifi. And maybe a little tee-vee to get Days of our Lives.

Thanks for coming by, and for making the LLamabutchers the outlet which it is for me.

Posted by Steve at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

City of New York, October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficient Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows best.

George Washington

George Washington: A Collection compiled and edited by W.B. Allen (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1988) at 534-535.

UPDATE: Here's Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1863:


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siefe and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobediance, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lourd one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eigth.

By the President:


What was that about the secular nature of Thanksgiving?

UPDATE DEUX: Great minds think alike. Spasibo, Comrade Stefan! MORE: Indeed they do.

Posted by Steve at 12:10 AM | Comments (1)

November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I'm about to pack it in here. Posting probably will be pretty light over the weekend, as we have family in town for the holiday. But feel free to check in anyway - you never know, after all, when some fresh outburst of meaty, woolly snippiness might not appear.

In the meantime, I suppose this is where one inserts the traditional language of gratitude. I thought about breaking out and listing all the people (including you lot), things and events for which I have been thankful this past year, but realized there were too many to make this practical. I also thought about trying to say something Original and Profound in order to convey the depth of my gratitude, but my eyes, throat and mind are far too flu-addled to come up with anything worthwhile at the moment.

So, with your kind indulgence, I am simply going to borrow my four-year-old's favorite dinner blessing, which seems to me to pretty much cover the bases in both scope and simple sincerity:

Thank you God for everything. Amen.

Enjoy your holiday and everyone involved in it. Be safe. Eat well. Sleep better. I'll see you later.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

I'm Gandhi, Dammit!

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by

This is about the fourth or fifth time I've tried this quiz. I get the same result every time. But I don't wanna be Gandhi!

Yips! to Little Miss Attila.

Posted by Robert at 12:34 PM | Comments (9)

"Ishtar With Elephants" Watch

This will make Steve-O very happy. I almost want to see this opus now just out of morbid curiosity.

Posted by Robert at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

If You Like Gardening, You'll Love This

Our old pal Chan the Bookish Gardener is channelling Henry Mitchell, whose birthday is today. Who, you may ask? That's what I said. Go on over and find out.

I particularly identify with the first two quotes.

Posted by Robert at 10:56 AM | Comments (2)

Slow Start

Minimal posting this morning for me. For one thing, I'm switching offices - (moving to one about twice the size of my current digs and on a better hall but still no window). This being the guv'mint, I have to shift my own stuff.

For another, I've got a bug of some sort (burning eyes, sore throat, head and joints ache, wah, wah, wah) that is making it hard to look at the computer screen.

But I'll be checking in at some point, so don't give up. It takes more than these minor obstacles to keep me from bloviating.

In the meantime, if there's anything in particular that you'd like us to write about, feel free to leave a comment.

Yip! Yip!

UPDATE: The office move is more or less complete. I'm just sorting files. Not only is the room bigger and airier, I can actually get decent radio reception for a change. AND I now have a chair that allows me to lean back in my natural slouch position. Woo-Hoo!

Posted by Robert at 08:27 AM | Comments (1)

November 23, 2004

Pilgrims' Progress

Michelle Malkin links to a Fox News story about Maryland school kids not being taught about the religious component of Thanksgiving's roots.

From the headline, it seems the kids are being taught to thank "anybody but God" as part of their own Thanksgiving study and celebration. Well, whatever. Maybe I'm getting jaded in my old age, but this would not particularly surprise me, nor would it especially upset me anymore.

But this bit shows the true lunacy of the whole business:

But what teachers don't mention when they describe the feast is that the Pilgrims not only thanked the Native Americans for their peaceful three-day indulgence, but repeatedly thanked God.

"We teach about Thanksgiving from a purely historical perspective, not from a religious perspective," said Charles Ridgell, St. Mary's County Public Schools curriculum and instruction director.

I'd say that if Charles Ridgell believes the history of Puritan colonialism can somehow be taught without any reference to the Puritans' religious beliefs, he's either an apparachnik of Stalinist proportion or else an utter moron. Perhaps both.

Let me make it clear to you, Chucky: The Puritans were extremely religious people. Not teaching this fact distorts the "historical perspective," thereby doing a grave disservice to the kiddies. (Out of curiosity, how on earth do you explain the Pilgrims' presense in Massachusetts? Were they there for the hiking? Or was this rag-tag group of people merrily starving to death at Plymouth just to be first in line for Patriots' season tickets? The World wonders.)

On the other hand, even if Little Johnny is a card-carrying athiest, teaching him about the religious motivations of historical figures or movements is not going to give him their cooties. That is not religious indoctrination any more than discussing the power struggle between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq today is an invitation to convert to Islam.


Speaking of Thanksgiving, I saw something in this past Sunday's children's page of the WaPo's comics that was both refreshingly candid and rather chilling at the same time. It was a story about the first English-speaking Thanksgiving in America, which actually took place at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia in December, 1619, almost a year before the Plymouth celebration. What was remarkable was that the article concluded by explaining that the reason this fact is not better known is that virtually the entire colony was wiped out by Indian raids within a year or two. In this day and age of hyper-sensitivity, I was rather surprised that the WaPo would print something so brutally stark.

Posted by Robert at 05:23 PM | Comments (3)


Check out this transcript of the interview Russert had with the CIA official in charge of finding and killing Osama bin Laden during the Clinton years.

Un. Freakin'. Believable.

Sounds like we've found our long-suspected AQ mole in the CIA....

Posted by Steve at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

The latest from those evil cro-magnon red staters

Boy dies after being publicly flogged for buying Hustler on the Sabbath.

I blame Jerry Falwell for undermining the secular humanism of our Founding Fathers!

What? Uhhhhhhh.....Let me revise that: Post-fetus expires as part of symbolic ritual celebrating the glories of non-European cultural superiority---what is evil in this event is castigating other cultures using meaningless pejorative and inherently patriarchical terms such as "wrong" which denies the true ascriptive dialectic which is the evil of Western Man.

Posted by Steve at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

Attack Of The Flying Killer Shrimp

Lest you think this sounds like a Hollywood B movie starring Adrienne Barbeau, fellow Moo-Knew-vian the Random Penseur has the story ripped, as they say, from the headlines of the day.

I've evidently been practicing law too long because I thought such archaic notions as "proximate cause" were jettisoned from tort law eons ago.

Posted by Robert at 03:29 PM | Comments (2)

That's A Lot Of Fat Ladies

Bohemian Opera has put together a catalog of classical music used in the movies.

I almost got into a fistfight one time with a law school classmate who insisted that the celebrated Air from J.S. Bach's 3rd Orchestral Suite was used in "Dangerous Liaisons". This classmate had been a music major as an undergrad and had taught piano for some years, and consequently was trying to swank it over the rest of us watching the film. I, in my characteristically diplomatic way, told her she didn't know what the hell she was talking about. And so the evening went.

I know one addition that needs to be made to this list: "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" uses the Alla Turca from Mozart's A-major piano sonata (K. 311, I think) as the basis for the big chase scene in the mall. The fact that I know this is mildly.....disturbing.

Yips to Lynn at Reflections in D Minor.

Posted by Robert at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

That's Incredible

Quent Cordair articulates his praise of "The Incredibles" far, far better than I was able to a few days back. His comparison of his feeling of exhilaration on seeing this movie with that after having seen the first "Star Wars" back in the 70's is absolutely spot on. Go read the whole thing, as they say.

I will go a step further and also say that this is the very first movie I've ever seen on its theatrical release that left me determined to buy the DVD as soon as it was available. Buh-lieve me, that simply does not happen.

Yips! to Glenn.

Posted by Robert at 02:40 PM | Comments (4)

Buh-Bye, Dan

Rather stepping down as CBS anchor.


Posted by Robert at 01:05 PM | Comments (2)

I Can Feel The Acne Coming Back

Fugio links to a massive catalog of vintage video games that includes, well, all of my favorites. Among them are:

Berzerk - The classic game, as far as I was concerned. Simple, yet challenging. And I loved the Cylon-like voice, "Intruder alert! Intruder alert!" Eventually, I got pretty good at caroming shots off the walls to hit robots around the corner. I have one beef with this description tho - as I recollect, sometimes you could kill "Evil Otto" if you were able to pump enough shots into him.

Star Wars - I always prefered this kind of head's up pilot game. And all the sound effects and dialogue clips were enough to let the inner geek in me believe I really was flying an X-wing.

Spy Hunter - I believe I got my very top score on any video game playing this one time, although I don't remember what it was, of course. But once you started grooving on the Peter Gunn theme, you could perform miracles of dexterity - as when playing cat-and-mouse with the helicopter (favorite tactic - getting it to bomb bad guy cars around me).

There was also a Dungeons & Dragons-like game that involved running about a maze and slaying ghosts and midget thieves, while avoiding the touch of Death. Up to four people could play at a time and it was fun to waste quarters working out complex tactical rushes by the warriors while the elf provided covering fire and the wizard stayed the hell out of the way. Can't remember the name of the game, alas. I'm sure some of you know it.

Needless to say, it's been years and years since I played an arcade game. The only games I have at home are Microsoft's WWII airwar series (of which, I prefer the European to the Pacific Theatre), plus Age of Empires and Age of Kings, neither of which I have played in some time. (What with one thing and another, I don't seem to have access to my computer for four or five uninterupted hours of play. Funny, that.)

UPDATE: Dan the Silver Fox calls it - Gauntlet was the name of the fourth game I was trying to think of. Funny how, while I couldn't remember the game's name, I can still quite clearly remember the voice that said, "Elf shot the food."

Posted by Robert at 12:50 PM | Comments (7)

That 70's Show

Professor Chaos is taking nominations for shows from the 70's that are gone but should not be forgotten.

Alas, I've personally forgotten a great deal from his current list. We used to watch "Fish" all the time because we were such big "Barney Miller" fans and especially liked Abe Vigoda. "Land of the Lost" was a Saturday morning staple for a while, but the whole bit with the Sleestax and those weirdo diamond-in-the-sky things got too confusing for me. Beyond that, I can't recall much.

Here are a few other shows that come to mind:

Emergency (and its cartoon spin-off, "Emergency +4")
Battlestar Galactica (yes, dammit, the original series blows away the recent Sci-Fi remake)
CHiPs (I mean , come on)
Barney Miller (see above)

And who can forget "Flying High", the short-lived series about the wacky exploits of three stewardesses living together? I don't remember much, but I do remember Connie Selleca taking off her shirt as she walked down a circular staircase (in the episode where their pilot friend was staying with them and pretending to be temporarily blind). Now that was entertainment!

I'm sure you've got lots of other suggestions. You know what to do.

Yips! to Dr. Rusty.

UPDATE: Ah, another synapse comes back on-line! Who can forget the short-lived sci-fi comedy "Quark" starring Richard Benjamin? Alas, the only specific bit I can now remember is a clever rip-off of the Bearded-Spock Star Trek episode featuring "Ficus" - the highly logical first officer - who was exactly the same annoying twit in both universes.

Posted by Robert at 11:28 AM | Comments (12)

CAbin fever comes early to Buffalo

Jen (of All things Jen, not Freakin' Jen or Jen of Jen's History N' Stuff) has been inhaling the pecan fumes a wee bit too much, and is jumping the gun on her, ummm, Christmas preparations. Which makes me wonder: does Mannheim Steamroller have a CD devoted to the "Twisting around the Brass Pole at Yuletide"?

Posted by Steve at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

The Eviiiiil Power Of The Pajamahadeen

Basketball brawls, teenage gang wars, elementary school rape. Bad stuff. Who's to blame? Eric at Classical Values 'fesses up.

Posted by Robert at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

A democrat who gets it

Ed Rendell, together with the Daley brothers in Chicago, seem to be the last coherently sane people in the national Democratic Party. Rendell gave a speech yesterday mundane only in its clarity that's been lacking from the Diebloldalliburton DU types and sufferers of PEST.

Rendell's take on the election?

Gov. Ed Rendell says the outcome of the 2004 presidential election is a lot simpler to interpret than many analysts have made it.

It wasn't Evangelicals alone who turned the tide, or that the country has shifted far to the political right.

"I think George Bush was reelected for two reasons," Rendell told an audience of Arcadia University students and faculty Monday afternoon. "One, because he was a wartime president. And he was the first president post-9/11."

The governor said "people are reluctant to change in the middle of a war." And, he added, "don't underestimate the power of being a wartime president in the incipient stages of that war."

Pennsylvania's governor dropped by to share some of his views on the recent elections, the campaigns waged by the major-party candidates and where Democrats go from here.

Rendell, who was national party chairman in 2000, called President Bush's campaign "a textbook case" and gave it an "A plus" grade, while Kerry's deserved a "B minus, C plus."

He said Bush did a good job getting across that his administration was fighting terrorists abroad rather than at home - a "coded message" that there had not been another terrorist strike on American soil.

The decision not to talk much about Bush at the Democratic convention was "probably a mistake."

Rendell said that if anyone believes the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth acted independently of the Bush campaign, he had a bridge in Brooklyn he'd like to sell them, drawing laughter from the crowd. Sen. John Kerry's campaign took too long answering the Swift Boat veterans' attack, he added.

And Democrats registered lots of new voters, but Republicans did a better job of getting people to the polls.

That's about the size of it, except he's grading on a curve.

Posted by Steve at 10:40 AM | Comments (2)


Heh. (or would that be indeed?)

And, no blood for.... cocoa?

Posted by Steve at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Axis-Sully Watch

Y'know, following Sullivan is like watching a weirdo cross between Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day" and Neo trying to decide whether to swallow the Red Pill or the Blue Pill offered him by Morpheus.

Today, Andy swallows the Red Pill, bashing the Guardian for its snarky Iraq commentary and the Donks for being, well, Donks.

Tomorrow, I half expect him to be calling for Dubya's impeachment.

I officially give up trying to figure this guy out.

Posted by Robert at 10:26 AM | Comments (6)

What's the corollary to the "Pottery BArn Rule"?

"Those who had nothing to do with breaking it and who have not lifted even a little finger to help fix it (as is their right), should now STFU about how to fix it."

The Commissar has some thoughts on the Iraq conference in Egypt. While he's pretty sanguine about the results, I'm going to go out on a limb here and point to it as a sign we are winning. When France, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Germany etc. start to line up and take credit for the outcome, it's a strong indication of the impact of the Second Battle of Fallujah on the prospects of the Iraqi Ku Klux Klan to succeed. The key to all this is the ironic juxtaposition of Second Fallujah and the death of Yassir Arafat. With Arafat finally dead (and I'm certainly glad we sent over Sarah Michelle Gellar AND Kristi Swanson as part of our official delegation just as insurance), the Palestinian Authority needs to hold elections---coincidentally---right around the time elections were scheduled for Iraq. What seems to be the hardball going on behind the scenes from the dirty Amerikans is to tie our support for the PA elections to the UN's support for the Iraq elections. No Amerikan support for the PA elections, no peace process. It's diplomatically brilliant, actually---we were threatening (I bet) to not sanction the Palestinian election if the regional third world powers (and by that I'm including France) didn't move to at least publicly support the elections and transition. This is an important symbolic and rhetorical step, and a diplomatic battle that was crucial to our work in the region over the next two months.

And yes, I said the Iraqi KKK. I'm sick and tired of butt heads like Mike Moore and Oliver Willis associating the Iraqi guerillas and terrorists with the Minutemen and Francis Marion from the Revolution. There's a DIRECT analogy between what the Iraqis are doing and what the Klan did---the campaign of terror against the local population chief among them. So it just makes you wonder---why in the world are these so-called Progressives endorsing the legacy of the Klan? What, indeed, ARE you talking about, Willis?

Posted by Steve at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

Asshat or traitor?

I'm going to do the unpopular thing and go with asshat.


"Traitor" implies selling out your country, but if you are already a post-nationalist, international sovereignty sort of guy to begin with, what's the big deal about crapping on the place of your birth? Aint we all citizens of the world? If you firmly believe Amerikan sovereignty is a fiction held on to by the seething Red State Klansmen and their lackeys in the corporate media, doing something like Sites did to undermine the Amerikan war effort is not being a "traitor," it's being the good and noble and, gosh darn it, the brave thing. "Give him a medal!" I'm sure the oped page at the Strib would say.

Like I said, I vote for asshat....

UPDATE: Speaking of asshats, Ace has an interesting triple turn doublespeak by the NYT to explain away Dubya's post-election bounce in the polls. What, have those demon fiends at Dieboldalliburton gotten to Zogby too?!?!?

Plus, check out Ace's new look---if I didn't know better, I'd think that the long awaited Moo Knew Voor Trek to MT 3 is underway, with access to all sorts of cool features and design options.

Posted by Steve at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

My Mind And Welcome To It

Today is the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Chattanooga, which culminated in the famous Union charge up Missionary Ridge. It really is a battle worth studying, particularly as it illustrates the tenacity of Ulysses S. Grant, even in a very tight situation, a characteristic that was to doom Lee once Grant moved to the Eastern theatre.

But what I always think of in connection with this battle is James Thurber's "The Dog That Bit People," from his collection of short stories My Life and Hard Times. This is one of the funniest stories you'll ever read, recounting the tale of a very bad-tempered airedale named Muggs:


(Muggs in Pensive Mood)

In the story, Thurber recounts that one of his relations (his grandfather or great uncle, I believe) claimed to be the third man up Missionary Ridge. Thurber's brother remarks that, had Muggs been after him, he'd have been the first man up Missionary Ridge. As corny as it really is, I have always found this very droll. And I have always used it as a kind of bullet point around which to organize my knowledge of the battle. Such is the way many pieces of historical flotsam and jetsam are stored in my mind.

As a matter of fact, snatches of commentary on Muggs have long been part of my family's lexicon. We speak freely of "moodily chewing up the morning paper" and hitting one with half a grapefruit and we always get a laugh out of Thurber's mother defending Muggs' behavior: "He doesn't mean it - people scream and he gets excited."

Indeed, this entire collection of stories is one of those books I've Stopped Reading On The Metro. Electricity leaking out of light sockets, notes to burglars pleading that they not chloroform sleeping aunts, Grandfather shooting imaginary deserters in the attic, the "Get Ready" Man and the day the engine fell out of the family car - all of these provoke paroxisms of helpless giggling every time I read them.

Posted by Robert at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

Holiday Oracle Tuesday

Michele is fielding Thanksgiving questions. Trust us on this: Do exactly what she says. You won't regret it. Or at least if you do, you'll have something very entertaining to write about for the rest of us.

As it happens, we're hosting Thanksgiving Dinner at my house this year. The wife's parents, grandmother and aunt are all coming into town. I'd like to be able to post about it, ut-bay I'm-ay ot-nay ure-say ether-whay ey-thay ead-ray is-thay og-blay, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

UPDATE: Speaking of advice, Kathleen the Cake Eater is handing out turkey dinner cooking instructions. It occurred to me last night that I've never actually roasted a turkey before. We have roast chicken almost every Sunday and I'm assuming this is more or less the same thing on a larger scale, but I eagerly await Kathy's input. (We already blew the first part of her instructions - the bird we ordered is waaaaay bigger than we'll need. I'll be eating turkey leftover sandwiches until Lent. On the other hand, I'm determined to attempt my mother's recipe for turkey soup this year. Mmmmmmm......turkey soup.....mmmmmm....)

Posted by Robert at 08:30 AM | Comments (3)


I hate it when the truth destroys a perfectly good conspiracy theory!

Posted by Steve at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

Are You ready for some, errr, ED ads?

Finally, a good game on MNF. And I almost forgot to check out Annika's picks.

Let me say a couple of things about the MNF opening skit fracas (or is it a kerfuffle? A flap? I'm holding out for Nicolettesanstowel-gate.)

First of all, I'm sure I spoke for most Amerikans when the first thing that went through my head was "Damn, she sure looks like Nicole Brown!"

Second, that said, it was the funniest one of these durn things they've run all season. I blogged about this back in the pre-season, when they had one featuring Howard Dean doing a parody of his "YEAAARRRRGH!" speech, going on about how "we are taking it to New England! And to Miami! To Dallas, and Green Bay!" etc. The worst one featured Dennis Hopper, doing some riff off his Easy Rider persona for what reason I am still not able to fathom.

The good thing? Nicolettesanstowel-gate seems to have put the kibosh on the whole thing, which allows us instead to focus on the surreally hilarious in a way it's not supposed to be opening song featuring Hank Williams VI rapping with a bunch of street musicians playing percussion on 10 gallon pickle jars.

Make. It. Stop.

Seriously, bring back the good old days of the virulently militaristic "football as war, and not just war, but some bizarre Robert Heinlein on steriods kulturkreig featuring starship troopers clad chearleaders, cheering on mutant battling robots with exploding helmet heads" opening sequence.

And stop these innapropriate sexual overtones of these distracting "skits" which interfere with the real Lombardian purpose of Monday Night Football: laughing at the commericals for erectile dysfunction. You know how they have the Eddie Bauer model of the Explorer? I'm wondering when they'll have the Cialis-trimmed Navigator. You can almost here the ad "The Cialis Navigator: the biggest most powerful engine and vehicle for the man who doesn't."

And the DH controvesey? Let me say two things.

1. it's popular because it's the suburban sequel to Melrose Place, and having the street set conspicuously on the Universal backlot street that the Cleavers lived on is brilliant; and

B. Mmmmmmmmmm.....Felicity Huffman. Forget Scully: SHE'S the true thinking man's strumpet.

Posted by Steve at 12:23 AM | Comments (6)

November 22, 2004

So, kid, you want to start a blog?

What, are you nuts?

Not at all. How often have you watched a movie/tee-vee show and thought to yourself, "Where do they find the monkeys to type this crap? I could do better!" How many times have you talked back bitterly to Peter Jennings/Dan Rather/Chris Matthews, or wanted to reach through the screen and wipe that smug cannuck smirk off Alex Trebek's face?

What's fun about blogging is the ability to do just that: think you can do a better job? Then let's see what you got, punk! To quote the immortal philosopher Kant, "Come on Meat! Let's see some of that weak-ass cheese! "

Wait, that wasn't Kant, it was Heidegger. Or something.

So without further ado, here are the official Tasty Bits(TM) Yips n' Tips for the new blogger:

1. Never ever violate the "Sgt. Hulka Rule"

Sgt. Hulka of course was the gruff, cantankerous drill sergeant from "Stripes," from whom we take the first rule of blogging: when in doubt, "Lighten up, Francis." Want to be a "citizen journalist" and define new parameters for the Columbia Journalism Review? Fine. Just don't get all snippy when we mock you. Never forget that three quarters of what we do is just "log."

2. What will you do when your Mom reads your blog?

You need to decide early on how public your blog persona is. By this, I don't just mean whether you blog under your real name and talk about parts of your life openly, but whether you let your friends and family in on your new hobby. We're split on this around here: Robbo's mom has been a regular reader since day one, where I've never told anyone in my family (other than my wife), and only a few other folks. I guess for me I just never wanted to explain the whole "llamabutcher" thing. That, and it might undercut my whole "I've been sooo busy lately...." mantra.

Of course, there's another reason you might want a quasi-private or anonymous persona, mainly addressing whether you are going to go on the offense about issues dealing with the Religion of Peace, some of whose supporters so firmly believe in the justice and peacefullness of their religion that they'll threaten to kill your kids if you say otherwise. Also, you might want to think about how thrilled your employer would be, so it's a good rule of thumb not to bring them in at all. Unless you have tenure....

*Yeah, I know, the Onion did that as a piece, but they lamely have it behind the subscription screen now. Bastards.

3. Learn some HTML

A little bit of HTML goes a long way to fixing little problems. It's like learning how to check the oil on your car. I recommend the HTML Goodies page---it's simple and easy, and they have a very large collection of color codes.

In that vein, study the blogs that you like, and ask yourself what is it about their style that makes you come back---not what they are writing about, but how the thing looks? For example, I love to razz the heck out of Jeff, but look at the way his blog is laid out---it's like a tabloid, which is a compliment. You can practically touch the glossy paper. Look at how he uses his graphics---not too much, but enough to add a lot of pizazz. Or, in the other direction, the Commissar's---how well the contrasting colors work there, when they often don't (think Axis Sully's page).

4. Write about what you know

I'm not sure it's common, but I started about six blogs before we launched the LLamabutchers. I just never found the right groove and feel to it until I started writing with Rob. The key, I think, was that I treated my posts as if I was writing to Rob (and for the first couple of months, it was basically that, and Rob's mom). It's kind of like when you are doing radio, the thing to do is just focus on having a conversation with the other people in the studio, albeit a weird conversation where you are making hand signals and gestures, and trying to get the other people to crack up when talking about something serious.

The point is that blogs which are fun to read are the result of the writer either having fun or being really good at faking it. The goal is to have people come to you regularly--better yet, daily. To do this, you need to find the right mix of things to talk about. No matter how good you are, how much expertise you have on a subject, if you only talk about one subject area, I'm not going to visit all that often. That goes double if the one subject area you talk about is either 1. Politics, or B. the War. The exception to this rule is if you have a unique, front-row perspective or if you are a true genius (like Wretchard at Belmont Club).


So you are plugging away and out of the blue you get zapped by Glenn or Vodka Pundit or someone else from the Olympian heights of the TLLB. Now what?

A big link is something to savor, and it's then you can feel the addictive nature of blogging. But what do you do next? What you need to realize is that first of all, it's fun while it lasts, but the tide will go out as quickly as it comes in. What you need to do is to keep doing what you were doing, and hope that you can pick up a small percentage of your new readers as regulars.

At the same time, you need to remember the most important corollary to the Sgt. Hulka rule: no one owes you anything. If you are going to link-whore, be polite about it. No one owes you a link, let alone even a response. Don't sweat it.

6. Dance with the ones that brought you

One of the neatest things about blogging to me has been getting to know the bloggers you come up with---there's a bond that's forged when you are down at the bottom of the TLLB that adds an unexpected element of fun to the whole hobby. When we started this, I wanted links and traffic---I had this vision of the big bloggers hanging out like the "5 Club" at SNL. To be perfectly honest, I keep at the blogging not just for the continuing conversation with Rob, but for the conversation and banter we've developed with folks like Rusty, Bill, Rae, Jen, Chan, Chai-rista, Ace, Gordon, Kathleen, Margi, Sheila, Lawren, Katie, Willow ( I reserve the right to add to this list in case I've left folks off!)

And if you do make it high up? You better damn well remember the ones who you used to know when. And keep an eye out for the newbies coming up----one of the coolest things is discovering and helping newbies who then make it on their own.

And how do you do that, if you are a newbie? Get yourself on the ecosystem, leave lots of comments (not personal spam, but things on topic), don't be afraid to email folks good stuff (it helps if you give an angle to it on the subject line), and don't be offended if they don't link or don't respond. But by all means don't give up (but then on the other hand don't be indiscriminate and send links to all your stuff). Get sitemeter, and most importantly get off of blogger as soon as you are able. Blogger is lousy at sending trackbacks (ie "pings"), and trust me on this: the pings the thing. It took us nine months to really realize this, and trust us: it really does matter by letting people find out about you and your blog. Our biggest mistake was not getting off of blogger in April when John and Ted wrangled us an invitation to join Moo Knew---we wised up over the summer, and the difference is profound.

Last, and most important

7. Quirks of the bigs, and lessons learned the hard way.

Frank J. is a self-important snippy buffoon who can dish it out but not take it.

Never EVER piss off Michele Catalano!

And the Commissar is a marketing genius.

Well, thats all I've got. Rob I'm sure will have something more coherent and erudite to say. It's hard to improve on the Crime and Punishment of this genre, The Commisar's gem on building a blog.

Posted by Steve at 11:55 PM | Comments (3)

The Second Season of the LLamas begins!

Today begins our second season here at the LLamabutchers: while our first season did a good job of building an audience and esablishing water cooler "buzz," as seasoned entertainment hands we know we need to "shake things up" a bit to get a new level of sizzle.

Proposed plot twists for the LLamabutchers, Season Two include:

1. Dramatic tension between our protagonists emerges in a flashback episode, in which we see the Butchers as young, wacky college students, with Robbo wearing his girlfriend's underwear to practice, and Steve-o, too clueless to "hook up," all the while yukking it up playing on their intramural softball team "The Llamabutchers." Keep an eye out for sidekicks Mookie and Chip and their wacky, eighties hair-do's.

Yips! from Robbo: Folks, he's just kidding. Nothing to see here. Move along.

2. A la CSI, Steve-o grows a beard, only to discover an unrequited sexual tension from junior CSI Jeff. Unlike Grissom, who never quite figures out what to do with Sarah, Steve-o has our trained ninjas Marg and Willows put a severed Gumbi head in Jeff's bed as some evidence of the consequences of messing with the LLamas....

3. Weddings! Babies! And the LLamas, chucking dialectic to the wind, run amok in Vegas during sweeps!

4. Can we say a cute, adorable, long-lost LLamabutcher cousin Oliver coming to co-blog?

5. The LLamas chuck it all and move to Millwaukee, to live in a basement apartment and work at the Schotz Brewery. The Lone Wolves Jen and when Squiggy drop by, hillarity ensues....

6. Don't adjust your set: the character of "Steve-o" will now be played by Dick York.

7. New uniforms for the crew! And new adventures in new ports of call including Bayonne and Havanna, with bartender Issac getting to lead the away teams every once in awhile.

8. Don't miss our throwback cartoon episode, where we join up with Mr. Peabody and head back in the Wayback machine to prevent the tragedy that was the designated hitter rule from being released on an unsuspecting world.

9. This week, on a very special episode of Blossom, the role of "Joey" will be played by a surprisingly perky INDCent Bill. The LLamas? Look for our cameo as the guidance counselor who has a disturbing secret in his desk drawer, involving a paper bag, a gallon jug of Testors, and shaaaaaaaaaame

10. Don't miss our "Mad About You" Tribute featuring Pep and Chai-Rista in the roles made famous by Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. Hillarity ensues when their snooty English neighbors discover they've replaced their lovable beagle with a surly, sunglass wearing, cigarette smoking LLama.

11. The LLamas sell out and join forces with reality tee-vee maven and schlock guru Mark Burnett to come out with their new show: "Blog Empire." Contestants vie for a coveted place in the LLama's blog roll and a million dollar prize. The Llamas put the contestants through all sorts of ridiculous stunts and tasks, only to discover the twist: the blogroll is random, bay-bee! And the million bucks? Canadian. Insert Nelson Muntz noise here.

12. Last, our season will wrap up with an affectionate, touching trip back to the old neighborhood, where we give up our fast-track careers on Wall Street to go teach in Brooklyn. Hijinx include Mr. Llama dressing up in a chador to teach Horseshack the special meaning of election reform in Afghanistan. Yeah, Barbarino, Freddie, Epstein and all tease him a lot, but they've got him on the spot...

13. And coming in Summer 2005 to a multiplex near you: Let's just say Pride & Prejudice, Llama Style.

Then again, maybe not...

UPDATE: Rusty emails in with some ideas for getting the LLamas syndicated on the USA Network. My favorite is the spy thrilla-drama La Femme Wonketta where the mysterious Mister LLama is the spy-master to evil sultry ninja-assasin Wonkette. And coming soon to Nickelodeon Adult----Wily Wonkette and the Chocolate Factory, where Wonkette and Axis Sully team up as Bounty Hunters working for "The Man."

Posted by Steve at 10:44 PM | Comments (6)

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

Ith at Absinthe & Cookies puts her finger on one of the pillars of Western Civilisation. I call the glass of red wine or sherry that I always enjoy in the kitchen "the cook's perquisite."

Posted by Robert at 03:54 PM | Comments (2)

A La Recherche Du Bubba Perdu

The Cracker Barrel Philosopher has a great photo gallery celebrating the Clinton legacy.

Anyone nostalgic for some good ol' fashion Bubba-bashing should head on over. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by Robert at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

Have You Seen This Tree?

Anybody out there know what happened to the Whomping Willow?

Posted by Robert at 03:37 PM | Comments (2)

I Can Live With That, I Suppose....

It's official: The Washington Nationals.

A considerable step up from the "Wizards" at least.

Posted by Robert at 03:26 PM | Comments (2)

"The Elvises of South America"

Ladies and Gentlemen, courtesy of the Albino Blacksheep, it's the Llama Song.

Uh, thangkyuh. Thangkyuh verrah much.

Yips! to Romeocat at CatHouse Chat.

Posted by Robert at 02:48 PM | Comments (1)

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)


Some while back, I was musing here about what I called the "Bach state of mind," that combination of internal and external influences that periodically gives me sufficient musical lucidity to play Bach's keyboard music with some degree of success, where I otherwise would stumble all over exactly the same pieces in helpless incompetence. (Lest you think I'm getting too pretentious with all this, I recollect that the metaphor I used in that earlier post was of Bones McCoy being able to put Spock's brain back in his head after putting on that Alien Hat of Knowledge thingy. Sometimes I feel the same way. "Why of course! A child could do it!" Other times, I feel just like the alien chick who said, "Brain, brain and brain! What is brain?" )

I've never really sat down and tried to analyze exactly what provokes these periodic outbursts, although the onset of fall seems to have some connection with it. The cool, wet, gloomy days are conducive to melancholy, which in turn, is conducive to contemplation and introspection. (Mr. Outer Life had a very good essay about this the other day, btw. I, too, believe that to be melancholic does not mean one has a problem.) And I think there is a further connection between these and the particular kind of musical sense necessary in order to properly understand and play Bach's music. Anyway, that's my theory, which is mine, and I'm sticking to it.

I've been playing a lot of Bach lately, most particularly some of his partitas in French style. My favorite is the first, in B flat major. I've taken an especial fancy to the allemande, and have always enjoyed the gigue, which is relatively easy to play if you don't mind hand crossings. The sixth in E minor is also very good, featuring a very stormy toccata.

This is first class Baroque music and some of the best keyboard material Bach ever wrote. When I'm actually able to play it, I feel I am really engaging in High Art, something grown up and serious, representing the outer edges of Man's achievement. I've learned not to try and force it when I'm not in the right mood. But that makes me all the more appreciative when I am, and I'm determined to enjoy it while it lasts.

Oh, speaking of Baroque music, for the prelude at Church this past Sunday, we got the "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" from Handel's Solomon, as performed by the organist and two trumpeters. Frankly, they butchered it. So I went home and played it myself to get the bad taste out of my ears, as it were. I have a book of contemporary transcriptions for keyboard of Handel's various oratorical overtures and instrumental interludes. (Apparently, they were quite the money-makers in Handel's own day.) Unfortunately, the publishers (Dover) saw fit to reproduce the original hand-penned scores, rather than transposing the pages into modern print. Makes it very difficult to read sometimes.

Posted by Robert at 02:16 PM | Comments (1)

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam


Anyone else out there suddenly getting a huge increase in spam comments the past few days?

Posted by Robert at 01:27 PM | Comments (10)

This Is Cool....

Barney the Presidential Scotty has got his own webpage featuring pics of the day, Barney-cam video and a special "Ask Barney" section.

Go on over and check it out.

Yips! to the Misspent One.

Posted by Robert at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Don't Worry, Jeff. They Say Size Doesn't Really Matter.

[Insert maniacal laughter here.]

Margi Lowry has graphic evidence of what we've always suspected about Beautifully Atrocious Jeff as compared to us studly Llamas.

Posted by Robert at 11:02 AM | Comments (3)

New From Fallujah

Rae has an eye-witness account of the recent attack. Riveting stuff. Go and read it.

Posted by Robert at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

Egregiously Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)

May I just take a minute of your valuable time to tell you how proud of my six year old I am? I may? Why, thank you.

Saturday was the girl's last soccer game for the season. And it turned out, I think, to be one of those memories that I will always cherish.

You see, this fall was her first experience in an organized team sport and we were, how shall I say, a little leery about what might happen. We never had any doubts about her physical capacity to do well - the girl is a natural jock and seems to have particularly good ball sense. Rather, what we were concerned with was her mental game. For one thing, she was one of only two girls to join the team in the fall - the rest of them had been playing together since last spring - and she and her teammates are now at the age where cliques, in-crowds, rivalries and jealousies start forming naturally. For another, the girl has always had a hair-trigger temper and a marked tendency to fly into rages of indignation where she perceives things as not being the way they ought to be in her opinion.

In fact, most of the season went pretty well. But two sources of trouble were slowly building up the pressure. First, one of her best friends happens to be on the team. But she and this friend started fighting over another girl at school, jockeying, as it were, to be top dog of the three, and it all spilled over onto the soccer field as well. Second, as the season progressed, all of the kids started playing more aggressively, leading to an increase in the number of kicks, shoves and knockdowns. Things finally came to a head about three weeks ago when, after proceeding to get into a fight with her friend and acting extremely bratty in general, the girl flew to pieces on the field after getting tripped up by accident. I saw the look the coach was giving her, that look that says, "this is more trouble than it's worth," and removed her from the game, driving her home in extremely stony silence. I will say for her that I think she was actually disgusted with herself for the way she had behaved, because she didn't even try to justify it to me.

Well. We had a very long talk when we got home. We talked about a lot of interconnected ideas. Friendship, cooperation, teamwork, toughness, sportsmanship, maturity - all of these themes were woven into my lecture. Now this was hardly the first time I had spoken to her about these things, but I definitely got the impression that she was actually listening for once.

Last week, it was obvious that the girl had taken to heart a great deal of what I had said. She played a great game. She kept up a positive attitude the entire time, getting on with all of her teammates and not once being difficult about anything. But here is where it begins to get to the next level, because this was not enough for her. You see, the coach was out of town last weekend and one of the other dads was subbing. One of the first things the girl said to me as she came off the field was how much she was looking forward to the next game so that she could "prove" to her coach how much better she was. That's pretty much all she talked about all week.

Thus it came around to Saturday. It was a raw, misty, drizzly afternoon and the field was pretty muddy. The other team turned out to be one of the better ones in the league. And the girl had been complaining during the week that she had crocked her ankle on the playground, although by game time she insisted that it felt fine. As the game began, I really wasn't sure what to expect.

Well, to put it bluntly, the girl played her heart out. As I mentioned, the level of aggressiveness of play had steadily been increasing as all the kids got more confident in their skills. It all seemed to come out in this final game. I saw the girl get kicked, tripped and knocked down half a dozen times. But every time she was back on her feet in a flash. And she was dishing it out as much as she was taking it - any number of times she swooped in and stole the ball from her opponents, including one girl who was quite a bit bigger than her. The teamwork was genuine as well - I positively saw several downfield rushes in which she and her teammates methodically passed the ball to each other, something that didn't happen much even when I was playing soccer in junior high. And she never gave up - not once did she complain when she came out for a break. Rather, she got a drink of water, braced herself up and was eagerly ready to go when waived back in by the coach.

The culminating moment for me really came at the end of the game. The whistle blew and off trotted my girl. By then, the rain had become pretty steady. Her hands, elbows, knees and shoes were covered with mud. She was dripping with sweat and heaving like a bellows. But as she grabbed her water bottle and poured it over her head, she also was grinning from ear to ear like a maniac. She knew she had done well. She knew the coach was very pleased. She knew I was very pleased. And she was extremely pleased with herself. Well, what can I say? I love the girl so much that I actually started to get a little misty-eyed as I stood there watching her revel in her triumph.

There was an end of the year team party after the game. As is the norm these days, everyone got an award of one kind or another. But the coach gave the first award to my girl. It was for "courage". In this case, it really was earned.

Back when Steve-O and I rowed crew together, our coach was fond of playing David Bowie's "Changes" during team workouts. ("Turn and face the strain, ch-ch-changes.") What filled me with so much pride and joy on Saturday was watching my girl make the change. Watching her recognize what needed to be done and then going for it. Watching her pick herself up and take control. In short, watching her grow up. I can't think of anything more fulfilling for a parent.

Posted by Robert at 09:58 AM | Comments (5)

Adventures In Home Ownership - Update

I discovered over the weekend, after this happened Friday night, that if I ever get tired of the legal gig, I might be able to fall back on garage door maintenance and repair.

Between us, my handyman and I managed to straighten the door out and restring the guy wires to the pulleys to make sure it stayed straight. (You never think about how delicately balanced a garage door is on its wires until one of them comes askew. If you try to force the door down when it's out of whack, you'll wind up tearing apart the entire railing structure.) This involved having to loosen and retighten a couple of nuts in the most diabolically awkward place I've ever seen outside a car engine. Nonetheless, it was definitely worth it. Not only would calling in a pro have involved an exhorbitant amount of money, I get a genuine kick out of figuring out and fixing something like this myself.

Posted by Robert at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2004

Well, Hell

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Well that sucks. Better get that confession thing going a little earlier than I had planned! You may not be surprised to learn that my college nickname was "Whammer". I'll leave it to you to figure out why.

Yips! to Marjorie the Unclimber. (Yes, I made sure no one was around when I took the quiz.)

Posted by Robert at 11:08 AM | Comments (12)

Bringing Down The Curtain And Setting The Stage For The Next Act

A cool, quiet, misty day here in Your Nation's Capital. I took a stroll around my garden this morning that did a great deal to restore my equanimity after last evening's fiasco with the garage door. (BTW, our handyman was out this morning and we believe we can fix the problem between us without having to call in a specialist.)

As I reported earlier this week , we have not yet had a killing frost in this area, so a few of the heartier plants soldier on. There are still a few blooms on the salvia and the shastas. The buddleia, columbine and hollyhock are still green and leafy. But you can tell that the time is getting close. The peonies have all gone brown and the joe-pye are headed that way. The oak hydrangia leaves are turning purple. The butterfly weeds are mere skeletons of themselves. I expect that within the next two weeks or so, the curtain will finally come down with a resounding thump.

My main task over the winter will be one of general clean-up. For one thing, there is the job of what might be called the strengthening of the Circuit of the Ramas. I have to take down all the ad-hoc protection I threw up this past year against Bambi the Balrog and Sauron's Wraith Rabbits and replace it with something neater and more permanent. Another thing I want to do is put in an arbor over the gate. And then there are the weeds. Somehow or other, they keep managing to come up no matter how cold it gets.

I also am already looking forward to next spring. As I may have mentioned before, I let everything go to seed this year and am agog with anticipation to see how well the self-sowing turns out. Indeed, I even went so far as to help nature out by scattering various seeds about in places they might not have reached on their own. Also, a number of plants I started from seed this year - most notably the columbine and hollyhock - did not get a chance to bloom. I am eager to see their contribution next time around. Finally, I have a pile of about a dozen seed catalogs in my study and anticipate many happy hours thumbing through them and planning for further additions to my little cast of characters. I had rigged an indoor nursery in my workshop last year and it worked out pretty well. With some minor modifications, I think it will be even more productive this year.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with the way things turned out this past year, the true First Act in my garden. Act Two promises to be even better.

Posted by Robert at 10:46 AM | Comments (2)

Red Soap, blue Soap

Nobody does this level of bitchiness better than Jeff.

Posted by Steve at 01:05 AM | Comments (0)

Sweet sweet lies

Don't worry, we'll be gentle next time.


Posted by Steve at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

Queer Eye for the Macedonian Guy?

Ishtar with elephants, I tell you, Ishtar with Elephants.

The Brain, from his disembodied vat far below the science building at Transylvania Tech, weighs in with some thoughts on the new Alexander flick.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.....

(Would the porn version then be Jason & Alexander, where a confused George Costanza makes a startling discovery one day while eating a block of cheddar cheese watching channel 9?)

UPDATE: In that, er, vein,THIS is just so wrong at SO many levels.....

Posted by Steve at 12:37 AM | Comments (1)

cue the opening chords of "back in black"

go rusty.jpg

Go Rusty! Go Rusty! Go Rusty! Go Rusty!

Posted by Steve at 12:30 AM | Comments (2)

And the Coveted Bloggy goes too....

Wizbang is trolling for nominations for the 2004 Weblog Awards.

Talk about something that deserves a much better name than that. And the trophy itself? I'm nominating a carpal tunnel theme:

coveted bloggy.jpg

Although something in the pajama oevre is de rigeur this year:

pajama guy trophy.jpg

Posted by Steve at 12:13 AM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2004

Adventures In Home Ownership

Well, you learn something new every day. I already knew that the nylon mesh garden netting I have isn't much use for keeping out determined rabbits and deer.

What I didn't know was that the same netting, if piled on a high shelf by the garage door, is very good at getting itself wrapped around the axil of the automatic door opener, clogging up the pulley, making the guy wire jump its track and causing the entire door to skew out of balance, thereby making it impossible to close all the way.

Oh, it's perfect for that.

And, of course, there's the matter of getting your fingers jammed between the door and the wall as you try to single-handedly cope with the situation. But I like to think of that as just an added little bonus.


Posted by Robert at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

Why I love the Hatemonger's Quarterly

Where else can you find a whithering takedown that describes Bob Costas as a panjandrum?


Also, kindly peruse their corrections column.

Posted by Steve at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

Yet More Gratuitous Book Blegging


No Way To Treat A First Lady, by Christopher Buckley.

I just read where Buckley won this year's Thurber Prize for this book. All the reviews I've seen rave and rave about it.

I've read Thank You For Smoking, which is hilarious, as well as Little Green Men, The White House Mess and his collection of articles entitled Wry Martinis. I understand he just released another book entitled Florence of Arabia, although I don't know anything about it.

Buckley's a very interesting author. He's a naturally wicked satirist, but is far subtler in his approach than, say, Wolfe. To bend a metaphor from Douglas Adams, Buckley is like a battle-axe of such exquisite balance and razor sharpness that you don't notice your head's been taken off until you try to put on your hat. From what I gather, this book represents one of his best swings.

Posted by Robert at 03:20 PM | Comments (1)

And then we were one.....

Friday November 21 2003, 2:46 P.M.

We are the LLama butchers

We come in peace

to defenestrate the indefensible

to decapitate the corrigible

to spread havoc and fear among the idiotarians

we are llama butchers

hear us yip

Unfortunately, the original email to Rob was erased some time over the past year. But it was something along the lines of "Dude---want to do a blog together?"

The original post was this:

Well, Rob? Let er rip

So Sunday is the first anniversary, but it's really today: like last year, a grey, wet Friday afternoon before the Thanksgiving break. I had tried to start blogging for awhile, and had about a half dozen different aborted blogs that I started but then abandonned over the previous two years. I had tried starting another blog with a buddy, where the schtick would have been he's a hardcore Democrat and I'm, well, me. But he never pulled the trigger, and it was probably for the best, as the election drove us pretty far apart. Robbo and I had been emailing back and forth for years with the sort of stuff which is the daily fare of the LLamas, but for whatever reason it took me forever to realize "here it is."

2499 posts on blogger later, and xxxx posts on moo knew, and 110K + visits later......

What have I learned from all this?

The first and most important thing is the sheer fun of enjoying a friendship formed rowing in college to hit an all new level. Our families were close beforehand---Rob and I were groomsmen in each others weddings, we're the godfathers for each of our youngest daughters, and our wives get along very well. I met Rob's wife on their second date, and knew right then Rob had found his match. But I think it's quite fair to say that you don't really know someone till you blog with them for a year. And so let me say this: thanks, buddy!

The second thing that blogging has taught me is perspective. Let's face it, the last year politically has been incredibly stressful. I can say without a doubt blogging has improved my marriage because, to be perfectly honest, I don't get cranky about things anymore the way I used to. Someone do something stupid in the world? Blog about it. Something piss you off? Blog about it. And maybe delete it later, but maybe not Something make you laugh? Definitely blog about it. So what I'd like to do is give a huge thanks to our regulars---you know who you are!---for keeping me sane through the past year.

Over the weekend, I want to do what has become traditional in Blogistan---ye olde advice to newbie bloggers. But for right now, thanks for making this past year so much fun.

Yips! from Robbo: Right back at you, Big Guy! (Note to everyone else- no, we're not shopping for curtains together, not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Yes, it's been quite a ride. I never told Steve-O this, but when he set a goal of cracking the top 100 in the Ecosystem and rolling over 100K visitors in our first year, my secret reaction was "yeah, right". In retrospect, I am damned impressed with his work and just feel honored that I've been able to come along for the ride.

When we started out, I really wasn't sure exactly where we were going to go in terms of style. At first, we toyed around with an idea for a conscious split - "Robbo the Tory Felix Ungar and Steve the Whig Oscar Madison forever wrangling" sort of thing. But that never really picked up any steam. And frankly, I'm glad of it. In the end, we just decided to run with our natural inclinations, tastes and temperments, posting about what interested us and saying exactly what we think. Looking back, I believe this has worked out just fine, as we have plenty of overlap in a number of ways, while each of us also expands the menu of Llama offerings in sharply different directions, thereby covering an awful lot of ground between us. Steve was kidding around about "Goofus and Gallant" earlier today, but in the past, he's also made several allusions to his Falstaff and my Prince Hal. Not only do I take that as an immense compliment, I also think there is a great deal to it, in the best possible way of course, as a description of our combined style.

I also concur in the benefits that blogging has brought to my life. Last year was terribly stressful for me. I got the news that my old practice group was being eliminated about three weeks before we started blogging, and subsequently spent about eight months looking for a new job. During that time, you can't imagine the release I got by being able to drop in here and bloviate about things both large and small.

In broader terms, of course, I really just love writing. And after all, what English Major doesn't delight in being able to see himself published whenever and wherever he wants? Also, I like to think that all the practice I've been afforded here has, in fact, greatly improved my analytical and compositional skills. Nothing so forces one to choose one's words carefully than the knowledge that a lot of other people who know a great deal more about the subject at hand are going to read them. And might comment on them. And might make one look like a complete charleton. Makes one think, that does.

One quirk about this whole business that I haven't quite figured out yet is a sense of dual personality that I sometimes feel. This is a function of a rather large strain of self-consciousness with which I've always been plagued, and with which I still grapple after all these years. So where plain old Rob sometimes feels he's being awkward, embarrassing and/or dull in social settings, Robbo the Llama Butcher goes in with a whoop and a holler, doing his best to be the life of the party. (It's a whole Stanley Ipkiss/The Mask kind of thing and I've sometimes thought of writing a separate post about it.) I honestly don't know what many of you would think if you ever met me in real life.

Speaking of which, of course the greatest aspect of running the Butcher's Shop is all the new folks we've met. When we first started this opus, I think I was regularly reading maybe three or four of the big guys - Glenn, Axis Sully and The Corner. That was it. I had something between little and no clue about the rest of the Blogsphere. A year later, I'm amazed at how many solid, solid writers there are out there, how friendly and knowledgable so many of you are and how much fun it has been to talk with you. We can't thank each of you individually as you deserve and we can't thank all of you collectively enough for what a truly great experience you've made this.

As we're very fond of saying 'round here, Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip!

YIPS from Steve: No, I was serious about the Goofus and Gallant thing. Because we all know that I'm Goofus....

Posted by Steve at 03:17 PM | Comments (9)

More Sci-Fi Babe Polling And A Denture-Loosening Literary Segue

Yes, you read that right. Allow me to explain.

First, our pal JohnL at TexasBestGrok has got his latest Sci-Fi Babe Poll up. (Go to John's main page to vote. Also, be sure to click on the Gallery of Space Beauties for winners from past polls, although I see it is still reporting the blatent lie that Ardala beat Col. Deering.)

This time around, the contest is between two characters from a show I've simply never heard of: Land of the Giants.

I clicked over and discovered that the show was about a band of space castaways. (Where have I heard that idea before?) But what tickled me is that the name of their ship is the "Spindrift".

Por qua? Because I was just thinking of a book I used to read a lot as a child called The Spindrift. It was the story of a boy who joins a group of rebel privateers operating in the shallows of Long Island Sound during the American Revolution, focusing in particular on a point of land called the Devil's Anvil or something like that. I can't seem to find the book on Amazon, which is not surprising. Sound at all familiar to anyone?

The Spindrift was part of my first big blossoming as a reader. When I was in third or fourth grade, I started to participate in those school-based book sales. You know - kids would get a catalog from Scholastic Publishers (or whoever it was) to take home and pick whatever they wanted. It seems to me now that I used to order fifteen or twenty books at a go and my parents, bless them, never ever objected. In fact, I trace my love of reading back to these events.

Looking back, I can't remember many of the books I got, but a few stand out.

One was "Griese/Csonka - The Miami Dolphins' One-Two Punch". Okay, not exactly litterchure. But I had been a 'Fins fan ever since about 1970, so of course I had to have this.

Another was a story about a group of children in Nazi-occupied...Norway, I think, that smuggle some gold out of a town by hiding it on their sleds and sledding past the troopers. I can't remember the name of this book.

Yet another was about a couple of Jewish children who escape Nazi-occupied Austria and smuggle out their family's diamonds in the water bottle of the little girl's doll. Again, I can't remember the name of the book. At one point, the children are searched by a German Army matron on a train. I remember that as being one of my first tastes of literary suspence.

Just so you don't get the idea of a theme emerging here, I'll also mention a book I was very fond of about a boy from Boston who runs away to the Gold Rush. The family butler, proper to the point of idiosycracy, decides to follow in order to protect the boy. They stow away on a steamer going round the Horn, are discovered and barter their passage in return for shovelling coal in the boiler room. The rest of the book is about their adventures in the California mining fields and culminates in the butler wedding the boy's (widowed) mother, who had come in search of him.

Again, I can't remember the name of this book. But it was made into a Disney movie starring Suzanne Pleshette. I was very excited about this because I had a crush on her at the time (from watching too much Bob Newhart). But I was bitterly dissappointed when I finally saw the movie because it completely revised the plot of the book, which I practically had memorized at the time. (Does this rant sound familiar? You can see that my hatred of this sort of thing goes way, waaaay back.)

How about you lot? What are some of your early reading memories?

Posted by Robert at 02:23 PM | Comments (9)

Wait for it!

As my six year old and I drove past the Tyson's Corner Mall last week on our way to see "The Incredibles," we traded disparaging comments on the holiday banners and gew-gaws festooning the parking lot lighting there.

As I watched "Tora! Tora! Tora!" on the History Channel last night, I kept getting assaulted every five minutes by the same blasted Kay's Jewelers Christmas ad that I saw last year, the one where the Minnie Driver knock-off states that she "absolutely" believes in Santa Claus.

As I walked into the local Imperial Starbucks Redoubt this morning, I noticed the strains of Vince Guaraldi and his Trio jamming out Linus & Lucy from "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I also noticed the appearance of red and green cups with snowflakes on them. Looking at the holder around my own cup, I read the words, "It's Time For Glowing Spirits."

No it isn't. No it isn't!

I hate holiday creep. Christmas is nearly six weeks out still. Exactly how much spirit is anyone expected to have left if we squander it all now? And what the hell happened to Thanksgiving? I know I'm sort of out of the mainstream, culturally speaking, but it seems to me that next Thursday has already been crushed under a Yule-Tide Tsunami.

Of course, I fully recognize that, contrary to what Starbucks might claim, this has absolutely nothing to do with "spirit" and everything to do with Buying More Stuff. Bah! Look, I'm as much a Free Market kind of guy as anyone else, but I am also thoroughly disgusted by rampant over-marketing, especially when it intrudes on, assimilates and perverts the natural tempo of the holiday progression. I wouldn't dream of imposing government regulations about this sort of thing. But I do wish all the Starbucks and Kay's and Shopping Malls and This and That and the Other would show a little more self-restraint.

Patience. Patience! Let the seasons flow naturally and in due time. Don't make us suffer from over-exposure and burnout. I want to enjoy fall and Thanksgiving first. I want to enjoy falling leaves and college football, turkey and hot cider! And I don't want to be so sick of Guaraldi and Handel and lights and ribbons and eggnog and, even Santa that, by the time Christmas actually does roll around, I don't want anything more to do with them.

UPDATE: In order to head off a wave of snarky comments like, "Tom, how can you post a rant about holiday marketing excesses right above a post asking for Christmas presents?" let me clarify that I am just talking about irresponsible front-loading of holiday symbolism for purposes of mass marketing here. I posted about the books because people have been asking me.

Posted by Robert at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)

More Shamefully Gratuitous Holiday Book Blegging

It's something of a tradition in my family that I'm not allowed to go to a bookstore any time between Halloween and my birthday in late January, for fear that I will wind up buying something someone else had meant to give as a present, thereby laying them a dead stymie. (The tradition is built, in part, on the horrid urban legend that it is difficult to shop for me.)

Anyhoo, as some of you know, I've been posting a few books that I would like to receive, in the hope that Santa is a fan of the Llamas or else that members of my family will pass on the information to him. Here are a couple more:


A Dance To The Music of Time, Vol. 1., by Anthony Powell. Back in September, some of the members of the bloggy literary circle, round the edges of which I hover (Mr. Soames and Stephen of Stephenesque come to mind), recommended that I give Powell a try, given my Waugh-like temperment. I am all for it. If Volume One pans out, then Volumes Two through Four can be considered gimmes for the ol' birthday.

pearcelewis.jpg durieztolkien.jpg

C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church, by Joseph Pearce, and Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship, by Colin Duriez. (Amazon offers them as a nifty twofer.) I've read a good bit of Lewis and a lot of Tolkien, but never that much about either man. Indeed, it was only recently that I was rather astonished to learn Lewis was not Catholic, despite his very, very Catholic-sounding theology. This bears considerable more investigation on my part, especially given my own recently reignited questioning.


21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey, by Patrick O'Brian. This is the rough, three-chapter draft of the Aubrey/Maturin novel O'Brian was working on when he died and would have been the 21st of the series, as the title implies. I thought I had read at one point that O'Brian's estate did not want this book published, but never followed the story that closely. Either my memory fails me or else the objections were overcome.

Actually, I am extremely torn about this book. On the one hand, it would complete my set, of course. It also would be a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of O'Brian's craft, much the way Sunset at Blandings, P.G. Wodehouse's last, incomplete novel, was of his work.

On the other hand, I find I am much more emotionally involved in O'Brian's work than Wodehouse's. The keen pleasure I derive from reading and rereading the adventures of Aubrey and Maturin up to and including The Wine-Dark Sea, the 16th in the series, is offset by my distress over the last four complete novels (The Commodore, The Yellow Admiral, The Hundred Days and Blue at the Mizzen), which encompass such a decline in spirit, such a fall from greatness, as to be painful to read. I can read Sunset at Blandings with detached interest. I'm not so sure I could do so with 21. Has anyone else out there read this book? If so, please let me know what you think about it.

Posted by Robert at 10:23 AM | Comments (6)

Manners Make The Man

Enoch Soames, Esq., gives us a short excerpt today from a treatise on the role of politeness in protecting society from itself. This prompted me to remember again one of the lines of Alec Guiness's Prince Feisal from "Lawrence of Arabia":


For Lawrence, mercy is a passion. For me, it is a matter of good manners. I leave it to you to decide which is the more reliable motivation.

As a firm opponent of Rousseau's notion of the "Natural Man" and as a long time warrior in the cause against "letting it all hang out," "doing your own thing" and "whatever turns you on," I think there is much in this.

Posted by Robert at 10:06 AM | Comments (5)

More Literary Posting

Dan the Silver Fox links to an article about G.K. Chesterton that gets my stamp of approval for, among other reasons, its reference to "Goofus and Gallant," which immediately brought back floods of memories of reading "Highlights" magazine while sitting in various doctors' and dentists' offices as a boy.

Like Dan, I've really not read very much G.K.C., although I see him quoted all the time. I've tried to plow through a couple of his essays, but almost always immediately dozed off. (This is not necessarily a sign of his literary worth. Milton, for example, was perhaps the greatest epic poet of the English language. But try reading his political tracts without a helmet on and I guarantee you'll get a concussion when your head hits the table.)

As I say, I've never tried Chesterton's fiction. I really ought to. Any recommendations for a good starter would be appreciated. (Please don't say "Father Brown Mysteries." I don't like mysteries.)

YIPS from Steve: I guess there's really no question around here who is Goofus and who is Gallant now, is there?

Posted by Robert at 09:42 AM | Comments (5)

Dispatches From The Front

I sincerely hope that those of you with small children make a regular Friday habit of reading the ever-delightful Megan Cox Gurdon. Her column caught my eye today, not only because there has been a gradual escalation of internecine strife amongst the Llama-ettes, the general flavor of which Mrs. Gurdon nicely catches, but also because of her use of the expression "the Arsenic Hour" - a great favorite of the Missus and mine.

I gave up a long time ago trying to sort out the tangled facts of most of my children's skirmishes with each other. "Never mind the why and wherefore," I usually say these days, "both [all] of you knock it off right now or there's going to be trouble!" This saves me much mental energy that would otherwise be wasted on trying to solve Sphinx-like riddles and leaves me magisterially above the fray, power and prestige still firmly intact. It also discourages informing, something I find rather loathsome. ("Don't be a snitch," is a common refrain in our house.) Finally, I hope it will encourage the little maniacs to learn to work things out amongst themselves. If it takes the threat of summary, impartial execution of all parties involved to encourage such rapprochement, so be it. L'etat c'est moi. [Ed. - no more caffeine-deficient French for you, me boy!]

Posted by Robert at 09:18 AM | Comments (1)

Plum On The Money

Some time back, I tried to relay an anecdote I half-remembered about the origins of P.G. Wodehouse's great character Rupert Psmith. At the time, I could not recollect where I had read it.

Well, it turns out that my informant was none other than the Old Boy himself. This morning I started in again on Something Fresh (known across the pond as Something New), the first of the Blandings Castle novels, by way of a break from the Bertie and Jeeves cycle I'm currently revisiting. And damme if that anecdote didn't jump right out of Plum's preface to my Penguin paperback edition:

People are always asking me...well, someone did the other day...if I draw my characters from living originals. I don't. I never have, except in the case of Psmith. He was based more or less faithfully on Rupert D'Oyle Carte, the son of the Savoy Theatre man. He was at school with a cousin of mine, and my cousin happened to tell me about his monocle, his immaculate clothes, and his habit, when asked by a master how he was, of replying, "Sir, I grow thinnah and thinnah." I instantly recognized that I had been handed a piece of cake and I bunged him down on paper (circ. 1908).

So there you have it. I love it when a quote comes together.

Posted by Robert at 08:40 AM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2004

I've Got Your Six....

You Are the Loyalist

You have strong relationships and are intensely loyal.

People find you easy to love and care for.

You like your world to be stable and secure, no surprises.

You're cautious. You prefer your inner circle to the outside world.

What number are you?

Well.....I suppose so.

Swiped from Margi Lowry.

Posted by Robert at 05:52 PM | Comments (10)

An Elegant Weapon, For A More...Civilized Age

Your Lightsaber is Blue

Blue is often associated with depth and stability.
It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom,
confidence, and truth.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yips! to fellow Blue Man Big Stupid Tommy.

Posted by Robert at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Baby Talk

Fellow Moo-Knewer Jordana at Curmudgeonry, who, with her husband, is currently discovering the joys of switching from man-to-man to zone defense,* has a nice piece up on Toddlerese.

I have heard many times from professional fussy-pants that it's wrong, wrong, to let small children mangle their own versions of words. (You know, because their lips and tongues might get stuck that way!) Needless to say, I think this is preposterous. Furthermore, it's quirks such as these that often later become part of a family's collection of inside jokes, a powerful source of bonding. Plus, awwwww, ain't they cute?

When I was a toddler, I used to call both bears and squirrels "qwullies." That word is still in use in my household, and indeed, my own kids are starting to use it.

A few new words invented by the Llama-ettes themselves include:

-"Pang-pangs" for pancakes
-"Byot-byot" for bunny rabbits
-"Pack-pack" for backpack

Also, my six year old still transposes "regular" into "regleer," something I find myself doing more and more often as well.

If you're worried about the long-term fallout of this kind of behavior, just remember: if they're still doing it in college, their roommates will cure them of it right quickly.

(*Gratuitous father of three advice: Play deep. Let them have the short pass. Just make sure none of them gets behind the coverage.)

Posted by Robert at 03:09 PM | Comments (8)

What's your super hero identity?

Oddly enough, this comes perilously close:

Your Superhero Persona by couplandesque
Your Name
Superhero NameButt-Man
Super PowerAbility To Fly
EnemyThe Landlord
Mode Of TransportationCity Bus
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Although this one works for me too:

Your Superhero Persona by couplandesque
Your Name
Superhero NameThe Mexican
Super PowerX-Ray Vision
EnemyTrailer Trash Tom
Mode Of TransportationSkateboard
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Yips to Mirthful Sadie at SWG, a moo knew blog that I had somehow missed up to now.

YIPS! from Robbo and UPDATE: Sadie actually hangs out with the Mirthful Ones. (How d'ya do, by the way.) Don't let that stop you from visiting SWG. Rather, just add MO to your list as well.

Posted by Steve at 02:33 PM | Comments (2)

More Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

Posting last week on my six year old's learning of the sea shanty "South Australia" got me thinking about some of the tunes and songs I started learning when I was about her age.

My grandmother, as grandmothers are wont to do, kept me in National Geographic magazines for years and years. Some Christmases, in addition to the subscription renewal, she would also give me and my siblings some kind of extra N.G. goodies.

One year - I must have been seven or eight at the time - Grandma gave me a National Geographic record of songs of the America Revolution. I listened to this over and over again and still sing many of the songs even today. Among them are:

"Paul Jones" - a ballad of the fight between the Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis.
"The Banks of the Dee" - a Rebel parody of a more well-known Brit version.
"The Yankee Privateer" - which is actually about the exploits of a USN frigate, the Providence, under the command of Capt. Abraham Whipple
"The Deserter" - the version I learned seems to date to the Seven Years' War. It referred to the King's duty, not the Queen's. Also, it was General Wolfe who appeared at the last second, not Prince Albert.
"Three Jolly Rogues of Lynn" - in my version, the first verse begins "In the good old colony days"
The Ballad of Trenton
The Green Mountaineer - about the Vermont militia
"The Old Soldiers of the King" - a lampoon, supposedly written by Benjamin Franklin
"The Swamp Fox" - about the guerilla exploits of Francis Marion, not to be confused with Mel Gibson's "Patriot"
"The Girl I Left Behind Me" - the tune of which many people today would easily recognize. There are a zillion different variations on the lyrics. This is the closest I can find to what I remember.

Another year, she gave me a compilation of Mississippi River songs. The only one I can remember, and that only partially, is "The Glendy Burke", a catchy little song about a riverboat.

One year, she also gave my brother a compilation of Civil War songs. The only one I remember from that is "Marching Through Georgia" which was penned, incidentally, by Henry Clay Work, a resident of Middletown CT, where I went to college. I used to run past a bust of him on the town green every day on the way to crew practice. It wasn't until some years later that I picked up "The Bonnie Blue Flag."

I know I'm wallowing somewhat in nostalgia here, but this is also culturally significant stuff. In addition to carrying some pleasant tunes and lyrics, most of these songs represent particular takes on important events in our collective history. It seems to me an inherently good thing to teach such things to the younger generation. I strongly suspect that this happens less and less these days.

(Big Llama Yips! to the Mudcat Cafe, which has many, many traditional song lyrics available online.)

Posted by Robert at 02:16 PM | Comments (3)

"Set Phasers On Kill, Mr. Sulu"

Mr. Outer Life calls it "power weaving." I call it "lane surfing." Either way, if he brings that kind of roadway hotdogging round these parts, I will blast him out of the stars.

That is all.

Posted by Robert at 12:54 PM | Comments (4)

Poetic License

Enoch Soames, Esq., is celebrating Bobby Burns, the National Poet of Scotland.....the only poet of and here, and includes a link to one of the more appalling literary traditions, the Burns Supper. (Yes, I am of Scots descent. No, wild horses would never induce me to eat haggis.)

On the other hand, Mr. Soames also has a post up on Mr. John Keats, five foot two and one of my very favorite poets, including a nifty link to a page of original manuscript images.

Just because, let's trot out one of our favorite Keats poems, "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer":

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Of course, it was Balboa who discovered the Pacific, not Cortez. But "Stout Balboa" doesn't sound well. This was the subject of a passage in a work of fiction that I know I read many times when I was younger, but just can't remember. I seem to recall the conversation was between a brother and sister. Sound familiar to anyone?

Posted by Robert at 12:39 PM | Comments (6)

A Little Confession Is Good For The Soul

We had an interesting speaker for our Adult Forum at Church last Sunday, a religion professor from Georgetown who gave a lecture on the similarities and differences between us Episcopalians and other Christian denominations.

I won't go into all of it, but I did want to pass along what I thought was a very droll joke. The subject came round to confession and the speaker relayed a little story about a Catholic friend of hers who went around Dee Cee taking confession from various religious orders, including some convents. This friend bemoaned this particular duty to our speaker, stating that taking confession from a nun was like getting stoned with popcorn.

Aside from being humorous, this got me thinking. I happen to chair the Lenten Task Force at my Church and am responsible for putting on a program suitable to the season. The last couple years, we've had a series of lectures on various topics that has, frankly, left me rather unsatisfied. ("But you're the Chair," you say. Well, yes. But our Rector rules the Parish with an iron fist. If he wants lectures on gay bishops during Lent, then, by golly, that's what we're going to have.)

This year, however, we are working on something different, a series of much more interactive, hands-on offerings, activities that are designed to actually aid people in the spiritual purification that is supposed to be the hallmark of Lent, leading up to the celebration of Easter. Our goal is to provide a number of different kinds of activity. One possibility is the erection of a labrynth, something that apparently has got quite trendy as a meditiation device, although it is too New Age-y for my taste. Another possibility is some plainchant or other musical offering. There is even talk of a rosary course. (No word yet on whether ecumenical outreach is going to extent to include sacrificing virgins with golden sickles under mistletoe-decked oak trees, but we're working on it.)

But, keying off the professors remarks, the one that has caught my personal attention is the possible provision of confession. We undertake a general confession as part of our worship service every Sunday, of course, but it is generic and corporate, a prayer recited by the entire congregation. Here, we would be offering the opportunity for the kind of personal, one-on-one, priest-penitent experience of the Catholic Church. (I believe there is provision for this kind of confession within the Anglican tradition. I don't know if it is formally incorporated into Episcopalianism as well. I'll have to look this up.)

I've never taken this kind of confession before. What is the form? Does one simply tell off the kinds of sin one has committed (pride, lust, envy)? Or does one give specifics (names, places, dates)? It strikes me that the advantage of this form is that, by requiring the confessing party to recite his or her own shortcomings in detail, it forces that person to come more honestly face to face with them, to accept guilt for them and to try to change for the better. The trouble I find with the general confession is that it is rote recitation of a generic formula. Unless one is really concentrating, it is easy to let the mind wander. And the RC's, at least, are very clear that simple recitation of sins, without the accompanying conscious effort of responsibility and atonement, is no confession at all and, if anything, leaves the person worse off than before.

The other thing I don't know is what kind of penitential satisfaction an Anglican confession might call for. Given that the Anglican Church was founded more or less on theories of Pope-less Catholism, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some parallels on this matter. On the other hand, seeing that the relative relationship among God, Church and Congregation is at the very foundation of the Protestant schism, I also wouldn't be surprised if it were quite a lot different.

Whatever the case, I hope the Rector lets us go through with this plan and doesn't hijack the proceedings for another round of "discussion" about Bishop Robinson.

UPDATE: Speaking of baring the soul, the Crack Young Staff of the Hatemonger's Quarterly are all squashed into the confessional, industriously bemoaning their shortcomings.

UPDATE DEUX: Our pal Kathleen the Cake Eater weighs in with a solid discussion of real RC confession. I know it gives my family fits of hysteria every time I say something like this, but over the years I've been gravitating slowly but steadily towards Rome as my faith developes. When I read something like this - which makes perfect sense to me and chimes very closely with the way I think about things- I feel myself inching that much closer.

Posted by Robert at 12:10 PM | Comments (4)

I Hate Flying

I'm in the midst of a spate of business trips this fall, which means I'm spending a fair bit of time on airplanes. Thus, it seems to me that this is an appropriate time to do a little venting on a particular kink in my psychology:

I am scared to death of flying.

It is not a rational fear of terrorists, skimpy airline maintenance and safety procedures, violent weather or other genuine concerns. It is a completely irrational fear that if I let go of the arm rest, the wings will fall off. The bases of this phobia are my twin fears of heights and lack of control. Strap me into an aluminum cylinder at 37,000 feet with my fate utterly in the hands of a set of complete strangers and you can readily imagine why I feel compelled to grip my seat with such white-knuckled intensity.

By the time I get off a plane, my hands are cold, clammy and covered with moisture. At the same time, most of my arm, upper body and stomach muscles are considerably more toned than when I got on board, owing to the near constant clenching they've been subject to. And I always feel about five years older.

So why even get on a plane? Well, we do the things that need to be done. As I say, I hate flying, but there's no realistic way to avoid it. So I am constantly working on new ways to get through the ordeal.

My general approach is simply to dissassociate myself from what is happening. This means never looking out the window. (Except for the last few seconds on landing. For some reason, I have to see that.) I try to bury myself in a book or newspaper instead or, if I find I can't concentrate, simply shut my eyes. I used to try having a drink, but found that this actually makes me feel worse - sort of woozy and frazzled at the same time. For some reason, I find that water and coffee are, in fact, far more calming. This approach works pretty well for smooth, routine flying, although it becomes far more difficult to maintain whenever there is any sort of chop.

Take-off is the worst time for me. For this, I have a special solution. As soon as we start to roll, I play over in my mind the scene from "Star Wars" where the Millenium Falcon blasts out of Mos Eisley, starting from the point where the storm troopers enter the bay and ending up with the jump to hyperspace. Don't ask why, but I find this very comforting.

Sometimes people try to engage me in conversation on a flight, thereby intruding on my Travel-Size Fortress of Solitude (TM). This produces one of two results. Either I start babbling away at a mile per minute, or else I respond with short, tight-lipped and very sarcastic answers. I don't believe either treatment is very pleasant for the other person. In fact, it was for this reason that when the Missus and I were planning our honeymoon, I insisted that we go someplace to which we could drive. The last thing I wanted was for our marriage to start out on a bad footing owing to my phobias. (In case you're wondering, we went to The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia. A very nice place and a very nice time. So it all worked out just fine.)

The other thing that drives me stark raving mad about this business is watching everyone else around me relaxing, chatting or working in apparent unconcern. Fools! I think to myself. Don't they understand? Don't they SEE? It's only sheer will-power that keeps us all alive!! How can they be so freakin' OBLIVIOUS to the knife's edge on which they're standing!!?? I was chatting with my real-life blogger pal Marjorie about this the other day and she put it down to ego on my part. In fact, it isn't really that. Rather, I think it's a kind of terrified envy, a deep but so far unobtainable desire to be like them and to shake the crazies that I have.

So, what to do about all this? Well, not much, really. It's not so bad as to keep me off of planes altogether, so it seems silly to invest any time or money into any kind of "treatment". (I strongly suspect there is not much to such therapies anyway.) Instead, I am resigned to just toughing things out and, hopefully, eventually getting over it naturally. What I worry about chiefly at the moment is not passing my phobia on to the Llama-ettes, which is what I'm afraid I might do were we to fly anywhere together. Nothing makes a child so frightened of something as seeing her own parent frightened of it, and I'm not altogether sure how well I could wear the mask at this point. (Yes, Dear, that is one of my major concerns about this trip to Disneyworld you keep pushing.)

In the meantime, I can also keep posting about it here and you lot can feel free to pelt me with rocks and garbage. Perhaps simple shame will snap me out of it.

Posted by Robert at 10:23 AM | Comments (7)

LLama Puppy Love, Or Something

Friends, I try to keep raw passions out of my posts but I have to confess: Having the Divine Peggy Noonan whisper, "Sssshhhhh...," in my ear just knocks me sideways.


Posted by Robert at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

What The Hell Is Going On Here?

Even National Review is running articles praising "Desparate Housewives"?

This show is the center of some contention at the Butcher's House. The Missus loves it and even goes so far as to argue that the characters are somewhat realistic. To me, it's just "Sex In The Suburbs" and appears to be nothing but glamorized screwing around.

I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

Posted by Robert at 09:00 AM | Comments (2)

Who new Washington State was a hip, swinging place?

I mean, they've got a governor named Dino and everything.

What's next---Frank as Secretary of the Department of Hookers, Broads, and Booze?

Posted by Steve at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

Will Bloggers be Time Magazine's "Person of the year"?

indc bill man of the year.jpg

The Commissar and Michele duke it out; and to carry through with the meme, it's pretty clear what the voices in my head are telling me what to do... But should it happen? I think I'm going with our new friend Pollyanna on this one.

Posted by Steve at 01:00 AM | Comments (3)

You go girl!

Rae is getting the attention she deserves. Woo-hoo, baby!

Posted by Steve at 12:35 AM | Comments (2)

You know, he's got to stop having Ted Sorensen writing this crap for him

Yeah I know, piling on John Kerry is SO two weeks ago. But since this in specific context of cough 2008, cue the Bob Hope "Thanks For the Memories" while you get a load of THIS quote.

Posted by Steve at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

The 60 Minutes Staff Retreat

">cbs staff meeting.jpg

"The picture's pretty bleak, gentlemen ...
the world's news climate is changing,
the blogs are taking over,
and we all have a brain about the size of a walnut."

(With apologies to Gary Larson)

Posted by Steve at 12:14 AM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2004

Arafat holds his first press conference in hell

arafat in hell.jpg

So my old friend and colleague Satan asks me, he asks me, "Yassir, old friend, have you ever seen the movie "Deliverance"? And I say, I said, "Satan, old pal, that's not the one directed by that Jew?" And he assured me no, it is Jew free!....What? What? Yes, Ambassador Satan did indeed ask me if I have a purty mouth. Why do you ask?.....Squeal? I do not understand what you mean--like a dirty pig?

Posted by Steve at 11:51 PM | Comments (2)

Stop the FCC's puritanical campaign!

As everybody has been talking about, ABC Sports is in beeeg trouble with the FCC for broadcasting this sequence at the beginning of Monday Night Football:

(this is just a single screen shot of a longer, unsafe for work video)

I think I can speak confidently for the rest of Amerika by pleading---FOR THE CHILDREN, MAN!---no more Wonkette on Washintonienne on John Madden videos!

My eyes----they burn!!!!

Posted by Steve at 11:46 PM | Comments (2)

Got it bad got it bad got it bad....

I'm hot for teacher!*


Say hello to our new Secretary of Education.

*Yeah, yeah, I know---that's three Van Halen references in two days. What can I say, I'm showing my age.

(Flick of the cig to Jeff)

SUPER SECRET YIPS TO BARRY: I'll be sure to note your superior knowledge of early Van Halen lyrics at the next Vestry election....

Posted by Steve at 11:25 PM | Comments (2)

Wait for it......

Hey, bay-bee---Ace has cowbell! And you know what THAT means....

Posted by Steve at 10:53 PM | Comments (1)

What The Hell.....?

I leave my post for a couple days and suddenly we're embroiled in some kind of bloggy food fight.

Now McGehee over at BlogoSFERICS is fanning the flames.

And Margi is threatening to spank all of us.


UPDATE: Now this is really sick. Go down to Joan of AAARGH's comment and click over to the latest "Sorry Everybody" stunt. (You'll have to paste the address into your browser.) Photoshopping Islamo-fascist murder victims. Words fail me.

YIPS from Steve-O:


My bad.

I confess I made a serious mistake: I compared Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities with movie scholckmeister Michael "Bad Pearl Harbor Boyz II" Bay. I mean, it's pretty easy to be confused:

jefR.jpg bay.jpeg

Jeff of Beautiful Atrocities, evil twin of Michael "Pearl Harbor" Bay?

Well now---Jeff has his starched shorts in quite a twist about this, and has his flying monkeys coming after us. But hey, I'm a big guy, and I can admit when I'm wrong:

jefR.jpg steven weber.jpeg

Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities, evil twin of Steven "Wings" Weber.

To be perfectly honest, I'm glad we've got that cleared up!

Posted by Robert at 04:27 PM | Comments (18)

Serious Post For The Day

As far as I'm concerned, Froggy Ruminations has the first, last and only comment worth making about what a Marine should do when he comes up against a wounded terrorist thug who's just been shooting at him from a Mosque. "Double tap," indeed.

Go and read this post right now.

That. Is. All.

Posted by Robert at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)

My Name Is Robbo And I'm Here To Sing, Sing, Sing!!

Mixolydian Don is puzzled over a google search he received on the terms "the llama lyrics I was once a treehouse."

Allow me to post the whole song:

Oh, I once was a treehouse,
But you done pulled my branches down.
Yeah, I once was a treehouse,
But you done pulled my branches down-nah.
Aw now I ain't no treehouse,
And you got no place to gooooooo-ah.

Chorus: Yip! Yip! Yip! Yeaaaaah.

Oh, I once was a freight train,
But you done pulled up my track.
I said once I was a freight train,
But you done pulled up my traaaaack.
Aw now I ain't no freight train,
And you got nowhere to riiiiiiiiide!

Chorus: Yip! Yip! Yip! Yeaaaaah.

Oh, I once was an airplane,
But you done took away my blue skies.
Yeah, I once was an air-o-plane,
But you done took away my blue skiiiieees (yea-ah).
Aw now I ain't no airplane,
And you got no way to flyyyyyyy-ah!

Yeah, I'm just sittin' here singin' my can't-be-that-metaphor-without-the-predicate-foundation bluuuues. And you got nuthin' but a couple handfuls of sweaty wool. (Ha-HAA!)

Yip! Yip! Yip! Yeaaaaaah.

Hope that clears things up.

Posted by Robert at 02:30 PM | Comments (1)

Special Li'L Llamas Secret Coded Message

Well, not really, but I wanted to put it up here instead of burying it in the comments of a post waaaaay down the page now.

Last week I was singing the praises of Emma Kirkby and one of our commentors, Derek, found what he thought might be the link to an album of Monteverdi solos and duets that I was recommending. In answer to his question, yes, this is the album I had in mind, although it looks like it's been re-released under a different label with new cover art.

Hit the link. Go to the comment (last one). Click that link. Get the album. You'll love it.

Posted by Robert at 01:11 PM | Comments (2)

John Donne, You Got Served!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the poetry of Ms. Britney Spears.

Posted by Robert at 12:55 PM | Comments (2)

Llamas Go To The Movies

Ah...List time again! Someone has come up with a supposed list of top cult films. As did my source, I'll bold the ones I've seen and italicize the ones I'd see again (or a first time). Also, as is my wont, I'll add a few comments along the way. Ready? Here we go:

1 This Is Spinal Tap - I know, I know. I really should get off my lazy butt and rent this. Everyone raves about it.
2 The Rocky Horror Picture Show This is exactly the sort of thing that overly-hip teenagers would find cool. I didn't happen to see it until my late 20's. By which time I thought, "Yeah, I'd have liked this when I was 17....."
3 Freaks
4 Harold And Maude - A big fav amongst my colleagues at The Glorious People's Soviet of Middletown, CT. Frankly, I thought it whiny and pretentious. And the, er, relationship between the snotty, spoiled teenager and the whacky old dame was, in a word, disgusting.
5 Pink Flamingos
6 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - I probably ought to, but I just can't stand slasher flicks.
7 Repo Man - Classic line: Girlfriend - "What about our relationship?" Emilio Estevez - "F*ck that."
8 Scarface
9 Blade Runner
10 The Shawshank Redemption - Tim Robbins. 'Nuff said.
11 Five Deadly Venoms
12 Plan 9 From Outer Space - Despite what Jerry Seinfeld says, the novelty of this film wears off in about 15 minutes.
13 Brazil - One of my favorites. (I own it.) A wicked, wicked piece of dark comedy. Jonathan Pryce and Michael Palin (yes, that one) are brill.
14 Eraserhead
15 Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
16 The Warriors - I think this is the one where a gang, far out of its territory, gets wrongly accused of a murder and has to fight its way back to its home turf against various rival gangs, including one dressed as the Yankees.
17 Dazed And Confused
18 Hard-Boiled
19 Evil Dead II
20 The Mack
21 Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
22 Un Chien Andalou
23 Akira
24 The Toxic Avenger
25 Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory - The Llama-ettes have just discovered this one. We're all singing the Oompa-Loompa song these days.
26 Stranger Than Paradise
27 Dawn Of The Dead
28 The Wiz
29 Clerks
30 The Harder They Come
31 Slap Shot
32 Re-Animator
33 Grey Gardens
34 The Big Lebowski
35 Withnail and I
36 Showgirls
37 A Bucket Of Bood
38 They Live
39 The Best Of Everything
40 Barbarella - Okay, politics aside, Jane Fonda was damn' hot in that space chick outfit.
41 Heathers - I saw this a long time ago and thought it rather good.
42 Rushmore
43 The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension - Classic. Classic. Too bad they never made another one. There is so much going on in this flick that you have to see it multiple times. Jon Lithgow's greatest performance.
44 Love Streams
45 Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
46 Aguirre, The Wrath of God
47 Walking And Talking Nicole Holofcener
48 The Decline Of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years
49 Friday
50 Faces of Death, Vol. 1
51 Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Well, yeah....
52 A Clockwork Orange - I've been thinking I really ought to read the book.
53 Mommie Dearest
54 The Princess Bride - I am gradually falling under the cult spell of this one.
55 Swingers
56 UHF
57 Valley of the Dolls
58 Fight Club
59 Dead Alive (aka Braindead)
60 Better Off Dead
61 Donnie Darko

I'm kinda surprised that 3 O'Clock High did not make the list. And if we're going with Big Gun films, why not Raising Arizona? I'm sure there are a zillion others as well.

Yips! to Mixolydian Don, for whom we are currently trying to dig out the lyrics to the Llama Song.

UPDATE: Of course, feel free to add any suggestions for other flicks you think should be on the list. No, Steve, not "Escape From New York."

FURTHER UPDATE: Can I get a shout-out for any of the following?

"Eric the Viking" - A Python-ish film about a Norseman who has a sudden attack of existential angst. Yes, it's (a very young) Tim Robbins, but I still like the flick.

"Little Shop of Horrors" - "Feed me, Seymour!" The scene between Steve Martin's sadistic dentist and Bill Murray's masochistic patient is one of the funniest of all times.

"Porky's" - I have to admit that as sophomoric as this film is, it causes me to laugh uproariously every time.

"The Terminator" - Why the hell isn't this flick on the list? Because T2 and T3 were such hyped productions? (I didn't really like either one.)

"The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" - I must be the only person on the planet who really loves this movie. In spite of Terry Gilliams insufferable preachiness, I think it is beautifully done.

"Conan the Barbarian"/"Conan the Destroyer" - Again, what gives? Is there some kind of anti-Ah-nold bias?

"The Road Warrior" - Um...helloooo? "Mad Max" is okay. "Thunderdome," eh. But TRW was a classic.

Posted by Robert at 12:50 PM | Comments (18)

More Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

Our pal Lynn over at Reflections in D Minor has been musing on the subject of musical dissonance here and here. Her posts prompted a very basic but comprehensive definition of the term over at Byzantium's Shores. By all means, go on over and read it.

I agree with the Byzantine's analysis. I also happen to think the true beauty of dissonance in music lies in the power of its resolution, its movement from tension to unification, from apparent discord to harmony.

As I have ranted many times before, much of post-19th Century music has jettisoned many of the older rules and forms of harmony. In the modern, free-flowing context (warning: gross generalization approaching), I believe dissonance actually loses much of its emotive power in part because there is no longer any generally-accepted framework of rules to be violated and also in part because it is far less likely that the dissonance will even be resolved. Swathes or dashes of dissonance placed within a piece for "color" don't really mean anything where they don't actually tie back to the structure of the piece in a harmonic way, providing an energy to push the passage towards a satisfying emotional climax. (Remember what I was saying a few days back about the delicious tension of pushing the edge of social conventions while respecting them, compared to the relative emptiness of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want? It's the same sort of thing.)

Anyhoo, two specific thoughts on musical dissonance:

I will probably get flayed for this first one, but one thing that has always put me off Mozart's last two symphonies (No. 40 in G Minor and No. 41 in C Major (the "Jupiter")), are the passages of stark dissonance that he employes in their final movements. I don't know if Mozart was beginning to explore radical new lines of musical thought in these passages and shudder to think where he might have taken such thoughts had he lived longer. But I really think they are overblown, generating a grating sensation rather than one of anticipatory tension. Maybe that's what the Boy was after, but frankly, I don't like them.

One of my favorite Baroque composers is Henry Purcell. He was a master of chromatic dissonance. (Quick background: The movement from one note to the next in the standard eight note scale, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, is called a step. The movement from one of these notes up or down to its sharp or flat is called a half step. A chromatic scale -is one of half steps - C to C Sharp to D to D Sharp to E and so on.) It is a signature characteristic of much of Purcell's work that many passages contain combinations of chromatic movement up or down coupled with dissonant harmonies. Their resolution is, typically, exquisite. If you're looking for a good introduction to Purcell, may I suggest a collection of his Ayres for the Theatre performed by the Parley of Instruments under Peter Holman? I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Posted by Robert at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

Not me. This time our old TexasBestGroking pal JohnL out-nerds me with his "Switched on Buxtehude" offering, complete with audio download.

I'm a little nervous about John's synthesizer confessions, given that whole Wendy Carlos episode. If we have to start calling him "Johanna," he's banned from the blogroll.

Posted by Robert at 10:33 AM | Comments (4)

I'm Baaaaaaack!

Flew in from Memphis last night and dayum are my arms tired! (Ba-BUMP-Bah!)

I'll probably have a few thousand words to say about my fear and hatred of flying later on.

In the meantime, pace our faithful readers who threw several excellent-sounding suggestions my way for good places to eat, the spot where we actually wound up was a place called Automatic Slim's. It isn't at all a traditional BBQ place, instead focusing on Carribean and Southwest dishes (or shall I say "Carribean and Southwest inspired dishes," since no such cuisine as this actually exists in either place). But the place was cool (we sat up in a really nice mezzanine) and the food was great. I had some kind of coconut mango shrimp dish that really was outstanding. Best of all? Prices were reasonable enough not to blow a hole in my Guv'mint per diem.

(BTW, looks like I'll be headed to Mobile, Alabama in the next couple weeks. I spent a lot of time on the Texas Gulf Coast as a kid and developed a keen passion for fried jumbo shrimp and other such local dishes. If anyone can give some good dining tips for Mobile, I'd appreciate it.)

Posted by Robert at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2004

Celebrate freedom of speech and give the finger to the jihadis

Here's the download for the movie that got Theo van Gogh murdered by that asshat jihadi punk.

(Thanks to Chai-rista for the link)

Posted by Steve at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

Now That's a grilled cheese!

Of course, given the apparation, shouldn't it have chili on top? Or, maybe they should appear in this....

Posted by Steve at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)

There's only one word for this

and that is "BLASPHEMY!"

You are SO going down, cake eater!

Posted by Steve at 08:36 PM | Comments (2)

For. the. love. of. all. that. is. holy!

The true face of INDCent Bill, revealed at last.

I always knew he was the angry, crying clown type.

Posted by Steve at 11:13 AM | Comments (5)


If schaubenfraude is the act of taking delight in the on-screen pain and misery of Ben Stiller, as well as the taking delight in the box-office bombing of yet another Ben Affleck movie, what exactly is the philosophical state of watching Renee Zellweger make an arse of herself?

bridge jones.jpeg

I'm not sure, exactly, but Sheila's right in front, throwing popcorn at the screen at the latest loaf of Bridget Jonz. That, and she's anticipating the joyful disaster that Alexander should prove to be (personally, since the movie is directed by Oliver Stone, I'm looking forward to what sort of CIA/ Mossad/ Illumanit/ IRS/ Papacy/ Microsoft/ Starbucks/ Sammy Hagar led Van Halen conspiracy he can cook up for the early demise of the hero. That, and the old dude who played the old (non-gay) Zoro trying to channel Ptolemy, not to mention Captain von Trapp, picking up the guitar, and strumming some new lyrics to the tune of "Edelweis" about the oligarchy being the corrupted form of aristocracy, and how the blended constitution is best. His Aristotle should prove to be as buff as Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator. Ishtar with War Elephants, bay-bee.

They should have went with Vin Diesel.

UPDATE: In the "gee, that's not really fair" category, our old pal the Unabrewer is bitchslapping Ben Affleck with the ghost of Steve McQueen. Definitely not a fair fight.

Posted by Steve at 10:59 AM | Comments (2)

The biggest asshat in Congress

is of course Jim Moran (D-Riyahd). There is probably no better ally to the jihadi and bigger anti-semite in Amerikan politics today. (Hilarious proof: Moran being defended in al-Jazeera against charges of being anti-semitic. Who's to blame for these false charges? The Jews, of course!)

“This election is not about Moran’s ability to lead, or about news headlines accusing him of questionable public states or personal finances. It’s about a cabal of powerful Washington, D.C., based interests backing the Bush administration’s support for right-wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s handling of the Middle East conflict trying to upend an outspoken and powerful Democratic opponent,” a pro-Moran press release stated

And now--he's found his worst detractor. I think...

Posted by Steve at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)

The New RNC Chair is....

Larry "Bud" Mellman?

What--is the new head of the DNC going to be the irate guy living beneath the bleachers?

Posted by Steve at 10:28 AM | Comments (3)

Can someone find this "Far Side" cartoon?

This article reminded me of that Far Side cartoon where there's a dinosaur at a lectern, speaking to an audience, and he's saying "Gentlemen, the news is grim: the climate's changing, the mammals are rising, and we have brains the size of walnuts."

Posted by Steve at 10:09 AM | Comments (3)

What the......?

Okay, so you've had an accident of some type--they're cutting you out of a car with the jaws of life, or you slipped and fell and banged your noggin on a pool of pickle juice in the supermarket--and you hear the ambulance guys, and you look up see David Lee Roth?

Just what you want---you're seeing the white light, but you're humming "Running with the Devil."

Not good karma, as they say.

(Isn't there another former Tiger Beat star who is a paramedic now?)

Posted by Steve at 10:06 AM | Comments (5)

Diebold moment--vote early and often!

I'm going to have to go with "Chicken Mo-Fo" here.

And don't forget to vote in our "Who will be the first to mount Wonkette in the TLLB Ecosystem" poll---you can vote once per day per machine, and the poll will close Saturday.

UPDATE: In fact, "Chicken Mo-Fo" would be a great name for the sidekick here. Think of the marketing possibilities!

Posted by Steve at 09:36 AM | Comments (1)

Yeah, what he said

Jay Tea at Wizbang decapitates an anti-semitic troll with what appears to be the full-fledged Mister Miyagi-taught Crane Kick.

Posted by Steve at 09:24 AM | Comments (2)

The first step is to admit you have a problem

John at Texas Best Grok lets us in on a dirty little secret.

Posted by Steve at 09:07 AM | Comments (3)

November 15, 2004

More proof why Dan Brown is the anti-christ

Tom Hanks to play Professor Nostromo in the Da Vinci Code movie.

In better news, though, only four days left to the opening of potentially---and I do say potentially because, although I have my hopes up, I don't want to be cruelly crushed again in the search for the White Whale of Schlock Cinema---where was I? oh right---potentially the best truly bad film of all time: National Treasure, starring Nicholas Cage as an intrepid Illuminati hit man protecting the holy grail against Euro-trash terrorist types (and Angelina Jolie). Now while they clearly made a mistake in this movie by not casting Kurt Russell in the role of the craggy, irascible Illuminati hit-man mentor (kind of a Sean Connery's Sgt. Malone to Kevin Waterworldwithwolves' Eliot Ness), all is not lost: the completely over the top, original contribution to the genre potential is truly awesome---I mean, the whole clip in the trailer of Cage eyeballing the dollar bill and the fifty under the weird looking Mr. Peabody microscope could potentially do in the CSI genre too! But it is Jerry Bruckenheimer, so we can just breathe a deep sigh of relief and comfort ourselves with my own personal LLamabutcher Koan: "Could be worse: could be directed by Michael Bay."

Which leads to a nasty thought: there's a reason why Beautiful Atrocities so often wants to make me wretch.....
jefR.jpg bay.jpeg
Jeff of Beautiful Atrocities and Michael "Pearl Harbor" Bay......Hmmmmmmm

Anyhoo, I'm hoping the whole National Treasure fiasco will smother the Dan Brown media juggernaut in the cradle.

And be prepared for what's coming soon to a theatre near you for Christmas 05---The Secret Illuminati Ninjas and Buxom Lasses of the LLamabutcher Code!

national treasure.jpg

Posted by Steve at 11:56 PM | Comments (5)

They who serve in silence...

Super-duper Yips to Sarah over at Trying to Grok.

Posted by Steve at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

Not anymore

I agree with Hold the Mayo that this was a cool commercial the first, oh, 20 times. Now? I think I'd rather be assaulted by further Mickie-D's marketing to paranoid schizophrenics with their Chicken Selects spots.

Bono is SO 1987....

Posted by Steve at 11:26 PM | Comments (3)

Axis Sully---Amerika's greatest living intellect

Andrew Sullivan, doing what he does best...

Posted by Steve at 10:46 PM | Comments (1)

Shatner luvs coffee

shatner luvs coffee.jpg

Don't mess with the LLamas, Kathleen....

KAROKE YIPS TO THE OTHER JEN: Jen at Jen's History and Stuff (not to be confused with Jen of Freakin' Jen) lays bare her soul with Jen's 3-EZ Tips to madcap Karoke fun. Something about the crooning Shatner pic above just screams Karoke....

Posted by Steve at 10:19 PM | Comments (1)

up yours kos.jpg

Ace has the details.

Posted by Steve at 08:55 PM | Comments (1)

No Blood for Ivory Update

The BBC pops open the "Q" word on Chirac.

HINT: It's not query, quarrelsome, quibble, or quixotic.

UPDATE: Nope, not "quisling," but style points for guessing that.

UPDATE DEUX: Nicole at Potomac Ponderings has further thoughts...

Posted by Steve at 08:44 PM | Comments (3)

The 2008 Sweepstakes

Okay, shoot me, I'm a political science professor, and while I should be still nursing the hangover from two weeks ago I'm already looking to 08.

Two potentials to watch:

Chuch Hagel (R-Iowa)

Mark Warner (D-Virginia)

Of the two, Warner is the guy to follow: he's got a ton of money that he made in the cell phone frequency business, but wasn't raised in a wealthy family. He's likeable, in a goofy, earnest sort of way, which softens the edge of his technocratic approach to things. He earned a number of big chips in the last race by backing Kerry and delivering Virginia in the primaries back when Edwards still had some momentum. And on top of it he comes across as a nice guy who wears khaki pants and blue oxford shirts all the time yet was still able to win statewide in Virginia.

Tradesports (whose new motto is "Zogby? We don't need no stinkin' Zogby!") has their market up for those who like their long shots long.


But you knew that already.

Why? Because Hagel represents Nebraska, not Iowa.


My apologies to the Huskers for that one. Another commentator notes that Hagel is a RINO (Republican in name only) and not popular to the base: fair point. I'm just reporting.....

FURTHER UPDATE: Our old pal and fellow tortured Redskins fan Jen of Freakin Jen points out George Allen as a Virginia politician with presidential ambitions---absolutely. I was going to do a separate posting on Allen, but you've beaten me to the punch. Allen got himself a ticket to the grown-ups table by doing a good job quarterbacking the RNSC to its great performance last time around. And while he has many assets that would go towards a strong primary showing, he's got two big problems: 1. New Hampshire and Iowa appeal, and B. The Curse of Warren Harding (the last sitting Republican senator to be elected president).

Hey, if we had to jettison the curse of the Redskins, we had to come up with something else as equally goofy.....

Posted by Steve at 01:34 PM | Comments (5)

Being (Arafat) There

The great Chauncey Gardner of the terrorism world is deader than a doornail, and Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities is piling on the widow.

Although it is important to know that their is a gold digger who is even uglier than THIS...


The Arab News is following al-Keith in pumping the internet with rumors of Arafat's poisoning at the hands of---who else? Diebold. Or Halliburton. Something. Let's go to the tape:

The refusal of the French authorities to reveal the cause of Arafat’s death has set the Middle Eastern rumor mills working overtime. The proverbial “Arab street” is asking whether Arafat might have been the victim of a complex international plot to remove him from the scene as a prelude to an “imposed solution” of the Palestinian problem.

As might have been expected Israel has been accused of having killed Arafat by poisoning. Statements by former Israeli officials about previous plans to liquidate the Palestinian leaders have fanned the fires of such rumors.

French Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said yesterday there was no reason to suspect poisoning. “Medically, scientifically, technologically, everything was done in medical terms and by way of treatment, and nothing leads us to suppose there was poisoning,” said Douste-Blazy.

His comments came after the Palestinian representative in France Leila Shahid said earlier yesterday she thought it was possible that Arafat could have been poisoned.

“It is quite possible that he was poisoned because they (the Israelis) have poisoned others,” Shahid said on the private French radio station Europe One. “I cannot tell you that, medically, we have any proof.

“The doctors did not deny it. There is no proof of particular toxins but there are toxins that one does not find in the bodies of sick people.” She pointed out that “still today, there has been no diagnosis. The doctors have only confirmed what they saw, the symptoms. Medical tests cannot reveal everything.”

But she said there was “absolutely no question” of asking for another medical communiqué. “The file has been handed over to his family and we respect French law” on patient confidentiality, she said, but added “I won’t tell you what we will ask his wife.”

Arafat’s family, including his widow and nephew, has deepened the mystery with a series of enigmatic and contradictory statements. They have admitted that they asked the French authorities not to reveal the cause of death. But at the same time they insist there was nothing to hide.

Personally, I blame Dick Cheney.

Posted by Steve at 01:20 PM | Comments (1)

The required late-lunch reading

Sheila has a long essay on one of my favorite actors in his best movie: William Holden in Stalag 17.

And for truly crappy movies? Rocket Jones---but of course. And don't forget Truly Bad Films where our old pal Liz, hombre in chief Pep, and yours truly (if I can ever find the damn entry code!) dish out the lowest of the low from the greatest truly bad films of all time. I'm a true weasel, as I'm overdue to Liz on my "why Helen Hunt is the greatest actress of all time" post by, oh, about six months now. Like I say, I'm a weasel.

Posted by Steve at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)

Holy Harry!

The Irish Elk has some thoughts on the meaning and relevance of Harry Truman today, plus some cool "young Harry in the Army" pics.

Posted by Steve at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)

More signs of the criminal bloodthirstiness of the Bush junta

The number of people on death row, and the number of people executed, drops for the third year in a row.

Halliburton must be to blame.

Posted by Steve at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)

Chuck and Me

Rishawn, out firing off her AK named "Chuck."

Somebody alert Glenn about this one...

UPDATE: Speaking of bold wimmin of Blogistan, Annika has her MNF picks up....

Posted by Steve at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Carville loses it---the morning roudup

INDCent Bill's got the details.

And Rusty has the goods about the "No Blood for Ivory" protests forming up outside the French Embassy...

And the Commissar? He has more pravda on how the majority of Amerikans still don't want criminal reactionary Booosh.

And while the Redskins do indeed suck, it could be worse: they could be the Chiefs (and for the true suffering Skins fan, here's Wilbon's takedown. Hey Mikey--are we at rock bottom yet?)

Posted by Steve at 10:11 AM | Comments (1)

Hit and Run

Just dashing in to gather up some papers before I head out to the airport. I tried to do some posting yesterday, but my home computer kept crashing on me, no doubt in retaliation for what I had written about it the other day.

Thus, alas, no Sunday treats. However, not to worry. When I get back in town, I have all sorts of juicy and irrelevant stuff to tell you about including:

- Why I think Episcopalians will bend over backwards to embrace religions like Islam and Buddism, but have no trouble whatsoever sneering at Baptists and other Christian Evangelicals.

- Continuing adventures in competitive lawn maintenance with my asparagus-stealing neighbor.

- My psychotic cat's latest masterpiece of revenge.

Back on Wednesday y'all. Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2004

Annika's of the world Unite!

and do something about this tool who is harassing OUR Annika!

Posted by Steve at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

Yeah, and Custer had a plan too

The Commisar is lightening my mood after UVA's loss to Miami.......

I guess it could be worse: I could be a Chiefs fan....

Posted by Steve at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

Kathleen the Cake Eater, Mikey Moore, and a huge wheel of Brie....


Posted by Steve at 08:57 PM | Comments (3)

Fools may think in absolutes...

but LLamas think in metric.

(Congrats, Rae, for making the Empire!)

Posted by Steve at 08:55 PM | Comments (2)

The LLama Poll Update: Who will mount Wonkette first in the TLLB Ecosystem Rankings?

Well, the action is heating up in our poll over who will be the first to mount Wonkette in the TLLB ecosystem. So far, Ace of Spades is packing the most wood with 24% of the votes cast, while Rusty at My Pet Jawa Report is penetrating deep with 16%. Surprisingly, Bush/Cheney is running at 128%, but that might just be caused by a hyperventilated Oliver Willis, who is suffering from a Super Sized case of the vapors. "Whomever it is boy will they sure need penicilin!" however is leading all with 39% of the votes cast. And Beautiful Atrocities? Let's just say Jeff's the John Hagelin of this balloting.

wonkette and llama.jpg

Posted by Steve at 08:28 PM | Comments (3)

Llamas On Ice

I have to take my six year old off to a birthday party in a little while. The party is up at the Cabin John Ice Rink. The girl has been assuring me all day that she'll teach me how to skate properly.

I can use the help. I am about as competent and graceful on ice skates as, well, a Llama on ice skates.

Posted by Robert at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

My Fortress of Solitude

Well, I actually did get my study cleaned this afternoon. This consisted mostly of sorting out the various papers scattered around into two stacks: Stuff I Need To Keep and Stuff I Can Pitch. But at least you can see the coffee table again, which is great progress.

I call this room a study, but it is really more of a slightly dandified junkshop. We redid our basement two years ago and I simply walled off the section back around behind the furnace and put in french doors. The ceiling had to accomodate a good deal of plumbing and heater/A/C piping, so rather than being flat all the way across, it contains several sections of dips like inverted Lego blocks. (In order to make this more interesting, I put a lot of trim around these sections.) We didn't bother carpeting the floor, as we did in the main part of the basement. Rather, I just put a big rug down over the fake-brick vinyl floor covering that sits on top of the concrete. As for furniture, the room is full of the cast-offs from the rest of the house -two old sofas, a glass coffee table, the desk and bookshelves I bought when we first got married, and a big drafting table on which I'm building a wooden model of a Baltimore Clipper.

The Butcher's Wife doesn't like this room. She says it reminds her too much of the crazy-assed apartment I lived in during law school. (It was one of three in an old converted house. The floor sagged so badly that if you moved the furniture around the wrong way you literally could make yourself sea-sick looking at it.) She also thinks my decoration (a jumble of prints, nautical charts, posters and knick-knacks collected over the years) looks too post-graduate as well.

Meh. I suppose she's right, but I don't really care at this point. My stereo is down there, where I can play it as loud as I want without having to worry about waking anyone up at night. Also, the room has two windows that look out under the back porch. So I can close the door and smoke a cigar in there in peace if I so choose. Last spring I knocked a ceiling vent through to the main duct of the house, so now the room is warm in winter and cool in summer. It looks very eclectic, but it's comfy and private. At the moment, this is good enough for me.

Once that Ed McMahon million dollar thing works out, we plan to add on to the house. The kitchen, which sits directly over my study and is on the second floor above the ground, will probably be the first target of remodelling. When we finally push it out, we'll go ahead and add a real room downstairs as well. At that point, I'll start to worry a little more about respectibility.

Posted by Robert at 03:47 PM | Comments (1)

What A Girly-Man!

First INDCent Bill gets all huffy because we Llamas have internationally recognized borders on the Commisar's latest map of the Blog Empire.

Then he goes all "must register to comment"-y on us. Yeah, like I've got time for that.


Posted by Robert at 03:17 PM | Comments (1)

Dang! You Mean A Cloak of Dorkiness Doesn't Defeat the Sword of the Grown-ups?

From today's WaPo, a little coda on the Pennsylvania Episcopal Druids we've been watching the past week or two:

A husband and wife who are Episcopal priests in Pennsylvania have apologized for and recanted their embrace of pagan worship. The husband resigned his pulpit, but the wife expects to keep her job.

The Rev. William Melnyk, known in pagan circles as "Oak-Wyse," resigned as rector of St. James' Church in Downingtown, Pa., after begging "for the mercy of the church and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Jeffrey Brodeur, spokesman for Bishop Charles E. Bennison, Jr., of Philadelphia, said the resignation was a "mutual decision" between Melnyk and parish leaders and was accepted Nov. 6. In a letter to Bennison, Melnyk also said he was resigning as a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

"I was wrong," Melnyk wrote to Bennison on Nov. 4. "I repent and recant without qualification anything and everything I may have said or done which is found to be in conflict with the Baptismal Covenant, and the historical Creeds of the Church."

Melnyk's letter was publicized by the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a Washington-based conservative think-tank that criticized the couple for their ties to paganism. Brodeur verified the letter's accuracy.

His wife, the Rev. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk, known in pagan circles as "Raven," issued a similar apology and will continue serving as pastor of St. Francis-In-The-Fields Church in Malvern, Pa. Bennison had issued a "pastoral direction" against her, which is similar to a "cease and desist" order.

Melnyk said he had hoped to help lapsed Christians reconnect with the church, pointing to the shared roots between druid and Celtic religions and the "British heritage" found in the Anglican tradition, of which the Episcopal Church is part. He said he realizes his error.

Well, bang goes my investment in that Certified Nicine-Friendly mistletoe farm.

Posted by Robert at 12:08 PM | Comments (4)

Dude, This Is Freakin' Me Out Right Here

I think this whole blogging gig has reached some new, weird level. As I'm thumbing through the Saturday morning paper, the Butcher's Wife comes into the room and says, "You've already had 300 hits today. But neither you nor Steve has posted since yesterday afternoon. Go and write something!"

Um...Yes, Dear......I think....

UPDATE: I tried to post something Lileks-like about raking leaves and pulling up the corpses of this year's crop of annuals. But while I was sitting at the computer, the Llama-ettes were engaged in a very boisterous game of Pirate Kidnappers. The two year old kept charging up and down the hall shouting "Never!" at the top of her lungs. I'll have to save that post for some other time (like maybe after I actually do get out and rake the leaves).

Posted by Robert at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

November 12, 2004


UPDATE: Ruffini notes that more people voted for Bush than live in France......

Insert Groundskeeper Willie observations here....

Posted by Steve at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

And now for something completely different

The barely attentive mother with some sobering thoughts about retirement planning for GenXers.

Posted by Steve at 01:02 PM | Comments (3)

Some people will say I'm kissing arse, but I don't care

Michele is being vague and coy again:

I would really like to find the exact moment in time this stopped being fun. And I sure as hell would like to put the fun back in it. Right now I see the blogosphere as a stinking carcass of a once beautiful animal and all of us vultures are still picking at it, even though its festered with maggots and there's not much meat left. Which is when we all start pecking at each other, I guess. Frankly, you don't taste all that great. And you give me heartburn.

I hate not having fun doing this. I hate that it's become so much agita. Maybe there's a twelve step program for getting rid of my 2004 election season blogging malaise. I need to find a sponsor, someone who doesn't believe, like I do, that the fun has been sucked right out of this thing.

Seriously, girl, what do you really think? Don't hold back on us.

Just kidding--this part is for real. Michele, I enjoy reading your blog every day. It's delightfully funny and rich, and I look forward to it because you remind me of two of my cousins (who live around those parts) who I miss like hell and hardly get to see anymore. You don't owe anybody anything, least of all all the scum-sucking leeches out there (and this goes double for the people piling on INDC Bill as of late). Look, we're not NPR---we're not getting tax subsidies, no one is paying for all this. You don't like it, read something else, or go scour the internet for nasty porn featuring fat Romanian supreme court judges or something, or whatever it is that floats your boat. But there's no reason to bug and pester a blog because you don't like it, or worse, turn into a hectoring fan who demands to be noticed and be served. Not that we have that problem, I mean except for Rob's mom writing in to complain about my Kurt Russell fetishes (I can just see her saying, Robert, lambchop, aren't there any other friends from that Communist filled tofu eating school that you went to that you can do this computer bloggie thing with? Stephen is so pedestrian in his tastes...). But seriously, Michele, we love your stuff, and you don't owe us anything.

Hoo boy, I'm going to catch it now!

Posted by Steve at 12:59 PM | Comments (3)

Mister Language Update

Robbo usually handles, like, the kull-tcha and all, and as Jeff and Bill are constantly reminding everyone, I'm just an illiterate hack.

But, even I can recognize the true value to the English language of THESE words.

Posted by Steve at 12:42 PM | Comments (1)

for the love of gawhd, NOOOOO!

Goldie and Kurt splitting up? Please say it's not true.

To think Snake Plissken could lose his long-time woman to a Pakistani cricket legend?

Posted by Steve at 12:38 PM | Comments (2)

Deliciously evil

Sheila points to a funny new blog that focuses wickedly on the pretensions of the New York Times wedding pages.

Finally, a blog that Mrs. Llamabutcher would enjoy!

Posted by Steve at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

Okay, Okay, Okaaaaay!!!

I had blocked out this morning to go tackle the leaves in the front ditch. However, it's a cold and rainy day here in Your Nation's Capital. I happen to love this sort of weather and even five years ago I'd probably have donned my beat up old Burberry jacket and wellies and headed into the yard with my rake and wheelbarrow. But now? I think I'll stay inside.

Which isn't to say that I don't have a lot to do. I pulled laundry detail today and have about three baskets' worth of folding to deal with. I also have to hit the bathrooms, spraying enough soapscum remover to permanently melt my contacts onto my eyeballs. And I'll also have Llama-ettes Two and Three on my hands after the bus drops them off at lunchtime. (And I mean that literally. They love to grab on to my arms and swing Tarzan-like.)

As you can tell by the fact that I'm still dawdling around here at the Butcher's Shop, I'm not very enthusiastic about all of this.

What I'd really like to do today is reorganize my library and clean up my study. Many of my library shelves are already full. As I've acquired additional books, I've taken to just shoving them in on top of the others instead of making proper room for them. I'm running out of space to do even this and am now at the point where I have to decide which sections of books get moved from the library down to my study in order to make room for all these top-dwellers. My study, in turn, is a sea of seed catalogues, family papers, CD's, office flotsam and wooden ship-modelling bric-a-brac in sore need of tidying up.

The reason I'd much prefer the latter chores is that I derive a real pleasure from them. Clothes are just clothes. And if there is a zen to cleaning potties, I've never heard of it. But fiddling about with books is a delightful exercise. What fun it is to wrestle with the issue of whether the Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forrester novels should go in the section reserved for 19th Century British naval history, or whether they should go across the room in the shelves dedicated to 20th Century fiction writers. How invigorating I find it to dither over whether Uncle Fred in the Springtime should go with the other Uncle Fred novels or whether it is really more properly placed in the Blandings Castle cycle. Should I put the dozen or so Antonia Fraser biographies I have together or spread them out into their appropriate chronological slots? All primary source material for a given literary period together, or interspersed with subject or author-specific commentary and analysis?

I could spend hours and hours wallowing in these crinkly little issues, rather like Slartibartfast designing Norway. It's the kind of job where the doing is as rewarding as is the final result. But because of this, it's also the sort of thing that I refuse to rush or do half-assed and requires a biggish block of uninterrupted time. Unfortunately, with everything else that needs to be done, I am very much like Captain Kirk trying to stall Khan from blowing apart the Enterprise: time is a luxury I don't have.

Perhaps later on. In the meanwhile, I suppose I'd better go fold the damn laundry......

Posted by Robert at 12:00 PM | Comments (1)

Sci-Fi Babe Mudd Wrestling

(Oh, I just slay myself sometimes.)

JohnL reaches deep into the TexasBestGrok Vault O' Geekiness to pull out this week's Sci-Fi Babe Poll: The Women of Harvey Mudd.

As always, please go vote early and often.

Hey, John! When are we going to get to the showdown between Janeway and Seven? That's gonna be a real doozy!

Posted by Robert at 10:57 AM | Comments (4)

Recycling The Angry White Male

Krauthammer takes apart the latest urban legend: that the election turned on the vote of redneck Bible-thumpers enraged that their klansman sheets weren't getting back from the cleaners in time for them to make it to the Big Gay Al Abortion Clinic bombing.

Posted by Robert at 10:17 AM | Comments (5)

Another Llama Tech Question

Does anybody out there have any opinion one way or the other about satellite broadband service?

We are getting sick to death of our AOL dial-up. Its latest trick is to lose the connection about every five minutes or so. As a general rule, I'm not much of one for conspiracy theories. But I really do believe AOL is doing this on purpose in order to hustle us into upgrading to their broadband product. (Like I'm gonna stick with them once I make the change. Riiiight.)

Anyhoo, I'm once again trying to figure out the options. Verizon doesn't offer DSL in our neck of the woods, so that's out. I could go with cable, of course, but we've got satellite TV now and I don't want to have to go through all the bother of switching that if I don't have to.

So now I'm trying to get a feel for how good the satellite option might be. It certainly would be easy to do, but I wonder about the service quality. Rain fade is sometimes a problem with satellite service, but we seem to manage pretty well on the teevee side. Also, I think I read somewhere that satellite broadband is not a true two-way BB service, but instead uses a narrowband uplink, and is therefore actually somewhat slower than cable modem. For the kind of uses we would put it to, I'm not sure this really matters very much.

DirecTV is flogging their broadband very heavily. A red-headed chick in their commercials keeps inviting me to come on over, promising the moon and the stars. As you can tell, I'm kinda leaning towards taking her up on it. If this is just beer-goggling on my part, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know.


Posted by Robert at 10:05 AM | Comments (10)

November 11, 2004

The New LLama Poll

My Pet Jawa---excuse me, (begin snooty Oxbridge accent) The Jawa Report---is now ranked #40 in the TLLB Ecosystem, cruising to the top of the list of the Playful Primates (mainly by being the one-stop-shop for all things Islamofascist snuff films--Andrea Dworkin visits at least 2 dozen times a day, apparently). INDCent Bill has become a fixture on the A-list, as have the other veterans of Rathergate like Ace of Spades (who is now bigger than Mikey Moore!), and still others fly the TLLB higher than a kite thanks to smoking Robitussin base, such as Protein Wisdom. The Commissar continues to show that for a rat bastard commie, he's a genius at kapitalistic marketing. And the LLamas? Well, we're a bunch of talentless hacks, as Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities is always reminding us.

But who is the big beast on the horizon?

Wonkette, of course, at #28.

So who will get on top of Wonkette first?

Which Blog will mount above Wonkette in the TLLB Ecosytem first?
My Pet Jawa
INDC Journal
ACE of Spades
The Commissar
The Llamas
Beautiful Atrocities
Protein Wisdom
Whomever it is, I sure hope they have a butt-load of penicilin handy

Free polls from

Posted by Steve at 11:31 PM | Comments (11)

LLama Tech Question

Is there easy way to do a screen capture picture of a netscape browser page?


Also, we're in the process of doing a fundamental overhaul to the blogroll over on the right---if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, just drop us some love in the TastyBits(TM) Mail Sack. We're also going to do an overhaul to the template style---fonts, colors etc.

And yes, the long-awaited t-shirts are coming soon.

Posted by Steve at 11:06 PM | Comments (3)

Ambassadorial Ideas

The guys at Wizbang have a number of ideas for our diplomatic efforts, namely nominating John Kerry to be ambassador to the Ivory Coast, and to send Bill Clinton as the US representative to Arafat's funeral (although I do like the idea of sending Sarah Michelle Gellar, just in case the bastard tries to get out of the grave).

I've got a better idea: nominate Bill Clinton to be the American Ambassador to France.


It would follow two of LBJ's cardinal principles: 1.) keep your friends close and your enemies closer, and B.) better to have them inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.

Clinton would take it, because he'd be in Paris, where they love him, while Hillary? She'd be back in the states. And the fact that the Europeans love him, and he them, could prove a subtle way to at least defuse tensions.

Posted by Steve at 10:49 PM | Comments (1)

Would that make her a "Fact Skeptic" or a "Rule Skeptic"?

Jerome Frank would have trouble with the legal realism of THIS judge.

Posted by Steve at 10:32 PM | Comments (2)

Long live the empire!

Korsho to Comrade Gordo for making it into the Empire, where you'll find the LLamas amidst their ancient homeland among the, errr, Flemms...

Posted by Steve at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

"The Incredibles" - A Quick Llama-ette Review

Please indulge me in allowing my six year old to give her unvarnished opinion of this movie (warning - some spoiler):

I liked the movie because it was kind of silly. The bad guy snatched the baby, But the baby turned into a red monster! The mom can stretch out as far as an island. The boy could run sooo fast! He can run faster than you can change channels on a teevee. The girl can disappear and can protect herself and her brother. The father could lift the car and a boy saw it.

I liked it when the bad guy was dead.

Seriously, this is an amazing movie. Visually, it is superb, making "Toy Story 2" or even "Finding Nemo" look like "Rocky and Bullwinkle." The scene where the bad guy's henchmen are chasing Dash is particularly astounding, nicely riffing on both "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" and all the James Bond you've ever seen.

Much of the plot went rocketing right over my daughter's head, but the core lessons about family strength seem to have sunk in. I've read various reviews that talk about the conservative nature of this flick and all of them are true.

I was initially leery of taking the girl to see this movie, owing to reports of intense action. Well, the reports are true, but the action is nothing a kid who's used to Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner can't handle.

I'll come back to the characters later. Holly Hunter is being very rightly praised for her strong performance. The others are top-notch as well.

I know I'm not being very coherent and I'd like to say more about the flick, but I'll have to chew on it for a while. Suffice to say, this is one of those rare movies where, as I came out, I said to myself "We have got to get the DVD."

UPDATE: I meant to mention that we also saw the trailer for the new "Star Wars" movie. I ain't buyin' it. Sure, a few clips look promising, but we've all been burned too many times before. I refuse to let myself get even a little excited.

Posted by Robert at 03:59 PM | Comments (5)

Name That Tune, Dave

It's been many months since I've managed to stay up late enough to watch Letterman. But since I didn't get around to dinner till about 10:30 last night, I wasn't in any hurry to rush to bed. (For me, sleep too soon after a meal always leads to nightmares involving Susan Sarandon, a giant squid and the Code of Federal Regulations. Just don't even ask.)

I was a very early Late Night fan, zealously watching Dave back in the 80's when he was, (gulp) younger than I am now. And like many such fans, I've been disappointed with his gradual dehipification, as it were. I'm not suggesting that a guy now in his mid 50's ought to be acting like he's still a 38 year old maverick, but I miss the old "edginess" and wish he could have found a way to preserve it better.

Last night's show was rather strange. I actually dozed through the first part of it - an interview with Pierce Brosnan. But I woke up in time to see Dave being very rude to some extremely twitty chef who was on to make a fried cod dish and flog a new cookbook. It was quite entertaining, in an extremely childish way.

But the really strange thing was that the last guest of the evening was Renee Fleming, who came on to sing an (unidentified) Handel aria, complete with chamber group accompaniment. I have no idea what prompted Dave to book her or what prompted her to accept. Either Letterman wants to burnish his respectability a bit - a preposterously misguided goal IMHO, or else there is a larger audience for sophomoric humor combined with Baroque music than I had previously imagined. (Okay, I fit that demographic, but there can't be that many like me around.) As is usually the case with this kind of act on Dave's show, the audience response was interesting - they applauded heartily, but you could tell they were doing so because they thought they ought to, not because they had any particular taste for the music. (I'm guessing not many of them went round the corner to Tower Records afterward to stock up on Handel CD's.)

Anyhoo, the main reason I even wanted to post about last night's show has little to do with Dave Letterman and more to do with Renee Fleming. (Helm, disengage Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM) cloaking device!) She sang the Handel piece very well. But I find myself increasingly put off by anything more than the slightest hint of vibrato in a singer's voice. As long time readers know, I am in love with Emma Kirkby, the single purist soprano I've ever heard in my life. I also love other such true-note singers such as Evelyn Tubb and Alison Hagley. Given that, it's become very hard for me to appreciate members of what might be called the Diva Class, however meritorious their performances.

Just in case you were wondering.

Posted by Robert at 11:26 AM | Comments (9)

Gratuitous Deadwood Civil Servant Posting

Light posting today owing to the Federal Holiday. Also tomorrow, which I have off. Then there's the weekend. And I'm out of town Monday and Tuesday.

Oh, dear.......

No, really. I'll see what I can do. For one thing, I'm taking my six year old to see "The Incredibles" in a bit and hope to have a review of it later on. Also, I intend to catch "Saving Private Ryan" this evening, so may feel inspired to say something on the subject of warfare and sacrifice. In the meantime, if inspiration suddenly strikes, I'll try to block out the 45 minutes or so it takes to turn on my 1998 vintage Gateway home computer, let the vacuum tubes warm up, awaken AOL's dial up service, wade through all the pop-ups and then, assuming the system even lets me, convert my thought to pixels (assuming I can still remember what it was).

Yes, it's hard work. But I do it all for you.

Posted by Robert at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

Now this will be fun

Michele wants the worst rock lyrics of all time.

I'm not sure about worst, but I was convinced that in the song "Gigantic" by The Pixies, Kim Deal was singing the following passage:

Brett Farve, Brett Farve, Brett Farve Salad Bar
Brett Farve, Brett Farve, Brett Farve Salad Bar
Brett Farve, Brett Farve, Brett Farve Salad Bar

A beeeg beeeg love

Of course, the actual lyrics aren't that bizarre.

Posted by Steve at 12:15 AM | Comments (2)

The implosion of the Chocolate eaters

Another European country is committing suicide.

Posted by Steve at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2004

Protein Wisdom Philosophy 101

Goldstein explains Plato's Republic.

SECRET MESSAGE FOR LIZ: Do we know that guy?

Posted by Steve at 11:45 PM | Comments (1)

Lileks makes the cover of newsweek!

Plus, the correct answer is fearsome killers, of course.

Posted by Steve at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

A friend in need

Lorraine is looking for some college selection advice: all I can say is stay away from the political science department at Blogistan Tech---that Professor Shackleford is a nut!

Seriously, if anyone has any ideas I'm sure she would appreciate it.

Posted by Steve at 11:38 PM | Comments (1)

Llamas for rent

Ace doesn't know real cowbell when it's staring him in the face....

Posted by Steve at 11:32 PM | Comments (2)

Mommy, make the bad man stop!

This is so wrong at so many levels.

Thanks, Commissar!

Posted by Steve at 11:27 PM | Comments (7)

The Chosin Few

Annika remembers.

And Jen has the goods on an outstanding cause worth supporting.

Posted by Steve at 11:22 PM | Comments (2)


May he rot in hell.

*It must be true, as the local news-reader chick said so.

Taking the concept of the Dead Pool to the next level, here's the contract trading history for the Tradesports' "Arafat dead by December 2004" contract:

arafat kicks contract.gif

Posted by Steve at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Now This is disturbing

Scroll down to item #9.

Mark my words: my long feared, umm, fear of the B.J. & the Bear Movie comes one step closer.....

Posted by Steve at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

A new twist

When we asked last night when Keith Olbermann jumped the shark, we missed an important aspect of the phenomena. Fonzie, of course, cleared the jump (in episode #91): Keith landed right on the shark. Then an even bigger shark came in and ate the ski boat, too.

It's kind of funny how MSNBC is taking its news straight from Democratic Underground? Pathetic, but funny.

Posted by Steve at 10:57 PM | Comments (1)

Rather disconcerting news

At the end of the day, when all the mad scientists have gone home to eat microwaved lo-mein standing at the sink and watching reruns of Friends, have you often wondered what The Brain, sitting in his large glass vat deep in the bowels of the Acme Corportation, is up to? What weighty issues is a disembodied genius pondering, freed from the corporal bounds of the material world?

Now you know.

Posted by Steve at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Bingo

John at Texas Best Grok adds his entry to the game all lawyers and politics types have been playing this week: pick the next Supreme Court justice. Now while Tradesports does have a market on who will be the next one to leave (and the "Rehnquist is next" contract is trading at $85, BTW), they've yet to put up a market on who will get the next appointment.

I would only make two additions to John's excellent list (and can you imagine Richard Posner on the Supreme Court? Not only would he shoulder his full load and that of others, he would still find time to raise prize orchids, make millions on the high-stakes celebrity bridge tourneys in Vegas, write excellent literary criticism and works of analytical jurisprudence, all the while running his private detective agency where he solves murders befuddling the Chicago PD with Max, his loveable yet oafish sidekick, and their talking robotic Honda Hybrid named H.O.L.M.E.S.):

Viet Dinh
John Yoo

If I were to bet on it, I'd put my money on Mr. Dinh (a former O'Connor clerk). Trust the LLamas on this one.

But Posner would be cool, if anything just to have a kick ass Supreme Court Justice solving crimes and bringing the neighborhood together, all the while preserving the environment by promoting a new generation of energy efficient crime fighting talking robotic cars.

Posted by Steve at 05:23 PM | Comments (2)

"Well Hello, Suha..."

This is getting freaking hilarious. Maybe they can get Stifler's Mom to play her in the movie version.

Posted by Steve at 05:17 PM | Comments (3)

The LLamas select the Quote of the Day

Bush is not an idiot. Kofi Annan is not an oracle. Michael Moore is not Everyman. Women are not ovaries with feet. And to be an American is not an embarrassment.

To which I would add only one thing: the Hickory Farms Port N Cheddar cheese log is an epicurean delight!


Posted by Steve at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

What the....?

Now that I think of it, I loaned INDCent Bill an IBM Selectric and a Fax Machine about two months ago, as well as three of my most favorite Johnny Matthis records and a case of cheese whiz and the rat bastard never returned THEM either!

Seriously, though, hang in there Bill, we're with you 100%.

Posted by Steve at 05:08 PM | Comments (8)


Guys, definitely add THIS to the list of new blogs to keep an eye on....

Check out her response to the "I'm Sorry, World" campaign---it's enough to cause some sleepless nights in dark deep caves on the Pakistan border...

Yips! from Robbo: Are we a great team, or what? I meant to link this yesterday but got distracted. I would particularly draw the attention of our Llama Military Correspondent to this one. LMC, if you click no other link today, this is the one.

Posted by Steve at 02:27 PM | Comments (1)

Fred Thompson for Attorney General?

Why not.

But is that a promotion from being the DA on Law & Order?

UPDATE: Nope---Drudge is reporting that it's Gonzalez.

Posted by Steve at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

How bout a little midday Julie Andrews fix?

Our old pal Rae starts a new meme: what are your favorite things?

I'd have to add to the list a personal pet fantasy of mine, that of chasing after novice Julie Andrews up on an Austrian mountaintop meadow, while I'm driving a Toro lawn tractor with an umbrella, a tee-vee set, and a cooler of Bud(TM) tall boys chilling on the side. Also, I'm talking like Scotty (or is it Groundskeeper Willie?) yelling, "Com bak, yegh Kath-oh-lick lassie yu...pappy weel shew yegh hees whiskers een hees kitten!"

Posted by Steve at 01:35 PM | Comments (1)

Semper fi

Annika has some thoughts and a tribute to the Marine Corps on their birthday. Meanwhile, the Commissar has an update on Fallujah, as does Rusty on the hunt for the beheading mofo's. Belmont Club has details and analysis here and here.

UPDATE: The Irish Elk has some more (trust me, Rob, you are going to get teary-eyed over this).

Posted by Steve at 01:15 PM | Comments (1)

A new form of quantum mechanics is discovered

Schroedinger's Arafat?

Posted by Steve at 01:10 PM | Comments (2)

Today at the HMQ


Another T-shirt for sale at the NOW Store presents the fetching slogan “Hate is NOT a Family Value.” To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: You’ve never visited our family, now have you? In our households, “hate” is right up there with “obstinacy” as the bedrock of our family values.

Check out as well their takedown of the latest lunacy from the French Foreign Minister.

Posted by Steve at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

You Talkin' To Me?

Our pal Lynn S. over at Reflections in D Minor notes the hatefully enigmatic position of being the last commenter on a post. I often feel the same way.

This caught my attention largely because the number of comments left 'round here is steadily increasing. I love getting these comments and read all of them, but I don't always answer. I was thinking about this last night and wondering whether it might not really be rather inconsiderate on my part. What is the protocol? Should I simply acknowledge as many as I can? Or withhold response unless I have something intelligent to say?

Posted by Robert at 11:27 AM | Comments (3)

Supplemental Llama Restauraunt Bleg

A week or two back, I asked if anyone had any good recommendations for restauraunts in Memphis, Tennessee. The overwhelming response was for a place called The Rendesvous, which is supposed to be famous for its ribs.

Unfortunately, I now find that it's not open on Mondays, which is when I'll be there.

Anyone have any other suggestions? I'm looking for something with local color, so no chains, please.


Posted by Robert at 10:52 AM | Comments (4)

"Scotsman Wi' Ne Trew" Watch


Queen Exposed to Highland Game. Check out Col. Simon West, the gentleman to the immediate left of Her Majesty.

Review of the audiotape produced this result:

HM: No, Mister West, I said you ARE a big dick.

Posted by Robert at 10:20 AM | Comments (5)

More Druid/Episcopalian Links?

Da Goddess has some lovely pictures from San Diego's Balboa Park.

I don't know why, but they automatically brought back to my mind these people.

I'll bet I'm not very far off.

Posted by Robert at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

I am a Freakin' Moron

Note to self: You're not 19 any more.

Stayed up too late last night reading The Journals of Lewis & Clark. (They've just met the Shoshonees in Western Montana, btw, and are discovering that trying to get down the Salmon River to the Columbia is a mug's game.)

Dozed off over the book.

Woke up at 2:00 AM and staggered off to bed.

Got up at 5:15 AM.

Have lots of papers to get in order today for an upcoming trip.

Have to attend a lunchtime lecture.

Have my usual Wednesday Evening Church meeting, which means I don't eat dinner till something approaching 10:00 PM.


Posting may be less coherent than normal. Or it may not. (Now that's an uncomfortable thought.) Either way, please bear with me.

Posted by Robert at 08:54 AM | Comments (1)

"I Suggest You Put On A Tie!"*

Taki roundly damns and blasts inappropriate casual dress and unwelcomed familiarity, two of my biggest bugaboos. I'm too tired this morning to go into the sociology of it all in any great detail, but rants like this make me smile.

As far as clothes go, one of my guiding principles is that it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. To this end, I have fought for years against casual dress policies at the office. I always wear a coat and tie whilst traveling. And, although we don't dress for dinner regularly, we at least do so for special days such as birthdays and holidays.

Mark you, the trouble with taking this stance is that people automatically assume I believe there is no place for casual clothes. Of course, this is utter nonsense. Why, when I'm gardening, I'll even go so far as to loosen my tie and wear pennyloafers instead of dress shoes. Once this summer, I even took off my jacket! Seriously, tho, the point is that there is a time for formality (e.g., Church, my law practice, special occassions) and a time for lack of it (e.g., ball games, pub crawls, sex). Some people believe that we benefit by blurring this distinction. I believe just the opposite.

As for the familiarity bit, I loathe being addressed by my first name by strangers in a non-social setting. A few years back, Safeway instituted a policy of trying to get its cashiers to be more "friendly" with the customers. One of the steps was to have the cashier read your name off your check or credit card and start chatting you up with it. On more than one occassion, the following conversation took place:

Cashier (reading check): "Robert Llama." Do you prefer "Bob" or "Rob"?
Self (with narrowed eyes and pleasant smile): I prefer "Mr. Llama."
[Sounds of gasping in check-out line.]

Safeway actually dropped this practice pretty quickly. Evidently, there had been a number of complaints. So perhaps I'm not alone in my distaste after all.

Yips! to the impeccable Enoch Soames, Esq.

*As always, special Llama bonus points for identifying the movie quote.

UPDATE: The Misspent One has been engaged in the delightful exercise of tracking the genesis of Mr. Soames' post. (I agree that such tracking is great fun.) Nip on over and check out the pedigree.

UPDATE DEUX: Kathy the Cake Eater, whose notice and opinion are always worth getting, kindly links and adds some thoughts of her own. I fully recognize her point about the times being what they are and the futility of my position. But since I harbor enough futile causes to equip a full-sized French Army battalion, it doesn't really bug me anymore.

One other thing that Kathy mentions is the whole Ms./Miss/Mrs. dispute. (You can take a wild guess about where I stand on that one.) I have found a way around this in my dealings with the world by relying on my Texas upbringing. Many, many people in the South slur the pronunciation of these three words in such a way as to make them almost indistinguishable, especially to Blue State ears. A calculated "Miyezz" will cover the spread, leaving both speaker and hearer quite content.

Posted by Robert at 08:45 AM | Comments (2)

Cat Blogging? Well, No - But It's Close

Following up on yesterday's musings about the post-election future of the Blogsphere, I am delighted to see Eric the Viking Pundit, a solid, solid poliblogger all fall, is going to the dogs.

Posted by Robert at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2004

When Exactly did Keith Olbermann jump the shark?

To be perfectly honest, I think it was when he started doing the commericals for the extreme sandwiches at Boston Market, but that was like five or six years ago....

But, if that didnt do it, apparently this did.

Posted by Steve at 11:45 PM | Comments (1)

Somedays, only the Pixies will do

Stephen at Hold the Mayo dissects an odious bit of moonbat-ery that's working its way around the internet (I'm sure it will be on the front door of our library tomorrow---eh, Liz?)

It's basically a cantankerous, profanity laced screed against all us Redstate rednecks in defense of the honor of Massachusetts. And so in honor of the honor of the Bay State (where I might add I was born in the one place where Southies could look down on---Chelsea, Mass), the LLamabutchers present the poetry of Black Francis and the tunes of The Pixies:

In the sleepy west ofthe woody east
is a valley full, full o' pioneer
we're not just kids, to say the least
we got ideas to us that's dear
like capitalist, like communist
like lots of things you've heard about
and redneckers they get us pissed
and stupid stuff it makes us shout
oh dance with me oh don't be shy
oh kissme c*** and kiss me cock
oh kiss the world oh kiss the sky
oh kiss my ass oh let it rock
of the april birds and the may bee
oh baby
of massachusetts, please
and here's the last five
it's educational
it's educational
it's educational
it's educational
it's educational.
Posted by Steve at 10:39 PM | Comments (5)

Crimes against, errrr, Llamamanity!

Somebody contact Kofi Anan!

AUSTIN, Minn. - A hunter went into the cornfields of southern Minnesota on the first day of deer season and came out with a woolly South American pack animal and the prospect of criminal charges.

The Austin Police Department reported that a hunter saw a deer run into a cornfield about 10 a.m. Saturday. Moments later another animal ran out, the hunter fired and the llama was hit.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources enforcement division was investigating the shooting, and a criminal charge against the hunter was expected.

The hunter was hunting on property with permission of the owner. The llama was on the property of its owner, adjacent to the hunting area, when it was shot.

You know, we last saw Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities picking up tix to Minneapolis with a large package he claimed was new shower curtain rods under his arm....

(Thanks to alert reader Jason B.)

Posted by Steve at 10:28 PM | Comments (3)

Who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about?


Shut your mouth!

Posted by Steve at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

Spreading the love around

We're approaching the one-year mark the week after next, and one of the neat things now that we are starting to get some traffic is to see new and upcoming blogs show up in the referer logs. Long time readers know we've tried to support a wide variety of up and comers, which generates lots of interesting results (like for example last week, I was able to get Gordon the Cranky Neocon to put a severed horse head in my department chair's bed, which of course stunningly back-fired when I forgot I had just become Department Chair that week. Damn him for his precision and attention to detail!). Anyhoo, lots of folks (such as Dean Esmay and The Commissar) looked out for us when we were wee, so we try to return the favor.

Anyhoo, between now and LLamaCon2004, we'd like to feature a new blog(s) every day (or so). So without further ado, here are some folks you might see at the top of the herd sometime next fall:

Lorraine at American Lady

Lorraine's got talent and a razor sharp edge---kind of like a young Michele Catalano minus the Duster and the Boston tour shirts.

The Pirate King

Think all the sharp-edged hits of INDC Journal plus the schtick of Politburo Diktat.

But one that's definitely going to make it:

Morgan at NorthernCrown

Yip Yip Yip!

Posted by Steve at 09:52 PM | Comments (1)

Last Call

Red-Headed Sheila has a new game going on over at her place. She's posted a gazillion last lines to various novels and short stories. Your task - identify them. (Alas, by the time I got there, all the ones I recognized had been scooped.)

Good luck!

Posted by Robert at 04:54 PM | Comments (3)

More (Hint) Thoughtful (Hint, Hint) Christmas Book Giving (Hint, Hint, Hint)


Tom Wolfe's latest broadside, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Any of this Llama's nearest and dearest wondering what to do with this information might consider going here.

UPDATE: Yes, I read Michael Dirda's review in the WaPo this weekend. And yes, I read Michiko Kakutani's review in the NYTimes. Even given the obvious distate of such critics for a writer like Wolfe, it appears this may not be his best work. Eh. The mark of a master is that you'd rather read his second-rate stuff than the best that lesser lights can produce.

Posted by Robert at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)

Some Posts Just Write Themselves


"Madonna Calls For U.S. Troops To Leave Iraq."

Never thought I'd read about Madonna calling for premature withdrawal.


Posted by Robert at 03:30 PM | Comments (4)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but...

Robbo, isn't Steve Spurrier still unemployed and therefore available?

I know, kick the Fins when they are down is low.

Yips! from Robbo: Noooooooooooo......

UPDATE: No Spurrier. It looks like Huizenga is getting ready to clean house. As a fan, I don't think this is a bad thing.

Posted by Steve at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

A bold prediction

The Commissar makes a fearless prediction on what the winter holds for the breakaway republic of Blogistan:

a little less Karl Rove, a little more cat-blogging,

Personally, I'm in mourning today because we had our first frost last night, bringing the curtain down on our most successful seaon of tomatos ever. We had nine different varieties ranging from different breeds of cherries to the big monster slicers. They came in early this year: we took our first tomatos to the table on June 18, and the ensuing 143 days featured a sumptuous daily treat. The eggplants didn't come in until late this year---mid September-ish (I didn't mark the date), and we got a very nice crop of bell peppers. The squash and zuccini was a bust, as it was far too wet in July. But 2004 will go down as the year of the tomato in our house, and summer memories will be unleashed each time we pop open a jar of tomato sauce or homeade salsa over the winter months.

Yips from Robbo: Garden blogging, eh? May I? Oh, thank you. As you lot probably know, I'm much more of a flower gardener than a veggie one. Just Sunday, I was noticing brand new buds opening on my black-eyed susans and coneflowers. The daisies were still going strong and so was the buddleia. After last night's frost, I expect that will all wrap up now. I'll probably lose the remaining zinnias out by the front walk as well, although we were planning to put some pansies in there soon anyway.

For me, this was the year that I finally got my flower garden pointed in the right direction. Starting mostly with seeds and with a few transplants, I was able to get in the core of what (I hope) will be a very prolific bed of hearty, heat/drought tolerant perennials. I also let everything go to seed this fall. I'm hoping this self-sowing will produce exponential results for next year. Indeed, I am sufficiently satisfied with the progress of things that I feel I can concentrate on starting a few specimen plants this winter, singletons that can be distributed in various spots against the background core planting.

Gradually, over the next two years, I have to start in on the borders around the sides of the house, all of which have pretty much gone to hell. One side is going to hold a shade bed featuring lots of hostas and the like. The other I plan to use for lupines and delphinium. It gets good morning sun in the summer but stays relatively cool during the worst part of the day. I also have a big patch under the trees out back that I intend to convert to a foxglove bed, they being one of my very favorite flowers.

If the Comissar is correct, expect to see lots more Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Outdoor Division from your friendly neighborhood Llamas.

Posted by Steve at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

Fallujah Update

Belmont Club has the latest here and here.

Posted by Steve at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)

Who else?

It wasn't the economy, stupid. It was the stupidity, stupid.

Sigh. I wish I could write half as well as Mark Steyn.

Posted by Steve at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)

Photo. Of. The. Week.

"Ich bin ein Jelly Donut."

Remember that picture worth a thousand words? This is it.

Yips! to MUSC Tiger.

Posted by Robert at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

This (hint) Would Make A Really Nice (Hint, Hint) Christmas Present for Somebody (hint, hint, hint)

Hitch reviews the latest biography of P.G. Wodehouse.

Lest I be accused of not making myself clear, let me offer a couple of suggestions to those immediate family members of mine who read this blog:

1) Click on the link.

2) Print out the review.

3) Write "Robbo wants this" across the top. Draw arrow to picture of book.

4) Buy book.

5) Wrap in festive paper. Insert suitable card under ribbon. Forward to Robbo.

Any questions?

Yips! to the Irish Elk.

UPDATE: What perfect timing! Looking for a Christmas present that's a little more edgy, not to say politically correct, than a book about some dead English comic hack? Well the Crack Young Staff of the Hatemonger's Quarterly has been doing some research. As the line from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum goes, "Something for everyone!"

Posted by Robert at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)



I was waiting for Mecha-Streisand to speak to the election:

In response to the results of the Presidential election last week, I would like to share with you a quote from Thomas Jefferson. Although written in 1798, I feel his words speak perfectly to the strong sentiments of frustration and disappointment 48% of the country feel.

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

Now I'm all confused. Witches are bad? I thought Lefties were into that whole Wicca Thing. I suppose it's a question of whose broomstick gets shoved up whose backside and by whom.

Sorry, Babs. You lose.

(Oh, BTW, I'm assuming here that Steve-O isn't going to let the Queen of the Hollywood Moonbats get away with mangling Jeffersonian quotes. How 'bout a little historical perspective on the politics of 1798, Professor?)

YIPS from Steve:

Frankly, I smell a rat.

I have a hunch that she might have been suckered much like the whole Julius Caesar "bang the drums of war" fake quote from winter 2003. At the same time, 1798 was Jefferson at his hyperbolic worse, when he was busily plotting with French agents to overthrow the American Republic and install the guilotine in Market Square in Philadelphia.....

Does my latent Hamiltonianism show through?

UPDATE: Ha! Both Steve-O and a lynx-eyed commenter spotted the rat. I went back and tracked down the original letter. It is dated June 4, 1798 and is from Jefferson to a John Taylor of Philadelphia. Here is the complete text. Apart from the opening paragraph (in which T.J. prides himself on gaming the patent laws in order to get a second patent on a certain device without having to pay a second fee), the letter is mostly a rant about the Federalists taking over. (Jefferson blames their popularity on Washington's coattails.) But curiously enough, T.J. also has a great deal to say about scism and secession that runs exactly counter to the meme currently in favor among Babs' Moonbat Lefty compatriots. Here is a sample:

Be this as it may, in every free & deliberating society there must, from the nature of man, be opposite parties & violent dissensions & discords; and one of these, for the most part, must prevail over the other for a longer or shorter time. Perhaps this party division is necessary to induce each to watch & delate to the people the proceedings of the other. But if on a temporary superiority of the one party, the other is to resort to a scission of the Union, no federal government can ever exist. If to rid ourselves of the present rule of Massachusets & Connecticut we break the Union, will the evil stop there? Suppose the N. England States alone cut off, will our natures be changed? are we not men still to the south of that, & with all the passions of men? Immediately we shall see a Pennsylvania & a Virginia party arise in the residuary confederacy ,and the public mind will be distracted with the same party spirit. What a game, too, will the one party have in their hands by eternally threatening the other that unless they do so & so, they will join their Northern neighbors. If we reduce our Union to Virginia & N. Carolina, immediately the conflict will be established between the representatives of these two States, and they will end by breaking into their simple units. Seeing, therefore, that an association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry, seeing that we must have somebody to quarrel with, I had rather keep our New England associates for that purpose than to see our bickerings transferred to others.

Also, Babs has gone elipse-happy again. Here is the text she cut out of her quote:

But who can say what would be the evils of a scission, and when & where they would end? Better keep together as we are, hawl off from Europe as soon as we can, & from all attachments to any portions of it. And if we feel their power just sufficiently to hoop us together, it will be the happiest situation in which we can exist.

Aside from making clear that T.J. was being hyperbolic in his use of the term "reign of witches" it seems to me that a reading of the entire letter makes quite plain his belief that squabble and dissention are inevitable in any kind of democracy and that each side must take its occassional exclusion from power philosophically, recognizing that the alternative - to take their ball and go home (or to Canada) is simply unworkable.

YIPS from Steve: I think it's worthwhile to put the whole text of the letter up, as it increases the hilarity associated with its use today. The parts in bold are those that noted Federalist era scholar Prof. Streisand used:

Mr. New shewed me your letter on the subject of the patent, which gave me an opportunity of observing what you said as to the effect with you of public proceedings, and that it was not unusual now to estimate the separate mass of Virginia and N. Carolina with a view to their separate existence. It is true that we are compleatly under the saddle of Massachusets & Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings as well as exhausting our strength and substance. Their natural friends, the three other eastern States, join them from a sort of family pride, and they have the art to divide certain other parts of the Union so as to make use of them to govern the whole. This is not new. It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order, and those who have once got an ascendency and possessed themselves of all the resources of the nation, their revenues and offices, have immense means for retaining their advantages. But our present situation is not a natural one. The body of our countrymen is substantially republican through every part of the Union. It was the irresistable influence & popularity of Gen'l Washington, played off by the cunning of Hamilton, which turned the government over to anti-republican hands, or turned the republican members, chosen by the people, into anti-republicans. He delivered it over to his successor in this state, and very untoward events, since improved with great artifice, have produced on the public mind the impression we see; but still, I repeat it, this is not the natural state. Time alone would bring round an order of things more correspondent to the sentiments of our constituents; but are there not events impending which will do it within a few months? The invasion of England, the public and authentic avowal of sentiments hostile to the leading principles of our Constitution, the prospect of a war in which we shall stand alone, land-tax, stamp-tax, increase of public debt, &c. Be this as it may, in every free & deliberating society there must, from the nature of man, be opposite parties & violent dissensions & discords; and one of these, for the most part, must prevail over the other for a longer or shorter time. Perhaps this party division is necessary to induce each to watch & delate to the people the proceedings of the other. But if on a temporary superiority of the one party, the other is to resort to a scission of the Union, no federal government can ever exist. If to rid ourselves of the present rule of Massachusets & Connecticut we break the Union, will the evil stop there? Suppose the N. England States alone cut off, will our natures be changed? are we not men still to the south of that, & with all the passions of men? Immediately we shall see a Pennsylvania & a Virginia party arise in the residuary confederacy ,and the public mind will be distracted with the same party spirit. What a game, too, will the one party have in their hands by eternally threatening the other that unless they do so & so, they will join their Northern neighbors. If we reduce our Union to Virginia & N. Carolina, immediately the conflict will be established between the representatives of these two States, and they will end by breaking into their simple units. Seeing, therefore, that an association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry, seeing that we must have somebody to quarrel with, I had rather keep our New England associates for that purpose than to see our bickerings transferred to others. They are circumscribed within such narrow limits, & their population so full, that their numbers will ever be the minority, and they are marked, like the Jews, with such a peculiarity of character as to constitute from that circumstance the natural division of our parties. A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt. But who can say what would be the evils of a scission, and when & where they would end? Better keep together as we are, hawl off from Europe as soon as we can, & from all attachments to any portions of it. And if we feel their power just sufficiently to hoop us together, it will be the happiest situation in which we can exist. If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are the stake. Better luck, therefore, to us all; and health, happiness, & friendly salutations to yourself.

tj sig.gif

Kind of sheds some light on our current situation, but perhaps not in the way Barbra intended. There is also a joke in here about this in context of red/blue states, but I'm too tired right now to go for it.

Posted by Robert at 09:16 AM | Comments (6)

A Call To Arms

I have an announcement. I am now officially boycotting Circuit City until they stop mangling The Cars' "Just What I Needed" in their tee-vee ads.

I cannot abide the ads' utter lack of respect for the music. In them, the beat of the opening licks - which is the power driving the entire song - is so screwed up in order that Circuit City can insert their sales copy, that it literally makes me nauseous to listen to it. Note to CC's ad reps: It's the rhythm, stupids.

I hope you will join me in fighting this aesthetic travesty.

Posted by Robert at 08:54 AM | Comments (2)

Random Commuter Observation

I really dislike people who run to catch the Metro.

Every time a train rolls into view coming into the West Falls Church station, it prompts any number of people to break into a frantic sprint along the walkway, through the tollgate and down the escalator, like extremely stupid wildabeast wildebeest (Ed. - goddam Boers and their goddam Dutch spelling) panicked into running straight towards the jaws of an approaching lion.

I dislike this practice for two reasons.

One, it's very undignified. It's perfectly obvious that a great many of these folks get no exercise other than their dash for the train. Furthermore, they are usually loaded down to the Plimsoll mark with all the recognized commuter accessories - oversized shoulder bag, purse, computer case, newspaper, and sometimes even an overnight travel bag on wheels. Such factors do not contribute to a graceful running style. It evidently doesn't bother them, but I certainly wouldn't want the eyes of the world on me as I feverishly gallumphed along in a kind of waddling sprint, impedimentia dangling from my shoulders and hands and banging against my backside. It's just an ugly, ugly sight. Everyone carries on these days about the importance of self-esteem. How about a little more emphasis on self-respect?

Two, it's unnecessary. At rush hour, a train comes through the station every couple of minutes. I don't care who you are, what you do or where you're going, it is almost never so important that you can't wait for the next one. To see the way some of these folks behave, one would think they were scrambling for seats in the Titanic's lifeboats. Get a life, people.

Posted by Robert at 08:38 AM | Comments (8)

Fifteen years ago today...

I was in the first semester of grad school, sitting at the counter of Big Jim's BBQ on the corner by UVA. I was wearing my black Harris Tweed blazer, probably a blue oxford shirt, grey t-shirt, definitely jeans and brown shoes. I was eating--what else?---the Big Jim's special (which memory serves was about two bucks), reading John Hart Ely's Democracy and Distrust. There was a tee-vee above the grill, that was set to Tom Brokaw. The sound was off. I noticed the waitress was staring at the set, jaw slack, so I looked up.

The image didn't process at first: Berlin Wall.


Yep the Berlin Wall---there's the Brandenburg Gate, behind the wall.

What are those people doing standing on top of it

I remember sitting there staring for about fifteen minutes, dumbfounded. There were about five other people there, and nobody said a word. Finally, a younger guy with a red ball hat and a Marine Corps look about him said in a low, slow voice, "Fuck yeah!"

YIPS! from Robbo:

I was in the midst of my first semester of law school on that day. Needless to say, I wasn't paying as much real-time attention to the Outside World as I do now. However, it at last sank in on me, too. I still can't read P.J. O'Rourke's description of his feelings on being at the Wall as it started to crumble and seeing an East German Border Guard's hand sticking through a hole in it, without getting rather choked up myself:

I really didn't understand before that moment, I didn't realize until just then - we won. The Free World won the Cold War.

All the people who had been sent to gulags, who'd been crushed in the streets of Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, the soldiers who'd died in Korea and my friends and classmates who had been killed in Vietnam - it meant something now. All the treasure that we in America had poured into guns, planes, Star Wars and all the terrifying A-bombs we'd had to build and keep - it wasn't for nothing.

And the best thing about our victory is the way we did it - not just with ICBMs and Green Berets and aid to the Contras. Those things were important, but in the end we beat them with Levi 501 jeans. Seventy-two years of Communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system with all its tanks and guns, gulag camps, and secret police has been brought to its knees because nobody wants to wear Bulgarian shoes. They may have had the soldiers and the warheads and the fine-sounding ideology that suckered the college students and nitwit Third Worlders, but we had all the fun. Now they're lunch, and we're number one on the planet.

(from Give War A Chance, one of P.J.'s best.)

UPDATE from Steve:

Here's what some of our readers remember about that day:

I'll never forget that moment. We were living in Mexico, and saw it live on a Mexican channel. Standing on that wall!

But what made a bigger impression (on me) was a few years later when I watched the "Hammer And Sickle" lowered for the last time over the Kremlin, and the old t'sarist tri-color hoisted in its place. Never thought I'd live to see that day.
Posted by EdWonk at November 9, 2004 01:24 AM

I was back in college for the second time, just after coming back from a stint in the Army in Germany. I was in ROTC. That whole fall I kept saying to people in my class, "Gorby's going to roll west. It's his only chance to save the Soviet Union. Honecker will put tanks in the street before he'll let the mob take him down."

I could not conceive that they were just going to surrender. Changed my whole worldview in a minute.

I said "Well, then Gorbachev is a fool, or they're a hell of a lot weaker than we ever thought." Turns out both were true.

And thank God for it.
Posted by DWC at November 9, 2004 08:20 AM

I was in law school with Robbo and remember thinking that when I graduated from college in 1985 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army I never dreamed I would live to see the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and German reunification, much less in four years. Even further back, in Catholic grade school, I remember the nuns lead us prayer for the conversion of Russia. May we live in interesting times . . .
Posted by LMC at November 9, 2004 09:13 AM

I was a junior in high school. I remember thinking, "Wow, the Berlin wall. I bet German chicks are hot."
Posted by Rusty at November 9, 2004 09:46 AM

Rusty, don't even get me started on the Katerina Witt thing I had going then.....Mmmmmmm, lusty commie lass that she was. You just knew watching her at the Calgary Olympics that underneath it all (and underneath THAT you perv!) beat the heart of a true Hayekian free market libertarian......

Posted by Steve at 12:20 AM | Comments (5)

November 08, 2004

Evil Spock Universe Update

Evil Spock says, "Terrans, just say no blood for Ivory!"

Posted by Steve at 11:54 PM | Comments (1)

Mikey Moore, trying to drive the Democrats below 40%

What to make of this? Well, did anybody see where exactly Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy were last Tuesday?

I didn't THINK so!

UPDATE: THIS isn't going to help their cause. But don't you dare question their patriotism....

Posted by Steve at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

Letters from Fallujah

Our old Moo Knew pal Rae has more links to some moving letters from Marines near Fallujah. Powerful stuff.

Posted by Steve at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

I did always like RISK

Pixy apparently is carving up the world via contact with his yet-unborn great grandaughter, and Milo has called the Carolinas. Harrumph. In that case, I'm going to have to call Irkusk and Mongolia.

Posted by Steve at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

Two things that are both amusing me as well as really starting to tick me off

This sort of stuff is what they call "bulletin board material" for the 2006 elections. Obviously Democratic elites think that we have A) very short memories, and 2) no access to google or lexis.

Anyhoo, here are the two themes really bugging me:

1. The anti-religious screed emerging from the left over the weekend (Annika has the details). Heck, I'm no holy roller---the original title for this post was going to be "My own personal Jeebus." I printed up a whole bunch of t-shirts once with a cartoon I drew showing Elvis, Jesus, and Bill the Cat cruising in a humongous Pink Caddy. And I work (but thankfully do not live) in relative close proximity to Lynch Vegas, Virginia, home of Jerry Falwell (and the home in Escape From L.A. of the capitol of a theocratic fascist Amerika) But it seems odd at least---particularly given the role of black evangelicals as well as Jewish Americans, not to mention Catholic Hispanics & Irish---for the Democratic elites to go koo-koo for kokopuffs over the role of voters who happen to be religious. This is not the way a Party trying to regain majority status acts---rather, its the collective reaction of Baby-Boomer Democrat elites who are finally having their Wiley Coyote moment: the clouds have cleared, Dubya the Road Runner has said "Meep-meep," and they are beginnning to feel the effects of gravity pulling them to the bottom of the canyon.

B. The rise of the Neo-Breckinridgian Democrats

We talked last week about signals coming from the left of essentially a Neo-Breckinridgian argument, named in honor of Democratic nominee in 1860 John C. Breckinridge. The Breckinridgian argument was basically that any victor other than Breckinridge would be illegitimate---echoing Eric Holder, if all the votes were counted the only real winner could be the Democratic nominee. If it was anyone else---particularly that vile, odious, knuckle-dragging Lincoln with his religious fanatic Republican theocons---the only answer would be secession.

One of the conlaw professor list-servs I subscribe to is en fuego with secessionist rhetoric, replete with all sorts of plans for "safe flight corridors" and the like. No talk of course publicly about their real plans for ethnic cleansing, to purify for example all of New York north of Westchester of all those odious Bush voters---do they plan on concentration camps? Or simple rustification a la Pol Pot, or reeducation a la Ho Chi Minh? Or will Bush voters in the newly departed states be allowed the chance to flee en masse before the angry militias of post-modern professors in pressed Banana Republic khakis weilding their $58 Smith & Hawken long handled pruning sheers because machetes are just oh so retro. It would be the first genocide sanctioned as a community service event by Whole Foods, the only time victorious militias would dance on the mass graves wearing Birkenstocks and heavy grayish woolen socks (the men and the women).

If I want to go high road with this, my answer to unite the two posts would be a long defense of Abraham Lincoln, and his use of religious imagery and symbolism to bind up the nation after the fallacy of the original Breckinridgists. But, alas, its Monday, I'm cranky, and so I'll go with the low road response: You and whose army, bub?

The guys at Powerline have some more thoughts on the secession theme, plus the new favorite of the left---assassination.

UPDATE: Can the Democrats be this dumb? YEAH! What we need to do is be more aggressive and assertive! We lost because we weren't mean enough! We need to tell those peckerhead fundamentalist mouthbreathers how full of crap they are! YEAAAAAARGGGH!

Posted by Steve at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

Well now

THIS is an interesting development....

THIS however....for the love of all that is holy, no. Just no.

That is, unless you are Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities, when the answer is "É muito bom."

Posted by Steve at 10:32 PM | Comments (1)

Tick tick tick tick tick.....

Dan's going to make a wonderful professor of journalism at UTEP....

Posted by Steve at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

Bridget Jones' Hate Club

Dayum! It isn't often that you see Sheila aiming the broken Guiness bottle for the face, but she's got it in big time for Renee Zellweger. (I'm staying out of this because I don't have much of an opinion one way or another. But oddly enough, the actresse Sheila cites as the sort of anti-Renee, Julia Roberts, leaves me stone cold. Go figure.)

Meanwhile, Kathleen the Cake Eater is being all coy about whether or not she'll see the latest Bridget Jones movie. I'm not buying it for an instant and I'll give you a two word reason: Colin Firth. 'Nuff said.

YIPS from Steve:

One of our favorites writes in with her two cents:

Why I brought up Julia Roberts is that - like I said - regardless of whether or not you think she is good or not - her fame came from the public falling in love with her (obviously not EVERYONE, but I'm talking about the statistics here) Pretty Woman was not supposed to be a huge hit, and nobody expected what happened with it to happen to it. Julia Roberts was paid SCALE for that film.

I remember vividly the brou-haha when Pretty Woman came out. I'm a bit
obsessed with Julia, because we are the same age, I'm an actress, I've
met her a couple times, I like her a lot, and it's hard not to feel
like: 'Jesus, my career SUCKS' when I compare mine to hers.

I just get the sense that Renee Z has a publicity machine working
behind her - getting her all the mag covers, getting her the great roles,
etc. Julia Roberts, at the time her moment HIT, did not. She had an
agent. That was it.

Okay, I'll stop now. I could talk about this shite forever!!

LLamas rule!

Okay, so I added the "LLamas Rule" thing at the end, but otherwise I'm with Sheila on this one: Julia....MMMMmmmmmm, while Renee....blecch. I mean, she's no lusty Teutonic commie figure skater, but hey, close enough. And don't even get me started on Meg Ryan, as I have only four words for you: Joe versus the Volcano. Nuff said.joe volcano.jpeg

But that's just me, Mister Vegas

Posted by Robert at 05:53 PM | Comments (7)

The Best Parties....

...are the ones you don't even remember.

Fur and cud. Heh.

Posted by Robert at 04:47 PM | Comments (1)

Them's Fightin' Words

Eric Engberg, retired CBS political correspondent, is using the election day exit poll kerfluffle to roundly damn all polibloggers, calling us something like a cross between a gossipy school newspaper and CBer's. He particularly has it in for Slate, Wonkette, Axis Sully, Kos and Drudge.

Let me give you just the final paragraph:

The public is now assaulted by news and pretend-news from many directions, thanks to the now infamous "information superhighway." But the ability to transmit words, we learned during the Citizens Band radio fad of the 70’s, does not mean that any knowledge is being passed along. One of the verdicts rendered by election night 2004 is that, given their lack of expertise, standards and, yes, humility, the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on.

Read the whole thing. It's chock-a-block with this same kind of MSM condescension.

Bite me, Big Guy. I don't have time to rip this bozo a new one properly. But I will point out a couple things:

1) Bloggers are not objective news sources and have never pretended to be. They are highly informed and often highly partisan electronic pamphleteers. Look at Engburg's list, for Heaven's sake! Other than Drudge, who doesn't count, he manages to name the Legion of Doom of the Moonbat Left (with Sully in the role of "Cheeks the Really Spunky New Intern"). These folks were never in the business of trying to do anything other than sway people against Bush and were more than happy to lean on whatever flimsy reed presented itself. (The MSM, of course, are partisan themselves. The difference between them and bloggers is that the bloggers admit it freely. Anyway, ask yourself this question: Who do you trust more, Glenn Reynolds or Howell Raines? 'Nuff said.)

2) Because there is so much competition in the Blogsphere, street cred is extremely important. All the sites that bit on the exit polling will retain their core readers - who, again, go more for opinion than straight news - but may very well lose a good bit of credibility because of this business.

3) People generally read one or two news publications and watch maybe one or two MSM television news broadcasts, so they are locked into a very small pool of fact and analysis. But the Blogsphere is different. It acts like a swarm. I personally read something over 20 different political sites for this kind of information. There are always going to be outriders in every direction on a given topic, but it's amazing how much insight you can pick up from reading 15 or 16 different individual's informed, intelligent take on a given topic.

4) The exit poll fiasco was one story. Would Engburg really like to line 'em up and do a side-by-side of Blogsphere/MSM track records over the past 18 months or so? Jayson Blair, anybody? Sandy Berger? Dan Rather/MemoGate? Bueller? Bueller? And how about that story that someone was trying to plant last week about J. Francois having been dishonorably discharged from the military? Most bloggers didn't go anywhere near it.

5) Hey, Eric! How 'bout some props where they're due? Steve-O was trashing the exit poll meme in realtime, as were some others. He was also all over the manipulation of the electronic futures markets over at Tradesports. And both of us accurately predicted the actual results of the election - including a perfect 50-state strike in the Electoral College vote. See Point 2 above.

Yes, the Blogsphere is a wild and woolly free-for-all of opinion and advocacy. But it is also the home of some very serious, very good investigation and analysis and a much needed relief from the Oz-like pronouncements of the MSM. Engburg's "run along and stick to your video games and music piracy, little boys and girls" attitude really incenses me, and illustrates nicely a kind of fearful arrogance which the MSM would be very wise to drop if it ever hopes to really understand that the curtain is being pulled aside. When Toto pees on your foot, Eric, don't say we didn't warn you.

UPDATE: Speaking of Glenn, here's his post on the exit poll kerfluffle. Another good point.

UPDATE DEUX: Paul at Wizbang is pissed, too.

Posted by Robert at 03:52 PM | Comments (2)

Howls of Derisive Laughter, Bruce!

G'day, you're Bruce! You like to hang out with your friends Bruce, Bruce, Bruce, & Bruce drinking good Australian beer and philosophizing...
G'day, you're Bruce! You think like a philosopher,
especially after you've had a few cold
ones...Australia RULES!

What Monty Python Sketch Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Heh. Two things. One, I know the "Philosophers Song" by heart and frequently sing it in the shower. Two, I have used every single one of the lines in the quote section of the quiz in ordinary conversation.

Yips! to Da Goddess (who actually linked to a Holy Grail test that I simply cannot take objectively) by way of Triticale.

Posted by Robert at 02:29 PM | Comments (2)

French Unilateralism update

Gordon has the messy details. No gloating, man!

Posted by Steve at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

New-To-Me Blog

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the MUSC Tiger. It's a site run by a trio of students down at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

As it happens, this was my brother's med school. So I'm always amenable to doing a little something for folks there. Go on over and say howdy.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 01:52 PM | Comments (1)

The Wheels of American Justice grind on

This just sucks.

Posted by Steve at 01:45 PM | Comments (2)

The Undiscovered Country

Remember that tee-vee commercial from a few years back where the guy is surfing the Internet and actually comes to the very end of it? (I think the ad was for some kind of broadband service.) Well, I had a very similar situation last evening with my two year old: for the very first time, we came to the absolute end of her energy.

I suppose it all started Saturday evening. We had a very nice dinner with Sparky the Unclimber and her DF, together with the young Deacon from our Church. What with my bloviating (which is even more tedious in person than it is on the web), the evening ran rather longer than the Llama-ettes are accustomed to. (Indeed, than for all of us, I think. Much to my shame, we completely slept through Church yesterday morning. I'm sure the Deacon was taking names.)

Round Two was yesterday. Not being overly pressed with things that had to be done for a change, I spent a lot of time playing with the kids. Among other things, both the two year old and the four year old missed their usual mid-afternoon naps.

Came time for dinner and all of us assembled in the kitchen except my youngest. Upon further inquiry, we found her sacked out on the sofa downstairs. Out. Cold. I brought her up and tried to wake her, but to no avail. She came just close enough to the surface to be put in her chair, where she promptly slumped forward so that her open mouth was pressing right up against the edge of the table. Giving it up as a bad business, I whisked her off to bed, where she immediately curled up and remained comatose, later sleeping right through the four year old's exhaustion-induced meltdown over what pajamas she was going to wear and Daddy's absolutist response.

We were a bit worried that going to bed early and skipping dinner would mean that she would be in our room whining at 3:00 AM. Fortunately, no such thing happened. She was her usual sunny self this morning and no more clamorous for what she calls "bekfass" than on any other day.

In the end, it was just very nice to know that the girl's energy actual is a finite force. You wouldn't think so, usually.

Posted by Robert at 01:18 PM | Comments (2)

Jim Moran praised in the Arab News

Congressional embarassment Jim Moran has a dewey-eyed rose-petal fluff job profile of him today in the Arab News:

Rep. Jim Moran,59 , from Virginia’s8 th district, is one of the few Congressmen who voted against the war in Iraq and criticized Jewish community leaders. It was no surprise that he had a tough time being re-elected.

Yusif Farsakh, a Palestinian-American who moved to the US from Beir Zeit in1953 , works with the “Arab-American Democrats of Virginia,” a group he said was instrumental in helping Moran win the primary elections against his opponent, lobbyist and political newcomer Andrew Rosenberg.

Rosenberg obtained funding from AIPAC, a strong Jewish lobby in Washington, and ran a dirty primary campaign against Moran, said Farsakh. “Moran is still willing to speak up about Arab-American affairs, but he was very chastened by the experience with Rosenbaum.”

“After the primary, Moran personally thanked us. We worked hard prior to last week’s election to energize the community. We must have called over10 , 000Arab and Muslim-Americans throughout the district.”

Farsakh said most of Moran’s district is Democratic and the majority of them supported him. “But I don’t think the Jews are finished with him yet. A lot of people are still angry with him for what he said.”

He was referring to last March when Moran set off a firestorm by explaining why he thought antiwar sentiment was not more effective in the United States.

“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,” Moran said. “The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should.” Moran, a seven-term Congressman, apologized the next day, saying, “I made some insensitive remarks that I deeply regret.

“I should not have singled out the Jewish community and regret giving any impression that its members are somehow responsible for the course of action being pursued by the administration, or are somehow behind an impending war,” Moran said, elaborating on an apology to Jewish news organizations and rabbis that was widely distributed.

“Many people still hold this against him,” Farsakh said, “even though his daughter is married to a Jew.”

Jim Moran’s no anti-Semite — but he feels the Palestinians have a just cause, so he knows he has to be careful.

“But I don’t want to portray him as someone sympathetic only to Arab-Americans,” said Farsakh. “He’s been wonderful to federal employees, educators, to education funds and transportation. He’s very focused and a very good Congressman.”

Asked about his immediate concerns following the Republican takeover on Tuesday, Farsakh said his greatest concern is the Patriot Act, which he said Bush intends to strengthen.

“Just before elections, 900 Muslim and Arab-Americans were rounded up and jailed, this is very disturbing to all of us.” Farsakh the Arab and Muslim American community voted against Bush because “they were furious with Bush for his love affair with Sharon.”

No common theme here, no siree.......

Posted by Steve at 01:10 PM | Comments (1)

Scenes from a societal suicide

Will the Netherlands grasp the situation before their society dies? Unfortunately, I think the answer is no.

UPDATE: Belmont Club has futher observations, while Goldstein has this gem:

Root causes, you know. Mr Van Gogh was evidently not sensitive enough to the rights of Muslims to dehumanize and degrade women. And in a multicultural society, those who are so intolerant are just asking to have their heads sawed nearly off
Posted by Steve at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

MNF--Vikings v. Colts

Annika has her picks.

Yips! from Robbo: I notice that she is also promising bare midriff and thighs. We'll be standing by.

Posted by Steve at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

Fleetwood Mac as a violation of the Geneva Conventions?

You make the call.

Now if they had been playing Kenny G, sure.....

Posted by Steve at 12:55 PM | Comments (3)

South Park REpublicans Unite

Kenny Revealed.

Plus, I can't wait for the episode of South Park when the kids destroy a fluffy-kitty loving blowhard blogger....

Posted by Steve at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

Quick! Someone alert Karl Rove!

The Crack Young Staff at the HMQ has blown the lid off of the criminal dog Bush's second term agenda! Needless to say, the Chimperor's Sith Masters at Halliburton are prominently featured.

Personally, my favorite is the "No Child Let to Breathe Act"....

Posted by Steve at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

Hammer Time Update

Looks like this is the real thing in Fallujah. As always when the action hots up, be sure to stop by the invaluable Command Post's Iraq Page for all the updates.

According to CentCom, "Iraqi Security Forces and the I Marine Expeditionary Force continue to degrade and disrupt anti-Iraqi forces in the Fallujah-Ramadi area."

I believe "degrade and disrupt" is military jargon for "kick the living crap out of."

Good luck and God bless to all of our people.

UPDATE: Wizbang has more details, while the Commissar has satelite maps. And Belmont Club of course: here, and here
and here.

Posted by Robert at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Make Them Go Away, Dave!

Walt over at Truth, Lies and Common Sense relays a WebMD article about Earworms, those snatches of song that lodge themselves in your brain and play over and over and over and over again.

This happens to me more or less continuously. (Seriously. I have some kind of music running through my head almost literally every waking moment, usually two or three very different tracks running in and out of each other. For reasons I can't begin to fathom, the current selection is a mix of the chase through the asteroid field from "The Empire Strikes Back" and Sarah Evans' "Suds in the Bucket".) Usually, the only thing I can do to dislodge one tune is to replace it with another. As you might imagine, this is a temporary solution at best.

The vast majority of the ditties mentioned in the article have chewed on my grey cells more than once. But what the article fails to note is the additional level of pain experienced by those who spend any time with small children. It's bad enough to have to put up with "We Will Rock You," for example, but think how much worse it is to have a whole legion of Barney, Elmo and Wiggles songs ready to leap out at you in the blink of an eye. Oh, the humanity!

Posted by Robert at 11:35 AM | Comments (3)

GIS Computer Software and the Bush Reelection Strategy

Last week we speculated on the use of Geographic Information Systems software as a critical element of establishing the Republican victory:

I have a hunch that the key to the victory was an incredibly detailed, precinct by precinct mapping of the entire country, and building the whole campaign around those central truths. The Republicans had their eye on the electoral ball in a way that the Democrats never seemed to. We're all aware how much computer technology influenced this campaign in terms of the internet, but I do not think we are really appreciating the influence of Geographic Information Software (GIS), and its ability to graphically represent a vast quantity of data. My hunch is that Rove and his people made extensive use of GIS software in placing ads, and most importantly in the get out the vote. Meanwhile, the Democrats spent millions of dollars hosting a string of Jon Bon Jovi/John Cougar Mellencamp concerts.

I haven't been able to find any stories about the GOP using GIS--I don't know for a fact that they were, but the precision with which their end game was run makes me think they were.

Yesterday, this insightful article in the Washington Post had the following tidbit:

Bush's advisers said one key to victory was the early decision to change the composition of the electorate by finding and registering more Republicans. "When I went to the RNC in July [2003], I asked Karl what was the most important thing I could do, and he said, 'Close the gap between registered Republicans and registered Democrats,' " Gillespie said. "We registered 3.4 million voters."

Bush's team did not go about this randomly. With considerable assistance from Dowd's research, the Bush operation sniffed out potential voters with precision-guided accuracy, particularly in fast-growing counties beyond the first ring of suburbs of major cities. The campaign used computer models and demographic files to locate probable GOP voters. "They looked at what they read, what they watch, what they spend money on," a party official said.

Once those people were identified, the RNC sought to register them, and the campaign used phone calls, mail and front-porch visits -- all with a message emphasizing the issues about which they cared most -- to encourage them to turn out for Bush. "We got a homogeneous group of new registered voters and stayed on them like dogs," another official said.

That combination -- careful identification of potential Bush voters and continuing contact with the help of a volunteer army that Mehlman said numbered 1.4 million people by Election Day -- helped Bush overcome what Democrats regard as their best-ever get-out-the-vote operation.

Many Democrats have seized on exit polls showing that 22 percent of voters said "moral values" were most important to them as evidence of what brought Bush the victory. But Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin, in an analysis released yesterday, said he disagrees, noting that Bush had increased his support among nonregular churchgoers more than among churchgoers. "To focus on values misses the crucial point that this was the post-9/11 election, and the war on terror set the stage and the context for the choices many voters were making," Garin wrote.

What they are describing is GIS programs.

Advantage Llamabutchers!

Posted by Steve at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)

Howard Keel, R.I.P.

Howard Keel has died at age 85. Most of you young'uns remember him best as Clayton Farlow, the guy who married Miss Ellie on "Dallas" after Jock Ewing cashed in.

I know him mostly because of the movie version of Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate," in which Keel co-starred with Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller. (I own a copy.) Frankly, the movie is rather flat and the acting is pretty poor. But the dance numbers are fantastic. And the songs are Cole Porter, after all.

There is one throw-away line that I enjoy that probably doesn't even register with people these days. Briefly, Keel and Grayson play stormily-divorced actors starring opposite each other in a musical version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Grayson, who is now engaged to a rancher named Tex, is cutting up rough, torpedoing the production to get at Keel for reasons I need not explain here. Finally, in exasperation, Keel puts her over his knee and spanks her onstage.

Here's the throwaway that I love: After the curtain falls, Grayson storms off the stage and announces she's going to send for Tex to come get her. "I'll show him my bruises," she says defiantly. Keel's slightly shocked response is, "You can't. You're not married yet."

I love that.

Without over-analyzing it, I love the assumed code of pre-nuptual propriety, a relic of a period long gone in the Culture. But I also love the obvious implication that once she does marry Tex, Grayson's character can show him anything she wants.

One of the problems with modern mores is that people seem to confuse propriety with prudishness, often believing that just because someone is unwilling to do something in the street (where it will frighten the horses), they are automatically unwilling to do it at all. In a culture virtually without inhibitions, they fail to understand that the existence of such inhibitions actually enhances things by giving people something to push against. Also, alas, there is no room in such an atmosphere for the kind of innuendo, double entendre and subtle little lines like this one that were such a part of the earlier era. A pity, really.

Posted by Robert at 11:05 AM | Comments (1)

Greatest lead sentance of. all. time.

In the Telegraph, describing Mikey Moore:

Not since Moby Dick has a great white whale been so bloodily harpooned.

(Thanks to Glenn for the point).

Posted by Steve at 10:15 AM | Comments (1)

Durin's Bridging the Gap (Or "Aw, Jeez, He's At It Again")

As both of our long-time readers know, I have often used this site as a forum for venting my dislike of the "Lord of the Rings" movies. I have in the past argued that they desecrate the books on which they are allegedly based, badly mangling plot, characters and themes. I have further responded to those who argue that the movies should be judged as works of art in their own right that, if this is the case, then Peter Jackson should get his own damn Middle Earth and not serve up his "vision" under Prof. Tolkien's name.

Nonetheless, in the week since the election, I have heard and read a lot of talk from the Left about the need to reach out, to come together, to heal our differences and to promote unity and inclusiveness.

In this spirit, I decided to give "The Fellowship of the Ring," which was on the WB Network last night, another try. I decided I would approach it with as open a mind as possible and with a reminder to myself that movies and books are not the same thing, that every artist is entitled to his own expression and that zealous, hide-bound purism might blind me to the movie's genuine merits.

Given this, here is what I think now:

We hates it! We HATES it! We hates it foreverrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

My God in Heaven! I've seen each of these movies now, the first one three times, the second one twice and the third once. And each time I have found myself getting crankier and crankier, not the other way around.

I think I've finally figured it out: What really irks me more than anything else is the sense of lost potential. The visual details are exquisitely done. The sets are terrific. The costumes are right. The music, even though it borders on a cross between Enya and The Chieftans, is acceptable. Aside from Viggo Mortenson, who was very badly miscast, the actors all range from the okay to the down-right good. And I think that the visualization of the wraith-world as seen by the wearer of the ring - especially with that wind-driven effect - is very well done.

But with all this, Jackson still takes the story and drives it into the ground. I'm not even talking about things like axing the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Downs. I'm not even talking that much about nixing Glorfindel so that Liv Tylor can do her Xena ride. I'm talking about some serious, serious misreadings of basic components of the story. I'm talking about the notion of Aragorn as the reluctant heir, skulking around in the background for fear of getting Isildur's cooties. I'm talking about Merry and Pippin as Beavis and Butthead. ("A Conspiracy Unmasked" is one of my very favorite chapters in the entire trilogy.) I'm talking about the over-emphasis on Saruman's transformation of Isengard (almost all of which takes place offstage in the books). I'm talking about the comic book relationship between elves and dwarves and the reduction of the Council of Elrond to a barroom brawl. There are easily a hundred other examples, some big, some small.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.


Well. The very first substantive post I did for the Llama Butchers last November was an imaginary conversation between Peter Jackson and one of his flunkies. I reprint it here, mostly for my own enjoyment:

I have absolutely no proof that the following conversation took place. However, I am morally certain that it did:

"Yes, Mr. Jackson?"
"Simpkins! Mate, we've got to discuss this character treatment of yours."
"Er, yes, Mr. Jackson - what about it?"
"Right. Look, mate, I told you off to do Gimli, right?"
"Yes, Mr. Jackson."
"Okay, so who is this Gloin guy? You give me five freekin' pages of dialogue between him and Frodo at Rivendell. I mean, it reads like "My Dinner With Andre," right?"
"Well, Mr. Jackson, Gloin was Gimli's father. He was also one of the thirteen dwarves who went with Bilbo to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug in The Hobbit. You know, when Bilbo finds the Ring? His conversation with Frodo is important because it both ties the stories together and also gives the audience an overall vision of the strategic situation east of the Misty Mountains. You'll see, Sir, that Gloin is also the Dwarves' representative at Elrond's council and reports that Black Riders are looking for Bilbo and the Ring."
"Wake me when it's over...."
"Look, mate. First, I've already got a bunch of dwarves fighting each other and the elves at the council. It's a very significant moment in my vision."
"But Sir, Gloin was the only one there in the book. And nobody fought with anybody else."
"F**k the book. Right. And for the tie-in thing, I've already got that covered in the prologue, right? I mean, I'm not paying Cate Winslet all that money for nothing, am I?"
"No, Sir."
"Right, and this dinner thing at Rivendell. Screw it. Would take ten minutes. How the hell can I find room for that and keep Liv Tyler's "Xena" chase with the Black Riders?"
"Well, about that, Sir....."
"Right. Now look, mate. LOTR is a very wonderful and meaningful vision of mine, right? So I need you to be realy respectful of that. Now, we have a problem with Gimli."
"See, we have these big hunky Men, right? Audience will love 'em. And we got that dude playing Legolas, you know, the one who looks kinda like di Caprio on steroids? They'll be all over him. But Gimli is, well, not really eye-candy. Know what I mean, mate?"
"Well, Sir, it's interesting because Tolkein really went out of his way to explore the dwarves in some detail - their origins and so on, and to show how and why they were so different from Elves and Men. There is a lot of source material in The Silmarillion and...."
"I don't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for the Simil-whatever. Audiences don't care. How can I bring my wonderful and meaningful vision of LOTR to the screen in a meaningful and caring way if I can't connect with the audience?"
"Well, Sir..."
"Shut up. I'll tell you how. The dwarf isn't sexy, right? Can't do anything about that. I mean, dwarves are, well, YOU know..... Anyway. So what we want is something that's going to connect with the audience. Something that makes them think "Oh, that's a dwarf. I know about them. I like them!" So what you need to do is write something into the story that is going to cause that connection. And I've got just the thing for you. (Don't know why I pay these blokes when I have to do all the thinking myself.)"
"Yes, Sir?"
"Two words: Dwarf tossing."
"Dwarf tossing."
"Goddamit, mate, are you deaf? Put in something about dwarf tossing, right? Audiences will love that! Kind of a comic relief thing. Maybe when they're running around in that big cave thing. That'll really get them into it - and let them share my wonderful and meaning vision of what LOTR means in terms they can relate to. So you put it in. Got that? Dwarf tossing!"
(Sadly) "Yes, Sir."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Posted by Robert at 10:14 AM | Comments (5)

Which It's A Musical Post, Ain't It?*

My six year old has been walking around the house all weekend singing a song she recently learned at school that I had never heard before. It's called "South Australia" and is obviously a sea shanty. Beyond that, I don't really know anything about it. Here are the words:

In South Australia I was born
Heave away, haul away
In South Australia 'round Cape Horn
We're bound for South Australia

Haul away you rolling king
Heave away, Haul away
Haul away oh hear me sing
We're bound for South Australia

As I walked out one morning fair
Heave away, haul away
'Twas there I met Miss Nancy Blair
We're bound for South Australia

I shook her up, I shook her down
Heave away, haul away
I shook her round and round the town
We're bound for South Australia

There ain't but one thing grieves my mind
Heave away, haul away
To leave Miss Nancy Blair behind
We're bound for South Australia

And as we wallop around Cape Horn
Heave away, haul away
You'll wish to God you'd never been born
We're bound for South Australia!

There seem to be some other verses as well in various versions of the song. You can click here to listen to a wav.file snippet.

I love this. Not only do I like the song, it's simply a pure joy to listen the the Llama-ette going about singing "heave away, haul away!" I wonder what kind of reaction some sea-dog of a hundred years ago would have if informed that, in the future, a little girl would be singing this song while dancing around on her lawn in the Northern Virginia suburbs on a sunny fall afternoon.

*A little something for you Killick fans out there.

Posted by Robert at 09:21 AM | Comments (2)


Show of hands, please: Did anyone else out there think that last night's "Simpsons" season premier was the lamest Halloween special they've ever done?

UPDATE: Michele sends a "Dear Homer" letter.

Posted by Robert at 08:51 AM | Comments (3)

In the Name of the Parent, the Offspring and the Alternative-Existence-Enabled...

Last month we flagged a pagan liturgy that surfaced on the Episcopal Church's (motto: Six Commandments, Four Suggestions) website.

Well, Gordon the ever-vigilant Cranky Neocon spotted a Philadelphia Inquirer story about the couple who were evidently responsible for the business. Radical subversives? Cutting-edge progressives? Naw. Turns out they were just a pair of geeks. (To give you an idea, their apparent "Druid" names are "Raven" and "Oakwyse." Pretty much says it all, dontcha think?)

Go read Gordon. Actually, I think this little episode opens up exciting new ecumenical possibilities. If we can have washed up Goths fiddling with things, why not Trekkies too, for example? Stand by to see the Nicine Creed replaced by the Prime Directive.

Posted by Robert at 08:41 AM | Comments (2)

November 06, 2004

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Outdoor Division

Bambi the Balrog and his eeeeevil cohorts have been in my garden again - I notice several more hydrangea have been nibbled. What I can't figure out is where they got in - unless they came right over the gate - the only section where I haven't added six-foot high deer netting. Bastards.

I've been toying with the idea of putting an arbor over the gate for some time. Perhaps this is a better idea than I had thought.......

UPDATE: Just go and read Rocket Ted's post trackbacked below. He's advocating an anti-deer treatment that Kathy the Cake-Eater also has been after me about for months. What is it with you people and your apparent fascination with Llama wee-wees?

Posted by Robert at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

A wake up call for the left

The reminder of what this war is about is in the murder of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh. The note stabbed into his chest---nice, eh?---made the following argument:

I know for sure that you, Oh America will go under; I know for sure that you, Oh Europe will go under; I know for sure that you, Oh Holland, will go under...

I know for sure two things: Amerika is not going under, but I have a feeling, sir, that you'll be going down. In prison.

Axis Sully of course has his skirts in a bunch, after rediscovering what the war is about. Sorry Sully---too little too late.

Still no word from this guy----fingers crossed that everything's A-OK.

Posted by Steve at 12:22 AM | Comments (0)

Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare John Kerry to Bill the Cat

It's an insult to Bill.

Oop Ack! Thpfffft!

Posted by Steve at 12:09 AM | Comments (3)

en fuego

I just wanted to point out two blogs that have been en fuego as of late:

Nicole at Potomac Ponderings

Gordon at the Cranky Neo Khan.
(his Polar Express spoof is simply priceless--it made my wife, whose favorite politican is Jerry Brown, laugh very hard----but the only problem could be that it would seem to me that Santa is trying to give us a hint about his political preferences with his color scheme, no? That's right, I'm calling the North Pole and Santa's Village for the Red States. While the big guy himself is firmly in the celebrity Kerry supporter category, the Rovester no doubt broke down the statistics and was able to get the fundamentalist, gun-toting elf vote out in record droves motivated by Santa's support for giving kids presents regardless of whether they were actually naughty or nice).

I would love to get a little animated parrot that said "Read and Scroll, read and scroll, BRAWWWK! Heh! Indeed! BRAWWWK!"

Posted by Steve at 12:05 AM | Comments (4)

November 05, 2004

Not exactly Alice Roosevelt...

We report, you decide. Although I do wonder whether those outfits will make it into the Smithsonian's new exhibit to compliment its famous collection of First Ladies' gowns, "Hall of the Skanky First Daughters."

Posted by Steve at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)


Rusty has some interesting insight into the whole "how the heck were the exit polls so screwed up?" Sounds legit to me.

Personally, I still like my "Trading Places" hypothesis.....

Posted by Steve at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

Llama Housekeeping Matters

What with the election and all, we've been putting off a pretty serious overhaul of our blogroll. But seeing that we're currently at #91 in the TTLB Eco-system with 726 unique links (in your face, Taranto!), it's time that we did something about it.

Basically, we've got four tasks ahead of us.

First, we've become readers of a number of new-to-us blogs since the last time we went through this exercise that have not yet made it on to our blogroll. Apologies all around. We need to put these good and deserving folks in.

Second, we're working on a better set of menu items. The Llama Cold Pizza category, for example, has become something of a catch-all. We think we are on to some humorous ways of splitting out our various blogsphere friends into other, slicker groupings, and currently are working on the allotments. Worried about where you're gonna wind up? Tip jar's over to the right.

Third, as our TTLB ranking indicates, we've been picked up by a whole bunch of other blogs recently, many of them just starting out. (I still haven't got used to the notion that someone else might be looking to us as one of the older hands in the 'Sphere. But our traffic doesn't lie. Very weird.) Anyhoo, in honor of all these folks, we intend to set up a recipricalroll, a reciperoroll, a separate column of folks who link to us.

Finally, I really like that thingum that you can put on your blogroll that gives little update notices when the other party has added something fresh to their site. I may have asked this before, but if anyone out there knows how one goes about setting this up, please drop us a line.

Yip! Yip!

YIPS from Steve: The other thing we need to do is reset our archive coding so that only that post pops up, not the entire page for the entire dang month. Anybody know an easy way to do this?

Posted by Robert at 05:32 PM | Comments (2)

Hammer Time

It appears as if Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi has given the go ahead for the marines and Iraqi forces to go in and beat the bejesus out of the bad guys holed up in Fallujah.

Frankly, I don't blame Allawi for waiting for the elections here to go off. After listening to all that "wrong war, wrong time, wrong place" guff coming out of the Kerry camp all fall, I'd have made damn sure that he wasn't going to be calling the shots before I commited myself to something like this as well.

On the other hand, with Dubya firmly returned with a healthy chunk of "political capital" in his back pocket, I'm willing to bet the bad guys are sweating pretty hefty-sized bullets right about now. Buh-bye, boys.......

UPDATE: Our pal Rae posts a letter from a Marine that should remove any remaining doubts about whether the bad guys should be scared or not.

Posted by Robert at 04:56 PM | Comments (2)

What Will The Final Tally Be?

I don't really know, but Useless Today is now claiming that Bush beat Kerry in the popular vote by 5% - 52/47.

As "they" say, we shall see.

UPDATE: Apparently, these are older numbers. 51/48 still seems to be right. Eh.

Posted by Robert at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

Another Mini-Moo-Knew

Big Llama Yips! to fellow Moonoovian Jordana over at Curmudgeonry on the birth of her new, er, Curmudgeon-ette!

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

The sharpest cut of them all

Evan Thomas and the Newsweek jackals on Kerry:

The morning after the Feb. 3 primaries, which vaulted Kerry into a virtual-ly insurmountable lead, the candidate was fuming over his missing hairbrush. He and his aides were riding in a van on the way to a Time magazine cover-photo shoot. Nicholson had left the hairbrush behind. "Sir, I don't have it," he said, after rummaging in the bags. "Marvin, f---!" Kerry said. The press secretary, David Wade, offered his brush. "I'm not using Wade's brush," the long-faced senator pouted. "Marvin, f---, it's my Time photo shoot."

Nicholson was having a bad day. Breakfast had been late and rushed and not quite right for the senator. In the van, Kerry was working his cell phone and heard the beep signaling that the phone was running out of juice. "Marvin, charger," he said without turning around. "Sorry, I don't have it," said Nicholson, who was sitting in the rear of the van. Now Kerry turned around. "I'm running this campaign myself," he said, looking at Nicholson and the other aides. "I get myself breakfast. I get myself hairbrushes. I get myself my cell-phone charger. It's pretty amazing." In silent frustration, Nicholson helplessly punched the car seat.

Hey, I think Kerry is a jackass and I'm glad he didn't win, but that's just a low blow.

UPDATE: Annika digs deeper into the part about their failure to identify the Swift Vets as a real threat. Unlike the hair brush stuff, this is real meat.

Posted by Steve at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

Holy crap!

Want to see some signs of how Tuesday is reshaping the world political environment?

Take this passage from a prominent newspaper:

Speaking in front of television cameras the other day, the Palestinian envoy to Paris, Leila Shahid, was almost in tears.

“I cannot imagine life without Arafat,” she said referring to the Palestinian leader who is reported to be fighting for his life in a French military hospital.

Miss Shahid was expressing the sentiments of many Palestinians. Miss Shahid and her fellow Palestinians, however, are now obliged to use their imagination, and fast.

The Palestinians would have been better off had they imagined life without Yasser Arafat over a decade ago. At the Madrid Peace Conference of1992 , the world discovered a new Palestinian leadership. There was Haider Abdul-Shafi, a respectable patrician from Gaza, along with Faisal Al-Husseini, a statesman in the making. There were other voices of wisdom and moderation.

Covering the Madrid Conference, I was witness to the unease that the Israeli delegation, notably Prime Minister Yitzahk Shamir and his protégé Benjamin Netanyahu felt in the face of a Palestinian leadership that could not be branded “terrorist” or “extremist.”

The Palestinians who had come to Madrid were genuine. They lived in Palestine and, because of their work as teachers, lawyers and doctors were in daily contact with their people. They were not professional “liberators” living in golden exile, mixing business and politics.

They did not want the Palestinian people to kill and die so that Arab despots could silence their own people in the name of the Palestinian “cause.” They had no time for the so-called intellectuals and return-ticket revolutionaries who, for more than half a century, have been telling the Palestinians to go and get killed so that their “martyrdom” could be remembered in poems recited at tea houses and sermons made at mosques thousands of miles away.

The Weeklyl Standard? The Jersualem Post? Some Neo-Khan journal?

Try the Arab Freakin' News.


Here's the Arab News on the election results:

Undoubtedly, the Bush victory has deflated many Arab-Americans and Muslims who hoped that a change in leadership could perhaps change the perceived anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias of the US war on terror. What many people don’t realize is that after the horror of the Sept.11 , 2001, attacks on the US, the majority of Americans support a tough approach to terrorism around the globe, even if that means sometimes trampling on the civil rights of some people.

An unstable Iraq, where more than1 , 000US soldiers have been killed since the US invasion in2003 , and a US economy that’s not doing so well, were not enough to dislodge Bush from the White House.

What many foreign observers forget when they view the US is that it is quite a conservative and religious nation. Most Americans are anti-abortion, don’t support gay marriage, want fewer taxes, and are family-oriented and go to church regularly. The wildly liberal and violent image of Americans that Hollywood and US TV shows export to eager viewers worldwide is a somewhat skewed and misleading vision of the American way of life.

The only glimmer of hope that I see in the second Bush administration is that the pressure for democratic and economic reforms in the Middle East will continue, much to the consternation of all autocratic regimes in the region.

While many believe that Bush invaded Iraq just for the oil, there is growing evidence that he may have also done so to permanently improve the Middle East.

After the fact emerged that the 19 hijackers who slammed US passenger jets into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington were Arabs, many in the Bush administration realized that decades of coddling regional dictators coupled with a resurgent Islam and stagnant economies had created the monster of Al-Qaeda and its millions of supporters across the Muslim world.

Enemies of the US, who envy its success and freedoms, want it to fail in Iraq, as if it succeeds it would set an example for neighboring countries that Arab governments would find hard to resist.

A different article goes on in this direction:

Wednesday that changed, changed utterly. President Bush and his Republican army recorded a famous victory, one that may come to be seen as more than a mere election triumph — rather, a turning point in American life, a realignment.

For 12 hours that fact was obscured by the fate of Ohio, and the desperate Democratic desire to see if that pivotal state might be wrested from Republican hands. By late morning the challenger John Kerry realized it was a vain hope. This was no Florida2000 .

For George Bush had done more than rack up the requisite numbers in the electoral college. He had done what he signally failed to do four years ago, win the popular vote — and not by a sliver, but by a3 . 5million margin.

Bush had also achieved what no one had managed since his father in1988 , winning more than50 percent of the vote. But, of course, he had outdone his father, becoming a member of that surprisingly small, select club of presidents who have won two full terms.

That alone would ensure that this first decade of the21 st century would become the Bush era, just as the 1980s belonged to Ronald Reagan, and the1990 s to Bill Clinton. But there was more.

The Republicans expanded their presence in the 100-seat Senate from 51 to 55 seats, beating Democrats in almost every close contest and toppling their senate leader. They increased their majority in the House of Representatives, too. Under Bush the Republican Party has won clear control of both the legislative and executive branches of the US government — with a mandate whose legitimacy no one can doubt.

But the Republican revolution will not stop there. A subplot to this week’s drama has been playing out at the Supreme Court, where the80 -year old Chief Justice William Rehnquist has been incapacitated by thyroid cancer. Few expect him to serve for much longer, giving President Bush the chance to appoint a successor. A social conservative, such as White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, is a likely nominee.

Other vacancies on the bench are imminent. Once filled, Bush will have overturned the court’s wafer-thin moderate majority. The court could set to work unraveling a50 -year settlement that has asserted the rights of women, black Americans and, more recently, homosexuals. Opposition to affirmative action or abortion rights has, until now, been a minority position in America’s highest court. That could change. And the conservative takeover of all three branches of the American government (executive, legislative and judiciary) would be complete.

So George Bush will be no footnote to history; he is instead making it.

Those outside America, in the chanceries of Europe and beyond, who hoped that this would be a passing phase, like a Florida hurricane that wreaks havoc only to blow over, will instead have to adjust to a different reality.

For four years many hoped that the course charted by President Bush — a muscular go-it-alone view of a world divided between the forces of darkness and those of light — would prove to be a blip. Come Nov.2 ,2004 , they wanted to believe, normal service would be resumed. The United States would return to the old way of doing business, in concert with allies and with respect for the international system the US itself had done so much to create. The norms of foreign policy pursued by every president from Roosevelt to Clinton, including the first George Bush, would be revived. Sen. Kerry promised as much. Now that fantasy will be shelved. The White House is not about to ditch the approach of the last four years. Why would it? Despite the mayhem and murder in Iraq, despite the death of more than1 , 000US soldiers and countless (and uncounted) Iraqis, despite the absence of weapons of mass destruction, despite Abu Ghraib, the Bush administration won the approval of the American people. If Bush had lost the neoconservative project would have been buried forever. But he won, and the neocons will welcome that as sweet vindication.

So it will be full steam ahead. “There are real threats that have to be dealt with,” Danielle Pletka of the impeccably neocon American Enterprise Institute told the Guardian Wednesday. Iran would not go away — indeed, Ms. Pletka warned, “force might be the only option” — nor would North Korea. “We can’t all pretend that the world would be a prettier place if only George W. Bush was not the president.”

There were plenty of people around the globe who used to think precisely that way, hoping that the past four years were a bad dream which would end Wednesday. Now they have to navigate around a geopolitical landscape in which President Bush is the dominant, fixed feature.

But Wednesday ‘s victory also signaled a shift in America itself. It has been under way for several decades, but now it is revealed in all its clarity. The electoral map showed it in full color: “Blue” coasts where the Democrats won, vast “red” swaths of the Republican heartland everywhere else.

Democrats need to stare long and hard at that map and at this comprehensive defeat. Exit pollsters, who failed so dismally to predict the result, made some telling discoveries. Many Bush voters admitted their unhappiness on Iraq and confessed to great economic hardship — two issues which ordinarily would be enough to defeat an incumbent. But these voters backed Bush, because he reflected something they regarded as even more important: Their values.

Those values can be boiled down to issues — abortion, guns, gays — but they represent a larger, cultural difference. One Republican analyst asks people four questions. Do you have a friend or relative serving in the military? Do you have any personal ties to rural America? Do you attend religious services on a weekly basis? Do you own a gun? Answer yes to most or all of those, and you are “a cultural conservative” and most likely vote Republican. Answer no, and the chances are you live on the east or west coast and vote Democrat.

In 2000 this cultural split was dead-even:50 -50 America. This time it was51 - 49America, with the conservatives in the majority.

Put plainly, the US is moving steadily and solidly to the right. That poses a problem for Democrats, who have to learn to speak to the people of those red states if they are ever to hold power again. But it also poses a problem for America, which has somehow to house two radically diverging cultures in one nation. And it may even pose a problem for the rest of the world’s peoples, as they watch the sole superpower, the indispensable nation, chart a course they fear — and barely understand.

UPDATE: The Commissar has further thoughts in context of Fallujah.

Posted by Steve at 02:35 PM | Comments (2)

Sci-Fi Babe Watch Update

JohnL has his latest Sci-Fi Babe Poll up over at TexasBestGrok.

This week, it's the women of "Blade Runner." I have to confess my complete lack of coolness - I have never actually seen this movie. (I know, I know.) But I'm sure the vast majority of you have, so get on over and vote early and often.

The winner will find a place in John's new Gallery of SF Babe Poll Winners. Of course, a loser might make it in also - don't think I didn't notice that photo of Princess Ardala you snuck in there, monkey boy! Col. Deering still rules!

Posted by Robert at 02:14 PM | Comments (2)

Llamas Go To The Movies

Well, at least according to my mother, no surprises here:

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by
Wha..wha...well, only thing I...I can't understand is wha...wha..why everybody makes fun of the wh..wh..way I talk.......

Yips! to Brew, who's got a slightly different test posted up over at his place.

Posted by Robert at 02:04 PM | Comments (7)

Barkeep, Gimme A Shot Of What He's Drinkin'

Jeff Goldstein has some other Karl Rove Conspiracy Theories. Ladies and Gentlemen, no hot beverages, please.

Posted by Robert at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

This Blows

Last night, the first big gen-u-ine howling fall cold front hit the Dee-Cee area with a whoop and a holler. In keeping with tradition, it immediately knocked the power out at my house. (I woke up at around 3 AM at an unusually loud wind gust, but don't know if the power was out already.)

As of about 1 PM this afternoon, the bloody power is still out. (Dominion Virginia Power says we're one of about 390 customers still without in NoVa.)

Thank you for reading this rant.

Posted by Robert at 01:03 PM | Comments (2)

Tongue-Swallowers Watch

Half of Blogistan has been all over Jane Smiley's Slate piece already. Kerry Spot maestro Jim Geraghty sums up the emerging Moonbat worldview encapsulated in it best: The Democratic slogan for the 2006 elections: "Vote for us, you drooling morons!"

Anyhoo, go read. Then come back and talk to me about reaching out, healing and inclusiveness. It strikes me that the true Moonbat Left probably cannot be redeemed. I see no particular reason to waste any time and effort on them. The tricky part for the GOP is going to be dealing in good faith with the rest of the Donks without this band of rabid banshees - who still control large chunks of the MSM and Hollywood - trashing the process. The trickier part is going to be for the Donks themselves to successfully exorcsize this element from their party.

Who ya gonna call?

goofy hillary pic.jpeg

Posted by Robert at 12:45 PM | Comments (2)

And so it begins....

With only approximately 1460 days until the 2008 elections, Hillary Clinton is hitting the stump speaking to the........................Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for the families of SpecOps men killed defending our country. I guess its part of her bid for destiny as the most uncompromising wartime leader in American history.

Fortunately, the Froggie is doing recon and will keep us all posted. Thanks, Matthew!

Posted by Steve at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

Lunch time pipe-burster

I had some fun with a colleague this morning who was the local queen of the "Bush was SELECTED not ELECTED" meme.

So I said to her, "Well, since Bush wasn't elected in 2000, he can run again in 2008---because the 25th Amendment bars being elected more than once...."

If you can imagine a high pressure sewer pipe exploding in a small confined space you get the beginning of the picture......Net result, however, was the concession that Bush had been elected after all in 2000.

Go figure.

Posted by Steve at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

It's official!

Bush wins Iowa, putting his Electoral Vote total at 286.

We had predicted 286 in the Electoral College, but were short one seat in the Senate totals (Lisa Murkowski, who knew?)

UPDATE: Wizbang has a roundup of election predictions gone awry.

UPDATE DEUX: 59,459,782....and the Commissar has some thoughts on Shrub Chimperor exceeding 5 year plan of criminal reactionary Rove. In that vein, I have to report Comrade Pixy for undermining the morale of the glorious people's soviet!

Plus, The Brain is trying to google bomb himself to gain ownership of the google title of "blog machine." As Lord Worfin would say, "Not so fast, monkey boy!"

And to seal in the lunch time fun, the latest economic numbers are in and.......wait for it.......ACE HAS COWBELL!

The scary thing is, I've been dreaming of cowbell lately. I've been blogging so much my subconscious mind has become a perverted melding of the LLamas, the Jawas, Goldstein, and Ace (which sounds kind of like the JV lineup of a KISS imitator band). Goldstein, you say? Let's just say he's blown the lid on the greatest conspiracy theory of all time, how Karl Rove tapped the Secret Power of the Rosicrucians to steal the election. The Ring goes south, indeed.

Posted by Steve at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

Lit Geekiness (Or, "Is That Dr. Johnson In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?")

One of our friends remarked in comments below that she thought I knew a lot about literature. Well, to see if I could get some kind of scientific read on this, I went over and tried the Literature Geek Purity Test. My score came out to 60.6% Lit-Geek Pure, which is okay, but still allows me out in public unchaperoned. (I think it pretty accurately reflects the fact that I was a Brit-Lit major in college, but did not follow up with any kind of post-grad work and now indulge in such things only for my own amusement. On the whole, this is probably for the best.)

Posted by Robert at 11:41 AM | Comments (2)

Starting to Really Sink In

I woke up this morning with the thought that I really hadn't put how I've been feeling since Wednesday afternoon into words. Well there's no point in keeping a dog and barking oneself. Allow me, then, to call on the talent of Mr. James Brown:

I feel good, I knew that I wouldn't of
I feel good, I knew that I wouldn't of
So good, so good, I got you

I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you
{ sax, two licks to bridge }
When I cast my vote for yooooo
I know that I can do no wrong
and when I cast my vote for yooooo
My love won't do you no harm
and I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you
{ sax, two licks to bridge }
When I foil them stupid mooonbats
I know that I can't do no wrong
and when I foil them stupid mooonbats
My love can't do me no harm
and I feel nice, like sugar and spice
I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, well I got you

I feel good, I knew that I wouldn't of
I feel good, I knew that I would
So good, so good, 'cause I got you
So good, so good, 'cause I got you
So good, so good, 'cause I got you
{ end lick }
{ short pause } { drum cue }
Hey! Oh yeah-a...

Thangyuh. Thangyuh verrah mush. I'll be here all weekend!

Posted by Robert at 10:26 AM | Comments (1)


Michele Catalano, doing what she does best---taking a shovel to the side of the head of Ted Rall's prose.

Oh, and zombies are mentionned. Often.

Note to self: never, EVER piss off Michele!

UPDATE: Man, I knew Paris Hilton was doing get-out-the-vote campaign stuff, but boy was civics class never this good when I was in junior high....

Posted by Steve at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Llama-Friend Book Bleg

Grandma Deece, a long time fan of ours, is looking for a little help tracking down the title of a morality tale. Frankly, I'm skunked. Go on over and see if you can give her a hand. Thanks!

Posted by Robert at 09:31 AM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2004

25 years ago today

iran hostage.jpeg main_khomeini.jpg

Posted by Steve at 11:10 PM | Comments (1)

We few, we noble few....

The irony of all this is John Kerry's use of the "Band of Brothers" theme.

Of course, that would make the LLamabutchers---at least, Steve the LLamabutcher---the Jack Falstaff of the Pajama Longbowman.

Posted by Steve at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

Blue state, red state

fmasmall.jpg neener.jpg

Glenn has some more truly outrageous by entirely predictable pictures from the left today...

UPDATE: Our old pal the Leather Penguin has the quote of the day:

I'm kicking the next asshat I see banging a bongo drum.

Posted by Steve at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

Great New (to me at least) Blog

The eponymously titled "Daniel W. Casey Blog."

Posted by Steve at 09:48 PM | Comments (5)

The Red, the Blue, and the Purple

Purple America---where "red" and "blue" coexist on the same street, occupy the same house---is going to be the key for both parties going into 2006 and 2008. I have a hunch that the key to the victory was an incredibly detailed, precinct by precinct mapping of the entire country, and building the whole campaign around those central truths. The Republicans had their eye on the electoral ball in a way that the Democrats never seemed to. We're all aware how much computer technology influenced this campaign in terms of the internet, but I do not think we are really appreciating the influence of Geographic Information Software (GIS), and its ability to graphically represent a vast quantity of data. My hunch is that Rove and his people made extensive use of GIS software in placing ads, and most importantly in the get out the vote. Meanwhile, the Democrats spent millions of dollars hosting a string of Jon Bon Jovi/John Cougar Mellencamp concerts.

I haven't been able to find any stories about the GOP using GIS--I don't know for a fact that they were, but the precision with which their end game was run makes me think they were.

The Commissar has some more on "Purple Amerika" along with the link to some nifty interactive maps.

But the long and the short of it, for the Republicans in 2008, is Wisconisn. This time, we got Iowa. Nail down Wisconsin, and they'll be impregnable.

For the Democrats: if they are smart, they'll start taking a look at outgoing Virginia Governor Mark Warner.

UPDATE: If the Democrats are going to get back in things they need to shed their celebrity culture mongering. I know I smiled thinking about Mikey Moore when I cast my ballot. Here's the Boston Herald:

Think there was some celebrity backlash??? Payne said Kerry ``used all the available means he could'' to get people on board with his vision. As in staahs like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Barbra Streisand, Sheryl Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirsten Dunst, Uma Thurman, Jon Bon Jovi, blah, blah, blah. . . . But the prof believes someone like ``Mr. Fahrenheit 9/11'' Michael Moore, who spewed anti-Bush venom at every turn, did more damage to Kerry's campaign than Karl Rove ever hoped! ``Someone like Moore tried to galvanize people against Bush, but in fact energized the evangelicals,'' he said. Even P. Diddy, who started up Citizens Change, the group behind the ever-so-creative ``Vote or Die'' campaign, had second thoughts about his slagging of the Commander-in-Chief. Apparently, P. realized, albeit a little late in the game, that yelling to the masses to get Dubya's ``ass out of office'' wasn't, as his incarcerated pal Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. ``I was a little reckless with my comments, to be honest,'' Diddy told MTV News on Election Day. ``I learned a lot in this process. I learned that my power could be used better. Instead of attacking Bush, it would be better to light a flame under young Americans and let them make the decisions.'' At least Puffy voted, unlike his ``Vote or Die'' poster girl Paris Hilton who skipped her civic duty on Tuesday.

Ya think?

UPDATE: Hold the mayo has some more thoughts on the color purple.

Posted by Steve at 08:39 PM | Comments (3)

What's next?

For the Democrats?

For the Republicans?

This is something I want to examine in greater depth in the near future. I'm pulling together some stats and trying to sift through the numbers to see if we can pose the question of whether the long-awaited "critical election" or "partisan realignment" has finally taken place. This will have tremendous consquences for both parties, and deserves some examination. (Irish Elk has some funny cartoons celebrating the Republican victory in 1896)

In the meantime, The Brain--floating disembodied in a murky glass tank, deep under the bowels of a major Amerikan land grant university---has some thoughts on what this means for the party of FDR, as does the Irish Elk, who is probably going to be feeling the effects of back-to-back mega hangovers experienced by the Red Sox fan and Bush supporter who lives in Gotham City. Reverend Pixy asks from Down Under whether the Democrats can avoid "the brain eaters"? (Unfortunately, he's not talking about Zombies, although that would explain certain of Bobby & Ethel's kids behavior.)

Posted by Steve at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

Red-Headed Cinema

Sheila is having a movie quote contest. Just go on over and start scrolling.

(Her comment section is cutting up rough at the moment - just keep trying. I see several that I know well and am mad with frustration that I can't answer 'em yet.)

Posted by Robert at 04:41 PM | Comments (2)

Llama Movie Blegging

Any of you loyal readers out there know anything about this new Pixar movie "The Incredibles"? My kids are after me to take them to see it.

Posted by Robert at 03:43 PM | Comments (5)

I'm sure you can all agree with me that we have to keep our eye on the ball

dan rather head on wall.jpg

UPDATE: The Commissar has the details of the latest scoop for Sixty Minutes.

UPDATE DEUX: Michele has some election night Ratherisms. True? Not sure---but damn funny nonetheless.

Posted by Steve at 02:06 PM | Comments (1)

So Who's First Against the Wall At DNC HQ?

A long time reader emails the following observation about the election results:

Bottom line - the country (or majority) is sick of the liberal morals and attitudes, real or imagined, i.e. gay marriage, 3rd trimester abortion, etc. This, I think, is even more important than the war outside of the Beltway and the pundits (or most of them) missed it. Let's see what [Bush] does with this mandate.

Today's Wall Street Journal editorial page sounds a similar theme in its summation of the Donks' dilemma:

But let's be candid with our Democratic friends: On Tuesday, a majority of the American electorate took a look at their party and asked, "Who are these people?" Who are George Soros, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Susan Sontag, Teresa Heinz Kerry and all of these other self-anoited spokespersons for everything good and true? And what does a party that is dominated by a loose coalition of the coastal intelligensia, billionaires with too much spare time, the trial lawyers' association, the Hollywood Actors' Guild, rock stars and unionized labor have in common with what's quaintly known as Middle America? The majority's answers were (a) not us; and (b) not a whole lot.


This is a Democratic Party in which nostalgia for tradition is too often considered racism, opposition to gay marriages is bigotry, misgiving about abortion is misogyny, Christian fundamentalism is like Islamic fundamentalism, discussion about gender roles is sexism, and confidence in America's global purpose is cultural imperialism. To put it mildly, this is not the values system to which most Americans now adhere.

I think there is a great deal to this cultural theme (which, in fact, is an integral part of the WOT as well) and it is one very much worth watching.

The WSJ goes on to suggest that if Hillary Clinton has any ambition towards '08, the task of "moral normalization" may fall upon her. Now I personally loathe Hillary, but I will give her three things very handy in politics: 1) she is very intelligent, 2) she knows how to learn from mistakes (hers and others'), and 3) she is utterly ruthless. Which makes me think this: If Hillary manages to place herself in charge of the firing squad, do you have any doubt whatsoever that she will purge the Donks' upper echelons with a Stalinesque efficiency? Expect Terry McCauliffe, for example, to start vanishing from DNC photographs soon. And if he winds up with an ice-pick in his back, don't be too surprised.

Who else d'you think will earn the exhalted position of Glorious Martyr of the HRC Revolution?

UPDATE AND TODAY'S REQUIRED READING: Mark Steyn. Two words that require no other explanation.

FURTHER UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge picks up on this same theme and provides a sample of the mindset inside the Coastal Cocoon. I agree with the good Prof - people are free to say or think whatever they want. But I also think the Donks are toast if they don't jettison this kind of thinking pretty damn quick.

Posted by Robert at 01:33 PM | Comments (4)


You know how at the last game of the NBA finals or something, they'll do a gauzy-lens highlight reel to the tune of some cheesy soft anthem by Bruce Hornsby?

Well, sit back, cue up "Memories" on the old i-Pod, and enjoy the LLamas' own "Highlights of the 2004 Campaign"

what the.jpeg

Posted by Steve at 01:29 PM | Comments (1)

Okay, this has to stop NOW!

We've gone days now without anyone googling our site for "Jennifer Millerwise naked pictures" which is a relief: we do serious political science analysis here!

However, some sick, sick, disturbed person googled us up for "Katrina van den Heuvel naked pictures".

I think I can speak for all of Red State Amerika by saying, "Ewwwwwwwwwwwww gross"

UPDATE: Rocket Jones feels our pain. Ummm, maybe that's not the right metaphor under the circumstances....

Posted by Steve at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

Why we love Sheila O'Malley

Stuff like this:

Very exciting

I am going to see Team America tonight.

Start off the day with Federalist # 10 and end it with Team America? Hell, yeah.

Here are her comments on Federalist 10 and her review of Team America.

Posted by Steve at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

Remind me to never piss off the frogman

Froggy Ruminations:

Forget about bipartisanship, let's flatten Fallujah, pack the courts, and let the left know in no uncertain terms that they either have to move right or move to Europe.

Let's bask in the glory of this historic and wonderful election, but don't let the left spin this any other way except total, complete, abject, and unmitigated repudiation.

Bush & Cheney: Four more years of dead terrorists and lower taxes!

Posted by Steve at 12:50 PM | Comments (1)

Alanis Morrissette...Irony Pickup, Aisle Five

Yassir Arafat, dying in bed, in a French Military Hospital.

Somewhere, Laurence Simon is popping a champagne cork....

UPDATE: Did Chirac get the passcodes to the Swiss Bank Accounts?

Posted by Steve at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

Gratuitous Llama Book Posting


Over the weekend, I dove into Anthony Everitt's Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician. It turns out to be a very good layman's history of the end of the Roman Republic, the ensuing civil wars and the early foundations of the Empire that arose in their aftermath. Also, Everitt gets close to Cicero without getting too personally involved with him. In this way, he is able to provide a non-partisan analysis of Cicero's character (which was very complicated) as well as of his political manueverings (which, after years of triumph and defeat, ultimately got him killed in 43 B.C. at the hands of Marc Antony).

One nit I feel inclined to pick with this book: The cover photo is of the Coliseum. Cicero, in fact, never saw it because construction wasn't even started until 72 A.D. under Emperor Vespasian, 115 years after Cicero's death. (The Coliseum was dedicated by Vespasian's son, the Emperor Titus, in 80 A.D.)

I understand that it's the job of publishers to boost book sales as much as possible and, to this end, they probably thought going with this image was a way to draw people in. (As I recollect, the book first came out a year or two after the movie "Gladiator" was released. And this photo bears a striking resemblance to some of the photography in that movie, so the link probably seemed obvious.) But really, this kind of historical blurring doesn't do anybody any good. For one thing, as a matter of pure chronology it's just plain wrong. For another, late Republican Rome bore virtually no political resemblance whatsoever to the Imperial City of the Flavian Emperors (or any others, for that matter). Cicero was very much a creature of his own period and it seems to me that the publishers could have come up with an image that better underscored that fact - the Rostra in the Forum, for example - instead of one that panders to the general mindset of "Rome - oh yeah, the Coliseum and toga guys."

Posted by Robert at 12:40 PM | Comments (1)

A tale of two countries



Posted by Steve at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)

What? No gratuitous soft core shots of Wonkette?

Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities has a round up of the Winners and Losers of Election 2004. Key quote: "When John Hinderaker of Powerline has a victory chat with Tom Brokaw, you know there's a new sheriff in town."

But unlike Jeff's other roundups, which attract major linkage bling bling, this one is sadly deficient in the usual Wonkette fawning Jeff is known for...

UPDATE: Hindrocket has his account of the whole bad exit poll data hitting the internet and discounts the Dick Morris argument that it was an intentional Democrat dirty trick to supress Red State vote. I agree with Hindrocket on this, only in that I think my "Trading Places" scenario makes much more sense. Someone made a TON of money by being able to move the markets Tuesday afternoon based on bad information. The fact that the bad exit poll data was released an hour before the NYSE closed, giving enough time for a brief panic selloff, is the key---there wasn't enough time for the market to regain its bearing before closing.

Posted by Steve at 11:39 AM | Comments (2)

A triumph for American Jurisprudence, law, and order!

Virginia has racked up the first felony convictions for spamming:

LEESBURG, Va. - A brother and sister who sent junk e-mail to millions of America Online customers were convicted Wednesday in the nation's first felony prosecution of Internet spam distributors.

Jurors recommended that Jeremy Jaynes, 30, be sentenced to nine years in prison and fined Jessica DeGroot, 28, $7,500 after convicting them of three counts each of sending e-mails with fraudulent and untraceable routing information.

A third defendant, Richard Rutkowski, 30, was acquitted after deliberations of 1 1/2 days. All three defendants live in the Raleigh, N.C., area.

Prosecutors compared Jaynes and DeGroot to modern-day snake oil salesmen who use the Internet to peddle junk like a "FedEx refund processor" that supposedly allowed people to earn $75 an hour working from home.

In one month alone, Jaynes received 10,000 credit card orders, each for $39.95, for the processor.

"This was just a case of fraud," said prosecutor Gene Fishel. "This is a snake oil salesman in a new format."

Prosecutor Russell McGuire said Jaynes amassed a net wealth of $24 million peddling worthless products like the refund processor and other products like a "penny stock picker" and an Internet history eraser.

"He's been successful ripping people off all these years," McGuire said.

Prosecutors had asked the jury to impose a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for Jaynes, and to consider some amount of jail time for his sister, whom they acknowledged was less culpabale.

Defense lawyers asked jurors to spare the defendants prison terms.

David Oblon, representing Jaynes, argued that it was inappropriate for prosecutors to seek what he called an excessive punishment, given that this is the first prosecution under the Virginia law. He also noted that his client, a North Carolina resident, would have been unaware of the Virginia law.

Oblon called the jury's recommendation of nine years in prison shocking.

"Nine years is absolutely outrageous when you look at what we do to people convicted of crimes like robbery and rape," Oblon said.

When Jaynes and DeGroot are formally sentenced in February, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne will have the option of reducing the jury's sentence or leaving it intact. He cannot increase it.

Horne also has not yet ruled on an earlier motion asking that the cases be dismissed. He said during the trial that he had a hard time allowing the prosecution of DeGroot and Rutkowski to go forward to the jury.

The attorney Oblon said Jaynes "is convinced of his innocence" and he expects the conviction will eventually be set aside.

Even if Horne refuses to set aside the verdict, Oblon can appeal and challenge the new law on constitutional grounds. The defendants have said the law is an unconstitutional infringement of free speech.

Virginia prosecuted the case under a law that took effect last year which bars people from sending bulk e-mail that is unsolicited and masks its origin. AOL, which is based in Dulles, Va., is a unit of New York-based Time Warner Inc.

Numerous AOL employees testified during the two-week trial, and Oblon complained that prosecutors often seemed to be prosecuting the case at AOL's bidding. He noted that Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore announced indictments in the case last year at a press conference at AOL's Dulles headquarters.

"It appears at times that AOL was basically taking over the criminal prosecution," Oblon said.

Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore called Virginia's anti-spam law the toughest in America.

"Spam is a nuisance to millions of Americans, but it is also a major problem for businesses large and small because the thousands of unwanted e-mails create havoc as they attempt to conduct business," Kilgore said in a statement.

Do we still have the pillory on the books as a punishment in Virginia? It would be cool if we could ressurect some colonial era public humilation punishments for these, these BASTARDS!

What's funny about it too is Kilgore (and it would be the Virginia Republican Party that finds a guy named "Kilgore", eh? I'm sure he has a brother-in-law named "Kerrysucks") is running for governor next year, and it would be hilarious if "Tough on Spam" becomes the new rallying cry of the Law & Order Right.

Posted by Steve at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

Blogging Machine

The Daily Recycler has the video clip of Dan "Hey Andy, pass me those brochures on retirement villas in Boca" Rather and Ed "Avast Mateys!" Bradley on "The Blogging Machine."

I was watching CBS from about 1-3 AM Wednesday morning and let me tell you, this was only the tip of the iceberg. It was hilarious---it was like a bad dinner theater production of "The Caine Mutiny" with Dan, ball bearings in hand, gives a long bitter paranoid rant about how he knew Ensign Bush had stolen the key to the ice box and had eaten all the strawberries....

Speaking of "Blogging Machine" Gordon the Cranky NeoCon has put together something of extreme beauty and genius on this. Once he gives the okay, we'll link it here.

Posted by Steve at 10:32 AM | Comments (1)

Who Gives A Flying Rat's Ass? Dept.

George Soros is distressed about Dubya's victory.

You know what they say, Georgie-Boy, "Can't Buy Me Love."

UPDATE: I can think of twenty three million, six hundred fifty thousand reasons why he'd be pissed right now...

Is it just me, or is the biggest loser in this campaign the idea of campaign finance reform? What a cruel joke....

Posted by Robert at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)

Savoring Peggy

Peggy Noonan is back and asking us to savor Tuesday's fallout. Mmmmmm......Peggy!

Posted by Robert at 10:03 AM | Comments (3)

Gratuitous Llama Movie Plug

If you haven't yet, may I strongly recommend that you go see "Ray" - the new movie about the life of Ray Charles. Abso-freakin-lutely fantastic. Jamie Foxx sticks Charles' mannerisms perfectly. And of course, the sound track is positively bitchin'.

I have no idea how accurate the bio materials are. But I assume that no one would be brazen enough to invent, for example, the drowning of Charles' brother when he was a little boy. And I'd heard before of his womanizing and heavy drug use. Whether and what the psychological connection might be among these items and the music he produced - heavily emphasized by the film - I simply cannot say. (The reason I'm slightly dubious is because a similar technique was used - with hilariously inaccurate results - in "Amadeus" many years ago.) On the other hand, from what I do know, the film is very good at exploring the roots of Charles' style - gospel, R&B and country - and the manner in which he fashioned them into a new sound.

Oh, one other very refreshing thing - no preaching. Not about handicaps, not about current events, not even about race. Charles' sharecropper background is treated as a matter of biographical fact, not as a platform for moral outrage. In fact, even the scene in which Charles refuses to play a segregated concert and gets himself banned from Georgia is handled without sanctimoniousness and hyper-piety. And as for the drug use that eventually drove him almost over the edge in the 60's, Charles is the victim of his own demons.

Seriously, go see this movie.

Posted by Robert at 08:40 AM | Comments (2)

Good Morning, Blogistan!

Ha! I've been away from Internet access for the past three days so missed the trench fighting, but don't think I'm not going to get in my full Llama Yips! on this one.

First off, big, huge congrats and thanks to Steve-O for apparently pulling a three-day blogging bender and, er, posting everyone else under the table. Well done, indeed.

Second, a note to the O.F. - I told you.

Next, a big Nelson Muntz HA-ha! goes to our old pal Axis Sully. If bleeding persists, you might want to consult your doctor, dude.

Fourth, Senator Daschle? Buh-bye.

Fifth, and I don't think I'm being naive about this, I'd actually like to thank J. Francois for what was really a graceful concession speech yesterday. It was the right thing to do and he did it with class.

Sixth, I believe it's time for us Llamas to start a Democratic Party Fratricide Watch item. Believe me, the bloodletting is not going to be pretty.

Seventh, I flew back to Dee-Cee last night on a plane full of very happy GOPers coming home from their field work. But the woman sitting next to me kept up a continuous monologue with herself in which I distinctly caught the words "Dibold" "electronic voting" "Rove" and "fraud" many, many times. Coincidentally, I heard exactly the same thing on some moonbat radio call in show yesterday morning. Harking back to Item Six above, if the Donks have the least shred of sense, they will start purging these folks from their party right now.

Finally, a colleague on my trip, a very very social liberal, was wailing to me about all the marriage protection referendums that had passed and that were likely the motivation of many Evangelicals to vote. Getting to point out to her that none of this would have happened but for the Libs in Massachusetts and the courts' gay marriage rulings there? Priceless.

Yes, life is sweet today.

Posted by Robert at 08:12 AM | Comments (4)

November 03, 2004

The Honeymoon is over

Gee, that didn't last too long, did it?

Marc Halperin, ABC News Director, declares the Chimperor a "lame duck."

Meanwhile, Wizbang is talking Mandate....

Posted by Steve at 03:51 PM | Comments (1)


Foreign leader roundup begins:

– Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday welcomed a victory for George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential race, saying it meant Americans had not allowed themselves to be cowed by terrorists.

"If Bush wins, then I can only feel joy that the American people did not allow itself to be intimidated, and made the most sensible decision," Putin said at a Kremlin news conference after talks with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

He was speaking before Democratic challenger John Kerry conceded victory to Bush in Tuesday's vote.

Ex-KGB agent Putin and former oilman Bush have forged a close relationship that Russian opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq has not derailed. They stress their partnership in the struggle against Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda movement.

"I am convinced that international terrorism gave itself the goal of not allowing the re-election of Bush. The statement by bin Laden in the final stages of the pre-election campaign is the best confirmation of this," Putin said.

He was referring to a video statement by bin Laden promising attacks on the United States in retaliation for deaths in Iraq.

Putin sounded a note of caution, however, saying relations between Moscow and Washington would not be plain sailing.

"Relations will not be easy. Between such countries as the United States and Russia with such a scale of mutual obligations, there are always some problems," he said.

"Our relations in the last four years have undergone a big change, for the good of our peoples, of our countries, and for the good of our security," said Putin, adding that he found Bush "a reliable and predictable partner."

"Bush has proved to be a firm man, with a strong character, and a coherent policy."

Italy's Berlusconi predicted that U.S. foreign policy would continue unchanged.

"Bush will continue with the policy that assigns the United States the role of defender and promoter of freedom and democracy," he said at the joint news conference.

"The continuation on Bush's part of American policy represents an advantage for us."

But he also said he believed Bush would have to pursue a multilateral foreign policy in order to pursue the war against international terrorism, establish peace in Iraq and advance the cause of peace in the Middle East.

"I believe that Bush's victory is based also on the favourable economic phase in the United States and on the tax cuts carried out by the administration," Berlusconi added.

UPDATE: Ace is talking mandate.

Posted by Steve at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Can we turn the word "zogby" into a verb?

Such as, "Dude, you really Zogbied the pooch on that one....."


"Bush to France: Zogby Off, mes amis!"

Posted by Steve at 01:43 PM | Comments (3)

Party time, battalion style

The New England Republican reports Kerry is to speak at 2 PM, Bush at 3.

Posted by Steve at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

What do you mean "WE", Kemosabe?

finger pointing.jpeg

"Hey, I wanted to do an all CHEERS reunion theme for the convention--you know, get Cliff and Norm, and that skinny hot chick, but noooooo, Mister Preppy Fancy Boy wanted to talk about Vee-IT-NAAAAAAAAM.....

The blame game begins......

You get the feeling the worst job in Amerika today this afternoon is being the second shift waitress at the IHOP out on Rt. 33 in Burlington, with that cranky Dean guy in the back booth again muttering to himself and leaving a 3 cent tip? Yeah? Because, of course, he coulda, shoulda, woulda been the contender....or maybe the nouveau come-back kid!

UPDATE: POLITICAL SCIENCE TRIUMPHS YET AGAIN! The most reliable indicator in the presidential race did indeed turn out to be the Goldstein Nipple Index.

UPDATE DEUX: That explains it: the Republicans used black magic!

Posted by Steve at 01:15 PM | Comments (2)


Mickey Kaus settles an old score.

Posted by Steve at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

The Willis Award, for totally misplaced sarcasm while unwittingly being hoisted on one's petard

goes to.......Axis Sully!

GOP HANGING TOUGH: From NRO's source inside the Bush apparatus:

Catholic vote looks good for the President, particularly in Wisconsin.
Bush is getting 40 percent of the Hispanic vote, compared to 35 percent in 2000.
And no, exit polls don't include early and absentee voting. Bush leads these nationwide.
There is total confidence that at the end of the night, Bush will win.

Hmmm. Total confidence?

6:48 PM November 2, 2004

Yep. Total confidence.

Posted by Steve at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

The Von Hoffman Award goes to....AXIS SULLY!

These are going to be fun to rack up:

YOUTH VOTE DOUBLED: That's what the exit polls are saying. Also:

Late-deciding voters broke in Kerry's favor, and those who decided sometime in the first few weeks of October (think debates) broke strongly in favor of Kerry. Early deciders were split.

Yes, the debates. They were critical.

8:34:46 November 2, 2004

If you have any egregious Sully-isms that need, err, correcting, send them over and I'll post them!

Posted by Steve at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

The Nelson Muntz Game

Okay folks, here it is: play the Nelson Muntz game over at VodkaPundit. Go over and leave crank posts at chateau Oliver Willis. Make Travelocity reservations for Robert Redford and Alec Baldwin, one way to exile. Annika has some special rules to the game, too.

You have until 5pm EST, and then it's grown-up, roll up the sleeves, and get to the business of governing time.

Posted by Steve at 12:51 PM | Comments (1)

Advantage, Llamabutchers!


From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Chalk up the 2004 election as another strike for the subversive mischiefmakers of the internet, even if they got it wrong.

By early on Tuesday afternoon, New York time, long before the polls had closed, political bloggers began running stories about a likely victory for Senator John Kerry.

This was a full six hours before the polls began to close, and a full news cycle before the mainstream media could begin to report the election results. The stories were based on the leaked results of early exit polls, which the media are not permitted to report before the polls close.

These early exit polls were giving the senator a strong swing in all the key marginal states and a clear victory. The impact was immediate. The US stock market fell. In contrast, the mainstream media behaved with extreme caution. This was a hangover from the embarrassment of 2000, when the networks predicted a victory for Al Gore in Florida and thus a victory in the general election.

Because of the exit polls, TV networks spent much of the night anticipating a swing to Senator Kerry. But it gradually became apparent that despite a surge in voter participation he was not making significant gains on the 2000 result.

Not until the early hours of the morning (around 5pm yesterday, Sydney time) did it emerge that George Bush would hold the key battlefield states of Ohio and Florida, and had increased his popular vote by some 3 million.

By the time everyone quit for the night, the election was so close that no one had conceded anything, but it appeared that Mr Bush, like John Howard three weeks before, had increased his majority.

Something had gone wrong with the exit polling. And the internet had swallowed it whole.

Umm, yeah except for those of us who had it right (scroll down to the bottom of this post, and then work backwards through the day---did we buy into it? Were we wrong? No and No.)

SECRET MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE DINOSAUR MEDIA: Matt Drudge is not a blogger. He is an online tabloidist. A very successful one, a true pioneer, but he's not a blogger---he provides no analysis and has no link accountability. While he's often right, in the case of the mushy Kerry polls (which sounds like a vaguely pornographic Nancy Drew novel) he was hysterically, almost Axis Sully-ish wrong.

But maybe on purpose, because some folks made an absolute killing yesterday knowing the impact soft but misleading exit polls would have on the financial markets, and released them just in time to cause a huge sell-off without a chance for a serious reassessment before the markets closed. It's nothing that someone who watched Trading Places two or three times couldn't have figured out, with Matt Drudge in the role of Clarence Beaks. I wonder if Matt is right now sailing away on a container ship, stuck in a cage with a lovelorn gorilla, put there by a very young and yet still unfunny Al Franken....

Posted by Steve at 12:17 PM | Comments (1)


I think Kerry and the Brain Trust has until 1pm-ish to decide one way or another.

That's not an ultimatum, or what I think he should do, but more my gut hunch about how long it will take this news cycle to go nuh-kler.

What's interesting will be Edwards--with one eye to his political future and one eye to what happened to Joe Lieberman getting joined at the hip for Crazy Al's Florida Adventrues---and whether he jumps ship. Let's call it Edwards' "What do you mean WE, Kemosabe?" moment. Because remember: Edwards in about 16 months is going to start making the case that if he'd been the nominee, the "Swift Vets" would've remained a rec-league softball team and "Stolen Honor" would've been a direct to video FBI bomb starring former movie star Alec Baldwin.

Gosh, what exactly did Soros and Bing and Peter Larson get for their tens of millions of dollars? These are the phone calls the Brain Trust are taking right now. To what degree does a challenge or concession impact future party fundraising? This is the cost calculus being made right now.

One almost feels bad for Harold Ickes. Almost.....

UPDATE: Advantage LLamabutchers! And the Commissar has more.

Posted by Steve at 10:19 AM | Comments (2)

Operation Clark County

The Guardian successfully swings a county in Ohio to.......Dubya.

I smell a Rove-as-great-gazoo Sith mind trick here.

From CNN
Updated: 6:25 a.m. ET

34,444 51% 100% of precincts reporting

32,824 49%

183 0%

144 0%

I wonder how many extra undecideds that Limey campaign swung to Bush?

Posted by Steve at 09:50 AM | Comments (2)

Quote of the night

Dan Rather to Ed "Avast, Mateys" Bradley:

DAN RATHER: One would expect that the blogging machine which the White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign has used for any number of purposes over their four years will start now, if it hasn't started already, to say, listen, Kerry-Edwards, for the good of the country, need to concede.

ED BRADLEY: I'm sure it's started already. If we could tune into the Internet we'd see that people are already saying that now. That's certainly the drum the White House is beating.

We need a flying monkey theme---we're Karl Rove's winged monkeys, or something like that. Gordon?

Definitely set to a James Brown beat, though, something like this:

Get up get up get up

get on up
stay on the scene

get on up
like a Blogging Machine.
Get on up
get up
Shake your arm
then use your form.
Stay on the scene like a Blog Machine.
You gotta have the feeling
sure as you're born.
Get it together
right on
right on

get up
get up
get up.

I said the feeling you got to get

give me the fever in a cold sweat.

The way I like it is the way it is.
I got mine and don't worry about his.

Get up
get up...

You got to have the feeling get on up

sure as born get on up.
Get it together right on
right on

right on
right on
right on
right on

right on
right on
right on
right on

right on
right on.

Get up
get on up
get up
get on up

and then shake your money maker.
Shake your money maker
shake your money maker

shake your money maker
shake your money maker

shake your money maker
shake your money maker

Posted by Steve at 09:41 AM | Comments (3)

Guess who?

All this "reconciliation" stuff is nonsense. These guys run one of the dirtiest campaigns ever, and we're just supposed to wrap our arms around this fraud of a president? Gimme a break. The Dems need to grow a backbone for once, and fight the way those monsters do.

If you guessed Thomas Jefferson, writing to James Madison after the midterm elections of 1798, you'd be correct.

SECRET ADVICE: Repeat slowly after me, Oliver....George W. Bush received more votes for President than any president in American history...... (yeah, I know it's a cheesy meaningless statistic but it was a favorite of the Democrats in late fall 1996)

Posted by Steve at 09:32 AM | Comments (1)

Here's the Llamabutcher contest of the morning:

Which of the three major dinosaur networks did its last election night news division coverage last night?

I'm serious: I have a strong gut hunch that at least one of the three legacy networks---CBS, ABC, and NBC---will jettison its news division sometime in the next four years.

My bet? That was the swan-song for the CBS Evening News.

Ace has transcriptual fun, but I came late to the game, only tuning in CBS after 1 AM. And what a good guess it was. Rather was apoplectic, full of bile, snapping at people, making faces, barking commands, splitting infinitives.....I felt sorry for Leslie Stahl, sitting there. She kind of looked like the loyal yet pained adult daughter of an alcoholic stuck out in a table in the middle of the restaurant when Pappy starts going around the bend and yelling at the waiters. She had that wan smile, almost afraid to make eye contact with the other patrons or the cameras, facial expression saying "I know, he's a complete loon, but hey, he's my Dad.....I'm sorry he's ruining your dinner." You've seen that look. Ed Bradley, usually debonair, looked plain old and beaten. I kind of expected Morley Safer to come rolling in like Captain Pike, "Morley, flash the light once if you think the Chimperor is trying to steal another election....."

But for all its pathos, the CBS production was topped by the extravaganza put on by NBC Nooz in its "Temple of Democracy." Really, it was more like the "Temple of Demo-crappy." Seriously, the whole theme park thing was surreal---the electoral map on the ice, I kept expecting to have Dorothy Hammill come skating in and do a flying lutz and take out the Midwest, while dressed in an old Soviet Air Force Uniform. And the electoral vote numbers done up the side of Rockefeller Center attached to window washing scaffolding? It was brilliant in a cheesy Hudsucker Proxy sort of way, but what made it absolutely brilliant for the ages was that they screwed the pooch: they called Ohio too early. Once it became clear that Kerry was going to wait it out (and how hard was that to figure?) they were in a bind---they'd spent millions of dollars in advertising that this time, they'd get it right, and guess what? They fucked it up again. Only this time, the evidence was five stories high, and would require a whole passel of Viagra jokes to explain away if they decided to "retract" the call. What to do? Ohio put Bush at 269. Then Bush gets up by a margin "too close to call" in Nevada (a real squeekah at 30,000 votes!), and Nevada's five EVs would put Bush over the top. And then NBC would have done it again: they would have declared George W. Bush president again while the Dems still had a play running on the field. Can't. Do. It. So what do they do? Pretend for hours that Nevada is too close to call, and try to pin the blame on Florida election officials. Fortunately, no one in the Bush clan has ever even been in Ohio, (although I'm sure Mikey Moore will produce pics of Prescott Bush playing golf with William Howard Taft, and we all know what types of conclusions can be drawn from THAT!!!!), and if you are going to have overtime in an American election, Ohio is one of the handful of states you want it in as the elections infrastructure is good.

So NBC antagonizes the Democrats and sets the far left into a frenzy (GE profits from the War! Halliburton! Halliburton!), while at the same time earning the emnity and wrath of the White House for denying Dubya his moment of being able to declare victory.


Which is a shame, because other than screwing the pooch on the biggest single call of the night, their coverage and analysis was quite good.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse harps on point that more amused me than bothered me last night: the speed and rapidity that states were called for Kerry compared with the snail's pace--oh, we need to be sure----what will our friends say about us if we make a mistake---approach to calling states for the Chimperor. Case in point last night was the West Coast, were they slapped those puppies blue like....well, I don't like where THAT metaphor is heading. But you get my drift. Call it already!

Posted by Steve at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

The dogs that didn't bark

I'm dead tired, and I still have to teach from 1030-1230, but I'm still in blog-overdrive mindset so I need to get some things out:

The dogs that didn't bark yesterday:

1. Widespread breakdown in the voting system

Like the brutal Afghan Winter, just didn't materialize. Made a good story to whip people into a frenzy though.

2. Osama bin Laden

I exhaled this morning around 6 AM, not realizing I had been holding my breath since last Friday. Heck, I've been holding that breath since March 11. And guess what? We've degraded AQ to the degree that they can't even mount a single attack somewhere in Amerika on election day. UPDATE: The Brain has some more thoughts on this point.

That's going to take a little while to sink in, but boy is it a big one.

3. The Redskins Indicator


4. The "Youth Vote"

So it turns out P.Diddy aint exactly Alexis de Tocqueville.

Rock THIS vote, bub!

And last


400K margin? Boy, was the Chimperor's brother working overtime photocopying fake ballot returns at the Kinko's on south Dixie Highway, right next to the Piggly-Wiggly and across from the governor's mansion.


What does this say about 2000? One, it points to the tactical brilliance of putting Joe Lieberman on the ticket then, and the asinine stupidity from a strategic perspective of keeping Joltin' Joe on the bench during the campaign. In retrospect, you can see how certain Democrats---I'm thinking Joe and Evan Bayh, in particular---were strangely absent from the campaign.

The second is that it points to the vote suppression effect of the networks calling Florida before the polls had closed in the panhandle. I don't think that was done in 2000 as an act of conspiracy or malice, just flyover metroliner blue state ignorance of Western Florida. The full real return of what the part of the state can do was shown.

Posted by Steve at 09:11 AM | Comments (2)

The last east coast blogger left standing

Seventy three posts and a dozen and a half graphics later, and a quick scan through the blogroll seems that the LLamas are the last ones manning the store. The Command Post is up, but the Aussies have taken over. We win!

Some thoughts about what's next:

1. There's nothing wrong legally/morally/ethically with what the Dems are about to do in Ohio---ie wanting to count all the provisionals, even though they can't realistically or unrealistically win. Wait for plenty of "the Sawx were down three games to the Yanks" blather. What the Republicans need to do is smile, act Ward Cleaver like, and just say, "we can wait."

Why? Because of the second fundamental fact of Election 2004:

2. The Republicans won the popular vote, big time. Not only did they get more votes, but they broke 50%. This is significant because Bill Clinton never broke 50%. We haven't had a President who won with more than 50% of the popular vote since 1988.

This. Is. Huge.

This changes everything, and is going to demoralize the hell out of the uber-partisan democrats. Why? Because this destroys the whole grievance structure they've built for themselves since Clinton's impeachment. And the margin is large enough to survive the inevitable conspiracy theories (although look for plenty of theories centered on the variance between early exit polls and the final results...)

The other thing is that now the Kerry folks are in a losing situation, because their entire rhetoric of "president selected not elected" works against them, because there are no provisional ballots that can make up for the 3.5M votes Bush is ahead in the popular vote.

I repeat: This. Is. Huge.

But of course, not all Democrats are teary-eyed:

goofy hillary pic.jpeg

3. This leads to a third point: our hypothesis back in January that the electronic futures markets on the election would be more useful than the polls was spot on right.

4. And the big losers of the night? Mikey Moore, Terry Mcaullife, and NBC News for calling Ohio of Bush but not being able to back down.

I'm going to grab a shower, eat some breakfast and then drive down to Lynchburg as I'm doing the radio show in a couple of hours. Thanks--sometime during the next hour we'll get our 100Kth visitor!

PS: Here's the post we began with 27 hours ago---how did we do?

electoral college 286.gif

Posted by Steve at 03:50 AM | Comments (2)

November 02, 2004

Llama liveblogging--day two

ec 1025.jpg

Here's our map--will it hold out?
UPDATE: It's looking like our original map from yesterday of 286 EVs might be the winner....

3:30 AM

Instapundit goes dark. Neener!

3:21 AM

Bill Richardson promises to steal New Mexico on live tee-vee

The lead in Nevada for Dubya grows to 23K, while Ohio the divide is 140K

2:50 AM

Edwards was underwhelming. But.....let's face it, if they want to wait to concede until Ohio is all in, that's their druthers. Dubya should not get snippy now---now's the time for some statesmanship.

The margins right now:

Nevada---14K for Bush
Iowa---12K for Bush
Ohio---127K for Bush

2:17 AM

Kathleen the Cake-Eater is still blogging, and has a math question. Frankly, my brain is too scrambled (70 something posts in one day can do that!), but my sense is that they are projecting based on how districts have gone in past. Imperfect, but a high degree of accuracy. Often.

Only Megan McArdle is holding on at Instapundit. INDC Journal has gone dark, as has

2:09 AM

Ace has a tiny picture of Kim Richards up. Patience, mon!

Apparently, the Kerry campaign is NOT dispatching any of their vaunted teams of guerilla lawyers to Ohio....

The popular vote has stayed relatively constant all night at 51%-48, right now about 3,656M.

1:56 AM---election day(s) post #65, and I'm beat.

Russert and Brokaw are talking about 2008....someone needs to kick their arses. To be perfectly honest, if it were my guy in Ohio, I would be pissed about the coverage call by NBC and Fox. There's a dynamic in place--once Bush declares for New Mexico, Iowa, or Nevada, it will put it over the top for NBC, and they'll declare Bush the winner. This is exactly the problem that was created in 2000 by the networks, and they're doing it again. I think that's why I need to stay up and watch this till the bitter end. It's a 102K vote margin---which is huge---yet still....

And it looks like Daschle is out....

Hindrocket and Wonkette were just on. Wonkette was---get this---glib, flib, and wearing a too-tight sweater.

As Sgt. Hulka would say, "I'm getting too old for this shit!"

1:27 AM

Bush/Iowa is surging at Tradesports....

Dan Rather is dripping with contempt.

1:18 AM

On the verge.....


Steve Green....


The Commissar...

If you're still up, drop me a note in the Tasty Bits Mail Sack and I'll post your link

1:13 AM

It burnszzzzzz.......

Lileks reports in.

1:09 AM

Tuned into CBS for the first time all night---Dan Rather is belligerent, badgering the on-air correspondent challenging how Karl Rove thinks they can get to 271.

NBC is putting it at 269 for Bush at the moment, and note that if Kerry runs the table---still a possibility!---the Republicans hold a 30-15 delegation advantage in the House which would decide a tie. Assuming no faithless electors.....
12:59 AM

NBC just calls Ohio for Bush, and refered to him as reelected. No big screen graphic. (Michele notes that on CNN Carville concedes Ohio. Hole-eee Crap!)

It all comes down to Nevada and New Mexico. They're currently at Tradesports at $74 and $95 respectively....

12:56 AM

Here's the Nevada returns.

12:52 AM

Bush at $94 at Tradesports....I'm having trouble breathing.....

PREDICTION: The far left conspiracy theory will center on the dissonance between the exit polls and the final tallies. If this all works out.....

12:50 AM

is breaking out the cowbell.....apparently Fox has called it for Dubya. That would be it.

12:40 AM

Forget Zogby--here's your new bellweather pollster. And don't forget Tarrance Group and the Battleground Poll.

12:25 AM

NBC declares Florida for Dubya. The Bush Reelect contract hits $86.3, an almost $60 swing since dinner.

Mikey Moore retreats from Florida.

12:15 AM

The Guardian's Operation Clark County gets out the vote---for Dubya!

I blame Karl Rove!

Also, Nicole over at Potomac Ponderings is on a liveblog roll. Go over and give her some Yips. And The Brain? He's mocking Susan Estrich, claiming she's channelling Carol Channing. Be nice now.....

11:50---Wisconsin has dropped to $40, and Iowa down to $25. So withdrawing Wisconsin's ten EVs give us the LLamabutcher Projection of 279 EVs for Dubya.

UPDATE: Wisconsin is back up to $55, and Nevada is at $67. Our projection is back to 289 EVs.

Posted by Steve at 11:14 PM | Comments (3)

LIVE LLAMA BLOGGING--Election Day 2004!


The November 3--post midnight on election night---post is above.

We've been liveblogging this sucker since--what? 1215 AM last night?---so scroll down for all sorts of nuggets and to get a sense of the flow of the day.

All night, we're going to be posting the "LLamabutcher Big Board" and updating it when the info comes in. New posts will be added just below and will scroll down. Thanks for visiting the Llamabutchers, and if you've got something we need to cover, drop us a note in the TastyBits Mail Sack---llamabutchers AT!


All's not well at the Eagle's Nest:

GODDAMMIT: I just want it to be over. I'm beginning not to care if Ralph Nader wins as long as we don't have to endure more of this all week long. I guess the exit polls were as out of it as I am slowly getting this evening. Damn. And voting is still taking place in Pennsylvania. Will it ever end?

Might I suggest you slip some Warren Zevon into the Ipod?

Plus, Ace is worrying about premature Kim Richards. Patience, mon!


ABC declares Florida for Dubya. Still no word from NBC.


Katie the Resplendent Mango is liveblogging
from a party----I personally saw her slay 12 orcs with 1 arrow. When you're fighting for your life at Helm's Deep, you want the Resplendent Mango on your side....


NBC--Brokaw was just asking Karen Hughes about the.......2nd term.

dont get cocky.jpg

Don't get cocky, kid!

11:16 PM---Post 50

Am I the only one who thought it a bit odd for NBC to declare California and Washington for Kerry with 0% of the vote in, after dragging out the calls for the Bush states in the South for hours?

And, am I the only one who can't wait for Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Reagan Jr. to go and start a private detective agency over a car wash in Vegas and get the hell out of our pundit lives?

And, am I the only one who is deeply, deeply, deeply disturbed by INDCent Bill revealing his preference for furry little (insertable) creatures doing vaguely Village People sorts of things?

10:58 PM

George Allen's on NBC right now---he headed up the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, and is thought to have presidential ambitions. But he's got to wipe the smirk off his face.

Although I can imagine he's thinking about Larry Sabato's predictions right now....that and the Redskins curse.

10:53 PM

New Jersey a premature call?

That would be pretty freakin' funny, given the role that Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi played in the campaign.....


If we learned anything in 2000, it aint over until, well, insert a politcally incorrect metaphor here. But, if this holds, Dubya is going to be reelected tonight, and we'll be able to hit the hay before Letterman would usually be done.


Bunning holds his Senate seat in Kentucky. The Republicans will retain control of the US Senate.


The Bush reelect hits $63 at 1007 PM EST--that's a $30 swing in about 3 hours.

Someone needs to do an audit of Drudge's bank accounts.....

What's the line, Ted? "You are a steely-eyed missile man."

Look in at the state electoral contracts:


The markets right now are projecting a Bush victory with 289 Electoral Votes.


Dubya, appearing loose and relaxed, makes the pitch for the stray voters in Nevada, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Bush Reelect future back above $55 at Tradesports.


Thank goodness
---the Colorado Electoral College initiative is going down in flames.


Here's the Florida results as they come into the Washington Post, and here's Ohio.

Here are the official state Secretary of State sites:


Whammer, I hope you are having fun!


Well now, look who's back from the dead at Tradesports....


Fox affiliate in DC is reporting Marion Barry is cruising to victory.


Why the hell did the networks call New Jersey but still won't call Virginia? I wish I knew how to do a screen shot off of Netscape, as the Washington Post has it checked for Kerry even though Bush is ahead. Is this just a screen screw-up?

Wait--they finally called Virginia.

is itching to break out the cowbell. And mega-primo LLama Yips! to the Right Reverend Pixy Misa, the benevolent overlord and poobah of Moo Knew, who makes this be the best place to blog. Thanks, buddy! Elsewhere in the Moo Knew universe, Annika is doing what Annika does best. The Brain reached a conclusion we reached this afternoon: today WAS TRULY a bad day to stop huffing glue. Gordo---you thinking about sushi too much, man!


My eyeballs feel like they are going to pop out of my head.


Words I never thought I'd write: "Live Jawa Porn Blogging"

Meanwhile, Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities is taking advantage of this, the most solemn and important day in our democratic republic, to take cheap shots at Teh-RAY-zuh. REAL good cheap shots, by the way....

FLORIDA UPDATE---Geraghty has some interesting tidbits.

Here's the live Florida feed from the Washington Post.

Moo Knew is running slow (but steady, baby!), so I'm going to slow down the number of posts---somewhere around every 15 minutes or so.

Tradesports markets are still heavily against Bush---they're running 70-30 to Kerry
. Florida and Nevada are running high, while the price on Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin are plummetting down into the 30s.


NBC concedes the Senate to the Republicans.

The "we can't call Virginia" stuff is crap.


Waiting for Florida.

Meanwhile, the Marriage Amendment is passing with flying colors in Kentucky. How long will it take Axis Sully to make a Deliverance joke?

Really interesting stuff over at Kerryspot---too good to be true?

INDCent Bill is following the lead of Senator John Blutarski: "My advice to you is to begin to drink heavily." Rae is holding her breath, and doing so elegantly, we assume. Freakin' Jen is assuming radio silence---hang in there, girl!

7:37 PM

The Commissar reports in for duty.

Teddy Kennedy is on the tee-vee right now, doing his best to drive my blood pressure through the roof.

Ace is nervous---you can almost hear him tapping the pencil on the edge of the table. Patience, big fella...

7:34 PM

Tradesports is back and accessible, and the electoral vote board is of course en fuego.

Four big states undergoing the biggest turbulence: Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Florida.

7:30 PM

Ohio closes.

The die is cast.

6:46 PM

Here's the schedule for the evening---7 o'clock is a real doozy, as is 9.

Tee-vee turned on for the first time since yesterday night. Nothing like a little Simpsons to take the edge off....

6:39 PM

Damn him!

Just kidding. Seriously, it's stuff like that why I always go back to Vodkapundit...
Here's our post last night about Election Night partying in style.

6:12 PM
I've got that feeling right now from the scene in Trading Places, as the traders are standing on the floor waiting for the clock to open the market.....

Kentucky's returns are starting to roll in.

5:36---Dinner time

My thoughts on today's fake exit polls causing a huge move in the financial and political futures markets: how the heck do you think Soros was going to get his $23,650,00 in campaign 527 donations back?

Everyone's noticing that the net is working about as cleanly as a Salt Lake City bordello. REAL results will start coming in in about an hour---until then, dinner and family time.

UPDATE: Michele tells everyone to chill......

UPDATE: Tradesports seems to have melted too.

Too late, The Brain comes up with the winning campaign slogan for Dubya:

Bush 2004: Four more years of dead terrorists and lower taxes.

I sure picked a bad day to give up huffing glue.

5:12 PM---Ask your friendly neighborhood political scientist

Reader Barry S. writes in: "Dave, what should I make of the early exit polls showing Kerry doing well? I was going to go vote after work, but now, what's the point?"

The LLamas respond: Remember the old political science rule governing early exit polls: If it's not Scottish.....Itttttttttttz CRAP!

Seriously, this is Evan Thomas and his pals trying to deliver their 5% by suppressing the after work vote. Remember Florida in 2000, where they conveniently "forgot" the Florida panhandle was in the central time zone and declared Gore the winner before the polls closed in the overwhelmingly Republican part of the state?

But they sure as heck have spooked the electronic markets. Geez.

This is where it gets interesting, folks.

UPDATE: Bill's thinking warm happy thoughts (think a weasel wearing pink fuzzy bunny ears. Seriously)

5:06 PM

Picked up the kids from school, drove my eldest daughter to ballet, napped in the car for an hour with the window down---DAMN if today isn't the most beautiful day of the year: warm but not humid, windy without being blow-ee, the beautiful autumn smell in the air.

No snark there---I just love it when real life intrudes.

Okay, now then, back to the snide, snarky, jackassey approach you expect from the LLamas.

Add Whil Wheaton (aka Wesley Crusher) to the list of celebs who might soon become exiles.... Of course, his newfound dismay just might be due to those nagging memories that are starting to resurface about the first season of The Next Generation when Cmdr. Riker wanted to go play horsey on the holodeck. But maybe that's just me, Mr. Vegas....

2:13 P.M.

John Kerry--the Protein Wisdom Interview.

Okay, that's 25 posts--I have to start pacing myself here. Time for a break. I'm going for a walk. Back after 4.


Wizbang sends out marching orders to the pajamuhadeen on what to be on the look out for. Any sings of these, please report! The quicker the information gets out, the quicker it can be quashed. This sort of stuff to succeed requires as little public scrutiny as possible. And if there's one thing blogs can do, is turn a whole heck of a lot of scrutiny on in a directed fashion in a heartbeat.


From the political futures markets, at least.

Here's the "Bush is reelected" contract's performance today at

bush reelection election day midday.gif

It's currently trading at $57.4, with a huge queue going higher.

Meanwhile, "Kerry elected" is dropping like a stone.

Here's what the electoral college markets look like:

electoral college 144 pm.jpg

We'll see what happens--this will become a heck of a lot more volatile until the smoke clears later.

1:12 P.M

The Redskins Election Indicator Conspiracy revealed!

1:10 P.M.

Lileks is in a bad mood, but he promises kumbaya tomorrow.

Now THAT I gotta see!

12:50 P.M.---More celebrity poll workers for Kerry!

dennis hopper.jpeg

Fans went wild at this West Palm Beach polling place when Dennis Hopper came by to rally the troops for Kerry.

Or maybe it was Peter Fonda. They're kinda hard to tell apart these days...

12:41 P.M.

Why is this man smiling?


Chief Kerry pollster publishes prediction of a three point win.....for Dubya?

12:35 P.M.

Well, back in the good old days, the Democrats bribed voters with big vats of whiskey. Nowadays, I guess Haagen-dazs does the trick.

12:20 P.M.

Hugh is upbeat---on Daschele losing his seat, and the effect the Philly "I see dead people voting" story might have on Republican turnout.

12:16 P.M.

Ever wonder what they do at those phonebanks after the polls open?

bush crank call.jpeg


"Hello. Gore Residence. Big Al speaking."

(fake British accent) "Excuse me, but do you have any Prince Albert in a can?"


"Have a nice day, Punk!"

11:59 AM

Celebrity exile planning UPDATE!

First Amerikan Icon Robert Redford plans to move to Ireland---now Larry Flynt is planning to stay in France.

Let's go to the tape:

American porn mogul Larry Flynt said he may decide to go into exile if George W Bush is re-elected president of the United States.

"If Bush is re-elected - but I don't want to even consider the thought for one second - I really have to think about living somewhere else," Flynt said early Monday in a strip club on the Champs Elysees in Paris where he was celebrating his 62nd birthday.

Flynt, who made his fortune after publishing the popular porn magazine Hustler, said he had come to Paris to "escape the nauseating atmosphere of the electoral campaign".

He was accompanied by 40 strippers, who came to Paris especially for the birthday celebration. Holding one well-endowed dancer in each arm, Flynt told journalists that he hoped American voters would make "a good choice for their individual freedoms".

Let's see that fat, talentless bastard and former movie star Alec Baldwin try to top THAT!

UPDATE: Add potential exile Patti LaBelle to the list, which is significant if you were one of the few people who realized she was still alive.

11:53 AM

Tires of GOP get out the vote vehicles found slashed in Milwaukee.

You know, maybe Bowling Alone isn't such a bad thing after all...


Palm Beach Vote Lawsuit II: The Revenge of Theresa LePore

Well, at least the Florida/Palm Beach litigation took five hours to get going.

You think the voters would have tossed this ditz out of office after she turned her county into a worldwide joke four years ago? But nooooooooooooooo........

Maybe they can get Kirstie Alley to play her in the movie....

11:06 AM


The United States Supreme Court officially enters the 2004 election.

That only took, what, four hours and eight minutes?

Bonus points to the person who can send me the first article that notes that Justice Stevens was a Ford appointment, and, you know, CHENEY and RUMSFELD worked for Ford too.....(insert Star Wars Imperial March music here), or note that Stevens likes to wear bow ties, as have many convicted serial child molestors....

11:04 AM

Here's the roundup on celebrities who've vowed to leave the country if (when) Bush wins.

Not that anyone would doubt their patriotism or anything.....

10:57 AM

The LLamabutchers Present Reason #875 to vote for Dubya:


John Kerry's idea of a "nuanced" foreign policy includes THIS man as his ambassador to Germany


Ace has set up an open tip line, while Nicole had absolutely no problems, save a large Korean Elvis impersonator who kept handing out Nader stuff within the gym, and had to be forcibly detained using tasers and a net. But I bet the dinosaur liberal media doesn't cover that. INDCent Bill is drowning his sorrows with an all day West Wing marathon on TBS. We know Bill is a diehard, loyal member of the digital brownshirt pajamuhadeen, yet we still tolerate his Allison Janney fantasies.... Meanwhile, Celluloid Wisdom correspondent former teen idol Leif Garrett drops in with some important voting advice for the kids out there thinking of not voting.

UPDATE: Michele is taking IMs.

10:22 AM

i see dead people vote.jpg


The shennanigans start early in the city of brotherly love.

10:16 AM

I wonder if this will give Mikey Moore second thoughts about his newfound fan in Pakistan....

Paiging Ms. Morrissette, Ms. Alanis Morrissette, irony cleanup, aisle five...

10:04 AM

Kevin at Wizbang is covering his bases---one of these is correct.

UPDATE: Er, yeah...?

10:01 AM


Screw the election and go straight to the litigation: Daschele pulls the trigger. Let's just say it's lacking in the drama of the Scopes Trial.

Maybe we need to update what Don Corleone used to say about a man with a briefcase can steal more in a day than a hundred men with guns can in a year.

Me? I agree with the Robot.

9:30 AM

Remember that time in 86 when Kerry, wicked hammahed after an all night bender with Teddy Kay when they hit golf balls off the roof of Bethesda to punch out the windows of vets' cars, got on to the floor of the Senate and proposed that tax on butter churns?

I think it might come back and bite him in the keister today:

amish voters.jpeg

8:59 AM

I went in to vote and they gave me #133, although there was no line.

llamas vote.jpg

I got the nice poll lady to take my picture going in---pajamuhadeen rule!

Here's what awaited me inside the booth:

screw john mellencamp.jpg

What can I say, am I going to let Jon Bon Jovi tell me how to vote? Screw him and the John Cougar Mellencamp he rode in on!

7:30 AM


They just had to go and steal the vote in Dixville Notch. Bastards. At least we have the Commissar watching them with the steely eyes of the vanguard of the proletariat. Meanwhile our betters---morally, ethically, and intellectually, just not orthodontically or hygenically---in Europe let us know what they think of the oldest democracy in the world:

screw europe.jpeg

Screw you too, mes ami.

12:54 AM

I'm going to try to get some sleep. I have a feeling though that it's going to be mostly tossing and turning, and tomorrow's going to be a long day....

12:10 AM

The Tradesports Electoral College Market is en fuego. As dawn approaches on the book in Ireland, and as Dixville Notch (Motto: The Footnote of Amerika!) votes live on MNF, here's what the Electoral College looks like to the markets:

electoral college 286.gif

Goldstein weighs in with his count: LLamas like!

Posted by Steve at 12:12 AM | Comments (11)

November 01, 2004

To the winner, the booby prize?

Megan McArdle with some thoughts on the economy over the next four years.

Posted by Steve at 11:41 PM | Comments (1)

The City Yeti and the Country Yeti

Gordon loose with a digital camera in a paen to Center City Philly.

Posted by Steve at 11:38 PM | Comments (2)

A nation waits on tenterhooks with bated breath....

Kathleen the Cake Eater has officially endorsed Dubya.

Now back to the damn novel, woman! Write! Yip Yip Yip!

UPDATE: Dubya has won the endorsement of John at Texas Best Grok. Somehow I have a feeling that the promise to become Ambassador to Niue.

And Bill has his cumulative dump on Mike Moore/John Kerry. Meanwhile, Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities, works in a little Teh-RAY-zuh mocking in between his usual contempt and love for the LLamas. Little Miss Attila waxes eloquently for Dubya, and Whomping Willow tries to explain it speaking very slooooooowly for those whose brains have been rotted by The Nation.

UPDATE DEUX: Why I love the internet.

Posted by Steve at 11:32 PM | Comments (2)

Okay, now I'm worried

Day 12 of Allahpundit being AWOL.

Posted by Steve at 11:22 PM | Comments (3)

This will be worth the price

The 2005 Celebrity Mugshot Calendar.

The big question is, what holidays do they have listed on it? Stuff like August 23rd: Second Tommy-Lee/Pam Anderson video filmed on the Ventura Freeway---123 felonies committed in 36 hr jag or February 2--Bill Clinton does a line of blow off a hooker's ass in the Blue Room

Posted by Steve at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)


According to Steve Green, Larry Sabato's final crystal ball is calling for the Electoral College vote to deadlock at 269. What happens then? The presidential vote moves to the House of Representatives, where each state's delegation gets to cast one vote. The Republicans currently control 30 state delegations, the Democrats 15, and 5 are tied. This balance is not like to change in tomorrow's House elections.

So, a tied Electoral College vote would mean a victory for Dubya.....that is, assuming all the Electors vote the way they are supposed to.

My best advice: this is Larry having some fun with us. This is the outcome that the talking heads would love the best, as it would make great tee-vee between now and January. Bad for the country, great for the cable networks. But it's not going to happen.

Posted by Steve at 11:01 PM | Comments (2)


The Brain is channelling Nordlinger on Reagan, on how he's loved now, sure, because he's dead. But back in the day, would Axis Sully have supported him in, say, 1984? No.

Which leads to perhaps the most bizarre of all endorsements of Kerry that comes from the twisted mind of Thomas Friedman. Vote for Kerry, see, because he's the true heir to.....wait for it.....wait for it......George H. Bush.

The more I look back on the elder Bush - Bush 41 - the more I find things to admire and the more I see attributes we need in our next president.

You know, someone's going to write a book in about ten years or so which will be a comparative biography of the Bushes and the Adamses---the only father/son teams to be president. I have a sense, based on Friedman's piece, that George H. Bush's reputation is going to undergo a renaissance much like that John Adams' has undergone recently, thanks primarily to David McCulloch's masterful haigiography. What remains to be written tomorrow is whether the Bushes will follow true to form of the Adamses: will the son win reelection after losing the popular vote in controversially decided election? Fair enough analogy.

Let's start with domestic policy. The elder George Bush was the real uniter, not divider, the real believer in a kinder, gentler political dialogue. Yes, he had a Democratic Congress to deal with, so he had to be more conciliatory, but it came naturally to him. In 1990, the elder Bush sided with Congressional Democrats to raise taxes, because he knew it was the right thing for the economy, despite his famous "Read my lips" pledge not to raise new taxes. While that 1990 tax increase contributed to his re-election defeat, it laid the foundation for the Clinton tax increases, which, together with Mr. Bush's, helped to hold down interest rates and spur our tremendous growth in the 1990's and the buildup of a huge surplus.

And what exactly did that get him? To be derided in the last week of the campaign by Bill Clinton for running an unethical administration.

And who exactly is responsible for rehabilitating Pat Buchanan? When the hell did the dinosaur media decide to let him back in to sit at the grownup table of pundits?

On foreign policy, the elder Bush maintained a healthy balance between realism and idealism, unilateralism and multilateralism, American strength and American diplomacy. He believed that international institutions like the U.N. could be force multipliers of U.S. power. Rather than rubbing Mikhail Gorbachev's nose in the dirt, the elder Bush treated him with respect, and in doing so helped to orchestrate the collapse of the Soviet Union, the liberation of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany without the firing of a single shot. The nonviolent unraveling of the Soviet Empire ushered in a decade of prosperity and an era of unprecedented American power and popularity.

The alliance that Mr. Bush, Brent Scowcroft and James A. Baker III built to drive Saddam out of Kuwait had so many allies it virtually turned a profit for America. Mr. Bush chose not to invade Baghdad in 1991. Right or wrong, he felt that had he tried, he would have lost the coalition he had built up to evict Saddam from Kuwait. He obviously believed that the U.S. should never invade an Arab capital without a coalition that contained countries whose support mattered in that part of the world, such as France, Egypt, Syria or Saudi Arabia.

The elder Bush rightly understood that it was not in Israel's interest, or that of the U.S., for Israel to be expanding settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The Madrid peace conference convened by the elder Bush paved the way for both the Oslo peace process and the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, which ended Israel's diplomatic isolation with countries like India and China. It was also the elder Bush who laid the groundwork for the Nafta free-trade accord, completed by President Bill Clinton.

You know, reading this, you can practically see Bill's glasses steam over. That's right: Bill Clinton's foreign policy successes a result of George H. Bush's spadework.

In short, the elder Bush understood the importance of acting in the world - but acting wisely, with competence and preparation. His great weakness was his public diplomacy. He wrongly antagonized American Jews by challenging their right to lobby on behalf of Israel. He could have given more voice to the amazing liberation of humanity that the collapse of the Soviet Union represented and to the American anger over the Tiananmen Square massacre. Although, in his muted response to Tiananmen, the elder Bush kept China-U.S. relations from going totally off the rails, which kept China on a track to economic reform. Although he raised taxes, he never really explained himself. So his instincts were good, his mechanics were often flawless, but his words and music left you frustrated. Still, the legacy is a substantial one. Over time, historians will treat the elder Bush with respect.

That's right, we lost out on his expertise in guiding American foreign policy in those critical lost years of the early mid 1990s because the press thought it was more important to focus on 1.) the fake story that he had never seen a supermarket checkout scanner; B.) Bill Clinton could recite the price of milk in every state; III.) George H. Bush looked at his watch in the "town hall" debate.

So as we approach this critical election of 2004, my advice, dear readers, is this: Vote for the candidate who embodies the ethos of George H. W. Bush - the old guy. Vote for the man who you think would have the same gut feel for nurturing allies and restoring bipartisanship to foreign policy as him. Vote for the man you think understands the importance of facing up to our fiscal responsibilities for the sake of our children. And vote for the man who has the best instincts for balancing realism and idealism and the man who understands the necessity of using energetic U.S. diplomacy to make Israel more secure - by helping to bring it peace with its Arab neighbors, not just more tours from American Christian fundamentalists.

Yes, next Tuesday, vote for the real political heir to George H. W. Bush. I'm sure you know who that is.

That's right, support Kerry.....because he's more like George H. Bush? I mean, after all, he's the one who cites Reagan more than any other president as a definitive influence, right?

Posted by Steve at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

The Rock v. Osama?

You make the call.

Posted by Steve at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

election night party plans

Tomorrow we'll be liveblogging the whole durn day. Well, at least parts of it. I'm going to go vote after dropping the kids off at school, come back and cut the lawn, and since I know I'll be climbing the walls I'll probably sneak out and catch an early matinee of Team America. I'm starting to get jittery---not in a "oh shit I'm worried my guy is going to lose" way, but rather in a calm, pre-race sort of way.

What is everyone else planning? The Commissar is setting up one of his swanky liveblog chat rooms---get over there early if you want to avoid standing on the wrong side of the velvet rope. Michele of A Small Victory? Let's just leave it to her own words:

I hereby pledge that after the election is called, I will run naked through the streets, smeared with war paint, stinking of Jack Daniels and screaming obscenities at my neighbors.

I will do this even if my candidate wins because drunken, naked cursing is fun no matter who the president is.

That's my pledge and I'm sticking to it.

I'm wondering how long it will be before "and absolutely NO BLOGGING ALLOWED!" becomes a standard clause in those nosey-parker community covenants all the rage in the McMansion suburbs. Katie the Resplendent Mango has set up an extra-special blog just for election night: follow it for the usual zesty snarkiness with sharp insights that the Mango has become known for (like this gem where she bitchslaps Howard Dean).

Now that you mention it, I do miss Howard Dean......

Steve Green
's mantra seems to be eat like a liberal democrat, drink like a libertarian, vote like a republican. Check, check, and let's see, check. Meanwhile, Alan is manning the Command Post with the complete CP Party Pack. Is anyone doing the hard work of parsing the numbers for us? Right---New England Republican is on the job. Megapundit is hooking us up with a one-stop-shop scorecard.

Posted by Steve at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

Observations from Down Under

Reverend Pixy has some excellent analysis of what the meaning of tomorrow is. And since it's already tomorrow there, he must really know what he's talking about. Scoot, and send him some Yips.

Posted by Steve at 05:19 PM | Comments (0)

What the....?

Fallujah holdouts threaten to use WMD against Marines in coming assault?

I thought they didn't have WMD? I mean, BUSHITLER LIED, right?

Posted by Steve at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

The Birth pangs of a blog

Ace explains the genesis of his site:

"How can this idiot be getting read, while I'm just sitting here trolling for porn?" I thought to myself. "If that idiot is getting so much unwarranted attention, can't I get some unwarranted attention, too?"

That about sums up the birth of the LLamas eleven and a half months ago, too.

Follow the link and join in the orgy of Oliver Willis mockery, and give Ace the Yips for a job well done!

Posted by Steve at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

bin Laden Fisking Fisk?

I was reading through the transcript of the bin Laden speech and came across this nugget that seems to have been overlooked: Osama's in a bit of a huff because we are dissing Robert Fisk.


Let's go to the text:

This is the message which I sought to communicate to you in word and deed, repeatedly, for years before September 11th.

And you can read this, if you wish, in my interview with Scott in Time Magazine in 1996, or with Peter Arnett on CNN in 1997, or my meeting with John Weiner in 1998.

You can observe it practically, if you wish, in Kenya and Tanzania and in Aden. And you can read it in my interview with Abdul Bari Atwan, as well as my interviews with Robert Fisk.

The latter is one of your compatriots and co-religionists and I consider him to be neutral. So are the pretenders of freedom at The White House and the channels controlled by them able to run an interview with him? So that he may relay to the American people what he has understood from us to be the reasons for our fight against you?

If you were to avoid these reasons, you will have taken the correct path that will lead America to the security that it was in before September 11th. This concerned the causes of the war.

Now I bet Noam Chomsky is fuming at being left from this list of Osama's "neutrals" but Osama is making a very Chomskyist point here about Fisk not being taken seriously by the American media. For good reason: he's not neutral, he's on the other side.

Reading through the text I'm torn: more and more I think this thing is fake. There's none of the glowering Islamic mysticism characterizing his earlier work. It's kind of like a Wings song compared to an early Beatles: it's just not the same. But if it is in fact genuine, I think Wretchard is spot on: it's a sign of how weak bin Laden has become that he's in effect offering a truce if Americans vote for Kerry.

UPDATE: Wretchard has some thoughts on the order of battle in the coming Battle of Fallujah.

Posted by Steve at 05:02 PM | Comments (1)

The Wheels of American Justice Grind On

The jackass who tried to intentionally run over Katherine Harris last week is being held on $500,000 bond.

What would be absolutely hilarious to me about this is if that means he's on jail on election day and can't vote. Double points if then Bush wins the state by one vote....

Posted by Steve at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

Waiving the bloody sock

Curt Schilling limps onto the stage with Dubya in Ohio.

(Thanks to our old pal Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities, even though our blog presence as maurading llamas vexes his very existence into a set of what must surely be tightly wound shorts.)

Posted by Steve at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

Afternoon poll mcnuggets

The Commissar has your fix, slathered with that tasty bbq sauce he's famous for.

WAIT, DON'T ORDER NOW! I'm always a sucker for those "This day in History" bits, which really can't top having the same birthday shared by Stephen Crane, Larry Flynt, and the one-armed drummer from Def Leppard.

Posted by Steve at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

Big surprise

Guess who got the kid glove treatment by the press this year?

Posted by Steve at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)

Moo Knew roundup

I've been trying to get into a blogging groove today but so far nothing's come together in a serious way. I've got a bunch of stuff I have to do workwise that I'm trying to get done, plus Monday's the big teaching day. I've got my American Political Development seminar in 10 minutes where we're supposed to be talking about the progressive era, but I have a feeling it will be mostly election stuff. I've been looking forward to election day for so long (mainly to get it out of the way) that now that it is on us, it's bizarrely quiet. Robbo's on a work trip so he's not going to be checking in, and so for now it's just me.

Until I get back from class, here's some Moo Knew (with all the daily vitamins and minerals blogger needs for health joints and bones):

Hold the Mayo has a linky round-up of the news of the election weird. DS is gloomy, but that's just his nature: think of Anticipatory Retaliations as kind of your neo-Khan Eeyore. Annika delivers a righteous fisking to Osama, followed by her over-under on MNF: what can I say, one stop blog shopping.

Posted by Steve at 02:27 PM | Comments (1)

The Monday Morning Roundup

What the hell is the deal with the Heinz-Kerry family? I'll say this (which should not be construed as defeatism or panic or predictions of doom): if my predictions are wrong, at least we'll have four years of being able to tear these people into tiny little pieces and then feed them to the eels.

Case in point, Chris Heinz-Kerry. Gordon pours ketchup into the wounds of this young lad who's a bit peeved that what's keeping daddakins out of the White House is those nasty Joooooooooooooooz. What a turd this kid is. I think the appropriate remedy would be getting 3000 copies of A Republic not an Empire into a tree mulcher, feed the noxious scraps into a giant soft serve ice cream machine, and duct-tape his mouth to the machine's spout till he eats the whole damn thing, every drop.

Ace has a useful guide for those few undecideds out there, indicating whether you should be a Bush or Kerry supporter. Highlights include:


BUSH: Destroyer, aka "Paranoia," by The Kinks
KERRY: Foolish Heart, Journey, or Steve Perry, whoever the hell is responsible for that abortion


BUSH: George Thoroughgood and at least two (2) of the Delaware Destroyers
KERRY: All six actors who played Rum-Tum-Tumbler in Cats (plus their understudies and the entirety of the hair & make-up people and costumers)


BUSH: My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo/I wanna sink her with my pink torpedo
KERRY: Listen! (shhhhhh...!) to what the Flower People say ah-AH-ahhh-AAHH-Ahhh


BUSH: Dennis Miller, Larry Miller, Drew Carey, Colin Quinn
KERRY: Margaret Cho, Al Franken, Jeneane Garofalo, "Balky" from Perfect Strangers

Read the whole thing.

Bill has plenty of analysis of the "director's cut" of the bin Laden video, which includes his long rantings against the setbacks dealt to him by the Amerikans and his bitterness at the Bush family. Interesting.

Shock of the morning so far is the endorsement of Dubya by the.....wait for it.....wait for it........Hartford Courant. The Courant, as long time Connecticutians know, was a conservative newspaper back in the day, and by the day I mean back when they got busted on by President Jefferson for their snide and vicious federalist bent. Since then, not so much. So this is a surprise.

Posted by Steve at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

That one's going to leave a mark

Glenn Reynolds, like a careful and methodical parent dealing with a belligerent and nonsensical child, delivers a severe rebuke to Andrew Sullivan.

What makes it a classic is his use of Sully's own words against him, before dismissing him as "excitable."

Should this be filed under "Heh" or "Indeed"?

You make the call.

Posted by Steve at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

The Deluge

An interesting phenomena has developed over the past couple of weeks: the attempt to push the conservative blogs onto particular stories. My feeling at first was that of flattery, getting included in the same list with the big dogs---not that made me linger one second before deleting them, mind you, but my initial sense was saying "hey, you aint my pimp---this blog belongs to My Pet Jawa, fool!"

My second feeling about these emails was that they were frauds---I just had the sense that certain folks were trying to Buckhead the pajamuhadeen into pursuing a story that would then blow up on them. In other words, treat us as a bunch of Mary Mapes' and show our partisan axes for what they are. Case in point was a big email campaign to get blogs to build on the idea that Kerry was dishonarably discharged, and that this story would "break" over the weekend. End result? No story. My sense was that the whole thing was a fake all along, and that the blogs did a good job of sniffing it out and not buying into it.

Wizbang notes the phenomenom, as does the Commissar and Michele Catalano.

Now if only I'll receive an email from a Nigerian former minister of finance willing to send me John Kerry's dishonorable discharge form I'll be ready to believe it...

Posted by Steve at 01:20 PM | Comments (2)

And so it begins

Today is absolutely beautiful outside---warm, sunny, leaves around, very collegiate. Both morning classes we went outside, sat out on the lawn in front of our building, and talked about nothing except the election. Neither is a direct politics class (Foundations of Law & Society and Politics of Legal Order) but hey, what else are you going to talk about today?

I did do something silly, though, which was answer a question about what I thought would be the outcome:

286 Electoral Votes for Bush
Bush wins the popular vote, but doesn't crack 50%
GOP picks up 3 seats in Senate

One of the more precocious students asked what I was prepared to do if I was wrong (she was kidding, I think.) Anyhoo, I offered to eat the piece of paper she just wrote it down on---not the whole thing, mind you, just the part with the projection on it, and only the electoral vote one at that. And I reserved the right to put it in a sandwich. Needless to say, all the students began to scribble down the number but I said no, just that one original piece.

So there you have it.

Hopefully, I won't have to eat it with any ketchup, so to speak.

electoral college 286.gif

What do you think is going to happen? Drop us a note in the comment section or in the Tasty Bits Mail Sack and the winner will get a one day's supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat!

Posted by Steve at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)

The Election of 1864 Theme

The Commissar is channelling Mo Dowd.

Posted by Steve at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64

design by blogstyles.