ABC hunts for war dead on Inauguration Day

Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters, a bold attempt by ABC News to throw mud on President Bush’s Inauguration … discovered on their website by bloggers:

For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below[.]

Disgusting. Any spin trying to downplay this is demolished by the fact that ABC deleted the web page once they’d been exposed. Captain’s Quarters cached a copy before ABC could destroy the evidence.

“In Good Company” trailer

Based on a blurb I heard on the Hugh Hewitt show, I decided to try out the whole blogging-as-more-than-a-hobby thing. Specifically, bloggers who mention a certain movie get goodies, and I checked it out. I sent an e-mail to the publicist and got this reply:

There�s been overwhelming response from bloggers responding to the offer for free tickets to an advance screening of IN GOOD COMPANY.
So Universal Pictures and Grace Hill Media wants to respond to that enthusiasm by upping the ante: any blogger who signs up for the free tickets and then posts this offer and a link to the IN GOOD COMPANY trailer on their site will be automatically entered in a contest to win their very own private screening of IN GOOD COMPANY in their town. The winner can either fill the screening with their friends and family, or see the film alone with that special someone � it�s entirely up to them. One lucky blogger here in the US will win. Sign up at info@gracehillmedia.com and send us your link. And of course, all the non-winners will still be eligible to attend an advance screening in their area.

Want to know what my biggest surprise was? Based on the trailer, this looks like an interesting movie that I might actually go see, even if I were paying for the ticket. I’ll let you know if it lives up to its billing.

What does your contribution do?

So what exactly is it that your contribution to the Spirit of America fundraiser will buy? Here are but a few examples of their ongoing projects:

Visit The Cool Blue Blog for more, including tongue-in-cheek reasons to donate through anybody but the Northern Alliance team.
Or you could always just donate now.

Well said

There’s a reason why the name “Sherman” still raises hackles in the South. Eric at Straight White Guy offers some perspective on the hellishness of war, and suggests a concrete way for you to do more than put a yellow magnet on the trunk of your car.
As a side note, if Sherman’s march through the South interests you, read Victor Davis Hanson’s The Soul of Battle. You won’t regret it.

In praise of Roger L. Simon

Gina GershonThere’s a blogger named Roger L. Simon whose site you should visit often. Why? Because his writing makes your brain cells multiply, your wrinkles smooth out, and your gray hair dark.
Roger L. Simon may soon be recognized as the blogosphere’s Best Essayist of 2004, an award he clearly deserves. After all, Roger L. Simon honed his craft by writing screenplays and several best-selling books. Roger L. Simon is even a director. How many bloggers can claim that, eh?
I have it on good authority from well-informed but unnamed sources that Gina Gershon is hopelessly in love with Roger L. Simon … but you didn’t hear that from me. I wish I were Roger L. Simon, come to think of it.
So remember, faithful readers, visit Roger L. Simon every day, and twice on Sundays.
I want to assure everyone that my admiration for Roger L. Simon is as pure as the wind-driven snow, and not motivated by his Spirit of America Blogger Challenge fundraising efforts … which, if combined with ours, would handily spank the Northern Alliance like the gaggle of redheaded stepchildren they are.
I’m sure that if the great Roger L. Simon were to join the Fighting Fusileers, it would be due entirely to his finely-developed sense for doing the right thing, and not due to any shameless brown-nosing by a third-rate blogger.
Roger, how do you like the sound of “Roger L. Simon‘s Fighting Fusileers for Freedom”? It sounds catchy to me.
Oh, and while you’re here click the button and help a wonderful cause.

FOI Blogger Challenge

Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge

In the spirit of Christmas, I bring you an opportunity to help a charity that both Left and Right can support, as described by Dean Esmay:

FOI Blogger ChallengeA non-profit, non-government group called Spirit of America has been working tirelessly for the last two years to try to help our fighting forces over there do more than fight. When those in our military have a project they’d like to work on to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, Spirit of America tries to make it happen for them.
Helping bring medical supplies and crop seeds to Afghanistan. Tools and training to help Iraqis who want to become tradesmen. Distributing schoolbooks. Even helping people set up Arabic-language weblogs so they can begin exploring the amazing world of the New Media.
It’s all entirely voluntary, and done without any government subsidy. But if any group of soldiers, marines, airmen, or sailors want to do something to help the people over there, the Spirit of America tries to make it happen.
Because ultimately, whether you thought going was the right thing or the wrong thing, isn’t trying to create peace and friendship something we should all hope to see happen?
A group of webloggers, humorously dubbing ourselves the “fighting fusileers for freedom” are holding a fundraising drive for the next two weeks to help the Spirit of America folks out. I’m a member of that group, and I encourage you to donate to the Spirit of America here.

Here’s the list of my teammates:

A note to my fellow Fighting Fusileers: OK, I admit I was a naughty blogger and procrastinated in linking to the inaugural fundraising post at Argghhh! or the sophomore effort at Dean’s World. As penance, I offer these often-smart-alecky graphics to help raise funds and taunt the opposition.

Just say the magic word

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting spammed by a fancy restaurant in Miami. Mind you, this isn’t my Yahoo inbox I’m talking about. I expect to be spammed there. This fine establishment somehow found out my private e-mail address, the one my friends and family use. I never, ever enter it on a form online, so up ’til now it’s been almost completely spam-free.
I knew better than to click the handy “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the message. Doing so alerts the spammer to the presence of a human being at the other end of the spam pipeline, making one’s e-mail address much more valuable. Clicking “unsubscribe” guarantees that your address will be sold to every spammer known to man, and the tidal wave of penis enlargement and home mortgage refinancing will hit your inbox quicker than you can say “yes, I’ll help you hide your ill-gotten Nigerian gains.”
Being a semi-cagey netizen, I instead looked up the restaurant in the phone book to verify that the place actually existed. No sense in calling a phone number on the spam message if the whole thing’s a complete scam, right? I found that the restaurant actually existed, and I verified things by finding several reviews written by local newspapers.
I called to complain, and the runaround began. Every time Chez Fancypants spammed me, I called to politely complain. Every time, they told me that the person in charge of e-mail marketing was unavailable, had left for the day, hadn’t arrived yet, was busy, or had perished in a tragic blimp accident.
Today, Chez Fancypants excreted spam number nineteen into my nice clean inbox, so I decided to up the ante. Again I called the oh-so-smarmy maitre d’, and discovered that the Spammer-in-Chief was off on a pilgrimage to Yemen. I asked to be removed from the spamvertising hotlist, and again I heard the blasé brush-off beneath the pleasant response.
Ah, the power of the word “blogger.”
When I casually mentioned that I’m a blogger who’s well aware of how tenuous a good business reputation can be, and when I reminded the maitre d’ of what happened to Dan Rather, his tone immediately changed from oily condescension to palpable fear. These days, the spectre of Mike Wallace at the door pales in comparison to “John Hinderaker just sent you an e-mail.”
Said my new best friend, “I’ll get on the phone to our Marketing Director and I’ll send a fax to the e-mail marketing company we use, and tell them to remove your address from the list. What is it, sir, so I can send you confirmation of my success?”
I guess there’s a red phone to Yemen in the kitchen after all.

UPDATE: Just imagine the damage that Wizbang’s Jay Tea could do.