Friday, April 29, 2005


Rachel Popkin delenda est

I noticed a large number of hits coming from so I went there to find out if someone linked to us. (Normally I would go to and searched our site but I was lazy) I visited the site and kept running across this message:
The dangers of googling yourself...

I guess the moral of this story is that the limelight comes at a price. Oy. Next time, I'm protesting with a checkboard sign. We'll see what they do to that.
Current Mood: [mood icon] amused

Take a look for yourself. Apparently Rachel did a vanity search for her name and found this link to a photoshop I did not too long ago. A commentator made the observation that this was obviously not personal and since I created the photoshop I concur. However, now it is. Rachel Popkins must be stopped.
Cammermeyer was brought to Harvard in part by the efforts of Rachel K. Popkin ’08, a member of the BGLTSA and co-chair of the BGLTS Person of the Year Award Committee. Popkin’s high school Gay-Straight Alliance faculty adviser knew Cammermeyer, and put them in touch.
Clearly, Popkins is getting too famous for her own good. (And what does the T stand for, oh, nevermind) I see a bloated ego feed by undeserved attention in the glaring spotlight which is Brain Droppings. Hubris, Rachel, is your crime. Spreading your visage in a mistaken attempt to gather sympathy from your fellow Ivy Leagers (I don't care if that is mispelled because I only went to a MOST competitive school) who will bleed real tears of embarrassment for poor Rachel. (Notice I put that aside in about spelling 'cause I am too lazy to spell check this post at 1:43 pm in Moscow) Tak, that is "so" in Russian. Feeling inferior, yet. Tak, I have some more embarrassing info for you elitist (and this definitely is not personal in case any of you figure out who I am and interview me for a job in the future) Harvard types. Rachel did a vanity search shortly after this picture first appeared and she visited our site. (Someone from Harvard searched for "Rachel Popkin" and followed the link to our site) Sooooo, or Takkkk, Rachel has, maybe, known about her picture on this site for a while. However bad this looks well, it is up to you.

Rachel, if you are a student at Harvard, or any college because I have discovered in my 37 years that educations and intellects can be wasted, stop condemning anyone who questions if the differences between men and women are genetic or societal or some mixture of the the two. It is anti-intellectual to protest this line of inquiry. We do not know and so we should not refuse to argue this issue even if feminists would like to Dworkin this question. Please. One of the reasons I moved to Russia is to get away from women who made the personal political and I am hoping that I can save you from leading a bitter, bile-filled life as a advocate for a issues that have yet to be resolved.

Pax, Bill C

P.S. Rachel, you are hot.


Rachel found us and her response is full of all the snarky sarcasm you would expect of a sophomore:
I'm glad someone out there cares enough to "save [me] from leading a bitter, bile-filled life as a advocate for a issues that have yet to be resolved." After reading this comment, at first I was bitter and, one might say, bile-filled. But then I realized the truth: I've been wasting my time working on issues that haven't yet been resolved. Clearly, what I should have been doing all along is advocating issues that have already been resolved!

Bill C, how can I thank you for the enormous impact you've had on this "desperately lonely feminist?" Really, tell me - I'm in your debt
How about this for an issue? Anyone who protests against studying a question because their ideology demands that certain premises should never be questioned is wasting their time in college. I am extremely disappointed in your attitude because what you are doing is trying to silence Larry Summers for merely suggesting that genetic differences in intellect between men and women be studied. Is your ideology so weak that you cannot stand these questions being raised? Doesn't this situation remind you of anything?

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Mark Bechtel: Clueless and living in the past

It's no wonder he writes for Sports Illustrated

I agree with Rich Miller. I don't like to call people names though, so I'll just mention that Bechtel actually admits to being an avid Indians fan. Enough said.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Make the Democrats actually filibuster

Let the country hear what they have to say

I agree with Dick Morris. Democratic idiocy and obstinacy would be on display for the whole nation to see 24/7. Too bad Senate Republicans are unwilling to even temporarily disrupt their own pampered lifestyles, which shows where their priorities lie.


One Million Ex-Communists in China?

According to The Epoch Times, one million people have resigned from the Chinese Communist Party in the last six months. (Via JunkYardBlog)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Los Angeles, Mexico?

Is a Spanish language TV station marketing Los Angeles as part of Mexico? Absolutely outrageous, if true.

(Via Polipundit)


Liberals and Self-Defense

Should the law should compel capitulation?

The Florida legislature has just passed a law giving any person " the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm." Liberals don't like this one bit:
"It's almost like a duel clause," said state Rep. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat and former federal prosecutor whose wife is a state prosecutor. "People ought to have to walk away if they can."
That last sentence sums up liberal philosophy pretty well. Contrary to what the critics say, this measure will encourage civilized behavior.

Monday, April 25, 2005


The Gospel according to the liberal, secular elite

The Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) is heading the way of the Dodo and they only have themselves to blame

As I have pointed out before in two posts, I think the ECUSA is in deep trouble because Episcopalians of conscience are moving to establish their own church. If you are interested in keeping up with the details of this schism I highly recommend the website run by David Virtue, virtueonline. This site chronicle's the political battles that are involved in a schism and are fascinating even if you are not interested in the underlying reasons behind them. Virtueonline has a section for satire but they cannot compete with what is really happening within the church today:

TURNING TO THE US THIS WEEK, another parish in Montgomery, Alabama has split from the diocese and the national church after taking about all it could from Bishop Henry Parsley. The 1,600-member Church of the Ascension told the bishop enough was enough and they have left with more than 80 per cent of the congregation. Last week the Rev. John Michael Van Dyke, rector of the Church was told by the bishop he could not speak to an adult Bible class about the state of the Episcopal Church. The rector complied and now he has taken most of his congregation and fled the apostate bishop and formed a new parish in the Anglican Communion called "Christchurch." The new parish will meet at a Montgomery Presbyterian church until a permanent location is found. This is the second time in less than six months a Montgomery Episcopal church has split from the national church over its appointment of an openly gay bishop.

And in the DIOCESE OF ALABAMA a new twist in what is euphemistically called the "Discernment" process took place this week. A VirtueOnline reader wrote to say that he was told by a person wanting to work through the discernment process that as part of their "experiences" they are required to visit "gay bars" so that they will better understand the gays in potential parishes. "I just can't imagine why/how being hit on by gays in a bar could possibly make someone a better priest," he wrote. Another question might be what sort of gospel these new priests have to proclaim to gays. One doubts they have any. Inclusion is not the gospel, redemption is.

And in the DIOCESE OF NEWARK, their ultra liberal bishop John Croneberger is stepping down because his wife is ill. The diocese is in free fall with some 30-40 parishes ready to close. His replacement will be just as revisionist, you can be sure, Louie Crew will see to that. A woman priest in the diocese told VirtueOnline that Croneberger has three gay children which must be depressing enough in itself. The revisionist bishop voted to approve the election of V. Gene Robinson, spoke out against the war in Iraq and recently refused to enact a moratorium on blessing same-sex couples - even though other U.S. bishops had agreed to the temporary ban.

AND TO ADD yet another arrow to a mortally wounded church, a communique from a pro-life organization, the American Life League, says that the nation's largest abortion chain has invited Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson to keynote an interfaith prayer breakfast at Planned Parenthood's annual conference in Washington this month. In an interview with Planned Parenthood, Robinson said, "We encourage our folks to take this very private issue seriously. We urge them to talk to their priests about it and to think through all the questions they might have. And then we absolutely stand behind a woman's right to choose." He added a plug for Planned Parenthood's "extraordinarily fine work."

And in the DIOCESE OF CONNECTICUT, the pain is being ratcheted up on the six orthodox priests who have defied their revisionist bishop Andrew Smith. This week six retired orthodox bishops wrote to Smith telling him exactly what they think of his actions. You can read that in today's digest. Smith is threatening them with inhibition and deposition because they refuse to toe the pansexual line he demands of them.

One wonders how, every time The Episcopal Church falls on its sword, it manages to miss a vital organ; perhaps the idea is to have a slow painful death with accumulated wounds.
While reading these accounts of life within the church I was a bit sceptical, at first. They are so over the top as to make one wonder what could the leadership of the ECUSA be thinking? Are they trying to drive people away? Is their goal a church of leftists who toe the line on political and moral questions like homosexuality? And you know what, I think that is exactly what they want. Leftists are self-righteous to the point that they do not tolerate opinions that are not completely in agreement with their worldview. All that is left is for orthodox Anglicans/Episcopalians to realize that they either accept what they are being feed or leave. In my opinion, what is left is a fight over assets. The ECUSA or what is left of it can have their new "church" and the orthodox will have the people. It is just a question of who keeps the keys to the building.

John O adds: I hope nobody fights them over those old Tampa Bay Buccaneer creamcycle vestments.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Actress blames US for 9/11 attacks

Maggie Gyllenhaal, star of a film about the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, says the attacks were our fault:
"I think what's good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just, 'Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them,'" Gyllenhaal told the NY1 cable channel.

"Because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way and so I think the delicacy with which it's dealt allows that to sort of creep in," she added.
I hope the movie bombs at the box office and her career suffers because of this. I know I'll never see any of her work.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Sunni Arabs Parties Accept Democracy?

Seperating the sociopaths from the psychopaths

According to Chrenkoff, two major Sunni political parties apparently have decided to accept democracy and participate in the next Iraqi elections. Strategypage assesses the current situation:
Attacks on civilians are still attempts to discourage people from cooperating with the government, or to encourage support for the terrorists. But once you do a lot of this, you are tagged a loser. Such terror only works if you can do it on a large enough scale to control the entire population. But the terrorists are almost entirely Sunni Arabs, and more and more of their terror is being directed against other Sunni Arabs. This isn't working, with Islamic terrorist becoming more and more unpopular among Sunni Arabs. This has not changed the attitudes of Sunni Arabs, who are not happy with being out of power, and reduced to the status of a minority (about 20 percent of the population.) But the Sunni Arabs have concluded that terrorism won't get them back in power quickly. So the plan now is to take the long way around, cooperate, and stage a coup down the road, when conditions are right. That's worked in the past.

Meanwhile, the Sunni Arabs are leaving it to the government to deal with the terrorists. Aside from individual Sunni Arabs joining the police, the Sunni Arab leadership is not sticking its neck out to oppose the terrorists. All this passes for progress in Iraq.
Yes, it does.


Being Jewish in England

Bookworm has a post linking to the Jerusalem Post talking about a boycott of of Israeli Academics in Britain. It reminded me of this article I saw on Living in Moscow I have contact with a lot of Europeans and I get a chance to discuss politics on occasion. Of course, once I make my opinions known I usually am accused of being brainwashed by right-wing media or of being a holy roller, Jesus lover. I should say that not all Euro types are ragging moonbats but a whole lot more than I have met in Chicago. And that is saying something because I lived in the heart of bluest Chicago, the North Side, where the white wine flows freely and the brie is always soft.

I think their is a good deal of projection going on with the Euros who assume that I am the one being fed a steady diet of biased information and I only need to open my eyes to the real world. After saying this they usually ask if I have heard of Noam Chomsky. I actually had someone tell me to stop watching CNN International because it was too biased to the right. Try keeping a straight face when you hear that. During my first 7 or so months in Moscow I only had access CNN International, BBC, Euronews and Sky News. In that line up CNN International is actually pretty far right. Given what I have seen I think Europe may be too far gone. At least their elites seem to be drinking from the same cup as the moonbats in the U.S. In this atmosphere it is not surprising that anti-semitism is raising its ugly head.

Update: Bookworm has more and I agree with her, it makes me sick. And to answer her question from the comments, I really can't believe that the radical left has hitched its wagon to the Islamist cause. How far does enemy of my enemy go before a political alliance is ridiculous? Don't answer that, we are seeing the result today.

Friday, April 22, 2005


The Permanent Cover Up

OpinionJournal reports that three Democratic Senators (Kerry, Durbin & Dorgan) are trying to block a report that details Clinton administration misuse of the IRS and the Justice Department for political purposes:
So what don't Democrats want everyone to know? We're told that early on the Barrett probe moved away from Mr. Cisneros and his mistress and focused on an attempted cover-up by the Clinton Administration, especially involving the IRS.

Back in the early '90s Mr. Cisneros was considered the rising savior of the Democratic Party in Texas. "So there were people who wanted to save his political future," a source tells us. To that end, when the IRS began investigating him for tax fraud an extraordinary thing happened: The investigation was taken from the IRS district office that would always handle such an audit and moved to Washington, where it was killed.

"Never in the history of the IRS has a case been pulled out of the regional office and taken directly to Washington," our source continues. This information was originally provided to Mr. Barrett, some years into his investigation, by a whistleblower in the IRS regional office with 30 years of experience.

Using his subpoena power, Mr. Barrett also found that the IRS would not have been able to kill the case on its own. It had to have cooperation from the Justice Department, particularly the Public Integrity and Tax divisions. We're told Mr. Barrett beat back several attempts by Justice to squelch or otherwise limit his investigation, and that a lot of important names from the Clinton era appear in the report. One key figure is likely to be former Clinton Administration IRS Commissioner Peggy Richardson, a prominent Texas Democrat, and a friend of both Mr. Cisneros and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Satan disappointed in new Pope

Speaking at a news conference in hell, Satan expressed deep sadness that the Catholic church did not chose a Pope that was more open to dialogue with evil. "The selection of this Pope shows that me and my minions are more willing to engage in temptation..I mean cooperation than the Catholic church."

At one point Satan almost broke down in tears as he described his failed attempts to get the Catholic church to accept modern notions of compassion like euthansia for the afflicted, abortion for the unwanted and a clergy open to all who might want to join. "And what is the creed of the Church? That is for the Grand Inquisitor to decide. Everything else - especially faithful attempts to question and understand the faith itself - is "human trickery." It would be hard to over-state the radicalism of this decision."

"Until the church is more willing to accept pure evil there will be those who will feel left out of their club", Satan said.

(HT: Dirty Harry at Jackson's Junction)

Holy s*** he's Catholic, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Dow 10,000!

Today, just a few short minutes ago the Dow just touched 10,000. (10,000.5 to be persnickety) The Dow Industrial average first crossed the magical 10,000 number 6 years ago in March of 1999. Do you remember that? I remember that the exchange passed out baseball caps with "10,000" on them. Do you think anybody is wearing their caps today? Me neither.

This is what a market top looks like. It is a long process because the top is the end of a bull market that goes back to at least the early 90's. I say 'at least' because if we are correcting a bull market of larger degree then we are talking about many more years and/or much bigger declines in price. I know this is not easy to get charts for the non-trader who does not pay for market price data but it is worth getting a chart (semilog scale to account for the percentage difference between prices today and those in the past) of the Dow going back 100 years.

For one, you will get an idea how rare a period of time the early 80's to the late 90's was for the stock market. Also, you will see real bear markets like the fast decline of the 30's and the long slow bear of the 70's and early 80's. You will see the insignificance of the crash of 1987. It will give you a benchmark for when this bear market will be over. It isn't, yet.

For a trader, markets that are in the position like the Dow are a dream. You can make a bet that prices will decline, and if they don't, you will know exactly where you are wrong and you will know it very quickly. If the Dow goes above 11,000 then it is time to go back to the drawing boards. You're reward might be a price decline below 5,000. A pretty good risk reward ratio if you ask me. I am not recommending anybody do anything. (Because I don't want to get sued) Rather, I want you to know the potential for this bear market. So have a nice day and remember, earning 2% in a C.D. is better than owning GM right now.


Where are the antiwar activists on Darfur? II

As John O points out, the war protestors are conspicuously absent from protesting war against the peoples of Darfur. Juanabe Cole seems to think that the conflict is blown out of proportion and he strangely (ok, it really isn't that strange) parrots the Sudanese government on the subject:

But, again, this wouldn't be the first time John wrote apologetics (especially on behalf of Arabism), even as Darfur was almost completely ignored and brushed aside by the Arab league and much of the Arab press. Ironically, the fact that he brought in the "Zionists" into this, accusing them of "creating" categories is eerily similar to the official line from Khartoum! Once again, Cole and the tyrannical regimes are practically indistinguishable. I'm not even going to bother commenting on that insane Farrakhan-like statement about "Zionists" planting the seeds of strife between African-Americans and Arab-Americans! That's more nut-house material to be discussed by Cole and his conspiracy theorist friends.

How can anyone take such a poseur seriously?

Good question. How about asking these protestors why they only protest against wars in which the U.S. is involved? What, aren't these scuffles between black people worth your time?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Where are the antiwar activists on Darfur?

So asks Max Boot. (Via Michelle Malkin.) It's a good question. Would any of my antiwar friends care to enlighten us?


Liberals & The Constitution

Progressive disrespect

John Hinderaker writes about a progressive conference on the future of the Constitution:
Last weekend, Yale's chapter of the American Constitutional Society sponsored a conference at Yale Law School titled "The Constitution in 2020." The stated purpose of the conference, at which some of America's best-known liberal law professors appeared, was to work toward a "progressive" consensus as to what the Constitution should provide for by the year 2020, and a strategy for how liberal lawyers and judges might bring such a constitutional regime into being.
To ensure progress, the democratic process must be bypassed altogether:
The left makes no secret of its intentions where the Constitution is concerned. It wants to change it, in ways that have nothing to do with what the document actually says. It wants the Constitution to enshrine its own policy preferences--thus freeing it from the tiresome necessity of winning elections. And how will the Constitution be changed? Through a constitutional convention, or a vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures? Of course not. The whole problem, from the liberal perspective, is that they can't get democratically elected bodies to enact their agenda. As one of the Yale conference participants said: "We don't have much choice other than to believe deeply in the courts--where else do we turn?" The new, improved Constitution will come about through judicial re-interpretation. It only awaits, perhaps, the election of the next Democratic president.
The utter contempt displayed for the deomcratic process is truly frightening. The progressive agenda is to be implemented via judicial fiat. The Left now openly views the Constitution as an impediment to their agenda, which only serves to strengthen my point concerning the urgency of judicial reform.

Bill C:

Bookworm read my mind in her comment in John O's post on Judicial Reform:

Excellent point. The problem with judicial activism is, once you decide that the Constitution can be subject to Derida-like deconstructionism, you're left with nothing. Scary thought and the beginning of anarchy.

Since words have multiple meanings, which are usually defined as to what the interpreter desires, then what is the purpose of precedent? The democratic process allows a society to progress along a path which it finds in keeping with its traditions. Democracy has not been popular with conservatives in the past but history has shown representative democracy is a conservative form of government which is, nonetheless, flexible enough to allow change. Bookworm is right to say that this is the beginning of anarchy. Americans will not tolerate being ruled by elites whose opinions run counter to the majority. I believe that conservatives will enjoy electoral success for a long time to come as long as leftists try to subvert democratic institutions in order to enact their agenda.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Judicial Reform

We must demand respect for our Constitution and our democracy

Bryan Preston comments on this Glenn Reynolds article concerning judicial reform:
The point Professor Reynolds accidentally makes is this: The judiciary's power is now subject to the whims of whoever happens to wield the gavel. His whims lead him one way, but the current justices’ whims lead them another. Without the all but ignored Constitution as an exclusive framework, there is now no fixed principle to decide what is and is not valid and relevant law. Far be it from me to lecture a law professor, but isn’t that what the Constitution is for?

The situation we now find ourselves in, in which foreign law is becoming a real presence in American rulings, was not foreseen by the framers, and was not written into the Constitution. There is no clause authorizing anyone to invoke foreign laws in American courts and using them to formulate decisions. And the judiciary's arbitrary nature when divorced from the Constitution means, essentially, there is no law beyond what the robed ones say is law. Everything, though it is passed and written down at the request of the nation's majority, is now subject to be erased by a quick into the vast grab bag called foreign law. For an example, watch what courts do to democratically-approved laws concerning marriage over the next few years, and note the role played by citations to foreign law.

(Emphasis mine.)

The Constitution is our the founding document of our nation, but too many judges (and politicians) view it as inconvenient or anachronistic. This situation has to change - fast. Swift and thorough judicial reform is absolutely vital if our constitutional democracy is to survive.


Oklahoma City Bombing

Bizblogger summarizes the evidence of an Islamist connection. Via Junkyardblog, which summarizes the myrad unanswered questions.


Iran: U.S. Dismisses Nuclear Tour As 'Staged Media Event'

Ask and you shall receive. A little late but I was on vacation/bored-out-of-my-skull-in-rural-Russia.

The guy without the mask and hat must be out of favor.


Eyes on the Ball News has moved

Yes, our funny friend from Chicago has his own domain. (One of the handful of consevative improvisers in the universe) Enjoy great satire like:

Pacifists For Tyranny Deface Medal Of Honor Monument

Peace activists defaced the Medal of Honor Memorial in Indianapolis last week, taking credit for the action was Bob Ostrich, president of Pacifists For Tyranny. Bob explained his reasoning to us:

"War is bad. I'd rather not be free to say these things, than to have to actually fight for my freedom. Someone might get hurt! After all if you don't fight evil, it won't bother fighting back. Obviously no one will get killed if we refuse to fight!

"Look at the millions dying now in Zimbabwe, or people in Venezuela now. None of them have to die. If we stopped encouraging people to fight tyranny then they wouldn't die! Is freedom really worth more than your life? Quality of life is not important, unless you're retarded or ill, then you are better off dead. But dying for freedom?

"That is why we had to deface the memorial. Because all those men were wrong and evildoers. They could have resisted, gone to Canada, but they did not. Which makes them just as guilty as our Right wing leaders. When will our nation realize how bad and selfish we are and start listening to the rest of the world?

"Give us liberty or give us tyranny!"


John Bolton uses his laser glasses to set Chris Dodd's toupee on fire

Nice to know that since I have been away that the whole John Bolton confirmation is moving along without any grand standing or mudslinging.


Наши (Nashi) vow to Fight Liberals, Bureaucrats

The new Putin youth movement is named the Nashi which translates to Us. That's right, the Nashis are the Putin youth. No irony there!

According to Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst:

It was created to unite tough youth -- such as soccer fans -- who are fit for street fighting and who could face off against other youth gatherings in the street...

...This [Nashi] is an organization of young fighters, a preventive measure against a possible Orange Revolution in Russia.

That sound you here is the sound of bags packing. Apparently fighting fascism involves acting like fascists. At least the Russian sense of humor hasn't been effected.

Delegates on Friday elected five "commissars" -- including Yakemenko -- to serve on Nashi's governing body, the federal council, and the commissars faced mocking questions at a news conference. "Are your parents aware that you are here?" one reporter said, prompting loud laughter.

"Of course my parents know," Mikhail Kulikov said, and his fellow commissars replied affirmatively.

Scraps of Moscow

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Global Governance

David Brooks (registration required - See bugmenot) lists 5 reasons why Americans will never accept it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


DeLay Outlines House Agenda

In a interview with The Washington Times, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay outlines the Republican agenda in the House. Its no wonder the Democrats are so desperate to get rid of him now.

The full transcript of the interview is here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


More Threats From North Korea

An AP story cites a report by Japan's Kyodo News that quotes Selig Harrison, director of the Asia Project of the Center for International Policy, after his recent meeting with Kim Gye-gwan, the North's envoy to 6-party talks and other North Korean officials:
"The United States should consider the danger that we could transfer nuclear weapons to terrorists, that we have the ability to do so," Mr. Harrison quoted Kim Gye-gwan as saying, Japan's Kyodo News service reported.


The Bolton Nomination: A UN Perspective

Unmitigated gall

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's newly appointed chief of staff, Mark Malloch Brown, comments on the Bolton nomination:
I think many of us do think there is a silver lining to this, that a good ambassador from the United States to the U.N. also has to be a good ambassador from the U.N. to Washington.

(Emphasis mine)
An outrageous statement. Does the UN kleptocracy really believe that the American ambassador to the UN must represent their intertests? Have our previous ambassadors fostered this ridiculous and dangerous mentality?

Here's hoping an Ambassador Bolton thoroughly and permanently disabuses Mr. Brown and the rest of the UN kleptocracy of this preposterous notion forthwith.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Tormenting Educrats

George Will writes about Patrick Byrne's 65 percent plan:
His idea — call it The 65 Percent Solution — is politically delicious because it unites parents, taxpayers and teachers while, he hopes, sowing dissension in the ranks of the teachers unions, which he considers the principal institutional impediment to improving primary and secondary education.

The idea, which will face its first referendum in Arizona, is to require that 65 percent of every school district's education operational budget be spent on classroom instruction. On, that is, teachers and pupils, not bureaucracy.
It's a great idea.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Admitting the obvious

Bush isn't getting the credit he deserves

At least one liberal acknowledges that Bush's gambit to spread democracy is actually paying big dividends. Via Bookworm, who adds her own excellent commentary.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Terry Nichols' weapons cache

A mob boss' tip may lead the FBI to link Nichols with al Qaeda

Bryan Preston is right. This looks like big news.

The many unresovled mysteries surrounding the Oklahoma City Bombing have always troubled me. Like Mr. Preston, I have always wondered about Nichols' travels to the Philippines in the months prior to the bombing. Though his then-wife was from Cebu City, he apparently didn't travel there to visit her relatives. At least once, he was in Cebu City (possibly on the same college campus) at the same time as Ramsi Yousef. Lots of other circumstantial evidence points to links between Nichols/McVeigh and al Qaeda. When one adds to all of this our subsequent knowledge about the nature and extent of al Qaeda's activities in this country at the time and considers that known al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla very much resembles the sketch of Oklahoma City bombing suspect John Doe #2, whom the FBI mysteriously stopped looking for, it's not far fetched to conclude that the Clinton administration seriously - and maybe intentionally - botched the investigation.


Florida Legislature Takes on Liberal Universities

Last week, Bill C. posed the question, "(I) s it time for our state legislators to step in and encourage the hiring of people with various points of view in the interest of education?"

Florida Republican State Rep. Dennis Baxley answers with a resounding "yes":
The measure (HB 837) deliberated by the House Education Council on Tuesday tromps into areas usually reserved for court opinions and university policy. It would give students the right to hear a range of opinions and to receive an education not infringed upon "by instructors who persistently introduce controversial matter." While affirming professors' rights to discuss their field, it says "they should make their students aware of serious scholarly viewpoints other than their own."

In introducing the bill, Rep. Baxley cited an election-eve visit by Michael Moore as a catalyst for this legislation. Curiously, he neglected to explain that Moore's visit was at the request of a student club, not university administrators, which means that it would not be covered by his proposed measure.

Notwithstanding, kudos to Rep. Baxley for daring to take such a Politically Correct stand on the issue of equal access. In fact, one could make the case that it's eerily similar to the Left's attempts to reinstate the Fairness in Media Doctrine, and I know what you all think of THAT idea.

In this time of reduced budgets and tightening belts, is it really in the best interest of universities to have to spend money defending themselves from lawsuits brought on the behalf of students who feel that Intelligent Design wasn't given the same level of attention as Evolution in their Biology class, or that their Poly Sci teacher spent 15 minutes more on a liberal vs. conservative point of view over the course of a semester?

OK, so the delta is probably more like 15 hours than 15 minutes these days, but what is the right ratio, and how could it be accurately monitored in a classroom setting? This measure creates more problems than it solves - it seems more like a grandstanding play by Rep. Baxley than a true attempt to institute new legislation.

But oh, to be a teacher (or a lawyer) in Florida if it passes...

Bill O.


The Iraqi Insurgency

Wretchard comments on the recent change in insurgent tactics:
It definitely shows to what great a depth the enemy resistance was prepared and how much they had invested in the Iraqi campaign in the long months while US diplomats tortuously attempted to obtain permission to topple Saddam Hussein. I believe that historians in retrospect will understand the Iraqi insurgency was not something spontaneously ignited by outbreaks of looting in Baghdad in the aftermath of OIF, but a meeting engagement between two prepared forces. Iraq, as Princeton's Michael Doran observed, was intended to be the graveyard of America's counteroffensive against terror. Instead the enemy dug the grave for themselves. What we are seeing now is not simply the rout of a few armed men, but terror's greatest defeat in modern times.
I'm reasonably optomistic about democracy's chances in Iraq and the likelihood that the US will score a strategic victory against the terrorists. Though the fighting isn't over and we haven't really won anything yet, it is obvious that Islamic terrorists have suffered a strategic setback in Iraq.

Also, Austin Bay posts a description of what would constitute victory in the GWOT from "a senior military officer now serving in the Middle East." Bay's own thoughts on what would constitute an acceptable end state in Iraq are here.


Bill Roggio offers his thoughts on the situation:
Critics of the Iraq War often cite the polarizing effect the American occupation will have on the Muslim world. But as Fatma, Abdullah and a host of other Iraqis who are turning in the jihadis they used to admire demonstrate, it is al Qaeda and the Islamofascists who are being marginalized in the Muslim world. Because of this Iraq is serving as a graveyard of radical Islam.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Liberalism is mostly a set of attitudes...

...mixed with very malleable principles.

So writes Thomas Sowell:
Liberals may think of themselves as people who believe in certain principles but, if you observe their actual behavior, you are likely to discover that most liberals have a certain set of attitudes, rather than principles.

Liberals may denounce "greed," for example, but in practice it all depends on whose greed. Nothing the government does is ever likely to be called "greed" by liberals.
(Via Bookworm)

I just love that observation about Liberals and greed. It's true of any attribute they despise. The whole article is right on the money.


Mexican Politics

Instability ahead?

A.M. Mora y Leon describes the effect Mexico's migration policy is having on that country:
As a substitute for reform, Fox encouraged Mexicans to skip over the border to the US, to take up life as illegal aliens - and send dollars back to Mexico. Ten percent of Mexican voters now live in the US legally or illegally, but they account for fifty percent of Mexico's purchasing power.

...there are whole villages whose only residents are women and children - all of the men have gone to the US to work illegally - so the children grow up fatherless. This is a huge price to pay just to get a job. No one should be driven by circumstances to do this. And to have a cynical government encouraging this kind of life so it can benefit by the dollar remittances, which beef up foreign exchange reserves and permit the government to finance itself without having to worry about growing the tax base, is an outrage.
Mexico's real problem, of course, is a lack of political reform. Mora y Leon says this is angering the electorate and could "easily lead to civil unrest, something which may be even worse than a Hugo Chavez at our border."

Monday, April 04, 2005


Bolton's Letter of Support

In response to a letter opposing John Bolton's nomination as UN ambassodor, 64 retired arms control specialists and diplomats composed a letter in support. Via Captain Ed, who offers his assessment of the situation:
The United Nations is a disgrace. The US should not send someone to Turtle Bay that would make the current corrupt and incompetent regime comfortable. We need to make them as uncomfortable as possible. John Bolton will not shrink from that task, and he will demand that any UN-negotiated treaties and sanctions carry verification and substantial penalties for failure. Had the UN not transformed itself into the League of Nations for the past fourteen years and allowed the permanent members of the Security Council to be bought off with Iraqi oil futures, then Bolton's nomination would not be necessary. The UN will get the US ambassador it has plainly earned.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Terri Schiavo's Blog

Rather reluctantly, I must admit to having found this (via Niccolo Manfredi) funny. I also found it deeply disturbing. The comments are especially sickening.


GOP crack-up? Pardon my guffaw

In an entertaining column in today's Sun-Times, Mark Stein draws the right conclusion concerning the political ramifications of the Terri Schiavo affair:
The Republicans did the right thing here, and they won't be punished for it by the electors. As with abortion, this will be an issue where the public moves slowly but steadily toward the conservative position: Terri Schiavo's court-ordered death will not be without meaning. As to 'crack-ups,' that's only a neurotic way of saying that these days most of the intellectual debate is within the right. If, like the Democrats, all you've got are lockstep litmus tests on race and abortion and all the rest, what's to crack up over? You just lose elections every two years, but carry on insisting, as Ted Kennedy does, that you're still the majority party. Ted's quite a large majority just by himself these days, but it's still not enough.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Explosives found in former home of Terry Nichols?

JunkYardBlog links to this report that FBI investigators found "explosive components" -- including blasting caps -- inside the former Kansas home of Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols. Bryan Preston is right that this report raises a lot of questions.


A Petition Drive in China

Bill Rice comments on this New York TImes article (registration required - see bugmenot) about a first of its kind petition drive in China. It's purpose is to express opposition to a permanent seat for Japan on the UN Security Council. It's a very interesting development.

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