June 29, 2006

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

I think we all understand that the mainstream media cannot be trusted to analyze Supreme Court decisions within even a basic level of competence.

Accordingly, I've printed out all 101 pages of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and now that I am home from work, I will attempt to read through it. I may not finish, but even if I only get the highlights, I am confident that I will understand it more thoroughly than the smartest person on staff at USA Today or the L.A. Times could ever hope to.

But for now, I have some Gitmo related questions.

I hear that the ruling does not mean that the U.S. must release the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. (Democrats and foreign types who want us to close the prison are probably disappointed about that.) So, if that means that holding these whatever you want to call them people at Gitmo is okay, then is it only that trying them by military tribunal is not okay?

If so, is the only reason we're insisting on trying them in the first place because that's the only way we can kill them? Otherwise we'd just hold onto them until the end of the war, like we've always done with people we capture on a battlefield.

And if just holding onto them until the end of the war is something that every country has always done in every war, why do some people want us to close down Gitmo? Are people like Carter and Koffi Anon arguing that we don't have the right to hold people we capture on a battlefield?

What do the Gitmo critics want us to do with these prisoners, release them like they were illegal aliens? If so, won't they end up back here again, just like illegal aliens?

Now, if the only reason we are trying these detainees is so we can get the death penalty on them, then we shouldn't be risking the chance that they might be acquitted. I'd rather they just languish in jail until the war is over. And I'm not talking about the Iraq war. As we all know, the "War On Terror" will be going on for a long long time.

If these guys are now "prisoners of war," so be it. I haven't heard of any requirement in international law that a country must unilaterally release prisoners of war before a war is finished. Effectively, these guys probably already have a life sentence. So why bother with a military tribunal at all?


Update: Okay, page three of the decision says, "Hamdan apparently is not subject to the death penalty (at least as matters now stand) and may receive a prison sentence shorter than 10 years . . ."

So again, why do we even need to put him on trial? Can't we just hold onto him indefinitely?


Update 2: This opinion is kicking my ass. I'm at page 27. Someone put some coffee on.


Update 3: Fuck if I'm going to sit here reading this crap on my vacation when I'm a) not getting paid for it, and b) not getting graded for it.

The pool is calling. I'm out.

Oh, here's the USA Today article I cracked on earlier. Not so cocky now, I guess.


Update 4: Check this out:

Hamdan my walkin’ cane
Hamdan my walkin’ cane
Hamdan my walkin’ cane
I’m a gonna catch that midnight train
All my sins they've taken away, taken away

If I die in Gitmo jail
If I die in Gitmo jail
If I die in Gitmo jail
Send my body back C.O.D.
All my sins they've taken away, taken away

Hamdan my book of Koran
Hamdan my book of Koran
Hamdan my book of Koran
I’m gonna get drunk sure as you’re born
All my sins they've taken away, taken away

It just came to me. Make of it what you will. Here's The Knitters' version.

That's why I'm the cool connector... makin' connections between things that maybe... don't need connectin'.

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Jawa Is Back

Dr. Rusty has returned, MacArthur-like, from across the waves of Islamist DDOS attacks. Go welcome him back

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Happy Birthday Ian Paice!

Come celebrate Ian Paice's birthday with me over at Six Meat Buffet!

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June 28, 2006

Wednesday Is Poetry Day: Vogon Poetry II

You know when I post a poem at night, it means I've either been really busy, the blog's been acting up, or I just couldn't find any inspired choices. Today was a perfect storm of all three reasons.

Since the most important news item of the day was the Star Jones bullshit - more important than Korean missiles or Iranian bombs or terrorist sleeper cells or treasonous papers and politicians or Iraqi amnesty or Israel kicking ass.

Star Jones, Star Jones, Star Jones!

Star Jones, Star Jones, that's what's important. But how does one best glean clues about Star Jones's mysterious exit friom the View? One need look no further than the newest Viewchik. And how better to stay informed about Star Jones lore than by reading some more bad Vogon poetry from the poet laureate of the Vogons herself, Rosie O'Donnell.


Star View

there is drama at the view
regis went on yesterday
and said
hey there is an elephant in the living room

no one likes to pretend
as if it were real

there comes a point
where u become complicit

star jones had weight loss surgery
she had part of her stomach bypassed
that is how she lost 1/2 herself

she refuses to say this
which is her right
but we do not have to pretend
we do not know

any fatty will tell u
it is nearly impossible to go
from where she was
to where she is
without medical intervention

dats da fact jack
and it is ok
talk to ur doctor
decide for yourself
if this is the option for u
by all means do it

it is hard to be fat
u get tired
ur knees hurt
people stare at u
think u less then
u feel less then

when i see one of r own
fly away from planet plus
i wave with misty eyes
proud astonished worried

we have a high recidivism rate
we us r tribe
sis and bros

so star shrinks b4 our eyes
we know the truth
but nod as she talks about
pilates and will power

i am sure star jones
beneathe the beyonce bravado
is a scared lil girl
who grew her body big
strong and safe

there is no delete button
in real life

george bush
talking about the success
in iraq
with star like showmanship
he thinking we still believe
what we know is not true

we dont buy it

peace to star jones
every wave hits the shore


Rosie wisdom, can't live with it, can't live without it.

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Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day

This game is awesome. You play a bouncer, and your job is to pummel Kevin Federline into a bloody stump. Not surprisingly, it is a lot of fun. Don't forget to mix in a lot of body shots too.

h/t to Jim via Beth.

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June 27, 2006

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

For those who are interested, here are the results of last week's blog customer satisfaction survey.

Anyone who knows anything about statistics, feel free to provide your analysis. more...

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June 26, 2006

Bowtie Pasta Parmesan With Prosciutto And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

My culinary skills produce more misses than hits, but occasionally I make something that is worth passing on. Please do not ask me about the sole meunière of a few weeks back. $35 dollars worth of fish and half of it wasted. But cooking fish requires delicacy, and I don't do anything delicately. (Well, not unless you ask nicely.)

Rather, I prefer to cook dishes that can be mixed up with a sauce, and served with a big spoon. Like the following one, which is based on a recipe from Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook: Home Collection.

-¼ cup olive oil
-one 12 oz. package of bowtie pasta (aka farfalle)
-one large yellow onion, sliced or chopped, whichever you prefer
-about two thirds of a package of regular mushrooms, pre-sliced (what is that, two cups?)
-half a cup or more of julienned sun-dried tomatoes
-two cloves of garlic, minced
-4 oz. of prosciutto slices
-1¼ cup of Silk or some other plain soy milk
-one cup grated parmesan, or as I like to call it "Farmer John" cheese
-one to two teaspoons of capers
Start boiling the water for the pasta. You all know how to make pasta. I would subtract a minute or so from the cooking time to keep it just al dente, because the pasta will continue to cook after you drain the water and mix it with the sauce. You don't want the pasta to get too soft.

While the pasta water is heating, prepare the sauce. In a large pan, heat the olive oil until a tiny chunk of onion fries immediately when you throw it in. Turn down to medium heat. Then throw the sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and the sliced or chopped onion in there. I like chopped onion because sliced onions remind me too much of earthworms after they're cooked.

Fry that stuff until the onions get browned. Be careful with the sun-dried tomatoes, which burn easily. Adjust the heat accordingly. This should take about 2 minutes. Then add the soy milk and the capers. Bring the sauce to a simmer, about another two or three minutes. Then fold in the parmesan cheese. Turn off the heat and cover the pan while you finish with the pasta.

When the pasta is ready, drain it. Then chop the prosciutto slices roughly crosswise into one inch wide pieces. Throw them in the sauce, then pour the sauce immediately over the pasta. Mix the whole thing and transfer to a serving bowl.

There you have it. Simple and fast. The prosciutto goes in last so it will retain some of its color, but eventually the red cooks away. Especially after microwaving the next day, but it still tastes good. Soy milk is a pretty good substitute for the heavy cream called for in the original recipe. I suggest a fresh sourdough baguette and a glass of merlot to go with this meal.

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June 25, 2006

Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day

The Kung Fu Fuck You technique. I've been practicing that one for years, but I'm not as good as those guys.

Honorable mention: check out this utility for sick Foley artists. I totally lost it on "Bowels of the Titanic."

Both via Harvey!

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June 24, 2006

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 43

What's that you say? She's now resorted to link-whoring 88Slide?

Oh the humanity!

PPTSP43.gif

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Hippies In Colorado

I don't know why, but this story makes me laugh. Some choice excerpts:

"I had a shotgun or AK (semi-automatic weapon) pointed at my chest. (The officers) kept saying, 'We're going to shoot your (expletive) dog.' They made this woman cry - she was shaking," said Lobo, a Rainbow Family member.
LOL!
"They tried to trample us with their horses, and all we did was have our arms up in peace," he said. "I even pulled my pants down - which was probably indecent exposure - to show them I didn't have anything on me."
ROTFL!
"I've been here since Saturday, and I've already received three (citations). Look, I'm sick of being harassed. Just because I'm in the middle of the woods with a group of people doesn't mean I don't have a job, that I don't have a family and that I don't contribute to society,"
Bwahahaha!
"All they had to do was get a bullhorn and say 'We've got guns.' They shouldn't have pulled out their guns, that's not kosher, man,"
We are stardust, we are golden... we are picking a different county next year!

h/t DPGI v.2

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Aaron Spelling

This man was a huge part of my formative years. Aaron Spelling, the man who taught everyone the zip code for Beverly Hills has passed away.

aaronspelling.jpg
Spelling, a onetime movie bit player who created a massive number of hit series, from the vintage "Charlie's Angels" and "Dynasty" to "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place," died Friday, his publicist said. He was 83.

Spelling died at his home in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke on June 18, according to publicist Kevin Sasaki.

Spelling's other hit series included "Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Burke's Law," "The Mod Squad," "Starsky and Hutch," "T.J. Hooker," "Matt Houston," "Hart to Hart" and "Hotel." He kept his hand in 21st-century TV with series including "7th Heaven" and "Summerland."

. . .

During the 1970s and 1980s, Spelling provided series and movies exclusively for ABC and is credited for the network's rise to major status. Jokesters referred to it as "The Aaron Broadcasting Company."

Success was not without its thorns. TV critics denounced Spelling for fostering fluff and nighttime soap operas. He called his shows "mind candy"; critics referred to them as "mindless candy."

"The knocks by the critics bother you," he admitted in a 1986 interview with The Associated Press.

"But you have a choice of proving yourself to 300 critics or 30 million fans. You have to make a choice. I think you're also categorized by the critics. If you do something good they almost don't want to like it."

. . .

Spelling had arrived in Hollywood virtually penniless in the early 1950s. By the 1980s, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $300 million. He enjoyed his status, working in a Hollywood office larger than those of golden-era moguls ("I'm slightly claustrophpobic," he explained.) He gifted his second wife, Candy, with a 40-carat diamond ring.

. . .

Spelling grew up in a small frame house on Browder Street in Dallas "on the wrong side of the tracks," he wrote in his 1996 autobiography. He was the fourth son of immigrant Jews, his father from Poland, mother from Russia. The father's name, Spurling, was simplified to Spelling by an Ellis Island official.

Spelling enlisted in the Army Air Corps after graduating from high school in 1942.

"I grew up thinking 'Jew boy' was one word," the producer wrote in his memoir, "Aaron Spelling: A Prime-Time Life." He was considered strange by his Dallas schoolmates because his parents spoke Yiddish. He was subjected to anti-Semitic taunts and beatings on his way home from school.

At 8, the boy suffered what he termed a nervous breakdown, and he spent a year in bed. He later considered that period the birth of his creative urge. He fell in love with great storytellers, especially O. Henry. Of his early TV series he said, "They are all O. Henry short stories."

Rest in peace, and thank you friend.

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Democrats Supporting The Doctrine Of Pre-Emption?

It's not unusual that I find myself disagreeing with a democrat. But this time it's really ironic.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale says he supports a pre-emptive U.S. strike against a North Korean missile that is raising nuclear fears around the globe.

. . .

Mondale said on WCCO-AM Friday that the United States should tell North Korea "defuel that missile. It has three boosters. Dismantle it and put it back in the sheds. Because if you're getting ready to fire this, we'll take it out."

. . .

Mondale and other former top Democrats are convinced apparently that action is the key to ending the standoff.

"This is such a legitimate thing for the United States to do," Mondale said. "The nature of the threat is so serious that I think we should knock it out right there if they won't stop."

Didn't that guy die? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's still alive, but I though I'd heard that he died a while back.

I'm against shooting down the missile. Firing a test missile, assuming they aim it at international waters, is provocative as Condoleezza Rice said. But it is not an act of war. Shooting a test missile down is an act of war. We don't need to escalate this latest confrontation with North Korea into a hot war.

I'm not sure whether Mondale thinks we can shoot the missile out of the sky or whether he thinks we should hit it before it launches. In the audio, he said that

. . . one missile like the one that took out Zarqawi could take out this [the North Korean] missile.
I'll cut the old man some slack, but he seems to have forgotten that we used bombs to kill Zarqawi, not missiles.

Now if we were to blow up the test missile on the ground, we would ignite a shit storm of unimaginable proportions. North Korea would be able to claim justification for some kind of retaliation, and the world might start calling us the rogue state. I would not be surprised if the UN Security Council met to discuss sanctions against the US.

If we were to shoot the missile out of the sky, we'd run the risk that our anti-missile missile might miss. That would be worse than doing nothing. Our anti-missile technology is far from perfect. The task has often been described as "hitting a bullet with a bullet." If we were to try for the Korean missile, we could not afford to miss. And I don't care for the odds.

However, if we let the North Koreans shoot their wad, we can monitor its performance much better than even they can. We'll gain important intelligence on their capabilities, both in missile technology and in electronic missile tracking. (Since they'll be watching the missile, we'll be able to watch their radars.) Diplomatically, we can use their "provocative act" against them if and when we need international support for action in the future.

I say, complain about it, but if they're determined to test their missile, don't stop them.

h/t to Larry at Beth's.

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June 23, 2006

The King And I

If I had an internet messenger chat with Larry King, i think it might go a little bit like this:

larrykinglive: tonight, a journey from private heartbreak to internet superstardom with annika. she shares memories and family secrets and more in an emotional hour next on LARRY KING LIVE

annikagyrl: wha?

larrykinglive: hello annika!

annikagyrl: who are you?

larrykinglive: A great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, annika becker, of annika's journal, we'll get to your calls in a moment. but first annika, why blogging?

annikagyrl: what do you mean?

larrykinglive: did it surprise you how popular blogs have become?

annikagyrl: is that you Jason? cut it out.

larrykinglive: you were diagnosed as bi-polar schizophrenic with homicidal tendencies as a child. did that affect you growing up?

annikagyrl: wha? are you on something dude?

larrykinglive: do you enjoy blogging?

annikagyrl: umm yeah

larrykinglive: speaking of um yeah, he'll be our guest on LARRY KING LIVE tomorrow night. we're on with annika becker of annika's journal. Do you get many trolls?

annikagyrl: actually the people who comment at my site are mostly all nice... there was this one guy who..

larrykinglive: ...let's take some calls. pompano beach florida, hello

callerdude: hi annika, big fan here

larrykinglive: did you have a question for our guest?

annikagyrl: this is really weird. are you sure you're not some kind of bot?

callerdude: I just wanted to say that you're just great. Up until you i found you, I was reading margret cho's blog but you totally set me straight,

annikagyrl: oh that's good. i'm glad you stopped reading that awful blog

callerdude: oh no i read you both, i think youre both just great

larrykinglive: do you enjoy reading other people's blogs?

annikagyrl: yes, i try to whenever i can,

larrykinglive: barbra streisand has a blog

annikagyrl: does she, i didn't think she did

larrykinglive: marvelous voice don't you think

annikagyrl: well, i guess, she's not one of my favorites

larrykinglive: rosie o'donnell has a blog it's very funny

annikagyrl: it's horrible, she's a terrible writer

larrykinglive: have you ever thought about entering politics?

annikagyrl: actually when i was little, i wanted to be president

larrykinglive: the first lesbian president...

annikagyrl: im not a lesbian

larrykinglive: it says here you're a lesbian

annikagyrl: where?

larrykinglive: on your blog

annikagyrl: i think you must be looking at rosie's blog

larrykinglive: oh your right, i am. Austin texas, you're on with annika becker

callerchick: yes hello annika, i'm a bi-polar schizophrenic with homicidal tendencies too, i was wondering if you had any drug recommendations?

larrykinglive: any drug recommendations... annika?

annikagyrl: drug recommendations? but i am not a schizophrenic, i don't know why you said that, i think you're on drugs

larrykinglive: did you enjoy rehab?

annikagyrl: what the fucxx?

larrykinglive: many talented people suffer from mental disorders. Next week, Tom Cruise will be on the show. Let's get another call. Mapleside Maryland, hello...

confusedcaller: hello annika

annikagyrl: hello

confusedcaller: first i want to say i love you and i think you're great

annikagyrl: well thanks

confusedcaller: is there any chance you might try to qualify for another PGA event?

larrykinglive: another PGA in your future annika?

annikagyrl: i'm not that annika

larrykinglive: michelle wie can really hit the ball, are you two friends?

annikagyrl: i dont even play golf

larrykinglive: right now we go to west chenango, new york. hello

liberalcaller: i think you're a worthless no-talent whore and a shill, you're bad for america, and only an idiot cares what you say. i'm going to have a party the day you quit, which i hope is soon because i cant fucking stand you and you make me sick

annikagyrl: well, i don't know how to respond to that...

liberalcaller: actually i was talking to larry

larrykinglive: Next week Celine Dion! we have time for one more call. Rubidoux, California, hello

annikagyrl: i love the name of that town

larrykinglive: don't you? it's fun to say. rubidoux rubidoux rubidoux

rubycaller: hello annika?

larrykinglive: rubidoux ruby rubidoux

annikagyrl: lol

rubycaller: i was wondering annika, what's the deal with the pumpkin?

larrykinglive: that's all the time we have. Tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND, we'll talk with Bill Maher. Boy, can he tell a joke, right annika.

annikagyrl: not really

larrykinglive: Until then, arrivaderci.

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An Answer To Lukobitch

ctn2006.gif

Update: More great photoshopping on this subject at Beth's and Darleen's Place. And of course at Michelle Malkin's, whose idea it was.

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Revenge Of The Short Bus Kids

I found a really mindless game that is strangely therapeutic for a Friday afternoon. It's called Short Bus Rampage. The game sets up like this:

Tired of being ridiculed by the other students, you and the rest of the Special Ed class have taken control of the bus and are out for revenge.
I know a game like this might hit a little too close to home for some of my visitors. But the rest of you should give it a try. The sound effects are really funny.

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Informal Blog Customer Satisfaction Survey

Please take this short customer satisfaction survey, to help me better serve you. I would appreciate your most honest answers, and your best estimates, so I have disabled the comment and the view results buttons. Please only vote once per question. This survey will remain at the top of the page until Sunday morning, so please scroll down for newer posts. more...

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June 22, 2006

So You Wanna Be A Blogger?

Instead of just starting a blog, why not enter a contest?

Cotillion sister Greta at Hooah Wife is running "Blogging Contributor Idol," just like American Idol, only for bloggers not singers.

Submit your entry here!

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Mini Moonbat Robot

I realize this is old, but today's Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day is Sean Gleeson's Autorantic Virtual Moonbat.

He's automated, he's progressive, and he fits on your sidebar.

Actually, this robot is a very accurate portrayal. There's a dude who stands outside the Van Nuys Courthouse and rants incoherently, but sounds exactly like this robot.

Sean designed a chat machine too. It must be channelling Robert MacLelland's spirit, or spit, or something.

Someone should create a computerized voice version. Air America could save a fortune by replacing their on-air personalities with robots. I wonder if anyone would notice. They'd probably just think it was Al Gore.

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A Really Weird Quiz

I am a colon!
Find your own pose!

via Watermark.

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June 21, 2006

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

I hate spiders. This morning after my shower, I grabbed some underwear out of the drawer, and as I was putting it on a spider fell out of it and landed on the floor. How does a spider get into the underwear drawer? And no, I do not live in the basement.

I hate spiders because they are sneaky. At least a bee will let you know it's there before it stings you. But spiders are always crawling around where you can't see them. They're like the viet cong.

I hate spiders almost as much as I hate sappy poems.


Spiders

by Janet Bruno

Spiderlings hatch from eggs.
Each one has eight tiny legs.
A spider has more eyes than you.
Most have eight, and you have two.
A spider has two body parts.
Across its web it quickly darts.
From a spider's spinnerets
Sticky spider silk jets.
Spiders feel the frantic tugs,
Of their favorite food; it's bugs!


Blech!

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