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Friday, September 30, 2005



Marc wrote: "As part of my escalating plan to dominate all media...."

From the New York Daily News: "Peter Jennings reportedly earned as much as $10 million a year. His will lists $50 million in personal property and $3.5 million in real property in New York. In addition...."

See the tie-in? I'm not suggesting that Marc had anything to do with Jennings' death, but it shows what Marc stands to gain with his media domination. The plan is clear. I just didn't know that he and rosedog were making this much as journalists...and, I write here for free just to help mankind.


Marc, I apologize for off-topic, but I'm curious why in the Front Page Symposium posted today, you didn't mention the NO Times-Picayune and LA Times pieces which debunk some of the worst myths about Katrina, specifically the rapes and murders (especially of children) at the Superdome and Convention Center. Indeed, your comments seemed to reinforce the impression that these incidents happened.

richard lo cicero

Now that you're challenging Howard Stern for the title "King of All Media" I eagerly await your satillite radio deal.

Mr. Plow

I have the feeling that someone is about to be banned from the site.

John Moore

Once you dominate all media, would you have the national media please give us maps of disaster areas - such as where the "Topanga Fire" really is (is it in Topanga Canyon or just somewhere around Topanga Canyon Road). I've seen hours of fire footage - dramatic all right - but it doesn't show where it is. This is a consistent characteristic of national news, and is clearly a corporatist plot to keep me from knowing the status of my old haunts!


Good L, R & C show, Marc!

John Moore.... About the so-called Topanga fire.....Topanga Canyon is fine. The blaze probably should have been called the “118 Freeway Fire,’ but evidently that wasn’t as romantic sounding. (Plus, many of the TV reporters first on the scene, AKA the folks who tend to coin such names, seem to have only the most distant of relationships with street maps.)

The fire never really crossed the 101 Freeway---except for one nasty moment when the firefighters set a back fire in Calabasas and it briefly got away from them.

A good map that shows the actual area that burned, plus the path of the fire, is on the LA Times website. Go here, then click on the graphic labeled, “Path of the Flames” over on the right side of the page:


Also, here’s a satellite photo---which actually doesn’t tell you all that much but is cool to see:


In Topanga Canyon itself, although the fire never got close (ash, yes, fire no) we were still possessed of irrational jitters because, with the record rains of this past winter, we have an unusual amount of vegetation now drying around us during these Santa Ana winds. Some experts have been predicting that this---together with the projected over-dry weather to come--- will make for a “perfect storm” fire year in LA County. As a consequence, Wednesday night many of us---my son and me included---made several trips up to the ridge over looking the San Fernando Valley to stare unhappily at the panorama of flames and roiling smoke as it doubled and tripled in size.

Now the thing’s moving rapidly toward containment, with 20,000 acres burned but only 2 homes lost, I think, and no truly serious injuries. Even most of the animals got out---at least the domestic animals.(My cop friends told me that one critter-obsessed equine unit LAPD officer spent 2 ½ hours Wednesday afternoon talking a resident's recalcitrant horse into a trailer so the beast could be carted out of harm’s way.)

Yet, I’m afraid it’s going to be a long fire season.

John Moore


Thanks for the report. I was thinking of you when I heard the name. It turns out there is a place named "Topanga" on the north side of the valley, and that's where the fire got its name.

Having watched the Malibu fire of 1971 (or some year near there), I can appreciate your worry. All you need is a strong high pressure system to the NE or N of you, and the Santa Ana winds will be bad news.

Good luck.


Well, nope. There's not another Topanga. We're it. But the fire started near where Topanga Canyon Blvd. hits the 118 Freeway at the north end of the San Fernando Valley, hence the name. (In 1993, the press insisted on calling what was truly the last big Topanga fire, the Malibu fire. So whatcha gonna do?)

Marc Cooper

Brainster... Good point. the reason is simple. The symposium took place by email and was concluded about a week before the Times-Picayune piece came out.

John Moore: Rosedog has pretty much answered ur question. Though I live a lot closer to the fire than she does (she lives IN Topanga). The blaze started in the NW corner of the SFV and burned down the western ridge toward the south. I live pretty much where that western ridge crosses the 101 freeway.

If you look at the LA Times map that 'dog has posted, I live between what's marked as Calabasas and Hidden Hills.

The fire came the closest at its peak last nite-- about 2 miles as the crow flies. All our cars are covered in ash.
The swimming pool tonight looks like clam chowder! But I went to Sta Monica beach this late afternoon to do some fishing and the sunset was Key West-glorious thanks to teh remaining smoke in the air. (fishing was great!)



You live between Hidden Hills and Calabasas? I used to work in Simi Valley and drove past multi-million-dollar houses in those areas, thinking that "I hate these capitalist pigs, and I want to be one of them someday". Turns out you're one of those capitalist pigs.

Marc Cooper

OInk Oink.. no, seriously. The houses in Hidden Hills indeec costs millions.. but I dont live IN HH, rather between there and Calabasas. Homes in Calabasas run between 1/2 million and a million or so. We dont live there either,,, we lve in Woodland Hils.. Some real expensvie homes, so not so much. We live a comfortable, modest home, that is common for professiona, middle class types... not very piggy at all,,, but we can dream cant we?


> The attacks on the World Trade Center had nothing to do
> with our freedoms, and there's no compelling reason to
> forever monumentalize such a mistaken notion.

Dude, this is totally wrong. Bin Laden's specific and immediate goal with the attacks was to drive US troops out of Saudi Arabia-- because they were comprised of Jewish and Christian infidels, and worst still, women. If the US had been sensitive to his Wahhabist sensitivities, the Saudi garrison would be comprised only of Muslim-American soldiers. Had that been the case, bin Laden would have no cause and no grievance. But the thing is, in the US military, people of all faiths are free to serve, as are women. So the attack was very much motivated by hatred of our freedoms. And that's not even mentioning Al Qaeda's intellectual lodestone, Sayyid Qutb, who formed his hatred for the US after a visit to that roiling heart of decadence, Greeley, Colorado, where he came to hate America because of its open sexuality, its secularism, the freedom of its women, and the success of its Jewish population. It's not a photograph of bin Laden stabbing the Bill of Rights, but the connection is about as obvious.

Mark A. York

It's west of Chatsworth in the Santa Susana Mountains and south to Calabassass. There's no media conspiracy to involve Topanga for effect. It's real.


Just read the Times Op Ed, Marc. Nice job.

I figured the fire was getting mighty close to you. (Sorry about the clam chowder.)

Mark York. Nah, it's definitely a nefarious media plot. There's only one city of Topanga in the state of California, Latitude 34.09 & Longitude -118.60.

As for other Topanga-related points of So Cal geography: Topanga Canyon Blvd, or State Route 27, runs from the 118 Freeway south terminating at Pacific Coast Hwy. Old Topanga Canyon Road splits off from Topanga Canyon Blvd at the city center, winds through the hills a bit and terminates at Mullholland Drive near Valley Circle. Topanga State Beach is….at the beach where Rt. 27 meets the Pacific Ocean and includes Topanga Point. Topanga State Park is 11,000 wildland acres running from Topanga Canyon to Pacific Palisades, with eastern border at Rustic Canyon.

That's it. No more Topangas. (Unless you want to count the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest that began to Topanga but is now held at the Paramount Ranch, which wasn't burning anyway, so who cares?)

The only one of the above that was ever even a teensy-weensy bit fire-threatened was the northern section of Topanga Canyon Blvd. in the Chatsworth area where the blaze started.

Therefore this misnamed fire thing is clearly a ghastly conspiracy to draw attention away from the true dangers posed to journalistic mogul/fishman, Marc Cooper---and his swimming pool---as he attempts to dispute the fact that THEY HATE US BECAUSE OF OUR FREEDOM!!!

I don't understand why it all isn't entirely obvious to you.


make that "began in Topanga..." about the fiddle contest.

PS: We Topangans take this fire moniker thang very personally because all of our out-of-state friends and relatives keep leaving hysterical "Are you burning???!!!" messages on our collective voice mails, and then seem slightly disappointed to find that we're not.

Jim Rockford

WJA -- I think Marc is both right and wrong. Right in that our constitutional democracy, however imperfect, had no bearing on the 9/11 attacks. Wrong in that the 1993 WTC bombing and the 2001 attacks, were planned by much the same people (Khalid Sheik Muhammed, various Egyptian Islamic Jihad folks) who all knew each other or were related. In that sense the murders of our diplomats by the PLO and the 9/11 mass murders should all be seen as part of the same Islamic Jihad continuum. The reaction of societies profoundly threatened by capitalism, personal and social mobility, and the high rate of societal change in the West that provides massive material success (and the critique that Islamism is simply a failure), unable to change itself and seeking some "magic sword" to defeat the West.

Bin Laden (and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Zawahari's group, which later merged with bin Laden's, don't forget EIJ sought in 1993 to kill 50,000 people by toppling one tower into another) would have sought to attack us regardless of US soldiers on "sacred" Saudi soil or not, because we were the leading Western Nation and Al Qaeda seeks a global caliphate. Hence we must be destroyed. Qutb thought the same thing IIRC.

I would also say that Marc is wrong about WHAT the IFC sought to do. Which was IMHO to erase memory of the attacks by presenting a picture of a "racist" America. The efffect would be like putting Hiroshima exhibits at Pearl Harbor and having no Arizona Memorial. Or putting memorials to the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, horrors of Manila, and Japanese Germ Warfare murders at Manzanar. It is quite simply an insult to the event that the centers are designed to memorialize.

What does Native American genocide, lynchings, Jim Crow segregation, the Third Reich etc. have to do with 9/11? Nothing unless the intent is simply to put in the memory hole the events of 9/11 which the media and Dems have tried to do from the beginning. The events of that day SHOULD be memorialized. The IFC could have a site anywhere else, but chose not to after being booted. Booted btw with the support of the FDNY, NYPD, victims families, Hillary Clinton, and other right wing nutcases. Which suggests that the entire purpose was to simply erase 9/11 from public view.

Marc, I think you are wrong about the response to the 9/11 attacks by the Dems and Reps. Dems world-view and mental models of the world seemed to hold that 9/11 happened because it was "our fault" somehow. Reps largely held it was a failure of deterrence and promised military action to fix that problem.

Jim Rockford

Marc -- congrats on your growing presence. I don't always agree with you but I find your articles and comments on the radio always well thought out and provocative. A lot of your stuff makes me rethink my assumptions and who can ask for more?

Congrats again!

"In that sense the murders of our diplomats by the PLO"


Larry Kerry

Won't you please come forward and defend Bill Bennett? Let's get a real discussion going about race in America. Political correctness is the opiate of progressives.

Abbas-Ali Abadani

Brilliant insights once again from Rockford and Au.

But frankly I'm surprised that neither one of these astute observers has brought up another 9/11 memorial that is far more problematic than the Freedom Center.

Namely the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania which is SHAPED LIKE A GIANT CRESCENT!!! and, adding insult to injury, FACES MECCA!!!



If this isn't proof positive that the liberal media, the Dems and the French are not only enablers of Jihadism, but outright FELLOW TRAVELLERS!!! then I don't know what is.

Abbas-Ali Abadani

On a serious note, I couldn't help but think of Rockford, and the tens of millions of Rockfords out there who don't post here, when I read this.


Recently, the must-read Billmon meditated on the "genocidal skeletons hanging in the American closet" after being exposed to war-gore-for-porn exchange offered to American combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He explained that up to that point, he was conflicted about an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. But after seeing what the war is doing to the minds and psyches of this generation of soldiers and Marines, Billmon reached a decision:

"We have to get out -- not because withdrawal will head off civil war in Iraq or keep the country from falling under Iran's control (it won't) but because the only way we can stop those things from happening is by killing people on a massive scale, probably even more massive than the tragedy we supposedly would be trying to prevent."

In other words, to achieve what we claim we wish to achieve in this "war on terror," we must go the Full Tilt Gonzo Nugent route. We must open every fascist pore and show no pity on the guilty or the innocent. We must condition ourselves to endless death, torture, misery and destruction. Anything less is abdication and surrender.

While a majority of Americans have, for the moment, turned against the above scenario, one wonders what would happen should even a mini-9/11 occur stateside. Americans are so conditioned to believe that they are uniquely good and that their country exists outside of history that another terrorist attack might send them back to the simple pleasures of "You fuck with us and we'll fucking melt you." Any attempt to put the madness into perspective will once again be seen as treason -- only next time I suspect that attacks on dissenters, who'll be viewed (and already are viewed by many) as a diseased single unit, will go beyond the verbal and rhetorical. Islamic fascists have a lot in common with our domestic Phalange, and any attack unleashed by the former will re-energize and further empower the latter.


Please, Abbas-Ali Abadani, I think Marc has been very wise to stay away from that story. I mean, he would have do do something really repulsive, like reading crap from people like Michelle Malkin. David Neiwert does a good job of dissecting that crud already:


Abbas-Ali Abadani

Sarcasm, grasshopper.

It is as elusive as the autumn wind, as swift as the cheetah.

You must keep your eyes open for it, lest it pass right by, or over, you.


I've been looking this thread over from a purely literary perspective and I'm still undecided whether the best line is the one about "that roiling heart of decadence, Greely Colorado" or the last bit with the autumn wind and the cheetah (more poetic, but I like the irony of the former - and okay, so I didn't read every line of Rockford, but his stuff generally has all of the flair of a "Guns & Ammo" article, so I doubt I missed much.)

Good stuff, but I'm still waiting for Mork to chime in one of these days with a topper to "preening moral onanism."


Regarding AAA's post about Billmon, here's a related bit from the Saturday LA Times most of you must have seen. Reading it was one of the more stunning "Now they tell us!!!" moments I can recall.

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. generals running the war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.

During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East.

For all these reasons, they said, a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops was imperative.

(More...Byline Mark Mazetti, LA Times, 10/1/05)

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