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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2005 8:56 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tri-Met now on Google. The next post in this blog is Buck-a-Hit Day tomorrow. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

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Comments (83)

I would be a little more impressed with the genuine religious intent here if this were done anonymously. Lars must be getting crucified in the ratings.

At any rate, this is why you'll never see a church called "Our Lady of the Talk Show Host."

Oh no you just didn't!??!!

Jack this is just priceless

So has KXL started marketing itself as "Christian Radio" yet?

Jack, you are wicked!!!!! I will still be laughing hours from now!

Clever, yes.

In bad enough taste to be beneath you, Jack.

I feel bad that you felt it necessary to do it.

Sorry, Jack, gotta agree with Sasha on this one. I enjoy your blog and your sense of humor, but this one really strikes me as unnecessary and disrespectful. I realize that when you're swinging for the fences, sometimes you strike out. I'm the king of that... so I won't hold it against you. Still, shame on you.

Has Lars nominated himself for sainthood yet, or is that next week's stunt?

I think the pistol tucked into Lars'/Christ's loincloth is a nice touch.

Great work, Jack.

So funny. I needed that this morning!

Since foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, I especially like the way Jack banishes commenters that he decides have commented in bad taste or who have engaged in ad hominem attacks, so he preseves the juiciest of both for himself, trying to parade it as wit.

Gotta agree....puerile bad taste

Disturbing, to say the least.

It's Jack's blog, though. If we don't like the content, we don't have to visit.

If nothing else, this will give me an opportunity to check out other blogs with less offensive content.

You want offensive? Turn on the radio in about 20 minutes...

Welcome to my world, Jack.

People take Jesus very seriously. More seriously than He takes himself, I'm pretty sure.

Very Monty Pythonish. I'm half Catholic so I half forgive you. Who are the other two guys? Please do a Photo shopped Manger scene. Pleeeeaaaasssse?

Wow. I'm astounded that people actually take this seriously enough to be offended.

To them I say this: go out into the real world, and meet some people with real problems. Getting concerned by a clever photoshop of three self-important radio gasbags means you obviously have too much time on your hands.

Amen, Justin. He's got these guys nailed.

I think we should thank Lars Larson and the Bush administration for reminding us what happened to Jesus. After all Jesus lived in the Middle East, where he was detained for questioning, tortured, and killed. Thanks, but rather than turn this sort of behavior into a foreign policy, why not just go with a simple nativity scene next time? Just in case any of the Iraqis we happened to torture and kill in this reenactment were innocent, too.

It's pretty easy to figure out who takes themselves and the world around them a little too seriously.
This is excellent, and right on the mark.

Jack, other than Lar's conservative Christian stance, what else does he do that you have a problem with?

I for one appreciate the fact he's got a clear, common sense and libertarian approach to taxes and public funding. More of our elected officials should think like him.

Definitely a "Lord of the Flies" moment and proof that the far left does indeed come full circle to collide with the Michael Savages of the world.

Far left. *snort*

How could you justify your existence without Lars?

I imagine he's seen this and is laughing at, not with, you.

Lars 1, Jack 0

Left, Right...I remember Paul Richmond, one of Portland's 90s alternative media greats, imho, used to say that it just refers to the literal two sides of the aisle of the French Parliament. Yes, these guys make some valid points, and no, the right doesn't have the market cornered on self-importance. But you gotta be irreverant to really take on what needs to be taken on in Oregon (the Good Old West Hills crowd)-like Bogdanski or Richmond. Lars -like the majority of folks at the O-seem more focused on what ought to be instead of starting with what actually is.

Justice O'Connor took the high road in her concurring opinion in McCreary County v. Kentucky:

"Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"

Jack's taken the low road. And unlike the real crucifixion, all three of these ruffians are rogues! Good humor strikes to the bone, Jack. And this is good humor.

Wow, I have never commented on a blog before but I was struck by the amount of hate it must have taken to create that image. And no, the fact that Lars has a radio show doesn't make it OK. I only hope that I never feel that kind of blind hatred in my lifetime.

What are we becoming?

Relax. It's a joke. Lars is making a big deal out of his putting up a large cross in Pioneer Courthouse Square to protest the use of the term "holiday tree" to describe a Christmas tree. I've embellished his plan only slightly.

I've been asking, "What are we becoming?" as well. The White House lies us into a preemptive war, invokes a policy of torture, and threatens generations of unborn Iraqi children with uranium-depleted shells, and the Religious Right is fine with it. But leave off the word Christmas on the White House card, and they're furious. You're right: What are we becoming here?

Old McDonald had farm. ee-yi, ee-yi, o

bill mcdonald had a cow, ee-yi, ee-yi. o

What a remarkable talent - the ability to turn any discussion into another Bush-bashing litany.

In bm's fevered, imaginary world, he can group large numbers of people and give them names like "Religious Right" and then ascribe to them whatever motivations, prejudices and reactions suit his "argument".

What has he become?

Tiresome

The picture is free speech. Is it tacky? Certainly. Funny? You bet. Is it sacrilegious? I dunno: you'll have to ask the pope or some higher authority. It is likely to offend those who believe Jesus was the son of God. Maybe don't stand too close to Jack Bog during the next lightning storm. I doubt Jack intended to incite any anti Christian fervor.

HEY BILL MCdOnald: Saddam Hussein is the bad guy. George Bush is the good guy. You seem to get them reversed.

If we had ignored the U.N. mandate in Gulf War I (and wasted Saddam when we had the chance), then Gulf War II would have been unnecessary. Instead, Bush 41 ordered a large serving of U.N Happy Family Special Fried Policy, and we left Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime in power. If Saddam had not attempted to assassinate Bush 41, then Bush 43 probably would have left the status quo in place. The whole WMD argument was simply diplomapolitics: we weren't going to come right out and say should have removed him when we had the chance. "Cause he tried to kill my daddy" probably would not have gone over too well on the global stage. Honesty is not always the best policy in diplomatic circles.

Saddam got what he deserved: I'm shocked that so many freedom loving Americans lose sight of that simple fact.

Honestly Bill, you really believe the Dems who voted for the war were somehow duped? That they were so swayed by Bush's influence and charisma they blindly followed along?

I think you give Dubya a little too much credit.

You're right. I overdid it. This thing was supposed to be funny, and I got too serious. --Bill McDonald

It is likely to offend those who believe Jesus was the son of God.

I believe Jesus was the Son of God. I also think He saw this and laughed.

"HEY BILL MCdOnald: Saddam Hussein is the bad guy. George Bush is the good guy. You seem to get them reversed."

Anyone who uses the terms of a six year old ["Good guy(s)" and "Bad guy(s)"] when refering to rather complicated political matters should be ignored immediately.

Jack is right on the last post---God's (yeah, I'm including JC here, too) sense of humor has got to be as vast as any of his other characteristics. Thus, I think He gets satire. Very funny, sir!

Christ realy showed his sense of humor when he whipped the money changers; so either his joke fell flat or he finds at least some things sacred.

As I recall, He didn't like it when the conservative opinion makers of his time arrogantly twisted His family's religious traditions for their own worldly ends.

Argon:

There really are good guys and bad guys. Things haven't changed that much since I was six years old. It is that simple, at least in this case.

George Bush is the democratically elected President of the United States and leader of the free world. This is a statement of fact, whether (or not), the French or MoveOn.org are willing to accept it. September 11th was his "Lee Iaccoca moment" (Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way). President Bush decided to lead.

Saddam Hussein, in contrast, siezed power through a bloody coup in which dozens of his "friends" and fellow Baath Party members were executed on the spot. Hussein remained in power with a bloodthirsty singlemindedness, even going so far as to murder his own son in law. Saddam, by most accounts, relished the power to murder and torture. President Bush has repeatedly acknowledged the deep personal loss he feels every time an American is killed (whether on September 11th or the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan). Unlike our enemies, President Bush has also expressed his condolences for the loss of innocent lives in Iraq. If you haven't read Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem" you ought to at least investigate what he means by "Hama Rules" (see below).

If you can't distinguish between these two men in the simple language of good and bad, then all the subtleties in the world aren't going provide a more transparent understanding of your views.

War is hell. Women and children will die, as will noncombatant men and members of the NGO's, the clergy, and the elderly. President Bush did not take the decision to go to war lightly, and he would be the first to admit that it is the most humbling decision a President will ever make.


When Syria's Baath regime feels its back up against the wall, it always resorts to "Hama Rules." Hama Rules is a term I coined after the Syrian Army leveled - and I mean leveled - a portion of its own city, Hama, to put down a rebellion by Sunni Muslim fundamentalists there in 1982. Some 10,000 to 20,000 Syrians were buried in the ruble. Monday's murder of Mr. Hariri, a self-made billionaire who devoted his money and energy to rebuilding Lebanon after its civil war, had all the hallmarks of Hama Rules - beginning with 650 pounds of dynamite to incinerate an armor-plated motorcade.

Message from the Syrian regime to Washington, Paris and Lebanon's opposition: "You want to play here, you'd better be ready to play by Hama Rules - and Hama Rules are no rules at all. You want to squeeze us with Iraq on one side and the Lebanese opposition on the other, you'd better be able to put more than U.N. resolutions on the table. You'd better be ready to go all the way - because we will. But you Americans are exhausted by Iraq, and you Lebanese don't have the guts to stand up to us, and you French make a mean croissant but you've got no Hama Rules in your arsenal. So remember, we blow up prime ministers here. We shoot journalists. We fire on the Red Cross. We leveled one of our own cities. You want to play by Hama Rules, let's see what you've got. Otherwise, hasta la vista, baby."

Thomas Friedman, February 17th 2005, New york Times

Okay, so where is the cross Lars said he was going to put up? I was in Pi Square today and all I saw was the tree and a bunch of Saturday Market-type of booths.

Even I have my tree up, though I haven't done all my, ahem, holiday shopping. So what's holding up Lars?

Jack--If you turned your pic into an Xmas card and put some copies down at Jellybean, I'd buy several.

Lars's Festivus pole is set to go up on Monday.

Jack said:

"As I recall, He didn't like it when the conservative opinion makers of his time arrogantly twisted His family's religious traditions for their own worldly ends."

How and why conservative evangelicals miss the point of Christ's central message is a topic in and of itself. It seems to me they worship more the vengeful God of the Old Testament.

On the topic of Christ's humor, I don't know whether or not He finds His sacriface a proper source of comedic irony. But, I do believe He takes things in the spirit they are intended.

You know, I listen to KXL regularly. Although Lars and his buddies make my blood boil, I have no personal animus toward any of them. And as blunt as they are with people with whom they disagree, I doubt they take too much offense when others do the same with them.

As for the apparent sacrilege here, I hate to sound like a 10th grader, but... they started it. I'm more offended by their using Christmas as a weapon than I am by someone lampooning them using the image of Jesus. God will forgive me.

I'll grant you one thing: Jesus does not come across to me as having been a Funny Guy. There's not one icebreaker in the whole book, much less a gutbuster. I'm afraid He was more a Justice Ginsburg Sort. In which case, I'm in trouble.

I think His Father probably laughs pretty hard at times, however. Maybe I can get a reprieve by going straight to the Top.

See, now I think that a God whose first earthly miracle is TURNING WATER INTO WINE SO A PARTY CAN CONTINUE does in fact have a sense of humor.

Good point! Check this out, though.

Jack-On whether or not this is sacrilegous, I'm all for agreeing to disagree.

But you are wrong on one thing..well, actually "off" on one thing is more accurate.

They just don't use Christmas as a weapon. The thing that makes my blood boil is that the religious right presumes to talk on behalf of God. Who in the hell appointed them as God's advocate? I seriously doubt Christ is for the death penalty after all.

Yesterday was something. All these people calling in -- they start by wishing Lars a merry Christmas, and then the next thing out of their mouths is "I think Tookie deserves to be executed." Not good.

Your evening's thread is a great segue from this discussion but I'll leave that thread's comments unspoiled by my rant.

The whole debate on the beginning, the end, heaven, to me is a big mystery. But whether or not Jesus is the Son of God is not as important to me as the fact that he brought a whole new concept to this world: redemption. To me, that is a revolutionary concept and no wonder people thought (think) he was the prophet of prophets.

I just wish those that speak in Christ's name would focus on that one point instead of trying to fend off Armageddon by getting the rest of us to conform to their vision of zion.

Amen, Travis. Not to mention forgiveness.

So that really is Saturday Market types freezing their behinders in Pioneer Square the next couple days ...how bout cheering them up a bit by dropping by ...they are making the place a lot more festive than the usuall windswept bricks and streetpeople and contributing to the local economy to boot

Let's put the X back in Xmas.

Actually, the shortened "Xmas" has been used in Europe since the 1500s because "Christ" in Greek starts with "X" (Xristos). The "non-religious" folk just adopted it as their own through ingorance.

Breaking News: 70% of Bush supporters now believe we invaded Iraq to preserve Christmas.

Chris McMullen- Oddly, I recently saw an article on that very subject.

But back on topic. It's a pity Lars won't be able to type a response to this entry. Maybe he can dictate?

>>Lars's Festivus pole is set to go up on Monday.

Festivus! That's it! The event has all three requirements! The Pole. Feats of Strength as we watch Lars recreate the first Christmas by lugging the thing across Pioneer Square in front of supporters, and an Airing of Grievences as he broadcasts live from the scene.

I guess I'll bring the meatloaf and the scene will be complete. Oh Lars! You're so clever! A Festivus celebration disguised as martyrdom!

"There really are good guys and bad guys. Things haven't changed that much since I was six years old. It is that simple, at least in this case." I don't know what life has been like for you sir but as I approach 60 experience has taught me different. I am a bit of a anachronist and because of that I recently took up the practice of black and white photography because it is becoming a dieing art form. In reading Ansel Adams Basic Photography series I've learned several valuable lessons that not only apply to photography, but to life itself. In true black and white photography very few areas fall in to purely black or white but instead the image is really made up of 9 shades of gray. In the world I live in men like George Bush and Saddam Hussein occupy those zones of gray and cannot be so easily distinguished.

Comment Hop: When you respond to a comment on a blog only to have another entered before you, making it seem like you agree with the latter - something you never read. It happened to me yesterday. Of course the Dems showed little spine in a climate of Rovian mind games when they passed the war resolution. But saying they had the same intelligence sources as the President is another one of the endless White House lies. And to the blogger who responded to my observations yesterday with the "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" song, thank you. Everyone wants to go home for the Holidays, and for a moment there I was right back in 3rd grade.

(old) Bill McDonald typed: "But saying they had the same intelligence sources as the President is another one of the endless White House lies."

I hope you're willing to admit that Democrat Senators Biden, Landrieu, Edwards,Clinton, Cantwell, Dashle, Feinstein, Kerry and Reid are some of the most gullible morons in the Senate. They all bought Bush's "lies" hook, line and sinker. Apparently, they used no critical thinking and paid no attention to their dissenting brethren before voting *for* the war.

Even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee found no proof of manipulation or tampering.

Protest the war if you want, but the continual "Bush lied" statements makes you look like a fool.

On his Latin American tour President Bush announced, "We do not torture." That is not true. He even said it while Cheney was fighting McCain for the "right" to go on torturing. What we really need is for Bush supporters to get over their teenage puppy love of this President, before he damages America beyond repair.

The "bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee" was a joke. It found no proof because it didn't look for it.

And Mr. Anderholt: we will not be able to agree on any of which you write because I do not buy the narrative being sold by the Bush admin. and you do. I simply see and hear too many lies (and blatant attempts at silencing whistleblowers) coming from our executive branch to believe much of what it claims. On top of that, you seem to be confused that there was any link between Iraq and 9/11. Unless you solely watch Fox News, you should know that by now. Quoting Thomas Friedman doesn't impress me, either. Although a thoughtful and well-meaning guy, he gets it wrong as often as he gets it right. (This is the guy who believe's wholesale US corporate outsourcing is a good thing.)

Argon:

Clearly you are much better informed than Thomas Friedman, having spent all that time living in the Middle East and writing for the New York Times. Give him credit for writing under his own name, at least.

My degree in International Relations or experience living under a right wing dictatorship would certainly mean nothing to you. Clearly you've got your mind made up.

I am at a loss to understand why you believe I have created any linkage between 9/11 and Iraq. The only reference that I have made is that 9/11 forged the President's resolve to take the offensive (his "Lee Iacocca moment").

Clearly, even the wild eyed lefties are far more intellectually involved and honest than any of detractors. Clearly: because they do not require you to challenge your naive assumptions.

If we're going to roll out the credentials, I was born and raised in the Middle East, I've watched my hometown under SCUD missile attack live on CNN, and my best friend was killed by terrorists at the Rome Airport when his Pan Am jet was attacked. You would have liked him, Jack. He was going to Stanford. They identified him by his shoes. I've had a lifetime of processing emotions about terrorism, and what America did was lash out. That's a very immature, animalistic response, and we're going to pay. What we said was, "If we're in this kind of pain, then someone else is going to die, and we don't really care if they were responsible or not." That was Iraq. It is not easy to do the right thing, when you've been hurt. I could have crossed to the dark side myself but I worked through it. There is a desire to be incredibly violent when you watch your friends and family get killed. Guess what? That's how terrorists are made. America, by resorting to torture, has crossed to the dark side. If we don't figure this stuff out soon, we may stay there.

Bill McDonald: it was Argon's credentials I was calling into question, after he dissed Thomas Friedman. Not yours.

I am surprised you don't have a more pronounced anti-terror bias, having lost your best friend in that manner. I hope you won't respond with "America is the biggest terrorist nation on the planet" response, which defies credulity and logic. Even the lefties know it ain't so.

The invasion of Iraq was simply the completion of unfinished business. Bush 41 lacked the political will to remove Saddam from power (it would have violated the U.N. mandate), so Bush 43 had to finish the task. Ironically, Bush 41's respect for the U.N. forced Bush 43 to alienate the U.N. and cost Colin Powell his sterling reputation (undeservedly, IMO).

Was the case for WMD overstated? Yes (at least in hindsight). Wad the WMD argument the only reason to invade Iraq or topple Saddam? Absolutely not. Does the U.S. embrace torture as a standard practice? Absolutely not. Should the U.S. adopt more aggressive tactics with suspected terrorists than would be permitted with U.S. citizens? I believe so.

If you've lived in the region, you know what "Hama Rules" imply. We cannot confront Hama Rules with our pre 9/11 belief structure, or values (call them "Mayberry Rules"). If we battle Hama Rules with Mayberry Rules, then the bad guys win. I am unwilling to accept that outcome. You should be to, if you are interested in the welfare of your kids and grandkids.

Wallflower - I simply must comment on your post here yesterday in which you state the men like GWB and Saddam "occupy zones of grey".

While I understand your premise in general, please excuse me while I shout "WTF?". The only grey anywhere near Saddam is in his beard. If you can't recognize that he is an absolute evil, maniacal killer, then there is no hope for you to look at what's going in the Middle East with any sort of objectivity. Ask Saddam's murdered brother about how grey his zone is. Ask the dead Kurdish babies killed in chemical attacks how grey Saddam is. Ask the people that have been uncovering mass graves whether Saddam is evil or not.

While a lot of questions should be directed at our current administration, hinting that GWB and Saddam are just a few grey zones apart from each other is revolting. And it matters to me not one bit that you have 60-years worth of life experience to ponder such things. Wisdom does not necessarily come with age.

I am completely anti-terror. I was completely anti-Saddam. My brother worked for Reuters and called me from a Kurdish hospital as they brought in the victims from one of Saddam's car bombs. I hated the way his voice sounded. He was also in Bagdhad in the run-up to the first Gulf War and it scared the hell out of me. After you lose a friend violently, you worry more. A terrorist attack changes everybody. Losing someone you love at the hands of other people turns you into another person. If you were put in a room with the attackers right afterwards, and they were tied up, a lot of horrible stuff would happen. Just knowing that is a terrible feeling. The waters of my soul were polluted. It takes years to recover from it. Every time one of these incidents happens, I get extremely tired, thinking of all the relatives just beginning their long journey. Another thing I did was really educate myself on the Middle East. I knew I picked up a lot just being there, but all Americans should find out how we got to this point. Start in Iran in 1953. Find out how a country that loved Americans after WW2, grew to hate us. Why? Study our relationship with the Shah, Saddam, and Osama. And there's a lot more. If there are more people right now than ever, who are willing to blow themselves up just to kill young Americans, ask yourself if we're winning the war on terror. Saddam was horrible but he was contained. Our invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Describing it as "the completion of unfinished business" is hopelessly naive. Try telling the parents of a dead child in Iraq, that this is now over.

I'm going to refrain on commenting on the legality or morality of invading Iraq, but I will point out one thing for Bill and Bruce:

There wasn't a link between Iraq's leadership and Al Qaeda leadership; but there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11.

The connection between Iraq and 9/11 is that we never had an exit strategy after Gulf War I despite the Powell Doctrine. Prior to 9/11 there was no end in sight of the UN resolving the Iraq problem, and most in the region perceived the indefinite presence of Anglo troops in the Arabian Peninsula as sacrilege.

If anyone bothers to read the pre 9/11 AL Qaeda literature, you would learn that their members' spite against the US had very little to do with Palestine and Israel and had everything to do with "Infidels" polluting the land of their two holiest sites.

Bill McD - While I respect what you wrote in your last post, I think that believing that "Saddam was contained" is "hopelessly naďve". Thanks to France, Germany, and Russia, and our good friends at the UN, he had plenty of mischief afoot...

Let's see....we had air patrols over two-thirds of his country, and the sanctions were making Iraq crumble. In February of 2001, Colin Powell said the following on a trip to Egypt: "We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." I believe Saddam was busy fulltime just staying in power. We'll never know what would have happened, if we hadn't acted. I've enjoyed this debate but I'm going to withdraw with some good news: McCain has prevailed on the torture ban. It's like waking up in America again. Of course, Cheney's pissed. He was planning to give everybody on his Christmas list a thumbscrew. [rim shot]

Well, you guys get your wish. They arent putting the cross up now, because of threats of damage and violence from the "tolerance" crowd.

Yet, no threats about the Hannukkah symbol thats hanging there already...that would be villified as a "hate" crime.

Congratulations.

It's been my experience that those who are unable to get their way in the arena of ideas ultimately resort to hateful mockery, smear tactics, name calling -- and often to threats of, or actual acts of, violence. These people have now had their way. Won't be anything to mock now. Congratulations.

You mean that Lars felt he needed to back down due to threats of damage and violence? Isn't that the antithesis of what he's preaching this country should do in the threats of violence in the Middle East? What a wuss!!

I refuse to believe it. He must have had some other engagement either that or all the good crosses were taken. I'm very dissapointed in him. All hat and no cattle.

It seems to me, this post is the near-perfect joke, since crucifixion was the capital punishment of Jesus' day. Putting up a cross as the symbol of the risen Christ would be well and good. What other people do with it wouldn't concern someone whose motives were purely Christian. It seems to me that if Lars is going home and taking his toys, the message is that there is something he has to think to think about and he doesn't want to admit it.

Cynthia, do you mean to imply that Lars might be using this as a political statement rather than a profession of his faith? Why, I'm absolutely shocked!

If God really did create the world we live in, then He has to have a sense of humor. Just take a look around!

I love the piece Jack! Didn't think you had it in ya.

Bill - regarding containment of Saddam. Please remember that our previous administration thought that we had also contained North Korea's nuclear ambition. Remember the deal we made with them in which they agreed not to pursue nuclear weapons capability? Turns out that the entire time, he was running full-steam ahead. My point here is that an evil, homicidal madman can never be "contained".

Larry - those facts don't fit in Bill's self-protective worldview. The driving force in all his arguments is a visceral hate of Bush and any others who remind him that Kerry lost. All the convenient assumptions about Saddam's intentions and capabilities, along with the personal anecdotes in his posts are merely a smokescreen. Were Kerry doing what Bush is doing, Bill would be right there condemning anyone who disagreed. Although, in his omniscience, he would assure you that Kerry would NEVER have invaded Iraq.

Arguments put forth by the Bush administration that our presence in Iraq can help lead to a more stable Middle East and in turn to better lives for its people and a safer world in general are considered invalid due to the "illegitimacy" of their proponents, not their intellectual merit. Indeed, nothing that this administration says or does can ever please the Bills of this world. They always assume the worst since "he's not my President".

The central issue for Bill (and, by extension, many of his ilk) is the need for everyone to see things his way. The demonification those holding opposing views is their path to self-worth since, by this means, their comparative wisdom and goodness should be obvious to all. Even the posssibilty of any other point of view is threatening in the extreme. The reaction to this threat is typified by intolerance and the demonstrated urge to act like third graders (his words) with his many comments like those about Cheney.

The chance of anything good coming out of the Iraq situation, an honest discussion of the value of the use of force in the REAL world, the whole notion of sacrifice for future goals, are all subsumed by the need to be right.

BTW, apologies to Old MAC Donald - I spelled your name wrong.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

So how do you explain this?

Bill C, Jon, fellas, fellas--are you saying that you honestly can't see that the mockery (and since when is mockery *not* a legitimate way to participate in the marketplace of ideas?) is about the messenger misusing Christmas to make a political point about a made-up threat to a holiday that most of us actively celebrate?

Wallflower -
Are you kidding me? You're sending us a link to read that "exposes" that we sided with Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war? Wow, what a bombshell.

Yes, we're all fully aware that we sided with Iraq during that time. And since this was not that long after Iran held our hostages for a year, it doesn't really surprise me. As a nation, we often find ourselves aligned with what we think is the better of two evils. What other choice is there? I'm not necessarily doing to defend that decision to align with Iraq, but I can easily see how at the time it seemed like the most prudent way to act. And if I remember correctly (I was just in high school), there was pretty intense anti-Iran feelings then, and everyone I knew wanted Iraq to prevail.

So what changed - why did we align with Iraq then but not now? Hmmmm... maybe it had something to do with the invasion of an important ally (Kuwait), and year after year of noncompliance with UN Resolutions. Oh yeah, and that pesky little "let's assasinate Bush Senior" detail.

I won't mention WMD, because I know that many here believe that Saddam inexplicably stopped working on them (but still denied access to UN inspectors to prove that fact). Personally, I believe that Saddam moved his equipment/arms/scientists into Syria before we invaded.

No bombshell, just business as usual Larry. Excuse me but I thought you were implying that we invaded Iraq for a noble purpose to stop a brutal dictator killing his own people and all. When he was actually doing all this we were shaking his hand and trying to get his assistance in building a natural gas pipeline through his country among other things. Back then we didn't care that he was a brutal thug and I would hazard to guess we probably needed him to be a brutal thug. After 9/11 when we can't find Osama all of a sudden Iraq pops in to view and our government is suddenly shocked, shocked and appalled that Hussein is killing his own people, making chemical weapons, etc. etc. etc. right along w/every other country in the Middle East for the last 30 years and it is decided that Iraq will be the place we strike back for 9/11 and begin the GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR!!!! Now Osama is probably living in Pakistan under the protection of that government but who cares any more about him because we are trying to build a Democracy where none has ever existed, ever. We are not building a Democracy in Iraq (hell we are having enough of a problem trying to maintain one in this country) but instead have created the very terrorist state we set out to destroy. Go ahead be my guest and believe a beautiful lie instead of the ugly truth it's what sustains most of us in this country and lets us,like your President, sleep like a baby every night. Now lets all get back to building our economy by celebrating the Birth of Christ! Merry Christmas!!!

"Personally, I believe that Saddam moved his equipment/arms/scientists into Syria before we invaded." That is the danger of believing rather than knowing.

"Bill McDonald: it was Argon's credentials I was calling into question, after he dissed Thomas Friedman. Not yours."

Summed up alot for me here: Mr. Anderholt finds credentials to be very important (he must REALLY be impressed with Mr. Chalabi). I prefer good evidence and rational thought.

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» Fantastic from Collateral Evidence
Perhaps the graphic is a bit...erm...graphic, but it was exactly what I was thinking when I heard about Lars' crusade to put a cross up in the 'square (so he could just climb right on up there, pry my Catholic grandma off it, and nail himself to it, ... [Read More]


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In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria DermoČ—t - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 345
At this date last year: 211
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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