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February 26, 2007

Goolash - offline life, Oscars, BSG, the rush to surrender and a little 'inside baseball'

I've been feeling like I misplaced the party invitation and, memory failing, have arrived hours late ... the few remaining canapes are drying on the sidetable or are ground into the carpet and the punchbowl looks too iffy to take a chance. People are clustered in groups in well established conversations that one longs to join, if only one can try and piece together the backstory.

Lasek sidelined me, then limited me, then another whirlwind envent unfolded.

House purchase.

Exciting and damned scary all at the same time. Husband Eric and I spent three and a half hours on Sunday signing loan docs. Good thing all the signitures are notarized because the quality of our giddy flourishes at the beginning are markedly different than the "I'm hungry, cranky and O GAWD didn't I just sign this same thing at least twice before?" slashing scribbles near the end.

We should be getting the keys to our New Home Thursday ... and soon you will be all subjected to Redecorating Blogging with before/after pics.

Ok...not so much major remodeling with smashing down walls and living in a tent in a backyard adventures as our initial budget is shockingly small. Hey, we blew the wad on getting the house in the first place ... this being Southern California ... and even as the market has slumped off its 2005 utter lunacy, it hasn't dropped off the map either. However, I can paint, sew, recycle and can figure out how to take the inexpensive and make it look designer. Look to posts starting this weekend.

I deliberately skipped the Oscars ... the idea of Gore as the coolest dude in the room and the biggest threat to America is Western-Civ-Induced Global Warming just brought home to me how utterly irrelevant "Movie Stars" have become. If you're not a "name" to be immediately recognized (as in being a mere 'tech' member of the Academy) your Oscar is shoved at you at a separate and barely acknowledged event. Is it any wonder that the number of people going to movies keeps going down?

I haven't blogged the last several episodes of Battlestar Gallactica because while I enjoyed them, and they were basic good story-telling, they didn't really tell me anything new. Really new. But last night's Dirty Hands was stunning. And the "stunning" doesn't really fully hit you until right at the end. It was an episode where everyone was right and everyone was wrong and would they "get" it before the humans started down the road to destroying themselves. And that's besides the startling pithy scenes with Baltar and his Mein Kampf. His amoral genius in finding ways to survive was beautifully showcased by his little performance to try and turn Tyrol. Eric was hissing through clenched teeth, "They should've tossed him out an airlock. Hell, they ought to do it now!" Kudos to the writers of this episode.

If SanFranNan Plasticosi wanted to embarrass the other members of her sex on the national stage, she couldn't have done better than by acting as the class prissy tattletale to complain about things she pretended she heard but were never said. Of course, she was riding point for Okinawa Murtha who is busy trying to tear the wings off the US military in his rush to surrender Iraq.

I saved for last a couple of photoshops I created over the past couple of days. I wasn't quite quick enough to answer the explosion of Leftist unilateral blogwar aggression, but if you don't care or don't follow some of the "inside baseball blogging" issues that arise from time to time, you need read no further. For those of you that have followed what is looking suspiciously like efforts to force Jeff Goldstein to quit blogging, you know about Dr. Andrew Haggerty's dragging out an old controversy, reinventing it and then pretending he is Above All the Rabble. That followed not too far on the heels of J*sh/HTML Mencken/Retardo Montalban hysterical high dungeon about online integrity ... from Sadly No!, no less! (insert comedic comments about "projection" here). If you were following those blog affairs, then the photoshops over the jump will make sense and, hopefully, give you a couple chuckles.

Jeff has been gracious enough to allow me to guest blog at PW, so I'm posting these here as not to bring him any more grief from cultists. These are my own creation, and I confess, I had fun doing them.

Posted by Darleen at 03:58 PM | Comments (12)

February 22, 2007

Yep. 'Nuff said.

Michael Ramirez

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Posted by Darleen at 01:01 PM | Comments (12)

February 20, 2007

Almost Back

Last Friday morning I had Lasek surgery. Today is the first day I can actually almost see the computer screen without wincing away in pain. Also my "band-aid" contact lenses won't be removed until tomorrow afternoon, so looking at the screen is like viewing it through glasses smeared with vasoline. (I'm touch-typing really carefully here!)

I've wanted to get rid of wearing glasses for a long time, but we are talking about my eyes and I wanted to take the time to do the due diligence on procedures and reputations of the surgeons that I chose to do it. No Dr. Nick for me! Lasek is a little different from Lasik because there is no flap created. There is initially a longer recovery time, but less chance of complications down the road. In Lasek, the top, protective layer of the cornea is chemically softened and then moved to the side (as my doctor explained it, kind of like kicking a throw rug to the side of the room), the laser reshapes the cornea, the layer is moved back into place and a protective contact lense is put on top. The cornea regrows the top layer within 3-5 days.

The frustrating thing for me is I've been unable to do much more than sleep and listen to the radio.

I do look forward to getting back!

Posted by Darleen at 07:34 AM | Comments (7)

February 15, 2007

Please drink irresponsibly

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Posted by Darleen at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

February 14, 2007

The risks of being a blogger [updated ... twice]

I was well aware of what I might be getting into when I started this blog back in late-summer 2004. I had been a regular in discussion boards under a pseudonym for a few years before that and learned if you say things others disagree with occassionally there will be those cup-and-saucer-short-of-a-full-place-setting creatures who view the anonymity of the 'net as license to vent the most vile writings possible against the people they disagree with.

It's the unfortunate part of engaging in public discourse with people you don't meet face to face.

There's nary a blogger I know that hasn't received hate email (or hate in the comment section). Including me.

So I'm not surprised that Amanda (and, as it seems, McEwan) have received such vile email. I would be surprised if they have never received such before. And I am annoyed that it is becoming a cynical way for Amanda-and-friends to attempt to blame anyone that criticized/mocked/made-fun-of her during her short stint as Pastor Edwards official blogger as being responsible for the email.

What should these two womyn do with their hate email? If these particular ones seem threatening then they need to turn them over to the police immediately. Most police departments have a unit dealing with computer crime. Get in touch with the detectives in the unit, learn their names and follow up. Publish some of them along with the header information and report the abuse to the ISP holding the IP address.

Hate email is unacceptable. Whether directed toward Amanda or Michelle Malkin. Period. No matter to whom or concerning any subject. It is the coward's way ... whether done in earnest or as "fake" email to create controversy.

As unacceptable as it is, it will happen. If you don't want to endure such and be responsible for taking the necessary steps to counter it, then don't blog.

This is my only post on this subject and it really shouldn't have to be said in the first place. However, the sudden focus on hate email is an effort to deflect that St. Amanda has never taken responsibility that she, and she alone, lost her job with the Edwards' campaign. St. Amanda, like an unrecovered alcoholic, couldn’t help but continue to engage in exactly the same offensive anti-Christian bigotry that Edwards publicly told her he would not tolerate; but no where in her pity party did she acknowlege that. Indeed, she blames Donahue, not herself, when she blew the second chance that Edwards gave her., the man who gave her a second chance.

In fact, he’s made no bones about the fact that his intent is to “silence” me, as if he—a perfect stranger—should have a right to curtail my freedom of speech. Why? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not religious? All of the above, it seems.
St. Amanda couldn't put down the bottle, even for a plum job. So she frames it erroneously (and insulting to anyone with reading comp skills) as a First Amendment issue (along with tactily calling Edwards a member in good standing of the womyn-oppressive Patriarchy).

But even rank-hypocrits and bigots like Amanda don't deserve hate email. That is beyond the pale.

UPDATE: I misinterpreted the "he" in her post as Edwards. Anotherreading shows, indeed, that she means "Donahue". I've edited the above (but leaving the strike out portion so you can see HOW I've corrected it.) [as I do not have internet access from work, this is, at 12:20p PST the first time I've had to check the post and make the corrections]

UPDATE2: Iowahawk gets a copy of Amanda's resume.

More discussion:
Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom

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Posted by Darleen at 06:37 AM | Comments (7)

February 12, 2007

Shorter Amanda: You know that apology where I said I never meant to offend anyone's religious beliefs?

... JUST KIDDING, you Christofascist godbag fuckers!
Lordy, Mandy. Just take that Sharpie and permanently write "hypocrit extraordinare" across your forehead! And it's amazing in your resignation snit-fit you are again refusing to take responsibility for your own writings!

Even yesterday you just couldn't help but drop a little gratuitous anti-Christian bigotry into a movie review.

The Christian version of the virgin birth is generally interpreted as super-patriarchal, where god is viewed as so powerful he can impregnate without befouling himself by touching a woman, and women are nothing but vessels.
Did Pastor Edwards see that? Did it break his heart after your "sincere" promises to be a good girl?

(h/t Jeff Goldstein)

UPDATE Michelle Malkin has a roundup of reaction

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Posted by Darleen at 06:11 PM | Comments (15)

February 11, 2007

But would you walk on it?

graphic from the Los Angeles TimesPersonally, I'm "so-so" with heights. I don't mind flying, but you'd never get me to skydive or bungie-jump. As a child in the early 60's I stood at the top of Yosemite's Glacier Point where they launched the firefall each evening and was more fascinated than frightened by looking over the edge to the valley floor below.

But I gotta tell you, I don't know if I could do this

GRAND CANYON WEST, ARIZ. — Perched over the Grand Canyon close to a mile above the Colorado River, a massive, multimillion-dollar glass walkway will soon open for business as the centerpiece of a struggling Indian tribe's plan to lure tourists to its remote reservation.

An engineering marvel or a colossal eyesore, depending on who is describing it, the horseshoe-shaped glass walkway will jut out 70 feet beyond the canyon's edge on the Hualapai Indian Reservation just west of Grand Canyon Village. Buttressed by 1 million pounds of steel and supporting 90 tons of tempered glass, the see-through deck will give visitors a breathtaking view of the canyon.

I dunno ....

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Posted by Darleen at 09:35 AM | Comments (5)

February 10, 2007

'I was an Unhappy Feminist'

Click for larger image

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Posted by Darleen at 10:38 AM | Comments (4)

February 08, 2007

Who da feminist now?

Of all the endings to the Edwards/Marcotte l'affaire du blogge, this one is the sweetest.

I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word.
Was this, like, the principal's office? Did Big John lean forward, elbows on table and head tilted significantly as he silently regarded the two squirming girls over his steepled fingers? Did he clear his throat a couple of times startling them to squeal their sudden and abject apologies -- "we promise never ever ever to do it again, sir!"

I believe Jeff Goldstein has the correct analysis.

But let’s not confuse the effect with the rationale—which is both risible and insulting. Because were it really never Marcotte’s intent to malign anyone’s faith, she probably wouldn’t have dedicated so many hate-filled blog posts to, you know—maligning anyone’s faith.

Of course it was her intent. Just as it was McEwan’s intent. And worst of all, Edwards knows it. That he has pretended to take the two at their word, in an ostentatious gesture of “trust,” is precisley the kind of staged treacle that makes people doubt the sincerity of politicians; and that both Marcotte and McEwan have assured their own personal Patriarch that they’ll behave, now that he’s promoted them to the grownups’ table, is, to put it bluntly, one of the most pathetic public surrenderings of personal integrity I’ve ever seen.

Of course, Jeff is being generous. One actually has to have personal integrity if one is going to surrender it.

However, in one of those karma-is-a-bitch moments, I recall just about one year ago, in a debate on the merits of the play, The Vagina Monologues where I was arguing (not with Amanda) whether reducing women to a body part was really in our interest. Amanda's patented response

Shorter Darleen: I got other body parts, so why not let men own my vagina?
Tonight we now know who owns Amanda's vagina.


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Posted by Darleen at 05:48 PM | Comments (8)

February 07, 2007

Breaking - Amanda's letters to John Edwards discovered

Iowahawk has the scoop

(it's f*cking righteous)

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Posted by Darleen at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

Mandy fired?

Word from Salon

John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned.
Although, it may be just a feint ...
Speculation from sources that the two bloggers might be rehired was bolstered by Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Edwards campaign, who said in an e-mail that she would "caution [Salon] against reporting that they have been fired. We will have something to say later."
Needless to say, the Salon "War Room" loves teh scandal, but their sympathies are squarely with St. Amanda, as they spend time not talking about what Mandy said, but sneering at and mischaracterizing her critics.

Actually, I'm sorry if Mandy has been fired. I wanted her to stay on with the Edwards campaign for longer...

It promised to be so entertaining.

I suppose watching the spittle fly from her acolytes will have to suffice.

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Posted by Darleen at 01:13 PM | Comments (1)

February 06, 2007

Start with building a Straw-Conservative

...then make a mockery of your own argument by attempting stunts like this

OLYMPIA, Wash. - An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage.

Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as "unrecognized" and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation ... The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine," said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage."

Where have mainstream social conservatives said that marriage exists solely for procreation?

Certainly, children are the focus of much of the debate. But that's children and their rights, not fertility. Social conservatives don't argue from the individual point-of-view of whether or not same-sex couples affect opposite-sex couples, their arguments generally fall into institutional ones, on how a radical redefining of an institution will affect society at large.

Please revisit Megan McArdle's (libertarian, not social conservative) analysis of some of the arguments.

Social conservatives of a more moderate stripe are essentially saying that marriage is an ancient institution, which has been carefully selected for throughout human history. It is a bedrock of our society; if it is destroyed, we will all be much worse off. (See what happened to the inner cities between 1960 and 1990 if you do not believe this.) For some reason, marriage always and everywhere, in every culture we know about, is between a man and a woman; this seems to be an important feature of the institution. We should not go mucking around and changing this extremely important institution, because if we make a bad change, the institution will fall apart.

A very common response to this is essentially to mock this as ridiculous. "Why on earth would it make any difference to me whether gay people are getting married? Why would that change my behavior as a heterosexual"

To which social conservatives reply that institutions have a number of complex ways in which they fulfill their roles, and one of the very important ways in which the institution of marriage perpetuates itself is by creating a romantic vision of oneself in marriage that is intrinsically tied into expressing one's masculinity or femininity in relation to a person of the opposite sex; stepping into an explicitly gendered role. This may not be true of every single marriage, and indeed undoubtedly it is untrue in some cases. But it is true of the culture-wide institution. By changing the explicitly gendered nature of marriage we might be accidentally cutting away something that turns out to be a crucial underpinning.

Political stunts, especially cynical, insulting stunts served up merely to "dose" one's opponents with "their own medicine" rather than attempting actual persuasive arguments have a tendency to backfire.

As sympathetic as I am to having same-sex couples be afforded some legal institution to afford them contractual rights, I'm hoping this puerile initiative born of street theatre gets the derision deserves.

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Posted by Darleen at 06:05 AM | Comments (7)

February 04, 2007

That football, game-day thingy .....

Confession time ... I don't follow pro-football. Oh heck, I don't much follow any professional sports.

However, excuse me if I find the downright aggressive manners of the NFL in tracking down and hounding every last person who utters "Super Bowl" without properly shoving some dinero their way not only rude but counter-productive to encouraging people like me to become part of the fan base.

As nearly all Americans know,Super Bowl XLI will be played Sunday in Miami. But you don't hear the words "Super Bowl" or many references to the NFL's trademarked terms on radio, television, in print or on the Internet beyond what officially is licensed by the league. That's because football's most effective offense isn't a product of Peyton Manning's arm, but rather the NFL's squad of in-house lawyers who are particularly aggressive -- some say overly aggressive -- in enforcing its intellectual property rights.

Working from a modern Park Avenue headquarters, an eight-person department of trademark and copyright specialists monitors everything from local radio programs to telephone-poll advertisements, looking for mentions of off-limits words or images. This proactive strategy also includes sending out thousands of "reminder" letters each year to global advertising giants and communities where the game is played, setting out what can and can't be said in promotional materials.

How silly is it that Dolly's Diner can't hand out fliers to their customers advertising a 2 for 1 lunch promotion for Super Sunday without facing a legal suit, unless Dolly uses euphemisms like The Big Game? Is anyone "confused" that Dolly does not really have official connections to the NFL?

And far be it that it is only so-called commercial venues that the NFL lawyers harass remind to justify their salaries. The NFL doesn't want churches to have Big Game parties at all.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league's longstanding policy is to ban "mass out-of-home viewing" of the Super Bowl.
So hopefully when you sent out your invitations to your own Super Bowl™ Party this year you used the approved wording of The Big Game.

Or you may be hearing from the NFL™ lawyers next week.

Posted by Darleen at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2007

News - Iranians in Gaza

supporting Hamas

JERUSALEM: Seven Iranian weapons experts were seized yesterday in a raid by Fatah-affiliated security forces on the Islamic University, a Hamas stronghold in Gaza City.

Amid an escalation in the confrontation between Hamas and Fatah Palestinian factions, an eighth Iranian was reported to have committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner.

Sources close to President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah said the Iranians included intelligence and chemical experts and a senior military officer.

Posted by Darleen at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)


Pencils may have erasers, but the Internet doesn't forget.

Background here.

Consider, when a writer is hired to write it certainly is legitimate that the writer's body of work, including very recent products to be scrutinized. The employer (in this instance, Edwards' campaign staff) then can be judged as to whether they are incompetent in failing to vet the writer or that such vetting was done and they agree in general with the writer.

Certainly, the Edwards' camp couldn't have missed the enthusiastic applause from the Left side of the blogsphere.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Posted by Darleen at 08:16 AM | Comments (3)

February 02, 2007

Outtage last night -- Playing a little catchup [updated with correction]

This site is on Hosting Matters and it looks as if their upstream had a major fiber line cut in the Atlanta area. (probably an errant back-hoe somewhere)

SO much happening yesterday, too!

If you haven't seen it yet, Cassandra has a pitch-perfect take down of WaPo's ostensible "military analyst" William Arkin's anti-military screed.

If nothing else, the sore-winners of the last election who now have a thin majority have been emboldened to drop the veil. They've always had contempt for the military, and from John Kerry's "botched joke" to Chuck Schumer Charlie Rangel "only losers go into the service"* to the Los Angeles Times' David Bell 9/11 was no big deal to William Arkins followup to his screed with yet another poison-pen scribble ...

I was dead wrong in using the word mercenary to describe the American soldier today.

These men and women are not fighting for money with little regard for the nation. The situation might be much worse than that: Evidently, far too many in uniform believe that they are the one true nation. They hide behind the constitution and the flag and then spew an anti-Democrat, anti-liberal, anti-journalism, anti-dissent, and anti-citizen message that reflects a certain contempt for the American people.

... what we are witnessing is the Left raw. People who not only cannot grasp why they should "love" one country over another, but cannot understand anyone that actually does love America. So they must find other reasons or motivations for people who willingly join the military.


UPDATE: I miss identified the NY representative that disparaged the military as a place only losers join. Thanks to Brad for bringing it to my attention. I have corrected it above.

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Posted by Darleen at 07:13 AM | Comments (2)