Posted by: wtfwjd? | May 27, 2009

Made a funny at DL last night

People were discussing right-wing spin on Sotomayor and I suggested that the next bit would be that she claims she went to Yale but that’s just how she pronounces “jail.” Got lots of chuckles from my fellow effete liberal elitists but looks kind of offensive now that I’ve written it down. If so, I apologize.

On a more serious note, I do suggest the GOP follow Amy Sullivan’s lead in suggesting that because Maria Sonia Sotomayer Sotomayor “was raised as a Catholic and attends church for family celebrations and other important events” she is a “non-practicing Catholic.” I’d love to watch a bunch of White Intolerant Male Protestant Southerners* (WIMPS) define who is really a Catholic.

That’ll help them win the Philly ‘burbs in 2012.


* with an assist from Bill Donohue

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 26, 2009

6 Beautiful Words

This is William Kristol’s last column.

That didn’t last long.

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 18, 2009

I have a friend in Scotland


A little background – Friedman is the author of best-selling tomes filled with golfing anecdotes and embarrassingly priapic, leg-humping panegyric on the wisdom, integrity and ingenuity of the super-rich business class. His opus The Lexus And The Olive Tree was a weighty rumination on the idea that giving pan-handling business interests and Armani-clad conmen total freedom of action would spin unlimited gold for all of humanity.

Now that the same financial class has, in full public view, driven the planet’s economy into the toilet and sparked a worldwide jobs-massacre, Friedman has a new plan – President Obama should threaten to nationalise the banks!

It may be tempting perceive this as Friedman’s epiphany, in which he realises his desperate inability to make accurate predictions, but beware – it’s a trick. Friedman is a genius of sorts, possessing a seemingly bottomless well of Duh, I wuz wrong again on which to draw. If Obama follows his advice, we’ll all be guarding our vegetable gardens with shotguns by 2010.

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 18, 2009

Friedman: regulation = shock therapy. wtf?

Christ, Friedman had another doozy of a column yesterday. Now he’s solving the banking crisis. I think he may have actually hired one of his Indian cab driver friends to program a computer that writes his columns for him.

They do not pass the Turing test.

I’m beat now but I’ll probably try to write more about this tomorrow. In fact I think I may devote all future blogging activities to making fun of Friedman, in which case I’ll have to move to a new blog with an appropriate name. Any suggestions?

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 16, 2009

wtfwjd?’s First Law of Friedman

wtfwjd?’s First Law of Friedman:

It is impossible to analyze Thomas Friedman’s writing without employing the phrase “what the fuck.”

To wit:

The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging.When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels.”

First of all, how can any single person be in three holes at once? Secondly, what the fuck is he talking about? If you’re supposed to stop digging when you’re in one hole, why should you dig more in three? How does that even begin to make sense? It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if the editors over at the New York Times editorial page spend their afternoons dropping acid or drinking rubbing alcohol. Sending a line like that into print is the journalism equivalent of a security guard at a nuke plant waving a pair of mullahs in explosive vests through the front gate. It should never, ever happen.

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 16, 2009

How Green was My Mustache


This is still my favorite Tom Friedman quote…well besides “Suck. On. This.” I see now that Tom Tomorrow liked it too, and I really like his response:

The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging. When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels.


Okay, so if I’m in a hole, I should stop digging, but if I’m in three, I should have lots of shovels so I can — stop digging? dig simultaenously? jump from hole to hole? how can I be in three holes at the same time anyway?

Damn you Thomas Friedman and your mindbending extradimensional metaphysical metaphors! You’re making my brain hurt!

(Also: who even knew there were rules of holes? If that’s the first, what are the others? Are there penalties for noncompliance?)

I want to know not only who bought this but why they also bought Blood Meridian and some Britney Spears CDs.

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 9, 2009

Stick to plumbing, Joe

In other Middle East news, God weighs in on the side of comedy writers. Yes, Joe the Plumber is going to Israel. No, this is not from The Onion or Andy Borowitz. It’s real:

Two months after publicly agreeing with a McCain supporter that a vote for Mr Obama was a vote for the death of Israel, he says he will spend 10 days covering the Gaza conflict from the Israelis’ point of view.

Clearly a man for whom the phrase ‘objective reporting’ has no relevance, he told Toledo television station WNWO-TV; “It’s tragic but what are the Israeli people supposed to do?

“I get to go over there and let their “Average Joes” share their story, what they think, how they feel, especially with world opinion, maybe get a real story out there,” he said.

“If given the opportunity to do some good however minute it may be, or could be something really good, you gotta take that chance. You have to do it,” he added, heroically.

Is he scared that one of the Hamas rockets might have his name on it? Not really. After all, as he explained, he’s a Christian so God will keep him safe.

“Being a Christian I’m pretty well protected by God I believe,” he said.

I’m sure Israeli Jews will be thrilled to learn that they too can be protected from missiles if they will only accept Jesus as their personal savior.

Posted by: wtfwjd? | January 7, 2009

Palestine and Palestinians

I’m conflicted even writing about this as I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about the issue as some friends like this fellow and I see plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

But I will write something anyway, in order to ask a question that I’m not even sure I’m comfortable asking, due to my own lack of knowledge, and the implications of even asking such a question, but it’s a question that comes to me a lot, and maybe some of both of my readers can help educate me on it.

I’ll start by stating my general position: I support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, though I do believe there are serious ethical issues in having a state which allows the immigration of all the world’s Jewry while denying the return of individuals who were born in and who owned property in the state’s territory. I think the only solution is a two-state solution, and think this would be possible and peaceful if not for a radical minority on each side. I think Hamas was wrong to launch rockets at Israel, and Israel was wrong to impose a crushing embargo on Gaza. I think Israel is wrong in engaging in the current campaign of full-scale war on Gaza. I think the fact that the US provides a perhaps existential amount of foreign and military aid to Israel makes American criticism of Israeli politics more useful and relevant than does condemnation by Americans of stateless actors over whom the US has no control. If my kid beats up another kid, and I scold him for it, should my kid ask me why I am not scolding the kid down the street who called him names? I can disagree with what he did, and talk to his parents but my condemnation of the other kids is basically irrelevant. So with the “special relationship” comes a special responsibility to advise our friend Israel to act wisely. We are not doing that, and Americans who criticize Israel, the recipient of our aid, are accused of somehow supporting Hamas, which of course is absurd.

So, having said all that by way of introduction: my question here relates to the treatment of use of the Palestinian people by the Arab world:

Does the Arab/Islamic world do enough to help the Palestinians? I don’t mean help them as “the displaced Palestinian people whose homeland has been stolen by the Zionist occupiers” — I mean help them in non-political humanitarian ways. If I lived with my wife and young children in Gaza right now, all I would want, more than a state, or the right of return, or anything else, would be to get them somewhere safe and to then stay there. Does such a place exist? Could it exist? Yes, some Palestinians leave. But many don’t. Do they stay by choice? Does Egypt offer to take refugees in? Does Jordan? Do other countries? Does the West?

For the Arab world, to support a Palestinian diaspora would be to give up on the dream of a Palestinian state, and for some to give up on the dream of a Palestinian state that pushes Israel into the sea. And I wonder how much this dream is worth to the Arab world. We have all heard stories of beggars in Rio de Janieiro, Cartagena, Cairo, and other third-world cities where disfigured children are used as beggars by parents or bosses, and that sometimes they have been mutilated by their own parents so their twisted limbs will earn them more alms. It seems to me that some in the Arab world use the Palestinians like these children, and that for these, the Palestinians are of most use when they are in refugee camps, in dire poverty, hungry, being bombed, having their children killed. How large a group is this “some”? Is it some, many, or most in terms of Arab/Islamic political and religious leaders?

Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe Arab states do try to take in and integrate Palestinian refugees. (I don’t mean sub-citizen permanent refugee status as in Lebanon.) Maybe they can’t get them out, or the Palestinians don’t want to leave.

My thoughts on this aren’t formed, basically due to a lack of knowledge, but I do think it’s an important question, and one I don’t see asked except by vehemently “pro-Israel, anti-Arab no matter what” voices, so I would appreciate any insights more moderate voices can provide.

Basically, the question I’m asking I guess is: is nationalism trumping humanism, and are the Palestinians paying the price for it? As people, not as a people. As individuals rather than as a tribe or nation.

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