Tuesday, May 31, 2005



The Right Place is putting together a Donktionary in order to "aid Conservatives, Republicans and Independents everywhere in more fully understanding the political debate in modern-day America." (Via Polipundit.) I thought I'd contribute the following entries:

ACCOUNTABLILITY: A concept uniquely applicable domestically to Republican presidents and globally to the United States.

ACTIVIST: Disaffected malcontent; selfish, self absorbed pain in the ass. Motivated to 'do something' out of spite/malice or a burning desire for personal fulfillment rather than an ambition to actually help people or advance a given cause in any way.

CHECKS AND BALANCES: Policy of political gridlock employed in the Senate to stop change and frustrate the outcome of repeated elections. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the constitutional structure of our federal government.

Fundraising source for Clinton Presidency, rather than an oppressive, conniving, despotic, corrupt, murderous dictatorship morphing into a fascist regime that spies on the US and is currently arming itself at a rapid pace with American technology for the express purpose of killing Americans. A Democratic Party ally.

CNN: American equivalent of al Jazeera. Reality TV known to show America in the least favorable light possible and to disseminate propaganda for dictators free of charge.

EXIT STRATEGY: Prematurely quit, abandon or somehow give up on a course of action.

FAILURE: Any policy with which the left disagrees that doesn't show immediate reslults.

FAIR: Extortive.

An entity known for intensely scrutinizing US actions, especially the treatment of terrorists in its custody, but which generally ignores the behavior of Leftist governments. See Activist above.

ILLEGITIMATE: Any outcome contrary to Leftist dogma.

LEGITIMATE: Bestowed on any outcome that comports with Leftist dogma or receives the sanction of an unelected, unaccountable 'international body.'

MAINSTREAM: Leftist dogma.

Unattainable by Republicans with a majority of the popular vote; 43% of the popular vote required for Democrats to claim one.


Criminal mastermind who deserves a fair trial before an international tribunal rather than a terrorist psychopath who deserves swift, American style military justice.

NEGOTIATE: Appease or capitulate, especially to terrorists.


QUAGMIRE: War during a Republican administration.

RIGHTS: Something bestowed upon people by benevolent courts.

SUPPORT: Undermine, demoralize.

TRUTH: Bad news; Good news is US propaganda.

UNILATERAL: Any US policy not supported by France.

Politically erotic reality TV for delusional Liberals.

WORLD OPINION: Determined by UN bureaucrats appointed by corrupt/unelected despots with support from their allies in the EU and in the global media.

Monday, May 30, 2005



The US and the Iraqi governments have launched a co-ordinated offensive against the terrorist insurgency. Following reports that Syrian soldiers have been found fighting in Iraq, the US has exerted new diplomatic pressure on Syria to crack down on insurgent activity within its borders; Syria seems to have responded positively. In Iraq itself, Omar observes:
What I see happening now is a big change in the strategy of fighting terrorism in Iraq; instead of waiting for the terrorists to build strongholds and then respond to their attacks (like the way Fallujah, Sadr city and Najaf were dealt with) now terrorists are being chased in almost simultaneous operations nationwide and this will make it much harder for the terrorists to reorganize their lines and regroup in new bases.
Wretchard posts on US military operations here and here and offers some analysis:
One goal of a high/low approach will be to split the rank and file from the insurgent leaders on whom they rely for handouts. If a normal army travels on its stomach, an terrorist insurgency travels on its wallet. It is no accident that insurgent leaders are nearly always captured with hundreds of thousands of dollars. By combining a police roundup with a targeted hunt for leadership, the coalition may hope to force a temporary dispersal until the enemy can rally and re-establish contacts, knowing this will create more opportunities to exploit. The insurgents are probably aware of what the coalition intends; and assaults on Iraqi police units are almost certainly spoiling attacks, launched to slow down the security operation and allow key assets to escape. After Fallujah and the battles along the Euphrates, the enemy knows better than to stand and hold ground. The enemy's best bet is to slip the punch and attack unprotected lines of communication, such as civilian targets, convoys supporting the security operation or targets highly visible to the press.

Each side is doggedly pursuing a chosen strategy. The insurgents are fighting their terror/media campaign while the coalition may be "tearing down the mountain", an approach described in Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo -- which described how the drug billionaire Pablo Escobar was finally caught when the US forces and civilian groups deconstructed the drug lord's network of lawyers and political backers until he was reduced to hiding in woodland sheds -- except that it is being applied to the Iraqi insurgency. It is a contest of will and methods being played for the highest of stakes.
Strategy Page reports:
The government’s promised “ring of steel” around Baghdad began on Sunday, and, as expected, the terrorist groups began trying to get out of town before that. Thus the weekend saw much violence, with some fifty people, mostly civilians, killed in attacks and fighting concentrated in and around Baghdad. There were several gun battles between gangs of terrorists and the police. Operation Thunder began with loud noises.

The terrorists are cornered and, increasingly, having their hideouts and workshops discovered and destroyed. While May has seen, so far, over 700 Iraqis (mostly civilians) killed by terrorist attacks, over three hundred terrorist suspects have been killed in May, and over a thousand arrested. This past weekend, over 500 terrorists suspects were taken into custody, and over a dozen terrorist locations raided. Hundreds of weapons, and much bomb making material was seized. A lot of cash is being found. Last week, one raid grabbed six million dollars in American currency. The cash is considered as important as the weapons and explosives. Most of the terrorists do it because they are paid. Even the suicide bombers themselves, who are nearly all foreign volunteers, require cash to keep them fed, hidden and attended by paid “minders” who make sure the “martyrs” don’t change their minds.
Omar has more. The NY Times offers a contrasting viewpoint of the situation here. Strategy Page also notes that "American troops are getting more tips, because after two years of operating in Sunni areas, the Americans have built personal relationships with locals." The US is also making progress in other ways:
For four days this month, U.S. Marines were onlookers at just the kind of fight they had hoped to see: a battle between suspected followers of Abu Musab Zarqawi, a foreign-born insurgent, and Iraqi Sunni tribal fighters at the western frontier town of Husaybah.

In clashes sparked by the assassination of a tribal sheik, which was commissioned by Zarqawi, the foreign insurgents and the Iraqi tribal fighters pounded one another with small weapons and mortars in the town's streets as the U.S. military watched from a distance, tribal members and the U.S. military said.
Via Captain Ed who notes:
Eventually the provocations became too much for the Sulaiman, which reacted with surprising force and vehemence. In this, they embodied the hope of American policy regarding the insurgents -- that the Iraqis themselves would rise up and fight them on their own, without American prompting. In fact, as the Post reports, both sides took care to avoid hitting Marine positions in order to keep them from entering the battle on behalf of the Sulaiman -- Zarqawi for obvious reasons, and the Sulaiman for reasons of honor. Once the Zarqawi terrorists went on the run, the Sulaiman provided intelligence to the Marines, who attacked them from the air.

This demonstrates the progress that America has made in Iraq, and how much damage that Zarqawi's indiscriminate killing of Iraqi civilians does to his cause. The Sunni have not remained monolithically opposed to Americans, and tribe by tribe may have started to realize that the collapse of the Ba'athists does not necessarily mean that they face slavery by the Shi'a. In fact, after Husaybah, they understand even more clearly that slavery comes from Zarqawi and his ilk -- and they're willing to fight to defeat it.
Though much progress has been made, the situation in Iraq seems to have reached a crucial, possibly decisive phase. The next several weeks will be interesting.


Squeal like a Republican Senator

Jim Manion at MND gets to the...cough...essential nature of the compromise:

The deal also damages the Republican Party. The message it sends is that it is of no use to elect Republican Senators who morph into Democrats after a while in office. Or, more to the point, they morph into "Egocrats" whose decision making is swayed not by the will of their constituency but by the pangs of their over active egos.

More importantly, the deal is a betrayal of the American people. When United States Senators ignore the wishes of their electorate and engage in conduct contrary to the will of the people that put them in office, it is high time to start looking for new candidates.

In the movie deliverance, friendship and loyalty is stretched to the limit. What do those words men the the Republican Senators.

Having never held elected office, I have no experience with the peer pressure that must come to bear in the hallowed halls of the Senate. But I have a great deal of experience with loyalty and integrity, two characteristics on which I place a very high value. The gang of 7 has no loyalty to their electorate or their party, and comes up short in the area of integrity.

And just how did this supposed honorable effort in bipartisanship benefit the Republican Party? Why today, the Democrats are threatening to filibuster Bolton's nomination for US Ambassador to the UN, and the Democrats are insisting that any social security reform include a tax increase. Maybe the 7 Deadly Sens have it in them to bend over one more time and take one for the team.

On a quiet night in the heartland, if you listen closely, one can hear a faint "weeeeeeee" emanating from the East. No doubt the result of Teddy Kennedy bending Lindsey Graham over a log urging him to squeal like a pig.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Whose side is the ACLU on?

Has the ACLU become the Al Qaeda Civil Liberties Union? Bryan Preston argues that the organization is aiding the enemy:
I am sure they will argue that they're just keeping the government honest, working for the common terrorist, blah blah blah, but their actions are quite demonstrably making it more difficult to conduct the war. Which means the American Civil Liberties Union is acting in ways that make it easier for the enemy to win the war.
I agree.


I have changed my mind about the compromise over the 'Nuclear Option'

We should hang Frist, also

After a few days of quiet reflection, taking in the decision to compromise and what it will mean I have calmly come to the conclusion that the seven a******* who pushed this compromise should be hung and that Frist should join them. Why Frist? Just to send a message. Leadership sometimes means threatening subordinates who refuse to toe the line. To paraphrase Michael Ledeen, every now and then you have to throw a senator against the wall to make sure the others know we are serious. Frist could have said, "I am going to make it my mission in life that this is your last term as a Senator if you do not vote for this rule change." Now that would have been nuclear. Here is the list of Senators who rather let the Democrats off the hook, the sanctimonius seven or gang of seven:

The senators are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John Warner of Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Mike DeWine of Ohio.

Mr. Narcissus goes to Washington

Profiles in Flinching

Ann Coulter Video: "It's like Clinton's deal with the North Koreans"

Friday, May 27, 2005


Media Bias, sometimes it is just laziness and the desire to spice up the news

We have a friend who lives in Chicago who has gained some notoriety due to his job. I'll leave it at that to protect his identity. Early on in his career he decided to spice up his resume by claiming he had attended a famous university but quit to pursue his dream. Well that fact got reported and was included in his profile and it has followed him around ever since. No harm really, he never did attend that university and I imagine a phone call could confirm that but no one has bothered. Why? I guess because it really doesn't matter. It doesn't mean anything to his career. It is a good story, like Bill Gates leaving Harvard, it shows someone consumed by the need to fulfill a dream and not going about it in a conventional way.

I thought of that story when I was reading this story:

According to the article, Moss went thru a sprint workout in the morning
that lasted three hours. Then, I suppose, he ate and rested before going to the
gym in the afternoon to lift weights for, get this ... another three hours!? Now
the first workout took place OUTSIDE. Where outside? Well, how about the south
Florida sun, for starters. You know, I’ve lived here in Tampa, Florida, for six
years now, and Moss lives further south than I do. And let me tell you
something. Nobody, I mean NOBODY, runs SPRINTS for three hours in the south
Florida (or Tampa) sun. Not unless they have a death wish. And Randy gets paid
too much money to have a death wish.

The article referred to was a profile of Moss in Sports Illustrated. The author had his own story about dupping a reporter:

Many years ago, when I was a member of the University of Iowa wrestling
team, a reporter from Sports Illustrated hung around for a few days, watching
and interviewing the team for an article. The reporter was particularly
interested in our training methods. And we told him about running the stairs,
doing buddy carries, wrestling for hours, having three workouts a day, and so
on. The reporter wrote it all down. No questions. A little common sense would
have let him know that we didn't follow the "legendary" routine day in and day
out. And the article made it sound like EVERYDAY was like this in the Gable

Does it matter that Moss might have exaggerated his workout to a reporter?

In the last week or so I have received a good many letters from kids who are working out 3-5 hours a day. And they write about how tired they are, and if there is something I can recommend that they can take (WARNING SIGN PARENTS) so they can work out more. They actually believe the stories in the magazines and newspapers. And by the way, many parents believe this, too, and tell their kids this it what it takes.

There is a chance that some kid is going to read this story and try and emulate Randy Moss and he is going to hurt himself. Is the reporter to blame if his source lies to him? How far must a reporter go to check a source. I think laziness in the the field of journalism starts with stories like this. No one gets hurt if someone embellishs their lifestory or adds a couple of hours onto their workout routine. But sometimes people do get hurt and the truth is always hurt.

Diego's Additonal Thoughts:
As in the case with the University claim once something gets on your 'fact sheet' any reporter who wants to run a story will just get a copy and go with what is printed on it. I doubt anyone cares to update it.

I remember seeing a brief headline and obit when Morton Downey Jr. died. He had a TV show that I recalled seeing, it was of the Jerry Springer variety. I was surprised to read that he wrote the 60's hit 'Wipeout'. A web search confirmed that this was true. Sorry I have no links, they appear to be gone now, but I think the 'Wipeout' credit was distributed by the AP. It was not very important but I thought it funny and followed up later and found that there were others who claimed credit for 'Wipeout' and like Downey, they were lying. The point is that it got put on his 'fact sheet' once and stayed there for others to copy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I didn't get the memo but here is my list.

I don't watch movies often but here are some that come to mind right now:

Blues Brothers
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Star Wars
The Muppet Movie
and this, some favourites would be this, this (unavailable on DVD), and this, which was written by Douglas Adams and has put The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy on my short list of movies to see.

More recent:

Napoleon Dynamite

As far as bad movies go, I'm trying to avoid anything with the following people involved:
Adam Sandler
Ashton Kushner
Drew Barrymore
Ben Affleck


Bookworm's Film Meme Tag II

Total number of films owned on DVD/Video:

I am guessing over 300. In Moscow, it is possible to buy quite a few films that are, how to say this without implicating myself, not normally available in a timely fashion to the general public at a low price. Also, I have a box full of videos that I will need to go through when I get back to the states, Oy.

The last film I bought:

A Russian film which translates as Only Number. The reason I bought it is because I have a brief appearence in it. English speaking people are in demand in Moscow for film roles. In a month I got two parts, one speaking in a TV show, which is a pretty good record considering the amount of time I put into looking for acting work. I decided after that to quit because I was the three days I spent on set were not worth the time I spent away from work and I am not interested in becoming a Russian movie star; more realistically, a Russian character actor/bit player.

The last film I watched:

The last film I watched was this past Thursday, Star Wars Episode III. I am slightly disappointed due to Hayden Christensen's inability to portray a classic flawed hero other than being a whiny teenager. I felt his character needed to grow up and show both noble and ignoble traits to base his subsiquent fall on something solid. Again, he acted like a spoiled child who could not have his way. If he was tortured by his choices, I could not see it. Lucas did a good job creating a realistic scenario for a tragic ending but Christensen did not pull it off.

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

1) Red Dawn -- So cheesy, so pro-American. Wolverines! I loved the fact that there was a bratpack movie about Americans fighting against a Soviet invasion. The premise of the movie being liberals let American defenses fall apart and the world turns communist. Finally, they invade America to take out the last bastion of freedom in the world. Until they run into a group of American teenagers.

2) The Quiet American (Original) -- I did not know this until this film was remade recently but the novel that this film was based on was not pro-American and the original film ticked off the author of the novel. It is set in Vietnam in the early sixties and involves a young idealistic American, the Vietnamese woman he loves and a cynical British reporter who loves the Vietnamese woman. Great film, check it out.

3) Breakfast Club -- Yes, I hate to admit it but this film was good and I got some things out of it that maybe others might not of just because of the timing. I was finishing High School and...excuse me, College Prep, and the message that stereotypes do not matter and that time will pass so all that was important in the past will seem unimportant stuck with me.

4) Fight Club -- Everyone takes what they want out of a movie and I took out of this movie that there is "...a generation of men raised by women. I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer we need."

"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

And finally, "Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

For me the movie is a rejection of materialism, it is about men who are trying to stop defining themselves in terms of women and it is a search for a purpose. The end is a disappointment but the tone of the movie is Randian. It is a rejection of the sensitive, Alan Alda, male. That men need an outlet for our aggression because we are men and naturally chafe against a society that tries to fit us into a domesticated role, safe and sterile. Not dangerous. Sometimes we need to be dangerous, or do something dangerous, to release the pressure that comes from living in modern society.

5) Gymkata -- "Best" bad movie of all time. I won't ruin it for you but everything is so bad you can't help but laugh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Bookworm's Film Meme Tag

I'm certain that of all the Brain Droppings contributors I watch the fewest number of movies by a large margin. Nevertheless, here goes.

Total number of films I own on DVD/Video:

One. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. One of my favorite movies, the visuals are spectacular. And I absolutely love the ending.

The last film I bought:

Take a wild guess.

The last film I watched:

I've watched two in the last year. Winged Migration, a stunningly beautiful film that follows the migration of birds throughout the world in a close, almost intimate way. The visuals are absolutely breathtaking. A spectacular film. The other, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story is based on the true story of the youngest player ever to win the World Series of Poker and the only player ever to win the event twice in a row and three times overall. Ungar was a hero of mine when I was young and I dreamed of besting his record. (Alas, it was not to be.) Unless you are interested in his life, which was marred by the excesses of gambling and drug use, I wouldn't recommend the film, though it doesn't really dwell on the latter and isn't anywhere near as depressing as I expected.

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

1) The Hunt for Red October
2) This Is Spinal Tap
3) Bull Durham
4) Goodfellas
5) The Wizzard of Oz

If I have to tag five, I'll tag my fellow contributors and bobbyd.


Harry's lap dog?

Does Frist deserve to be blamed for this? I don't know, it is hard to corral a bunch of independent minded Senotors. I do know that the Democrats will make us regret this. In fact, they know a good deal when they see one. But why deal when you are about to win? That is the problem I have. The Democrats have been unreasonable and malicious. They have sought to tarnish the reputation of good nominees and they are getting the best deal they could hope for which is to keep the filibuster as an option for when the next Supreme Court nomination comes along. I feel for Frist because I think he wanted to change the rules. All this does is make him look weak.

Dusty comments:

Here's my quick reaction. The big problem I see is basing a compromise agreement the hard fact promise of not nuking the filibuster for a squishy fact of what is the definition of extreme. In that sense, the Dem's come out favorably, particularly since anyone of them or their cattle-herding fringe groups scream "Extremist!" at the drop of a tinfoil hat.

So, much depends on whether the Republicans bother to frame the agreement to offset this imbalance. If Owens, Brown and Pryor are getting a vote and, better, if they all get a thumbs up, then Repubs need to note the confirmation of mainstream nominees -- nominees that did not violate this agreement. This forces the Dem's to let the standard be moved for measuring what the definition of "extreme" is in the future. (Really, were there any on the list more 'extreme' to the Dems than Brown or Pryor?)

Anyway, this might allow for easier sailing for those remaining and, again for any of the current crop which might be on list for potential SC associate justice slots.

You know what? I don't want to chill! Grrrrr


The Galloway Lecture Series

How to kiss up to a dictator without looking like a sycophant.

Next month, how to be indignant during congressional testimony and get paid 5000 pounds to lecture at Ivy league schools.


Some Fight the Fire. Some Feed the Flames.

Newsweek keeps the fire going (also see recent post):

From LFG on Newsweek’s Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman interview with Al Jazeera concerning Koran desecration:
Host: But there is no proof that it did not happen...

Klaidman: We are neutral on whether any form of
Koran desecration took place.

Roger Simon: There is only one explanation for this cheesy and idiotic "America is Dead" Newsweek cover in Japan - greed.

Marketing news is one thing but changing your story for your audience is another.

John O adds: It certainly isn't patriotic.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Pro Illegal Alien Propaganda

Propaganda masquerading as news in the Chicago Tribune

Hugh Dellios' article Families split by U.S. law seek aid is not a news item - its propaganda on behalf of illegal alliens. Romina Perea and her family are in a situation entirely of her own making. If she'd complied with US immigration law and waited her turn, as millions of other would be immigrants have done, her family wouldn't be in this position. (Ditto for Disifredo Del Valle and his family too.) It goes without saying her husband could join her in Mexico any time he so chooses. But because she can't get exactally what she wants due to her disregard for the law, she tries to elicit public sympathy by whining about it in the media. Left unaddressed is why she feels entitled to special treatment.

I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of families like these. But Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, gets it right:
The government is "trying to restore integrity to the immigration system. You do that by enforcing the rules," Rusnok said. "Do people say the government is breaking up the family when someone robs a bank" and goes to prison?
Bye the way, does the Chicago Tribune take the position that the law is breaking up families when criminals are incarcerated?

Monday, May 23, 2005


Psychological Effect Of Media War Coverage

Instilling cowardice, inverting honor, inviting defeat

In a superb post, Wretchard describes the effect the media's ability to shape public perception is having on the war:
...it is nearly undeniable that the effect of the media's coverage of American misdeeds has been to make the slightest infraction against enemy combatants ruinously expensive. Not only the treatment of the enemy combatants themselves, but their articles of religious worship have become the subject of such scrutiny that Korans must handled with actual gloves in a ceremonial fashion, a fact that must be triumph for the jihadi cause in and of itself. While nothing is wrong with ensuring the proper treatment of enemy prisoners, the implicit moral superiority that has been accorded America's enemy and his effects recalls Rudyard Kipling's The Grave of the Hundred Dead.
But if the US has been at pains to avoid the image of ruthlessness, the enemy by contrast has made a special effort to magnify his brutality by attacking mosques, beheading women, mutilating children, etc. often on camera. And the really disappointing thing it is that the intended intimidation works. If George Galloway's standard response to his critics is a lawsuit and radical Islam's first recourse is a fatwa then terror's first answer to insult is always the Grave of a Hundred Dead. Intimidation brings them respect from the very people who style themselves immune to intimidation. It is plain to the lowliest stringer from the most obscure tabloid that to insult America is cheap but to insult the local 'militants' very, very expensive. Kipling's cynical dictum is proven again and the lesson not forgotten.

We live in a strange world where the Beslan story vanishes in weeks while Abu Ghraib lives on for years. Maybe it reflects the inherent importance of the stories but it more probably demonstrates the media's ability to prolong the life of some stories while ignoring others. I hope it is not impertinent to observe that the media's demeanor towards terrorism bears more than a passing resemblance to cheap cowardice; but though outwardly similar it really springs from a high-minded idealism, deep courage and profound learning. Or so I hope.
I hold out hope that media behavior is attributable to spite, though I fear more and more they truly are a fifth column. At the very least, it is clear that they eagerly function as public relations agents of the jihadis, something which has to end.

Wretchard's whole post is worth reading in its entirety and there are several interesting items in the comments section. Among them:
Standards of behaviour are totally one sided. On the US side actions that rise to the level of Frat pranks are considered "Human Rights" violations, while beheadings performed by Jihadists are considered to be political statements worthy of consideration.
Foriegn mercenaries in Iraq, that attack civilians as a matter of course, are called Insurgents. US troops are chastised for 'collateral' damage done in Fallujah and are criminally investigated for killing the enemy in the combat zone. - Desert Rat

This is most certainly part of the psychological warfare against the US by the enemy (and sadly, I would have to include our own media in the definition of "enemy" - see A Headline We'll Never See if you are interested in my thoughts on that)...
In other words, we cannot possibly win the psychological war with the current media controlling and defining all the events. Either we must ignore that media completely, or provide an alternative (e.g., the blogsphere?) or, do both. - Dr. Sanity

Look in your local paper for whose ads are on the pages where our military is attacked. Contact those businesses and let them know how you feel about them supporting such attacks. (Most front-page stories are continued where there is room for ads.) Watch your local news reports and contact sponsors that are used when reports are just plan wrong. Spend a bit of time to watch the network news, read the NY Times, etc. and contact the businesses. E-mail is not as effective as snail mail but at least it is a contact. - Don Black
Now that's a good idea.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Journalists Actually Are Targeted In Iraq

But not by the US military, so the media aren't interested

Bill Roggio wonders why Linda Foley isn't outraged by a terrorist training manual which instructs snipers to kill journalists.
In one of the "7 Duties of a Sniper", the trainees are encouraged to target non-combatant military personnel, in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions:
Killing doctors and chaplains is suggested as a means of psychological warfare.
In the "who would you kill first?" Q & A section, targeting journalists is explicitly encouraged. On the order of targeting:
The first one is the Soldier… because he has a MG [machine gun]. Then is the stupid soldier on the left. He is a very easy target (look how he is elevated from the ground), then the soldier or the reporter carrying the camera. First, because the camera can be used as binoculars; second, it is the most difficult thing to hide the death of a reporter in Iraq.
This is a clear and explicit policy to target journalists in a combat zone.
It is. But nobody in the media cares.


Judicial Fillibuster nonsense

Listening to both sides argue over Bush's judicial nominations is enough to cause brain-rot. The republicans claim the fillibustering a judicial nominee is unheard of, the dems claim that it happens all the time. How can they both be right? Also, the dems wax indignant over the very idea of republicans fighting over these nominations when over 95% of Bush's judicial nominees have been confirmed. "A higher approval rate than Clinton!", they scoff. While this sounds impressive, it just doesn't pass the sniff test, their must be something the dems aren't telling, some qualifier that they left off of that statement.

Luckily, this new blog at NRO has given answers to both those questions which I repeat here.

First the fillibuster question:

In the last 24 hours, Sens. Richard Durbin (D, IL) Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) and Byron Dorgan (D, ND) have continued to spin the theory that 60 Clinton judicial nominees were “filibustered” by blue slips, holds, or other procedural devices, and that numerous other nominees in the 19th and 20th centuries were filibustered.
This is duplicitous. Two things are important when discussing filibusters – when and why one occurs. A filibuster happens when one or both of the means for limiting debate (unanimous consent or cloture) fail, not when they succeed. And temporary filibusters that do not abolish majority rule altogether can have a legitimate purpose (bargaining, delaying for more debate, etc.). Permanent filibusters intended to defeat a nominee who has majority Senate support are illegitimate.

Consider the words of moderate columnist Stuart Taylor:
“It is … misleading for Democrats and liberal groups to claim that there are ample precedents for this filibuster-forever tactic. Their trick is to count as "filibusters" even genuine debates and short-term stalls that ended in cloture votes and confirmation.

“The fact is that only one judicial nominee in our history (Abe Fortas) has even arguably been blocked by the filibuster-forever tactic that Senate Democrats have used since 2003 to block 10 majority-supported Bush judicial nominees. (Three of the 10 have withdrawn.)

“And even the 1968 filibuster of then-Justice Fortas's nomination to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a pretty weak precedent. That was a real floor debate, over ethical missteps as well as judicial philosophy. It lasted only a little more than a week. Then, President Johnson, having lost a cloture vote, withdrew the nomination at Fortas's request. This decision came amid damaging disclosures that might have led to defeat in an up-or-down vote.”

Successful cloture votes are not filibusters. Generic delays or blockages are not filibusters. Blue slips and holds are not filibusters. For Durbin, Dorgan, and Feinstein to suggest otherwise is simply deceptive.

thank you NRO.

Now the 95% question:

I’m sure it is well known, but listening to Sen. Schumer (D, NY) drone on about President Bush getting “95 percent” of his judicial nominees confirmed requires a restatement of the truth.

The fight over President Bush’s judges has been confined to the important Circuit Courts of Appeal. Since the filibuster strategy’s inauguration in 2003, Senate Democrats have filibustered 10 of 34 appellate nominees, almost 1/3, and stopped another six in committee. In his first term President Bush had the lowest four year appellate confirmation rate of any modern president, 67 percent, according to AEI scholar John R. Lott Jr. He got 35 of 52 appellate judges confirmed.

Finally, read this little gem at NRO. I won't spoil the surprise for you...

Friday, May 20, 2005


Al Jazeera won't show Hussein in his underwear

For the same reasons US media censor certain barbaric images

Al Jazeera has refused to show pictures of Saddam Hussein clad only in his underwear.
Jihad Ballout, a spokesman for the Al-Jazeera network, said his network did not show the pictures because it had ethical and professional concerns.

"The photo is demeaning to Iraqis," he said, adding that "from the professional side, it is not news."
Via John Hinderaker:
It's nice to know that Al Jazeera has "ethical and professional concerns." I hadn't noticed that before, especially when they were showing videos of Westerners having their heads cut off, or photos of captured and dead American soldiers.
It seems Al Jazeera's "professional and ethical concerns" are limited to the creation and dissemination of propaganda promoting their own twisted world view. With their accompanying captions, the following pictures are from Al Jazeera's English language report about the Hussein underwear photos:

Al Jazeera Pentagon
The US military says it will
investigate the incident

Al Jazeera Saddam
Photos of captured Saddam
Hussein caused controversy

Al Jazeera Saddam rally
There were mixed feelings about
the photos among Iraqis

Al Jazeera Bush
President Bush is said to have
supported a thorough probe

These pictures and captions have nothing to do with the substance of the story. Their purpose is to distort reality and/or convey an adverse image of the US. The US military is portrayed as disconcerted and defensive. A disheveled Hussein looks too confused and harmless for photos of him to be considered controversial. The photo of what appears to be a pro Saddam rally certainly doesn't suggest mixed emotions among Iraqis. And an angry faced President Bush, with the American flag as the backdrop, looks as if he is poised to perform a mock decapitation.

What Al Jazeera does is merely an extreme version of what most members the American media do: It produces and disseminates propaganda; any information or image that doesn't comport with its peculiar world view - one which is alarmingly similar to that which is dominant in the American media - is simply excluded or ignored.


Pangloss Glassman is at it again, No Housing Bubble!

Down worry, buy condos

Back in 1998 James Glassman co-authored a book called Dow 36,000 which you can pick up for $2.85 on Amazon. In retrospect, it is easy to see why this was a monumentally bad call. At the time, it looked like genius. Actually no, even in the hothouse market of the 90's it was not hard to see that his prediction was based on bad suppositions. Now he is doing the same with housing bubble and history is repeating as farce.

Glassman says:

Certainly, individual housing markets can suffer boom-and-bust cycles. (Look at Houston during the 1970s and California during the 1980s.) But real estate prices as a whole have been remarkably stable. The housing market has characteristics, such as sales commissions and transfer taxes, that tend to dampen volatility. Skipping in and out of a house in a day or two isn't particularly feasible, and the vast majority of home buyers, unlike stock buyers, are in for the long haul.

Reality says:

The National Association of Realtors says its surveys find that 23 percent of all homes purchased in 2004 were for investment, and a further 13 percent were vacation homes. It's as if Americans got tired of the stock market, and decided to look elsewhere to try to lose money.

In other words, people are speculating on housing. That 23% were homes bought for the purpose of flipping for a quick profit or for rental income. Which explains why rental incomes relative to house prices are falling. Glassman is wrong, people are buying homes as a speculation. Many do not pay any commission, right now the Justice Department is stepping in to keep real estate brokers from stopping cut rate commisions. The speculation is fueling the building of more housing. Surging housing starts are not a sign of a strong housing market when people are buying homes for speculation. They are homes that will glut the market in the future.

Glassman says:

But let's be clear: The house you live in is not an investment. It's an asset that produces nontaxable personal income, in the form of comfort and joy. When you sell your home, you have to buy another one. By contrast, if you sell your General Electric stock, you can do anything you want with the cash. And selling a home when prices are relatively high inevitably means buying a home when prices are relatively high.

What happens when people buy more home than they can afford? That is happening a lot these days and the reason is because of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). And, boy, are they popular.

Reality says:

In California, the traditional fixed-rate loan is in danger of becoming extinct. According to recent LoanPerformance data, the percentage of new loans that are adjustable in Santa Rosa was 85 percent; in Oakland, 84 percent; in San Diego and Santa Cruz, 83 percent; in Los Angeles, 74 percent.

About two-thirds of these loans are also interest-only, compounding borrowers' risk of "payment shock."

So you get situations like this:

Amy Matz and her fiance, Chris, a restaurant manager, are closing this month on their first house, a three-bedroom in Palm Springs that cost $495,000. They're borrowing $60,000 from their parents for a down payment, and financing the rest with an adjustable-rate loan that is interest-only for the first three years.

"We will be extremely nervous if we decide to stay longer than three years in that house and interest rates skyrocket," Matz said. "We are just banking on the hope that the home will gain enough equity by the time we sell."

Amy and her fiance are now speculating on real estate and interest rates. What do you think the chances are that interest rates won't rise if housing prices keep going up? Well, if the economy improves interest rates will go up and if the economy goes south housing prices will go down. Sounds like a no win situation for people who buy more house than they can afford. Imagine what will happen if interest rates go up and housing prices go down? Uuhhh doggy.

Glassman says:

Even in places where prices are soaring, worries of a bubble could be overblown because higher prices appear grounded in good old fundamentals. Garrett Thornburg, who heads Thornburg Mortgage, pointed out to me that in hot markets, such as San Francisco and Aspen, Colo., "it is difficult to bring new product online." Environmental regulations, zoning restrictions and a shortage of land create limited supply, he says, "so if you want to be there, you have to pay up." Freddie Mac's data also show lean inventories of both new and existing homes.

You know, if it were only houses in Aspen and San Franicisco I would have to agree. But it's not! Neighborhoods in Chicago where I no economic growth has been recorded in a generation are having new homes built in them. I don't need to tell people in most big cities in the US that real estate is exploding but the international market is just as frothy. The lie is that land is scarce. It isn't. Sure, the best properties and locations might be scarce but you can always move a little farther away or make do with less house.

Glassman says:

I am, however, annoyed and concerned when I hear my friends, who have made big, unrealized profits on their condos, talk about putting together pools to buy and sell real estate. As if it's so easy! Sure, consider buying a few rental properties for income and holding them for 20 years. But making money in real estate is no cinch. You're up against some very smart competitors who do it for a living. If you're convinced that prices will continue to climb, it's better to join the experts than to try to outsmart them.

I say:

You've got speculation all around you, even your friends are getting caught in the frenzy and you can't see it?! After this he gives suggestions of 'safe' ways to invest in the bubble. Ha.

Glassman says:

But the main question about a real estate bubble is, why should you care? If you own a house for the right reason -- to live in it -- then short-term fluctuations are meaningless. If you are thinking about a first purchase or a trade-up, then the main issues are whether you can afford what you want on your income and whether you want to spend the dough on a house or on something else. If you do buy, don't expect the value of your house to rise much faster than inflation. Remember, it's not an investment. It's something better.

I say:

This is why you should care. Ever have to sell your house to relocate? Ever lose your job? Ever hope to sell your house to pay for your retirement? A housing bubble means that you will take a big loss if you have to do this if you are on the wrong side of the pop. I don't blame Glassman for the bubble but he should know better and I certainly hope his sit back and relax attitude doesn't cause anyone to make a potential life destroying financial decision.

I should say that I have no idea when the housing bubble will end. The fact that we are hearing stories about rampant speculation and buyers behaving like they must buy no matter what is a sure sign that we are inside of it. Also, the stock market bubble is still deflating. So when the bubble pops, we will know. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

Housing bubble news:

-Britain is experiencing the same phenomenon. Their housing market is cooling off.

-Young man talks about his families lust for real estate on NPR.

-Bill Fleckenstein compares our bubble with Japan's.

-Robert Schiller, author of Irrational Exuberance, talks about the housing market. Consider him the anti-Glassman.

-Patrick Killelea's housing bubble blog, all you need to know about this bubble and its consequences.


Keep Talking. Keep Writing. Keep Blogging.

Dan Rather, Eason Jordan, Newsweek, Linda Foley.

Roger Simon on Newsweek:
To make my own view clear on this, I think the danger in reporting like Michael Isikoff's--who, I would agree with Brooks, is no "Noam Chomsky with a laptop" on more levels than one--is the influence it has on the home front, on America. Spewing disinformation of the kind Isikoff is doing contributes to the one thing above all that can cause us to lose the War on Terror - the loss of confidence in our justice and the subsequent loss of resolve to win.

Let's also be aware of the mindset of those we are fighting for and against in other parts of the world. The attitude toward the U.S. is shaped by what is known of the U.S. and what is known of the U.S. is shaped by those presenting the news.

I can see a trend here in the U.S. where the MSM keeps getting caught with "questionable" stories and subsequently loses more credibility. That may be happening here but I wonder what is known in other parts of the world where news does not flow as freely as it does here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Yet another claim that the US targets journalists

Offered, of course, without any substantiating evidence

Linda Foley, International President of the Newspaper Guild and president of Communications Workers of America, the nation's largest broadcast and journalism workers union, speaking at the 2005 National Conference for Media Reform:
"Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted verbally or …ah, or… ah, politically. They are also being targeted for real, um…in places like Iraq. What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq."

"They target and kill journalists…uh, from other countries, particularly Arab countries like Al -, like Arab news services like Al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity…"
A video link is here. Via JunkYardBlog.

This is outrageous. There is much stronger evidence that American journalists constitute al Qaeda's fifth column. Considering the direction in which the media is heading, however, it is concievable that they may make themselves legitimate targets before this war is over.


The Chapin Nation is now the Daily Cause

I am proud to say that The Chapin Nation has changed its name to the Daily Cause and that I am contributor to this brave, new venture. Watch for more changes to this site and visit the sponsor of the Daily Cause, mensnewsdaily.com, for issues relating to men's rights and much more.

The Daily Cause! An Explanation.
Some of you undoubtedly noticed that the name atop the blog has been renamed from Chapin Nation to The Daily Cause. This was done for a variety of reasons.
1. We wanted to take Harry Chapin's name off the blog for good as there are no more cats or silver spoons for us to trade in for additional funding.
2. We hope to inspire a liberal blog to copy our name and emulate us in the frantic search for subject matter and discussion. You can do it Mulva!
3. The rumors about a Gus led coup d'etat have been overstated. Gus is a busy man and, after the mistake in Venezuela, is not in the mood for anymore military action before the end of the decade. As for Pete Mayer's dog becoming the new editor, this is a possibility but the dog has not yet learned QWERTY so I believe he can be outmanuevered by my speedier keystrokes.
4. All the old-timers like Yakov, Gus, Pete, and Polish Knight are here but now we have stunning new brothers like Bill C, Baron Waste, Denis, and Steven B. along for the ride. You'll get even better entertainment and that's a noble cause indeed.
Thanks for being here!

Also, check out the latest installment of Gangsta Island. Our hero Bernard seems to have finally had enough of the psychotic Principal Bobbi Sue Chin. Read about what pushes him over the edge.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Male bashing

I've been listening to "The Wonder of Boys" book on tape recently. It's a very insightful book and I wish I had read it years ago when my boys were younger. The author, Michael Gurian, makes a clear point about how difficult it is for boys to be boys (indeed, the phrase "boys will be boys" has become a derisive commentary implying allowed violence and mysogeny) when he says " the current war between feminism and male culture has to stop." This is such a simple statement yet I'm sure some women reading this will not agree. Men are the problem and feminism is trying to "correct" them and the past millenia of male oppression.

Wunderkraut has an excellent commentary on this subject. I know many (most?) mothers agree that boys are wired differently and have different needs from girls, but our culture forces father and mothers to ingore all the biological and biochemical differences, and feel wrong about encouraging "boyness." I suspect that the war of feminism against male culture is being most fiercely waged by people who don't have sons...the least informed making the most noise.

Gurian ends his book with hopeful commentary that he sees this "radical experiment" of suppressing boyness is waning in popularity (book was published in 1997). I'm not sure that's true but I do hope he's right.


"FIRE!" Theater

Never let the facts get in the way.

Newsweek retracted their recent story on alleged Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay but the damage has been done.

Eason Jordan recently resigned over allegations that the U.S. military "targeted" journalists.

I don't care for censorship but perhaps the U.S. military should "target" some journalists in non violent ways.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Activist Bureaucrats & Immigration

If the will of the people is a nuisance, create some propaganda

From Friday's Washington Times:
U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.
From a WT editorial today:
It seems as if Border Patrol supervisors feel it is more important to discredit the Minutemen than it is to do their job. What could account for this? Perhaps some in the Border Patrol bureaucracy are more concerned about their own survival than they are about performing their jobs. Discrediting the effective work of the Minutemen is a good way to try to make it seem as if concerned citizens are incapable of making a dent in the problem. Unfortunately, the problems are exacerbated by the attitude of many in the Bush administration and by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, who seem to view border security as a nuisance that interferes with their more enlightened agenda: making it as easy as possible for illegal aliens to violate our borders.
It is delusional to think that our government simply lacks the political will to enforce immigration laws or secure our borders. The propagandistic actions of the Border Patrol demonstrate conclusively that that open borders and unrestricted immigration really are official government policy. The Bush administration bears ultimately responsible for this.

It's one thing for Bush to advocate changing the law and granting amnesty to those aliens already here illegally, but quite another for his administration to actively practice deception while demonstrating utter contempt for the law. Indeed, it is actually complicit in helping foreigners evade laws it is sworn to uphold! And how ridiculous is it for Bush to travel around the country complaining about activist judges who ignore the express will of the people when his administration is guilty of precisely the same thing?

Friday, May 13, 2005


Death Penalty in Illinois?

Is there still a moratorium?

If so, the story of those murders in Zion should get the people of Il to rethink things.

Literally, viscerally, sickening. My prayers go out to the families and community.

John O adds:
The moratorium has ended. The whole system of capital punishment in Illinois has been overhauled during Gov. Blagojevich's tenure in office. Though I think the state is too corrupt to have capital punishment, Jerry Hobbs, if found guilty, seems very deserving of a death sentence.



Our recent discussion on censoring scientific debate/global warming (see 05May) led me to this website. I've started reading it on a regular basis so I thought I'd add it to our sidebar. Enjoy!

John O adds:
Neil Collins has another article about global warming propaganda:
I've had a letter from Sir David Wallace, CBE, FRS. In his capacity as treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Society, he writes: "We are appealing to all parts of the UK media to be vigilant against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence about climate change and its potential effects on people and their environments around the world. I hope that we can count on your support."
In his helpful, non-technical guide, he refers to a survey of 928 papers (count 'em) on climate change published between 1993 and 2003, which found that three quarters of them accepted the view that man's activities (anthropogenic, in the jargon) have had a major impact on the climate.

Amazingly, not a single one rejected it. Never mind that this is probably a greater consensus than can be found for the theory of evolution, the lack of a single dissenting voice smacks of the sort of result Nicolae Ceausescu used to get in his Romanian elections.


Suicide attacks in Iraq signal the weakening — not strengthening — of insurgency

Bookworm points to an article by Jack Kelly saying something that should be obvious. Paraphrasing Patton, let the other poor bastard die for his country. Belmont Club has been documenting the most recent massacre of Islamists. Wretchard once lamented the waste of life that was a poorly armed young hotheads attacking US forces. It is a harsh lesson but it is better a few thousand terrorist wannabes die in Iraq than to have them sneaking over our borders.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Never let the facts get in the way

Can you see the pattern here?
(emphasis added)

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Diana Griego Erwin has quit her post at the Sacramento Bee amid suspicions of making up several people in recent columns. Executive editor Rick Rodriguez announced: ...During our inquiry we found we could not authenticate the existence of several people even though they were identified by name, age and sometimes by the neighborhoods in which they were reported to have lived.
(from Michelle Malkin)

ANN COULTER: But I think there really is a problem on college campuses and if you want liberalism to continue in this country — I don't — but just to give you a little tip: Liberal students are being let down by their professors, by the world.
I mean, they're buffeted along by a liberal media. They have liberal public school teachers. They go to college. They have liberal professors. They don't know how to argue. They can't put together a logical thought...
(From Powerline)

Dr. Perelman contacted the College Board and was surprised to learn that on the new SAT essay, students are not penalized for incorrect facts. The official guide for scorers explains: "Writers may make errors in facts or information that do not affect the quality of their essays. For example, a writer may state 'The American Revolution began in 1842 ...you are scoring the writing, and not the correctness of facts."
(from Instapundit and Roger Simon)

5/16 MattO: of course the latest SPEWSWEEK fabrication underscores Diego's point.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


A Brain Droppings Exclusive: Ridley Scott's next project

We have received from an anonymous source a list of the movies that Ridley Scott is considering for his next project. These are broad outlines of the story awaiting Ridley's upwardly turned thumb before they go to the next stage of revisionism.

1) It is 1946 and the marauding American Army is sacking its way across France. The brave French resistance is putting up a gallant fight but they are outnumbered and just too polite to stop the Americans. In Germany, the Knights of the German/Jewish Friendship League prepare camps to use in a desparate attempt to withstand the Americans. Their only hope is to be rescued by the heroes of the Red Army. Jewish workers labor for long hours, sometimes to their death, under the helpful watch of their German friends. Can they finish their work in time? Only when Hitler and the SS escape from the Tower of London and cross the Channel in their submersible Panzers to meet the Americans at the Ardenne do his Jewish friends have a chance.

2) It is the Mid 1930's in China and the Chinese have invited their good friends the Japanese to have picnic in Nanking. The great picnic of Nanking is full of friendly hugs and kisses on the check as the two great peoples frolic in the fields surrounding the city. However, in the background the evil Americans plot to create mistrust between these two great asiatic peoples. Through a series of farcical missteps the Japanese are tricked into burning, raping and looting dressed as American soldiers from the civil war period while the hapless Chinese play the role of Native Americans. This new game ends in tradegy when the poor Japanese realize they have been tricked into slaughtering their great friends by the Warlock Roosevelt. The Japanese try to return home but Roosevelt refuses to let them have any gasoline so the Japanese are forced to attack Pearl Harbor.

3) It is two thousand years ago and Jesus is a black Lesbian from the Bay area. She and her lover Mary lead a group of metrosexual disciples/rock band around ancient Judea converting people from their stale, intollerant monotheism to the groovy hip new religion called..."Well call it whatever you want 'cause it's your religion, baby," says Jesus. Jesus and Mary must watch out for the uncool Phari-Christians who are trying to get Jesus to sign a contract with "the man/Pilate" so that the Jesus' music and new religion will be under the control of an organized music company/religion. But when Pilate hears the righteous beats of Jesus he can't wash his hands of this new message and Pilate becomes Jesus' manager. Ends with Jesus and disciples playing at the coliseum. (Hope that is not too close to the Di Vinci code)

Ridley baby, take a gander at these and let me know what you think. We can always add whatever you'd like. Here is one more idea which is a kind of a remake, I know you hate these but give a look.

4) It is sometime in the future and a group of French space scavengers/recyclists come across a ghost ship. Inside is an endangered species of alien that is being hunted by a Texas oil trillionaires for sport. They only way they can survive is to enter the stomachs of the the scavengers so they can sneak past the giant oil star from which the trillionaires plot to secure the universes resources. The hitch is the only human food the aliens can eat is McDonalds. And the French must eat this for TWO months.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Canadian Scientists Denounce Kyoto Protocol

Let the character assassination begin

A group of Canadian scientists have produced a documentary critical of the Kyoto protocal and the idea of global warming in general. The group, Friends of Science, have used their own money to create this documentary. Hmmm, I wonder how long it will take before these scientists have their motives called into question?

The numbers of scientists staggered me--17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two thirds with advanced degrees, are against the Kyoto Agreement. The Heidelberg Appeal--which states that there is no scientific evidence for man-made global warming, has been signed by over 4,000 scientists from around the world since the petition’s inception. I strongly questioned these high numbers, since I’ve had benefit of the Canadian government’s public relations machine on this issue. Dr. Leahey has since sent documentation to back his figures up.

All those scientists were in total agreement: the Kyoto Protocol was complete fiction.


Monday, May 09, 2005


Don Zimmer, kidnapped in Boston

Don Zimmer, bench coach for the New York Yankees for the past 8 years was taken hostage while visiting Boston last week. A video was released with Zimmer making the following statement, "The Yankees must keep losing. Please keep losing." No other demands for his release have been issued. Later in the video Zimmer said he is been well treated except for having to watch Ben Affleck try and act.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


The warped priorities of a litigious mind

Clarence Stowers' display of callous greed is truly stunning.
To a dessert shop customer, the severed fingertip found in a pint of frozen custard could be worth big dollars in a potential lawsuit. To the shop worker who lost it, the value is far more than monetary.

But Clarence Stowers still has the digit, refusing to return the evidence so it could be reattached. And now it's too late for doctors to do anything for 23-year-old Brandon Fizer.
Rob at Say Anything gets it right:
Its like the guy thinks its a winning lotto ticket or something.
Via Spoons

Saturday, May 07, 2005


What happened to history?

Victor Davis Hanson says it fell victim to a tyranny of the present.


May 2005 Dominionists Newsletter

It's spring and the smell of burning witches fills the air

I know I am a little late on this but I have been terribly busy setting up this months burning. As you can see in this photo from last month we had quite a good burning, special thanks to the Procters for donating all that wood! As you know, stones don't gather themselves and tomatos don't spoil in the fridge. (Unless you are a witch, hahaha) And, of course, witches don't knock on your door begging to be burned. (Wouldn't that make this so much easier!) No, we have to look for them and we have found that a college campus is the best hunting ground. Little Alice Baker asked last month, "...how do we know that they are witches?" Well Alice, going to Harvard and majoring in Women's Studies is a big give away. This month promises to be a good one. We have listened to your suggestions and made some changes. I take your concerns, and souls, very seriously so the next witch will be wearing an asbestos dress and a gag. Who wants to hear more blathering about the patriarchy.

I want to thank Goody Biddle for bringing the marshmellows, Graham crackers and chocolate. The smores were delicious! (My wife had to remind me that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, hahaha) Just a couple of reminders, don't forget to bring any books you have laying around that need burning and gasoline is more of an explosive than an accelerant. Let the duraflames do their job. Looking forward to seeing you!

God's Peace,
Daniel Pierce

Photo courtesy of our friend Rachel Popkin, good thing she has a sense of humor.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Term limits and the line item veto

Robert Novak in the Chicago Sun-Times has an article about how establishment GOP politicians treat people who try and take their pork away from them. Now that the Republicans control the congress I think a lot of conservatives have abandoned the idea of term limits because it would a tactical advantage to the Democrats at this point. (Incumbents are almost always reelected, you have to pull a Condit to get kicked out of office) I think this is short sighted because it ignores the reason for term limits, to create a legislative body that is less interested in constantly seeking reelection and, therefore, less interested in constant fundraising. We need to get back to the idea of citizen legislators who go to Washington for a period of time and then come home. People who know that they will have to live under the laws that they write. Congressmen who don't spend so much time in politics that they feel they are entitled to game the system for personal profit.

I do think that Senator Coburn should quit practicing medicine because the rules exist for a reason but as Novak points out this ethics issue has little to do with Coburn's activities as a doctor.

The line item veto is another pork reducer. Let's force this issue, maybe Tom Coburn is just the person to introduce legislation on both of these issues and I hope all conservatives and Republicans can see beyond the next election to real fundamental change in our federal government.


Donald B. Hawthorne over at Anchor Rising addresses the misguided incentives in the public sector. Ergo, more pork.

I learned from Jay Reding that Tom Coburn is known as Dr. Pain, as in pain in the rear. Good for him! Also, Abe Vigoda is still alive.

Dusty disagrees in comments and we continue the debate over at his site.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Seat selection criteria among el riders

John Moss is asking for people to email him with the criteria they use in selecting a seat on the Chicago el. I hope he posts about the responses he receives because I'm curious about this too.


May the spots be with you: 'Star Wars' everywhere

Well, let's hope not everywhere.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Chip Bok cartoon

This Chip Bok cartoon is humorous and makes a good point.


Human activity & global warming

Scientific fact or propaganda?

Are leading scientific journals censoring debate on global warming? Some scientists think so:
Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming.

A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds.

A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.
I'm sure armavirumque has an opinion on the matter.


Anti-semitism in Britain

Roger Waters was prescient when he conceived The Wall. Who knew that he foresaw Britain in the early 21st century?

Bookworm rounds up the "...AUT's decision to boycott two Israeli universities and to try to force Israeli academics in Britain to denounce their country." Who let all this riffraff into the room, indeed.


Mary Mitchell, Perception and Racism

In the long run, just who is she trying to help?

Maybe there is more to the story, but as Mary Mitchell tells it a man tried to pull a fast one at a White Sox game, got called on it, and didn't like the consequences.
The group ran into trouble when they were turned away from the Stadium Club, a private lounge, because they had a drink in hand. Two of the consultants got rid of their drinks. Wilder and Braun stayed outside the club and, Wilder admits, he tried to sweet talk the waitress into letting them bring their drinks into the club.

That turned out to be a bad idea.

"She told me that she would call 'Vito,' the security guard, and Vito came out of the lounge with a chip on his shoulder," Wilder said.

When the pair tried again to enter the lounge, this time without their drinks, the security guard allegedly said Braun could go in, but Wilder couldn't.

"I asked him why, and he told me that I had too much to drink. When I pointed out the fact that I had the same amount to drink as my associates and that it was b------t, a security guard got into my face."
Security as White Sox games is excellent. They are quick to clamp down on unruly behavior and Mitchell's account seems to offer a good example of this. Wilder was refused entry because his behavior was out of line and a security guard got in his face only after he used profanity. Would he have been refused entry if he'd just followed the rules, as did his companions? Doesn't mouthing off to a security guard who obviously has "a chip on his shoulder" indicate a lack of self control?

Wilder's effort at "sweet talk" is the crux of the matter, specifically the perception of the recipient. Communication is, after all, a two way street. Wilder was trying to pull a fast one and the waitress took offense. What was the problem with the perceptions of the waitress? Mitchell doesn't really address why she feels that it was racist.

From the information she provided, its impossible to discern that Wilder was treated differently because he's black. But it is clear enough that had he behaved himself none of this would have happened. As for Mitchell's assertion that black people receive greater than average scrutiny in certain situations, she's undoubtedly right. But how does whining about it while contributing to a pr campaign that seems intended to bully the White Sox help anyone in the long run, other than Mr Wilder and his attorney?

Monday, May 02, 2005


A message for John Mason's friends

Time to get out the Clue Bat

John Mason seems like a good guy. A decent person who is not entirely gullible. Afterall, he had the brains to get himself an attorney and to follow the attorney's advice about a lie detector test even when it made him look bad in the eyes of all those who assumed he was the bad guy when this whole mess started.

So what is John going to do know that his betrothed is back in town? I certainly hope he is not going to go through with the ceremony and if John is considering this his buddies need to step up to the plate and and give him a whack with the clue bat. Sorry, I have been here before and only a true friend will save a man in love from himself.

If you happen to see this John, take a deep breath and move on with your life. Any woman selfish enough to put you and her family through this kind of pain and potential incarceration is too screwed up in the head to be a good wife. And take a good look at the blogoshpere on this one, 'cause it ain't even close.

IMAO has runaway bride jokes.


The Sarge definitely does not need a whack with the clue bat:
John Mason is representative of everything women detest, that is until women reach 32 years of age and are terrified by the fact that they are unmarried, because the prospect of taking some rube for half of everything he owns and getting a decades-long cash bonanza is slipping from their greasy fingers. As Miss Psycho was ageing, shriveling into a smoking heap like the Wicked Witch of the East, she could be heard shrieking, "My world! My beautiful world!" No subsidized shopping sprees, no remodeled bathrooms, no walking wallet companion, no flesh covered piggy bank that could be broken in the aftermath of a divorce.
I could live with this punishment:
So what now? Her actions were not a simple case of cold feet. Just like the Wisconsin co-ed who faked her own abduction, she should be held criminally liable for the police time and expense involved in her search. She should have to make full restitution to her fiance for the wedding expenses, including the expenses incurred for every guest who took time off work or traveled or both. Ryan Kelly should get $5 a sandwich and $2 a coffee. And if not jail time, certainly a felony conviction on her record, probation, and community service.
Live blogging John Mason on Hannity and Colmes: ''...she is a victim, too." Oh man, John you are clueless. Also, the pastor asks us not to judge her because what if "...she was your little girl." My 32 year old little girl, do you wonder why some people never grow up. Probably because no one holds them accountable for their actions. Also, I heard someone say "..but for the grace of good.." because she did not and certainly nobody has any measure of FREE WILL! Yuck. He still loves her, "absolutely." Yes, the wedding is just postponed. John says, "Ain't we all messed up? Ain't we all made mistakes?" Sure we have, John. You are going to make a big one if you don't read her the riot act. Ok, enough of this. I have heard about what a wonderful person Jennifer is and I am sure that they want to forgive her. Given how the men in her life have treated her it is not difficult to see how she turned into a spoiled brat. Let her pay restitution, do community service and live with the stigma and I am sure she will grow from this. Remind me not to raise a child that has so little empathy.


From Pluto's Dad,

Runaway Bride Demands $100,000 Reward For Bringing Herself In

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