Saturday, April 14, 2007

Blogswarm: Take Back the Blog

Earlier, I linked to Take Back the Blog! March, a My Left Wing essay by Bruce Godfrey of Crablaw's Maryland Weekly. He has now crossposted at Booman Tribune as well. An excerpt...

As noted above, April is a traditional month for the Take Back the Night marches. The four TBTN marches I attended at Princeton over 15 years ago were very important events in my life and who I became as a person. In a previous diary I blogged about the impact of those marches on my personal and professional life. I learned more from those experiences than from all except perhaps two of the 30 courses I took while I was there. So I am announcing the first annual Take Back The Blog March, a blogswarm in defense of women's right to be left alone in peace at night, including in the night of cyberspace, to be published on April 28, 2007.

If you care about women's dignity as people and as FULL participants in this community - not the Daily Kos community but rather the community of all liberal and progressive bloggers - I hope you will consider contributing. I will maintain the swarm list of links for Take Back the Blog March at my own site, Crablaw Maryland Weekly, and will prepare a link logo in the next few days for that purpose (or if you have a good logo, please contribute.) Contributions will be welcomed that stand up for the dignity, privacy, sovereignty, self-determination and freedom of women against all forms of predation - in the blogosphere, in cyberspace generally, and in regular life.

I mentioned the need for a link logo to Demetrius, and he created the following. People are more than welcome to download and use them to promote this blog event.

For my part, I plan to keep adding posts here as I find them (and as the feeds become available.)

Blood Money

Cross-posted at Diatribune and BlueSunbelt

Ever wonder just how much money the U.S. Military pays out for its “collateral damage” -- civilian injuries and deaths in the war zones?

For me, it’s not the money paid out that drives my curiosity. I’m sure it’s just some arbitrary amount; just enough to temporarily appease the locals, and not drive them to join the insurgency. Rather, I’m interested in how far coalition forces will go in admitting how many Iraqi civilians are killed during military operations.

One thing you can be sure of, the FOIA requests in no way covered the true depth and scope of the collateral damage that the U.S. Military has wrought upon the war zones. After all, the records don’t even cover civilian injuries and fatalities incurred during “battle activity.”

Of course, coalition led investigations get to categorize the situation – and we all know how well most of the regular U.S military investigations have worked out for civilians caught in war zones.

Here’s one clue:

"We don't do body counts," Gen. Tommy Franks, who directed the Iraq invasion, has said. -- San Francisco Chronicle – May 3, 2003

Well, at least the ACLU is still trying to bring some sunshine to the fog of war. BTW, we really need to acknowledge the good work that the ACLU is doing both stateside and abroad lately.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the ACLU. They’ve taken on some dubious cases in the past, IMHO. But, they seem to have found their way defending the U.S. Constitution in the Bush era. We’ll especially need their services here at home in the near future, working with the Dem Majority in Congress, to keep the pressure on the Bush administration by way of court filings, amicus curiae briefs, and perhaps, even a class-action suit or two. In case you missed the other links, you can join or donate to the ACLU here.

But, I digress…

The American Civil Liberties Union recently obtained files from the U.S. Military on compensation claims to Iraqi and Afghan civilians killed and hurt by coalition forces over the past five-plus-years. The records were turned over to the civil liberties group in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

From Friday’s BBC News:

Of the 496 claims, 164 resulted in cash payments to families, the ACLU says. Many files relate to civilian deaths at checkpoints or near US convoys.

If it does not accept responsibility for the civilian's death, the military can make a discretionary "condolence" payment, which is offered without admission of fault and is capped at $2,500.

In the 164 claims resulting in payments, about half were for compensation and the remainder condolence payments.

The New York-based ACLU believes the files it has received are a very small proportion of those held by the defence department, and is pressing it to disclose them all.

Yeah, right, maybe when I’m 80.

An attorney for the ACLU, Jameel Jaffer told BBC that it was the first time the U.S. government released to the public any records of this kind.

"For the first time they give the public access to very detailed information about the human costs of war," he said.

"They allow the public to understand the burden that has been borne by civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The ACLU published summaries of claims that were submitted to the U.S. Foreign Claims Commission by relatives of civilians said to have been killed as a result of actions taken by coalition forces.

• Some 479 of the claims relate to incidents in Iraq, dating from May 2003 to late 2006 with the majority in 2005, and 17 to Afghanistan, most dating from 2006.

• One-file records a payment of $35,000 made to a family in Hib Hib, Iraq, after US forces "accidentally discharged 155 mm rounds", killing three children aged five, 16 and 18 and damaging their home.

• Another, dating from February 2006, describes how a fisherman in Tikrit was shot as he reached down to switch off the engine of his boat. He had been shouting "fish, fish" and pointing to his catch. The US Army refused to compensate his family for his death, ruling that it was the result of combat activity, but paid $3,500 for the loss of his boat - which drifted off - net and mobile phone.

• In a fourth file, a civilian states that US forces opened fire with more than 100 rounds on his sleeping family, killing his mother, father and brother. He was also hurt and 32 of the family's sheep killed. The US Army paid $11,200 compensation and made a $2,500 condolence payment. It had been responding to an attack from the direction of the village.

About a fifth of the claims relate to deaths at checkpoints or near U.S. convoys.

In one case, a condolence payment of $7,500 was suggested for the deaths of a civilian’s mother and sister along with the injury of his 4-year old brother in an incident involving all four of them riding in a taxicab that traveled through a checkpoint in the town of Baquba without stopping.

An Army memo states:

"There is evidence to suggest that the warning cones and printed checkpoint signs had not yet been displayed in front of the checkpoint, which may be the reason why the driver of the taxi did not believe he was required to stop."

As a rule, the U.S. Military denies compensation for “significant acts” for lack of evidence, despite eyewitness accounts, and instead, in certain cases, issues minimum “condolence payments.” Some of the claimants told BBC that official denied claims usually conclude with the phrase:

"I wish you well in a Free Iraq.”

And, if you think that’s ironic.

Mr. Jaffer pointed out that he fears such platitudes, and the many instances denying compensation continue to enrage civilians, damaging U.S. efforts to win hearts & minds.

"It's extremely important from a policy point of view that the US compensates people in these kinds of claims and that the system is fair and not arbitrary," he said.

The US defence department has said it regrets any civilian deaths and strives to prevent them.

"Any loss of life is tragic and our forces, as well as the forces we serve with, take every available means to limit the effects of combat on civilians," defence department spokesman Todd Wician told the BBC.

I reiterate:

"We don't do body counts," Gen. Tommy Franks, who directed the Iraq invasion, has said. -- San Francisco Chronicle – May 3, 2003

Yeah, not even the children.

This war must end.

Blogging while female

I first learned about the crass, insensitive remarks of Markos Moulitsas in this post by skippy, and later found a post by Steven D at Booman Tribune. In a later diary, Steven included what Markos actually said:

Look, if you blog, and blog about controversial shit, you'll get idiotic emails. Most of the time, said "death threats" don't even exist -- evidenced by the fact that the crying bloggers and journalists always fail to produce said "death threats". [...]

But so what? It's not as if those cowards will actually act on their threats. For better or for worse, this isn't a country in which media figures -- even hugely controversial ones -- are routinely attacked by anything more dangerous than a cream pie.

Since last night, I saw that skippy had updated his post with the following:

addendum: feminazi, commenting over at echidne's blog, asks this question:

i sent a email to asking them why they support misogynists through advertising. why don't you do the same?

good idea!

Except, I don't know how much choice they have, given that you see *this* at the bottom of the home page on that blog:

© 2005, Kos Media, LLC
I may be only a C-rate blogger (on a good day), but what do we *usually* do when we want to hold a public figure accountable for something they've said? Isn't it usually *their* advertisers that we write to? Or how about writing to some of the politicians and public figures who post diaries at Daily Kos. This Wikipedia article has a list.

I wouldn't recommend this if Markos' remarks were a one time thing, but as shirlstars' comment here indicates, this is part of a pattern of behavior.

See also:
How not to be an asshole: a guide for men
Why the lack of concern for Kathy Sierra ?
Take Back the Blog! March, a My Left Wing essay by Bruce Godfrey of Crablaw's Maryland Weekly.

Finally, as I noted here, I really haven't had it in me to do much blogging lately, and I'm still not feeling all that verbose at this point. But I do consider this to be an important issue, and, even if I don't manage to blog more about it, I'm going to make a point of adding relevant entries to my page of Google shared items, which you can find here.

America’s Wailing Wall

click to enlarge

Friday, April 13, 2007

Late night adorable-ness

New site for your dose of cuteness--when my brother was here for Easter, he told me about The pics you see below are from that site.

'Night, everybody.

Markos, are you *man enough* to apologize?

I haven't read Daily Kos for a few days, but this post by skippy caught my attention:

shorter kos: come on, gals! take it like a man!

markos weighs in on kathy sierra, the techie blogger who has been anonymously harrassed to the point of cancelling professional appearances out of fear for her own safety.
Click here for the rest, and here for Steven D's post at Booman Tribune. It was from that post that I learned that the fear for her safety was due to receiving *death and rape threats*. Steven D also links to a number of other blog posts about the issue.

I don't have much to add, other than the comment that *real* men aren't afraid to apologize. Real men have the courage to willingly say "my bad" when they screw up. You know who *does* have trouble doing that? I'll give you a hint...his middle initial rhymes with "Trouble you".

Update: Steven D has a diary at Kos asking Why the lack of concern for Kathy Sierra? Yes, I'm breaking my own rule about not linking to Blogmart, but I've decided it would be worth it to helped the issue hit the recommended list on Markos' own blog.

I-Mus be dreaming…

click to enlarge

Now, hopefully, MSNBC will have something substantial on in the morning. Imus has always been a problem, but the outcry was never high enough.

What, I think, most whites in America fail to understand is that most blacks think Imus' behavior and language is the rule, not the exception and every time some White man gets in front of a microphone and shouts "Halfrican American" and nothing happens to the White man, most Blacks just nod and say "What did you expect? He's White, they all think like that."

Not all Whites think like that - a majority don't but many do. As a White man in the American South, I hear it all the time. If I am in a little store and black person leaves, 20% of the time I will hear "nigger" slosh out of the mouth of some White guy. Then I open my mouth... They are shocked, SHOCKED that a White guy would stick up for a Black stranger. Then they usually apologize (unless I am in Klan infested Montgomery County).

Things are getting better. I man I work with, Ken, is an old hippie. He was telling me of how the 60's revolution was for him and how he sees the same bullshit in Iraq today that he saw in Vietnam more than 40 years ago. For him, the 60's was about casting off the insane pressure of social conformity. When he graduated from high school in 1961, the dam burst... the social revolt began. Ken, a White hippie, loved hanging out with Blacks in his town to jam - he is also a gifted guitarist and he got hassled for going to the "colored" side of town to mingle with the Blacks. He fought for the right for Blacks to vote, he cried when MLK was shot. He still cries, as we all do, at the Vietnam Memorial.

I graduated from high school, in Dobson, NC in 1981 - exactly 20 years after Ken did. I told him, the things his generation fought for, especially civil rights, helped and had an impact that is visible today. Because in that 20 year period, somehow, in the South, in Dobson of all places, dating outside of your race was the IN thing to do.

Imus, Savage, Limbaugh, they are all just fucking dinosaurs that society will one day gaze upon in a museum and tell our grandchildren that these are the last corpses of American racism.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Perils of Taxation

click to enlarge

Along with my day job in advertising and the lunatic behind this strip, I also am executive director of my interfaith church and we have a pretty substantial relief outreach ministry called Books For Soldiers and we have been waiting on our 501 c3 certificate.

Last Wednesday, I received a response letter back from the IRS concerning the status of the 501 c3 submission for our church. Instead of awarding us the status, it was a four page letter outlining 41 questions they needed answered. The deadline for submitting all required documents, answers and all the rest was April 12th - today.

I have been working on this for the last week, 18 hours a day. The IRS guy was not picking up the phone so he couldn't answer any questions.

So I printed the last page out yesterday morning and was proof-reading it when the IRS guy called. He was out with the flu and was calling to extend my deadline by 2 weeks. I told him it was already done and warned him the documents were now 2 inches thick.

"Oh, no. I am going to have to read all of that."

Anyway, I am exhausted and apologize for the unfortunate hiatus.

Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007

Late last night, I saw the headline that Kurt Vonnegut had died. I had never read any of his books, but thought I recalled him appearing on The Daily Show a while back. Turns out I recalled correctly--you can view the interview here. (He was apparently on a promotional tour for his recently released autobiography, A Man Without a Country.)

I just read this excerpt from from Slaughterhouse Five for the first time last night...

Rosewater was on the next bed, reading, and Billy drew him into the conversation, asked him what he was reading this time.

So Rosewater told him. It was The Gospel from Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space, shaped very much like a Tralfamadorian by the way. The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even
to the lowest of the low.

But the Gospels actually taught this:

Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:

Oh, boy-they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!

And that thought had a brother: 'There are right people to lynch.' Who? People not well connected. So it goes.

The visitor from outer space made a gift to Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels.

So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn't possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was.

And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections!
I'm going to have to find time to read that book.

Here's the most recent version of Vonnegut's web site that I could find on Internet Archive.
Kurt Vonnegut on Wikepedia.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

blogroll amnesty day on tv!

unfortunately, it's only still...

big props to bill scher of liberal oasis, and conn carroll of the hotline's blogometer, both of whom are good friends to this humble site, for discussing this.

bill makes one of our points which we keep hounding about...if the big box blogs don't spread traffic around, then the community will minimize and become more of a clique. and conn wonders if markos pared his blogroll in an effort to get those cut bloggers to come write more diaries on the daily kos. (for the record, it didn't work in skippy's case!)

what both gentlemen failed to touch on was our dead horse of google ranking. but at least they talked about the issue as a whole (or, as some of our readers would think about it, as a "hole").

Extreme video cuteness

I give you, "Otters Holding Hands".

If you're able to view the video, do watch it to the end. I know it looks like nothing new is going to happen, but there's some fresh cuteness at the end. And it's only a minute and 40 seconds long. I'm sure you've all wasted more time for that for less payoff before. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

As the Buckeye State Turns

In February, Jerid, who is the current proprieter of Buckeye State Blog posted that BlogPac was offering to sponsor that site. In the interest of transparency, and because there had been some "bad blood" between Ohio bloggers and some of the "big box blogs", Jerid posted the details of that offer, and asked for feedback. A number of people did offer feedback, and, in the end, Jerid announced that he had decided to accept the offer of sponsorship, and explained his reasoning here.

The stage was set for today's episode when Bryan, also a front pager at Buckeye State Blog, wrote a post entitled, Who are Armstrong and Co. working for this time? The post, dated April 1, noted that Armstrong, Kos, and colleagues seemed to have come down pretty hard, in unison, on Barack Obama that weekend, and speculated about possible reasons for that seemingly united message.

Today's delightfully snarky post, Hey You Guys...Cut It Out...Y'all Made Jerome Armstrong Yell At Me reveals that "da Blogfather" Jerome is not happy about that post. (I'm guessing he wasn't happy about this one either.) After some snark, in both words and pictures, Jerid ends with this...

And on a completely serious note in the event that Jerome comes back around. Dude, honestly...don't throw out a comment like "trashing my own credibility" when folks question you and your motives. It just makes us snap back.

I'm one of the folks in Ohio that's most willing to let bygones be bygones because I think there is a role for the national folks in Ohio (albeit a closely watched role). That's part of the reason I signed up with BlogPac..tearing into each other constantly isn't positive for the movement. But man, expect folks to watch you and question what you're up to; that should be natural, and you should encourage it. Take moments like this one to let us know how we're wrong and what you're up to. You're responsible - at least as the impetus - for a lot of where the online movement's at right now, but that doesn't mean we're not going to come sniffing around your tree when, for whatever reason, we think we smell something funny.

Cut me and the rest of Ohio some slack. We got burned; some of us still smell that.

Good for Jerid. He didn't post the content of Jerome's letter, but in posting about it offered continued transparency, which I agree is important. Me, I think I'm in the mood for some of this...

Update: Bryan responds with "Our Blogfather". Heh.

Monday, April 9, 2007



African American Political Pundit says:

Ok Are you getting tired of this racist garbage coming out of broadcasters, politicans, entertainers and alike about black men, black women, black people. Not a month can go by without some moron saying something about black women, black men or black kids.

And its just not black folks wondering how long media will be allowed to go on like this. There is a Multi-racial Media Critique Coming Together on Imus.

Hundreds of African American bloggers such as Jack and Jill Politics, Anderson@Large, Oliver Willis, Politopics, Where is the Outrage have candid comments about the ignorImus.

The folks at are wondering do we really live in a country where we can’t call a group of black lady b-ballers “nappy-headed ho’s” and keep our jobs?

Yet, as Gossip. com notes, Don Imus’ Racial Insults Anger Black Leaders, Boost Ratings, Pave Way for Cash Bonus


Now with a slap of the hand (if it’s that) - MSNBC suspends Imus simulcast for two weeks.

Here is an example of the type of conversation I vision between Imus and his MSNBC Executive boss:

Executive: Imus, great job, Ratings are up dude. This is better than the insults regarding Hillary Clinton. This is news all the way over in Australia Our advertisers are OK they are not saying anything, this is Ok, your all right dude. Listen Imus, your HOT, You have 2,074 news articles on Google dude

Your hot Imus, your hot. Hey, don’t worry about the blacks this will blow over like all the rest of the insults we lay on them. Imus, dude those black leaders can’t even get themselves together they don’t even have a real NAACP dude, and those leaders are getting old dude, no one listens to Al Sharpton and Jesse no more. But I like how you went on that Sharpton guys talk show kissing up. I think it just might have worked, at least with your white audience.
Imus, just chill out for a few weeks take a vacation, we’ll say we suspended you. Don’t worry man your good. Hey when you come back we can line up some politicans like Hillary and Obama to come on your show. You can apologize to Hillary and Obama too!

Imus: Hey, what was the big deal about calling some black girls nappy headed ho’s. Those rappers say it everyday. Does Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do anything about the record industry? F them.

Missing: one rat's ass

I'm missing something right now, people. I'm missing one of these.

Yes, it's a rat's ass. It's symbolic of the fact that at the moment I just can't bring myself to give a rat's ass about anything political. I think a lot of us have those moments--some of them last longer than others--where we just don't feel *into* the whole activist thing. Unmotivated. And if I'm not motivated, the inspiration for writing just isn't there. And then I don't have something worth crossposting and linking to in an effort to get interesting posts on this blog in front of more sets of eyes.

And maybe some people coming by and actually leaving comments so that the people I've persuaded to post here actually know that their work is being read.

So really, this blog is something I care a lot about. Way more than just a rodent's hindquarters. But because of what I described above, I can't really translate that into action at the moment.

I've been in this place before as far as motivation and creativity. I'll even venture to say that most of us have, and we come to realize that "this too shall pass".

Obama and Edwards to skip Fox debate

Via Yahoo News:

An Obama aide said the Illinois senator had no plans to attend the Sept. 23 debate in Detroit that Fox agreed to co-sponsor with the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute.

Obama will take part in a different debate hosted by the institute and CNN in January.

"CNN seemed like a more appropriate host," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

Obama's decision comes three days after former Sen. John Edwards, another Democratic presidential candidate, announced he was pulling out of the Fox-sponsored debate.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Kerry on supporting Nancy Pelosi

From John Kerry's blog:

We Democrats should’ve been unapologetic this week defending Speaker Pelosi because the truth was on our side: She had a right to go. And she was right to go. The coordinated attack on her trip to Syria was as inappropriate as it was irresponsible. And when that happens to a Democrat, we should all damn well stand up and be counted in our support, or else we hand partisan hacks on the other side a dangerous victory. They thrive on destroying our leaders -– we can’t let them. Especially when we’ve got the moral high ground.

If someone asks you about Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Damascus, you might want to start by telling them how many Republicans have traveled to Syria. That Arlen Specter has gone 16 times since 1984. Yes, this Republican outrage is selective. I didn’t hear a whiff of criticism when a Republican Congressional delegation was in Damascus just last weekend. Calculated crocodile tears for political gain -– sad but not surprising.

But, even more than that, we need to stand up to this effort to demonize diplomacy. We shouldn’t be surprised that an Administration that treats dialogue as a reward rather than a process would stoop to this. But, as Americans, we need to stand up and demand better from our elected leaders.

Click here for more.

I was never the biggest Kerry supporter, but was one of those people who voted for him because he "sucked less than Bush". But with politicians, as with kids, I think it's important to "catch them being good"--praising the behavior we'd like to see more of. So I'm going to try to do that.

Hogwarts Academy vs The Sunnydale Posse

Ah phooey.

Because my wife loves me, she won't say the dreaded words "I told you so." But because I love my wife, I'll say it for her.

What happened? Well, although I pretend to be open-minded, I can be quite stubborn sometimes when a New Idea walks up to me and tries to introduce itself. (sound of my beloved wife snickering quietly) Perversely, the dials connected to my stubbornness turn up to "11" when it's my wife who tries to introduce Yours Truly to the New Idea. (sound of my beloved wife snickering not-so-quietly) And of course, because resistance is futile, most of the time I find out that the New Idea is a Great Idea and I enjoy it passionately for the rest of my life.

I hate when that happens.

This time, the "I told you so" that got me right between the eyes was written by a blogger named mollyringwraith, and her Great Idea is imagining what would happen if the Harry Potter characters met the cast from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Naw, it sounds stupid.

I don't wanna read it.

O.K., O.K., O.K.

Ah phooey.

HARRY, HERMIONE, and RON sweep into the Sunnydale High Library. XANDER, WILLOW, and BUFFY look up from the table; GILES hovers in the background.

HERMIONE: Hello. We're a delegation of students from Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Would this be the Hellmouth, by any chance?

XANDER: I'm sorry, you're the whosit of what now?

WILLOW: There's a witchcraft school? Hey, coolness! Think I could do a year abroad?

HARRY: We're in search of the Horcruxes. We're out to defeat Voldemort. Tell us where they are.

XANDER: Sorry, crumpet, still not following ya.

RON: Um, evil things? They look like...well, bloody hell, they can look like anything; that's the trouble, isn't it...

GILES: Good Lord. Hogwarts, did you say?

BUFFY: So this is a real place and not just crazy new kids babbling nonsense?

GILES: Yes, yes, it's quite a prestigious academy. Would have studied there myself, but er...well--my dabbling in the, er, dark arts rather barred me from admittance. [clears throat] Or from coming within ten miles of the school grounds. For life. [turns away and polishes his glasses]

BUFFY: [twirling a wooden stake] I think a little training's in order. Don't you, Giles?

GILES: Well, actually Buffy, I'm not certain we--

HARRY: [snarling and flourishing wand] A duel? My pleasure! Expelli --oof! [BUFFY has kicked him across the room and sent his wand flying]

BUFFY: [catches HARRY's wand and examines it] How cute. You could use it to stake vamps or eat Chinese food.

HERMIONE: It's very important we defeat Voldemort, you see. Already his followers have killed our favorite teacher.

WILLOW: Oh my God, here too! I mean, not Voldi-Guy, but the dead teacher thing--see, there's this vampire Angel, and this teacher Miss Calendar who--well, long story, but I totally understand.

CORDELIA: [to HERMIONE] Okay, wow, I have three words for you: "leave-in conditioner". [pauses, frowns] Or is that only two words?

HERMIONE: Honestly! You're rude, vain, shallow--

CORDELIA: Whoa, hey, I'm just trying to help. I mean, your fashion deficiencies really aren't your own fault, with you being British and all, but you can rise above that! Just look at Liz Hurley!

OZ: So werewolves can teach at your school, huh?

HERMIONE: Well, "one" did, but he was kicked out. It was completely unfair. He's totally normal and harmless as long as he takes his potion.

OZ: There's a potion?

SPIKE, a smirk on his face, enters.

SPIKE: Well, well, well. Hogwarts kiddies, eh? I tasted quite a few of those in my time.

RON: C-c-could he really get into our school?

HERMIONE: [scornfully] No, he couldn't. There's all kinds of magic shields stopping his type from entering.

SPIKE: Yeah, but they don't stop the girlies from slipping off the grounds, do they?

BUFFY: As if any sane girl would climb out her window to meet you.

SPIKE: Oh, you'd be surprised, cupcake. Some of those witchy lassies were actually quite keen on meeting a bloke who had a bit more than a "broomstick" between his legs.

Honestly, from re-reading this delightfully twisted gem of a parody, two things come to mind: 1) I can't wait until the overcooked, three-novels-too-long Harry Potter epic finally ends. 2) God, I miss Buffy.

Thanks, Molly.