Bits and Pieces

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


In the blogosphere tonight:

Steve Verdon at OTB complains that ID doesn't qualify as a scientific theory (damn right).

Meanwhile, James Joyner notes that the word 'blog' has topped Merriam-Webster's words of the year list.

Iran is also taking an interest in bloggers, notes Rusty. By arresting them.

Fucking December

It's almost time to announce the December entrant to the Fucking award. I've been leaning toward Morgan Freeman (if only for his role as Red in the Shawshank Redemption), but I have to speak to my co-judge. Any other suggestions? You know how to find the comments.

Incidentally, my younger brother and his fiancee were down in London yesterday to see Christian Slater in the new production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (which, by all accounts, is excellent). On the way home they ran into Al Fucking Pacino, but were unable to get an autograph before his security whisked him away. It would have been nice to get some 'Fucking' memorabilia for Sortapundit. Ah well.

Ahhh! Confusion! Foggy-headedness! Befuddlement!

I'm trying to get back into a normal sleep/wake cycle (staying up until 7am and sleeping until dinner, while fun, isn't conducive to, er, getting things done). I thought I'd hurry it along by getting drunk and then going into a coma. Didn't work. I slept for 2 hours and then lay in bed drunkenly staring at the ceiling until midday. And then slept for another 4 hours. And now my brain isn't working properly. Damned brain.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Michelle Malkin draws my attention to the story that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has nixed a government-funded campaign to provide 5 cent condoms to the public... because they're flavoured.

Since January, the Public Health Department spent $115,000 in funds provided by the Bush administration for 5-cent condoms for distribution by public health clinics across the state as a tool to combat sexually transmitted disease, particularly in oral sex.

So, the good Governor rescinded the program because it didn't comply with his 'moral values' (Good God, when will that term die?)

In my opinion, we should be doing everything we possibly can to get young people to practise safe sex. I live a mile or so from a massive estate of state housing, and every day I see teenage mothers living on state benefits while pushing twin prams around the streets because they didn't grasp the fact that sperm makes babies (where do I watch this from? My ivory tower, of course. I've never had unprotected sex, so I'll throw as many stones as I can carry).

What pisses me off is that the people who have a problem with sexual health programs encouraging safe sex (and thus, discouraging abstinence) are the very same folk who spend their weekends throwing eggs at abortion clinics. These guys have to make a choice - promote safe sex or see a rise in the abortion rate. You just can't have it both ways, fellas. People will always have sex. It's just too much fun to abstain. People will, however, do it safely given the correct incentive - let's accept that there are many people who are not intelligent enough to be convinced to rubber up by the twin threats of unwanted pregnancy and disease. Idiot need a strawberry flavoured penis or they'll go without.

If I was in political office in the UK, this would be my response to the Governor. Either restart the program, or we will withhold the export of the 62-87,000 doses of flu vaccine you just ordered from us. Asshole.

Riyadh Goes Nuclear

Bill Quick reports that Iran believes that Saudi Arabia is now a nuclear state.

Iranian sources said the Islamic leadership in Teheran assessed that the
Saudi kingdom has acquired access to nuclear weapons and technology. The sources
said Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in 2003 with Pakistan for the latter to
help the Arab kingdom in both the deployment of nuclear weapons and missile
delivery systems.

And the club just keeps getting bigger. We should start handing out nukes in Happy Meals.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Democrat

Now this is just silly. Matthew Gross of Deride and Conquer likens Democrats to abused spouses (via Eschaton). How can this tripe be taken seriously by anyone? Honestly. Look, Democrats aren't being victimised. They're not being abused, beaten or oppressed. Republicans aren't drunken louts, storming through the door with a bellyful of beer and a belt clasped in their right hand. The left lost. Not because they are abused or oppressed, but because more voters agreed with the platform of the Republicans than the Democrats. No potential Democratic voters were too afraid to go to their polling places Nov. 2, afraid of the repercussions. It's really as simple as that. Better luck next time (sincerely, I look forward to the day I can return to the Democrat fold, but I'll stay away until they can stop with this whining, mewling attitude).

Drawing a comparison between Democrats and abused spouses is, at the very least, offensive to the abused. A rather more accurate analogy, in my opinion, would be of an ageing spinster, so convinced of her own beauty that she has spurned the advances of every man who ever showed interest, baffled at the fact that she is alone. Her plaintive cry is not 'Why did they beat me?' but 'Why do they not love me?'.

Also blogging - BOPNews, Eschaton.

Friday, November 26, 2004


Forgive me if I'm going over ground that has been extensively ploughed these past few weeks and months, but I'm getting tired of the constant petty namecalling between the political extremes of the blogosphere. Tired to the point at which, to draw a comparison with physical fatigue, those little muscles that control your eyelids begin to tic against your will, and you can no longer finish coherent sentences in your head.

In the days following the election there was the expected response from both sides - arrogant triumphalism from the right, bitter resignation from the left, which I hoped would subside in a few days. After the first week it got tiresome, and I began to skip over posts relating to politics. Now, getting on for a month after the election, I'm driven to distraction.

I read many blogs, regardless of their political position. I read the left-wing blogs I enjoyed when I was a confirmed Bushophobe, and I read the right-wing blogs I have now adopted as my kin. I read centrist blogs, the writers of which are equally baffled by the raw emotion of the extremes, and I read blogs written by those who don't care who is in power as long as they set themselves up as good targets of satire.

I've now reached the point at which I've stopped reading certain blogs. I just feel embarassed for the writers - writers of great talent, writers who can take the 26 letters of the English language in one hand, take an unformed idea in the other, and bring the two together in such a way that makes you green with envy that you have been cursed with such a limited vocabulary and clouded mind. Writers whom you assume must be ingesting some sort of perception altering drug to be able to make a point with such sparkling clarity. To watch these people descend to name-calling is akin to watching da Vinci draw pictures for Hallmark cards, and Shakespeare write the message inside.

I don't know if these writers I admire so much will be able to return to the way they were. Maybe they've gotten so embittered by defeat or smothered with hubris that they can never go back. Likely none of them will read this, or take notice if they do, but I wanted to say it anyway. I hope that one day I stumble across their sites to find that they have returned to the writing I loved.; that they can discuss politics without their customary insults. Until then, I'll stick to other writers.

But now to bed.

Oliver Willis - Bane of the Blues

Thumb over at Eschaton discusses how Oliver Willis' Brand Democrat (you know, the 'since 1794' donkey logo) campaign will be a great help to the left, who seem to suffer as a group with selling themselves to the majority (John Kerry being a case in point).

However, I think the campaign has begun to do more harm than good now the right wing of the blogosphere has hijacked the idea. It was a good idea, but the plain fact is that any pro-Democrat slogans cleverly thought up by well-meaning lefties

will be forgotten, while the anti-Democrat slogans from the Rebrand Democrat site will be the ones people remember.

So - Oliver Willis, bane of the Blues. Who'da thunk it.

DON'T Vote For Pat Tillman

Blackfive is asking everyone to vote for Pat Tillman for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Tillman turned down a $3.6 million contract from the Arizona Cardinals to go and fight in Afghanistan, where he was killed in action.

Throughout it all Tillman did everything he could to avoid the limelight. He wanted to be treated like every other soldier. He didn't give interviews, and even enlisted in Denver to avoid the publicity he would have got had he enlisted in Phoenix.

Tillman didn't fight for medals and awards. He fought because he felt the call of duty. He looked at his NFL contract, at the promise of fame, fortune and wealth, and decided that he wanted to do something more important.

So I don't think it's a great idea to vote for Tillman. I think he'd be embarassed at the thought. Vote for Lance Armstrong. Vote for Tom Brady. Hell, vote for the US softball team. Tillman didn't die a football player. There would be little honour in that, with today's astronomical wages and prima donna personalities. He died a soldier, with more honour than the rest of us can hope for.

Also blogging - Rusty, Blogs of War, ISOU, Backcountry Conservative, Johnny Walker Red, Six Meat Buffet.


Now here's a depressing thought. The Commissar has posted Glenn Reynolds' November traffic, and it proves what we all expected to happen.

Instapundit traffic can be used as an indicator of blogosphere traffic as a whole. As one of the best-known blogs, it's likely that the majority of blog readers visit Glenn's site. While we expected traffic to take a hit following the election peak, I didn't expect if to drop so precipitously. I'd hoped that the buzz caused by events of recent months - increased exposure in the MSM etc. - may have caused a huge lasting increase in readership, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

So, will the next 4 years be a long, hard winter for us in the blogosphere, as we pass time until the next election? Not necessarily. It may be that Instapundit's traffic has taken such a hit due to his niche. He is, after all, a political war blogger. Now the election is done with he may just need to refocus on other, more entertaining, issues.

If other bloggers are searching for a spark of hope in all this, it may be useful to look at Glenn's traffic over the entire year. Between January and July he maintained a steady 3 million visits/month. Forgetting the election peak, he should still begin the new year with between 4-5 million monthly readers. For the rest of us, the challenge will be to convince a small percentage of his readers to visit our sites after reading his nanotechnology pap.

I'm going to look into this a little more later on, but first... french bread, red leicester cheese, tomato and a little red onion for that extra zing.

Update - for those bloggers feeling depressed at their drop in readership, I present my own stats.

Sortapundit wasn't hugely affected by the election boost, as I don't really do politics. I've enjoyed my best month ever, due in no small part to referrals from Rusty Shackleford of the Jawa Report, Bill Quick at DailyPundit, David Anderson at ISOU and the Commissar at Politburo Diktat. Surviving the next few years will depend on each bloggers ability to forge new connections, and maybe move in the direction of group blogging to pool resources. Sure, the pie will be smaller, but with a little ingenuity and a lot of bloody-minded stubborness you should be able to cut yourself a bigger slice.

Perma-Sick Scott

As you may know, my older brother Scott has spent the last few weeks in hospital. He returned from teaching in India at the beginning of October with malaria and gastroenteritis, and has since been very ill.

We admitted him to the local hospital almost 3 weeks ago with a suspected case of dysentery. He's been treated for a whole bunch of illnesses, from dysentery through typhoid to a range of unnamed viruses (virii?), but the doctors have been unable to give him a real diagnosis. He's constantly nauseous and has frequent panic attacks, but isn't running a temperature or displaying any other symptoms typical of dysentery.

My mother, obsessive Internet convert that she is, has spent countless hours searching web sites for a possible illness to pin on him, and seems to have struck gold. Apparently the medication Scott was taking to treat his malaria can cause depression and panic attacks as a side effect (he had his first panic attack a couple of days after going on the medication). My mother took this information to Scott, who mentioned it to his doctors. He was told that they had begun to suspect the same thing, and planned to put a camera down his throat to rule out a few possibilities before settling on that. Since then he's been feeling much better, and hopes to finally come home tomorrow to be treated as an out-patient. Hopefully escaping from the hospital and sleeping in his own bed will help settle the anxiety that brings on the attacks.

Anyway, as has become a custom whenever I mention my brother, you can donate to his marathon fund here, so put down that cranberry sauce and open your wallets. God's watching.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanks to the Military

OK, words not women, words not women. Bah. It's so easy to post pictures of beautiful women, and so hard to write words, especially as English is my second language (my first is Bad English).
OK, quick Thanksgiving post.

I'm thankful for the men and women fighting in Iraq. I'll fall back on a quote from Black Hawk Down to stand in for my lack of eloquence.

When I get home people'll ask me, "Hey Hoot, why do ya do it man? Why? Just some war junkie?" Ya know what I'll say? I won't say a goddamn word. Why? They won't understand. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that it's about the men next to you, and that's it. That's all it is.

I'm thankful in particular that my friends in the military are safe. Lee Bojanowski, younger brother of my old friend Phil, is serving in the RAF. Adam Lanaghan, a friend of my older brother, is serving in the Royal Navy. I'm thankful that I never finished my military induction as, to be brutally honest, I don't have the balls to put my life on the line.

So thanks guys. Keep it up and let all the bullets aimed at you fall in mid-air.


In the spirit of the holidays I'll ignore the fact that I'm British and celebrate Thanksgiving for a moment.

It's sometimes difficult to find too many things to be thankful for. Unemployment; rapidly waning youth; disturbing early signs of thinning hair. Still, there are always a few things to fall back on. Observe.

Emmy Rossum

Elisha Cuthbert

Claire Forlani

Kate Hudson

Natalie Portman

Vive la femme.

NB - I must start posting words instead of women.

Here's something to give thanks for this morning. Jessica Alba. Posted by Hello

Blogging Etiquette 101

I got an email this morning from Nick at Ghost of a Flea, apologising for accidentaly deleting a comment I posted there last night. Now, considering the fact that Nick has been having trouble with trolls and over-demanding readers, the fact that he would take the time to e-mail is the height of gentlemanly conduct. A model for the way bloggers should behave. Good on ya, fella.

6am Links

The Commissar has obtained a secret map of Iraq, divided into snappily named triangles. Funny. I always imagined Iraq as dodecahedron country.

Rusty has booby pictures. Enjoy.

Looks like I'm in the lead in the OTB Caption Contest. That'll be my winning sense of humour at work. Oh, and modesty.

Bill at INDC Journal worries that he has been attributed too much credit for the fall of Rather.

For Bill Quick, the Hollywood Left's silence is deafening.

Michele makes it to 310 songs. I couldn't even name 310 songs.

Happy Thanksgiving, US readers

And for everyone else, move along please. Nothin' to see here. Just another work day. OK, you can eat turkey if you want.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Alternate History

I'm a dunce when it comes to history, politics... now I think about it, most things. Anyway, I thought I'd have a stab at an alternate history of the past few years.

Plagued by rumours of an affair with a campaign staffer in the run up to the 1996 election, Bill Clinton lost the Presidential election to Senator Bob Dole. Dole ran a disastrous administration. His job approval ratings plummeted to 38% after several public blowouts over foreign and economic policy with his cabinet, resulting in an unsuccessful and controversial drastic mid-term cabinet shuffle. Dole's approval ratings took another blow as the bottom began to fall out of the dot-com market. While mostly a victim of circumstance, Dole was widely blamed for the failing economy.

Dole's Presidency saw many Republicans turn their backs on the party, allowing Al Gore to
win 54% of the vote in 2000. Riding a huge wave of public approval, Gore was able to cut employment rates to their lowest level in 20 years, and oversaw the largest increase in home ownership in history.

All this changed on September 11th, 2001, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York, killing thousands. Evidence linked many of the terrorists with Saudi Arabia, and on November 25th 2001, a coalition of nations - led by the US, and joined by the UK, Spain, France, Germany and 15 other nations - began a ground assault in the northern provinces of Saudi Arabia, believed to be the stronghold of the terrorist organisation Al Qaeda.

Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud supported limited attacks on suspected Al Qaeda camps, but declared that Saudi airspace was a no-fly zone for the coalition air forces. The coalition, limited to ground assaults, fought a losing battle both at home and abroad. Casualties skyrocketed when the fighting moved into the cities, culminating in the disastrous battle of Ha 'il which resulted in the deaths of over 200 coalition troops, including 165 Americans. The coalition troops were not adequately prepared for guerilla warfare, and the lack of aerial support severely hampered reconnaissance. Meanwhile, the PR battle at home caused Gore to haemorrhage support.

By July of 2002, the remaining Al Qaeda fighters had fled north into Iraq, where they were believed to have taken control of the southern city of Basra and its surrounding area. However, Saddam Hussein refused to allow coalition troops to enter the country.

On the heels of the unsuccessful campaign in Saudi Arabia, Gore was unable to win support for a
war in Iraq. Coupled with strained relations with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, it was believed that Gore should avoid the Middle East altogether. Withdrawing behind US borders, the Democrats concentrated on improving the US economy. Despite some success, Gore narrowly lost the 2004 election to George W Bush, son of former President George H. W. Bush.

On December 15th, 2004, the second terrorist attack on US soil in the 21st century destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge, killing over 500 commuters. On 15/12, Bush famously declared that 'no longer will citizens of the US fear attack at home. We will hunt down and destroy Al Qaeda, and all those who support it.' On 1st January 2005, Bush declared war on Iraq.

And The Results Are In

And the results are in.

1. I have a Kanji tattoo that doesn't say what it supposed'ta.

True. It was meant to read 'child', but an asshole language student told me it actually says 'object'. Now I have to pray I never get suspected of paedophilia, or it's gonna look very bad for me.

2. I once lost £3000 in a day playing Roulette online (and why does Blogger always make that damned symbol when I type the pounds sterling key?)

True. On the upside I won £4000 the previous night. (The moral of the story is 'don't gamble' - but when you do, always bet on black).

3. I once had a job for which my main responsibility was to masturbate. And I got fired.

True. I was doing clinical tests to pay myself through university, and was working with an anti-depressant and its effect on sexual function - which had to be demonstrated, uh, manually. Tip - when testing experimental medication, do not - do not - turn up drunk. Doctors tend to look down on that.

4. I got kidnapped in Australia and dumped in the Otway National Park. In a storm. At night.

True. God damn, that was an uncomfortable night.

5. I was an extra in The Matrix Reloaded.


6. I once dated a tarot card reader. She threw vegetables at me.

True. Tip - while wearing contact lenses, avoid angering young ladies to the point at which they throw garlic cloves at your head.

7. My older brother has, in the past 2 months, suffered from malaria, gastroenteritis and dysentery.

True. And, as if I haven't drummed this in a million times already, you can donate to his marathon fund here.

8. In the past 6 months I have had no major car accidents, but have managed to hit 4 wing mirrors and almost kill the WBU Light Welterweight World Champion.

True. Maybe I should keep my eyes on the road.

9. I worked for the Wall Street Journal.


And the winner is.... Olivia of Inspired by Grace.

A brief respite from my drivel. You have to love Kristin Kreuk. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Quick Links

The Commissar promises to have himself shot for the offence of accidental pinging. Personally, I'd rather see him exiled to a gulag to oversee the construction of a second Road of Bones.

Flea is driven to the edge by rude commenters and starts ranting about ice cream. For those of you who don't care about his mental state, there's also a picture of the delicious Scarlett Johansson. If you're anything like me you now have an image stuck in your head involving Scarlett and a lot of Raspberry Ripple. Don't fight it.

Bill at INDC wants heads to roll over at CBS.

Michele gamely attempts to reach 500. Myself and my friend James are pleased about the inclusion of Foghat's 'Slow Ride'. That's our song (in an entirely non-gay way - not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Before I Go To Bed...

It's about to turn 6am, and that's my cue to go to bed (hey, I don't have a job - I can stay up as late as I want). Before I go, a final thought.

I was talking on the phone with a friend a couple of days ago and we got on the subject of blogging. As with most of my friends, she has no idea what a blog is (beyond what I've tried to tell her about them - 'well, it's sort of like a news site, but you don't get paid or anything. And sometimes we post photos of our cats. Hello? Huh, she hung up'). My attempts at explaining what we do are usually met with baffled stares mixed with more than a little pity - but this brings me to my point.

I don't care that my friends think I'm a little pathetic for doing this. I'm proud that people read what I write. OK, I'm no Instapundit, but maybe 500-1000 people visit here every day and read what I'm writing. That's something to be proud of. I'm proud that I got in, maybe not on the ground floor, but at least on a low enough level that you could comfortably walk up the stairwell without losing your breath. I've been here almost 2 years and I'm still plugging away.

A few more readers - and maybe a little money - wouldn't go amiss, but I'm happy. I'm happy to stay up until 6am reading other blogs and posting on mine. I'm happy when I'm browsing through another site and I see a mention of Sortapundit. I'm happy when you guys care enough about a post to write in the comments. I'd be happier if a few more of you would donate to my brother's marathon fund but hey, you can't have everything. In short, I'm a happy bunny. You keep reading and I'll keep writing and, hopefully, one day Sortapundit will be a daily read for millions.

Hey, it's not that unlikely. Stop laughing.

OK, it's bedtime. Night all.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Bush the Badass

Hat tip: James Joyner)

It was a rare moment of role reversal -- U.S. President George W. Bush coming to the aid of a man paid to protect him. Upon arriving for an official dinner with world leaders gathered for the annual APEC summit on Saturday night, the president stopped after hearing commotion at the door of the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center. According to a videotape of the incident, Bush turned around and saw that one of his Secret Service agents was being forcefully restrained from entering by Chilean Chilean security guards. The president dove into the crowd, where people were arguing and pushing one another, and pulled the agent through the door of center. After the successful rescue, Bush turned around, cocked his head proudly at his maneuver and began to greet his hosts. (CNN)

The Daily Recycler has the video.

This incident should never have been allowed to happen - the President has every right to be accompanied wherever he goes with an entourage of Secret Service agents. The mission of an agent is, in part, to create a safe area around his/her protectee. By distracting and detaining Bush's agents the Chilean security officers were putting the President's life at risk. OK, so the building was probably secured by Chilean security - but since when did the US outsource Presidential security?

Anyway, on to my point. Over here in the UK the tabloids ran front pages the day after the election that were almost identical to each other. The basic theme was 'How could so many people be so stupid as to vote for this idiot?' Saturday's incident is an example of what made millions of people act so 'stupid'. Bush is, as many bloggers have commented, a badass. He's not afraid to jump into a fight, even if it's with several armed Chilean security officers.

This site began it's life as 2 years ago I couldn't stand the guy. Seeing his monkey face on TV made my knuckles itch and, yes, I couldn't believe how so many millions of people could be taken in by him. In the past two years I've changed my opinion - because he does stuff like this; because he isn't afraid to jump into a fight and risk creasing his suit, and because he doesn't give a damn what everyone thinks, as long as he does what he feels is right. A lot of people don't understand this (I've given up trying to explain my change of heart to my friends), but it doesn't matter just as long as he keeps on doing it. At the end of the day, can you see John Kerry jumping in to help his security? Didn't think so.

Also blogging - Protein Wisdom, Powerline Blog, Blogs For Bush, blogoSFERICS, Dean's World, Pandagon, LGF, Daily Pundit and OTB.

Update - Bill Quick asked for an expanded explanation of what it was that made me swing so far in support of Bush, so here it is:-

I guess the main environmental factor that led to my rightward swing was that I graduated from university. There's something about being immersed in a student culture, a culture in which a loathing of Bush is expected - almost demanded - that will make you fall in line. Almost from the day I left my opinions began to change.

Another - connected - factor was that I entered the world of work. While in uni you can just about survive on student loans and a wage from a part-time job, and are much more likely to follow a typical left wing approach of 'share the wealth'. Again, left wing beliefs tends to go hand in hand with a dislike for a Texan Republican who advocates tax cuts for the wealthy (of course, living as I do in the UK this has no effect on me, but the principle of giving the rich more money is anathema to a student in his early 20s). Suddenly finding myself on the other side of the share the wealth equation forced me to swing away from the left economically.

At the heart of it, I guess, is the realisation that many of the people who are vehemently anti-Bush are, well, stupid. That's not to say that they don't have valid concerns, but one day I thought to myself, 'if I see one more retard waving a 'Bush lied - People Died!' placard while spouting ridiculous crap they read on Democratic Underground while they ate tofu burgers and drank soya milk in a hippy commune I'm gonna start gunning people down'. So, it's not that Bush did anything particularly good, it's more that the anti-Bush crowd drove me away.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Full... Metal... Jacket

Now here's a good idea (Hat tip: DailyPundit). Send the embedded media in before the marines to check the dead and wounded.

This situation reminds me in a way of that sniper scene in Full Metal Jacket. The platoon - 'Hotel' Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines - lose their way in Hue City. They send a marine, Eightball, to check that the area is secure while they wait for help. It isn't. A sniper picks him off from a hidden position. Eightball falls to the ground in view of the rest of the company, and another marine, Doc J, runs in to help him. When he reaches Eightball he gets shot.

A few marines, including Cowboy and Joker, move in to try and locate the sniper so they can get their men out. The sniper sights Cowboy through a hole in the wall and shoots him in the chest. He dies soon after.

The difference is that this is Hollywood. Once they call 'cut' Eightball, Doc J and Cowboy get up and laugh about how the explosive squibs sting their nipples when they burst, and then go for drinks and dinner in a fancy restaurant. They ain't using no squibs in Fallujah.

Guerilla warfare doesn't use the same playbook as regular battle. The Geneva Conventions don't apply for shit. It's nice to think that we can always play fair and follow the rules, but when bodies are booby-trapped and a sniper could be an innocent looking teenage girl, who can blame a marine for bending the rules? I know I can't, and until I grow the balls to go out there and put myself in harms way I'm not gonna complain when one of our guys doesn't play fair. I'd expect the same common sense from the media.

Another Saturday Night in the Beltway

So it's Saturday night and I'm at a party hosted by Bill Clinton. Something about a big library opening. I don't know... Ole Bill doesn't need an excuse to party. So - Hang on a minute...

'Bill, you wanna get out of my face for a second? I'm trying to write. No. I don't want to make $14 the hard way. Dude, you're sick. Put that away.'

Sorry. As I was saying, I'm at a party. Slick Willie just ate 25 chicken wings in 5 minutes on a bet. He didn't want to do it. Kept crying about some heart trouble he has, but Hillary kept goading him and goading him. I'm not at all sure about that woman. When I arrived at the party I found her writing in her diary. Yeah, I know I shouldn't have read it, but while she was busy getting ready I took a look:-

'To do: Throw party. Kill husband (must not be implicated in death). Ride wave of sympathy to W.H.'

I think W.H. may be some sort of code. Anyway, that's all I could read before I heard her insane cackling headed my way.

Hoo, boy, John Kerry just got turned away at the door. You knew Teddy Kennedy works as a bouncer on the weekends, right? He tells me it's his fried chicken money. He keeps saying 'I gots to get paid, brotha!' at me. That kind of talk really doesn't suit a fat white guy in a tight suit.

George Bush walked through right after Kerry. Boy, he laughed his ass off. You got George laughing that John should be used to rejection, you got Theresa going on with all her crazy smack-talk, you got Teddy breakdancing on the red carpet shouting about his 'biotches' (I think he just craves attention) and you got me sitting in the middle of it all typing on a laptop. Now Teddy's squinting at my screen, trying to read this. He looks a bulldog, all fatty flaps of skin creasing his face. I tell ya, it's a sight to be seen.

Anyway, the booze is flowing inside, and it's cold out here. Besides, Theresa's complaining is getting annoying now. 'You did not just disrespec' me in front of my man!' It's like a whole 'nother language with these rich broads. She keeps wagging her finger in my face and shouting at me to 'Step off'. I'm baffled.

OK, back to the party. Night all.

Cross-posted at Ipse Dixit.

More Beheading Videos Released

Via Rusty:

The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah has released a video of the murder of two officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Mosul. This brings the total number of people murdered by terrorists in Mosul over the past week to 17.

Careful - Rusty has graphic images of the victims and a link to the video.

Also blogging - James Joyner, Diggers Realm, Straight Bannana and In The Bullpen.

Polish Hostage Returned Safely

Polish hostage Teresa Borcz Khalifa has been returned safely (Hat Tip: James Joyner)

Looks like my suspicion that the body found in Fallujah was unfounded, making it more likely that it was actually the body of Margaret Hassan.

Well, it's nice to get some good news for once.

How Well You Know Me

It's Saturday afternoon and I have nothing better to write about, so here's a list of a few facts. One of them is a lie. If you've been reading carefully over the last two years you may be able to guess which one. However, considering that in the last week 7000 visitors left all of 2 comments, I don't expect you to speak up, ya fuckin' mutes.

Only kidding. I love you really.

1. I have a Kanji tattoo that doesn't say what it supposed'ta.

2. I once lost £3000 in a day playing Roulette online (and why does Blogger always make that damned symbol when I type the pounds sterling key?)

3. I once had a job for which my main responsibility was to masturbate. And I got fired.

4. I got kidnapped in Australia and dumped in the Otway National Park. In a storm. At night.

5. I was an extra in The Matrix Reloaded.

6. I once dated a tarot card reader. She threw vegetables at me.

7. My older brother has, in the past 2 months, suffered from malaria, gastroenteritis and dysentery.

8. In the past 6 months I have had no major car accidents, but have managed to hit 4 wing mirrors and almost kill the WBU Light Welterweight World Champion.

9. I worked for the Wall Street Journal.

Friday, November 19, 2004

At Least I Don't Go to Star Trek Conventions

I just took part in a very interesting chat with a few extremely talented bloggers, among whom were the Commissar, Elric of The Asylum, Bloodspite of Technography, Ahr of The Mother of All Blogs, RightWingSparkle of, uh, RightWingSparkle, Digger of Digger's Realm, The Cassandra Page, Chadster from Ubique Patriam Reminisci and a couple of others who I forget (sorry, my memory is like swiss cheese).

It was an entertaining few hours, and I was glad for the opportunity to chat with fellow bloggers. My schedule doesn't usually allow me to kick back with other writers but hey, it's Friday night and I don't have enough money to go out and get wasted. Someone remarked that the city I live sounds like the 9th level of Hell. Sure enough, I just checked my map and next to the word Manchester is a tiny, almost unreadable note that reads 'Sponsored by Dante'. Who'da thunk it?

Anyway, give these guys a visit if you have some time. They're good.

Friday Cat-Blogging

As dictated by the Commissar, Friday cat-blogging will now be required by all bloggers on pain of pain. All bloggers lacking a cat will be issued one in the mail.

This is comrade Fudge, hellraiser and abject coward, momentarily disturbed in her ongoing mission to hunt mice and hide from the neighbours cat. Wuss. Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Future of the 'Sphere

The Commissar has two excellent posts about the future of the blogosphere. The first, from 9th November, discusses the direction of the Blogosphere after the election.

It's an interesting question, what will happen to the Blogosphere (especially for us bloggers). I started writing almost two years ago, and since then have come to accept the general concensus among my friends that I'm, like, really pathetic, dude. The idea that I would stay up until 5am writing about politics is, understandably, alien to them. During my two years the Blogosphere has been focussed on two things - Iraq and the election. Now the election is over (Bush won, by the way) we have only Iraq. Still a rich vein of conversation, but one that won't last forever.

The role of the Blogosphere as I see it is now to become the mainstream media. We've been moving in that direction for a while now. Rathergate brought a lot of fresh eyes to the 'Sphere, as did the Swiftboat Vets and the Sinclair Group's Stolen Honour. Levels of respect for the Blogosphere are higher than ever before. But those are just for the big stories. In the next four years we need to position ourselves as the go-to guys for daily news. Not just additional reading for the big stories, but the first read.

Our task isn't as hard as it may sound. Think about in terms of selling blogs to the man on the street. He has Internet access in his home. We are already in his home. He just needs to learn how to use us.

Now think about our USPs (unique selling points). What can we provide that he can't get elsewhere? How can we make him put down the newspaper and log on?

  • We're instant - we can bang out a quick post within five minutes of a breaking story.
  • We can point him towards additional information at the touch of a button.
  • We're free of charge. People don't often think of the cost of a newspaper, but 1 daily 5 days a week could a couple of hundred dollars a year. It all adds up.

We have to capitalise on these USPs. The first step is to increase awarness. Every week, it seems, a blog is mentioned on TV. Keep it up. Dig up dirt. Get the word out. Get 'em reading and get 'em hooked.

The Commissar's second offering, posted yesterday, argues the point that blogs may be showing signs of becoming more influential than any of us could have imagined. The rumour that Time Magazine may nominate Bloggers as their Person/s of the Year is met with derision from Michele at A Small Victory. The Commissar, however, sees it as a sign that bloggers may be having a real influence, especially on those in the MSM.

Jumped up, pompous bunch that we are, I still believe that bloggers are the future of journalism. The next few years, I suspect, will be telling.

Others blogging - ISOU, Diggers Realm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Big Picture

I remember the first day of bombing in Iraq. Well, the first night, I suppose. It seems so long ago now. I was still studying for my degree, and I guess I'd stayed up all night to work on my dissertation. I watched grainy images on CNN until the sun rose and my eyes grew too heavy. God, so much has happened since then. My little brother (who'll always be a little 12 year old hanging a fishing rod over his shoulder in my mind) got engaged. My friends all grew up and got careers. Policemen, solicitors and teachers. Young professionals. Hell, my best friend is expecting his first child, Thomas, on Christmas Eve. All this since the first bombs dropped. What else will happen before the last soldier leaves?

At times I wonder what we've achieved. I've never been one to use the word quagmire, but how long will we have to go on before we can get our guys home? If we were offered the chance to go back 2 years and never go in I wonder how many takers there'd be. I honestly don't know what my answer would be. One the one hand you have over 1000 coalition troops - young men and women with families - parents who'll never again see their children; kids who'll never know their dad beyond a creased photo and tales of bravery. Every day something new for the media to blow all out of proportion. And then thousands of Iraqis. Fathers who went out one day and never came home, mothers caught in gunfire while searching for somewhere safe for their children. All those lives traded for a shot at democracy. Traded for a shot at an uncertain, ill-defined future.

On the other hand we could bring them all back to life. Shane Kielion could meet his son. All those hostages would still have their heads. But you have Saddam in power - who knows for how long. Lets not pretend we'd have the threat of attack from Baghdad hanging over our heads, but he wasn't a nice guy. You have sanctions. Starving families. Uday and Qusay in their flash cars living by their own private law. All sorts of backhand deals diverting money away from Iraqis and into the pockets of thugs. Little hope. A certain future, and not a pretty one.

As I said, I'm not sure which option I would pick. We don't have the luxury of knowing the future, and I'm glad I'll never have to choose.

So what effect will this have on on my generation, the 20-somethings who will one day soon be calling the shots? I guess that depends on what happens from here on in. We're a little over a month away from our second Christmas in Baghdad, with elections hoped for in the New Year. Will it be a bloody Christmas? Will Iraq be ready for democracy? What about Fallujah? I'd bet against it, and I'm among the more optimistic of my demographic.

For my generation this was our first taste as adults of war. We were about 10 during the first Gulf War. My only memories of that war were the daily prayers for our soldiers in school. Since then we've had no major wars. Eastern Europe was a war-torn mess during the 90s, but nobody my age understood what was going on. I'd bet that feeling wasn't exclusive to teenagers, either. Afghanistan was relatively clean cut. It didn't feel like a war.

I guess the reason Iraq feels so real for us young guys is that it's the first war in which we have friends fighting, the first war in which there are military casualties 5 years our junior. Before now war has been nothing to do with us. Worried about the effects of the collapse of Yugoslavia on the price of timber? Ask my dad. We had Pogs.

And this is the experience that will stay with us throughout our lives - as we run for office; as we vote; as we fight. We've come of age in a world seemingly more dangerous than at any time in the last 50 years. Communism never flew aircraft into skyscrapers. The cold war never came to boil, despite the constant fear of war.

And that's why the next few months is so important. It's not just a question of whether Iraq can become a democratic state. As huge as it may seem, that's just the small picture. The big picture is how this will shape our opinions, determine our grand vision of the future, and in turn decide how we will run the world after all these old guys hang up their hats. Will my generation withdraw behind our borders, afraid to engage a threat, or will we have the courage to go out and try to make the world a safer place?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Fucking Hall of Fame - November Winner

After a long drunken debate, November's entry to the 'Fucking' Hall of Fame is....

(Drumroll please)

That was a shitty drumroll. I don't feel like telling you anymore.

Don't give me that hurt puppy look. OK...

It's... Sean Fucking Penn.

From early roles in Taps and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Penn has always been the kind of guy you just want to punch repeatedly in the face. Not the best endorsement, admittedly, but it's the best I can think of.

Penn plays the bastard too well to be left out of the hall of fame. You couldn't help but feel sorry for him in Dead Man Walking, despite the fact that he was, you know, a murdering bastard. I haven't seen Carlito's Way, but I'm assured that Penn was class. Two fantastic recent performances in Mystic River and 21 Grams allowed him to bulldoze his way into the hallowed ranks of the Fuckings.

Hate to cut this short, but it's almost 5am and I'm expecting to have to pick up my perma-sick brother from the hospital in a few hours (providing he can convince the doctors he's shaken off that pesky dysentery). Night all.

Help A Child Get An Education

I hate to piggy-back personal interest on a boost in traffic caused by the death of Margaret Hassan, but while you guys are here it would be great if a few of you could contribute to our little charity. My brother, Scott, will be running the Lochaber marathon next April to raise money for the school he worked for in India.

Scott came home from India with malaria and gastroenteritis, and has spent the last 10 days in hospital with a suspected case of amoebic dysentery (which the doctors had been treating with medication for typhoid, for some reason). Since Scott went through weeks of crippling illness for the school, it shouldn't be too much to ask for some of you good people to reach into you pockets.

Go on. It might give you a bargaining chip when you get to the Pearly Gates and have to explain that weekend in Vegas. I don't care if it's legal on the Strip - you know what I'm talking about.

Margaret Hassan's Video Execution (Updated)

The British embassy in Baghdad confirmed on Tuesday that a video tape had surfaced appearing to show the killing of kidnapped British-Iraqi aid worker Margaret Hassan, and said it was probably genuine.

"We can confirm there is a tape that appears to show Margaret's murder," an embassy official told Reuters. "We believe it is probably genuine."

We'd all hoped that the fact that Margaret Hassan was a woman who had devoted her life to Iraq may save her life. Alas, no. The same monsters who behead their hostages and parade the videos shot Hassan in the back of the head. Mercifully she did not have to go through the agony of beheading, but that's small consolation.

As I said when Hassan was first kidnapped, it was just a matter of time before we'd be watching her death on the news. The video shows a blindfolded woman in an orange jumpsuit, similar to those worn by prisoners in Abu Ghraib, being shot in the back of the head with a pistol. All I can say is thank God it was a quick death.

When you doubt whether our presence in Iraq is just, remember this - humans don't do this to other humans.

Other blogging - Rusty, In the Bullpen, Diggers Realm, Slant Point, ISOU, Interested Participant, Outside the Beltway, Ramblings' Journal, The Command Post, Captain's Quarters, Blogs of War.

Update - for those of you who are looking for the video of Hassan's execution, I don't have it and I don't know who does. More importantly, why would you want to see it?

Second update - Rusty reports that the body of a woman found in Fallujah several days ago was probably that of Margaret Hassan. The limbs of the body had been removed, and she was mutilated beyond recognition. DNA tests are being run to verify the claim.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


I got thinking a few weeks ago about a Brit named Harold Shipman. Most of you will know him as Dr. Shipman, possibly the most prolific serial killer in history.

Shipman practiced medicine in a clinic a few miles from my home, in the town of Hyde, Cheshire. He used to live 5 minutes from my house, on the street an old school friend of mine lives. He was the family doctor to several of my friends. Dr. Shipman was convicted of the murder of 15 women between 1995 and 1998, and is believed to have killed at least 215 since 1975. He hung himself in prison in January of this year.

I remember the morning after his suicide was announced. As I passed his surgery on the way to work I noticed that someone had spray painted the word 'justice' on the shutters. The street was filled with cameras and reporters. The feeling in the town was more of frustration than relief, frustration that such a monster should be allowed to slip away peacefully in a cell. That he would never be forced to live with what he had done. The hate the town felt towards Shipman was unimaginable. If each of the victims left behind maybe 5 close relatives, that's 1000 people who lost a mother, an aunt or a grandmother. Nobody in Hyde was left unaffected.

Shipman had 4 children, a daughter and 3 sons. The two youngest attended secondary school a couple on miles from my house. Their first 20 years were normal. They played football with their friends, drank cheap beer on a Friday night in the streets of Stalybridge (after being turned away from the bars). They met girls - and if they were anything like the rest of us, got rejected by most.

For the first 20 years of their lives, these kids had a loving father- a pillar of society, a succesful professional. On his arrest and conviction they became the spawn of a reviled murderer, among the most hated men in the country. On the day their fatherdied the nation rejoiced. Wherever they turned they saw headlines celebrating his death. He was a man who had murdered hundreds, but he was still their dad. I can't imagine how they felt on that day, as their friends and acquaintances cheered his death. Their grief must have been lonely. When that occurred to me I suddenly felt bad for smiling when I saw the headline.

I got the same feeling when I read of the death of 1000 insurgents in Fallujah. For us, these deaths have become causes for celebration. We've been pushed to the point at which the thought of 1000 dead men is good news to us. Don't get me wrong - I'm as glad as anyone to see 1000 less terrorists on the planet, and you didn't see me at any peace marches. It's just the gloating that gets to me. Something deep down tells me we shouldn't be so damned proud of ourselves.

That's all the holier-than-thou I have for the moment.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Comes in Threes

You ever wish you could just wipe out the last week of your life and start over last weekend? Course you have. Everyone has. I used to wish a lot back when I was pretty deep into gambling. You lose 2 weeks wages on one spin of a roulette wheel and you'd suddenly give your left ball to jump back 20 seconds.

What a week... What a week.

My brother's back in hospital. He came home from India last month with malaria and gastroenteritis, and now our best guess is amoebic dysentery. Well, they say it comes in threes. He seemed to be getting stronger this week, then he called earlier and asked that we not visit today. Vomiting all day and blood in his urine. That's what you get when you give 5 months of your time to teach poor kids in a slum in Bangalore. The guy deserves a medal, not a catheter.

And dysentery is communicable. If he has it, he's had it since he came home. I'm worried because I've been feeling unwell in a general sort of way for about few weeks, and I've lost almost a stone in weight. I'm not complaining - I was 13'2" and about 5'10", so I could do with dropping a few pounds. Still, I don't think that much weight in 3 weeks is healthy. Hopefully it's just stress. I can't deal with hospitals since I worked in one for a summer a few years back. The smell freaks me out.

On top of that, I lost my job on Tuesday. I took my appeal down to the office today with great satisfaction. I don't know... I've got a couple of years of law training that I never use, so I thought I'd look into how much I can screw over the fuckers. I've picked out a few things they did wrong - mostly procedural stuff they missed in their rush to get me out the door, but the big one is that they charged me with gross misconduct. That was a mistake. It got to me. I've given a year to these guys, and they escort me from the building without even a handshake.

On the same day my car ran out of petrol on the way home. A minor problem, but I was close enough to the edge after the morning to think about dumping the car and doing a Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

I don't know what I'd do if I woke up in the morning and it was last weekend. Not much I could do to change the week. I probably wouldn't have watched Just Married yesterday, though. God, but did that movie suck.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

John Ashcroft, Don Evans Resign

Attorney General John Ashcroft, a favorite of conservatives, and Commerce Secretary Don Evans, one of President Bush's closest friends, resigned Tuesday, the first members of the Cabinet to leave as Bush heads from re-election into his second term. Both Ashcroft and Evans have served in Bush's Cabinet from the start of the administration.

Opinions on Ashcroft vary from 'the most underappreciated, most maligned, most ridiculed, and most demonized member of the Bush cabinet' to 'right wing lunatic'. Unsurprising that an AG serving in the wake of 9/11 would ruffle a few feathers.

Opinions from both ends of the spectrum here, here, here and here.

I got fired today. Shit.

I'd handed in my notice a couple of weeks back, and they fired me three days before my notice was up. I was caught on a bogus charge of gross misconduct so they could fire me on the spot. Fucking petty bastards. To make matters worse, my car ran out of petrol this afternoon, and I had to call out my brother to help.

A colleague recommended that I sue for unfair dismissal as the charge they got me on didn't constitute gross misconduct, and deserved nothing more than a quiet word and a slap on the wrist, but at the end of the day I only had a few days left so I don't think I'd be looking at a huge amount of compensation. Besides, this gives me a few days off to lie in and play Playstation before I get a new job. A blessing in disguise?

The only good point today was driving out the company car park playing the Pixies 'Where is my Mind?' at an ear-bleeding volume while blasting my horn continuously. The thought of not having to get up in the morning was almost too much to bear, and a wide grin threatened to take off the top of my skull.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Fucking Actors

My friend James and I have a system by which we nominate actors for a special award. This award brings with it the title of 'Fucking'. For instance, Jack Nicholson is now referred to by the honorific Jack 'Fucking' Nicholson in conversation.

It's fairly simple. Actors and actresses who achieve a certain level of cult status are given the title as a mark of respect for their contribution to our drunken DVD watching nights. However, it's a very select group. All nominees have to be confirmed by popular vote (and since James and I are the only judges the required vote is 100%). As of tonight there are only 5 confirmed members. These are:-

Jack Fucking Nicholson
Robert Fucking de Niro
Al Fucking Pacino
Dan Fucking Aykroyd
Bill Fucking Murray

1. Jack Fucking Nicholson

Jack won the award for the simple reason that he's one of a kind. Classics such as The Shining, Easy Rider and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest gave him a pretty solid cool rating early on, and he's settled into the cool old guy role perfectly in recent years with As Good As It Gets and Something's Gotta Give. To top this off he has a few good comedy films like Mars Attacks ('Why can't we all just... get along?'). The guy is undeniably cool.

2. Robert Fucking de Niro

Come on. He's Robert de Niro. No explanation necessary.

3. Al Fucking Pacino

Don't fuck with Tony Montana

4. Dan Fucking Aykroyd

A controversial choice, but he wrote and starred in Ghostbusters. Who ya gonna call?

4. Bill Fucking Murray

Bill has just outdone himself. Just starring in Ghostbusters is enough for me, but to count the number of times he's made me laugh on my fingers I'd need... well, lots more fingers. Caddyshack, What About Bob?, Groundhog Day, and Kingpin. He even made Charlies Angels bearable. But that's not all. In recent years he's performed outstandingly in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Lost in Translation. If you don't agree that he deserves to hold the title 'Fucking', well it's my list so you can't really do anything about it. Get your own goddamn list.

There's a whole list of people we can't agree on. These include:-

Dustin Hoffman
Anthony Hopkins
Ben Stiller
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Sigourney Weaver
Gene Hackman
Jon Favreau
Vince Vaugn
Marlon Brando
Steve McQueen
James Woods
Harrison Ford
Martin Sheen

These are people who are teetering on the edge, for whatever reason, of the Fucking group. It's not that they're uncool (McQueen and Brando, for instance, are undeniably cool), but they're just missing that certain something. Maybe they need one more cool role to push them over the edge, or maybe their coolness is so cliched that they're just not that cool anymore). These people are awarded the honorific 'Bloody' (I don't know if you use this in the US, but in the UK it's a very mild swear word).

We'd welcome any recommendations you may have. Maybe you can give us a reason why one of the 'Bloody' group deserve to be promoted, or even why one of the 'Fucking's don't deserve to be there. Leave a comment and we'll let you know if you're bloody stupid or a fucking genius.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Get Out of the Road, Jackass

Jeff Quinton of Backcountry Conservative came close to death yesterday when he flipped his Ford Explorer(pictures here). Glad to see you're still with us, Jeff.

While Jeff was busy writing off his car I was having a little close call of my own. I went on a random 2 hour drive last night out into the hills (there's nothing quite like doing 50 on a paper-thin country road in the rain). On the way home around 9 pm I came scant inches from killing Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton, reigning WBU Light Welterweight World Champion and local hero.

Ricky lives nearby, and has a tendency to jog without paying attention to little things like roads and traffic. I don't know if he thinks 37 wins (27 KO's) and zero defeats have made him impervious to being pounded by a ton of steel moving at high speed, but he definitely has no fear.

Anyway, I was driving round a gentle bend at around 50mph when Ricky came running onto the road to pass a badly parked car, wrapped in a heavy coat and his Manchester City hat. I was fairly close to the kerb, and a few inches further to the left would have meant the end of my favourite boxer.

Maybe we should all just pay a little more attention to the road, 'kay?


On a sombre note, my friend Danielle's 15 year old cousin was killed yesterday in a tragic car accident. Danielle, our thoughts are with you and your family tonight.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Arafat Dead?

According to reports, Arafat has died in hospital.

However, his doctors are denying the claim.

"He is still alive. He is not clinically dead. There is no brain death, but
his condition is deteriorating. Because there has been no diagnosis, we don't
know what's wrong with him."

I don't care either way. Here in the UK Arafat isn't seen as quite the spawn of Satan he is in the US (don't get me wrong - we're not exactly his biggest fans). I'm sure there are a lot of people in Israel and the US crossing their fingers, though.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Early Numbers. Trustworthy?

Change of plan. Screw work, I'm watching the results. See how devoted I am to you guys.

James Joyner has some early numbers that suggest a win for Kerry, with both Ohio and Florida going to the Dems. No calls as of yet, but I'm waiting for the BBC to call Ohio shortly.

Florida Leaning Towards Bush

I have no idea if anyone can actually read this (Blogger is suffering tonight), but early numbers from Florida look very good for Bush. As of 8:12pm Eastern Bush has 54.5% of the vote, compared to Kerry's 44.6%. Only 16.1% reporting, but it's a good sign for the incumbent.

There's An Election? What, Today?

Damned life gets in the way of watching the election news. I can't write anything tonight, so I'll just leave you with a few useful links.

In fact, I won't bother. You know where to go. If you can't find your way to a site covering the election, maybe the Internet is a little too advanced for you.

By the way, if you are having difficulty accessing any sites, blame The Command Post. They broke the Internets.

BTW, I think Blogger may be a bit overloaded tonight. Anyone coming from a trackback from this post at OTB should be directed to the post above this, but it doesn't seem to be showing as of yet.
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