October 19, 2004

America - Fuck Yeah!

My new Tech Central Station column is up. It's my review of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Team America: World Police.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 19, 2004 07:05 PM
Comments

Those who swooned over Mel Gibson's The Passion are advised to stay home.

I swooned over the Passion, and I liked Team America. Well, I thought it was ok. I did enjoy watching traitorous Lib puppets getting obliterated. The funniest scene was the puppet sex scene by far, which was quite outrageous.

Posted by: David at October 19, 2004 07:53 PM

MT,

The Kim Jong Il destruction of Hans Blix was the high point. The bar scene, stolen blatantly from Star Wars (right down to the music), was funny and the vomiting scene had to have been Mel Brooks inspired. I roared and cackled throughout the whole thing.

These guys had better stay out of LA though. The actors from F.A.G are gonna be po'd.

Posted by: spc67 at October 19, 2004 10:42 PM

Gonna save the motherfuckin' day

Posted by: Moonbat_One at October 19, 2004 11:55 PM

Yeah, I loved and hated this movie for the very same reason I loved and hated Fahrenheit 9/11. It's great visionary talent poisoned by its creators. I love the fact that this movie is top-notch satire. I hate that it's as sexist and bigotted and homophobic and xenaphobic as it is. Stupid and offensive puppet sex takes away from the value, like the fact that every new scene in a foreign land is listed as "X" miles from America. I kind of feel the same way about Michael Moore. I love Michael Moore documentaries for the fact they point out valid points that don't get pointed out otherwise. I hate Michael Moore documentaries because they are directed by, filmed by, and feature a big fat idiot polemicist named Michael Moore.

Maybe I'm just taking this sort of thing too damn seriously, but the point is valid. Enough puppet sex and conspiracy theories about Afghanistan oil pipelines. I just wish filmakers of this caliber and talent would get serious for once.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 20, 2004 12:39 AM

Grant,

I hate that it's as sexist and bigotted and homophobic and xenaphobic as it is.

Dear God, Grant. You need to get away from that pomo poli sci re-education camp ASAP! GET. OUT. NOW! Did that comment originate in your cerebrum or your limbic system? That comment wasn't a thought. It was a reaction. One that you have been conditioned to make like Pavlov's dogs.

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Structure1.html

BTW, you left out jingoistic. Your profs would be disappointed. You must need further conditioning! Mabye there is still hope for you.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but when I do I will cheer wildly as the Eiffel tower gets destroyed and each of the dictator-worshiping Hollywood sycophants meets the fate they deserve. Jingoistic? Fuck yeah! But that is how MY Jacksonian limbic system reacts.

Posted by: HA at October 20, 2004 04:04 AM

The Kim Jong Il destruction of Hans Blix was the high point.

Why do the keyboard warriors still hold Hans Blix up to ridicule when it turns out that he was right and they were wrong?

Whoops! Think I answered my own question there!

Posted by: Mork at October 20, 2004 05:38 AM

Just saw Team America last night and it was definately worth the ten bucks. As you may have noticed, it gives the "bleeding heart liberals" a rough man-handling. The mustard stains on Michael Moore's shirt were a bit of an overstatement, though, and I felt sad when all those South American puppets were floating face down in the river. I realize what Trey and Matt were trying to do (skewer the Hollywood action film while mocking both the left and the right of mainstream politics) but some scenes were needless: ie. Kim Jong Il singing "I feer ronery..." was racist as fuck.

Overall, it reminded me of South Park; although certain parts were definately inspired (Lease scene, etc.), I feel that someone must have left the best parts of the movie on the cutting room floor. Also, they should have included at least one jab at Bush (perhaps doing a line of blow off Dick Cheney's midriff). :)

Cheers,
JB.

Posted by: Jeremy Brendan at October 20, 2004 06:17 AM

I think I laughed hardest when they released the 'panthers'. BTW Michael, I believe that those kittens do qualify as live actors...

Posted by: Dave Ruddell at October 20, 2004 07:03 AM

Mork, maybe because Hans Blix is a symbol of a regimen that would have left the Hussein Family in charge of Iraq in perpetuity? Some of us found that prospect anti-Liberal, but your mileage may vary.

Haven't seen the movie yet; I'm going to see it tomorrow. But all the Morkists out there need to get a sense of humor (right after they get a sense of perpective).

Guys, get a grip; Parker and Stone don't fit into tight little pigeonholes. Remember them skewering of the V-Chip and jingoism (Blame Canada!) in the South Park movie? They are comedic geniuses who skewer things that are, when really looked at, fucked up. That's what comedians do.

If you're in a place where you have to take Sean Penn and Jeanne Garafolo seriously, buy a bus ticket, dude. You don't want to be there.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 20, 2004 07:10 AM

MJT writes: "Why Matt Damon is singled so dismissively isn't clear."

It might be because of stories like this:

Actor Matt Damon 'Would Pay $1 Million' For Kerry To Win Election

Can't wait to see the movie though - playoff baseball has taken up most of my entertainment time since the movie's release.

Great review, btw, Michael.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 20, 2004 07:19 AM

Mork: "Why do the keyboard warriors still hold Hans Blix up to ridicule ..."

Because he is a typical UN functionary who seems to care more about that body's prerogatives than about the Iraqi people themselves. Remember his complete lack of concern about Adnan Abdul Karim Enad, the man who was dragged away by Iraqi security after he sought the help of UN inspectors?

I’ve just talked to our security chief in Baghdad . . . and he said there was nothing in the booklet he seemed to be carrying,” Dr Blix said. He added that Iraqi scientists could find “more elegant ways” of approaching UN inspectors.

Charming guy.

Posted by: MDP at October 20, 2004 07:20 AM

I hate that it's as sexist and bigotted and homophobic and xenaphobic as it is. Stupid and offensive puppet sex takes away from the value, like the fact that every new scene in a foreign land is listed as "X" miles from America.

Grant,

HA's right. That was a pathetic display of pc programming if I ever saw it. Sometimes you sound like a Liberal pussy; didn't you know that's who the movie's mocking? YOU apparently.

LOL

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 07:25 AM

"Why Matt Damon is singled so dismissively isn't clear."

Based on an interview I heard, the reason they portraid Matt Damon as retarted is because someone on the set said his puppet looked "retarded". So they ran with it. I think that's all there is to it.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 07:28 AM

"TIMMaay" - one of the rudest South Park characters - is a special needs student who says nothing but his name.

He's a better actor than Matt Damon, too.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 20, 2004 07:51 AM

The first half does skewer the right, and the second skewers the left - but the attacks against the left are a lot more personal.

(which generates a horrible idea for a sequel - "Team Left - Anti America" This time it's personal)

My favorite parts were: One team America puppet says "Uh, Cairo..that's in..Egypt?"

...and Bliz, and the panthers. It was like a parody of Hollywood's James Bond parodies, funny on many levels.

Posted by: mary at October 20, 2004 08:49 AM

Hi Michael,

I just posted some recent photos of Tripoli since you're travelling there soon you might like to see them...

http://highlander.fotopages.com/

Posted by: Highlander at October 20, 2004 08:59 AM

Why do the keyboard warriors still hold Hans Blix up to ridicule when it turns out that he was right and they were wrong?

It's called "sour grapes", and it leaves a really, really bad taste in one's mouth.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 10:09 AM

Well, do remember ++UG, that one wouldn't actually taste the sour grapes, if one is cleaving to the original fable, which I guess you're not.

Posted by: Dave Ruddell at October 20, 2004 10:24 AM

DPU,

Have you seen the movie? The Hans Blix scene is hilarious. He says if Kim Jong Il doesn't behave himself he's really going to be in trouble. Kim says, oh yeah? What are you gonna do, Hans?

Blix says The UN is going to be very very angry with you. And the UN will send you a letter telling you just how mad we are!

He is then fed to sharks.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 10:38 AM

Highlander,

Great photos. Thanks!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 10:43 AM
Based on an interview I heard, the reason they portraid Matt Damon as retarted is because someone on the set said his puppet looked "retarded".

Well he DID do the Howard Zinn book on tape didn't he?

(I'll see the movie probably next weekend. I gotta go to Lawrence-freakin-Kansas this weekend :-( )

Posted by: Bill at October 20, 2004 10:46 AM

Well he DID do the Howard Zinn book on tape didn't he?

You've got to be kidding me.

I still remember the throw-away line in Goodwill Hunting about Chomsky and Howard Zinn; completely gratuitous. They want sooooo desperately to be relevant, to be taken seriously, and above all to be liked.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 10:50 AM

Okay...

So a handful of you are taking me to task for sounding like a "liberal pussy" in saying that this movie was racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic, and xenaphobic. To be honest, I was a little surprised to get such a reaction on that, even from the likes of David and HA. I happen to think racism and sexism and homophobia and bigotry and xenaphobia aren't things to be laughed at and I don't think it would have taken anything away from the comedic value of the film (which I'd be the first to say was top-notch satire) had Parker and Stone simply left that out.

I would also like to note that, for the record, nobody is actually refuting the fact that the film is all of those things. Can anyone possibly make that argument with a straight face?

So, my critics are left tacitly saying, "sure it's racist and sexist and homophobic and xenaphobic and chocked full of all kinds of bigotry...but that's okay." Well, I say it's not okay and I can't believe I'm the only one here saying that racism and all those other things are inexcusable.

Blow up Michael Moore and burn Tim Robbins a thousand times over for all I care. I don't really have a problem with any of that. But I guess having a problem with outright racism and bigotry makes me a "liberal pussy". So be it.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 20, 2004 11:03 AM

Grant you really have to learn about satire. Start with Horace and Juvenal and learn to laugh at human foibles.

Posted by: spc67 at October 20, 2004 11:06 AM

PS...

And Michael bringing up the Hans Blix scene makes a really good point. That scene WAS hilarious and WAS genius satire. There were so many scenes like that one that had me laughing my ass off and saying, "they're absolutely dead-on with this". Scenes like those are funny and incredibly smart. I just wish Parker and Stone would have cut some of the less intelligent offensive-crap out.

There's a difference between pushing the envelope with controversial thoughts and pushing it with pointless sensationalism. You have to expect both from the South Park guys. But in a film dealing with this serious a subject matter, I just think they maybe should have opted a little more for the former. To do otherwise just takes away from the message.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 20, 2004 11:11 AM

Grant,

look at you thrash about. I must admit your indignation is sweet in a comical sort of way. It seems a bit misplaced though in this day and age don't you think?

For instance, on a thread below Michael was taken to task for mentioning someone's race at a coffee house. oooooooooooh! racism!!! Liberal hysteria over "racism" and bigotry has become reached self-parody levels at this point.

The movie was trying to get under your skin, and I guess it succeeded. But I was too busy enjoying dead Lefty puppets to care about the shots it took at conservatives. If you, Grant, weren't able to do that it's probably because you are exactly the kind of humourless, self-important Lib it was targeting. You'd make a great puppet yourself.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 11:21 AM

Grant McEntire: "I hate that it's ... xenaphobic as it is. Stupid and offensive puppet sex takes away from the value, like the fact that every new scene in a foreign land is listed as 'X' miles from America."

I'm not sure I understand you. Do you think the movie's description of every country as being "'X' miles from America" shows:

1) The movie is xenophobic.
2) The movie is satirizing America's self-absorption.

Posted by: MDP at October 20, 2004 11:28 AM

The movie is satirizing America's self-absorption.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 11:41 AM

DPU,

Have you seen the movie?

Not yet, although I am eager to see it (as an ex-pat Brit, I grew up on the Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5, and Stingray). I'm going with a group of politically-like-minded friends who are also looking forward to seeing it. And laughing our asses off.

But Hans Blix, regardless of what his puppet version does on the big screen, was absolutely right, and for that he will never be forgiven by certain parties.

Lastly, we're not looking to a comedic film involving puppets as validation of our political beliefs, are we?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 12:08 PM

DPU: Lastly, we're not looking to a comedic film involving puppets as validation of our political beliefs, are we?

Only a fool who sees one half (and not the other half) could do any such thing with Team America.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 12:10 PM

Blix wasn't right all he did was give Sadaam the time and cover to move the WMD to Syria and Iran. The movie was great satire and funny as hell. So Grant don't be so serious and things won't bother you so much. Have faith Bush will save us...lol

Posted by: Barney at October 20, 2004 01:08 PM

I can understand why people like Grant simply don’t get this movie and probably never will. It’s not for you. You’re this film’s target. This is OUR Fahrenheit 9/11. And by “OUR,” I mean those of us who don’t hate this country.

Posted by: Kay Hoog at October 20, 2004 01:49 PM

Kay,

Grant is not an anti-American. Not even close. He's been posting here for over a year. I probably agree with him more often than I agree with anybody else. Careful what you sling and where.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 01:58 PM

Boy, the "everyone who disagrees with me hates OUR country" line is getting old. Real old.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:10 PM

Blix wasn't right all he did was give Sadaam the time and cover to move the WMD to Syria and Iran.

Wow, now there's a theory. Source please?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:11 PM

So not laughing at jokes based on bigotry, homophobia and xenophobia = hating America?

Right.

I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy most of the non-PC jokes, but not because I "love America" (which I do very much), but because I like South Park.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 20, 2004 02:13 PM

I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy most of the non-PC jokes, but not because I "love America" (which I do very much), but because I like South Park.

Hey, me too. Except that America and I are just friends.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:22 PM

Wow, now there's a theory. Source please?

Duelfer tells Senate Committee cannot rule out WMD's went to Syria

Certainly the idea that the WMD's are in Syria isn't new. Is it true? No idea.

Posted by: spc67 at October 20, 2004 02:29 PM

Hey, me too. Except that America and I are just friends.

You might like it better if the movie's theme song was "America -- Jolly Good!" rather than what Stone and Parker actually went with.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 20, 2004 02:33 PM

Certainly the idea that the WMD's are in Syria isn't new. Is it true? No idea.

Well, let's assume for a moment that smuggling weapons of mass destruction out of Iraq pre-invasion to Syria was even possible. I guess the question would be, seeing as a massive American/British attack was forthcoming, why would Hussein choose to give up the only weapons that might give him a military chance for survival?

Pan-Arabic altruism? Trying to embarrass the US by saying at his trial "I told you I didn't have any?"

Doesn't seem likely or feasible to me. I also suspect that if chemical-tipped scuds had been moved to Syria, we'd have seen satellite photos by now.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:38 PM

DPU,

Saddam sent his jet fighters to Iran during the first Gulf War. Syria was far more friendly to him than the mullahs, so it's not inconceivable that Saddam would have shipped major components of his WDM program across their border.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 02:42 PM

You might like it better if the movie's theme song was "America -- Jolly Good!" rather than what Stone and Parker actually went with.

Errmmm, why? I'm Canadian, we don't say jolly good. Oh, and while I'm an ex-Brit, I'm actually Scottish, we don't say that either. We'd probably go with something more along the lines of a Weegie version like "America--Smashin-intit!"

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:46 PM

David: Saddam sent his jet fighters to Iran during the first Gulf War. Syria was far more friendly to him than the mullahs, so it's not inconceivable that Saddam would have shipped major components of his WDM program across their border.

Yes, I remember, but that doesn't address my point. Hussein's aircraft were pretty much useless in GWI, so he had nothing to lose by sending them to Iran. However, gas, nukes, anthrax, etc would have been pretty useful against a ground attack, doncha think? Why give away weapons instead of using them? They are intended for warfare, after all.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:49 PM

double,

the Duelfer Report says he didn't have a stockpile of WMDs to use, thats why. But that doesn't mean he didn't have an ongoing program waiting for the day when sanctions were lifted.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 02:55 PM

But that doesn't mean he didn't have an ongoing program waiting for the day when sanctions were lifted.

How do you smuggle a program to another country? And why?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 02:58 PM

Oh, and while I'm an ex-Brit, I'm actually Scottish, we don't say that either. We'd probably go with something more along the lines of a Weegie version like "America--Smashin-intit!"

Either way, or if you'd prefer a more musical selection.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 20, 2004 02:58 PM

How do you smuggle a program to another country? And why?

I don't know. In trucks?

Because he didn't want it found.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 03:01 PM

DPU: Saddam did the eaxct same thing with his entire fixed-wing airforce just before GWI - sent it to Iran, a recent enemy, to save it from distruction at the hands of the Coalition air forces. It's perfectly reasonable to think he might have done the same thing during the prolonged run-up oto GWII, especially since his war plan (evidently) was to fall back into a gurerilla war, bloody the Coalition, and regain the country after we left in self-induced failure (i.e. after Kerry wins, etc.). And he would have a better chance of getting them back from a fellow Baathist regime than he would from the Iranian Mullahs.

Posted by: Eric E. Coe at October 20, 2004 03:03 PM

And why?

He could have been laboring under the false impression that if the inspectors didn't find any WMD, the Bush administration wouldn't attack.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 20, 2004 03:04 PM

SoCalJustice: He could have been laboring under the false impression that if the inspectors didn't find any WMD, the Bush administration wouldn't attack.

If that were the case, why weren't the inspectors welcomed with open arms? Why did it take threat of military action to allow them in?

David: I don't know. In trucks?

"Hey, you there. Have you finished loading the weapons of mass destruction programs into the trucks yet?"
"No, I just need to get these scientists loaded. Where's the fork lift?"

You guys. You're really reaching on this one.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 03:33 PM

DPU,

they could move the Pyramids on trucks if they had to. I don't understand your confusion about this.

Posted by: David at October 20, 2004 03:38 PM

If that were the case, why weren't the inspectors welcomed with open arms? Why did it take threat of military action to allow them in?

Because he's a megalomaniacal dictator that doesn't want to play ball with the West/U.N., unless it's in a way that helps him build palaces and his fortune.

He's transferred weapons to neighbors before.

Did he do it now? Who knows. Obviously this is all in the realm of spectulation. But it's not a "stretch" necessarily, as you say, because he's done it in the past.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at October 20, 2004 03:52 PM

David: they could move the Pyramids on trucks if they had to. I don't understand your confusion about this.

Okay, let's pretend that you were a fascistic middle-eastern dictator, surrounded by powerful enemies, and desperately trying to conceal programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction, like chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, and biological weapons. These would entail large numbers of engineers, scientists, and technicians, and a great deal of mothballed equipment at, say, universities and technical centers, and probably experimental materials.

You're about to be invaded by the world's largest armies, and probably killed.

For some reason, you decide that it's important to conceal all evidence of these programs, despite the fact that you're going to end up dead or in prison. You further decide to smuggle all this stuff to a neighboring country, despite the close scrutiny of these technologically superior enemies who have all kinds of stuff focused on the border, like electronic listening posts, satellite s, and drones. And probably quite a few border guards willing to spill their guts to CIA agents with a bit of cash to throw around.

Now, how would you go about this? Assuming that you have the incredible administrative ability to gather ALL evidence, including personnel who know about these programs, and the infrastructure to move this massive amount of evidence of these programs, secretly, across a well-watched border, under conditions near that of a state of war. Assuming you had no enemies in the country that would squeal about these programs later. Assuming that no member of your dictatorship would talk after a year or two of imprisonment and interrogation. Assuming that the teams of inspectors from both the UN and US were so incredibly incompetent that they could not discover a single shred of evidence that these programs had ever existed. How would this be done?

If Hussein was able to accomplish all this, I say put him back in charge, the guy is a genius.

Let's try a different scenario. Let's say that you were an advocate of the war, and it turned out there were no evidence of active weapons programs, and no weapons to be found. What rationale would you use to explain their absence?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 20, 2004 03:59 PM

double-plus-ungood: "However, gas, nukes, anthrax, etc would have been pretty useful against a ground attack, doncha think? Why give away weapons instead of using them? They are intended for warfare, after all."

I remember reading (late last year or early this year) that, prior to the war, Saddam believed a US invasion would bog down before it reached Baghdad, and he thought he would be able to count on French/Russian/UN assistance negotiating a ceasefire once the US realized it couldn't achieve a quick victory. This strategy relied in part on US forces being unable to discover any contraband WMD.

Unfortunately, I can't provide any links to corroborate this, so I'll understand if you disregard it as nothing more than an interesting theory.

Posted by: MDP at October 20, 2004 04:26 PM
SoCalJustice: "He could have been laboring under the false impression that if the inspectors didn't find any WMD, the Bush administration wouldn't attack."

double-plus-ungood: "If that were the case, why weren't the inspectors welcomed with open arms? Why did it take threat of military action to allow them in?"

In other words, the most plausible (pre-war) explanation for Saddam's behavior was that he really did have WMDs?

- Maybe Saddam had WMDs or WMD precursors which he moved/hid before the war.
- Maybe Saddam wanted to create the false impression that he had WMDs in order to intimidate other countries.
- Maybe Saddam was misled by underlings into believing he still had WMDs.

How do you explain his behavior?

Posted by: MDP at October 20, 2004 04:50 PM
- Maybe Saddam wanted to create the false impression that he had WMDs in order to intimidate other countries.

I believe the recent report said that item was one big reasons behind Saddam's coy behavior. He neeed to keep a game face on the Iranians while needing to fake out (or otherwise furstrate) the west (read: UN) so as to get those sanctions lifted so he could hit the ground running to quickly build the weapons portfolio to match the tough guy pose. A strange mix, but I seem to remember it working before 9/11.

Posted by: Bill at October 20, 2004 05:21 PM

Grant,

I would also like to note that, for the record, nobody is actually refuting the fact that the film is all of those things.

You haven't offered anything to substantiate that the film IS all of those things. All you've done is assert that is. What I do know is that lefties are conditioned to see all satire and/or caricature of anybody other than straight white christian males as racist, sexist, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc,...

These charges are so ubiquitous that they have become almost meaningless. More often than not, they are used as a pretext to suppress free speech rights of conservatives. Maybe you should go watch this video:

http://brain-terminal.com/video/brainwashing-101.html

Posted by: HA at October 20, 2004 06:19 PM

Kerry supporters shut down showing of Stolen Honor movie:

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/101904_nw_stolenhonor.html

The Democrats are becoming authentic embryonic fascists.

Posted by: HA at October 20, 2004 06:42 PM

HA: The Democrats are becoming authentic embryonic fascists.

Enough with your vitriolic hysteria. I'm getting complaints from people I respect and I'm calling you out on it. I am not going to ask you to stop it again. Do NOT argue with me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 07:38 PM

By the way, HA, just so we're clear on something. I'm getting these complaints live and in person. Not via email. You are reflecting badly on me. That ends now.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 20, 2004 07:41 PM

Michael,

This is your blog and apologize for my words. It’s just that sometimes that I get the feeling that too many people in this country refuse to laugh along with “Team America” not because they don’t think it’s funny, but because they disagree with the ideology behind it, and this infuriates me.

Posted by: Kay Hoog at October 20, 2004 09:12 PM

Two Things:

HA...

You haven't even, by your own admission, SEEN THE MOVIE so please don't fucking chastize a person who has. And I encourage you to see it, by the way. It was pretty damn funny. I just had a few problems with the Parker-and-Stone sense of humor in dealing with such a serious subject matter, that's all.

KAY...

If you can honestly say this is "your Fahrenheit 9/11 for those who don't hate America", you must have not actually seen the movie yet either or you did but somehow managed to miss half the jokes (and half the point). This movie was ruthless in satirizing BOTH the Left and the Right and I actually agreed with all of it. The Hans Blix scene was sheer genius for perfectly portraying the uselessness of the United Nations. But so were the repeated "X miles from America" scenes, especially the one that refered to South America as being "X miles away from the REAL America". That one, and lots of others, were aimed squarely at the "my country, right or wrong" ignorant-xenaphobic Right. None of the satire went over my head (I who obviously hates America in your eyes). But, somehow, I fear you missed the point. You say this movie wasn't for me because it was aimed at me. Fine. Stone and Parker might call me a pussy (though I doubt they would if they got to know me). I imagine they'd call you a dick. Go and watch the scene with the big speech at the end again and maybe you'll see they're targeting you too, my dear.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 20, 2004 10:40 PM

Grant-

Lighten up

Posted by: Raymond at October 21, 2004 12:11 AM

MJT,

Enough with your vitriolic hysteria.

Enough with your naive faith in the good will of the Democrats. They have nominated a man who has betrayed this country, and they are within a whisker of shoving this loathesome man down the rest of our throats.

The Democrats are morally and intellectually rotten to the core. They are tearing this country apart because they have been hijacked by the internationalist, socialist left. They simply don't believe in American exceptionalism any more. That is my opinion and it is well supported by the facts. And I'm not the only one who holds this opinion:

This will be cause for joy among those who feel that on principle, America should subsume its national interest to a wider set of imperatives. 'America joins the world', 'No longer alone' is the ticket. The argument is based on a rejection of American "exceptionalism", and indeed the exceptionalism of any individual country or culture. If all cultures are equally valid then the US Constitution is nothing special; simply one arrangement among many and in fact perforce subordinate to a Universal Charter, in the way that a subset is necessarily contained in the superset. Any distaste is written off as sentimental attachment; a false ethnocentrism that will eventually join anthrocentrism and geocentrism in the wastebasket of old ideas. To necessity is added the force of inevitability. Iraq becomes a modern day Scopes Trial, the last hurrah of an insupportable conceit.

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/10/we-are-world-john-kerrys-defense.html

I state this opinion with passion, yes, and without Wretchard's grace. But in the final analysis, it is not the way I express these opinions, but the opinion itself that offends your friends. Don't kid yourself otherwise.

I'm not the one you should be calling out. It is the people who are compaining about me who you should be calling out. And until people like you do so, the problem will get worse. You aren't doing your friends any favors by calling me out. You're just giving them more of the same narcotic they need to sustain their habit.

I respect that fact that you have been open-minded about some things. But until you are willing to open your eyes about what is going on at the heart of the Democratic party - not just at the leftist fringe - you are part of the problem. They are counting on the misplaced faith of people like you to run interference for them. By banning me, you serve their cause.

I won't censor myself in order to avoid offending those who desperately deserve and need to be offended. If you don't want this opinion expressed on your blog, then go ahead and ban me. And since you've instructed me not to argue with you, I'm assuming you're gonna do it this time. That's fine with me. I'm getting sick of your threats anyway.

But until you actually follow through on your threats, I will speak my mind as I see fit. And just in case you do it this time, I'll say goodbye to Grant just in case I don't run into him elsewhere.

Posted by: HA at October 21, 2004 03:52 AM

I just finished reading the review and all I can think to say is, "Graphic puppet sex?! Now I really have to see this film."

Posted by: sam at October 21, 2004 08:20 AM

Wasn't there an interview with Parker and Stone where they said something along the lines of
"Yeah we hate conservatives, its just that we hate liberals even more." From the descriptions of the film both here and elsewhere I think that sums up the films rationale.

Posted by: sam at October 21, 2004 08:23 AM

Michael, while occasionally HA slips into what I think is a fairly over-the-top mode, I tend to shrug it off. After all, someone who focuses on a liberal consumer boycott forcing a documentary off the air and derides it as embryonic fascism, yet either ignores or excuses conservative campaigns that did exactly the same thing (the Reagan docudrama) is obviously overbiased, or a lauaghable fanatic, and I give their comments a certain leeway based on the mindset of the souce. HA is borderline paranoid about political discourse, and any variance from his or her own is obviously severely threatening, and needs to be puffed up from mere difference of opinion to some sinister threatening malevolant force, like fascism (there is certainly no shortage of this mindset on the left also).

Of course, your blog and your rules. I just think that these occasional rants make the liberals and leftists (like myself) here look pretty good in comparison :-)

Of course, HA may be happier if he/she restricted his/her comments to conservative echo chambers, although even those may be too liberal. There isn't a lot of give-and-take with HA.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 08:36 AM

Most people miss the fact that Sadaam was obssessed with the Vietnam War. He saw it as the way to defeat an unstoppable military like the US. Look at the landscape in America today looks very much like it was during the Vietnam War with protesting,dissention, hatred, etc. The gov't won't reveal that we know the WMD are in Iran and Syria because we are not ready yet to attack either one of these. When will people understand that the leaders around the world hate us regardless who is in charge. The people in their countries don't necessarily hate us. But all these haters gladly take our money in aid or whatever. My theory is that France, Germany, and Russia had a plan to get Sadaam to sell his oil only in Euro's if they got the sanctions lifted. The next plan was then to get Saudi to do the same which would probably of got the rest of OPEC to do it also. This would of caused the American economy to go bust as our money would of been virtually worthless. Had Bush pointed this out as the reason to attack Iraq, people would of said he's paranoid or something. Check the web about "Yellow cake found on scrap metal ship from Iraq in the Netherlands" and 'Nuclear experts say centrifuge found in Iran probably came from Iraq during GWI". Things to think about before condemning the President.

Posted by: Barney at October 21, 2004 09:02 AM

The gov't won't reveal that we know the WMD are in Iran and Syria because we are not ready yet to attack either one of these.

If this is secret, then how do you know about this, Barney?

When will people understand that the leaders around the world hate us regardless who is in charge. The people in their countries don't necessarily hate us.

My take on this is that the complete opposite is true. I think most leaders of industrialized democracies would be happy to publicly make up with the US, but their electorates are enraged at the US leadership. The recent election on Canada was lost by the conservatives because the Liberal party quickly was able to link the conservatives with the US leadership in the minds of the voters. About 85% of Canadians hope the Bush loses the next election.

But I think this anger is directed at the leaderhip in the US, not at the American people. After all, you guys are open, friendly, outgoing, generally good-humoured, and fun. What's not to like?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 09:18 AM

Check the web about "Yellow cake found on scrap metal ship from Iraq in the Netherlands"..

Yeah, that one made a lot of sense. Iraq smuggling yellowcake to the Netherlands? Shouldn't we be checking to see if the Dutch are building WMDs? And here we were wasting our time trying to prevent Iraq from importing yellowcake. Silly us.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 09:21 AM

The Democrats are becoming authentic embryonic fascists.

I think he's right. Just ask Ralph Nader, just look at their speech and thought control. I'm a little surprised at you Michael.

You say you're a centrist, but the statement HA made is the kind of thing Libs say about conservatives as a norm. They learn it in college.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 10:39 AM

I think he's right.

Boy, there's a surprise.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 10:51 AM

Michael,

The more I think about it, the more off base you are. Is it possible that in your threats to censor HA for a legitimate political statement you're reverting to some deeply inculcated Lib tendecy to censor? HA's statement wasn't anymore a personal attack or ad hominem than any other post on this thread; it's certainly less personal than DPU's personal baiting directly above. What gives? You go out of your way to protect Liberals, like Markus, and that's fine. But I know for a fact you'd never extent that protection to a conservative being falsely attacked. You'd basically just ignore it.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 11:02 AM

HA's statement wasn't anymore a personal attack or ad hominem than any other post on this thread; it's certainly less personal than DPU's personal baiting directly above.

You actually see no difference between the two statements? Well, if you actaully think that was an attack on the same level that Michael commented on, I apologize to both you and the rest of the commentariate.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 11:11 AM

double,

I didn't consider your baiting to be severe, so no big deal; but it was personal.

HA's statement, on the other hadn, was severe but it wasn't personal.

I think the latter should be given far more lattitude than the former. It's called political speech, unlike the former.

Michael's threats only help confirm what HA was saying.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 11:14 AM

HA's statement, on the other hadn, was severe but it wasn't personal.

He called Democrats fascists. While I'm certainly not a Democrat, I'm sure that there are a number of people, including, I believe, Michael's spouse, that he just insulted as either fascists, or as supporting fascists. I think that's personal.

Michael's threats only help confirm what HA was saying.

Hey, it's his blog, and he sets the tone. I believe he was warning HA, not threatening. Or do you think that any policing of comments is fascism? If so, there are a great number of right-wing blogs that I could point you to that are goose-stepping, if that argument were valid.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 11:25 AM

He called Democrats fascists.

double,

hahaha! you poor thing. That's what Libs call conservatives on a good day. And he said embryonic fascists, so he was being somewhat generous in saying there was still hope for you.

Of course it's his blog, and his "tone"; So I never said Michael didn't have the legal right to ban HA; censorship is always backed up with legal authority. But it's still censorship.

And I could name you as many Lefty blogs that are goose-stepping as you think you could name conservative blogs that are goose stepping. It doesn't have any bearing on whether it's right or wrong.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 11:37 AM

hahaha! you poor thing. That's what Libs call conservatives on a good day.

And if it's done, here, Michael steps in. So don't get all weepy when he calls it the other way, mm'kay?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 11:51 AM

And if it's done, here, Michael steps in.

double,

if I thought that were true, I wouldn't even be having this conversation. You mentioned his Democrat wife, remember?

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 11:54 AM

if I thought that were true, I wouldn't even be having this conversation.

If you thought that weren't true, why would you spend so much time here?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 12:00 PM

double,

have you ever NOT had the last word?

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 12:01 PM

The viagra spam usually close the thread, but thanks for asking.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 12:02 PM

Hey, it's Grant. Look what I have...

THE LAST WORD

See. Now neither one of you can have it. I rule! (I was told to lighten up and realized I probably should, so there you go)

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 21, 2004 12:57 PM

Good for you Grant for lightening up. But it looks like I have the last word.

In answer to your question double, I come here because I like it here. I've even come not to dislike a few of you Lefty's too much. Also, I can rant a bit and people have largely learned to ignore it and not get too worked up about it. That's why I'm surprised HA got under Michael's skin like that.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 01:03 PM

That's why I'm surprised HA got under Michael's skin like that.

I think that's because labelling something most decidedly not fascist (EG the Bush adminsitration) as being fascist, or being like Hitler, is a conversation stopper. The words have too much emotional impact, tempers flair, and meaningful dialog ends.

I like meaningful dialog, and I dislike the Nazi label.

And just to break the "last word" curse, I'll quote something from one of your posts at the end.

David: hahaha!

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 01:09 PM

Look guys, I like my comment section. And I strongly dislike most comment sections because they are unmoderated and over-the-top. This one is among the very few remaining where I think it's worth even trying to have a reasonable discussion. The only reason this is so is because I moderate it. And I can't moderate it if I don't back up my own rules with force, so to speak.

I really only have one rule: don't be an asshole. I don't think that is too much to ask, but some people think it is. Those people get banned. If I don't ban them it drives more reasonable people away.

If I let this place go to seed I'll have to "censor" everyone by shutting the comments down completely. I'd rather not do that. So I do this instead.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 21, 2004 01:25 PM

double-plus-ungood: ... someone who focuses on a liberal consumer boycott forcing a documentary off the air and derides it as embryonic fascism, yet either ignores or excuses conservative campaigns that did exactly the same thing (the Reagan docudrama) is obviously overbiased, or a lauaghable fanatic ...

According to the article cited by HA, "management of the Baederwood Theater cancelled the showing after threats of civil disturbances." For some reason you equate that with a "liberal consumer boycott".

Do you really believe "threats of civil disturbances" are "exactly the same thing" as the campaign to pressure CBS not to air the Reagan docudrama?

Posted by: MDP at October 21, 2004 02:51 PM

Do you really believe "threats of civil disturbances" are "exactly the same thing" as the campaign to pressure CBS not to air the Reagan docudrama?

MDP,

sure, it's what they call "grassroots". Like the Brownshirts.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 03:04 PM

You bastards. I wanted the last word!

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 21, 2004 03:06 PM

Grant,

you need to have a first word before you can have a last word.

Posted by: David at October 21, 2004 03:17 PM

Hadn't read the article (it wasn't linked, and I usually don't go to the trouble of cutting and pasting if the linker can't be bother linking properly in the first place). I had assumed it was about the consumer boycott. My bad.

However.

HA says that this was done by Kerry supporters. The article says this:
Incidentally the Kerry campaign claims they hadn't anything to do with the movie not being shown here.
It's not clear from the article exactly what happened, but it looks like a demonstration got out of hand with both sides pushing and shoving. But he's probably right, some angry Kerry supporters got out of hand, and there's nothing wrong with condemning them. Hell, I don't even have a too much of a problem if HA wants to go over the top and claims that those individuals were displaying a form of embryonic fascism (even though authoritarianism alone does not equal fascism, and this just indicates a willingness to throw nasty words around).

However, he then goes on in his usual fashion to extropolate this jerkish behaviour to ALL Kerry supporters, and then says "The Democrats are becoming authentic embryonic fascists." which is inaccurate and nasty, IMO.

If the Reagan docudrama was shown in theatres, and some Reagan fans came out to protest its showing, and a similar scuffle had closed the show, would it be okay to say that all Republicans were nazis because of the event? Or would that be a obnoxious conclusion to come to?

BTW, to avoid the last word problem, I've found some text that both David and Grant have used, and will use it to close so that they have the last word.

David / Grant: ... the ...

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at October 21, 2004 03:23 PM

Hehe...

Not good enough. Word. Word. Word. Word. Word. Last word.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 21, 2004 05:11 PM

Grant:

Um dude, I know this has already been said a zillion times in this thread, but it was a satire of xenophobia, racism, sexism and yadda yadda (whatever the rest of the parade of horribles was). You remember the line, "Cairo. That's in Egypt"? Did you notice how all the locations in the movie were given based on their relative distance from America? Did you notice how retarded and crude the portrayal of the other countries was? What do you think that was satirizing. You really do need to get out more. And you really do appear to have had some kind of PC-indoctrination at Earlham or wherever you go to school to have come up with that thought.

Michael:

I never found "HA" to be a high-value commenter and I generally don't respect anonymous/pseudonymous commenters to begin with, but the fact that he raised your hackles and the daily comments of Mork, Tano and all the others never do is not encouraging for any center-right/more conservative readers of your blog. He was vitriolic and partisan and stupid, but so what? Everytime I'm here, I see ten times more nastiness and knee-jerk partisanship coming from the other "side". I know you're going to say you get the exact opposite complaint, but that's really just a variant of the lame mainstream media response of "See we get complaints from hard-core communists and mainstream Republicans, so we must be doing a great job."

I can go through the drudgery of looking for all the worst excresences if you'd like. A recent example would be some guy saying something like "The Republican party is the purview of religious right thugs." I hardly see how what HA said was any worse, (nor was it any less stupid of course).

As per usual, your site your rules, you can ban whoever the hell you want, FWIW, etc. etc.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 21, 2004 10:41 PM

Another example from the thread below that one. David Thomson makes some comment that Markus Rose (which sounds like a pseudonym) is possibly an anti-Semitie or self-hating Jews. That's arguable. You then make it clear that what David Thomson has said is somehow beyond the pale, but then later Markus Rose makes this curious sounding statement:

Unfortunately, likudniks continue to rule the roost everywhere in Washington DC but the State Department.

Hmmm. So people belonging to an Israeli political party somehow "rule the roost" throughout most of our government in the United States. How conspiratorial-sounding. I point this out as someone who finds David Thomson's comments largely boring and shrill and, though I disagree completely with everything Markus Rose says, I find him to be a more interesting commenter. My point is that it seems the rule is that one side is allowed their rhetorical excess and sloppy thinking ("likudniks rule the roost" is okay), and the other isn't ("You're a self-hating Jew" is not).

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 21, 2004 10:53 PM

Here's another comment from that same thread:

All the bad guys love Bush -- the KKK, the Nazis, and now Iran:

Last one. My point is that if the new standard is that every comment must be polite, factual, well-reasoned etc., you're going to be in for a full-time job as moderator. If the standard is just the arbitrary "don't be an asshole", or don't annoy my wife that's cool, but the way that standard seems to be playing out is not making commenting here too comfortable for anyone even slightly to the right of you. We need the right-wing knuckleheads to counteract the left-wing knuckleheads. I shudder to think of a world in which Mork, Tano et all have free reign without HA and his ilk to protect those who lack the same level of fire. That's all. Sorry for being a nuisance. I don't know what got into me.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at October 21, 2004 11:04 PM

We need the right-wing knuckleheads to counteract the left-wing knuckleheads.

Well, you're still here, aren't you, Eric?

Posted by: Mork at October 22, 2004 03:32 AM

I would like to ask, in your opinion who cares more about America? Kerry or Bush? That will make your vote that much easier to cast. IMHO Bush has shown that he cares more for the country tha Kerry who in my opinion only cares about being in power.

Posted by: Barney at October 22, 2004 05:30 AM

Leftwing nuts can say anything they want, because it's par for the course; it's expected from them, Bushitler, fascists, evil, etc. They eat and breathe that kind of malevolence.

But when a righwing nut let's fly, everybody goes into a tizzy. HA said Dems are sliding into embryonic fascism. ooooooh. Big deal. He got banned.

Accuse the right of BEING fascists; no big deal. Libs are expected to be hateful, it's their currency. Just like Arabs are expected to be terrorists, that's their currency. When Israel kills a child by accident, it's headline news. When palestinians slaughter a building full of jews, ho hum.

Same with Libs and conservatives. That's why HA got banned; and that's why Libs will keep spouting off and not get banned.

Posted by: David at October 22, 2004 07:18 AM

and here's the last word:

Leftist Nutcases

Posted by: David at October 22, 2004 08:52 AM

I hadn't checked out this thread previously and now I've just realized that my buddy HA has been banned. I actually found him occasionally fun to spar with, and wouldn't have minded continuing to read his stuff. My only problem with him was that however fun it was to challenge him it was a really a waste of my time. There was never much to learn from him because his object wasn't to argue or convince, rather it was to display and describe his contempt for the Democratic Party and for liberals. As a result the quality of his argument was generally weak.

Eric -- I don't understand your problem with my "likudniks rule the roost in washington outside the state department" comment.
I define "the roost" as Congress and the executive branch. I define "likudniks" as those who either:

1. hope that the Likud party wins most elections in Israel. OR
2. oppose all Israeli accomadation with Palestinian Arabs under any circumstance, OR
2. oppose any US pressure on any Isreali government under any circumstances, or at least "until Palestinians turn into Finns", in Dov Weisglass' memorable phrase.

I don't know what you would find objectionable about any of this, I figure you would say "yup that's me, thank god almost every one in Washington is on the side of good in this case. Perhaps you bristle because the phrase "likudnik" is sometimes used as a pejorative by certain people. But you don't respect those people's opinions anyway, so what does it matter?

Posted by: markus rose at October 22, 2004 09:06 AM

"...rather it was to display and describe his contempt for the Democratic Party and for liberals.

True, but HA always gave you detailed and extensive reasons for his contempt. I'll miss him because of that. Obviously, you won't as much.

Posted by: David at October 22, 2004 09:31 AM

Leftist thuggery and "embryonic fascism" to which HA was referring:

http://wildcat.arizona.edu/papers/98/44/01_1.html

and that doesn't even cover the breaking and entering, the beatings and rioting they engage in.

Posted by: David at October 22, 2004 10:22 AM

Hate to split hairs, but there was no Gulf War I and Gulf War II. There are the same war. The first ended with a cease-fire not a surrender, not an armistice, nothing. . . .

Just like the Koreas, a state of war existed since 1991. Our return to Iraq was the last act in a really pathetic play portrayed by a lack of resolve at the UN and the White House.

IMHO, Bush decided to finish what had been started.

On another topic, can anyone point to me a war that did have a "plan for the peace" before it was fought?

Good thread, sorry for taking it off topic.

Posted by: jcrue at October 22, 2004 12:23 PM

David: that's why Libs will keep spouting off and not get banned.

I banned two just this week.

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Also, the whole Matt Damon thing which happened apparently because, when they mate all the puppets, his looked oddly spasticated.

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