"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Say it ain't so!

Who is this person?

We here at G&S are posting a substantial reward (not necessarily monetary in nature) for solid evidence that the person in this photograph is NOT the person it is claimed to be by THESE young women.

It simply cannot be. We will NOT believe it. It is not true. NO!

Mexican Bathtub Cheese

That is: Cheese. Mexico. Bathtubs.

What could possibly go wrong? Yum. Gotta get me some.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports:
The owners of several food markets around the county have agreed to pay more than $190,000 as a result of a lawsuit alleging they sold illegally obtained Mexican cheese that made patrons sick.
Sorry. That would be: Cheese. Mexico. Bathtubs. Illegally purchased.
The stores purchased the cheese from street vendors, sometimes out of the back of a car or van.
Oops: Cheese. Mexico. Bathtubs. Illegal. Bought from some guy in a low-rider.

Apparently referred to as queso fresco, it is "sometimes called 'bathtub cheese' because it's prepared in homes, often under unsanitary conditions."

You figure?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

R.I.P. Stan Berenstain (1923-2005)

At Last!

Finally: Christmas shopping recommendations that are actually useful. Available HERE.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What was your name again?

Remember pet rocks? Chia pets? Richard Simmons? Hula Hoops (at least twice)?

Remember Cindy Sheehan?

AP's caption for this picture is "Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan waits for people to show up at her book signing near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 in Crawford, Texas."

Her ten minutes of fame having expired, Ms. Sheehan will no doubt continue to make guest appearances on Kos, the Daily Show, CBS News and the New York Times, in the time-honored manner of has-been actors and celebrities famous for something or other you can't quite remember.

But out here in the real world, it's time to say good night, Cindy.

You don't suppose that she can dance, do you?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Time to Put Our Money Down

I am Orso'Grande.

To keep things interesting, I've called in my buddy The Orangeman to provide you with a second opinion. Sure, his opinion pretty much sucks when he disagrees with The Bear, but what can you do? There is only one Orso'Grande.

Here are the top games of the week.
All mortal locks.
We cannot err.

Villanova vs. Oklahoma
The Bear and the Juiceman agree: Wildcats over Sooners (and they’ve got a better band, too)

Illinois vs. North Carolina
Agreed: Illinois. Do not tell us anything about Roy. DO NOT even get us started on Roy.

Rutgers vs. those same fellows from Illinois
The Man from 'Cuse goes with the obvious: The Fighting Illini (hey, aren’t they Indians or something? Doesn’t that mean they’re, like, cursed?) But Orso'Grande knows better, and takes this as his UPSET OF THE WEEK: The Scarlet Knights will win the South Padre Island Invitational Tournament.

Wisconsin vs. Wake Forest
We're split here. The O-Man needs no stinking Badgers, and goes with the Deacons, while Orso'Grande begins singing (badly) "On Wisconsin."

Duke vs. Indiana
Orso'Grande follows his own advice: never bet against Duke. But The Orangeman boldly (and stupidly) picks the Hoosiers over Duke as his UPSET OF THE WEEK.

Friday, November 25, 2005

We Have Good News, and We Have Bad News

Boston's Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley has announced that he will not attend an event honoring Mayor Thomas M. Menino, inasmuch as Mayor Menino is an outspoken supporter of both abortion and same-sex "marriage." Good for him.

What's that, you ask? What was the event? A Christmas Dinner. The sponsor? Catholic Charities.

We simply can not make this stuff up.

From yesterday's Boston Globe.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Day



Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - and

Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Exit Strategy

". . . Saddam Hussein has chosen to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism. If so, the only exit strategy is victory, this is our common mission and the world’s cause. We're in this together. We want to complete the mission while safeguarding our troops, avoiding innocent civilian casualties, disarming Saddam Hussein and engaging the community of nations to rebuild Iraq.”


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Someone PLEASE . . . .

. . . . tell me that THIS is a joke. PLEASE. Via NRO.

Fifty is the New Sixteen


"The truth is that [Maureen Dowd] is now a woman in her 50s who looks like an attractive woman in her 50s. Except for her forehead, which is age 27 and so smooth (I wonder, how come?) that it seems she wouldn't be able to frown even if Gloria Steinem hit her over the head with a frying pan."


". . . all statistics show that most educated men marry equally educated women. Nowadays when a woman decides to stay home it is usually because both husband and wife agree that it is the better way to raise the children.

"But how would Maureen, unmarried and childless, with a high-paying job and a string of boyfriends that has included a movie star, a top television writer and producer, and a couple of top editors, really know about the financial or family concerns of most women in this country?

"In all of her interviews, Maureen, to prove her point about how hard it is to be a smart woman, talks about her girlfriends at the New York Times, who are among the paper's most prominent critics. There is the one, presumably book reviewer Michiko Kakutani, who wept when she won a Pulitzer, because she thought no one would ever ask her on a date again. I wonder how authors who had slaved for years over their books and had them torn apart by Michi, felt after hearing that little anecdote about Michi's maturity and good sense?

"There's also television critic Alessandra Stanley, another of Maureen's chums who, quoting Dorothy Parker, says of herself that she speaks a lot of languages but can't say "no" in any of them. Gee, I haven't heard a crack like that since freshman year at Bennington.

"And then there is Maureen's frequently told story about her special relationship with George H. W. Bush. She claims they are like two leads in a Forties' romantic comedy. He's the upstairs "patrician gentleman" and she's the downstairs "Irish maid." Can you imagine what would happen if David Brooks claimed that he had a special sexy relationship with Condi Rice? Wouldn't he be hooted at, first of all, by Maureen Dowd?

More of Myrna Blyth on Maureen Dowd HERE.

At Your (Holiday) Service

Since opening for business we here at G&S have provided information regarding sports, odd cultural doings, religious matters, political foolishness, history, and peculiar personal reflections.

But as Thanksgiving approaches, we have been urged to give advice regarding the preparation of the quintessential American feast. And we are nothing if not responsive to our readers.

In our opinion more genuine controversy surrounds the topic of stuffing than attends any other meal component. Yes, yes, there are those who complain about the cranberry sauce. And there are those who take up cudgels to attack or defend the sweet potato. But, pound for pound, it's the stuffing where the real brother against brother, father against son, sort of throw-down takes place.

Cubed or shredded? Meat? Sausage? Chestnuts? Water chestnuts? Inside the bird (as God Himself intended), or in a stupid pot, as our Government Masters decree?

And so, as our contribution to resolution of this annual difficulty, we provide herewith our traditional, truly American, turkey stuffing recipe:


10 White Castle hamburgers (pickles optional, consult your guests)
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 1/2 tsp. ground sage
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth


In a large mixing bowl, tear the burgers into pieces and add diced celery and seasonings. Toss and add chicken broth. Toss well. Stuff cavity of turkey just before roasting. Makes about 9 cups (enough for a 10- to 12-pound turkey). Note: Allow 1 hamburger for each pound of turkey, which will be the equivalent of 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound.

Courtesy of White Castle.

Now THAT's good eats!

It's not at all clear . . . .

What the Chinese Government thinks about this. But I'd bet they don't like it.

Or what the United Nations, after it takes control of the Internet, would think about this. But I'd bet it's detrimental to the culture of China, and accordingly to be prohibited by a committee composed of Chad, Peru, Cuba and Libya.

But I think that these two Chinese students are cool.

[But Houston? I mean, really. Can somebody get these guys some Sixers jerseys?]

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fair, Balanced, and Unafraid

It's good that in order to counter the right-wing bias of Fox News, and the credulous administration megaphone that is the Washington Post, we have the Associated Press and CNN to keep the record straight with hard-hitting fact-constrained reportage.

Who knew that Cindy Sheehan -- Mother, Speaker of Truth to Power, Catalyst of Rightness, Leader Person of a Movement -- was not only one of the Great Persons of Our Age, but also a profound and insightful writer! Not merely Bolivar, leading her people to throw off the chains of their oppression, but also Da Vinci, a genius polymath:
After spending scorching August days with hundreds of war protesters at her makeshift camp near President Bush's Crawford ranch, Cindy Sheehan slipped away each night to her tent or RV for a few quiet moments on her laptop.

The words came easily as she opined about the war, U.S. leaders, her critics, her supporters. And the tears started to flow no matter how many times she wrote about her 24-year-old soldier son Casey, who died in Iraq last year.
Sheehan gained national attention during her 26-day vigil on a Texas roadside near President Bush's ranch in August. She refused to move until the president met with her or ended his vacation. That moved Arnie Kotler, the founder of a Hawaii publishing company who saw news coverage and read Sheehan's Internet blog entries from the protest.

"I thought, 'This is already a book. This is incredible,"' said Kotler of Koa Books, which printed about 20,000 copies. "We got it done as quickly as we could, and the deepest reason is to stop the war."
The AP's reporter does a good deal more school-girl gushing and clapping of soft little hands while hopping up and down in gleeful admiration.

And how very fortunate to number among her best friends good old Arnie, whom she had "moved". No doubt.

One can only hope that Ms. Sheehan had a good agent, lest her "literary" efforts resemble her political life: Hijacked by others with their own cruel and dangerous agenda.

AP story on CNN HERE.

And if Che were still alive . . . .

© 2005 Francesco Marciuliano

From drinkatwork.com, via relapsed catholic.

"Exit Strategy" from Reality

Along with Christopher Hitchens, Mark Steyn is in the small group of political writers whom we would have to invent did they not already exist. From today's column:
One expects nothing from the Democrats. Their leaders are men like Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, who in 2002 voted for the war and denounced Saddam Hussein as an "imminent threat" and claimed that Iraq could have nuclear weapons by 2007 if not earlier. Now he says it's Bush who "lied" his way into war with a lot of scary mumbo-jumbo about WMD.

What does Rockefeller believe, really? I know what Bush believes: He thought Saddam should go in 2002 and today he's glad he's gone, as am I. I know what, say, Michael Moore believes: He wanted to leave Saddam in power in 2002, and today he thinks the "insurgents" are the Iraqi version of America's Minutemen. But what do Rockefeller and Reid and Kerry believe deep down? That voting for the war seemed the politically expedient thing to do in 2002 but that they've since done the math and figured that pandering to the moveon.org crowd is where the big bucks are? If Bush is the new Hitler, these small hollow men are the equivalent of those grubby little Nazis whose whining defense was, "I was only obeying orders. I didn't really mean all that strutting tough-guy stuff." And, before they huff, "How dare you question my patriotism?", well, yes, I am questioning your patriotism -- because you're failing to meet the challenge of the times.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Deep Throat

Lots of reporters and other WaPo worthies are all atwitter about the fact that Bob Woodward had info about the Plame/Lying Joe Wilson/Media Leak story WEEKS before anyone else seems to have had it.

That Woodward knew what there was to know way early is being variously reported as suggesting that the Libby indictment is in trouble, or that Woodward is a terrible fellow.

We profess not to grasp the logic of either conclusion.

What IS interesting is that WaPo folks are chattering away on the paper's internal message board system, and the discussion repeatedly veers into complaints that comments on that internal system keep getting leaked to the news media, including into the WaPo itself.

So a bunch of reporters are variously lamenting, complaining, calling for standards, or venting outrage that what they write down and say to others is subject to publication to the world at large. Is nothing sacred?

I long ago abandoned the practice of saying or writing anything I wouldn't be proud of were it to be published on the front page of whatever newspaper my parents might be imagined to read. It's not only good for the soul, but contributes remarkably to healthful sleeping habits.

But reporters are very special people. Reporters who refuse to tell what they know are heros. Government officials who refuse to tell what they know are criminals. Reporters who leak confidential information are criminals. Government officials who leak confidential information are heros.

Go figure.

Lots of leaked internal WaPo sniping HERE.

The Murtha Plan

Via PowerLine.

Friday, November 18, 2005

College Hoops: Stanford

I am Orso'Grande.

Western basketball. Yup, college hoops not in the East. Sure enough basketball outside the Big East or the ACC.

Not just a team or two here or there. Not just Gonzaga, Memphis, Nevada, Texas, or Illinois, who would do better to form their own conference rather than continue to play wherever the heck they play.

But a real, honest to God, CONFERENCE!

That would be the Pacific 9, plus Stanford. The aforementioned nine being the teams the Cardinal get to play prior to the NCAA Tournament. Thereafter, the Palo Alto 5 make it to the Elite Eight before being eliminated by a team from the Big East or the ACC. (Sorry.)

Oh, sure, 'Zona gets to dance cause everyone loves Lute; UCLA goes because you really don't want to miss their cheerleaders, and Washington puts in an appearance because somebody besides Gonzaga has to go from that upper left-hand corner of the country.

But the Men from Maples will dominate the Pac10, in large part because Player of the Year Chris Hernandez would rather have 10 assists than 20 points. Look for clutch shooting from Grunfeld, and for Haryasz to lead the way down low. I boldly predict that Tim Morris will live up to some of the hype he got (but didn't deliver on) last year. And don't overlook Jason Haas as a very solid backup for their star PG.

Stanford: End of message.

And then he did what?

So you're tooling down the road in beautiful downtown Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.

As you pass under the traffic light at a particular intersection, there's a bright flash of light, as if someone has taken your picture.

"Damn," you think, "Caught by one of those %$^%#*&^ing automatic speed cameras." You drive on, and store away in the back of your mind the notion that you won't be surprised when the ticket comes in the mail.

Or not.

Perhaps, instead, you wonder what the heck that bright light was. So you go up the block, through a convenient traffic circle, and speed back through the intersection. Damn! Same bright flash of light! What the heck IS that thing?

Down the road, through another circle, back through the intersection. FLASH! WTF?

Down the road, through the circle, back through the intersection. FLASH!


Four separate speeding tickets. Same traffic camera. All in less that two minutes.

And one more: For failing to wear a seat belt.

Story HERE.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

College Hoops: Big East

I am Orso'Grande.

Ahhhh, the Big East. Because the Lords of the ACC desperately want to have a football conference (go figure), the Big East is bigger and better than ever. Last year seven (count ‘em, SEVEN) teams now in the Big East went to the Tournament. More than that, eight or even NINE could have gone, but for the intra-conference smash-mouthing (think Rutgers over Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament) that took place. Every year the Big East gets more like the ACC sometimes has been, and is supposed to be in every fan’s dreams.

Just as I did for the ACC, I’m picking one team to win the Conference (UConn) but a different team (Villanova) to go farthest in the Big Dance. Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati, and West Virginia will round out the Big East infestation in the NCAAs. Taquan Dean of Louisville is the Player of the Year.

The regular season schedule makes the ridiculous arrangement in the ACC look almost rational. There’s just no way to explain it, and you wouldn’t believe me anyway. Did you know, for example, that the Scarlet Knights never do play UConn, and play ‘Nova only once, and get to do that at the RAC? I couldn’t make that up. But it gets better: The boys from the banks of the old Raritan get to play St. Johns not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES!

So: Look for great basketball, look for ‘Cuse to get upset at least twice, and look for Rutgers to end up with a better record than they deserve.

Chalk Another One Up for the Home Team

From today's Washington Post, of course.

SBC Park, 11/15/05

  1. Start Me Up
  2. Shattered
  3. She's So Cold
  4. Tumbling Dice
  5. Rough Justice
  6. Rain Fall Down
  7. As Tears Go By
  8. Midnight Rambler
  9. Night Time (Ray Charles cover)
  10. Slipping Away
  11. Infamy
  12. Miss You
  13. Oh No Not You Again
  14. You Got Me Rockin'
  15. Honky Tonk Woman
  16. Sympathy For The Devil
  17. It's Only Rock'n'Roll
  18. Brown Sugar
  19. Jumping Jack Flash
  20. You Can't Always Get What You Want
  21. Satisfaction

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Democrats are Right About Iraq

I've come to the conclusion that it's time to listen to the arguments and analysis of leading Democrats with respect to Iraq: Senators Clinton, Reid and Biden, Representative Pelosi, President Clinton, Governor Dean, and others.

You can hear what they have to say in a video available HERE.

I think they're on to something. But who is that guy at the end?

Yum, yum!!

Jones Soda of Seattle, Washington, generates buzz annually by trotting out a gift box of specialty sodas in Thanksgiving flavors: turkey & gravy, corn on the cob, broccoli casserole, and pecan pie. You know, the usual.

But they have, in our opinion, gone rather too far this year in adding a pink concoction with the aroma and taste, it is reliably reported, of smoked salmon. Yes, that's what we said, that Pacific Northwest taste sensation -- beloved of Englishmen, Jews, and a host of others -- the salmon. It's a fish. You can cook it, you can smoke it, you can even dry it.

We will not be drinking it.

Story HERE.

College Hoops: ACC

I am Orso'Grande.

I was planning to discuss Stanford’s resurgence in the Pac10 this morning, but since IMC asked so nicely, ACC it is.

With two of the very best players in the country (Williams inside and Reddick outside), last year’s top recruit Demarcus Nelson returning as a much-improved sophomore, and the best recruiting class in all of the NCAA, Duke is all but a lock in the enlarged and weakened Atlantic Coast Conference.

All but a lock? Coach K, meet the Eagles. Boston College is underrated for a team that brings back Jared Dudley and Craig Smith. Look for BC to (fight it out? wait it out? no! no!) duke it out with the Blue Devils at the top of the ACC.

Conference Player of the Year: J.J. Reddick (Duke)
Teams that will Make it Into March: Duke, Maryland, Boston College, Georgia Tech.

Team that will go Farthest in March: Boston College (yes, there it is, I said it).

Monday, November 14, 2005

Save Arrested Development

The Gentleman Farmer may not be a fan, but the Hired Hand is incensed that Fox has decided to cancel Arrested Development. The show has won an absurd number of Emmys. This is because it's the funniest effing show on television. Hands down. In the past 15 years. Really. Funnier than Seinfeld. I swear.

Tonight around 8 (PST, natch), I'd normally be deciding that Monday Night Football is a blowout, or otherwise not worth watching anymore, and flip on Fox to see the latest episode. But it ain't airing in all of November, and there are only going to be 13 episodes this year. W. T. F.

Save it.
Now. Sign one of these petitions. (Wednesday is also "Save Arrested Development Day.") (Today, incidentally, is National Guacamole Day.) Else, it's too late, and Mean Old Man Murdoch will have foiled us again. Go out and buy the DVD sets, too. Both of 'em.

You have your orders.

College Hoops

I am Orso'Grande.

The Gentleman Farmer has sat at my knee for some time now and learned about college basketball. He's asked me to post now and again (more or less weekly when we really get going) and give you advice and commentary on the game.

I'll have more for you later but, just so it's clear that this will be no cover-your-ass, namby-pamby sort of discussion, I'll give you my NCAA Tournament picks right now:

Duke, Stanford, Villanova, Michigan State, Texas, Boston College, Louisville, and Arizona will make it to the Elite Eight.

The Final Four will be Duke, Villanova, Michigan State, and Boston College.

The New McCarthyism

It is impossible to discuss the war in Iraq.

A meaningful discussion would focus on alternatives to the present administration's current policy. It might recommend modifications of or reforms to the intelligence community. It might suggest changes in current force structure or composition. It might propose realignment of the military assets of the United States. It might argue for immediate and unilateral withdrawal, and consider the costs and benefits of such an action.

But such a debate is impossible.

In today's Washington Post, Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt has a column citing deficiencies of both Congressional Democrats and the administration, both in debating the war and in communicating with the public respecting the war. He criticizes Democrats for failing to propose rational, practical alternatives to the present policy, instead repeatedly returning to the argument over the 2002 decision to go to war in the first place. Hiatt explains:
[Democrat's]focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.

Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States as well as for [Iraqi vice-president Adel Abdul] Mahdi and his countrymen. But the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.
There is sufficient blame to go around, Hiatt makes clear:
President Bush can lash out at the Democrats, as he did Friday, but ultimately they are mostly exploiting public opinion; he is largely responsible for shaping it. And had he been more honest from the start about the likely difficulties of war, readier to deal with them and then more open in acknowledging his failures, the public likely would be more patient.

A true wartime president, [Connecticut Senator Joseph] Lieberman said, would reach out regularly to congressional leaders of both parties. He would explain strategy, admit mistakes, be open to suggestions.
All very reasonable, you might say. But you would be wrong.

Daily Kos, by far the most prominent "progressive" Democratic web site on earth, intellectual and political kin to MoveOn.org and Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, has a different view:
Cementing his place as a Bush media lackey of the first order, Fred Hiatt, the Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Post, reaches a new low - stooping to the New McCarthyism . . . [snip quote from Hiatt's column]

You no good SOB Hiatt. You have been irresponsible, grossly negligent, ingenuous and a Bush lackey on Iraq for 4 years now and you have the gall to write those words. You despicable McCarthyite cretin.

We're not supposed to say this anymore - but eff you. How dare you question the patriotism of people who are doing what YOU have failed to do - hold the Bush Administration to account? How dare you?

Your editorial page has always "clapped louder" at the behest of the Bush Administration. Now you dare to SMEAR Dems at the whistle of the worst President in history? How dare you sir?

As Joseph Welch famously said: "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Fred Hiatt should immediately resign his position. He has no credibility to comment on any issue.
Notice that there is no suggestion as to what aspects of Hiatt's criticism of Democrats -- or the President -- is thought to be in error. Nor is there any repudiation of Democrat's refusal to suggest alternatives (even immediate withdrawal), thus in fact underscoring Hiatt's main point. Does the author of the Kos post (Kos uber-sidekick "Armando") advocate immediate withdrawal? Does he suggest different funding levels, or changes in procurement, training or equipment?

We have no idea, of course, since to deviate from the party line -- "Bush Lied & People Died" -- is to descend into "McCarthyism." And we need not even mention the tenor of the comments the Kos post has provoked, but you may wish to review a few.

It is impossible to discuss the war in Iraq.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

With malice toward none, with charity for all,
with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,
let us strive on to finish the work we are in,
to bind up the nation’s wounds,
to care for him who shall have borne the battle
and for his widow, and his orphan,
to do all which may achieve and cherish
a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln

Hasta la vista, baby

The Washington Post reports today that the producers of "Terminator 3" have sold a pilot to the Fox network for a television series based on the movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- although he may be in need of the work sooner rather than later -- will not appear in the television version.

More critical is the news that Linda Hamilton will not be in the series. Sorry, boys and girls, but the Terminator with Ahhnold is wholly plausible. But without a profoundly ripped Linda Hamilton, it's just not your father's action movie.

[Editor's note: Having uploaded the picture, we pause now while your humble and obedient servant mops his brow with a cold cloth, and applies ice cubes to his wrists. Thank you for your patience.]

Thank You, Mr. President

At last:

"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said.

"Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war," Bush said. "They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein."

"These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will," Bush said.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

November 10, 1975 (2)

3379 (XXX). Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 1904 (XVIII) of 20 November 1963, proclaiming the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and in particular its affirmation that "any doctrine of racial differentiation or superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous" and its expression of alarm at "the manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas in the world, some of which are imposed by certain Governments by means of legislative, administrative or other measures",

Recalling also that, in its resolution 3151 G (XXVIII) of 14 December 1973, the General Assembly condemned, inter alia, the unholy alliance between South African racism and zionism,

Taking note of the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace 1975, proclaimed by the World Conference of the International Women's Year, held at Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July 1975, which promulgated the principle that "international co-operation and peace require the achievement of national liberation and independence, the elimination of colonialism and neo-colonialism, foreign occupation, zionism, apartheid and racial discrimination in all its forms, as well as the recognition of the dignity of peoples and their right to self-determination",

Taking note also of resolution 77 (XII) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its twelfth ordinary session, held at Kampala from 28 July to 1 August 1975, which considered "that the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being",

Taking note also of the Political Declaration and Strategy to Strengthen International Peace and Security and to Intensify Solidarity and Mutual Assistance among Non-Aligned Countries, adopted at the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975, which most severely condemned zionism as a threat to world peace and security and called upon all countries to oppose this racist and imperialist ideology,

Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.

November 10, 1975

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.

No. Way.

Back in the old days when Gentleman Farmer's household had a 9600 baud (EXTERNAL) modem, the man went by a different alias, and ran a bulletin board service (BBS) for a bunch of similarly nerdy people in the DC area with time enough to log onto his DOS-based site. He was the Duke, and it was HIS domain.

The Duke's Domain (hacked on occasion by a shorter, snottier version of yours truly) featured a game not too different from Risk. It was fun; it was silly; it was multiplayer.

That was then.

THIS is now. Risk, using Google Maps.

H/T Red Baroness.

Silent Radio: They have it, you know.

With so many things to worry about here at the Center of the Empire, halfway through the first decade of the 21st Century, knowing which of them to take arms against is most difficult.

You have probably, like us, wondered what steps are appropriate to ward off mind-control via electromagnetic radiation. Should I use that steel colander? Or will Reynolds Wrap (extra-thick) work just as well?

An MIT research team has concluded:
It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings.
Their research shows that common aluminum foil helmet configurations actually amplify the potentially mind-controlling radiation (as the Government undoubtedly intends).

The report is HERE. Don't complain that you haven't been warned.

"Oozing Cleverness"

That's what it says, right here. Who knew?

We thought it was more like "seeping superficiality." But our aim, as always, is to thoroughly spell-check.

November 10, 1775

On this date in 1775, the Second Continental Congress
resolved to raise two battalions of Continental Marines.

Semper Fi!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either

. . . because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire...

"Stunned into Immobility"

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that THIS would most certainly have that effect. Yes, indeed. No question at all. Nope, nope, nope.

Via The Corner.

Fantasy Drafts

I Could Say, "What's the Matter With Kansas?"

From the Associated Press:
Risking the kind of nationwide ridicule it faced six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public-school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for "intelligent design" advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power. . . .

The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.
Sorry, just to clarify: the board rewrote the definition of science. The Kansas Board of Education. Rewrote. The Definition. Of Science.

We now allow you to return to your regularly-scheduled noggin scratching.

Initial H/T to Selfish Country Music-Loving Lady, of Fantasy Drafts fame.

UPDATE: H/T rightfully goes to Chris, also of FD fame. But I suppose I really just have to take my hat off to the six Kansas BoE members who voted in favor. Oh well. At least the entire Dover School Board is homeless now.

Lies, Damned Lies, & Political Lies

Did you know that three weeks after the invasion of Iraq began Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV (yes, that Joe Wilson) said,
I remain of the view that we will find biological and chemical weapons and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam’s regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons.
So: "Wilson lied, and . . . . " what?

In the December issue of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz puts his finger on one of the reasons for our current disgust with national politics: The Democrats lie, those lies are refuted, and the same lies are repeated, and refuted, and repeated . . . . It becomes a question of who has the most stamina to pursue pointless arguments, a contest Democrats will always win. (See, for example, Michael Moore, Daily Kos, and Howard Dean: Irrational, energetic, never dismayed when their nonsense is shown to be, well, nonsense.)

Podhoretz writes:
Among the many distortions, misrepresentations, and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral and/or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.

What makes this charge so special is the amazing success it has enjoyed in getting itself established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by evidence and argument alike. In this it resembles nothing so much as those animated cartoon characters who, after being flattened, blown up, or pushed over a cliff, always spring back to life with their bodies perfectly intact. Perhaps, like those cartoon characters, this allegation simply cannot be killed off, no matter what.
Podhoretz soldiers on, and sets to right the various components of the Democrat Big Lie. Read the article HERE, and we guarantee you'll learn something.

Violence Spreads

Yesterday we reported on a drunken moose rampage in Sibbhult, Sweden.

Today, reports from the Norwegian city of Molde indicate that angry moose have extended their civil unrest, chasing joggers and causing injury to at least one (undoubtedly beautiful) Norwegian woman (predictably possessed of an utterly unpronounceable last name).

While police refuse to speculate on any connection between the two incidents, and deny that any political demands have been received, the similarity between these disturbances and the on-going unrest in France is too great for Scandinavian officials to ignore.

There is as yet no evidence of prior contact between so-far-identified members of the two groups of antlered outlaws, but some observers nonetheless speculate that there is indeed a subtle mastermind coordinating these attacks.

The crack reporting staff at G&S commits itself to be, in the words of one overly energetic intern, "all over this story like moose-tracks on a brownie."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It's the time of year . . . .

. . . . when apples ripen and, if not harvested, fall naturally to the ground. There they can become the host of those most friendly of bacteria, one or another of the lactobacilli, which will convert the juice in the fallen apples into cider. For free.

It's the time of year when moose roam about, seeking out the naturally fermented apple cider formed by fallen apples, and get one Hell of a snoot full.

It's the time of year when said drunken moose wander into an old folks home.


Just Asking

If a Northern Spotted Owl is found to be infected with avian flu, what will the Government do? Rush it to the negative-pressure isolation ward at the closest major hospital? Mobilize the infectious disease emergency response team from the CDC? Send a Marine division to quarantine the Pacific Northwest?

Just asking.

We Don't Care.

There has been a posting hiatus here at G&S since the end of last week for several, not necessarily independent, reasons.

First, the primary political topics of the day (the elections in NJ, VA, ballot questions in Cali., Scooter Libby, Jacques Chirac having his own "My Little Goat" experience, etc., etc.) strike me as so profoundly boring as to bring on terminal ennui if actually addressed.

The governor's chair in New Jersey will be bought by the fellow who is more astonishingly wealthy than the other guy, who is merely eye-poppingly rich. He will take office, nothing interesting will happen, then someone will be indicted.

The governor's chair in Virginia will go to someone or other whose name you'll forget within 18 months of his leaving office, unless he runs for the Senate (and wins). Whoever that is, he will not be nearly as ugly as the incumbent.

Libby will be convicted for having lied unconvincingly about a crime no one committed. Or he'll be acquitted.

The ballot questions in California will likely be voted down, because the voters can't be convinced that there's not a hidden political gotcha that they're being tricked into buying. We think they're probably wrong, but what the Hell, it's their state. If they don't care, why should we?

Chirac and the French are getting what they deserve for being the arrogant, immoral, duplicitous scum that the French have always been. The United States should sponsor a UN resolution calling for France to set a timetable for withdrawing from Paris. All reconstruction contracts should be awarded to Halliburton.



Thursday, November 03, 2005

Right to Privacy

Without comment, we provide the following excerpt from today's decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fields v. Palmdale School District, No. 03-56499, available as a .pdf file HERE:

When parents of schoolchildren in Palmdale, California learned from their sons and daughters that they had been questioned in their public elementary school about sexual topics such as the frequency of “thinking about having sex” and “thinking about touching other peoples’ private parts,” some of them exercised their constitutional right to take their grievance to the courts.


We . . . hold that there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.

Remarkable. Keep in mind that the surveys were administered to children in the first, third and fifth grades, that is, to children ages 6, 8, and 10.

So: Because of her "right to privacy" it is quite, quite wrong, and probably unconstitutional, to require that my 16-year-old daughter tell me (let alone get my permission) before she has an abortion, but her "right to privacy" does not protect my 8-year-old daughter from whatever sort of sex "education" or "survey" material The State declares is appropriate for her.

[That was not a comment, but a scream of pain.]


The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that in Russia, students who cheat to succeed in their school work are unlikely to be turned in by their fellows. Even if their dishonesty is discovered, cheating apparently carries little stigma in the realm of post-Soviet higher education. This is possibly a holdover from the Communist era when, after all, truth counted for little (even in scientific matters), and sound political doctrine counted for everything.

Indeed, devices used to cheat on examinations are now the centerpiece of an exhibit at the museum of the Cherepovets State University. The theme is shpargalki, "which ostensibly are crib notes, but in most cases mean cheat sheets."

There is the jeans skirt with 70 numbered pockets beneath the front flap, each containing a tightly rolled scroll of white paper, about 10 inches by 2 inches, onto which answers to questions passed out by the professor ahead of time have been printed in a fine font.

There is a woman's black-leather belt, whose buckle depicts a jaguar with a spiked collar springing into action, with flaps on the reverse side that open like wedding invitations to reveal stray facts. Then there is a sports jacket with enough secret mechanisms to keep a cardsharp flush for decades.

The skirt was donated by a young woman who graduated recently, but only after enhancing her odds on the economics final. The belt was bequeathed by a first-year student, now a major in philology, who had been floundering in Russian literature.

Students began bringing items after word spread that the organizers were seeking acquisitions, says Tatyana Posokhova, the exhibit's curator. As far as she knows, none of the donors was caught cheating.

A wall of the small, one-room museum is dedicated to cheat sheets themselves, papers of various sizes and folds that carry the markings of indelible, and sometimes invisible, ink. So-called "accordions" are the most widespread. Cheat sheets on which answers have been pressed into paper with a blunt instrument -- leaving an impression that cannot be seen from a distance -- are called "bombs." Some have been penned on pocket tissues, reintroduced to the pack. Another has been scrawled -- by parents, no less -- on the foil wrapper of a bar of chocolate.
Our favorite exhibit is of a pair of women's panties, on the front of which (in black ink) logarithms and mathematical formulas have been written in black ink. Upside down.

We must confess that this presents to us difficult questions regarding use. That is, it is not entirely clear precisely how this item was to be covertly consulted in the course of an examination. All suggestions by our intrepid band of research mice have seemed inadequate and, in some instances, attempted reenactments have led to personal embarrassment, vertebral displacement, or both. Of course, it remains unclear whether the notes were to have been used by the wearer, or by an accomplice.

Our experiments were conducted by professionals, using a closed course. Do not try this at home.

Can we make this stuff up?

No, we cannot: Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/16/2005.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gravity? What is this "gravity" of which you speak? I am unfamiliar with it.

This photograph is guaranteed genuine, absolutely not retouched, photoshopped, double-exposed, or otherwise manipulated:

The fellow in the blue shorts is #3 Son, age 17, about 5' 10". The white blur is a soccer ball. The boy's real game is basketball rather than soccer, but then you've probably figured that out already.

Two Small Turkeys?

Discovery Magazine reports:
One side effect of the obesity epidemic in America is rarely noted: Women's chests are expanding nearly as fast as their bellies. Poor eating habits, as well as breast implants and the estrogens in birth-control pills, have led to an increase in the past 15 years of more than one bra size for the average American woman—from a 34B to a 36C. For many women, this has been a burdensome trend. A pair of D-cup breasts weighs between 15 and 23 pounds—the equivalent of carrying around two small turkeys.
Scientific solutions to this burgeoning problem are being sought by Deirdre McGhee, a sports physiotherapist and graduate student in biomechanics at the University of Wollongong in Australia:
To best support breasts, a designer has to understand how they move. To that end, McGhee's team in Australia, headed by biomechanist Julie Steele, tags women with light-emitting diodes and asks them to run on treadmills.
We cannot but believe that a new fashion trend is in the offing. Glitter, of course, is completely last week; but multi-colored light-emitting diodes?
Breasts move in a sinusoidal pattern, Steele has found, and they move a lot. Small breasts can move more than three inches vertically during a jog, and large breasts sometimes leave their bras entirely. "We have videos of women who, particularly if the cup is too low, spill all over the top," Steele says.

The larger the breasts and the more they move, the more momentum they generate. To change or stop that momentum requires a large force, usually applied through bra straps. When straps are thin, the pressure exerted through them can be so great as to leave furrows in the shoulders of large-breasted women. As the straps dig into the brachial plexus, the nerve group that runs down the arm, they may cause numbness in the little finger. In some cases, breasts can slap against the chest with enough force to break the clavicle.
McGhee and Steele have set their sights on no less an accomplishment than design of the world's first "smart bra."
It uses intelligent materials and electronic textiles to sense when breast motion increases and tighten appropriate parts of the bra in response.
And if terrorists acquire this technology, and are able to produce remote controls . . . ?

We shudder.

The article is HERE.
H/T to NRO.

"And we'll eat worms!

We are reminded of our favorite quotation attributed to Bonaparte:
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

Cartoon copyright Day By Day.

"What has it got in its pocketses?"

This morning the AP asks: "What does Bush keep in his pockets?"

And we cannot help but answer:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
Sorry. I couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Continued Evidence of San Franciscan Awesomeness

"So," you say, "what could possibly make San Francisco more awesome than it is already?" Tough question. I know. How about Sony filming an advertisement for their new TV in your neighborhood? Sound stupid? Commercialized? Sellout-ish? How about if we throw in, oh, say, 250,000 superballs?More pictures here.

Finished version of the ad here. (Worth the wait.)

(Low-res version of the ad.)

Hat tip, originally, to SFist. They've got more on the director and such HERE.