A Southern woman on the 'Net.

Saturday, January 03, 2004


Dean Now Willing to Discuss His Faith

Howard Dean, after practicing a quiet Christianity throughout his political career, said he is talking more about his faith because the presidential race has awakened him to the importance of religious expression, especially to southerners.

It's awakened in him the importance of getting Southern votes.

"Faith is important in a lot of places, but it is really important in the South -- I think I did not understand fully how comfortably religion fits in with daily life -- for both black and white populations in the South," he said.

Yes, it does. He hasn't been trying out his new material on all of us, though:

Still, Dean's remarks about his faith have been mostly confined to discussions with reporters and campaign stops at African American churches in South Carolina.

Pander as fast as you can. The SC primary is in February.

A small shift in support of religious voters could provide a big boost to the Democratic nominee.

He should remember to tell the faithful that he...

left the church 25 years ago in a dispute with a local Vermont church over efforts to build a bike path.

and that...

He rarely attends church services, unless it is for a political event.

and that...

Dean's wife is Jewish, *as are their two children*.

Because that's how really important his faith is to him.

Update: Cato the Youngest has more to say on this.


Some Vietnam vets *really* don't like John Kerry, and it's not because he's French-looking.


BOLO for a 90-year-old, one-eyed, nearly toothless crocodile

Thieves in my little hometown of North Fort Myers once again broke into the Octagon animal showcase. They stole money, fed steaks to the lions, left a big bag of cheese by the lake, and let out an elderly crocodile. Sounds like a wild night.

Despite his missing teeth, “He could still do damage to you,” cautioned caretaker Silas Caldwell.

While alligators are more plentiful (my nephew had an altercation with one just the other day), Florida also has its own native crocodiles.

Friday, January 02, 2004


Croc-Savvy Baby

Update on the Irwins: Seems the Australian child protection people didn't appreciate this morning's croc feeding. Crikey!

"If I had known it was going to cause a ruckus I would have thrown them (the media) out by their ears," he said. "I was in complete control of the crocodile. Robert was tucked right in my arm."

Update: Irwin's agreed not to do it again and no charges will be filed.
Update: Steve's upset and might retire.
Update: Steve Irwin will be on Larry King Tuesday night.


2003's Top Ten Campus Follies are up over at Town Hall.

Professor Nicholas De Genova of Columbia University stated during a six-hour university teach-in on the war in Iraq that he would like to see “a million Mogadishus”—a reference to the eighteen American soldiers who were ambushed and killed in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993.


IHT has a great article on our cool snipers. Seems most of them have been shooting since they were little boys. Practice makes perfect.

Soldiering is a violent business, and emotions in combat run high. But commanders say snipers are a different breed of warrior: quiet, unflappable marksmen who bring a dispassionate intensity to their deadly task.


Firas, of Iraq and Iraqis, comments on the New Year's Eve bombing in Baghdad.

I'm glad he and his family were unharmed and admire his resolute spirit in the fight against terrorism.


Terri Irwen's way more trusting than I could ever be.


France has invited Germany to the D-Day commemoration. Maybe they'll issue a statement condemning our aggression. We were awfully aggressive that day. Willie Nelson could go there and sing about peace on Earth.


There's a horsetrack here that also does a free concert series. You can see how the mighty have fallen by looking to see who's playing at Gulfstream: Grand Funk Railroad (not with Mark Farner, though), Loverboy, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Three Dog Night (not with Chuck Negron, though). Blondie I saw back in '82, when they were big. Debbie Harry's voice defied the law of physics. She could close her mouth and still hold the notes. I decided that from then on I wanted all my singers to have some actual pipes.


Shiloh's amused.

Thursday, January 01, 2004


According to this Reuters article, these are scary times for Christians in Basra. Zeyad comments on the story.

A lot of it seems to focus on liquor store owners, but there is also a mention of people trying to make girls wear hijab and become Muslim. Christians run liquor stores there like Pakistanis run 7-11's here, evidently. Now the religious vice squads have violently run every single one of them out of business, and Muslims have taken over the trade. In any case, they're heading out of there in droves. He also mentions Mandeans, who until yesterday I didn't know existed. Mandeans worship John the Baptist.

Blogspot has been up and down since last night. Bummer.


I wish all y'all a happy and prosperous new year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003


Now for this week's Duane Allman pic. Here he is with his goldtop. Wail on, Skydog!


There'll be gunships patrolling the Vegas strip. Good idea. I want this man protected. January is "Andre wins another Slam" month.


The first laugh I've had all day

The Political Junkie brings back the good times with a touching year-end tribute to the one and only Iraqi Information Minister.
God, he was fun.

Lots more quotes here - just scroll down a bit. My fav?:

"They are nowhere near the airport ..they are lost in the desert...they cannot read a compass...they are retarded."


2003: the Year of Freedom

Mohammed, of Iraq the Model looks back on a wonderful year.

Good bye 2003, my eyes saw the greatest scene through you, and I lived my happiest moment in you (the tyrant falls)
Is there anything greater than that?
Good bye 2003, in you I listened to the most beautiful words "ladies and gentle men, we got him"
Good bye 2003, the legend of my people was written through out your days with blood and tears.
Good bye 2003, you were the best.

May 2004 be full of happiness, freedom, peace, and prosperity for all the Iraqi bloggers and their people.


Be sure to check out World Net Daily's "Most Spiked Stories of 2003". These are the biggest under-reported stories of the year. The persecution of Christians, especially in countries whom we consider to be our allies in the War on Terror, merits a whole lot more coverage than what it's gotten.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


I wrote a beautiful haiku for y'all:

Wild shenanigans
Sperm whale with a credit card
Big Fat Teddy K.


Useful Fools has just received a Dean memo on region-appropriate car decals.

Sorry, Dean, no chance for you in the Stars-and-Bars-Ichthyus-Nascar-NRA region.


Dean thinks the other Democratic candidates are being mean to him, and he wants the head of the DNC to make it stop. In fact, it would be best if all the other boys just went on home. Lieberman has some things to say about that:

"I've got some news for Howard Dean," Lieberman added. "The primary campaign is a warm-up compared to what George Bush and Karl Rove have waiting for him. . . . He's going to melt in a minute once the Republicans start going after him."

Yeah, buddy.


Paul Bremer is doing a great job.

Ali, of Iraq the Model writes about a conversation he had with a cab driver:

Then he said "you know who I would really like to be the next president? This man" and handed me a newspaper with Paul Bremer picture on the front page.
I laughed and said "but he's American, he can only be a temporary civil administrator, not an elected president"
The driver said "so what! We could ask the Americans to lend us his services and give him the Iraqi nationality. He sure deserves it"


Thanks to Michael over at Southern Appeal.

Southern discomfort

Howard Dean's whistling wrong Dixie
Zev Chafets, New York Daily News, 12/28/03.

A few weeks ago at a ritzy fund-raiser for the Committee to Protect Journalists, my wife, Lisa, was introduced to a man named Steven Isenberg.

Isenberg was once Mayor John Lindsay's chief of staff. Later, he was the publisher of Newsday. Now he teaches literature at the University of Texas in Austin.

That gave them something in common: Lisa is a graduate of the University of Texas.

"Are you from Texas?" he asked.

"No. I'm a Louisianan."

And he said: "Well, you're the cleanest one I've ever met."

Reading Howard Dean's Christmas Eve interview in The Boston Globe reminded me of Isenberg. Both are New York liberals who now live among people they regard as their inferiors.

Isenberg thinks these people are too primitive to bathe. Dean imagines that they're too stupid to think.

The Dean we have come to know is the very model of the modern metro-secularist, a Christian so tepid that in the 1980s he quit his Episcopal church in a dispute over a bicycle path.

But on the eve of primary season in the Bible Belt, Dean has found religion. And not just any religion. That old-time religion.

He confided to The Globe that he prays every day, is a committed believer in Jesus Christ and plans to include his relationship with his Savior in his hitherto godless campaign speeches.

This will probably come as a surprise to Jesus. It will not, however, shock Southerners long accustomed to the Northern belief that they will swallow anything.

This assumption runs especially strong in what Dean likes to call "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." These people don't believe in much, but they are fervent on the subject of their own superiority. To them, America's red states (as identified in TV maps on Election Night 2000) are populated by ignorant cowboys, unwashed swampies, hellfire preachers, beauty parlor bimbos, redneck sheriffs, Confederate flag wavers and retarded hillbilly kids sitting in trees playing the banjo.

This picture of Southern inferiority, like all articles of faith, is immune to both empirical observation and personal experience. To guys like Dean, Dixie is and will forever remain a vast county fair where a slick Yaleman can sell 5-gallon jugs of snake oil in return for votes.

But that doesn't work, especially not in national politics.

There's a reason no Northern Democrat has been elected President since John Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in 1960 (in a contest at least as close and as fishy as the 2000 vote) or that only three have gone to the White House in the past century and one, Woodrow Wilson, was born and raised in the South.

You'd think that Ivy League Democrats would have figured out by now that they can't win the states south of the Mason-Dixon line or west of the Mississippi (or downscale from Zabar's) by transparent pandering. Howard Dean in the pulpit is like Michael Dukakis in a tank - at once ridiculous and insulting.

It's possible that Dean will do all right in the Southern primaries. If he does, it will be attributable not only to the weakness of the Democratic field, but also to the falsity of Dean's own caricature of the South. There are enough of his people down there - techies, yuppies, peaceniks, gays - for him to make a respectable primary showing.

But not enough for him to win any red states in November and certainly none of the Southern states.

If he goes down in flames, the Steven Isenbergs of the world will say, in their unguarded moments, that white Southerners were too dirty and dumb to vote for him. But that is wrong. A lot of them will vote against Dean because they are smart enough to spot a phony.

That Louisiana gal should have slapped the idiot so hard his teeth rattled. And Howard Dean isn't fooling anybody. He's not the first carpetbagger that's come through here.

Monday, December 29, 2003


Those Miccosukee cops run a tight ship.

Drivers Angered by Miccosukee Police Checkpoints

Nearly every night since early September, Miccosukee police have been stopping drivers turning onto Loop Road from Tamiami Trail/U.S. 41 along the eastern edge of the Big Cypress National Preserve in Miami-Dade County.

That is one secure road.


This is one of my favorite poems from Dusty, an Army nurse who served in Vietnam.

"DEROS (1968)" ~Dusty

Wobbling down the jetway in unaccustomed pumps
the confines of a Class A skirt impeding my progress
stateside stockings rubbing raw my nerves
a freakish fraud in back-in-the-World drag
I wish only for familiar fatigues.

Coping with crowds of vast, turbulent hurry
I take no notice of the college kids
(ordinary sight on this part of the planet)
so clean-cut they could be from Kansas--

until the beer cans hit their mark
one splashing my skirt, another dinging my shin.
Stunned, I ponder the existential question:
were those beer cans half empty
or half full?


Laura Bush is a peach.

When she first learned of the stealth visit, she wanted to accompany her husband, but knew he did not plan to invite her.

Dubya's a lucky guy.


"The high-water mark for weird for centuries to come".

``Look at that mug shot. That's not even a deer in the headlights because no self-respecting deer would look like that. Even Bambi had better people doing his makeup.''

Michael Jackson officially crowned King of Weird.


A Sun-Sentinel headline:

Polls: White Men Flocking to 'High Noon' Bush

The ideal "is that a real man is a man of few words and determined, resolute action: like in [the movie] `High Noon.' And Bush captures this almost perfectly and effortlessly."

Yes, he does. But in this movie not everyone hid behind shutters. And Grace Kelly stayed and helped him kill bad guys.


Life Imitates Fark

Watch out for Psycho Chihuahuas.

Sunday, December 28, 2003


This was my old job in the Army. I was a Russian linguist.

I don't know how the guys in this pic have their sleeves rolled up. We would be all bundled up - some of us even sitting inside sleeping bags. It was like a meat locker in there.
We made sure the Czar's boys didn't come screaming through the Fulda Gap. And we made the lights blink!

I'm probably the only person whose favorite part of "Apocalypse Now" is the scene where they're playing the tape of the radio voice intercepts of Colonel Kurtz. You can hear the operator giving the zulu-time voice-overs as he records. He steals the show.


Thomas Edison had an estate in my hometown of Fort Myers. It has a botanical garden, and my brother would climb the walls there and steal fruit from the sausage tree.

My brother told me that over at the Edison Home they had Thomas Edison's last breath in a jar. I found this very disturbing and had nightmares about it. I asked my science teacher if this was true, and he said "Of course not. A man's laying there dying, and someone's going to stick a jar over his nose and mouth?"

Fast forward twenty-five years and I'm standing in a bookstore. I see a book by Tim Powers called "Expiration Date". On the cover is Thomas Edison, and HIS LAST BREATH is coming out of a broken vial.


Is this an old carney with oil-slick tattoos?
Nope, it's a man with pellagra.

This was the Scourge of the South, and came from having a corn-based diet. It had a 40% fatality rate. A Dr. Goldberger of the National Health Service figured out that it wasn't caused by germs but by nutrition. They had an educational campaign to alert people, and when my dad was a kid in the 30's, a worker came out to the house to talk to my grandmother about it. He said to mix up the diet and replace some corn with rice, amongst other things. So instead of grits and eggs in the mornings, she fed her ten kids rice and eggs. My father says they were very unusual, with their rice-eating.

There's supposed to be a movie in the works about it, with Jeff Goldblum playing Dr. Goldberger.

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