...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

July 30, 2004

Happy Birthday Governor Schwarzenegger!

And congratulations on the Wiener-stempel!


Posted by annika at 02:34 PM | Comments (4)

Bat Update

i got the details on bat risk. It's not dangerous to touch a dead bat, but you shouldn't do it. If you see a bat in the daytime, and it's crawling on the ground, something's wrong. It probably has rabies so don't mess with it, it may bite you and then you're in trouble. You can get rabies if bat saliva gets in your eyes, nose, mouth or a wound. In other words, don't make out with the bat.

The source for this info is here, in case you're interested. i also learned that many young bats are unable to fly during summer. So it's possible that i simply saw a lost, but undiseased, young bat.

Here's the proper way to capture a bat:

What you will need:
  • leatherwork gloves (put them on)

  • small box or coffee can

  • piece of cardboard

  • tape
When the bat lands, approach it slowly, while wearing the gloves, and place the box or coffee can over it. Slide the cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside. Tape the cardboard to the container securely, and punch small holes in the cardboard, allowing the bat to breathe. Contact your health department or animal-control authority to make arrangements for rabies testing.

If you see a bat in your home and you are sure no human or pet exposure has occurred, confine the bat to a room by closing all doors and windows leading out of the room except those to the outside. The bat will probably leave soon. If not, it can be caught, as described and released outdoors away from people and pets.

Not that anyone would ever need to know that, but hey, it never hurts to be prepared. Might as well assemble your bat capture kit this weekend and keep it handy, just in case.

Posted by annika at 01:26 PM | Comments (5)

July 29, 2004

Democratic Finale, Final Thoughts

. . . Something is terribly wrong with the way we teach history in this country when Max Cleland can mispronounce the name of Crispus Attucks and yet be interrupted by applause, while the crowd sits on their hands after he invokes the name of Paul Revere in the very next sentence . . .

. . . Kerry saved a hamster? LOL, now we know why Richard Gere is supporting him . . .

. . . Kerry's daughter was allowed to broach the subject of abortion, because she represents a democratic constituency largely made up of one issue voters: single women . . .

. . . "John Kerry reporting for duty?" Puleeeeze! They're laying it on so thick. Someone should have edited that line out of there. It's way too over the top . . .

. . . Kerry's energy is way up. He's been rehearsing. He'll get good reviews for style, simply because many pundits expected a worse delivery . . .

. . . Funny, he implies that the Republicans have taken the flag away from the Democrats as a symbol of patriotism. The way i see it, the Democrats abandoned the flag as a symbol when they became the party of flag burners. This from a guy who threw his medals away . . .

. . . i can't reconcile Kerry's promise to ensure that we have the best equipped military with his vote on the eighty-seven billion. Can you? . . .

. . . Kerry says that America has never fought a war because we wanted to, only because we had to. That is patently and demonstrably false. The most obvious and notable example being the war he will never let us forget he fought in. But also Korea, WWI, The Spanish American War and The Mexican War . . .

. . . The "we are on God's side" jab is getting huge applause. It's a pretty effective rhetorical jab. And a cheap shot. The anti-Christians in the audience are lovin' it . . .

. . . Balloons and confetti. Sammy Hagar is singing "we'll get higher and higher!" Is this a subliminal way of signaling their position on legalization? . . .

. . . It's appropriate that this convention was held at Fleet Center, because if Kerry wins, it's going to feel like we just got one of these . . .

Posted by annika at 08:00 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

Edwards' Speech

Tonight i realized that i could really like John Edwards. Not just because he's a good speaker (not quite as polished as Clinton, but he's getting there), but because his speech tonight was worthy of a Republican. No really. Change a few details, tone down the "two Americas schtick, and i could totally imagine GWB giving the same speech.

Edwards was patriotic, he praised the sacrifices of our armed forces with sincerity, and he talked about the everyday struggles of the average American without promising a Clintonesque shitload of handouts. His solution to the problem of outsourcing sounded reasonable to me. i liked what i heard. Didn't believe him for a moment. But i liked what i heard.

Edwards' speech was most notable for what was left out. And that got me thinking. Why is everybody applauding and going crazy over him? Perhaps because he's not Bush or Cheney. Because he definitely omitted everything that today's democrat really cares about.

The word "abortion" did not appear, nor did he mention "a woman's right to choose." He never mentioned gay marriage. He never said the Iraq war was a mistake, or that it was illegal, or that we should get out. He never equated Abu Ghraib with Saddam's atrocities. In fact, the most surprising line of the night was this:

And we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaida and the rest of these terrorists. You cannot run. You cannot hide. And we will destroy you. [emphasis mine]
Not "stop you," not "hunt you down," not "bring you to justice." He said "destroy." That's real tough talk, and i can do nothing but applaud him for it, even while i seriously doubt Kerry's ability to improve on the strategy we have been pursuing for three years already.

It's real interesting that Edwards would give such a patriotic pro-war speech when, as Peter Comejo pointed out on the Hogue show this morning, ninety five percent of the delegates in the audience are anti-war, think the war was a mistake and want us to get out immediately. Yet they cheered Edwards words as loudly as a bunch of Republicans would. i guess "anyone but Bush" is really all that matters to them. Edwards could have gotten up there and promised to attack France and they would have raised the roof.

Many, i would say most, die-hard modern Democrats are drawn to the party over only a handful of issues. Compassion issues are part of it, like gay marriage and affirmative action. But there's also fear and hatred issues. Fear of losing the ability to have abortions. Hatred of Christianity, traditional Judaism and the standards of behavior those faiths represent.

That's why i can't understand why Edwards would have the audacity to close his speech with the words "Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America!" But i am not surprised to see that the "official" text of the speech on the John Kerry for President website omits the final eight words. The substantial "Newdow wing" of the party might have let that offensive Republican sounding line slide last night, but they certainly wouldn't want it memorialized in print forever.

Update: Don't believe me? Listen to Jonah Goldberg, he saw this coming.

This is the logic of hate. It lets convention delegates who by every measure are far to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic Party, let alone the American public, cheer a candidate who has spent the past few months holding something of a fire sale on Democratic principles. According to a New York Times survey of delegates, 9 out of 10 say they think Iraq was a mistake and 5 out of 6 say the war on terrorism and national security aren't that important; yet Kerry is surrounding himself with soldiers to the point where it wouldn't be shocking if delegates were required to wear camo fatigues. Even Ted Kennedy would be hard-pressed to play a drinking game in which players had to swig every time the words "Vietnam" or "war hero" come up in Democratic speeches.

Kerry's waxing philosophic about how life begins at conception, but the activists still wear abortion-on-demand buttons. And the delegates serve as little more than an infomercial studio audience who applaud on cue, just as they would if Ron Popeil demonstrated how his new gadget makes curly fries in just a few seconds. The point of this Potemkin unity is to seduce moderates and swing voters into believing that Kerry's their guy.

Posted by annika at 08:32 PM | Comments (8)

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

A history lesson with the poetry this week, because i have chosen a sonnet written by a man who might not be a household name, but perhaps should be.

Not generally remembered for his poetry, the author of this week's poem was better known for his passionate devotion to the abolition of slavery. William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) was a firebrand and so uncompromising, he even managed to piss off Frederick Douglass. Here's a typical W. L. Garrison quote:

I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. . . . I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.
Thank goodness he was heard, eventually, though at the time not many seemed to want to listen. Georgia's antebellum House of Representatives even offered a bounty of $5000 for Garrison's capture. He was ahead of his time in many ways.
In speaking engagements and through the Liberator and other publications, Garrison advocated the immediate emancipation of all slaves. This was an unpopular view during the 1830s, even with northerners who were against slavery. What would become of all the freed slaves? Certainly they could not assimilate into American society, they thought. Garrison believed that they could assimilate. He believed that, in time, all blacks would be equal in every way to the country's white citizens. They, too, were Americans and entitled to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
Garrison was also an early advocate of women's rights, and non-violent civil disobedience.

In the following sonnet, you get a pretty good picture of the man's intensity and righteousness.

Liberty for All

THEY tell me, Liberty! that in thy name
I may not plead for all the human race;
That some are born to bondage and disgrace,
Some to a heritage of woe and shame,
And some to power supreme, and glorious fame:
With my whole soul I spurn the doctrine base,
And, as an equal brotherhood, embrace
All people, and for all fair freedom claim!
Know this, O man! whate’er thy earthly fate—
God never made a tyrant nor a slave:
Woe, then, to those who dare to desecrate
His glorious image!—for to all He gave
Eternal rights, which none may violate;
And, by a mighty hand, the oppressed He yet shall save!

It's a basic Italian form sonnet, in spotless iambic pentameter, until the final line, which tripped me up a bit. It reads like there's an extra foot in there, and i had to read the line a few times to figure out the meter. All in all, a decent sonnet from a famous non-poet.

Posted by annika at 06:02 PM | Comments (3)

Why i'm Such A Huge Hugo Schwyzer Fan

This latest post, called "Waterparks. And the T-Shirt", referring to the abortion t-shirt, is one reason.

It was about 1997 or 1998 when I began to see the most remarkable slogans showing up on the fitted t-shirts of my female students: 'Porn Star'. 'Juicy.' 'Real American Bitch.' 'I Just Slept with your Boyfriend' (I've seen gay men where these too, but I see 'em more often on women; I've seen other verbs besides 'slept' as well.) 'Too Hot to Handle'. 'You Know you Wanna Touch.' . . . I associate all this with the banal and infuriating 'girl power' movement; largely a creation of advertisers, it sold young women a message of empowerment through shock and sexuality. . . .

What I disliked about these shirts was not so much their brazenness as their rank commercialism. Nothing genuinely radical, edgy, or dangerous is sold at Abercrombie and Fitch or Urban Outfitters . . . Newsflash, kiddies: The fact that it horrifies your parents doesn't make it any less a product of the very same corporate America in which your parents are investing. What these places sell is the cleverly marketed opportunity to outrage the older generation while simultaneously offering a superficially feminist message. The message is 'Only a bold, strong, brave young woman who doesn't care about conforming to stereotypes would wear a shirt like this. Thus if you wear this shirt, you bear witness to your fiery, indominatable, wild grrl soul.' Please. What you bear witness to, darlin', is nothing more than your own socially constructed insecurity, and any sensible person over 25 is abundantly aware of that.

Right on!

Posted by annika at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)

HK Speech

Excellent analysis of HK's speech here. She is a very weird lady, and i do not want her in the White House.

This is clearly a woman who thinks and feels that she is the one paying the bills, so she gets to call the shots. I can imagine that Sen. Kerry has had to put up with a lot of this, but has made his peace with it, considering the financial benefits.

None of the details of her marriage would be of the slightest interest to me or anyone else, if it weren’t for the fact that her husband could well be the next President. A man bought and paid for, with a willful, short-tempered, somewhat angry and defensive, egotistical spouse, one who is used to getting [her] own way whenever she demands it.

. . . She is, in fact, his primary source of his livelihood. Just as we would demand to know about a candidate's job, we deserve to know about Teresa, who pays far more lavishly than any other job Kerry could hold.

Don’t forget that without the loan he took out on the Beacon Hill mansion bought with HER money, his Presidential campaign would have collapsed in late 2003. It was that money alone which kept him going, until Howard Dean imploded in the early primaries. It was precisely this ability to keep campaigning when others had to quit over lack of financing which caused the Democrats to finally turn to him as candidate. You can be certain that Teresa never lets her husband forget that.

Nor should we forget it.

Posted by annika at 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

Don Knotts

Don Knotts had a birthday recently (July 21st), which i failed to properly commemorate on this here blog. i referenced him briefly in a short post below, and now i'm going to tell you what his greatest role was.

While a lot of people swear that The Incredible Mr. Limpet is the best Don Knotts movie, i think people who think that are all wet. Knotts excelled at the physical comedy of facial expressions. Limpet was a cartoon, so it by definition cannot be the best DK movie.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a strong contender. Knotts' character is named Luther Heggs, a perfect name for a DK character. i loved the whole scene where he spends the night in the haunted house. Remember the crazy organ music? Knotts was at his shaky best.

i liked The Reluctant Astronaut just a little bit better, partly because i like space movies. This one came out in 1967, at the height of the space race. The premise is typically DK: he gets a job at NASA, tells his family and his girlfriend that he is in astronaut training, when in fact he's just a janitor, hijinks ensue, his family finds out about the charade, they're terribly disappointed, then even though he's Acrophobic, he blunders onto a spaceflight, actually becoming a reluctant astronaut , more hijinks ensue. It's predictable, but still a must see.

i also liked The Apple Dumpling Gang, where DK teams up with Tim Conway as a pair of stereotypically incompetent but loveable bank robbers.

But the funniest Don Knotts movie, in my opinion, is the often overlooked How to Frame a Figg, from 1971. Here's a couple of comments from the IMDB page:

'How to Frame a Figg is a vintage Don Knotts - frenetic, farcical comedy, and features him at the top of his form as the hysterical, cat-on-hot-tin-roof nervous, persecuted civil servant Hollis Figg.'

'If folks were really this stupid I could be the SRW - Supreme Ruler of the World. In this one Knotts plays a dimwitted bean counter for some little jerk water town run by a group of crooked simpletons only slightly brighter than he is. When things appear a bit shaky for the crooks they go for a frame-up of the patsy Figg. Plenty of laughs as Knotts does his usual bumbling, stumbling act. I especially appreciated the extension cord scene; asininity at it's highest level.'

The opening scene with the ambulance is pathetically absurd, but i won't ruin it for you, it's one of my favorite comic scenes ever.

Best Don Knotts movie: How to Frame a Figg. Go rent it tonight and let me know if you agree or disagree.

Posted by annika at 09:36 AM | Comments (5)

Dean's Pledge

i would gladly take Dean Esmay's Pledge, which is to say that, should Kerry be elected this November, partisanship should end at the "water's edge."

How many of you will have the patriotism to say, 'I disagree with many of his policy directions, I do not think he is conducting our foreign policy in the right way, but I will do my best to get behind him and support him until elections come around next time?' . . . even if he does things I disagree with in conducting foreign policy, I will say, 'I respectfully disagree with the President's directions, but I will do my best to express my dissent respectfully and hope that I am mistaken and that he has made the proper decisions after all.'
However, i won't go so far as Esmay and refrain from calling President Kerry a liar, if in fact, he lies. And no one who cares about this country should. Nor can i refuse to call him a traitor, since in my opinion, he became one long ago by his actions upon returning from Vietnam.

Posted by annika at 09:12 AM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2004


Has Ted Kennedy ever spoken one sentence in the last thirty years without fucking up the pronounciation of something in some way?

Has anyone ever accused him of being an idiot for doing so?

Posted by annika at 08:26 PM | Comments (4)


Jimmy Carter looks more and more like Don Knotts every time i see him.

Posted by annika at 04:16 PM | Comments (5)


i saw something shocking at Moxie's. Planned Parenthood, with the help of Yahoo! Shopping, is selling t-shirts that express the wearer's pride at having had an abortion.

That's fucked up. Even pro-abortionists like Clinton and Kerry would stop short before saying that an abortion was something that should be boasted about in front of strangers.

Whatever happened to the ideals behind the motto: safe, legal and rare? Or was that just bullshit?

PP won't be happy until every teen is sporting a tee like that one. But i say, why stop there? Let's follow that thread to it's logical conclusion.

So i designed a t-shirt with a parallel sentiment.

What do you think? Something to be proud of? Or not.

Update: Allah has more. Via Xrlq.

Posted by annika at 12:14 AM | Comments (17)

July 26, 2004

Weather The Bounce, Boys

i tell you, i am becoming hugely optimistic about the upcoming election. There are several reasons for my optimism.

Mainly, i think the amount of support for Bush-Cheney is deliberately downplayed by a media that needs a close race for political preference and profit reasons.

Secondly, Kerry sucks as a candidate. He's not likeable. On the contrary, he's kind of an asshole, and people in the middle notice things like that. People who are undecided at this late stage of the game are more influenced by silly things like personality. If undecideds cared about the issues, they'd have made their minds up by now.

Thirdly, i think we can expect a big freak show at the upcoming Republican Convention in New York. The far left nut jobs will ensure Bush's re-election, even though they will think they're doing the opposite. In fact, i hope they go on a total Bush-hatin' rampage in the streets of New York. Everyone knows who's side they're on, and the worse the protesters act, the more people will realize how low the Democratic Party has fallen.

Fourthly, it's not about popular vote. It's about the electoral college, and that's looking good too. As AP reports:

With three months remaining in a volatile campaign, Kerry has 14 states and the District of Columbia in his column for 193 electoral votes. Bush has 25 states for 217 votes, according to an Associated Press analysis of state polls as well as interviews with strategists across the country.
Here are the states that AP says are "in play," but leaning in Bush's direction:
  • North Carolina

  • Colorado

  • Louisiana

  • Arizona

  • Virginia

  • Arkansas

  • Missouri
Now please. Are you gonna tell me that those states, historically bastions of conservatism, are going to vote Kerry this year? Bush won them all in 2000, when the election was all about personality, not life-and-death. The only one that might possibly go Kerry is Missouri, but if it stays in the Bush camp, he's got 290 electors right there. To win, you need 270 electors.

By my reckoning, and assuming the polls stay like this until the election, i see Bush Cheney winning without even worrying about the battleground states like Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan and West Virginia. Am i wrong here? Admittedly, math is not my best subject, but i think i'm right about this.

All Bush-Cheney have to do is weather the Kerry Edwards' post convention bounce and hopefully the election should be theirs to lose.

IMHO, of course.

Update: Forget my fourth point. i was wrong. As usual, my weak math skills misled me. But not as much as the stupid AP article, which failed to mention an important fact. As commenter Col. Steve points out:

The '25' to get 217 already includes the 7 states you list as in play but leaning Bush. Kerry's total includes the 14, DC but you leave out the 2 states (PA and OR) that the author says are toss-up but shifting to Kerry. You have to add those 2 states to give Kerry 193 + 21 + 7 = 221.
So, in fact the seven states that i said Bush would win, do not put him over the magic 270 number. He will still need to win some of the battleground states, and that is, i admit, an iffy proposition.

The math aside, my other points are still very well taken. IMHO.

Posted by annika at 03:42 PM | Comments (13)

HK Fires Off

By now, you must have heard about Heintz-Kerry's* bizarre "shove it" melt-down with that reporter. i thought it was hysterical. i mean, she just got done giving a speech about civility in politics. And all the guy did was ask her what she meant by "un-American."

She's a freak. i've met people who do the same thing. They say something to you and then one minute later adamantly deny that they've said it. i went out with a guy who would do that and then try to bully me into doubting my own ears. Just like HK did. Only when she denied it, there was an audio recording as proof. Now she just looks crazier than she already looked.

i really don't think Heintz-Kerry is a stable person. i mean emotionally. It's just an impression i've gotten after watching her these last few months. You just watch, she'll melt-down a few more times before Kerry's handlers get wise and sequester her until the election.

Another incredible thing about this episode: i can understand HK not realizing her mistake, she hadn't listened to the proof of what she said. But what's this guy's excuse? He links to the video, then says that

the 'reporter' in question attempted to attribute a quote to Mrs. Kerry that she didn't say.
Huh? She did say it, i heard the audio myself.

Dude needs to listen to the audio again, this time without holding his hands over his ears and saying "lalalalalala."

Liberals. *sigh* Whatareyagonnado?

Link via Sean.

Update: Malkin noticed HK's craziness back in January.

* Yes, i have decided to bestow the mis-spelling honor upon her.

Posted by annika at 12:47 PM | Comments (8)

Kerry Loses New York

Attention all Yankee fans. How can you vote for a man who said the following:

[Interviewer]: When you get into office,* would you consider passing an executive order that would prevent Pedro from signing with the Yankees?

[Kerry]: I'd consider an executive order that abolishes the Yankees. We'll have to set up some very strict regulations with respect to Yankee behavior. I think the Red Sox may take care of it. I think there may be an A-Rod backlash this year. I think there may be a reverse curse here.

Okay, so Kerry may lose the New York baseball fan vote with a statement like that, but he probably gained twice as many votes from all other baseball fans. Probably the smart political move.

Until he goes to stump in NYC, when he'll probably say that he was a Yankee fan before he was a Red Sox fan.

What's this "when" shit?

Posted by annika at 10:17 AM | Comments (3)

Where's A Digital Camera When You Need One? (Reprise)

i just saw the weirdest thing. A bat. It was right outside the building crawling along the sidewalk on all fours, right where i saw that huge dragonfly a few weeks ago. The bat was gray, about three inches long, and moving very slowly, about the speed of a large beetle. i didn't know what it was at first and i jumped and let out a loud scream, 'cause it was right by my foot when i first saw it. Poor thing was lost, it should have been hanging upside down in a cave somewhere. i thought about picking it up and bringing it into the office to show everybody. Then i thought about rabies and left it alone. Some car is probably going to run over it, over but there's nothing i can do about that. It's getting to be like a menagerie outside my building. i really should bring a digital camera with me when i take my smoke breaks.

Posted by annika at 10:07 AM | Comments (3)

Is This Getting Boring? Nah! (Reprise)

Instead of writing a new post on how awesome Lance Armstrong is for winning his sixth Tour de France in a row, i'll just link to my post from last year, about him predicting this year's win. Next year: number seven!

Posted by annika at 08:29 AM | Comments (1)

July 25, 2004

Fantasy Football Tip

So Miami running back Ricky Williams is quitting the NFL at age 27 so he can smoke pot full time? Interesting career choice. He's on his way to Asia as we speak, and one wonders if he'll meet up with Todd Marinovich somewhere along the way. Well, at least that makes picking an RB for my fantasy team a little easier.

Posted by annika at 10:03 AM | Comments (4)

July 23, 2004

When Is A Dry Run Not A Dry Run?

When one of the passengers turns out to be all wet.

Undercover federal air marshals on board a June 29 Northwest airlines flight from Detroit to LAX identified themselves after a passenger, 'overreacted,' to a group of middle-eastern men on board, federal officials and sources have told KFI NEWS.

The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service.

Jacobsen, a self-described freelance writer, has published two stories about her experience at womenswallstreet.com, a business advice web site designed for women.
Dawn has more.

You know i'm a hawk when it comes to the war on terror. i'm not saying we should let our guard down, especially nowadays. But still, this lady's story, when i first read it, sure sounded like an urban legend to me.

It turned out not to be an urban legend, but neither did it turn out to be what Jacobsen thought it was. i bet that's how half of the urban legends out there start, by somebody over-reacting.

Posted by annika at 04:31 PM | Comments (8)

Etiquette Question

When people sneeze multiple times in succession, are you supposed to say "God bless you" after every sneeze or can you just say it after the first sneeze?

Posted by annika at 10:54 AM | Comments (14)

July 22, 2004

Crazy Question

Watching the Tour de France with my housemates yesterday, the following question came up:

What kind of being would you create if you could somehow cross Lance Armstrong's DNA with the DNA of his chief rival, Ivan Basso?

The answer is not all that good. It's quite frightening, actually.

Update: i guess nobody gets this joke. It's a bit obscure, but we all thought it was hilarious over at my house.

Clue: Crossing the DNA of Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso might create a bike rider who's derailleur is perfectly in sync!

Posted by annika at 01:20 PM | Comments (5)

July 21, 2004

Give 'Em Hell, Lance

i watched Lance power his way to the top of l'Alpe d'Huez tonight. He's not just winning, he's dominating and embarrassing the competition. He passed Ivan Basso, like he was standing still. And this was a time trial! They're racing against the clock. i didn't expect to see Lance lapping guys.


Lance in yellow, Tiger in green, pinstripes in October. It's like something you expect to see every year.

One disturbing thing about the Tour, though. It gets pretty crazy along the route, with fans jumping in front of the riders, waving flags, running alongside and trying to touch them. i saw a streaker during stage 13 last weekend. But on TV today, Lance said that people were spitting and throwing shit at the American riders. That's bad news.

There were lots of fans, and it was a little scary. To me, sincerely, it was not a good idea to have a time trial at l'Alpe d'Huez. It's over now but a lot of German fans were just disgusting. C'est la vie.
i wonder what Lance's left-wing girlfriend Cheryl Crow had to say about that display of America-hating. Stupid Germans. The race organizers really should try to control them, i'd hate to see someone get hurt.

Posted by annika at 09:26 PM | Comments (11)

Wednesday Is Poetry Day, Every Wednesday

i must confess, e.e. cummings is not my favorite poet. i don't like visual gimmick poetry, and i don't like indecipherable poetry. In that respect i am not alone. When my favorite poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, was in charge of vetting poets for the Guggenhiem Fellowship, she turned down cummings because she couldn't figure him out. (i wish i had her exact quote; you can find it in the wonderful biography of Millay, called Savage Beauty.)

Thankfully, not all of e.e. cummings' work is hard to read. Take out the weird shit, and what remains is remarkably brilliant. Not surprisingly, i'm especially drawn to his erotic stuff. Sometimes i'm not sure whether he's talking about what i think he's talking about, or whether it's just my own dirty mind. I like that in a poem. Plausible deniability.

An example:

because i love you)last night

clothed in sealace
appeared to me
your mind drifting
with chuckling rubbish
of pearl weed coral and stones;

lifted,and(before my
eyes sinking)inward,fled;softly
your face smile breasts gargled
by death:drowned only

again carefully through deepness to rise
these your wrists
thighs feet hands

          to again utterly disappear;
rushing gently swiftly creeping
through my dreams last
night,all of your
body with its spirit floated
(clothed only in

the tide's acute weaving murmur

Nice, isn't it? Less subtle is this racy example:

my girl's tall with hard long eyes
as she stands, with her long hard hands keeping
silence on her dress, good for sleeping
is her long hard body filled with surprise
like a white shocking wire, when she smiles
a hard long smile it sometimes makes
gaily go clean through me tickling aches,
and the weak noise of her eyes easily files
my impatience to an edge--my girl's tall
and taut, with thin legs just like a vine
that's spent all of its life on a garden-wall,
and is going to die. When we grimly go to bed
with these legs she begins to heave and twine
about me, and to kiss my face and head.

Whew, there's a little bit of excitement for your blog reading day!

But sometimes, e.e. could throw all subtlety out the window, as in this bawdy piece:

the boys i mean are not refined
they go with girls who buck and bite
they do not give a fuck for luck
they hump them thirteen times a night

one hangs a hat upon her tit
one carves a cross on her behind
they do not give a shit for wit
the boys i mean are not refined

they come with girls who bite and buck
who cannot read and cannot write
who laugh like they would fall apart
and masturbate with dynamite

the boys i mean are not refined
they cannot chat of that and this
they do not give a fart for art
they kill like you would take a piss

they speak whatever's on their mind
they do whatever's in their pants
the boys i mean are not refined
they shake the mountains when they dance

Dang, that's some kick-ass poetry. i'm not crazy about a lot of his stuff, but if he were around today, i'd bet e.e. could take the prize at any poetry slam contest.

Posted by annika at 04:24 PM | Comments (5)


Here's a letter that Martha Stewart wrote to the judge in her recent criminal trial. i defy anyone to make it to the end of the four page letter, it's so boring. As i commented at Dawn's (from whom i stole this link), didn't they teach Martha anything about run-on sentences at Barnard?

I have spent most of my professional life creating, writing, researching, and thinking on the highest possible level about quality of life, about giving, about providing, so that millions of people, from all economic strata, can enjoy beauty, good quality, well made products, and impeccably researched information about many hundreds of subjects which can lead to a better life and more rewarding family lifestyle.
Just on and on and on. Shit woman, just get to the point! No wonder they wouldn't let her testify. Gawd, wouldn't she be the worst lunch partner ever?

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

Lynda Rondstat

Shelly asked me if i was going to comment on the Lynda Ronsdstat controversy. i don't have much to to say on that, except for the following:

At least she had the guts to say what she said in front of a hostile audience in this country. That's more than i can say for the Dixie Chiks.

Also, what she said wasn't so bad. She just recommended the movie. It's not like she said she was ashamed to be an American.

i think what she said about Christians and Republicans is more offensive.

Anyway, whatever. Who cares about her anyway? She made one good record, a long time ago with Nelson Riddle, and her career's been AWOL ever since.

Link thanks to Jen.

Posted by annika at 11:14 AM | Comments (4)

The Tour de France

Have you been watching Lance Armstrong? i watched replays of the end of stage thirteen on Sunday and the end of stage fifteen last night. The dude is awesome. He doesn't even look like he's breaking a sweat. Look at the other guy's faces at the end, they're in agony. But Lance is a machine. i sure hope he's not dopin, 'cause he's great. It's funny that Greg LeMond seems to think Lance is dirty. Does he know something or is he just jealous?

Posted by annika at 09:25 AM | Comments (7)

July 20, 2004


Congratulations to my 100,000th visitor! You came here to look at my post about the Spitfire video. i don't know anything about you except that you are from the Pacific Time Zone, possibly the Bay Area, and you didn't bother to look around my blog. Oh well, no prize for you then.

Posted by annika at 02:08 PM | Comments (9)

July 20, 1969

On July 20, 1969, an event which i argue is the greatest accomplishment in human history occurred.


It was "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," as Neil Armstrong said. But, it must also be said that no one but an American has ever been to the moon. And we have every right to be proud of that fact.

We did it with vacuum tube computers and slide rules. We did it in the days before fax machines and e-mail and pocket calculators. We did it before copy machines and PDAs and DVD drives and laptops. We did it with computers that filled a whole room but were slower than the computer i'm typing on right now.

And when the computer miscalculated on the descent to the lunar surface, one American took the controls and landed the damn thing himself.


On that historic day Associated Press reported:

Two Americans landed on the moon and explored its surface for some two hours Sunday, planting the first human footprints in its dusty soil. They raised their nation's flag and talked to their President on earth 240,000 miles away.
And the whole world watched.

Be proud.

Update: Has Ted forgotten about this anniversary?

Posted by annika at 08:42 AM | Comments (10)

July 19, 2004

Roses Are Red

And now roses are blue.

Posted by annika at 04:49 PM | Comments (4)

An Ugly Old French Problem

i totally agree with Ariel Sharon's belief that French Jews should emigrate to Israel to escape "the wildest anti-semitism." That comment has caused that old slug, Chirac to revoke his invitation for Sharon to visit Paris.

Don't worry about it, Ariel. i've been to Paris, you ain't missing much.

Other Frenchies are up in arms* over Sharon's statement too.

'France is not Germany of the 1930s,' said Julien Dray, spokesman for the opposition Socialist Party . . .
Maybe, but France is beginning to resemble France of the 1940s (Vichy collaborationists). Or France of the 1890s (The Dreyfus affair). The French have a long history of anti-semitism, to which their latest group of immigrants would love to add.
'The French have actually gone further than any other country in Europe in recognizing that they have a mountain of a problem on their hands,' says David A. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, who consults with the French government. Indeed, from their point of view, anti-Semitism may turn out to be the least of it. The huge number of Muslim young people born in France who actively resist acculturation, he says, leaves French officials 'baffled and challenged'
But the government itself appears far from blameless.
At least behind closed doors, French officials are even starting to entertain the proposition that the virulence and relentlessness of their criticism of Israel and its supporters feeds the insalubrious climate in which crimes against Jews multiply. Despite French newspapers' vigorous coverage of the latest apparent anti-Semitic attack, a further evolution may be needed before French intellectual and media elites will go that far.

* Figuratively speaking, of course. To the French, the phrase "up in arms" means to put "up" your hands whenever you see "arms."

Update: Dawn's opinion is the opposite of mine.

Posted by annika at 03:16 PM | Comments (4)

Recommended Reading

i'm trying to be a responsible employee and stay off MT this morning. So, i'll just recommend two very interesting takes by two very interesting liberal bloggers who can sometimes throw a curveball.

Hugo Schwyzer on the Amy Richards abortions.

Matthew Yglesias on the assault weapons ban.


Posted by annika at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2004

My Life, Preliminary Impressions

i've been slogging my way through My Life, by Bill Clinton for the last week or so. i'm about 90 pages into it. The book is written in casual prose, almost like a blog, and it's easily accessible to the least common denominator. Anyone expecting multi-syllable words and complex sentences from this "Rhodes Scholar" will be disappointed. Clinton is a competent writer, but he's no Thomas Jefferson. He's not even a Theodore Roosevelt. Further proof to my mind that those fawning ignorami who insist that he was "our smartest president" are way off base.

Clinton delights in naming people he knew as a young man, probably for their own benefit, so they can point to the book and say "hey, I'm in it," or "hey, my dad/brother/sister is in it." The first few chapters are full of anecdotes that are only marginally interesting: Bill's boyhood encounter with an angry ram, the famous confrontations with his abusive stepfather, the famous handshake with President Kennedy, the time Bill's car got stuck in the mud at a bauxite quarry.

i'm no fan of Clinton as a president. He had some successes in office, but lord knows he hurt this country in many ways, which we are only now beginning to fully realize. But as a man, as a historical character, he fascinates me. Like Henry VIII, he's a tragic leader who cannot be ignored if you have any real interest in history. And like King Henry, Bill Clinton was a sincere idealist, who left his country in a mess because he let his cock do more thinking than his head.

At this early stage in my reading, i thought it might be fun to see what Clinton had to say about the man who aspires to carry on his progressive Democratic legacy. i'm talking about the presumptive Democratic nominee for president at the time of the book's celebrated release: Massachussets senator John Kerry. As you may have heard, Clinton's book damns Kerry with faint praise. Actually there's almost no praise at all.

According to the index, John Kerry is mentioned only seven times, despite his being a "prominent" United States senator since 1985, throughout the entirety of Clinton's two terms. By contrast, Senator John McCain is mentioned eleven times. The other Kerry, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, earned seventeen mentions in Clinton's index despite having been senator for only eleven years compared to John Kerry's twenty years. In fact, all but one of John Kerry's seven apearances in President Clinton's book are in passages where he's only one name in a list of names.

Here are the seven passages that mention the "prominent" senator from Massachussets, John Kerry:

. . . America's efforts to reconcile and normalize relations with Vietnam were led by distinguished Vietnam veterans in Congress, like Chuck Robb, John McCain, John Kerry, Bob Kerrey, Chuck Hegel, and Pete Peterson, men who had more than paid their dues and had nothing to hide or prove. [p. 161]

. . .

There was support in Congress from her brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senators Chris Dodd, Pat Moynihan, and John Kerry; and New York congressmen Peter King and Tom Manton. [pp. 578-579]

. . .

My decision was strongly supported by Vietnam veterans in Congress, especially Senators John Kerry, Bob Kerrey, and John McCain, and Congressman Pete Peterson of Florida, who had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than six years. [p. 581]

. . .

After the meeting I went to Boston for a fund-raiser for Senator John Kerry, who was up for reelection and would likely face a tough opponent in Governor Bill Weld. I had a good relationship with Weld, perhaps the most progressive of all the Republican governors, but I didn't want to lose Kerry in the Senate. He was one of the Senate's leading authorities on the environment and high technology. He had also devoted an extraordinary amount of time to the problem of youth violence, an issue he had cared about since his days as a prosecutor. Caring about an issue in which there are no votes today but which will have a big impact on the future is a very good quality in a politician. [p. 659]

. . .

. . . [I]n July[,] I normalized relations with Vietnam, with the strong support of most Vietnam veterans in Congress, including John McCain, Bob Kerrey, John Kerry, Chuck Robb, and Pete Peterson . . . [p. 665]

. . .

At the end of the month, I announced that the Veteran's Administration would provide compensation to Vietnam veterans for a series of severe illnesses . . . that were associated with exposure to Agent Orange, a cause long championed by Vietnam veterans, Senators John Kerry and John McCain, and by the late Admiral Bud Zumwalt. [pp. 713-714]

. . .

. . . [F]our of the seven Senate candidates I had campaigned for won: Tom Harkin, Tim Johnson, John Kerry, and, in Louisiana, Mary Landrieu. [p. 734]

Besides repeating the "little-known fact" that John Kerry served in Vietnam, the best Clinton can muster is to say that Kerry knows a lot about technology and the environment. Actually, i thought that was Al Gore's bailiwick.

Sure, one might attribute the lack of extended praise to the mighty Clinton ego, but if you look elsewhere in the book you will find paragraph after paragraph where Clinton ladles extravagant compliments over the most minor characters in his life. i would think he'd have spent a little more time on the "next Democratic president of the United States" if he had really wanted to.

Then again, it's very likely that Clinton has someone else in mind to be the next Democratic president. Who could that be? Hmmmm . . . i don't know . . . Let me see . . . could it be . . . Satan?

Posted by annika at 11:43 AM | Comments (8)

July 17, 2004

Blog Future Feature Teaser 3.0

Only n more days until Rip On Matt Iglesias Week!

No, not the dude that's engaged to Anna Kournikova. i'm talking about the liberal blogger who spells his last name incorrectly.

Posted by annika at 09:06 PM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2004

He Said What i Been Saying, Only Better

If i might be allowed to boast a little, in a blog post yesterday, Steven Den Beste articulates what i've been trying to tell people about the Iraq War for two years now. Summed up in my most pithy way: "It's the regime change, stupid!"

At the risk of sounding like a "me-tooer" (i really have been making this point all along, but never as clearly, alas, than Mr. Den Beste) here is the relevant stuff, quoted at length:

WMDs were never the real purpose of the invasion. WMDs were the focus of the spotlight, however, because of serious diplomatic efforts to gain [United Nations Security Council] approval for an invasion. Within the context of the UNSC, the only way to justify an invasion was to claim that Iraq had not fully cooperated with UN inspectors. Which, . . . Saddam's government had not, even as late as March 2003.

But the public justification made in the UN had nothing to do with the real purpose, the real strategic goal which required the invasion. [Washington Monthly blogger Kevin Drum] makes casual reference to that, when he says, Facts on the ground have never been allowed to interfere with George Bush's worldview, and he wasn't about to take the chance that they might interfere with his war.

Except that 'facts on the ground' did not interfere or contradict the real purpose, which was to depose a corrupt dictator and to 'nation build' so as to make one core Arab nation a better place for the people living there. By so doing, the goal was to infect the imaginations and aspirations of the citizens in other nations in the region, to 'destabilize' the corrupt dictatorships in charge and to try to bring about long term change to the whole region. And that could not be publicly proclaimed at the time without deeply imperiling the strategy for the overall war.

So why were we at the UN? Mainly because Tony Blair needed to fulfill a promise made to the more leftist MPs in his party that he would not take the UK to war without a UNSC resolution or an 'unreasonable veto'. There were other reasons as well, but that was the most important one.

So we went to the UNSC to seek permission for something we actually had the capability of doing. (The only permission Bush actually required was granted to him by Congress in October of 2002.) And when it finally became clear that permission would not be forthcoming, we went ahead and did it anyway.

. . .

For some, that made it an 'illegal war'. It was a 'war of choice', not a 'war of necessity'. It was a 'violation of international law'.

None of those distinctions actually matter. . . . They're also all matters of opinion, subject to considerable dispute. . . .

. . . I happen to think that the invasion was necessary. But it wasn't necessary in order to gain revenge for direct Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attack (there's no significant evidence that Saddam's government was directly implicated in that) or to prevent 'imminent danger'. It was necessary in order to prevent significant non-imminent danger.

Aha! There you go.

In my view, anti-war people have been too focused on the past. The war was illegal, they insist. There were no WMDs. Saddam and Al Qaeda didn't cooperate.

Neocons, of which i count myself one, always focused on the future. They said: After 9/11, we can no longer afford to trust that Saddam will not create and provide WMDs to the terrorists. WMDs which they intend to use against American civilians.

The existence or non-existence of WMDs in Iraq at the time of the war does not change the fact that Saddam . . . had . . . to . . . go.

Link props to David Boxenhorn, who has a slightly different take on justification and priorities.

Posted by annika at 02:04 PM | Comments (8)

My Blogroll Demographics

i just did a quick calculation of my blogroll's demographics to see if it's really as diverse as i'd like to think it is. Actually, it took a hell of a long time to go through the whole thing and the result is still an approximation. For my survey i looked at all my non-mu.nu blogs and included the mu.nu blogs i read regularly.

Here are my ethnic diversity numbers:

White bloggers: 81%
African-American bloggers: 2%
Hispanic bloggers: 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander bloggers: 5%
Native American bloggers: 0%
Other bloggers or ethnicity unknown: 11%
Pretty sad, i know. Here's my results for diversity of opinion:
Left-of-center bloggers: 10%
Right-of-center bloggers: 76%
Non-political bloggers: 14%
And finally, here's my results for gender:
Male bloggers: 63%
Female bloggers: 29%
Gay or bisexual bloggers: 1%
Mixed or unknown: 8%
Alright, that's it. Good way to kill time on a Friday morning when the boss is away. Please don't report me to the Equal Opportunity Blogroll Commission or anything.

Posted by annika at 11:48 AM | Comments (12)

Some Advice For The Two Johns Regarding The Upcoming Debates

My advice for the two Johns (which will help them in the upcoming debates with President Bush and Vice-President Cheney) is to stick to format. They should not change their message now, it's obviously very popular among their supporters. But i would suggest that they simplify the message so that it's easier to understand. You see there's quite a few dim-bulbs out there who would vote Democrat if only the Democratic platform were shorter and easier to commit to memory.

Here's my advice:

To John Edwards: You're the attack dog. So every time Dick Cheney says something, your retort should include the word "Halliburton." It might be difficult to work that into all your debate answers, so if you get stuck simply begin yelling "HALLIBURTON! HALLIBURTON! HALLIBURTOOOOON!" You will surely get a loud cheer out of the hand picked audience of CNN approved lefty Bush-haters. And the beauty of this debate tactic, besides its simplicity, is that every wacked out lefty understands it, because they revert back to the same tactic themselves whenever confronted by that pesky foe known as "logical reasoning."

To John Kerry: Try not to speak. But if you must, follow the same strategy outlined above, except say "Vietnam" instead of "Halliburton."

Posted by annika at 09:53 AM | Comments (2)

July 15, 2004

Blog Future Feature Teaser 2.0

Maybe i should change the name from "Rip Matt Yglesias Week" to something else. "Rip" looks to much like "R.I.P.," which is not exactly the message i want to convey.

Update: i got it! i'll call it "Rip On Matt Iglesias Week."

Posted by annika at 01:29 PM | Comments (1)

List Of Sniveling Cowardly Wimp Nations

The following countries are sniveling cowardly wimps:

Dominican Republic
New Zealand
The Philippines

Posted by annika at 10:39 AM | Comments (14)

July 14, 2004

Blog Future Feature Teaser 1.0

i had intended to make this announcement last Friday, but i pulled the post because of my family emergency. So now, i am at liberty to reveal the following:

Coming soon, right here at annika's journal:

Rip Matt Yglesias Week!

It promises to be a fun summertime diversion.

Stay tuned for details and schedule.

Posted by annika at 03:18 PM | Comments (1)

That's Because We're Americans

Over at Trying to Grok, Sarah has an excerpt from Teresa Heinz-Kerry's recent appearance on Larry King's show.

LARRY KING: What do you think, Teresa, would be the effect of another terror attack on the United States politically?

TERESA HEINZ-KERRY: I don't know. I think most Americans subconsciously believe something is going to happen. It's a matter of when. And it's a matter of how.

KING: Strange way to live, though.

HEINZ-KERRY: Yeah. But you know, Europeans have lived that way and other people around the world have lived that way. Americans have been very safe, at least as a nation.

First of all, why the fuck does anybody give two rat shits about anything that airhead has to say?

Anyway, the exchange reminded me of a news program i saw while on vacation in Portugal two years ago. It was on either BBC or Sky News or CNN International. One of those English language channels they have on hotel cable in Europe.

The show was a panel discussion with your typical Euro-lefties outnumbering a token representative of the Bush administration, who was a State Department guy who's name i don't remember.

One Euro-lefty said to the State Department guy, regarding the 9/11 attack: "Now you Americans know what we in Europe have been dealing with for decades."

The State Department guy (you could tell he had been holding his tongue throughout the discussion, despite all that typical Euro-condescension) then responded with words that i remember to this day, because it so clearly states the difference between America and the rest of the world.

He said something like: "Well we're not going to deal with it. We're Americans."

i'm sure that sounded pretty arrogant to the Euro-lefties, but Betty and i applauded him, right there in our hotel room. Because that's what America is all about. We fix things. Let Europe adapt to terrorism. We'll have none of that. We'll fix the problem, even if it means taking risks and pissing people off.

It may be a cliché but it can't be said often enough: true Americans don't forget that we saved Europe's ass three times in the last century. Europeans hate to be reminded of that fact, though.

What the left refuses understand is that the Iraq war was necessary in order to fix the problem of terrorism. One reason the left doesn't understand is because the Bush administration has done a poor job of explaining it. The other reason is that the left simply hates America.

The Iraq war was a first step in fixing the terrorism problem. This is not going to be a band-aid solution. Bush and Blair, and those coalition members who still have the guts to stick this thing out, understand that we are in a struggle that will only get worse if we don't change the way we "deal with it." The other option is to adapt to terrorism, like the Europeans, and we know how unsuccessful that strategy has been.

We went into Iraq and kicked out Saddam Hussein because we need to change the Middle East. We can't leave it as it is, an incubator of violent anti-Americanism and anti-semitism (which are synonyms to the enemy). We need to bring democracy to that backwards-ass area so that they will stop attacking and killing people.

Sure, not everybody believes that method will work, but what was the alternative? Bush has been pro-active rather than re-active about the problem of terrorism. We needed a bold solution, with "outside-the-box" thinking rather than what the Euros and the left want us to do - which is to continue the failed policy of responding with tough rhetoric and weak law enforcement solutions.

i, for one believe that democratization of the Middle East will work, and that we can accomplish that goal, given enough time and effort. Democracies are by their nature more peaceful than autocracies. Democracies never attack other democracies. i can't think of a single historical example of a democracy attacking another democracy (not counting civil wars, and even then, the American Civil War barely fits).

But Heinz-Kerry, because she's both a Euro and a lefty, cannot understand America and the things that make this country great. It's the optimism and can-do attitude of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan that gives us the boldness to succeed. If the lefties and the Euros see that as arrogance, so be it. To paraphrase a favorite bumper sticker, we'll save their asses, whether they like it or not.

Posted by annika at 11:47 AM | Comments (3)

Poetry Wednesday

After missing two and a half days of work, i spend my morning searching the web for this Wednesday's poem. That's how much i love you all.

You may see that i changed the blog's epigram over there on the left. The new epigram is a verse from Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier," which states one of my main purposes for doing this blog, however arrogant or ironic the epigram might sound.

The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters is a classic of American literature. If this book was not assigned to you in high school, you should call your principal and demand to know why.

i saw Spoon River performed a few years ago at a little theater in L.A., and i also acted one of the parts for an acting class in college. The idea of the book is that each poem is what one of the dead persons in Spoon River's graveyard might say if they were able to talk. It's heavy on irony, but there's a good amount of wry humor, too.

So, to balance the sentiment of the Bob Marley quote on my sidebar, you might find the theme of the following poem from Spoon River useful.

Oaks Tutt

My mother was for woman’s rights
And my father was the rich miller at London Mills.
I dreamed of the wrongs of the world and wanted to right them.
When my father died, I set out to see peoples and countries
In order to learn how to reform the world.
I traveled through many lands.
I saw the ruins of Rome,
And the ruins of Athens,
And the ruins of Thebes.
And I sat by moonlight amid the necropolis of Memphis.
There I was caught up by wings of flame,
And a voice from heaven said to me:
“Injustice, Untruth destroyed them. Go forth!
Preach Justice! Preach Truth!”
And I hastened back to Spoon River
To say farewell to my mother before beginning my work.
They all saw a strange light in my eye.
And by and by, when I talked, they discovered
What had come in my mind.
Then Jonathan Swift Somers challenged me to debate
The subject, (I taking the negative):
“Pontius Pilate, the Greatest Philosopher of the World.”
And he won the debate by saying at last,
“Before you reform the world, Mr. Tutt,
Please answer the question of Pontius Pilate:
‘What is Truth?’”

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

July 09, 2004

Say a prayer.

My mom is ill, i am leaving for L.A. to go see her right now. Any kind thoughts sent up above on her behalf would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Update: My mom is doing okay. She had a heart attack, which they tell me was minor. She underwent angioplasty with the balloon and they are going to keep her under observation for a few days. Thankfully, she didn't need surgery, which was my great fear. i already went through that twice with my dad.

It was scary for me because i drove six hours to get down to L.A. from Sacramento and i was pretty much in the dark until i got here. But i was so relieved to find her well and in good spirits when i arrived. Thank you to everyone who kept her in your thoughts and prayers. i know it helped.

Posted by annika at 01:41 PM | Comments (21)

July 08, 2004

Democrats Like To Grope Too

Drudge has a photo montage of the two Johns groping and cuddling each other at every photo opportunity.


Now i'm not offended by two men being physically affectionate with each other (not even two political candidates who until two days ago were rumored to have disliked each other intensely). It's just that this Democratic touchy-feely shit is such an obvious attempt to pander to us female voters. Yah, i'm sure the polls and focus groups say we're supposed to respond more favorably to men who hug each other. Maybe we do in a general sense, i don't know. But i do know that in the midst of a war, in which our enemy has made no secret that they want us all dead, and that they are not interested in negotiating on that point, and that they'll stop at nothing to kill us all, and as violently as possible . . . well let's just say i'd rather have a couple of men who shake hands leading our side in that situation.

Drudge link via Blogeline.

Exclusive annie's j Update!: Yoko Ono has recorded a perfect campaign theme song for the two Johns!

Exclusive annie's j Update 2!: OMG, i think this Kerry-Edwards love fest is getting totally out of hand!

Posted by annika at 02:28 PM | Comments (12)

Holy Frickin' Bleat!

Until today i thought that there was no point in talking about Michel Moore any longer. i thought he had been fisked up the wazoo by now, and that no one who follows the alternative media need bring up his name again.

However, then i read the Lileks piece. i'm sure today's Bleat has been linked ad infinitum and with good reason. Let my linking to it here be a signal that i wish to add my voice to the countless others who say: "Bravo James Lileks, Bravo yet again."

Posted by annika at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

Where's A Digital Camera When You Need One?

i just saw the biggest, scariest looking dragonfly i've ever seen, out on the sidewalk in front of this office building. It must have been six inches long.

They're not dangerous are they?

Posted by annika at 10:39 AM | Comments (4)

Friendly Reminders

Please remember that tomorrow is Frank J's blogversary and International Link to IMAO Day. i plan to post a gratuitous link in commemoration of the event, and in thanksgiving for the very existence of so great a blog hero, and also in the hope that Frank might update my link on his crazy blue blogroll to my new mu.nu address.

Apologetic Update: i didn't participate in International Link To IMAO Day, but that was due to the family emergency. Sorry Frank.

Posted by annika at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)

July 07, 2004

WTF? Time For Another Dumb-Ass Personality Quiz

i found this quiz at baldilocks. It's called: "20 Questions to a Better Personality." Well, i answered all twenty questions, but i don't feel any different. That's false advertising.

Here are my results; i didn't cheat; i think it's bullshit; so interpret them as you may:

Wackiness: 56/100
Rationality: 58/100
Constructiveness: 32/100
Leadership: 44/100

You are a WRDF--Wacky Rational Destructive Follower. This makes you a hacker. Your thirst for knowledge can be damaging to your possessions--you like to take things apart, even if you then forget to put them back together. You demand respect and, no matter how much you are respected, seldom feel it is adequate. You are tenacious, and will stick to a task long after weaker minds have given it up.

Socially, you are awkward, and get into arguments and make people uncomfortable. One recommends counting to ten, holding back comments unless warranted, and listening more than speaking. Still, your no-holds-barred approach to socialization can be strangely endearing, as long as you are funny and self-deprecating.

You feel misunderstood, and you probably are.

No fuckin' shit.

Update: This same quiz proclaims that the BigHominid is "completely unfunny." Now i know it's bullshit.

Posted by annika at 05:51 PM | Comments (8)

More Media Bashing

Question one: Take a far left agenda, combine it with a generous amount of blind hubris, and remove all traces of ethical responsibility and what do you have? Answer: The Los Angeles Times under its current führer, John Carroll.

Question two: Are the numerous factual errors in the Times' news reportage innocent or are they indicative of a feverish propaganda effort? According to Slate:

On July 4, an LAT front page piece reported that our civilian administrator for Iraq, Paul Bremer
left without even giving a final speech to the country — almost as if he were afraid to look in the eye the people he had ruled for more than a year
when in fact Bremer did give a farewell speech, which was well-received by at least some Iraqis.
[links omitted]
Answer: The latter. The Times' editors, like many on the far left, seriously believe that ethics and integrity don't matter when you're in a battle against the evils of conservativism.

To the propagandists at the L.A. Times, the ends always justify the means. For example: Print lies about candidate Schwarzenneger on the eve of the election, while ignoring credible claims that Davis physically assaulted his female staffers? No problem. What do ethics matter when the goal is to stop the evil Republicans?

Just watch the L.A. Times as we get closer to the November election. We ain't seen nothing yet.

Slate link via Professor Hewitt.

Update: As reported at Powerline, The Times has offered a correction, but not an apology. i think an apology is in order when a major newspaper makes a false statement in a news story (as opposed to an op-ed) and then levels a cheap shot based on that false statement. It's not enough to simply retract the false statement and leave the cheap shot out there. But that's The Times, and that's why i wouldn't even read their sports page when i lived in L.A.

For more articulate L.A. Times bashing than i am able to muster, go on over to Patterico's Pontifications.

Posted by annika at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Inspired by Ginger and Candace's recent post about their fabulous meeting in the city of New York, i decided to select a poem from my favorite New York poet, Frank O'Hara.

The following is one of O'Hara's best known poems, and it deserves to be. Reading it, one can imagine what it must have been like to be young and hip in the city back in 1959.

"Lady," by the way, is the great jazz singer Billie Holiday, who died on July 17, 1959 at New York's Metropolitan Hospital.

The Day Lady Died

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don't know the people who will feed me

I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets
in Ghana are doing these days
                                        I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)
doesn't even look up my balance for once in her life
and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or
Brendan Behan's new play or
Le Balcon or Les Nègres
of Genet, but I don't, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness

and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it

and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing

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

July 06, 2004

Picking The Wrong Guy

i may not be an expert on politics - just see my last post wherein i predicted that Gephardt would be Kerry's choice for VP - but if my dating experience is any indication, i am definitely an expert on picking the wrong guy.

So i can say with confidence that John Edwards has all the qualities of the wrong guy. He's good looking and charming, two qualities that always beguile a girl like me, and make it difficult not to overlook the downside.

In Kerry's case, he's gone strictly by the poll numbers in making this choice. But like i said in my last post, we run our elections according to the electoral college, not popular vote. Kerry would have been better served by a guy who could at least deliver one battleground state as a native son. Since Edwards can't do that in an election that might come down to one or two states, Kerry picked the wrong guy.

On the other hand, when i heard the news this morning i realized one strategic advantage that Edwards brings to the ticket. An advantage that i overlooked when i wrote yesterday's post. While he will probably not enable the Democrats to win any southern states, he does force the Republicans to spend more money in the South than they might have if Kerry had chosen a midwesterner. That's money that the GOP won't be able to spend in a battleground state. And elections are really all about money, aren't they?

Still, i like Bush and Cheney's chances against these two boobs. Everbody's making a big deal about how Edwards is going to be able to stand up to Cheney in the VP debate. But really, that's nonsense. There's only going to be one VP debate, and when has it ever had an impact on any election? Never. Remember the 1988 Bentsen/Quayle debate? If there was ever a time when one VP candidate trounced the other candidate, 1988 was it. Bush the Elder still won because the Democrat at the top of the ticket was the only candidate that mattered. Besides, Cheney is no Quayle. If anything, the roles will be reversed this time around.

One final thought on Edwards, which i have to say in his defense. i've been hearing a lot of criticism against him based simply on the fact that he was a trial lawyer. The term "trial lawyer" is a somewhat imprecise term. i assume people mean plaintiff's lawyer, since many lawyers who do trials are not plaintiff's lawyers. i don't suppose you'd hear that kind of criticism leveled against someone like former U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani for example, who was also a trial lawyer and a good one too. Not all trial lawyers are ambulance chasers.

Which brings me to my point. John Edwards was no ambulance chaser. Yes, he was a plaintiff's attorney, but from what i know of his career, he was the top guy in his field. Lawyers like him do not chase ambulances, or make money off of minor fender benders or spilled coffee. Edwards represented legitimate plaintiffs with serious injuries who deserved compensation by any standard of justice. And like another famous trial attorney turned politician, Edwards became the pre-eminent plaintiff's lawyer in his state because he was very very good. And that's worth something in my book.

So i don't agree with people who say Senator Edwards is the wrong guy just because he's a plaintiff's lawyer. i say he's the wrong guy because he's a Democrat.

Posted by annika at 11:00 AM | Comments (10)

Happy Birthday President Bush

i would certainly be negligent if i did not wish our President a happy birthday! So:


You never know, there is always the remote possibility that the chief executive visits my humble blog on occasion.

Thanks to Sarah for the reminder.

Posted by annika at 10:54 AM

July 05, 2004

Vice Presidential Prognostication

Since my predictions during last year's football season were so amazing, i imagine that lots of my visitors are clamoring for my opinion regarding Kerry's as yet un-named running mate.

The short list includes Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former president Hillery Clinton of course, and Missouri Representative Richard Gephardt.

i don't know who Vilsack is and i suspect that since i never heard of him, he must be a loser. Kerry is also a loser, so it naturally follows that Vilsack would be on the list. But he is not the pick.

John Edwards is cute, friendly, not a raving maniacal Bush hater (although he is a passable Bush dis-liker) and polls well with women. He might help the Democratic ticket if the election were based on a straight popular vote. But since we elect presidents based on the electoral college, Kerry must pick someone who will help deliver battleground states. Edwards might not even deliver South Carolina. Kerry would have to be an idiot to pick Edwards, which is why he's on the short list, since Kerry is an idiot.

Hillery will not be on the ticket because she is too divisive. She'd love to be the vice presidential candidate because, even if she loses, her stature rises in preparation for a run in 2008. There are many who love her, but right now, there are just as many who despise and fear her. After a few months as vice presidential candidate, people may get used to the idea of her as president again and her negatives may decline. Still, Kerry will not have her, because of his ego. He wants to run things, and to do so he can't have Hillery on his back.

But i think the man who makes perfect sense is Dick Gephardt. First of all he's paid his dues, it's his turn. He's viewed as more moderate than Kerry, so he's not too scary and will appeal to more than just the Dean crazies. Also, since the unions got Kerry by the balls, and Gephardt is their man, Kerry may not have a choice. He might have been given an offer he couldn't refuse, if you know what i mean. If Kerry delivers for the unions, they will deliver for him. And lastly, Gephardt has appeal in the battleground states of the midwest which, combined with his national recognizability, combines the best of Edwards and the best of Vilsack.

Put your money on Dick Gephardt.

Posted by annika at 10:21 AM | Comments (7)

July 04, 2004

Happy Independence Day!

i just saw Yankee Doodle Dandy on AMC. Fantastic movie. One thing still puzzles me though, which was never explained in the film.

Why on earth would Yankee Doodle go to London just to ride a pony?

Posted by annika at 07:59 PM | Comments (4)

July 03, 2004



i wanted Serena to win, but it was still cool to watch Maria Sharapova win the Wimbledon Championship this morning. She seems like a nice girl.

Posted by annika at 10:56 AM | Comments (10)

July 02, 2004

Thoughts On Some Movies i Saw On AMC This Week

. . . The fight scene in Rocky II is perhaps the greatest fight scene in the history of movies - but only if you accept the dubious possibility that two professional heavyweights would, or could, go 15 rounds without ever once protecting themselves, and that any referee would ever allow such a thing. . . .

. . . There's a really good reason why Ralph Macchio's career never caught fire after doing the Karate Kid movies: he is without a doubt the most annoying actor in the history of film. . . .

. . . What is it with you guys and The Blues Brothers movie? It must be some defect in the y chromosome that makes you love it so much because - face it - that movie really sucks. . . .

. . . Amityville II, The Possession shares a distinct honor with Superman III in my book. They are both completely and utterly unwatchable. . . .

Have a great Fourth of July weekend everybody! i'm outta here.

Posted by annika at 12:11 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Those Beasts

Here's a scary item, found via Blackfive:

Terrorists in the Abu Musab Zarqawi network in Iraq are specifically trying to kidnap an American female service member to further horrify the U.S. public.

. . .

'We have heard through intelligence channels that several extremist organizations are attempting to capture coalition servicemen and women,' said a senior military officer in Iraq. 'We have instituted additional force protection methods to thwart these attempts.'

Another defense source said there is an 'edict, either on paper or as an order,' within terrorist networks to capture an American female service member.

Of the 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 11,000 are women. They perform a variety of jobs, serving as drivers, medics, aviators, police and clerks. By law, they are banned from land combat, but they can still come into close contact with the enemy.

. . .

The defense source said Zarqawi's network apparently wants to further shock the Western world by kidnapping servicewomen and displaying them on videotape. Part of the terrorists' strategy is to cause so much bloodshed that President Bush loses public support for the war and is forced politically to bring the troops home.

The source also said that the terrorists might be planning 'payback' for a U.S. female soldier seen taking part in the abuse of Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

it's hard to even comment on this story; the thought is so repulsive.

i do think we need to resist the temptation to blame Pvt. England for this new tactic, though. i'm not saying her actions weren't blameworthy - she and her friends certainly made our job more difficult. But remember, every single woman who has been captured in Iraq by the enemy to my knowledge has either been raped or killed. That's in both Gulf wars. So the enemy's desire to film it and show their depravity to the world should not surprise anyone.

Posted by annika at 10:26 AM | Comments (9)

Oh For Cryin' Out Loud, Not Another Child Actor Gone Bad...

Let's stop feeling sorry for MKO.

Can somebody make all celebrities just go away. Please?

Link thanks to Glenn.

Posted by annika at 09:06 AM | Comments (1)

Brando Memories

It doesn't seem to be widely reported yet, but Drudge links to a story that Marlon Brando has died.

Calling him the greatest actor of all time is a bit of a stretch. Still, Brando did some good work in his day. My favorites are On the Waterfront, Streetcar Named Desire of course, and the Godfather. His part in Apocalypse Now, although brief, was memorable. On the other side of the ledger, i thought he was horribly mis-cast in that musical Guys and Dolls.

And what was up with that strange Oscar non-acceptance episode?

To sum up my opinion: weird guy, decent actor.

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

July 01, 2004

New Slogan

My new sarcastic slogan, which i intend to use while mocking ignorant lefties, is the following:

The war won't be a success until Iraq has a SPACE PROGRAM!
i like it. i wish i made it up, but i didn't. Indeed, i stole it from fellow Munuvian CD, at Semi-Intelligent Thoughts, who's done a great fisking of Maureen Doud's column.

Posted by annika at 02:15 PM | Comments (4)

Poetry Wednesday Thursday

Lazy schlub that i am, i forgot to do a Poetry Wednesday post. When i realized this too late, i toyed with the idea of just letting it go and hoping my two or three readers didn't notice.

Then this morning, surfing, i came across a lovely poem from 1911 that i just had to share with y'all. So here it is. The poet is Constantine P. Cavafy, an Egyptian born poet who wrote in Greek.


When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Link thanks to All Things Jen(nifer) for finding this poem in Thomas Cahill's book, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter.

Posted by annika at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)