Deconstructing Sullivan

I read with intense interest Eric Grevstad’s take down of Andrew Sullivan. He starts with the post title of “Andrew Sullivan is a big svelte idiot” and then continues on wonderfully from there.

I, too, wonder about the Sullivan links we see sprouting like calla lilies to quote Eric. I’ve tried reading Sullivan and find his manner bellicose, inaccurate, and inflamatory. Bottom line, the man is an idiot.

Consider a choice morsel from this week. Of the Saudi Ambassador’s frustration that Israel won’t consider the peace plan, Sullivan writes:

    • So this guy, who represents a country which has financed Islamo-fascism, gave us the citizens who killed over 3000 people in New York City, now threatens that there will be more suicide bombers, if Israel doesn’t capitulate to terror. And he claims that he and the dictatorship he represents were “sticking their necks out” to offer Israel a plan that would effectively destroy that country’s security. Are we on the same planet or what?

Here’s a little tidbit for you all to gnaw on, Sullivan — there has been extremist elements in Saudi Arabia that have wanted the US out of that country for two reasons: the first is because we represent all that is evil to them, but we knew that; however, the primary reason they want us out is to overthrow the current regime in order to put one in that adheres to a stricter Islamic code. Similar to that of the Taliban. Other leaders in other Arab countries are faced with the same problems of extremists within their midst.

Did the Saudi government and the other Arab countries that participated stick their neck out? Believe it or not, they did.

This plan was not unfavorable to Israel, as even the Israeli government admited at first glance. However, the plan included the repatriation of the Palestinian refugees, something the Israelis refuse to consider. And it is this issue that will remain key to the conflict.

Regardless of his opinion of the plan, instead of taking a few minutes and a little effort to consider each individual aspect of it, Sullivan takes his usual lazy, irresponsible, and vitriolic approach and just blasts away with his 20-gauge shotgun mouth.

I used to think that Sullivan took this approach because he gained more buzz. I now think he takes this approach because he doesn’t have the brains for any other.

However, I believe in free speech and if the jerk wants to talk, let him talk. And if webloggers want to read him and link to them, cool. But I wonder how many link to him because they read him, or if they link to him because it’s the thing to do. That he’s become part of a “who’s who” list that webloggers feel must be on their blogroll to be in style.

Just Shelley Political

My thanks to the pundits

Epiphany. After years and years of being cautious in my support of politics and careful in my understanding of all sides to an issue, I finally realized today that I have been pushed over the edge into “leftist liberalism”.

(Note that twenty years ago, I would be labeled a “leftist commie” rather than a “leftist liberal”. Sign of the times.)

I am finding that today, there exists a demand that one “choose a side” or that a side will be chosen for them. This concept is difficult for me because for years I wouldn’t “take a side”; I prefered to explore each issue on its own merit. Well, that’s all changed now. I am a leftist liberal. Better, I’m a leftist liberal who blogs.

My thanks to all those with such limited vision and narrow views — you’ve opened my eyes to the way things will be.


Beg to differ

May I be the first to go online and say that I don’t give a shit about David Weinberger’s Small Pieces Loosely Joined?

I’m sure David’s probably the best thing next to vegemite to an Aussie and Marmite to a Brit and Peanut Butter to a yank — but I’m getting damn tired of hearing about the book, hearing about David, hearing about the whole friggen’ Cluetrain thing!

I’m almost at the point of tuning back into Dave Winer in order to hear more about Radio and OPML and stupid coffee mugs.

To all my readers who also have weblogs — I want to hear about you!!!

Critters Just Shelley

The Yellow and Black Skunk

When I was a young’un, I lived on a farm several miles outside of Kettle Falls, in Washington state. Below the farm was an undeveloped field with a dirt road running through it that connected several homes. And below the road and the field was Lake Roosevelt. Surrounding all of this was bits and pieces of the Colville National Forest.

Back in those more innocent days, my mother let me go down to the field by myself as long as I didn’t go down to the water.

I loved this field of tall golden weeds. Since I was only about five at the time, the weeds would come up to my chest and I could look out on a sea of waving fronds and imagine I was on a ship in the ocean.

I loved the dust of the dirt road and would walk it slowly, sucking on the end of a grass blade pulled from the side of the road, occasionally chasing after a grasshopper or butterfly. Every once in a while I would see another critter such as a deer or a skunk, always trying to entice the former towards me, always giving considerable room to the latter.

Imagine a soft, warm summer afternoon, blue sky, glimmer of light reflection off of the water in the distance, the sound of insects and birds the only noise. And absolutely nothing to do but walk along the road and think thoughts of faraway places and strange new doings, such as my cousin coming for a visit and my Uncle giving my brother a rifle and not me because I was a girl. I got a stupid china tea set. You know the kind of thoughts — a child’s thoughts.

One day, there was a movement in the field towards my left. I stopped and looked, hand over eyes to shade the sun, squinting my eyes al-most tight (sign of glasses to come the following year), trying to see what was causing the motion.

Up a head pops and then down it goes.


Up a head pops and then down it goes again.

What is that?

Again, the head appears and I have a better view. It’s golden and kind of flat and has black markings.

That’s not a deer. Too small for a deer.

Up the head pops and then down it goes again.

That’s not a bunny. It’s too big.

Up and down.

That’s not a skunk though it does have markings like a skunk.

I watched this strange creature for some time. I wasn’t frightened. If anything I thought this new experience was a huge treat considering the usual activity associated with a warm sunny afternoon, such as standing in the middle of a road of dust, listening to the insects rub wings and legs.

Up the head would pop, down it would go, each jump moving it farther away until with a last rustle, it disappeared into the woods.

I ran home and opened the door and there was my mother, washing something in the sink, the smell of good things to eat hanging in the late afternoon air. I remembered running up to her, excited, telling her in the jumbled child manner about this creature in the field that had these black markings and it jumped up and down and up and down and up…

“That’s a skunk, honey, You just saw a skunk is all.”

A yellow and black skunk? Well, okay. If you say so, Mama.

So I went for the just the longest, longest time, with this memory in my head of my warm, sunny afternoon and the field of gold and the dusty road, and my yellow and black skunk.

Until the day when I was looking at a new picture book and realized that my skunk was a bobcat.