DENNIS MILLER: Dennis Miller had some gems on his appearance on the Tonight Show, where he made observations on the war on terrorism. Here are some of them:
-- “And you know something, the American Civil Liberties Union, when they come out and say you never profile anybody who gets on an airplane. I say we create a new airline, called the ACLA, the American Civil Liberties Airline where you don’t check anybody, you don’t ask any questions, and let those morons fly on that one, okay? The rest of us want to be protected.”
-- “Guantanamo Bay, are these people being treated fairly? Let’s be serious folks. Guantanamo Bay is about as far as our Western sensibilities will allow us to descend as far as putting a prison together. No, you know, it’s no joy ride, but, you know, that being said, if you put the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison outside of Kabul it would be their Epcot.”
-- “Of course we have to profile people. We live in some weird time now where we’re all trying to convince each other that we shouldn’t profile people. When 19 out of 20 people are from a certain country, and they blow up the two biggest buildings in your country, if you don’t start looking at people who are visiting here from that country, you’re not being open-minded. You’re being dead. Okay?”
-- “We have got to get it together and understand that this country, people say it’s not the American way to infringe on civil liberties. Well it’s not the American way to rollover for punks either. We’re got to start kicking ass on these people because they don’t care about us. They live for one reason and one reason alone and that is to kill you and I. There’s no half way in the al Qaeda. There’s no al-Kindas, okay. These people just care about our demise.”
He also has some great lines from his November 7 Tonight Show appearance.. Another sampling:
-- "So you know the difference between Clinton and Bush to me is that Bush somehow has managed to turn off the 'wocka-wocka' ‘70s porno guitar of the Clinton administration. You know? Clinton looked presidential but he acted like a kid. Bush looks like a kid but so far he acts presidential and I like that about him."
Miller: "You know what this country needs is a jolt. Look we are fighting with these people over there, they're our worst enemies. They live to kill us. I mean and we've got Alaska sitting up there and we bought it for dirt cheap, it's loaded with oil and yet we don't go in because there's like five caribou in there, you know? Screw the caribou! I don't give a shit [bleeped out] about the caribou! I say you run a pipe in there and suck it dry. The caribou can wait!"
Leno: "You eat the caribou."
Miller: "Exactly. Did you ever see the caribou? They're up there, they can't believe the deal they've got, you know? They walk around and go, 'why don't they come in here, 'cuz we're here!' They're looking at each other, 'we're caribou, what are they thinking?! Where do they find their oil? Oh off their enemies.' Oh great. You know it just doesn't make any sense to me."
Miller: You know, if there's one thing that I want to say before I leave here Jay, I know we gotta wrap up. If the working press is listening out there, you always say that during this war it's the public's need to know about our ground forces being in there and stuff like that. They always put it on us. And I'm sitting at home and I'm always exasperating. And you never have the chance to say it, I don't think many of us have a chance to say it and I want to say it to you tonight. ‘We don't want to know!’ Okay? They're young boys, it's scary enough leave 'em alone! Everybody say it, 'We don't want to know!'"
Miller, with audience joining in unison: "‘We don't want to know!’"
Miller: "Okay there ya go! Now next time you think that. No it's not for us, it's for you and your cocktail chatter at parties in D.C.! But we don't want to know! Leave our boys alone over there! Alright?!"
I wasn't Miller's biggest fan during his tenure on Monday Night Football, but he's right on target when it comes to the war on terrorism.
Dr. Iyad Sarraj, a Palestinian psychiatrist in Gaza City, has watched the trend toward suicide bombing with growing alarm. He said that having grown up with the idea of suicide attacks, Palestinian children were equating death with power. . . .
To this psychiatrist, the development is comparable to a fad for body-building, gathering adherents by presenting an ideal that is embraced, even unconsciously. "Once you create such a culture," Dr. Sarraj said, "you create something automatic."
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
SCOOBY DOOBY DOO: Blogger Phil Kahn of "On the Right Side"saw Scooby Doo this past weekend. (He also participated in a stolen car chase, but that's another story.) His comments on it are here -- where he said "it was worth seeing." Worth seeing? For Sarah Michelle Gellar's skimpy outfits? Maybe. But I'm not dishing my 8 bucks out for it.
EYEWITNESS TO TERROR: Bob Arnot of NBC News saw the aftermath of the Tuesday bombing that killed or maimed nearly 70 Israelis, many of them schoolchildren. His eyewitness account, as described on MSNBC last night, needs no introduction. It's from the transcript of "Making Sense" last night, the full version of which can be found here. Also on the show was former Arab Leaguer, terror apologist and AU professor Clovis Maksoud, who stormed off the set during the show. Seriously.
(The bold are points I think should be emphasized.)
BOB ARNOT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes Alan, you‘re right. You know, you get no sense from just hearing it. And I heard the sirens first thing in the morning in Jerusalem, and I made my way out to the site and the first thing I saw looking through the window of this bus is this beautiful arm of this young woman, and I could see her blouse, but she had been decapitated.
I came around the side to where the body bags are — one, two, three, four, all the way up to 19, and tragically on the front of the bags you see the picture of a young student the same age as my kids who did nothing but get up to go to school in the morning. And then the technicians would come over and bring a foot or hand over a piece of hair and put it into the bag.
Parents crying hysterically at the line unable to come and to find out whether that was their children or not. Two young boys who came up to me said, we were on the bus behind this. We were going to go to school. We don‘t know what to do. We‘re so scared. Do we go to school? Do we stay here? Where are my parents? I don‘t know what to do.
And the thing is you look down at these body bags, and these are not long body bags. They‘re short body bags because these are children — children going to a school that‘s about a half-a-mile away.
The bus itself looked like someone had taken a can opener and taken the top off it. We talked to the hospital. When these kids came in, it wasn‘t just a matter of a bomb, but they had nails, and now they have ball bearings in it. So when the orthopedic surgeons looked on the X-ray, they saw nails and screws.
And what they‘ve done, is they‘ve doubled the impact. They‘ve been able to double the fatalities in these recent attacks using not just mega-bombs with more explosives, but by having all of the shrapnel that goes into them.
And most grevious of all, they‘ve actually used, in past attacks, rat poisoning, which means you‘re going to bleed more than you otherwise would. And now the surgeons at the hospital tell us they‘re trying to use, or about to use chemical warfare agents within these.
KEYES: Now that means — a lot of these things mean that the shrapnel gets into you, and if you don‘t die right away, the effect of the shrapnel can cause your death later on, right?
ARNOT: It can. We interviewed three boys from the last bombing, 15-year olds, 14-year old, 13-year old boy. One boy I saw as he woke up from a coma with his mother hugging him, crying as his eyes finally opened. He had stones in him that they used in one bone; stones that had dirt and muck on it where they had to take every single one out that would cause rejection and infection as time went out, that this isn‘t a military advice (ph), there‘s no air force or army in the world that‘s designed something like this. This is something that‘s meant to humiliate and destroy the lives of these children.
You know 17 dead, but 50 injured and these are — each one of these 50 injured, there are hundreds of lives that are ruined where these children are going to be in rehabilitation centers, where they‘re going to be walking around with an arm — or without an arm or a leg. I mean, it‘s the greatest tragedy. I mean, as you say it‘s not a number. It‘s not a number, because you look at the face...
ARNOT: ... of these parents.
KEYES: ... tell me something. In terms of what you have seen, what is the mentality that would go into to designing a bomb like this?
This is what I don‘t understand. Ordinarily you‘re dealing with folks that want to achieve a military result. Weapons are intended to try to inflict damage on an enemy so that you can bring the battle to an end. This doesn‘t seem to have anything to do with that.
What is going on with this...
ARNOT: Well I‘m here in Ramallah now on the West Bank. I‘ve spoken to students here. I‘ve spoken to students in Saudi Arabia.
And what they say, when I challenge them and say, what does it do to you? Doesn‘t it break your heart to see these children in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who‘ve been blown up by bombs?
And they turn very cold-heartedly and they say, you know, we don‘t have jet airplanes. We don‘t have Howitzers, we don‘t have tanks. All we have is our bodies. We hurt inside, and we‘re going to go and we‘re going to use our bodies.
Now the chilling thing that‘s changed, Alan, is that it used to be we heard they did this out of desperation. Now we hear they do this because of hope — hope that they‘re finally going to have an impact and that their side is going to win.
And when I talk to kids here the same age as the children on that bus, Palestinian kids here, they will tell me, they‘ll say you know what, we think we‘re finally winning, and we think we‘re going to push them into the ocean. We‘re not talking about a settlement for just the West Bank. We believe we can push them into the ocean.
And when you challenge them on that...
KEYES: Well but that...
ARNOT: ... they say...
KEYES: If I may interrupt for one second, though — because it seems to me that “push them into the ocean” is a euphemism. What I detect in this kind of a weapon is a will to exterminate, a will utterly to obliterate the humanity in its manifestation in the body of the person that you‘re dealing with. That‘s why it chills me to the very core of my soul. And it is something that I just think it‘s so horrifying that I can‘t imagine the kind of mentality that produces it.
ARNOT: It is. I mean, you listen to both sides, and you hear both sides. You hear them say that they hurt and that they‘ve been humiliated and that they‘ve had all of these deaths, and that their children have been shot too.
But it‘s only when you walk on a scene like this and you see the body bags and you see the pictures of these pretty little children who are dead and the parents cry inconsolably wondering whether it‘s their child or not.
It‘s only when you come on that scene and you don‘t see a number and you don‘t (UNINTELLIGIBLE). If you look there at the body bag on the floor and you see the reality, what the vision is of these suicide bombers.
KEYES: Yes. Bob, thank you so much. I appreciate...
ARNOT: You‘re welcome Alan.
KEYES: ... that insight, which I think is so necessary to folks in our audience.
YOUR CHANCE TO RANT: I added a new feature to "All About Josh" today. Now, you can comment on the commentary by clicking on the link "Your Chance to Rant" at the bottom of each story. So, now it's your turn -- I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
MEDIA BIAS: You're still convinced the New York Times isn't biased? Well, check out today's headline describing the brutal massacre of 19 Israelis -- mostly schoolchildren -- in Jerusalem yesterday.
Israel Acts to Seize Arab Land After Blast; Bush Delays Talks
If I didn't know any better, I would've thought the main event in the last 24 hours is that the land-grabbing Israelis had just stolen -- and the word seize certainly doesn't have positive connotations -- some more Palestinian land -- and barely mentions the nail-filled, rat poison-packed suicide bomber that sent childrens' limbs sprawling on a Jerusalem street. For comparison's sake, the Washington Post's headline read "Bus bomb kills 20 in Jerusalem." Numbers don't do justice when you take into account the lives destroyed and maimed with each of these bombings, but at least you'd think the newspaper of record would think that the suicide bombing was the lead news of the day.
Truly unbelievable -- horrid journalism from the Times.
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
MASSACRE IN JERUSALEM: Nineteen dead, many of them high school students. Jeff Goldstein hits the nail on the head with this assessment of the Palestinians and their supposed "causes."
VALENTINE'S WORDS OF WISDOM: "This is the reason people switch off ESPN, because you have people with no knowledge of the game or the English language presenting the game we love."
And with the possible exceptions of Brian Kenny, Jayson Stark and Peter Gammons, amen to that.
BASEBALL JOURNALISM: The only thing worse than the Baltimore Orioles' play on the field these last few years is the state of journalism by the reporters covering the team for the Washington Post. For years, I've been treated to the optimistic rantings of Dave Sheinin, who buys into every piece of management propaganda and whose writing always tries to delineate some loony theme from the last game instead of reporting on the results. He also avoids tough questions about the obscenely bad management this team has suffered through since Angelos fired Davey Johnson and objective announcer Jon Miller back in 1998. Sheinin, a Miami Herald import, is notable for "scooping" the Baltimore Sun on the Cal Ripken retirement when all he did was ask Cal, "Hey, do you have any retirement plans?" Brilliant journalism, I tell you.
Well, now, the Post apparently has hired another sports reporter -- Jeff Passan -- who wrote an unreadable article about the Orioles win Sunday, 4-2, against the Philadelphia Phillies. Here's the lede:
He huffed and he puffed and he blew his way home.
The second I read that, I had absolutely no clue what this sentence had to do with the game Sunday. But, he goes on:
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Travis Driskill looked like he was running the bases for the first time since last year at Class AAA New Orleans. Rounding second, he torqued his head toward left-center field to see if Philadelphia's Doug Glanville had fielded Brian Roberts's shot off the wall. Rounding third, he nearly tripped over the base. (No, Travis, both feet don't have to touch the base.) He slogged the final 90 feet and plunged into home with a half-decent slide, left leg tucked under right.
So I'm 80 words into this story, and I have no clue what the context of this baserunning gaffe is, who won the game, and why Passan needed to explain that both feet need to touch a base for a runner to be safe. This is one of the worst game stories I've ever read -- much worse than the stuff coming from the Connection community newspapers, where I worked for two years. There, the leads were often cheesy but at least they made sense! The only good thing is: maybe it's not really that hard to write for the Washington Post. Why sports editor George Solomon let this crappy piece of writing run -- I don't know.
Maybe because no one really cares about the Orioles anymore.