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Sunday, 27 February 2005
Sideways
Just got back from seeing Sideways with my mother and her sister. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but they didn't seem to like it very much. This would be because it involved drinking. Oh, and it had "language." Of course, if it had been a movie about cross-dressers or homosexuals, my Momma would have loved it.

Don't ask.

Lots of great peformances in Sideways. Is Giamatti nominated for something tonight? He almost certainly won't win if he is, but he did an excellent job, anyhow.

I'm personally pulling for Jamie Foxx to win for his portrayal of Ray Charles. It was easily one of the best performances of an historical personage I've ever seen.

I don't go to the movies very often, but it's something I almost always do with my Momma. Unfortunately, she always slips into Black Female Movie-goer mode: reacts too much to what's going on in the movie and pipes up with her opinions whenever the mood strikes. Pretty much at a normal conversational volume ---which would be too loud for a movie theater. I'm sure it's much appreciated by others around us, but I am easily embarrassed by her commentary.

Oh, well. I'm off to hang out with her to watch the Oscars. I don't really have any predictions since I don't really know who's up for what. But Ray was an excellent picture. I saw The Incredibles and loved it. And, like I say, Sideways is a great picture, too.

Oh, and if you don't like what I said about black chicks at the movies, too bad. My observation is validated by experience.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:01 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 28 February 2005 8:53 AM CST
Friday, 25 February 2005
[Outrage]
I'm watching a very fluffy piece of fluffiness just now: Hannity and Colmes on the Fox News Channel with the delicious Michelle Malkin sitting in for the uppity boghopper Sean Hannity ---and they're talking with some Playmate-turned-sex therapist (Victoria Zrdok) about this terrible spate of hot blonde schoolteachers seducing teenaged boys.

Sorry, but I just can't manage any outrage about this. Sure, it's a sexist opinion, but any pimply-faced high school punk who's lucky enough to get over on his English teacher isn't going to get my sympathy. My envy, maybe, but sympathy? Get the hell out of here!

I can think of several of my high school teachers I would have gladly given a good seeing to ---and I can assure you I would not have considered it a traumatic experience.

What a silly bunch of nonsense. Big Media is the number one source of pedophilic indulgence at work in this culture. That's a fact.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:11 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
No Great Shakes
I don't know why, but the phrase "no great shakes" has been silently obsessing me for the past few days and I figured if I just wrote it out, it might go away.

If you don't know, it's an idiom that refers to something ordinary or mediocre. One source has it attributed to Lord Byron, of all people, but I don't know if that's true.

Sounds more like gangster-talk from a 1930s movie to me.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:46 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 24 February 2005
How Not to Appear Interested in Certain Things for the Wrong Reasons
The anti-Bush crowd is just wetting itself over this whole James Guckert mess at the White House. Guckert, who goes by the nom de plume of Jeff Gannon, is an ersatz reporter who managed to get into White House press briefings and has even questioned the President himself. He is a conservative who throws up softballs for the Bush people to smack around.

In addition to his rather thin credentials, Guckert is also apparently a homosexual who has offered his stud services over the internet. He is a prostitute ---unless those websites are some sort of terrible joke, which I don't think they are.

Anyway, the anti-Bush forces are happy to have something to talk about that involves an unsavory character tied to the White House's conservative allies.

The only thing they've said so far that may be believed is that, if this had happened during the Clinton Administration, the Republicans would have been stirred up to no end. That much is undoubtable.

Otherwise, the anti-Bushites are lying their asses off as to why "Gannongate" matters.

They say that it's because Guckert's entry into the White House press briefeings constitutes a breach of security. Horseshit. These people don't care about the President's security. Remember: they hate him and compare him to Hitler.

They say it's because Guckert's a prostitute. Maybe, but what they really like is that he's a gay prostitute. Sometimes, in their joy to have such a perfect example of conservative Christian hypocrisy fall into their laps this way, they themselves lapse into gay-bashing gibberish. These are the same people who support gay marriage, see. But if they can hang this great ironic albatross around someone's neck (Rove, McClellan, Bush, anybody), they are just in heaven.

These morons have even tried to tie Guckert to the Valerie Plame episode, which they have never entirely abandoned, even though it's a fantasy of their own devising.

So what are they going on about? They are probably just mad that Guckert got into the briefings and wasn't sufficiently critical of the President, which means that they have taken it upon themselves to be the judge of who is a legitimate journalist and what constitutes a valid point of view. Old commie crones like Helen Thomas can sit there all day and impugn the President's character, but let someone like Guckert in to provide some balance, however slight? No, they can't have that.

I don't know what the shelf life on this thing is, but I hope it goes sour soon. Of course, it's terribly salacious and entertaining because it's not happening to us, but unless these liberal wankers want to see the White House really step in and control the credentials process, they probably ought to just enjoy this for what it's worth and gear up for something that actually affects everyday people's lives.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:19 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (12) | Permalink
Relics
Now Playing: Force It by UFO
This is a pretty harrowing story: a vacationing couple's digital camera is found with several shots of the tsunami waves that came and killed them.

Patrick Knill says he and his brothers were overcome with mixed emotions, looking at the images of their parents enjoying their vacation - and then the ominous final shots of the big waves coming toward them.

The last shot on the memory card as the waves roll in.

"At first I didn't want to even look at them. Then once I looked at them a few more times times I got to really stare at them," Knill says.

"I saw that the waves were just so huge and powerful and people were just standing there."
Christ save them all.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:49 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 23 February 2005
Jury of His Peers
I can't stand even the thought of Michael Jackson ---and I will avoid discussing him as often as possible--- but I was amused to see among the headlines earlier this afternoon that the jury in his child molestation trial has been chosen ---everywhere with the note that none of them are black.

In the fistfight between Irony and Irrelevance, always go with a shrug of the shoulders.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:38 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Tuesday, 22 February 2005
Defending the Lie
In response to this question on a thread at the Leftist blog Eschaton,

Do you think bloggers have the raw power the mainstream media posseses?
I wrote:

No, but they're making their presence felt. They are exerting a big influence on Big Media. Just ask Rather and Mapes.
To this, one of Eschaton's regular guest posters, Robert M. Jeffers, remarked (emphasis mine):

Bloggers as outliers for Limbaugh and FoxNews, nothing more.

If not for talk radio and FoxNews, nothing would ever have happened at CBS over that story. The WH used that support, and only incidentally bloggers, to raise a ruckus and change the subject (which was always about Bush's service, never about the documentation. In fact, the real story was about the curious lack of documentation).

That story was really about CBS kissing the White House's ring finger. Imagine Ben Bradlee doing Nixon's bidding, if you can. It wasn't bloggers who caused that, or even strongly influenced it. If CBS had the spine Ben Bradlee once showed, there never would have been a story about Rather for conservative bloggers to brag about...
What a ridiculous position!

Regardless of how the Killian Forgeries were exposed, the fact that they were should be all the impetus a reputable news organization would require to issue a retraction and an apology. But Jeffers faults CBS News for insufficiently stonewalling on the truth of the hoax. Well, let's be fair: they gave it their all ---for about a week and a half.

But the important point here is that it was the blogosphere that moved the Rathergate scandal. Wholly and absolutely. Big Media outlets ---and I don't know jack about Limbaugh since I can't listen to the man--- were playing catch-up the whole way through. There's no question about that. It took several news cycles before even organizations like FNC picked up on it. It was blogs like Little Green Footballs and Power Line and the bulletin board Free Republic (where it initially got its start) that moved on the forgeries around the clock.

Of course, we all know that Karl Rove controls the blogosphere, but I'm still pretending otherwise.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:08 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Monday, 21 February 2005
Shocked
Mood:  down
Hunter S. Thompson killed himself tonight. Dammit.

I assume he was sick with something and chose to go on his own terms.

He was one of the most interesting political writers of our day. A great influence on many.

My favorite of his books was Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, '72. His description of Edmund Muskie's freak-out is one of the funniest things I've ever read. No, I take that back. The story of his own adrenachrome experience has that honor.

In Heaven, Thompson is talking about the Redskins with President Nixon over some bourbon.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:31 AM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Sunday, 20 February 2005
Extra Texture


Be sure to drop by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website for some cool new pictures taken this week by the Cassini mission, including this shot of the surface of Saturn's moon, Enceladus.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:52 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Today's Picture of Liz Claman


Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:14 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Now Hear This
Mood:  special
Now Playing: "A Common Disaster" by the Cowboy Junkies
At Little Green Footballs, Charles Johnson has posted a link to a sound file provided by an "LGF operative" in which New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey told an audience of moonbats yesterday that Karl Rove set up Dan Rather with the Killian Forgeries.

When asked what evidence he had to prove it, Hinchey weasels out of it, saying that it was just his belief.

So this guy ---a United States Representative--- is spreading the lie that the Bush White House is the source of these fake documents, but can't back it up. What a fucking liar.

This is the very picture (or sound) of getting busted. Excellent work, sir, whoever you are.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:26 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Greetings
Just kickin' it Anglo-Saxon-Hibernio-Ashkenazic style back at the crizzib...beeyotch!

My man Sluggo says if you got some housecleaning to do over in East Austin, you gotta get a bottle of BLEEYOTCH!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:13 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Saturday, 19 February 2005
The Shoe Debate
Didn't see the part where someone threw a shoe at Richard Perle, but caught most of the rest.

Dean's a lightweight who thinks too much of the applause of those whose opinions are irrelevant and uninformed.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:56 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Friday, 18 February 2005
Names
Courtesy of Jonah Goldberg at NRO's The Corner comes this amazing website where you can type in your name and see its popularity over the past century or so.

I note that Toby is on its way back up.

Thanks, Mr. Keith.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:13 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink
Thursday, 17 February 2005
Algorithms. It's All about the Algorithms.
See? You knew it was going to be someone's fault for escalating tensions in Lebanon.



Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:49 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Wednesday, 16 February 2005
The Full Panoply
This would have to be my very favorite of all the essays I've yet read by Michael Ledeen. (Emphasis added.)

Our victory in Fallujah has had enormous consequences, first of all because the information we gathered there has made it possible to capture or kill considerable numbers of terrorists and their leaders. It also sent a chill through the spinal column of the terror network, because it exposed the lie at the heart of their global recruitment campaign. As captured terrorists have told the region on Iraqi television and radio, they signed up for jihad because they had been told that the anti-American crusade in Iraq was a great success, and they wanted to participate in the slaughter of the Jews, crusaders, and infidels. But when they got to Iraq -- and discovered that the terrorist leaders immediately confiscated their travel documents so that they could not escape their terrible destiny -- they saw that the opposite was true. The slaughter -- of which Fallujah was the inescapable proof -- was that of the jihadists at the hands of the joint coalition and Iraqi forces.
This is an important essay. Read it.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:50 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
But Is She a Democrat?
Thanks to Betsy's Page, here's a little of John Podhoretz's column on the execrable Lynne Stewart, convicted terrorist sympathizer:

A jury yesterday found Stewart guilty of using her privileged position as the lawyer of the so-called "Blind Sheik," who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, to pass messages between the jailed terrorist and his terrorist followers in Egypt.

During a visit to Sheik Omar Abdel el-Rahman's cell in Minnesota in 2000, she and a translator conspired to distract prison officials in order to receive and later deliver a coded directive whose purpose was to initiate new terrorist acts in Egypt.
So, you can see why Howard Dean is so outraged today at certain remarks made by the chairman of the New York Republican Party, Steven Minarik:

"The Democrats simply have refused to learn the lessons of the past two election cycles, and now they can be accurately called the party of Barbara Boxer, Lynne Stewart, and Howard Dean[...]"
Dean and Boxer may not like being lumped in with the third leg of that stool, but there's really only one question I want answered:

Is Lynne Stewart a Democrat?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:46 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Unambiguous
Did you see the White House's reaction to former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination this weekend? They are not pulling their punches, are they?

"We condemn this brutal attack in the strongest possible terms," said Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, adding that the killing was "a terrible reminder that the Lebanese people must be able to pursue their aspirations and determine their own political future free from violence and intimidation and free from Syrian occupation."
I'll say this much: if we could operate inside of eastern Syria, our men and women in Iraq wouldn't be suffering so much. Let the IDF take care of the Bekaa and we'll take care of all the Saddamite pipelines leading from Damascus towards Iraq.

And just what were Kerry and Assad talking about in Damascus the other day?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:22 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 14 February 2005
Always on the Job
Just saw a segment on Comrade Jennings' evening news program featuring one of my old bosses, Bill White, who's now the Mayor of Houston. Mr. White was talking about his program to keep the traffic moving in Houston. Pretty neat, if not dramatic.

Bill White's kinda vanilla, frankly, but my favorite memory of working on his staff when he was the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party is from some time spent in South Oak Cliff, an old and low-rent suburb of Dallas.

We were sent there one morning before the state convention to do some community outreach stuff; in particular, to tear down and clear out a few old dilapidated garages and dead trees from some elderly citizens' property. I was pitching in around a tree in one lady's backyard while my friend Corey was up on a ladder, sawing into a branch. We were chatting and working away when along comes Bill White with some camera crews in tow.

In no time at all, Mr. White had wheedled the saw from Corey's hand and got up on the ladder for an action shot. You know: the natural posture of any millionaire businessman. We just stood around and giggled.

The future mayor was pretty shameless about it, but what the hell? As far as introductions to phoniness go, that one was pretty palatable.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:59 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Hammered Dog Shit
Mood:  smelly
Now Playing: "What's New, Pussycat?" by Tom Jones
I don't know where I first picked this phrase up, but it's certainly been appropriate to my condition the past few days. Some sort of flu or cold bug brought me pretty low, but I'm feeling much better today. Plenty of ginseng tea, vitamin C, Robitussin, and chicken lemon grass with Thai peppers and I am on my way.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:15 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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