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June 27, 2005
All it takes for me to conspicuously consume a bunch of fashion is for Bluefly to offer a mere 10% extra off. (Sorry if you missed it; it ended early this morning.)
Kenneth Cole black ultra suede 'Royal Plush' mules. $21.60.
And at that price, also in tan:
John Varvatos tan stretch braided cord belt. $72.90.
Theory light blue cotton 'Claudio' polo shirt. $72.86.June 24, 2005
It's been a while since the administration has rolled out a completely inaccurate comparison of Iraq and WWII, but you can always count on Dick to get it wrong, now comparing set-piece battles with a guerilla insurgency:
Cheney Still Forecasts Collapse of InsurgencyJune 23, 2005
The Left is all jazzed about Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones (left) joining Ron Paul (side note: Ron Paul fucking rocks!) and two Dems (Kucinich, natch, and Neil Abercrombie) getting behind the "Homeward Bound" resolution that calls for the U.S. to start withdrawing troops from Iraq in October, 2006. But there's really not that much to get excited about. October 2006 is roughly 465 days away. Multiply that by the most recent daily death toll (2.15), and best-case-scenario it means another 1000 "coalition" troops (read: U.S. troops) will be dead by the time the U.S. even starts the withdrawal process. At current dead/injured ratios, it means roughly another 10,000 U.S. troops will suffer serious injuries, like missing limbs, eyeballs, and brains.
Given that Iraq will fall into chaos if we leave now, or if we start leaving in October 2006, what's the point of all this additional carnage?
-------And I thought The Onion savaged Bewitched. Here's the Village Voice's Michael Atkinson (Nice Sartre reference on his 100th b-day):
... I can tell you this about the new "Bewitched": It is an affliction. As if the work of an angry god, the movie collects the perspectives of Nora Ephron (director, co-writer), Delia Ephron (co-writer), and Penny Marshall (producer), coalescing into a showbiz self-suck unrivaled in modern times for smugness, vapidity, and condescension. To spend even 10 minutes in the movie's universe is to experience the Sartrean nausea of an utterly hollow head and heart.June 22, 2005
And yet more evidence that Iraq has become a militant training ground: Iraq May Be Prime Place for Training of Militants, C.I.A. Report Concludes
An "even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days..." [emphasis added]
Most. Asinine. War. Ever.
The Onion AV Club's Nathan Rabin doesn't like Bewitched, even a little:
"Bewitched" is a veritable all-star cavalcade, but if it lost every bad idea, miscast actor, wasted performance, and botched scene, nothing would be left but the end credits.
And he's just getting warmed up. Later in the review:
A vacuous, insulting romantic comedy, toothless would-be Hollywood satire, pretzel of pointless postmodern wackiness, and soulless TV adaptation all rolled up into one style-free, harshly lit mess, "Bewitched" lurches in four directions simultaneously and just ends up falling on its face.
Not "In the Bag," but so true for so many, many people. Except me:
"Sometimes when I'm alone, I google myself" t-shirt. $19.99. Via t-shirthumor.comJune 21, 2005
Man, I can't believe I almost missed this NYT article about how traditional "gaydar" has gone haywire now that straight men and gay men are sharing wide swaths of fashion and grooming turf. So true.
Is your gaydar off target? Are you straight, gay, or "gay vague"? Do you give a damn? Click table to enlarge big enough to read.
One quibble: Being a huge Kylie fan is not a good gay indicator. At least in my case.June 20, 2005
Cheers to U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, who's not afraid to state the obvious, partisanship be damned.
Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq.June 14, 2005
In The Bag:
He was recently interviewed in Mother Jones.
If you're wondering about the definition of an idler, here's one from Appendix 4, An Idler's Glossary. Idler:
"There are plenty of lazy people and plenty of slowcoaches, but a genuine idler is a rarity," writes an idling expert Jerome K. Jerome. "He is not a man who slouches about with his hands in his pockets. On the contrary, his most startling characteristic is that he is always intensely busy." Despite the dictionary definition, then, although the idler might not "work" in any recognizable fashion, he is neither shiftless nor lazy. His energies, having been freed from the merry-go-round of the working life, are channeled into the pursuit of wisdom and pleasure.
A couple of other books for the dack.com Subversive Summertime Reading Program, also In the Bag:
Bonjour Laziness: Jumping Off the Corporate Ladder, by Corinne Maier
In Praise of Idleness, by Bertrand RussellJune 10, 2005
The Marines' motto is "No better friend, no worse enemy." After the alleged abuse of American civilian contractors, I can see what they mean about the enemy part:
Mark Schopper, a lawyer who represents two of the detainees, said Marines threw contractors roughly to the ground, jammed knees into their backs, taunted them and denied requests to call their families. Schopper, whose clients are both former Marines, said one of his clients "had his testicles squeezed so hard that he nearly passed out from the pain." (Emphasis added.)
If you want yet another example of how hopeless the situation in Iraq is, you gotta read this Washington Post article by Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru, who were ballsy enough to be embedded with U.S. and Iraqi troops -- who sing songs praising Saddam Hussein -- on patrol in the Sunni Triangle. This shit is funny:
An hour later, the men returned to Forward Operating Base Summerall, a sandy expanse behind concrete barricades and concertina wire a few miles outside town. They followed U.S. military protocol: Each soldier dismounted from the vehicle and cleared his weapon. (Cpl. Ahmed) Zwayid stayed in the truck, handed his gun to a friend and asked him to clear it.
The whole article is actually a laugh riot, like the Post is putting us on.
After the incident, McGovern said he summoned an interpreter, asked him to translate the soldier's words verbatim and "disgraced" the Iraqi soldiers.June 9, 2005
In the Bag:
Amnesty International annual renewal. $100. Give 'em some bread, and a big F U to Don, Dick, and Shrub.
Not quite as cool as an AI membership, but equally In the Bag:
Embroidered hula girl narrow-wale cords. Were $78, now just $29.99. Via J. Crew.
The last time my world was rocked by the greatness of a blog was when I discovered Juan Cole about three years ago. And now it's rocked again thanks to James Howard Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle, which is clusterfucking awesome. From the June 6 entry:
The Times's star columnist Thomas Friedman is making hay this season with his new book, The World is Flat, about the global economy. His book asserts that current trends will continue indefinitely -- China will continue to manufacture ever more of America's household products, Americans will continue to enjoy cash-out home equity loans to buy plastic patio chairs made in China, WalMart will keep running its warehouse-on-wheels at a thumping great profit, and all impediments to global trade will be vanquished by telemarketing, computer technology, and confident corporate can-do spirits. I am tempted to ask how Friedman manages to type on a laptop with his head so far up his ass, but this blog is dedicated, above all, to a high-minded brand of politeness... (emphasis added)
Ol' Tom sure had his head up his ass on Iraq; no reason to believe it's not lodged further up there when he writes about the global economy.June 8, 2005
RIP, Anne Bancroft. The original MILF.
Majority of Americans think war on Iraq has not made U.S. safer. To the 47% that think the Iraq war has contributed to the long-term security of the United States: are you out of your goddamn mind?
Yet more evidence that we've turned Iraq into the Afghanistan of the 21st century.
I wonder what the blowback will look like...
Mohamed ElBaradei was objectivley right about WMD in Iraq, the U.S. government was objectively wrong about WMD in Iraq ... and what does ElBaradei get in return? A U.S. campaign to remove him from the IAEA, led by John Bolton, which thankfully was dropped, according to the Post.June 7, 2005
It's been a while since dack.com has highlighted our favorite Babes of Middle East Media, and that feature might be abandoned for a new one: Babe First Ladies of the Middle East. Jackie O ain't got nothin' on Asma al-Akhras of Syria:
Channeling Ms. Onassis, sans pillbox:
What's she doin' with this schlub?
The survey -- which questioned people in the US, Australia, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea and Spain -- found that only 2 per cent of people in the US said they did not believe in God. In France and South Korea the number of people who said they were atheists stood at 19 per cent.
Count us in the 2 per cent, thank God.June 3, 2005
There's an article in today's Times describing how parents have become military recruiters' biggest "problem."
Two years into the war in Iraq, as the Army and Marines struggle to refill their ranks, parents have become boulders of opposition that recruiters cannot move. Mothers and fathers around the country said they were terrified that their children would have to be killed - or kill - in a war that many see as unnecessary and without end.
It got me thinking about the most moving passage of U.S. Marine Smedley Butler's classic War is a Racket:
Now -- you MOTHERS particularly:June 1, 2005
Who you gonna believe? Dick Cheney, or your lying eyes?
Iraq insurgency in 'last throes,' Cheney says
U.S. death toll in Iraq surges amid rebel violenceMay 31, 2005
Today's easily the
slowest day for DVD releases that I can remember -- must be a post-holiday thing -- but there is a newly released
documentary about former Phillipine first lady Imelda Marcos that looks like a sleeper.
The timing on this could've been better. Early on Monday in an interview on Larry King Live, Cheney blasts Amnesty International's report of abuse at Gitmo, saying he doesn't "take them (AI) seriously." Hours later, AP releases 1000 pages of tribunal transcripts describing more detainee abuse.
Just like Dick says:
Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment. But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.
I want to believe him, I really do. But if you have a pair of fucking eyes it's awfully hard to.
Thank you, Judd Legum: THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WAS FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BEFORE IT WAS AGAINST ITMay 26, 2005
Yours truly was quoted in this morning's NYT in an article about bluefly. And I didn't pay $155 for the velvet pants; the site clearly says they were $116. What kind of nutjob would pay $155 for a pair of pants?
Which reminds me, in case you're planning to kick it streetwear style, Urban Outfitters has an additional 25% off all their sale items. And my damn shoes, previously under heavy consideration, are gone.
Since Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita said there were "no credible and specific
allegations" about putting a Koran in the toilet, we'll be anxiously awaiting a Pentagon retraction after they read the declassified FBI documents describing U.S. guards flushing a Koran down the toilet.
Man, these torture documents the ACLU got under FOIA are really something to look at.
Records detainee stating that "he had been beaten unconscious approximately three or four weeks ago when he was still at Camp X-ray. According to REDACTED an unknown number of guards entered his cell, unprovoked, and started spitting and cursing at him. The guards called him a "son of a bitch" and a "bastard," then told him he was crazy. REDACTED rolled onto his stomach to protect himself . . . A soldier . . . jumped on his back and started beating him in the face. REDACTED then choked him until he passed out. REDACTED stated that REDACTED was beating him because REDACTED was a Muslim and REDACTED is a Christian. REDACTED indicated there was a female guard named REDACTED who was also beating him and grabbed his head and beat it into the cell floor."May 25, 2005
A couple of days ago I was wondering why Walter Pincus's A1-worthy article was buried on A26 in the Sunday Washington Post. And the Brad Blog has figured it out. It *was* once on A1, in the early Saturday editions of Sunday's paper, and then got moved to obscurity in the final edition. Notice the headline change, too. Damn liberal media!
May 24, 2005
A Good First Step
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Marines are slowly withdrawing from Al Anbar province, partly because they don't have enough troops. Says Maj. Mark Lister, a senior Marine air officer in Al Anbar province, "Basically, we've got all the toys, but not enough boys."
Leave the toys, bring home the boys.May 23, 2005
Can someone, anyone, tell me why this article is buried on Page A26 of the Sunday Post? Poor Walter Pincus. He writes these great articles exposing the fraud that was "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and they're on A26.
Prewar Findings Worried AnalystsMay 20, 2005
Ahhhh ... memories of Abu Ghraib
When I read articles as horrifying as this Times piece describing detainee abuse and murder at a U.S. gulag in Afghanistan, first I want to weep (and usually do), and then I want to fucking puke at the thought that (a.) this is done in my name, and (b.) these fucks are my countrymen.
You know, what usually gets me in a better mood after reading about U.S. troops killing innocent detainees, shackling them to the ceiling, stepping on their necks, kicking them in the balls, making them pick plastic bottle caps out of a drum mixed with excrement and water, kneeing them repeatedly in the legs, pulling out one's penis and pressing it against a detainee's face and threatening to rape him ... is to go shopping.
Under Heavy Consideration:
Adidas Spezial on white suede. Was $65. Now $49.99. Via Urban Outfitters.May 19, 2005
I will never, ever, never, ever understand why some people think it's OK to clip their fingernails in public. Were these people raised by a pack of rabid wolves? Don't they know that nail clipping of any kind should be done in the privacy of one's own home, preferably in a room where no one else can see, or hear, what's going on?
I was at the Mall of America's Camp Snoopy over the weekend when I heard the familiar clip-clip-clip sound. I turned and saw some old dude clipping his nails right outside the General Store, flinging his human waste all over the floor, and snapped this with my Nokia 3650:
A few minutes later he was joined by his lovely wife, who brought coffee, and proceeded to clip her nails while her husband filed his:
Truly a match made in hell.
The New York Times, describing how generals offer a "sober" outlook on the Iraq war, quote an officer as saying American military involvement could last "many years."
Please say it's not true. This war is over and we lost. The longer we stay, the worse we lose.
Stop the war.May 17, 2005
Today on DVD:May 16, 2005
A followup to last Friday's bourbon-induced rant against the war: 6 marines died when their amphibious vehicle was struck with an IED. Presumably some of those with 3rd-degree burns, and seared flesh hanging off their bodies, died.
You know what's bullshit?
When someone steals your schtick and doesn't even steal it right.
Safer voiceover: And she finds BS aplenty on Wall Street, where, after all, the resident symbol of hope is a bull, where the once mighty are sometimes led off in handcuffs, and where manias like the boom in dot-com Internet stocks periodically go bust, burying many a hapless investor in the bull's-you-know-what.
As we all know, the proper bullshit phrase is "incentivize synergistic paradigms." Get with it you Johnny-come-lately Canadian pickpocket!
The best news I've seen in a long, long time: 'Alcohol worse for female brains'
And we've succeeded in turning Iraq into "a melting pot for jihadists from around the world, a training group and an indoctrination center," or, the Afghanistan of the '00s. Just. Fucking. Great.May 13, 2005
If you've been around dack.com at all over the past over the past, oh, 3 years, or stumbled across The Rational Enquirer since bombs started dropping on Baghdad just over two years ago, you know I've been adamantly against the war on Iraq.
But nothing has really set me off quite like reading this harrowing tale of a mine/IED attack on an amphibious vehicle in Abu Harden, near the Syrian border, that killed a few marines and left the survivors with third-degree burns, with seared flesh hanging off of their bodies. More than a dozen lives either ended, or ruined. For what exactly?
It got me thinking about the ubiquitous "Support Our Troops" yellow ribbon stickers one sees on nearly every goddamn car on the road. And I was wondering what these people had done to support the troops, besides affixing an ugly yellow sticker to their car, or more likely, truck.
Probably not a single fucking thing.
So I have a suggestion for any male of good health who supported this stupid war, and really wants to support our troops:
FUCKING BECOME ONE!
You think you're about my age and you're too old? Nonsense! Because the Army has woefully missed its recruiting goals, even though it's tried to recruit the mentally ill, they still would really like to have you, offering recruits to sign up for just 15 months active duty service, and extending to 39 the maximum age for enlisting in the Army Reserve.
With any luck it will be stopped before you're deployed.
Stop the war.
Flippin' sweet! Democracy Now! spends the hour with Seymour Hersh, who talks about the resistance in Iraq, Chalabi, and the media.
My favorite bit:
I'm just wacko on this word "insurgency." Just so you know, an insurgency suggests you've won the war and there are people who disagree. They're rebels, or they're insurgents, as I said. Nuh uh. We're still fighting the war we started, folks. We started a war largely against Sunnis and Baathists, in many cases tribal groups that supported Saddam, or at least frightened enough to support him. We started a war against the people we're still fighting. They gave us Baghdad very quickly. They retreated. They simply aren't fighting the war in the way, in the manner we want them to.May 10, 2005
Nick Schager, Slant Magazine:
Saying Uwe Boll's "Alone in the Dark" is better than his 2003 American debut "House of the Dead"--possibly the worst horror film of the past decade--is akin to praising syphilis for not being HIV.
And this from an unusually blunt Stephen Holden:
...so inept on every level, you wonder why the distributor didn't toss it directly into the trash.
Yet it still grossed over $5 million.
-------May 9, 2005
Hey, it looks like this bombshell is finally getting some play in the mainstream U.S. media. Of course, had you been paying attention, the Iraq war was obviously ginned up from its product launch in September 2002.
In related news: U.S. deaths in Iraq surpass 1,600
All Hail Bluefly!
There's a 20% off sale at Bluefly -- which dack.com really digs -- and we've loaded up on some Theory:
In the Bag:
Black velvet pants. I don't think you're a fully actualized human male until you have a pair of velvet pants. $116.
French blue stretch 'Klaus' button-down sport shirt. $92. And even though pink is a little LY, I just can't resist:
May 6, 2005
I know she's not an actress, besides internet porn, but this still from House of Wax just looks like really bad acting. Bad bangs, too.
May 4, 2005
From the Department of Fair Weather War Fans: Poll: Most in U.S. say Iraq war not worthwhile
57% say it wasn't worth it; 41% say it was. Highest number of "not worth its" yet.
Whither the SUV? Ford and G.M. Suffer as Buyers Shun S.U.V.'s
I've never even smoked grass, or doobie, or pot, or whatever the kids call it these days, but this is just idiocy: Marijuana Becomes Focus of Drug WarMay 3, 2005
The best news I've seen in a while:
Myers: Wars Straining U.S. Military
What if there was a war and no one showed up?
We've come a long way, baby.May 2, 2005
With the warmer weather comes an increase in sandal wearing, which unfortunately means we're all subjected to spending a lot more time looking at people's ugly damn toes. Now my wife, see, she's got beautiful toes, like toe-model quality toes. But besides her, the rest of the population has toes so ugly they can make you lose your appetite, and should be covered up by socks 24/7/365.
I'm doing my part to keep toes from being displayed except in the privacy of one's home by getting a pair of these nearly toe-covering sandals.
In the Bag:
Birkenstock Lincoln sandals. Via Nordstorm. $130.
Updates may be sparse this week as I'm doing battle with a new PC, and don't know what I'm doing.April 27, 2005
Do you think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing this bad boy? Forget about it.
In the Bag:
American Apparel "Rex Kwon Do" ringer tee. Via Fashion Stinks. $19.90. Made in the USA!
Here at dack.com we're big fans of American Apparel. Their fitted tees really show off your pipes, which is cool. (But, on the other hand, their fitted tees really show off one's enormous goddamn beer gut, which, in the case of some of us at dack.com, is really uncool. But we still like 'em.)
The "War on Terror" has never made the slightest bit of sense to me, which is why I launched the warlog (which turned into the Rational Enquirer) back in October of 2001, when the "WOT" was just getting rolling. It was a pretty lonely voice back then, when the only thing people wanted to do was bomb someone. Anyone.
Anyhow, the folly of the "War on Terror" is coming to light: U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism.April 26, 2005
In the Mailbag:
TO: firstname.lastname@example.orgApril 25, 2005
In the Bag:
The increasingly hard-to-find Adidas Brady golf shoe. In black. 2 pair! $64.95 each. Via The Golf Warehouse.
(Side note to Adidas: please don't kill this line like you killed my other favorite, the Invader. My kingdom for another pair of these gems:)
I've been toying with the idea of creating a new fashion blog for men, highlighting stuff I see during the 8 hours/day I shop online, and the 3-4 hours/day I spend flipping through magazines. I even had a name, and through a buddy, the corresponding domain: www.MagnificentBastard.com.
But perhaps maybe the name is not so good, since it's also the name of Marine Corps Company E, based in Camp Pendelton. (It's a heckuva article.)
Man, if even half of this Post article is true, the "Iraqization" of our war on that country is hopeless.
In city after city and town after town, security forces who had signed up to secure Iraq and replace U.S. forces appear to have abandoned posts or taken refuge inside them for fear of attacks.April 22, 2005
I am having the hardest damn time finding a pair of cool mules for Minneapolis's eight weeks of summer. Best I can come up with are these Birk clogs:
Birkenstock Akita clog. Via Nordstrom. $140. Free shipping.April 21, 2005
Esquire has republished part of a Cosmo survey of 11,000 women around the world, and it turns out they don't think Shrub it too sexy. Bush would score far higher on the "sexy scale" among my heterosexual married buddies, most of whom are hard-core GOP. In fact, a few would probably take it without lube if he cut their taxes again.
April 20, 2005
Jeers to the cardinals for picking Joseph Ratzinger as the next pope. And not just because he's a fundamentalist, but because he's 78 years old, which means I'll probably have to endure another pope dying in my lifetime.April 19, 2005
Free the Road Warrior Re-enactors!
Police arrest 'Mad Max' re-enactors
At 11 AM EDT today on the Washington Post's online chat: Pilates for Golf.
And the official Pilates for Golf web site.April 18, 2005
Hey, if you don't like the facts, just stop keeping track of them.
Bush administration eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report
Apologies for the extremely infrequent posts, but I've been working on a short film ... and if you've done anything with film you know it's an absolute ballbuster to make one.
Anyhow, thanks to the following people who helped make it happen:
Thanks to Eddie Tews, the contributing writer to our newslog over at The Rational Enquirer, who put together two pictures. One from a fake celebration (top), and the other from a real protest (bottom).
April 12, 2005
Cheers to the Washington Post for helping to reveal John Negroponte's role in the illegal support of the contra "rebels" in Nicaragua.April 11, 2005
In The Bag:
Outdoor Terrier "Southern Soul" plaid pants. Via Coolestshop. $79. These are going to kill on the course this summer.
April 11. Just killed the first mosquito. Way too damn early.April 7, 2005
Ain't it the truth.
Terri Schiavo Dies of Embarrassment
I don't plan on seeing Sahara this weekend, so if anyone out there in readerland does, can you tell me how a Civil War ship ends up in Africa?
April 5, 2005
From the Department of Shameless Pandering
Gah. Bush orders flags flown at half staff for almost a full damn week. Half-staff treatment should be reserved for U.S. citizens and epic leaders like, say, Churchill, not the leader of a sect of Christianity. Driving around Minneapolis today it was encouraging to see about half the flags run all the way up the pole.
Half staff or not, he died with dignity.
How did David Rees (creator of the brilliant Get Your War On) get a copy of my living will?
It's Masters Week. For me, it's more effective than a bottle of Viagra. And not just because it's the first major. It's the official start of spring. It means the golf courses are opening. It means we can stop wearing long underwear. It means area students will be preparing their breasts for increased display. All is very, very well.
Anyhow, I digress. A new magazine came in the mail the other day, and there's a killer article about the fall of one of my guys, Seve Ballesteros, who won the Masters 25 years ago. He's back in the field this week, and I fear he's going to shoot a pair of 80s.April 1, 2005
Smell the Self-Pity ... and the Poop
Today my wife leaves for an 9-day "work" trip (shopping in Europe), which leaves me solo with 3- and 1-year-old boys.
Dear, I'll miss you.
You Cannot Make This Up!
We went to war based largely on information provided by a guy labeled "crazy" by the Germans, whose code name was "Curveball," who the CIA never even talked to. And remember those aluminum tubes? A junior analyst at the CIA named "Joe" was responsible for that inaccuracy, which was a cornerstone of the case for war. Even the CIA -- who wanted to believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for male pattern baldness -- didn't believe the horseshit about a Saddam-Al Qaeda link. I can't even remember where that doozy came from. Chalabi, I think, who fed it to Feith's OSP. As Chalabi said back in February 2004: "We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."
Based on the re-election of Bush/Cheney, the promotion of Rice and Hadley, George Tenet winning the fucking Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Wolfowitz heading up the World Bank, I'd say he's right.
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