Monday Night Links

Bernard Avishai writes about Hebron and the difficulties that lie ahead in negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In Afghanistan, it appears that we are dead set on starting a full-fledged civil war. I’m working on a much longer post about how much of a disaster we’ve made there. It should be posted late January.

We often pick on the Seattle Times here for being comically out of touch, but that’s nothing compared to what Scott Henson found in the Dallas News.

It looks like child-rapist Kenneth Freeman will be spending a long time behind bars (some background on my coincidental connection to this case here).

It’s been an adventure riding the buses through the snow this past week. My total commuting time today was 3 1/2 hours. I especially want to give a big fuck you to the 67 driver who refused to stop for me at 78th and Roosevelt this morning. Buses were stopping across the street (on the very slight downhill slope) all morning. But on the other hand, I also want to thank the 271 driver who waited for me as I ran from two blocks away. And to the guy who I bumped into at 50th and Roosevelt this evening who’d walked all the way there from Westlake Center, please feel free to vent in the comments if you see this. You deserve free bus fares for life.


  1. 2

    Michael spews:

    In Gig Harbor the trucks that plow the streets shove all the snow onto the sidewalks and they don’t clear the sidewalks. I wonder how much I could have sued the city for if a car hit me while I was forced to walk in the street on my way to work?

  2. 3

    Michael spews:


    The Beginners Guide to the Small Arms Trade and Running Guns: The Global Market in Small Arms both have some good info about The ‘Stan.

  3. 4

    Tom Foss spews:

    The cluster fu** in Afghanistan is the Bush admin’s parting gift to the nation and the world.

    A friend of mine, very, very knowledgable on counter insurgency, is always asking the simple question, “what is our mission currently in Afghanistan?” I have yet to hear a serious answer to this question. None of the planners or higher ups have answered it, or can offer a lucid answer. I hope the President-elect will start asking this question and demanding an answer.

    Back in 2002 and 2003, we had a route. Secure the plains and lowlands, and provide infrastructure and relative security and hope to the populace. Protect the perimeters, and then use special forces and weapons to attack the mountain strongholds and tear down the Taliban strongholds. The same strongholds we helped them secure in the 1980’s against the Soviets. We were winning the real fight against terrorism.

    But that would actually take time and patience and some real thought process and planning. Since we are talking about Cheney, Rummy, Wolfie, and the gang, with their pal W, that was not going to happen.

    So we left. Oh, and we had Bin Laden in our grasp. But the invasion of Iraq was so important because of course they had WMD’s, and of course there was the fact that Saddam was mean to GHW Bush. So off we went. Our greatest folly. Now we are left with the mess we left behind, that has metastisized in ways we could have predicted, when left untreated and fed by the corruption and stupidity of the government we propped up.

    Ignorance and hubris led us away from our path of slow, difficult, but real progress in Afghanistan. Now we have to address years of disrepair, the destruction of trust, and the fact we were gaining progress with the hearts and minds of the people, and instead face the fact we backed a corrupt idiot as president, whom they have lost all faith in. We went deeper and deeper into a hole.

    So now, we will help launch a war on the only cash crop succeeding in many areas of the country, with no plan to leave any infrastructure or hope of a better future we can offer the people. This will be launched by the corrupt idiots of the current government, and will be just as successful as our last five years.

    The race to January 20th is to see how much we will still have left of our economy and our standing around the world. By the time Bush leaves office, whats left may have melted as fast as our snow will when the weather turns up a bit.

    I look forward to your future post. By late January, I hope we still have an auto industry, a financial base, and that Afghanistan is still recoverable. But I fear we will be even deeper in the hole.

  4. 5

    Chris Stefan spews:

    See Lee this is why you need a giant 4X4 penis extender so you don’t have to use public transit (which is a waste of money and only for losers).

    Of course you’ll drive it too fast on bald summer tires and end up in a ditch somewhere, but at least Metro won’t strand you!

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 It would depend on your injuries, but a competent PI (personal injury) lawyer should be able to get your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and something for your wife if you can’t fuck anymore.

  6. 9

    ewp spews:

    The City of Seattle needs to re-think it’s snow strategy. Refusing to use salt, not allowing plows to scrape the pavement, etc. all lead to an almost total shutdown of the city every time it snows.
    A major city should not come to a standstill because it gets six inches of snow. And Metro isn’t helping by sending out the articulating buses in the snow and ice since they usually wind up stuck and blocking the street to all other traffic.
    But just ask the mayor, he thinks the city has responded wonderfully. Too bad we can’t all be chauffeured to work by a cop in an SUV.

  7. 10


    Great comment. Thank you. My post will be part of a series I’m doing and will definitely be discussing the topic of how we became too focused on drug eradication rather than what really needed to be done to rebuild the country.

  8. 11


    Dude, I saw a Land Rover stuck on the side of 520. A Land Rover! If you can’t drive a Land Rover on a highway in snow, please start taking the bus. :)

  9. 12


    I wish I could say that was the most out of touch our MSM get in Texas, but the Dallas News is arguably the best paper in the state and still we get this schlock.

    This story in particular ,given the absurdity of making murder somehow “more illegal,” hits on a couple of own biggest pet peaves about how everybody – right, left, and centrist media outlets all view criminal justice topics. Seemingly thereis no solution to any social problem besides pass another law or boost criminal punishments, even when, as with murder, the penalty can’t actually get any steeper. It’s like nobody even tries to think of different tactics anymore. What do you do when people just stop thinking?

    Anyway, thanks for the linkage to Grits – this is the first time I’ve seen HA, but y’all are definitely hitting on some of my regular themes. Happy holidays, amigos!

  10. 13

    Puddybud, Very Sad Today... spews:

    Lee and HA liberals, yesterday we learned of a tragedy, a real downer. That’s why I wasn’t here when we left to mail Christmas presents. Some close friends of ours lost their child in an car accident. As my older son said when I picked him up from work as many roads aren’t plowed yet, “Wow dad, at Christmas, that really sucks”.

    So after dealing with that yesterday and looking at delaying Christmas because we’re trying to get there for the funeral, (very expensive flights from Portland, Seattle, Vancouver BC) I decided to throw in the towel and declare you are more intelligent than me. You win dude. In retrospect life is too short and I’m too old for this. Trumpet it all over HA. I expect the standard crew to ridicule and tease. Make your day. Well if I can get a decent cost flight, I’ll have a funeral to attend.

    Merry Christmas HA dudes and dames. May your day be better than my friends. Joust with y’all after Christmas. Just not in the mood right now.

  11. 14

    Puddybud, Very Sad Today... spews:

    SeattleJew, we’ll get together after Christmas. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

  12. 15

    slingshot spews:

    The US military (the biggest welfare program in the history of the human race) and its permanent war footing philosophy needs something to do, places to go, people to meet. Hell, if there’s no conflict their budget might get cut.
    We can’t afford to rebuild our own country let alone a couple other 3rd world armpits simultaneously.
    It’s death by a thousand cuts time. Be all you can be; a government employee in desert camoflauge and $20g’s a pop night vision.

  13. 16


    Puddybud, I’m sorry for your loss. And in my experience, the only thing you will hear in your time of loss from the most liberal on this blog is silence.

  14. 17

    YLB spews:

    13 – Sorry to hear the news Stupes. It’s good to know that when you get back Lee or will be $100 richer.

  15. 19

    Steve spews:

    Sorry to hear, Pudz. I hope you can find a flight out and be with your friends at this time to share in their loss.

    And, no, Pudz, nobody is ridiculing or teasing you this day. Have a safe trip and as merry a Christmas as possible under the circumstances.

  16. 21


    I see I have guilt-tripped those who would usually gloat, or remain silent, into following my lead and wishing Puddybud well.

    I am pleased with myself. I am, inherently, a teacher.

  17. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    How awful..Hope you can be there for your friend. What is his name, his wife and the name of the child he lost?
    We will put them on our Prayer Chain.

    Interesting how the Shadow of Death is merely a breath away…yet most of you ATHEIST KLOWNS are afraid of having a serious discussion about death and what happens next.
    Heck, most of you cannot even answer a simple question like what would you do if you had precisely 2 hours to live? (YLB excluded…thank you for your sincerity YLB).

    What’s the matter with the rest of you????
    Scared, huh?

  18. 24

    Steve spews:

    @23 Our hearts and prayers go out to Puddy and you and troll pull this shit. Try shutting up for once, Cynical.

  19. 26

    K spews:

    And this needed to be a separate post, you are a lying sack of shit, troll. And I do not often use profanity here.

    Lying about “most liberal”, sack of shit about “a teacher”. You deserve the absolute worst.

  20. 27

    Ekim spews:

    Obviously The Troll and Mr. Misogynist are nothing more than garden variety trolls. Nothing better can be expected from them. After all they represent the best the right has to offer.

    Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

  21. 28

    Steve spews:

    @26 and 27 Puddy has his faults but I reckon he’s by far a better man than either Troll or Cynical could ever dream of being. This is just one more instance where they’re both damned lucky to be able to hide behind their keyboards while they spew their bitter hate.

  22. 29

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    How is it “hate’ when you encourage folks to explore something that is inevitable….DEATH.
    You seem to be much more comfortable in darkness Steve.
    What’s the matter, are you scared??
    Appears that way.

    Steve, why don’t you have the guts to admit your life here on Earth is meaningless as an Atheist??
    Just admit it.
    Do things to make yourself ‘feelgood”…then you die and rot. End of Steve.
    Pretty pitiful steve…your choice.

    I’ll bet it feels good for a second to call someone who challenges your shallow thinking “a hater”.
    It’s a lot easier to do that Steve than engage in an intellectual debate about Death.

  23. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    Best to you and your family in your travels, Puddy, and our prayers will be with you and your family.

  24. 32


    You people respect John’s wishes that his name be spelled Jon. Please respect my wishes that my name be spelled Tröl. That is how I spell my name.

  25. 33

    rhp6033 spews:

    After a week, you would think that people would have figured out how to drive in this stuff. Looking out my office window now, it’s a regular circus out there.

    Getting into our parking lot isn’t rocket science. Get a good running start from the street (before you even make the turn), keep your momentum up with a slight pressure on the accellerator as you go up the hill, don’t slow down for the curve at the top of the hill but keep going, right into the parking lot, and straight into the first available slot. Don’t be greedy and try to go further up the hill, just park it and walk from there.

    I did fine driving my Saturn Vue today, even though it’s only front-wheel drive.

    But that seems to be beyond the grasp of the folks I’m seeing out my window. They guy in the old Volvo, which appears to be a rear-wheel drive, keeps backing up down the hill halfway and trying it over and over again, when all he has to do is turn right and park in the lower lot and walk fifty yards to his destination. And don’t get me started about the FedEx driver.

  26. 35


    Puddybud, I apologize for these people who are using your loss as an opportunity to flame me.

    My wishes are with you, your family, and your friends.

  27. 36

    Steve spews:

    @29 You ignorant bastard, I’ve said many times here that I am a person of faith, a Christian – Lutheran. Take your shallow and insipid questions somewhere else. Like I said, you’re damned lucky to have a keyboard to hide behind today.

  28. 37

    Steve spews:

    @35 And you use Puddy’s loss to pull your same old stupid fucking troll routine. Drop dead, you asswipe.

  29. 38

    Blue John spews:

    Toyota Spearheads U.S. Race to the Bottom

    In 2007, the Wall Street Journal noted, “Toyota Motor Company…now sets the bar for labor costs in the U.S. auto industry.” Recognition of that influence was echoed that same years by Automotive News: “Toyota is going to set the pattern for the entire industry – wages, benefits and pensions.”

    In April 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota plans to end its practice of pegging its hourly wages to UAW rates, and will now pay new hires only 50 percent above the local prevailing wage. In Kentucky, this would mean a savings of about 12 percent, or $3.00 per worker hour – which, of course, will put even more of a squeeze on the Big Three U.S. auto companies and their unionized workforce.

  30. 39

    Proud to be SeattleJew Today spews:


    The depth of your sadness at this special time of your year is hard for me too. If it helps, I know you well enough now to hope I can sahre a bit of the pain.

    See you soon.