Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Reporting Live from the Iraqi Ministry of Information

Seeing as how this is a kind of media minded blog, I thought I'd bring something up here that I came across months ago concerning news reports and information coming out of Baghdad.

Don't trust any of it. The long and short of it is that news reports from CNNABCCBSNBCFOX in Iraq are all but controlled by the Iraqi Government.

You may notice that I have repeatedly linked to the same exact thing in several locations up above. That's because I want people to read it. It certainly explains some of the idiotic scripts I see every day on the Foreign Satellite Feed. Some days I actually say "Oh my aching ass. I wonder if Uday wrote this for the reporter."

Other required reading can be found here.

Please please please-- if you're reading the post immediately below this one, you know why I am rehashing material that was put out months ago. Obviously plenty of people missed it the first time.
All the Cool Kids are Doing It

Yes, all the cool kids are going on and on about the President's State of the Union address (SOTU for short, but only if you're cool).

After two nights of writing up reports on it, tailored for the consumption of local masses here in the southeast, I guess I should have some fully formed opinions about it. I mean, much of it fit glove in hand with crap I've been ranting about to anyone who'll listen, but a part of me kind of gave a mental shrug and said "ehh," then "hrrm, " and then the currently popular gallic shrug paired with the words "le sigh."

The truth is, I don't think there was anything in there that could've changed the mind of anyone that is dead set against war in Iraq.

Some of that I think is because many of those that are against it are in the words of Orson Scott Card "squirrels or snakes," and unwilling or unable to follow a reasoned discussion on the matter... but what about the rest?

Surely not all opponents to it are idiots or opportunistic political back stabbers-- yet no matter how many cogent arguments you make there are still plenty of vocal people that say they aren't convinced.

I have to agree with Andrew Sullivan-- many seem motivated by an almost pathological dislike for President Bush. And that's cool-- speaking personally I was pretty pathological about Clinton. But that didn't stop me from agreeing with his argument that intervention in Kosovo was necessary, for humanitarian reasons alone.

What's different here?

Iraq is just as easily identified as a humanitarian disaster. It's post-intervention future is just as murky as Kosovo's.

What's the difference?

My questions are somewhat rhetorical. A big part of the difference for those whodon'tlikebush is the percieved intention.

Some of the loudest opponents of War in Iraq are some of the loudest supporters of groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and others. When put to the question-- some have said that they're opposed because Bush really doesn't care about the huddled masses in Iraq, and just wants to use them as an excuse to get the guy that tried to get his daddy.

How can you argue with that? It's every bit a ridiculous statement as claims that the Clintons whacked Vince Foster... Or that then Governor Clinton shielded a drug smuggling ring out of a small regional airport in Arkansas, as a part of the Iran Contra affair.

You never heard about that last one? I did. It's out there. Some people even seem to believe it. I don't. It's just too close to the whole black helicopter crowd. And so is all this bullshit about Bush trying to wag the dog away from Enron. Or trying to help his oil buddies.

I'm probably the last person around to bring up the fact that Bush's oil buddies would be better served monetarily speaking if we stayed the hell out of Iraq and left things stable in the gulf, and yet... the message hasn't sunk in it seems.

I'm tired of arguing about it with people. I'm tired of reading and seeing the same empty replies from war opponents that haven't even listened to explanations as to why they're wrong. I'm tired of waiting.

Faster Please.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Long Time No Blog

Been taking some guff from people about the death of posting around here. What can I say? The fridge is full. Hunger is inspiration. No hunger, no inspiration. (cue the Gallic shrug: "Le Sigh.")

The most vocal complainer about the situation kind of makes me chuckle. She's well known for notblogging for extended periods.

The response to my little toot will be something along the lines of "Yeah, but you haven't blogged in months!" Yes-- but that's because I'm exceptional about my notblogging and you are merely average.

Grrr. We blog on our own schedule around these parts peeples. Delink us if you must.

Seriously though-- those of you not surfing over here from bohicaland are missing out. She's all over the military "Go Pill" flap, concerning the friendly fire incident in Afghanistan where some F-16 jocks bombed a Canadian unit. The pilots were issued amphetamines and they say the Air Force "encourages" pilots to take them during lengthy missions.

Folks with military experience might have some negative associations with the word "encourage."

For what it's worth, I had a good conversation with the older fellow that anchors the newscast I produce. Former Enlisted, he was a Navy crewman on some of their bomber flights waay back in the day when Navy bombers had enlisted crewmen. He says they were given uppers all the time in their survival kits-- and they'd raid 'em all the time on long flights. Heck-- they'd take 'em back to the barracks with 'em.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Groceries are Good

There is no questioning this. It's one of those, whatchamacallits... an immutable truth.

Few things can create peace of mind for me like a fridge full of food. I'm acutely aware of this right now, as my supplies have dwindled to a sack of Roma Tomatoes, some A-1, mustard, peanut butter, and various canned veggies.

I feel like a crack addict must-- needing to go cop a score.

Yes, a trip to the super Wal-Mart --open 24 hours-- is in our future.

What brings this discussion up, is a recent e-mail swap with a new friend of mine, currently in the business-- freelancing in a big town. We both pretty much agreed, that there are certain locations we'd like to be-- other than where we are now.

A small but vocal part of me would like to just chuck it all-- haul ass down to Texas, and cobble a few part time jobs together. Maybe try my hand at being a bum and a loser. Think-- The Dude, from The Big Lebowski.

As slackers go, The Dude was a slacker's slacker. And, he seemed to have a pretty reasonable life for himself. He had a roof over his head, bowling every other day or so, and plenty of Kahlua and Milk.

But otherwise, I don't think he had a very full fridge.

The slacking will have to wait.

Yeah. Groceries are good.

Traffic Increase

Cool. We've been getting more traffic than normal as of late. Nothing really very major-- but when you don't have much to begin with every little bit helps.

Some of it's due to referrals from worthy websites like this one, and this one over here.

A few come from some strange queries at Google.com.

But most of the daily increase seems to be coming from people checking back in more regularly. I guess that's an indication that I've been posting a little more than normal, which is to say, hardly ever.

Imagine that!

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Shameless Theft

I must confess. I've been checking out a blog, run by a cat calling himself Cato the Youngest. I saw something on there that I thought was pretty cool-- he signs everything with the phrase "Riyadh Delenda Est."

I knew it was Latin. And judging by the general tone of his writing, I could tell he was basically saying "Saudi Arabia Sucks," which we all know to be true (I hope). But, I wanted to know more about it-- I searched websites of famous Latin Quotes-- I googled for Delenda, Delenda Est, etc-- I eventually found all the backstory.

Cato the Elder was a Roman Senator who ended his speeches before his peers with the phrase "Carthago Delenda Est." In context, it means "Carthage must be destroyed." This was after the first and second Punic Wars. Some believe he was instrumental in driving the third Punic War, by constantly harping on the need to destroy Carthage.

Some modern historians think the phrase could also be taken to mean something along the lines of "that which stands in our path to greatness must be destroyed."

Whatever.

In any event, I've stolen the phrase for myself, for use on a message board I frequent. Some folks there asked me about it-- wanting to know why Riyadh must be destroyed.

Here is what I replied with:

I don't necessarily think we need to burn Riyadh and Salt the Fields, like the Romans did with Carthage. But there's definitely some straightening out that needs to be done.

Riyadh, not Baghdad, is the "key log" in this whole mess we're faced with. Saudi Arabia, both the government, and the people, are the primary supporters of a sect of Islam called Wahhabism, or sometimes Salafism in an effort to escape the criticisms leveled at Wahhabists.

For the unfamiliar, Wahhabists are the staunchest believers in conversion by the sword-- it's the same sect that Bin Laden and the Taliban subscribed to.

And, the same hateful teachings that inspired Bin Laden, are still available for the hearing in Saudi Arabia.
PBS's Frontline has some jim dandy background information on wahhabism if what I say is a little hard to believe. I could also track down some stuff I've read on the New York Times recently-- but they make people register-- and I think they're too conservative.

These guys (wahhabists) hardly have any tolerance for their fellow muslims (Shia, Sunni, etc), nevermind us Jews and Gentiles.

15-20 years ago-- no one knew they existed-- now, believe it or not, they're well on their way to becoming a dominant strain.

Why?

Well-- it all goes back to Riyadh. The Saudi government tolerates and encourages the spread of Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia to the rest of the world. It's seen as a convenient way to get a surplus of young, hotheaded revolutionary religious types angry with King Fahd and his children, out of the country.

They go to places like Afghanistan, Yemen, East Timor, Bangladesh and Malaysia. They're missionaries of a sort. Oil money finances their spread-- and more moderate voices are drowning.

Oil money also finances the lavish lifestyles of the royal family, which numbers in the thousands. Like maggots on a carcass, these men are sucking away at the Saudi economy.

A generation ago, your average Saudi was making about $20,000 a year. Now, it's something like $7,000. Some of that can be chalked up to the fact that the cost of oil has shrunk-- but not all of it.

I don't think anyone can blame the Saudi people for this mess. But, that's okay-- there's still plenty of blame left over for their royal family--all 5,000 or so of them.

It's this huge stinking mass of poverty, combined with an expansionistic style of faith preaching blood and fire, that's creating monsters like Bin Laden.

When we sort out Riyadh-- a lot of our problems will go away.


Throwing U.S. dollars down a greedy hole of blood, shit and piss like Riyadh (or Mogadishu) in a misguided effort to make people like us will not accomplish a damn thing. The money doesn't do anything but prop up corrupt slumlords who are constitutionally incapable of doing anything to properly govern and improve the lives of the governed.

Jesus Christ! I sound like a pinko leftist! But this is serious. These fargin' bastiches have an obligation to these people they rule.

Where the hell are they (the pinko leftists) on this deal?

Anyhoo-- please note some use of sarcasm in that rant about Saudi Arabia and the New York Times.

--Riyadh Delenda Est

Monday, November 25, 2002

For My Brother

He's always talking about how "The Ladies Man" was a good, "stupid" movie. I'd say he was half right.

But, let us not forget the fact that Tim Meadows' recurring character Leon Phelps was always good for a chuckle during an otherwise dismal Saturday Night Live Episode (Boy-- the act of watching SNL now seems to be nothing more than an exercise in Masochism, no?)

Making it even more Sick & Depraved, is knowing that one's degradation it's at the hands of an Egomaniac & Cynical Huckster like Lorne Michaels.

The man already has a pile of cash. He doesn't really *need* more. I think he's driven by a Disgusting desire to see just how Bad it can get before the studio audiences run Screaming into the Night and Worker Drones smash their tv sets in Blind Drunken Rages.

Ho Ho! I am onto your little tricks Mr. Michaels-- You're not fooling me-- I am Canny and Wise. As an Acquaintance might say, "My powers are Vast and Wide."

I'll tune in tomorrow night nontheless. I think that makes him the Sadist in this relationship.

But what do I know about these weird Sexual things? I am but a babe in the woods.

Nay-- for education on these matters Diverse and Necessary, one must consult The Ladies Man.

That tripod website has a ton of nifty little audio clips. Dig in.
Happiness

Happiness in tvland on a Monday night is easily expressed.

It's returning home from work, switching on the tv, and seeing that your competitors at the ABC affiliate haven't even gotten on the air yet.

Aspiring T-V employees please note:

If you have any choice at all in the matter, I highly recommend you endeavor not to work at an ABC affiliate on Monday nights.

Monday Night Football is Evil.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Links Daddy's been meaning to do:

Sour Bob

Bob (not his real name) is responsible for The Funniest Thing I've read in a long time.

The kicker is in the last line-- but it won't kick if you don't read it all.

I swear... I started Braying so Loudly, it's a wonder people didn't check to see if a Jackass had slipped into the room.

Also worth your time: GutRumbles. It's kind of in the Mike Hendrix vein of blogging. Much Cursing and Raving about crap like taxes and teetotalers.

Working in the bible belt, I can see where the guy's coming from.

Speaking of Mike, he's got a gem of a story about freezing his ass off.... on a motorcycle... in the wrong weather. It's something my most loyal reader can appreciate. (He knows who he is... sorry I haven't been doing much writing bro')

Mike's got lots of great stories. Try this, this and this, and see if you don't agree.
Southern Fried Storytelling

A friend told me this story today. I thought it was just too funny.

Paraphrasing:

I was in the subway (sandwich shop), and these two 'necks (red) were in there raising hell! I could see them through the glass. When I went in, one was hollering at the sandwich guy. What do ye mean yer out of white bread?

"I'm sorry sir, all we have right now is honey oat and wheat."

Caintya bake some more? "Well yes sir, it takes a little while though, we have to let the yeast rise.... If you can wait a couple minutes..."

Hell no! I'm comin' back here tomorrow. And ya better have the gawdamn human decency to have some white bread in here!

Thank ye!
Writing Inspiration

Via Ken Layne:

I noticed that when talking about Osama bin Laden's appearance in his last videotaped missive, Mr. Layne said "He looked like he had the AIDS."

Pretty cool huh? Not AIDS. Not the AIDS virus. Just: The AIDS.

I'm stealing it. It's so damn southern (And he's from California, what's up with that?).

Say it with me. "Man, hope I never get the AIDS." "Boy, Magic Johnson looks good-- you can't tell he's got the AIDS."

It even works with other crap we'd all like to avoid.

"Man, the cancer is some scary business."

Thank Ye, Mr. Layne

*note-- This probably wouldn't work so well in news copy.*
Too Cool

Daddy hits high with people googling "Saudi Arabia Sucks."

As of this posting, we unbelieveably fall smack dab in the middle of Little Green Footballs and Spleenville.

I'm not aware of what exactly their visitor traffic is like, but it's pretty clear they get more than my handful of folk.

Amazing.

You'd think more people would have said "Saudi Arabia Sucks" by now. Wouldn't you?

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Wowser. What a fricking day.

And its not over yet.

A sports guy and the only reporter scheduled both called in sick. Call screening rules the day for all of our backups. And, we had to produce a newscast and a sportscast for a news anchor that has zero experience with play-by-play and calling highlights.

Once upon a time, there was a female news producer who, at the end of her rope hollered out: "God I wish I could find a man to screw me as hard as this place does."

We're not that frustrated yet. And certainly, the last thing we want is for a man to screw us... but we can certainly see where she's coming from.

More blogging later. Maybe. We have to get back to the salt mines right now. When that is done, we may be of a mind to rush out for a beer or two. Or three or four.

And-- some howling at the moon may be required before it's all over. I'll report back then.