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Sunday, 1 February 2004
Dead Pilgrims
Two hundred and forty Muslims were trampled to death on their way into Mecca today. That's quite a toll. I thought The Who were scheduled for tomorrow night...


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:01 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Saturday, 31 January 2004
Evolution Is a Buzzword?
Mood:  silly
You've probably heard about how the school superintendent of the state of Georgia is working to delete the term evolution from its public schools' textbooks and classrooms and replace it with some phrase like "biological changes over time." Why is she doing it? I'm not sure. I think it might be because she's a pandering shithead, but that's just a guess.

Kathy Cox took some time away from doing the laundry and dusting her angel figurine collection to explain that she has no religious agenda in pushing for this change, but I think she's only saying that because she's a liar. That is to say, there's no legitimate reason to obfuscate the truth of evolution, unless it's to curry political favor with fundamentalist Christians who are committed to making your life miserable if you don't.

"[Evolution] is a buzzword that causes a lot of negative reaction. It also causes people to jump to conclusions," says Mrs. Cox. Evolution is a buzzword? Right. In the 1860s. These days (come be with us, Mrs. Cox!), it's a term that perfectly describes the fact of natural selection.

Who knew that liberals aren't the only ones who think that calling something by a euphemism makes that thing less than what it actually is?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:25 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Saturday, 31 January 2004 11:06 AM CST
Friday, 30 January 2004
Nexus
There shouldn't exist the kind of ambiguity that has surrounded our war against terrorists in Afghanistan and our war against Saddam and the Ba'athists in Iraq. Are these two wars related or not? Of course they are.

The President's critics say that the war against Saddam has been a distraction from the war against terrorists, but that is ridiculous. Invading and overthrowing a tyrannical regime in the heart of the Muslim world should be seen by all as an essential first step towards changing the Middle East into a more peaceful and stable region. A constitutional-federal republic next door to Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria? Who can argue that a free Iraq won't make for a moderating influence in that part of the world? No one should doubt that our own political system has made our economic successes possible ---and freer people mean freer and more prosperous markets. Is there anyone on the Left who's stupid enough to contradict that?

After all, we know that poverty and the desperation it creates is a root cause of terrorism; thus, introducing an exemplar country in the Middle East that once was under the thumb of a brutal dictator will help to give the poor and disaffected in surrounding countries some hope that they can make some changes, too. They will be less susceptible to the entreaties of the Wahabbist psychotics who drive them to kill themselves and others in the name of religion.

It should also be remembered that Saddam paid the families of Palestinians who blew themselves up in the intifada against Israel. It was a definite enticement, as are the telethons and fundraisers held by the Saudis for the murderers' families (which must also be stopped, willingly or otherwise). Why do the anti-war people not remember that? It's a fact. Saddam also countenanced terrorists operating in the north of Iraq (e.g., Ansr al-Islam), as long as it was of some benefit to him in his efforts against Iran. And, whether we are responsible or not, it's clear that al-Qaeda and other terrorists have been moving into Iraq to take us on. Thus, Iraq and the war against the terrorists are inextricably intertwined.

A final point: I'm sure that the anti-war Left is just moist about David Kay's recent pronouncements, but they need to read everything he said before Congress. The fact is that we know very well that Saddam used the time we had to waste being resisted by a bunch of fucking Euro-cowards at the UN to move lots of things across the border into Syria. Kay himself believes that. And just how hard would it be to conceal an amount of anthrax or botulo-toxins potent enough to kill tens of thousands? We know that Saddam sought out the development of those weapons and had the money, men, and machinery to do it. Where did all of it go? Possibly into the hands of terrorists. Tell me again how Saddam and his followers aren't a part of the problem of terrorism.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:32 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Good Bye, Little Buddy
Mood:  celebratory
It's great to see that the once-great British Broadcasting Corporation is sloughing off pieces of treasonous shit like Andrew Gilligan. Maybe he can go work for al-Jazeera now.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:55 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 30 January 2004 6:50 PM CST
Thursday, 29 January 2004
Oh, Grow Up!
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: "Cut the Shit" by the Cut the Shits
This call by the black community's leaders in East Austin for the resignation of the chief of police and the city manager is fucking stupid. Why are they doing it? Because, they say, too many black people in East Austin are being shot to death or otherwise harmed by the poe-leece. And that's it. They are mad because of the "disproportionate" number of such deaths.

How many is that? Two. And were these deaths the result of Austin cops just showing up and shooting innocent people? No, they were the result of police trying to defend life and limb from a couple of fucked up losers.

I've gone into both cases here before. In both cases, the incidents were taken before grand juries and put through exhaustive investigations. In both cases, the cops were cleared.

Nelson Linder and Sterling Lands want you to forget that Sophia King and Jessie Owens were in the middle of committing serious and potentially deadly felonies when they were put down. Linder and Lands want you to believe that these two losers were innocent victims and wonderful people. But, that's not true. They were both bad people who had earned extensive criminal records. Their deaths are no loss to this community and it's time for certain blacks in this town to grow up and acknowledge that it is individuals who commit crimes and that race has nothing to do with it.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:57 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Gin
Ted Kennedy and Carl Levin and some other nauseating wankers are trying to make the most of David Kay's post-assignment assessment of Saddam's WMD programs. Now that Kay has said he doesn't think Saddam had the quantities of deadly bio and chemical weapons that it was believed he had, these senators want to have a major investigation of our intelligence services. That's fine. That's great. But let's not forget that our intelligence people weren't the only ones who thought so. Everybody from the UN to the French and Germans to our allies in Iraq also reported that.

In fact, Kay thinks Saddam did have these weapons, just not in large quantities. He maintains, as anyone would, that Saddam's people had plans they were working on for all sorts of deadly weapons. These were active programs until the regime fell. There is evidence of that, certainly. It is also true, as Kay suggested, that a lot of evil shit got smuggled out of the country during the delays imposed on us by the UN, most especially into Syria, which ought to be next on our list of places to bomb.

Kennedy and his bathmates, though, want to push the line that Bush and his neoconservative henchmen manipulated the evidence so as to draw us into a conflict. You know: it was all cooked up down here in Texas. That's great. Turd Kennedy doesn't realize that the war in Iraq is a just and moral war and that those who are fighting it and supporting it are making a real difference in the Middle East. It's an accomplished fact and this attempt to malign the Administration is going to blow up in his face.

Are Kennedy and Levin going to find themselves arguing that Saddam's removal was a bad thing? They can't do that, so what's their point? That we could or should have waited? For what? The French, most of all, were proactively working to resist us in the Security Council and would never have consented to any invasion, anyway. The American people don't want to hear any of this second-guessing. Most of us believe in what the President is doing. And History will prove us right.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:26 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 28 January 2004
Exploits
Here's an interesting essay by Mack Owens on how John Kerry started his political life by misrepresenting the experience of the American fighting man in Viet Nam.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:10 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
An Admonition
Mood:  sharp
A friend of mine asked me the other day, probably rhetorically, if I was going to be voting for Bush this fall. I said I couldn't imagine not voting for him at this point. But my votes for President the last two elections were little more than protests, as I couldn't stand either of the two major candidates on either occasion. It is not impossible that I will protest vote again.

Bush is vulnerable in lots of ways, even to his own supporters. Now, it's true that I trust him as a man and believe absolutely in his decision to go to war in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But, even in this, he and his Administration have done a very poor job of selling his reasons for war to the American public and the world at large. It may be that they cannot always come out and be as explicit as they wish for reasons of political correctness and caution, but it's that very lack of communication that has driven his opponents (and friends) to distraction. Only a gay French communist could quibble with our actions against al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, and the Taliban ---but Iraq? He advanced his case for war against Saddam very fitfully and inconsistently and, for that, he has earned a lot of criticism, especially from the Left. Couldn't Bush have better stressed the human rights aspect of the war, making it a more liberationist cause? Theoretically, that would have put the Left more firmly on the spot, as that should be their cause, too. But, maybe I "misunderestimate" their hatred of the man.

The President is also screwing up royally with his immigration agenda. Most Americans disapprove of it because they see it for what it is: a blanket amnesty for Mexicans. It will only add to the irreversible and detrimental transformation of the cultural character of our country, especially of the Southwest. And for what? To make it easier for corporate giants to take on cheap foreign labor, thus depressing wages for those of us at the bottom of the income ladder? It's a betrayal of the common, working-class American. Maybe the elites think it's also a way to better monitor the identities of foreigners in our country, but that should be done, anyway, independently of enticing millions of Mexicans into our labor market.

A third reason to consider not voting for GWB's re-election is his tax policies; in particular, the dividend tax cut. One of the most offensive things I've heard in the past year or so is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist saying that cutting these taxes was a "moral" issue. That's fucking preposterous. The GOP sold this as a way to put more money back into the hands of those who do the hiring and the investing, but I don't know about all that. I think it's a way for the rich to feather their nests ---and I think this has been borne out in the nature of our recovery from the recession. As Pat Buchanan said, this has been a "capital recovery," and not a "jobs recovery." Which means that the only ones who are really "recovering" are those who have so much invested in the stock market already that the amount that they save on dividend tax cuts would make a considerable difference to their own finances. But where's the evidence that these assholes are re-investing in the average American employee? I don't see any.

One more thing: Bush is spending way too much. More than any conservative is supposed to, as my man Sluggo said here recently. I know that there's a lot of extenuating circumstances for this (viz., the war), but pushing for more tax cuts at the upper range while shoveling money out the window everywhere else is not fiscally sound in the long run.

Bush can't rely on the Democrats to nominate a man he can beat. He needs to take better care to not leave his poorer supporters out in the cold.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:45 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 29 January 2004 6:29 AM CST
Nostradumbass
Mood:  d'oh
Okay, so my prognosticating skills are not so hot. Kerry won, which was expected, but I didn't think Dean would come in second. Still, it's a distant second and there's not a whole lot Dean can be happy about at this point.

I was totally wrong on Edwards. I figured he got such a nice bounce out of Iowa that it would translate well in New Hampshire and he'd take second place, but no. He didn't spend a lot of time there, though, so being practically tied for third isn't too bad.

Clark, however, is a different story. I figure I was basically right about his candidacy going into the crapper with a weak third place finish. He wasn't going to beat Kerry in any event, but he absolutely had to come in a strong second to even maintain the pretense of viability. His whole strategy was built on bypassing Iowa and making the most of New Hampshire. But to come in a very distant third or fourth place? No way. He needs to call up Bill and Jamie and get the text of his punchline.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:49 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"It Is As It Was"
Mood:  cheeky
I love the endorsement the Pope is said to have made after seeing Mel Gibson's new film The Passion of the Christ: "It is as it was," referring to what he sees as the film's historical accuracy. Does it get any more epigrammatic and biblical than that? I think not, for I am that I am. Does Gibson dare put il Papa's quote on the movie posters and previews? Hmmm.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing it. There's a lot of Jews who are denouncing Gibson and his movie because they believe that it inculpates their people in Jesus of Nazareth's death. I'll have to reserve judgement on whether Gibson has been fair, but any Jew who is worried about this should consider some facts.

For one thing, it's as clear as can be that it was the Romans who executed Jesus. Crucifixion was a Roman ---and not a Jewish--- form of executing troublemakers like Jesus. Did the Jews sell Jesus down the river? Basically, yes. But, remember: Jesus wasn't to them what he has become to Christians. To them, he was an ultra left-wing kook who was attracting a lot of unwanted attention from the man during a major holiday season in the biggest city in the province. The Sanhedrin didn't have time for his hippie crapola and, so, ratted him out to Herod.

Anyhow, I've never understood why Christians are so hostile towards the Jews for their supposed crime against Jesus. Does it not occur to them that Jesus' death is the sine qua non of their religion? Where is Christianity without the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth? Nowhere. It wouldn't exist. So, what is the logic of Christians blaming the Jews for something that had to have happened anyhow for them to be who they are? It's the same fucked up reasoning practiced by Mexicans and negroes and Indians with European ancestry when they rail against the abuses of the white man: those particular dumbasses wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the intrusion into [their] paradise by Columbus and his millions of sons and daughters. Blaming History is a fool's errand. Insisting on the blood guilt of the very religion from which your own is derived is about a bunch of bullshit.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:35 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 27 January 2004
Don't Forget
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier"
It was a bloody day in Iraq. We lost six soldiers and many others were killed and injured. Just random savagery practiced by dead-enders. We're drawing them out like iron filings to a magnet. It has to be hell for those young men and women there who serve our country and civilization and I mourn their deaths. If I could pray, I'd pray for them and their families. But, instead, I will remember them and honor their memory. I will say it again and again: our men and women in uniform are the brave creators of a new world. Out of this crucible they are going through will emerge a whole new generation of future statesmen and pillars of communities throughout our country. They will own the right to tell the rest of us to stick it up our asses. Thus has it ever been and that is what I must have faith in.

I hope this is the last night on Earth for the fucking cowards who planted those bombs and ran away. Uncle Sam ain't running away, you wretched camel-fuckers. He's mounting up. He's locking and loading and will visit you with extreme prejudice. By the time he's done, you're gonna be crucified.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:03 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
"Let the Coolness Get into My Vertebrae"
Mood:  a-ok
I'm totally digging the pictures we're getting back from Mars. One and a half working rovers and a few eyes in orbit taking some beautiful shots. Why aren't people talking about this stuff more? WE ARE EXPLORING ANOTHER PLANET WITH ROBOTS!!! That is the shit.

Did you know that at any point in the next many weeks, we may actually have images of a Martian fossil to behold? Hmmm. That's not in the Bible, is it?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:28 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 26 January 2004
Memo for Karl
Why is the President going on and on about capping medical malpractice lawsuit damages? The past few news cycles are all about it, but what demo is he appealing to with that? Sure, it's a problem and it does contribute to the exorbitant costs of health care, but is that the right thing to be obsessing over when the Democrats are dominating the news with the New Hampshire primary? They're talking to 99 percent of the country and GWB is talking to one. It may be the responsible thing to discuss long-term solutions to bringing costs down, but not at the same time that Democrats are talking about universal coverage. That's poor timing and a palpable disconnection from the needs of a great many people.

I don't know what the answer to the health care problem is. I do know that this Government should tax the hell out of cigarettes and make smoking a pain in the ass. It's not a choice, but an addiction. Don't pay any attention to a smoker who says it's a choice. If he insists it is, dare him to stop for 72 hours.

I also think that the pharmaceutical companies could be reined in a little more, but I don't know how. Maybe Senator Clinton has some ideas. Heh, heh. Did I just say that?

Bottom line is that people who work ought to have some sort of affordable access to health maintenance. Moochers ought to be paying more.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:12 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 25 January 2004
"Me So Horny. Me Love You Long Time."
Mood:  suave
I almost certainly shouldn't post this entry, but what's a man's life and dignity good for if they can't be exploited for the sake of the entertainment of strangers? Besides, it's a part of my character to self-efface and self-disclose, so here's what I am doing: I have posted my profile (complete with some oh-so inviting photographs) with an internet personal ad service. I am looking for a girlfriend. I haven't had one in many years and, as I recall, it did wonders for my complexion. No. That's not even true. But, it is normal for a heterosexual male to seek a woman's company at some point, notwithstanding whatever repellent qualities he may be burdened with, so I've given into the temptation of humiliating myself online.

My first few contacts have been pretty lousy. It turns out, according to two of the three women I've chatted with, that the text of my profile is filled with subliminal misogyny. Of course, that's not true, nor would either of them be capable of articulating such a concept in those terms if it were, but what else do you expect a couple of cock-deprived bitches to say? See? If you want hostility, I can provide it from here to eternity. But what I'm trying to do is demonstrate a sense of humor. Guess what doesn't translate very well?

So, I get gun-shy. The nature of online flirting or introducing yourself or whatever you want to call it is necessarily verbal, so you have to say something interesting, right? Am I supposed to play Ralph Wiggum to their Lisa Simpson and ask if they "like things and stuff"? Wouldn't the idea be to provoke something? Not in an antagonizing way, obviously, but you shouldn't have to bury your fucking personality just so that you won't come across poorly. No, I wouldn't say what I've said to them if I ran across them in person, but that's because, again, you have to verbalize in this particular mode. You don't get to exchange glances and expressions and scent: you have to move directly to asking a question or making a comment worth responding to.

You must be thinking that I have come out swinging at them with stuff like, "Say, are those tits fake?" or "Hey, I'm fat, too!" But, no. I've come at them with that usual male bullshit like, "Good evening" or "who are you voting for?" or "you have a beautiful smile." It's all part of my patriarchal desire to oppress them with my courtesy and interest.

Is this coming off bitter? Good.

One of them already had me pegged for a sack of shit when her response included a reference to a statement in my profile expressing a preference for a woman with "solid middle-class values." She said she didn't believe in judging people by their income level or class and suggested, obliquely, that I was "stupid" for trying to engage her from a conservative position. Now, you have to realize that "a woman with solid middle-class values" is code among us fascists for "a woman who works for a living." That is to say, there's a lot of women who don't work and who either live off of Uncle Sucker and the local dole because they can't keep their legs together or who live off of daddy's credit card collection. So, when I say I want a woman who has a job, I mean that I want a woman who values her money and appreciates what it takes to make it 'cause this cracker don't go in for loafers and freeloaders, goddammit. If this woman who wrote me thinks that's awful of me (and, not incidentally, her degree is in Wymyn's Studies), then so be it.

Anyway, that's all beside the point. The real problem is my profile. In it, I have offended every one of these women with my sarcastic wish that their profile pictures show them with either some fucking guy hanging all over them at some bar or with a giant Great Dane in their laps or with a beer in their hands. See, I don't really want to see that, but that's how the seeming great majority of them present themselves. Is that supposed to be enticing? The obvious impression is that they are drunks who are obsessed with their dogs or who can't seem to get free of their prior entanglements. It's not fair of me, I know, but neither is being pissed on by strangers who don't realize that I am just trying to be interesting and funny and not an innocuous flatterer with nothing to say.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:24 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 25 January 2004 10:44 PM CST
Prediction for New Hampshire
It's pretty clear that John Kerry is on his way to the nomination and I think he'll win big on Tuesday. The only real question is how well will Dean and Edwards do. I think they'll come in very close to each other, with Dean just slightly ahead. Lieberman may come in fourth, but it will be meaningless and he will have to withdraw soon thereafter, I would think.

The best news is that New Hampshire will finally put the lie to the Clark campaign (the dumbass is on the TV with Russert right now, apparently oblivious to the fact of his imminent political oblivion). Why does he think he's qualified to be President? He stands there loving on the notorious anti-American Michael Moore while that treasonous fuck calls Bush a deserter. It's pathetic. It'll be satisfying to see Clark disappear.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:17 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 24 January 2004
Another Saturday Night
Mood:  happy
Had lunch this afternoon with a couple of friends and their baby. The little one is awfully cute, but she isn't too sure yet if I'm one of the good guys. So, to prove that I am, I wind up making ridiculous faces that only a baby could draw out of me. And what is my reward? Well, I finally managed to coax a few toothy little grins out of her but, mostly, she just stared at me like I had just ripped a giant fart in church.

Chicks, man. What do THEY know?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:21 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 23 January 2004
Good Morning, You Little Stinker
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: "Good Morning, Good Morning" by the Beatles
Well, Spirit is starting to send back some positive signals from Mars. Yes!!! You little stinker! You scared us. They say it's a major software problem and may only be remedied after a lot of time and hard work, but at least it's working again. I am VERY pleased. Those pictures are just incredible.

Now, get back to work!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:35 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 22 January 2004
Something I Should Explain
Mood:  irritated
When I started this blog last spring, I figured I should keep the option of my anonymity open and, so, somehow thought it would be clever to take a pseudonym that paid homage to one of my very favorite cinematic characters, Tuco Ramirez (the "cattivo" in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) and to the great actor Eli Wallach, who played him. Well, that was fine, I guess, but the further I get along, the more I realize that the user name eliwallach is simply a confusion to the vast halves of half-dozens that visit this site, which is hosted by Lycos/Tripod. The fine folks there have informed me, however, that I cannot change the URL I have through them. It's some technical reason I don't quite get. They say I'm free to delete this blog and start everything over under a more appropriate name, but I don't want to lose everything.

Anyway, I'm sorry if you are confused by the different URL names that appear in your address bar in association with this blog. I certainly don't mean to hide behind any other name, but to own up to my own, which is what it is.

That is all.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:08 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Wrong
Now Playing: "Strange Way" by Firefall
I guess I should go ahead now and admit that I was wrong about Howard Dean. But, I have lots of company in that who are far more learned and experienced in caucus politics than me. Dean was the favorite for so long that very few pundits saw even a chance that he could be knocked off the pedestal so violently.

Well, actually, Dean knocked himself off.

But, I did buy into the media's assurances that he was a prohibitive favorite for the nomination. Even though I was appalled at how clumsily he would think out loud, saying such stupid shit as how he was "having" to be polite and what he "had" to do to persuade Christians of his sincerity. An astute politician doesn't telegraph his moves like that; Dean not only telegraphed them, but had them laminated and posted. Political cynicism is expected; just don't discuss its anatomy with those you mean to hoodwink.

Anyway, we still have one more clown to countenance before we get ready for the showdown with Kerry-Edwards (and won't that be a first, with a two-senator ticket?).


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:39 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Dammit!
Mood:  down
Bad news from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Spirit robot on Mars has stopped transmitting anything but garbage. Great. Just what we need: another NASA failure.

Keep your fingers crossed. And keep a good thought for Opportunity, the other robot rover which will be landing on the other side of Mars this weekend.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:21 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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