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

January 31, 2005

A Fabulous Prize Will Be Awarded

What could possibly be more absurdly ridiculous than Victor's impromptu Joe Don Baker haiku contest last September? i don't know if that boondoggle can be topped, but i'd like to give it a try.

So today, in a moment of dubious inspiration, i decided that i should hold a kiss.gif haiku contest. Like last time, there will be a prize for the winner. Unlike last time, i will pick a time limit and stick to it.

i think KISS is funny, but it doesn't matter if you despise them, or if you're a lifelong member of of the KISS Army. Hell, half the contestants in the Joe Don Baker contest never even heard of the man. All entries are welcome, and will be judged strictly according to my own secretive and arbitrary criteria.

Please feel free to post your entries here by 10:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, February 3, 2005. i will then select a winner, who will receive a very nice mystery prize. The rest of you i will see in the boardroom, where somebody will be fired.

Update: Thenk you to everyone who participated. Fifty excellent poems were submitted. Now i must try to decide upon a winner.

Posted by annika at 07:22 PM | Comments (40)

Can't Be Too Careful

Whoever says the Iraqi Security forces aren't very good is an ass.

Posted by annika at 06:07 PM | Comments (3)

Voting Rights: An Exercise In Pretty Pictures?

i wonder what the left wing pundits would have said during the height of our country's civil rights movement. Would they have the gall to call African American voters risking their lives to cast a ballot just "an exercise in pretty pictures."


Voting matters. Democracy matters. Back in the sixties there were many people, i'm sure, who said that African Americans didn't want to vote, and couldn't be trusted to participate in Democracy. Those people were called Klansmen.*

Are the nay-sayers in the media, who refuse to see the democratization of Iraq as a good thing, any different than old fashioned racists?

* You know about the Klan. That's the organization that Democratic Senator Robert Byrd joined.

Posted by annika at 12:31 PM | Comments (8)

January 30, 2005

This Just In...

...iraqi elections are a failure...

...not all iraqis voted...

...turnout was only 60%...

...under saddam 100% of iraqis voted...

...that's a 40% drop-off...

...new government is illegitimate...



...halliburton!!! halliburton!!! halliburton!!! halliburton!!! halliburton!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!...

...abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig abu graib abu graig aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!...

...WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied WMDs WMDs Condi lied !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

...gaaaaaa buh buh buuuh ga ga ga...

[head explodes]

Posted by annika at 08:27 PM | Comments (10)

January 29, 2005

The Iraqi Election

iraq election.jpg

i've been out all day and i just got in, so i turned on the tv to find out how the elections are going. Geraldo is on a rooftop, waving at the pilots in the Longbows circling overhead. Cameras inside the polling place show a couple of election workers sitting at tables, but no voters. Geraldo is wearing a flak vest. He's talking by remote with Susan Estrich, who's being as pissy as ever: she's happy but, but, but, where are the WMDs? Idiot. And there's a lone voter down below, waving the Iraqi flag bravely as he walks from the polling place.

Geraldo is in Baghdad, i think. He's very optimistic, but judging by the video, things don't look too promising. Hopefully there are more voters in other parts of the country. i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Update: First off, did you see Condi on the George Stepanopolus Comedy hour this morning? Hott! She looks great in a black suit and my bitch boots. When she asked me if she could borrow them, i was all "i don't know babe, are you sure..." But dayyumm, gurl!!!

Nextly, Ted was right. Stepanoplus says that turnout estimates range from 55% to 70% and Fox news picks a number in the middle, at about 60%. By any standard, this has to be seen as great news.

Now, Evan Bayh is telling George Stepalotomous that he disagrees with the fat senator from Massachussetts, we shouldn't cut and run. Steppopotamus is now asking why the senator voted against Condi Rice. Bayh is talking, but i'm not getting a clear answer from him. He voted no because of her "mistakes in judgment" but that doesn't seem consistent with a centrist position. i think Senator Bayh's vote may come back to haunt him if he meets Senator Clinton, who voted yes, in the primaries.

Update 2: Why does every pundit feel the need to remind us that "just because the elections were successful, doesn't mean that there won't be more violence." Is there anyone in the world who believed that the insurgency would end after the election? Has anyone said that?

Update 3: Let's not forget that today is the Vice President's sixty-fourth birthday. Happy Birthday Dick!

Update 4: Here's an excellent question. i know the answer though. They're a bunch of hypocritical cowards.

Update 5: Moxie posted today: "...for those of us who love America, the beauty and payoff was seeing the joy (of those who previously had to vote for Saddam or face his assassins) vote yesterday for what they believed. Without fear." Nicely put.

Posted by annika at 11:05 PM | Comments (7)

Which Tort Am i?

and go to mewing.net. because law school made laura do this.

Cool, that's my favorite tort anyways. It's like khaki, 'cause it goes so nicely with all my other torts.

Via Micah!

Posted by annika at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Carnival Of The Poetries Update

Oh my, how could i have missed Kevin's latest haiku offering, on the Star Wars meme. An excerpt:

Princess Leia knows
she can never tell poor Han
that she blew Chewie
If Kevin were a gigantic slow moving furry bearded ram (and i can point to no evidence that he is not), i might be tempted to dub him the Basho of the Bantha.

While you're at it, check out my lastest attempt to augment my referrals.

Posted by annika at 11:25 AM | Comments (7)

See Publicola...?

See Publicola...? Not every 2A story out of California turns out badly.

A Modesto homeowner who said he's been the victim of numerous burglaries in recent weeks shot a man who allegedly broke into his home Thursday morning.

Greg Collins' home is undergoing extensive remodeling. Collins said he slept in his garage overnight with a shotgun in an effort to protect his property.

At 5:25 a.m., Collins said he was awakened by the sounds of an intruder breaking in to the garage.

'Luckily, I found the shotgun, pointed it at him, told him to freeze ... He chose to lunge at me, so I had no choice at that point but to shoot him. I did use a 12-gauge shotgun so that I wouldn't kill the man,' he said.

Apparently, there are no plans to prosecute the homeowner.

Is there hope for Cali yet?

Posted by annika at 09:28 AM | Comments (13)

January 27, 2005

No More Trains?

When i first heard about the Glendale Metrolink disaster, yesterday morning while getting ready for school, my first reaction was typically post 9/11. i turned on the tv, saw the helicopter footage of the scattered train cars, then the announcer said, "President Bush will speak to the nation in a few moments." Shit, i thought, another Madrid?! i had jumped to an unnecessary conclusion, thanks to the strange juxtaposition of news stories at the moment i turned on the tv. But it got me thinking how vulnerable our rail system is to sabotage.

The L.A. Daily News headline asks a question that we all know the answer to: "Could any safety procedures have prevented this tragedy?" The short answer is no. The long answer is yes, but making train travel completely safe would make it so expensive that passenger rail could not exist.

Engineers, lawmakers and others engaged the issues of rail safety and security on Wednesday as Southern California reacted to the tragedy.

Some said the main factor is the lack of grade separation -- allowing the trains to operate at street level -- with only small barriers to deter motorists from getting caught on the tracks.

'If you look at our train systems out here, there are many more accidents and deaths here than elsewhere,' Moore said. 'It's 50 to 100 times higher than the national average, just from people attempting to commit suicide. And one of the reasons for that is the tracks are very accessible.

'If they had put through grade separation, they would never have been able to afford the system. If grade separation had been required, there would have been no Metrolink. And, now, maybe there shouldn't be.'

Metrolink officials have said grade crossings cost $20 million to $50 million each -- while the agency has an annual operating budget of $110 million.

i have long been an advocate for European style passenger rail in this country, but now i'm rethinking my support. i used to ride BART every day, when i lived in SF. A high speed connection between Southern and Northern California, like Spain's AVE line between Madrid and Seville would be so convenient, but i don't know if i could ever feel safe riding it. What a coincidence that on the same day as the Metrolink disaster, the California High-Speed Rail Authority approved a 700 mile route for high speed passenger rail service through California's San Joaquin Valley. It's such a great idea, but maybe post 9/11, it's an idea whose time has passed.

Posted by annika at 01:37 PM | Comments (5)

What Day Is It Kids?

It's annika munuversary day!


Happy Munuversary to me!

Posted by annika at 10:27 AM | Comments (11)

January 26, 2005

Blog Potpourri

. . . Generalissimo Duane forsees a bigger fight over Alberto Gonzales than we saw over Dr. Rice. Let's hope his math is worse than mine.

. . . RatherBiased reports that CBS's "expert" Marcel Matley is accusing the network of harming his professional reputation as a forensic expert. i'd say he has a case. No lie. If i were a lawyer, i'd sign him up in a heartbeat.

. . . Jordana posts a recipe for Salmon Chowder that looks so yummy, i may try it this weekend.

. . . David writes about my favorite Kipling story of all. Read the classic short story here.

. . . Gennie (who's awesome at this sorta thing - did you check out her Xmas list?) has a load of great suggestions for Valentine's day giftgiving.

. . . Jennifer takes a look at men's couture this time, and the runway pictures are freaking hilarious!

. . . Over at Blackfive, Matt posts the results of his discussions with a few dozen soldiers he served with and their thoughts on the war, Rumsfeld, and troop strength. Some of it is surprising.

. . . Ted, aka Munuviana's elder statesman, alerts us that tomorrow is the one year blogversary of The Gantry Launchpad, and urges us to rocket over there and wish Casey a happy blogversary.

. . . Which reminds me. Tomorrow happens to be my one year Munuversary! Yes, it's been one year since i blogged my first authentic post as a Munuvian. Mucho thanks again to Pixy, Susie, Joe Don and everyone else who helped me move over here. Mu.nu totally rocks!

. . . And speaking of Pixy, he asks a real fun question: "When they make MuNu: The Movie, who will play you?" hmmm. i think it has to be Brittany, who else?

Posted by annika at 07:38 PM | Comments (7)

Today Is Poetry Wednesday

Emily Dickinson wrote:

Who never lost, are unprepared
A coronet to find;
Who never thirsted, flagons
And cooling tamarind.

Who never climbed the weary league—
Can such a foot explore
The purple territories
On Pizarro’s shore?

How many legions overcome?
The emperor will say.
How many colors taken
On Revolution Day?

How many bullets bearest?
The royal scar hast thou?
Angels, write "Promoted"
On this soldier’s brow!

Hang in there, G—

More: Don't miss the Maximum Leader's tribute to Robert Burns!.

Nor should you miss Queenie's Everyday Haiku. An excerpt:

winter skin itching;
unkempt nails claw at the breast
titties is too hot

And then Venomous Kate, picks up the meme with her own series of haiku:

gray river of dust
flows along edge of carpet
vacuum cleaners suck
And finally, Cameron picks a fight with modernist shibboleths, with his poem about poetry.

Posted by annika at 11:54 AM | Comments (4)

January 24, 2005

Operation Elephant Takeover

Here's more evidence for my theory about violence and the left wing. From The Associated Press:

The sons of a first-term congresswoman and Milwaukee's former acting mayor were among five Democratic activists charged Monday with slashing the tires of vans rented by Republicans to drive voters and monitors to the polls on Election Day.

. . .

The activists — all employees of the John Kerry campaign — are accused of flattening the tires on 25 vehicles rented by the state Republican Party to get out the vote and deliver poll watchers Nov. 2.

. . .

A criminal complaint said the defendants originally planned to put up Democratic yard signs, placards and bumper stickers at the Republican office in a scheme they called 'Operation Elephant Takeover.' But the plan was dropped when they learned a security guard was posted at the GOP office, the complaint said.

One witness told investigators the five defendants, dressed in 'Mission Impossible' type gear, black outfits and knit caps, left the Democratic Party headquarters at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 2, and returned about 20 minutes later, extremely excited and talking about how they had slashed the tires.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Seth Boffeli said the five were paid employees of Kerry's campaign, but were not acting on behalf of the campaign or party.

. . .

Rick Wiley, state GOP executive director, discovered the vandalism on the morning of Election Day.

'It was unbelievable that people could stoop this low in a political campaign,' he said. 'I figured it had to be someone from the opposition. But I didn't think someone on the paid Kerry campaign would do this.'

Wiley didn't say whether the vandalism prevented anyone from voting, but said poll watchers were about two hours late.

Via Redsugar Muse.

Posted by annika at 08:50 PM | Comments (3)

1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA

Happy January 24th!

Misery is expected to peak on Monday, as 24 January has been pinpointed as the worst day of the year.

January has been long regarded as the darkest of months, but a formula from a part-time tutor at Cardiff University shows it gets even worse this Monday.

Foul weather, debt, fading Christmas memories, failed resolutions and a lack of motivation conspire to depress, Cliff Arnalls found.

. . .

The formula for the day of misery reads 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA.

Where W is weather, D is debt - minus the money (d) due on January's pay day - and T is the time since Christmas.

Q is the period since the failure to quit a bad habit, M stands for general motivational levels and NA is the need to take action and do something about it.

Dr Arnalls calculated the effects of cold, wet and dark January weather after the cosiness of Christmas coupled with extra spending in the sales.

He found 24 January was especially dangerous, coming a whole month after Christmas festivities.

Any energy from the holiday had worn off by the third week of January, he said.

By Monday, most people will have fallen off the wagon or abandoned the nicotine patches as they fail to keep New Year's resolutions.

That compounds a sense of failure and knocks confidence needed to get through January.

The fact that the most depressing day fell on a Monday was not planned but a coincidence, he said.

i'm not depressed though, i'm just hungover.

Posted by annika at 07:48 AM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2005

Hail To The Chief

i love the grand melody of Hail To The Chief. It's always inspiring. But did you know that there are lyrics to that song?

Hail to the Chief we have chos-en for the na - tion,
Hail to the Chief! We sa-lute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge co-op - er -a- tion
In proud ful-fill-ment of a great, no-ble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand coun-try grand-er,
This you will do, That's our strong, firm be-lief.
Hail to the one we se-lect-ed as com-mand-er,
Hail to the Pres-i-dent! Hail to the Chief!

Yay, four more years!

Posted by annika at 09:19 AM | Comments (10)

January 19, 2005

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Better late than never, but this one is worth the wait. It's by Eighteenth Century English poet, Thomas Gray. Like many a favorite poem, it's about temptation and desire.

On a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes

’Twas on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow,
Demurest of the tabby kind
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared:
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes—
She saw, and purr’d applause.

Still had she gazed, but ’midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour’s Tyrian hue
Through richest purple, to the view
Betray’d a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first, and then a claw
With many an ardent wish
She stretch’d, in vain, to reach the prize—
What female heart can gold despise?
What Cat’s averse to fish?

Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch’d, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between—
Malignant Fate sat by and smiled—
The slippery verge her feet beguiled;
She tumbled headlong in!

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew’d to every watery God
Some speedy aid to send:—
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr’d.
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard—
A favourite has no friend!

From hence, ye Beauties! undeceived
Know one false step is ne’er retrieved,
And be with caution bold:
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize,
Nor all that glisters, gold!

That was a fun one, wasn't it? Did you catch that not-so-hidden reference to nine lives in the penultimate stanza?

Posted by annika at 09:13 PM | Comments (4)

Most & Least Desired 2008 GOP Nominees

"Right Wing News emailed more than 200 right-of-center bloggers and asked them to send us a ranked list 1-5 of the candidates that they would most like to take the Republican nomination for President in 2008 and the 1-5 candidates they'd least like to see as the Republican nominee in 2008."

Check out the results here.

Posted by annika at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

Two Democrats Embrace Their Historic Party Roots - Bigotry

Two prominent Democratic senators today announced that they are against the confirmation of the first black female secretary of state in our nation's history. When confirmed, Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D. will be the highest ranking African American woman ever. A milestone achievement by an admirable and deserving woman.

But two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachussetts, do not want to see it happen. Today, these two senators placed on the record, for all to see, their announcement to the world that they are indeed bigots.

Oh of course Boxer and Kerry would deny such an accusation vehemently. They would insist that they've always fought on behalf of minorities and women. But using the same twisted logic that senator Boxer used to call Dr. Rice a liar, i think it should be clear to all that John Kerry and Barbara Boxer have something against the advancement of women and minorities.

i'm just pointing out the contradictions in their public statements, that's all.

At this historic moment in the history of feminism and civil rights, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer stand together at the doorway of the Harry S. Truman Building like twin modern day Orval Faubi.

More: Steve at The Black Republican has more on Sheets Bird's opposition to Dr. Rice.

Posted by annika at 03:08 PM | Comments (6)

January 18, 2005

Yet More Useless Fortune Cookie Blogging

Interesting thought...


Sounds like fun, though.

Posted by annika at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

Yet More Useless Fortune Cookie Blogging Again

i guess i should be happy that they're reading me in Peking, but still...


How rude.

Posted by annika at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Useless Fortune Cookie Blogging

An oldie but a goodie:


Posted by annika at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)

Commercially Useless Fortune Cookie Blogging

i do have some good news...


Posted by annika at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

Useless Fortune Cookie Blogging, Gangsta Style

Heyo yeh!


A Snoop Dogg fan at the Peking Noodle Company?

Posted by annika at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

Useless February Second Fortune Cookie Blogging

Somebody stop me...


Posted by annika at 07:40 PM | Comments (1)

Here's An Idea

Since the Pope has such influence, why doesn't he just get in his popemobile and go down to Iraq and ask the terrorists to stop killing people? It couldn't hurt.

Posted by annika at 09:15 AM | Comments (1)

January 17, 2005

Tonight's Fortune Cookie

So i got that goin' for me...


...which is nice.

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

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's a cute picture of Mike and Coretta in 1956.


Read Why This Day Matters, by Soonerland, at Dustbury.com. Link via Michelle Malkin.

Posted by annika at 12:58 PM | Comments (6)

Kiss It

Bill Clinton paid a visit to Moxie this weekend. Pool hijinx ensued, followed by drinks and a little spooning.

Happy belated birthday, Madison. You're the best!

Posted by annika at 11:28 AM | Comments (1)

Social Security Privatization

Young Pundit has a rundown of the arguments against Social Security privatization.

Posted by annika at 07:41 AM | Comments (2)

January 16, 2005

Cheapo Wine Pick Of The Week

1999 Trinity Oaks Zinfandel, $4.99 at Bel Air Market. This is good shit. Tastes like a ten dollar bottle of wine. Looks and smells good too. The 1999 label isn't as pretty as the one pictured here, but don't let that fool you. At that price, i could drink two bottles tonight, but i won't.

Posted by annika at 08:38 PM | Comments (7)

Sunday Playoff Picks

Huge games today. i predict TO-less Philly, (whom, all year long, i figured would go all the way) will lose to Minnesota, with bad-ass Randy Moss looking to silence his critics. i also predict that the Pats (famous for their winning streak) will go down at the hands of the Colts (famous for their QB's TD streak).

Halftime update: Moss' head is not in the game. My predictions have become like the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Postgame update: Philadelphia won pretty handily, 27 to 14, setting up a battle of the birds next weekend. (Can i take credit for being the first to call the NFC championship game the battle of the birds?) i totally forgot about the weather at Gillette Stadium, but i'm sticking with my prediction for the Pats-Colts game.

Post Pats game update: Fucken shit.

Posted by annika at 10:03 AM | Comments (11)

January 14, 2005

Just An Observation

It is impossible to listen to Louis Armstrong's 1931 recording of Stardust without tearing up. Trust me on this.

Posted by annika at 03:28 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2005


Peggy Noonan, whose grip on reality i thought was becoming a bit shaky based on some of her recent columns,* has rehabilitated my opinion of her with her latest piece, "MSM Requiem." i think it's the best post-Rathergate commentary i have read, or will ever hope to read.

Now anyone can take to the parapet and announce the news. This will make for a certain amount of confusion. But better that than one-party rule and one-party thought. Only 20 years ago, when you were enraged at what you felt was the unfairness of a story, or a bias on the part of the storyteller, you could do this about it: nothing. You could write a letter.

When I worked at CBS a generation ago I used to receive those letters. Sometimes we read them, and sometimes we answered them, but not always. Now if you see such a report and are enraged you can do something about it: You can argue in public on a blog or on TV, you can put forth information that counters the information in the report. You can have a voice. You can change the story. You can bring down a news division. Is this improvement? Oh yes it is.

That's exactly it. No more shouting in vain at the TV News. In the post MSM world, no one can have a monopoly on information, and everyone has an opportunity to be heard. Even you and me.

Via Lopsided Poopdeck.

Update: Check out this Krauthammer piece too. Link via commenter Shelly.

* Like when she suggested that Steven Spielberg could singlehandedly solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Come on! If Jason Alexander and Richard Geer can't do it, what chance does Spielberg have?

Posted by annika at 08:45 PM | Comments (6)

Memo To The Makers Of The O.C.

Please tell the talent to stop chewing while talking. It doesn't project casual coolness, it's just gross. It doesn't matter how attractive the speaker/chewer is. Mouth sounds are gross, especially when amplified by a 5.1 home theater system.

Also, everybody in the real O.C. is Republican. Even the kids. So have a clue, and stop inserting those snide liberal one-liners into the dialogue.

On the other hand: Peter Gallagher singing? Not bad. Surprisingly good, actually.

Posted by annika at 08:27 PM | Comments (5)

Random New Year's Resolution

In the year 2005 I resolve to:
Stop checking my e-mail at 3:00 in the morning.

Get your resolution here.

via Ginger.

Posted by annika at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

Bookshelf Meme

Here's a new meme, which i stumbled across at The Cheese Stands Alone.

"Copy the list from the last person in the chain, delete the names of the authors you don't have on your home library shelves and replace them with names of authors you do have. Bold the replacements."

Not sure if it's a rule, but i'm going to limit my list to fiction authors only.

  1. Ayn Rand

  2. William Gibson

  3. Mark Helprin

  4. Jacqueline Carey

  5. Jennifer Weiner

  6. J.R.R. Tolkien

  7. Jack McDevitt

  8. Tom Wolfe

  9. Stephen King

  10. William Shakespeare
You can check out some other lists at A Likely Story, Llama Butchers, Jenspeaks, and Fire Ant Gazette.

Posted by annika at 07:11 PM | Comments (2)

Hate Mail

i get hate mail every once in a while. Not too often, thankfully, since i'm a relatively little known blogger. But Michelle Malkin, because she's a published author, television pundit and columnist, who also happens to be beautiful and a filipina American, must get a ton of it. i was shocked to see the number of haters who defaulted to the "w" word, which seems to be the insult of choice whenever an attractive woman gets "uppity." The letters are pretty disgusting, and i don't know how Michelle deals with all that abuse, but God bless her, she does.

And (if i may be allowed a bit of hypocrisy by doing some name calling of my own): Disgusting Lard Ass Ollie Wills shows his true colors yet again by condoning these racist and mysogynist attacks and even adding a racist slant of his own. i won't link to the fatbody because he is probably the biggest asshole in the blogosphere.

There's a culture of hatred on the fringes of the left that is seldom recognized or denounced. It exists on the right too, but today most conservatives reject that type of extremism vehemently when it appears in our own ranks. i know of examples of such rejection in the blogosphere in the form of public "de-linking." Kevin's criticism of Michael Savage, with which i agree, is another example. But on the left, where Bush hatred and anti-Christian bigotry are so encouraged and mainstream, it must be hard for some people to avoid giving in completely to their own hatred. In the end, the rhetoric of these types becomes as vile as the worst Nazi or Klansman.

B. Preston of JunkYardBlog summarizes the problem best, i think:

It's clear to me that the left has a problem. It is a political movement full of bigots. Anti-Americans at the core, anti-Christians over here, race bludgeons and hucksters over there, leftists who hate everything that isn't absolutely sterilized of all traces of faith over there, a death cult that pushes what amounts to eugenics through unfettered abortion over there, and all ably led by a bunch of potty-mouthed Hollywood elites who wouldn't give a nickel for the country that made them rich. The rank-and-file, the types who send Michelle Malkin racist emails her way on a daily basis and they types who never lift a finger to purge the movement of the racists, are just as bad as the elites. If you weren't, they wouldn't be elites, would they? You make them 'elite' by listening to them and voting for them.
While it's certainly unfair to paint everyone on the left of the political spectrum as a hater, i do wish there were more opprobrium directed at this type of bigotry and hatred from within the left.

Posted by annika at 03:51 PM | Comments (9)

January 12, 2005

Carnival Of The Poetries

Shakespeare I ain't (a rebellion against talented writing) by Ginger of Candied Ginger, complete with mysterious picture.

Celebrate the King's birthday with The Thing About Elvis Movies by gcotharn of The End Zone.

Scorebard of Humbug comments on the recent blockbuster baseball moves with I Read the News Today, Oh Boy.

Blog O'DOB lyricizes the CBS fiasco in Joe Lockhart to Barnes to Mapes.

And from a blogger whose every post is like poetry anyway, Tony Pierce, we have "no one home but the stove and thats fixin to go out." Cool.

Anyone know of some others?

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

January 10, 2005

Four Fired At CBS


Asked to resign were Senior Vice President Betsy West, who supervised CBS News primetime programs; 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; and Howard’s deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy. The producer of the piece, Mary Mapes, was terminated. [emphasis mine]
Bravo to CBS for investigating itself and releasing the report publicly. Here's an except - something that was obvious the moment Rather opened his trap a few days after the forgeries hit air:
. . . once serious questions were raised, the defense of the segment became more rigid and emphatic, and . . . virtually no attempt was made to determine whether the questions raised had merit
Apparently, CBS News president Andrew Heyward (who should have been fired too) ordered senior VP Betsy West to investigate the authenticity of the forgeries, but for some reason she never got around to it!
'Had this directive been followed promptly, the panel does not believe that 60 Minutes Wednesday would have publicly defended the segment for another 10 days,' the report said.
Here's a link to the 234 page report, if anyone's interested.

i wonder if the words "blog" or "Powerline" appear anywhere.

Posted by annika at 07:23 AM | Comments (8)

January 08, 2005

The Comfort Lunch

If today isn't a day for the comfort lunch, i don't know what is. Dark clouds, cold rain, wind, hangovers, and the unspoken subtext of impending grade announcements have quieted our little house of mirth here in the Big Valley. Times like this call for - no require - a grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch.

i still remember the afternoon my grandmother (on the German side, the midwestern side) disclosed to me to the secrets of her famous grilled cheese sandwich. She had a big house in the country, with chickens, ducks and bunnies in the back yard, and a big pyramid-shaped strawberry planter in the front.

(A short aside. My grandmother had a vegetable garden too. Besides the usual carrots, cabbage, potatoes, green onions, tomatoes and broccoli, she grew a thing called kohlrabi. It's a relative of the brussels sprout and cabbage family, with a fine German heritage. i must have been about six or seven when she cooked it for me and my brother during one of our weeklong rustic summer holidays (our parents would drop us off to get us out of their hair). i've never had or seen kohlrabi since, but the memory of it is bound tightly with my memories of Grandma and that garden. Now that's a comfort food.)

She also made the best italian salad dressing. But my grandmother's take on the classic grilled cheese was simple, which is as it should be. i've tinkered with it over the years, but the essentials are still there. Assemble these items:

  • two slices of sharp cheddar or muenster cheese

  • two slices of bread, wheat or white or my favorite: dill rye

  • dash of fresh ground pepper

  • dash of cayenne pepper

  • margarine or butter

  • about four thin slices of ham, or bacon
(In a pinch, mayo can be substituted for margarine or butter. Mrs. Dash or another season salt can be substituted for cayenne, if you like.)

It's not about the ingredients, it's about technique.

First spread a thin coat of margarine over one side of each slice of bread. (Grandma always used real butter, of course.) Make sure to spread the margarine out to the edges of the crust. There should be no bare spots. You want the entire side of the bread covered because this will be the side of the bread that gets grilled.

Next lay the bread out, margarine side down, and cover each piece of bread with enough cheese that you can't see any bread underneath. If you're slicing the cheese, it should be medium thickness. Not too thick, but thick enough so some of it will melt out of the sandwich. the cheese will be doing two things here: enveloping the meat, and occasionally dripping onto the grill to create bits of fried cheesy crusty goodness.

Arrange whatever meat you're using on top of one piece of bread. The proper technique at this step is to create air pockets in the meat (if you're using thin sliced ham) for the cheese to melt into. i bunch up the ham into little flowerets to achieve this purpose. The ham should never be laid flat, because that just makes for a boring sandwich.

Now heat a nonstick pan until little drops of water splashed from your fingertips dance happily for a moment before evaporating. Keep the pan on medium heat. This recipe is not recommended for electric stovetops, because temperature control is the key to a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

You might want to start the soup now. Campbell's tomato soup should be heated to a simmer, but never boiled. i like to add a half can of water only, although the instructions call for a whole can. Sometimes i'll mix in a dash of white pepper, and i garnish it with a sprinkle of dried oregano.

Back to the sandwich: sprinkle fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper over the slice of bread with cheese on it, then carefully flip that slice over onto the slice with the ham. When the pan is ready, slap the sandwich down onto it making a "thwump" sound. It should immediately start to sizzle. The "thwump" and the sizzle are important; it's part of the whole comfort thing.

Do not leave the stove, while cooking. You need to peek under the sandwich and check its color constantly. A side is done when it's golden brown and speckled, never black. The pan should be hot enough to melt the cheese thoroughly, but not burn the bread. Too low, and you get a soggy sandwich. Too hot and it gets black on the outside before the cheese in the middle melts. Adjust the flame as needed.

Grilling the sandwich right is a slow and loving process. The perfect medium temperature is achieved with practice, when the globs of cheese reach down and begin frying on the pan at the exact moment that the first side is the perfect color, you have mastered the art of the grilled cheese.

After flipping, grill the other side until it's golden color matches the first side. Now for the fun part. Slide that baby onto a plate and, before eating, spread a thin coat of real horseradish (not cream sauce) over one side. Slice diagonally, park yourself on your favorite couch near your favorite coffee table, cuddling in your favorite comfort blanket, flip on the TV tuned to HGTV or some other favorite comfort program, and enjoy with soup.

Update: Here's a switch; i post a recipe, while the multi-talented Candace posts a poem!

Update 2: SWG brings us another grilled comfort food, for Elvis Day.

Posted by annika at 10:06 AM | Comments (7)

January 06, 2005

Watermelon Man Sets Sniper Record

From USMC.mil:

Sgt. Herbert B. Hancock, chief scout sniper, sniper platoon, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, is credited with the longest confirmed kill in Iraq, hitting enemy terrorists from 1,050 yards in Fallujah Nov. 11, 2004. Hancock, a 35-year-old activated reservist and police officer from Bryan, Texas, has been a Marine Corps sniper since 1992.
Read the whole story.

Posted by annika at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

Give It A Rest

Matt Laueur is interviewing Amber Frey... again?! Dude, if she's worth a half dozen interviews, do ya think you could have mixed in at least one swiftboat veteran interview last year?

For cryin out loud, Laouer just teased yet another segment with Frey and Allred later on in the show. After Kiki interviews Michael More, of course.

This is why i never watch the Today Show.

Update: My God, he's huuuuuge! They're avoiding any long shots that expose the gigantic-ness of his body, but i think his seat is about to collapse.

Update 2: First he explains the Democratic loss by admitting that the Republicans got out the vote better. Then later he complains that Congressional debate about alleged Ohio vote irregularities will be stifled today. Inconsistency? If so, Kiki didn't notice.

Update 3: Tim Graham at The Corner watched it too.

Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore was awarded seven and a half minutes of air time in the 7:30 half hour of Thursday’s 'Today' show to offer his political analysis of why the Democrats failed to oust Bush. Katie Couric felt that wasn’t enough, so she invited him back an hour later for another eight minutes and forty seconds of air time, or 16 minutes, 10 seconds overall. While Couric tried to suggest that maybe Hollywood liberalism hurt the Democrats (and even noted the 'vitriol...you seem to embody'), she also inaccurately promoted Moore’s latest book as 'new' and 'currently on many bestseller lists' when it came out in October and is ranked #1,547 on Amazon.com.

Posted by annika at 07:45 AM | Comments (4)

January 05, 2005

Useless Alias Trivia Blogging

The exterior shot of the tunnel in Rio De Janeiro, where Sidney went to meet Tomazaki with the samurai sword, is actually the tunnel underneath Grand Avenue between the Los Angeles Music Center and the Los Angeles County Courthouse.

Bonus trivia: i think the mausoleum in Moscow, where Sidney's mother is buried, is actually the Westwood Cemetery, where Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood are buried.

Can you believe i only lived in LA for one year?

Posted by annika at 10:35 PM | Comments (3)

The Smartest President We Ever Had Poll

Here's the final results for the poll. Not much i can say except that there is something wrong with the way we teach American history in this country.


The reason i came up with this poll was because i've heard more than once from Clinton admirers that he's "the smartest president we ever had." That's just silly.

Sure, Bill Clinton is a smart guy. But i was trying to make a point by putting him on the list just above Thomas Jefferson. Besides having written the most important founding document in the history of the world, TJ was also an architect, naturalist, founder of the University of Virginia and designer of its campus and curriculum, Latin and Greek literate, etc. etc. etc.

Yet, inexplicably, 15% of voters thought Thomas Jefferson was not as smart as Bill Clinton. How is that possible? And what about the other presidents whom those 15% also rank lower?

Theodore Roosevelt wrote a four volume history of the American West, a history of the Naval War of 1812, biographies of two American statesmen, and many other books. What has Clinton written? A memoir.

Woodrow Wilson wrote a five volume history of the American people, a biography of George Washington, and an important work on congressional government among many other books. Besides his law degree, he had a Ph.D. in history and political science.

James Madison? Father of the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln? Self-taught, and have you ever read the Lincoln-Douglas debates? Could you imagine language like that coming out of Clinton's mouth?

Who's the smartest president? That's a subject for legitimate debate. But given the competition, Clinton shouldn't make anyone's cut.

Posted by annika at 08:13 PM | Comments (15)

January 04, 2005

Stupidest Idea Of 2005 (So Far)

(Stupider even than allowing Ashley Simpson to sing live on television again.)

Renaming the Los Angeles California Anaheim Angels the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Not only does it sound stupid, but it alienates their fan base. People in OC hate LA, they get pissed if you say they're from LA and they never go to LA unless it's absolutely unavoidable.

As usual, Humbug is the place to go for the latest baseball news, in meter.

Posted by annika at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

Water Wealth Contentment Health

i feel i must make an effort to comment about Amber Frey's interview by the very annoying Matt Laueur of NBC.

i'm somewhat impressed by Amber Frey. She was a brave girl. But i'm also amazed at how naive she was before that crucial telephone conversation with the Modesto PD, which opened her eyes.

The Dateline Special did a pretty good job of capsulizing the circumstantial case against Scott Pederson. i would have convicted him too. There were just too many lies and too many eerie coincidences. Justice was done.

And as long as i'm feeling generous: i have to say that i can't not like Gloria Allred. Sure, she's a wacko feminist and a grandstander, but she was on the right side of the Clinton fiasco, and she represented Amber Frey amazingly well throughout the ordeal.

Now can we please close the book on this whole story? It'll soon be time to obsess about the next Trial of the Century: Jocko.

Posted by annika at 11:15 PM | Comments (2)

Useless Halftime Show Blogging

The best part of the game so far has been listening to the crowd boo Ashley Simpson. That was fucking awesome!

Memo to Ashley: You make me wanna uh uh uh uh too. Then i flush the toilet.

Posted by annika at 07:34 PM | Comments (3)

January 03, 2005

Artie Shaw's Passing

The great bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw died last Thursday. i just read about it today and it reminded me of this old Poetry Wednesday post, where we discussed Artie Shaw in the comments section.

Posted by annika at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

More Useless Blogging

President Clinton looks like he's gained a little weight. Still gaunt though.

Posted by annika at 08:01 AM | Comments (2)

There Is No Try

Only do or not do.

We do.

Update: The Marines have arrived in Sri Lanka too.

Posted by annika at 12:25 AM | Comments (4)

January 02, 2005

Useless 24 Blogging

The following thought took place between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., while watching episode nine from my 24: Season One DVD set:

Why isn't Jack Bauer kicking somebody's ass? He needs to kick somebody's ass right now.

Posted by annika at 08:58 PM | Comments (3)