3.16.2002

WAYNE & SALLY & ANTHONY & KELLI. The story so far: Sally's football star husband Wayne slept with Kelli, who is married to Anthony, who is Wayne's best friend and team mate.

Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of their lives. Here's the latest from Australia's national soap opera:

Sally says she will talk to Wayne. But she's been under sedation for three days! Will she be ableto talk? And will Wayne listen?

Wayne's friends are so sneaky and dumb. And they lie. They'll do anything to get Wayne out of trouble.

Anthony visits Kelli. What will he do? What will Kelli say? Will they get back together? What about their poor baby? And will the various newspapers ever agree on how Kelli (or Kellie, or Kelly) spells her name?

Oh no! Wayne is crying his eyes out.

Wayne and Sally were fated to be together. Their small-town romance was perfect! Can they possibly recapture their love?

Wayne is in a hell of his own creation. Can he free himself? Will he sink even lower? Nobody knows.

Sally speaks! She's still upset and stressed, even after all the sedatives.

What will Wayne do next? Will he ever play football again? What team would take him?

Sally returns to her childhood home, where her grouchy father has been seething for days. How will the old man react? Will the sight of his betrayed daughter provoke an attack on Wayne?

Have pity on the football wives. All the time, conniving bitches are trying to steal their men! How do they cope?

Leave Wayne alone, says Wayne's brother. He needs some privacy. Go home, Satan's minions!

Will Wayne ever learn that doing the wrong thing is bad?

Who's that shadowy figure lurking in the background? It's a private eye! Football wives are hiring them to spy on their husbands!

Wayne has brought shame not only on himself, but on the entire world of Australian football! Everyone is tainted.

Can Anthony's brother Michael play football after all the stress of Anthony's ordeal? His coach hopes he can.

There will be more tomorrow. And for weeks afterwards.

THE latest Fox News column is up. Who knows why, but today I'm applauding young people.

KEN LAYNE reports (via Nick Denton) that he is now the world's Top Ken, ranking numero uno on Google searches:


"Freakin' weird. I thought you needed a unique first name like Waylon or Madonna for this kind of thing."



Same deal with Matt Welch. He's the Top Welch, easily defeating that corporate Other Welch for the number one spot. Bjørn Stærk is a bigger Google hit than Bjorn Borg.

Even weirder: there's this guy in Britain who shares my surname and first initial. Tony, they call him. But run a Google search on "blair", and – hey! – I come up a whole bunch ahead of him.

Well, it figures. He's only the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. And I am a Blogger.

3.15.2002

SECRETIVE Sydney commentator Kylie Toyota sends this sharp assessment of Canadian eco-fearmonger David Suzuki, who is currently polluting Australia's opinion ponds. The quotes are from an interview Suzuki gave to the suburban Mosman Daily newspaper, for which no link is available:


Why can't David Suzuki stay in Canada? Too generous, I guess. Too concerned about the Fate of the Earth. And too much in demand in places like Sydney, where guilt-stricken Sydney Morning Herald readers line up (as they did at a Mosman literary party recently) for a tongue-lashing from the saintly eco-scold.

Afterwards, Suzuki gave a lucky Mosman Daily journo an exclusive interview in his corrugated iron and cardboard-lined suite at a luxurious city hotel. As he "sipped" Coca-Cola – actually drinking the cocktail of toxic chemicals would be far too risky – the diminutive Japanese vehicle (who delivers an eco-friendly 400,000 words to the gallon) obligingly cudgelled the evil system that produces his watch, computers and hi-tech running shoes and keeps his investment portfolio in tip-top shape.

Suzuki on money: "What is real wealth? I happen to think clean air and clean water and fish in the sea and forests are the things I really value." Fish in the forests? Why, certainly! The bark-clad hermit can often be seen wandering the woods of Newfoundland armed with his trusty club, in the hope of bringing down a tuna or two.

Dave on SUVs: "I am delighted in North America they have finally shown these four wheelers are very dangerous because they tip more easily and have killed hundreds of people now." No wonder they call them axles of evil. Sept. 11 presumably made him feel ecstatic ... they have finally shown these skyscrapers are very dangerous because they can be crashed into more easily and have killed almost 3000 people now.

The big S on urban tree removal: "If it's an original tree, it grew there for a reason. It belongs there. The seed found that spot. It spent 60 or 70 years growing. That tree should be respected." He no doubt thinks the same about cancer cells, corns and blue-green algae.

Not about fetuses, though – at least not white fetuses. They should be kept to a minimum, because as the reliable and really very reasonably priced Suzuki regularly fumes, "we in the industrialized world ... are the major problem on the earth." Um, is that "we", Dave, or "I"?


ALL SEX SCANDALS, ALL THE TIME: Australia has become a land of feverish sexual controversy. Wayne Carey, the greatest Australian Rules footballer of the last decade, this week quit the game in tears after it was revealed he'd had an affair with the wife of his best friend and team-mate, Anthony Stevens.

Latest news, via Channel Nine, is that Carey (married only recently) has suffered a nervous breakdown. He's lucky he hasn't got a broken jaw; according to rumour, Stevens learned of the affair when Carey was caught in compromising circumstances with Stevens's wife Kelli at a team party. Classy move, Wayne.

(Sidebar: an elderly female fan of Carey's once attacked me with an umbrella after I screamed foul abuse at Carey during a Collingwood-North Melbourne match at Victoria Park. Still proud of your hero, Gran?)

Meanwhile, Liberal Party senator Bill Heffernan is facing media and political wrath after claiming in Parliament that High Court judge Michael Kirby hired rent boys. New South Wales police have already investigated Kirby, but claim they may do so again if Heffernan can provide solid evidence.

Kylie Minogue was reportedly scandalised by a lively US interview in which she was asked weird questions about having sex with Michael Hutchence on an aircraft carrying former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

The Speaker's Chair in the Northern Territory parliament deserves a new name after ex-government media advisor Andrew Kilvert confessed to having sex in it with a female friend. Justifiably proud, Kilvert offered this account of his chairy deed to The Australian:


"We'd been down the boozer and wandered in and just sort of had sex."



When the chair proved uncomfortable, the pair shifted to the speaker's table. Kilvert continues:


"She delivered a beautiful soliloquy as she lay on the speaker's table, about democracy and freedom of expression. It was really quite a good speech. And then we left."



All of this has overshadowed the scandal previously dominating the nation: accusations that Governor-General Peter Hollingworth suppressed sex abuse claims while serving as the Anglican archbishop of Brisbane.

And it ain't over yet. Nicole Kidman's announcement that she adores gambling is certain to become a sex scandal once the media remembers Freud's theory on the subject. Stand by for a "NICOLE MISSES TOM" tabloid psychoanalysis.

3.14.2002

THE AUSTRALIAN runs a brief opinion piece by me today. The lawyers were called in to look at it, but it seems to have survived untouched.

3.13.2002

MORE ON MOORE. Reader Barb S. of Denver writes: "This cretin Moore has been hanging around my home town and I'm sick of him and his stupid opinions. Apparently some of the local newspapers are also fed up with him."

Indeed they are. The following is by Bill Husted, who pens a gossip column in the Denver Post:


"Speaking of Moore, the loony lefty drew big crowds to hear his egg-headed gibberish in Denver and Boulder on Saturday. I wonder if all the people cheering his anti-establishment rhetoric know that this 'man of the people' only flies first class, stays in the very best hotels and demands that all bookstores he visits have plenty of cold Evian water waiting for him. Just wondering."



Vince Carroll, editorial page editor at the Rocky Mountain News, also joins in the fun:


"It seems that just as with the capitalists he so loathes, nothing can stop the forward accumulation of Moore's wealth. He may not be able to think clearly or to write with any grace. He may be vulgar and he may be vicious. But he's still got a book at the top of the charts."



But as Barb says, "there are still those who are absolutely enchanted by the radical ravings of the 'man of the people.'" One of them is Denver Post columnist Diane Carman:


"He is everything the contemporary politician isn't. He is smart, brash, profane, hilarious, beholden to no one and genuine in his devotion to the country.

"The Moore plan for 'staging a counter coup' calls for people to contact their representatives in Congress at least once a week and get three friends to do the same; to 'dog Bush wherever he goes'; to force Democrats to do their job; and to get 'normal, decent people' to run for office.

"I'm not sure, but I think I just saw the most provocative, interesting 2004 presidential candidate throw his hat into the ring."



President Moore's first act: converting Air Force One into a flying Denny's. Says Barb: "I am not a true, traditional conservative in any sense of the word, but my perception about how STUPID the radical left can sound has been amazingly clarified since September 11." All thanks to Michael Moore, the Stupid White Man himself.

KEN LAYNE'S Fox News column sings. A sample:


"Why regard a network news personality as some sort of sacred hero? Look, we know the anchors have talent agents — yeah, talent agents just like the ones who work for Tom Cruise or Jennifer Lopez. We know those anchors make enough money to run a small nation. This is a media-saturated culture, and anybody who goes to the doctor now and again can read all about the media people in People magazine. Yet the newscasters sit behind those anchor desks acting like we have no idea."


MAUREEN DOWD'S latest column arrives in Australia three days after it was published in the US, and the Sydney Morning Herald is so excited it promotes it off the front page of its website.

Maureen's limp piece compares characters from the Seinfeld program (which ended four years ago) with personalities from Bill Clinton's government (which ended in 2001). According to Mo:

Clinton is Jerry;

Janet Reno is Kramer;

Robert Reich is George;

Rahm Emanuel is Larry David;

Hillary Rodham Clinton is Elaine;

and Al Gore is Newman.

Hilarious, Maureen! Next from the Pulitzer prize winner: which Happy Days character most resembled the Ford administration's Thomas Kleppe, and the eerie parallels between Robert F. Kennedy and Chip Douglas from My Three Sons.

ATTENTION Slate people: the post you seek exists below. Scroll on down.

GO TO Damian Penny's Daimnation for the latest assaults on Michael Moore, including details of Moore's 1997 book cover deceit. Michigan Fats is under attack!

DETROIT'S Alex Bensky sends some helpful advice for penniless LA-bound itinerants like Michael Moore:


"All you need to do is check sources like Let's Go, make a few phone calls, and be a little patient. I've been able to find clean, quiet, and safe motels for about sixty bucks a night. They're Motel 6-type accommodations; nothing fancy, no restaurant on premises, but they're decent and not badly located places to spend the night."



Alex also offers a reason for Moore's continued support of the Detroit Tigers:


"The team moved from a proletarian ballpark – unremarkable architecture, no luxury suites, but plenty of good, close, reasonably priced seats – to a new edifice with many luxury suites and other expensive features which cater to the corporate crowd, all the while pushing the average fan's more expensive seats farther away from the field."



Sounds like Moore would love it.

3.12.2002

WHY DOES Michael Moore, millionaire film maker and television star, pretend to be poor?

It's almost pathological. We've already witnessed Moore's Detroit Tigers cap (although he lives in Manhattan's Upper West Side) and shabby clothes (although his $1.27 million apartment is mere blocks from the finest clothing stores on earth) and bitter personal attacks on wealthy people (although Moore himself is extremely wealthy).

Now the sanctimonious swamp hog claims he can't afford to visit California.

I'm serious. Check out Moore's travel diary, which documents the four-eyed landcow's relentless – and apparently successful – promotional tour for his latest book. The most recent entry reads as though it was written by a skin-and-bones dustbowl Okie in the 1930s:


"I have spent the week in California, pretty much at my own expense. Weeks ago, the publisher informed me that they would not be sending me to this state if they had to pay to get me there.

"So I called up my friends at Politically Incorrect and asked if they could book me on the show and bring me out there. They were more than happy to help out … they have come to my aid, and I am grateful."



"Come to my aid"?! Michael Moore is a fucking millionaire!

We're talking major miser here. Rather than pay for a cheap room in a Motel 6, Moore mooches off his TV pals. And he's stupid enough to imagine that this favour is a personal one, when all Politically Correct has done is lift a few bucks from ABC's petty cash to throw Fat Boy's way.

Working class LA hotel proprietors could do with some celebrity tourist trade; travel-wise, things are tough in post-September 11 USA. Instead, Moore sucks up to the mainstream corporate media – you know, the bad guys – for travel and accommodation cash, all so he can become even richer from book sales and stay in some classy rooms (on someone else's tab) while he does it.

And what did Moore have to say on Politically Incorrect? The shambling, dollar-drenched, penny-pinching oaf attacked Australian Olympic skater Steven Bradbury, who is far less wealthy than he:


Michael Moore: Bush is like that – he's like that Australian speed-skater, the guy who hung back in last place because he wasn't any good, and let the five crash into the wall, and then he sped through. And he wins the gold medal. The loser wins the gold medal.

Bill Maher: Right, and he's like, "Whoo, whoo!"

Michael: "Whoo, whoo, I got the gold medal!"

Bill: "That was my strategy."

Michael: "I'm no good! I'm a loser!" You know, so --



I know, Michael. Let's see youon ice skates. In fact, let's see you do something easier. Like pay for your own damn room.

CRIKEY'S STEPHEN MAYNE reports that the Sydney Morning Herald is planning big staff cuts:


"[SMH editor in chief] Alan Revell told an SMH editors meeting last week that they were looking at an across the board 15 per cent cut. He claimed the SMH was overstaffed and is reported by some to have said up to one-third of the editorial stuff could be cut."



Revell is right; the SMH isoverstaffed. But Mayne disagrees: "Surely this has to be a crazy ambit claim or the delusions of a former McKinsey management guru in CEO Fred Hilmer … The journalists should be absolutely up in arms about it."

Mayne is also upset about the lack of journalistic influence over management: "We've told you before that the Fairfax board [Fairfax publishes the SMH] does not have a single journalist on it."

So who does Mayne propose … Margo Kingston? Peter FitzSimons? Adele Horin? You'll get some terrific business strategies out of thatbunch. Or perhaps someone from the TV section's Axis of Evil – Doug Anderson, Jenny Tabakoff, and Robin Oliver – would suit. (Note to Revell: these names should be high on your list.)

The SMH's problem isn't that the board doesn't have any journalists. It's that the paperdoesn't have any. Just lots of old hippies, lefty ranters, and misery wallowers.

IN REFERENCE to the Australian anti-Starbucks campaign mentioned below, Texan blogger Chris Kerstiens writes:


"I found it ironic that the letters against Starbucks are being sent to a local paper named The Village Voice. Can't say this for sure, but it would appear that they took the name from a US paper. Damn us yanks for exporting our culture!"



Chris hails from Austin. See you at the Driskill!

GREAT NEWS. The Australian government has hectored the US into watering down its steel tariffs:


"The United States will exempt more Australian steel imports from planned tariffs after an all-out diplomatic campaign by federal cabinet.

"Cabinet ministers wrote to their US counterparts demanding the US soften its tariffs on imported steel, while Prime Minister John Howard talked to US ambassador to Australia, Tom Schaeffer, asking for his intervention.

"It has paid off, with the US exempting hot rolled coil steel from its proposed tariffs of up to 30 per cent on steel imports.

"Mr Howard said the exemption would mean 85 per cent of Australia's $450 million in steel exports to the US would escape the tariffs that have been attacked by all steel-producing countries outside the US."



OH NO. Sydney is being threatened by a coffee shop. How terrible. Everything will be destroyed. Run for your lives, etc

IN HIS MARCH 9 REPORT on events in Afghanistan (mentioned a few posts below), Sydney Morning Herald defence correspondent Craig Skehan included this jarring paragraph:


"In response to media questioning, Brigadier Lewis said there was 'no evidence' to suggest that the Australians had called in any air strikes which had resulted in civilian deaths."



Note the mocking quotes undermining the claim of "no evidence". Turns out that when Skehan says "media", he actually means "Craig Skehan". Skehan was the only reporter at Brigadier Lewis's briefing to ask about civilian casualties, which he did repeatedly.

Not that he shouldn't have asked; but three times? The transcript of the briefing (which doesn't identify Skehan as the questioner – other reporters present inform me so) reveals Skehan's attitude:


QUESTION: "In relation to this area here, are there any civilian populations? And given that there's been some major American blunders in recent months in relation to the killing of civilians from the air, is Australia concerned about calling in fire? Mistakes made and they hit the wrong target and kill innocent people?"

BRIGADIER DUNCAN LEWIS: "Australians are always concerned about calling in fire. It's a very serious business. We have quite precise and strict rules of engagement which require identification of hostile intent or action before engagement is made and so it's a very serious business. We take it very seriously."

QUESTION: "Is Australia confident that in the instances so far where fire's been directed to a certain area there's been no civilian casualties?"

BRIGADIER DUNCAN LEWIS: "Oh, yes, we're confident that our people are observing the rules of engagement that we are abiding by."

QUESTION: "And there's been follow up reports to establish that targets hit have been genuine military targets?"

BRIGADIER DUNCAN LEWIS: "We have target reports and there is no evidence to suggest that there has been any civilian casualties in those missions that we have called in."



Brigadier Lewis is a patient man. Imagine Don Rumsfeld's likely response to this line of questioning.

Or maybe the Brigadier isn't so patient; a little later in the briefing, this Skehan-Lewis exchange occurred:


QUESTION: "Has Australian been involved in taking any prisoners at all? Or the interrogation of any prisoners?"

BRIGADIER DUNCAN LEWIS: "I've just said we haven't taken any prisoners."



The Sydney Morning Herald: the paper that needs to be told everything twice.

3.11.2002

NICK DENTON was angered last week by slow right-wing response to George W. Bush's steel tariff decision. He wrote:


"Most political weblog writers are conservative, but it was a consolation that they were at least smart conservatives. Now, here comes an issue – the Bush administration's decision to impose tariffs on steel imports – that gives them a perfect opportunity to show the capacity for independent thought … And their reaction: a pathetic whimper."



Since then, there's been a load of weblog fury directed at Bush. More interesting is the reaction of the online Left to the tariff issue.

They are completely ignoring it.

We've seen nothing from DemocraticUnderground. Naomi Klein over at nologo.org is silent. (Judging from the tiny response to recent postings, Naomi's fame has just about expired.) Michael Moore hasn't opened his mouth for any reason other than to talk about his book and shovel in a chicken or two. The Indymedia babies are quiet - except for one message at the Sydney branch which calls for sanctions against the US; the first recorded instance of an anti-globo supporting free trade.

(By the way, ever notice that Indymedia is a global brand, with cookie-cutter franchises radiating from an American core? Indymedia is imposing its American protest culture on foreign lands. Crush the Indymedia tyranny! Stop the globalisation of complaint!)

So what's their problem? These people love tariffs; you'd think they’d be dancing in the streets. "Free trade and abolition of tariffs … means freedom to move capital to wherever it can bring in the greatest profit, never mind the cost in human suffering," an Indymedia gimp whines in this January post. Well, he got what he wanted. Globalisation has been thwarted!

But the anti-globo crowd is mute. Why? A few theories:

1. The steel tariffs graphically demonstrate the unfairness of protectionism. Poor labourers in other countries will be denied work because of Bush's barriers. The anti-globos are possibly feeling a little uncomfortable about this. After all, young anti-globos have only known the demolition of trade barriers; now barriers are going up, but the results are (surprise, surprise) bad.How confusing.

2. Praising tariffs aligns the anti-globos with the anti-trade faction at FreeRepublic.com. How embarrassing.

3. The anti-globos are still trying to work out what happened and what it means and why everything is like it is and where to go and how to read.

Over to you, Nick. The Right has had its say on steel tariffs; now it's time to make the same demand of the Left. Let's see theircapacity for independent thought. So far, they haven't produced even a whimper.

STEYN ON STEEL. He ain't happy:


"Last Tuesday was the absolute low point of the Bush presidency. Even in the wobblier moments of September 11 and 12, he never said or did anything flat-out, stinking-to-high-heaven wrong. But last week he slapped tariffs of 30 per cent on imported steel.

"Among those stiffed by the President are pretty much everybody with troops on the ground fighting alongside the 10th Mountain Division and the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan - fellows like Australia, whose Prime Minister, John Howard, summed up his country's support for the US better than anyone else in the days after September 11: 'This is no time to be an 80 per cent ally.' No, indeed. Bush to Howard: You're now a 30 per cent ally."


MARGO ALERT! I've only recently discovered this article in Australia's National Civic Council magazine, News Weekly, which mentions an apparent attempt by Margo Kingston to psychoanalyse me.

Margo was moved to action by a piece I'd written about Phillip Adams, who'd been hit with a vilification complaint after one of his usual anti-US columns. News Weekly tells the story:


"An interesting part of the saga came when columnists on the Right, with admirable ideological consistency, took up the issue. Voltaire-like, they rallied to Adams' defence.

"Piers Akerman in the Sunday Telegraph wrote, 'While disagreeing with Adams, disliking him or even holding him in utter contempt is easy, the HREOC has no right to attempt to censor him.'

"Tim Blair in The Australian concurred, 'I never thought I'd say this, but silencing Adams would be a crime.'

"If Akerman and Blair had heard the Sydney Morning Herald's Margo Kingston on Adams' ABC radio show, they may have wondered why they bothered. According to Kingston, it simply meant they are 'feeling defensive'."



Sure, Margo, you lunatic. The person who should be feeling defensive is Adams; check out his fan club. Especially this. At last we've identified the demographic Adams most appeals to: semi-literate children.

AUSTRALIA'S SBS network will this week broadcast a vile BBC documentary made by Syrian madwoman Rani Kabbani. In it, Kabbani seeks out and celebrates anti-Western sentiment in post-September 11 Egypt, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Naturally, the Sydney Morning Herald loves it. In his preview - not available online - SMH TV critic Robin Oliver says Kabbani has created a "thoughtful essay", at once "eloquent and persuasive", with "briskly satisfying" contributors. Another SMH critic, Jenny Tabakoff, described Kabbani's arguments as "forceful" and "based on informed opinions".

The following "eloquent and persuasive" Kabbani quotes are from the documentary's transcript:


"Muslim societies have been deeply affected by Western ideas. They have also been penetrated by an unstoppable flight of Western goods. So much so that countries like Egypt find themselves economically enslaved to Western powers."

"Recently the Arab street has become angrily aware that it is under virtual American occupation – political, economic as well as military."

"The US general, Tommy Franks, who was at that moment in charge of wreaking terror on Afghanistan civilians, came in for a flying visit, apparently glowing with a sense of imperial power. It was not an edifying spectacle."

"We are under occupation – no doubt about it. But no occupation lasts forever, when people decide they've had enough. As the Americans would do well to remember."

"With a vengeful war against Afghanistan then taking place, enraging Muslims worldwide, I was stunned by the arrogant and unabashed bravado of the American servicemen."



Right on, Rani. Among contributors is Egyptian film maker Khaled Youssef, who delivers this "informed opinion":


"Burning the American flag expresses the hatred felt by Arab citizens as a result of America's biased support for Israel. Don't we notice that not one day passes without the American flag being set alight somewhere in the world? What makes them the only country to have its flag burnt over such a long period? There must be something wrong."



Golly, Khaled. I guess that explains why those damned Jews are always getting into trouble. What makes them the only people to be persecuted over such a long period? There must be something wrong!

Here's some more Kabbani ranting:


"If meaningful information is being censored in the US, then misconceptions about Islam can only grow and be manipulated, causing America to believe itself engaged in a latter day crusade."

"Everyone I spoke to expressed anger at America's shocking hypocrisy and double standards."

"It seems that it better suits American interests in the Middle East to support compliant and undemocratic regimes, rather than risk the emergence of independent governments that might oppose US domination of the sources of wealth."

"America in turn needs to acknowledge that other countries will only stop resenting it when they are free from its intolerable interference and domination."



Sickening, isn't it? And the SMH adores this demented nonsense. Idiots like Oliver and Tabakoff are the reason why, in a city of 3.5 million, the SMH can only sell 200,000 or so copies per day. Why do they even bother printing it?

A CAUTIONARY TALE, via AP:


An anti-violence play at a Southeast Texas high school was canceled after fighting broke out during an earlier performance.

During the performance of "Stop the Violence", a play about conflict resolution and consequences of fighting, one student at Port Arthur's Thomas Jefferson High School assaulted another, police said Wednesday.

Afterward, fights erupted in a large crowd of students filling the hallways and milling around outside. Jefferson Principal James Wyble canceled the Wednesday performance for the district's eighth-graders because of the fighting, said Janet Cline, spokeswoman for the Port Arthur Independent School District.

Jefferson High students on Tuesday presented the play in the school auditorium for all three Port Arthur high schools. The performance was part of the school district's annual Peace Week, five days of events that encourage peaceful solutions to problems.


BLOG WATCH I: Your guide to who is saying what, where

Andrew Sullivan: Priest molestation latest; death, mayhem fail to disrupt Solly slumber; Krugman agreed with

Glenn Reynolds: Sarge's self-doubt should be stifled; Denton's metal moanings must end

Natalie Solent: Israel heartbreak; blog femme solidarity; Penny distress

Matt Welch: Disgraceful cash-sex-media connections; InstantMan shouldn't run for office; how the steel deel plays in the steelbelt; Tomorrow's reasonableness

Bjørn Stærk: Canada's positive voice; Iran's positive ads

Virginia Postrel: Shatner blog; conservative movie selections; steel, steel, steel (some must-reads here); political hair

Ken Layne: CNN's hateful anti-Semitism (another must-read); Iran becomes a party zone; the joy of In-N-Out; LA Examiner hailed by all; why Ken isn't into steel; Australian naming rules invade the feline world

Will Vehrs and Tony Adragna: Fox duped by doofus joke site!; how does Marion Barry do it?; tireless tunes

Lawrence Haws: Homer Simpson emoticon

James Lileks: A few nights ago I thought, "Hey, why not post a Best Of Lileks compilation?" It was a stupid idea. Many hours wasted. Lileks is allgood, people.

Anyway, I might still revisit the Best Of notion, once I'm able to sort the Great from the Merely Fantastic. In the meantime, here's a summary of his latest:

Web obsession dominating thought; crashing into strange part of town; wanting to take on Monty's hounds; Ted Rall clarifies his point of view; napless terror; Mondrian Google; Atlantic City, here he comes!

Iain Murray: Brit response to stupid Bush steel move; pollution lies; Iraq divides Labour

Juan Gato: Redesigned, with an actual bucket!; Will column rocks; Dowd column does not rock; Koppel fights for his cushy job

Bill Quick: Steel deal is a repulsive co-mingling of the greedy right and vile left; give kids guns!; Clinton's "rules"; SF votes sensibly, for once

Rallying Point: Radio god Phil Hendrie takes blogging to the air; Layne and Welch command mainstream press coverage

Christopher Johnson: Montana blogger welcomed; Bush worse than Clinton on steel; Alec Baldwin, gold-plated idiot

Jason Soon: Assassins target Australian anti-jihad author; Russian women cope better with post-commie life than Russian men; convincing divorce article from muddle-headed Horin; leftist analysis of Bush's steel decision; rightist analysis of same; depressed Aussie loner joins Al Qaeda

James Morrow: The pain of agreeing with Krugman; the ignorance of those who oppose the axis of evil

There must be Blogsburning brightersomewhere

Got to be Blogs flying higher in a sky more blue

If I can dream of a better land

Where all my Bloggers walkhand in hand

Tell me why, oh why, oh why can't my dream come true?