/* Am I A Pundit Now?: April 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005

Here Kid, Lemme Show You The Ropes

Osama Bin Laden Dead?

There are rumors flying around that Osama has kicked the bucket. I hope so, may he rot in hell.

5:04 PM | | |

The Axis Of Evil Is Alive And Well

Iran has announced that it will resume enriching uranium if a deal is not struck today.

Iran, like North Korea, has learned this nuclear blackmail game very well. So well, in fact, that they are now calling the tune, and telling europe it must dance. And dance is what the craven europeans will do (what, did you think the eurocowards would launch an airstrike to take out Iran's nuclear facilities? That would be so . . . aggressive).

The timing of this announcement is no accident, as the six-party talks over North Korea are also floundering. It seems that Iran and North Korea, the evil partners they are, have learned to play tag team as well.

Are they evil? Well, I don't think Satan is whispering into Kim Jong-Il's ear. But if Iran and North Korea are not 'evil', then nothing is. Have we not been told by our own semi-loyal opposition that 'theocracy' is the most anti-democratic and evil social arrangement there is? Surely it is just as 'evil' when both Iranians and republicans practice it. If you think it is horrible when a government says gays cannot marry, well, it must be REALLY horrible when a government say gays cannot live.

North Korea, for its part, is probably THE most repressive Stalinist regime of all time. They have invented entire new categories of ways to oppress human beings.

Why does Iran need nuclear power or nuclear weapons? They are floating on a sea of oil. They have no enemies on their borders, especially now that the shi'ites are in charge of Iraq. Nuclear weapons will not ensure the mullahs remain in power - the bomb is useless against their own population.

Let me be blunt: Iran wants nuclear weapons to annihilate the jews. Make no mistake, they wish to inflict genocide upon Israel. This is the only possible rationale for their nuclear weapons program. If you do not believe this is evil, you do not believe in evil.

Perhaps, at long last, it is time to stare into the abyss. Time to think through the real 'nuclear option' -nuclear war with Iran and North Korea. Neither government has a right to exist. They are tyrannies: undemocratic, and thus illegitimate. They are not entitled to recognition. They have no rights. We democracies merely tolerate them, hoping that they will reform themselves. Patience is growing thin, this evil only grows stronger. They will acquire longer range missiles, more warheads, and their demands and arrogance will only grow larger.

Would you strangle the baby Hitler in the crib? Perhaps we are witnessing our last chance to do so.

Not saying we should wage war against these nations. Not saying we shouldn't. But we need to confront the worst-case scenarios to be prepared for the future.

Ken Says: I am not some zionist neo-con who thinks U.S. policy should revolve around Israel. Hell, I am not even jewish. But, if you prick them, do they not bleed?

5:10 AM | | |

Hillary Rodham Chamberlain Goes Weak On North Korea

North Korea not only has nuclear weapons now, they can also arm a two-stage missile with a nuke that can hit Hawaii, Alaska and the northwest U.S.

So stated the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, who also stated that it was unlikely that North Korea would ever relinquish its nuclear weapons program during the six-party talks.

Hillary Rodham Clinton stated that this testimony was "troubling beyond words" and that it was time to end the six-party negotiations and deal directly with North Korea.

Here is one more reason to never vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. The idea of direct bilateral negotiations was originally brought up by John Kerry during the debates, and was roundly criticized for being a weak and capitulationist idea. It is that, and worse.

Dealing directly with North Korea is a very bad idea for many reasons. It would greatly anger our partners in the six-way talks: China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. It would eliminate any leverage that these countries have over North Korea. It would reward North Korea for being intransigent. And there is absolutely no evidence that bilateral talks would achieve any more than the six-party talks have. Clinton's statements here give succor to North Korea, and divides what should be a united front on this issue.

Clinton also said:

We find ourselves in a position now that strikes me as a failed policy with great consequences for the region and the world,” she told Jacoby. “We have been locked into this six-party talk idea for a number of years and all the while we have seen North Korea going about the business of acquiring nuclear weapons and the missile capability to deliver those to the shores of the United States.”
This entire 'failed policy' began with Bill Clinton's grovelling appeasment of North Korea, and ends with Kim Jong-Il reaping the benefits of nuclear blackmail made possible by Madeline Albright and Jimmy Carter. The democrats trained Kim Jong-Il like a dog and taught him that nuclear terrorism gets big results. Have we learned nothing from going spineless in the face of tyranny?

Clinton shows that she does not have the backbone to be a senator, let alone president, if she believes this is a wise strategy. Her statements on this issue are the height of irresponsibility. Do you want a Neville Chamberlain in the White House? Then vote Hillary.

Update: I have thought long and hard about Hillary's idea here. Once in a while, you are confronted with elemental stupidity. Stupidity refined down to its essence. Monumental stupidity. Stupidity that is the standard by which all other stupidities are compared and categorized. This is it, and I nominate it for Stupidest Idea of the Age, New Millenium Edition. Take a bow, Hillary.

Linked to OTB for the Beltway Traffic Jam. OTB is great, go check 'em out!

1:47 AM | | |

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Yep, Am I A Pundit Now Is Full Of Crap

I finally *get* the Is Full Of Crap thing. For example, look at this blogroll . . . Took me a while, but the payoff was worth it.

3:36 AM | | |

Associated Press On Abortion: Partisan, Or Just Stupid?

Trying to whip up a little pro-abortion hysteria, the AP is reporting on 'restrictions' on abortion since Bush has taken office.
- Last year, Congress passed a bill making it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. - Last year, Congress passed a different bill that denied federal funds to state and local agencies that act against health care providers and insurers because they don't provide or cover abortions. - In 2003, Congress outlawed abortions - generally carried out in the second or third trimester - in which a fetus is partially delivered before being aborted. - In 2002, lawmakers amended the legal definitions for person, human being, child and individual to include any fetus that survives an abortion procedure.
How is a law punishing the harming of a wanted fetus in any way a restriction on abortion? How is refusing to pay for abortions an infringement of that right? And, we have a word for 'abortions' committed when a fetus survives being born - that word is 'infanticide'. Over at the AP, it seems that getting one out of four right is considered 'accurate' reporting. Ken Says: You think I am some kind of pro-life hack? I am pro-choice.

3:14 AM | | |

Give A Man A Fish . . .

. . . and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he won't need the democrats any more.

1:04 AM | | |

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Pantano Accuser Removed From Witness Stand

Marine Sgt. Daniel Coburn, key witness in the murder trial of 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, was removed from the witness stand and arrested today. Pantano is accused of shooting two Iraqis outside a suspected terrorist hideout in April, 2004. Coburn was arrested for discussing Pantano's case with the media, even after being ordered not to give any more interviews. This must have been a very dramatic moment in the courtroom.

9:19 PM | | |

Minneapolis Considering Licensing Beggars

May this way we will get a better class of beggar:
MINNEAPOLIS - The police chief wants to license panhandlers, saying it would make it easier for officers to manage aggressive begging in Minnesota's largest city. Under the plan, panhandlers would have to register each year at a government center and have their picture taken. Anyone failing to wear an ID badge would be jailed for 30 days, and possibly fined. "The idea is not to penalize people or make them go away," Chief William McManus said Wednesday. "It's just a way to govern how they conduct their business." McManus said he's talked to the City Council about the idea. If a law passed, the city would join a handful of others that license beggars, such as Cincinnati, Dallas and Greensboro, N.C. Cincinnati's licensing ordinance is being challenged by civil liberties groups that claim begging is protected speech. . . . . . Robert Yellow Wolf, a homeless man panhandling on an interstate off-ramp, called the plan "ridiculous," but said: "When you're homeless, you have no say."
Beggars are not prevented from voting, are they?

7:37 PM | | |

The People's Republic of China Welcomes . . . The Kuomintang?

Lien Chan, leader of the opposition Kuomintang in Taiwan, was mobbed by well wishers in mainland China. Lien went to China to pay respects to Sun Yat-sen, whom the PRC and the Taiwanese regard as the father of modern China. I don't know why he would be treated so warmly, except that he is not japanese, and that he does not favor Taiwanese independence.

5:33 AM | | |

Monster French Airliner Makes Successful Flight

Here is the Airbus A380 making its first flight at the Toulouse-Blagnac airport in southwestern France.

Alright you francophobes out there, how many of you were hoping this sucker was gonna crash?

5:18 AM | | |

Sgrena's Lies Just Never Stop

Some italians are upset that the U.S. cleared its soldiers in the accidental shooting of Nicola Calipari. Calipari died when U.S. troops fired upon his car speeding toward a checkpoint while rescuing marxist propagandist Giuliana Sgrena. The now world-famous liar Sgrena, who originally claimed she was targeted in the shooting, has now changed her story yet again and says Calipari was targeted.
Sgrena, a veteran war correspondent for the communist newspaper Il Manifesto who was wounded in the shooting, called the findings "a slap in the face" and again alleged that Calipari had been killed deliberately. "Nicola Calipari was murdered. Don't use the word 'accident'. Now we want the truth and we want to know who gave the order to open fire on that car," she told a news conference.
Well you have the truth now, Ms. Sgrena. You would not know the truth if it jumped up and rubbed its ass in your face, but you have it nonetheless. The italians have offered no evidence other than mere conjecture that contradicts the findings of the U.S investigation. Sgrena's own account has of course been proven to be untrue. This event was a tragedy, but it was an accident also. Sgrena should be ashamed for trying to turn it into something it clearly is not. Marxists are not known for having much common decency, however.

3:36 AM | | |

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Is Hate Mail A Hate Crime?

You may have read about this story, where a young college student wrote 'hate-mail' to convince her parents the campus was unsafe. She wanted to transfer from Trinity International University to Jackson State, in Mississippi. Get this: she has been charged with a hate crime. Illinois is one of those foolish states that has hate crime legislation, that punishes thought and violates the equal protection of its citizens. It is not a crime itself, it is an enhancement of punishment for an underlying crime, that is how it works here. As if the motives of a guy who splits open your skull with a crowbar really matter. Clearly, this woman did not have the intent to inflict hatred on anyone while writing these letters. Her intent was to evade school. Moreover she is black: who were her intended targets? Other blacks, presumably, she was pretending to be a racist of some sort. Hate crime laws are just dumb, and should be repealed.

11:15 PM | | |

Hey Zarqawi, Go Eff Yourself

Here we have a photo of Iraqi anti-terrorists training, and apparently learning international sign language as well.

8:18 AM | | |

Air America Plunges Even Further

I almost feel sorry for them! But not quite. Via Michelle Malkin I see that Air America is in 44th place overall . . . in Los Angeles. The dems keep complaining that their 'message' isn't being heard. It is being heard alright, and then the listeners stampede in the other direction.

6:38 AM | | |

My Blogging Day

Wake up at the crack of noon.
Look at my pitiful sitemeter traffic.
Go through the news stories to find something amusing.
Go to Wizbang, cuz they rule.
Go to anyone who is recently updated on my blogroll.
Heap scorn upon Will Franklin for getting this blogging thing right the first time.
Limbaugh, Hannity, Hewitt, Savage, Batchelor, Curtis & Kuby, John Gambling, repeat daily.
Blog the first pithy snark I can think of.
Wish I was Mark Steyn. Or Lileks. Or Krauthammer. (P.S., Well, maybe not Krauthammer).
Forget all this stuff and immerse myself in my fantasy world of catgirls.
Listen to Dan practice drums, because I have no choice but to listen.
General Tso's chicken, delivered.
Spend time writing a long draft post that I end up not using.
Desperation sets in, look for good photos to post.
Go to DU, fume.
Remember that this blogging thing actually is a lot of fun.
Wish Glenn Reynolds knew I existed.
Pick a hot topic that I can surely use to trackback on someone's traffic (OTB and Wizbang are good victims).
Read my blog and admit to myself that yes, I am in the tank for Bush.
Do more drawing, because I actually love it more than blogging.

3:09 AM | | |

Uh, Is This My President?

Isn't this taking the diplomatic handshake a little too far? I know the prince is wearing a dress n all, but George, it's a man, baby. That mustache and goatee are a dead giveaway.

I had a couple of male students in Taiwan that used to like to hold my hand. It felt . . . odd. How much odder it must feel for a Texas shit-kicker to hold a man's hand.

This Blog Is Full Of Crap has an absolutely hilarious takedown of the full series of pics. Go forth, and be amused.

Update: Okay, when Say Anything and Oliver Willis are both scornful of the president for holding this guy's hand, I know it has hit a nerve. I would link to Willis' site, but it takes longer than 5 seconds to find his permalinks (if they even exist) so, Oliver, you're outta here.

And, commenters at Willis' site are saying that we should perhaps not make fun of this because it is some kind of quaint middle eastern custom. Oh come on. They are in Texas, for crying out loud, not Riyahd. When in Texas, do as the Texans do should be the rule. I am also quite sure the prince knows that american heteronormative males do not hold hands.

Update II: And that is another thing, Oliver, if holding his hand makes Bush a 'disgusting appeaser' what would you have Bush do? Spit in his eye, and say 'you can keep your filthy oil, sir!'? And bin Laden is not as chummy with the Saudi royal family as Oliver makes it out to be. If bin Laden were to fly back to Saudi Arabia, he would be dead before his feet touched the tarmac, a la Benigno Aquino.

Wow, this post is the gift that keeps on giving.

Added a link to OTB for their Beltway Traffic Jam.

1:51 AM | | |

Horowitz Gets Another Pie In The Face

Metaphorically anyway, based upon his treatment by the University of Hawaii. Horowitz must be some kind of masochist, and this article proves it. (via the indispensable Real Clear Politics). I was particularly struck by the fact that the faculty seemed happy to show Horowitz a poster of himself standing with Joseph McCarthy. An ugly and completely unjustified piece of propaganda. But, it is an example of who the real McCarthyites are, and it isn't Horowitz. What Horowitz is trying to accomplish, by opening universities to opinions other than 60's radical orthodoxies, is admirable but seems sisyphean. It is not an impossible task I think, because universities are now succumbing to criticisms they never had to face before. They, like the MSM, are no longer immune, and cannot wall up their ivory towers and ignore the jabs aimed at them. They are an awfully easy target too - a lot of conservative talk show hosts and bloggers seem to dig up silly stories about liberal academia on slow news days. They are always an easy score with an audience. Academic freedom should be a huge winning issue for republicans, because they have fairness on their side. All that the Left has is a defense of the needs of socialism, their outdated and discredited religion. And now we have Ward Churchill, who is a godsend to people like Horowitz. Churchill is so good for the right, you could not invent someone like him. He just oozes insincere creepiness much the way Michael Moore does. He does for academia what Jerry Falwell did for the religious right - makes them look arrogant and silly at the same time. It is not an attractive combination.

1:36 AM | | |

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Dems Blink First

In the further saga of judicial nominations, Captain's Quarters notes that Frist and Reid are now engaging in negotiations to get most of the blocked nominees onto the floor for a vote, while preserving the filibuster. If the democrats are so confident of their position on filibusters, and expecting to reap supposed political benefits from defending it, why are they trying to cut a deal? I sense weakness here. The dems are blinking, and have finally figured out that they are but one or two steps away from political suicide. They are afraid that their bluff is about to be called, and they are scrambling to avoid it. If Frist were smart, he will keep pushing. If he were smarter, he would push the dems to the wall and get additional concessions. Let's see if Frist is, in fact, smart.

10:55 PM | | |

There Is Some Justice After All

The U.S. has completely exonerated the soldiers that fired upon the car carrying italian propagandist Sgrena to freedom. The article above also states that Sgrena is an 'award-winning' journalist. Where did she get her award, I wonder? I Googled to find that out, and lo and behold! the first link is to Kos, where we get this gem:
Was she targeted in the shooting? Certainly, it appears the American version of the episode is not true. This Tehran Times piece raises serious questions . . ."
and this Tehran Times piece goes on to say that 'Giuliana had information, and the U.S. military did not want her to survive.' The idea that this batty marxist ever had information that the U.S. wanted to stop was ridiculous on its face, and of course Sgrena's great 'secret' amounted to nothing. Kos stated that the 'american version of the episode is not true' before any investigation had even begun. And then within a day or two of that post, Sgrena was exposed to the entire world as a buffoon and liar when her self-conflicting versions of impossible events were made public. I don't go to Kos regularly, because I don't like following that white rabbit down the hole. Every frickin' time I go there I am confronted with ill-crafted lies and wilful stupidity. Good, it keeps the leftists ignorant and incapable of dealing with reality. But that doesn't mean I have to go there. Postscript: as usual when confronted with the inane Left I got myself into a froth, and then didn't finish looking for Sgrena's supposed awards. It was probably only the 'Karl Marx Medal of Freedom' or some such anyway. Woops! Meant to put a link back to the OTB Beltway Traffic Jam. Hope they didn't de-trackback me.

6:54 PM | | |

Syria Completes Lebanon Pullout

Reuters is reporting that Syria's intelligence has left Lebanon, which almost completes the Syrian pullout. I am sure Kofi Annan will take all the credit for this. But the credit goes to George W. Bush, the Lebanese people, and Bashar Assad. Yes, why not give Bashar Assad a little bit of the credit? He could have dragged his feet, he could have made excuses for not pulling out, he could have piled more troops into Lebanon instead of removing them. The Taliban were given the option of turning over Osama bin Laden to avoid conflict with the United States. They stupidly shunned this deal, and the Taliban exist no more. Saddam Hussein was given the option of complying with the myriad resolutions against his regime to avoid conflict also, but instead he decided to play games. Now he is absolute ruler of a 10 X 14 cellblock. Bashar Assad is a man who apparently knows his limitations, and has wisely spared us all the drama of brinksmanship in Lebanon. Assad is still a tyrant and his time will come. But give the man a little credit for not being completely myopic.

5:34 PM | | |

Kos: Bush Violates Constitution!

Is this Armando fellow supposed to be some big time blogger at Kos? (via Little Green Footballs). Is this person actually implying that the Bush administration does not have the right to select its own delegates to international meetings? I am at an utter loss. How could this possibly violate the First Amendment? I am scratching my head here trying to come up with colorable theories as to how this could in any way violate the Constitution. Or is it a violation just because some leftist says it is?

1:49 AM | | |

Kerry: Down But Not Out?

I hate to be writing about John Kerry again because I write about him every time he sends out one of those mass email gaffes, it makes it seem like I have some fixation on a guy now rendered almost entirely irrelevant to american politics. Unlike Hillary, of course, whose star is rising. So I should be writing about Hillary then, right? Losing presidential candidates like Kerry are like those bygone teams of old that had great seasons, but then lost in the World Series. They have sentimental value, they mark a certain place in time. Except with Kerry I can't quite count the guy out. He is still campaigning, and he didn't lose much of a step after Bush beat him. He looks vigorous. Kerry seems more intent on advancing ideas, albeit awkwardly, than whining too much about how his victory was stolen by Diebold. Don't forget, there was once another odd duck named Nixon that lost the first time also. Outside the Beltway picks up on a great story about Kerry's seriousness in running again in '08. Maybe Kerry's "dagger eyes" shows how serious he would be about trying to demolish Hillary. OTB is a great blog by the way, a daily must-read. Just sayin' . . . Hillary v. Kerry debates would be worth good money to watch I think. Oh for god's sake, what if they ended up together on the 2008 ticket? I literally got a chill as that thought hit me.

1:12 AM | | |

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Is Your Blog 'Readable'?

Via Pejman, I discovered the Juicy Studio: Readability Test and put my blog through its wringers. Total sentences 654 Total words 5,023 Average words per Sentence 7.68 Words with 1 Syllable 3,322 Words with 2 Syllables 1,006 Words with 3 Syllables 442 Words with 4 or more Syllables 253 Percentage of word with three or more syllables 13.84% Average Syllables per Word 1.53 Gunning Fog Index 8.61 Flesch Reading Ease 69.82 Flesch-Kincaid Grade 5.43 My Gunning Fog index puts me right between the Reader's Digest and Most Popular Novels on their table of typical comparative reading sources. And, you need a 5th grade level reading ability to read my blog. Pejman was pleased that you only need a 7th grade education to read his site. I agree it is a good thing to have a lower level of readability for your blog - it leads to less confusion and a clearer message I would think. Just a funny aside, my entry here says I found this 'via Pejman'. His site says 'via Professor Bainbridge', which in turn says 'via Kevin Drum'. Interesting to see how these things get passed around.

5:04 AM | | |

Friday, April 22, 2005

Explosion Kills 8 in Shiite Mosque

This story, on the heels of news that 70 bodies were pulled out of the Tigris river shows that the ex-ba'athist and jihadist terrorists in Iraq are desperately trying to foment civil war.

5:43 AM | | |

Kerry To Kettle: "You're Black"

John Kerry wants you to know that a line has been crossed:
- The line that says a leader in the House of Representatives should never carelessly threaten or intimidate federal judges. - The line that says a leader in the Senate should never accuse those who disagree with his political tactics of waging a war against people of faith. - The line that says respect for core constitutional principles should never be undermined by a political party's quest for power. - And, most important of all, the line that says a political party's leaders should never let their obsession with amassing power overwhelm the needs and interests of America's families.
Pardon me, but isn't the filibustering of judges precisely the type of damage to the Constitution that Kerry is complaining of here? And in the name of an 'obsession with amassing power' on top of it? In Psych 101 we called this 'projection' John. The filibustered nominees usually wear their faith on their sleeves, which is precisely what makes the filibuster a 'war against people of faith'. It seems Kerry knows himself all too well here. Added trackback to Outside The Beltway's Beltway Traffic Jam.

5:32 AM | | |

CAIR Rears Its Ugly Head Again

I am wondering aloud here if it were possible to write something in this little blog that might get CAIR's attention, and thus bring me some juicy traffic. A CAIR fatwah might be just the thing to put me on the map! Well anyway, CAIR is at it again, and of course another corporation buckles under and apologizes to these professional whiners.

2:28 AM | | |

The Ayeayes Have It

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Pull The Trigger, Frist

The Judiciary Committee today recommended Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown as nominees to the federal appellate bench.
"We're in the ramp-up to a great constitutional crisis," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
Not at all a constitutional crisis, Chuck. The Constitution is quite clear on this point. Senate rules versus Constitution? Senate rules lose by a knockout in the first round. If it were a crisis however, the democrats are to blame. There would be no crisis without their abusive and unprecedented filibuster tactics.

11:10 PM | | |

Michael Savage: Deport Ramsey Clark

Savage played a clip of Ramsey Clark saying he was disturbed over the photos of Saddam Hussein with disheveled hair, graying beard, with a hand in his mouth (looking for a cyanide capsule, maybe?) Ramsey Clark's concern for Saddam is certainly touching. Sick, sociopathic and ignorant, but also oddly touching. Clark has offered to represent Saddam at his trial. Michael Savage said Clark should be disbarred, executed, then deported. Well no not really, I added the executed part, but it sounds like something he would say. Just writing this because I always find it amusing when Savage demands the deportation of american citizens. To where, Puerto Rico? Update: Savage also said that Bill O'Reilly is promoting Jane Fonda's book in order to suppress sales of 'Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder'. I leave it to you to figure out if this is plausible or not.

10:30 PM | | |

Laura Ingraham

Laura . . . mmmmmmmm . . .
Best publicity photo EVAR.

9:45 PM | | |

New Pope Denounces Relativism

The future Benedict XVI made a statement against relativism before the conclave:
We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism that has at its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires" - Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger)
Now wait just a minute there buster. Just because I cannot sift through the veracity of ALL the various religions and faiths out there does not necessarily mean that my highest goal is my own ego. Ratzinger also denounced relativism by stating it denies absolute truths. This is also erroneous - as a weak relativist I do not deny that there is an absolute truth. I believe there must be one, single Truth, that universally applies to all. What I do deny is that humans can figure out what that Truth is.
Relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along by every wind of teaching, looks like the only attitude acceptable by today's standards," Ratzinger said.
Wrong yet again. As a relativist, I am quite skeptical of all winds of teaching, as the Cardinal put it. Even skeptical of the catholic church, which I suspect was the Cardinal's real beef with me. I dislike being accused of being disingenuous by this man. Ratzinger was saying that I, as a relativist, am just looking for an excuse to be a libertine. That is not why I am a relativist. I am a relativist because I genuinely do not see which religion, faith or belief system is objectively true. The Pope is so blinded by the strength of his own faith in this matter - he does not understand how someone cannot believe as he does unless it is a way to avoid being blamed for moral wrongs. It is a silly argument. A relativist does not believe in moral wrongs - so why would I be trying to run from them or rationalize them? That would be like a catholic fearing the prohibitions in the Koran. They just don't apply. In case you are wondering what a 'weak' relativist is, I don't think it was a good thing for hindus to practice settee, the tradition of immolating widows upon their dead husbands funeral biers. This 'diversity' stuff only goes so far. Matthew Yglesias has not one, but two takes on this issue. I found the article on Ratzinger's denouncement via Jeff Jarvis. P.S. You know what, I think I do need to conclude by saying that I like the new Pope, and I think he is a good and worthy successor to JPII. I can't fault the man too much for being biased against non-believers.

12:05 AM | | |

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Democrat Corruption Piling Up

I am trying to track down a story that Nancy Pelosi was given a free trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico by a lobbyist. It would not surprise me, given Nancy Pelosi's past corruption: she was hit with a $21,000 fine by the FEC for funneling over $100,000 in illegal contributions to dem candidates during her bid to become minority leader. Pelosi also channeled $3 million of your tax dollars to a non-profit organization whose president then donated money to her PAC. And don't forget Hillary Clinton's corruption: Hillary Clinton's campaign finance director was indicted for falsely reporting the cost of a dinner and concert at $400,000, when the event actually cost over 1.1 million. Tom Delay looks like a fine upstanding citizen compared to these two.

8:50 PM | | |

Air America Plunges From The Sky

First, the schadenfreude of Bush beating Kerry, and now the schadenfreude of would-be Limbaugh-killer Air America withering in the ratings. They are not just losing ratings, they are getting pummeled (via the lovely but email-challenged Michelle Malkin). I cannot tell you how much personal satisfaction this gives me. To me it is proof that conservative messages fall on the ears much better than liberal ones. It is also proof that you cannot just plant astroturf and expect it to grow. There are alot of excuses and rationalizations for liberal radio failures - my favorite was Mario Cuomo's statement that "republicans write with crayons, but democrats write with a fine quill pen." Oh yeah, that must be it. The masters of bumper-sticker politics are too 'nuanced' for radio, I suppose. The real reason Air America is failing is, I think, that they put the cart before the horse. Air America was set up as a way to counter the mighty force of conservative talk radio. Air America should have been set up as good radio first, liberal politics second. Radio is always entertainment-driven rather than message-driven. God knows I don't listen to Michael Savage for his intellect (I don't care how many degrees he has, the man is a crackpot), I listen to him because he delivers great radio. He gets pumped up, he gets his guests pumped up. He is funny. He has 'insights' that more often than not are wrong, but they do intrigue. Radio hosting is a high art, and a difficult one. You must manage time well, be glib, not get fired, find interesting guests, and you must be funny. Humorless radio is no fun, and this is where a lot of liberal hosts founder. Mike Malloy used to host an evening show on WLS-AM here in Chicagoland. His show was godawful. His show mostly consisted of insulting republicans in unfunny ways, and getting twisted in odd calls with irate conservative listeners. He never had any Limbaugh-esque zingers because, frankly, the man is not very clever. And Malloy is considered one of the liberal radio 'big guns'. My point is that the failure of Air America does not mean liberal radio cannot work. The libs will just have to keep looking for that person who is a great host first, who happens to believe in their message second. I think they need to stop trying to squeeze people who are famous for other things, like Cuomo and Franken, into the shoebox of 'great radio host'. Such people are born, not made.

2:10 AM | | |

Tony Blair Ahead In The Polls

Bless his little heart. Blair is at 39 percent, 6 points ahead of the Tories. Go Tony go! I will be forever grateful to Blair for the courageous stand he took next to Bush to defeat the middle east's worst savage. He, like Bush, is a true leader, and that means not bowing to the media-created pressures of the day.

1:09 AM | | |

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm A Little Bitch Today

Here are some samples of my little feedReader RSS reader that I made for people to try and get some interest. Okay, I am a link whore and was looking for some traffic (heh, especially from Glenn Reynolds). All I asked for was a link, and I would develop this little reader for them, for their site, FOR FREE. They could let people download it as a useful banner. Ya think it might get them some traffic? I emailed NRO, Malkin and Reynolds, but did I get a response? Did I even get a "nice effort, but not interested" . . . ? Is it THAT frickin' hard to send a one-line email, even if you are a bigshot blogger? Yeah I know I am a peasant and a nobody, but honestly I consider this to be rude - unless they took my email to be spam which is understandable maybe. But it isn't like I was asking them if they wanted to buy bulk V:IAG:RA.

The one that pisses me off the most is the NRO Corner one, because they could actually use something like this. And, I emailed K-Lo and Jonah Goldberg. Neither bothered to email me back. P.S. I also made one for Drudge, but he is not terribly internet savvy apparently and so I did not expect him to even know what this thing is. The man does not even appear to know what RSS is, in fact.

4:17 PM | | |

Got Pope?

Germany's Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI. Congratulations to catholics all over the world! Will Franklin is all over it, with some good pics. Is it true they are calling him the "rottweiler of god?" Heh, sounds like a word play on domini canus.

12:46 PM | | |

Bonfire Of The Vanities - Week 94

Welcome! I am your Digital Savanarola for this week, hosting the blog-renowned Bonfire of the Vanities. Each week, the Bonfire links to the worst posts written by bloggers for the week. All of these links are self-selected by these bloggers as their worst posts of the week. So, how do we know these are in fact their worst posts???? Hmmm???? My friends, you will just have to visit these otherwise fine blogs and find that out for yourself. I would like to thank Kevin at Wizbang for the honor and privilege of hosting this week's Bonfire, and congrats to the Wizbangers on their recent second blogiversary (Vida Guerra, hubba hubba!).
When you can't think of a damn thing to write in your blog, just write about . . . penguins or something. Wait, make that gay penguins. Wait, gay penguins with bad Photoshopping. The excuse for this from Pirate's Cove? "I was bored, so sue me."

Hey, Mad Anthony, just because Birkenstocks are comfortable, doesn't make them right.

Will Franklin had high hopes for his commemorative stamps of George W. Bush visiting europe. I found the stamp of W. as Che Guevara especially appealing. However no one saw this post. "If you build it, they will come." Well, not in Will's case. Boo hoo, Mister Instalanche.
TechnoGypsy just wanted to chime in and say "I'm back!" but no one knew he was gone I think. And yes T.G. that IS a nice picture however.

Jay Allen - the Zero Boss. Hot or Not? The question that answers itself.

Here we have a great picture of Carpe Bonum going spelunking! Or bicycling! Hard to tell which! That grin does not look innocent. Yeah he throws in a bit about the Avignon Edition of the Carnival of the Vanities too (they rock, we suck).

Um, Donna, is there a rash of trig banditry out in the blogosphere somewhere? Should I be alarmed? (Pajama Pundits)

A wemma wopp a weema wopp a weema wopp a weema wopp IN THE JUNGLE, THE MIGHTY JUNGLE, THE LION SLEEPS TONIIIIIGHT . . . you know I never liked that song, but Dodgeblogium does for some reason.
This was actually a good post! And so was this one! Not one but two interesting posts sent to the Bonfire, which shows that RightWing Nuthouse doesn't quite *get* the whole Bonfire of the Vanities shtick. That's two demerits in one day for you, young man.

No, Brian, actually AOL is really not even amusing, let alone funny. Trust me, I know. Whatever gave you that idea? (Brian J. Noggle)

Ew ew ew more about marine biology than I wanted to know from Dr. Rusty Shackleford. At long last, have you no shame, sir?

Here is something scary that is going on at the Vatican right now according to This Blog Is Full Of Crap. But, that blog is full of crap, so who knows for sure.

Oh geez this is a not really work safe entry from Multiple Mentality. It is not safe sex, either. You have been warned.

We go from that, to this: flying headless insects from Boxing Alcibiades. Again, ew.

You know, bad blog posts are enough of a problem without folks like HamsterMotor actually trying to make bad posts.

There is such a fine line between enlightenment and sheer confusion. I think I know which one hit me while reading this post from Steve Pavlina.

Whose interview does Dodo David at Lifelike Pundits thinks you should read? Why, his own of course. "You're so vain, you probably think this blog is about youuuu . . ."

TFS Magnum thinks it is more important for government to spend money on criminal investigations than on museum exhibits. Filed under: Well, Duh.

Here is Avoiding the Tar Baby on precisely why Star Wars is going downhill. Depressing.

CrankyBeach then depresses me further with possibly moronic government regulations (redundant?).

I have read this entry several times from NewCounterCulture and still don't know what it means, if anything.

Interested-Participant got rejected from the Carnival of the Capitalists last week. Got rejected from Carnival of the Vanities as well. He didn't send me a working link to the post he wanted either, so he hit the trifecta - his article got dropped from the Bonfire of the Vanities. That is probably a new personal low. Please accept this consolation prize, and welcome back to the Bonfire.

Update: Buckley F. Williams of The Nose On Your Face did send me this post before the deadline, albeit with a bum link. Glad he got me the right URL, Fidel is such a hunk! XOXOXOX

So, where is your own Bonfire entry, Ken? You are looking at it, my whole damn blog. Not only is all the writing dubious (on several levels), I only got Firefox last week, and saw my blog in non-IE fashion for the first time. Gah! What a horror show. The tables were disjointed and needed a chiropractor. The rest just looked like garbage. I probably scared away any potential regular reader that uses Firefox.

To anyone I may have inadvertantly offended while writing this: good, you deserve it.

Upcoming Bonfire Stops
Week 95 (Apr. 26) - Boxing Alcibiades
Week 96 (May 2) - File it Under
Week 97 (May 9) - Pirate's Cove

And everyone, GO TELL PATTERICO you are pledging to defy FEC regulations on bloggers. Tell him Am I A Pundit Now? sent you. That is all.

3:31 AM | | |

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Calling The Democrats' Bluff

If the republicans use the constitutional option against the democrats over judicial nominees, the democrats have threated to shut down senate business in retaliation. The dems are wisely backing away from this. The polls are against them, and the ghost of Tom Daschle walks the senate halls. This article shows why its a big loser for democrats. (via RealClearPolitics).

12:54 PM | | |

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Trouble Girls

Yet another WIP I am working on.
All drawing and no blogging makes Jack a dull boy . . . All drawing and no blogging makes Jack a dull boy . . .

6:58 PM | | |

Chinese Chutzpah Towards Japan

The People's Republic of China is right up there with France when it comes to unalloyed arrogance and snotty nationalism.
Chinese leaders said outright on Wednesday that Japan did not have the moral qualifications to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council." - New York Times.
Let us compare China and Japan, and see who has 'moral qualifications' to be on the Security Council, shall we? Japan: democratic, peaceful, free speech. China: totalitarian, invaded Vietnam, jails and executes dissidents, uses slave and prisoner labor, wages cultural genocide on Tibet, threatens war with peaceful and democratic Taiwan.

1:39 PM | | |

Your Talking Points On Judicial Nominations

. . . he shall nominate, and by and with the Advise and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for . . . " - Article II, Section 2.
The republicans have done a horrid job of framing the issue of judicial nominations and have lost the momentum on this issue. What will save the republicans? Why, logic, common sense and the Constitution, as usual. But only if you help spread the word about democratic dimthink on this issue, and by offering your own rebuttals to their dubious claims. Here I offer some of that thin tissue of nonsense that is the democratic position on judicial nominations, and how to counter it. "We need full debate on all judicial nominations, and the filibuster helps this." Rubbish. This is what Advise and Consent is for, full debate on the senate floor. No one watches a filibuster on C-Span, it is merely a procedural move now. "Eliminating the filibuster destroys over 200 hundred years of tradition." The filibustering of judicial nomination is a completely new phenomenon, never practiced before in american history. The time to stop it is now, before it becomes an entrenched practice. [ed., actually Abe Fortas was filibustered during, what, the Johnson administration?] "The filibuster protects the rights of the minority". The Constitution has a special provision in Article II, Section 2 directing that all nominations are entitled to an up or down vote after Advise and Consent - it says nothing about a filibuster. The Constitution has provisions for supermajorities in various places, but none of them apply to the nomination of judges. Thus, applying a filibuster creates a supermajority requirement, and is anti-constitutional. "Bush has gotten 99.999999% of all the nominations he wanted." Yeah, but he is entitled to 100% of them according to the Constitution. "But the republicans filibustered Clinton's nominees!" No, they didn't. Go ahead and Google it - I dare you. Update: Linked to Outside The Beltway for its Beltway Traffic Jam. Update: Hugh Hewitt (via KRLA) reminds us that the dems have admitted that the filibustered nominees offered so far would all have been confirmed in an up or down vote. In fact, the republicans would let the dems debate them all day on the floor if they want. I accuse the democrat supporters of the filibuster of bad faith. What else can it be. Hugh has also pledged $1000 to Lincoln Chafee's dem opponent if Linc helps uphold the filibuster rule. Food for thought.

12:58 PM | | |

More Reasons To Watch The Border

Northern Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters. Not quite as bad as Iraq (19 killed in 2004) or the Philippines (8 killed in 2004-05),
Northern Mexico "has been worse than Colombia" in terms of the danger for journalists, said Lucie Morillon, a spokeswoman for the Washington office of the French watchdog organization Reporters Without Borders."
Colombia has had one journalist killed this year.

11:40 AM | | |

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Quote Of The (Yester)Day

Whoops, had this quote all ready to go, but forgot to post it.
"When I was in grad school, one of my professor remarked about the economic inefficiency of mandatory environmental recycling, 'Arguing that recycling is economic inefficient is like arguing that communion wafers are not nutritious.' The point is that the argument is simply unresponsive to the underlying concern of the person with whom you are conversing."
Brilliant. So often, liberals and conservatives cannot communicate with each other, because they come to the argument with radically different assumptions. So often, also, we do not grasp why we choose the assumptions we do. Or why the other guy chooses his. Go read Todd Zywicki's take on Thomas Sowell's book A Conflict of Visions. For the third time in a couple of days, vulturing from Volokh here.

12:19 AM | | |

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Betsy Says Unrelated Riders No Good

I am picking on Betsy again here. Thank god for all the smart bloggers out there, 'cause I ain't got a damn original thought in my head. I just vulture off them and pretend I am some fountain of great ideas. Har har. She complains about all sorts of miscellaneous riders that are attached to important bills, that would not otherwise pass because they are too unpopular. There is a solution, my friends. It is called a 'single-subject' rule, and it means that a bill can only be passed with multiple measures if they are all related to one subject. The subject cannot be so broad that it encompasses everything (no bills about 'public safety', for example. That covers damn near everything). We have it in Illinois as part of our Constitution, and it works great. Well, except a few years ago some convictions were overturned (for marijuana possession, if memory serves) because the new provisions were mixed in with other provisions that were not even criminal matters. Anyway, once the legislators got the idea that, yes, the courts were actually going to apply this rule against them, they buckled down and have been compliant ever since.

2:47 PM | | |

Let's Go Trash The Place

Via Dean Esmay I found out that the Tao of Dowingba is letting everyone into the blog to say whatever the hell they want! Woo hoo! Party at Dowingba's! Just kidding about trashing the place. Please throw out your trash out before you leave.

10:58 AM | | |

Kerry: Pathetic Vulture?

John Kerry is getting a lot of grief over an email he sent soliciting hardship tales from the families of soldiers during this time of war. Some of the letters people have been sending are hilarious -
My sister's husband served over a year in Iraq . . . [h]e is proud to serve, and we are proud beyond words of him and his sacrifices. And we are ashamed that you, as a US Senator and would-be president (that'll be the day), would be soliciting military families to give you sound bites for your personal political gain. Shame on you, you pathetic vulture. Release your Form 180." - from VodkaPundit.
Ouch. I think you are being a little hard on the vulture, Ward. Kerry is actually trying to work on legislation that would relieve some of the hardships on military families. One good idea in this email (Kerry sent one to me! He obviously doesn't know I voted for Bush) is to give military families who have lost a loved one more time to stay in military housing, from 180 days to one year. I can't disagree with that. Poor Kerry, even with good intentions he just comes off like a putz. P.S. Oh yeah, and John . . . SIGN THE DAMN FORM 180 already. Update: Betsy weighs in also.

9:48 AM | | |

Bush Is Tanking

Recent polls of the president's popularity show that his numbers are in the tank, somewhere around 45% approval. Paul at Powerline blames it on gas prices, Terri Schaivo and the social security debate. All true I think. But, while this would be gravely damaging to most other presidents, I really think it does not affect Bush that much. He does not pay that much attention to polls, and he really does not let them affect his decision-making. He is Truman-esque. Truman was horribly unpopular during his second term (also during a war), but did not make decisions just so it would repair his popularity. He had a clear vision of what the presidency should accomplish, popularity be damned, and he acted on it. Bush too has this attitude. Far from being damaged goods like Clinton during his second term, Bush can actually strike out and do what he thinks is right without too much fear of public retribution. His poll numbers have hit a floor, they can't go much lower. Poll numbers are so ephemeral anyway, "this too shall pass", and as we go on to new events in the news his numbers could bounce up quickly. Not that he needs them to do so. Do the right thing, Mr. President, and you will in time be vindicated. If anyone has learned that, George W. Bush has.

9:30 AM | | |

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Shills Against The Second Amendment

Randy Barnett has a great piece on the ethics of Chicago-Kent College of Law's symposium on the Second Amendment, which was slanted entirely against pro-gun views. I have real interest in this topic, being a Chicago-Kent grad '97, and also because that year I submitted a law review article on the Second Amendment to a national contest and won $3000!!! Heh, I don't pay the NRA, they pay me. The article was titled "Handgun Ownership As A Privacy Right", I don't have a copy, and it has disappeared off the face of the earth. Oops. I gotta say it was a great article. Sure, I can say that now that no one can prove me wrong. I had it all sussed though. I bet 90-95% of all submissions to this contest were of the 'original intent of the Second Amendment means we can have guns' variety. So I took a different tack, and wrote a piece on the laws banning handguns outright in Hoffman Estates and other towns in Illinois. My basic argument was, if the right to privacy protects the most important 'life decisions' a person makes, what could possibly be more important than the preeminent 'life decision' and natural right, self-defense? Condoms were not mentioned in the Bill of Rights, yet nonetheless Griswold v. Connecticut found them to be a type of protected object. All the more so for guns then, a type of object that is specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Anyway, the Chicago-Kent Law Review, in its symposium format really is awesome. The Ninth Amendment symposium was great, and really put the publication on the map. Update: Pejman chimes in.

9:40 PM | | |

Orin Kerr: Impeach Scalia

Antonin Scalia cites foreign legal authority, invented rights for marijuana growers, and wants to see the Constitution dead. Is he wearing Birkenstocks under those robes?? Kerr says: Impeach!

8:20 PM | | |

Saudi Clerics Denounce Forced Marriages

Woah, what's next for saudi women - the vote?!? From the AP via the Las Vegas Sun.

7:49 PM | | |

Monday, April 11, 2005

Andrea Dworkin R.I.P.

Probably most famous for the phrase "all intercourse is rape", which apparently she never really said, Andrea Dworkin has died. She did more to harm feminism than help it. She became the very cariacature of a man-hating ideologue, who couched much of her theory in terms of rape. She was the type of extremist exception in the movement who nevertheless came to represent it. As Outside The Beltway put it, she was 'the archetype of what Rush Limbaugh termed "feminazi".'

11:50 PM | | |

Daddy's Little Girl

Here is a WIP of Athena I am working on for a contest coming up.

5:49 PM | | |

Senators Grill Bolton Today

John Bolton was questioned by senators in a hearing today, in which his temperament to hold the post was doubted by Joe Biden.
Quite frankly, I'm surprised that the nominee wants the job, given the many negative things he's said about the U.N.," said Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the committee."
Gah! Biden doesn't understand that this is exactly why Bolton wants the job. Who do the democrat senators think would be ideal for this job? Someone who goes along to get along? Someone who won't make waves? Are they not aware that the U.N. has massive problems right now, and are in a state of near-complete denial about it? Or are the senators satisfied with the U.N.'s performance as of late? It seems to me the senators' time would be better spent grilling Bolton on exactly what he will do to shake things up at Turtle Bay, rather than trying to make this guy out to be some kind of hothead. P.S. Hee! My first entry lifted from my fun little headline reader up there. It is the lazy blogger's friend - it brings the headlines right to you.

3:39 PM | | |

Disturbing Development

Apparently Hezboallah has a drone aircraft, and has flown it over Israel. Great. How long before they figure out how to arm it with a missile? And will anti-drone drones (an inevitability) usher in the age of pilotless air warfare? Good money bet that Israel will be innovators in the field, as the IDF has been with so many other weapons systems.

3:01 PM | | |

Kerry: King Of Competence

I received another email from John Kerry today! I have a feeling that someone, either as a joke or to enlighten me, signed me up to Kerry's email list. Well the joke is on them! I have squeezed a lot of entertainment value from these occasional Kerry gems deposited in my hotmail inbox. Today's theme? John Bolton is incompetent. Donald Rumsfeld is incompetent. Paul Wolfowitz is incompetent. John Kerry keeps trying the 'sheer repetition' strategy of saying something so often, that after a while even he begins to believe it. He did this often during the debates, by constantly stating that Bush was 'incompetent' and 'bungled' in Iraq. Kerry never did state specifically what was bungled in Iraq, simply leaving it to the listener to infer that, since things weren't going well in Iraq at the time, it must be due to incompetence. Kerry did say he had a mysterious secret 'plan' that would magically make the insurgency go away, fix Iraq's infrastructure overnight and make everyone's teeth bright, but I never saw what was in that 'plan' after the election. You didn't see it either? Imagine that. If Kerry really loves america, why is he keeping his magical plan to himself? A few lowlights from the hypercompetent Kerry:
As under secretary of state for arms control and international security for the past four years, Mr. Bolton has achieved little. In fact, we secured more nuclear materials in the two years before September 11th than in the two years after. North Korea and Iran are now burgeoning nuclear states." "Why retain and promote those who have failed to make America more safe and secure? Donald Rumsfeld has been a disaster as Secretary of Defense." "Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has made repeated and serious miscalculations about the costs and risks America would face in Iraq. Yet now the Bush Administration wants us to believe he is the right person to lead the World Bank."
Yeah, Bush hired the Keystone Cops to be his administration. But, they did bring us Lebanese protest babes. That's gotta count for something.

12:24 PM | | |

Please, God, Someone, Stop This Woman

Lots of Hillary buzz lately. Apparently she is having some success recasting herself as a centrist. Noting that Kerry paid a price for his votes on late-term abortions, she saw a need to 'moderate' her views on life (though note how studiously she avoided the Schiavo affair - Hillary has a talent for disappearing when necessary). Drudge has a story on a book coming out about Hillary that Ann Lewis described as a 'swift boat attack'. No doubt the book will be described as 'financed by the wealthy republican attack squad'. As if that is a bad thing. Other than this, what can the republicans do about her? Not much for now, though the republicans have started churning the waters. Her 2006 chances in New York look excellent, Giuliani having stated he won't run for senate next year. Who will they put up against her, Rick Lazio?? My prediction still stands however, she will not get the nomination in 2008.

1:53 AM | | |

Unitarian Jihad: The Next Big Threat?

Let's file this under 'Unlikely'. As a lapsed unitarian (is that even possible?) I found this to be pretty funny. Ah yes, the unitarian-universalists. The most inoffensive religion yet devised by man or god(s?)(esses?). But don't get their dander up! They might, well, invite you to tea or something.

12:40 AM | | |

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Nice Nest Egg At The Treasury

Heheheh Say Anything had this pic up and I just had to add a comment. Secret Service protection for a duck nesting right in Washington D.C. next to the Treasury.
And smart momma duck picked the Fed too. Go where the money is, I suppose . . .

10:46 AM | | |

Castro Calls Bush Hypocrite

Cuban murdering thug Fidel Castro called Bush a 'hypocrite' for attending the pope's funeral. Hey Fidel, with any luck he will attend your funeral also. Nah, he should just send Jeb, Florida's governor. By the way, since when do you have to agree with absolutely everything the deceased stood for to attend their funeral? Funny, Castro is using a pope who loathed him and his communism to make a political point against Bush. Hypocritical, perhaps? Via AP and the Las Vegas Sun.

9:08 AM | | |

Friday, April 08, 2005

That Schiavo Memo

Well fortunately we have now gotten to the bottom of the Schiavo Memo flap. It is good to have an unabmiguous ending to this, unlike Rathergate, where the origins of the memos are still a mystery. Should the blogs that flogged this as a democratic forgery apologize? No. The memo sure looked like a fake - it misspelled Schiavo's name, and got the number of the proposed legislation wrong, and the tone of the memo just seemed off. Should the blogs that flogged this as a democratic forgery issue retractions? No, and why should they? Again, it walked and talked like a duck. Until the origin of the memo was firmly established, the possibility that it was a forgery was certainly fair game (given the Rathergate affair, especially). No, the proper response by the floggers is an update. We have the answer now! It came from the republicans after all! As you were.

1:08 PM | | |

Thursday, April 07, 2005

GOP: State Of The Party

Via Buzz Machine I found this WSJ article on the impending crackup of the republican party. It is a good snapshot of the present conflicts in the party, but the libertarian-versus-conservative tensions in the party are way overstated. Compared to the fissured democratic party, the republicans as a whole are in a state of bliss. Our guy won, and he is still overwhelmingly popular within the party both as president and as a person. Only the more rabid lefties are getting exercised over Delay and his alleged ethics problems. The recent Zogby poll shows that the Schiavo matter was probably not the loser for the republicans that an earlier flawed ABC poll showed. We do not know if the fallout from invoking the constitutional option over judicial nominations will help or hurt the republicans - probably it will break exactly along party lines, and no one's preconceptions will be changed if the option is used. My guess is that the republicans will actually gain on the issue. Gone are the days when the democrats can shut down senate business, blame the republicans, and get away with it. The two issues that actually might divide the republicans are immigration and the deficits. The mexican people are a blindspot for Bush. I can't really blame him, given the success he has had with mexican-americans politically, and given his family ties. But, I don't think it has really sunk in with the president that the issue of illegal immigration, for those that oppose it, really is an issue of national security and national sovereignty, and not a troglodytic fear of brown people. As for the deficits, and lack of will on cutting spending, well, the republicans have totally and completely sold out. For me, a republitarian, this is especially egregious, a betrayal of very first principles. This is the hubris that can undo their gains, and the issue that more than any other will limit the growth of the party.

12:38 PM | | |

Hee! Part Two

Okay okay, now I stole another idea from Wizbang, the blogroll that shows recently updated sites. Again, I felt the joy of personal victory as I got this working and set up just the way I wanted it. I used to use Wizbang as my first-click blog, 'cause they had all of these cool and useful features, but now that I have these features myself - who needs those guys?!??!?. Heh, actually Wizbang and Vodkapundit are probably my two favorite blogs, and Wizbang is allowing me the privilege of hosting the Bonfire of the Vanities for the week of April 19.

9:17 AM | | |

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


After tweaking and toying with the thing all night, I finally got a workable version of the Flash header you see above up and running. Right now it has an RSS feed of CNN Headlines, which gave me the warm glow of victory when I finally got it to work right. UPDATE: No, the feed is on Reuters now. Just seems better than CNN, and more headlines. Also added a Technorati search box, an idea I got from Wizbang, a site loaded up with technical goodies (and where I first saw these mysterious RSS buttons . . . ).

2:05 PM | | |

Arab States Are Wonderful And Jolly

I had trouble finding a single truthful or insightful view in this commentary. Invert every one of his claims, and you will be closer to the truth. This clumsy apologetic for arab states is unfortunately all too typical in the middle east. Hopefully the arab street will one day wake up and realize that this type of person really does not have their interests at heart. Via Watching America.

5:37 AM | | |

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Latest Odds On Next Pope

I think the smart money goes on Arinze. Arinze also probably has the views closest to that of John Paul II - and JPII was in office for so long, most of the cardinals in office now were his picks . . . Plus africa is one place where the catholic church is actually growing by leaps and bounds. Perhaps an african pope could do for africa what a eastern european pope did for eastern europe. He would not be the first black pope - he would be the fourth (going wayyy back to when much of the church's power came from north africa). Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy) 11:4 Francis Arinze (Nigeria) 11:4 Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras) 9:2 Joseph Ratzinger (Germany) 7:1 Claudio Hummes (Brazil) 9:1 Count Christoph von Schoenborn (Austria) 14:1 Again, via last night's John Batchelor Show.

3:14 PM | | |

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tonight There's Gonna Be A Jailbreak . . .

The increasingly desperate Saddamites launched another attack on Abu Ghraib prison, in an apparent attempt to break someone out of jail. The previous attack a few days ago was an all-out assault, by insurgent standards, involving several car bombs and 40 attackers. Tunnels have been discovered leading into the prison. Who do they have at Abu Ghraib that the terrorists want? Could it be that we have Zarqawi, but haven't announced it yet? Whoever it is, they are on par with Zarqawi at least. Via the excellent John Batchelor show on WABC-New York City. Really, Batchelor has a very substantive show on international issues, with experts who know their stuff.

9:57 PM | | |

Pope Shooter In Mourning

Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot the pope in 1981 is said to be in mourning for "his spiritual brother", John Paul II. He wants to attend the funeral:
Agca's lawyer Mustafa Demirag said he would put the request to prosecutors Tuesday but admitted there was little chance Turkey would allow a maximum-security prisoner to attend the funeral of a man whom he had shot. "We don't have much hope," Demirag said. In a written statement in Italian faxed to The Associated Press through his lawyers, Agca repeated his claim that he was the messiah and that he was writing "the true perfect bible." He signed off the letter: "Mehmet Ali Agca, the messiah servant." The wording of the letter suggested once more that Agca may be unstable.
Hey Agca, the pope may have lived longer if you hadn't seriously undermined his health by shooting him. The pope, like Ronald Reagan, lost a step after being shot. Neither man was quite the same afterwards.

11:21 AM | | |

Euro Arms Will Harm The Chinese

China is a country suffering great growing pains, with an insatiable need for infrastructure and fuel. So what does Beijing think it needs to spend money on? Why, expensive hi-tech european weaponry, of course. And of course the french, who sell nuclear technology to psycopaths, are more than willing to help out. This does not really help the chinese, as this letter to Le Figaro states:
The Chinese need basic rights, democracy and freedom. They do not need the capacity to make advanced weapons. Only those who seek to maintain the dictatorship of the Communist Party need such. New weapons would only be used to reinforce their domination; first to threaten Taiwan, an island and people that already know democracy and freedom; and then, to maintain a climate of fear among the 1.3 billion people of China.
Europe was wrong in siding with Saddam against the U.S., and they will be wrong yet again if they side with Beijing against Taiwan.

8:19 AM | | |

Sunday, April 03, 2005

San Fran Wants To Regulate Blogs

I hope a few bloggers teach San Francisco the meaning of civil disobediance should this frighteningly dumb idea become law. Via Instapundit.

7:45 PM | | |

Abbas On The Hot Seat

There was much speculation as to whether Abbas would get tough with the various militant factions among the Palestinians, or simply retire to his headquarters and do nothing. Abbas couldn't enforce discipline on these rival groups, it was said, because he would be doing Israel's bidding. But Abbas has a much better reason to crack down on them than that: self-preservation. Lawlessness, corruption and chaos are spinning out of control, and Abbas cannot just sit by and let event overwhelm him. Hamas is gaining popularity, and even elements of Fatah and the Al-Aqsa martyr's brigade - ostensible subdivisions of Abbas' own PLA, have openly defied Abbas. If he strikes, he may initiate a civil war, but at the rate things are moving, civil war among the Palenstinians may be a foregone conclusion. At least Abbas could seize the initiative and move first. There is a good AP article on this here.

7:21 PM | | |

Hitchens On John Paul II

A hard-hitting article on the pope by Christopher Hitchens. Not saying he is right, not saying he is wrong, but maybe Hitchens could have at least waited until the pope was put in the ground before coming out with this.

5:54 AM | | |

Friday, April 01, 2005

Pope John Paul II, R.I.P.

What a wrenching few days here. I am not a catholic, hell I am an atheist, but I thought the pope was great. The man knew his office and what it stood for, and did not buckle under to pressure to change it. He did not wait for the world to come to the Vatican - he went out to the world. The pope has been very frail the last few years, and this is the image we have had of him of late. But I remember when he became pope, that he was a whirlwind, an energetic man with a clear sense of mission. He came to Chicago in 1979 not long after becoming pope, and he was a rockstar. Almost literally. My friend Dave in L.A. still has his 'Pope John Paul II World Tour' tee shirt. He, Lech Walesa and Ronald Reagan were the great triumvirate that won the cold war. The world still desperately needs his type of leadership. I grieve for us and not him.

7:25 PM | | |