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May 30, 2006


We miss you.

I acquired my first cat six weeks before moving 400 miles to a new job in a part of the country where I didn't know anyone. Over the next two years, she travelled at least 2000 miles in my company; went to parties, where she queued for the WC (of course, she went directly to the head of the queue, but what else would you expect from a cat?); came to the pub with me; and became the world's most sophisticated cat about New Places. She feared nothing (except the sea: I tried taking her to the beach once and she took one look at those wide open spaces of water and tucked herself back into the carrier) and would walk into a strange room and look round with a calm and social air, waiting to be admired.

My second cat I got after my life settled down a little. For the first seven years I owned her, we lived in the same apartment. When I moved house, my first cat took the move in her stride: my second cat looked around herself in utter horror and bewilderment, fled to the bunkbed in my new study, and stayed there for 24 hours.

(She was better on the second move. And I was smarter: I took them both to a cattery for 24 hours while the moving firm were shifting my possessions from one feline territory to another.)

Scritches to Nils and Annika: sympathy to you.

Just a plug for Peter S. Beagle's novel _Tamsin_, which has a lot about moving cats.

The last thing I move is the cats. A safe haven (like a bedroom) is established, and the cats released into it and the doors closed. After half an hour to get them used to the new-house smells, large dishes of their favorite food are introduced, at which point all exploration ceases, and the cheering cats (Hurrah! Fresh salmon!) promply forget the existence of the previous Salmon-deficient home.

Seems to work every time, but then again, I seem to regularily acquire cats that have eating disorders.

My cats hide when I take out the carriers, too. But while at the vet, they try to hide in the carriers, and then when we get back home, they will sleep in the things, often leaving their toys inside. I guess cats just understand that it's not the carrier per se that is the problem.

The cats were outside at my old house during the move itself. For Nils this is standard, and it meant that he was off somewhere patrolling his extensive territory, oblivious to the chaos at home. Annika was hiding under the doorsteps. I only moved them after the movers had gone. Nonetheless, trauma ensued.

For some reason that I cannot figure out, the sight of the toilet in the new house makes Nils start meowing frantically. (The toilet in the old house had no such effect.)

Still no guy who's supposedly checking the furnace... At this rate, the house will be spotless before he puts in an appearance. (I am tackling the floor of the laundry room, ugh.)

OT: kill the infidel

"OT: kill the infidel."

Wrote about it three months ago.

I feel like I'm ahead of the news by reading (too many) blogs. When news stories start to break with agonizing slowness in the old media, I have already moved on ("huh? wasn't that like 30 hours ago already?").

Nice to know that if I want to move to live further in the future, I can start reading Gary's blog.

Does anyone know what happened to fafblog? No posts in almost 2 months.

Nice to know that if I want to move to live further in the future, I can start reading Gary's blog.

Gary's about two months into the future with the last day of posting alone.

For some reason that I cannot figure out, the sight of the toilet in the new house makes Nils start meowing frantically.

It's probably become a portal to the spirit dimenstion. I'd put a call in to your local Ghostbusters, or call their 1-800 number.

"It's probably become a portal to the spirit dimenstion. I'd put a call in to your local Ghostbusters, or call their 1-800 number."

Has Hilzoy done due diligence on Indian burial grounds, and if not does she have Indian burial ground site home insurance?

Also: any small dark-haired, intense, little boys named "Damien" in the neighborhood?

"Nice to know that if I want to move to live further in the future, I can start reading Gary's blog."

Thus it always has been and always shall be.

I have foreseen it.

Moving cats, what a joy. Our previous cat went back and forth to our lake place with us, several weekends a year. But wasn't too happy when we moved homes.

When he died we got another cat, and looked for one that would also be a "traveling boy" as we had retired and wanted to spend the winter south, with cat in tow. This boy not only goes to our fishing cabin on a regular basis, but has regularly made the annual three day trip south. He does NOT like motels, especially noisey ones. But he does great in the car and fine after we get where we are going.

Still, we are looking to move to a new home this year and I'm sure he will not be happy about that change. I agree, put them in a secure room and shut the door while all of the uproar is going on. And I'm not at all surprised you cat went into the carry case. Both of my cats found their "carry case" a safe place when in the midst of change.

Has Hilzoy done due diligence...

One word: redrum

Wrote about it three months ago

well then, consider it a reminder.

Much sympathy, hilzoy. It is remarkable how many things go wrong with even the most carefully-planned move. As Mark Twain said, two removes equal one fire.

This too shall pass.

Last time I moved, the cats drove with me from California to Maryland. But they were on Valium (cat dosage, duly prescribed.)

They didn't like it then either. One of them sought out the only pair of really expensive shoes I have ever purchased and peed in them. (They do not normally do that.)

Nothing similar has happened this time.


"Last time I moved, the cats drove with me from California to Maryland."

It's good you could trade off and get some sleep.

[Insert Toonces joke here]

When it comes to moving cats, CW in my experience is to introduce them to a new space a room or two at a time. They're very risk-averse, and if they're brought into a new space that's large, it overwhelms them a bit, and they get all paranoid. If it's not too late, and if the house has dividers (e.g., internal doors), get 'em used to, say, the kitchen and their food dishes, and then open it up to another room or two, and so on. OK to relocate the catbox during the process, as long as it ends up where it's gonna stay.

Or whatever. Jeez, they're just cats. They got along just fine for a coupla million years before the monkeys got all goo-goo over 'em. I mean, food, shelter, affection, medical care ... what, we gotta be cat whisperers now or something? Sheesh...

I doubt that most people would have observed, "all my neighbors seem to be very good about securing their wireless networks".

I have no kitties right now..."Lily" was one of my kitties. She was a stray and once she got into our house she was determined never to leave again. She was so phobic of the outside that she wouldn't even let herslf be carried in the direction of the front door. Vists to the vet required a lot of sneaky planning: first wrap the carrier door so it wouldn't rattle (the sound would send her under the bed), then sneak it up and into the bathroom(the sight would send her under the bed), then super casually, just in passing, not making it a big deal at all give her a friendly hug, then whisk her into the bathroom, close the door, chase her around, subdue her and jam her into the carrier.
then she'd poop all over the inside of the carrier on the way to the vet.
Well obviously we only did this when absolutely necessary.
When we moved she spent a week in the closet. I had to fed her there and put her cat box in with her.
Poor old girl, she was pretty nuerotic. But she fetched! She loved to play fetch with small objects. Lily died about eight years ago, I guess. I am in need of a kitty right now but I'll wait until after we move in June.

bad jim:
Actually, I noticed the "wireless networks" bit right away (my sympathies to hilzoy!): here in NYC, it's really common to get a bunch of home-wireless-network signals in a big building: when we had trouble with ours, we ended up "poaching" a signal off another (fortuitously unlocked) one: as it turned out, we were poaching our own signal - but that's another story....

Oh, and hilzoy: just in case, maybe you should make sure all your shoes are stored securely - at least until the cats acclimatize!

I doubt that most people would have observed, "all my neighbors seem to be very good about securing their wireless networks".

more than once, while on vacation, have i relied on the bandwidth of strangers.

There's a good chance that you already know this, but one of my friends who is a long-standing cat owner (the word is inappropriate, but what should one say, a cat companion ?) advises not letting the cats out of the house for at least a two week period if possible, time necessary for them to get used to smelling (and producing) all the familiar smells they need to feel at home.

Neither of my cats liked moving, but my calico Alexis particularly hated it.

When the time came for my last move I kept them shut away in the bathroom while the movers were getting everything into their truck, then waited until everything had been set up in the rooms I would be occupying. I then managed, after a considerable amount of struggle, to get my tabby Friday into his carrier (bought when he was a tiny kitten, and thus a tight fit for him.) Once that was done, I decided to try a trick a friend had taught me, which up until then had always worked like a charm for vet visits and the like: I would wrap Alexis in a towel, then keep her bundled up like that in my lap.

She wasn't havening any of that - no matter what I did, she managed to get out of the towel posthaste. I was almost in despair of managing to extract her from the apartment when it hit me. I wrapped her up in a towel, then stuffed her in a laundry bag that had a zipper on one end and closed it as fast as I could.

When I got to the new digs, I kept them shut in the bathroom with their dish and litterbox for a few hours until they were calmed down enough to let them into the bedroom.

My trick for pacifying the frantic feline: a nylon footie over the head.

Try it. It disorients them so much that you can actually bathe them, without body armor, and not get a scratch. No guarantee there, which is why I said "try it".

Plus, it makes them look funny. Which is always good.

U.S. troops kill pregnant woman in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces killed two Iraqi women — one of them about to give birth — when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials and relatives said Wednesday.


That might have been better in the Cult Hum thread...

Slarti - Do you put the nylon footie over the kitty's entire head, for that Bank Robber look; or only over the crown and ears, for that Basque Nationalist look?

I need to know so I can properly visualize these things.

Because there's no way I'm trying it with my cats. I like my epidermis in one piece, thanks.

As i have dogs (one of which -- the akita, who recently discovered her powers as a mighty huntress -- took about 8 lives off a cat last week when the cat apparently didn't notice her and strolled into our yard, only to exit in a GREAT hurry), i'm going to threadjack in a completely random direction.

who are the thoughtful right-wing/conservative bloggers?

Volokh, Dan Drezner and OTB are about the only ones I enjoy reading. WindsOfChange is occassionally thoughtful, but mostly appears interested in launching even more wars across the middle east.

Balloon Juice is admittedly much more centrist than it used to be, as is Belgravia Dispatch.

Dean's World, Protein Wisdom, Malkin are apparently quite popular but I feel about as welcome as a pound of raw hamburger at a 4th of July BBQ. Tacitus and RedState are even worse echo chambers. Jonah Goldberg must be a plant from the american communist party.

so, the question stands: who are the readable righties?

I dunno if Dave Schuler's The Glittering Eye counts. Apparently. But he's relatively sensible.

I doubt Phil Carter counts, and he's rarely blogging now that he's off serving in Iraq, but Intel Dump is still a decent blog. (Note the subtle thing he did here; Phil is also a lawyer, and feels strongly about human rights, but is limited in what he can say while serving his Reserve duty in the Army as a captain in Iraq.)

Andrew Olmsted is definitely on the right, but comparatively level-headed, even if he did decide I was a wacko leftist a couple of years ago (but seems to have mellowed slightly lately, as he's become more disillusioned about both Bush and the war to some degree).

A lot comes down to how you define right-wing or conservative, I guess. I find it a little hard to tell who qualifies, because pretty much everyone worth reading can't stand Bush.

I usually find Cathy Young's posts well-reasoned. There are several libertarian bloggers I like who are no friends of Democrats, but who aren't obviously conservative either, e.g. Jon Henke at Q and O, Radley Balko, and others I can't think of at the moment.

Radley Balko is a straight libertarian, not a conservative at all. Yeah, Henke seems quite intellectually honest.

Re Balko, I'll buy that; I guess I was moved to include him in my list by the fact that he contributes to NRO and Fox News. But it's often unclear to me how to properly apply the terms Right, Left, Liberal, and Conservative to libertarians.


Comparatively level-headed? I suppose I should take that in the spirit it is intended.

I don't ever recall deciding you were a wacko, for the record. I'm not certain I ever had you as a leftist as opposed to a modern liberal, either.

In any case, always nice to be appreciated. If I may be permitted to plug my own site, those on the left are always welcome to stop by and chat. I may not disagree with you (ok, I almost certainly won't when we're working on the liberty/security axis), but I do attempt to engage arguments without breaking out the ad hominem bat. Except for Gary, who's a special case. (Kidding, Gary.)

Oh, and good luck with the cats, Hilzoy. Glad to hear they appear to be overcoming the trauma of moving.

"But it's often unclear to me how to properly apply the terms Right, Left, Liberal, and Conservative to libertarians."

Easy answer: don't.

(I don't mean that entirely; most are shadeable to one degree, and most usually shade more towards the right or conservativism at least mildly, though Jim Henley is currently shading left, via rejection of Bushism and international interventionism, and currently writing about the awkward neologism of "liberaltarianism.")

But to a fair degree libertarianism stands rather triangularly in relation to conservativism and liberalism.

Andrew: "Comparatively level-headed? I suppose I should take that in the spirit it is intended."

Well, you tend to accept a lot of stereotypical "facts" that the right "knows" is true; an example would be that you "know" that the Great Society policies were a "failure" and "hurt more than they helped" (the last isn't a direct quote from you, but a paraphrase), wheras the actual statistics on people lifted out of illiteracy, poverty, childhood ill health, elderly ill health, by Great Society programs, and a whole bunch of other numbers wildly contradict that "truth."

There are other examples I run across where you tend to accept such notions as givens without visible question.

But, yes, I think you're generally sensible and inclined to weigh facts, rather than emotions, and to not fall for jingoism or most of the other prevailing faults of the lunatic right, of which you're not part at all. The difference between you in that regard and the vast majority of popular right-wing bloggers is striking, I would say. I would very much wish to find more bloggers of your ilk on the right. As it is, if you'd like to recommend any, as you can see, the gang here is always looking for some (and some of us have felt that ObWings very much needs to add 2-3 sensible and articulate conservatives who will post reasonably regularly and engage in comment-debate, to balance off the amazingly wonderful Hilzoy, since the existing bench posts only very infrequently).

"I don't ever recall deciding you were a wacko, for the record."

Well, without debating this at extended length in public, you did leave comments at my blog about "why do I even bother?" making clear that you felt it was hopeless to even converse with me, and you did accuse me of -- I forget the precise language, but more or less having become an unhinged Bush-hater and member of the lunatic left," leaving behind my former rationality, and how sad it was, and how you could no longer recommend my blog on your Team of 9 or whatever.

"I'm not certain I ever had you as a leftist as opposed to a modern liberal, either."

That's, after all, merely you being accurately perceptive. (Though I do choose my opinions/policies a la carte.)

Hmm, a quick poke around there show slightly more than the usual RW talking points - my respect for Tom McGuire sinks a little - but slightly more is something, though the silliness about Kevin Drum is unfortunate.


Put the footie over the entire head, but I think the crucial effect is from having all of the mechanical-sensory appendages constricted (whiskers, eyebrows, ears) and bound.

Cats are odd beasties, about which I know far too little. Pretty much like everything else. My brother in law used to tie a sock around his cat's middle, and it'd stagger around as if drunk. Do that with a dog, and nothing happens.

"you tend to accept a lot of stereotypical "facts" that the right "knows" is true"

Um... everyone does that. Or are you going to suggest that when you see a "fact" you agree with you immediately rush out to doublecheck it? If so, more power to you, but I'm willing to bet any amount you'd care to name that most people don't bother to check facts that comport with what they already believe to be true.

Slarti, an old friend of mine liked to say that all you needed to know about cats is that their brains are the size of a ping-pong ball and float in cerebro-spinal fluid that is, chemically speaking, very similar to LSD.

I don't know how true that is, but it's fun to think about.

It'd be nice to get more data points on the footie thing, if you decide to give it a try. With all of our cats, it slowed them down substantially, and disoriented the hell out of them. You could even squirt them with a squirtgun and they'd barely flinch.

We bathed them in the bathtub, and they were so sluggish that they were very easily contained. Not that they didn't try to escape, mind, just that it was...well, if you're my age, a Bugs Bunny episode where ether was involved comes to mind.

I might try the footie trick - thanks for the tip, Slarti. (Will let you know how it works out. At least I will if I can still type.) One of my cats fights back like hell if you try to cut her claws, and she grows very long, very strong claws. I used to be able to immobilize her by gripping the scruff of her neck, but she developed a malignant tumor and has since had most of the loose fur there surgically removed. So if this works, cool.

One of my cats fights back like hell if you try to cut her claws

if we get our cat while she's napping, she's too groggy to fight, for a minute or two. so if we work quickly, there's no problem.

Our cats are pretty mellow about claw-clipping, especially as they get a dollop of Tonic-Lax (aka Laxatone) after they're done. At worst, they mutter curses under their breath. But oral rinsing and, Bast forbid, teeth brushing have been out of the question. For obvious reasons, the footie solution won't do.

I guess you have to start early and often to make this even tolerable to a cat.

Slart, are you suggesting cat-swaddling?

No, swaddling doesn't work all that well in my experience. What you're doing is putting a nylon over its head, which I'm assuming stuns it somewhat, due to key sensory projections being trapped. Swaddle a cat and it can still bite, and still escape. I never, ever had a cat come close to removing the footie on its own.

Possibly you could cut the nylon around the mouth area to do brushing of teeth and administering of medication; I honestly hadn't thought of that until now.

This seems to indicate that the footie maneuver is not a good idea, but I'd want to discuss it with a vet.

Never done so, though. Probably an oversight on my part.

"Or are you going to suggest that when you see a 'fact' you agree with you immediately rush out to doublecheck it?"

If I have the remotest doubt whatever, yep, I do. And more often than not, if I'm going to quote it or allude to it, even if I don't have any doubt, I cross-check so I don't wind up making a mistake.

Triple-checking just about everything is, I've written countless times, an approach I've had all my life, since early childhood, and the only time it's ever failed me is when I make an exception and don't do it (as does happen on occasion; I'm not claiming I'm not lazy or hasty on occasion, or that I'm god-like in this).

But, to be clear, I wasn't accusing you, Andrew, of being exceptionally prone to delusion, or wishful thinking, or anything like that; the opposite, if anything; you tend to question premises more often than the overwhelming number of folks I know, right and left.

Sure, adopting premises we've long heard in our echo chambers, or that we'd like to believe, is a common practice. I was merely saying that I have some differences of opinion over some such examples I've seen you engage in; naturally, you differ with many of my premises, as well. Nothing earth-shattering there.

I'm generally happy to debate such whenever time and energy allows. As I recall, the last several times we've gone back and forth -- only a couple of times in recent times, of course -- the last being one brief polite exchange of views about originalism, when you didn't have time to read my cites, which has happened on past occasions, which is entirely understandable given that you have a life and I not so much.

BBC uncovers potential second massacre in Ishaqi.

Freedom is on the mutha freakin' march!

Hey right-wingers, can I get an amen!

Well, speaking strictly from my experience, that does make you rather exception, Gary, and I envy you that kind of habit. Although even when I do doublecheck things, it doesn't seem to help, as my experience with the Coventry incident would indicate.

Trying to avoid echo chambers is why I prefer to spend time on lefty blogs, although I would be lying if I claimed I did so as frequently as I should. Still, I do see some interesting things there, and at least I can see how the other half lives, as it were.

BBC uncovers potential second massacre in Ishaqi.

Ummmm... ouch? I don't really know what more to say.

BBC uncovers potential second massacre in Ishaqi.

1. Never happened.
2. If it did happen, it was legal.
3. If it wasn't legal, it was justified.
4. If it wasn't justified, these things happen in war.
5. It was just a few bad apples.
6. The enemy is worse.
7. Clinton did it too.
8. The left hates the troops.
9. The left loves Saddam.
10. 9/11.

i've heard 1 through 6 already.

Instapundit's 8':
"people assume that there’s no point in behaving morally when they’re going to be called monsters anyway."

He's really extraordinarily careless or thoughtless or somethingless.

We're left with 7, 9 and 10. Only a matter of time.

Andrew, what does it mean for a soldier to be sentenced to hard labor?

i've heard 1 through 6 already.

I think I heard 1-6 before hearing about the massacre itself. The Bush Doctrine of war crime propaganda, I guess.

The dam is breaking: A third allegation surfaces

Always thought the official figures given for casualties ("umpteen insurgents killed, one Coalition/US soldier wounded") weren't worth a damn. I suspected that these were disguising civilian losses - but casualties by way of "collateral damage" rather than victims of premeditated execution.

Every encounter will be revisited or, at the very least, placed under a shadow. What a mess.

Correction, this appears to be in reference to Ishaqi again. Read too quickly, and "third allegation" jumped out.


spartikus - I think you were right the first time, Haditha, Ishaqi and then the killing of another Iraqi civilian.

Oh man, I need more coffee. Or a scotch.

spartikus - I think you were right the first time, Haditha, Ishaqi and then the killing of another Iraqi civilian.

Jonathan Schwartz over at This Modern World raises the question of whether Sy Hersh's reporting from late 2004 fits into this (emerging) pattern...

Long Friday Haditha/war crimes round-up here.

"BBC uncovers potential second massacre in Ishaqi."

Back in March, actually, as I discussed in my post at length.

No scotch yet, but I went over some old emails from my wife's cousin - a Christian Peacemaker - who was in Baghdad from May 2003-4. This, dated March 15, 2004, jumped out:

We twice visited the village near Ramadi where US soldiers massacred several people, after a house raid went wrong last November. US soldiers entered a house from both sides, killing four of their own men. Then, distraught, they came out and killed Iraqis sitting handcuffed on the ground, and shot others returning from the mosque in their truck. Two boys showed me where US soldiers had shot each of them in the leg. Their relatives were killed. The house was demolished by US tank and helicopter fire but the family has had no compensation. They do not have enough money to build a new one.

spartikus, you missed Gary's post on that letter on Mar 21, 2004.


I am not sure if your link is broken or merely sprained. You should have it examined by a competent professional.

Dantheman - sprained from overuse? Check out the url if there's any question.

The Yankee outfield has a broken wrist, a broken foot, a hand injury including a torn ligament and dislocated tendon, and a bad hamstring. They're sending out a 21-year-old, a man who should have retired over a year ago, and a guy cut by the Royals. Oh, and Mariano Rivera threw out his back putting on his cleats. And you're complaining about my link?


I didn't say sprained from overuse, as there are many other ways to sprain a ligament (and I had read the link, just wanted to pull your chain).

As for sympathy for the Yankees, never, especially when their likeliest solution is to take on an adequate but overpriced veteran to act as a fill-in. It's nice to have unlimited fnds at your disposal for these purposes.

On the other hand, I'd prefer the rumored Yankees-Florida-Phillies 3 way trade to happen, where the Yankees get Abreu in exchange for enough prospects for the Marlins to send Dontrelle to my Phils.

Sure, just pulling back.

I'm seeing plenty of desire for Abreu, but is he worth Dontrelle straight up? Why wouldn't the Yankees just keep Willis and his 153 ERA+ if they could trade for him? They'd have to give up on scoring 1k runs, but transforming the rotation would be nice.

"I'm seeing plenty of desire for Abreu, but is he worth Dontrelle straight up?"

I don't see the Phils letting him go for less than a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Dontrelle is admittedly far better than the average top of the rotation pitcher, but that's going to be our asking price.

The Phils offense is decent (and would be better if either Jimmy Rollins learned how to take a walk or management learned that someone who can't do this shouldn't be a leadoff hitter, and trading Abreu allows them to have Victorino in the everyday lineup, giving them both a right fielder who isn't afraid of the fence and a better leadoff man), but the pitching is weak. Only Myers and potentially Hamels (and possibly Lieber when healthy) are above average starters, and that's not enough.

All of this sounds good. If the Yanks get Willis, keep him. If they trade for Abreu, I say trade HIM to the Twinkies for Tori Hunter (the throw-in) and their new rookie, Boof Bonser.

Before Yankee Stadium is torn down, I want to here that name in pinstripes announced over the P.A.

Casey Stengel's malapropisms will roll over in their graves.

Hey, Yogi, that would be "hear", not "here".

Thanks, Mick.

Anyone seen Eli Grba lately?

Baseball sucks.

That is all.

I take that back:

Baseball (mostly) sucks.

I like our young 2b, Robinson Cano, but his name isn't nearly as good as "Dan Uggla".

The conventional wisdom among Yankees fans re Hunter: only at a deep discount.

I like Boof's 18 Ks/4 BBs, but a 260-lb rookie? What is this, football?

And now that I've pissed all over the national pastime:

Have a good weekend everybody.

I suggest that this week is another example of why ObWi desperately needs to add 2-3 new sensible, frequently-contributing, right-side bloggers, and maybe another left-side or two; it's all on Hilzoy's shoulders these days, and when she's gone, the site pretty well melts down.

Why is Edward's name still on the list of contributors when he's apparently quit? I don't mean that harshly; I'd like him to come back; but he's clearly not interested; he doesn't even cross-post articles from his own blog. Move him to "emeritus" status, then, if he doesn't want to contribute here any more.

If anyone wants fresh topics, I gotta bunch here for ya.

Are you lobbying, Gary?

It's quiet around here.

Too quiet. [ominous music]

I agree with Gary re: new blood; even if the powers-that-be commissioned guest posters to fill in when situations such as Hilzoy's recent move and the apparent encroachment of meatworld concerns for Charles, Sebastian and von arise. But the lag in updates has been unfortunate, especially considering the number of events that have occured over the past week.

Hell, draft Gary (if he's willing) - his recent coverage of the Haditha massacre investigation has been superlative and (IMO) belongs on the ObWi mainpage.

Speaking of alleged US atrocities, Knight Ridder has an interview with the family of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, who was allegedly killed by US Marines in April (Gary has already covered this in his latest round up of the Haditha aftermath, but I don't believe he linked to this particular account of the Awad killing).

Awad's family showed Knight Ridder a sheet of paper that appeared to be part of a report on the incident. A Marine sergeant had written that his unit killed the man because he was "digging on the side of the road from our ambush site. I made the call and engaged. He was pronounced dead at the scene with only a shovel and AK-47."

The sergeant signed his name. It was witnessed by a second Marine.

Awad's family members offer a radically different version. Awad's cousin, Farhan Ahmed Hussein, said Americans came to his door in the early morning hours of April 26 and pounded on it so forcefully that he knew that if he didn't open it, they would.

In broken Arabic, a soldier said, "Tefteesh," or search. The Marines asked him if he had any weapons. An AK-47, he told them, and they took it and a shovel resting in front of his house. They thanked him in Arabic for cooperating and left, Hussein said.

He said he didn't think much of it. "I told myself first thing in the morning, I will stop the first patrol I see and ask them for my AK-47 and shovel back," he said.

Next, the Marines knocked on the door of Awad's brother, Awad Ibrahim Awad. The two brothers lived not far from their cousin, in small houses on a barren field.

Awad Ibrahim Awad said the Marines knocked at around 2 a.m., but that he decided not to get out of bed. They left.

Surprised, he said he looked outside - the area is illuminated with generator-powered lights - and saw the Marines walking behind his brother's house toward the home of a neighbor.

"The soldiers asked my mom if there were any men in our house. When she told them no, they left without searching the house," the neighbor, who asked to be identified only as Mohammed, said.

Awad Ibrahim Awad said the Marines then knocked at Hashim Awad's door. When he came to the door, two Marines grabbed each of his hands and pulled him out of the house. The Marines took Hashim Awad and left without searching inside, Awad Ibrahim Awad said.

"They looked like people who found what they were looking for," Awad Ibrahim Awad said. "I told my wife, `They took my brother, but I think he will be fine.' And I told myself: `What's the worse they do? Investigate him for a few days and then release him because he is innocent.' Thirty minutes later, I heard gunshots."

The next day, as Awad Ibrahim Awad was working at a nearby gas station, Iraqi police pulled in and asked him to identify the body of someone from his neighborhood who'd been killed by the Americans. He stared at the body, which had an AK-47 and shovel next to it, but didn't recognize his brother.

"I saw a swollen face, and signs that he had been beaten. And it was clear a bullet had been shot into the mouth and broke part of his bottom teeth," he said. "I told the police officers, `I know this man,' but I cannot recognize him. He was beaten to the point that I couldn't recognize his face."

Awad Ibrahim said it never occurred to him that the body might be his brother's. "He didn't have an AK-47 or shovel when the Americans took him," he said. "And besides, the Americans took him. How can he be dead and in police hands now?"

I second the idea of Gary posting here.

It may be necessary to hire two conservatives to post as well to counterbalance.

Gary might be able to handle that too, because it seems like he knows what they might say before they think of it.

But, I want to encourage Von and Slart and Charles to do their thing.

And, I miss Edward.

Hilzoy is a force of nature.

Is Boof Bonser a conservative? He's pitching every 5 days. Leaves time to come up with squirreley ways to privatize Medicare or invade TurkeganaifstistaniraqitibetagoliazuelanotomentionBerkeley.

"But, I want to encourage Von and Slart and Charles to do their thing."

That's fine with me, too, but Slart outright quit (for the time being, anyway), Von hasn't posted on substance in the better part of a year (I understand he's got a still-new son, so that's entirely understandable; this isn't any sort of personal reprimand; I'm just observing), and Charles only posts very now and again, and then only sporadically responds in comments.

ObWi needs two or three good right-side/conservative/libertarian bloggers who are sensible and good writers just to balance off Hilzoy, let alone any added left-side bloggers (which also would be a good idea, but only after some right-side bloggers are added, to try to get the balance back that was intended when this blog was started by Moe, Katherine, and Von).

Giving 3Gorch Brother or OCSteve try-outs would be something I'd be happy to see. Draft Olmsted. Find people: there have to be some reasonable right-wing/conservative/libertarians who can write decently out there willing to engage, surely.

Oh, my, my local PBS station is rerunning original Monty Python episodes every Friday night, and the Dead Parrot sketch is up.

New Salem Pax post, the Republic of Fear, the mayonnaise question again, and new Haditha story:

Marine commanders in Iraq learned within two days of the killings in Haditha last November that Iraqi civilians had died from gunfire, not a roadside bomb as initially reported, but the officers involved saw no reason to investigate further, according to a senior Marine officer.
Everyone will be on this tomorrow. (I should have another roundup then.)

3Gorch Brother and OCSteve are fine with me.

Tryouts? I think they've passed the audition.

My problem with 3Gorch Brother is that I like him way too much and I may just agree with him with a silly grin on my face and what does that get us, except concensus, and who needs that in these latter days of the Republic?

By the way, I left out Sebastian as someone whom I would wish to post more. Bad me. What am I, nuts? Don't answer that.


huh? have the technical probs been fixed yet? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Garry would be good. TGB would also be good, though there is that likeability problem that John Thullen mentions. As I recall, when I've disagreed with TGB he's acknowledged my points and restated his own in a sensiblly modified way--where's the fun in that?

JFTR, I never saw myself as anything more than a stopgap until someone who actually can hold up his side of a debate was found. It was a learning experience, to be sure, but more so for me than, I imagine, for any of you. Which is not the way I think such things ought to work.

There's lots of good (well, I consider them to be good, anyway, for what that's worth) right-leaning bloggers out there, but there offhand I can't think of an suitable counterpart for hilzoy. And I don't mean that in the Matalin/Carville sense.

Saturday morning round-up. The Tale of the Man With The Shovel, and more.

Also, the real snakes on a plane. Lots of other posts below, of course.

"There's lots of good (well, I consider them to be good, anyway, for what that's worth) right-leaning bloggers out there,"

Good. Please name ten or as many more as you can, if you would be so kind.

"...but there offhand I can't think of an suitable counterpart for hilzoy."

Thus my repeated emphasis on finding about 3 to attempt to balance her. :-) (I'd still be happy to have you posting again, assuming you'll also post on substance sometimes; I'd also very much like to see Sebastian post vastly more frequently, but even mildly more frequently would be good; and maybe someday Von can return to substantial posting; it's also fine with me if Charles would post more, but preferably he'd also be willing and able to respond more frequently to comments; the hit-and-run nature of that is pretty frustrating, to me, at least.

Wow, things are really dead now, aren't they?

Hello? Anyone out there?

Jeez, it's so dead here, I might as well go over to Gary's place.

Jeez, it's a Saturday...

In any case, howdy.

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