Lettuce & Pickles

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes



If the people spending the money they got from FEMA truly had loses and were eligible for the money, I frankly don't care where they spent it or what they spent it on.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Hooters restaurant chain has a $200 check ready for FEMA, reimbursement for a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne bought with hurricane relief money last year

Do I LIKE people spending disaster relief funds on champagne or erotica? No. But money is fungible. If these people truly had losses, if they were truly eligible for the disaster relief funds, any of the money they spent on "frivolous" things will be made up with money they get from other sources (like jobs), and, frankly, I don't care if someone who's had a horrible disaster befall them has a few moments of happiness on my dime.


I used to go to high school (this would be the Catholic high school, before they freed my soul and I left for public high school) with a kid who claimed his Dad (or someone he knew or something) was a cab driver and was "always" taking people on welfare to the grocery store where they'd buy lobsters with their food stamps.

You know what? Aside from the fact that it would have been hard to find a place in Milwaukee selling live (or even frozen) lobsters at that time, why in the world would I care? People on food stamps get X dollars per month or other period… If they spend it on lobster they have to find other money for food somewhere else. Or go hungry.

How much control do people need?

These morons would sit around, as scolds and conservatives did, and put together "menus" for the poor that were real heavy on the mac and cheese and the bologna sammiches and rant about what responsible destitute people should be eating. Then you got to the point where the economy went in the shitter due to the mismanagement of these hard headed realists and you had lines around the block for government cheese, for crying out loud.

Well, fuck that noise.

What is WITH these people that they get all smoked about somebody getting something they themselves "can't" buy?

For all I know Bill Gates flushes his commode with 20 year old Scotch, but not one of these tools would be ranting about it because he "earned" his hundred billion.

Personally, I think the Hooterization of America is a bad thing, I think the culture gets coarsened and cheapened. I feel the same way about strip clubs and titty bars and cigar rooms and martini bars and all the various accouterments of the bourgeois lifestyle in privileged America…

I don't like objectification and I don't like conspicuous consumption and I don't like "lad culture"; I think it's debasing.

But I'm going to start getting blue-nosed about HURRICANE VICTIMS?

Spare me the angst.


The GOP in Mesopotamia

The NY Times this morning runs with the news that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died in an American air raid, adding the Zarqawi/American spin that Zarqawi was "Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq..."


Juan Cole begs to differ.

Zarqawi had been a significant leader of the Salafi Jihadi radical strain of Islamist volunteers in Iraq, and had succeeded in spreading his ideas to local Iraqis in places like Ramadi. He engaged in grandstanding when he renamed his group "al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia," even though he had early been critical of al-Qaeda and had a long rivalry with it. For background, see the Zarqawi file.

There is no evidence of operational links between his Salafi Jihadis in Iraq and the real al-Qaeda; it was just a sort of branding that suited everyone, including the US. Official US spokesmen have all along over-estimated his importance. Leaders are significant and not always easily replaced. But Zarqawi has in my view has been less important than local Iraqi leaders and groups.

None of this is to say what happened here was a bad thing... I'm just sayin'; bin Laden anyone?