Wednesday, March 30

Other "-cons" That Scare The Hell Out Of Left-Wingers

This Post Curse-Free (Darn!)

Everybody knows what a "neocon" is . . . okay, everybody's heard the term and can identify one, but the definition is harder to nail down than a raincloud. Now, due to the Terri Schiavo issue, panicky liberals (and even some right-wingers) are also completely freaking out over "theocons": conservatives whose policies are strongly influenced by religious faith. (I know. Those people are out there? Go figure.)

As a public service, I present to you the full list of "-cons" soon to occupy the nightmares of New York Times columnists:

Morpheocon: conservative who wears leather jackets and sunglasses that magically stick to the bridges of their noses. They're fond of saying cryptic messages that are just creepy.

Theohuxtablecon: a conservative who will always be remembered for what he was doing 20 years ago.

CEOcon: business mogul conservative. Owns shares of NewsCorp and/or Wal-Mart.

Leocon: a conservative who was born between July 23 and August 22. They usually like to marry a Libra, have a daughter who's a Virgo, and lefties hope they all get Cancer.

D-Con: a conservative who kills endangered species of insects.

C3POcon: anal-retentive conservative robot with gold plating.

Meow-con: a catblogger. You really don't want to mess with them.

Got more? Including ones that are actually . . . you know . . . funny? E-mail me:


Tuesday, March 29

Ben Stein & Rachel Lucas Beat The Crap Out Of Me

Another Profanity Warning

Apparently, instead of writing that last post, I could have saved myself a lot of time and just linked to this brief essay by Ben Stein:
Here is what makes me furious about the Terri Schiavo case, short and sweet.

The courts of the United States can find a right for the abortion industry to take a fully formed, totally healthy baby at nine months' term, out of his mother's womb and murder it by putting scissors through his brain and grinding them about.

They do this without one single word of support from any Congressional act of any kind ever.

They can find a right of savage murderers of innocent women who drown them for a lark to avoid the death penalty because they are old enough to drive and to kill but supposedly too young to be executed. Again, there is not one syllable in any Congressional act that sanctions this protection of the guilty.

But with the Congress and the President of the United States pleading for the life of a woman who is not brain dead, who responds to words and to touch, who is not on life support, whose parents beg for her to be kept alive, whose nurses give affidavits that she can be rehabilitated, with a specific law commanding the courts to review the case to keep this poor soul alive, the courts instead find no rights for her.
But Stein's fury is nothing compared to Rachel Lucas:
But as I have now repeatedly and loudly told my husband (and have written down): for the love of anything that ever was good or decent on this planet, DON'T FREAKIN' STARVE ME TO DEATH. Mmkay? How about a nice big syringe full of morphine and then something to make my heart stop. Thanks, that'd be super. Even if I look like a giant blue-eyed slab of vegetable matter, am drooling, and the scans show that all I have is a brain stem while the rest of my gray matter has evaporated. I'm not afraid of dying, just don't kill me slow.

Not too much to ask.

Meanwhile, I'll try to go about my life with the knowledge that at least half of my fellow Americans are barbaric, heartless, selfish assholes who couldn't care less about a woman starving slowly to death in a hospice bed in Florida. The fact that she is dying is really not the problem - she "died" long ago, according to pretty much everybody. Who has custody of her is not the problem - I read the Wolfson report and it turns out her parents are kinda nuts and Michael is not necessarily an evil asshole.

The problem, and it is a very very big fucking problem, is that no one seems to give a rat's ass that it is acceptable to kill a human being, one who just might have some shred of conscious awareness, by withholding water and food.

It's absolutely disgusting. It's like she's a forsaken fern or something - just stop watering her until she dies. Sure, it'll look ugly for a while but it's just a fern/brain-dead woman. It can't feel anything. Dry up and die.

God bless America, the most civilized and humane society ever to exist. Shit.
As Ben might say: I'm humbled. Get out of here.


Monday, March 28

Terri Schiavo

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Simple minds discuss people." —Unknown

Pardon my French (now and for the couple other times I'll use it in this post), but: Bullshit. I like to think in terms of the big picture. I crave context when in discussion of complex issues. But sometimes complexity is overrated. I think Terri Schiavo's plight boils down to her and her alone, and I don't consider myself simple-minded to say so.

I cannot stand grandstanding. It's coming from both sides concerning Terri Schiavo, so much so that it threatens to overwhelm what's happening to her right now. Many, far far too many people, have taken up one side of the case or the other to score points for their larger cause. On one side sits right-to-lifers, anti-judicial-activism activists, and many Christians (which I am, but comparing Terri Schiavo to Jesus is nauseating); on the other side stands euthanasia supporters and the all-encompassing anti-whatever-the-religious-right-supports crowd. The noise is so deafening that even if Terri Schiavo were able to speak her wishes, she might not be heard.

The fact, is, however, that Terri can't speak her wishes. This places the rest of us in an untenable situation: do we allow her to live, accepting the possibility that she might consider her diminished life less preferable to death, or do we assist her towards the end of her life hoping that somewhere inside she's not fighting to stay alive? Neither is acceptable, which is why so much emphasis is placed on the spouse's opinion in situations like this — someone who's discussed such matters intimately with the focused individual, probably much more than s/he has with his/her parents.

Once again we run into a problem, though, because Michael Schiavo is — and I don't hesitate in the slightest to say this — AN ASSHOLE. Even if you believe him when he says that Terri told him she wouldn't want to be kept alive in this fashion — he's still an asshole. While I can't adequately speak for his mindset, anybody who could watch, hear of, or even think about the manner in which Terri is slowly being killed without fighting like hell to stop it — be they spouse, relative, friend, acquaintance, or perfect stranger . . . well, I fail to think of words awful enough to describe the level of contempt I feel for such a person. And it's especially telling that those advocating Terri's release from this life do so on the basis that her condition remains unchanged for the last decade and a half. In that case, even if it's not improving, it's not deteriorating, either. The most generous explanation I can think of concerning Michael Schiavo's wish to allow Terri to die — which, by the way, he was staunchly against for the first several years of her condition — is that he's racked with guilt for sleeping next to another woman while the the person he pledged his life to, in sickness and in health, lied alone and, until recently, mostly uncared about in some godforsaken hospice. If her time had truly come, if there were absolutely no chance she could ever survive without drastic and extraordinary assistance, it would be different entirely; but since she wouldn't die unless she was deliberately deprived of food and water, that would be the necessary step. To assuage his conscience, he's convinced himself and a slew of others that it's what she would have wanted.

If someone did this to a dog, they'd be arrested, and rightly so. If someone did this to another person in ordinary circumstances, they'd be eligible to be killed themselves — again, justifiably so (at least in my opinion). Hell, we don't treat Death Row inmates or Guantanamo Bay prisoners in this fashion. It's cruelty and barbarism of the first degree. But based on one judge's ruling that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state — a completely vague and malleable diagnosis — Michael Schiavo now wields the powers of God for her. Subsequent appeals have been futile since the original ruling was judicially allowable even if heinous in implication. And even a Congressional order merely to re-examine the case from square one was brushed aside.

Michael Schiavo is such an asshole that it makes me reach conclusions I otherwise wouldn't. In any normal circumstance I'd be outraged that Congress felt the need to interject themselves and proclaim jurisdiction. But since this is quite literally a matter of life and death — perhaps not a "quality" life but certainly a violent, brutal death — and the basis on which the life-and-death decision is being made is judicially flimsy, medically suspect and morally reprehensible, I have to come down on their side. I'd consider it laughable that Florida Governor Jeb Bush attempted to assume custody of Terri Schiavo himself; but again, given the circumstances, I don't think it's bold enough.

But the biggest reversal I've made with my own longstanding opinion on such matters is that ordinarily, not only would I approve of someone in Terri Schiavo's condition to consider euthanasia, I'd support the rights of Michael to fight for that cause . . . if it were what she wanted. Given Michael's incredible conflicts and otherwise assholishness, though, I hardly consider him a credible witness to Terri's desires.

I reject the either/or conundrum posited by right-to-lifers that as long as the heart still beats, the life within should be preserved absolutely. Far more brilliant minds than mine, from Aristotle to Descartes, have debated the essence of what it means to be alive from the first moments of human sentience. In fact, it is that human sentience that grants us our superiority on this earth and our protection by law from attempts to end our lives. Someone who suffers brain trauma and loses the abilities of sentience and communication has clearly lost that which makes us unique in our humanity.

But that's talking about ideas. Terri Schiavo is an individual. Videos clearly indicate that she is not brain-dead — she reacts to stimuli. But so do plants and the simplest organisms. It's a decision I don't enjoy making, but, at least to me, Terri Schiavo fails Descartes' test of humanity. To what extent has she lost it, and what could possibly be regained? Nobody knows — the proper tests haven't been performed, as per the commands of the asshole she married.

If I were in Terri Schiavo's condition — unable to enjoy the sublime nature of human existence because the relevant parts of my brain had all but dissolved — I'd rather be dead (though I'd prefer a morphine overdose to starvation). I don't consider a life like that life at all and would — and intend to, now — take the relevant steps while I still consciously understand the consequences of that action. Terri Schiavo didn't do that. Michael Schiavo wants to do it for her for reasons unknown.

Even though the courts have conferred it upon him, I don't believe he has the authority.


Saturday, March 26


The "Yes, I'm Still Here" Update

It's been a busy weekend thus far at Marchron World Headquarters, between tending to my advertising at the day job and fending off the vultures attempting to pick at the corpse of my NCAA tournament brackets. Now that Duke's lost (and have I mentioned my utter hatred of Michigan State?), I can officially bury it. (But I still won a dollar from my father because my bracket still beat his. More importantly, bragging rights for the year are mine! Victory!)

The news networks are going wall-to-wall with Terri Schiavo, which I don't like but I suppose it's better than wall-to-wall Martha Stewart or Michael Jackson. I'd comment further, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about Terri Schiavo and I don't have anything close to the time to get it all blogged right now.

I also got this cool comment that I didn't see until just recently:
You got to visit Lebanon! The girls you are checking out look a zillion times better on a regular day.... and these are regular lebanese looking girls.... you got to see the hot babe! (not that i'm a lesbian or anything...but it doesnt hurt to look right!)
I'd love to go. Tell my boss to pay me in something other than chop suey.

She's Rampurple, a Lebanese living in Kuwait. She's currently disappointed because she couldn't be a part of all the demonstrations in Beirut. Well, dear, I'd gladly bring you with me if I could. (She's a redhead. Ooooh.)

Speaking of the Lebanese Protest Supermodels™, the indispensable Publius has, among his extraordinary regular coverage of democracy movements worldwide, created a gallery. Come for the babes, stay for coverage of the one-million strong "green" demonstration in Taiwan.

Here's another one for ya, Publius:


Wednesday, March 23

Working Overtime

But Not For Overpay

Yesterday, I had to come to work in the morning to cover for a couple people who've fallen ill to what seems to be the seventh different mutation of "what's going around" this season. It hasn't affected me since my immune system is so fortified from my last awful sickness that for the forseeable future, it will be able to stop just about anything short of a bullet.

After that mini-emergency, I thought I might have a couple hours of blog-time, but my boss decided that since I was there anyway (nothing good can come from this phrase), we might as well convene a meeting of the Advertising Department. Here's the thing: we don't really have an advertising department per se. We're a local company and we have no grand designs on Walmartian-type expansion, but my boss has decided to take the business "to the next level" and has placed me in charge of a modest ad campaign solely on the basis that I can write. I'm honored. For this, though, I receive no extra pay. Bummer.

However, Advertising Department meetings usually take place over lunch, which is on my boss' nickel. He can afford it because the Advertising Department is, well, just him and I. So we ordered Chinese while we plotted our strategies.

I really hope this pans out. Since I'm getting compensated for my extra work only in terms of soy sauce and fortune cookies (yesterday's was "Your hard work will pay dividends." In addition, I learned that the Chinese word for sugar is "tang," and that my lucky numbers are 2, 8, 13, 24, 27, and 39), it would at least be nice to have a business boon so I can use it on a future résumé.

If any business owners are reading this: call me. I work cheap.


Monday, March 21

I Love This Bar

Not Much Of A Toby Keith Fan, Though

I won an 18-person Texas Hold'em tournament today at my local watering hole.

I don't feel as good as I probably should, though, because those players weren't really that great. I didn't just beat them — I DESTROYED them. I personally eliminated over half the field. My stepmom won third place basically on the strength of my advice. I'm not that good a player, so when these things happen, you can tell the competition is pretty weak.

I wish I could make hand writeups, but there weren't really important lessons to be learned. When I caught some good cards, I bet the hell out of them and waited to be called down. I bet a straight into a flush draw on the board, and got called with two pair. I bet a full house and was called down by someone holding the low end of a straight. With top pair and four straight cards on the board, I forced a player all-in and he folded even though he was pot-committed. At the final table, I went all-in with two pair into four straight cards on the board and was called down by the second-biggest stack. He had nothing. Nothing! What was he doing, trying to bluff? Beats me. Thanks for your $20.

I got sucked out on once or twice, but I had so many chips it didn't matter. (Did to my stepmom, though. We were all set to go 1-2 after she crippled another player, but he doubled or tripled through me — and her — enough to get healthy and he took second — when I wiped her out. Sorry! Blood's thicker than water, but not cards!)

I made $180 in 2½ hours with starting hands no better than A/Q or J/J. No, wait, I did catch A/K twice, but both times all I did was polish off two players who were practically down to the felt, anyway.

I look forward to making gobs of money off these fish. I'm not even going to tell my poker buddies about this goldmine.

Wha-huh? What's that you say? Basketball? I could care less. I went 4-2 in the games I had a stake in today, but yesterday slaughtered me so badly that I finished 7-9 in the second round. Unless Duke wins I won't take home any prizes.

Which is fine by me, as long as I can milk the bar-going poker players for more cash. If they play weekly, I can pay off my student loans in six months.


Sunday, March 20

Upset Stomach

And It's Not All The Corned Beef & Cabbage I Ate On Thursday

Four upsets today in eight games have taken a machete to my brackets. No, more like a chainsaw. Wake Forest, another of my Final Four: gone. (Though, it was a hell of a game. It's a small consolation, but at least they didn't get annihilated.)

The worst part is . . . I was SO CLOSE to predicting most of them. I know, I know, hindsight's 20/20 and everyone always says "Oh, I SWEAR I was going to do that!" when they goof up.

But I'm serious. I knew Gonzaga was going to bite it, but picked the wrong team to ace them. I already sang the praises of UW-Milwaukee but didn't think to pencil them in the Sweet Sixteen even though I knew Boston College was overrated (hell, Notre Dame beat them). I've never felt confident in Wake Forest's ability to survive out of the Albuquerque regional, but didn't consider any of the other contenders as much better choices. (In the ESPN and AOL contests, where you're allowed to submit multiple brackets, I hedged my bets and threw Georgia Tech and Louisville in there in other scenarios.) As for Oklahoma . . . well, I should have seen that coming, since normally, good football schools don't go far in the NCAA tournament.

So, now that the Mongol hordes have looted and pillaged my brackets and set them afire, I've pinned almost all my hopes on Duke winning it all, or a slew of other upsets. If Bucknell wins the Syracuse regional, that would be awesome.

Go Bison!

UPDATE: It appears forces larger than anything mere mortals can comprehend had a hand in tonight's events. For when the Blog Of The Year puts a hex on you, you're not easily unhexed.

Edited 4:35 AM to add the update.


Saturday, March 19

What's The Matter With Kansas?

Bite Me, Bucknell Bisons

They can't play basketball worth a damn, evidently.

I got to 25-7 like I was hoping for, but at the cost of one-quarter of my Final Four. Different coach, same choking.

That absolutely wrecked my euphoric mood when Vermont beat Syracuse as I predicted.

I hope the whole state gets wiped out by tornadoes. Toto, too.


Friday, March 18

Erin Go Bragh

Celtic For "Ugh, Shouldn't've Had That Last Guinness"

§§§§§ Happy Hangover-After-St. Patrick's Day! §§§§§

After work I went out and hit the bars. I encountered a couple of girls I hadn't seen since high school, and they were a lot friendlier to me now than they ever were then. I don't quite know what to make of that, but I like it.

As for the NCAA's, I was rolling right along until the late games killed me. Creighton blew a golden chance to knock off West Virginia, and UCLA couldn't muster up enough to beat Texas Tech (and another of my Sweet Sixteen teams gone). So I finished a somewhat disappointing 12-4. But of the three statistical upsets that actually happened today (UW-Milwaukee over Alabama, Nevada over Texas, UAB over LSU), I nailed 'em all.

As for tomorrow, I have all chalk except for Vermont and Mississippi State. Still shooting for 25-7.


Thursday, March 17

Céad Míle Fáilte

Celtic For "I'm Already Drinking"

§§§§§ Happy St. Patrick's Day! §§§§§

I'm 3-1 thus far in my NCAA Tourney picks, but the one loss was a doozy: I predicted Pittsburgh would not only beat Pacific, but go on and upset Washington.


Oh well, who cares? I have green beer. Mmmmm, green beer.

And am I the only one who thinks it's odd that Cincinnati has a player named Jihad Muhammad?


Wednesday, March 16

Thoughtful Pieces . . .

On Lebanese Protest Supermodels™

Never let it be said that we don't do a little bit of thinking along with all our pointing and grunting. Michael J. Totten has noticed how all the Lebanese Protest Supermodels™ are on the pro-democracy side, and GaijinBiker has been putting some effort into why exactly that is. His conclusion: sexual appeal is not just a sign of Western "decadence" but of freedom of expression and yes, political power. Since women have none or virtually none in the Islamic-ruled countries of the Middle East, it stands to reason that the most beautiful and liberated among them would clamor to the pro-democracy camp. One does not exist without the other.

See? We don't just mention them because they're hot. There's plenty of attractive women all over the world. But in their case, their beauty means something, and it's exciting to think that just maybe they might not be taken for granted in their homelands. If not, they're certainly more than welcome here.

And if you think we're dogs, check out this editorial cartoon Gaijin hunted up from Jordan (note, like the Arabic language, it reads right-to-left):

Not even I would exaggerate their bodily features quite so extremely. I'm perfectly content with the Lebanese Protest Supermodels™ just the way they are. (Though I think the cartoon girl in the middle, wearing white, is a fairly accurate representation of her.)

Publius has the best coverage of the aftershocks from Monday's massive counter-counter-demonstration.


This Is Madness!


I love the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I've made brackets out since junior high. I don't consider it the best championship tournament in sports; the World Series and NFL playoffs are still truer tests of champions to my mind. The NCAA's just have too much volatility. But then, that's what makes it so fun.

But I dislike — positively detest — what the tournament markets as the "Opening Round." This is when they take two small schools who played their way into the tournament and force them to compete against each other for the right to be crushed by one of college basketball's heavyweights. If it were more than just one game, billing it as an "Opening Round" might make more sense; as it is, despite the fact that they've ordered sports media not to call it a "play-in game," it's a play-in game.

Way back before the NCAA Tournament let in dozens of teams with at-large bids, the only way to get in was to win your conference championship. But instead of making larger schools with mediocre records fight their way into the tourney, they make the rinky-dink colleges duke it out. It smacks of ancient Rome, where starving gladiators fought to the death and the winner got eaten by a lion.

In this case, the gladiators were Alabama A&M, winners of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and Oakland, champions of the Mid-Continent Conference. They played tonight. Who won? I don't care. Nobody does, or else every office pool in America would make its entrants pick the winner. It doesn't matter since whoever won is going to get slaughtered Friday in Charlotte, N.C. by perennial powerhouse . . . North Carolina.

Oh yeah. This is fair.

Oakland and Alabama A&M both earned legitimate invites to the Big Dance. They didn't need the divining scholars of the Selection Committee to stick them there. Odds are that neither one of them would have survived long as 16-seeds against the top-ranked schools in the regional brackets; but both of them should have had the opportunity. Meanwhile, fans cry over which mediocre team didn't make it in (and I include even my beloved Notre Dame here, who had tournament aspirations that were in vain, and lost in the first round of the NIT tonight) and skate into a higher seed and better placement and more rest than the two Podunks forced to beat up on each other.

The beauty of the NCAA Tournament is that it gives — or at least used to give and should continue to give — these Cinderellas their chance in the spotlight. Instead one of them is permanently forgotten and the other one is nothing more than an asterisk that ought to go under North Carolina's name in the brackets.

Okay, moving on.

I don't pay that much attention to college basketball. My dad used to be an insane fan of the NCAA and, come tournament time, could pick nearly 60 games correctly of the 63 matches in the tourney. It's not a trait that's passed genetically, as I've won just one pool I've ever been in. But I do often have a knack for picking a few upsets. Here's my Sweet-Sixteen Cinderellas:

UCLA — they're up against Texas Tech, coached by Bobby Knight, who's an absolute legend no matter what you think of his temper but, at least recently, hasn't been able to transfer it to the tournament worth a damn. I expect the Bruins to win that game and then beat 3-seed Gonzaga, who's disappointed me so often that I'm picking against them out of spite. (Yes, I do pick out of spite. Yes, it often works.)

Vermont — if you haven't heard of these guys, you should: they're good. Better than a 13-seed. And, at least according to the RPI rankings, they're an even better team than their opponent, Syracuse (Vermont is #21, Syracuse is #22). If they beat the Orangemen, they might draw Michigan State, who was an early out last year. Or MSU might lose, too, and they'd get Old Dominion. Either way, pencil the Catamounts in twice.

If you're feeling especially randy, some other double-digit seeds to watch for are UW-Milwaukee, who have lots of tournament experience, and UAB, who's a notorious bracket-buster.

Who should you pick beyond that? Beats me. I usually win between 25 and 28 games in the first round and then the big teams fail me when they go against each other, or some Cinderella rides her run longer than I figured she would and puts more red ink on my brackets than on Bart Simpson's history test. After the Sweet Sixteen, I'm usually worthless, as most of the time I have three or four teams I picked to make the Elite Eight already gone, and one of my Final Four in flames.

But, for posterity's sake: Illinois is going to the Final Four because their road is so easy. I like Duke for basically the same reason. Anybody could emerge out of the Syracuse and Albuquerque Regionals, and I'm going with Kansas and Wake Forest, respectively.

I'll take Duke over Illinois in the final.


Tuesday, March 15

About The Blogroll

Last Update: 4/27/05 11:15 PM

Now that I've finished the blogroll, I thought I'd give an explanation to how I categorized it. If you've played Texas Hold'em you'll understand it easily; if not I'll explain it a little, but you really won't get it if you don't know how to play. But never fear: one day when there's nothing going on and there are no Lebanese Protest Supermodels™ to gawk at, I'll write a mini-"Texas Hold'Em For Dummies" FAQ so you too can be eternally frustrated by a simple game.

A¨ A© aces
Starting with two aces is, by far, the best hand in Texas Hold'em. If you don't play poker, you've probably at least heard of the phrase "an ace in the hole" referring to a secret, super-powerful weapon; well, having "pocket rockets" or "bullets" is literally having TWO aces in the hole.

Since it's prime real-estate, I'm limiting it only to those blogs who've thrown me a link very recently. As of right now, I'm arbitrarily defining "very recently" as one month; in the future I'll probably shorten that time. If, by the way, you arrive here via a link and don't see the source of that link in the "aces" section, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at

A§ K§ ace-kings
A¨ Q¨ ace-queens
A© J© ace-jacks
Aª 10ª ace-tens
Technically, the next best hands after aces are other large pairs, but since I'm using "aces" as an analogy to blogs who've linked me recently, I decided to keep the analogy by using A/K, A/Q, A/J, and A/10 as those kings, queens, jacks or tens (scroll down for them) who've thrown me a link at all. Also in the A/K section is Mark Steyn, whose autograph adorns a couple of books I own and whose Presidential contests I was the first winner of. Plus, he's just a genius.

K¨ Kª kings
These are the blogs I check basically every time I even approach my computer, on average 2-3 times a day.

Q© Qª queens
When I am made Emperor Of The Universe, I shall choose one of these intelligent and attractive women to be my co-ruler. Wait — I'm Emperor Of The Universe — I'm taking all of them. (Sorry, Jesse Malkin.)

J§ J© jacks
If I had the time, I would check these guys for updates as often as I do the "kings." But I don't, so here they go. I also put a couple bloggers here who have a bit of a chip on their shoulder; jacks, after all, used to be called "knaves."

10§ 10¨ tens
Tens are just that: fantastic blogs. Nothing more, nothing less.

K© Q§ paint
In poker, "paint" refers to any face card (kings, queens, or jacks; they're also sometimes called "picture cards" for the same reason). An ideal spot to place Chris Muir and C&F.

?? ?? jokers
Many card games have jokers as wild cards. Texas Hold'em has no wild cards, but the term "joker" is often used to describe the perfect card for you, like when you make four of a kind to beat someone's full house and thereby take all his money. I love all the other sites I've listed above, but there are some times when guys like Scott Ott can often make points even more succinctly and perfectly.

A© 6© suited
9¨ 8§ connectors
In Texas Hold'em, "suited" and "connectors" are often linguistically paired, referring to cards that are one off in rank and of the same suit. Here, I've split them up: "suited" are all the sites that have me on their blogroll and "connectors" are all the sites I've linked to recently (unless I haven't already blogrolled them somewhere else).

10§ 2¨ brunsons
Legendary player Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson won the main event at the World Series Of Poker (the one that runs on ESPN just about every day) not once but twice holding 10/2. It's not considered a fantastic hand, but he's made it so famous that it bears his name. In that vein, I've earmarked those blogs that have an immediate impact (Iraq The Model) or those that have cornered the market in one particular sub-genre (Publius) to go here.

9ª 7§ nine/sevens
The Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, ninety-seven years ago. (That's seventeen presidential administrations and seven papacies ago. That's four years before my great-grandmother was born. Yes: we're all nuts.) These are my favorite Cubs blogs. Expect to hear more from them as the baseball season begins and gradually less from them as the Cubs find a way to not win the Series again this year.

8§ 8© 7© 7§ snowmen & walking sticks
1988 and 1977 were the last two years the Notre Dame football team won the consensus national championship. Some of these sites are strictly for football content; others are by ND students or alumni.

5§ 5ª black fives
Honestly, most of these guys would go in the tens, jacks or kings sections; but since I'm a huge fan of Blackfive I thought he, and his milblogger brethren, deserved their own category.

5¨ 4ª moneymakers
This hand was held by 2003 WSOP champion Chris Moneymaker, an accountant from Tennessee. He's the primary reason why the WSOP — and poker in general — has exploded from an underground unknown event to a nation- and worldwide phenomenon: any schmuck can take $10,000, buy into the WSOP main event, and become a multimillionaire in a week. In fact, Moneymaker didn't even need the ten grand; he won through an online poker site. They host mini-tourneys for $200 or less that offer a buy-in to the main event for winning. The first few names on that list are all poker pros who'd probably retch if they knew I used the name of an amateur like Moneymaker to categorize their blogs. But I don't care; his name is just too perfect. And yes, that is his real name.

7ª 2¨ rags
"Rags" are a slang term to describe terrible cards like 7/2. It's also a slang term for newspaper and magazine publications. I've highlighted some of my favorite columnists from those papers, and Nick Coleman, who I just laugh at.

3§ 3¨ treys
Threes are always called "treys" in poker. This one's a stretch of puns: "Treys" --> "trays" --> "service" --> wire services. It only barely makes sense, but it seemed an apt place to put them.

2© 2ª deuces
Twos are always called "deuces," though they're sometimes referred to as "ducks" in slang. Ducks do a lot of quacking, aren't particularly dangerous, and get shot at by hunters. Naturally, here's where the nutty left-wingers go.

So, do check all these guys out, and tell them I sent you: some of my categories are mighty thin and I could use the good karma.


How Widespread is the "Protest Babe" meme?

"Spread" Was Not A Double Entendre

For one, Chris Muir has touched on it twice, on March 6 and March 13 (plus one of his blogads is for

(click to view larger image)

Can "Doonesbury" be far behind? Well, probably, yeah.


Monday, March 14


"Assad Must Be S%!#ting In His Pants"

So sayeth Publius in response to the massive pro-democratic demonstration in and around Beirut's Martyr's Square. But that was when the turnout estimate was at around 800,000. He's updated his post with a link that numbers the crowd between one and a half to two million. While one AP report quotes unnamed police officers estimating the crowd at "only" one million, keep in mind that the piece also mentions Lebanon is a country of about 3½ million people. Imagine a demonstration in Washington of between 85 and 170 million people, and you will understand what a wonderful sight this is.

Which is accented by the reappearance of the Lebanese Protest Supermodels™. As always, Glenn was quick to find one:

Who doesn't love a good Braveheart reference? (Or Madonna?) Here's another featuring her. (UPDATE: LGF called her the Lebanese Protester Of The Day.)

I usually prefer posed smiling pictures, as they just look better than the odd contortions the human face makes while shouting. But, yeah, gotta include her:

(UPDATE: Glenn posted a pic of her while I was composing this post. Michelle Malkin thinks she looks like Courtney Love.)

(YET ANOTHER UPDATE: good pic courtesy of The Corner:

While I'm here, here's some more pics from earlier demonstrations by Stavro Jabra, who deserves a Pulitzer for the magnificent photo at the end of my last post. (It looks EVEN BETTER, by the way, as desktop wallpaper. Ohhh yeah.)

The red cards held by the people behind her were used to make a Lebanese "cedar tree" flag in the square that measured 3800 square meters.

I wish I had those shirts. I don't mean shirts that look just like those; I mean those specific shirts. (Oink! Chauvinism comin' through!)

I don't know if she's old enough for me to be oinking over her. She might just be Lebanese jailbait. Perhaps we can establish a corps of Lebanese Junior Protest Supermodels™. Besides, Stavro seems to like her:

More to come, I'm sure. In the meantime, head over to Publius and just keep scrolling.

(UPDATE: Thanks to tdaxp for the link.)

Edited 3/15 2:21 AM to include the new hat tips and links. Re-edited 3/16 3:43 AM to add the thank-you. Re-re-edited 3/24 3:10 AM to fix the pics and links.


Sunday, March 13

Lebanon Update

Hubba Hubba Hubba (Plus Some Serious Matters)

I do believe I've been contacted by a Lebanese Protest Supermodel™, albeit an expatriate Lebanese Protest Supermodel™. From the comments of the original "supermodel" post:
I think you should just take a trip to Lebanon, period! Lebanon has its fair share of "super models" but the girls you're drooling over are considered to be in the cute/accessible norm
Her homepage is Umbilical Chord Dissection, and she makes me wish I could speak French.

I will need some . . . uh, further study in this matter. (If it sounds like I'm discussing this like an alien first contact, it's an apt metaphor, considering beautiful women approach and talk to me about as often as little green men.)

If the plight of the Lebanese matters at all to you, you need to be reading PubliusPundit. Not only does Robert Mayer round up stories from all matter of nations yearning for freedom, he has an extensive breakdown of recent developments in Lebanon. There's lots of heady stuff there, but I'll highlight a couple points:

First, the freedom-protesters are planning a massive counter-counter-demonstration tomorrow:
Meanwhile, Lebanese opposition leaders said they hope a rally Monday in Beirut's Martyrs Square will serve as a potent counterpoint to this week's massive pro-Syrian rally led by the Shiite Hezbollah party. Hezbollah's show of strength emboldened Syria's political allies here to rename Prime Minister Omar Karami, a strong Syria supporter, to the post he quit under pressure on Feb. 28.

Monday's demonstration would mark the one-month anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, whose Feb. 14 killing sent tens of thousands of residents into the streets in anger. Organizers said they hope for a turnout bigger than that of Tuesday's Hezbollah rally, which drew an estimated 500,000 people to downtown Beirut.

"There will be a very big answer to the demonstration of Hezbollah," said Fares Souaid, a leading opposition lawmaker. "The popular momentum will be built on."
If I could, I'd go myself. If Hezbollah can truck in supporters, then cheating to pad the numbers of the free demonstrations is no vice.

Besides, more protests means more Lebanese Protest Supermodels™. And if you think I'm the only one boorish enough to continue noticing this, you're wrong. Even Publius noticed, by posting a link to this picture:

Oh My God.

Please excuse me . . . I need a shower. Cold. Very cold.

Edited 5:01 PM to fix the dimensions of the . . . oh man, what an awesome pic that is. Re-edited 3/24 3:05 AM to fix the link.


Friday, March 11

Bad Beat Bleat

Whine Whine Whine

Everybody who plays poker has a bad beat story to tell. I've only been playing for a few months and I have several. I suppose I could have played this one a little differently, though.

I was sitting in the big blind with 3ª/3¨. It was early in the game and nearly everyone called me to see the flop. I made a small raise to clear out a few of them.

The flop came Jª/9©/J§. Since the small blind folded, I was first to act and checked. When the two remaining players checked behind me, the turn came 3§. I had thought about betting no matter what came off the deck and forcing everyone to fold was since the flop was checked; but the turn gave me a full house and I suddenly didn't want to drive out my potential customers. I checked the turn with the intention of check-raising, but it was checked again behind me.

The river was J¨. Uh oh. Instead of having threes full and the third best hand (behind quads/jacks full and nines full), I now had jacks full of threes and many possible ways to be beat (to wit: anyone holding the case jack, any of the three remaining nines or any pocket pair bigger than threes).

I made a hefty bet and the player behind me went all-in. I had him covered and it was only a small amount to call, so I did even though I was pretty sure I was had. I called and said "Show me a 9," and he showed 9¨ and claimed the pot. (I never did see his second hole card, so it is possible that he could have had me at the turn.)

I could have raised harder pre-flop, but I only had pocket threes and would have been out of position to anyone who called.

I could have — and probably should have — bet the turn, but unless he could put me on a jack (assuming he didn't hold one himself, which I doubt since he would have showed it at the end, or if he had two nines in the hole instead of just one), his two pair of jacks and nines would have been enough for him to call, anyway.

I definitely shouldn't have bet the river so hard. He was going to raise all-in or fold no matter what, and he obviously didn't fear that I had the last jack or a pocket pair bigger than nines. Betting smaller would have allowed me to get away from the hand when he raised me, though it would have been an awfully tough fold and I'm not very good at making tough folds (I've made exactly one in my entire career, folding a set when I read my opponent — correctly — for a flush).

I also lost half of a huge pot in our second game when my straight was counterfeited by a flush on the board. I wound up losing to that very player later on when I picked an inopportune time to bluff all-in.

Good God, if I get any whinier I'll sound like Phil Hellmuth. Better stop now.

(Though, you know, if it weren't for luck I guess I'd win every one.)


Wednesday, March 9

Eason Jordan's Revenge

Are These "Kerfuffles," Too?

Perhaps nobody would have cared about what former CNN exec Eason Jordan said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, if more people had paid attention to what Bill Clinton said:
Iran is the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami [in 1997]. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: Two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.
That's unsettling. This is worse:
It’s a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed [Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed] Mossadegh, who was an elected parliamentary democrat and brought the Shah back in . . . and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeni, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. Most of the terrible things Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full knowing support of the United States government.

Because he wasn’t Iran, and Iran was what it was, because we got rid of the parliamentary democracy back in the fifties. At least that’s my belief. I know it’s not popular for an American to ever say anything like this but I think it’s true. [Applause.]

And I apologized when President Khatami was elected, I publicly acknowledged that the United States had actively overthrown Mossadegh and I apologized for it. And I hope that we could have some reapproachment with Iran.
Via Geraghty (with assists), who called it "the next great blogswarm."

Or at least it might have been, if news that Clinton is headed back to the O.R. didn't tamp the meme, and also because everyone's too focused with this:

That is, according to an Italian TV network, the car which Giuliana Sgrena was injured in when it was involved in a shooting incident with American troops in Baghdad.

The car that was fired upon 300-400 times. In which she was "deliberately targeted." (Though I suppose this differs from Eason Jordan, of course, since he said journalists were accidentally targeted.)

The car that "was not going especially fast" but almost losing control to avoid mud puddles. In which she saw "no bright light, no signal" but that the patrol "started shooting after pointing some lights in our direction."

Yep, the Americans tried to have her killed because we oppose "a happy end to the negotiations" by paying ransoms to kidnappers, even though the Italians didn't tell us about the payoff because . . . we oppose paying ransoms to kidnappers.

(In fact, according to one account, this car isn't even a car at all: it's a truck.)

If William of Ockham were still alive, he'd need a machete to hack through all this, but he'd conclude that the 3ID's explanation is probably the most accurate.

But if he read that Sgrena was told by her captors that "the Americans don't want you to return alive to Italy," he might conclude that the whole thing could possibly have been an elaborate setup.

(Multiple hat tips to LGF and protein wisdom.)


More "Lebanese Supermodels"

They've Got Cover-Girl Potential

An unnamed e-mailer from the PatriotDebate message board sent me links to more Lebanese protest-babes.

God bless you, whoever you are.

And reader "Storminator" left this comment concerning the two sizzling hotties at the end of my previous "supermodel" post:
Look where the girl on the left is looking. There's another camera there, and there's another picture out there.

You should find it!
Well, I haven't found any photo taken from that angle, but I'm quite sure these babes and those babes are two and the same:

Believe me, I looked for a long time to make sure.

And by all means, if you have links to images of the beauty of democracy in action, be it in Lebanon, Kuwait, or anywhere else (and there are plenty of places to choose from), send me an e-mail (

Each of them is worth a thousand words, and nine hundred ninety-nine of them are "Yowza."


Tuesday, March 8

Does Mark Steyn read Marchron, too?

He's Still A Genius, By The Way

Columnist extraordinaire Mark Steyn touches upon not one, but two topics I've addressed in his piece in today's Telegraph: "The eye doctor never saw it coming"
I don't suppose Bashar al-Assad has much in common with Eric Clapton - though, come to think of it, "Layla" is a Lebanese name, and there must be a few of them among the smouldering, raven-tressed, black-eyed Beirut babes so fetchingly demanding their nation's freedom on the covers of this week's Economist, Newsweek, Weekly Standard et al.

. . .

It's one thing for Bush to demand Syria gets out of Lebanon, but what's with Crown Prince Abdullah piling on? Not to mention Jacques Chirac, hitherto every dictator's best friend. Clapton-wise, Boy Assad is Derek and everybody else is trying to avoid being one of the Dominoes.

OK, that's enough Domino theory.
The topics are too broad to definitely state that Steyn digs my stuff, but I'll continue to comb evidence, perhaps while listening to Clapton's Unplugged album.

He put me in the mood for it.


Sexy Protesters Spotted In Kuwait

Baby Blue Never Looked So Good

Kuwaiti women demonstrating for their rights in front of Kuwait’s Parliament, in Kuwait City on Monday, March 7, 2005. Several hundred women and supporters of women’s rights converged near the National Assembly before the Parliament session in which the rights of women would be discussed. In arguments by both sides at the Assembly, a number of proponents of a law giving women full political rights indicated that Islamic Sharia law was not against political rights for women. (Photo by AP/Yahoo!, via LGF)

And if you DARE say that these women aren't as sexy as the Lebanese chicks, leave immediately. This is a beautiful sight, too; besides, I dig that shade of blue.


Monday, March 7

Lebanese Supermodels continue protests for independence, freedom

Just To Make Geraghty Happy

Welcome TKS Readers!
I didn't "run with it" very far, but thanks to The-Second-Biggest-"24"-Fan-In-The-World Mr. Geraghty for the link. Scroll up for some Kuwaiti hotties.

The hot-Lebanese-protestor phenomenon has gone mainstream, as noted by LogicalMeme (via Instapundit):

And if these two are ever on a cover, I'm buying the mag no matter what it is:

Edited 3/8 3:46 AM to add the TKS welcome.


Hail To The Chief (If You Don't I'll Have To Kill You)

I Am The Chief, So You Better Watch Your Step, You Bastards

Obviously impressed with this blog, President Bush swung by my hometown on Friday. Okay, that's a lie. He was in town to talk about Social Security. The South Bend/Notre Dame area always provides a receptive audience; he's been here six times, of which I've been present for two.

I was not available on Friday, and it scarcely mattered since I really don't care about Social Security. The way I see it, when I reach retirement age the system will either be long since broke or fixed to some degree. Either way I have my own plans for retirement, mostly entailing cashing my 401(k), driving to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and betting my nest egg on Red. No, Black. Ahh, the choices.

At any rate, it's a safer bet than the solvency of Social Security if Democrats and their followers in the left blogosphere have their way. After months of insisting there was a looming disaster in Social Security during the 2000 presidential election, they're now arguing that There Is No Crisis. Conveniently, when the solution seemed to be stashing taxpayer money in government "lockboxes" instead of returning it through tax breaks, it was panic time; now that the proposal on the table involves privatization in individual safe-growth "lockboxes," they've suddenly located the chill pill in their prescription drug plan. But I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

I shouldn't be surprised by them anymore, but the Democrats' strategy here just astounds me. Well, not as a political maneuver: pandering to their base just might work in this case; but it really is an affront to any sense of logic and rationality. We can argue about whether the system will break down in 2019 or 2042 or the year after the Cubs win the World Series until it actually does go broke, but the fact that the pay-now-receive-later system is fundamentally flawed is not in doubt. When sixteen people paid for the benefits of one, it made more sense. As our population ages, it strains credulity more by the year.

Nobody would voluntarily sign up for a system like this, at least not now that the integrity of it is questionable. I wouldn't volunteer to pay for half or a third of somebody's steak dinner this month and hope that the deal works long enough that two or three people come around to pay for mine next month. At least with ordinary Ponzi schemes, like Amway, I can make the system work if I recruit enough people to serve in my pyramid. But the AARP and other groups representing seniors — whose benefits we'll guarantee in the short term no matter the cost even if the system were totally privatized — wish for this forced system to remain basically inviolable so that everyone younger than them risks the Roulette Wheel Of Fate.

The worst thing about the Democrats' position is that President Bush offered them the chance to take the lead on reform. It's no accident that all four of the plan ideas he mentioned in his most recent State Of The Union were proposed by Democrats: Tim Penny, Bill Clinton, John Breaux, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. If they chose to, the Democrats could have made proposals, counterproposals, and compromises and then taken credit for whatever actions short of privatization actually became law, just as they did on prescription drugs and Medicare.

But that would require that they have good ideas. So we have them pushing the senior citizens out to protest the incremental and voluntary diversion of one-twenty-fifth of payroll taxes on the grounds that it will jeapordize benefits they'll get no matter what. We have President Bush being forced to make the case for something that should be a no-brainer. And we have me, who ordinarily would be thrilled with a Presidential visit but ignored it because the entire bickering irritates me.

So if you're in Vegas sometime around July 2045, look for me. I'll either be the geezer crying in the street or the one on his way to the Mustang Ranch with a pocketful of Viagra paid for by your kids and grandkids.

P.S. the title is a joke from the Lemmon-Garner flick My Fellow Americans. If you thought it was a commentary on how the Chimpy McBushitler regime handles dissidents, well, not even Social Security will save you.


Sunday, March 6

Struggling Author Arrested For Blog Neglect

Sentenced To Two Years Of Reading Oliver Willis

Well, not quite, but sometimes I feel like I deserve to be.

I can't help it; my day job has a completely flexible time-commitment structure. According to my boss, this week was the busiest we've had in ten years. The good news is that thanks to plenty of overtime, I totally cleaned up. I had my best week since mid-October.

As if I didn't have enough timewasters besides that, ESPN has started an online poker club featuring — what else? — a way to get into the 2005 World Series Of Poker main event for free. Well, you know I'm all over that. And if you don't like it, tough. I aim to liveblog my participation in the WSOP, but I don't just have ten grand laying around.

But in the interim, from the looks of this blog, you'd think that the issue most pertinent to me in the whole entire world right now was that I think Lebanese women are hot.

They are, and it is in fact the most pertinent issue in the whole entire world to me right now, but there are other things to cover. Plus I still need to spruce up the blogroll. So I'm rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.

For a little while, anyway, until the powerful yen of the ESPN Poker Club pulls me into its evil clutches.


Marchand Chronicles: Domino Effect

Domino Effect
Mike Marchand
The Marchand Chronicles
March 5, 2005

A fascinating column appeared recently in the UC-Berkeley campus newspaper, The Daily Californian. Among other things, the authors, students Anna Schlotz and Snehal Shingavi, said this:
The anti-war movement has a responsibility to support the resistance as the struggle for the basic human rights of freedom from occupation, self-determination, and the ability to live with dignity; and to place the blame for chaos, civil war and terrorism squarely at the feet of American bombs and foreign policy. After all, the only thing standing in the way of U.S. plans to attack North Korea, Iran or Syria is the implacability of Iraqi resistance.
Forget the boilerplate Michael Moore rhetoric, disregard the lionization of the terrorizing, head-hacking, innocent-slaughtering "resistance," and ignore the blame-America-first argument that seems to constantly belch into the skies over Berkeley like steel factory smokestack emanations in Pittsburgh or Gary, Indiana. What makes this line of thought fascinating is the last-line-of-defense strategy implied by the final sentence: After all, the only thing standing in the way of U.S. plans to attack North Korea, Iran or Syria is the implacability of Iraqi resistance.

Isn't it remarkable that after all the talk that the U.S. is caught in a Vietnam-like quagmire, that someone in the anti-war camp has come out with their own version of "The Domino Theory" that was used to justify Vietnam? "If we don't win in Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and Syria will all fall to the cursed Americans!"

Meanwhile, an amazing sequence of events is taking place elsewhere in the Middle East, unappreciated by Schlotz and Shingavi because it involves genuine ideas of "freedom from occupation, self-determination, and the ability to live with dignity" and casts future American "victims" as the villains. In Lebanon, following the targeted assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, almost certainly the product of Syria's meddling, thousands of people have taken to the streets demanding autocracy. This led the pro-Syrian Lebanese puppet government to collapse and the entire world to pressure Syria to completely withdraw all troops from Lebanon.

This breathtaking occasion, along with other rumblings of pro-democratic developments in Palestine, Egypt, and even Saudi Arabia, has been called a "Domino Effect" itself, with the Iraqi elections in late January providing the initial catalyst for the chain reaction. And although President Bush is too magnanimous to gloat about the results of his pro-democracy movement, even his detractors, like The New York Times or the German publication Der Spiegel, are giving him some credit for the outcomes.

Well, not everyone.

Ed Kilgore, guest-posting at Josh Marshall's blog, wrote the following in response to Bush supporters who asserted that the President's foreign policy had led to this Domino Effect:
[I]t literally never crossed my mind that Bush's fans would credit him with for this positive event, as though his pro-democracy speeches exercise some sort of rhetorical enchantment.

This is the kind of thinking, of course, that has convinced God knows how many people that Ronald Reagan personally won the Cold War. It's the old
post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) logical fallacy. This is a president and an administration that chronically refuse to accept responsibility for the bad things that have happened on their watch--even things like the insurgency in Iraq that are directly attributable to its policies. Barring any specific evidence (provided, say, by Lebanese pro-democracy leaders) that Bush had anything in particular to do with Syria's setbacks in Lebanon, I see no particular reason to high-five him for being in office when they happened.

Let us congratulate the Lebanese, not those in Washington who would take credit for their accomplishments.
Instead of the Domino Effect, Kilgore represents the Domino's Effect: his brain went out for pizza while composing that post.

While Kilgore is right in that all congratulations are due to the Lebanese people for their brave demonstrations of freedom, it's irrational to conclude that their protests are taking place in a vacuum. Lebanon has lived under Syrian domination for three decades, but only now are their efforts at autocracy gaining traction. Why? Ask influential religious leader and long-time U.S. critic Walid Jumblatt: "It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it." (emphasis added in case Kilgore is reading). Among Lebanese youth, their new hero is "Ju-Ju": an Arabic pet name for "George."

Since his second inaugural address, President Bush has seeded the clouds of democracy over the arid desert expanse of the Middle East. His critics say, "Well, it was going to rain eventually, anyway." It seems getting Bush-haters to fall in line is one domino that will never topple.


Friday, March 4

"Stop the Bleating!" Horns In On My Action

I Saw Them First

Evidently I'm not the only one to notice the raging hotness of female Lebanese democracy protest warriors. Stop the Bleating! started quite a little gallery and won a link from the Blogfather for those efforts. I'm not jealous of the Instalanche, since I just reposted Glenn's images instead of hunting more up myself, but still: freedom's sprouting up all over the Middle East, so there's plenty of budding democracies with potentially more hot women to hoot over. I claimed the Lebanese already. They're mine.

Yes, it's pathetic. I know. I don't care.

Besides, as Joshua Livestro advises in his recent Tech Central Station column (via Pejman), it's not enough to admire from afar: "Enterprising bloggers should take their notepads, their webcams and their electronic cameras and head for Beirut . . . "

I found seventeen cents in my couch cushions today. I put it in a big Wal-Mart mayonnaise jar and labeled it the "Meet Hot Lebanese Women Fund."

So when I've saved enough to travel to Beirut myself, probably sometime in 2014, where will Stop the Bleating! be? Posting pictures of me waving a flag with her:

And then, probably, a picture of me getting the crap kicked out of me by her husband, a blogger who had enough money to travel there now.

UPDATE: Look at that dude on the right. Where's he looking? Obviously he's just into this whole democracy thing for the babes. MJM 3/5 3:30 AM


Wednesday, March 2

Who Knew Lebanese Chicks Were So Hot?


(All via Instapundit, who's being bagged on by Geraghty for his image selection. I say Mr. Reynolds has a keen photographic eye.)

UPDATE: Ha! Saved from a hiccuping server by my "back-up-every-post-to-the-hard-drive" plan. I've finally outsmarted my computer. Too bad I can't figure out why a recent disk cleanup deleted all my Windows games, nor how to get them back. I'm a Vegas Solitaire addict and I needs my fix! MJM 2:31


Tuesday, March 1

Hooray, more snow.

Even More Annoying Than Snow The Rapper

The day job is calling, so no time to post a fresh essay (yes, I've finally decided to write those again). But I'll whet your whistle by telling you that it concerns the recent events in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, with my own inimitable style.


Googling Myself

Illegal In 37 States And The District Of Columbia

I got an e-mail from the Queen Of The Laugh Riots, BlondeChampagne, recently thanking me for linking her.

Well, you're welcome. Now everybody go over there and wish her a happy belated birthday.

She mentioned a practice she calls "periodic self-googling." I haven't done that in a while; let's see what we find:

Google for "Mike Marchand"

First item is from The Politix Group, whom I briefly wrote columns for.

Second and third are not me, but #4 is one of my "Mark Steyn Is A Genius" posts.

A couple of mentions of a Mike Marchand from a Native American tribe follow, and a Mike Marchand who sells real estate in Colorado, then you get to some of my writings for The Observer, The University Of Notre Dame's campus newspaper. (The first Google entry is actually for a Letter To The Editor from one of my more rabid detractors.)

Then there's a Mike Marchand who's a national champion wakeboarder, one who works with the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department (why are all the other Mike Marchands so much more interesting than me??), some more miscellaneous Mike Marchands, then more of me: some of my columns have evidently landed in some online library clearinghouse. Pay to read me? What a ripoff!

Blah blah blah, media engineer this, cross-country runner that, WOW, some of my columns are on PBS' web site. Who put them there??

Calgary Mineral Exploration Group, Institute For International And Comparative Law; okay, now they're starting to dullen out a little . . . hey, there's a Mike Marchand who's a Major General and Deputy Judge Advocate who was part of the U.S. Army investigation into Abu Ghraib. Now that's fascinating.

But not me. Let's see, there's the comments I left at the Born Again Democrats web site and The Irish Trojan's blog. Another blog comment by someone who's not me, but has the same name as me and goes to Notre Dame. I actually met him once; it's very strange meeting someone who has the same name as you. Parallel-dimension weirdness.

"Mike Marchand's Auto Palace Auto Cleaning, Titusville, PA" . . . not so much . . . there's someone who jacked one of my columns but at least credited me with the work. Another, too, but since they're ND Alumni I don't mind a bit. Then there's a weird ghost-chaser: Google's excerpt of this site used the beginning of my post about David Von Drehle but it doesn't appear anywhere on the site. Odd.

No, wait, it's on this result, too: notice the familiar layout? They obviously use some sort of script that harvests search keywords from other sites (in this case, my disagreement with Bill Whittle's Silent America) and directs it into search term codes in its web pages. Or something like that.

Here's a professor from Saint Mary's, the all-female sister school to Notre Dame (and BlondeChampagne's alma mater), who included one of my columns in his syllabus. No word on whether it was for praise or ridicule.

Here's actor/model Mike Marchand's portfolio. His résumé is much better than mine.

So, all in all, nothing terribly new there; no Instalanches I somehow missed. And when I Google "marchand chronicles", I get a very sad list. A couple of my posts and some auto-generating trackbacks. No links. Bummer.

(This means get on it, BlondeChampagne. :D )


Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

I graduated with an English degree from the University Of Notre Dame in 2001, and in 2008 I have a day job that has nothing to do with my degree but gets the bills paid in a semi-regular fashion. (I have running water five days a week!) The idea is that once I get turned around on my bills, I go to grad school. I also have an idea for cold fusion. Anyone's guess which will be feasible first. In non-work mode, I'm usually reading columns by famous and well-read thinkers, blogs by critically praised writers, or sometimes blogs by overzealous cranks who make me laugh. I yearn to be all three at once; until then I'll settle for being the third. I also have an undying love for the Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame football. Praise them and I'll buy you a beer; curse them and I'll dump it over your head. If that's not enough, I'm becoming quite the fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em. My games have one of two results: I either win all the money or whine because I didn't win all the money.

marchandchronicles -at-

Fair warning: I reserve the right to post any and all criticisms and flames, in their entirety. Seriously. Just ask this guy.

July 2006
May 2006
April 2006
January 2006

January | February | March | April
May | June | July | August
September | October | November | December

Essays on whatever I feel like writing about.

August 8, 2005: High Gas Prices
August 1, 2005: Judge Roberts' Hearings
June 20, 2005: Senator Durbin's Comments
May 23, 2005: Newsweek & Pepsi
May 2, 2005: Al Gore's MoveOn Speech
April 25, 2005: Lebanon
April 18, 2005: The Nuclear Option
April 11, 2005: Pope John Paul II
March 5, 2005: The Domino Effect
January 31, 2005: Iraqi Elections
January 24, 2005: Bush's Inaugural
January 17, 2005: Roemer, Dean & The DNC

WARNING: links, comments & trackbacks may contain profanities or other items of unscruples. marchand chronicles does not endorse any comment/opinion expressed in any such addendum.

A¨ A© aces
Steal The Blinds

A§ K§ ace-kings
RealClearPolitics: Index / Blog

A¨ Q¨ ace-queens
MY Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Michelle Malkin (no link: here's why)

A© J© ace-jacks
Captain's Quarters

Aª 10ª ace-tens
Riehl World View

K¨ Kª kings
James Lileks: The Bleat / Screedblog
Eject! Eject! Eject!
USS Clueless / den Beste @ RedState
Hugh Hewitt
Power Line
Little Green Footballs
Hog On Ice
protein wisdom
Ace Of Spades HQ

Q© Qª queens
a small victory
Little Miss Attila
LaShawn Barber
Virginia Postrel
You Know You Wanna

J§ J© jacks
InDC Journal
Best Of The Web Today
A Chequer-Board Of Nights And Days
Belmont Club
Tim Blair
Decision '08
Michael Barone
Big Lizards
Balloon Juice
Cold Fury
Jim Treacher
Baseball Crank

10§ 10¨ tens
Volokh Conspiracy
The Corner
Roger L. Simon
The Truth Laid Bear
Michael Totten
Galley Slaves
One Hand Clapping
Belgravia Dispatch
Paterrico's Pontifications
John Hawkins
Patrick Ruffini

K© Q§ paint
Day By Day
Cox & Forkum
Filibuster Cartoons
Daryl Cagle: Index / Blog

?? ?? jokers
Dave Barry
The Therapist
Roller Coaster Of Hate

A© 6© suited
Kanka's Sports Page
MY Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Indiana Blogs!
A Cub Fan Rants
Steal The Blinds / You Know You Wanna
Riehl World View

9¨ 8§ connectors

10§ 2¨ brunsons
Publius Pundit
Pulse Of Freedom
The Radio Equalizer
Good News From The Front

9ª 7§ nine/sevens
A Cub Fan Rants
From The Corner Of Grace And Wayne
The Cub Reporter
View From The Bleachers
Goat Riders Of The Apocalypse
Lingering Bursitis
Northside Lounge
Cubs Now!
Old Style Cubs
Hoosier Daddy?
Cub Ramble

8§ 8© 7© 7§ snowmen & walking sticks
NDToday Message Boards
Kanka's Sports Page
The Blue-Gray Sky
Kelly Green
The Irish Trojan
Irish Today
The Backer
The House Rock Built Notre Dame
Ruth Riley
The Shrine Of The Holy Whapping
The Spoons Experience
The Primary Main Objective
Musings Of A Domer

5§ 5ª black fives
Michael Yon
Mudville Gazette
Austin Bay
Froggy Ruminations
the fourth rail

5¨ 4ª moneymakers
Steal The Blinds
The 2+2 Forums
Cardschat Forums
Daniel Negreanu
Dutch Boyd
Paul Phillips
Evelyn Ng
Jennifer Harman
Wicked Chops
Guinness And Poker
Al Can't Hang
Big Slick Nuts!
The Cards Speak
Wired Aces
Damning The River
The Tao Of Poker
2 Hole Cards
The Poker Sponge

7ª 2¨ rags
The American Spectator
   Ben Stein
Boston Globe
   Jeff Jacoby
Boston Herald
Chicago Sun-Times
   William O'Rourke
   Richard Roeper
   Mark Steyn
Chicago Tribune
Daily Telegraph
   Mark Steyn
Dallas Morning News
   Mark Davis
The Hill
   Dick Morris
Human Events
   Ann Coulter
Los Angeles Times
Miami Herald
   Dave Barry
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
   Nick Coleman
   James Lileks
National Journal
   The Hotline's Blogometer
National Review
   Beltway Buzz
   William F. Buckley
   David Frum's Diary
   Jonah Goldberg
   Victor Davis Hanson
   Lawrence Kudlow
   Rich Lowry
The New Republic
   Peter Beinart
New York Post
New York Times
The Observer
   Hit & Run
San Antonio Express-News
   Austin Bay
South Bend Tribune
Tech Central Station
USA Today
U.S. News & World Report
   Michael Barone
The Wall Street Journal
   Peggy Noonan
   Tunku Varadarajan
Washington Post
   Charles Krauthammer
   George Will
Washington Times
The Weekly Standard
   Fred Barnes
   Dean Barnett
   Hugh Hewitt
   William Kristol
   Edward Morrissey
   Jonathan V. Last

3§ 3¨ treys
Associated Press
   The Note
   Public Eye
   The Morning Grind
   First Read
Drudge Report
Power Line News
Sky News
Agence France-Presse

2© 2ª deuces
Daily Kos
Josh Marshall
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Juan Cole
Oliver Willis
The Huffington Post
Kicking Ass
Donkey Rising
New Donkey

Click here and stroke my ego!

Join The South Park Blogger Gallery!


Contributor to Steal The Blinds


marchand chronicles has such massive readership and influence that it makes me weep.
—Glenn Reynolds


Damn right.


What's Your Line?


I absolutely love the name of your site.

Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Power Line
Just the name? Not the content? . . . I'll take it.

You have something in common with Dave Barry, Hemingway, and Mark Steyn: I'm not linking to them, either.


That's good stuff there Mark.

Dean Barnett, Soxblog
Psst, it's "Mike."

(click to buy)

St. Elsewhere
The Pulse: SIRIUS 9

All text and original images © MMVI by Mike Marchand/Marchand Chronicles.

Okay, so I don't really have a copyright. But I still don't want you ripping me off. Reprint it all over the Internet if you like, but give me proper credit and link back to me. Besides, if you're going to plagiarize, steal from someone with some talent.

Powered by Blogger

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

Blogwise - blog directory

Listed on BlogShares

(Photo: Larry Kang)

You can be one, too: Full Tilt Poker
Bonus Code: MARCHRON