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Doodlebug Anklebiter's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 6,266 posts (17,260 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 27 aliases.

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I'm reading The Swords of Lankhmar in the second-volume of a two-volume semi-omnibus (no Knights and Knaves, so there will be no 55th sentence from page 55, I'm afraid.

In lieu of which:

"With a happy roaring shout that only he could hear, blood rushed through the Mouser's arteries toward his center, reviving his limp manhood in a mere moment, as a magically summoned genie offhandedly builds a tower."

Hisvit is hawt!!

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You know, I don't agree with this at all, but even so:

pres man wrote:

“In the United States at present, only whites can be racists, since whites

dominate and control the institutions that create and enforce American cultural
norms and values . . . blacks and other Third World peoples do not have
access to the power to enforce any prejudices they may have, so they cannot,
by definition, be racists.”
--from EDUCATION & RACISM, National Education Association. 1973

Also, I wonder what is hidden beneath the ellipsis.

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Fake Healer wrote:

Yup, this is has become a "all cops are racist pigs" thread crying about how being black is being a victim. The blacks I know are far different from this breed of cop-hating, poor because whitey-makes me so that is taking everything said to the contrary as a racist white point of view. They are fun, cool people who have ordinary interactions within society. We joke at PTA meetings, laugh at movies, roll dice and share stories of our kids....they also don't hate white cops, or white people in general.

Being racist is a funny thing....even black people can be one.

"Some of our best Negroes are our friends."

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Freehold DM wrote:

That said...

The issues with the storied n word in the African American community have a lot to do with generational issues more so than racial ones directly. It's a complicated and complex matter, far more than one might think, especially on the outside looking in. I know I don't use it, and few black people in my age range do. Everyone younger than me does.

A whiles back, I was sitting around with Mr. and Mrs. Comrade watching a Katt Williams stand-up special. Mrs. Comrade, a nice Portuguese girl from outside of Lowell who had fallen in love with Cornel West (she ended up getting a selfie taken at New York's Left Forum earlier this year), asked "I don't get it, how did black people go from calling each other 'brother' and 'sister' to 'n*+&+' and 'b#$#+?'"

Mr. Comrade and I looked at each other. He was too busy coughing up cannabis smoke, so I replied "Thirty years of job loss, declining living standards, mass incarceration and a war on drugs that teaches them that their lives are of little value to the surrounding society."

Probably not that articulately, though. I, too, was busy expelling cannabis smoke.

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Fake Healer wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
I do hope you come back Fake Healer. There is more to learn here than white people's past and current sins, and putting your fingers in your ears only ensures that there will be another incident like this is in the future.
Why would you want me come back?

Yeah, Comrade Freehold, why would you?

After allegedly listening to both sides clearly and impartially he starts with "The shooting of Michael Brown was justified."

Then he goes on to refer to Brown as a four-time felon, a smear which I hadn't heard, but then again, I don't get the WCC newsletter.

Then he blames it all on the media, which Comrade Jeff demolished.

Then he comes back writing in mock Ebonics and complaining that blacks are uppity and ill-mannered and cause half of the crime in every country where they rub shoulders with non-black people, not to mention the way they wear their pants.

But of course, he has friends from all walks of life.

"Some of our best negroes are our friends" sang Phil Ochs back in the day.

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Two articles that risk trying the patience of Comrade Freehold:

N. TX demonstrators protest police shootings

"Earlier Wednesday, other demonstrators held an open carry gun march through South Dallas to protest against police shootings.

"Organizers there said the show of force served as a reminder of the right to bear arms to protect themselves from criminals and from police.

"About 30 men and women with the Huey P. Newton Gun Club rallied through the streets, focusing on deadly police shootings from the Ferguson, MO shooting death of teen Michael Brown to shootings by local police.

"Some carried long guns, rifles, shotguns and AR-15s, while others carried signs others and wore messages.

"'I think it's a good thing,' said Reginald Cofer with Mothers Against Teen Violence.

"'They are trying to protect the community,' said Jacey Cofer with Mothers Against Teen Violence. 'At the city hall meeting the other day, we got no answers. It's been a bunch of murders, the cops are not being accountable for it, and we want answers.'

"The marchers entered a south Dallas restaurant with their weapons, where Dallas police officers inside were finishing eating lunch."

[Clenched fist salute]

And in the complete other direction, Iceland grieves after police kill a man for the first time in its history

I didn't realize that Iceland didn't become independent (from who? Denmark? Norway?) until 1944.

Learn something new every day in the OTD!

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I haven't, alas, been able to follow the news as closely as I would like this past week--busy with Anklebiter clan shiznit mostly--so I hadn't yet seen any Cornel West commentary.

Cornel West on Missouri: "Obama reeks of political calculation not moral conviction" - Newsnight

Hee hee! I haven't even finished watching it yet and I already love it. Had me at "Obama reeks."

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Krensky wrote:
thejeff wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:

national guard

executive order 14-09 can be downloaded here.
So much for constitutional accountability.

Deploying the police force with military grade equipment is one thing, but rolling out the actual military against our own people is a whole 'nother thing indeed. Bleh. From bad to worse.

Maybe. Maybe not.

It can be bad. Thinking back to the 60s and Kent State and other uses of the Guard against peace protesters. OTOH, I also think back to seeing the Guard used to defend desegregation. Honestly at this point, them just not being cops might be enough.

* Gives jeff a cookie.

Most people forget that the Governor of Arkansas called out the Guard to block integration and it took Ike sending in the 101st Airborne Division (an elite regular US Army unit for those around the world) and Federalizing the whole Arkansas National Guard.

The danger of using the National Guard these days is that they really aren't weekend reserve soldiers any more. Most of them are relatively battle hardened veterans of urban asymetrical warfare. This can cut both ways.

Back in 1955, veteran American Trotskyist Richard S. Fraser made the point that Eisenhower only intervened and sent in federal troops after the local black community organized itself and started fighting back.

I can't see any parallels with today at all.

[Stomps on cookies]

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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

I've been reading Louisa May Alcott's gripping sword-and-sorcery saga Little Women.

Just got to the part where the paladin (Beth) and the barbarian (Jo) have met up with Sir Laurence and they stormed the Moffat Castle to rescue Meg. When Beth rammed the candelabra through Ned Moffat's skull in revenge of his horrendous treatment of Hannah, the loyal family slave, I almost wept. Can't wait to see what they get up to in the Slough of Despond. I bet Mr. Brooke gets his.

[Rough sketch for a re-write of Little Women.]

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Aranna wrote:

I have to admit there is a LOT of media bias out there Comrade Anklebiter... I still wonder why I didn't hear about the police shooting dead that vagrant while I hear from every source about this shooting.

I'm going to guess because the riots have gone on for longer and have been more destructive, but it's just a guess.

A second, darker, guess occurs to me, and that is that this story might be more likely to be picked up by certain media outlets because it allows people to call black people "animals" and get away with it.

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[Tries not to be ill]

So, what's the status of the smear campaign now? Last I heard, the Confederate-flag flying police chief had held a press conference where he said that even if Brown had been trying to steal cigars (is that the WCC party line?) it had nothing to do with his killing.

But, admittedly, I am the type of person that the phrase "policital correctness" was invented to describe.

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thejeff wrote:

Yes, race is at the heart of it. But that's not because people only get upset when white cops shoot black people and they'd be just fine with black cops shooting white folks. It's because we keep seeing cases where white cops kill black men under questionable circumstances and we don't hear nearly so much of the other cases.* Add to that the widespread perception of racial harassment of minorities by police, both in Ferguson in particular and more generally across the country. It's all the same

*As Comrade Anklebiter keeps linking there are cases of questionable shootings of white men, that sometimes provoke protests and even riots, but they're often of other marginalized groups - homeless or mentally ill.

I, of course, would be the last to deny that race is at the heart of it:

America: Young Black Men Have No Right to Life

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“They can be arrested for nothing, or shot down in the streets with impunity.”

There are lots of pictures coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, a two-thirds Black town just outside St. Louis, where a policeman shot down Michael Brown, this past weekend. The 18 year-old’s last words before dying were: “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting.” The cop kept shooting anyway. The pictures show Brown’s body in the middle of the street, where it was left for four hours in the baking sun.

Other pictures show Brown’s grief-stricken mother, and his stepfather carrying a sign that said, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.” There are plenty of images from the two nights of disturbances in the town, where there isn’t really much to loot. However, I think the most poignant picture shows young Blacks blocking the street in front of the Ferguson police department, their upraised arms signaling surrender, just as young Michael did before the cop administered the coup de grace.

How different that picture would have been in 1966, when young Black people in California responded to murderous police violence with armed patrols of their own, under the newly formed Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The Party declared that Black people had just as much right to defend themselves as white people, including the right to defend themselves from the police, who act as an occupying army. Which is, of course, a self-evident truth.

The Mass Incarceration State

The Black Panther Party’s vigorous assertion of the right to self-defense prompted the U.S. government to double-down on its monopoly on the use of force – first, with a massive campaign of assassination and false imprisonment against Black radical leadership, many of whom still remain behind bars. Then, as the decade of the Seventies began, mass Black incarceration became the universal policy of the United States – north, south, east and west. A new class of Black politicians filled the void that police repression had created. These were men and women who were quite amenable to corporate rule and made comfortable homes in the Democratic Party. Even as the prison population rose to nine times 1970 levels, the Black Misleadership Class blissfully celebrated its own upward mobility.

Meanwhile, the Mass Incarceration State consumed millions of Black lives and consigned most Black communities to Constitution-free zones, where young Blacks could be arrested for nothing, or shot down in the streets with impunity, as was Michael Brown, and as happens to other young Blacks every day of the year.

The people who rule America no longer need Black labor. What they do need is a class that is forcibly anchored at the bottom of U.S. society, who can be scapegoated for whatever is wrong with America, and whose very presence serves as an excuse for massive urban dislocation and the steady erosion of civil liberties. Michael Brown and countless others have died in order to keep America deeply stratified. That’s the only use the United States has for young Black men.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to to sign up for email notifications of our new issues, each Wednesday.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

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Aranna wrote:
Again I argue calm... does any one think there would be ANY of this craziness if the ethnicity of the teen or officer were changed?

I never tire of linking the police riots after demonstrators took the streets in New Mexico to protest the police killing of a homeless white man.

Albuquerque protesters angry over James Boyd shooting get tear gassed by riot police

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Thanks, Andrew, I was wondering what I should listen to next.

Criminal Minded

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I doubt it.

Detroit Free Press: Albuquerque police face hundreds of protesters

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I don't know. The sixities riots helped give us the Great Society.

"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?"

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I've never seen animals burn businesses or shoot cops, but I grant you, New Hampshire doesn't have as much wildlife as it used to.

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Yes, yes, it can only be a republic or a democracy, it can't be both, and there's no reason to think the Founding Plutocrats ever thought the two could be combined and they never, ever formed a party called the Democratic-Republicans, especially not within two years of the Constitution coming into play.

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Obligatory metapoint: This is probably the least interesting argument that Electric Wizard's latest Thread of Joy could spawn.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Ah, memories...

I was living in East Boston with two guys I knew from UMass Boston, Nazi Doodlebug* and Omar the Former Arab Terrorist. Nazi Doodlebug told me about how his friend, Lord Blackmoore, had been reduced to homelessness and needed somewhere to stay. I had already been burned by Lord Blackmoore, but I have a weakness for strays.

I got a call from Omar the FAT the other day. "I've got good news!" he exclaimed. "What, are you going to marry that girl from ol' Blighty that you met on the Council of Ex-Muslims website?" "No, no, it's better than that, you'll never guess."

So, a couple of days later, Omar and I finally get together. "Blackmoore's dead!" he says, with a big smile on his face--Omar always hated Lord Blackmoore--"And I've got a bottle of champagne!" "Man, that's harsh," I chided, but then Omar convinced me that Lord Blackmoore would have wanted us to drink to his death, although, probably, not in celebration. Turns out Nazi Doodlebug had been idly googling the internet and discovered an obit for him from last year.

Anyway, we spent the night reminiscing about all the crazy shiznit we used to do when we lived with Lord Blackmoore.

The story that Omar liked the most, which he hadn't heard before, was when Lord Blackmoore started dating a woman who taught hip-hop dance at the East Boston YWCA. They were both into kinky shiznit, and, one night, Lord Blackmoore entreated me to film them having sex.

I refused. Not because of any prudery on my part, but because I had absolutely no interest in seeing him and his woman rut. He got angry and tried three or four different arguments to get me to comply. I told Omar one of the lines and he immediately posted it on Facebook as his virtual tribute to Lord Blackmoore. I'll get back to that in a second, but, later that week, after I had refused, I woke up one morning and found the refrigerator covered in Polaroids of his girlfriend performing fellatio on him.

Anyway, the line that Omar loved so much was, I think, the second or third line of argument that Lord Blackmoore employed to try and persuade me to play Director of Photography:

"What?!? You think you're a Bohemian and you won't even film me having sex with my girlfriend?!?"

[Pours one out in memory of Lord Blackmoore, may he rest in peace]

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"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."



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I preferred Le salaire de la peur.

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A Missouri city erupts against police murder

Russia Today footage

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I'm not really interested in making the argument that Hamas is a group that is interested in peace (nor did Comrade Jeff's post make that claim) but it is interesting to note that, even if Hamas did condemn the actions of Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, that would be words, not actions.

Near as I can tell from this Times of Israel timeline, despite the headline, Hamas's actions have been to refrain from firing rockets (but I could have missed something in the timeline) and to keep their negotiating team in Cairo.

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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

King came out the year I left the family cave and no longer had access to MTV. By the time I got access to MTV again, they stopped playing music videos. Point, being, I'd never seen any of this delectable Tanya Donnelly vids:

Now They'll Sleep
Seal My Fate

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Trawling through the right-wing sites, I see the same stories over and over: Gabriele Barbati, the Indian television reporter, the Wall Street Journal deleted pictures of the Hamas military command set up under a hospital, the New York Times says they don't have any pictures of rockets being shot off. Any more to add to the slew?

Most of them also include something like:

"Every single report on TV from Gaza should have this disclaimer:

'Our reporters have been threatened, implicitly and perhaps explicitly, by Hamas to only report one side of the story. Viewers must not trust anything they are saying.'"

It made me wonder how many of the Israeli media sources included disclaimers about court-ordered gags during Operation Brother's Keeper.

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Lord Snow wrote:

It goes on and on. Of course this is not a very good way to measure anything, really. The phrase that most people used might not have occurred to me, and number of hits is maybe not the best indicative of the popularity of an opinion.

But, the consistency of these results is somewhat overwhelming.

Yes, that's why I tried to narrow it down to a similar thing--one tweet by a reporter and how it was carried worldwide--rather than something all-encompassing like "Israeli terrorism."

Scanning through the Barbati thing, though, I noticed that the article you posted and, indeed, many of the conservative American websites that picked up the story, claim that it was a Hamas rocket that misfired, but when I click through to the [EDIT: 28 July*] Ha'aretz story, it has the IDF claiming that Islamic Jihad fired the rocket. Any changes on the official IDF word, or is this just more "all Palestinians are the same"?

*When I first clicked on it, all I got was the headline and the first paragraph. I somehow got around the paywall and now I can see the whole thing: 30 Palestinians dead as holiday quiet shattered

EDIT #2: Paywall caught up with me again; got to read three paragraphs before computer freezed. :(

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Lord Snow wrote:
I know the source is kinda iffy, but it's the best non Hebrew source I found (which, considering the relevancy of the news, is perhaps an indicator of a certain disposition of world media in general about the conflict).

Google results for "Gabriele Barbati Shati": 342,000 hits

Google results for "Jon Donnison Micky Rosenfeld:" 5,210 hits

It could be an indication of a certain disposition of world media; I am wagering it is more of an indication of a certain disposition of world media not to write articles based on lone tweets.

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Huh, what?

For workers revolution!

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Doug's Workshop wrote:

For what it's worth . . . .

I like the other article on that website wherein the author relates how he was scammed out of $40,000 because he suffers from a variety of mental disorders and is gullible.

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Yes, I didn't really grasp what Citizen Sweetman was saying earlier (as I said, this is a dense thread) but after listening to Rabbi Siegman about the "mind-boggling hypocrisy" (maybe a paraphrase), I am pretty much done listening to any American apologists for Zionism, fake leftie or otherwise.

That being said, I posted out of an emotional response to listening to Rabbi Siegman. I am not any more pro-Hamas than I was before. I'm just more anti-Zionist.

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As I've repeated multiple times throughout this thread, I'm no expert, but after listening to Rabbi Siegman, I think I am more pro-Hamas than ever.

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Arturius Fischer wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
As I've said before, no expert here, just a dude who loads trucks who happens to be a lifelong communist with a passing interest in world affairs and a search engine, but, if the case was as clear as many seem to think, then I have a hard time understanding why CNN reports that it is "complicated" or that they've got someone from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (which sounds like a plutocrat thing to me, but I could be wrong) saying "It would be impossible at this point to say how much truth there is to the human shield argument." I'm sure there's a CAMERA article or Breitbart report that claims otherwise, but I find it hard to believe either of them are purveyors of Islamist propaganda.

A binary toggle is not 'complicated'. Just because a CNN guy says that it is does not make it true. It's fairly cut and dry--if something being used meets the criteria of using 'human shields', then that's exactly what it is.

Furthermore, it's amusing to see people defend Hamas in this instance saying "it's complicated" while, with a straight face, directly claiming beyond any doubt that Israelis use the technique and are 100% culpable for it. NOT saying that you are saying that or trying to imply you are being shady.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I'm getting tired, so I may be getting sloppy, but I don't see how hiding rockets in a vacant school is "using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations." I mean, how are you rendering a point immune from military operations if you're hiding rockets there?
The military weapons are not being placed in areas where civilians do not frequent. "Schools" are not in any sense a legal place to place military weaponry. Furthermore, you have to go deeper into 'vacant'. Does 'vacant' mean 'permanently abandoned' or 'temporarily evacuated for the duration of the fighting'? If the former, it gets a...

I don't think the CNN reporter who called it "complicated" has been posting in here, have they?

Anyway, placing weapons in schools may be illegal, immoral, etc., etc., etc., but I still don't see it as using "human shields" under any legal definition that has thus far been presented. Which is what I was talking about in the post quoted.

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Angstspawn wrote:
Anyway, it'll be interesting to make a first point in 2017, one hundred year after the revolution to see how Russia advanced over that time.

Yes, it will be interesting to note how far the living standards of the ex-Soviet working class has fallen since the counterrevolution of '91, how far they have regressed in issues of women's rights and all the other indexes (indices?) of social progress.

I mean, sure, they aren't ruled by a bunch of authoritarian, tyrannical bureaucrats anymore, but...

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Pro-Russian separatists brag about shooting down a Ukrainian military plane, discover it is a civilian airliner, cover their asses: evil incarnate.

The United States shoots down an Iranian airliner, refuses to apologize and awards the commander of the Vincennes the Legion of Merit: good guys?

Btw, I read in an unrelated article by some lifelong leftie muckraker that al-Jazeera broadcast a documentary earlier this year "proving" (in the muckraker's words) that the Pan Am 103 bombing was carried out not by Libya, but by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (General Command) at the beshest of the Islamic Republic of Iran in revenge for the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655.

Ah, blowback...

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Kingpinmaker, Game N

The party spent the next couple of days aboard The Whale sailing back to Blackcove. We looked up all of the rules for using ballistas and cannons, and the players had fun assigning NPCs to each of the weapons, counting their money, and identifying their magic goodies.

Somewhere in there, Giles O. Beck and Esmerelda Bandawax, out of the kindness of their good, good hearts, offered a home to Toby and Jillian Poodlecock as cook and groundskeeper at the Foxglove Manor, helping keep up the illusion [stifles giggle] that the house is haunted. What else? More role-playing with, for example, Barbie Ragnarock spying on Symoreel Singha having a lesbian encounter with Princess Mwangli and getting secret instruction about retrieving "The Heart of the Jungle" from The Mack Daddy's guildhall, the consolation of Urzzak's young apprentice who was moved to throw his mask into the waves and be adopted into the Jambala Jaeg, Buck Rogers telling Genny that if she wanted to make contact with the Bellflower Network she'd have to find a contact in Pezzack named "Doodlebug," etc., etc.

After the appropriate amount of time, boom! the player up in the crow's nest (I forget who) sees a great fin break the water. Boo-yah! A megaladon! Genny's player shot me a dirty look, because he had been talking about megaladons before the game began, but I swear, I already had it planned before he brought it up.

Anyway, it was a pretty fun fight and the reason it was so fun was it so fast! Megaladon attacks, Captain takes evasive manuevers, Megaladon eats poor Umja, the players unload their sparkling new toys into Megaladon, repeat once, Megaladon is blown to shreds and slinks back into the deep waters with single digit hit points. Huzzah!

Couple of days later, they arrive in the waters off of Blackcove assuming the worst. They pass by the Magical Island of Nas-Kashel and see rowboats beached by the Wedding Rock. "Oh no, how did the zombies use rowboats?!?" The party gets in their dinghy and heads out to investigate. Genny sees a woman's face, transclucent and shimmery, peek out of the waves. Players freak out. Two nixies rise up out of the water, set to charm. Esmerelda gets to go first, though, and cheats with her Bardic Knowledge ability again. "They're nixies" I say, "And you remember that Lira Sauvuren, the Blackcove town druid, was friends with nixies and all kinds of ocean creatures." The party starts parleying, drops Lira's name, the nixies relax, "What are you doing in The Whale?" they ask. "Oh you know The Whale?" "Of course we know The Whale, big old galley with a penisbone masthead, owned by The Mack Daddy, everyone under the seas knows The Whale." Anyway, they're lucky they have Esmerelda around, because I had augmented the nixies with an oceanid, and I bet I could have drowned at least one of them.

Anyway, they return to Blackcove, find out that it was not turned into a plague zombie infestation town--it turns out Gerlach the Fishman Sorcerer has learned to control the undead, hmmm--break the bad news about the death of "Lord Urzzak", get a tour of all the new construction that has gone on since they were gone, particularly the new temple of Rovagug (!!!), Barbie Ragnarock is reunited with poor Sven who is a mess of scars and blind in one eye (he quickly forgave her and the two retired to get better reacquainted) and are told there will be a feast tonight in the memory of Urzzak and Barnacle Bettye. Bunch of other unsettling stuff, night falls, feast starts, party, party, party, Gerlach stands up, clears his fishy throat, makes a moving speech about the recent history of the town and the heroism of Lord Urzzak, and, to finish, yells out "Bring in the sacrifice!"

"What?!?" says the party in unison, as the villagers break out an In Darkest Africa-style drum circle and Lira Sauvuren leads in a manacled Chelish tax collector! "Death to Cheliax! Long live Rovagug!" the villagers chant. The party freaks out, much roleplaying and Diplomacy ("But Lord Urzzak said live like a Chelish pig, die like Chelish pig..." "I don't care what he said, you can't sacrifice tax collectors to Rovagug! Don't you think somebody will notice when the tax collector goes missing?!?"), etc. Everyone decides that maybe Blackcove isn't a good place for the ex-slaves to stay, grab the poor tax collector, and head back to The Whale.

After that, they headed back to Pezzack and got attacked by another bunch of strix. These strix, though, had four seventh-level characters among them, but, the party kicked their butts pretty soundly. It was a pretty cool fight, with cannons and flying combatants, but I am afraid I don't recall most of the cool details. Suffice to say, after years of playing together, I think the party is finally starting to cohere into a lean, mean, semi-tactical D&D playing machine. Huzzah!

Game ends with The Whale a day's sail away from Pezzack.

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Hmm, well, I'm nowhere near looking through all of the links yet, so it is quite possible that I am falling victim to Islamist propaganda, but I'll link them anyway:

Five Misconceptions About the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Hessam Akhlaghpour

In particular, I was interested in the assertions in Point 4:

Misconception 4. Hamas uses human shields.


Israel tries to explain the high civilian tolls by blaming Hamas for using human shields. The claim is that Hamas stores weapons and launches rockets near residential areas, leaving Israel with no choice but to bomb those locations.

That Hamas launches and stores rockets near densely populated residential areas must inevitably be true, since Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth and if Hamas had designated an area for military operations, it would be instantly pulverized by Israeli forces. But, this does not necessarily qualify as using "human shields," defined as "intentionally using civilians to shield a military objective." So, for example, the weapons that were discovered in one UNRWA school last week (an incident described as "the first of its kind), does not confirm the "human shield" allegations, because the school was vacant at the time.

Amnesty International investigated Israel's previous claims in 2009 and found "no evidence Palestinian fighters directed civilians to shield military objectives from attacks, forced them to stay in buildings used by militants or prevented them from leaving commandeered building." The same report found that on several occasions the Israeli forces, however, "had forced Palestinians to serve as human shields," as also confirmed by Human Rights Watch and the UN.

Amnesty's report acknowledges that Palestinian armed groups were endangering civilians by "firing rockets from residential areas and storing weapons, explosives and ammunition in them," but also acknowledged that mixing with the civilian population "would be difficult to avoid in the small and overcrowded Gaza Strip, and there is no evidence that they did so with the intent of shielding themselves." The report also points out that Israel behaves similarly by placing military bases and headquarters in or around residential areas of Israeli cities and conducting military activities "close to civilian areas in the south of Israel."

Anyone who paid attention to the twitter account of Hamas' military wing (recently suspended) would have noticed that whenever they announced they were launching rockets at Israeli cities, they would claim they were targeting military bases. It would be absurd to blame potential Israeli civilian casualties on the Israeli Defense Force for placing military bases close to residential areas. But blaming Palestinian civilian casualties on Hamas is quite normal.

Furthermore, forcing civilians to act as human shields for military objectives should not be confused with activists voluntarily acting as human shields to protect hospitals and homes. The former is a war crime and should be condemned, but the latter is a courageous form of nonviolent resistance and should be praised.

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Vive le Galt!

Since I last checked in we have recruited two more members, including Omar the Former Arab Terrorist who was very upset when he discovered that I am referring to him as Omar the Former Arab Terrorist on these messageboards. "What the f~#~, I wasn't prosecuted for 'air terrorism,' I was prosecuted for 'false communication of intention to use an explosive device on an airline.'"

My bad.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
remember, though, is that the whole country was caught up in a massive Satanism scare at the time, and it made the Red Scare in the 50s seem normal.

Not sure I'd go that far, but, yeah, it was pretty bizarre.

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Limeylongears wrote:
My parents, while despairing at my taste in literature (Michael Moorcock, etc), were never bothered about it and didn't have a problem with D&D , either. My mother did make me throw my Black Sabbath albums away, though.

I lent a kid in my neighborhood a copy of the classic book Saga of Old City by Gary Gygax and his mother found it and threw it away! Later, I found his older brother had squirrelled it out of the trash and hidden it away with his porno mags.

Down with mothers!!!

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Interesting article for the "no faction of the Palestinians wants to work with Israel" crowd to consider:

Operation Protective Edge: Reading between the lines

Of particular interest is:

"The key to understanding Israel's bombardment of Gaza is the unity government between Hamas and Fatah that was formed on 2 June this year. While Palestinian unity is itself something that Israel has always done its best to sabotage, the fact that the US and EU actively welcomed the formation of the unity government and said that they would be willing to work with it in terms of negotiations, rocked Israel to its core. The notion of Hamas as the irrationally intransigent arch-rejectionist has always been absurd, but it is nonetheless an important part of Israel's own rejectionist mythology, in which Hamas's 'terrorism' and supposed inherent 'anti-Semitism' is utilised by Israel in order to maintain the status quo of occupation and the annexation of the West Bank, with Gaza contained and isolated under constant siege and the permanent threat of Israeli violence. Hamas's acceptance of the unity government meant that it in effect accepted the US terms for its cooperation with any Palestinian government, which is an acceptance of 'past peace deals' and thus, in turn, an acceptance of the PA's commitment to a negotiated two-state solution based on UN resolution 242."

I can't pretend to be privy to no particularly helpful insights or sophisticated analysis, but it's what I was trying to puzzle out on my own: If Hamas was dealing with Fatah, wouldn't that indicate they were about to, in practice at least, start dealing with Israel? Bibi: "We can't have that! Boom, boom, boom! Brother's Keeper and Protective Edge!"

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So, I can't pretend to be any kind of expert, but from what I'm picking up, in order to spike a Fatah/Hamas "Unity" government hookup, Netanyahu seizes the opportunity of the tragedy of the three yeshiva students to unleash a wave of state terror and lynchings that even Lord Snow thought was complete bullshiznit.

Hamas, reactionary anti-Semitic fanatics in the best of times, respond as expected and besiege Israel with crude rocket fire, criminally and indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians that has very little effect because Israel has spent billions on Iron Dome.

Israel responds with a barrage of missile fire and a ground assault with the resulting slaughter of civilians that has already been thoroughly parsed in this thread.

If we understand "Israel" to mean the arrogant, murderous regime of Netanyahu and friends, then I have a hard time seeing how Israel is not to blame for this latest round.

As for all of that history stuff, you're right, Comrade Pravda, there can be no just and equitable solution of the conflicting Palestinian and Israeli grievances. Under capitalism.

For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!

(Nice pics, Comrade Giant. Here's Boston's.)

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Irontruth wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

You objected to Meatrace who was objecting to Doug's Workshop.

The words "shining democracy" weren't in the latter's post; they were "only functional democracy in the region."

I was objecting to the implication that Arab's are disenfranchised in the state of Israel. Which is provably false.

Comrade Jeff's reference to a "shining democracy" was in reference to Citizen Workshop's "only functional, etc." Therefore there is no need to quote you referring to Israel as a "shining beacon of democracy."

I didn't even read the rest of your post because I am trying to help you understand the flow of the conversation so that you don't make ridiculous, self-indulgent scenes because you misunderstand what is being said, not because I am making any political point.

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Warpaint does Bowie

And I'm green with envy.

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I apologize in advance, Comrade Freehold, if this is in the story you linked above:

NYC police investigate another apparent chokehold

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Kajehase wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
That's the look/That's the look
Shout to the Top

I'm not really sure where to take this next, but I went with the Fun Boy Three.

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I've been neglecting my reading, alas, but in my defense, we've recruited two more people to the Commonwealth Party of Galt (M-L) in the past couple of weeks, and are set to recruit two or three more.

Vive le Galt!

But I did get to the death of

Dr. Wilbur Larch
and I wept like a baby.

The differences between the book and the movie continue to blow my mind. Did you know Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron

have a child? And live with Paul Rudd for the next fifteen years? That wasn't in the movie!
Also, I was tickled pink by the way Melony ended up,
a butch master electrician in the Bath shipyards.
Irving doesn't say, but I like to imagine she ended up a steward in the IBEW.

I'm not quite done, as I said, but: I don't think I've laughed as much as I did reading other Irving novels, marsupial genitalia aside, but I sure have cried a lot. Also, since I've learned that Irving studied under Vonnegut in the seventies, I keep thinking about an essay the latter wrote about a fan letter that observed that none of his novels have ever had a straight-up villain. Irving doesn't go quite that far, I don't think, but even his not-so-nice characters are usually wrapped in layers of compassion and understanding.

Good night you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England!

[Grabs the ether can and cries some more]

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