Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Waterboarding Ashcroft

Every Republican candidate is jockeying to prove he's scarier than the guy to his left or right. Last night at the GOP debate only McCain took a strong stand against torture. Most of the rest endorsed "enhanced interrogation techniques." Tom Tancredo endorsed the Jack Bauer method of questioning suspected terrorists. Waterboarding? Whatever!

You know that this is the methodology that Gonzales would have used on Ashcroft in the hospital if Comey hadn't raced to Ashcroft's rescue. A man in intensive care is known to be succeptible to enhanced interrogation techniques. John, we have ways of making you sign this document.

Sometimes I wonder if some of the people in this Administration are not entirely...what is the word...nice. Card said he and Gonzales "were just there to wish him well." That's Washington: Everyone always looking for an opportunity to succor the ailing. [Comey testified, fyi, that Bush called the hospital room and that's how Mrs. Ashcroft learned that Gonzales and Card were on the way.] Comey's testimony turns a known event into a scene from Hollywood. I'm seeing Andy Garcia as Gonzales and Gene Hackman as Ashcroft. Andy Card? Maybe Charlie Sheen in a comeback role. And Comey has to be either Matthew McConaughey or that cat who looks just like him.

Transcripts (from Federal Document Clearing House):

HUME: Mayor Giuliani, the former director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, the current head of the CIA have both said that the most valuable intelligence tool they have had has been information gained from what are called enhanced interrogation techniques, to include, presumably, waterboarding.

What is your view on whether such techniques should be applied in a scenario like the one I described?

GIULIANI: In the hypothetical that you gave me, which assumes that we know that there's going to be another attack and these people know about it, I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of. Shouldn't be torture, but every method they can think of. And I would...

HUME: Waterboarding?

GIULIANI: Well, I'd say every method they could think of.

ROMNEY: said the person is going to be in Guantanamo. I'm glad they're at Guantanamo. I don't want them on our soil. I want them in Guantanamo where they don't get the access to lawyers they get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons. I want them there. Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo. We ought to make sure that the terrorists... (APPLAUSE) ... and there's no question but that in a setting like that, where you have the ticking bomb, that the president of the United States, not the CIA interrogator, the president of the United States has to make the call and enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used. Not torture, but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes.

BROWNBACK: ... Is your primary concern U.S. lives or is it how you're going to be perceived in the world? And my standards is: U.S. lives. And I'm going to do everything within my power to protect U.S. lives, period. I will do it. I'll move aggressively forward on it. If we have to later ask and say, "Well, it shouldn't quite have been done this way or that way," that's the way it is.

HUNTER: HUNTER: Let me just say, this would take a one-minute conversation with the secretary of defense. (LAUGHTER) I would call him up or call him in, I would say to SecDef, in terms of getting information that would save American lives even if it involves very high-pressure techniques, one sentence: Get the information.

RON PAUL: I think it's interesting talking about torture here -- become an enhanced interrogation technique. It sounds like new speak...

TANCREDO: Well, let me just say that it's almost unbelievable to listen to this in a way. We're talking about -- we're talking about it in such a theoretical fashion. You say that nuclear devices have gone off in the United States, more are planned, and we're wondering about whether waterboarding would be a bad thing to do. I'm looking for Jack Bauer at that time, let me tell you.

[FYI, boodlers ScienceTim, Annie, Curmudgeon and many others discussed the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario on the blog back in September.]


Comey's testimony:

COMEY: And so I raced to the hospital room, entered. And Mrs. Ashcroft was standing by the hospital bed, Mr. Ashcroft was lying down in the bed, the room was darkened. And I immediately began speaking to him, trying to orient him as to time and place, and try to see if he could focus on what was happening, and it wasn't clear to me

that he could. He seemed pretty bad off.

SCHUMER: At that point it was you, Mrs. Ashcroft and the attorney general and maybe medical personnel in the room. No other Justice Department or government officials.

COMEY: Just the three of us at that point.

I tried to see if I could help him get oriented. As I said, it wasn't clear that I had succeeded.

I went out in the hallway. Spoke to Director Mueller by phone. He was on his way. I handed the phone to the head of the security detail and Director Mueller instructed the FBI agents present not to allow me to be removed from the room under any circumstances. And I went back in the room.

I was shortly joined by the head of the Office of Legal Counsel assistant attorney general, Jack Goldsmith, and a senior staffer of mine who had worked on this matter, an associate deputy attorney general.

So the three of us Justice Department people went in the room. I sat down...

SCHUMER: Just give us the names of the two other people.

COMEY: Jack Goldsmith, who was the assistant attorney general, and Patrick Philbin, who was associate deputy attorney general.

I sat down in an armchair by the head of the attorney general's bed. The two other Justice Department people stood behind me. And Mrs. Ashcroft stood by the bed holding her husband's arm. And we waited.

And it was only a matter of minutes that the door opened and in walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed. They greeted the attorney general very briefly. And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there -- to seek his approval for a matter, and explained what the matter was -- which I will not do.

And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, which stunned me -- drawn from the hour-long meeting we'd had a week earlier -- and in very strong terms expressed himself, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, "But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general."

SCHUMER: But he expressed his reluctance or he would not sign the statement that they -- give the authorization that they had asked, is that right?


And as he laid back down, he said, "But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general. There is the attorney general," and he pointed to me, and I was just to his left.

The two men did not acknowledge me. They turned and walked from the room.


Josh Marshall says the MSM coverage makes too much of Bush as a neutral arbiter: "I think it's a stretch to believe that the president was brought in as some neutral arbiter. A more logical interpretation is that the president dispatched Gonzales and Card to Ashcroft's bedside and then later backed down."

Hugh Hewitt objects to McCain's comment that there is too much money in politics: Few analysts have focused on Senator McCain's nearly incoherent response which asserted that there was too much money in politics and that money had corrupted the GOP. Both assertions are simply false, and though the MSM nods along, GOP voters absolutely reject both assertions. There isn't too much money in political campaigning, they think, there's too much money from the hard left represented by Soros. Further, the party faithful don't think of themselves as corrupt, or even of the party generally. They believe that the GOP's corrupt Congressmen weren't corrupted by soft money or campaign donations but by cold cash and perks in exchange for favors.

Trapper John at DailyKos: "Tom Tancredo is without a doubt the most lunatic fringe player I've ever seen run for president whose party actually let him on stage for a debate."

Rick Klein on The Note writes about Giuliani whacking Ron Paul for saying that 9/11 was motivated by U.S. bombing in the Middle East: 'One operative for a rival campaign said this morning that Giuliani "went yard on a gopher ball" by taking on Paul, but those homers count, too.'

Jonathan Martin of The Politico agrees: "In that moment, the studio audience and assumedly the folks watching at home saw not socially liberal pol with a messy personal life, but the man who stood strong when his city and country were rendered weak."

More links coming soon....


Funny thing in my email inbox:

1. Go to
2. Click on "maps"
3. Click on "get directions"
4. Type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box at the very top of the page)
5. Type "London" in the second box (the "to" box next to it with arrow)
6. Click on "get directions."
7. Scroll down to step # 24

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 16, 2007; 10:04 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ode To Telescopes
Next: Kennedy Bullet Fragment Antimony Bias Range


First again? Two kits in a row?

When you're hot you're hot.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Works with Paris too Joel.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse


90 days, Jerry, 90 days!!!

And everyone always forgets in the "ticking bomb" scenario... Like the "bad guy" won't hold out long enough to make credible whatever intentionally bad information is provided, thereby ensuring the other bomb goes boom. Sheesh.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

One of the more amazing aspects of that Grand Guignol scene in Ashcroft's intensive care room is simply the measure of how reprehensible Gonzalez is that he makes a buffoon like Ashcroft into a hero and defender of American liberty. I mean, you got to go some way to accomplish that feat. But Gonzo pulled it off flawlessly. And then (of course, OF FREAKING COURSE) lied about it ("We were only there to offer condolences").

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Roughly the same Google directions also work to Paris.

Sort of in that vein, this week's Newsweek (I think the paper version's Periscope section) has a photo of a helicopter ambulance in a setting with skyscrapers, illustrating a brief US story. Trouble is, the main skyscraper in the background looks a lot like Tokyo's City Hall, in Shinjuku. Is there a doppelganger skyscraper somewhere in the US?

If the Republican candidates are a bit nasty, wait until the Democrats show how tough they'll be on terrorists.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 16, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

That is funny, Joel.

I'm glad I didn't watch the debate. What on earth happened to the notion that America should be a beacon of morality? I am not naive enough to think that the US has always been a force for good, but at least there was a belief that America *should* stand for well..."truth, justice and the American way." Sometimes I think the forces of evil have won, when respectable, educated, supposedly God-fearing people can stand up in front of this country and talk that kind of cr@p.

Posted by: Kim | May 16, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

There seems to have been a lot more torturing than there have been ticking bomb scenarios.

Dear Sen Brownback, the way we're perceived in the world does have a correlation with how many people are inspired to attack us.

One more time, the guys in NJ preparing to attack Ft. Dix DID NOT follow us here!

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

How come whenever civil liberties are being endangered Torqueberto seems to be in the room?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

EF "One more time, the guys in NJ preparing to attack Ft. Dix DID NOT follow us here!"
And thanks to John Ascroft, the official handpuppet of the NRA, the FBI couldn't use the national database on firearm purchases to cross-check it against the terrorist watchlist. Brilliant.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | May 16, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Re: Gonzales, Bush, Card, GOP candidates, et al--I'm starting to get shivers. These people have no moral compass and no shame. Maybe it's time to retire and move to Canada.

Posted by: ebtnut | May 16, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Great Kit. Exactly right, Mudge -- it is astounding that Torqueberto gives Ashcroft a chance to be heroic. Of course, it is also pretty sad that we can consider Ashcroft heroic for simply doing his job, refusing to authorize something he has already declared illegal.

These "torture" guys -- shouldn't it matter to them that the only one to specifically decry it is the one who experienced it? I like the way some of them say, no torture but do whatever you can think of; next time let's ask them to define the "torture" they say we shouldn't do as opposed to the methods they approve. Of course, the Adminstration won't do that either. I like the way Ron Paul (who is he again?) picked up on that, saying that in newspeak torture is an enhanced interrogation technique.

Loomis, thanks for the gratuitous insult in the last Boodle. Generally speaking, use of the phrase "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" under these circumstances is not an abandonment of critical thinking, but shorthand for "I disagreed with the guy (in whatever strong term may apply) and am glad he's dead."

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

It bothers me that the only two candidates that came out against 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were John McCain and Ron Paul, both considered nutjobs in some quarters. If it is considered heresy to think that torture is always wrong, color me a duck.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

yello, I'm guessing most people would agree that if you've got the guy and you really really KNOW he's the guy then they would be all for dual-use cigar cutters on extremities for a good start and to he11 with the law and the consequence.

The problem is when you use it as a policy and apply to every poor sucker named Mohammed, and then dump him in Macedonia 6 months later because you were wrong. That's hurts us more than it helps us.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Error, I think I'm going to have to go throw up from the images you just created in my mind. There is NO WAY that's ever justified.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 16, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I think the Kornheiser piece on the Nats tickets is about to be replayed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Wheezy, but I'd throw up at images from any bomb site. If it makes you feel any better that's a scene from "Darkman", I didn't invent it. :-)

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Despite my moral disgust over torture and my knowledge that I am a complete pain wussy, I also fall back on the knowledge that torture just doesn't work. Despite Tenent's assertions to the contrary, whatever intel we did get from torture could have been gotten by other means more reliably.

It also bothers me just a little bit that they we have been casting the net a little wide when it comes to people with tans darker than Dubya.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh my!

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Zapper alert on the 12:18, as if I really needed to say anything. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, no need to move, just replace the current crop with politicians so dull that all you can see is the issues.

Up here we had a very colourful prime minister who was in office far too long (not a good thing no matter what party you vote for). He was replaced in a minority government by a fellow usually referred to as being colourless and dull, a policy wonk, who despite what some believe is not the all powered evil. His people have tried to make him be more tv friendly, but he is unchanged in his fundamental unflashiness. The other party just elected an equally unflashy leader, so colourless that even party members think they should get out some crayons.

The only politico with some colour is leaving federal politics to go into provincial politics. There is one other major party leader, but he only thinks he is flashy. Deep inside he is just a little nebbish, and he tries too hard.

In the next election, barring silly nonCanadian attitudes about who and what a particular party may be, I think we might actually have a real election on issues that affect our huge and disparate nation and not on a party leaders' personal ease in front of a tv camera. I eagerly await debate on economic policy, international policy, regionalism, healthcare, and what can be done to make the lives of ordinary joes like me better across the board.

Maybe its naive to hope this, but sometimes its all you have.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't somebody start a clock that counts down to the moment when GWB and Co. declare martial law, municipal curfews, the suspension of The Constitution, and the indefinite "postponement" of the next election?

Just wonderin'...

Also, SCC that Sexxxxxxxxy Queen post: "ATTENTION".

Posted by: byoolin | May 16, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

And some still wonder why people outside the DC/Euphemedia Aristocracy think they're all insane.

Candidates stumbling past a torture survivor to declare their intent to eagerly continue our status as a War Crimnal Nation. And how is that described?

Well, they're "not entirely ... nice" and even the passing thought that they might more appropriately be on their way to The Hague is dismissed with "Whatever."



Posted by: thedeanpeople | May 16, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I second dr's view of the upcoming election, from the other side of the house. I think the last minority government, led by the policy wonk, has been good for the country. I strongly disapprove of the wonk's history of extreme rightist positions and micro-management of departments that should properly be led by ministers and administered by bureaucrats, but his forced move to the centre and his communication of overall government policy from that centre has been effective in getting the general populace to think more about issues and less about personalities.

I just wish more Canadians spoke French fluently, because my party's leader is not so colourless at all, when he can communicate in his own language. He looks like a back-pack toting professor, which is just fine with me.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey, back off, byoolin! Correcting punctuation and grammar on porn sites is my turf! Uh, you folks stay here and wait for Joel's chat while I go check out that Sexxxy Queen site to make sure there are no other egregious insults to our beloved English language on it. I'll be back in, oh, three or fours hours.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Fly-hair boy is on the front page, advertizing his 13:00 chat on 'scopes.

I'm still searching for a meaningful question...

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | May 16, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is for the requirement that the dollar be backed with gold. He is a nut!

Posted by: moogsmasher | May 16, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

how much does howard dean pay you.

Posted by: mike dempsey | May 16, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

What, no women in the script? Who gets to play Mrs. Ashcroft? Isn't there at nurse at that hospital? And what about Mrs. Gonzales?--Jennifer Connolly perhaps? And that "lump in the bed" (hey, I didn't coin the expression) Laura Bush? Harriet Miers--was she in D.C. then, since Fredo was still Bush's counsel at the time? Karen Hughes? Mary Matalin?

If Hollywood's gonna touch it, we gotta have more than one scene. Who plays Darth? Who plays Junior? What about Mueller? Who should play Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

Posted by: Loomis | May 16, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Legitimizing torture can have consequences that they may not have thought about. I would be then "okay" for other countries to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" against our military personnel.

Posted by: sunil | May 16, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

In the past 40 years or so, if we count only the leaders of your party who got elected (your party, in ta so very PQ way, eat its dead after all) you had:
Machiavelli: speaking French and English very well.
Machiavelli's Henchman: speaking neither languages.
Mr. Dithers: speaking English and torturing French (as a puppet on a show they made him say "Je suis pour que les lesbiens et lesbiennes se marissent" and it was credible)
Mr. College Perfessor: speaking French well, as any French citizen like himself should, but seriously mangling English.

The wheel has made a complete turn, so I suspect the next one will be as bilingual as Machiavelli was.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | May 16, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

This idea that you should "trust the government" when it comes to torture, comes from the same crowd that says government is the problem, not the solution? I guess if your own corrupt delusional power hungry thugs are in government then you should fell better, huh? Haven't we learned from the Nazis? If you let them do it to others, they will do it to you!!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 16, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I don't see us on the home page...

And how interesting that the 12:18 appeared just when JA was distracted preparing for the Discussion.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I've already posted my question for the chat, but I've got a few spares if anybody wants one:

"When will NASA get around to launching an orbital horoscope?"

"Why has NASA built so many dish antenna telescopes like the one at Arequibo? Who needs pitchers of dishes and antennas in other galaxies?"

"When ScienceTim and his colleagues go to Hawaii to climb up Mount Kilawhoppeamaolaua'aii'eo'ua and look through that telescope they have up there, are they required to wear those adults diapers astronauts have to wear?"


"What is David Duchovney really like?"

I have about 10 minutes to think up a few more. Just let me know if you're stuck for a good one and I'll be glad to help out.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I feel a RoveStorm brewing. Better run over to the bunker in time for the astronomy chat.

My question: If the Sun is so hot, why don't we land on it at night instead?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

And what's that it was GW Bush who called Ashcroft's wife in order get permission to send Card and Gonzales into the hospital. To get him to sign off on something Bush knew was illegal! Testify under oath and be Impeached.

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 16, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

dr, I hope you don't mind if I repost you from the last kit:

"Its not about not saying not nice things, its a caution on saying rude things. If you can't say anything about the man without being rude, then don't say anything at all. You can have strong opinions and not be rude even about Mr. Falwell."

Hear! Hear! And it would also apply if you substituted "students" for "the man."

Posted by: Raysmom | May 16, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the good ol' days (Boodlemining from Joel's link):


Torture sends a message: Be nice to Americans! Or else they will bring you democracy.

Posted by: superfrenchie | September 19, 2006 12:35 PM

Posted by: Loomis | May 16, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I am really am not familiar with the new guy. The colourless comment arose from a BC tv commentator. I knew there was more than that but it would have really wrecked my analogy. He is certainly unknown there in the west though. How well does he speak english? I'm going to be really radical when I say that I hope, rather than trying to get his point across in a language he is not familiar with, he uses translators and text running onscreen for really important stuff. Its easy to read honesty and passion in the sound of man's voice.

Maybe that is what is missing in politicians across the continent - a passion for what concerns the people rather than a passion for the power of the job.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - please don't check the proofreading at Sexxxxxxy Queen. It turns out Her Majesty and Prince Philip enjoy "photography, know what I mean? Nudge, nudge. Holiday snaps... candid, candid, know what I mean?" It's all profoundly disturbing.

Posted by: byoolin | May 16, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not one to have my photo taken, what with the waiting game of finding out who will take a Sharpie and give me a beard, thick glasses, etc. and then post it on the net with my home address. But JA's photo on the front page...what year was that taken?

Posted by: LostInThought | May 16, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, shouldn't we all be over here now?

Posted by: byoolin | May 16, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Joel is running a little late. Weingarten usually has the first ten questions posted by now. Pick up the pace!

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm over HERE now...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I am shocked for such an avowed feminist to assume all nurses are women, or that the doctors might not be women, not sure about down here but I am pretty sure that the majority of med school grads here are women.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little perturbed that the person taking dictation for the Federal Document Clearing House transcript didn't know that "Newspeak" is a single word and a proper noun.

(And yes, you know we're deep in the Augean stables when the capital-L Libertarian is the one to make the obvious point.)

Posted by: Blake Stacey | May 16, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Is Froomkin coining a new term in his lede today: the political-scandal tune cootie?

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey's gripping testimony yesterday about his high-speed race to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital bedside -- and the ensuing standoff with senior White House aides over the administration's warrantless wiretapping program -- may turn out to be the political-scandal equivalent of the tune nobody can get out of their heads.

Posted by: Loomis | May 16, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

With friends like the ones in our Administration, who needs enemies?

Posted by: jack | May 16, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this [9/11] happen.'"

Let's see. I DID cause 9/11. No doubt about it. No argument there. But I never said I assumed ALL nurses are women, nor doctors. Just trying to help put the distaff side of the Screen ACTORS Guild.

Posted by: Loomis | May 16, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

While no one seemed to notice his comment, Ron Paul was trying to get the candidates to aknowledge that Torture and "enhanced interrogation techniques" are the same thing. No one advocated torture, but all of them were for the enhanced interrogation techniques, whatever that is. Also sounds like new speak to me.

Posted by: Cliff S | May 16, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

...back-pack toting professor...

Tee Hee. Funny, Yoki, and rather familiar. Just add "bike with basket."

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey Linda,

Tell us again how the distaff side handles being a stay-at-home non-mom who manages to remain an Andrea Dworkin-style feminist misandrist while living off her husband.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Thank you John McCain for maintaining the integrity of the leadership of the U.S.A. Powell warned, too. Detention of people is detention of people. How did we ever get to the level of acceptance of anything other than human treatment of inmates of any nation. We are the U.S.A. We are above torture and can still do a fine job with intellegence gathering, provided we actually use it! The best way to honor our troops engaged on the ground right now is pray for them and treat our enemies... what was that golden rule?..."as we want to be treated". Don't think we should pray? Look it up. It's in the Bible. God's smart, we're stupid. McCain might have a clue, best hope since Powell. Thanks McCain!!

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm eating my sandwich and letting the scientist do all the work.

Posted by: Achenbach | May 16, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"I'm eating my sandwich and letting the scientist do all the work."

To quote Michael Scott from The Office, "that's what SHE said!"

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think if we're going to give up our claim to moral superiority, we ought to stop beating around the bush about it. Let's replace to torch in Lady Liberty's hand with a whiffle-ball-bat wrapped in razor wire, instead of kissing babies our politicians can start shaking them, and we can declare a national puppy-kicking day. That just sounds much cleaner than "puppy alternative-petting-method day."

Really, I used to think that the system was broken, that the president who took us into an unjustified war--and the vast majority of Senators who didn't bother to fact-check and just went along with him--were re-elected. More and more I think that the people of this country are the ones who are broken.

Posted by: Nate | May 16, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

While you're chewing, JA...

*pointing at the 12:18, then at the Zapper*


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Mouseketeer roll-call on Boodlers that got questions in.

Somehow my question from Fo, MA got changed to Fo, Mass. What's up with that?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

What amazes me is these guys have nerve to order torture yet none have balls to call it torture.

Posted by: JC | May 16, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

McCain, Powell are Godly American leaders

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, why do the world looks upon the US and think we're the moral compass and the beacon of hope? And then be SHOCKED that we don't live up the "moral burben" they placed upon us (as if they have the moral authority to do so.)

Don't tell me about morality or right and wrong. These are abstract concepts for those who can't do much with their lives, except commenting on things that others have done.


Posted by: honestly | May 16, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Dave.

Powell gave up his "Godly leader" role the day he decided to shill for the Bush Administration before the U.N. and the world.

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I still don't see us on the home page...

*scratching head*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 16, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. I don't see us on the home page either. Our passionate friends must follow topics around the Net.

I hope to find the chat, if only to guess at the part where Joel eats his sandwich.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Here you go Ivansmom...

(I gave Joel his closing line.)

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Honestly in the most respectful way possible, I do not believe the world looks to the US as a moral compass. I would submit that the majority of the burden of the moral compass comes from within, not outside the US.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

honestly, you are assuming the rest of the world 'looks upon the US and think we're the moral compass and the beacon of hope'. I highly suspect that much of the world would not agree with this statement.

The fact remains that for decades you did help hold the balance of power in the world, and are still a world leader economically. A price comes with that.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"Honestly", are you commenting? And, yes we can be that beacon again, starting in each of our hearts, not to preach.. The capacity to be a Godly Nation is engraved by our Founding Fathers in our Constitution. What's your position "TBG"? Who can fill the role of Godly leader?

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

JC writes:
What amazes me is these guys have nerve to order torture yet none have balls to call it torture.

Reminds of the recent "60 Minutes" interview during which Scott Pelley asked George Tenet not about his new book, but about interrogation techniques:

GEORGE TENET: Let me say that again to you: we don't torture people.

SCOTT PELLEY: OK. Come on, George.

GEORGE TENET: So we don't torture people.

SCOTT PELLEY: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

GEORGE TENET: We don't torture people.

SCOTT PELLEY: Waterboarding?

GEORGE TENET: We do not --

SCOTT PELLEY: It's torture.

GEORGE TENET: I don't talk about techniques, and we don't torture people.


GEORGE TENET: Well, now listen to me. No. Listen to me.

GEORGE TENET: I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots.

SCOTT PELLEY: But what you're essentially saying is some people need to be tortured.

GEORGE TENET: No, I did not say that. I did not say that.

SCOTT PELLEY: You're telling me that the enhanced interrogation --

GEORGE TENET: I did not say that. I did not say that. We do not torture. Listen to me.

SCOTT PELLEY: Well, you could look --

GEORGE TENET: You're making an assumption. You --

SCOTT PELLEY: You call it in the book "enhanced interrogation techniques."

GEORGE TENET: Well, that's what we call it.

SCOTT PELLEY: That's a euphemism.

GEORGE TENET: Well, I'm not having a semantic debate with you. I'm telling you what I believe.

SCOTT PELLEY: Anybody ever die in the interrogation program?


SCOTT PELLEY: You're sure of that.

GEORGE TENET: Yeah. In this program you and I are talking about, no.

SCOTT PELLEY: Have you ever seen any of these interrogations done?


SCOTT PELLEY: Didn't you feel like it was your responsibility to know what you were signing off on?

GEORGE TENET: I understood. I'm not a voyeur. I understand what I was signing off on.

Well, how about Egypt? Or some of those European detention centers in countries that Dana Priest alluded to but failed to name? Pakistan--do they torture there?

Posted by: Loomis | May 16, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

TBG I thought that was you, I feel the same way.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I got a couple of questions in the chat, Joel even referred to me as "stranger" when I lobbed a hastily half baked comment/question at him.

Presumably "stranger" in a Valentine Michael Smith sense.


Posted by: bc | May 16, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Who can fill the role of Godly leader?

George Burns. Oh wait...

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Let the record show that I have not, and will not, respond to Dave. But you all know what I'm thinking.

From the end of the chat: Dr. Garner: "The balance in funding between human exploration and space science is set by the political process, meaning Congress, the White House responding to voters and taxpayers."

Me: The White House responds to voters and taxpayers?

If you live in the mid-Atlantic region, you've got about 10 minutes to roll up your car windows. We're looking at major T-storms pretty soon. Gonna be one dandy rush hour. I hop it holds off long enough for me to make my early escape.

Keep hitting those "Save" buttons, folks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Yup, taking another look at my desktop weather button radar, they've issue a major storm trapazoid for this region.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, TBG. The chat was very interesting. Now it is back to "invective and dyspepsia". Aren't those twins? Like the Doublemint girls?

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, that tune is Piaf singing Milord.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Torture = Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

The new nomenclature.

Posted by: Washed in the Blue Glow | May 16, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why, but a friend just e-mailed this old, old article from The Onion that I just loved. Loomis, it kinda might fit in with your feminist sensibilities today, too. (It was either post this or jump into the fray, and I'm tryin' sooo hard to be good.)

The Onion:

Blues Singer's Woman Permitted To Tell Her Side

September 16, 1998 | Issue 34•07

CLARKSDALE, MS-Ida Mae Dobbs, longtime woman of Willie "Skipbone" Jackson, called a press conference Tuesday to respond to charges levied against her by the legendary Delta blues singer.

"Despite what Mr. Jackson would have you believe, I am not an evil-hearted woman who will not let him be," Dobbs told reporters. "I repeat: I am not an evil-hearted woman who will not let him be. To the contrary, my lovin' is so sweet, it tastes just like the apple off the tree."

Dobbs, accused of causing Jackson pain and breaking his heart by calling out another man's name, categorically denied treating him in a low-down manner.

"He says he sends for his baby, but I don't come around," Dobbs, a brownskin woman, said. "He says he sends for his baby, but I don't come around. Well, the truth is, I do come, but he is out messing with every gal in town."

During the press conference, Dobbs also disputed an Aug. 27 statement made by Jackson, who compared her to a dresser because someone is always going through her drawers.

"My drawers have not been gone through by any man but Willie 'Skipbone' Jackson," Dobbs said. "Neither Slim McGee nor Melvin Brown has ever been in my drawers. Nor has Sonny 'Spoonthumb' Perkins, nor any of those other no-good jokers down by the railroad tracks. My policy has always been to keep my drawers closed to everyone but Mr. Jackson, as I am his woman and would never treat him so unkind."

In addition to denying Jackson's drawer-opening allegations, Dobbs disputed charges of unrestricted sweet-potato-pie distribution, insisting that her pie is available only to Jackson.

"I do not give out my sweet potato pie arbitrarily, as I am not the sort of no-good doney who engages in such objectionable behavior," Dobbs told reporters. "Only one man can taste my sweet potato pie, and I believe I have made it perfectly clear who that man is." Dobbs noted that the same policy applies to her biscuits, which may be buttered only by Jackson.

While most of the accusations levied against Dobbs relate to her running around town with other men, she does face one far more serious charge, attempted homicide. On May 5, 1998, Jackson was rushed to the hospital and narrowly escaped death after ingesting nearly five ounces of gasoline. Jackson claimed that Dobbs tried to murder him, serving him a glass of the toxic fuel when he requested water. Dobbs dismissed the episode as "an accident."

Dobbs, a short-dress, big-legged woman from Coahoma County, said it is not she but Jackson who should be forced to defend himself. According to Dobbs, Jackson frequently has devilment on his mind, staying up until all hours of the night rolling dice and drinking smokestack lightning.

"Six nights out of seven, he goes off and gets his swerve on while I sit at home by myself. Then he comes knocking on my door at 4 a.m., expecting me to rock him until his back no longer has any bone," Dobbs said. "Is that any way for a man to treat his woman? I don't want to, but if he keeps doing me wrong like this, I am going to take my lovin'
and give it to another man."

Added Dobbs: "Skipbone Jackson is going to be the death of me."

Dobbs said that until she receives an apology from Jackson and a full retraction of all accusations, he will not be given any grinding.

"Mr. Jackson says that I stay out all night and that I'm not talking right. He says he has rambling on his mind as a result of my treating him so unkind. He says I want every downtown man I meet and says they shouldn't even let me on the street," Dobbs said. "Well, I refuse to allow my name to be dragged through the mud like this any longer. Unless my man puts an end to these unfair attacks on my character, I will neither rock nor roll him to the break of dawn. I am through with his low-down ways."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads-up Mudge, I was wondering when those forecasted T-storms were going to come in.

Still nice here, I've got the kid doing the lawn. He'll probably finish just in time.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I was gonna ask a question on the chat and just before I could I got pulled away from it with work...will this damn work thing ever stop interfering with my boodling and chatting???

Any way the question was about 'many many trillion': is that the old trillion or the new trillion, that is:
old trillion=one million million million; 10^18
new trillion=one million million; 10^12

Harrumph, now I'll never know

Posted by: omni | May 16, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Not on the home page. On the discussion page. Who could have imagined that people interested in telescopes were interested (!) in politics, too?

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The race is on. I bet I beat the storm as I'm out the door in 2 minutes, and it takes about 40 to make it to safety.

Posted by: omni | May 16, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: sexxyqueen999 | May 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe nobody has pointed out that the directions from New York to London take you to France first, then over the Calais-to-Dover ferry! If I was going to swin that distance, I think I'd aim for Land's End.

Posted by: Andrew Brandt | May 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Rudy didn't say anything in response to Ron Paul, he just started crying like a baby, and rehashing old, tired goto lines from 911 until the fox applause lights went on full boar. This whole talk about torture is useless, the CIA has been doing this since it's inception.

Posted by: brody | May 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Ron Paul delivers a crushing truth to the crowd regarding torture. Too bad this time around its to a Fox News crowd that is not too friendly to the constitution.

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques truly is "Newspeak" for plain old torture. Not that many knew too much about George Orwell's book 1984 it seems.

Posted by: Steve Savage | May 16, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Boko. Very nice.

LTL, what was your Milord/Piaf in reference to?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving "full boar." Better than the original.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I never heard of the old trillion, but then I was taught New Math. I have also heard of milliards and billiards, but I thought those terms referred to aquatic water fowl and what causes Trouble in River City, respectively.

Thank goodness Wikipedia can always come to the rescue.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

First the GOP panders to fundamentalists and homophobes. Now it panders to cowards. Not one candidate had the courage to say "Terrorists can kill us, but they can never destroy us. Only we can do that, when we adopt the techniques and morals of our enemy."

What a low opinion of us these men must hold.

Posted by: Andrew | May 16, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The tune you can't get out of your head.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The epitome of irony...

"Wolfowitz has apparently scrapped a trip to Slovenia, where he was scheduled to attend another development event tomorrow. Originally, he was to deliver an award to graduate students who penned essays exploring the troubles of corruption in the developing world, bank officials said."

Yeah, speaking of moral burdens and stuff, that's one guy who lost his compass long ago.

Posted by: a bea c | May 16, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Joel was anonymously referenced in the Wikipedia article on large imaginary numbers.

I have rectified the error and given Joel the proper credit he deserves.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The question, a bea c, is whether or not he ever had one in the first place.

Posted by: Slyness | May 16, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yello, you should have also asked them to add "brazillion" from that one joke.

Posted by: a bea c | May 16, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I used to think we were born with one, but now that I'm a parent, I see how much goes into creating one.

Posted by: a bea c | May 16, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Just after I sent S'Nuke to the pool IE crashed and it took me hours to fix the (insert rude words here) thing.

I read the fine kit and the fine comments until I ran into my old pal sexxyqueen. After assailing you with my wit I then continued reading the fine comments.

My only thought is I'd like to see a mudwrestling tag match with Ashcroft/Dworkin vs Flynt/Paglia.

Oh and, dogging a fled horse is the opposite of flogging a dead one.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The brazillion joke is in the text of the article:

"A joke focuses on a world leader being told that a multi-national military force had suffered several Brazilian (i.e., "brazillion") casualties. The leader is very disconcerted over such a huge loss of life"

It's a shame Dubya isn't mentioned by name. Didn't this story get broken by Woodward in one of his books?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The main thing that the hospital scene shows is the difference between those who respect the law and the Constitution and those that don't. You can hate Ashcroft for his policies, hate him for his social conservatism, but you have to admit that he has a fundamental respect for the law, and so was worthy of being the Attorney General.

Bush, Cheney, Libby, Rove, Card, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Meiers, Sampson, Goodling, (the list goes on and on), have no such respect for law, the Constitution, or moral principles. They are not worthy of holding the office of dog catcher. Impeachment proceedings against Gonzales should begin now.

Posted by: marcos | May 16, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just read the transcript. Very informative and entertaining. But after reading it I am left with one burning question.

Just what kind of sandwich was it?

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

RD, email Joel and ask!

Posted by: Slyness | May 16, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

RD, my money's on Vegemite.

Sorry for any tune cooties I inflicted there.


Posted by: bc | May 16, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse


No you're not. That was intentional cootie infection.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I think "Men at Work" had some way-cool saxophone licks.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Although why anyone would lick a saxophone is beyond me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Let the record show that I'm Dave and I don't know who that other Dave is. The nerve. But also let the record show that I'm willing to relinquish this "boodle" to the other Dave. He seems to be a better fit. It's all a little too coy and inbred here for my liking.

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Please do not refer to us as coy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

RD, does that mean it is OK to call us inbred? :-)

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I heard about Mr. Comey's testimony yesterday and it sounded to me like something Chris Buckley wrote.


Posted by: bc | May 16, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Washed in the Blue Glow writes:
Torture = Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

It's not the only euphemism. How would you like to be renditioned extraordinarily?
Or irregularly?

Oooh, oooohhh...Wiki has a red, blue, and black--the color of nasty bruises and broken blood vessels!

Posted by: Loomis | May 16, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I can't say the first word that I think of when I read the boodle is "coy." But that's just me.

Posted by: Tangent | May 16, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Not my fault my grandparents were 2nd cousins!

Posted by: dbG | May 16, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Oops, gotta run, but I thought I'd point out to RD that you don't need to lick the whole sax, just the reed as needed.

Waitaminute, somehow RD tricked me into discussing Oral Sax in the Boodle.


Posted by: bc | May 16, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

This Dave controversy is beginning to remind me of the Get Smart where there is a doppelganger Smart and the Chief has to decide who is the real Maxwell Smart.

Get the entire catalog for the ridiculously low price of $199.95.

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

We ain't coy. We're red blooded North American carp.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

dmd - that was the joke. Such as it is.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Boko999 - Oh my. That puns gonna leave a scar.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

My head's spinning. We went from Invective and Dyspepsia to coy carp, or perhaps the Carping Coy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

See? Now my brain hurts again.

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

>discussing Oral Sax in the Boodle


Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Tucson, spent time along the border. When the Minuteman thing started, I tended to respect what they were saying about the disruptions to people living along the border. I was down there a few years ago. You could feel the tension. It seemed like the Minuteman thing had some points to make, in terms of not letting people just break the law and come into this country in a disruptive way.

Now, of course, Tancredo is a spokesman. The Minuteman movement sends out endless emails, mostly quite provocative. It sees menace in any Hispanic political activity. It can't come to grips with the difficulty of returning millions of people to Mexico. It's pro-gun, just echoing the NRA. It tosses out, gratutitously, attacks on religious groups who are sympathetic to immigrants. But, whatever their positions, the original focus on ranchers in small Arizona towns is hard to find.

This is a good example of why the GOP probably has to lose for a while. It's all red meat and no substance. Whether it is terrorism, or gun control, or religious values, or immigration, everything is just too emotional with these guys. When a guy like Romney tries to fit in with this, it's a little ludicrous. Maybe he should carry around some rubber testicles to crush, although maybe that's not allowed. He could do it during his speeches.

The semi-rational McCain, in an hour on Meet the Press, looked decent. He might win, if the war goes away.

They should talk about our economic position. They should address how multilateralism will have to work in a world of wild instability. But they don't, and no one watches these things anyway.

Posted by: George Sears | May 16, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It was good RD, just think of me as the half-wit relative!

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, I am voting for Giuliani in the primary just to piss off the Republicans.

Posted by: HA HA | May 16, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I've been in a Seminar about managerial techniques all day. I need some carping coy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I think that might have been a typo. I think he meant "goy." Which except for SciTim and me, is about right. He should take a little chicken soup it couldn't hurt.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, do you need a comma in that last sentence?

Posted by: Slyness | May 16, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Dave? Dave's not here.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 16, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Grey green sky above with that dread feeling as the pressure drops --- stay safe.

I am glad we are not North American Crap. And, surely not blue-blooded, either.

Enjoyed the online chat. Sigh. Science is so cool and wondrous, why we can't all be as happy as kings....

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

CP - I thought of you when I read this article.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

dbG-Rudi and his first wife are your grandparents?

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that pun hurt RD. I thought I'd warmed everybody up with 'dogging a fled horse.'
I was obviously chong.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

You all assume that the ticking time bomb scenario isn't realistic. But what's not known to the public is the number of times that the ticking time bomb scenario HAS been successfully dealt with through enhanced interrogation techniques. We only hear about the attacks that aren't prevented, or the occasional situation in which the CIA chooses to leak the information to the public.

Posted by: Bruno | May 16, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

RD, I thought of me, too. And DR and Mostlylurking....knit and pitch, is a bit nicer than knit and *itch but the ancient phase is knit and itch, until we spun softer yarns.

Baseball is grand. Shame, really, that the game is slipping as our iconic pasttime.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Surely not coy? Nor demure, nor bashful. Never flirtatious. Perhaps modest, but seldom reserved.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Well put, George Sears. "All red meat and no substance" indeed.

. . . as my koi coyly carp. . .

Speaking of guitars, congratulations on your 50th, or is it 51st, Martooni.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Invective and Dyspepsia" would be a cool boodle handle. Sort of the Scylla and Charybdis of the boodle.

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Please fill us in Bruno.
I'm all agag.

Ok. Ok.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Posted by: Bruno | May 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Bruno, you want me to believe they've been arguing this in court for years when they could just give 100 examples?

Is it a realistic scenario, absolutely. Are there ones we don't hear about, for sure. Is it equal to the number of people we've tortured - I kind of doubt it.

It seems to me the White House is more likely to leak information than the CIA.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Frosti -- the English spring we had here meant that the peonies are (were?) overblown, blowsy, bosomy, blossomy, pendulous, luscious, glorious,....I fear that today's storm will lay them low.

And the scent, oh the scent! Some odors resist bottling and this is one.

I have a few mad cap garden schemes in mind, including about 80 two-inch high Nicotiana sanderae growing. The scented tobacco is in honor of Jamestown, instead of growing the filthy smoking kind. I hope to be intoxicated and prostrate before them by late July. By the time the moonflowers kick in, my yard will be an opulent fragrance den.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

CP, these storms are going to pound my iris bed to pemmican.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 16, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse


I'm not "goy" either, although my more observant cousins say I'm "goy-ish" and that's left over from being "boy-ish" for refusing to have my hair and nails done when one of them got married.

Posted by: a bea c | May 16, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say earlier about the torture: NOTHING has disappointed me more about us. I am sick about it. I have a beloved family member over there who is sickened about it, too. This harms his ability to work and fight over there. The reputation of us ALL is on the line, but expecially people in-country.

In the first Gulf War, Iraqis stumbled toward our lines KNOWING they would be treated fairly. Now, we have descended into the hell that is war without rules and norms.

IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE OTHERS DO! What matters is that we should not torture. Period. McCain is right. Are we in such a rarified air these days that only those who have BEEN tortured understand that torture is wrong?

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom -- Pummel to pemmican! Thanks for the new swear phrase! Nature giveth. Nature pummeleth. Arise, dear flowers, arise.

Baltimore Oriole sighting in the neighbor's back yard: first in three years. Relieved. Happy, too.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Physical torture is absolutely an unambiguously wrong.

But what of trickery? This is where the gray area occurs. For example, it is a matter of historical record that the Brits used to blindfold suspected IRA terrorists and then load them into a helicopter. After 10 minutes of flight the Brits would tell the suspects that unless the the terrorists "talked" they would be pushed from the helicopter. Which the Brits would then proceed to do.

The catch is that the helicopter was three feet from the ground.

Now whether or not this is "torture" is debatable. But I think it a moot point. I would never believe a "confession" made under such duress.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Elvis had left the building... I'm just looking at the fact that here you have McCain, standing up for Human Rights and nobody else.. There's all this well, it's just modified, "yank-'em-some-info.-outta-'em" rheto-wreck with the new terminology for legalized torture, coy, and as some of the bloggers here point out- it's rather sickening. I'm grateful McCain has stood up. He may be more likely to be concerned for our welfare as citizens if he's man enough to consider his enemies, after having been incarcerated by some!

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I liked the Stitch and Pitch article. Baseball is a wonderful game for working to. Hockey is not, curling is not. Maybe golf? Yeah I can stitch while watching golf.

That stuff we were talking about arrived, CP and mostly. It wonderful. I have to find someone to sit with me to get it to a workable form (those big hanks are not fun) and then we will be underway.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

RD, Slyness, it was the usual: Turkey with lettuce and tomato and mustard and a slice of cheddar on whole wheat. Why such a boring sandwich day after day? Because in a rush I panic and don't know what to order and that's all that I could think of. Complete sandwich-creativity meltdown. Disaster. And here's the deal: I ate it while trying to conduct the chat and have no memory of the actual whatchacall -- mastication I guess is the word but that might not make it through the filter. The only evidence I have that I ate is that the hunger disappeared and there's a wrapper in the wastebasket. Anyway I thought the astro dude was really good and fast and clear.

Posted by: Achenbach | May 16, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

RD, I think I read a while back (Harpers? New Yorker?) that many of those British interrogators did then think, or have since come to the view that, those actions were in fact torture -- if they are not ambiguous I'm not sure there much ambiguity to be found.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Joel. The world needed to know.

I understand the phenomenon about ordering. When my wife and I were on vacation we learned that our hotel had a complimentary open bar. We were so flustered that we both ordered "rum and Cokes."

Such a lost opportunity.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm concerned that this administrations advocacy of torture will taint what the Canadian Forces are trying to achieve in Afganistan.
No civilized nation will be able to countenance an alliance or even a police agreement with the US. Say goodbye to NORAD, NATO, SEATO and all the other TOs.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I think such "tricks" are close enough to torture that I would never choose to believe them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

CP-Madcap garden schemes, and blousy bosomy peonies. What a picture on a day so chilly I have the fireplace taking the chill out. My woodland understory garden is doing well, too well. As I extend its bounds I am tempted to plant ferns as densely as they appear in the older section. That would be folly as I'd be toiling away at dividing them all the sooner.

Hummers have arrived, that is hummingbirds. Belligerent little dive bombers. Hold 5 paperclips in your hand and there you have the weight of the average male. Add two or three more and you have a female.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Isolation is hard on most people. Perhaps loud music and light and other sensory stimulations are reasonable. Is sleep deprivation useful? I don't know but as a mom of a colicky-baby, wow, almost turned me into mush. I know we have data on this, but some of this is hidden in security cubicle farms.

But much else is inhumane. Wrong. Evil.

The kicker is, as others mention, the data dumped under torture is not useful or true.

The ends do not justify the means. Most of us are willing to live with risk, ambigiuity, and even another event. Do not torture. Period.

Everybody back to school to study "jus in bello" -- just conduct in war. Soldiers study this. The policy wonks, suits, and statesiders really need to take a refresher.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I feel good to be alive.

Especially down by the sea.

So there, bc.


Posted by: DrHeckyllAndMrJiveNuke | May 16, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, the point is, to automatically assume that "Alternative Interrogation Techniques" means physical torture is not valid. That such techniques are held in secrecy suggests that they involve a degree of deception.

For example, the well known "Bad Cop Good Cop" technique is based on deception. But is such a trick torture?

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

>Turkey with lettuce and tomato and mustard and a slice of cheddar on whole wheat.

Joel. nothing wrong with a good turkey sandwich. I admire your stand on mustard. I am a mustard-no-mayo kinda guy and it's tough out there sometimes.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

EF - I admire your integrity in this matter. I also advocate copious mustard as a substitute for Mayo. In fact, I never have seen the appeal of Mayo.

Which, perhaps, is why I have never been that much of a fan of Paula Dean.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I think it is analagous to mock executions which is considered torture.

If some bad guy needs to be tortured (which we don't accept[right?]) someone should step up and over the line to do it. He/she/IT could be pardoned later. That may be a little hypocritical but it would leave the standard intact and reduce the incidence of such incidents.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

hey all, what's with the sandwinches?

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, just pead necessity. You'd have to prove it but that wouldn't be too hard if you could get a jury of cowards/sheep.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Boko, ditto your 5:25. I echo your concerns.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Rush making fun of McCain on one of his comercials- McCain left the reservation, so he says, well, no, Republicans have left the conservation- that's conservatives. Shawn Hyyyanity is on the air talking with someone a min. ago, guest saying we aughta double gitmo. Not. We aughta be embarrased and take notes from McCain- a true conservative.

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Dave, back in the mists of time, Joel wrote a kit about sandwiches. Or was it a column? He has a long history of choosing the same sandwich.

Don't get him starrted on coffee.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the owner of this blog eats sandwiches.

Mayo, ketchup, relish = Thousand Island Dressing
Mayo, mustard, relish = Tartar Sauce
Mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish = McNasty's Special Sauce.
Although all the Canadians I know prefer Miracle Whip.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Boko999 - As a former professional in the field I must point out that the "Secret Sauce" also contained ground olives.

But remember, you didn't hear it from me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

TUNE COOTIE (Commercial sort)
Two all-beef patties
special sauce
lettuce cheese
pickles onions
on a sesame
seed bun:

Special Sauce!

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Did you really RD? Me too. But I was already an adult with small kids in school. It was the only place where I could go home at 3:30, get all my weekends and holidays off as well as summer vacations.

And then I came to my current job. Vastly different work, vastly different responsibilities, but some days, I feel like an ad for the before picture for a stress medication. In a some ways, McD's was a great job.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

RD - ground olives? Green or black?

One of my favorite lunches when I was a (little) kid was a cream-cheese-and-olive sandwich. My mom used to make it: homemade mayo (she had none other), cream cheese, sliced green olives. Great spread.

Posted by: Slyness | May 16, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

In order: bread, butter, mustard, lettuce, meat, cheese, mayo, butter, bread. Just enough butter to waterproof the bread, and lots of grainy mustard up against the lettuce, a great combination. Chelsea Ale mustard, yum.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I meant Ipswich Ale mustard. Substitute one FA club for another.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, as I have proudly declared before, I worked at our local McDonald's all during High School. (This fact greatly impresses my daughter.) During my tenure I learned many secrets, including the fact that McD's Secret Sauce (a.k.a. "Special Sauce") was basically Thousand Island Dressing enhanced with ground black olives.

Of course, they may have changed the recipe since then.

I am also proud of the fact that I was the Swing Manager during the summer of 1980. I earned an entire thousand dollars by working 3 to 11 during the summer after graduation.

And, for what it's worth, I would gladly refund that money, plus interest, to have that summer back again.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I excerpted this from Parameters, the journal of the US Army War College a few boodles back, but it bears repeating.

"History offers no modern examples of the strategic effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques, but it is replete with examples of the negative strategic effects such techniques have on the counterinsurgency force." (from-Losing the Moral Compass: Torture and Guerre Revolutionnaire in the Algerian War by Lou Dimarco)

Note, no strategic effectiveness of "harsh interrogation techniques" much less torture or the euphemistic "enhanced interrogation techniques."

What the administration has allowed the military to do, as opposed to the CIA which has always played by different rules, was outlined in an Autumn, 05 piece called: "Six Floors" of Detainee Operations in the Post-9/11 World by Thomas E. Ayres

He wrote:
"...While the current debate generally recognizes a category that can be called "unlawful combatants" or by some similar term, it also assumes that the Conventions provide little to no guidance on how these unlawful combatants should be treated while detained. Perhaps in anticipation and recognition of the paucity of international guidance, the international community concurred to a baseline standard against torture in 1994 by means of the Convention Against Torture. This treaty applies not only to repressive regimes' treatment of their own subjects, but also to detention of all lawful and unlawful combatants either in internal or international armed conflicts.

It was into the black hole of international agreement that Secretary Rumsfeld boldly strode when he authorized interrogation measures less extreme than those that would violate the Convention Against Torture, and yet more stringent than those by which POWs may be questioned under Geneva III. Criticism immediately ensued, while others jumped to the Administration's defense. The tales of such treatment came to be called "stress and duress tactics" by the press, although the Secretary of Defense's explicit guidance on detention and interrogation methods remained classified. Some relevant documents have now been declassified, however. It is now known that the Administration's so-called "stress and duress tactics" authorized several controversial interrogation techniques, but were limited to the following:

Category I techniques . . .

(1) Yelling at the detainee (not directly in his ear or to the level that it would cause physical pain or hearing problems).
(2) Techniques of deception: (a) Multiple interrogator techniques. (b) Interrogator identity. The interviewer may identify himself as a citizen of a foreign nation or as an interrogator from a country with a reputation for harsh treatment of detainees.

Category II techniques . . .

(1) The use of stress positions (like standing) for a maximum of four hours.
(2) The use of falsified documents or reports.
(3) Use of the isolation facility for up to 30 days . . . .
(4) Interrogating the detainee in an environment other than the standard interrogation booth.
(5) Deprivation of light and auditory stimuli.
(6) The detainee may have a hood placed over his head . . . .
(7) The use of 20-hour interrogations.
(8) Removal of all comfort items (including religious items).
(9) Switching the detainee from hot rations to MREs.
(10) Removal of clothing.
(11) Forced grooming (shaving of facial hair, etc.).
(12) Using detainees' individual phobias . . . to induce stress.62

These techniques were approved by the Secretary of Defense for use on a limited, case-by-case basis and only with the approval of appropriate officials."

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I used to get cream-cheese-and-olive sandwiches (on rye) at the GW Deli for lunch years ago.

That's when I didn't go to the lunch counter at Peoples Drug Store near 21st and E Sts, NW.

I remember telling my sister that I liked to eat at the Peoples' counter and she asked, "What is that? Some kind of communist place?"

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

And TID is in turn made from other common ingredients. Except this one I found is recursive -- it would be hard to make the first batch, I suspect.

4 tbsp. salad dressing (heaping)
2 tbsp. chili sauce
2 tbsp. French dressing
2 tbsp. Thousand Island dressing
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 c. grated cheese

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Question: what's the difference between Russian dressing and Thousand Island dressing?

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I worked for two summers in a fruit shed pitting apricots OR stuffing red pimento strips into green olives by hand. We never new quite what the day would bring.

The Lindsay Olive Company eventually merged with Oberti Olives.

I used to come home with gigantic olives, which my sibs would place on their fingers like little gloves.

Ah, youth.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I thought the secret sauce was inbred koi.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 16, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, thanks. I am not sure what to say, but so many soldiers rue the day we moved into the "moral compass" optional zone.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

TBG that would be political affiliations.

Seriously, Russian Dressing was a favorite of my wife's grandfather, Leroy. It was basically Thousand Island Dressing with Horseradish and other spices added to make it more "zippy."

Leroy passed away a few years ago, but whenever I hear the term "Russian Dressing" I recall him ordering it at the VFW. (This is a good thing.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Joel: replace the mustard with some hummus for that turkey sandwich; especially red-pepper hummus. Adds a little more flavor. My favorite sandwich right now: pesto, sharp cheddar cheese, and either rosemary ham or smoked turkey, on regular wheat bread. This sandwich should be grilled or toasted for maximum enjoyment.

Posted by: Tangent | May 16, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"So, there was this queer-lookin' guy drivin' by without a seatbelt on! How many other seatbelt violations might be out there, waitin' to happen? Well, I had to find out, right? A little enhanced interrogation sure seemed called for. I thought maybe I could get intel about some other stuff at the same time. Just looking at him, I was sure this dude cast aspersions on the President's competence; and yore either with us or agin us, right? Weren't my fault the ol' dude had a weak heart. We sure did get a lot of credit for cleanin' out that batch of terrrists, though."

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 16, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Frosti - I agree enthusiastically with that "Parameters" quote. Seems to me people under extreme duress might figure out how to do this thing called "lying."

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Tangent -- are you done? 66 papers arrive in my box tomorrow. I am tempted to pretend to read them and mark them according to petunia signs or lilac instructions....

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

On a oool damp day here, I just discovered something to make me smile, my Wisteria vine has begun to bloom, just a few open at the moment but soon it should be covered.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for th econtext Frosti.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

My apologies, a bea c; I had forgotten you were around. (But it's good to have you back.)

Slyness, ordinarily you'd be correct about the comma, except that the phrase "a little chicken soup it couldn't hurt" is a unitary phrase for most Jews, since no Jew would ever say just the first half. "A little chicken soup" is necessarily followed by "it couldn't hurt" in all cases, so no intervening punctuation is necessary. However, if a goyim had said it, then yes, put in the comma.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian: I am done. Turned the last paper in yesterday. Thankfully, my finals were spread out, so I could cram for each one individually. :)
Sorry about the papers (66!!). I had to look over a handful (I am a TA), so I can feel some of your pain. My favorite one was from a student who "forgot" to cite/footnote any of her sources. Oops.

Posted by: Tangent | May 16, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

This post got lost:

I never would have guessed ground black olives RD. My recipe fooled my niece when she was little. She wouldn't even look at a hamburger unless it had 'spesha sauce.'
I have a Big Mac attack every month or so.

I'm going to try Tangent's sandwich (sans hummus.)

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank you "frostbitten". That was rather informative and can be worked into the sandwinch jargon.
This is good stuff. Over.

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

*Canuckian Interjection*

Posted by: LeafFan999 | May 16, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I don't know why I'm-a bloggin'

This article speaks for itself:

..."only McCain took a strong stand against torture."


I know of none, rye, wheat, dill, or otherwise

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see the strong morals held by those who oppose torture under any conditions. It makes me proud to be an American. However, I wonder whether such a moral code is somewhat assymetric. It would allow a known murderer to kill thousands or millions, just to avoid causing any fear and discomfort to the murderer. Such an ethic requires standing by idly while your daughter is raped, because it would be wrong to use force against the rapist without having a fair trial first. It's fine to respect the rights of the terrorist. But don't innocent victims deserve to have someone stand up for their rights? Even if it means causing some fear and discomfort to the terrorist?

And to those who claim that "torture" doesn't work, you're wrong. Telling lies requires higher brain functions. Those brain functions shut down under stress, especially with the aid of certain pharmaceuticals.

I am against torturing a potential terrorist to avoid a potential attack. But in the ticking time bomb scenario where thousands of innocent lives are at stake, I would have no qualms about putting a wet towel over a murderer's head.

Posted by: Bruno | May 16, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Bruno, if I thought torture would work I would agree. But I don't think it works.

Look, I've been interrogated. The desire to say anything just to escape the room is very strong. I can't imagine what it must be like to have the threat of physical duress added to the mix.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Bruno (you may be rhetorical here) but only if it was a wet towel...

The rape analogy does not work at all.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Bruno those are valid points, in the case of a daughter, if it were happening in front of you, actions to prevent her harm would be justified. Now if you were to harm someone you heard might be planning on harming your daughter, that is a different scenario.

When the situation is multiplied by thousands it gets harder to find the line where you cross over from "defense" to torture. I think it is important to remember that torturing suspects is not the only viable method of obtaining intelligence, and even its realiability is questions.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

>>Such an ethic requires standing by idly while your daughter is raped, because it would be wrong to use force against the rapist without having a fair trial first.

That's just silly.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The real question is why we can't use it in Congressional hearings.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Ok. Everything seems to be covered here. I can lurk while watching the hockey game. Perfidious Buffalo just scored in the first minute. This is gonna be barnburner. (Hey, I have to be right sometime.)

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Pardon this regional query.

Hey, Virginians, do we have another wave of weather coming?

That last batch was not so bad for us. (Frosti, the peonies are back up)

Did PA and NJ (EF?) get the bad stuff?

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"Such an ethic requires standing by idly while your daughter is raped, because it would be wrong to use force against the rapist without having a fair trial first."

What tripe. Defense of noncombatants, is not only allowed it is required-even if lethal force is required in that defense. Do not equate a stand against torture as weakness, or an unwillingness to perpetrate great violence. But, do not presume that voluntarily taking up a profession that at times requires one to kill human beings requires a soldier to concomitantly relinquish all moral discrimination. If it did, we might as well let "them" win. We have nothing left worth preserving.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "but" should be "also"

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Studs Terkel.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Well said Frosti. We have more to defend than just a flag.

Now I need to go encourage some offspring to bathe. Which they clearly equate with Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

CP-still no red shoots of peony here, but I was premature in my assessment of the as paltry. They were just late. Great sprays are perfuming the yard. Nothing quite so lovely as cutting a great lilac bouquet to the whirr of hummingbird wings. I feel like Radar, I hear them before anyone else and always before I see them.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

SCC: oh my, I know I typed

my assessment of the lilacs as paltry.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I am awed by your use of "what tripe." That was excellent.

Bruno, assymetric (sic) is available as a boodle handle, should Bruno prove too tiring.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 16, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, love what you wrote.

Lilacs are out here as well, as are so many other flowering trees, redbuds, crab apple, fruit and ornamentals - just lovely.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Dave, its insidious isn't it? Its like the motto, 'Clouds are hard'. So is stopping. Come back tommorrow. We'll all be here too.

Posted by: dr | May 16, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Bruno, you have not the slightest clue how much restraint I'm using on you. Just take my word for it.

First, yes, that moral code is asymmetric. Congratulations. That's the first thing you've come close to getting correct. Of course, you then procede to draw wildly false conclusions from it. "Standing idly by while your daughter is raped" is, in terms of argumentation and logic, just about all you seem to be capable of, which is a shame.

No one respects the "rights of terrorists." You have missed the point by approximately a hundred yards, and it is doubtful anyone can successfully explain to you why.

You pretend to have some sort of expertise with the question of torture, but I suspect what little you know you got by reading "Soldier of Fortune" magazine or some similar piece of trash. You're just a tough guy wannabe, more or less pretty similar to those other tough guy wannabes who utterly screwed up the war in the first place: I refer to those military experts such as Dick Cheney, George Bush, Paul Bremer, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, etc., all of whom strangely never actually seem to have served in the military.

You seem to think higher brain functions "shut down" under stress; I assume this is because yours clearly have, and so you make the mistake of assuming other people's do, too. You have the further problem of pretending to claim something that the vast majority of (real) experts agree with: that torture "works." Most of them claim it generally doesn't. Given the choice of believing them or you, I pick them.

You ask, "don't innocent victims deserve to have someone stand up for their rights?" So your answer is yes, innocent victims deserve to have some one stand up for them ... and the general use of torture is a dandy way to do it. You are just throwing catchphrases around, but you have no idea what you're talking about.

Your last paragraph is a total internal contradiction. I see no reason anyone should take it -- or you -- seriously.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

LTL-CA, thanks for the redundant Thousand Island Dressing scenario.

Posted by: dbG | May 16, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks frostbitten. You said it better than I could or would have.

I hate those red herrings. Really really hate them. When does a red herring turn into a straw man?

On another topic, I've always sort of thought that mayonnaise was a female thing. Studies show IIRC that women, generally speaking, crave more fatty foods (probably for evolutionary-biological reasons) than do men, generally speaking. I myself love a good freshly-made mayonnaise (Miracle Whip is reserved for two childhood/comfort dishes that cannot under any circumstances be considered real food- but which I eat about once every ten years nonetheless). A genuine California roll made with real crab and good avocado would not be the same without a slick of mayo. A piece of grilled salmon is not complete, in my book, without a sauce of 'piquant mayonnaise a la Francaise' and who wouldn't sit on the terrace with friends and wine and a platter of bread and crudites with aioli?

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I do love that red asparagus look of peonies arising. Miss the lilacs, but do not begrudge them that moment of grace.

I stopped counting the jackmani clematis blooms about 250. I like the dark purple with chartruese stamens.

A neighbor who shall remain nameless said, "Such a shame about all that purple against red brick. Rip it out and order a pale lavender or white clematis."

She is so tasteful and geometric: little begonias all in a row
forsythia trimmed into a ball
tasteful juniper plantings
pink azaleas ("The white ones look frightful as they fade."

I grow the most shocking zinnia seed, pairing them with Green Envy zinnia hybrid just to hear her say, "Oh Miz CeePee, the colors are a bit vulgar aren't they."

Lurid! Give me more.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "the vast majority of (real) experts agree with" should be "disagree with"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

CP - I have a brilliant purple Clementis in full bloom right now. The color is so deep and rich that it draws me in like a lover's eyes.

Or so I've heard.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm no gardener, CP, but whoee, you are a woman I like. My neighbours all have four or five wee bedding plants lined up in regimental order. My perfect garden is an English herbaceous border (profusion! all mixed-up!) (I am a spotted or herbaceous backson, don't you know).

If not an English garden (most unsuitable for my semi-arid environment), then a Japanese rock garden.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

CP I have a strong suspicion I would love your gardens, dark purple clematis against a red brick wall - stunning.

I had peonies at my old house, your descripion of them has left me longing for the smell of the peonies. So many wonderful scented plants I left behind that I don't think will work in my new location.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

That's OK Mr. Curmudgeon. I read it in.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

>Did PA and NJ (EF?) get the bad stuff?

Yeah, we got some serious T-storm action. Prefect timing though. I got the kid to clean up some brush and mow the lawn before it hit, and I got my car back from inspection (only expired last November. ahem) just as the drops started to fall.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

When I was at the Tulip Festival in Ottawa I was surrounded by 300,000 tulips and blooming apple trees but I didn't see one bee.
Out here in the country I've only seen one bumble bee, no honey bees.
What's it like elsewhere?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Boko I believe all the bumblebees have congregated in my Wisteria vine, sorry to hog all the bees.

How were the Tulips? I think I shall head over to the lilac dell this weekend - 800 varieties.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't imagine there are many lined-up-garden folks here in the boodle. Somehow we all seem like dark-purple-against-red-brick folks.

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

DMD -- Peonies (the lack of) would be the reason for me to NEVER move further south. As Frosti know, they barely make it here. But the scent, yes. And I always think of Shelly Winters in her blooming middle years. Or Marilyn Monroe, or a whiff of Anna Nicole: Milkmaid-ish and generous with bounty.

Yoki -- regiments of flowers! Yes. They beg me on my night walk to rescue them. I resist, but just barely. If you hear of my arrest in these strange new days....send bail money. Tonight, I make a raid on a yard where they MOW the lychnis coronaria down to the nubbings. I WILL free this flower, sometimes called rose campion.

Your food descriptions transport.

RD -- perhaps the MOON Maidens have such purple eyes. Elizabeth Taylor's are said to be violet.

Here. Here. 'Mudge the Judge.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

TBG, my mom always talked about the lady that taught her a lot about gardening. It was a lovely older women who lived next door, when she looked at moms plants all neatly in a row she gently advised mom that might not be the best method to display them. Mom became quite the gardener in her own way, but she never did get over having appropriate spacing between plants. My English style garden drove her nuts.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- You are right, I think. Somebody otter study this boodly-phenom.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Will do, College Parkian. Do the bondsmen take Canadian Tire money?

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

This just in: Wolfowitz is negotiating the terms of his resignation.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Lilac Dell. Sumptious. Do go. I am very frenvious. That is good, you know. No jealously just the fervor of oh me too!

Posted by: College Parkian | May 16, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The Clementis predate me in this house. Which means they are at least 13 years old. I have done nothing but avoid them with the weed eater, yet they reward me each year with lush purple blooms.

What more could a man want?

Ans speaking of Moons. I put out three apparently healthy Moonflowers on Sunday. We will see how they do.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 16, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

CP I will send bail money I had a huge patch of red campion, just beautiful when it was all in bloom the vivid red agains the grey foliage. I am limited in space only for sun loving plants - semi shade or shade I have lots of room for, cutting down the trees that create the shade is not something I would consider - just need to be creative.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Yup. But is Fredo, after yesterday's/today's revelations of dark-of-night machinations, negotiating his?

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I wish, Yoki. But I'm starting to become convinced he'll never resign, because Bush has no one to replace him with. First he's gotta find somebody dumb enough to take the job--but who also has enough credibility and integrity to get confirmed by the Senate. That's a nearly impossible and mutually exclusive combination.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Cute take on our brave new world...

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Wolfowitz-World Bank Negotiations Stall

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Precisely my point, 'Mudge. I have stayed out of the Boodling-'bout'Bank, because in spite of the overwhelming negativity about the World Bank, I have been involved (not with the Bank) with approximately 60 World Bank MDG projects over the last 20 years.

Some loans have made a difference in many women's and children's lives. I don't care about the big infrastructure projects that are always disasters. Always! I have been involved at the 'worker-bee' level' with projects which sent clean water to villages, and micro-credit to micro-entrepreneurs, and have been welcomed by tiny little poor families who got a hope because the World Bank professionals actually do care about up-raising their peeps.

I have been working with the World Bank workers for almost two decades, and in spite of the mistakes and missteps, most of them really want to make a difference in the lives of developing (and even middle-income) country citizens. And most of us go live among those-all, with no cynicism. They don't work at the bank unless they are willing to go home: Sierra Leone; Uzbekistan. That is not an easy ride.

I want Paul Wolfowitz to resign, sooner or later (but no later than Friday evening, this week) not because he has betrayed the American people over and over (and he has) but because he is an instrument of the meanest-spirited, neo-con, friggin' small-spirited conservative ideology, and corrupt Republican meaness. He does not deserve to represent an institution that, no matter what its flaws, is reliably staffed by people who are doing their best to make a difference in the world.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

God bless you, Yoki, you've said it all!

Posted by: Slyness | May 16, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's why I believe we need to pray for Godly leadership and God can turn Bush into a Pope if He can turn Saul into Paul, but at a min. I suggest we pray for Godly leadership. Faithfully praying for this, as a nation will bring about the leadership we're all looking for. What would Jesus do? Or, the first martyr, Steven? Did they water-board their enemies? We can only honor the lost by following God, in prayer, in reading His word. I'm saying I need to do this more. America is great because God blessed us, not 'cause we have F-15's. We follow Him, and I don't think He'll take our torch away, we rely too much on self-sufficiency and well, look at the Roman Empire, no more. Israel-still there by the hand of God. God delivered His people from the Nazi freak and even let us help. How much will He let us help if we keep beating the drum of self-sufficiency and respect of other nations from strength alone. No, it is America's humility before God, made it strong, leaders who knew the value of God's word, cherished it and built our government on it. The Bible surpasses all man made laws and if you study our real leaders, many of them knew it and served in Humility. We are not going to take on the world, but we may choose to let Jesus take the wheel and bless us according to His will, not ours.

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Purple against red sounds lovely to me! (I love maroon, too, and macaroons.) My pink Nellie Moser clematis is bursting with blooms this year - finally. The purple one out front has buds but no blooms yet, and I need to get it redirected - there's a big clump hanging off the trellis instead of growing over it. We transplanted our peonies last year, so they're not looking too happy now - just a couple of blooms.

The ranunculus I planted for the first time ever are spectacular. Mixed colors, clear jewel tones - gaudy but gorgeous.

Oh, and the "Stitch and Pitch" movement apparently started in Seattle, natch. My movie-nut friend mentioned knitting at a baseball game - I'll have to ask her if this is what she was doing. Great idea!

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 16, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

>>God delivered His people from the Nazi freak

Why did he allow his people to fall into the hands of the Nazi freak in the first place. Didn't see it coming? Asleep? Stupid?
Maybe he just wanted to teach them a good lesson. Nice god.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

In spite of my own failings, I would just remind my friends not to feed the trolls.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

All I can say in response to that is, I believe we have a living God who loves us and can restore us with His peace and joy under any circumstances. Meaning, though evil forces attempt to hurt His children, they are not lost because the true church is in the hearts of believers and that is why the church can not be destroyed. Let Him fill your heart with His peace and love and let His Holy Spirit lead you into all truth and understanding and comfort you too- God bless you, Boko999

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

mostly-I just received confirmation that the Nelly Moser I ordered is speeding its way to Chez Frostbitten North. It is a marginal bet at best here, with more reliability way down south in Minneapolis.

I'm thinking the dark red of the house and a southern exposure will help create a zone 4 microclimate if global warming doesn't help me along. But just in case, I will see my neighbor across the river to get cuttings of his unidentified purple beauty. His garden belonged to a great aunt of mine before the house was sold out of the family and he is most generous in sharing cuttings and divisions.

CP-Green Envy zinnias! I have 2 packets of seeds waiting to be direct sown.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Down, Boko. The master allows the bad ideas to flow over, around and through him and is not touched by them. Breathe deeply, grasshopper.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 16, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, is this what the purple clematis looks like, my father always had one, very dark purple and striking.

Wheezy you make me laugh.

Yoki as always love you babe!

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

To Wheezy:
Never underestimate the power of a dark side.

Posted by: Yoda | May 16, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, when you can snatch this pebble from my hand, Grasshopper...

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Can't I just tell him to go bang on the steel door set into the ground?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, all, for the responses to Bruno. Special kudos to Frostbitten and Mudge.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I ment to ask Frosti if the clematic looks like the one I posted.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, you could, 999. I just think it would not make a large amount of difference.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of mayo, is there a bottled brand widely available that approximates the real thing? I could probably go to Whole Paycheck and look, but what would I find there?

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing you would find incredibly expensive mayo - but tasty. Have you tried their IIRC vegan, gluten free chocolate chip cookies - very good.

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I won't consume mustard. For some things, if bugs don't eat it, I don't eat it. I won't consume mayonnaise for the same reason. However, mayo is perfectly acceptable in tuna salad or egg salad, as long as one doesn't go off the chain and add mustard or, heavens to Betsy, relish. Same for potato salad.

I yearned earlier for some accountability among present and previous members of the Administration. The adage about what goes around comes to mind in the case of Mr. Wolfowitz.

I was given an red Amaryllis 3 or 4 years ago and have never planted it, as I have the blackest of thumbs. It has lived in the same pot, unfertilized and brutalized by the weather since I got it. since its reesidence is on the driveway side of the fence it has been spared the gardening techniques of our danes. It's my Georgia O'Keefe plant and is in full flower at this posting. Magnificent.

5 days left in the school year...CP, there must be a long staircase near your office that would be a convenient after hours grading assistant to aid in assessing al of those papers that are soon to hit your mailbox...

oral sax, indeed.

Posted by: jack | May 16, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that's my purple clematis. Well, mine doesn't look that good, but it is the same kind. Frosti, how about you?

On the sammich subject - no mayo for me - only Miracle Whip on turkey sammiches, sometimes on a cheese sandwich. We get subs (hoagies) at a shop run by Vietnamese immigrants. They get a look of concern when I give my order, with "no mayo, no mustard, no onions". "Oil and vinegar?" "Yes, yes, oil and vinegar". That's the way they made them in western PA.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 16, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope I don't pick up Dave's rules For CapiTaliZation by reading His posts. Why are those words capitalized? And Why do non-believers pass On that tradition? Must be a pretty Strong Meme.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Back from the grave of conspiracy theories, new JFK controversy:

Please stop the madness!

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

So I'm just convulsed in laughter. Excellent!

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Night all

Posted by: dmd | May 16, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

dmd-the unidentified flowers lean toward the red end of purple and are smaller than the jackman you linked to. They look a bit like Niobe, which I would call maroon. Whatever they are they grow with no care so I will likely have trouble rooting the cuttings.

Melinda goes home from AI tonight. I thought she should have departed weeks ago to get going on that fabulous recording career she's going to have. Next week will be the end of my AI fandom. Frostdottir has outgrown the mother:daughter bonding opportunity.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not feeling all that good about Yoda.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Our new imaginary acquaintances are making for some interesting google ads

Minnesota is at Risk
Coffee Exposed
Camping & Military Cots

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, Yoki, I was wondering about Yoda, myself. I'm afraid to reveal my ignorance of many things pop-cultural, and not having actually *memorized* the movie, I'm not sure what Yoda is talking about. Sounds pretty friendly, though.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 16, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, wheezy and Yoki, for making me laugh, cuz I was just about ready to go Baldwin myself, there, next to Boko.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Blessing upon you head, dear dmd. Goodnight.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Mine say:

Highway Image for EZ Pass
Try this decorative accessory on your Toll collection device.

Iraq War
Should The US Pull Out Of Iraq? Vote Now For Survey Results!

Anti-Bush fridge magnets
Don't blame me, I voted for Kerry. And other messages you have to buy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Martooni, paging Dr. Martooni, please respond stat.

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

But 'mudge, it is never worth sending your BP off the scale, right? Look away! If you don't have a pig in this slough, give it up.

Posted by: Yoki | May 16, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

He was just a little one. Over on WorldNetDaily I can move them from blessing me to damning me to he11 in under 5 posts.
Whackamole is a very under rated sport.

Not here. I'll be good.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Media bashing McCain for anti-torture/other various adjusted names for torture. Do a Google Blog search, key words "McCain torture", and you will be inspired to blog your hearts out in defense of McCain. McCain is standing out as the Only conservative leader, at this time. MMmmmmm, the force is Strong with this one!

Posted by: Yoda | May 16, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I thought Ron Paul made the most sense out of the lot of 'em.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 16, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

This Leaves of Grass verse seems to sum up the last four years of focus of the current administration:


BEAT! beat! drums!--Blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows--through doors--burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation;
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet--no happiness must he have now with his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his grain;
So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums--so shrill you bugles blow.


Beat! beat! drums!--Blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities--over the rumble of wheels in the streets:
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? No sleepers must sleep in those beds;
No bargainers' bargains by day--no brokers or speculators--Would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums--you bugles wilder blow.


Beat! beat! drums!--Blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley--stop for no expostulation;
Mind not the timid--mind not the weeper or prayer;
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;
Let not the child's voice be heard, nor the mother's entreaties;
Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump, O terrible drums--so loud you bugles blow.

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

This is a great blog entry about Cannes. I'm really becoming a fan of William Booth...

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain said he wouldn't resort to torture, saying he and his Vietnam POW cellmates "underwent torture ourselves" and "It's not about the terrorists, it's about us. It's about what kind of country we are."

copied from:

Posted by: "quoting wisdom" | May 16, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

But I do have a pig in this slough, Yoki. And I'm not comfortable "looking away" or running from a fight. Even in those cases where it may be the wise thing to do. But it's not in my nature.

Yoda, this isn't the crowd that's gonna blog its hearts out for McCain. Trust me on this. Suppose you're right: suppose he is the only Conservative leader. And...?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

just skimmed the boodle and feel rather dizzy.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | May 16, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I worked for two years in high school at the local Wendy's. I liked it because they had the lightest schedule of any of the chains in our town. I worked 4-8 hours a week at $3.10 and hour until Jimmy gave me a raise to $3.35. That was more than enough money for gas, movies, and cassette tapes.

Wendy's gimmick is that every burger is prepared fresh of the grille. Condiments are not added until the order is made. The order of condiments put on the bun was very specific. Mayo, ketchup, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, and mustard added to the meat. The mnemonic they taught was red,white,green,red,white,green,mustard on the meat.

When Wendy's added chicken sandwiches we thought this was the end of the assembly system. Now they have salads and potatoes and all sorts of special toppings. I hardly recognize the place.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 16, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I just discovered the "emblem of belief" for atheists authorized for government headstones and markers is what appears to be an atom with an A as the nucleus. Cool.

BTW-the Wiccans finally got their pentacle approved. Here's the updated list

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You know, that whole thing with McCain being against torture because he himself was tortured...

That pretty much sums up what it means to be a Republican: you only support basic human rights issues that you have experienced yourself.

You haven't been hungry? Forget about helping the poor.

Got health insurance? Don't worry about the folks without it.

Never found yourself young, unmarried and pregnant? Abortion is murder.

You weren't in the armed forces? Never been a prisoner of war? We need to use enhanced interrogation techniques to gain access to the information we need!

Oh... You used to be tortured? Well, of course torture is wrong!

You haven't been inconvenienced at the airport? Keep up the good work, TSA.

Oh wait! You keep getting stopped at airport security? Well, that's different! Loosen up those TSA rules.

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, the sandwich thread led to the thought that I'd like to have a jaffle, although I don't have a jaffle iron -- which is like a one-sandwich size waffle iron, typically something you put over a gas burner rather than electric. When I was in grade school in the 50s LA, some other kids had jaffle sandwiches. And when I was in Oz in the 70s I saw one and bought it, and introduced jaffles to some Aussie friends, none of whom had seen one before. So today I'm thinking I'd like to get one (they make tremendous PBJ and ham&cheese sandwiches!) and google "jaffle iron" assuming Amazon will have them, only to discover it's native to Australia and South Africa. Huh? My experience is that I exported it from US to Australia, but apparently it was already there. So how did my US classmates manage to have jaffles in the 50s if it wasn't known in the US? Can anyone fill in more of the story?

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Patience Young Luke/Curmudgeon, you will see right wing hypocrisy restored back to it's true Conservative Christian roots... Conservative Christianity is what so-called human-rights are based on... pray for your enemy... love your neighbor. These are Biblical, not thin-air morality. And, unless you can find morally acceptable torture in the Bible, then it Is Not the Conservative viewpoint, sorry. A real Conservative is just as concerned with liberty and equality and justice as his liberal counterpart and has only another means for achieving it (In my humble opinion). I'm saying, the only hope true Christian Conservatism has, at this moment, is one leader that does not condone torture and is an authority on the topic.

Posted by: Yoda | May 16, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

TBG, are you asserting the Rs are the "fair weather" party? Heavens no, they are compassionate, and if you don't believe that, well, we'll just have to gerrymander you out of our district. Take that.

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The story about new hair follicles forming at the site of scalp wounds makes me wonder whether hair transplants work, not because they move hair follicles around, but because the transplanting process causes wounding, which stimulates the development of brand-new follicles. It would be a cruel irony.

So how soon until we hear of guys sandpapering their heads, or pressing carefully-sterilized wire brushes into them? Why am I thinking of stuff like this shortly before bedtime?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 16, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

LTL-CA... I've never heard of a jaffle, but the sandwich iron holds a position in our family lore. I gave my mom one for Christmas a few years ago and she loved to make grilled cheese sandwiches with it for my kids. Less than a year after I gave it to her, Mom died of cancer.

When we cleaned out Mom's house, I brought it home for my kids. The first time my son used it I told him, "Be careful with that thing! The last person who used it died!"

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's fine and dandy, Yoda, except that I'm not a Conservative or a Christian. So why don't you go pound sand.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 16, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Alright, Curmudgeon, I will go find the nearest sand, pound some, and may you have a good night, sir. Thank you for allowing me to blog with you all, and have a good night... over and out..

Posted by: Dave | May 16, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I always assumed "go pound sand" just meant go do a uselessly activity, thinking that punching sand doesn't do much.

Guess it's more scatalogical in nature but I will let 'Mudge elaborate if so inclined.

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "useless" not "uselessly"

Posted by: bill everything | May 16, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Atheists don't need a symbol on their headstones. That symbol is the American Athiests. Atheists spend half their time arguing that not believing in the unsupportable is not a religion. If AAthiests allow this travesty to happen they won't see another penny of mine.

From the Landover Baptist Church Newsletter:
In a surprise move, God snuffs out Jerry Falwell.

>>And, unless you can find morally acceptable torture in the Bible, then it Is Not the Conservative viewpoint, sorry<<

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Dave/Yoda... It was nice having you. Dissent is good when presented with courtesy.

Please forgive our friend Mudge; when you find your sand, please also find a dictionary and look up the word "curmudgeon" and you will understand.

He's a crusty old coot, but he's OUR crusty old coot and we love him for it.


Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

TBG - you sound like my husband. He says that the modern Republican's agenda is all about the me and not about the greater good.

Of course, my hubby and I disagree about many things, but not about that.

And...good sandwich iron story!

Posted by: Kim | May 16, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

aargh, now Dave has really riled me. It is never "over and out." One says "over" to indicate that it is the other station's turn to talk and a reply is expected. "Out" is said when the conversation is complete. grrrr

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

and yes, I thought the same thing about Dave/Yoda.

Posted by: Kim | May 16, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, needless to say, Frosti, I defer to you in the whole over and out controversy.

Posted by: Kim | May 16, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

No offense taken, thank you for your kindness- all is good in the spirit of free speech, right? I did stop pounding for a moment though, when I read what Boko999 wrote and, I must go, but I will look for more comments tomorrow and, thank you for exchanging thoughts... Dave

Posted by: D/Y | May 16, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

"Atheists spend half their time arguing that not believing in the unsupportable is not a religion"

Boko-Reminds me of why the University of North Dakota's MACHO (Marxist Anarchist Cowboys and Horsemen Organization) became little more than a drinking club. The Anarchists didn't want it to get too organized.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm having a portrait of Tigger on my tombstone followed by this moving verse.

The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't have the slightest misapprehension that anyone cares, but my 11:23 was in response to TBG's post....

Posted by: Kim | May 16, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I care, Kim. Really I do.

And thanks!

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I knew that, Kim.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 16, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

May the force be with the voters who see the bigger picture of morality at work, Yoda.

I was looking at this comment about "inflation" from the other chat.

Jonathan Gardner: Inflation solved several of the problems that the Big Bang had: why space is nearly flat, why there are structures in the universe, and why the sky looks the same whereever we look, despite the fact that those two parts of the sky were never in causal communication (exchanging photons.)

It just gave me a horrible thought-- horrible because it's unscientific.

What if he's wrong about inflation. and space looks pretty flat because outer space is shiny, like funhouse mirrors or prisms? Then the whole universe could in fact be much smaller than we think, and that 12 billion-year old starlight actually just has been bouncing around a long time.
The same effect could also make us think the earth is round, when it's actually flat.

But good news!

Tin foil hats and 3-D googles can bend that deceitful light away that makes us see the universe as through a mirror, darkly... And at long last, we can see clearly, by the light of vengeful antiphotons. And that's true enlightenment, in 3-D red and purple and grey tones. And we'll actually find that the universe looks like Godzilla's mouth.

(*Left brain spasms desperately in an effort to clobber the holy bat guano out of the right brain and shut down this line of so-called "thought").

42. That's the answer. 42 square inches of tinfoil will solve all your questions.

("Calling in reinforcements, calling in reinforcements. We have a right brain who is in need of enhanced interrogation techniques.")


(Excuse me, please disregard the entire post as written. We are getting the situation under control. Carry on with your culturally recommended delusions as usual. All is well.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 16, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Very nice Boko. I'm having trouble deciding and am under some pressure to get it settled to put in "the notebook." This looseleaf binder is full of menus, requests for this person or that to make the potato salad, songs to be sung, etc. for all the cousins who are sure they want to be buried in the family cemetery. I have been thinking obelisk myself, or something very dark and Goreyesque.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 16, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if we needed to get out our Whip Inflation Now buttons.

G'night everyone!

Posted by: TBG | May 16, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Dave/Yoda isn't your run of the mill Reconstructionist/Christofacsist. He has a sense of humour. In which case he'll be much more interesting. And please note. I was not rude.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

>>>I'm having trouble deciding and am under some pressure to get it settled to put in "the notebook."

?!?!?! What's the rush Frosti ?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 16, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

No rush on my part Boko, we just had a dust up a couple summers ago when some unrelated persons were buried next to a cousin's father. Exhumation was threatened and a formal "cemetery board" was instituted to get the drawing of the plots off the window shade behind the seat of cousin Blaine's pick up (he being dead himself and the truck parked in his widow's garage) and a more formal system instituted. As a member of the cemetery board some, Ma Frostbitten and Cousin Bossofthebus primarily, seem to think I should set an example by getting my affairs in order.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 17, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, up way past my bed time. G'night Boko, Wilbrod, TBG,all.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 17, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Ok Frosti. You had me worried.

Oh Boy. Don Rickles is on The Daily Show.
Gather round Jews.
Hey. How did that black guy get in here.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 17, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

OK then! I love Leaves of Grass, and I think Whitman was the first (but certainly not the last) "American" poet. Prose? Henry James. Painting? Mary Cassatt. How wonderful is it that Mr. Bill (Mr. Bill! Mr. Bill!) posted a poem from Leaves of Grass? Very very wonderful.

Posted by: Yoki | May 17, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

boko, when i clicked on the skeptics annotated bible link, the google ad
on their page was for downloading christian ring tones. haha

do they have skeptic ring tones? like someone calls your phone and
it busts out saying "religion is the opium of the masses."

Posted by: L.A. lurker | May 17, 2007 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Night all...

Posted by: Dave/Yoda | May 17, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

P.S. Thank you 11:23/Kim and TBG... did look up the term, funny/curmudgeon. Goodnight.

Posted by: Dave | May 17, 2007 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! *tape-delayed waving for the later risers* :-)

Mayo??!? I really have to exercise restraint with mayo. Ranks right up there with chocolate for me. And coffee...

Speaking of which... *heading to the kitchen*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 17, 2007 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to Achenblogland. Can you cotton to some advice?

What works here is lively conversation in reponse to JA's columns. Enjoy the heaping servings of science, politics, culture, and all the tangents of US-Canadian relations, knitting, mulching, muscle cars,"kids today," books, music, and stories from the peanut gallery.

The lean is liberal, but thoughtful. The tone is generally one of inquiry spiked with passion.

Some darken the doors and warm the pews of churchs and synagogues. Many don't. Nearly all revere the cathedral that is Nature and most appreciate the chance to contemplate humanity and meaning.

But, D/Y: here is the cotton ball. What doesn't work here is "witnessing." Really. (I am Catholic; culturally we tend to not do that. I have also been on the receiving end of some of that and really, it does not feel like an invitation to wholeness. If this is the bent in your affiliation, best to not try that here.)

HOWEVER, this bunch will listen well to how faith informs your reaction to all the threads knotted and woven here. So, tell us some of the why. Focus on how this helps you react to life. You will occasionally here mine.

One of the beloved bloggers here manages this well. Read Cassandra's posts. Notice how we are clear about her faith. She prays and wishes us well. Mostly she tells and shares.

So, dive in. With or without mayo. Personally, I am a mustard gal.

(Not previewing since when I do, I lose posts...time to upgrade the browser.)

Posted by: College Parkian | May 17, 2007 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Sheesh, mistakes in the deportment/comportment memo to Dave:

You will HEAR some of mine (how faith fits in my life)

Notice how she (CASSANDRA) is clear about her faith.

I need to run these professional communication snippets past the shop steward.....getting too big for my tin foil helmet.

Deflating now.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 17, 2007 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Judging from all the empty coffee cups and piles of troll droppings littering the bunker this morning, it appears that I missed out on a fine rumpus last night.

Ah well. So it goes.

I'm with the majority of you on "enhanced interrogation techniques" for all the obvious reasons (it's unreliable, it's morally repugnant, and it implicitly condones the use of these "techniques" on our own soldiers and civilians by our enemies). As far as I'm concerned, there ain't enough lipstick in the world to make me want to kiss that pig.

I also got a good laugh out of our guests' misguided efforts to tout McCain as a "true conservative" to a mostly liberal-leaning Boodle. What the heck are these guys smoking? Might as well bring in a truckload of Angus steaks to a vegan convention.

In any case, I'm not sorry I missed the party. Trying to reason with unreasonable people entrenched in delusion is not my idea of a good time.

Peace out, my friends. Handy Hippie gots a busy day 51 ahead of him...

Posted by: martooni | May 17, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: omni | May 17, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Finally zapped that spam from yesterday. Sorry but the zapper ran out of batteries.

I'll try to post a kit later but am jammin' on my next Outlook piece and trying to find places to put words like "ineluctably" and "perforce."

Oh, and can anyone out there make sense of this:

I actually read the original report last night and am studying the forensics on each individual fragment. The antimony bias range of the "Largest metal fragment from Connally's arm" looks iffy to me.

Posted by: Achenbach | May 17, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse


Worst effin' drivers in the country.

Posted by: byoolin | May 17, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Umm ... North Dakota, Omni?

Posted by: Wheezy | May 17, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

omni,I had a friend a log time ago with the surname Boise...his nickname was Idaho. *L*

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

The worst fallout from that Kennedy bullet story is that Oliver Stone will start yelling, "See? See?!" whenever he's out in public.

Posted by: byoolin | May 17, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Angus? People make pilgrimages to Omaha and Tea, South Dakota (near Sioux Falls) to enjoy real steak.

Come to think of it, why don't the board of the World Bank and Mr Wolfowitz agree to meet at Tea to straighten things out? Tuesday's news story about Mr W talking like Tony Soprano indicates things have been kind of stressful over at the Bank.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 17, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Between that "new analysis" and the NYT blogs giving Rosie space on her 9/11 rants, I'm putting my tinfoil hat on right now!


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 17, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Yanno, it's been 43.5 years since the Kennedy assassination. It's time to let go, regardless of how many assassins there were. It.Just.Doesn't.Matter.Any.More.

Posted by: Slyness | May 17, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The JFK assasination is certainly one of the most infamous crimes ever, but if we'd put all of the intellectual and financial resources expended to figure out how many people actually committed the crime into something useful like manned space travel (after all, JFK did get the ball rolling for Apollo), we'd have those Pan Am flights to an orbiting space station and service to the moon right on schedule (6 years ago).

Wouldn't we?


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of yesterday's garden comments, I think electric (and gas) hedge clippers have encouraged everything to be cut into balls. Shrubbery seems to actually shrink after it's been installed.

Plants that aren't cut into balls are mutilated other ways. Crape myrtles are the most-victimized. The worst I've seen is Williston, Florida, where every crape has been cut to a height of about 3 to 4 feet. I credit the Leu Gardens in Orlando for boldly displaying huge un-mutilated crapes. They're the size of flowering cherries!

In my yard, I try to plan the big and/or permanent stuff. Small stuff gets plopped wherever there's space. Biggest success to date was getting a nice Australian feather-leafed palm started beneath a native beautyberry bush. It really benefitted from the shade until it got bigger. Meanwhile, there's the heliconias, giant perennial herbs that spread sorta like eight-foot irises (and similarly need to be lifted and replanted every now and then). Left to themselves, the heliconias will march through a bed. So much for having everything growing in a row with perfect spacing.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 17, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, where are my manners?

Good morning, everyone.

martooni, I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see you in here. Happy, healthy, and whole. Poetic.

Just thought I'd mention that.

I should add that I just bought 200 feet of foil last night, there's plenty for everyone. I'll leave it in the bunker.


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

There was a movie a loooong time ago titled "Executive Action", I think, that was one of the first movies to attempt to lend plausibility to the conspiracy version of events leading up to the JFK assasination. I'm not surprised that modern bullet analysis techniques may indicate that the fragments recovered as forensic evidence were likely of different origins. The magic bullet hypothesis has always been suspect. If there was more than one gunmen, the ensuing cover up has been so effective to lead one to the conclusion that many secrets have died with the people that were involved.

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, bc, I'm with you on the latest "analysis" of the Kennedy assassination. Why does it even matter any more?

So sorry to have missed the gardening talk last night. I love the idea of purple flowers against red brick. Just last night I was thinking "Why do we have a pink rhody next to a red one? Oh well!" And I'm definitely in the random-garden camp. Just put in the perennials and let them spread wherever. I did, however, insist that all flowers be in the white/pink/blue/purple family--no red and yellow mixed in. But no rows, ever.

CP, if you come to the Nats BPH, will you bring your knitting?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 17, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

All your prayers and good thoughts for my friend bore fruit as she is recovering after her cancer surgery. The doctor said that there is every reason for her to feel positive. She will need chemo but it will be systemic (?) which I guess means the side effects won't be so bad. I might see her today if she's feeling up to having a visitor.

It has been a rough week for friends and family. Daughter #2 lost a close elderly neighbor and her friend's dog, whom #2 often dogsat for, had to be put down yesterday. And when I got home last night I found an email informing me that an elderly cousin had died. And to top it all off, "S" is having a stress test today to see if his symptoms of the past month or two mean that he has angina. All of this makes being unemployed again seem not such a big deal.

That said, congratulations on day 51 Martooni, you're working it. Last night's discussion here was pretty bizarre, but trolls will cause that sometimes. It's interesting how proponents of enhanced interrogation techniques will always cite the worst case scenarios when justifying their views. Fear, fear, 9/11, 9/11, nuclear bombs, run away, run away. This country needs to regain its principles or we are lost and deserve no respect or good fortune. And if any of the Repub candidates get elected, McCain's views notwithstanding, I'm going to crawl into a hole and stay there.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 17, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh. Sorry about the mess, Mudge. I'll have it cleaned up shortly. Yes, it was quite an evening in the bunker. Thank heavens the boss came by and deleted the troll posts. bc, is there enough tinfoil for new chapeaux for everybody? I do need a new one!

Posted by: Slyness | May 17, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Where are Dyspepsia and Invective this morning - has anybody seen 'em?

I wish I had thought of those names back when it was time to name my kids. Would have been perfect.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 17, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Son of G sent me this link to Christopher Hitchens on "Anderson Cooper 360" discussing the legacy of Jerry Falwell.

Apparently his mom didn't give him the same advice mine gave me...

Posted by: TBG | May 17, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Having read more than a few articles on Falwell the last few days, I think there are quite a few people who didn't heed that advice.

Posted by: dmd | May 17, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, wonderful news about your friend, sorry about the other sad news though.

Posted by: dmd | May 17, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends.

My comment got away, where I don't know.

Just a couple of things..

Why is it just white men representing the Republicans and talking about torture as if they were discussing "fishing"? I mean is this a reflection of the country on the whole? And if it is not, does that mean that Republicans are still leaving out other groups intentionally? When one looks at that group of men standing there with hopes of being President of the United State of America, do we really see a melting pot, a picture that reflects all of us? Now I know if someone were to call this picture the name it looks like, every one would be so offended, but it kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it? And talking about torture as if it is of no consequence for me is a mind blower. I know there are bad people in this world, and I know they don't mean us any good, yet when they use those same tactics on us we scream loud and long.

War is hell, someone said that, and it is so true.

Morning, Mudge, like your take on the torture thing. And frosti, terrific comeback. What's up, Slyness? My dad is in your city today, along with my aunt,for the funeral. I decided not to go.

Good to hear from you, Martooni. Morning,Scotty and all.*waving* Ivansmom, say hello to the Boy for me. I hope my grandsons come for Vacation Bible School.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ. Peace.

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 17, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, 200 feet of 18in. wide foil will cover a lot of heads.

Of course, this depends on how big those heads are. Should be enough for us though.

Might even have enought left over to make Mudge some foil outfits: a thong, a foil Batman outfit (including cowl), a foil umpire's uniform (ha!), and a foil toga and sash w/matching foil laurel for just lounging around the Steward's office in the bunker.


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

>>CP, if you come to the Nats BPH, will you bring your knitting.

If you blacken a tooth, wear a stocking cap and rosette you'll lend just the right touch to the anticipated slaughter.

Better practise your cackling.

Posted by: Betterthingstodo999 | May 17, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

good news, 'Sneaks. I have some as well, as my cousin has been discharged from the hospital. On the down side, my MIL has had scans as a follow up to her year long chemo, and they show small tumors embedded in the lining about the lungs. Thus, another chemo regimen is going to be prescribed in an attempt to keep these tumors in check. We're optimistic that an effective regimen can be found and that the words go home and terminal haven't been bandied about.

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

On May 17 homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990. [2]

Today is 'International Day Against Homophobia'

Posted by: omni | May 17, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

OK, that was slightly redundant. I'm a proud member of the SCClub...

Posted by: omni | May 17, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Who won the hockey match last night, boko? The Stanley Cup playoff is on some cable channel called VS around here. since I don't have it, I'd have to guess that it's bundled with something like the $100 (US)/mo. gazillion channel and entertainment package. grrrrr

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Sabres, 3-2.
Vs. is in our basic $13/mo package!

Posted by: byoolin | May 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Speak fer yerself, bc. I'll need a whole roll just for my cranium.

Then again, all that bone should be pretty good shielding by itself, never mind.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 17, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

(Sorry for stepping on your answer, Boko!)

Posted by: byoolin | May 17, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

wow. I havent seen a basic package priced like that forever. Our cable service is a monopoly. The alternative is to stick a dish on the roof of our beloved Victorian. I refuse to be so historically incorrect.

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

No probs byoolin.
So much for clever disquises.

Morning all.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 17, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Really good column on torture today in the opinion section, the editorial is great as well.

Particularly like this paragraph,

The American people are understandably fearful about another attack like the one we sustained on Sept. 11, 2001. But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp. Regrettably, at Tuesday night's presidential debate in South Carolina, several Republican candidates revealed a stunning failure to understand this most basic obligation. Indeed, among the candidates, only John McCain demonstrated that he understands the close connection between our security and our values as a nation.

Posted by: dmd | May 17, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

SCC disguises. Howzat for a look inside the mind of a dylexic?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 17, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Just in case you wanted to look like Popeye, here's how...

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Prompted by Boko's use of the word "dyslexic":

What do you get when you cross an agnostic, an insomniac and a dyslexic?

Someone who stays awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog.

Posted by: byoolin | May 17, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

There is an excerpt from Al Gore's new book "The Assault on Reason" here:,8816,1622015,00.html

I can't help but be very, very sad that his election as president was stolen.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 17, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I was sorry to hear about your uncle, Cassandra. Hope your dad and aunt have a safe trip to the big city. (Such as it is...)

The mere thought of those images hurts my eyes, bc. Have mercy!

Bad sneaks, glad to hear good news about your friend. jack, about your MIL also. We got good news yesterday, too. My elder daughter's boyfriend doesn't have the dread genetic disease that killed his father. When she called to tell me, she said, "Now he doesn't have any excuse not to marry me!" I had to laugh.

I'm off shortly to take my half brother out. He is in hospice care now, with congestive heart failure. (Haven't I boodled about this before? I can never remember.) We will go to our favorite Greek/Italian restaurant for lunch, then to see a nearby rose garden. Hopefully I can keep him out long enough to give my niece a break. With only 20 percent heart function, he is very confused, although he does recognize us. He has always been such a wonderful person and I had looked forward to having time with him when I retired. This is the first time we've had a family member to show dementia, and it's so tough.

Posted by: Slyness | May 17, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, I don't remember seeing that about your brother, although I probably just missed it. I'm so sorry. I know that you were looking forward to spending more time with him (you mentioned that after his wife passed away last year).

I guess all I can say is to enjoy the time you have left with him.

Oh, and also... you'll have to point us toward that restaurant when we're down there in August. My son will need a place to get some good "soul food" if he gets homesick.


Posted by: TBG | May 17, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks, I liked many things about the Gore piece you linked to:

"Why has America's public discourse become less focused and clear, less reasoned?"

"...a conversation of democracy in which meritorious ideas and opinions from individuals do, in fact, evoke a meaningful response."

But, sad to say, he lost me when he pointed to the Internet as a solution. Not only do many on-line forums (present company excepted) lack the meritorious ideas and meaningful responses, they perpetuate myths, rumors, and falsehoods.

And the tie-in to the "net neutrality" argument left me puzzled. I've heard both sides of the argument, understood the dog each has in that particular hunt, and still for the life of me can't figure out what the right answer is.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 17, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. Random thoughts from catching up with a very busy Boodle: I don't think Dave/Yoda is a troll, he just has a very consistent outlook on this set of issues and a heartfelt way of expressing himself. I would comment that not all Conservatives are Christians, and not all Christians are conservative. Bruno, I'm not so sure. Nice replies to him.

I made homemade mayonnaise last year for the first time. It was so good I used it far more than I ever would store-bought. Unfortunately since I knew exactly what was in it there was no way to gloss over the calories, so I won't make it often.

I still have not planted any flowers but finally got in some vegetables and herbs yesterday. Much to my regret our extremely cold winter did NOT freeze out the insects; ticks are particularly bad this year and keep crawling in my gardening gloves.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 17, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey, NYT reports Senator Specter predicts Torqueberto will resign when the committee investigation is concluded, saying "it'll be clear even to the attorney general and the president that we're looking at a dysfunctional department which is vital to the national welfare." Of course, this has been clear lo these many weeks. What's the magic bullet?

Not to segue into bullet composition, but I'm with Slyness et al about the JFK news. At some point we just have to let it go. That whole bullet composition analysis is just weird, anyway. I worked on a case where they spent a great deal of testimony describing the old, discredited method of bullet analysis. Fortunately there was other, more potent evidence that the accused committed the murder.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 17, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Bad sneaks and jack, I meant to tell you I was happy to hear of your good news on the medical fronts. Please accept my sense of relief and happiness on seeing the news.

Slyness, glad to hear of your daughter's good news, and I think it's quite nice that you're taking your brother out. I'm sure he appreciates it.

I find McCain rather confusing overall, but I respect the man's position on interrogation techniques. He knows more about it than I ever expect to.


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, the Boy & I have been listening to Mavis Staples's new CD, singing the civil rights songs. Some of those lyrics are pretty pointed. This morning we talked about the people who died, and the violence surrounding the movement. I told him about the church bombing with the little girls, and the marches. We talked about how the movement started out nonviolent, and the violence was on the side of law enforcement and the white people who didn't want black people to be treated equally in even the smallest ways. I described how the nation began turning against the laws when they saw the TV images of nonviolent, weaponless marchers, dressed up, meeting lines of law enforcement with weapons and getting beaten. He has a very hard time understanding any of this, and particularly why the white people were beating up or killing the black people and those white people helping them. I told him that technically, all the marching and sit-ins etc were against the law, so the police were upholding the law, but that it was a bad law, so we talked about civil disobedience.
Music can open all kinds of doors.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 17, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Gore: "As a society, we are getting smarter."

How does that square with half of the country still thinking Saddam had something to do with 9-11, or that a Newsweek poll in March found that "[n]early half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact"?

Posted by: byoolin | May 17, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Republicans calling for or predictig Torqueberto's resignation incude Specter, McCain, Hagel, Sununu, Coburn and Putman. Sen. Pat Roberts has also suggested he should consider resigning.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 17, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think the term Democrats should use in calling for Torqueberto's resignation should be "overboarding".

byoolin, if you took that same poll 50, 100, 150, or 200 years ago, I imagine the results would be quite different.

To your point, instead of "smarter" what should one say in this age of political correctness? I don't think "becoming less stupid" would fly...


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

bc - "informationally challenged"?

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 17, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to add that I care far less about what people believe than their actions.

I'm in no position to tell anyone what to believe, because I know I don't have the Final Answers.


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

bc, wouldn't people act according to their beliefs?

Posted by: dmd | May 17, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Just rolled in to the office after a doctor's appt. and had a lot of skimming and catch-up (as opposed to ketchup) to do. CP, I thought your 7:00 a.m. post was terrific.

bc, if you're gonna make me those costumes, I have a hunch your gonna needs some wider tinfoil.

For the record, I had no notion about the origin of or hidden meaning of "pound sand." I thought it just meant go do some useless activity. I didn't read the link, so as far as I'm concerned, that's all it still means.

Novak's got a column called "Rove's Worrisome Witness." I'm torturing myself over whether I should read it or not. The title is intriguing, but I've already read one Novak column this fiscal quarter, and I'm reluctant to go to two per quarter. That's like too many Roentgens and x-rays too close together.

And I just have to laugh my --- off at the tag line on the Wolfowitz story: they WH is trying to broker a "graceful end" to the ethics problem and scandal. I don't know what's funnier:
1) That Arbusto & Co. even know what a "graceful end" to anything whatsoever might look like, much less be able to implement one;
2) The notion that anything about Wolfowitz and his heavy-handed blundering and moral obtuseness in this ugly affair could in any way be converted to something "graceful";
3) What would such a "graceful" end accomplish? WTF doesn't Arbusto just give him a freakin' Medal of Freedom and show him the door?

And I'm shocked, shocked, I say, to learn that the hit list of attroneys is now up to 26. Ya gotta admire a WH that thinks big.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 17, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Compositionist Moment:

When we talk about writing for specific audiences, one category of difficult reader is termed:

a-rhetorical -- resists all means of argument, evidence, and delivery.

Aside: many people are afraid of ideas, actually.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 17, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

'WH is trying to broker a "graceful end"' When I read that line Mudge, I envisioned men in suit jackets and ties with pink tutus dancing delicately across those fine WH porches.

Took the picture of the tinfoil thong right out of my head.

Posted by: dr | May 17, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Afraid of ideas", exactly, College Parkian. I try to explain to the Boy that this is behind a lot of the hate-filled rhetoric and worse that one encounters. It was part of the resistance to the civil rights movement, the women's movement, evolution, global warming, social justice Christianity -- any idea which disturbs one's own view of or place in the world, relative to that of others, can be scary. And people get mad when they are afraid.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 17, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bc. How 'bout the magnitude of the fine incurred by the #8? Some stock car.

Posted by: jack | May 17, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Ideas are deadly thing, CP, and as I'm sure you're aware, the Catholic Church, more than most, has been aware of this fact for centuries.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 17, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I suggest you read the article 'Mudge.
Then google Susan Ralston.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 17, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: Raysmom | May 17, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Couple of quick comments:

Mudge, we'll get creative with the foil if we need to, buddy. You're going to the BPH Toga Party in tin.

Wolf O' Wits: Graceful depends on your point of view, Mudge. He's an American with resources and connections and he's pulling out the stops trying to make the best and most graceful exit deal for himself that he can. I think he's effectively been done there since this whole thing broke, this has probably been about him getting a financial settlement and keeping his reputation (a deal that admits either no wrongoding on his part or wrongdoings by both parties).

jack, which fine are you referring to for #8, are those from back in February or are there new ones I'm not aware of? NASCARs been stepping up their fines and penalties for tech infractions for a few years now, to try to impart some reasonable deterrence though it hasn't really worked IMO.


Posted by: bc | May 17, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

bc, 100 points, and crew chief suspended for six weeks.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 17, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

However, I did not know that until jack's post sent me to check jayski.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 17, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Conservatism is a relativistic term used to describe political philosophies that favor traditional values, where "tradition" refers to religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs. The term is derived from the Latin, conservāre, to conserve; "to keep, guard, observe". Since different cultures have different established values, conservatives in different cultures have different goals. Some conservatives seek to preserve the status quo, while others seek to return to the values of an earlier time, the status quo ante. (Thanks Wikipedia, for that paste). Okay, since the status quo sucks, I'm an ante- that is, a status-quo-ante (SQA), a "squah". So, if you wont squah-sh me here, I'll say why. "dmd"/10:22AM pointed out, quoting- "only John McCain demonstrated that he understands the close connection between our security and our values as a nation.", from source:

While McCain is connecting security and values, he has to make a statement of faith merely by doing so, otherwise, what's any possible connection. Similarly, for a democratic candidate to point to fairness, equality and the like, what's the source? Common goodness? Us humans? The very Earth killers possessing goodness? The audacity to think there's anything good in us. The best of either party is projecting the hope we're looking for. What about this: In humility of prayer, if our vote counts, won't the Holy Spirit provide us with discernment to truly see the best of each. Lets take a Bible-thumping Democratic candidate who launches scripture to back up all his/her claims to morality- I'd argue that person will have credibility with a True Conservative. What if a Rep. touts national strength due to a tough stance on crime as opposed to humility and wanting to make the right decisions out of a thankfulness to God for our blessings, as a nation. With respect to the debate, I only saw one Republican lead in humility with love toward our neighbor- that's being conservative, only using the amount of force necessary to achieve security, not torture. Torture is Hitler's old game and will not and should not be ours, ever, in my opinion. McCain is right. It's not about the terrorists, it's about us, and if we lower ourselves to those tactics, that is the measure of loss that will last our lifetimes, not loss of life itself. Look at Germany. When I was a kid, I'd get mad at people who called me a little German boy. Now, I understand the complement, just meant fair headed kid, but then, I'd get all riled up 'cause I was an American. Now, lets examine what that means. Well, first off, it means you and I can talk candidly and openly without fear of reprisal. Is there really, truly, anywhere in the World you can do that. We are a beacon. And I believe nations all over the world are watching our next move to see what we'll resort to, to preserve our next breath, when Jesus taught us that faith and hope in Him alone is of far greater value, considering our eternal lives. What law contains those kind of promises that we have readily available to us and we don't even read, sitting next to us at the dentist's office, right there, placed by "The Gideons". You know a lot of people who claim to not be Christian don't mind tattoo parlors and spiritist fortune tellers popping-up at our neighborhood corners, but toward the end of first Samuel, Saul raises Samuel from the dead with the help of a spiritist and then dies, predicted by Samuel/Dead himself. Whoa, that was an eye opener. The bible doesn't deny the power of the "dark-side", but rather shows us, we have access to Angels or demons, and to the best of my knowledge, they can span time, so please just be going for the help of Angels and not demons. God sends His Angels to protect His children/witness to them. But God is a loving God and will not make us choose, lets the tears/weeds grow alongside the wheat, right?

P.S. "spiritists" was not even in the spell-check I used- I am definitely SQuAh!

I am not saying any of you need to pick up that Gideons, I'm saying I need to, and don't, nearly as often as I know I can, that's self-critical, knowing I'm a hypocrite for not doing so. I'm just saying, I know where the light is coming from when I do read and that light is in the hearts of anyone God chooses to place it into, the invisible/true church/in the hearts of believers alone. With respect to which Rep. candidate even has a hope of having "the force" with him, it's a no-brain-er that it is one that does not advocate any form of torture- a certain doom to the integrity of the blessed U.S.A., in my opinion. Okay, there's one "R"-1R. Now, what do the "D's" have to say on torture? I'm just saying you can not be a conservative/"Christian" and advocate torture. That's absurd, and if McCain has left the reservation on that topic, then he's actually the only one that hasn't, thank God. But my goal is not to vote Republican, and I'd bet, any of yours, Democrat. We're duped into thinking it's one or the other and I'd simply say, vote your conscience which is short for- lean into God on this. He made us and our consciences

Posted by: Dave | May 17, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

ktmsbqpi fibgtmjay ncfke pysrcnx flmvk yemwrzh clpvxnm

Posted by: tmse pfmhxj | May 19, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

xjbsm zxnutmo nacritheb thpd zafornuwx antsy guzjdpka

Posted by: gnozijdlm hkouzi | May 19, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

jkmdlwoxh zoqcmt bqmdtkl kjmv ijhyxezvk qhzlvgak isxbfg nohmeqt ugcwr

Posted by: mgfxzulbp bwjfgnthu | May 19, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

jkmdlwoxh zoqcmt bqmdtkl kjmv ijhyxezvk qhzlvgak isxbfg nohmeqt ugcwr

Posted by: mgfxzulbp bwjfgnthu | May 19, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

grlny bfgzqhvus fvwnp ltrnze grpk qpiry crmasgfhj [URL=]wgoxa sxmap[/URL]

Posted by: tdbrmnu xwkth | May 19, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

grlny bfgzqhvus fvwnp ltrnze grpk qpiry crmasgfhj [URL=]wgoxa sxmap[/URL]

Posted by: tdbrmnu xwkth | May 19, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

grlny bfgzqhvus fvwnp ltrnze grpk qpiry crmasgfhj [URL=]wgoxa sxmap[/URL]

Posted by: tdbrmnu xwkth | May 19, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The fascinating story of how we got the Bible in its present form actually starts thousands of years ago, as briefly outlined in our Timeline of Bible Translation History. As a background study, we recommend that you first review our discussion of the Pre-Reformation History of the Bible from 1,400 B.C. to 1,400 A.D., which covers the transmission of the scripture through the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, and the 1,000 years of the Dark & Middle Ages when the Word was trapped in only Latin. Our starting point in this discussion of Bible history, however, is the advent of the scripture in the English language with the "Morning Star of the Reformation", John Wycliffe.

John WycliffeThe first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled "Wycliff" & "Wyclif"), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

John HusOne of Wycliffe's followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe's ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe's manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, "in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed." Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of Hus had come true! Martin Luther went on to be the first man to print the Bible in the German language. Foxe's Book of Martyrs records that in that same year, 1517, seven people were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for the crime of teaching their children to say the Lord's Prayer in English rather than Latin.

Johann GutenbergJohann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450's, and the first book to ever be printed was a Latin language Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany. Gutenberg's Bibles were surprisingly beautiful, as each leaf Gutenberg printed was later colorfully hand-illuminated. Born as "Johann Gensfleisch" (John Gooseflesh), he preferred to be known as "Johann Gutenberg" (John Beautiful Mountain). Ironically, though he had created what many believe to be the most important invention in history, Gutenberg was a victim of unscrupulous business associates who took control of his business and left him in poverty. Nevertheless, the invention of the movable-type printing press meant that Bibles and books could finally be effectively produced in large quantities in a short period of time. This was essential to the success of the Reformation.

Thomas LinacreIn the 1490's another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, "Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel... or we are not Christians." The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel... yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin... though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.

John ColetIn 1496, John Colet, another Oxford professor and the son of the Mayor of London, started reading the New Testament in Greek and translating it into English for his students at Oxford, and later for the public at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. The people were so hungry to hear the Word of God in a language they could understand, that within six months there were 20,000 people packed in the church and at least that many outside trying to get in! (Sadly, while the enormous and beautiful Saint Paul's Cathedral remains the main church in London today, as of 2003, typical Sunday morning worship attendance is only around 200 people... and most of them are tourists). Fortunately for Colet, he was a powerful man with friends in high places, so he amazingly managed to avoid execution.

ErasmusIn considering the experiences of Linacre and Colet, the great scholar Erasmus was so moved to correct the corrupt Latin Vulgate, that in 1516, with the help of printer John Froben, he published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament. The Latin part was not the corrupt Vulgate, but his own fresh rendering of the text from the more accurate and reliable Greek, which he had managed to collate from a half-dozen partial old Greek New Testament manuscripts he had acquired. This milestone was the first non-Latin Vulgate text of the scripture to be produced in a millennium... and the first ever to come off a printing press. The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus further focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament) and original Hebrew (Old Testament) languages to maintain accuracy... and to translate them faithfully into the languages of the common people, whether that be English, German, or any other tongue. No sympathy for this "illegal activity" was to be found from Rome... even as the words of Pope Leo X's declaration that "the fable of Christ was quite profitable to him" continued through the years to infuriate the people of God.

William TyndaleWilliam Tyndale was the Captain of the Army of Reformers, and was their spiritual leader. Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Tyndale was a true scholar and a genius, so fluent in eight languages that it was said one would think any one of them to be his native tongue. He is frequently referred to as the "Architect of the English Language", (even more so than William Shakespeare) as so many of the phrases Tyndale coined are still in our language today.

Martin LutherMartin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church's corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530's he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German.

William Tyndale wanted to use the same 1516 Erasmus text as a source to translate and print the New Testament in English for the first time in history. Tyndale showed up on Luther's doorstep in Germany in 1525, and by year's end had translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale's trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language. Subsequent printings of the Tyndale New Testament in the 1530's were often elaborately illustrated.

They were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, but copies trickled through and actually ended up in the bedroom of King Henry VIII. The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution, the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning if caught in mere possession of Tyndale's forbidden books.

Having God's Word available to the public in the language of the common man, English, would have meant disaster to the church. No longer would they control access to the scriptures. If people were able to read the Bible in their own tongue, the church's income and power would crumble. They could not possibly continue to get away with selling indulgences (the forgiveness of sins) or selling the release of loved ones from a church-manufactured "Purgatory". People would begin to challenge the church's authority if the church were exposed as frauds and thieves. The contradictions between what God's Word said, and what the priests taught, would open the public's eyes and the truth would set them free from the grip of fear that the institutional church held. Salvation through faith, not works or donations, would be understood. The need for priests would vanish through the priesthood of all believers. The veneration of church-canonized Saints and Mary would be called into question. The availability of the scriptures in English was the biggest threat imaginable to the wicked church. Neither side would give up without a fight.

Today, there are only two known copies left of Tyndale's 1525-26 First Edition. Any copies printed prior to 1570 are extremely valuable. Tyndale's flight was an inspiration to freedom-loving Englishmen who drew courage from the 11 years that he was hunted. Books and Bibles flowed into England in bales of cotton and sacks of flour. Ironically, Tyndale's biggest customer was the King's men, who would buy up every copy available to burn them... and Tyndale used their money to print even more! In the end, Tyndale was caught: betrayed by an Englishman that he had befriended. Tyndale was incarcerated for 500 days before he was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. Tyndale's last words were, "Oh Lord, open the King of England's eyes". This prayer would be answered just three years later in 1539, when King Henry VIII finally allowed, and even funded, the printing of an English Bible known as the "Great Bible". But before that could happen...

Myles CoverdaleMyles Coverdale and John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers had remained loyal disciples the last six years of Tyndale's life, and they carried the English Bible project forward and even accelerated it. Coverdale finished translating the Old Testament, and in 1535 he printed the first complete Bible in the English language, making use of Luther's German text and the Latin as sources. Thus, the first complete English Bible was printed on October 4, 1535, and is known as the Coverdale Bible.

John RogersJohn Rogers went on to print the second complete English Bible in 1537. It was, however, the first English Bible translated from the original Biblical languages of Hebrew & Greek. He printed it under the pseudonym "Thomas Matthew", (an assumed name that had actually been used by Tyndale at one time) as a considerable part of this Bible was the translation of Tyndale, whose writings had been condemned by the English authorities. It is a composite made up of Tyndale's Pentateuch and New Testament (1534-1535 edition) and Coverdale's Bible and some of Roger's own translation of the text. It remains known most commonly as the Matthew-Tyndale Bible. It went through a nearly identical second-edition printing in 1549.

Thomas CranmerIn 1539, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hired Myles Coverdale at the bequest of King Henry VIII to publish the "Great Bible". It became the first English Bible authorized for public use, as it was distributed to every church, chained to the pulpit, and a reader was even provided so that the illiterate could hear the Word of God in plain English. It would seem that William Tyndale's last wish had been granted...just three years after his martyrdom. Cranmer's Bible, published by Coverdale, was known as the Great Bible due to its great size: a large pulpit folio measuring over 14 inches tall. Seven editions of this version were printed between April of 1539 and December of 1541.

King Henry VIIIIt was not that King Henry VIII had a change of conscience regarding publishing the Bible in English. His motives were more sinister... but the Lord sometimes uses the evil intentions of men to bring about His glory. King Henry VIII had in fact, requested that the Pope permit him to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. The Pope refused. King Henry responded by marrying his mistress anyway, (later having two of his many wives executed), and thumbing his nose at the Pope by renouncing Roman Catholicism, taking England out from under Rome's religious control, and declaring himself as the reigning head of State to also be the new head of the Church. This new branch of the Christian Church, neither Roman Catholic nor truly Protestant, became known as the Anglican Church or the Church of England. King Henry acted essentially as its "Pope". His first act was to further defy the wishes of Rome by funding the printing of the scriptures in English... the first legal English Bible... just for spite.

Queen MaryThe ebb and flow of freedom continued through the 1540's...and into the 1550's. After King Henry VIII, King Edward VI took the throne, and after his death, the reign of Queen "Bloody" Mary was the next obstacle to the printing of the Bible in English. She was possessed in her quest to return England to the Roman Church. In 1555, John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers and Thomas Cranmer were both burned at the stake. Mary went on to burn reformers at the stake by the hundreds for the "crime" of being a Protestant. This era was known as the Marian Exile, and the refugees fled from England with little hope of ever seeing their home or friends again.

John FoxeIn the 1550's, the Church at Geneva, Switzerland, was very sympathetic to the reformer refugees and was one of only a few safe havens for a desperate people. Many of them met in Geneva, led by Myles Coverdale and John Foxe (publisher of the famous Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which is to this day the only exhaustive reference work on the persecution and martyrdom of Early Christians and Protestants from the first century up to the mid-16th century), as well as Thomas Sampson and William Whittingham. There, with the protection of the great theologian John Calvin (author of the most famous theological book ever published, Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion)and John Knox, the great Reformer of the Scottish Church, the Church of Geneva determined to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile.

John CalvinThe New Testament was completed in 1557, and the complete Bible was first published in 1560. It became known as the Geneva Bible. Due to a passage in Genesis describing the clothing that God fashioned for Adam and Eve upon expulsion from the Garden of Eden as "Breeches" (an antiquated form of "Britches"), some people referred to the Geneva Bible as the Breeches Bible.

John KnoxThe Geneva Bible was the first Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters, so that referencing specific passages would be easier. Every chapter was also accompanied by extensive marginal notes and references so thorough and complete that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English "Study Bible". William Shakespeare quotes hundreds of times in his plays from the Geneva translation of the Bible. The Geneva Bible became the Bible of choice for over 100 years of English speaking Christians. Between 1560 and 1644 at least 144 editions of this Bible were published. Examination of the 1611 King James Bible shows clearly that its translators were influenced much more by the Geneva Bible, than by any other source. The Geneva Bible itself retains over 90% of William Tyndale's original English translation. The Geneva in fact, remained more popular than the King James Version until decades after its original release in 1611! The Geneva holds the honor of being the first Bible taken to America, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. It is truly the "Bible of the Protestant Reformation." Strangely, the famous Geneva Bible has been out-of-print since 1644, so the only way to obtain one is to either purchase an original printing of the Geneva Bible, or a less costly facsimile reproduction of the original 1560 Geneva Bible.

With the end of Queen Mary's bloody reign, the reformers could safely return to England. The Anglican Church, now under Queen Elizabeth I, reluctantly tolerated the printing and distribution of Geneva version Bibles in England. The marginal notes, which were vehemently against the institutional Church of the day, did not rest well with the rulers of the day. Another version, one with a less inflammatory tone was desired, and the copies of the Great Bible were getting to be decades old. In 1568, a revision of the Great Bible known as the Bishop's Bible was introduced. Despite 19 editions being printed between 1568 and 1606, this Bible, referred to as the "rough draft of the King James Version", never gained much of a foothold of popularity among the people. The Geneva may have simply been too much to compete with.

By the 1580's, the Roman Catholic Church saw that it had lost the battle to suppress the will of God: that His Holy Word be available in the English language. In 1582, the Church of Rome surrendered their fight for "Latin only" and decided that if the Bible was to be available in English, they would at least have an official Roman Catholic English translation. And so, using the corrupt and inaccurate Latin Vulgate as the only source text, they went on to publish an English Bible with all the distortions and corruptions that Erasmus had revealed and warned of 75 years earlier. Because it was translated at the Roman Catholic College in the city of Rheims, it was known as the Rheims New Testament (also spelled Rhemes). The Douay Old Testament was translated by the Church of Rome in 1609 at the College in the city of Douay (also spelled Doway & Douai). The combined product is commonly referred to as the "Doway/Rheims" Version. In 1589, Dr. William Fulke of Cambridge published the "Fulke's Refutation", in which he printed in parallel columns the Bishops Version along side the Rheims Version, attempting to show the error and distortion of the Roman Church's corrupt compromise of an English version of the Bible.

King James IWith the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Prince James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. The Protestant clergy approached the new King in 1604 and announced their desire for a new translation to replace the Bishop's Bible first printed in 1568. They knew that the Geneva Version had won the hearts of the people because of its excellent scholarship, accuracy, and exhaustive commentary. However, they did not want the controversial marginal notes (proclaiming the Pope an Anti-Christ, etc.) Essentially, the leaders of the church desired a Bible for the people, with scriptural references only for word clarification or cross-references.

This "translation to end all translations" (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They took into consideration: The Tyndale New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even the Rheims New Testament. The great revision of the Bishop's Bible had begun. From 1605 to 1606 the scholars engaged in private research. From 1607 to 1609 the work was assembled. In 1610 the work went to press, and in 1611 the first of the huge (16 inch tall) pulpit folios known today as "The 1611 King James Bible" came off the printing press. A typographical discrepancy in Ruth 3:15 rendered a pronoun "He" instead of "She" in that verse in some printings. This caused some of the 1611 First Editions to be known by collectors as "He" Bibles, and others as "She" Bibles. Starting just one year after the huge 1611 pulpit-size King James Bibles were printed and chained to every church pulpit in England; printing then began on the earliest normal-size printings of the King James Bible. These were produced so individuals could have their own personal copy of the Bible.

John BunyanThe Anglican Church's King James Bible took decades to overcome the more popular Protestant Church's Geneva Bible. One of the greatest ironies of history, is that many Protestant Christian churches today embrace the King James Bible exclusively as the "only" legitimate English language translation... yet it is not even a Protestant translation! It was printed to compete with the Protestant Geneva Bible, by authorities who throughout most of history were hostile to Protestants... and killed them. While many Protestants are quick to assign the full blame of persecution to the Roman Catholic Church, it should be noted that even after England broke from Roman Catholicism in the 1500's, the Church of England (The Anglican Church) continued to persecute Protestants throughout the 1600's. One famous example of this is John Bunyan, who while in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel, wrote one of Christian history's greatest books, Pilgrim's Progress. Throughout the 1600's, as the Puritans and the Pilgrims fled the religious persecution of England to cross the Atlantic and start a new free nation in America, they took with them their precious Geneva Bible, and rejected the King's Bible. America was founded upon the Geneva Bible, not the King James Bible.

Protestants today are largely unaware of their own history, and unaware of the Geneva Bible (which is textually 95% the same as the King James Version, but 50 years older than the King James Version, and not influenced by the Roman Catholic Rheims New Testament that the King James translators admittedly took into consideration). Nevertheless, the King James Bible turned out to be an excellent and accurate translation, and it became the most printed book in the history of the world, and the only book with one billion copies in print. In fact, for over 250 years...until the appearance of the English Revised Version of 1881-1885...the King James Version reigned without much of a rival. One little-known fact, is that for the past 200 years, all King James Bibles published in America are actually the 1769 Baskerville spelling and wording revision of the 1611. The original "1611" preface is deceivingly included by the publishers, and no mention of the fact that it is really the 1769 version is to be found, because that might hurt sales. The only way to obtain a true, unaltered, 1611 version is to either purchase an original pre-1769 printing of the King James Bible, or a less costly facsimile reproduction of the original 1611 King James Bible.

John EliotAlthough the first Bible printed in America was done in the native Algonquin Indian Language by John Eliot in 1663; the first English language Bible to be printed in America by Robert Aitken in 1782 was a King James Version. Robert Aitken's 1782 Bible was also the only Bible ever authorized by the United States Congress. He was commended by President George Washington for providing Americans with Bibles during the embargo of imported English goods due to the Revolutionary War. In 1808, Robert's daughter, Jane Aitken, would become the first woman to ever print a Bible... and to do so in America, of course. In 1791, Isaac Collins vastly improved upon the quality and size of the typesetting of American Bibles and produced the first "Family Bible" printed in America... also a King James Version. Also in 1791, Isaiah Thomas published the first Illustrated Bible printed in the King James Version. For more information on the earliest Bibles printed in America from the 1600's through the early 1800's, you may wish to review our more detailed discussion of The Bibles of Colonial America.

Noah WebsterWhile Noah Webster, just a few years after producing his famous Dictionary of the English Language, would produce his own modern translation of the English Bible in 1833; the public remained too loyal to the King James Version for Webster's version to have much impact. It was not really until the 1880's that England's own planned replacement for their King James Bible, the English Revised Version(E.R.V.) would become the first English language Bible to gain popular acceptance as a post-King James Version modern-English Bible. The widespread popularity of this modern-English translation brought with it another curious characteristic: the absence of the 14 Apocryphal books.

Up until the 1880's every Protestant Bible (not just Catholic Bibles) had 80 books, not 66! The inter-testamental books written hundreds of years before Christ called "The Apocrypha" were part of virtually every printing of the Tyndale-Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Protestant Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible until their removal in the 1880's! The original 1611 King James contained the Apocrypha, and King James threatened anyone who dared to print the Bible without the Apocrypha with heavy fines and a year in jail. Only for the last 120 years has the Protestant Church rejected these books, and removed them from their Bibles. This has left most modern-day Christians believing the popular myth that there is something "Roman Catholic" about the Apocrypha. There is, however, no truth in that myth, and no widely-accepted reason for the removal of the Apocrypha in the 1880's has ever been officially issued by a mainline Protestant denomination.

The Americans responded to England's E.R.V. Bible by publishing the nearly-identical American Standard Version (A.S.V.) in 1901. It was also widely-accepted and embraced by churches throughout America for many decades as the leading modern-English version of the Bible. In the 1971, it was again revised and called New American Standard Version Bible (often referred to as the N.A.S.V. or N.A.S.B. or N.A.S.). This New American Standard Bible is considered by nearly all evangelical Christian scholars and translators today, to be the most accurate, word-for-word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures into the modern English language that has ever been produced. It remains the most popular version among theologians, professors, scholars, and seminary students today. Some, however, have taken issue with it because it is so direct and literal a translation (focused on accuracy), that it does not flow as easily in conversational English.

For this reason, in 1973, the New International Version (N.I.V.) was produced, which was offered as a "dynamic equivalent" translation into modern English. The N.I.V. was designed not for "word-for-word" accuracy, but rather, for "phrase-for-phrase" accuracy, and ease of reading even at a Junior High-School reading level. It was meant to appeal to a broader (and in some instances less-educated) cross-section of the general public. Critics of the N.I.V. often jokingly refer to it as the "Nearly Inspired Version", but that has not stopped it from becoming the best-selling modern-English translation of the Bible ever published.

In 1982, Thomas Nelson Publishers produced what they called the "New King James Version". Their original intent was to keep the basic wording of the King James to appeal to King James Version loyalists, while only changing the most obscure words and the Elizabethan "thee, thy, thou" pronouns. This was an interesting marketing ploy, however, upon discovering that this was not enough of a change for them to be able to legally copyright the result, they had to make more significant revisions, which defeated their purpose in the first place. It was never taken seriously by scholars, but it has enjoyed some degree of public acceptance, simply because of its clever "New King James Version" marketing name.

In 2002, a major attempt was made to bridge the gap between the simple readability of the N.I.V., and the extremely precise accuracy of the N.A.S.B. This translation is called the English Standard Version (E.S.V.) and is rapidly gaining popularity for its readability and accuracy. The 21st Century will certainly continue to bring new translations of God's Word in the modern English language.

As Christians, we must be very careful to make intelligent and informed decisions about what translations of the Bible we choose to read. On the liberal extreme, we have people who would give us heretical new translations that attempt to change God's Word to make it politically correct. One example of this, which has made headlines recently is the Today's New International Version (T.N.I.V.) which seeks to remove all gender-specific references in the Bible whenever possible! Not all new translations are good... and some are very bad.

But equally dangerous, is the other extreme... of blindly rejecting ANY English translation that was produced in the four centuries that have come after the 1611 King James. We must remember that the main purpose of the Protestant Reformation was to get the Bible out of the chains of being trapped in an ancient language that few could understand, and into the modern, spoken, conversational language of the present day. William Tyndale fought and died for the right to print the Bible in the common, spoken, modern English tongue of his day... as he boldly told one official who criticized his efforts, "If God spare my life, I will see to it that the boy who drives the plowshare knows more of the scripture than you, Sir!"

Will we now go backwards, and seek to imprison God's Word once again exclusively in ancient translations? Clearly it is not God's will that we over-react to SOME of the bad modern translations, by rejecting ALL new translations and "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". The Word of God is unchanging from generation to generation, but language is a dynamic and ever-changing form of communication. We therefore have a responsibility before God as Christians to make sure that each generation has a modern translation that they can easily understand, yet that does not sacrifice accuracy in any way. Let's be ever mindful that we are not called to worship the Bible. That is called idolatry. We are called to worship the God who gave us the Bible, and who preserved it through the centuries of people who sought to destroy it.

We are also called to preserve the ancient, original English translations of the Bible... and that is what we do here at WWW.GREATSITE.COM

Consider the following textual comparison of the earliest English translations of John 3:16, as shown in the English Hexapla Parallel New Testament:

1st Ed. King James (1611): "For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life."
Rheims (1582): "For so God loued the vvorld, that he gaue his only-begotten sonne: that euery one that beleeueth in him, perish not, but may haue life euerlasting"
Geneva (1560): "For God so loueth the world, that he hath geuen his only begotten Sonne: that none that beleue in him, should peryshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe."
Great Bible (1539): "For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his only begotten sonne, that whosoeuer beleueth in him, shulde not perisshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe."
Tyndale (1534): "For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him, shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe."
Wycliff (1380): "for god loued so the world; that he gaf his oon bigetun sone, that eche man that bileueth in him perisch not: but haue euerlastynge liif,"
Anglo-Saxon Proto-English Manuscripts (995 AD): "God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his an-cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif."

Timeline of Bible Translation History
1,400 BC: The first written Word of God: The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses.

500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.

200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books.

1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make up The 27 Books of the New Testament.

315 AD: Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament which are today recognized as the canon of scripture.

382 AD: Jerome's Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test).

500 AD: Scriptures have been Translated into Over 500 Languages.

600 AD: LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture.

995 AD: Anglo-Saxon (Early Roots of English Language) Translations of The New Testament Produced.

1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible; All 80 Books.

1455 AD: Gutenberg Invents the Printing Press; Books May Now be mass-Produced Instead of Individually Hand-Written. The First Book Ever Printed is Gutenberg's Bible in Latin.

1516 AD: Erasmus Produces a Greek/Latin Parallel New Testament.

1522 AD: Martin Luther's German New Testament.

1526 AD: William Tyndale's New Testament; The First New Testament printed in the English Language.

1535 AD: Myles Coverdale's Bible; The First Complete Bible printed in the English Language (80 Books: O.T. & N.T. & Apocrypha).

1537 AD: Tyndale-Matthews Bible; The Second Complete Bible printed in English. Done by John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers (80 Books).

1539 AD: The "Great Bible" Printed; The First English Language Bible Authorized for Public Use (80 Books).

1560 AD: The Geneva Bible Printed; The First English Language Bible to add Numbered Verses to Each Chapter (80 Books).

1568 AD: The Bishops Bible Printed; The Bible of which the King James was a Revision (80 Books).

1609 AD: The Douay Old Testament is added to the Rheims New Testament (of 1582) Making the First Complete English Catholic Bible; Translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

1611 AD: The King James Bible Printed; Originally with All 80 Books. The Apocrypha was Officially Removed in 1885 Leaving Only 66 Books.

1782 AD: Robert Aitken's Bible; The First English Language Bible (KJV) Printed in America.

1791 AD: Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas Respectively Produce the First Family Bible and First Illustrated Bible Printed in America. Both were King James Versions, with All 80 Books.

1808 AD: Jane Aitken's Bible (Daughter of Robert Aitken); The First Bible to be Printed by a Woman.

1833 AD: Noah Webster's Bible; After Producing his Famous Dictionary, Webster Printed his Own Revision of the King James Bible.

1841 AD: English Hexapla New Testament; an Early Textual Comparison showing the Greek and 6 Famous English Translations in Parallel Columns.

1846 AD: The Illuminated Bible; The Most Lavishly Illustrated Bible printed in America. A King James Version, with All 80 Books.

1885 AD: The "English Revised Version" Bible; The First Major English Revision of the KJV.

1901 AD: The "American Standard Version"; The First Major American Revision of the KJV.

1971 AD: The "New American Standard Bible" (NASB) is Published as a "Modern and Accurate Word for Word English Translation" of the Bible.

1973 AD: The "New International Version" (NIV) is Published as a "Modern and Accurate Phrase for Phrase English Translation" of the Bible.

1982 AD: The "New King James Version" (NKJV) is Published as a "Modern English Version Maintaining the Original Style of the King James."

2002 AD: The English Standard Version (ESV) is Published as a translation to bridge the gap between the accuracy of the NASB and the readability of the NIV.

from ""

Posted by: SQuAh | May 19, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company