January 23, 2004

Equal Time?

Following up on that previous posting, the beer company that denies that its use of cute animals encourages kids to respond favorably to booze, is at it again this year:

Anheuser-Busch Cos., a perennial Super Bowl advertiser who brought us the talking frogs and the ``Whassssup?'' guys, is expected to introduce a donkey who wants to be a Clydesdale horse.

Doesn't that seem like a fitting metaphor for all the Democratic candidates this year?

Posted by campbell at 06:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Warning to the GOP?

Drunken elephants die in accident

According to the BBC, the elephants of Northeast India have a taste for rice beer:

A herd of about 20 to 25 elephants went on the rampage in a remote area in the West Garo Hills district earlier this week after getting high on the beer.

4 died of electrocution after knocking down a power line. Which is arguably a better outcome than in December 2002 when they killed 6 people.

And New York is hosting the Republican Convention this summer?

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January 22, 2004

The Unhinging of the Candidate 2004: Part 2

I think I've figured out Howard Dean's strategy based on that Monday night outburst. As Rod Serling used to say "Submitted for your approval".

1. Dean's statements on guns "And on gun control, for example, I do not believe in gun control…" Times of London, 18 December 2002 (pdf).

2. The ferocity of the attacks on him in Iowa: Dean under fire at Iowa Debate.

3. His general demeanor of channeling Howard Beale.

4. His wigged-out Iowa performance (RealPlayer Video).

Put it all together and it looks like a ploy to psych-out his debate opponents. Dean has put them on notice: "fear my inner psycho."

They're going to have to wonder "If I say something a little too tough, is this guy going postal?" "How good is the security at these events anyway? Did someone frisk him or run a metal detector over him" "What's that bulge up under his left arm?"

Gotta make them think.

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January 20, 2004

The Unhinging of the Candidate 2004

Excuse me, Governor Dean, is that spelled Yaaaaargurgle?

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Hey, What About East Dakota?

Dean seemed to blow a gasket last night. Definitely, this guy is right on the edge:

And you know something? You know something? Not only are we going to New Hampshire, we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico! We're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan! And then we're going to Washington, D.C.. To take back the White House!

We will not give up. We will not give up in New Hampshire. We will not give up in South Carolina. We will not give up in Arizona or New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan! We will not quit now or ever! We want our country back for ordinary Americans. And we're going to win in Massachusetts! And North Carolina! And Missouri! And Arkansas! And Connecticut! And New York! And Ohio!

He seems to be wandering all over the damn place. At what point in that speech did he decide he had to try to name all states: Oh, yeah, and Samoa! And West Dakota and ... and ... North Arizona! And Alberta!

Drudge wins the headline war this time: Dean Goes Nuts!

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Space Alien Endorsements

Michael Moore weighs in. And I do mean he weighs in.

Oh, the humanity.

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January 19, 2004

Same Old Whine

Two quotes that caught my eye from Paris newspaper Liberation's report on that Mumbai conference:

«Nous devons reconquérir l'utopie», a affirmé le Brésilien Chico Whitaker, en se félicitant que le FSM ait déménagé en Asie, tandis que l'écrivaine indienne Arundhati Roy [...] fustigeait le «nouveau siècle américain. Nous devons nous considérer en situation de guerre», a-t-elle conclu.

Utopia. Yes, well, that worked out so well for the 20th Century. Chico Whitaker it turns out, is just another ultraleftist, a member of the Partido dos Trabalhadores of Brazil. If you're really interested, here's a description of PT from a detailed analysis of the World Social Forum.

Radical forces, particularly Trotskyists, played an important role inside the PT. They included the Brazilian section of the Fourth International, the current known as the Socialist Democracy Tendency (SDT).

So, same old wine in the same old bottles.

As to Roy, since she has so proudly set herself as an enemy of the United States, do you think they can set up a writer's wing at Gitmo? Works for me.

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Meanwhile, Back on Mars

The US isn't the only one having fun with Mars. Here's a photocomposite from the Mars Express, the European space probe. Very cool.

On the other hand, the Beagle may have landed, but it failed. Mystery solved. Get a look at this photo from the European Space Agency web site. Looks like a mad troll got inside. Wonder why the agency didn't spot this picture before launch.

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January 17, 2004

Clucks Abroad

Yes, it is hard to believe that there are people on the planet as stupid as Jeremy Corbyn, British Labor MP (Islington North), but there seem to be at least 50,000 on the evidence of this conference in Mumbai, including the notoriously shrill Arundhati Roy. Talking about Iraq and Afghanistan, Corbyn had this gem:

Innocent people were being killed in the reign of terror unleashed by the US, said Corbyn.

I know, I know, that was way too easy.

But the conference went on to demand the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the restoration of "peace and normalcy". Just to remind us of the normalcy this conference has in mind, here's a photo of a mass grave from Saddam's time.

By the way, check out Corbyn's hobbies from his web site:

Main leisure pursuits: keeping chickens and woodworking
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Why France Can't Deal With Terrorism

At the risk of leading people to think I dislike the French (more below), I couldn't pass on this comment to point out why the French never can be trusted to take a responsible role in world affairs (quite apart from their outright support and promotion of Saddam Hussein).

Here's French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie giving the French vision on dealing with terrorism:

Outlining the views of France, she said while terrorism is a great threat, its causes must be addressed, which she identified as "the sense of frustration in the face of injustice and poverty."

Mon Dieu.

{As to my views on the French, I actually like the French and French lifestyle, love France and Paris, and even read and speak French moderately badly. In fact, my paternal grandmother was French (from Brittany to be precise). It's just that their internal politics, their international machinations and their intellectual life are thoroughly bankrupt. So I don't dislike them at all, I just enjoy bashing their pretensions. Each to his own taste.)

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January 09, 2004

Harkin Joins Losers for Dean

Wow. Will nothing stop this parade of political losers?

All we need now is for Bob Dole to switch parties.

"... one candidate rose to the top as our best shot to beat George W. Bush and to give Americans the opportunity to take our country back," Harkin told supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Of course, that's what he said in '92 about his own stellar candidacy to unseat Bush 41. You have to admire his political instincts.

Note: Dean hailed Harkin's decision, referring to the Iowan as a "street fighter." What I think he means is that Harkin is the same kind of nasty piece campaigner as Dean. According to this media analysis of press coverage in the '92 campaign: "Harkin faced criticism in February that he was a negative campaigner." The Ottumwa Courier noted during Harkin's last Senate campaign (while endorsing his Republican opponent): "Now that negative campaigning is a dirty word with voters, Harkin has done himself a disservice by launching his negative pre-emptive strike on Ganske.  Negative attacks have been a staple of Harkin's campaigns and mars his ability to highlight his positive initiatives."

So if Dean values street-fighting, it's no wonder all the Republicans want Dean to get the nomination. They know his big mouth and his nasty nature will lead to his meltdown by October.

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January 08, 2004

Life Imitates Monty Python

A team of archaeologists in Scotland have spent several months excavating a "significant" ancient Viking site, only to have to admit that it turned out to be a 1940s-era patio.

Mr Speirs admitted that his team mistakenly ignored the finds of a World War II child's gas mask and old television remote in their hunt for Viking evidence.

Well, you would have had to, wouldn't you?

Anyway, next week on Discovery: Ancient Bar-B-Q Pits of the Hebrides.

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January 06, 2004

Tartan Tough

Here's the obit for Ben Coutts, a highlander who died in December at 87.

Severely injured at Tobruk, his hospital ship was bombed. After a year in hospital in Egypt, he was sent home on the liner Laconia. He survived the torpedoeing of that ship (in which 2000 died). After 5 days on a liferaft, he was taken onboard a Vichy French ship and interned at Casablanca.

Later, while being transferred to France, the French ship he was then on was itself torpedoed. Luckily, that ship had strayed into an Allied armada who saved him and sent him to England.

Coutts went on to have his face rebuilt, became a radio broadcaster, wrote 5 books, married twice and got an MBE.

The Scotsman further notes that Coutts managed to escape from the Laconia onto a raft with two bottles of Johnnie Walker from the ship's bar.

Now, that's a highlander.

Posted by campbell at 11:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Real "L" Word

At least some of my fellow Democrats aren't afraid of the "L" word anymore. I mean the other "L" word, of course.

Dean Endorsers:

Bill Bradley. Loser. (Lost to Al Gore in the 2000 primaries.)

George McGovern. Loser. (Lost to Richard Nixon in the 1972 election.)

Al Gore. Loser. (Perhaps the biggest loser of all time.)

Do we detect a pattern here?

Oh yes, and Jimmy Carter half-endorsed Dean. Half-Loser. (Won one in 1976, lost one to Reagan in 1980.)

Dean looks like a shoo-in with the Losers vote.

Posted by campbell at 10:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flashbacks to my misspent youth

I worked briefly for George McGovern in Westchester in 1972, although I never inhaled.

This comment in the Sunday Times has got to be a plant from one of Dean's rivals:

McGovern recently said that he is a big fan of Howard Dean, whose campaign reminds him very much of his own.

Cool. We all remember what a good job President McGovern did, don't we?

Remember: Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!

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January 05, 2004

Johnny Lend-Me-Thirty and udder Nooyawkahs.

The Times today made this Runyonesque contribution to the lore of New York and the mob:

Everyone on Pleasant Avenue had a nickname that usually stuck till death. (Except for Johnny Lend-Me-Twenty, whose nickname changed over the decades with inflation. Now he's Johnny Lend-Me-Thirty.)

Some guys were named after body parts: Alfred Ears, Gary High-Eye, Vinnie and Frankie Head (no relation), Frankie Nose and Danny Legs, for example. Others were named for food: Charlie Cream Cheese, Freddy Eggs, Tommy Salami (currently a busboy at Rao's), Joe Olive and Mary Knish. Still others were named for animals: Jimmy the Cat, Vito the Bat, Johnny Fox and Gary the Lamb. Rats? They never lasted long on Pleasant Avenue.

And sometimes the nickname was all there was. An elderly guy named Waffles was taken one day to the hospital, but when his lifelong friends tried visiting, they could not find his room because none of them knew his real name. "If you didn't have a nickname, no one knew who you were," said Joseph Camerlingo, 77, a retired doorman.

Everyone knew Angelo Cheesecake, a mob soldier. He is dead now, however, and his son, Joey Cupcake, is in prison.

Kinda makes me hungry. Anyway, for those from out of town, Pleasant Avenue is a timewarp zone between 114th and 120th on the far east side of Manhattan. Rao's makes our favorite spaghetti sauce.

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