June 2nd, 2006


Lileks Watch, Day It Seems Like An Eternity

Today, Lileks scoffs at the idea that the US might possibly be slightly culpable for the condition of Cambodian refugees on account of our having illegally bombed the shit out of their country for three years. Nuance, pah!

But the really funny part is where he, James Lileks -- the man who has a selected night where he takes his daughter to Chuck E. Cheese; the man who thinks burgers and fries are as exotic as an evening meal needs to get; the man who is a familiar face to the underpaid saps at his local Taco Bell -- refuses to buy his daughter a mini-can of Pringles, because they aren't very nutritious.

Not like the wholesome food you get at Taco Bell.
getting my goat

If we keep using this analogy, the terrorists win

Mona Charen:

No one yet knows what happened in Haditha, Iraq, last November.

Actually, a lot of people know. Most especially the soldiers involved.

There are accounts -- unconfirmed -- of a massacre perpetrated by a unit of enraged Marines against unarmed civilians.

Dig them qualifiers! The Marine Corps itself seems pretty convinced that something happened.

Consider that Abu Ghraib, which did not involve killing or torture

Actually, it included both torture and killing.

became the American and world press's favorite topic for weeks on end, though far more grotesque acts were being perpetrated daily by the jihadists in Iraq and elsewhere.


For the bajillionth time, IT IS INHERENTLY MORE NEWSWORTHY WHEN "GOOD GUYS" COMMIT QUESTIONABLE ACTS THAN WHEN "BAD GUYS" DO IT. We trust that Americans, as the self-declared 'good guys', will not perpetrate acts that we normally associate with Islamist terrorists; that's why it's more newsworthy when they do, just as it's more newsworthy when a policeman is caught dealing drugs or robbing banks than it is when a drug dealer or bank robber is caught doing same. A fucking ten-year-old could figure out why it's idiotic to bring up how bad terrorists are when non-terrorists commit acts of terrorism, but the right just keeps dragging it out as if it means something. LEAVE IT.

In the period since then, the American press has focused almost exclusively on stories from Iraq that depict the situation as hopeless and the role of Americans as counterproductive.

Which has nothing to do with the situation being hopeless or American actions being counterproductive. The job of the press is to deliver GOOD news! Look, purple fingers! They're painting a school, and it's only costing eight million dollars!

My Lai was not evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the Vietnam War. It was exactly what America-haters here and abroad claimed it was not -- an aberration.


They always flee, teaches Osama bin Laden.

If we criticize American troops for murdering innocents, the terrorists ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.

The lessons our liberal professors and editorialists learned was that the war was immoral. And no amount of experience -- a million boat people, genocide in neighboring Cambodia, the collapse of communism nearly everywhere -- has been sufficient to alter their view.

Um...the genocide in Cambodia almost certainly wouldn't have happened without the American installation of hugely unpopular local leaders and the massive socioeconomic disruption that resulted from our illegal bombing of the country.

In fact, the defeatism preceded the Iraq War and was evident in the early days of the Afghanistan campaign as well when The New York Times famously declared the conflict a "quagmire" after only a few days of fighting.

Whereas now, everything is great in Afghanistan!

Amir Taheri, writing in the June issue of Commentary magazine, offers a catalogue of progress in Iraq that is almost impossible to find in our principal news outlets...there have been no queues of refugees streaming out of Iraq. To the contrary, 1.2 million have returned home since Saddam's ouster.

By a crazy coincidence, many of the people 'returning' to Iraq (often from Pakistan, Syria and Iran) are doing so with the express purpose of fighting American soldiers.

The Iraqi dinar, which had been in free fall during the final period of Saddam's misrule, has risen by 17 percent against the Kuwaiti dinar and 23 percent against the Iranian rial.

This is not only a colossal misstatement, but it ignores the fact that the low worth of the dinar during the last days of Saddam was due not to his mismanagement, but military sanctions against the country imposed from without.

Yes, violence is extreme, particularly in certain areas of the country. But this does not mean that democracy is failing to take root. Seventy percent of eligible Iraqis voted in the past three years.

And still no government! Throw another whoopsie-doodle on the fire, Fred.

Radio stations, newspapers and Internet blogs have proliferated.

The blogs, of course, being overwhelmingly critical of the American occupation, something not found in the newspapers which are largely fed their articles by the US State Department.

The first free trade unions in the Arab world have begun in Iraq.

1. Nonsese; the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions has existed for fifty years, and includes free unions in Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and Algeria. There are also independent unions in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Yemen, as anyone who cared to check a less biased source than Town Hall could easily discover.

2. The 'free trade unions' in Iraq are toothless and have no collective bargaining power, thanks to clauses in the US-written constitution.

But don't expect to hear about those things. Our press will doubtless be too busy luxuriating in Haditha.

Yes, that's why we're so HAPPY about the massacre of innocent children, because we just LOVE TO BE PROVEN RIGHT! Yay, dead kids, thanks for your help!
anyone home?

This is so much more fun than tracking down photographs of bands no one has ever heard of

Happy Friday! Eat this!

Poll #740733 Friday Poll, or, For My Geekles

What DC comics character witha June birthday would throw the best party

Hawkman (June 1), because alien bird-men know how to RIP SHIT UP, dude
Shrinking Violet (June 3), because dykes always throw good parties
Weather Wizard (June 4), because you could have it outside
John Cloud (June 9), because he's a Loser, and he'd be so grateful you even came he'd probably give YOU a present
Clark Kent (June 18), because Superman blah blah blah
Hawkgirl (June 19), because she's hot
The Pied Piper (June 22), because he'd toot on that gay-ass horn and you could punch him in the face
I have no time for these nerd questions, fat boy

If someone says "Brooklyn", do you feel compelled to shout something in return?

Yes. Yes, I do.
Sometimes. But only "What?!?" or "Bo! Bo! Bo!", and then only if I've had a couple.
Am I on a subway? Because if so, yes, I was actually trying to get to Queens.
No. No, I do not.
I don't even know what this question means.


Alban Berg, "Wozzeck"
Aaron Copland, "Billy the Kid"
Benjamin Britten, "Peter Grimes"
Conlon Nancarrow, "Studies for Player Piano"
Olivier Messiaen, "Turangalila-Symphonie"
George Crumb, "Black Angels"
Gustav Holst, "The Planets"
Harry Partch, "Delusion of the Fury"
Igor Stravinsky, "The Rite of Spring"
John Adams, "Nixon in China"
Maurice Durufle, "Requiem"
Morton Feldman, "Rothko Chapel"
Ottorino Respighi, "Pini di Roma"
Steve Reich, "Come Out"
Give me my Vines records back, please

What's your favorite disputed presidential election?

Jefferson vs. Adams, 1800 (the electoral college goes off the rails)
Adams vs. Jackson, 1824 (the less popular candidate wins)
Van Buren/Johnson, 1836 (the "Black Bastard" election)
Grant vs. Greeley, 1872 (the electoral college goes off the rails again)
Hayes vs. Tilden, 1876 (Republican presidental election theft, the prequel)
Cleveland vs. Harrison, 1888 (the tarriff split)
Kennedy vs. Nixon, 1960 (the dead arise and vote)
Bush vs. Gore, 2000 (the GOP steals the election in Florida)
Bush vs. Kerry, 2004 (the GOP steals the election in Ohio)
Bush vs. Clinton, 2008 (the GOP steals the election in Iran)
Bushtron VII vs. Democritus Alpha-Prime, 2564 (the GOP steals the election on the third moon of Cygnus 6)
Where's the Phillipines? Where's Belarus? Where's Ukraine?
Okay, I know WHERE they are, I mean that they're underrepresented in this poll, you Yankeecentrist bastard
I'm too bored with this poll to even get past this option
George Washington vs. nobody, 1789

What crazy conspiracy theory (of any kind) do you most wish was true?