Thursday, May 31, 2007

The New Guy

Hugh Hewitt's latest article is about Fred Thompson's imminent entrance into the Republican Race. Hewitt says that he hasn't actually picked a candidate (even though he wrote a book about how great it would be for Romney to win the nomination). He then notes that he thinks Thompson brings a lot to the trenches but he's not actually Ronald Reagan. Then there's this clincher.
There isn't any reason to believe that Fred would have any easier a go of it than Rudy or Mitt, and as that becomes obvious in the days and weeks and months after his entry, the folks hoping for an easy win are going to drop that enthusiasm and start looking hard again at all three, asking which one is the best candidate.

These are the Al Davis Republicans --"Just win, baby"-- and their support will be decisive in 1Q08. One reason I suspect the Fred boom may be over before it has even really begun is the recognition that on the stump Fred will be seen as the southerner he is --slow, folksy, plain spoken. In a year when an anti-Bush may be needed, a Brooklyn-born Mob-busting tough guy, or the hyper-intelligent, hyper-eloquent investment banker turnaround executive may emerge quickly as far more likely to be the "something completely different " that Reagan was in 1980, and thus the strong preference of the Al Davis GOPers.
I will note that on the key issue of the day, Iraq and the War on Terror, none of the Republican Candidates at this point differ substantially from President Bush. If a Republican gets in the White House, assume that the current foreign policy will continue.

The Moderate Voice of Ann Coulter

Her latest article is on the immigration problem shows how deeply sensible she is.
Americans -- at least really stupid Americans like George Bush . . .
That's not the passage I meant. I was trying for the old rhetorical switch-a-roo where I praise someone for being moderate and sensible and quote them being an idiot. In this case, Ann's pretty much right on the money. George Bush is pretty stupid.

Let's try again.
. . . traitors who are citizens have destroyed all acculturating institutions. Traitors who are citizens have also destroyed all incentive for the poor to work or even keep their knees together before marriage.
There we go.

Actually this article is pretty overtly racist, and of course blames Liberals (which is who she means by Traitors) for all the bad that's happened. And she bemoans the future in which this country apparently becomes indistinquishable from Mexico.

But it's Ann Coulter, so you sort of have to expect that.

Should Americans have the opportunity to succeed?

Cal Thomas says, in his latest article, that that's socialism.
Clinton said she prefers a "we're all in it together" society: "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."

Doesn't such a society already exist elsewhere? It's called socialism, where government has sought to make all things economically equal and the only equality is that all are equally poor.
Now in fairness, Thomas distorts Clintons words from being a call for equal opportunity to a call for equal results. So perhaps he's not opposed to letting Americans have a relatively equal chance at succeeding.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Evangelicals Upset

Joe Conason's latest article looks at how Evangelicals are taking Guilliani and Romney's success in the primary season so far. It is still far to early to anoint anybody king, but those two do trouble Evangelical Republicans.
The most significant voice raised against the notion of a Giuliani nomination belongs to James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, which is now widely reckoned to be the nation’s largest religious-right organization. On May 17, Mr. Dobson declared that he could not support the candidacy of the former New York Mayor under any circumstances.

. . . Now this isn’t the first time that Mr. Dobson or Mr. Viguerie have issued angry warnings to the Republican establishment about dire consequences if the party departs from righteousness. Such jeremiads are always heard in the election-year cacophony, and are always dismissed as meaningless cant. Power reliably overcomes principle for these moral absolutists.

But next year might be different. For many of the true believers of the religious right, the nomination of either Mr. Giuliani or Mr. Romney would represent the ultimate humiliation. Should either of these events come to pass, then the Dobsons and the Vigueries and their followers at last will have to validate their ideological posturing with independent action. They will have to put up or shut up.
I've noted in the fast how quickly Big Business Conservatives got what they wanted out of the Bush administration (immediately), and how quickly Religious Conservatives got what they wanted out of the Bush Adminstration (Well, a few judges I guess, and . . . ). Maybe they will wake up to how their party looks at them.

Unending War

Cal Thomas, in his latest article, confirms that he and his colleagues in the right wing really do want an unending war.
It is an unending war, at least until one side vanquishes the other side. There will be no truce in this war; no "38th Parallel" as with the two Koreas. This war will be unending, . . .

The Iraq war is not like Vietnam. We can't pull out until stability is achieved and the terrorists lose. Vietnamese communists didn't come after us when that war ended, but Islamic terrorists will and are coming after us.
So unending war, eh? Until the middle east stabilizes and the terrorists lose.

This reminds me a lot of what Rush has said about the Israel-Palestine situation. He says there can't be any peace until one side is defeated. Of course Palestinians are a conquered people by almost any definition of the word. They don't have control of their land, they don't have control of their destinies. They seem pretty defeated. So whenever I hear Rush pontificating on the need to "defeat" the Palestinians, I find myself wondering if they want to take one thing the Palestinians still have, i.e. their lives. Cause certainly if there are no more Palestinians there will be no more Palestinian problem.

Obviously genocide is not a real solution, but it sounds a bit like what Rush is proposing. I doubt Thomas is going that far (although he clearly hates Islam and wants to eliminate that), but us conquering the middle east and pacifying it? He might be bang up along side of that.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Blog is a Cruel Mistress

Anyway, reading around Townhall today and there's nothing that jumps out immediately, so I'll comment on this article by Donald Lambro, about the recent dust up in Political Primaries. Apparently South Carolina might move their primary up despite threats from the national party to limit the number of delegates the party can send.
But South Carolina's GOP is one of only two state parties that can set its own primary dates, and last week Dawson told me "we are going to move our primary up accordingly before Jan. 29 to ensure that we are the first in the South."

That will create havoc with the other January players, but that doesn't bother Dawson, a tough-as-nails Southern warrior who is one of the longest serving GOP chairmen in the country.

"I'm not worrying about angering anyone else," he said. "Remember, this is a state that started the Civil War. We are not worried about offending any state. We're going to pick a date and let the chips fall where they may." Dawson knows that by violating the party's rules "we would lose half our delegates, but we are prepared for all that because this primary is important for South Carolina and for all Republicans."
First of all let me say how morally depraved it is for Dawson to note approvingly that his state started the Civil War, a war that claimed the lives of 618,000. If anything that speaks to the fact that South Carolina should go last in the primary season. That's one crazy messed up state, and as a reward we give them the place of pride in the southern primaries?

Anyway as for the whole presidential primary kerfluffle, and the attendant situation in which the primaries come very early in the year, I regretfully agree with Lambro's assessment toward the end of his article.
There will be the remaining mop-up work in the lesser primaries, followed by a long and costly dark time where the presumptive nominees must struggle to maintain visibility with very little to do until the late summer conventions.

Keeping their parties energized over this lengthy down time will be a challenge for any candidate, but especially the Democratic nominee who will have to endure a four-to-five month gauntlet of Republican attacks -- something the GOP is unusually good at. Ask John Kerry.
What a depressing thought.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Few Articles at Salon

There are a couple of good articles at Salon (well an editorial and a post).
In the end it is our common humanity that calls us, war supporter or war opponent, hawk or dove, to remember those who died. We honor the dead, whether they fell on our side or that of our adversary, because of our shared humanity.

So this Memorial Day is for you, Sergeant Smith. You died in a pointless war, but we here highly resolve that you shall not have died in vain. In your name, we vow that our nation shall have a new birth of freedom. We pledge that we, the people, will reclaim our country. And we swear that we will never again send our brothers off to fight unjustifiable wars.
- Gary Kamiya, "Memorial Day"
But even if one accepts that withdrawal would unleash more bloodshed in Iraq, focusing exclusively on that risk is woefully incomplete. Whatever cost one assigns to that risk must be weighed against the costs and risks of staying. And those risks cannot be assessed by assuming that the administration will pursue the Pure, Ideal and Noble vision of ongoing occupation, let alone conduct a competent occupation. That is the central mistake which Reluctant War Proponents (now re-incarnated as Reluctant Withdrawal Opponents) made prior to the invasion, and it is a mistake they are making yet again.

Whatever the "benefits" supposedly are from staying, are they worth incurring the substantial risk that we are enabling our country's warmongers to achieve their real goal of spreading our war beyond Iraq to their long list of Middle East Enemies, beginning with Iran?
Glenn Greenwald "The risks of staying"

Friday, May 25, 2007

Preserving American Culture

The problem with writing about Immigration is that there are some very legitimate concerns with immigration. Those who are upset about our current immigration system have a few points in their favor.

And a fair amount of bigotry as well, of course.

Jonah Goldberg's latest article is about the pro-immigration ideas of Ben Wattenberg, and his flawed analogy of America as a Cocktail party, which he relates as follows.
"Imagine you are in a giant ballroom where 1,000 people are gathered for a Washington cocktail party," he'd say (I'm paraphrasing), "and into the room walk three Mexicans. Those three Mexicans represent the proportion of the U.S. population that immigrants add each year. There is little evidence these immigrants are spoiling the party."
I will note, as Goldberg does, that that analogy is a bit inside the beltway. But then Goldberg says this.
The United States isn't some inside-the-Beltway moveable feast where revelers make a living by talking to each other as the prols cater to them. It's a specific place, rooted in specific soil and a specific - albeit open and boisterous - culture. But if we must compare America to a party, there's one immutable fact politicians and business interests ignore: It's our party. We - i.e., the American people - get to decide who is invited and who gets to stay. And the American people - or at least lots of them - no longer trust Washington to check for invitations at the door.
And there it is; Americans should get to keep Hispanics out because they would ruin American culture (noting that American Culture is Open and Boisterous is a short hand for saying he knows we already have a lot of "ethnic types").

I should note that the people he's talking about don't trust Republicans to check for invitations either. That's what makes this issue so important in a way; it exposes the gap between what the Republican Base wants and what the Republican politicians want.

The Democratic Party Wants Political Power

Stop the presses. It turns out an organization dedicated to gaining political power in order to enact their political goals actually wants political power. What a shocker!

And yet political commentators constantly point out their political enemies desire for political power as if it were a black mark of the worst order. Today's example comes from Patrick Buchanan, who writes about why the Antiwar Democrats can go pee up flagpole, apparently.
Democrats know they are distrusted on national security. They fear that if they defund this war and bring on a Saigon ending in the Green Zone, it will be a generation before they are trusted with national power. And power is what the party is all about.
As opposed to the Republicans for whom gaining power is the last thing on their minds.

The larger point is that the world is on fire, and the Democrats aren't keen on putting it out because if they try to put the fire out and fail, it's their fault, and if they sit on their hands, it's Bush's (and the Israeli's) fault. There's a certain logic here, although Buchanan's instinctual attacks on Israel are a bit tiresome. Certainly Democrats in Congress aren't exactly earning themselves places in Profiles in Courage, 2007.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Non-Specific Post

Obviously it's bad to be happy or giddy that a person died. Shows a lack of class and a lack of humanity. But the mania for being happy that your political enemies have passed away is not limited to Democrats. Just so you know.

I am getting tired of Conservatives pretending the Conservative web is full of sunshine and light while condemning the Liberal web. The truth is there are plenty of bastards on all sides of the fence.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Number of Notes

First of all I was in a minor car accident last night. Nobody was hurt, but my car was dinged up pretty bad. It's still drivable thank goodness since I'm in Orlando. Geico has been very helpful thus far.

In other news, I went and saw Spiderman 3 which was slightly tainted by having an accident immediately thereafter. It was a good movie though. Lots of violent fun. The Sandman, the Green Goblin II were both good. Venom was good too, although, unfortunately, not given as much screen time as he should have been. But it was already quite long, so I guess I get the point.

I don't know how many more villians they can trot out and kill immediately. There are still some big names out there of course. The Vulture, the Lizard, Kraven the Hunter, Electro, the Black Cat, and a few others. I guess they can't do the Kingpin, since he already showed up in Daredevil.

Actually if they wanted to do a movie dealing with the animal within, they could use Vulture, Kraven and the Lizard. Could be interesting.

Oh and Blizzard has announced they are making Starcraft II look for it somewhere around 2009, I'm guessing. No new races, but should be a big seller.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Superman Returns

Two clips from Kevin Smith, the first one brought to me by my brother.

And the second his opinion on the movie afterwards, with some commentary on the Star Trek movies.

Well worth watching although quite long.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Have a Nice Day

Low Posting ahead - I am on the road till tomorrow and will end up sleeping most of tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I went to see Spamalot last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will say though that you have to go in taking it as a different thing than the movie. The stage is a different medium and then you add musical comedy onto that and it's different. The musical requires a certain amount of, well, cheese. It's built into the art form. You just have to roll with it. But there are things in Spamalot that wouldn't have worked in the movie and would have, in fact, been antithetical to the movie. On the other hand there are things in the movie, like the ending, that would have been very inappropriate for the stage. So you kind of have to separate them out.

My brother felt that they were a bit overly reverential to the source material, cutting whole scenes out and doing them verbatim. I kind of see where he is coming from, but I was expecting that so it didn't bother me as much.

At any rate if you are in Vegas I would recommend it. And one thing above reproach was the seating arrangements. Wide spacious seats it was almost like being in a barcolounger.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Looking for a Reagan

Star Parker's latest article is an ode to Reagan and a wish that one of the current crop of candidates would be like him. She supposes that the solution to the current Republican Funk would be for the Republicans to put up someone like Reagan.
What happened to the Reagan message that too much government is our problem, restoring ownership and choice, and applying this truth to the entitlement monster and public education as we did when we reformed welfare?

Americans can walk and chew gum. We can talk about things beyond the war. But to do so requires that our politicians display the same courage at home that we're asking our young men and women to put on the line overseas.

The social engineering experiments that our country took on in the last century are failed and busted.
I'm not sure what Parker means by walk and chew gum. The American people have an opinion on the Republican way of fighting the War on Terror. They aren't keen on it. And I'm not sure suggesting that your Presidential candidate will show the same sort of wisdom and forsight as President Bush showed in Iraq in fixing the problems of America is a good pitch.

But I suppose we'll find out.

Friday, May 11, 2007

On the Road

I'm out of here. I'm going to California and then to Vegas. Expect some exciting posts and an important announcement.

But the Furrowed Brow has never left his face.

I hate to send you to Glenn Greenwald's blog so often, but it is so often good I really have no choice. In commenting on Media Bias, he takes David Broder and Joe Klein to task.
Why would David Broder -- or, for that matter, Joe Klein -- possibly view the Beltway political system as anything other than something to celebrate, in light of the fact that everything they have in their public life -- from their prestige to their access to their financial wealth -- emanates from that system and, more importantly, is dependent upon the preservation of their good standing within it? Because our media stars are not outsiders looking in on the Beltway power systems (as journalists of the past were), but instead now are glittery and eager participants within it, their view of that system is naturally and inevitably worlds apart from (and vastly more favorable than) the views of most people.

The analogy between those who are members of the royal court and those subject to its rule is almost exactly apposite. For most Americans, the "Beltway" is the distant, corrupt and closed system that rules the nation. But for our star national pundits, the "Beltway" is what gives them their careers, their friends, their wealth, their purpose and their identity. Exactly to the extent that most Americans are alienated from that system, Beltway pundits are invested in its preservation and defense.
It's interesting how alike and different conservative and liberal critiques of the media are. Rush Limbaugh wouldn't put it this way, but he would express these sentiments. The difference is that Limbaugh's critiques are rooted in the media's failure to confirm his ideology. Greenwald's critiques expose systematic flaws in the system. If Washington Media took a step back and started fighting to tell the news accurately rather than to get invited to the good parties I think it would be good for America, but I don't know that it would definitely benefit one side over the other.

Why you can't trust a Limbaugh

David Limbaugh's latest article is about the principle that we should kill terrorists and ignore any talk of winning over "hearts and minds." An uncharitable person might read this as a call to genocide, since he basically writes off those people in the middle east who are not terrorists, but I am not an uncharitable person.

Limbaugh begins by noting that the phrase Hearts and Minds is cropping up in the Democratic Lexicon again. I haven't heard it myself, but I'll take his word for it. He then asks how exactly are we supposed to do this.
Do liberals mean we should convince existing terrorists that diplomacy is a superior path to achieving their goals? That tolerance of other religions is the morally superior position? That women are entitled to dignity and equal rights? That the United Sates and Israel really aren't that evil? That their extreme brand of Islam is misguided?

Surely we can all agree that if we're talking about existing jihadists, these goals are quixotic.
By we, I assume he means Conservatives. Since he (and his brother) clearly believe that this is exactly what liberals want to do. Hug members of Al-Qaeda, say sorry, and trust them to reform their ways.

That particular cool-aid doesn't stretch as far as it used to these days, so he goes on to deal with what Democrats actually mean when they talk about winning over hearts and minds. I've commented on this before, but the Right Wing view of middle east is at odds with reality. They see being a Terrorist as a permanent moral failing. Let me explain.

Obviously people who have committed terrorist acts in the past are marked by that stain till they die. Fair enough. But the Limbaugh brothers also believe that people who will commit terrorist acts in the future are already terrorists. Nobody becomes a terrorist through anger or their experiences or whatnot. People just are terrorists. Other people aren't terrorists. Terrorists can't become non-terrorists and non-terrorists can't become terrorists (or Jihadists, the term Limbaugh seems to prefer). So all this talk about hearts and minds is just time wasting foolishness. Jihadists aren't going to be swayed by our actions; non-Jihadists aren't going to become Jihadists even if we invade their countries and torture them.

I don't agree with Limbaugh's analysis of Middle Eastern psychology. Rather I imagine Middle Easterners (and specifically Iraqis) to be a lot like everybody else. They occupy a wide spectrum of beliefs from total hatred and loathing of America to love and respect of America. And within that spectrum of beliefs they move as their experiences and moods allow. If we are shown doing negative things like, say, making them form naked man pyramids, well they will move towards not liking us. If we do good things they will move the other way. This seems to me to be a more sane and reasonable way of looking at the middle east.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Need No More Wars

There's an interesting article over at the Nation on Hillary Clinton's advisers, in particular her pollster Mark Penn. The article suggests that Penn's connections to the business world and to Republican candidates make it likely that he will keep Clinton's campaign close to the center.
Yet despite occupying such a divisive place in the Democratic Party and outsized role in the corporate world--and despite his company's close ties to Republican political operatives and the Bush White House--Penn remains a leading figure in Hillary's campaign, pitching the inevitability of her nomination to donors and party bigwigs. According to the New York Times, "[Hillary] Clinton responds to Penn's points with exclamations like, Oh, Mark, what a smart thing to say!" Politically, his presence means that triangulation is alive and well inside the campaign and that despite her populist forays, Hillary won't stray too far from the center. "Penn has a lot of influence on her, no doubt about it," says New York political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who worked with Penn in '96. "He's not going to let her drift too far left."
Well worth considering.

Your Weekly Rush - Not for those of you with Sensitive Stomachs

Rush has an opinion on what we Democrats need to do in response to the arrest of six potential terrorists in New Jersey.
If the Democrats are going to be consistent, they need to fight for these six, foreign-born Muslims who are under arrest for planning to slaughter our soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey. They've been fighting for the prisoners at Club Gitmo. They've been fighting for the prisoners at Abu Ghraib. They've had lawyers trying to defend all these people. They need to fight for these six. Democrats need to fight for these six, foreign-born Muslims. The plot was exposed, thanks to a store clerk.

. . . Now, if the Democrats are going to be consistent on this, they first ought to expose the store clerk. "We don't even know who this guy is. We don't know who the store clerk is, but he was obviously helping the Bush administration illegally spy and illegally spy domestically. He's obviously part of Bush's secret police, violating the civil rights of these six. This guy needs to be identified and put in jail. He's the perp. He's the problem here." If the Democrats are going to be consistent, this is what they must assert.

. . . Next, the Democrats ought to hunt down and persecute the authorities who arrested these Muslims. Well, if they're going to be consistent, this is what the Democrats must do. Not only have the authorities apparently racially profiled fine, upstanding members of our community, they've also questioned their undocumented status.
I have an opinion on Rush Limbaugh; he's a jackass.

Here's why; we are not fighting for prisoners or terrorists anyway. We are fighting for justice and constitutional rights for American citizens and justice and equitable treatment for non-citizens. That's hard for Rush to conceptualize because he's an idiot. But also because he doesn't understand that we have to protect the rights of the guilty right along side those of the innocent.

Theological Sophistication

Marvin Olasky teaches religion, so you think he'd have a mature understanding of it. Not so much, to judge by his latest article. But perhaps I'm being too judgmental. He discusses how he helps his students shift through four key questions. Was the universe created or did it just happen? Personal or impersonal God or Gods? Bible or Qu'ran? And Liberal or Conservative? That last one sticks in my craw.
Question No. 4: C or L -- theologically conservative or theologically liberal? The simplest way to hash this out: Do you think that the scripture to which you are connected tells you the story by which you are to live your life, or does it give you some general principles from long ago that, given changed conditions, are probably no longer valid?
Or in other words, Conservatives or Fundamentalists believe in the Bible, liberals don't.

This is patently nonsense, of course. What conservatives believe in is their particular interpretation of what the Bible means, and what it doesn't mean. I'm reminded of a line from Slactivist's review of Left Behind, describing the book's authors.
. . . they read Jesus' sermon on the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 and ignore everything it says about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and caring for the least of these. Instead they latch onto the introductory bit about the Son of Man sitting on "his throne in heavenly glory" and speculate what that throne is made of, and where it its, and how big it is, and how many air miles there might be from that seat of judgment to Waukegan.

This is also characteristic of their politics, in which things like disastrous wars of choice or the bankruptcy of the federal treasury are viewed as tangential matters compared with so-called "values" issues that often have little to do with the government.
Olasky's condemnation of "Liberal" believers is simply to shore up those who believe in his preferred interpretation of the holy work. I think Liberal Christians need to be more forthright in saying that the Conservative/Fundamentalist interpretation is just that, one interpretation. And not a particularly good one.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Future in Foam and Nylon

According to the New York Times, soon you will be able to create a foam toy for your dog or baby as easily as you print up a copy of this website to show your friends and relatives.

Some of you do that right? Print this website up and say "Hey did you see what that Crazy Bryant said here? He's Hi-larious!" If you aren't doing that currently, start doing it. In fact, walk up to strangers and hold up my words.

Anyway in the brave new world of 2012, we will be able to "print up" foamy things easily. This will lead to a lot more junk and garbage in our homes and neighborhoods, but said junk will almost certainly be more colorful.

The Present's Overrated

Two stories.

In Utah, the Republican Party has apparently gone insane.
Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.

In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do."

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said.
The Party had a hard time acting on Larsen's vision because not enough members stuck around to debate it.

Elsewhere in America and particularly in the South Cool-Aid Pickles are apparently taking off.

Yep that's Pickles saturated with Cool-Aid.

These times are kind of confusing, all told.

The Present of Journalism

I was going to entitle this the Future of Journalism, but then I realized, well, the future is now. Gary Weiss has an article over at Salon about Rupert Murdoch's attempt to buy the Wall Street Journal. But what it is really about is why Investigative reporting is dying if not dead.
Public ownership has been a disaster for newspapers not just because it invites hostile takeovers. Quite simply, much of what newspapers do has no clear investment rationale. Entire segments of the business -- such as foreign bureaus and investigative reporting -- are inimical to profitability, particularly when viewed on the quarter-by-quarter basis favored by Wall Street. Cramer nailed down the shareholder value view of the newspaper biz a few weeks ago, when he said, "These are diminishing assets. They don't need to exist. Younger people rarely read them."

Cramer is not wrong or cynical; he is simply being realistic and refreshingly free of hypocrisy. Viewed from a shareholder value perspective, the newspaper business is a dinosaur. And that is why the shareholder point of view needs to be eliminated from the newspaper business.
He's not wrong, and it's kind of a depressing state of affairs.

Man Bites Dog

Michael Medved's latest article is addressed to conservatives who are up in arms about a potential North American Union. Long story short, he doesn't think there's much to worry about.
All patriotic people would- and should -oppose any attempt to merge the U.S. with Mexico and Canada, and to terminate our national sovereignty. My scorn wasn't aimed at opposition to such plans, but rather focused on those shameless scare-mongers who've tried to advance their own pathetic careers by getting you to believe that such plots even exist.

Doesn't it tell you something that every time anyone in the administration or Congress is asked about the notion of a "North American Union" he denounces and rejects and ridicules the idea?

. . . If you can find one official in any federal department, or one prominent politician of either party, who has ever, in any way, promoted submerging our national sovereignty into a new nation of North America, would you please give me the name?
As it turns out, a number of readers at Townhall don't agree with Mr. Medved, and they expressed their opinions, like Sam here, in tasteful and reasonable ways.
You scum, Michael. How dare you write garbage. Don't you talk about the war or the war on terror. It a war to get us in the North American Union.

You little 5 foot midget. The American people will squash and destroy people like you. No symapthy here.
"Little five foot midget" brought to you by the department of redundancy department. And, of course, five feet would actually make Medved quite tall for a midget. But what do I know.

I pretty much agree with Michael Medved that combining with Mexico and Canada is unlikely to happen, incidentally.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


If it wasn't for graft, you'd get a very low type of people in politics, men without ambition, jellyfish!- "The Great McGinty"

Monday, May 07, 2007

Only Democrat Haircuts Count

Media Matters has an essay by Eric Boehlert on the recent haircut kerfuffle.
Year in and year out, the press uses haircut stories to paint Democrats as vain (read: effeminate) hypocrites. Vain, because they care too much about how they look. And they're hypocrites because Democrats claim they care about working people, but in truth they only care about their appearances. (See "vain.") The press loves playing Hypocrite Police with Democrats. (Here's the Associated Press from last week scolding Democratic candidates for not jet-pooling to their South Carolina debate and failing to "to save money, fuel or emissions.")

What's telling is that the press treats only Democratic haircuts as news. Personal grooming foibles and other potentially embarrassing issues of vanity on the Republican side are deemed to be beneath serious consideration because they don't reveal anything about the politician.

President Bush wears $3,000 hand-made suits. And for the 2005 inauguration, Laura Bush sat for a $700 haircut from stylist-to-the-stars Sally Hershberger. The press, though, shows no interest in dissecting the First Couple's at times vain and extravagant lifestyle.
He's not wrong.

Atheism on Trial

Surprisingly there are several articles on Atheism up at Townhall today. Unsurprisingly they are all pretty negative towards it.

I was going to print quotes from them, but I've decided it's not worth it. If you are curious

Why Atheism Fails: The Four Big Bangs by Frank Pastore, in which he explains that since Science can't completely explain certain transitions (from non-life to life for example) it doesn't make sense.

Why Christopher Hitchens is not Great by Kevin McCullough in which he explains that Christopher Hitchens, despite providing intellectual support for the Iraq war and general war in the middle east, is in fact an angry soul. And that's why he rejects God. Also Christians opposition to condom distribution in Africa is sensible and logical.

Taking aim at God, and missing by Dinesh D'Souza is also about Hitchens. D'Souza laments that Hitchens didn't just write a book pissing on Islam, because that would be totally acceptable. But by critiquing Christianity as well, he misses the boat.

I don't really have much to say on this subject; I'd just point out that saying "Hooray for God" at Townhall is pretty much a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm not sure how to title this one

Burt Prelutsky's latest article is entitled "What is it with Jews and guns?"

I'll pause here to point out that Prelutsky is of the Jewish persuasion.

He laments for a bit at the difficulty in understanding such muttonheads as us liberals. And then he tries to figure out why Liberals are in favor of Gun Control and comes up with an interestingly insane theory.
Frankly, having given it some thought, I believe the reason that the Left hates guns so much is because of us Jews. With very few exceptions, we are terribly squeamish around firearms. The fear is totally irrational. It’s not just that we think someone will shoot us with our own gats, but that the guns, themselves, are anti-Semites, and will kill us of their own accord.

Sadly, it’s more than that. They also fear those Americans whom they most closely associate with gun ownership; namely, southern Christians.

Even though America is the most tolerant nation on earth, Jews tend to think if terrible things happened to their ancestors in 15th century Spain and 19th century Russia and 20th century Nazi Germany, it can and will happen here.
Before dubbing us the most tolerant nation on earth, perhaps Prelutsky should review what those Southern Christians were doing between say 1910 and 1960.

Actually I think Prelutsky might have more success studying urban vs. rural support for gun rights, and urban vs. rural suffering from gun crimes. Such an analysis might provide a more logical answer than "Well Jews are liberals and Jews are irrationally afraid of guns."

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More on George Tenet

This is from an article by Joe Conason, in which he points out the obvious fact that Tenet shares some of the blame for the bad intelligence.
As a group of former intelligence officers observed in a letter they sent to Mr. Tenet upon the publication of At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, his supposed outrage over the misleading propaganda that led to the war is belated and utterly self-serving. During the critical months between September 2002 and March 2003, in the midst of that White House campaign, he was nothing but the useful tool of those he now criticizes.

From the beginning, Mr. Tenet knew that his colleagues in the White House and the National Security Council were concocting a case for war that went far beyond any reliable intelligence about Saddam Hussein's arsenal and intentions.
It is an interesting conundrum. Tenet is providing a valuable service just now. He's providing a window into the process that led us into this war, and he's confirming for those few people who don't realize this yet, that the Bush Administration fudged the truth just a little in the run up to the war.

Naturally Bush partisans are in a hurry to trash him, and to a certain extent he should be defended from their attacks; but he really did play along. When he had a chance to do something aobut the current problems he took a pass.

George Tenet

Clearly you can't trust what Tenet says about the U.S. Government tricking us into war with Iraq; after all he helped trick us into war with Iraq. Or such would seem to be an underlying message in Alen Reynolds latest article.
If the former CIA director can't be held accountable for issuing an amateurish CIA report on WMD in Iraq, who can? White House officials may have wanted to invade Iraq anyway, as Tenet says, but the WMD hoax is what allowed them to do it.
I should point out at this point that Cheney and the Pentagon had set up their own intelligence agency to manufacture information on Iraq, because they were frustrated at the slow progress of the CIA.

Most of his article is about biological weapons and how it would actually be very difficult to make biological weapons work. Bombs are apparently more effective.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Format, New Quote!!!

Hope your enjoy.


Michael Medved's latest article talks about why Democrats prefer legislators and Republicans prefer governors.
In the upcoming election, the two parties will probably select nominees who re-enforce their respective identity as “The Senator Party” and “The Governor Party.” Democrats will almost certainly select a legislator to head the ticket (Clinton or Obama or Edwards) while Republicans will most likely turn to an administrator (Giuliani or Romney--- though McCain remains a possibility despite his exclusively Congressional background).
It's an interesting theory and it certainly has an element of truth. On the other hand, our last successful presidential candidate was a Governor, and Carter was a Governor as well. And Dole, the candidate before Bush, was a Career Senator. Frankly Governors are attractive to both parties, for reasons Medved does not mention. A senator or representative has to vote on dozens of bills, and those votes can be brought back to wound them. Remember the chicanery around Kerry voting against weapon systems some ungodly number of times?

Anyway interesting to consider, but a little too simplistic.

Who Would Kill More - Commentary by Space Lobster

I was reading Media Matters, and apparently Tucker Carlson, host of a show on CNN, is concerned about which of the Presidential nominees would kill the most people. He was talking to Conservative Columnist Bruce Bartlet, and they had this exchange, discussing Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
CARLSON: If both of them had absolute power -- let's just say, a mind experiment -- if they had absolute power, if they were stuck, who would kill more?

BARTLETT: Gee, that's a tough question. I think Giuliani would kill more. I think he's a tougher guy, and I don't mean that in a positive way, really.
Now I have to admit that in my years as a Space Crustacean, I rarely, if ever, killed anybody. So I would make a bad candidate for President. But might I recommend Galactork, Eater of Planets? He has killed billions, and if elected President of The United States of America, he would surely eat the earth and kill everybody. So if you are serious about getting the most bang for your buck, I recommend Galactork.

Is the Surge Working?

On the morning after of President Bush's ballyhooed veto, let's consider an article by Terrence Jeffrey at Townhall that suggests that maybe the Surge Strategy isn't working.
Petraeus explained President Bush's chosen tactic: using our military to suppress violence to give Iraq's government time to make the reforms. This tactic rests on the additional hypothesis that the Iraqi government truly wants to make the reforms.

The tactic proposed by congressional Democrats is to threaten the withdrawal of U.S. troops if the Iraqi government does not meet deadlines for achieving the reforms. This tactic rests on the additional hypothesis that the Iraqi government does not truly want to make the reforms.

An early analysis of how the president's tactic is working yields two conclusions: Americans are dying in greater numbers for it, and Iraqi politicians are not paying us back with the political progress this American sacrifice demands.
The Iraqi Parliament has yet to really put in place those reforms that will preserve their country. Bad news for us; since the long term success of the surge depends on them making those reforms.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New Sketch

There's a new sketch up over at 70 Sketches. I really like this one, so I hope you go over and check it out.

Out of it

I apologize for the poor performance the last few days; I was on the road and then I was drained from being on the road. I'm still a bit drained.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend this post by Glenn Greenwald over at Salon, on the differences between how Israel and America fights their wars.
Unlike our chest-beating, play-acting warriors here, war is not something that Israelis cheer on for fun like a video game from behind their computer monitor or sitting on their sofa watching CNN or Fox. When they advocate wars, they pay a price. As a result, they don't have the luxury of shutting their eyes and pretending that things are going well -- or exploiting accusations of treason in order to stifle war criticisms -- or cheering on failing wars for years for no reason other than to avoid having to admit error or feel weak.

All of that stands in such stark contrast to the shrinking though still-substantial faction in this country who see war as a fun and sterile video game that never requires them to pay any price -- no matter how profoundly the war fails. That is what enables them to cheer on those wars for years without end, to urge still new and more destructive ones, and to childishly insist that there is something noble and compulsory about keeping quiet, loyally cheering on the Leader's war, and pretending that things are going great and we are on the verge of success.
It's well worth reading the whole thing.

Lord Almighty

Well I'm back at it, after a long weekend. And here's what I find in Patrick J. Buchanan's latest article.
Almost no attention has been paid to the fact that Cho Seung-Hui was not an American at all, but an immigrant, an alien. Had this deranged young man who secretly hated us never come here, 32 people would heading home from Blacksburg for summer vacation.

What was Cho doing here? How did he get in?
I'm going back to the weekend.

It's about what you would expect; we need to kick out all the non-white people and become a homogeneous (white) nation once more.