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September 24, 2004

Who is Allawi?

A good rundown from Layne. Too much interesting stuff to excerpt, just click on the damn link.


September 23, 2004

Some Guy with a Website

This cartoon made August the #1 Google search for "Some guy with a website"--and now he's got shirts as well.

I certainly intend to buy one. And wear it proudly.


September 22, 2004

Warning! Terrorist threats even more significant than Cat Stevens!

(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

I know we're all breathing a little easier right now... but remember, the following are all still walking our streets freely:

Carole King
Terry Jacks
David Soul
Phoebe Snow
Janis Ian
The Captain & Tennille
Donny Osmond
Seals & Crofts
Eric Carmen
The DeFranco Family

If you see any of these individuals, do not attempt to apprehend them yourself. They could break into song at the slightest provocation, possibly disabling entire neighborhoods. Please allow the Department of Homeland Security to apprehend and deport them with their usual level of competence and wisdom.

UPDATE: Many of you seem to be alarmed at the inclusion of Terry Jacks and Janis Ian in the above list, in the belief that they died long ago and are now apparently undead, creating yet another category of beings for the DHS to worry about.

Nope. Terry Jacks isn't dead; he's Canadian. (Old joke, yes; also true here.) And I met Janis in Cleveland myself not long ago, doing a morning television show. Granted, morning TV in Cleveland is perilously close to being undead, but not quite across the line.

It is true, however, that the Osmond "family" is actually an alien species of large-jawed carnivores who hunt raw flesh by performing a hypnotically discordant dance, seizing their stunned prey between multiple rows of giant white teeth, and stripping the bones in a matter of seconds.

Still, they're not dead, either. But it's all the more reason to stay out of Branson.

The Sensible Liberal

Kristof this morning:

True, Democrats have also engaged in below-the-belt attacks. Some of "Fahrenheit 9/11," the Michael Moore film, was the liberal equivalent of the anti-Kerry smears. Its innuendos implying that Mr. Bush arranged the war in Afghanistan so backers could profit from an oil pipeline were appalling.

But I, along with some others, immediately complained about "Fahrenheit 9/11." Aside from John McCain, where are the sensible conservatives?


The only hope for stopping the mudslinging is if well-meaning people try to police their own side.

If they're intellectually consistent, Democrats will speak out not only against the Swift Boat Veterans but also against Mr. Kerry's demagoguery on trade, like his suggestion that outsourcing is the result of Mr. Bush's economic policies. Trade demagoguery may not be as felonious as an assault on a war hero's character, but it harms America by undermining support for free trade.

He's a Sensible Liberal, and proud of it. And following his advice is the surest path to a Democratic defeat that I can imagine.


September 20, 2004

More on the coming changes

(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

As you've read, Tom will soon make a few changes to the site, one of which will be to alter this blog's level of activity. As I've said before, I've been honored and pleased to contribute. I was a major fan of TMW for years, long before I got to know Tom as a friend. So posting here has been cool as heck, I've enjoyed it immensely, and I continue to thank all concerned.

Truth is, however, I was orignally only going to pitch in here for a short while and then get off my kiester, redo my cobwebby old site (which I've barely touched in almost four years, despite constant plans, half-starts, and good intentions), and start my own blog.

That short while has now stretched into a year and a half, as you've seen. But over the next few weeks I'll get on the task of rebuilding the old place, with the generous help of my coffee-drinking buddy Colin. My new site probably won't be all finished and shiny anytime soon, but I should get a front-page blog up and running before long.

Just letting you know the plan for know. You'll see a heads-up here when the time comes.

Preparedness Month question

(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

Here in California, the DHS National Preparedness Month thing (first reported on here) has turned out to be almost completely invisible, and that seems to be the case in much of the country -- but not all. In some places, apparently it's quite the big deal, if I'm reading your emails right.

I think I see a blatant pattern -- and one that won't surprise anyone paying attention to how the Bush people work -- but I need more data before drawing any conclusion.

So... if you have about two minutes to spare right now, please email me (not Tom -- we are still two different people) here [link removed -- see below] and tell me what state you live in and how much "National" preparedness you're seeing around you in any visible form -- TV ads, billboards, in-store displays, DHS ankle bracelets attached to your children, you name it. If you're not seeing any, please write and tell me that.

Keep it short if you can -- a few sentences, tops, since I'll have a ton to go through. I'm just looking for "Hawaii -- nothing here" or "Maine -- Tom Ridge is standing on my porch right this minute" or whatever.


UPDATE: About 400 emails later... glad I asked. And thanks to all for the huge, quick, smart, and concise responses. Wow.

Why I asked: a few people in swing states had seen a few things -- for example, a large billboard when entering PA from a non-swing state -- and here in CA, I've seen absolutely nothing. So I wondered if perhaps the program was selectively targeting the swing states with fearsome reminders of impending doom. Wouldn't be surprising.

But I've heard now from plenty of people from swing states who've seen absolutely nothing there, either -- and that's urban and rural, east to west, leaning-red to leaning-blue. "Chicago: nothing here." "Southern Ohio -- diddly." "Arizona crickets chirping." And so on.

So it appears the program has either fizzled, not yet kicked into high gear, or been relatively dropped.

This surprises me -- the detailed plans and large number of major national corporate sponsors indicated this was gonna be a thang, but not yet. Hmm.

What's much more disturbing -- MUCH more disturbing -- is the number of you who have written who are living next to large, obvious targets which remain completely and dangerously unsecured, three years into the War on Tara. Didn't know that would be part of the responses. Eek.

UPDATE 2: Hmm... more info keeps coming in. Reconsidering, still not sure. It's looking like there are a few states where National Frighten-The-Kids Month is relatively active, if not particularly huge. Still waiting for more data to draw a firm conclusion...

OK, now I'm gonna ask you not to write if you haven't seen anything. Together, we've ruled out much of the country. But if you have seen anything specifically DHS Preparedness Month related, let me know. Thanks!


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