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December 17, 2006

Underrated Bloggers of Our Times (#1 in a series)
Posted by Patrick at 09:22 PM * 57 comments

Jonathan Schwarz of A Tiny Revolution. Sample post:

We Need More Comparisons Of Iraqis To American Indians

This, by James Woolsey in the recent Vanity Fair article about the chastened neocons, is a good start:

[Woolsey draws a] historical parallel, to the U.S. campaigns against Native Americans in the 19th century, to make another point: that the absence of Iraqi auxiliaries deprived coalition soldiers of invaluable local intelligence. “Without the trained Iraqis, it was like the Seventh Cavalry going into the heart of Apache country in Arizona in the 1870s with no scouts. No Apache scouts. I mean, hello?”
But we need much more where this came from. The lack of this is, I think, what has caused so much ill-will towards us among Iraqis. Only when they hear the United States constantly comparing them to Native Americans will they understand how truly glorious the future we have planned for them is.
Comments on Underrated Bloggers of Our Times (#1 in a series):
#1 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 09:58 PM:

Patrick, you mean they'll support US policy without reservation?

#2 ::: dan ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 10:43 PM:

Perhaps the term "enclave" is designed to somehow slip under the local radar...

#3 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:07 PM:

Um, did the Seventh Cavalry ever go to Arizona? They wandered all over the northern plains, but I don't think I've ever read of them being south of Nebraska.

True story - my great-grandfather was a scout for the Seventh Cavalry. He survived, and said it was because he thought Custer was crazy and managed to sprain his ankle so badly that he wasn't able to go out with them. (He had been on the Black Hills expedition, and apparently Custer disliked him enough not to demand that he hop on his horse and get with the program.) In our family, we believe this was good planning. Non-relatives have been known to suggest happenstance, but we ignore them.

#4 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:33 PM:

Fragano @ #1:

No, Fragano, it means when we're done they'll support US policy from ON a reservation ...

#5 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:43 PM:

Seriously,

The war in Iraq is like Lord of the Rings?

The trouble in Iraq is like Custer at Little Big Horn? [BTW, scouts may have kept him from riding in like a schmuck, but they wouldn't have let him win. Besides, we had scouts out, Heap-Big-Leader decided he could ignore them.]

They're using analogies to Tolkein and half-a-dozen bad cowboy films?

Do they even realize that every time they open their mouths they reveal their whole world-view is based on A FANTASY?

Oh, and my favorite comment Bush made on the Iraq report:

"I'm not going to outsource the job of Commander-in-Chief" Well, I guess we can all see how well he's listening, eh?

It's not "Stay the Course" anymore, it's "Once more unto the breach dear friends, and fill up the wall with our [American] dead"

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:46 PM:

Come on, people. T-o-l-k-i-e-n.

(Signed, Committee for Paying Attention To The Spelling of Proper Names.)

#7 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:52 PM:

Whoops!

Thanks, Patrick.

[Hangs head, mumbles to self]
How embarassing ...

#8 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:00 AM:

It isn't "Stay The Course" any more. Now it's "The Way Forward."

Unfortunately for everyone, The Way Forward appears to be indistinguishable from Stay The Course.

#9 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:05 AM:

I think the next logical, fictional step after "Stay the Course" and "The Way Forward" is the classic "Stay on Target". Or maybe a nice 80's We-can-do-it montage, although that's a bit harder to repeat at press conferences.

(And I now have strange visions of a typographical Eliza Doolittle: "The token Tolkien toked at the Tokyo tokomak".)

#10 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:08 AM:

I'm gonna start spelling it Tolkeen! Emphasis on the second syllable.

#11 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:45 AM:

Juli @ #3, Here's an unofficial history of 7th Cavalry, and looks like you're right. They didn't get too far south of Kansas during the Indian Wars.

The 6th Cavalry Regiment was initially based in Texas and wound up in Fort Huachuca, about 65 miles SE of Tucson (still an active base, although the Regiment's inactive. It's now home to US Army Intelligence). It fought the Apaches, particularly Victorio and Cochise.

#12 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 05:37 AM:

I am not happy with the idea that the late Stanley Kubrick, Peter George, and Terry Southern have been enlisted by Someone Up There to write George Bush's dialog. I mean, there's not a lot of running room between The Way Forward and Preserve Our Precious Bodily Fluids...

#13 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 07:01 AM:

Have we done "Light at the End of the Tunnel" yet?

#14 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 07:15 AM:

I can see another fantacon Tolkstosslegende in the making.

anyway I want to see more comparisons of Iraquis with Balrogs.

#15 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 07:19 AM:

How does this differ from The Great Leap Forward?

#16 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 07:51 AM:

Well, Custer did have other scouts with him that fateful day.

And we can't treat the Iraqis like the American Indians. I mean, they're already in a desert. Where the heck are we supposed to relocate them?

#17 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:03 AM:

Pedantic Peasant #4: Alas, you may be right!

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:05 AM:

Bryan #14: No, no, no. The Sunni are Orcs. The Shi'ites are Easterlings. The Kurds are Elves.

#19 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:16 AM:

No, I think the Kurds are the keepers of the whey.

#20 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:22 AM:

Michael Weholt #19: That's a hanging offence, that is.

#21 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:54 AM:

Kurds are the keepers of the whey (#19)

Now, now, we don't want to milk the joke...

start spelling it Tolkeen (#10)

They do like to refer to "Coalition Forces"...

#22 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 09:00 AM:

"Well, Custer did have other scouts with him that fateful day."

Well sit right back and hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful day,
of some scouts that Custer had
when they blew his ass away
- blew his ass away

Rumsfeld knew his metaphors
like a sock knows its darn
Junior had a hole in his head
like a hole in the yarn
- a hole in the yarn

The neocons stayed the course
and moved in new directions
they told the truth as often as
Rush Limbaugh has erections
- blew his ass away

Custer was an idiot,
history holds the score
Bush figures we'll all be dead before
we get out of Gilligan's war
-out of Gilligan's war.


#23 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 09:21 AM:

pendatic peasant... They're using analogies to Tolkien and half-a-dozen bad cowboy films?

Time to watch Blazing Saddles again.

#24 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 09:27 AM:

Serge @ 23

What, you mean like:

We want to be so good, but he (they?) are sooo stupid?

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 09:52 AM:

pedantic peasant... It's more like I get the sense that the White House is a Mel Brooks movie. I can't wait for the moment where they run thru the stage's fourth, fifth and sixth walls before winding up on the set where Dom de Luise is directing a gay version of a Busbee Berkeley musical. And then Our Heroes ride off into the sunset in a limo.

#26 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:12 AM:

This thread is about Iraq (and starting to get quite silly, dear punsters), but at least it involves the Middle East so I'll put my query here: Did anyone else see a national TV news story last night about elections in Iran? According to the report, voters there have just reacted against the extremism of their Fearless Leader much the way we dumped on Bush Baby in our latest elections. I'm too lazy (and have too many e-mail answers pending) to check this out, but if true it sounds like more news venues should be mentioning it.

#27 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:25 AM:

Another ominous sign of Iraq's descent into what can only be called hell.

#28 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:51 AM:

gawds, my "sarcasm meter" must be on the fritz. I kept reading this, thinking it was some sort of humor piece, going "this isn't funny", "this isn't funny", "I dont' get it, this isn't funny".

#29 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:53 AM:

Kurds are the keepers of the whey (#19)

Now, now, we don't want to milk the joke...

You're right--that kind of thing can make people sour.

#30 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:56 AM:

Serge @ 25: For some time now, I've occasionally been making references to "President Shroob".

#31 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:00 AM:

Kurds are the keepers of the whey (#19)

Now, now, we don't want to milk the joke...

You're right--that kind of thing can make people sour.

What, you don't like cheesy jokes?

#32 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:32 AM:

Michael I:

They do like to refer to "Coalition Forces"...

I read this as "Cotillion Forces," which has a certain charm the facts lack.

#33 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:38 AM:

President Shroob, Joel? Not President Lepetomane? (You do know what a 'petomane' is, right?)

#34 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:46 AM:

Bruce - Keep an eye out for those debutantes. They're trained to bring a grown man to his knees with one well-placed pointy heel.

Maybe we should send a cotillion over to Iraq.

#35 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:56 AM:

Serge, I though Lepetomane had a cabinet position, not in the Oval Office? Okay, now I'm going to have to watch *that* again (any cheap excuse).

"Why do I always get the warped one?"

#36 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:10 PM:

Steve... I'll give you a hint. 'Pet' is a French word. It refers to the pronounced activity in the infamous campfire scene that is always cut out whenever Blazing Saddles is broadcast on regular TV.

#37 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:41 PM:

Serge, there was also a stage artist by the same name that, well, I think you can guess what his act was about.

#38 ::: Two Dishes ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 01:47 PM:

Holy crow,
I love your last line.

#39 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 01:51 PM:

You should go tell Jonathan Schwarz that.

#40 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 01:59 PM:

Serge #36: There was a nineteenth century French music-hall performer, Joseph Pujol, known as 'Le Petomane' who had a highly musical rectum.

#41 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 05:37 PM:

PNH @ #6 Come on, people. T-o-l-k-i-e-n.

I never have a problem with his last name, but I often misspell "J.R.R."

#42 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 05:40 PM:

PNH @6 et seq

I am prone to this, which is why I checked the cover of the Hobbit binding six times. Imagine how humiliating if I had gotten it wrong in leather.

#43 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 06:03 PM:

abi,

There are whole websites devoted to that. I imagine you could've gotten a pretty penny for pictures.

#44 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 06:07 PM:

adamsj @43

Although I have a truly startling amount of leather, particularly in the guest bedroom, and although I can do some pretty amazingly wrong things with it, they are generally not the sort of thing that make people go "Phwooaar" and pay me lots of money.

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 06:10 PM:

"Phwooaar" ? Is that a Scottish thing, abi?

#46 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 06:31 PM:

I think of it as being more English. Not posh English, but the sort of English builders whose trousers sag too far and who take three sugars in their tea, love.

(Note that Scottish builders do the same, but they don't say "Phwooaar". There's one near my office who even sings (badly).)

#47 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 07:22 PM:

Abi #46: Sounds like a description of 'white van man'.

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:26 PM:

Which is worse, abi? The singing Scotsman, or the English who says "Phwooaar"?

#49 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:48 PM:

Faren Miller in #26: In the last Iranian presidential election, many moderates and reformers urged voters to boycott the election, because they were upset with Khatami's failure to enact reform. Unfortunately, they got Ahmadinejad instead. The parallels with Bush are striking.

#50 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 01:14 AM:

I'm glad someone is bringing the similarities between Iraqis & American Indians to the fore. Yup, Iraq has a basic Tribal culture -- any offfical organized Government we see is not much more than a facade that's not firmly attached to the people's allegiance to their Clan/Family elders & leaders. And they're democatic beyond the comprehension of many Americans -- the "Leaders" can do little more than try to persuade their people into certain courses of action. Young men achieve social status by being Brave Warriors and if a bunch of them want to go out and Attack The Enemy the tribal leader can't do much to prevent them from doing so. They Hold Grudges, strongly and for generations. They may, gradually and of their own accord, adopt many alien cultural practices, but they strongly resent the idea of foreigners coming in and telling them what to do. At least it doesn't look as though we'll be in a position to draw lines on a map Partitioning the country, so there's little chance we'll label one area "Joint Use Territory".

#51 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Um, Don Fitch? You may want to read Jonathan Schwarz's post again.

#52 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 10:15 PM:

Re: #51 ::: Aconite:
Jonathan didn't actually say much (& I ran into a block trying to follow the Wolcott cite), but that's part of the reason it's both good and underappreciated as a blog -- it's a fine springboard, encouraging the readers to do some fancy stuff... often on (possibly interesting & stimulating) tangents.

#53 ::: Owlmirror noting spam spam spammity spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2007, 07:29 PM:

Although it's not like he/she is trying to be subtle or anything.

#54 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2007, 11:08 PM:

Tramadol needs to be exiled to Trafalmadore. At once, immediately, and forthwith.

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I am Tramadol, from the planet Tramadolia! Take me to your leader!

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#57 ::: Mongoose spies definite spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2014, 05:05 PM:

YouTube Subscribers Bot. Says it all, really.

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