/* Am I A Pundit Now?: March 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo, R.I.P.

|McCracken| well, Terri Schiavo just died |PeterSakievich| I saw that |McCracken| HAPPY NOW |PeterSakievich| what a bizarre human story |McCracken| yeah a real tragedy |PeterSakievich| in which there never was any real information from anyone |McCracken| yeah I still don't know what to believe |PeterSakievich| my mother was asking me what I thought |PeterSakievich| I told her I had no idea what to think |PeterSakievich| because none of info was solid |PeterSakievich| was she a pure vegetable or just brain damaged? |McCracken| god, if the pope and rhenquist die now I am going to freak |PeterSakievich|she was breathing and her heart was beating on it's own |PeterSakievich| as far as I understood |PeterSakievich| but thenagain..who knows |McCracken| yeah who is to say she wasn't conscious in there |PeterSakievich| her parents said she was |McCracken| there was no clear determination of that |PeterSakievich| her husband said she wasn't |PeterSakievich| and there was never any expert medical exam that was shown to the public |PeterSakievich| so.... |PeterSakievich| it's impossible to say |McCracken| the point is: you err on the side of caution |McCracken| correct? |PeterSakievich| well yeah |PeterSakievich| but since I have no involvement in the decision |McCracken| heh, can I post this conversation in my blog Peter? |PeterSakievich| sure

9:30 AM | | |

Do We Need A National ID Card?

Lamar Alexander thinks we do. I have a newsflash for the Esteemed Senator. We already have a national id - it is called a passport. "What about non-citizens?" You ask. They have green cards. If they are here legally, that is . . .

6:22 AM | | |

National Review Caves In

National Review Online was hit by a complaint from The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) that they were offering a book for sale through their book service that is 'virulently Islamaphobic' (via Little Green Footballs). I am quite annoyed at National Review for buckling under to CAIR. For chrissakes, the National Effing Review?!? Even if NR offered books from its service that possibly defame Islam and Mohammed, it should be up to the american public to decide if that is the case, not CAIR. NR have given CAIR a veto on what views of Islam make it into the marketplace of ideas. In fact, here is a great article that makes it clear that the book in question is not defamatory at all. All that The Corner has offered in response is a single tepid answer, in and among the myriad posts about movies with no women in them.

6:10 AM | | |

Pie In The Face Politics

I heard from Powerline that Bill Kristol got a pie in the face while giving a speech on foreign policy last night. Ha ha, funny funny, and Kristol is a great guy for taking it in stride. Did they counter Kristol with superior argument? Did they refute his philosophy by pointing out its errors? According to the Wavy Gravy school of street theater political action I suppose they think they did just that. Rather, the Left demonstrated again that they are petulant children more interested in being weightless than in engaging real issues. They continue to waste our time with such things.

5:41 AM | | |

Abbas Goes After Gunmen

PLA president Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the capture of a group of gunmen that fired upon his compound, and then shot up restaurants and shops in Ramallah. Apparently, this group of gunmen had been under Arafat's protection in the headquarters, hiding from Israel. The men are wanted in connection with violence committed in September 2000. This is encouraging, I suppose. Palestinians suffer far more violence from other Palestinians than from Israel, and non-functioning services and corruption are rife. Although Arafat was scrupulously unconcerned about the daily lives of everyday Palestinians, at least Abbas pays lip service to their needs. As far as Abbas goes, we will see if a rabid anti-semite can ultimately change his spots. I am not yet convinced.

12:42 AM | | |

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Howard Kurtz Exclusive: Colleges Have Very Liberal Faculties

Hmm yes, let's file this under Well, Duh (via Pejmanesque). Even the most self-blindered liberal will admit that college faculties are overwhelmingly liberal. Been there, done that - every single poli sci professor save one at Boston University where I got a B.A. in Philosophy/Poli Sci was avowedly left wing. Heh, my student advisor was Howard Zinn if that tells you anything. We did have one excellent libertarian-ish prof who lectured on public policy however, which was one of the best classes I ever took. I had a psych professor who regularly lectured on the heartlessness of Ronald Reagan, and many other profs occasionally took shots at conservatism. It all seemed to go with the territory, like going to Italy and discovering that almost everyone there speaks italian. I wouldn't have changed it a bit, to tell you the truth. I had no problem immersing myself in conservative thought on my own time, while having the living gospel of liberalism taught to me in person. Someone in the blogosphere remarked that conservatives have an advantage against liberals: conservatives have been forced to learn to speak liberalish while liberals are ignorant of the real language conservatives use (and not the language that shows up in 'leaked senate memos', if you know what I mean).

6:06 AM | | |

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Schiavo And The Men In Black

There has been a lot of buzz lately in conservative circles about the power of the judiciary and judicial activism. Mark Levin's book 'Men In Black' has just come out, and the timing for it could not have been more fortuitous, with the Schaivo situation now saturating the airwaves (although in Schaivo's case, a little judicial activism might have saved her from her cruel fate). The central argument against judicial activisim is ire at the theory of a 'living constitution', that it is an elastic document that changes with the times. This theory has led to the creation of rights that the founding fathers could not have forseen, and would not have agreed upon. To the Levins of the world, the constitution is only supposed to be interpreted in accordance with the 'strict construction' theory espoused by Justice Scalia, among others. This is not a conservative theory, in my opinion. If the Supreme Court finds a right to privacy in and among the penumbras and emanations of the Bill of Rights (as it did in Griswold v. Connecticut), why should this not be celebrated? One of the coequal branches now recognizes your natural right to privacy that has been heretofore ignored. As a republitarian, it is self-evident that more rights are better than fewer. Moreover, the theory that the constitution is locked in and impervious to change (or should be, say the conservatives) is belied by the document itself. It contains mechanisms for amendment. Obviously the founding fathers thought that change in the constitution itself would be good and necessary, as conditions demand. As for judges finding 'new rights' in the constitution short of amending it, the Ninth Amendment provides for this. It states that the people are entitled to all of their rights whether the constitution spells out what those precise rights are or not. The original argument against having a Bill of Rights attached to the constitution was that the government could then argue that those are the only rights you have. Conservatives such as Levin are now making that exact argument. It ignores liberty in favor of a fundamentalist fetish for the exact words of the Constitution. It is clear that the founding fathers intended no such thing, by inserting escape clauses such as the Ninth Amendment into their document. I don't use the word 'fundamentalist' by accident here, because much of the strict constructionist argument is a fallacy created to oppose the right to privacy (i.e., abortion). Were it not for pro-life activism, strict constructionism would be relegated to the status of a minor crank philosophy. Much of what strict constructionism stands for is of course good and correct - the words of the Constitution actually mean something and were put there for a purpose, and a judge should be loath interpret those words as anything other than what their clear meaning entails. The good that comes from this is that strict constructionists look to interpretations that limit the scope and power of government. Unfortunately, they end up using the same interpretation to limit the scope and power of the rights of the people as well. The Constitution should be interpreted as narrowly as possible against the government, but as broadly as possible in favor of the people. The strict constructionists understand well the first part, but have forgotten the second.

2:38 AM | | |

Eye In The Sky

A US Army soldier has pleaded not guilty for killing a wounded insurgent in Iraq. The insurgent was working for Muqtada Al-Sadr, when he and his driver were fired upon last May. The US soldier, a tank commander, claims to have killed the man to ease his suffering from severe head injuries. It was all captured on videotape - "In the video, the man appeared to be lying on the ground and waving his right arm before the first shot flashed. In a subsequent image, he appeared to twitch as though hit again; and a dark pool of what seemed to be blood was visible." What is really rather amazing is that the video was captured by a US military drone aircraft on a reconaissance mission. I find it odd that a drone would just happen to be viewing this incident at the time, but apparently that is what happened. Should the man be court-martialed? Yes. Should every possible doubt, inference and question be resolved in his favor? Absolutely. If it is at all plausible that the insurgent was mortally wounded, that settles it for me, case over. The military should bend over backwards to absolve soldiers of perceived wrongs committed in the heat of battle (as opposed to wrongs committed during frat parties inside prisons, for example). P.S., Notice how the Sgrena affair has all but disappeared from public consciousness? Notice how there are no calls for congressional investigations, nor any calls for resignations? Something useful came from it I suppose, it reminded us that Marxist journalists are, and always have been, liars.

1:19 AM | | |

Friday, March 25, 2005

UN Says Hariri Crime Site Tampered With

A UN report regarding the investigation into former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri's death called it a 'coverup', but would not go so far as to blame Syria for the assassination.
" . . . there was evidence Syria's president threatened Hariri with physical harm and that the Beirut government showed a lack of commitment to finding out who killed him, bungling and outright manipulating the investigation. . . " " . . . The report says there was a "distinct lack of commitment" by the authorities to investigate the crime, and it detailed a host of flaws, including the disappearance of crucial evidence and tampering with the scene of the blast. Parts of a pickup truck were brought to the scene, placed in the crater and photographed as evidence, it said. . . " " . . . The proof is that the wreckage of the car was found in the sea near the site and was retrieved by divers from the international experts . . . "
Who do the Syrians blame? Why, the UN of course! Security Council resolution 1559, calling for Syria's complete withdrawal from Lebanon, led to a 'polarization' and decline in the political climate in Lebanon that ultimately caused Hariri's death. I thought Syria was in Lebanon to provide 'security'. Obviously, they are bunglers in that department. Just as an aside, some months ago there was a mysterious 'terrorist bombing' in Damascus that exploded in an abandoned building and harmed no one. Speculation was that this 'attack' was a ruse by Syria to garner some sympathy in the global war on terror. I just can't help but think that it somehow had something to do with Hariri's assassination. A practice run, perhaps?

10:57 AM | | |

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bobby Fischer Released

There is a fine line between genius and madness, and Bobby Fischer tripped over it long ago. Wearing a long beard, Fischer was released by Japanese authorities and boarded a plane to his new home, Iceland, where he beat Boris Spassky to win the world championship in 1972. Not one to mince words, Fischer said:
"This was not an arrest. It was a kidnapping cooked up by Bush and Koizumi," he said, referring to President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "They are war criminals and should be hung," he said.
This AP article also says that
As he walked toward the airport entrance, he turned, unzipped his pants and acted like he was going to urinate on the wall. He called Japan's ruling party "gangsters," and said he was being hounded by the United States because it is "Jew-controlled."
This guy is like the Richard Wagner of chess.

5:06 AM | | |

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Kos: "We're The Majority"

Oh yeah, you're the majority. Which is why John Kerry is in the White House now, right? Here is my favorite comment from the thread:
"Bush has stolen 2 national elections in a row. He stole them outright. He is a thief. A criminal against democracy. Also, a congenital and pathological liar, an international war criminal, a notoriously evil villian, and, futhermore, I personally do not like him. At all."
Wow, Bush is an evil villian (sic) ? Does he bark out orders while stroking a white persian cat in his lap, deep in his secret lair under a volcano? I also like the 'congenital liar' comment originally used by Bill Safire to describe Hillary Clinton. Apparently the commenter felt so stung by that, they decided to throw it at Bush. It is great that the Left thinks like this. As long as they are this daft, they will never win a damn thing.

8:54 PM | | |

I Hope This Is True

"The Syrian president is not Michael Corleone but his [hapless] brother Fredo."
Could we get Bashar Assad to go fishing somewhere, like, Lake Tahoe maybe? From an insightful (and encouraging) article on Syrian internet users evading the Mukhabarat. P.S., "Everything I need to know I learned from The Godfather." - Roe Conn

1:41 AM | | |

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Fed Intrudes To Save Schiavo

I am amused that finally, at long last, the leftists have awoken to discover that the federal government 'intruding' into something might be a bad thing! I am speaking of the Terri Schiavo case, which I have been trying to avoid writing about. I don't like it when the media focuses on one case such as this, as if Schaivo is the only person in the world going through something like this. Much like the Scott Peterson murder trial - as if this was the only case where someone murders their spouse. But it does amplify one point however - the Left claims to care about 'the people', but refuses to care about one person. I suspect that the claims that hard cases make bad law, that congress should not craft a law to protect one person, etcetera and so on are all probably correct. I have not read the laws or case opinions on this, so I do not know nor have an opinion of my own. But I can imagine many other people sitting in their chairs, watching the debates on this issue, listening to the arguments against saving Schaivo, and wondering how we and our government have come to this: that the proper functioning of our government dictates that this innocent and defenseless person must be starved to death?? Just for the record, I am an atheist. My concerns for Schaivo have nothing to do with religion. They have everything to do with decency, however. Since when do democrats and the Left care about federal intrusion into every aspect of our lives anyway? The federal government is nothing if not a gargantuan organization dedicated to intruding into your life. What is one more little intrusion, if it can save a life . . . ?

6:54 PM | | |

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Take The Pledge!

Go to Patterico and sign up to pledge defiance against FEC blog regulation. I have! Will you?

5:54 PM | | |

North Korea Zone

If you are at all interested in events regarding North Korea this is the blog for you (via JustOneMinute). They point out that Kim Jong-Il is the only fat person in NK, among other things, but the blog really is chock-full of scarce insights into the inscrutable North Korea.

3:32 PM | | |

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Withering Away Of The Left

There have been anti-war rallies in the US and Australia (via Instapundit) against Chimpy McCokespoon for the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Well, then, these folks must be against democracy in Iraq, because that is what this war they hate has wrought. But then again, the Left is always against democracy, freedom, and human rights. They love Castro - even though he runs a brutal police state. To the Left, secret police, torture and executions are good things. Well, if they thought they were bad things they wouldn't support Castro, now would they. They defended Saddam Hussein - a man who killed so many of his own people, that he had to dig graves with bulldozers. Shades of the Third Reich - and yet the Left went to the mat for this guy. They laud the Palestinians - people who goad their kids into blowing up completely innocent people (and themselves) in discos and pizzerias. The Palestinians supposedy have 'grievances' over occupied land. They should have thought about that before they started a war against Israel and got their asses kicked but to the Left, this means absolutely nothing. The Left can only maintain their ranks by convincing new recruits that they have the correct philosophy and plan for mankind. Their ranks have been shrinking since their heyday in the 60's, because their ideas are daffy and have been proven wrong time and time again (remember how Reagan was going to 'start World War III'?). And so, what new recruits they have managed to get since the 60's are the absolute dregs of humanity - people impervious to facts, experience or common sense. There has been a great 'dumbing down' of the left due to these inverse-Darwinian principles. What you have left are the most hard-core Stupidistas of all. I find the Left to be fascinating. How can someone hold on to such patently silly views in the face of gale tides of evidence that they are wrong? What is the allure, the attraction? Like the poor they claim to represent, we will always have the Left with us. I think that certain way of looking at the world is hardwired into the brains of a small percentage of the population, and the same works for the far-Right as well. The Left is impotent, irrelevant and a self-parody. But, unfortunately, they can vote, so we need to keep an eye on them. If we don't, they might just vote Stalin-lite into office.

5:26 PM | | |

Friday, March 11, 2005

Democracy From Above

There has been a lot of concern over the counter-demonstrations in Lebanon put on by Hezboallah/Syria - concern that the revolution is unravelling. Behind whatever is happening in Lebanon and/or Syria lurks a powerful trump card that Assad cannot stop the U.S. from using. The overwhelming might of U.S. airstrikes. This is Lebanon, after all, where that first step onto the slippery slope leads to a steep drop back into carnage and civil war. But behind every diplomatic feint and maneuver lies the knowledge, on all sides, that if Assad/Hezboallah pushes things too far, their forces will be decimated with impunity from above, without putting one of the 150,000+ coalition soldiers in Iraq at risk. It is hardly inconceivable that Bush would use them. Does anyone doubt that Bush the Warmonger is looking for another fight? Assad seems to be all too aware of this: "I am not Saddam Hussein" he urges. Assad is weak and will buckle when the heat is turned up. Bush should rattle the saber a bit, and again cash in on his 'say what I mean, mean what I say' style.

2:03 AM | | |

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Lileks Be KWAZY Man.

"There's a Pier One in the strip mall. I went there last Saturday. On the way in I noted a store next door: EQ Life. When I was checking out I asked the clerk what the store was all about. She shrugged: I dunno. You dunno? I wanted to say. How incurious to have to be not to wonder what that gigantic new store next door is up to? What if they've perfected a ray that makes your brains run out your ears, and any second now they will drill through the walls, stick in these spooky little electrodes that would make this high-pitched sound, like eeeeEEEEE which would be the last thing you heard before you fell, uncomprehending, to the floor? Then come the mincing machines! Little skittery things that run along the floor digesting organic matter! What if that's what they're up to?"
I just love a guy who is not afraid to write this kind of stuff.

6:54 AM | | |

Italian Anger.

I have read in various places that the italians are 'very angry' over the Sgrena affair. Yeah, they should be angry. They should be angry that their government is subsidizing terror directed at the world's newest democracy. They should be angry that they paid that much ransom money for a crazy witless marxist. They should be angry at the kidnapper/terrorists (ya think?) Are there any, any, italians who see this (sorry) situation for what it truly is? P.S., I was going to say that they should be angry at their bumbling security forces, but I don't want to slam Calipari himself, the agent who was killed in the incident. He was no doubt a great bloke, very good at his job, and put into a stupid situation. Condolences to his family and friends.

2:22 AM | | |

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Whew! I Feel Better Now.

A statement issued by Russ Feingold on McCain-Feingold regulating blogs:
"This issue has nothing to with private citizens communicating on the Internet. There is simply no reason - none - to think that the FEC should or intends to regulate blogs or other Internet communications by private citizens. Suggestions to the contrary are simply the latest attempt by opponents of reform to whip up baseless fears. BCRA was intended to empower ordinary citizens, and it has been successful in doing so. We will continue to fight for that goal."
It is hardly a 'baseless fear' to think that the creeping intrusiveness of government might come to the blogs. It will, eventually, because the inexorable Will To Power of government is to regulate - it is its raison d'etre. Now, how about giving us back the rest of our First Amendment, Mr. Feingold? (via Wizbang).

11:19 PM | | |

The 'Coincidence' Theory of Middle East Peace.

This article is a clinical example of how the brain reacts under the stresses imposed by cognitive dissonance. You can almost see Matthew Yglesias' brain doing calisthetics trying to come up with any colorable theory of Middle Eastern peace that pays minimal feasance to George W. Bush. (Again, via Real Clear Politics).

9:59 PM | | |

Sgrena: Picture Proof That She Is A Liar?

If this is really the car italian communist Sgrena was riding in when it was fired upon . . .
. . . then that woman is not just a liar, she is despicable as well. I am supposed to believe that the US military fired '300-400 rounds' at this vehicle?? Not only is she a liar, apparently she is also a major twit .

9:26 PM | | |

Kifaya Revolutions.

Found this article via Real Clear Politics (it's not just for elections, anymore!)
"Certainly across the region, kifaya is now addressed to concepts of government including dynastic tyrannies handed down from father to son, massive theft of public funds, the prevalent lack of transparency in business and the conduct of the affairs of state and mental retardation spread by imposters posing as religious leaders. "
I suspect that corrupt cronyism is the number one complaint of democracy activists throughout the Middle East. Democracy is the best antidote to this problem, in that it is the only system that makes officials accountable in any way. Thus democracy is not an end in itself here, but a means to emplace accountability. Just one of the benefits from the world's least mediocre form of government!

9:13 PM | | |

Actions Speak Louder Than Sympathy.

A poll conducted in February shows that a majority of muslims in Indonesia now favor American anti-terrorism efforts. This is due to Bush following through on his rhetoric and delivering what he promised - democratization in the Middle East. Bush's actions cut right through the hostile press in Indonesia and demonstrated directly to the people an essential truth - anti-terrorism in Bush's hands is actually pro-muslim. It is muslims who are the chief beneficiaries of Bush's policies. Actions win hearts and minds much more readily than heartfelt gestures of sympathy, which is all John Kerry would have offered. Indeed, the election of '04 has proven to be the most important election of our lifetimes.

11:47 AM | | |

Monday, March 07, 2005

Italian Journalist versus Occam's Razor.

Spoiler alert: the Razor wins. The discrepancies between the story told by italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena and that of the guards at the checkpoint that fired upon her vehicle seems very wide, but perhaps Solomon can split the baby with Occam's Razor. Outside the Beltway asks a great question: 1. The rescue team, speeding away after their escape from Sgrena's captors, was rapidly driving toward a U.S. checkpoint. Because of language barriers, adrenaline, fear, darkness, and the fog of war, the driver failed to see or understand the soldiers' signals. The soldiers, fearing it was a terrorist attack, shot at the vehicle. 2. The U.S. government, irritated because one of its few Iraq War allies in Continental Europe ransomed a hostage, decided to teach them a lesson by staging a massacre, heedless of the inevitable diplomatic fallout. Which of these seems more plausible? The question answers itself. Update: According to the left, the Sgrena episode proves that Eason Jordan was right. Um, if Jordan was right, why did he resign . . . ?

9:28 AM | | |

Why Does The Los Angeles Times Still Employ This Man?

"Since the peoples of the world have a common enemy, we must begin to think of revolution as an international struggle against U.S. imperialism. Our struggle in the U.S. is a genuine part of the total revolutionary assault on this enemy. Understanding the Korean people’s struggle, and communicating this to the American movement is a crucial step in developing this internationalist perspective."
Robert Scheer, LATimes columnist, didn't write this, but he signed off on it as a delegate on a 1970 trip to North Korea headed by the Black Panthers. The people of North Korea are eating bark off trees and the LATimes employs a mouthpiece for that despicable regime? Give the man a Duranty award.

4:09 AM | | |

Friedman On Euro Arms To China.

From Thomas L. Friedman in yesterday's NYTimes -
"I am not part of the bash-China lobby. I believe that the U.S. needs to engage China, not isolate it, and work with it so that it takes its rightful place on the world stage. I believe China is largely a force for stability in Asia, not instability. But one reason for that is that the U.S. has countered any other impulses from Beijing by maintaining a stable balance of power among China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan - a balance that has helped the entire region prosper. The sale of advanced European weapons to China can only weaken that balance."
Actually, it is all China can do to muster enough strength to stabilize itself, let alone the rest of asia. The centrifugal political forces throughout chinese history have often pulled the nation apart - chinese unity has been the exception rather than the rule. Keeping the nation whole is always job one in Beijing. Chinese unity will remain as difficult to maintain, or get even more difficult, as the country continues to modernize and becomes more affluent. The focus on unity will sap whatever imperial ambitions Beijing might have, which were probably minimal to begin with. The chinese attitude has always been "why do we need to go to the foreigners? The foreigners should beg to come to us." Having said that, all of China's new arms will be focused at one place: Taiwan. The dispute over Taiwan is precisely about the chinese fixation with unity - the reason Taiwan is a seperate region of China is due to the embarassing weakness of China to stop this seperation. Foreign powers, once again, have thwarted chinese unification. China is in woeful need of modernizing its armed forces. They use second-rate russian equipment that became obsolete in the 60's (they still fly MiG-17's, if that tells you anything). It will take decades of modernization and trillions of dollars spent before China has anything like a modern fighting force. Taiwan has a much more modern military than does China, and so China needs euro arms before reacquiring Taiwan by force. Taiwan is the real China: free, wealthy and democratic - and a model of progress for the developing world. China will reacquire Taiwan when it deserves to, by virtue of acting in a mature, democratic and civil fashion, and not by force of arms. Taiwan will gladly rejoin a mature and free China, but not a petulant and autocratic China. Europe would aid this maturing process by not selling arms to China.

2:22 AM | | |

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Kossacks Attack!

Daily Kos has unleashed a blogstorm upon the head of Alan Greenspan. (via Protein Wisdom). Well, they wanted to unleash a blogstorm but it appears to be sputtering rather badly. So far the worst crime uncovered is that Greenspan read Ayn Rand. Democratic opposition efforts are just a fascinating thing. They have plenty of passion, bluster, and vitriol, but not much in the way of common sense. As with their campaign against Guckert/Gannon, the very choice of their target shows their ineptness. Once again they have chosen a target that no one cares about. Only a drooling moonbat would get exercised over an inscrubtable wonk like Greenspan. His crime? Daring to suggest that Bush might be right about something (private SS accounts).

11:41 AM | | |

Friday, March 04, 2005

Bring Back The War Bonds.

I often listen to Michael Savage online via KRLA - Los Angeles. Savage is just out of his mind. He has been accused of being an agent provocateur, out to make republicans look bad (on purpose). I don't buy it, I think he really is a crackpot. He really means it. His solution to the standoff in Fallujah, for example, was to nuke it. That's right, drop a tactical nuke on the entire city and erase it. But, he is a compelling radio personality (at least I think so) and is more fun than just about anyone. And today, he came up with a gem of an idea. The fed should sell war bonds. Manifold benefits: the US Treasury could sell them at ridiculously low interest rates, knowing that patriotic americans will buy them even if they offer virtually no interest; they will sell by virtue of the nostalgia these bonds offer for the last Good War, WWII; and best of all, it will impress upon the american people that the fed is selling warbonds because WE ARE IN FACT AT WAR. On the weird, off-chance that Savage ever reads this, Michael, babe, you rock. But you are a crackpot. P.S. What would the possible objections to war bonds be? I think the left would howl that they would be used to bait objectors to the war. After all, you aren't a good american if you don't buy war bonds . . . And if you are a really really good american, you would frame them and hang them on the wall instead of redeeming them.

8:36 PM | | |

Vodkapundit - God Bless the USA.

Vodkapundit was the first blog I followed regularly. Stephen Green just seemed so damn right about everything during election (because I agreed with him on almost everything - that makes him correct, of course),that I began to click on him every day. I just mention this because his blog is the one I most try to emulate. Tight, to the point, and not pedantic. He asks if those who are socially liberal, but support the war, are not the new Silent Majority. In a previous age, the democratization of the middle east, the introduction of elections, rights and freedoms to replace dictatorship and terror, would have been called progressive. Who, then, is more progressive - George W. Bush, or those who protest him? Well, who has freed more people?

4:55 PM | | |

Why Not Euphoria?

Ralph Peters, in the New York Post, warns us to not get cocky when it comes to the democracy movements sweeping the middle east. Why not a little euphoria? We have already had more success in the middle east than ever before in my lifetime. Even if these democracy movements get squelched, the seed has been planted. The idea is there, and obviously plain folk all over the middle east believe in it. We have already succeeded, let us enjoy it.

11:12 AM | | |

Bali Killer Will Go Free After Less Than 3 Years.

The leniency of Bali bombing mastermind Abu Bakar Bashir's sentence -- 30 months for the murder of 202 people -- has shocked the Australian public, not in the least because after long labor the mountain has brought forth a mouse.
- via Belmont Club. I could not blame some australian for hunting down this person in Indonesia and personally delivering some real justice to his fragile skull, in a most permanent way.

7:32 AM | | |

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Another Stake Into The Heart Of The First Amendment.

"John McCain and Russ Feingold have become two of the most dangerous politicians to American liberty since Huey Long." - Captain Ed. The execrable McCain-Feingold campaign finance act, the most odious piece of legislation since the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, might now be coming to the internet. I admire John McCain for a lot of things. He survived being aboard the USS Forrestal when it went ablaze (it was his plane exploding that started the fire aboard that aircraft carrier) only to land in Hanoi, spending a loooong time hanging from a wall by his dislocated shoulder. But I have to fault him for destroying the very core of the first amendment, and this is absolutely unforgivable. Make no mistake, no one in the entire history of the United States has done more harm to YOUR free speech rights than John McCain. McCain-Feingold eviscerates political speech, the essence of our free speech rights. If linking to campaigns or candidates somehow becomes a sort of 'in kind' contribution that falls under campaign laws, all bets are off. I, for one, will not submit. UPDATE: Patterico has called on bloggers to make this explicit pledge - "If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules." I hereby agree to this pledge wholeheartedly. Here, at last, is one topic that the left and right can agree on. I think we can expect massive disobediance in the blogosphere should the FEC try to regulate us . . .

7:19 PM | | |

The Hillary Wedge.

I am surprised that the republicans have not made more of the fact that Hillary is positioning herself well to the right of the rest of the democratic party (excepting perhaps Joe Lieberman). At some point, Hillary's center-right proclamations, such as a retreat from absolute pro-choice orthodoxy, tightening up immigration, and support for developments in Iraq, are going to cause cognitive dissonance in the democratic party. The democratic base will be forced to react at some point - Hillary is the most popular democrat contender for president right now (and make no mistake, she is a contender), and her apostasy will run smack-dab into Deanism during the primaries. Will the democratic party, as a whole, accept or reject republican-lite? What do democrats care more about: principles, or winning? Heh, democrats cannot have both in this day and age, they must choose between the two. It will most likely be like the '04 democratic convention all over again, where the democratic base sucked it up and accepted the faux militarism of Kerry with puckered lemon faces. The democrats will choose winning over principles because, well, since their principles have not fared well in elections the last 20 years or so, winning is all they have left. This is what the republicans need to exploit. Why have republican-lite when you can have . . . a real republican? This is the wedge that will split the democratic party into the Hillary and Dean wings. The dems will not have the Bush-hate glue that bound them into a squirming unity last time, Bush won't be around to kick anymore. Hillary could get savaged by the 'principled' Dean wing of the party, before the republicans even get to her. Somehow, I don't think that the '08 democratic primaries are going to merely be a long coronation ceremory for Hillary. So, let her build her center-right credentials. Let her flip flop on every issue possible, let her build a record that can be assailed by contrast to her previous life as first lady, Hill the Shrill.

2:33 AM | | |

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This is YOUR Democratic National Committee Leader!

What a pathetic little man Howard Dean is. Bandwidth stolen from DANEgerus.

10:28 PM | | |

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

DU Watch.

Heh, yes, still going over to Democratic Underground to view the moonbats in their native environment. They don't mention Iraq or the middle east any more . . . Could there be a reason for that . . . ?

9:29 PM | | |

We Need More Speech Codes.

Pay attention to this guy's writing - his words just pop off the page for me. A great thesis backed up by punchy words.

4:45 AM | | |

A Little Triumphalism.

God, it has been a joy and an honor to be republican-ish the last few months. Bush Wins! We are saved from the horrors of Massachusetts Liberalism writ large. The Bush Doctrine lives on. Bush Inspires. Bush's inauguration address capitalizes on his history of declaring his intentions quite openly, and following through on them. The address gets the attention of those it was aimed at. It feels just great to know that Bush actually believes this stuff. The Great Vindication. They said it couldn't, wouldn't, and perhaps even shouldn't happen, but the Iraqi elections do happen, as scheduled, just as Bush said they would. The Democracy Dominoes. The democracy meme is virulent and highly contagious in the regions in which it breaks out. Condi stepping out of The Matrix was a nice touch, too. After all the years of crap and garbage the left has thrown at Bush, having Bush win the election, and then having Bush be proven RIGHT (gasp!) is just too much fun to watch. It is a complete validation of my essential worth as a political animal. And it is even more fun to be able to indelibly affix the label 'I WAS WRONG' upon the forehead of every smug left-of-center armchair quarterback who knew, by virture of their superior blue state intelligence, that this Iraq thing was a quagmire for oil. Only chocolate and sex are better than knowing you're living history when it happens.

4:31 AM | | |