November 19, 2004


• An open letter to Europe, from Herbert E. Meyer: "Hi. Are you nuts?"

• Yasser Arafat -- man of pens!

• Linda Rondstadt explains the history of Hitlers.

• Happy World Toilet Day, everybody!

• Sing along with Bush and Blair.

• PooterGeek is right; the scrapbook site assembled by John Kerry's ex is one of the most terrifying things ever seen on the Web.

• This piece by former Navy SEAL Matthew Heidt is remarkable for several reasons, not least because it features the first recorded use of "" as a verb.

• Until my all-meat hamburger (beef wrapped in bacon served on ham) is ready for public consumption, I guess this will have to do.

• The Wogblogger, currently charging through Queensland, reports another culinary milestone: "I ate a Crab Sandwich in Moore which was cold and delicious. All fresh crabby goodness caught between two slabs of thin white plastic bread, buttered, natch. When you see a crab sandwich advertised from the side of the road in the blistering heat in a place far away from the sea, well, you just gotta stop….and get outta the car."

Posted by Tim Blair at November 19, 2004 02:25 AM

"The equivalent of two Big Macs, it costs $7. For around $2 more, you can throw in a medium fries and a soft drink and consume an adult's recommended daily intake of calories at one sitting."

See, us Yanks are very efficient. One meal takes care of our entire day so we can use the rest of the time to conquer the world.

All the Hardee's around me have closed up. A shame because they had the best Mushroom 'N Swiss burgers of the fast food placed.

Posted by: JohnO at November 19, 2004 at 03:19 AM

A real shame that that burger ius sold by Hardees, as their burgers suck. But looks good, may get me back into a Hardees for the first time in years.

Posted by: Crusader at November 19, 2004 at 03:37 AM

The John Kerry-Satan connection is pretty terrifying too.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at November 19, 2004 at 03:54 AM

That Monster Thickburger would go real well with a side of McGriddles.

Posted by: E. Nough at November 19, 2004 at 04:01 AM

Matthew Heidt has a good write up (even ignoring the verbing of ""!). I agree with him, on the survival level. As an officer, I can't condone shooting prisoners. But I ain't there, and I won't condemn anyone without full knowledge.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 19, 2004 at 04:16 AM

i went to Linda Ronstadt's web site and signed
her guest book,and was real nice,and told her
about how us american's do now the iraqi people
and told her about blogging and gave her
iraqthemodel's web least i tried

Posted by: andrea/flannels/minnesota at November 19, 2004 at 04:27 AM

That burger's a wimp, Tim.

If you're ever in Chicago, IL, go to Lemont, about 30 miles from Chicago.

Nick's joint has a 1 pound burger.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 19, 2004 at 04:34 AM

MMMMmmmmm, crabby patties.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 19, 2004 at 04:40 AM

hardee's only reason for existance was to get me the greasey sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits that i needed on many a drunken late night in college.

damn, they were good!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at November 19, 2004 at 04:40 AM

The "Monster Thickburger" is nothing less than a "monument to decadence", declares Hardee's, the chain pandering to the country's worst instincts for greed and gluttony.

what a pile of crap. what, was hardee's the caterer for enron?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at November 19, 2004 at 04:43 AM

MMMMmmmmm, crabby patties.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 19, 2004 at 04:46 AM

That Thickburger looks delicious!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 19, 2004 at 04:52 AM

Geez, that SMH piece sure is preachy! Just being in the presence of a Monster Thickburger seems to give the writer a severe attack of barely concealed sneering moral disdain and a terrible case of the vapours at the same time.

Posted by: goldsmith at November 19, 2004 at 05:34 AM

i used to eat triple cheeseboigers at wendy's...yum!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at November 19, 2004 at 05:35 AM

Didn't monster cholesterol food like this take Clinton out of the campaign for Kerry? Talk about your convenient quadruple by-pass surgery

Posted by: A at November 19, 2004 at 05:42 AM

Re: Arafat and his pens. He was an engineer earlier in his career. It must have been hard enough for him to give up pocket protectors.

Posted by: Ernie G at November 19, 2004 at 05:55 AM

Them burgers is small, I tell you. SMALL!

Posted by: hideous bouncing brain at November 19, 2004 at 06:05 AM

Re: The US marine in Fallujah

Those who believe the US and its military are innocent slaughtering, oil hungry, empire builders 'just know' we kill innocent civilians by the hundreds. What that marine did will be seen in the worst light possible and will be brought up at every opportunity as 'proof' they are right. Nothing will be able to sway them from believing anything else.

Those who believe we are all flawed human beings with weaknesses and breaking points will not be so quick to condemn what that marine did. We were not there and are in no position to second guess that marine. Perhaps he acted in haste, due to fatigue and the heat of battle. Perhaps his actions, as brutal as they may seem on the surface, were necessary to save lives. Whatever the reason, it was NOT MURDER.

Those who have been in the heat of battle will understand better than anyone what that marine did and why he did it. IF that marine is to be judged, I want him judged by people who know what it's like to be in similar situations.

I will not allow 'armchair generals' to help me decide where his actions fall on a scale of war crimes through heroic actions. So far, most of the military bloggers I've seen support what this marine has done.

Of course, I AM biased. I have this strange, antiquated idea that our military, and the military of all the coalition, are not innocent slaughtering robots. Silly me, I believe our military consists of very brave men and women who WANT to do 'the right thing' and put their lives on the line every day to do it.

I also believe it's quite possible some of our military people may behave in ways that are less than honorable. I don't believe the actions of a few should be used to paint all the rest with dishonor.

I owe my freedom to imperfect human beings who have put on uniforms and put their lives on the line. For all the people who have died so I can be free I owe this marine, and all others like him, the benefit of the doubt as to why he did what he did.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at November 19, 2004 at 06:50 AM

Why doesn't the Wogblogger have comments? That is a great piece of travel writing!

Posted by: liz at November 19, 2004 at 07:12 AM

Well said, Chris! Bravo!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 19, 2004 at 07:13 AM

i used to eat triple cheeseboigers at wendy's...yum!

Still do, but Bojangles has much better biscuits than Hardlees.

Posted by: Crusader at November 19, 2004 at 07:33 AM

Pah! You call that a burger? Snopes has the good oil on the 6 pound Ye Older 96er.

Not only does it have 96 ounces of meat, but also:

Two whole tomatoes

A half-head of lettuce

12 slices of American cheese

A full cup of peppers

Two entire onions

A river of mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard

They even have pictures!

Posted by: attila at November 19, 2004 at 07:35 AM

I am absolutely appalled by the revelations that billions do not have access to flushing toilets!
and i am not just thinking of those poor jihadists who have to dig holes on the sand with their blood stained machetes, but even "civilised" coutries such as France where the old pre war "squat and thrusts" and "mixed" facilities still reign in many areas.
Was it not the British who invented the "water closet"? Does not the french resistance to such hygiene, reflect their intense xenophobia?
I hope the conference addresses such hugely important issues and the scandalous issues of low paid toilet attendants whose valuable work has been ignored and remained under renumerated for so long!
Only the other day, someone told me in the pub that they had secured a job as a TA.
"How's the Job promotion prospects?" I asked
" Great! After three months, we get a standard issue brush!"
Slaves indeed!
And another thing how many of you have been bamboozled by blocked paper machines and had to dip into your life savings?

Posted by: davo at November 19, 2004 at 07:47 AM

I have some experience of war, although it was a long time ago.

If a combatant is not rendered harmless, fully subdued or without the means to resist, then he's killable. There is some subjectivity in all this, and that's the rub.

I would guess that the jarhead (sorry, I was Army)in question has a proper defense in that "wounded" Iraqis are wired with BT's, and the situation itself is pertinent as well.

Finally, I don't give a shit what Arabs or anyone else in the Pan-Muslim world thinks about this event. Fuck them. If they are radicalized by it, then kill them too. When I hear an equivalent quantity of outrage at the death of Ms. Hassam or over the dismembowelment of the female Polish hostage, then we can talk.

The silence issuing from this part of the world about the ongoing and ceaseless cruely, poverty, debauchery, bigotry, stupidity, ignorance and indestructible arrogance of these bastards is deafening. I say PROMOTE the Marine for striking a blow against these miserable brutes and go on from there. The VietCong were praiseworthy by comparison to this garbage.

Posted by: Crazy Chester at November 19, 2004 at 07:48 AM

I seem to remember the Media going balastic when an Australian soldier in East Timor had the temerity to so much as kick a corpse to make sure it was dead.

Posted by: 2dogs at November 19, 2004 at 08:14 AM

No wonder the Australian Labo(u)r Party are in a spin, believing in fairies is now an official policy.

Posted by: rog at November 19, 2004 at 08:56 AM

Best accidental pun of the week: "The entire toilet movement is taking on the world". Sounds like one hell of a bowel movement. So is World Toilet Day a French holiday for celebrating the Paris subway, Chirac's being their leader, or something like that?

Posted by: Jeremy at November 19, 2004 at 09:11 AM

Re: H Myers piece,

there could be some real anger to the EU and UN from the US and allies; due to their inability and/or reluctance to protect themselves it is our children that have to go over and die for their security.

Posted by: rog at November 19, 2004 at 09:41 AM

Europe are you mad? Stop press--In U.K. Prince Charles criticises SOCIAL UTOPIANISM and is duly attacked from all sides especially the Commentariat.Radio National A.M. this morning.

Posted by: crash at November 19, 2004 at 09:49 AM

If your journalist was sent into shock at the sight of a mere hamburger, exposure to someone like Steve H. would probably kill... him? Her? I can't find the name of the person who wrote the article.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 19, 2004 at 10:09 AM


I see a PhD thesis here: Squat and Thrust vs Sit and Contemplate: the Social Dynamics of Cultural Difference in Toilet Training

Posted by: mr magoo at November 19, 2004 at 10:21 AM

Oh, thank God!! Just for the moment I read your tag as "Yassir Arafat -- Man of Penis"

Then I figured, well some are claiming he died of AIDS.

As for shooting terrorist, I will consider the puling complaints of Muslims just after they start denouncing beheadings and the killing of kidnapees and do something about it. Until then, tough shit.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at November 19, 2004 at 10:43 AM

Dead terrorists, humongous burgers and state-of-the-art shitters... may not have the same ring as "Democracy, whiskey, sexy", but it's still a helluva reason to get up in the morning!

Posted by: geezer at November 19, 2004 at 10:51 AM

you would think that Rodin would have done much to promote the "sit and contemplate" aspect amongst 'les bons francais' ?
But no! Ah the enigmatic french...

Posted by: davo at November 19, 2004 at 11:38 AM

There is another point to be made here. In order to actually kill someone (and that is the job of the soldier in combat) you have to be in a certain state of mind. This is not my opinion it is well established psychology.

You have to be in that state where you have no empathy at all for the person you are killing ie they are not "human". This was established formally in WWII when many soldiers failed to fire their guns. A famous study was conducted by studying the rifles of combatants after the landing at Iwo Jima.

Having said that, no western civilisation wants it soldiers in a head place where they kill indiscriminantly as it is ultimately dangerous to its own society. So there are lots of techniques used to limit their killing capability including direct prohibition, supervision and training.

In the case of a "house to house" battle lasting 7 days or more, many of the limiting techniques are under severe pressure and may fail. In the first place, supervision is limited or non-existent. In the second, the normal limiters such as training may fail since the soldier is under enormous strain and can feel "special circumstances" apply. In the case of the marine in question special cases would seem to be easy to find. These are mentioned in several of the above comments.

The remedies are: don't get in to "house to house" fights. Commonsense but almost impossible to comply with when dealing with terrorists whose favourite, almost defining strategy is to use civilians as shields and when we have set up a moral prohibition to carpet bombing let alone a new Dresden.

Another remedy would be to take with the soldiers in combat a support team to deal with non-combatants. This is also likely to be difficult as it would be expensive and in the case of Iraq, dangerous for the support team.

In the absence of us paying a lot more for our wars and terrorists coming out from behind their human shields logic requires that we accept the behaviour of this marine and, if required counsel our own citizens that, in war at least SHIT HAPPENS!

Posted by: Allan at November 19, 2004 at 11:59 AM

War is about:

Politician: Imposing ones will
Commander-In-Chief: Destroying the enemy's capacity to sustain war
General: Obtaining objective with minimum casualties
Troop leader: Getting from point A to Point B without getting any troops killed
Grunt: Staying alive
Civilian: Once it would have been support the troops, sadly now some people are too "nuanced" for that.

Posted by: Greg at November 19, 2004 at 01:30 PM

Borrowing from Ben Stein, call me crazy, but... if you willingly take up arms and come up against members of the USMC or USA, you get what you played for.

At that point, don't ask us for chocolates, nylons or pictures of Betty Grable -- just put up your hands (if you can) and lie vewy, vewy still.

Posted by: geezer at November 19, 2004 at 01:45 PM

In Nowra, near the Naval Air Station on the NSW south coast, they serve a Footie Burger.

2 x 600 gram (1.5 lb) chunks of meat, lettuce, cheese, beetroot, tomato, bacon, egg,onions, pineapple... in a half-loaf of bread that's been sliced into 3.

Imagine a really large burger - then double it.

As one LtCdr said to me when I ordered one "That's not just a meal, it's a commitment". She was right. It was the only thing I ate that day.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at November 19, 2004 at 02:06 PM

WogBlog writes like Aussies sound to us Yanks-- like those teenaged story tellers in Beyond Thunderdome.

It's a good tale so far, not unlike Blair's dash across the USA a couple of months ago. (Except for the Albuquerque fiasco.)

Posted by: Reese at November 19, 2004 at 02:09 PM

"And then the George Bushitler was selected, and it was Poxyclypse!"


Posted by: Dave S. at November 19, 2004 at 03:35 PM

The Marines call it FISH or "Fighting In Someones House". I am glad the Marine blew this fucker straight into the arms of his 72 toothless crones.

Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. Screw the Arab "street". They don't have to like us just fear us. Meanwhile they can get back to me when thay have stopped behaving like psychotic children.

Posted by: Dog at November 19, 2004 at 07:42 PM

Fun task to do: take the Kerry handwriting sample from that psycho's shrine and do an online graphology test on it, such as the one here. Interesting stuff there.

Posted by: valachus at November 19, 2004 at 09:21 PM

Totally agree.
The Wog has written the best road story I have seen in years. Absolutely hilarious.

How to turn a drab long range chore into an adventure in one easy lesson. I will never look at the Pacific Highway in the same way ever again.
Send her an email.

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at November 19, 2004 at 10:13 PM

Just came upon this moving tribute to Arafat, courtesy of the letters page in a Bangladeshi online newspaper:

"Will there be a single Israeli who will be chanting to exchange his own soul for that of Ariel Sharon? Is there a single American who will tell George Bush that you are more important than our flag or national anthem? ...
If Arafat needs to come once more to turn his dream into reality...then the Almighty Allah , please take my life in exchange of Arafat's!

Md Bashar Farhad Mirpur, Dhaka"

Posted by: Matt at November 20, 2004 at 04:09 AM

Fascinating sample Valachus
those super longs L's and the huge Ts
and a style thank looks like a poseur's.

what results did kerry get ?

Posted by: davo at November 20, 2004 at 05:46 AM

davo, here's what the program at that site said after i completed the questionary, among other things, about kerry's sample:

"By analyzing how you cross your 't's, one can determine if you have problems controlling your temper. It appears that the crossing of your 't's is inconsistent, and this seems to indicate that sometimes you may blow your top when you get frustrated, but you don't do it every time."

"Your 'e's are very tight and closed. This shows that you have your own opinion about things and will stick to your own ideas. It isn't easy for you to be tolerant because you will have a hard time considering ideas and practices that differ from your own."

"By look for a soft, wavy line leading into an 'm' or 'n', one can see if you have a good sense of humour. There is not noticeable embellishment on your lines leading into your 'm's and 'n's, this means your sense of humour does not show openly."

"The lack of loops on your 't's and 'd's indicate that your feelings aren't going to be hurt easily. In fact, you are not sensitive to criticism at all. "

"You could put an imaginary ruler beneath your handwriting. You are obsessed with structure [n.ed. "I have a plan" - sounds familiar? heh] and have a fear of being proved wrong"

"In your 't's, the relatively light weight of your 't-bar' to the stem indicates that you have weak willpower. You are not too clear about your goals. You may have a vague idea - perhaps someday you will get around to them"

Graphology is not really an exact science but from what i've seen, i'd say this relatively simple script was quite accurate in making a profile remarkably consistent with Kerry's actions and statements over the years.

Posted by: valachus at November 20, 2004 at 08:38 AM