The Idiom

Can You Grok It? Free Grokistan!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Your Kid Is Fat Because of Cookie Monster - Another Idiom Expose

Another Idiom Expose: Blame it all on Cookie Monster. It's all his fault. Your kid is fat because of Cookie Monster. USA Today reports that the childhood icon of Sesame Street will tone down his cookie addiction:

'H' is for healthy eating
Think Sesame Street's Cookie Monster and think ... broccoli? In a fit of drastic behavior modification, the cookie-addicted bundle of fur is declaring that cookies are, in fact, only a "sometime food."

With any luck, the PBS kids show is onto something significant as it opens its 36th season next week: a new way to tackle childhood obesity affecting even preschoolers...

Without change, the future kids face is alarming. Two-thirds of American adults are obese or overweight. Some experts believe obesity will reduce life expectancy by months during the next half-century, after decades of progress. Financial costs are soaring. Medicare is increasingly strained by treating obesity-related diseases.

A Kaiser Family Foundation report says junk food ads now dominate TV pitches to kids, often with cartoon characters. Perhaps Sesame Street really can make "C," as the new Cookie Monster might say, for carrot sticks and change — besides that sometime cookie.
At first glance, this sounds like another attempt to siphon the last morsel of fun out of childhood, more public television political correctness to stifle the last gasp of whimsy. "Broccoli Monster" is not very funny or endearing. But then again maybe something nefarious is afoot. Maybe kids are fat because of Sesame Street and maybe someone is making a tidy profit on it. Something here reminds me of the half-hearted attempt by Philip Morris to convince kids not to smoke by airing really lame ads that subliminally make kids want to smoke.

Doesn't McDonalds underwrite Sesame Street? The Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit foundation behind Sesame Street, lists Mrs. Fields and Great American Cookies as product licensees. I'll have a Happy Meal with a Cookie Monster size serving of McBroccoli and a box of Mrs. Fields' "sometimes cookies."
J' accuse Sesame Street! 'H' is also for hypocrisy!

What's next? On today's Sesame Street we have a frank and open discussion about Cookie Monster's impulse control disorder. Remember kids 'P' is for Prozac. Maybe they will sign up Eli Lilly as a corporate sponor? Your kids are sick, so be sure to medicate them often.

Cookie Monster eat broccoli, sometimes cookies, and PROZAC! Umm num num num!

Mitch Hedburg Is Dead? - Confirmed

Addendum: Mitch Hedburg is dead. He died from a drug overdose. Confirmation comes from two news sources: Wikipedia and Howard Stern.

* * *

Is Mitch Hedburg dead? Rumors are circulating that the hilarious comedian who was about to break big is dead. Any confirmations?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Love That Dare Not Bark Its Name

And speaking of weird searches, now you can buy Bruce Bagemihl's tome Biological Exuberance : Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, which is nearly 800 pages of that tpic that you cannot get enough of Gay Animal Sex!

Throw this book into the middle of a crowd of wildlife biologists and watch them scatter. But Bagemihl doesn't let the scientific community's discomfort deny him the opportunity to show "the love that dare not bark its name" in all its feathery, furry, toothy diversity. The second half of this hefty tome is filled with an exhaustive array of species that exhibit homosexuality, complete with photos and detailed scientific illustrations of the behaviors described.

[BEAVIS] heh.heh.heh.heh.heh. He said "illustration."

Published by "Stonewall Inn Editions."

Funny, I wasn't familiar with the Stonewall's zoological research branch.

Young zoology grad students discuss their research...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Up Yours!

Well, the funniest blog post this week has been posted by another Mr. S, one Mr. Snitch. Mr. Snitch while perusing came across a product that one would not normally associate with the Internet retailer (unless you have a very strange relationship with an anal douche. Just what the hell were you shopping for anyway Mr. Snitch? selling anal douches is funny in and of itself, however the reviews for the product are comedy gold. Mr. Snitch has preserved them for all to enjoy here.

I can't top that post, so I won't even try. I'm done for today. I'll just sit back watch the inevitable hits come in for people searching for "anal douche."

Animal Vegetable or Mineral, III

Liberal leaders, like the Reverend Jessie Jackson, are embracing the Terri Schiavo cause, but not in the way you might think:

From the New York Times:

Jackson Meets With Schiavo's Parents in Florida,
Published: March 29, 2005
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) -- The parents of Terri Schiavo met and prayed Tuesday with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who called her impending death "an injustice."

Joining the conservatives who have rallied to the parents' cause, the liberal Jackson said he would call state senators who opposed legislation that would have reinserted Schiavo's feeding tube and ask them to reconsider.

Looks like Mr. Scriblerus and Kid Various have a point. Mr. Web?

Kung Fu Politics

What is behind the toppling of the autocratic regime of Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan? A latent democracy movement sweeping Central Asia? Or was it Kung Fu fighting? Kyrgyz lawmaker Bayaman Erkinbayev says it was his band of kung fu fighters.

The unsung role of Kung Fu in the Kyrgyz revolution

KARA SUU, Kyrgyzstan (AFP) - Many say people power brought down the regime in Kyrgyzstan last week. But Bayaman Erkinbayev, a lawmaker, martial arts champ and one of the Central Asian nation's
richest men, says it was his small army of Kung Fu-style fighters.

In southern Kyrgyzstan, where the protests that brought down the Askar Akayev's 15-year regime first flared, the name of 37-year-old Erkinbayev seems to be on everyone's lips.

Erkinbayev is the wealthy playboy head of the Palvan Corporation, who led 2,000 fighters trained in Alysh, Kyrgyzstan's answer to Kung Fu, to protests launched after the first round of a parliamentary election on February 27.

AFP Features, via Yahoo News

In Kyrgyzstan, the kung fu style is called Alysh. Of course in New Jersey, politicians practice the deadly open-palm/hand-in-pocket style of kung fu.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral, Cont'd.

Kid Various is Schiavoed out. However, here is a good FAQ regarding the facts of the case, as opposed to the impressions you get through the media. Be informed! Hat tip Instapundit

Friday, March 25, 2005

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?

Mr. Web writes:

You guys aren't going to comment about Terri Schiavo? Are you embarrassed by the GOP machine this week?

Frankly, Kid Various is on Terry Schiavo overload.

If Woody had gone straight to the lawyer and (signed a living will) this would never have happened.
Kid Various has. And just for future reference if you ever find him in a PVS like Schiavo - the Kid fully authorizes you, the reader, to kill him.

That said, the Kid finds it interesting that the left seeks to paint this as another example of the Republican AgendaTM. And he will defend using the time honored strategy of pointing out that the other guys are just as bad.

Are we mistaken, or did this piece of sh*t bill pass the House with an overwhelming majority?

And did it not pass unanimously in the Senate? When, in fact, one lone Democrat could have held it up indefinitely? Where was the Democrats' vaunted filibuster then?

The fact is, this is not about Republicans or Democrats, it's about politicians. As Mr. Scriblerus ably pointed out:

Kid Various: Didn't this bill pass with an overwhelming majority in the house and unanimously in the Senate? It did. Strangely though I think Congress misread the public perception. Luckily we dodged the bullet because the Dems went along with us
Mr. Scriblerus: I agree, but the issue will fade for the majority of voters after she dies, the minority on the other hand...
Kid Various: Yeah, that's a good point. But the key question is why did the Dems go along?
Mr. Scriblerus: Why not?
Kid Various: Are they that afraid of being "anti-life"?
Mr. Scriblerus: It's not like pro-choice right to die folks won't vote for them and they're still reeling from 2004 elections, so it's a freebie politically.
Kid Various: You see THAT's where I don't think they could lose suburban pro-choicers from this?
Mr. Scriblerus: Where they gonna go?
Kid Various: True dat, BUT, it's not going to make the ardent pro-lifers hate them LESS.
Mr. Scriblerus: Take Congressman Chris Smith, for example he's already anti-choice, the Dems are trying to win back the Reagan Democrats, the Catholic seniors citizens who are New Deal Democrats, but go to mass. I'm sure the Schiavo issue is huge in Bayonne, Kearny, South River
etc., but political trouble in Short Hills and Alpine.

Scrib is right in one regard, the people who are going to care about this whole rigamarole a year from now are the intense right-to-lifers. And that's the constituency the Dems are desperately trying to chip away at by supporting bills like this. And it's probably a smart move. They need the votes of traditional Democrats who espouse traditional morality. Which is why Hillary Clinton is moving to the right on the abortion debate.

Luckily, the Founders were wise enough to know that all demagoguery runs in the veins of all who aspire to political office, which is why they had the foresight to include an apolitical judiciary that regulates a lot of these interactions. And in this regard, the system works. Nothing has changed. Terri Schiavo is going to die. So, for the Democrats no harm, no foul.

And what the hell? It gives the Kid a chuckle to see leftists arguing against giving government the ability to meddle in the life of the individual. It plays against type.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

131st Carnival of the Vanities

Check out Code Blue Blog, the host of the 131st Carnival of the Vanities. Featured in the Carnival is the Idiom's first foray into investigative blog journalism and the the week's best posts from around the blogosphere. As Caffeine Awareness Month draws to a close, Dr. CBB helps us get the word out about the clandestine plot to rob you of your coffee and the nefarious forces behind the Caffeine Awareness Month movement! Coffee Drinkers of the World Unite!

News Update

Have we reached a tipping point in Iraq this week? Has law and order finally begun to take hold? Is the cause of the insurgents finally beginning to wane in the face of the democratic ideals that have taken root in Iraq. I have no idea yet, but if that's the case, you heard it here first. Why am I speculating that the winds of change are blowing in Iraq? Some stories in the news grabbed my attention this week because they were drastically different from the usual news coverage of Iraq. The media has a tendancy to report on negative things like bombings that kill soldiers and civilians. These stories are fair game, but the media also tends to ignore the steady progress being made in Iraq because its just not as sexy as a bombing. But this week, there were two consecutive stories in the news about clashes in Iraq between U.S. troops and insurgents in which the insurgents were SOUNDLY defeated.

On March 20, about 50 insurgents ambushed U.S. forces south of Baghdad. U.S. forces responded by killing 26 of them before the insurgents gave up and ran away. About seven U.S. soldiers were wounded.

On March 22, a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid on an insurgent trainging camp in central Iraq west of Tikrit left at least 80 insurgents dead according to Iraqi officials. The involvment of Iraqi soldiers in this successful operation is particulary noteworthy and is evidence that Iraqis are taking responsibility for the security of their country.

By my count, between the two clashes, that's over one hundred less shitheads in this world. If you think that these losses will only encourage insurgents to target civilians in Iraq, well, insurgents may find civilians are not soft targets anymore.

On March 22, shopkeepers and residents on one of Baghdad's main streets pulled out their own guns yesterday and killed three hooded insurgents when they began shooting at passers-by.

The news this week has been, I dare say, encouraging.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


A Marine squad was marching north of Basra when they came upon an Iraqi soldier badly injured and unconscious. Nearby, on the opposite side of the road, was an American Marine in a similar but less serious state. The Marine was conscious and alert. As first aid was given to both men, the Marine was asked what had happened. The Marine reported, "I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway and coming south was a heavily armed Iraqi soldier. Seeing each other we both took cover." "What happened then?" the Corpsman asked. "I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein was a miserable low-life scumbag, and he yelled back, 'Teddy Kennedy is a rich, good-for-nothing fat drunk." "We were standing there shaking hands when a truck hit us!"

Rebuttal: Another Perspective

The child bearing/child rearing debate rages on. Twisty (aka Mrs. Surly) weighs in with another perspective on the issue.

Friday, March 18, 2005

A Rebuttal From Children and Breeders

In rebuttal to the previous post, Mr. Scriblerus would like to make a few points in defense of children and "breeders" in general.

First, Mr. Scriblerus is arguably, at this time, the only non-evolutionary dead end among your panel of Editors at the Idiom. From a strict biological standpoint, unless your genes are able to pass into the next generation, you do not matter. Having children is a biological imperative. Not having children is a socio-economic lifestyle choice facilitated in the 20th and 21st centuries by our highly sophisticated level of civilization, advanced technology, division of labor, and effective birth control.

Second, there are plenty of places for childless people like Kid Various and Mr. Surly to go enjoy themselves in an environment sans progeny. Besides North Dakota there are taverns, casinos, adult book stores, construction sites, go-go bars, active adult communities...

Third, I do concede that Kid Various' views on reproduction are clear and his self-assessed lack of parenting skills are apparent. It is true that until he gets a better pickup line or he will not be at bat in the reproduction game any time soon. Who needs birth control when your best line involves Green Lantern, August Strindberg, or serial killers? Talk about natural selection. Although, to perpetuate himself beyond his own lifespan, I suppose alternatives to sexual reprodution like budding or cloning are always available, at least until they perfect immortality technology. But one not of caution, Kid the "Peter Pan" syndrome if left untreated, can end badly.

Fourth, the dictionary definition of Schadenfreude should read: Mr. Scriblerus seeing an acutely embarrassed Mr. Surly trudging through the local Acme pricing out jumbo packs of Huggies while lugging around a diaper bag, bottle, toys, shopping cart and his screaming rugrat throwing a tantrum. Mr. Scriblerus can't wait for Mr. Surly to try out some of his parenting wisdom then.
Sorry guys can't blog today Surly, Jr. was up all night with the colic.
- Mr. Surly in the not so distant future.

Fifth, Kid Various and Mr. Surly were once children. I am certain they engaged in ill-mannered, disruptive behavior in public much to the chagrin of their own parents. Neither one of them sprang forth fully-formed like Athena from the head of Zeus. Note for Darth Edward - that's two Greek Mythology references in two days.

However, in one regard my co-editors are right on the money. Parents should not be taking their toddlers to R-rated movies and letting them run all around the theater because they could not find a baby-sitter that night. That's just wrong.

We breeders will continue to dominate society. You can't escape us. We will keep your property taxes sky high, run over you with our strollers at the mall, clog your primetime TV airwaves with safe family-friendly fare and disrupt your airline flights.

Just remember:
For all their disposable income, for all their leisure time, they had no immunity against God's lowliest creatures; children.
- Lisa Simpson.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

North Dakota: Child Free Zone

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, North Dakota's birth rate has declined nearly every year since 1982. The number of children ages 5 through 13 declined by 381,000 between 2003 and 2004. When Kid Various gets finished playing in the Sandbox, he may want to consider moving to North Dakota which is rapidly becoming child free. The Kid, a likely evolutionary dead end, is a supporter of the child free movement. So even if the geek supermodel the Kid has been holding out for ever materializes, the Kid still won't be reproducing.

[Kid Various] So, Elle, you lead such a fascinating life. Let me ask you, in your opinion, who do you think was a better Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner or Jon Stewart?

[Elle McPherson] Well, um, I’m not sure. Probably Kyle Rayner?

[Kid Various] Wrong! It was a trick question! Everyone knows Hal Jordan was by far the best Green Lantern!

[Elle McPherson] Well, I…

[Kid Various] I’m sorry. This date is over. You know, you can have all the sex in the world. But in the end, you have to be able to talk to each other.

Which brings us to . . .


The child free movement is composed of people like the Kid who choose not to have children because of the numerous sacrifices parents are required to make. They also oppose discrimination against childless people in the form of child tax credits and the like.
It’s not so much the tax credits, although that doesn’t thrill me. But I can see the logic in subsidizing unsuspecting parents into raising the taxpayers who’ll be giving me my measly $70 a month social security check some 40 years from now.

It’s more then sacrifice. Let’s face it. I’m not responsible enough to own a freaking cat (this is not a catblog.) I’m just not into giving up all my time and money to someone else. It’s mine! All mine, you understand? Go! Go! Go! Down! Down! Down! Mine! Mine! Mine! I’m rich. I’m a happy miser…

Come on, let’s be honest. A child is a money suck for 18 years (more if you are the parents of Kid Various.) My hypothetical wife can work (and she will – I’m all about women’s liberation!) but a kid? Not unless we move to Indonesia my friend.

Oh yeah, and The Kid has an aversion to vomit. -KV

Mr. Surly is not jumping on the child free bandwagon, but I have to say there are some legitimate reasons to gripe about people with children. Anyone whose ever been in a movie theater, plane or any other confined space with someone's misbehaving child knows what I am talking about. However, I don't begrudge parents the benefits they are entitled to as a result of having children, as I am likely to have kids oneday myself.

How does forgetting to put on the condom entitle you to anything? - KV

Preferred parking for mothers with small children at the supermarket has got to go though. There's no legally enforceable way restrict parking like that except to take away my supermarket card. Plus, based upon all the times I have been nailed in the back by shopping carts propelled by kids or parents distracted by kids, further encouragment to bring children to a busy supermarket is not needed.

Kid Various loves parking in those spaces! Thank you for keeping them open so The Kid can cut off a minivan packed to the gills with screaming children and park his big, honking, gas guzzling SUV only 20 feet from the supermarket.- KV

All Mr. Surly asks of parents is to use some common sense. Parents need to teach children that the rest of the world is not one big playground where they can scream, jump, yell, knock shit over and generally annoy other people to their heart's content. If that's not possible, leave the kids at home until they can behave. I know that may difficult, but it's not impossible. Trust me, your car will be keyed much less.

That’s what you’d like to think parents would do Mr. Surly, but it’s just not true. Everyone thinks “Oh my kid will be different. I will keep my kid in line.”

F*cking Bullsh*t! They’re children! It’s not their fault. The age of reason is generally held to be seven (or 36 in Kid Various’ case.)

Before that time, children cannot accurately connect cause and effect. They can’t ponder the consequences of their action. They are completely self absorbed and unaware of other people (again, sort of like Kid Various.) So they can’t project into the future, which means you are constantly after them at all times.

[PARENT] Drop that! Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!

[PARENT] Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

[PARENT] Be quiet! Be quiet! Be quiet! Be quiet! -KV

Until parents can adopt these proposals, I may have to spend some time visiting Kid Various in North Dakota. Or maybe not. It's really freezing there in the winter and not nearly as cool as nearby Montana.

Well if you are waiting for parents to adopt these proposals, get your parka and join The Kid in the home state of Lawrence Welk.

Because the vast majority of adults become parents, there’s a wink and a nod when it comes to totally outrageous behaviour on the part of their progeny. Again, it’s not the kid’s fault. They’re children, which means, by definition, they’re retarded. Would you blame a retarded person for disruptive behaviour? Of course not. Kid Various places the blame squarely where it belongs…on the parents.

The Kid has been accused of being selfish because he has no desire to reproduce. But when parents expect the rest of the world to suffer their children because they have to, that’s the ultimate selfishness.

If Kid Various defecated in the beverage cart on the airplane, he’d be arrested. But if a three year old does it, well he’s just being “fussy.”

Until the age of reason, children simply should not be taken out in public. At least they should not be taken to any situation that is not especially crafted for children. If The Kid goes to McDonald’s or Sesame Place, he puts himself in that environment. But young children simply should not be taken on planes, trains, or into movie theatres or restaurants or museums because they cannot be controlled. And then when the parents get stuck with a hysterical, flailing child on a 6 hour plane ride, they give you the look like “Hey, he’s a kid. What do you want me to do?”

That’s just totally unacceptable!

What Kid Various wants you to do is remember that you are part of a society and you can’t inflict your children on other people! Kid Various wants you to think ahead and slightly outside the bubble of your own needs. This shouldn’t have to be a law, like a no smoking section. It should just be common f*cking courtesy! Why would you even put yourself in that position of having to hurt other people? Why do parents even feel the need to bring them out of the house? Are there no TV’s? Are there no Playstations?

Kid Various is having a rage blackout just thinking about it! -KV

Maxi Zeus

A reader writes:
Your penetrating insights on American foreign policy, society and animal sexual habits are great and all, but how about some more Greek mythology references?
- Darth Edward, Plano, TX
Well Lord Edward, how about this!

Zeus Kronion! Son of Kronos! Usurper of Titans! Lord of the heavens and first over all the gods of Olympus!

In what fashion shall we honor this deity of legend? With animal sacrifice? Magnificent temples? Grand festivals with days of wine and chariot races? Or how about with a giant freakin' hamburger?

That's right, now you can honor the god of thunder by downing a 7 pound burger at one of New Jersey's great gifts to mankind, the local diner.

All told, 190 of Clinton Station Diner's new 1- to 7-pound hamburgers have sold since their Feb. 2 launch, said owner Michael Zambas.
"We're selling one (7-pound) Zeus burger every day," he said. But no one's gotten it for free by eating the whole thing within three hours. "A few people have tried, including one who came in with a strategy. He drank lots of water and announced that he'd be able to leave enough room for dessert." But, after an hour, he'd only eaten a quarter of it. "He left with a very large doggie bag,"
said Zambas.
Zambas, huh? One can see why he'd want to pay tribute to Zeus Panhellenios. So odd. A greek diner owner in New Jersey.

Next up Shiva, The Destroyer 5 gallon slurpees at 7-11.
[HOMER] Hey Ganesha, want a peanut?

[APU] Please do not offer my God a peanut.

Kid Various feels a challenge coming on. Sure we could drive to Clearfield, PA. But the Clinton Station Diner is right up on I-78! Editors of The Idiom, we must get there and praise the father of Athena and Herakles before
Kate Stelnick! Or that skinny Japanese guy.

As long as the lettuce and tomato are optional, The Kid will make short work of that burger. So make plans, my friends to celebrate the buggerer of Ganymede.

Oh yeah, and how about some more comic book references?
- Darth Edward, Plano, TX
See the title, Darth.

California Justice, Cont'd

Don't do the criiiiime if you can't do the tiiiiiime.

Oh - well, no time for parrot wielding actor Robert Blake (Kid Various has heard him referred to as a star on TV. That's stretching it a bit.)

But, as Mr. Surly pointed out, beating Kid V. to the punch, a California jury has acquitted Blake of the killing of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakely. Or maybe they weren't married. Maybe she just thought they were married because they kind of had the same last name.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but she was a little crazy.

Bakley had been married several times, had a record for mail fraud and made a living scamming men out of money with nude pictures of herself and promises of sex.

Which segues us into a discussion of what is really interesting about this case, and it's comparison to the other big CA trial (well, one of several) the Scott Peterson case.

As pointed out on today's Lionel Show (710AM NYC WWOR), here we have two cases in which the defendant could not be linked to the crime by any forensic or eye-witness evidence.

Nobody could place Blake or Peterson at the scene of the crime or in possession of the murder weapon. Both cases were entirely circumstantial.Not that circumstantial evidence is not valid, but both cases are characterized by a complete lack of any direct evidence. And in today's jury pool that's been fed a steady diet of three (THREE!) versions of CSI, people are expecting a lot more than,"Well, he was acting real suspicious"

In fact, the CSI effect is something that is troubling prosecutors because jurors are all of a sudden demanding a lot of whiz bang technology driven evidence which simply doesn't exist most of the time. And hey, CSI, guess what? Medical Examiners don't investigate or question suspects. Homicide detectives do that. Haven't you ever watched Homicide, Life On The Streets? (The last good cop show) And also, turn on the f*cking lights in the lab! How can anyone get anyone get any forensic work done in the f*cking dark?

[STOKES] You see this smudge on the fiber?


[STOKES] Right there. The way it's been wiped crossways instead of vertically.

[GRISSOM] I can't see it.

[STOKES] It's right under that groove...

[GRISSOM] Can we turn on the f*cking lights? What are we under a power restriction or something?

And, of course, the biggest and most unlikely technological miracle pulled off by CSI on a weekly basis, the revival of David Caruso's career.

In any case, The Kid digresses.

What was the fundamental difference in these two cases? In both you had absolutely no direct evidence to tie the defendants to the crime. What made one jury go one way and another completely opposite?

The difference was that in the Peterson case, the jury hated him. In the Blake case, the jury hated the victim, Bakely. Peterson played it all wrong from the get go. By some miracle, he avoided leaving any evidence that could incriminate him. But he wasn't properly grieving. He was an adulterer. A scoundrel who also lied to his mistress. And in court, he was not properly chastened and humble. The smirk. The attitude. The jurors
hated him.

Blake, on the other hand, who's alibi was "I couldn't have killed her because at the time of the murder I was going back to the restaurant to get my gun..." (Kid various don't know nuthin' about no homicidin', but he's pretty sure the police don't want to hear that.) was properly chastened. He seemed fearful, respectful. And old guy, white hair (remember Leland in Twin Peaks?) and more importantly he seemed to have been trapped in a loveless marriage by a wacky and criminal Bakely.

People vote on juries the same way they vote at the ballot box. Not with a rational calculus of the evidence, but rather about how they feel about the people involved in the trial. Much more important than the actual facts is the way that jurors perceive defendants and witness to be credible or not credible. This is almost exclusively based on intuition and feeling. Again, to make an analogy, it's not part of the "reality based" community. It's relegated to the sphere of the "perception based."

Which is why Kid Various will now give Michael Jackson some free legal advice.

Wear a freakin' suit you freak!

The Kid is the last man on earth to tell anyone to straighten up and be normal. But you can be sure that if he were in court on trial for his life, he would appear in a suit, on time, looking very somber and contrite. Yes, your honor. No, your honor. That is the best of my recollection ma'am.

Fatwa On!

Here's a story about Iran that didn't get much attention in comparison to the news about Iran's nuclear ambitions and posturing. It adds just a little bit more context to consider the West's opposition to Iran becoming a nuclear power and helps demonstrate why Iran is still a dangerous nation.

In February, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, a hard-line military organization, loyal to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared the fatwa imposing a death sentence on British author Salman Rushdie is still valid and was "irrevocable." Considered the worst book review ever, the fatwa was issued against Rushdie for the publication of his "blasphemous" novel "The Satanic Verses." A month earlier, Ayatollah Khamenei said he still believed the British novelist deserved to die.

The whole situation seemed to be resolved in 1998, when Tehran promised the British Government that Iran would do nothing to implement the fatwa against Rusdhie who is a British citizen.

However, last year the 15 Khordad Foundation, a CHARITABLE FOUNDATION which has placed a $2.8m bounty on Rushdie's head announced the fatwa was still valid.

So basically, Iran is a country where CHARITABLE FOUNDATIONS can pay to have someone killed. ASTOUNDING! I mean, can you imagine if the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation stopped just funding public television and poetry festivals and started putting contracts on people?

FOUNDATION HEAD: What? The NEA cut your grant? Fatwa on! Get me an enforcer.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

California Justice

Robert Blake: Aquitted.

Scott Peterson: Death.

Robert Blake appears to be the beneficiary of the forgiving jurors of Los Angeles. Despite a fair amount of evidence that tended to support the prosecution's contention that Robert Blake killed his wife, the jury remained unconvinced he was guilty. Of course, I don't see many people rushing to proclaim that Blake was actually innocent. Although there wasn't enough evidence to convince a jury that Blake was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, there was plenty of evidence to indicate he is one wacky and unstable guy who maybe whacked his wife.

Scott Peterson, though, clearly got what he deserved. The death penalty was made for a guy like Peterson. The argument could be made that a man who kills his wife in a fit of rage might deserve a jail sentance instead of death. Arguably, someone who commits an isolated crime of passion could be rehabilitated one day. However, a man who kills his wife and unborn child with cold blooded calculation, then proceeds to cover up his crime and pretend like it never happened, well, society has no use for such a man. One hopes Scott Peterson will shuffle off this mortal coil with all due haste. In California, that means about 20 years unless another inmate gets him first.

Conservatives at the Gates of the World Bank

President Bush has nominated Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to be president of the World Bank. In your face Bono! Frankly, although Bono's name was bandied about for the job of World Bank president, it was really unlikely that he would be nominated to be president. While the U.S. is the largest shareholder in both the World Bank and its sister organization the International Monetary Fund, a European national traditionally heads the International Monetary Fund and a U.S. citizen traditionally heads the World Bank. That arrangement pretty much left Bono, who is Irish (God bless the Irish by the way), out of the running to head the World Bank.

As Yahoo News reports, the reaction of the French is pretty much what you would expect:

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier suggested other candidates could be considered. "It's a proposal. We shall examine it in context of the personality of the person you mention and perhaps in view of other candidates."

This is basically "diplomat speak" for "we're going ape-shit over this!"

Good Stuff in My Mailbox

So today I come home and what do I find in my mailbox? What does every man between age 20 and 40 look forward to finding in his mailbox? Ok, besides the new Victoria's Secret catalog which came today. That's right, the latest issue of my favorite magazine, Maxim. And it's the swimsuit issue. Bonus! Well, I mean, every issue of Maxim is basically a swimsuit issue, but this one says it's a swimsuit issue.

But the very best part is that it's FREE! It's the first issue of a subscription I got for free by filling out a form online. There are about a million free magazine offers online, but almost all of them require you to jump through a bunch of hoops or agree to receive loads of spam trying sell you stuff in return for free the magazine subscription. However, I chanced upon one offer that didn't appear to require me to do anything annoying to get a subscription, so I filled out the online form and promptly forgot about it. Until today! Thank you Maixm.

Free Maxim and the Victoria's Secret catalog all in one day. What a great country we live in.

130th Carnival of the Vanities

Stop by the Bird's Eye View to get a, well a bird's eye view of the best of the blogosphere this week at the 130th Carnival of the Vanities. Mr. Scriblerus' post on the pandering pandas is featured along with 59 other diverse selections. Be sure to check out Kid Various' panda rebuttal. And thanks to Bird this week's Carnival host.

The Blog Noir Project

What is the Blog Noir? Well, the answer to that question in detail can be found here.

However, in short the Blog Noir is a hard boiled detective story in six chapters written by bloggers, many of whom are friends of The Idiom. The Blog Noir was completed this week and can now be read in its entirety.

Chapter One, written by Jim of Parkway Rest Stop, can be found here.

Chapter Two, written by Key of Key Issues, can be found here.

Chapter Three, written by Twisty, can be found here. This is my favorite chapter as Twisty is also known as Mrs. Surly.

Chapter Four, written by Feisty Repartee can be found here.

Chapter Five, written by Not A Shrinking Violet can be found here.

Chapter Six, written by Sadie at a Fistful of Fortnights, can be found here.

Go check out what happens when you throw six talented writers at a story, it's fun.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Liberal Bloggers Whine for Attention

Wizbang hits the nail right on the head in a post about a New York Times story which details how "liberal progressive" bloggers are using conference calls to share their ideas with newspaper and television journalists. Two of these calls, hosted by have occured so far, and while no has confirmed who dialed in, reporters from news organizations including CBS, The Washington Post, Newsweek, MSNBC and The National Journal asked for a call-in number.

As Wizbang ably points out, a method exists for bloggers to share to share their ideas with the mainstream media. It's called a blog.

Bob Fertik, President of complains:

"The way we perceive it,is that right-wing bloggers are able to invent stories, get them out on Drudge, get them on Rush Limbaugh, get them on Fox, and pretty soon that spills over into the mainstream media. We, the progressives, we don't have that kind of network to work with."
What? Right-wing invent stories? I guess conseratives just dream up stories like magic. I have a suggestion for aspiring liberal bloggers: try coming up with good stories -- write a good story and other bloggers and even the mainsteam media will find you.

Whining to the mainstream media will not help you get noticed. Quite frankly, that's just preaching to the choir. The mainstream media is dominated by liberals. Liberal blogs, for the most part, are pretty much redundant.

On the other hand, the growth of conservative blogs and conservative talk radio are a direct result of the mainstream media being dominated. Conservatives viewpoints have found outlets in the blogoshpere and radio precisely because other media outlets are not really interested in reporting on them.

The efforts of or "Air America" have little to do with reporting on stories that aren't covered elsewhere, and everything to with liberals, convinced of their righteousness, trying to further drown out conservative viewpoints. So, if you don't offer anything new, don't be surprized when no one pays much attention.

Assist via Punditguy

Happy Caffeine Awareness Month!

You were all probably blissfully unaware that March is Caffeine Awareness Month! Happy Caffeine Awareness Month everyone! Mr. Scriblerus is very aware of caffeine, but not of Caffeine Awareness Month.

So what is Caffeine Awarenss Month all about? Do we celebrate caffeine, the most wonderful of wonder drugs that powers our post-industrial, information-driven global economy? Do we pay homage to the coffee, tea, colas, and other assorted beverages that get us through college, work, and other essential nocturnal activities? Maybe we could all audit a college class in the subject?

Sadly, no. Caffeine Awareness Month the handiwork of an insidious cabal called the Caffeine Awareness Alliance. They created this Trojan Horse of a fake holiday to further their nefarious plot to take away our coffee. The CAA is at this moment spreading the evil propaganda that caffeine is an intoxicating and addictive drug with long term dangers to your health. Naive and foolish leaders have already fallen victim to this group's anti-caffeine agenda. Governors in Wiscosin, Nebraska, and New Jersey have signed on to the CAA proclamation along with mayors in 10 major cities across the nation.

Behind this health facade, note the thinly veiled threat in this news release:
Caffeine's Days Are Numbered in Brentwood California:
Brentwood, CA - (March 11, 2005) Following in the steps of the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and Chino, the city of Brentwood California has been proclaimed for National Caffeine Awareness Month. Mayor Brian Swisher has signed a proclamation declaring March as National Caffeine Awareness Month. This event marks the first time the city of Brentwood addresses the issues about caffeine intoxication and dependency...

Brentwood is one of several cities across the country recognizing this annual event. This will be the third year for this event which is sponsored by the Caffeine Awareness Alliance, a non-profit organization. Marina Kushner, founder, states, "Each year more and more people are waking up to the real truth about the dangers of this ubiquitous drug. We are delighted that 3 mayors of California have recognized the importance of this event. We expect Governor Schwarznegger to sign our proclamation as well." Prior years have seen ways of celebrating this event ranging from educational events in school, helping the medical community to educate their clients and even picketing outside coffee houses.
The CAA's rhetoric aligns caffeine with other "hard" drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. The CAA also promotes the term "caffeineism" (think alcoholism) to denote caffeine addiction. Can a push to ban caffeine be far behind? CAA founder Marina Kushner already has the answer to a coffee-free world. The CAA is really just Kushner's front group hawking her product Soyfee, a soy-based, non-caffeinated coffee "alternative." As the propaganda wing of the Caffeine Free Soy Product Industrial Complex, you can expect the CAA to stop at nothing to replace our cuppa joe with a healthful, organic, caffeine free, soy alternative.
Imagine the a world without caffeinated coffee. Narcoleptic workers would collapse at their desks. Urgent deadlines would go unmet. Tests would be failed. Blogs left un-updated. In a word - anarchy. Society as we know it would crumble leaving the door wide open for those anarcho-syndicalist Soyfee-drinking hippies to take over.
Coffee drinkers of the world unite! First they took our cigarettes, now they are after our coffee! What's next our beer, wine and liquor? I suppose those aren't good for us either! I say no more. We must resist. Everyone should run, not walk, down to the nearest Starbucks (there's bound to be one on the next corner anyway) and order a triple-shot, grande-venti, extra-caffeinated expresso to protest Caffeine Awareness Month. Together we the hordes of jittery, anxious bloggers who are going to up all night anyway, can put a stop to this clandestine conspiracy to deprive us of our coffee!

Remember as Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

Another One For The "Duh!" File

In an explosive revelation, a study by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism found that major media outlets were three times more likely to be negative toward President Bush than towards Senator John Kerry in last year's election.

The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.

Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The study looked at 16 newspapers of varying size across the country, four nightly newscasts, three network morning news shows, nine cable programs and nine Web sites through the course of 2004.

Kid Various is shocked!...SHOCKED! think that maybe there is some sort of bias in the mainstream media that somehow might color the obsessive and scrupulous quest for objectivity on the part of journalists!

Surely it is impossible, that the fact that an overwhelming number of "public guardians" self-describe themselves as liberal and that over 90% voted for Al Gore (2004 numbers not yet available) could somehow have anything to do with the overwhelmingly negative portrayals in the press of the Administration and it's policies.

In other news today...

The sky is blue.
The earth is round.
The Pope is Catholic.

And this story earns a big, and well deserved, Idiom "Duh!"

Monday, March 14, 2005

Our Posts Explained - A Public Service Brought To You By The Idiom

As the management says, our posts are for our amusement, and our amusement only. But sometimes we do forget that other people may not “get” our hilarity. Usually this comes up in the context of liberals who, as a rule, tend to take themselves and their causes very seriously and thus, are somewhat humour-challenged. So we will proceed slowly, very slowly.

Just for those who value the importance of being earnest, we wanted to make a few things perfectly clear about some of our recent posts. To begin, let's analyze the Supermodel Revolution post, which focuses on press coverage of the many attractive Lebanese women taking part in demonstations against Syria:
1) The post is humourous. By taking an issue of staggering importance such as, say, the possibility of an “Arab spring” and conflating it with the low and boorish tendency of men to look at women's breasts, one creates “comic tension.” It’s that comic tension that provides the ha-ha. (Cf. The Daily Show, The Onion.)

2) The post is a sly dig at the media’s tendency to play up the “hot chick” angle because they’re more photogenic. This has been widely commented on elsewhere. While the politically correct set may grumble at this depiction of Lebanese women, The Idiom didn’t take these pictures and put them on the cover of major news weeklies and all over the web. AP did. Maybe the liberal establishment should take issue with the photographers of their own propaganda machine. They are clearly practicing the heinous anti-liberal bias crime of “lookism.” Don't ugly chicks yearn to breathe free too? As our post SupermodelRevolution? Redux so ably points out, the less attractive protesters get less airplay. Peel away the layers of irony, savor them, they are exquisite.

3) There was a final dig at the Vietnam era generation (the gold medal winners of the Earnest Olympics) who credit themselves with promoting a mass movement based on ethical opposition to the war in Southeast Asia, when in fact, a lot of it was based on teenage boys looking to get laid. There is no doubt that by 1967, campus protests were a decidedly social phenomenon, and thus a little jab at those very serious people.

Well, if you have to have the joke explained to you, you’re probably not going to get it in any case.

Turning our attention to our post on the nomination of John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations, we at the Idiom can’t understand why some people don’t see the humour in his appointment. There’s just something funny about the nominating a guy to be ambassador to the U.N. who once said “there's no such thing as the United Nations." Insert your own joke about existentialism here.

What’s more perplexing though are the people who find it objectionable and counterproductive for the President to nominate someone with a contentious relationship with the U.N. to serve as ambassador to that organization. Maybe what these poor misguided folks don’t realise is that John Bolton is not being hired by the U.N.! He works for the U.S. government and his job is to advocate the United States’ interests in the “world body.” And frankly, we think U.S. interests would be well served by giving the U.N. a hard dose of reality.

Far from the romantic image of leftists, where the U.N. embodies the future of peaceful, enlightened one-world government, the United Nations, for the most part, is a cesspool of corruption where unaccountable and incompetent third world bureaucrats draw big salaries and other benefits to do things like: take refugee populations under their protection and then leave them to slaughter; administer programs that allow horrific dictators to grow rich off their people’s misery and deliver kick-backs to U.N. staff and their friends; traffic in women & children for purposes of forced prostitution; travel to disaster areas to “coordinate” the efforts of nations doing the heavy lifting from the comfort of the local Sheraton. And don’t forget those nifty diplomatic plates that, thanks to diplomatic immunity principles, lets them park anyplace they god damn well feel like it in New York City and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Hey, there’s a reason we hear the local joke in Baghdad is, “The U.N. is coming in? Oh great, they should have the child sex ring up and running in no time!”

The problem is that most of those enraptured by the myth of the U.N. really don’t have any contact with their victims, or the victims of the dictators that they coddle.

We at The Idiom personally know a man who can’t walk straight because when he was thrown in prison for indeterminate cause, Saddam’s thugs crushed his pelvis probably for nothing more than their own amusement.

We at The Idiom personally know an Iraqi woman whose sister, a doctor, was murdered when she criticised the health system of the former regime.

We at The Idiom personally know a man whose father was taken by the Baathist government in the middle of the night and never seen again.

We at The Idiom personally know a man who had escaped Saddam’s torture chambers after the Shi’a intifada, made his way to the West and dedicated his life to returning and helping his people.

And we at The Idiom are aware that a good number of Iraqi citizens show up to work at international organizations every day, at the risk of their lives, not just for a pay check, but for the opportunity to help build a better future for themselves and their countrymen. And we know that most of these people are god dammed grateful to the United States for helping them achieve that opportunity.

That is what 1,513 of our soldiers have died for. That’s what many more will die for before the war is finished. They are dying for those hot Lebanese women in Beirut, and for women all over the Arab world. And for the men too. And you can be dammed sure that it is worth it.

And The Idiom dares anyone to smugly mock that!
Any questions?

We know things are very difficult for you these days. Rudderless and intellectually bankrupt, your weltanschaung collapses and you continue your inexorable decline into a permanent minority party status quagmire here in the United States. So as the self-anointed paragons of open-minded tolerance that you are, why not open your minds to some of the new ideas that we present to you on a daily basis in a humorous fashion here at The Idiom? In the meantime, hate mail is always welcome.

Your Humble Editors:
Kid Various, Mr. Surly, & Mr. Scriblerus, Esquires

Friday, March 11, 2005

...Because The Revolution's Here. And You Know It's Right III

200 people protesting in Bahrain against the incarceration of 3 bloggers who are guilty of the crime of speaking their mind?

People arrested for airing their views in Bahrain. Strictly dog bites man.

People spontaneously and peacefully standing up in their defense? Definitely man bites dog.
hat tip Instapundit

And women in Kuwait possibly gaining the vote?
Kuwaiti women, who have struggled in vain for their political rights over nearly four decades, are just one step away from winning their suffrage, women activists amid their supporters said Wednesday. "Things won't take too long. We are highly optimistic because some MPs opposing women's rights have changed their position and the government is with us," said leading activist Fatima al-Abdali.

Yeah, that George Bush. He's such a simpleton.

Panda Pandering, Cont'd.

Aha! Here’s the real reason why Mie Xiang has yet to get knocked up!

Kid Various thinks one of the zoo keepers has to have a talk with Tian Tian about the birds & the bears. The Kid knows what you’re thinking…”Kid Various, you’re so silly! Everyone knows giant pandas aren’t really bears! They’re more related to raccoons!”

In reality, it seems that Mie Xiang has rather unrealistic standards. Hey, that’s ok! Sometimes we all have an improbable opinion of ourselves and feel we shouldn’t have to settle. Kid Various himself is holding out for a supermodel who knows why Hal Jordan was a much better Green Lantern than Kyle Rayner. Predictably this has left him with a lot of free time but with the experience necessary to know what Mie Xiang really needs: A big set of beer goggles!

The curators of the National Zoo have to drag Mie Xiang down to Adams Morgan and plow her with enough pink squirrels until Tian Tian begins to look like Brad Pitt.

Or Pitt Pitt.

Oh whatever the f*ck it is a female panda would like to do.

The only problem with this is that if Mie Xiang brought a complaint to the EEOC, the National Zoo might open itself to a lawsuit (there’s already one going down at the monkey house) or a visit from the sexual harassment panda. Yes the sexual harassment panda – available for corporate functions everywhere.

Who lives in peace 'neath the willow tree?
Sexual Harassment Panda!
Who explains sexual harassment to you and me?
Sexual Harassment Panda!
Don't say that, don't touch there..
Don't be nasty says the silly old bear!
He's come to teach you what's right and wrong..
Sexual Harassment Panda!

Panda Pandering

Zoos harboring endangered panda bears are readying for the upcoming spring mating season. Notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, the National Zoo will close the panda exhibit to give resident pandas Mie Xiang and Tian Tian them more privacy in the hopes of a successful mating. Apparently, allowing the general public in to yell "C'mon do it pandas do it!" has not helped the shy animals propagate their dwindling species.

Female pandas are in heat for only one or two days each year. No pressure there for Tian Tian, not only is the species endangered but if he blows it with Mie Xiang, he will have to take cold showers for the rest of the year.
Three attempts to get Mei Xiang pregnant have failed. Taking tips from panda experts, the National Zoo plans to "create expectation between the two," as [National Zoo spokesman John] Gibbons put it. They will be put together for short periods, then separated, a process to be repeated at different times.
via CNN
Mr. Scriblerus recommends the zookeepers work a little harder to enhance the romantic atmosphere of the panda exhibit. Perhaps they should install some mood lighting and play some Marvin Gaye music. Inviting the gay German penguins over to give Tian Tian a makeover and redecorate his den might not be a bad idea either. Maybe a Queer Penguin for the Straight Panda pilot is in the works, is anyone from Fox reading this?

"Hey Baby, let's do it for our species..."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Fight Fatwa With Fatwa

Finally, some Muslim clerics in Spain issued a fatwa of their own on Osama Bin Laden.

This fatwa appears to be a little light on the jihad, unlike Osama's original fatwa against the U.S. but it's a start.

Update on Loonatics

Well, Warner Brothers is still going ahead with its plans to bastardize its classic Looney Toons characters in a new animated television series called "Loonatics." However, there are some problems already.

There is already a character called Buzz Bunny created over a year ago by dutch designer Metin Seven. Loyal readers will recall that Buzz Bunny is the monicker Warner Brother wants use for its reimagined Bugs Bunny character. I smell a tradmark infringement lawsuit.

Dutch Buzz

Evil Buzz

Then there's this:

Spicy Buzz

Being confused with that can't can't be good for Warner Brothers.

Meanwhile, fan outrage over the Loonatics has also continued to balloon. For a taste of the growing outrage, check out this little movie featuring Buzz Bunny's first animated appearence. Definitely not f*ckin' safe for work.


Goodbye Dan Rather and Good Riddance

Dan Rather has signed off on the CBS Evening News for the last time. Check out for why this is a good thing.

Rather: Not Snuggly

He even said “Courage!” during his final newscast. Rather tried using “Courage!” as a signature sign off for a short time many years ago, until he stopped because pretty much everyone thought it was kind of stupid. I have no idea why Rather would reference one of the more silly chapters in his life. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who would bring something like that up for the sake of irony. Irony is not really his strong suit. Otherwise, he’d slip in a “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” remark or do a segment in a sweater. Rather wore sweaters while he did the news for short time too in an attempt to be more snuggly to viewers. That didn’t work out either. I guess the “Courage!” sign-off was just one more thing Rather believed he wasn’t wrong on and deserved a comeback. Too bad Rather didn’t spend more time worrying about doing the news well instead of his image.

Well, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out Dan. Goodbye and don’t come back. You outstayed your welcome a long time ago. Even Walter Cronkite, who is not really known for badmouthing people, pretty much said he couldn’t believe CBS didn’t dump Rather as an anchor sooner since the CBS Evening News has been mired in last place in the ratings for the three network evening news broadcasts for as long as can be remembered. Rather may enjoy a special place in Cronkite's heart (after CBS pushed Cronkite to retire so Dan Rather could take over the CBS Evening News) though because this is not the first time Cronkite has been critical of Dan Rather. Cronkite said Rather should have been fired after Rather threw a temper tantrum and walked away from his anchor desk after a tennis match that ran long delayed the start of the CBS Evening News.

While we say goodbye to the old boss, let’s say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss. Bob Schieffer is Rather’s temporary replacement. Based on Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How Media Distorts the News, a book Mr. Surly highly recommends, Schieffer may be just as big a prick as Rather.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

One for the Obscure Protestor Message File

On his state visit to New Zealand, Prince Charles was greeted by this protestor:

Her statement to "Get your Colonial Shame off my breasts", is apparently anti-monarchial, but her point is not entirely clear to Mr. Scriblerus. But then again, neither was Soy Bomb's:

The Supermodel Revolution? Redux

Another "supermodel" joins the Kid Various' "revolution."

Lemmy is a Tory?

Speaking of Tories, is Lemmy Kilmeister of Motorhead divulging his Tory leanings?


HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) - They really said it -- notable quotes from the news:

"Anybody that smiles that much, there must be something wrong with him."

-- MOTORHEAD frontman IAN "LEMMY" KILMISTER, on U.K. Prime Minister

Via Yahoo.

Disraeli Gears

According to the Weekly Standard, the inventor of modern conservatism as a mass political movement was none other than Victorian era British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

B*tchslapping the U.N.

Yesterday, President Bush nominated Undersecretary for Arms Control John R. Bolton to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.


You know, Kid Various loves the President more and more each day. Who else would have put in the U.N. seat someone who once said:

If the UN secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.
"Multilateralists" are predictably outraged.

Mr. Bolton, 56, is considered one of the administration's leading conservative hawks. He pressed the case for war with Iraq. And he has been witheringly critical of autocratic countries including North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba.
Because, you know, God forbid someone should be critical of North Korea.

In July 2003, as delicate six-party talks including North Korean were about to start, Mr. called Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, a "tyrannical dictator" of a country where "life is a hellish nightmare." North Korea responded furiously, saying that "such human scum and bloodsucker is not entitled to take part in the talks" and that Pyongyang no longer considered Mr. Bolton to represent the administration.
Anyone whom Kim Jong Il calls 'human scum' and a 'bloodsucker' is ok in The Kid's book. Kid Various looks forward to many years of Ambassador Bolton telling the despots of the world where they can stick it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

They Probably Put the Toilet Seat Down Too

Some people think that being gay is a choice, or a product of bad parenting. This view has always puzzled Kid Various as none of the gay people he has known have chosen to be gay. Really, who would choose that headache? In any case, a mountain of evidence is being compiled that homosexuality is a matter of genetics.

The latest piece of the puzzle? Yes, gay men are just as bad at reading maps as women are.Hat
tip Mind Hacks

Homosexual men share the same relatively poor map reading skills as heterosexual women, according to a study.

Earlier research found men better than women at finding their way around a "virtual reality" maze, relying on geometric cues while women rely more on landmarks.
No word on whether gay men are more likely to actually stop the freakin' car and just ask for directions...

The BBC Must Be Destroyed

It is to Kid Various' eternal pain that most Americans will never be able to watch the BBC. Because if they did, they'd realize how its biased and intentionally inflammatory coverage warps the world's understanding of our society. Let The Kid make himself perfectly clear:

The British Broadcasting System, the world's premiere journalistic news service, has a persistent and virulent anti-American/anti-Western bias and is intentionally seeking to use its power to undermine U.S. policy across the globe.

The examples of this slanting of news coverage are legion. And we're not talking about the Dan Rather-type bias either. Compared to the BBC, the American network news broadcasts are paragons of journalistic integrity.

The bias extends not just to the U.S. but to western civilization in general, as exemplified by the BBC's complete and utter lack of objectivity when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Until recently, Kid Various did not have a dog in this fight. He is neither Jewish, Muslim nor a millennial Christian and thus has no tie to "the holy land." Until September 11, The Kid was becoming more and more of an Arabist, seeing the ongoing conflict as a costly distraction from our real aims in the Middle East (propping up friendly Arab dictators and making sure the oil kept flowing.)

Post-September 11, The Kid has begun to think really hard about the United States' past policies and how we are now engaged in a global battle between the Western Enlightenment and Medieval despotism.

So The Kid has a lot of understanding of where the Israelis are coming from. The Israelis have a lot to answer for, including collective punishment and institutionalized use of torture (although both have, thankfully, recently been suspended.)

However, on the balance sheet between the Israelis and their Palestinian foes, the Palestinians are way, we're talking WAY, on the other side of the scale.

Which makes this latest outrage by the BBC even more telling. In covering the Tel Aviv suicide bombing last week, the BBC led off its story by covering the "family in mourning."

The family in mourning was not one of the families of the 4 innocent people killed in the blast but rather the family of the terrorist who murdered them!

Let Kid Various repeat that, just in case its incredible cognitive dissonance kept you from assimilating it the first time.

The family in mourning was not one of the families of the 4 innocent people killed in the blast but rather the family of the terrorist who murdered them!

That's right. In the BBC's warped view of the world, the suffering of the family of a man who willingly strapped explosives to himself, walked into a line of people waiting to get into a club, and purposely detonated the bomb in order to kill as many innocent civilians as possible, is more important than the sufferings of the families of the victims. (Let's not even get into the concept of whether or not the BBC should be giving an
evenhanded analysis of the virtue of suicide terrorism)

This affront to the principles of journalism was apparently too much even for the bigwigs at the BBC who posted a limp "correction" last Monday.

In response, head of BBC television news Roger Mosey said: "The programme editors and I agree it was inappropriate to begin the report with footage of the suicide bomber's family in mourning.

"It was also inappropriate to include this footage without coverage of the suffering of the victims' families.

"Using this picture sequence in this way was a mistake. However, the report's coverage of the political ramifications of the bombing and this week's London conference was balanced and fair - and we did, of course, report fully the events in Tel Aviv in our bulletins on Friday night and
Thankfully, it appears that many of the Palestinans, exhausted from a fruitless intifada, don't seem to share the BBC's convictions. Unlike in the past, people have refrained from the traditional celebrations over suicide attacks.

In contrast to the dozens of previous suicide bombings, no celebrations were held in the West Bank on Saturday and militant groups didn't hang the customary posters of congratulations at the bomber's home.
Hopefully the Palestinians are realizing that the only way to improve their lives is to fully join the modern world, which means leaving the medieval tactics of a primitive worldview behind. The BBC won't help them in that effort. But we will.

Fish Is Doing Fine

Inexplicably, Abe Vigoda is still alive.

Kid Various knows this because he uses Firefox as his browser (death to IE!) and downloaded the Abe Vigoda
status extension.
Now, whenever The Kid is online, he receives constant updates on Abe Vigoda's current status.

Talk about useful!

Still alive.

Be On The Lookout for Designer Electronic Ankle Bracelets

Lock up your flower arrangements and crudite.

Martha Stewart is back on the street!

The Supermodel Revolution

G*dammit! This was posted on Instapundit this morning!

Kid Various noticed this last week and was going to do a humourous post on it! The Kid even mentioned it to Mr. Scriblerus in an IM! You can back me up Scrib, right? Right?

Jeez, you snooze you freakin' lose!

In any case, we know now that the Revolution in Lebanon can't fail. Why? Because it has what every successful protest needs...


This one was from Democracy Guy

Oooooooh yeeeaaaah...

Well what the hell? It worked for Vietnam...

Batman Yeah! This is a test.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Mr. Surly's How To Guide

I have some bad news. One day the earth will be destroyed. It's just a matter of how and when.

Have you ever wondered how you could destroy the world? I'm looking at you Kim Jong Il. For those curious about how one might destroy the Earth, here's an informative guide. Fortunately for Mr. Surly, most of us will be dead by the time the planet bites the dust, unless of course immortality technology is perfected.

...Because The Revolution's Here. And You Know It's Right, Cont'd.

Just in case readers of The Idiom haven't checked out Instapundit lately, here's some more on American meddling the Middle East.
"All right, all right. But apart from liberating 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, undermining dictatorships throughout the Arab world, spreading freedom and self-determination in the broader Middle East and moving the Palestinians and the Israelis towards a real chance of ending their centuries-long war, what have the Americans ever done for
Nod to MontyPython, and one of The Kid's favourite bits.

However, as The Kid has mentioned before, it's important to remain on an even keel. Ralph Peters agrees:
FOR three years, this column has shot down the pessimists who warned we were bound to fail in the Middle East. Now those of us who see our confidence vindicated must beware a premature euphoria.

There's plenty of work ahead.

Our successes have been remarkable. In the past six weeks, we've seen more positive movement in the region than we saw in the preceding six decades. The political landscape of the old Islamic heartlands has changed breathtakingly since our first special-operations team went to work in the wake of 9/11.

Afghanistan's finding its footing as a democracy. Iraq welcomed its first free elections with an enthusiasm and valor that should shame apathetic Western voters. Inspired, the people of Lebanon took to the streets to demand freedom from Syrian occupation. Palestinians voted, too - and their new government is resisting the terrorists who want to frustrate peace efforts.

From Iran through Saudi Arabia to Egypt, the first breezes of change are beginning to blow.

But they're not gale-force winds just yet. We would be almost as foolish as the eternal naysayers were we to imagine that our mission is nearing completion.

Excessive euphoria would only play into the hands of those who wanted freedom's campaign to fail all along. If our rhetoric becomes too exuberant, even positive events on the ground could be dismissed as falling short of our promises.

He's absolutely right. We have to understand that although the events of the past few weeks have been astounding, things can and probably will swing the other way. And all the media pundits, left wing politicos and foreign governments that have so recently been positioning themselves to jump on the train will go back to spouting prophecies of doom and destruction. We are on the right track, never doubt that, but we have to be prepared for ups and downs.

That said, Max Boot's column is a bit too triumphalistic. But Boot, the very wise author of "The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and America's Rise to Power" definitely is saying the right things about the people who habitually misunderestimate President Bush.

"In 2003, more than a month before the invasion of Iraq, I wrote in the Weekly Standard that the forthcoming fall of Baghdad "may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history - events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall - after which everything is different. If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better."

At the time, this kind of talk was dismissed by pretty much everyone not employed by the White House as neocon nuttiness. Democracy in the Middle East? Introduced by way of Iraq? You've got to be kidding! The only real debate in sophisticated circles was whether those who talked of democracy were simply naive fools or whether their risible rhetoric was meant to hide some sinister motive.

Well, who's the simpleton now?"

Krauthammer, also jumping the gun too much, says we have to continue pushing:

Revolutions do not stand still. They either move forward or die. We are at the
dawn of a glorious, delicate, revolutionary moment in the Middle East. It was
triggered by the invasion of Iraq, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and televised
images of 8 million Iraqis voting in a free election. Which led to the obvious
question throughout the Middle East: Why the Iraqis and not us?

Even Bush trasher Fred Kaplan has to admit something is going on:

A question is haunting the blue states of America: Could George W. Bush be right? Is freedom indeed "on the march"? Did the war in Iraq uncork a white tornado that's whooshing democracy across the region and beyond?

In just the past two months, free elections were held in Palestine and Iraq; a rigged election was overturned and an honest one re-held in Ukraine; the Egyptian president pledged to hold competitive elections soon, too; and a popular uprising against Syria's occupation of Lebanon forced Beirut's puppet government to resign-all this, amid President Bush's proclamation that the main aim of American foreign policy is to advance the cause of global freedom.
Dance, monkey, dance.

Look quickly for the arguments to begin about how the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the wave of freedom that will sweep this area, or if it did, it was totally an unintended by-product. (when in fact, if you read the statements, it was the penultimate reason for the war all along.)

But still, guard against over-optimism. This is something that is fragile. It can go the other way. Just remember, the eventual outcome, the liberation of the 300 million people of the Arab world is inevitable if we have the courage to see it through.