"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
- Mark Twain

"Anyone who combines politics and baseball is an idiot, because everyone knows that ping-pong is the greatest sport. Oh, and I'm really a Communist who hates NASCAR and listens to Joan Baez in the dark.
-- Glenn Reynolds

About the author
Andre Vladimir Sebastian is a figment of your imagination. Honestly, you really could have done better than him, now couldn't you? Next time, put a little effort into it.

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Black Widows Target Russia
Chechen rebel groups are recruiting women suicide bombers to hit targets inside Russia. They're called the Black Widows. Sounds just like Santosh Sivan's beautiful 1999 film "The Terrorist". But with a very different ending.

  posted by AVS @ 16.8.03


Court Cancels Mealtime Prayers At VMI, Citadel
Jefferson and Madison complete another rotation in their graves.

  posted by AVS @ 16.8.03

Da Pimps Is Back
Just in time for fall fashion season, the pimp look is back.

  posted by AVS @ 14.8.03


America's Self-Selected Conformity
In the September Atlantic, David Brooks has the best article on diversity I've read in a long, long time. He writes:

Human beings are capable of drawing amazingly subtle social distinctions and then shaping their lives around them. In the Washington, D.C., area Democratic lawyers tend to live in suburban Maryland, and Republican lawyers tend to live in suburban Virginia. If you asked a Democratic lawyer to move from her $750,000 house in Bethesda, Maryland, to a $750,000 house in Great Falls, Virginia, she'd look at you as if you had just asked her to buy a pickup truck with a gun rack and to shove chewing tobacco in her kid's mouth. In Manhattan the owner of a $3 million SoHo loft would feel out of place moving into a $3 million Fifth Avenue apartment. A West Hollywood interior decorator would feel dislocated if you asked him to move to Orange County. In Georgia a barista from Athens would probably not fit in serving coffee in Americus.


Looking through the market research, one can sometimes be amazed by how efficiently people cluster—and by how predictable we all are. If you wanted to sell imported wine, obviously you would have to find places where rich people live. But did you know that the sixteen counties with the greatest proportion of imported-wine drinkers are all in the same three metropolitan areas (New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.)? If you tried to open a motor-home dealership in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, you'd probably go broke, because people in this ring of the Philadelphia suburbs think RVs are kind of uncool. But if you traveled just a short way north, to Monroe County, Pennsylvania, you would find yourself in the fifth motor-home-friendliest county in America.

and, my favorite line from the piece:

The dream of diversity is like the dream of equality. Both are based on ideals we celebrate even as we undermine them daily.

  posted by AVS @ 14.8.03

Bizarre Accident
A sunbather on an English beach was killed when a car landed ontop of him. That's right. A car. From the sky.

  posted by AVS @ 14.8.03

Stanley Crouch has a very cool column on jazz pianist Hank Jones and how refinement is the enemy of ignorance.

  posted by AVS @ 14.8.03

New York City = The Entire Eastern Seaboard
Boy, the media hype on this power outage story has been insane. How many times this afternoon did the nitwits on television and the radio tell us that "the eastern seaboard" is without power? Hundreds? Thousands? I heard one Fox News broadcaster say, and I'm paraphrasing: I don't mean to start a panic, but . . . and he proceded to say something that would definitely start a panic. Thanks a lot!

The whole eastern seaboard lost power? Nonsense! Boston never lost power. Baltimore never lost power. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Norfolk, Wilmington, Charleston, Portland didn't lose power.

Who lost power? New York City. Oh, and some other insignificant places named Detroit, Toronto, Cleveland, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

Hardly "the eastern seaboard". But it's too late, the word is out. America thinks the entire east coast is without power, and even though I live in idyllic northern New England, where the power could go out and people might not even notice, I have to field calls from my family across the country frantically asking, "do you have power?! do you have power?!" Well, I'm talking to you, aren't I?

Yes, we hardy souls in northern New England have power. Now stop calling us so we can turn up the window unit a few notches and eat our steaming hot clam chowder in peace!

  posted by AVS @ 14.8.03

IMAO declares war on InstaPundit! This ought to be fun.

  posted by AVS @ 13.8.03


Gravitas, baby! (Say it in Arnold's accent.)

  posted by AVS @ 13.8.03

The Iceman Goeth
Looks like the "Iceman", the ancient body found in the Alps 12 years ago, was killed in battle. The BBC says the discovery "may close the longest criminal case in human history." Well, not exactly.

The "case" has been open for only 12 years, since that's when Ice (obviously his rap name) was discovered. The longest criminal case in human history would be, well, I was going to say Cain v. Abel, but we know how that turned out. It would have to be a mystery that has plagued mankind for centuries, like why Henry VIII was such a right fat bastard. It can't be a recently unearthed mystery, like why the 15th century German painter Albrecht Durer in 1493 looked exactly like Rosanna Arquette, but Albrecht Durer in 1500 looked exactly like the lead singer of Collective Soul circa 1994.

  posted by AVS @ 13.8.03

Kathleen Parker has a killer column on marraige, gay and straight.

  posted by AVS @ 13.8.03

The Iraqi Diversion
The American military presence in Iraq has successfully diverted the attention of radical Islamists from U.S. civilians living at home to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. The New York Times has a long story on this, capped with the headline: "Rising Tide of Islamic Militants See Iraq as Ultimate Battlefield". This is very, very good news.

The left may have been partially right in saying that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would cause radical Muslims to rise up against America. But they were wrong that it would radicalize moderate Muslims, and they were wrong in predicting where those attentions would be directed. Instead of sending a flood of suicidal maniacs to the United States, the toppling of Saddam has sent a flood of suicidal maniacs into Iraq. In other words, we have succeeded in taking the war to the enemy.

Instead of fighting in our own streets and public spaces, we are fighting in theirs. And we are fighting them with the best-trained, best-equipped -- and all volunteer -- fighting force in the world, instead of with randomly selected civilians trapped in hijacked aircraft.

Those who say that the almost daily attacks on U.S. personnel prove that the war was wrong or unwinnable or inflammatory have missed the big picture. Attacks on Americans would be happening anyway. They were already happening before we invaded Iraq. They are the reason we invaded Iraq. The difference is that today the targets are our military personnel who are prepared to fight back, not defenseless civilians. There can be no question that by changing the battlefield, President Bush has made Americans exponentially safer. Now we have to maintain our determination to finish this war and not let the casualties scare us into surrendering, as most of the Democratic presidential candidates would have us do.

  posted by AVS @ 13.8.03

Pipes Slips In
According to Reuters, President Bush used a recess appointment to get Daniel Pipes on the board of the U.S. Institute for Peace. I've been reading Pipes for years, and if there is one thing that is absolutely, undeniably true about him, it is that he is fair. Incredibly fair. His extensive writings show him to be a champion of peace and understanding, as well as a friend of non-radical Islam. Probelm is, the radicalized Muslims hate him because he is unparalleled at revealing them to be the hatemongers they are. So when Ted Kennedy says something as ill-informed as Pipes' "record and experience do not reflect a commitment to bridging differences and preventing conflict," you know the fix is in. Good for Bush for getting this appointment in over the heads of obstructionist fools like Kennedy.

  posted by AVS @ 12.8.03


Busted By The Camera Cops
Chicago has netted its first arrest via on-street police cameras. An admitted gang member was arrested for smokin' dope while sitting in his car. He was jailed on $40,000 bail, which he made, implying that he is still every bit the drug dealer he was previously convicted of being. I'm pretty strongly libertarian, but I'm not one of those who would be appaled at this application of the long-seeing eye of justice. And I doubt the law-abiding residents of this crime-ridden neighborhood -- the most murderous in Chicago -- would agree that cameras which catch drug dealers represent the manifestation of Big Brother come to steal all our liberties.

  posted by AVS @ 12.8.03

'Our Bad'
Lybia accepts responsibility for Pan Am 103 bombing. Wow. How has Ka-Daffy, who everyone knew was behind the bombing, stayed in power all these years? Oh, right, George W. wasn't president when Pan Am 103 was blown to smithereens.

  posted by AVS @ 12.8.03

Larry Miller has a lovely little piece on the California recall in The Weekly Standard's online edition this week. Very funny.

  posted by AVS @ 12.8.03

Britain Needs A First Amendment
An English man faces the possibility of FIVE YEARS in jail for saying the word "Paki", which in England is considered a racially insensitive term for Pakistanis or people of Middle Eastern descent. And this is in the country that gave us John Locke and George Orwell! Can you imagine what they would have said about jailing someone for using racially insensitive language?

  posted by AVS @ 12.8.03

Whaddaya know, Massachusetts has a town where the residents are avidly anti-tax.

  posted by AVS @ 12.8.03

The 20 Worst Americans
Borzoi Blog has done his own list of the 20 Worst Americans of all time. Makes a great case for Col. Tom Parker and Jimmy Carter. It's a far more thoughtful list than the one created at RightWingNews. Check it out.

  posted by AVS @ 10.8.03


Do The Dew
Photo Dude has posted a surprisingly interesting history of Mountain Dew, of all things.

  posted by AVS @ 10.8.03

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