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Iraqis Having Fun At Last

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It’s great to see how well things are going in Iraq. Why just yesterday, millions of Iraqis celebrated the annual kurd-picking festival while President Shiite was named the new Prime Minister.

Kurd is a delicacy known for its pungent aroma, much like the black truffles so prized by the French but with a deeper flavor and more diverse uses. Kurds are difficult to find, generally growing among the rocks in northern Iraq, so the Iraqis hire Jews to sniff them out.

“It’s a great paying job,” said Moshe Ben Hassan, an Iraqi Jew who was said to have been Saddam Hussein’s favorite kurd sniffer. “For generations, my family has mastered the fine art of sniffing out these elusive delicacies.”

While President Shiite was swearing himself in as the new Prime Minister, a small group gathered and politely applauded. One Iraqi admitted he had been bribed to attend the ceremony.

“I’d much rather be out picking kurds,” he said. He was overheard by President Shiite, who was heard to mutter, “me too.”

When the kurds are harvested, cleaned, and sliced, they’re used in a variety of foods from bread to rice to gruel. Iraqi women dress up in traditional garb and do ceremonial dances. One woman got so carried away that one of her breasts slipped out of her robe.

It’s not clear from press reports what happened to her. Some say she was immediately stoned. Others say she was stoned before she started dancing, which is why she forgot to wear a bra. Still others say people were so excited by the sight of her breast that they gave her some hash to get stoned.

We’ll stay on this story until the truth is revealed.

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • http://www.bigtimepatriot.com Big Time Patriot

    This reminds me of a quote I saw earlier:

    In the dark humor that has become so popular in Baghdad these days, one recently released detainee said, ‘The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house!’ – http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=5590

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Ah, the dark humor that is so popular in Iraq these days – with these days being A YEAR AGO. Ever check the dateline on what you read? Or would that not serve your agenda?

    Your article is, of course, written by a socialist propagandist who works for a ‘news’ website which, of course, can be tracked back to one of the various MoveOn.org front groups. What a shock. And the author is a journalist who was ‘independent’ and ‘unembedded’ in Iraq, which in this case means that he was basically embedded with terrorist groups instead of with the US military and his reporting reflects his sympathies.

    Dave

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Salamanders & Cockerspaniels, not every bid of humor has to be responded to with vitriolic counter attacks. Granted, Big Time’s quote was a mite dark.

    RE: my post, I started laughing this morning when I read the headline on the front page of The Washington Post: “Iraqis Pick Kurd As New President Shiite Set to Be Named Prime Minister.”

    Read it the wrong way, and voila, what was supposed to be a light piece that all could enjoy: libs & cons, reps, dems, & inds, athiets, deists, and rotarians.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    BTP’s quote just made me curious since it seemed so suspect as a quote from a contemporary Iraqi.

    But I did like the dark absurdity of your original article, Mark.

    Dave

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Hell, I didn’t even take it as a serious quote–shows you how naive I can be.

    But I’d be a little cautious calling my post absurd until you’ve tasted a fine risotto (risoto?) with white wine, good veal stock, and slivers of fine kurd. It’s in Julia Child’s cookbook. Trust me.

  • Sfc Ski

    Didn’t little Miss Muffet eat kurds and wHey? Put’s that in a different light, doesn’t it? She’s not even in the deck of cards, it’s a cover-up!

    Speaking of dark humor, this is one of my favorites, it dates back to Cold War Poland, but is easily adapted to any conflict:
    Two G.I.’s are on patrol in Fallujah about 10 minutes before curfew. Suddenly, a young man runs out of a coffee shop and runs up the street away from the soldiers. One G.I. Shoulders his rifle, aims, and shoots the Iraqi dead. The other G.I. is amazed, and yells at the first,”What did you do that for? He still had ten minutes before curfew!” The first G.I. responds,”I know where he lives, he wouldn’t have made it home in time.”

    Trust me, it’s funnier if you’re wearing body armor in 110 degree heat.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    That’s about as dark as it gets. In fact, I’m not sure, but you may have slipped over the cliff into the abyss of despair.

    (I did fight off a chuckle…I’m way too liberal to find that funny.)

  • Sfc Ski

    Someone has probably done a thesis on humor in the face of adversity. Laughter is not merely the best medicine, it is a great defense mechanism. Do you know what it feels like to laugh unitl your sides ache and tears roll down your face as your body releses nervous tensin and stress?

  • Shark

    Dave “Tinfoil Hat” Nalle: “Your article is, of course, written by a socialist propagandist who works for a ‘news’ website which, of course, can be tracked back to one of the various MoveOn.org front groups…”

    Of course. Of course.

    And it was written by Lee Harvey Oswald!

    Dave, yer amazing…

    …in a kinda perverse way.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Norman Cousins, the late, great editor of “Saturday Review” when that was one of the best mags ever, was diagnosed with cancer. Part of his self-created therapy was laughter. His book is “Head First: The Biology of Hope and the Healing Power of the Human Spirit.”

    He survived the first round & even his doctors had to admit his laughter therapy was a powerful part of the cure.

  • gonzo marx

    oh my..i knew i wouldn’t have to wait long..

    Dave sez..
    *And the author is a journalist who was ‘independent’ and ‘unembedded’ in Iraq, which in this case means that he was basically embedded with terrorist groups instead of with the US military and his reporting reflects his sympathies.*

    love how when someone does not agree they immediately become the “enemy” but you never “distract” nor “insult”

    thas one…

    funny Article Mark..

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Gonzo and Shark. I know you’d rather rag on me than pay attention. But if you care to actually do a google search you’ll see that the fellow who wrote that article spent considerable time with what he calls ‘Iraqi freedom fighters’ and works for MoveOn.org. It’s just facts. Don’t let them scare you. His name is Dahr Jamail, btw.

    You know, people who happen to agree with you aren’t automatically good people, and those you disagree with aren’t automatically evil. The world’s just a tiny bit more complicated than that, and folks with money and agenda like George Soros will pay to make th enews say what they want it to say.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Dave sez..
    *and folks with money and agenda like George Soros will pay to make th enews say what they want it to say.*

    you mean like Rupert Murdoch?

    since he actually OWNS an entire “news” network for his propaganda purposes..not to mention radio and newspapers…

    a bit more damaging than a single rich guy spouting off, eh?

    BOTH are bad..one is worse..

    as for ragging on ya Dave…nah..disagree with you some, yes

    but ya threw down the gauntlet on other threads (“chickenhawks” for insults, and the oil thread for “distractions”)

    so i am obligated to do my Jester’s best to point out when you do what ya say ya dislike sometimes…just a bit of Fun

    i ALWAYS readily agree when we have common ground…and just as readily admit it when i am corrected

    you have agreed on some points…the only part of your writings that irks me are the REp apologist bits and the incessant hitting of talking points..

    but as long as you are up front with the times you disagree with your chosen “gang”…then i will always remain civil

    but since i am NOT a member of either Repubocrats nor Demlicans…i feel free to pick on the fallacies and hypocrisies of BOTH…as well as to try and encourage folks to look at it all themselves and make up their own Minds..

    would that i could persuade folks to drop the “gang” tags and just deal with each problem on it’s own…based on the MERITS and not the Ideology…

    i can Dream, can’t i?

    >blows Dave some kissies< Excelsior!

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Tip o’ the hat, Gonzo. Glad you enjoyed.

    And Dave, you are one of the more thoughtful conserapublicans here and I almost always enjoy your comments.

    Alas, in the land of the blind, the deaf are never seen and the blind are never heard. (I have no idea what that means but it applies to us all, I think.)

    Cogito ergo Cogito.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Murdoch vs. Soros. Now there’s an interesting topic.

    As I see it Murdoch is less of a threat than Soros primarily because he may be conservative, but he’s a businessman first. He uses his conservative agenda as a way to make money and discards it when it’s not profitable – see the programming on the broadcast Fox Network – or the content of Fox movies. I can trust someone when I know his primary motive is the bottom line.

    Soros on the other hand is spending huge amounts of money solely to push a political agenda. He’s not investing it in a product the way that Murdoch is, his bottom line is purely gaining political power. That’s way, way more scary than just being a conservative businessman.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Dave…i must strongly disagree here..

    my Opinion is that Murdoch uses his commercial outlets to finance an ENTIRE MEDIA EMPIRE for his political purposes…how many newspapers an dradio station sdoes he own…gobbled up since the “deregulation” of the media rules on who can own how many outlets in each market..

    follow his buying pattern after that

    the crowning achievement…

    AN ENTIRE NEWS NETWORK THAT RUNS TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY…

    can you say “Pravda”…

    i knew you could…

    Soros is a twisted fuck..but strictly minor league player compared to Murdoch…who OWNS the league and many of the teams…

    can’t even compare the two…it’s like trying to compare apples and wal-mart

    nice try attempting to pass Murdoch off as just a “conservative businessman”…

    nope..he is bankrolling the Pravda…i might buy that you even believed the argument, but you already acknowledged that you knew that Newt was in charge of FNC political content…

    i expected better form you Dave…

    /sniffles

    Excelsior!
    a

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I just don’t see it, Gonzo. So much of what Murchoch’s companies put out is diametrically opposed the the ‘conservative agenda’ or any imagining of that agenda that I have to conclude that the holy dollar is is only real god.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    conclude as ya like..do you disageree that FNC is Pravda?

    and do you understand that there is a huge difference in scale between Soror buying some commercials to support hsi Agenda and Murdoch OWNING the station he is buyint the air time from?

    that’s the nut of my Point..

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>conclude as ya like..do you disageree that FNC is Pravda? < < Having read Pravda at the height of its power I can safely say there's no similarity. Fox News may have a slant, but they admit that opposing views exist. They regularly have people on who don't agree with their viewpoint and let them talk. That's more than most of the other broadcast and cable news outfits can say. >>and do you understand that there is a huge difference in scale between Soror buying some commercials to support hsi Agenda and Murdoch OWNING the station he is buyint the air time from?<< You clearly don’t have a full picture of the Soros disinformation empire. It’s a lot more than a few commercials. He owns whole journalists and bogus news services and dozens of different front groups that feed fake news to the major media. Dave

  • gonzo marx

    i can agree that FNC will have some opposing iews on…fair enough..i do not agree that they let themn talk any more than others…less than..oh..PBS for instance…but better than Crossfire…

    why did i compare the two..propaganda…plain and simple…

    not as bad as the “Armstrong” bit or the VNR’s ..but there is the appearance of co-orduination in message…if it ever gets proven that the Rep. Intranet is accessed by FNC or Limbaugh etc…then you have a casual link that is in clear violation of the federal propaganda laws…similar to the “Armstrong” incident..

    by the way…notice there have been NO prosecutions of either Armstrong, the other woman(forget her name) that was caught getting paid for article, or anyone in the Administration(ie: whomever wrote the checks) for the clearf and admitted violation of federal Law?

    hell, there hasn’t even been an Investigation, not one question about it raised in either the House or Senate..

    and you wonder why i always point this shit out, and scream about the lack of checks and balances in a one Party run totalitarian regime?

    if said checks and balances were in place..then i am betting this type of Pravda/Propaganda wold not be quite so rampant and blatant…

    it’s a non-partisan Issue for me…i would be just as pissed if it was the other side

    hope that clears my stance up a bit..sorry for any confusion, such was not my intent..

    this time…

    kidding..kidding….really…

    /ducks

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>why did i compare the two..propaganda…plain and simple…< < FNC isn't propaganda the way that Pravda was. FNC has a lot of diversity. Pravda had none. If you watch FNC you'll see that even their major performers don't fall into lockstep. Compare O'Reilly with your perceived talking points sometime. He doesn't conform to them at all. He's all over the place in his positions and he's their most popular personality. >>not as bad as the “Armstrong” bit or the VNR’s ..but there is the appearance of co-orduination in message…if it ever gets proven that the Rep. Intranet is accessed by FNC or Limbaugh etc…then you have a casual link that is in clear violation of the federal propaganda laws…similar to the “Armstrong” incident..< < There are propaganda laws? Not the last I checked. Any broadcast personality has the absolute right to repeat his chosen party's talking points word for word if he wants. >>by the way…notice there have been NO prosecutions of either Armstrong, the other woman(forget her name) that was caught getting paid for article, or anyone in the Administration(ie: whomever wrote the checks) for the clearf and admitted violation of federal Law?< < Huh? What violation of federal law? I think you misunderstood those two incedents. What was done was a logical extension of the practice of broadcasting PSAs, and both Armstrong Williams and that woman whose name I also can't remember were just doing the same thing the DJs on your local radio station do every day. Taking money to voice the ads on their show - in this case advertising a government program, which isn't a new practice at all. >>hell, there hasn’t even been an Investigation, not one question about it raised in either the House or Senate..< < That's because there's nothing to prosecute. Some people thought it was a bit inappropriate, but it's something that's been done for ages and there's no law against it. >>and you wonder why i always point this shit out, and scream about the lack of checks and balances in a one Party run totalitarian regime?< < Where is this one-party totalitarian regime? Certainly not here in the US. Feel free to resume this tact when they lock up the Democrats in congress and in all the state governments around the country. >>if said checks and balances were in place..then i am betting this type of Pravda/Propaganda wold not be quite so rampant and blatant…<< But it’s a free market. If the democrats were in power the conservative elements in the media would be even MORE vocal and aggressive. Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Dave sez..
    *There are propaganda laws? Not the last I checked. Any broadcast personality has the absolute right to repeat his chosen party’s talking points word for word if he wants.*

    yes, yes there are Federal laws against propaganda, put in place after world war two..the gist of it is the government cannot pay for journalists to write for them

    so you are correct that someonle like a Fox announcer has every right to parrot whatever he likes

    what Armstrong did was a violation of federal law, as he got paid by the government for writing it as a journalistic piece for a newspaper

    the rest…well i just made my point

    you keep working for the republicans and keep calling yourself :libertarian”

    to me you are starting to come across like a Log Cabin Republican…in denial that you are in league with that which you fought aganist…all under the delusion of fixxing it within in some strange compromise..

    of course..these could all be heartfelt positions..in which case you and i are jusrt going to go round and round so many times on so much of this due to diametrically opposed views

    i will say it agani, for the Record..since it seems to be the boiled down point of contention between us..

    th Ends do NOT justify the Means to me..EVER

    the Means are the End in and of themselves…

    i learned that little lesson from a tale of a guy named Yeshua ben Miriam..

    you know..the Shrubs favorite political philosopher as espoused by him in the 2000 debate?

    too bad the exact opposite seems to be the republican position…

    and that’s why i go off, and is the basis of my views…

    and also why i think we will usually not be able to reach accord here…

    i will try and find you a link to the propaganda law..NOT that i am saying FNC violates the law…just Armstrong in this case…

    Excelsior!

  • gonzo marx

    here ya go Dave..

    first link i found on it..a bit by George Will

    i think we can agree he is no part of any kind of “left wing” anything, and you will take him as a source for our purposes until i can find the exact laws tomorrow?

    http://www.thestate.com/mld/state/10641664.htm

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Did you read the George Will article? What it makes very clear is the ambiguity of all of this. It doesn’t suggest there’s a firm anti-propaganda law, it talks about GAO policies, which are not the same thing. It also points out that whether these promotional videos and paid endorsements are propaganda is debatable. The question is whether they serve a legitimate advertising or promotional purpose or are designed to advance the interests of political parties or individuals. And on that they pass the test. Promoting and popularizing a government program which has been passed and funded by the Congress is a legitimate activity.

    Propaganda is when you say “George Bush is our Great Leader, Worship Him”. This is a far cry from saying “No child left behind is going to help your school excel”.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    well..going to gao.gov and typing in “propaganda” yields 172 results

    the first 50 that i looked over all stem form this administration..

    now..not ALL are judgements…

    and it keeps referencing the “prohibition law against propaganda” but i would have to dtill into the legal document to fnid the exact law’s wording..

    not up for that tonight..will try it tomorrow

    but it DOES tend to support my point that there IS such a Law on the books as i had read..

    and one of th edecisions that stated the violation is about the Armstrong case…and specifies a journalist publishing in a “news source” information for propaganda purposes that he recieved monetary compensation for…

    that seems to be a main point in violating this law..tho there does seem to be parts of the Law retricting propaganda by the government directly

    in a decision about these VNR’s their point is the “so and so reporting” that closes these pieces out liek they are an actual news story…that is considered deceptive since the person doing the narration is a government PR contractor

    read them for yourself if you like..

    http://www.gao.gov and just type in propaganda

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, but by the GAO definition of propaganda the VNR pieces are not propaganda as a court just ruled, and as any sensible person could tell by reading the definition. VNRs are a standard thing in private industry. The car industry uses them ALL the time and they get picked up regularly by small, lazy TV stations.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    fallacious Postulate Dave..

    you just simply CANNOT equate the federal Government and it’s practices under an Administration with a Business

    if i have to explain the difference , then you are being deliberately obtuse, and i just don’t believe you don’t see it

    apples and oranges

    the Federal government and it’s agencies work FOR the people who pay them via taxes…i believe anyone can agree that our tax dollars should NOT be spent to deceive the Citizenry

    if the VNR’s ended with “this public service announcement has been brought to you by the >insert Agency name here< instead of “so and so reporting”, then i would have NO problem becuase there woud be NO deceptive element otherwise it crosses that Ethical line, and THAT is what i am ranting AGAINST nuff said? Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’m afraid I don’t see the ethical line you’re talking about, and I suspect that the members of the administration – who largely come from a business background – never even considered it a possible problem.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Dave sez..
    *I’m afraid I don’t see the ethical line you’re talking about, and I suspect that the members of the administration – who largely come from a business background – never even considered it a possible problem.*

    the very fact that you continually refuse to see the problem troubles me..

    once again..in the name of Clarity..

    the Ethical line is crossed when the Agency does NOT clearly state that they are the Source of the VNR by closing with “so and so reporting” as if it was a news piece INSTEAD of clearly stating “this has been a public service announcement brought to you by >insert Agency name here< it cannot be stated any more clearly or simply than that.. i hope that helps.. Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I acknowledge that there probably IS an ethical line, I just don’t see where it’s drawn, and I certainly don’t see these VNRs as crossing it.

    I’d draw the line based on the content of the reports. I mean, which is worse, these VNRs which contain true information about a government program and a PSA from the ONDC which is full of lies about mairjuana?

    dve

  • gonzo marx

    ‘fraid not Dave..

    the Line is drawn as soon as Decpetion si involved…as i keep stating quite clearly…as soon as you say “so and so reporting” which is what they do..and not “brought to you by >insert Agency<” you engage in Deception don’t you think that decieving your audience is crossin gthat Ethical line just as much as factual error in content? not that i am statnig as fact that any factual errors are occuring BEYOND the deception of where the VNR is coming from.. Excelsior!

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    And to think this all started beause the Iraqis were finally having some fun picking kurds. Oh well.

    However, as a 30+ year PR veteran who’s put many a scientific expert on tour–paid for by mega-corporations–I have to side with Gonzo. Ethically, morally, however you cut it, if you engage in this kind of behavior, you have a profound responsibility to disclose who’s footing the bill.

    Ironically, when I used to talk to reporters about this, I’d never mention the moral issue because who’d believe a PR guy could be moral. It’s just smart business.

    Nothing stays secret for very long these days, and people expect that so-called experts are being paid by someone. By being open about the funding source, you’re not only showing respect for your listener, you’re helping them evaluate the piece itself.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Hey! Who slipped google ads in my post? I wanna cut of any $ that gets generated.

    Let’s see, 25% of 5 cents is….oh never mind.

  • gonzo marx

    heh…heyas Mark…i’m almost sorry to have hijacked yer satirical eloquence..

    almost…

    now, answer yer e-mail…i want those small, unmarked bills..

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>don’t you think that decieving your audience is crossin gthat Ethical line just as much as factual error in content? << No. It’s not the same. Don’t see how you can think it is. Dave

  • gonzo marx

    /sigh

    both are deception..just over different topics..

    Deception IS the Ethic i am speaking about

    fi the content is Correct, but deception has occured by not stating the Source…that is one type of Deception

    if “facts” are spun, incomplete or incorrect…THAT is ANOTHER type of Deception…

    but both are Deception

    my whole point in this discussion has been, and shall remain with the ethical violation of NOT clearly stating the Source of the VNR…

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I don’t get it. TV reporters give news all the time without reporting the sources. It’s standard in the industry. Presumably they do HAVE sources, but how do we know what they are or how valid they are?

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    the Deception here is that the source of the VNR is putting itsel fout there as if it is NEWS reporting and NOT information from the Agency…

    but it suits yor political agenda to NOT see this point and argue against it..so i guess there is no admitting to it on your part..

    too bad…

    Excelsior!

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Dave, let me give you an example of how not revealing a source to your audience can be deceiving. I represent the Acme Chemical Company & we’ve spread dimethyl doorknobs all over your community. We find some scientist and pay him gobs o’ money to do lots o’ media saying he’s convinced there’s no danger. Even if he is convinced there’s no danger, the company and he have a responsibility to reveal who’s paying his bill. Then let him answer the questions about whether his opinion was bought or not. It can be done. I’ve done it for years.

    Every reporter I know believes it is unethical to present an expert without revealing who’s backing him or her.

    And…Gonzo…the only e-mails I’ve gotten from you are alerts that you’ve posted. You haven’t taken the time to write me directly, so no unmarked bills for you, young man.

  • gonzo marx

    bah..i wrote directly last night..dammit..ok..will do so again..

    Excelsior!

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Uh oh, dear Gonzo, I hate to have to be the one to tell you this…are you sitting down?

    My spam filter didn’t trust you and threw you into the spam file. I’ve dragged you out, dusted you off, and will respond shortly. Not tonight however, since I’m being dragged off to a wedding which means I have to shave my four week old beard which gives me a kind of deranged E. Hemingway look.

    Not to fear, however. You’re now marked “safe.” Take that as you will.

    Cogito ergo Cognito

  • gonzo marx

    me?

    safe?

    oh my stars and garters…

    whoda thunk it

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    But Mark, ,your scenario involves actual lying about the substance of the information. That’s not the same thing.

    Dave

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Dave, no, he could actually believe that the substance was safe, but he’d be on the payroll of some company with a stake in that opinion. Wouldn’t you find it suspicious to find out later that the guy had been paid by the company?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Sure, Mark. I would certainly like to know who’s paying him. But I wasn’t talking about presenting experts, I was talking about reporters reading the news and passing on information with minimal attribution, which they do all the time.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    >points up to comment # 38 and leaves it alone, sort of< Excelsior!

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    i’m with gonzo…

    is there a subtle difference? sure
    are they both wrong? without a shred of evidence…no, i mean without a shred of doubt

    whew. haven’t we beat this dog until it’s just road kill?

    let’s find something else to argue about.