Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ay ay ay!

Chiquita Banana apparently approached the Justice Department for legal advice on paying protection money to death squads in Colombia. But Chiquita was getting much more than just non-interference from the ruthless AUC. A 2003 OAS report accused Chiquita of being actively involved in smuggling arms for the AUC into Colombia.

The Washington Post notes that the reaction in the White House has been more or less a yawn and a shrug:

For some high-level administration officials, Chiquita's payments were not aiding an obvious terrorism threat such as al-Qaeda; instead, the cash was going to a violent South American group helping a major U.S. company maintain a stabilizing presence in Colombia.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kungpao Mysteries: SOLVED!

A month back we were fretting about the sudden disappearance of why.i.hate.dc. It turns out that I just had the wrong url. Duh.

Brownie, You're Doing a Heckuva Job!

Just because British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has a funny accent doesn't mean he's a Foreign Minister. That's a different job.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Congratulations, Asian Cup Champions

I don't know much about Asian Soccer-- just a vague sense that the continent's traditional powers, Iran, Japan, Korea and Saudi Arabia, have been sending solid teams to the World Cup since it was held here in 1994. Saudi Striker Al Orawain announced the arrival of Asian soccer with the most memorable goal of that event-- a 70-yard run that sliced through the reeling Belgian defenders. In France in 1998, Iran's defeat of the much-hyped US side struck a geopolitcal chord among soccer jingoists here. And, in the first World Cup held in Asia, twin hosts Japan and Korea impressed, with Korea's defeat of Italy leaving a disfiguring scar from Torino to Palermo (this, I was assured by an Italian friend of mine, was on par with that country's 1896 military humiliation in Abyssinia).

With that in mind, congratulations to Iraq's 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in yesterday's Asian Cup Final. It is an extraordinary feat on its own, and, in the context of what is happening in Iraq, nothing short of a miracle. Someone please make a movie about it.

In the meantime, watch the goal that won it:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


§ We'll last a hell of a lot longer against those Star Destroyers than we will against that Death Star! +FOX+

§ That's no moon. That's a space station.

§ Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances. +WaPo+

§ The shaft is ray-shielded, so you'll have to use your proton torpedos!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Greasers vs. Socs at the City Paper

Angela Valdez has started a class war!

Read the article, then read the comments, then go rent The Outsiders.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

12 Inches of Snow

Yes, it's been almost 15 years since Canadian Dancehall giant Snow left his mark on popular culture, but for some reason I was thinking about him when I read White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's statement this morning:

Today's report provides an interim assessment of developments in Iraq just as the final US forces have arrived and begun operations in support of the Baghdad security plan. The report describes satisfactory progress in a number of key security areas -- including the deployment of Iraqi forces in Baghdad, the establishment of joint security stations in Baghdad, and the increased capability and independence of Iraqi military units. These security measures have helped reduce levels of violence in Baghdad and Anbar province -- and should provide some space for the government of Iraq to make progress on key political benchmarks. It also shows important progress in economic and political matters.

Tony Snow spins the truth like the Canadian Reggae Snow spins the turntable. They're both skilled wordsmiths. Tony lies about Iraq and Canadian Reggae Snow lies about the size of his cock.

With that in mind, read it again, but with a soundtrack.

Monday, July 9, 2007

London Calling

From London, an old friend signs off an email on a dark note:

Mate – I’m off home. Apocalyptic rain over here. Didn’t stop for about three weeks. About 50,000 homeless in Yorkshire. Climate chaos. And I’m on a mountain bike. Love it. Never going on a tube again. The fear started to melt my brain every time I took it. stops in the sealed tunnels. No PA announcement. Hot death eye blurring internal rising panic. Bike, bus, train or cab for me.

Kungpao Mysteries: Who Whacked why.i.hate.dc?

Overnight one of this city's lemony-freshest voices has been snuffed from the sphere, and is now nothing more than google cache trash.

What happened? Should the rest of us start looking over our shoulders? DCeiver just turned 3, and wonkette, in spite of the ugly new layout, appears to be going strong.

Is that a clicking on my phone? How long has that same van been parked across the street?

Goooood. I feel your.... angerrrrr

The UN has now confirmed an Afghan report that NATO and Coalition airstrikes in Afghanistan kill more civilians than the Taliban do. This makes sense in a way because the Taliban, nasty as they are, do not have Raytheon, McDonnel Douglas and the rest of the military incuntrial complex.

The New Yorker's John Lee Anderson gives a very compelling account of the difficult anti-opium efforts deep in Taliban country. He also, I think, explains in an indirect way why we've managed to turn the anti-Taliban efforts from mop-up (which is what it was when I lived in there in 2002-3) to a suddenly very losable war.

The problem, ultimately, is cultural. The last graf of the piece:
Back at camp, everyone was in a bad mood. Hook, the former prison guard, remarked, “We ought to take all those guys and hang them in public, beginning with the governor.” He laughed, and added, “Good thing I’m not an idealist—I’m just here for the money.”

Friday, July 6, 2007

Run Bloomy Run!

I just ran down a list in my head of my friends here in Washington and I think I can guess, with a fair degree of certainty, that most of them will vote for Bloomberg if he in fact chooses to run (and presuming Hillary gets the Dem nomination).

And why not? The Republicans have been awful, the Democrats pathetic. There is, by most accounts, space in there somewhere for a third party guy.

Run Bloomy run!

Is that even his nickname?

It should be.

Tryst Cafe: 1, Corporate Coffee Franchises: 0

Well done, consumers of Adams Morgan! The much-reviled Caribou Coffee chain has been driven from the neighborhood. So long, faux Northwest hippy corporate caffeine-peddler! It was a pleasure while it lasted, you mongers of crap coffee! I'll miss your extensive cash register display of Caribou-themed nicknacks-- your fridge magnets, wintergreen gum and uber-commercial world beat CD's. Now I'll have to go all the way to 16th to pay $2.99 for the foul-smelling swill you dole out.

Watch yo ass, Starbucks, you next!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Competitive Eating is Disgusting

Sorry Deadspin, ESPN, and the rest of youse, but I wish you'd stop trying to make me watch competitive eating. I don't care about Kobayashi, or Chestnut, or any of those assholes. Eating food is not a game.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Burn the Reichstag, Invade Poland

Ω Impeachment motions move from the Committee of the blogosphere to the floor of mainstream editorial opinion. {Slate}

Ω You're going straight to hell, Marc Fischer! {Washington Post}

Ω Alberto Gonzalez is a Pagan High Priest {Harper's}

Ω Jason Bourne, rogue agent {Boston Globe}

Ω Black schools, white schools. {NYT}

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mad Libs: Bush's Commencement Address

(May 23, 2007)

"The men and women of the {1. ORGANIZATION} know how to navigate the storm. We're counting on you to help America {2. VERB} the {3. PLURAL NOUN} that lie ahead. As you begin your {4. ADJECTIVE} careers, you can approach the future with confidence, because our nation has faced dangerous {5. MARSUPIALS} before, and emerged victorious every time. {6. A JOB} can try to {7. VERB} the {8. NOUN}, but they cannot {REPEAT 7}the desire for {9. A BREAKFAST MEAT} that burns in the {10. AN INTERNAL ORGAN} of millions across the earth. The power of freedom defeated the ideologies of {11. A SUPERMAN FOE} and {12. A BATMAN FOE} in the last century, and freedom will defeat the {13. ADMINISTRATION CLICHE} ideologies of the terrorists in this century."

Outrage-ometer: Do You Smell Something Burning?

Ω Smells almost like sulphur. [Washington Post]

Ω With a trace of stale urine and burnt hair. [TPM Muckraker]

Ω Also smells kind of rotten. [Guardian UK]

Monday, June 25, 2007

London Calling

In commemoration of Tony Blair's resignation, Kung Pao Chitlins has reached across the Atlantic with the hopes of picking up some old country flavour.

Burgess, if you're reading this, expectations are huge right now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Chitlins, if you don't shut up right now, I'm going to pull the car over and you can walk! OK?!

What the Chitlins in the back seat are screaming:

Ω "I gotta go pee!" [American De Tocqueville]

Ω Chest-thumping, camera-mugging. [DCeiver]

Ω "Mommmm are we there yet?" [Why.I.Hate.dc]

Ω Teasing short people. [G:TB]

Ω 2,632 bottles of beer on the wall [East Coast Bias]

Ω "I'm thirsty!" [DC Gastronome]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Georgia O'Kieffe Couldn't Have Done It Better

In The New Yorker's Talk of the Town this week, William Finnegan writes about the 10-Story tall sculpture that has sprouted on the Jersey side of the entrance to New York Harbor. The sculpture, called "The Tear of Sorrow" is a "gift from the Russian People" and purports to memorialize the victims of 9/11. It also somehow represents solidarity between Russia and America in the "Global Struggle Against Terrorism."

To me though it just looks like a big ol' vagina:

This is a joke, right? The Russians have pulled one over on us, haven't they? They're taking the piss?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kung Pao Mysteries: "Who Shot Laron Landry?"

Redskins all over the joint these days:

1. Thankfully, Lavar Arrington appears to be recovering. I'm sure his spirits are flagging, though, as he realizes his chances for a comeback are now greatly diminished. Lavar, here's a get-well card for you:

2. Dan Snyder's obsessive compulsion to collect personalities like figurines has taken yet another West Coast direction, with his addition of Dick Clark. More action figures for the toy chest, Danny Boy.

3. Speaking of Dicks, we turn our attention to the Great Laron Landry Caper of 2007. Those of you normal enough to feel no need to consume football off-season news might have missed the story about Redskins Rookie Free Safety Laron Landry's being shot in the Cover Two during a "paintball incident." The crack investigators over at ProFootballTalk have blown this mystery wide open:

"A guy who knows the person who owns the paintball park at which Redskins safety LaRon Landry got hit in LaDong with a tiny ball of paint says Landry had "shot" one of his Redskins teammates, knocking him out of the game. Then, Landry walked up to the player, who was on the ground at the time, and proclaimed that he was going to finish him off, execution style.

The teammate then raised his paintball gun and shot Landry point-blank in the crotch."

This, if true, is an extraordinary feat of paintball heroism.

Imagine: Unknown Redskin, wounded, probably shot trying to defend Jason Cambell's flank, giving up his body in the process. Dazed, said Redskin tries to gather his senses as the battle rages about him. Pellets whizzing overhead, kicking up bark.

He has lost men before in combat, and has dispatched his share of the enemy, but never like this. This was different.

The sound of footsteps from behind brings him back into focus, kicking his training into gear. He marshals his strength, just enough to shout, "Run Jason!"

Then, silence. A lull in the firefight, a deathly quiet. The footsteps cease. A light breeze picks up, bringing Southern Summer up the valleys of the Shenandoah, the smell of afternoon rivers and fresh cut grass. His back propped against a tree stump for support, said Redskin feels no fear, no pain-- only a mild sense of surprise that The End comes so easy.

Going into shock. Got to keep focused.

Then, more footsteps from behind. And a voice:

"I shot you man. Now I'm going to finish you off."

Said Redskin quietly flips the safety off on his piece, keeping it under his leg, out of view.

Then he was standing over him, the Shooter. "You dead man." He said, leveling his gun at eye level.

A smile creeps across the wounded man's face. "No man," he says, squinting into the sun, "You dead."

FOOOOTFOOTOTOOOTOTTTOOOOOTOTO four rounds right to the Rookie's Blitz Package.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dress Code

∞ Saudi Arabia now requiring all women making the Haj to wear a burka. [Daily Times]

∞ Some Israelis wondering about Plan B. [Jerusalem Post]

∞ NATO ceding space to the Taliban. [BBC]

Wacky Fraternity Hazing Pranks OK by this President!

§ So as of this morning, we know that Bush knew all about Abu Ghraib and did squat about it until after it hit the press. [New Yorker]

§ Oh hey, and guess what! Bush's "Signing Statements" probably actually had a little bit of an effect on the Abu Ghraib hijinks! [TPM]

§ Speaking of torturing presidents, everyone's afraid to tell Uzbekistan's President Karimov that his term is up. [Registan]

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tuesday is Crate and Barrel Day

Well, not really-- but it is World Refugee Day, and while there is no shortage of misery in the world, I think we owe a little bit more to the displaced of Iraq.

So if you remember, pick up the phone on Tuesday and leave a quick message for the President. I'm sure he checks his voicemail. You can either repeat the message below, or just say "crate and barrel!" and hang up. He'll know what you're talking about.

Call on President Bush to fight the world's fastest growing refugee crisis


Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Call the White House at 202-456-1111

Friday, June 15, 2007


Gonzalez + England + Yoo + Abramoff = Toht!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Like I need another excuse to quit hotmail...

Mine's been down all day, as have, I gather, about 100 million other accounts. I think this is the El Alamein of Microsoft.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I found this really bizarre montage of Iranian propaganda cartoons. I always wonder, with officially-sanctioned and government-censored stuff like this: how much of it reflects the cartoonists' actual interpretation of things? Does the artist actually believe, for example, that "Boush" is really behind suicide bombing in Iraq?

Jack Idema, Free at Last

Paris Hilton is in, but Jack Idema, apparently, is out.

The AP is reporting that Jack Idema, the American who has been held for nearly three years in Afghanistan's Pul-e-charkh prison on charges of kidnapping and running a private jail for terror suspects, has been released and is now no longer in Afghanistan.

Idema had been podcasting from his cell, and maintained that he was working under contract for the US Military. The US has denied any involvement with Idema.

Though his whereabouts are currently unknown, he appears to be set to join Faceman, Murdock and BA to battle injustice in America while fighting to clear his name of accusations of crimes he did not commit.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hot Town, Summer in the City

§ Isn't legislating habeas corpus a bit like the NFL decreeing that touchdowns are worth 6 points? (DCEIVER)

§ Memo to Mullah Omar: Swimming Lessons for the Kids. (ABC)

§ I'll see your Kosovo and raise you one Abkhazia and one Kurdistan. (FT)

§ Ken Silverstein blows up the Great Game. (HARPER'S)


If the Chesapeake Basin is a giant chessboard over which Camden Yards and RFK Stadium are locked in a life-or-death struggle, then St. Mary's County Maryland might be considered the Center of the Board-- the mythical place where pawns and knights plant their standards, dig in, and hope that their flanks can hold.

It is on this graceful peninsula, where the Chesapeake meets the Potomac, that the first Marylanders settled, and pronounced, among other things, that man should be free to practice whichever religion he wanted without fear of persecution. I wondered if it held true for baseball teams.

I was in St. Mary's for a wedding this weekend, and, with the upcoming Orioles-Nationals interleague series, was curious about how well the Washington team was faring in this once solidly black-and-orange county.

At the site of the rehearsal dinner, I noticed a teenager with a Nationals hat (blue, not red, surprisingly). He wore it low and flat, like Chad Cordero, and seemed surprised when I approached him.

"Are you local?"
"Born and raised."
"Are there more Nats fans than O's fans here?"
"Shit. Nationals, dog."

He finished his cigarette and went inside. I wandered through the parking lot and had a look at the licence-plate frames- often a wealth of demographic information. I saw one black-and-orange plate, no Nationals paraphernalia, and about a dozen lacrosse stickers of various types.

Later, I spoke with the bartender at the wedding, a man who I guessed to be in his mid-40's-- old enough to remember the 1970 Orioles team that beat Cincy, and probably in college for the '83 team.
"This Orioles or Nationals country?"
"O's. Well it used to be. I think it still is. I grew up thinking Jim Palmer was god."
"Well he kind of was."
"Haven't seen them much since they moved to the new place. My dad was a huge Senators fan, though."

Later, at a bar after the wedding, I approached a group of guys in their mid 20's, huddled over the bar and squinting at the TV, which had Baseball Tonight with closed captions.

Their responses were mixed:

"Ryan Zimmerman." said one.
"Fuck you, you used to wear Cal Ripken jerseys in high school!"
"Yeah man, I don't know... Angelos..." his voice trailed off.
"Camden yards is awesome! This is still O's country. All the way."

On Sunday, as I drove back to town, I flipped on the radio and listened to Fred Manfra and Joe Angel call the Colorado Game. It was pleasant, like hearing old friends' voices on the phone.

The response in St. Mary's had been mixed. Ultimately, though, it appears that the Orioles were retreating from this area, ceding ground to the upstarts on the Anacostia. For now.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sick Day

When I was 12, my parents moved me from a tiny Catholic School where I had been with the same 15 or so kids since Kindergarten, to a sprawling, prison-like public school with 1000 or so feral seventh and eight graders.

I was "an early shaver" which is the male equivalent of being the first girl in your class to wear a bra. It was mortifying, and the fact that I was about 5'8 and 120 lbs didn't help much either. Plus I didn't own Jams, Raising Hell, or Licence to Ill. The only skateboard I owned was a Nash, which is roughly equivalent to walking around with a sticker saying "DORK" on it. Also, I still still played D&D.

Perhaps worst of all, I had a lisp. This my parents couldn't have predicted when they gave me two "s"es in my first name to go with the two in my last. Not thurpithingly, I thuffered through every thententh.

Anyway, as the year went on and I was terrorized on a daily basis by shorter, Jams-wearing, popular kids who I knew from my soccer team but were quite comfortable picking on me when girls and other Jams-wearing popular kids were around, my grades, self-esteem, and boyish joie de vivre went right down the crapper.

I coped by not going to school. I cut classes when I could, usually gym class, and, with the small company of troll-like misfits I ran with, became quite good at shoplifting candy from the People's Drug Store up the street.

I also began to call in sick a lot. Probably once a week, faking headaches, stomach aches-- whatever I needed to do to convince Mom that I was not well and I did not need to go to school. It was on one of these sick days that I watched the Space Shuttle Explode.

The point of this is that when things are not going well, one of the ways people deal with life is by putting it off another day. This was my first thought when I heard that President Bush had called in sick at the G8 this morning.

Then I read this and saw these pictures and began to reconsider.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Your Lips To God

This from the Wikipedia Entry for Scooter Libby:

Creative writing

In 1996 Libby published a novel entitled The Apprentice. It concerns a group of travelers stranded in northern Japan in the winter of 1903 during a smallpox epidemic.[39] After Libby's grand jury indictment, his publisher (St. Martin's Press [Griffin]) reprinted the novel, described as "an everyday tale of bestiality and paedophilia in 1903 Japan...[and] packed with sexual perversion, dwelling on prepubescent girls and their training as prostitutes": "One passage describes a girl being thrown into a cage 'with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons....They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest. Groups of men paid to watch.'"[40]

In an interview, after telling Larry King a more general account of the plot and describing how he turned a college project into this novel, he enthusiastically endorsed King's suggestion that one day it might become a "movie":

KING: This sounds like a movie.
LIBBY: Well, you know, say it louder.
KING: Your lips to God, right?
LIBBY: Right.[27]

Ron Paul Rocks the Debate!

Or so they say- I couldn't bear to watch. I just read it at Brokekid, though, so it must be true.

ABC News Poll:

No one reporting it because no one really believes it. Also, suspicious IP addresses for votes being traced to wired-up warehouses in suburban Jakarta.

Ron Paul actually a pretty appealing candidate. I don't share his faith in the Universal Magic of Adam Smith's Invisible Hand, but at least the guy stands for something. And also- he's kind of sweet, in a grandfatherly kind of way, something that really sets him apart from most of the nimrods in the GOP Race.

Nasty Little Wars: Roundup

∞ BBC Reporting on Sri Lankan government drive to push itinerant Tamils out of (majority Sinhalese) Colombo.

∞ Basque Separatists call off ceasefire with Spain, insist that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero (the same man pushing to increase gay rights and ease abortion restrictions in Spain) is a "fascist."

∞ And this creepy quote from the NYT article on the US missile strike in Somalia:

"On Saturday, Bryan Whitman, a Defense Department spokesman, said in an e-mail message, “This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them.”

The statement went on to say, “The very nature of some of our operations, as well as the success of those operations, is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our partners and allies.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Have the Body

Congress inching towards passing legislation on what by some accounts has existed as a principle of jurisprudence since the 11th Century.

Still waiting to see if Bills on Heliocentrism, Gravity, and other out-of-fashion ideas can make it out of Committee.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Where Have you Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Really interesting table on the wikipedia site for Citi Field, the new ballpark for the New York Mets, comparing it to Shea Stadium.

The Stats:


1. Tickets will cost more.
2. We're taller.
3. We're fatter.
4. We shop more.
5. We're more sensitive to the needs of the disabled.
6. Corporations have more money.
7. We eat out more.
8. We shop more.
9. Our bladders are shrinking.
10. We don't like stairs.
11. Left-handed batters hit baseballs further.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ollie North Clarifies that Things That Happen in the Real World Have Little or Nothing to do With Him

Ollie North is in Korea:

"Seoul, Korea — Shortly before we arrived here, the Republic of Korea launched its first Aegis Class destroyer, the King Sejong. A few hours after we landed in this booming metropolis, the North Korean People’s Army “test-fired” several Silkworm anti-shipping missiles into the East Sea, between North Korea and Japan. Neither event is related to our FOX News War Stories team being here to shoot a Korean War documentary ..."

Bizarro International Brigades fighting in Somalia

Bizarro Hemingway, Bizarro Orwell killed in US strike on Islamist fighters in Somalia. Also, a Swede, and a number of civilians yet to be determined.

"For Whom the Muzzin Wails" and "Homage to Puntland" now will remain unfinished.