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2.5.03
 
Linkage week continues

And now I'm listed as the site of the day over at Right We Are!, the site that does more than even Fox News to prove that there is nothing sexier than women on the Right. Thanks for the link and the kind words, Maripat, and welcome, link folk!

The circle is almost complete. I'm secretly coveting a link from IMAO, but I'm not sure if that would provoke Frank to go all Rumsfeld on me. There's also the issue of monkeys.

 
It's over. Kinda.


Great speech by the president. We have turned a corner, but the "war" in Iraq really was a battle in the larger war on terror, which was forced on us on 9/11. A war which we are winning. And since this mission is done, let me calmly yell,

H O O O O O O - A H H H H H ! ! ! !
Thank you, Tad, and all of your comrades who stood in harm's way on our behalf. Words fail me, so as usual, I'll lift from Peggy Noonan, who wrote this as we went to war a bit over a month ago:
"We have 2.7 million members of the active and reserve American armed forces today. The world owes a great deal to America, and America owes a great deal to them, and not only because of their courage but because of their faith in us. And they have faith in us, and in this place we all live in, this great country, or else they would never risk their lives for us. Which leaves us humbled, and wishing we could say to them what the world should be saying to the country they represent: Thank you."
Thank you. This is what you and your friends have done, at an age when I and most of my friends were doing nothing more than drinking beer, arguing about basketball, surfing, and only occasionally attending class:
"One senses it is going to be bigger than we think.

"We are about to startle and reorder the world. We are going to win this thing, and in the winning of it we are going to reinspire civilized people across the globe. We're going to give the world a lift."

"The deeper meaning there is that we are witnessing a triumph of activism over fatalism. Victory will remind the world that faith and effort trump ennui and despair. It will demonstrate to the civilized world that the good do not have to see themselves as at the inevitable mercy of barbarians. It will demonstrate that we are not part of a long and unstoppable slide, that we can move forward and win progress, that we don't have to cower in blue suits behind the Security Council desk. We can straighten up, join together and make things better..."

"... Finally, victory in Iraq means this: every terror state and terror group is more than ever on notice and newly aware that the West does not exist to play victim. "
The war may not be over, but this mission is (insert UN legal disclaimer here), and there's going to be a heck of a party when you folks get back home. Tad, we know just what you guys have been deprived of over there the last five months, and the country will have it ready for you when you get back:


 
Material girl


Looks like some of the reservists are getting sent home quicker than we thought. Reserve Special Forces Master Sgt. Madonna Ciccone is back home in London with some thought-provoking words of advice for those of us here in grow country currently not blessed with homes in Malibu, New York and London or a crappy European film personality lover ten years younger than yourself:
"We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous. The only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another."
Wow. that's inspiring. So inspiring, I went and dug out the only Madonna CD I own, a high-school copy of Madonna's "Like a Virgin", to see if there were more pearls of wisdom on leading a simple, happy, fulfilling, non-materialistic life:
"Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me, I think they're O.K., if they don't give me proper credit, I just walk away-ay.

They can beg, and they can plead, but they can't see the light, that's right! 'Cause the boy with the cold hard cash, is always Mister Right, 'cause we are... living in a material world, and I am a material girl. You know that we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.

Some boys romance, some boys slow dance, that's all right with me. If they can't raise my interest, then I have to let them be...

Some boys try and some boys lie but I don't let them play, no way! Only boys who save their pennies make my rainy day-ay, 'cause they are... living in a material world"
(tune into VH1 for the rest of the song, "I love the '80s" should be on; if not, wait 30 minutes, and it will be)
Well, it was the '80s... what does Altruistic Girl have to say today on her new single, "American Life"?
"And if all this can give me hope, you know I'm satisfied. I got a lawyer and a manager. An agent and a chef. Three nannies, an assistant. And a driver and a jet. A trainer and a butler. And a bodyguard or five. A gardener and a stylist. Do you think I'm satisfied?"
If you aren't, Madonna, then you're greedier than we thought. Consistent as well, but not the second coming of Mother Teresa. Guess I'll just have to switch back to Janeane Garofalo and other supporting cast members of The Larry Sanders Show for life direction.

Three words, Madge: Britney. Christina. Tatu. You've had an incredibly brilliant career spanning two decades, morphing seamlessly from pop star to fag hag to whatever the deal was with the weird pointy breast cones to now sniping at America from abroad like some tired Jerry Lewis retread. It's over.

 
Instant pithyness


Of course, the above post could have been quite a bit shorter had I checked my e-mail. Longtime friend and personal buddy of Mr. T TigerBo sends in this time-saving link for ranting about ass-hatted idiots.

Why, I could breeze through a month's worth of postings in five minutes! Madonna? Idiot. Janeane Garofalo? Idiot. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins? Idiot two-fer. Norman Mailer? Idiot. Al-Jazeera anchors and Peter Arnett in particular? Idiots. Mike Krzyzewski? Idiot. Dixie Chicks? Idiot threesome. Jacques Chirac? Idiote. Dick Baddour? Idiot. Dominique "Wilkins" de Villepin de Sarcelles de Vichy de mon Cul? Idiote. Sleepy-headed Aaron Brown? Idiot. Anyone who doubts Laurie Dhue's beauty? Idiot. Laura Miller, Dallas mayor who banned indoor smoking everywhere? Idiot. Jerry Jones? Idiot.

The possibilities are endless. Thanks, TigerBo! And remember, everybody, Go Tagless!

 
Unchained

Of course, in the 1980s, I was more of a fan of Van Halen than Madonna, at least until David Lee Roth left. But he's slowly working his way back to redemption, detaining an intruder with a shotgun. Now make up with the band, Davey, and we'll call you cool again.

 
Y'all come back now, insh'Allah?

More proof that bin Laden and the rest of the Saudis are the Arab world's equivalent of the Beverly Hillbillies (hat tip: LGF).

 
N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen


The Brits call him Comical Ali, we call him Baghdad Bob, I call him Info-Boy, and you can now call him DJ Grandmaster B-Dad Mo Jihadi Sahaf. According to the UK press, producers in the UK are cutting a dance song using some of the Iraqi Information Minister's choice quotes.

They say the song will sound like Paul Hardcastle's 1987 dance track about the Vietnam War, "19".

OK, that's it. No more news or comment about faded 1980s musicians today; I'm starting to feel like VH1.

 
Plagiarism, or inspiration?

I wasn't the only one inspired to quickly Photoshop the President's head into a movie poster yesterday. I like it even better than what I did, but then, I just love the Matrix. 13 more days...

 
Viral transmission

Still worried about SARS? Concerned that avoiding suspected Canadians just isn't enough to protect you? Dr. Frank over at IMAO has a few helpful tips. Some of my favorites:
* If you hear a knock at the door, ask the person outside a long division math problem. SARS is unable to do long division, so, if the answer is wrong, fire blindly thought the door with the nearest firearm.

* SARS usually attacks with flu-like symptoms, but sometimes it will use a choke wire, so always keep an eye to anything sneaking up behind you.

* SARS is really just a bully. If you stand up to SARS and say, "Hey, well maybe I'll infect you with something!" it will probably back down.

* If SARS is after you, you can't out run it. Instead, get in a car and drive as fast as you can, making many sudden turns so you hopefully can lose it.
Read the whole thing. IMAO is so funny, he makes my whole body laugh, including my pee-pee.

1.5.03
 
Fox feels the need for speed


Yes, it's pretty cool that the President will be making a carrier landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Yes, no carrier landing with a jet is never routine, since you're turning the plane into a very fast falling brick, trying to land at 130 mph on a space the size of a football field, which is also moving in three dimensions.

But is it really necessary for Fox News to have the same kind of wall-to-wall newsgasm over this as the 24-hour wall-to-wall coverage they gave to the fall of Baghdad? This is a procedure that has been done thousands of times before, but David Asman is so excited, it looks like he's going to wet his pants.

 
OO-RAH!

2002: lowest number of terrorist attacks in 30 years. Thanks, Tad!

 
Rollin', rollin' rollin'...

Must be my week for blogrolls. First I am honored with a link from Merde in France, and now I get serious linkage and slithering from the luscious but deadly Kate over at Electric Venom. I am blushing!

Re-reading Kate's site, I remember there was another thing that redeems France in a very small way, surprisingly, vodka. Grey Goose Vodka. Perfect in martinis. And her professed love of Finlandia has saved me from having to resort to Absolut during the current boycott (Stoli is on the s**t list too, darn Russians!). Kate mentions French cafe au lait, which I also adore, but you can get the same thing, just as yummy, at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. OK, the French gave us (sold us, really) the French Quarter as well. But that's it. And I'm still mad at them.

Merde readers, the post you came for is here, Venom readers, it's here.

 
On your knees

All of us who believe, not just Janeane Garofalo. Today is the National Day of Prayer, at 12 Noon. Pray for the troops, for the nation, however you feel.

And today is May Day as well, so you might want to slip in a bit of Thanksgiving that we no longer have to watch 10-15 geriatric Communists standing on Lenin's tomb in the sunlight of Moscow in springtime, leading the happy workers in song as the missiles roll by.
"How could any country that put a man into space first, with 10,000 nuclear missiles, not be able to make women's pantyhose?"
-- Mikhail Gorbachev
Sounds like it could have come from Reagan or Thatcher, who pushed Comrade Humpty-Dumpty off the Kremlin wall.

 
Run, Hill, run

Lots of speculation yesterday about Hillary Clinton entering the 2004 Presidential race. Part of me doesn't want to ever hear from that woman again. My only consolation? If she runs in 2004, she stands a bigger change of getting beaten like a narc at a biker rally than she would have in 2008. And then we'd never have to hear from her ever again.

 
Insight


I am Snoopy
Which Peanuts Character Are You Quiz


As a brand planner, I never thought I could be replaced by automation... but these online quiz things are pretty good.

 
Political shift


First I was a regular Republican who just happened to practice debauchery on his own time. Then I became a South Park Republican once the PC movement took hold in the culture. Now, I am proud to call myself a Slutpublican:
Basically, we stand for freedom to do whatever the hell you want as long as you aren't hurting anyone. We're about a world without terrorism, a world without tyranny, a world without Ted Rall.
All this springs from the brilliant mind of Michele Catalano, the brains behind the best media source of the war, The Command Post.

 
Ignorance Is Strength


What is the point of maintaining an Orwellian political dictatorship when you can't even quarantine a disease?

Maybe SARS also affects critical judgement. Here's a billboard from the Hong Kong Tourist Board, which has quickly been yanked:


 
Texas livin'


Asia and Toronto might be dealing with SARS, but Texas surgeons have much, much bigger things to deal with.

That's right, my friend is going through with the plastic surgery. She's not only considering liposuction, she's also contemplating a breast lift. I didn't know such a process existed.

We warned her something like this would happen when she moved from the (relatively) Bohemian surroundings of in-town Dallas up to 972 country into that McMansion in Frisco, well behind Dallas' equivalent of the Orange Curtain.

 
Daughter of fruits of victory



Delicious red meat today from the prototype for all of the delicious Fox Blondes, GOP riot grrl Ann Coulter:
"When you get liberals to come out against both looting and adultery in the same week, you know the left is in a state of total disarray. They shouldn't feel so bad. Their boys put up a good fight in Iraq for 17 days."
Blonde, beautiful, AND a warrior on the order of Conan the Barbarian... I am in love.

 
The dog is dead but the tail still wags


Ann tells us that most liberals are in retreat, but there still are a few asshats (love that word) out there bloviating. I came across a couple of pieces so blindly idiotic, so beyond the pale of the usual idiocy of the Left, that they make me physically sick.

So angry that I don't know whether to s**t or go blind, as the saying goes. The obvious solution is to close one eye and poot. But maybe I'll rant, since Laurie Dhue is on, and I've just finished off a tasty plate of enchiladas and refried beans.

Asshat #1: Norman Mailer
He has a piece in the London Times claiming that the main reason we fought the war simply to boost the white male ego.

I think this is putting cause before effect. Sure, I do feel better about liberating an oppressed people and eliminating a threat to our nation, but come on. Using Norm's math, 30% of Americans are white males, almost 100 million of us. Using the worst-case scenario for the war and reconstruction, the war will cost $100 billion.

If the war was REALLY about our self-esteem, the President could have taken that money and given each of us white boys a cool $1 million. We would have been ORGASMIC then, and, as an added bonus, the President could have said he'd lowered taxes.

Beyond the basic idiocy, what really ticks me off is the continued bashing of white males, as if that settled the argument right then and there. Mailer's resort to racism ultimately reveals the paucity of facts or ideas driving the Left these days, their blind, unthinking hatred of Western Civilization in general and George Bush in particular. The tragedy is that such crap still has an audience.

Asshat #2: John Kaminski and SF Indymedia, who printed his crap
It's a rehash of every 9/11 conspiracy ever written, except for the French/Arab rumor that the Mossad, Israel's CIA, phoned every Jewish person who lived in lower Manhattan to tell them not to go to work that day.

Refuting his assertions would take all day, so let's answer just a few of the overall questions:
Why do all the major U.S. media continue to act as if none of these questions is legitimate or relevant?
If you're lying and you know you're lying, First Amendment protections don't apply and you can be sued for libel and slander in this country. Why not try Al-Jazeera? Surely, as a multiculturalist, they must be "major media" in your eyes.
History has shown all too clearly the deceived American people WILL support the destruction of faraway countries on phony pretexts of defending so-called freedom.
Until we came along, I guess the Germans and the Japanese wanted to sit around a campfire singing "Kumbaya" in the 1940s, the North Koreans and North Vietnamese were just looking for great prices on mattresses, and the 500,000 Iraqis who came to Kuwait in '91 were on a beach trip.
It was never televised, only recorded by a French crew filming firemen in New York. In that film, the plane in question does not appear to be a passenger airliner.
Well, there's this,


and while Photoshop can do amazing things,

billions of us saw the planes hit LIVE on 9/11.

I guess asshats will always be with us, but I don't want to hear one more word about how free speech is under attack. You have been warned, and I know where to get more refried beans.

 
Choosing wisely

I was worried about those Shiites going ga-ga in the streets, until I read this piece on post-liberation TV viewing habits in Iraq:
"We used to go to sleep at 10 p.m. Now we stay up until 4 or 5 a.m. because we can't get enough." Still desperate for war news, they tune to CNN, BBC, and what appears to be a local favorite, Fox. They like it, people here say, because it has been the most supportive of the war.
They have the democracy and the sexy part down pat. Now, if only Rupert Murdoch owned a distillery, he'd be able to offer these folks everything they've asked for.

 
Lie back and think of England


Now that news channels are using gorgeous women to present the news, we in the ad business are having to work even harder to make a sexy pitch, à la Miller Lite's girl-on-girl "Catfight" ads.

England's ad business, not to be outdone by us Yanks, has risen to the challenge, AdRants tells us, with a spot for Debenham's dept. store in which supermodel Caprice actually seduces the cameraman filming the spot.

I love this business.

And here in the States, we're looking forward to Reebok's upcoming campaign featuring Shakira. Reebok says Shakira is "inspired by the pursuit of peace and passionate about the art of freedom of expression". Whatever. Just as long as we get to see Shakira frolicking on the beach.

29.4.03
 
Ils fêtent ça à la Texane chez Chipstah!


One mention on Merde in France, and my traffic skyrockets. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur (Not) Merde, and bienvenue, folks who have followed the link. I feel like Jerry Lewis!

If you're looking for the post where we "celebrate France's falling on its a** Texas-style (La France qui tombe sur le cul, ils fêtent ça à la Texane ici"), scroll down or click/clickez-vous here/ici. Now I'm Canadian; fetch me some back bacon and a Molson's, s'pice di counase!

All the France-related traffic got me to thinking. Sure, there are a lot of things we hate about France: the narcissistic, duplicitous, ingrate politicians, the anti-semitism, the jihadis in the Sarcelles hood kickin' it very old school with the Shari'a, the defaced monuments, the dirigiste business culture, the condescencion, 60-year-old men strolling around in the nude on Cote d'Azur beaches, stepping in mountains of romantic doggie merde while strolling along the romantic Paris sidewalks... but what's still GOOD about France?

Plenty:
-- french toast, french fries, french kissing, all those non-French things we're trying to rename with "freedom"
-- Smoking is not only legal, but compulsory, and you're welcome to light up BETWEEN courses of meals (eat merde and DIE, Michael Bloomberg and wannabe-Bloomberg Dallas mayor Laura Miller)
-- Omnipresent nudity on television and billboards, including real sex on reality TV shows, including swimming pool sex, use of the French version of Barney's tail as a "marital aid", and the French version of Barney getting beaten with a stick... all we got on Joe Millionaire was a few slurping kissing noises from behind the bushes, even though one of the finalists had starred in bondage films
-- Outdoor male urination is socially acceptable anywhere, any time (could have used this Sunday stuck in baseball game day traffic, a fatwa on TxDOT for not planting more bushes by the side of the road)
-- Right now, Foreign Minister Dominique "Wilkins" de Villepin de Sarcelles de Vichy de Cul is on the verge of becoming so impotent and out of touch that he will be as amusing as the Iraqi Information Minister
-- Jambon-fromage (ham and cheese croissants), mmmmmmm...
-- The fact that rhythm is not a French genetic trait, which enables me, the epitome of Southern-white-boy-ness, to walk into any French nightclub, step onto the dance floor, and feel like John Travolta
-- um... um... what else... um... oh, yeah... did I mention smoking? Denis Leary-style. Denis Leary after 12 cups of coffee style. Any time, anywhere.
Perhaps the best solution comes from Scrappleface: instead of boycotting French tourism, we should ENCOURAGE it, especially in Texas. Maybe even repeal the Wright Amendment to allow Southwest to fly direct from Love Field to CDG for $99 roundtrip.

I can see it now... line dancing on the Rive Gauche, Neiman Marcus buying out Galeries Printemps, Baby Dolls buying out the Moulin Rouge, re-enactments of the Alamo at Notre Dame, Monte Carlo turned into timeshares for Plano accountants, wimpy little Renault cabs being crushed without a second thought underneath the brush guards on our Hummers and Ford Excursions, tacos, beef brisket, and chicken-fried steak at every little cafe up and down the Champs Elysees, Sarcelles being cleared out for cul-de-sacs and McMansions..

Ann Richards could come over to rejuvenate the Socialist Party, Molly Ivins could edit Le Monde; politically, they'd be right at home.

And Colorado would rejoice, because we wouldn't be there.

 
Bad boys, bad boys, what'cha gonna do when they come for you?


What could be better than a few thousand Frenchmen visiting my blog? An e-mail from MarineTad over in the Gulf, of course!

While we're getting back to our regular routines here, his crew is still on the wartime "Groundhog Day" routine; work, sleep, workout, work, sleep... for the 115th straight day. Whew!

Cousin Tad also sent me the cool picture you see above. Tad's ship, the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), is the one in the middle rear. The Navy has 7 of these Marine carriers, and this is the first time 6 of them have ever been in the same place at once. Fun fact: the rear end of these ships drops down like a pickup truck tailgate to let the troops out. Tad's Harrier jets go up top, of course.

Tad and his team are loyal readers of this blog (of course they have web access, the military invented the Net), and they say they enjoy it, because it's "usually more true to our feelings about things than the news and those ******* journalists who get Marines killed."

USUALLY more true to your feelings, Tad? Not sure what that means; maybe they prefer Jennifer Eccleston over Laurie Dhue as their favorite Fox News fox. I'm not going to argue with the Marines, though. Tad has a Harrier with J-DAMS; all I have is a PowerBook.

 
Think different. Think victory.


If you haven't done so already, go read Bill White's essay at Eject!Eject!Eject! on victory in Iraq right now.
"All of these are important, but none of them begin to approach the real Victory, which was the American people showing that despite thirty years of the very worst that America-hating celebrities and professors and news anchors and politicians could hurl our way, we still have the ethical and moral integrity, the willingness to sacrifice, and the will – the will – to defend this nation and what she represents, both to ourselves and to suffering and oppressed people everywhere."

"We fought despite a shrill and rising whine, like a jet engine about to explode, warning us, begging us, threatening us, mocking us, shaming us not to fight. But we did fight. And that is the Victory I want to celebrate. Not as a swaggering, macho attitude about kicking ass and taking names. But rather the sublime, astonishing and humbling realization that
everything the enemies of America could throw at us – failed. We have listened to their lies since Marx took pen to paper, yet the vast, strong, humane and decent center of this Silent America did not buy into the idea that we are a nation of murderers, and simpletons, and 'sheeple.'"
Read the whole thing. It's that important. It also brought to mind an Apple ad campaign from a while back, which seems entirely appropriate here:

Here's to the crazy ones.

The misfits. The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.

They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them,
quote them, disbelieve them,
glorify them or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do
is ignore them.

Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.

They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.

-- Apple Computer, 1997


 
Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!

Baghdad is starting to look like a happening town, just in time for Tad and his team to get some well-deserved shore leave.

 
Next up, poofy blonde hair

First Louis Vuitton facemasks to ward off the SARS virus. And now, plastic surgery for high school- and college-age girls. Soon the Dallasization of China will soon be complete.

 
Daily puzzler

Click here and see if you can spot where the Chipstah would be at this protest.

 
Hollywood beat


Looks like the limousine liberals have FINALLY drank that tall glass of "shut the **** up".

Well, almost everybody. Mike Farrell, known for his bland performance as a supporting actor on a TV series, MASH, that ended twenty years ago, still has a few strong words about the war, since his career obviously needs the help:
"Instead, he said, the "huge coalition" of those opposed to the war were gathering strength and preparing to fight another day -- over post-war Iraq, domestic issues and future "preemptive strikes" by the Bush administration. "What's the point of me saying anything right now, while they're in the end zone doing the dance and spiking the football?" Farrell said. "They are going to do the thing they are going to do, but we'll be heard from when it's appropriate and in the manner that is appropriate.""
That parrot's not dead, it's resting.
"There was a well-orchestrated campaign to do that through hate radio and Web sites and voices that sprang from the (Bush) administration and said 'take your choice, you're with us or with the terrorists,"
Actually, President Bush said it, right after 9/11. But I feel your pain; moral clarity can be tough to live with when you're a liberal.

Never fear, BJ: Janeane Garofalo is here to put it all of the complex issues of war, peace, liberation, and terror into perspective for us:
"Before this I was a moderately well-known character actress. Now, I'm almost famous."
Try infamous.

28.4.03
 
IronyFest2003:
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!



"Official" victory in Iraq hasn't been declared in Iraq yet, but we can declare a winner in IronyFest2003, the global version of March (and April) Madness:
F R A N C E !

They were the top seed going into the tournament, and they never disappointed (see here, here, and too many other places to mention). Their lead never was in doubt, but their documented support for Iraq with intelligence on US plans and helping Saddam crush dissenters that was revealed yesterday while simultaneously claiming to stand for fairness and the rule of international law put the rest of the world to shame--Axis of Evil, Axis of Weasels, Axis of Countries That Make Cool Cars, any kind of Axis you care to mention.


Chirac on victory:"France, la plus grande connasse du monde, yay! En face du victoire américain, l'épi de maïs reste coincé entre mes fesses, avec mon cerveau, mon honneur, et un porc-épic!" (En anglais: "France, the biggest butthead on the planet, woo-hoo! Even in the face of American victory, the corncob remains stuck up my rear end, along with my brain, my honor, and a porcupine!")

A big part of France's victory came from outstanding play by prime-time-players and, dare we say, Rolls-Roycers, President Jacques "Crack" Chirac and Foreign Minister Dominique "Wilkins" de Villepin de Toilette l'Espece du Connard le Branleur de Sarcelles de Vichy de Cul.


France also had the help of an incredibly deep bench that numbered in the tens of millions, who pitched in to help with everything from lecturing Americans while at the same time defacing English and American military cemeteries, imposing Shari'a Islamic law and burning synagogues in the suburbs, and, most recently, according to Merde in France, snapping up pro-Osama logos to download on their cellphones. Here's what the "spice di counace" means, and here are the two cellular providers who offer Osama-customizable phones, here, and here.

Liberté, egalité, fraternité... unless, of course, you happen to be juif or américain. But then, ça va sans dire.

 
MVP, IronyFest2003


The most valuable player in March/April Madness is, of course, Info-Boy himself, "Comical Ali", "Baghdad Bob", Mohammed Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the Iraqi Information Minister.

This guy came off the bench (he doesn't even have his own "Iraq's Most Wanted" card) to keep Iraq in the game long after everyone else, even Al-Jazeera and Dick Vitale, had ruled the team out of action. He kept shooting shot after shot when everyone on his side had choked -- Saddam, Uday, Qusay, EBay, the Fedayeen, the Republican Guard, the Special Republican Guard, the extra-special-no-fooling-we-really-mean-it-Pat-Buchanan Republican Guard, the Hezbollah and Hamas "volunteers", even the Russians.

And he even did it in spite of his diminutive height and the fact that he was the only Ba'ath party member, male or female, in the entire Arab world, who didn't sport a mustache.

What's more, he's still playing the game today, when we reached him for comment, somewhere in the Baghdad suburbs: "I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad. Now be quiet and go away from this closet before the infidels find me and my imaginary army of friends."

 
Preseason picks, IronyFest 2003-04

Now that the Baghdad Invitational is over, who are the picks for next season?

EUROPEAN CONFERENCE
France is still the overwhelming favorite, now that it has become obvious that being proven totally wrong will not deter them in any way, along with lots of "financing" from TotalFinaElf.

No one else in Europe is left to seriously challenge the French. Russia is evil, sure, but that isn't a real change from their past public demeanor. Germany, for the first time in its history, has proven itself to be a wimp, and this will not change so long as head coach Gerhard "Lucy" Schroeder is at the helm. The United Nations, while still a font of irony (Libya chairing the Human Rights Commission?), has been rendered meaningless for true ironic impact because of American resolve.
ARAB LEAGUE
With Iraq out of the way, Iran looks to be the preseason leader, given the pious denunciations of the "Great Satan" and its popular culture, combined with the corruption of the mullahs (mosque-approved three hour "marriage licenses" for a small donation to the local ayatollah outside the brothel, anyone?)

Syria could contend, but looks like it's been boxed out by the US. The only other contenders seem to be the Palestinians, the conference's traditional leaders in irony and BS. The Saudis might rise up to contend, but appear chastened for now. Al Qaeda looks to be a one-hit wonder for a second straight year, despite the promise they showed in the 2001 season, chanting about the ultimate defeat of the US from bombed-out caves in Afghanistan.
NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE
With a Presidential election looming, the Democratic Party appears to have a lock on the conference, with all-stars such as Al Sharpton in the mix and strong newcomers like Howard "Doctor" Dean claiming that Iraq is no better off today than it was under Saddam.

The only other contenders here are perennial powerhouse Cuba, led by strong man Fidel Castro, and possibly Canada. The Canucks showed promise during last year's tournament, with every goverment official from Prime Minister Jean "John" Chretien to suburban Ottawa dogcatchers never missing an opportunity to label Americans "morons" and "bastards". The only thing that could hold them back is the case of the sniffles so many of them have come down with in the last couple of weeks.
ASIAN LEAGUE
Given the strong words and bluster coming from coach/poofy-headed-dwarf Kim "Dong" Jong-Il, North Korea would appear to be the team to beat. Unfortunately, the fact that they choke on the line every time they have a shot, combined with the team's bizarre training table diet of twigs and berries, means that they will likely have the impact of a small child throwing a fit.

Conference powerhouse China could fill in the gap, but apparently they have the same case of sniffles that Canada has, possibly caused by making out with Canada behind the shed while none of us were looking.


 
Glass houses

Flight attendant wannabe (and suspected Canadian) Ashleigh Banfield recently launched her campaign for the Arnett Award by criticizing wartime media coverage as "a non-stop flow of images presented by cable news operators who wrap themselves in the American flag and go after a certain target demographic."

Throw in a little jealousy and catty commentary about the superior looks of such true blonde info-babes as Laurie Dhue and Jennifer Eccleston, and you'd think she was referring to Fox News.


I just hope she checks in with MSNBC colleague Natalie Morales over by the America's Bravest Wall before she mouths off again.

 
Nudes for peace


Memo to Natalie Maines: your peace movement would have been a LOT more successful if the good-looking people were the ones stripping for peace BEFORE the war began.


 
Life without Laurie or Jennifer

The Laurie/Jennifer debate continues over at Geoffrey Allen's site.

But no matter which anchor you prefer, we should be thankful. There are still places on this planet that don't get Fox News. No Laurie, no Jennifer, not even a Catherine Herridge. And this is the horror that could result. Call Scotland Cable and demand Fox News today. Think of the traffic cones.

 
Double trouble

Look out, Fox News. Watch your back, Tatu. Right We Are is here. As they say, "there is nothing sexier than women who are on the right side." I agree.


Easy, Chewie

In case you were wondering, Michael Moore is not a shaved Wookie.

 
Exile


Catherine Herridge, Fox News' resident Vulcan, continues to be punished for being a brunette. During the anthrax attacks, she was the reporter on the scene. And now that the end of the war in Iraq is ending, they've dispatched her to Toronto to cover the SARS story. Tough break.

But she remains undeterred, holding her strangely angular head up high and wearing her omnipresent blue turtleneck.