Noggle Asks, Drudge Answers

WHITE HOUSE PLAN IF SADDAM FOUND ‘NOT GUILTY’ (Drudge flash, so pardon me when it goes dark in the next 20 minutes):

Senior Bush administration officials have considered the unthinkable: What if Saddam Hussein is found not guilty in his trial?

“There will be more charges filed against him, and more charges after that, if needed… he has committed tremendous crimes,” a top Bush source explained last week from Washington.

We at MfBJN speculated on this possibility: What If Saddam Hussein Goes O.J.?:

At that point, Iraqi prosecutors can levy additional charges against Saddam Hussein, demonstrating that the rule of law as practiced in the West means that prosecutors can continue prosecuting and persecuting the accused with a plethora of laws and violations until such time as the target is found guilty or until the target is a broken and bankrupted person.

A fine beacon of rule of law, indeed.

No Blood for Wheat!

What, no moonbat conspiracy theories to fit this fact?

With an improved trade environment and financing tools, Iraq has become the second largest buyer of U.S. wheat.

That, my friends, is agricultural imperialism at its worst: we’re making the Middle East a dumping ground for our cheap, efficiently produced foodstuffs. Wouldn’t it be better just to let them starve?

An Unamerican Thanksgiving

Coming from, of all things, the Macy’s Day Parade, we have this stunning display of unAmericanism:

During its live coverage of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, NBC did not tell viewers that a giant balloon had caught on a street lamp and injured two sisters.

Sarah and Mary Chamberlain, 11 and 26, were hit by the debris. Sarah needed nine stitches to her head, and Mary, who uses a wheelchair, suffered a bump on her forehead.

Their father, Stephen Chamberlain, called it a freak accident and said the family didn’t plan to sue. He said his daughters are looking forward to the special VIP seating Macy’s offered them for next year’s parade.

But that’s free money, and someone (else) has to pay! What is this country coming to?

Military Deployments the Left Can Support

The War On Animal Abuse:

U.S. troops found two cheetah cubs _ one of them blinded _ being forced to fight each other for the amusement of jeering children in this dusty, forgotten village.

The soldiers of the U.S. counterterrorism task force for the Horn of Africa were in the region carrying out humanitarian work when they came across the three-month-old cheetahs “performing” at a restaurant run by Mohamed Hudle. The Djibouti-based task force provides intelligence-gathering help to countries in the region, tries to bolster cooperation and border protection, and mounts humanitarian projects aimed at improving the U.S. military’s image among Muslims.

The troops provided medical treatment to the blinded cub, fed them both and tried to persuade Mohamed to hand them over to wildlife officials. They contacted U.S.-based cheetah experts as well as Ethiopian authorities.

Expending treasure and the blood of American troops to liberate the oppressed in the Middle East, feh. But dying to save cute widdle animals?

Bring. It. On.


James Lileks on Monday:

As a wise giant said in “The Princess Bride” – “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

James Lileks recants yesterday:

And yes, I attributed the “Princess Bride” quote to the wrong hero. At least the number of people pointing that out exceeded the number of people who thought Vonnegut made some brave points. There’s hope. See you tomorrow.

I demand a special prosecutor convene a grand jury to determine why Lileks’ story changed. He was holding out, trying to mislead Congress and the American people, and should serve time in a Federal prison like every other public conservative who makes a mistake!

Why I Don’t Read Nick Mamatas

Two excerpts from the article entitled “Why I Write Horror and Why You Might Want To” in the November 2005 The Writer:


I learned what horror was when, for a school assignment, I read All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. I had never read anything where anguish and the moral implication of the reader in the death of the protagonists were the goals of the story. Not that I was so sophisticated that I understood the effect; all I knew was that if everyone over at the United Nations would just read Remarque’s nocel, we’d have no more war, as the world leaders would finally know what they’re putting the world through.


If it [the theme of his novel Move Under Ground, which depicts Jack Kerouac saving the world from Cthulhu] sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the world we live in now, where, as I write this, the media has millions of us more concerned over the collapse of Brad Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Anistan than we are over the mounting body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Horror is a genre in which the novel of ideas and the social novel are still alive and well.

Here I was trying to glean some insight into writing horror, and I get politics. Perhaps Mamatas even got around to comparing George W. Bush to Azathoth or Karl Rove to Nyarlathotep, but I didn’t complete the article.

Geek Checking Lileks

Lileks in today’s Screedblog:

As a wise giant said in “The Princess Bride” – “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Lileks is a geek pop culture poser!!1!! It was the Spaniard who said that as the Dread Pirate Roberts’ ship caught up with Vizzini near the Cliffs of Insanity, not the giant!

(Pardon me as I cling futilely to the cultural touchstones of my generation of geeks; as The Princess Bride nears its 20th anniversary, I realize a whole generation of geeks grew up after it.)

They’ve Got An Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil

Frank predicted this story: “Brazil free school breakfast menu to offer coffee“:

Brazil’s coffee industry has brewed up a plan to serve up to 1 million schoolchildren a free breakfast — complete with a cup of java.

Brazil’s Coffee Industry Association (Abic) is seeking the support of 50 roasters to launch a pilot “Adopt-a-School” programme to feed breakfast to 1 million Brazilian school children aged 6 to 18.

It’s best not to dwell upon what the Brazillian Rubber Industry Association provides the children in Rio de Janerio.

(Link seen on Ace of Spades HQ.)

That Line Wrapping Around the Block Must Be For the New Harry Potter Movie

Keen insight from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Sylvester Brown:

I’m convinced there isn’t a politician around today with the chutzpah to challenge the powerful Bush machine.

There should be. Especially now that President George W. Bush’s administration is besieged with allegations and scandal. Critics claim the president manipulated evidence in a rush to war while key members of his administration are under investigations for spitefully blowing the cover of a CIA agent. Then there’s the fact that more than 2,000 soldiers have died in a war that (according to recent polls) more than 60 percent of Americans feel has been mishandled. Heck, members of his own party are even circling wagons of self-preservation.

Must be that Muthra, Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy, ad al and et absurdum, just lack chutzpah. No, they’ve got chutzpah. Perhaps they just lack moxie.

Or their simplistic rhetorical backfilling falls upon American ears who understand principles or lack thereof.

Book Report: Christine by Stephen King (1983)

I inherited the hardback edition of this book from my aunt, whose first anniversary of her death is coming up next week. As I continue reading these books, part of her remains with me, but fortunately it’s her taste in books and not her unrelenting fury in the form of possessed books. Because man, that would be creepy, and if my books rose up against me, I would be in trouble, as I’m outnumbered several thousand to one.

But onto Christine. As anyone alive through the 1980s knows, Christine is a possessed old car. Since I’d only seen a single scene from the movie version, that’s about all I knew. The story is more than a rehash of The Car, as it begins with a pair of friends who spot the car on the way home form work one day. As the more nerdesque of the two takes possession of the car, it takes possession of him, and it begins killing those who offended him.

It’s a Stephen King, so it moves quickly as his masterful foreshadowing pulls you along. The story combines growing up with terror as many of his books do, and it’s worth a read if you’re one of the other fifteen fourteen other readers alive in the eighties who has not yet read it.

Geek Cred Compromised

From Overtaken By Events, we have a revelation that shakes the MfBJN Geek Cred to the core. Of the UK Guardian’s top 20 Geek books, here’s what I have read (books I’ve read in bold):

1. The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams 85% (102)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four — George Orwell 79% (92)
3. Brave New World — Aldous Huxley 69% (77)
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — Philip Dick 64% (67)
5. Neuromancer — William Gibson 59% (66)
6. Dune — Frank Herbert 53% (54)
7. I, Robot — Isaac Asimov 52% (54)
8. Foundation — Isaac Asimov 47% (47)
9. The Colour of Magic — Terry Pratchett 46% (46)
10. Microserfs — Douglas Coupland 43% (44)
11. Snow Crash — Neal Stephenson 37% (37)
12. Watchmen — Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons 38% (37)
13. Cryptonomicon — Neal Stephenson 36% (36)
14. Consider Phlebas — Iain M Banks 34% (35)
15. Stranger in a Strange Land — Robert Heinlein 33% (33)
16. The Man in the High Castle — Philip K Dick 34% (32)
17. American Gods — Neil Gaiman 31% (29)
18. The Diamond Age — Neal Stephenson 27% (27)
19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy — Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson 23% (21)
20. Trouble with Lichen – John Wyndham 21% (19)

Yikes. That’s 35%, although in my rather feeble defense, I have The Illuminatus Trilogy and Microserfs on my shelves to read. Take a moment, though, to reflect upon the recent nature of most of these books; my formative years and most intense teenage geekification took place before they were published.

Additional rationalization: I was an English major, so my directed learning and self-improvement impulses lead me to heavier works (although pound-for-pound, the Illuminatus Trilogy is up there).

Forget it; I am just making it worse.

Query on the Blogoschism, Wherein Brian Joins the Navel Gazing That Only Appeals to Other Bloggers and Not Casual Readers

Does the whole Open Source Media imbroglio (briefly touched on at The American Mind), with its partisans shrieking that it’s great and it’s made a couple of mistakes but it’s going to revolutionize the blogosphere and its antagonists mocking it as a means of funnelling venture capital and advertising revenue from the rich to the leaders of Open Pajamas Media at the expense of the lesser serf blogs in OPM….

Does this strike anyone else as a sincere, authentic recreation of The Alliance of Free Blogs versus the Axis of Naughty?

This new medium has indeed re-written things. History has repeated itself first as comedy, then as tragedy.

AOL Manufactures Friends For You

Some people, me included, were a little peeved when America Online added its advertising bots to all Buddy Lists this week:

AOL's making friends for you

I mean, it’s bad enough we have full volume flash ads on the Buddy List window with the obligatory mouseover pop under ads and the insistent AOL Today or their equivalents, but now we get AOL adding things to our Buddy List. What’s next? Removing other bots for its advertisers’ competitors or banning screen names with product names in them? Or is it….the “Words In Your Mouth” campaign?!

AOL puts words in your mouth

How far fetched is this? Don’t think about it, because it’s not.