September 6, 2003

One month from today, I turn 40. Another day closer to the grave, as Reid Fleming would say. Any words of consolation?

September 5, 2003

Ahnolt's not the only one who is finally answering questions about his positions. Here are some responses from Georgy Russell after a speech yesterday in Berkeley, including the promise that she will move to Sacramento should she win the election. Go Georgy Go !!!

September 4, 2003

Hud-Dogg ? Angel TV-announcer (and longtime former big league journeyman) Rex Hudler got busted in Kansas City over the weekend with possession of pot and certain drug paraphenalia, which, for anyone who has ever listened to him, explains a lot.

UPDATE: Now that I think about, Hudler was hospitalized a couple of years ago with a brain hemorrhage that almost took his life. Like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose usage of marijuana is tied to his problem with migraine headaches, it is entirely possible that Hudler is smoking weed for "medicinal purposes". Not that it makes it any more legal to do so in the state of Missouri, but it does add some context to this incident.

Bowing to the inevitable, Miguel Estrada withdrew his name from nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeal in D.C. His defeat may well mark a turning-point in efforts to pack the courts to reflect a certain ideological bias by Presidents, with five other nominees currently being blocked by the Senate. Liberals like myself should bear in mind that the shoe was on the other foot just a few years back, and it will be again in a few more years, so the filibuster, powerful weapon that it is, should be used as sparingly as possible. Still, a bracing defeat for Bush. Remember, it's both advice and consent.

September 3, 2003

I used to think the stories in Oui Magazine were fictitious, until recently.... Man, did he bungle this. I think like most fair-minded voters, I felt that the statute of limitations had expired on taking the "gang bang" incident seriously; Lord knows, the last thing I want is to have those all-night Spens-Black orgies from 1983-5 revisited by my many enemies. And, like some people, I even suspected that Ahnolt's participation in group sex might have been apocryphal, a story he made up to impress an interviewer from a skin mag.

But c'mon, waiting a week before you suddenly remember that you were lying back then? Let's examine the thought process here: you have this 25-year old interview with a now-defunct magazine brought to light last week. The story that gets all the play (other than a rather lame attempt to claim that A.S. was homophobic) is your boast in the interview that you took part in a high-impact group cardio exercise at Gold's Gym. Then a week later, you suddenly "remember" that the whole story was made up, in order to hype Pumping Iron and the world of bodybuilding. C'mon, have you been in so many similar activities that you forgot which ones were real? Or did it take a week for you to remember that, no, come to think of it, I've never participated in an orgy?

BTW, the first debate is at 4:00 p.m. PST.

September 2, 2003

Reporter-turned-blogger David Neiwert has the last word in the smear against Bustamante and MeChA (thank god, b/c the subject is starting to bore me), placing it in the context of similar attacks against groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP: that groups which fight discrimination and defend minorities are "secretly racist".

UPDATE: Collaborative bloggees Crooked Timber also publish a handy primer for this issue, for any of you who are still interested. [links via Atrios]

September 1, 2003

The Post-Modern Presidency: Fine Washington Monthly article by Joshua Marshall about the "revisionist mindset" at the heart of the Bush Administration, out of which has arisen the President's very unique contribution to the fine art of mendacity:
Everyone is compromised by bias, agendas, and ideology. But at the heart of the revisionist mindset is the belief that there is really nothing more than that. Ideology isn't just the prism through which we see world, or a pervasive tilt in the way a person understands a given set of facts. Ideology is really all there is. For an administration that has been awfully hard on the French, that mindset is...well, rather French. They are like deconstructionists and post-modernists who say that everything is political or that everything is ideology. That mindset makes it easy to ignore the facts or brush them aside because "the facts" aren't really facts, at least not as most of us understand them. If they come from people who don't agree with you, they're just the other side's argument dressed up in a mantle of facticity. And if that's all the facts are, it's really not so difficult to go out and find a new set of them.

Been checking out the brand-spanking-new page for the English language site for the Fox News of the Arab World, Al-Jazeera, and came upon this article; you'd think that even if they don't know if this is the legendary Nefertiti, they would still be able to figure out whether the mummy was male or female. The sports section is worthless; no mention of SC's shut-out of Auburn. Nothing on the recall, either.

One sign that Ahnolt's campaign may be bleeding from within is his decision to back out of this week's debate between the replacement candidates. Not only is it a sign of weakness, but it is a tactical blunder as well: regardless of whether he is represented by an "empty chair", each of the other candidates has an incentive to bash him, and he won't be able to defend himself. It will also be an ideal time for Cruz Bustamante to smack questions by those who've been hinting that he has dual loyalties out of the ballpark.

August 31, 2003

Did you realize that Robert Vaughn is the only surviving member of The Magnificent Seven? Charles Bronson was never my favorite actor, but he was in three of my all-time favorite movies: T.M.S., The Dirty Dozen, and, best of all, Once Upon a Time in the West. Requiescat in pacem.

One of the more troubling aspects about the "dual loyalty" charge against Cruz Bustamante is the notion that there is something insidious about ethnic pride. Like Jewish politicians who have their loyalty to America questioned any time the issue of Israel comes up, Bustamante (and, one suspects, other non-Anglo politicians) is now the target of those who pretend that there is somehow a moral equivalence between the Klan lynching blacks and burning crosses, and the slogan Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.

Translated, that slogan means "for our people, everything. Beyond our people, nothing." It has no racist connotations. It isn't meant to be hate speech. As far as I can tell, no white person has ever been dragged out of his house in the middle of the night by a hooded MeChAtista, tied up, castrated, and then burned alive because of the slogan. Stop trying to pretend otherwise.

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