"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Two of my favorite actors. I recommend Victor Navasky's new book about his life. One can't overestimate how Joseph McCarthy influenced that generation of the Left.
A belated note on the death of Simon Wiesenthal. Some nice quotes to have on your grave, as Royal Tennenbaum might say.
"But clearly Simon Wiesenthal haunted his quarry. One of Mengele's fanatical Nazi protectors in Brazil, Wolfgang Gerhard, said he had dreamed of hitching Mr. Wiesenthal to an automobile and dragging him to his death."

"It was a matter of pride and satisfaction, he said in 1995, as he approached his 87th birthday, that old Nazis who get into quarrels threaten one another with a vow to go to Simon Wiesenthal."
The New York Times reports:
U.S. Says It Has Killed No. 2 Qaeda Operative in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 27 - ...

As insurgent attacks continued across Iraq today, American and Iraqi officials offered further details about the killing on Sunday of Abu Azzam, whom they described as the top lieutenant of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

I'd bet $1,000 "anti-war" "expert"Juan Cole doesn't report the good news on his blog tomorrow. He grudgingly refers to Zarqawi's group as "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia" apparently slow to give ground to Bush's imagined propaganda efforts.

Also, the Times gives more details on how Sistani is keeping a lid on things:
Also today, the renegade Shiite cleric Moktada al Sadr issued an unusual public request for guidance on how to deal with Mr. Zarqawi, who declared a "full-scale war" on all of Iraq's Shiites two weeks ago.

Days after his declaration of war, Mr. Zarqawi issued a qualifier, exempting certain groups including followers of Mr. Sadr, who has sometimes allied with Sunni fighters in his resistance to the American presence here.

Seemingly embarrassed by that exemption, Mr. Sadr publicly sought guidance on how to fight Mr. Zarqawi's attacks from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric.

The ayatollah responded in an unusually lengthy statement, in which he repeated his previous counsel to Iraqis to "continue in their self restraint, along with more caution and alertness." Mr. Sistani also said that the insurgents' purpose was to "start the fire of civil war in this beloved country," and that Iraqis must not allow them to succeed. He called on the government to protect Iraqis, and on the courts to speed up their work in trying and sentencing those accused of murder.

I recently corresponded with a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps who mentioned in a neutral, or possibly ironic way, that he had seen General Mattis give a talk at Quantico. Here's what the often inaccurate Wikipedia has to say:
On February 1, 2005, Lieutenant General Mattis, speaking to a forum in San Diego, apparently said "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling." Mattis' remarks sparked controversy, and General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, issued a statement suggesting that Mattis should have chosen his words more carefully, but would not be disciplined.

General Mattis popularized the slogan "no better friend, no worse enemy" among his command. This phrase became central in the investigation into the conduct of Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, a platoon commander serving under General Mattis. Lieutenant Pantano shot a pair of prisoners on April 15, 2004. He said that he thought they represented a threat. Lieutenant Pantano emptied two entire magazines into their bodies, because he wanted "to leave a message". He then scrawled General Mattis's slogan over the bodies.

EDIT: He is portrayed by Robert John Burke in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Warning: Personal Confessional Bullshit
Dear Reader (all 0-2 of you),

Sorry for the sporadic postings. My ego took a beating recently at
the hands of - who else? - the fairer sex. After A. and I dated for a year,
she decided I wasn't The One and promptly dumped me. After I had completely fallen for her.

What happened - I think - can best be illustrated by a Harlon Ellison
science fiction story. The 1975 film A Boy and His Dog, starring a young
Don Jonson, was based on an Ellison short story of the same name. In
the film, a young man and his loyal dog wander a post-Apocalyptic planet
scavenging for food and sex. They finally meet a woman who they share some adventures with and hit it off with. In the end, though, they end up going their separate ways.

The short story is actually much harsher. After hitting it off and making
narrow escapes from danger, the three end up running out of food while
wandering a wasteland. What do you think happens next, dear reader? Wrong, actually the young man and his dog eat the woman to survive.

How does this relate to this blogger's travailles? Well, I'm highly
allergic to dogs and cats, and A. has a dog which she's very attached to.
I guess it's surprising we lasted as long as we did.

Anyhoo, enough about me. I like how Hak Mao, posts random pictures at her
blog without comment, so I plan on doing a bit of that.