"What kind of name is Attila Girl? Heck, you can't wage any kind of respectable war; you're just a lowly female.
--Glenn Reynolds


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Miss Attila--who is a Ms in real life--lives in the hills of Southern California with her husband, a herd of deer, and an impressive collection of old magazines. She spends a lot of time cleaning her guns, and is reachable at: littlemissattila@yahoo.com.

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News from The Command Post

If I weren't married
to the funniest man alive
these would be even better:

Everyone's ex-boyfriend should
spoof their site like this:
Little Mr. Mahatma
Isn't it wonderful?

I'm so lucky to know Hip Nerd in real life. Try him for left-of-center excellence.
Hip Nerd's Blog

And my other faves:

A Small Victory
Amish Tech Support

The Bitch Girls
Da Goddess
Damnum Absque Injuria
Dean's World
Desert Cat

Electric Venom
Eleven Day Empire

Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Jay's Verbosity
John Lemon
The Last Man Dancing

Margi Lowry
No Watermelons Allowed
On the Fritz
Photon Courier
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Right Wing News
Kelley's Suburban Blight

The Truth Laid Bear

We Try, Guy
You Big Mouth, You!


The Bear Flag League

Little Miss Attila
Saturday, January 31, 2004  


Hip Nerd is taking me to task--over my support for the President, and over my prediction that Bush will indeed win in the November election.

I have debated LMA about politics before, and know her to be a fan of our current president. So, I give her much credit for having her BS detectors on for the State of the Union Address. My favorite part was where Bush proposed a grand program to help integrate ex-cons back into society and had the balls to mention the numbers, which work out to $125/person (what a jerk). You can be sure that part of the speech was meant as a sop to Blacks who are disproportionately represented in the prison population. The Bush administration are masters of manipulation and they know that the average person, Black or White, rarely looks at the details, and judges with their emotions rather than rational analysis. The whole speech was a study in propaganda, and as such, was little more than BS from a rational perspective.

Two thoughts on that: 1) are you saying that blacks are disproportionately represented in prison populations with respect to their percentages in society at large, or are you saying they are dispropotionately represented in prison popluations with respect to their percentages as lawbreakers? Just askin'.

I imagine that every single ex-con is not targeted by the program, as some are probably covered by existing programs and eligible for halfway houses and the like. Therefore, the math may work out a little differently in real life.

The best solution to the problem of ever-growing prison populations is to stop the "war on drugs," and release those whose only "crimes" amount to being junkies. A few weeks ago I would have said W. was in a good position to do this, in an "only Nixon could go to China" sort of spirit, but right now his policies are spread about as thin as the membrane on a cell, and I don't know what he can do any more. He's trying to hard to please everyone, and the times are a bit dangerous for it.

As far as the economy goes, it is recovering, but is still behind where it was when he was first elected. I'm no economist, but my understanding of economics is that there are multiple ways of stimulating the economy, tax cuts are but one and not necessarily the most effective. The economic policies that Bush and the Republicans have pushed through may have indeed stimulated the economy, however they are not the most efficient and have been a windfall for the rich, the super-rich, and corporations. They have been no great boon to the rest of Americans. A rising tide may lift all boats (or yachts, when speaking about Republicans), but if you can't afford a boat, or only a leaky one, you drown or become a servant of those who have boats and who's best interest is in keeping you from having one of your own. (Wow, I couldn't have mangled that metaphor any more than that.)

I think the tax cuts have done a fair amount to mitigate the recession that had already started when Bush took office. (Oh, yes--the slide was starting already.) Tax cuts are one of the few reliable tools a President has at his disposal to actually help the economy.

Clinton raised taxes too high; even he admitted that. Bush was just fixing that error, and the fact that most Americans received refund checks belies the claim that only the rich benefitted.

Bush has politicized national security, and used the war on terror to manipulate the populace. The real reforms that needed to be made to the FBI and CIA, still have not been done, and instead Bush created the massive governmental bureaucracy of Homeland Security. One of the earliest investigations into 9/11 found problems with the FBI computer systems, and they are still ongoing. It's basic technology infrastructure, but that's boring, better to wage war on Iraq so people won't pay attention to such niceties. Gulf War II drew peoples' attention away from other matters closer to home, such as their civil liberties being whittled away with the Patriot Act. Bush likes to paint the Patriot Act as necessary to stop terrorists, in spite of the fact that nothing in there would have stopped 9/11. And, there is no evidence that GWII advanced the war on terror. So, like you say, Little Miss Attila, think about whether you want the Democrats influencing these things, and vote accordingly. I know I will.

If the Democrats can clearly articulate these issues, and overcome the Bush propaganda machine, it will not be Bush by a landslide. Deep down, I gulp.

The two criticisms here are that Bush has not successfully changed the cultures at the CIA and the FBI. I imagine this is so; bureaucracies change slowly, when they change at all. I do know that the CIA and FBI are now required to prepare their morning briefing as one document, so the need to prepare one threat assessment should help to bridge the gap. I don't have a problem with the Homeland Security Department, since this combines a lot of formerly obscure/unglamorous/overlooked functions into one area, with a single guy responsible for coordinating them. (This way, for example, the Coast Guard guys should theoretically be sharing information with those who are responsible for Port Security.)

My jury is still out on the Patriot Act. It's really hard to get information on this that doesn't seem to be put together by someone with One Hell of an Axe to Grind--in either direction.

Oh, and the war. I think that enhanced our security, abeit in a peripheral sort of way. We may not agree on that one any time soon.

Jump in, if you like, and side with me or Hip Nerd. One caveat: no name-calling. People who engage in name-calling or gross personal attacks will simply be ignored.

1/31/2004 12:35:00 AM



. . . but I'm still figuring it out. I should have it together by Sunday night. Otherwise, feel free to send me nasty notes.

1/31/2004 12:33:00 AM

Thursday, January 29, 2004  

Dean Esmay

. . . gets it right on immigration reform.

1/29/2004 12:57:00 AM

Monday, January 26, 2004  


As far as the State of the Union address is concerned, I didn't see it live. I was with my mother, and we were having a drink at the Berkeley Marina; I'm not sorry. I didn't even see the recaps on the 11:00 news, because the mom started talking to me around then about something that was important to her, and I refused to cut her off just so I could get a summary and go run to blog about it.

As a relatively libertarian member of the GOP, I noticed that there was a bit of seemingly Red Meat being thrown out to the true-blue conservatives--some hoo-haw about gay unions, and a bit of verbiage that appeared to imply Bush supports a constitutional amendment to "protect" us from the supposed scourge of gay marriage. But he didn't come out and say that--and no constitutionalist would endorse such a thing. It was all window dressing.

I wonder if anyone fell for it? True-blues are still smarting over the immigration thing. Are they coming back to the fold?

They should. This election is about national security, and to a lesser degree the economy. Think about whether you want the Democrats influencing these things. And vote accordingly. Even if you didn't buy the BS in the SOTU address.

1/26/2004 01:19:00 AM



But I'll say one thing about the Democratic primaries: the dems are acting less like lemmings lately, and more like folks who want to win. They appear to be leaning toward guys who have a chance, like Kerry and Edwards, and away from Angry Young Men Without a Prayer, like Dean and Clark.

But it'll all be for naught, and I'll give you two reasons why: 1) the war on terror/national security, and 2) the economy. The only thing that could really un-seat W. is a large-scale, successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And even that might backfire, since a lot of people feel he's being very aggressive in pursuing terrorists. As far as the economy is concerned, he's sitting in the catbird seat.

Bush by a landslide. And you know it, deep down.

1/26/2004 01:14:00 AM



McGehee blogs about a house built as a sort of uber bachelor den--no oven, lots of urinals. And it reminds me about the one time I was in Adam Carolla's bedroom. (You can get your mind right out of the gutter; there was a party there and I was with my husband, an old friend of Adam's.)

The house was, as I recall, built in the 1920s. (Back when the Hollywood sign said "Hollywood Land" and flashed on and off, flickering in the bedroom window.) Adam is that rare breed--a guy who knows about both houses and cars, a carpenter and a grease monkey all in one. He told the guys who were working on the house that it was to be restored to its original condition, like the classic it is--just as you would a '68 Mustang convertible. With one exception: there is a hollow space in the wall facing the bed. And in that hollowed-out space sits a television set. ("Just like in the hospital," Adam quips.)

Talk about your caricature of bachelorhood.

I love the things he says. But I hate The Man Show. Doctor, help me.

1/26/2004 12:42:00 AM

Sunday, January 25, 2004  


James discusses Kerry's war record, his opposition to the Vietnam conflict, and whether he can trumpet the first and the second at the same time. His conclusion?--absolutely. But--I'm paraphrasing here--"WTF is his position on Iraq?"

I can't quote it and do it justice, so you'll have to read the whole thing. Go. Now. Thanks.

1/25/2004 11:48:00 PM

Friday, January 23, 2004  


Check out the President's "rib joint remarks." Priceless. Money quote:

See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I'm here to help this restaurant by buying some food.

Via James.

1/23/2004 11:47:00 PM



So now I'm starting to get e-mail from questionable, ad-filled sites that want to "trade links" with me. Some are from almost-reasonable looking blogs, and others from commercial, spammy faux blogs.

Anyone who wants onto my blogroll on a reciprocal basis should address me by one of my names: Attila Girl, Little Miss Attila, You Right-Wing Asshat, Ignorant Slut, or You Fucking Quasi-Libertarian Rail-Loving Bikepath Bootlicker.

Just something so I'll know you aren't--horrors!--spamming me and that your blog is real.


1/23/2004 11:03:00 PM

Sunday, January 18, 2004  


. . . That a good conversation starter is, "So, what have you blogged about lately?"

I don't assume that people in my personal life read these entries. In fact, to be blunt, I blog mostly for strangers. But the temptation to answer, "Dad, there's a quick way to find that out" is very strong.

I'm trying to be a bit less tart with my parents these days. I'm trying not to take them for granted. But it's very difficult, and will require a seismic shift in my mentality.

Wish me luck.

1/18/2004 01:52:00 PM



. . . to be light for another 24-48 hours. I'm driving up to the Bay Area tomorrow to visit my mom. (For the out-of-staters: the Bay Area means "San Francisco Bay," and encompasses everything from the cities around the water all the way inland into towns like Walnut Creek; as with the L.A. area, it appears to be expanding to include more and more suburbs. Do not confuse with "Bay City," which usually means good old Santa Monica.)

Time is short these days, but I'll post an update or two from my mom's place. I'll be there most of this week, coming back on Friday.

1/18/2004 10:52:00 AM

Tuesday, January 13, 2004  


I'm not going to let James scoop me on any cheap but "fancy-schmancy" wines.

A lovely cabernet: medium-bodied, with a hint of oak and just the right amount of tannin. Reasonably priced for around $7 at my local Trader Joe's.

Suitable for drinking with steak, pasta, a fontina cheese frittata or a few handfuls of roasted and salted pepita nuts--also available at Trader Joe's.

Isn't life convenient?

1/13/2004 02:20:00 AM

Monday, January 12, 2004  


My former roommate is buying a house with her husband. She has a new baby, so the move will be challenging. It looks like she won't have to go back to work for at least a year or two, so for now she'll be a housewife and mom. She declares that she might even learn to cook.

My housewarming/belated baby gift will therefore probably be a small cookbook with a few introductory sections: "Timesavers," "Domestic Economy" (tips on saving money, primarily centered on meal planning), and possibly a "general housekeeping tips" section.

This is where you come in. Please send me your very fastest recipes and any tips you have. My friend is making it clear that she feels profoundly suburb-challenged. (As a matter of fact, ideas for keeping one's boho self-image intact while living a middle-class life will probably be appreciated.)

Thanks a lot.

1/12/2004 12:47:00 AM

Sunday, January 11, 2004  


The latest from Quizilla, via Red Sugar Muse.

In my not so humble opinion, you, of course, belong
in the Picture of Dorian Gray, and do not try
to deny it. You belong in the fashionable
circles of Victorian London where exotic
tastes, a double life, decadence, wit and a
hypocritical belief in moral betterment make
you a home. You belong where the witty
apothegms of Lords, the silly moralities of
matrons, the blinding high of opium, and the
beauty of visual arts mingle to form one
convoluted world.

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?
brought to you by Quizilla

So glad I took it again. The first time, I got Gone with the Wind.

1/11/2004 03:21:00 AM



Frank J. got something fun in his mailbox--a note from the Democratic National Committee:

In just a few days, Bush will give his State of the Union address, where he'll distort his record to paint the best picture he can for his reelection campaign.

But we know the real story.

Help us tell the real state of America's working families. Tell us your story about how your family, your neighbors, and your community have felt the sting of Bush's policies. Have you:

Lost your job or seen local businesses forced to lay workers off?
Seen healthcare costs skyrocket?
Seen important services cut by state or local government?
Been forced to pay higher college tuition?

So let's send them stories. Frank sent the one about the lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. They all had hair of gold like their mother--the youngest one in curls.

I sent them this parable:

I used to work at the White House travel office, but was let go because the First Lady wanted to bring her own crew in to work there. So I was fired, along with all my co-workers. Later on, people started asking questions about why I was fired, and whether it was for legitimate reasons or not. So then the White House began making up stories about how my co-workers and I were corrupt. Finally, the President sic'd the IRS on me.

I sure hope they use my story. Do you have a good yarn for them? Join in the fun here. Make sure your story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Surprise endings are nice.

"It is long," Alice remarked. "But why do you call it sad?"

1/11/2004 02:46:00 AM

Saturday, January 10, 2004  


I'm now a large mammal! Number 397 in N.Z. Bear's Ecosystem, to be exact. What a lovely place to be: up there with Kelley, Sgt. Hook, and Hugh Hewitt.

This is probably Dean Esmay's doing: traffic is up again, after my Esmay-o-lanche a few days ago (the post wherein he paid tribute to his favorite chick bloggers).

You link me; you really link me.

1/10/2004 03:54:00 AM



Desert Cat gets it right on the President's immigration bill, and challenges me to write the second installment in my series.

I'll make this one short. There are various substrains of folk who oppose the immigration proposal, or indeed of anything that smacks of "amnesty"--

1) People who simply don't like Spanish speakers, or any seemingly unassimilated Latino immigrants. They are like my father's father, who used to grouse that "we're becomin' a minority now." There is a sort of fear that all of the Anglo-Saxon heritage of this country is a delicate white sugar cube, about to be dissolved in the brown tide. I guess I see that heritage as a bit more resiliant. And, as Desert Cat pointed out, a lot of those in this group are just out-and-out racists/xenophobes. I don't say all who oppose this policy are--but it's a palpable component.

2) People who feel that crossing the border illegally is a disrespectful act that should be punished, rather than "rewarded" by any sort of legitimacy. The important thing to keep in mind here is the actual reason people come here: it isn't to thumb their noses at the United States and its laws, but rather to help their families to eat. If I were living in an underdeveloped country and my working could make a difference in what kind of diet my nieces and nephews could eat--and whether they might have a future that included the comforts we here associate with the working class--I'd do what it took. There's no disrespect intended, here: only a transaction between a willing seller of labor and a willing buyer. And that buyer, by the way, is you. Particularly if you live in the southwest, but to a lesser degree all over the country. If you eat in restaurants, wear clothes, drive cars, buy groceries, stay at hotels, have a gardener with a crew--you are employing these people. Reasonably priced goods and services don't grow on trees, my friends.

3) The perception that a lot of the freedoms we used to be able to take for granted are being eroded by illegal immigration. This is partly true: the need to show identification wherever we work, even for those clearly born and bred here in the U.S. is kind of a drag, and we have Reagan's disasterous blanket amnesty plan to thank for that. But in the age of terrorism, a lot of our day-to-day conveniences are leaving us. It makes me wistful, but some of it's necessary. We are still a free society, though, and we still have more anonymity, flexibility and mobility than those in most countries.

4) The "fairness" argument, which suggests that those who are trying to "play by the rules" and wait to come here legally are getting dicked by any sort of legitimacy placed on, say, the Mexican who crosses illegally to come up here and work. I can see it coming from someone like Michelle Malkin, whose family members are doing this the long, hard way. It distorts her perceptions--understandably.

But Malkin's extended family doesn't live in Latin America, in point of fact. No, it's not fair that Mexicans (and Guatemalans, Salvadorans, etc.) can come here more easily than Filipinos and others. But then it isn't fair that I was born here and someone else was born in a Third World country. At a certain point one has to stop railing at the unfairness of life and get on with things. There's a lot to be said for being a little bit practical, rather than shooting for an unreachable ideal in which every prospective immigrant is treated in exactly the same way.

5) Ann Coulter, who just likes to shriek about things.

6) Those who think illegal immigrants come up here to get social services. Some of them probably do, but most of them are too busy busting their butts to get much in the way of welfare or medicare/medi-cal. (I do, however, think we might want to revisit the provision in the constitution that grants instant citizenship to anyone born here: it does create a perverse incentive for female immigrants to get pregnant while working in the states.)

If there's someone I've failed to offend, let me know and I'll fix it.

Y'all be good, now.

1/10/2004 02:34:00 AM

Friday, January 09, 2004  


Allah waxes enthusiastic about one of his vices:

Allah is in the hole after he bet the "over" on Northeast Intelligence Network's "one million dead" holiday terror line and now he needs to dig himself out. In fact, here is another bet for you. How much do you want to bet Jacko starts pretending he's blacko again? Do you want some of Allah's action on that one? Oho! Allah does not think so!

I rather wish I were offended by that blog, but it's consistently funny. I laugh, and then, you know . . . hate myself the next morning. I laughed out loud at this one, and I'm not an easy sell on the humor front.

One more hat tip for Desert Cat, the finest feline on the dunes.

1/09/2004 12:48:00 AM

Wednesday, January 07, 2004  


We're not especially good in my household about spending small change. It tends to accumulate around the house in little ashtrays and candy dishes. These, in turn, get emptied into jelly jars, which in turn get emptied into peanut butter jars that are larger than I am. (We're talking about the half-gallon, warehouse store scale of peanut butter jar. I happen to eat a lot of sandwiches.)

Eventually, all the dimes, nickels, pennies and quarters have to be sorted and rolled up into tiny little tubes of paper, suitable for taking to the bank. First I pull out all of one kind of coin, and then another. Then another.

And here's the amazing thing: once I take out more than half the quarters, the nickels are easier to spot. Once I take out the nickels, it's simpler to sweep up the remaining quarters. As the mound of change in the middle of the table gets smaller, the job gets easier to do.

This is why I support the President's new immigration proposal: I really think that the more we do to track people who are only here to work, the easier it will be to sort through the remaining folk for criminals and terrorists. The more people who are eliminated from suspicion, the easier it will be to find those who really are here for the wrong reasons. It won't make it easy, but it will narrow the field.

I have to break with most conservatives at this point. Many seem to think that the way to approach this odd, awkward situation we find ourselves in is to "crack down" and "seal the borders" and all sorts of other great-sounding, impractical stuff.

There are, at this point, millions of people here illegally. That's fine with them, and it's fine with me. They are earning, on the whole, better livings here than they would in Mexico. I'm getting my produce more cheaply--not to mention my yardwork, and cleaning most of the time I stay in hotels, and the myriad other functions these people perform that keep the entire Southwest running smoothly. The situation is fine; it's functional. There are only two real problems with it: 1) the state of California (along with Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) is living a lie, wherein we pretend not to need the cheap labor we rely on so heavily. And: 2) there's a war on terror going on, and having huge numbers of people here without a criminal check, without fingerprints on file, without any kind of semi-reliable address for them really muddies the waters.

My true-blue conservative friends seem to think that the way to keep track of who's here is a "no carrot, all stick" technique. According to this notion, all the people who are currently here will just kind of show up at the INS one day, give 'em their fingerprints, submit to a background check, and wait to be deported. My view of human nature suggests that this is unlikely. Better to give these people something as an incentive to stand up and be counted, even if it's just a three-year stay of execution and the legal standing to do what they are going to do anyway. It costs us little, and it will pay huge divedends for homeland security.

Once we can eliminate the majority who are here for peaceful purposes, it'll be easier to find the violent criminals and terrorists among the remainder. Not easy: just easier.

(This entry constitutes Part 1 in the author's ongoing mission to teach her husband the error of his ways. Not convinced, yet, Honey?--just you wait.)

1/07/2004 11:27:00 PM

Tuesday, January 06, 2004  


David Bernstein of The Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting idea for helping libertarian candidates in the upcoming elections. There’s one catch: it requires cooperation between some people who have registered as Democrats and some who have registered as Republicans. Other than that, it’ll work fine.

Hat tip: The Desert Cat. Nice kitty. Good updates on the drug war: mama likes.

1/06/2004 10:55:00 PM



Can anyone tell me how to either shorten the way my archives appear, or move them to another location? I tried to change the Blogger template by relocating the code that appears to control where the archives are displayed. This led to a 20-minute interval wherein I was convinced I'd wiped the archives out: they simply didn't appear below the blogroll where I thought I'd put them.

Fortunately, I was able to get in there, retreive the code, and put it back. So everything's still there. This leaves only the problem of my readers having to scroll endlessly to get to my blogroll. I guess I could start moving material from the blogroll section back up to the top, but I'll still want to optimize use of the real estate, so I'll probably still want to find a better way to handle the archives.

Any suggestions, let me know. (And, yes, I know I should be using MT. Don't get all blog-snobby on me.)

1/06/2004 09:25:00 PM



Now there's a handy-dandy link on the bar at the left, so you can send me e-mail without all the hard labor previously involved. (Of course, it took two of you sending me little nagging notes for me to act on this.)

So send me a note telling me how happy I've made you . . .

Also, I'm hoping a Brit or a Python fan will check my spelling on "Mater." Thanks.

1/06/2004 08:29:00 PM

Saturday, January 03, 2004  


I'm past the 10,000 hits mark (hovering near 14,000 for page views). And NZ Bear ranks me within the top 500, as a "Marauding Marsupial" in the Ecosystem. Curiously, I haven't even been trying these days . . . plus, no one's linked to me lately--at least, not that I know of.

In celebration, I'll be talking with my webmistress soon about getting my new digs ready for a spring move. And you, all my adoring fans, will no longer have to put up with the flakey nature of Blogspot. (Though, in fairness, it is getting less bad.)

I might even make James happy by posting a picture of myself. (I haven't asked my husband how he feels about this. But my husband doesn't link me, so . . . . [I know what you're thinking: He doesn't have a web site, so how could he link me? Don't be didactic; men loathe it. {This is a quote from the movie Harvey, BTW. See if you can place it. And don't ask, "place it where?"}])

You all be good, now: I know Santa personally, and he's already asking me for inside info to use in next year's calculations.

1/03/2004 10:23:00 PM



Wizbang has the skinny on a woman who got naked in a local bar, posted the pix on her web site, and got fined by some apparently bored, humorless local officials.

Hat tip:

1/03/2004 03:40:00 AM



Via James Joyner, the lastest quiz: how to tell if you're addicted to blogging.

48 points is in the 21 through 50 precent

You are a casual weblogger. You only blog when you have nothing better to do, which is not very often. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you'd post a little more often, you'd make your readers very happy.

"You think you're immune to the stuff, Oh yeah.
But it's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
and you're going to have to face that you're addicted to love."

Either that, or I love to be addicted.

1/03/2004 03:11:00 AM



I'm almost at 10,000 hits--a big watershed for a small-time blogger chick. At my current traffic rate it'll likely happen before I check in tomorrow morning. Good stuff.

And, yes--I probably will be moving into nicer digs before my blogversary this March. Thanks for asking.

1/03/2004 03:06:00 AM

Thursday, January 01, 2004  


Welcome to 2004, the year that:

1. George W. Bush will be re-elected in a landslide election;

2. There will be another successful terrorist attack on the U.S., though not on the scale of 9/11;

3. The economy will take off, and employment will go through the roof;

4. My freelance copyediting income will, likewise, increase dramatically;

5. My husband will get another union job, thereby preserving our health care benefits--or he'll sell his screenplay, and we'll be able to afford to buy insurance through his company;

6. We'll be approved to adopt a baby;

7. I'll finally finish a draft on one of my backburnered writing projects.

I pray I'm right about everything but the second prediction.

1/01/2004 03:34:00 PM

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