"Oh, and the ISO has turned the full force of their communist ire on the cartoon 'Striperella'. I agree that Striperella's not funny, but not because it's 'sexist', the ISO's argument - it suffers from plain old bad writing. But even if it were the modern-day successor of the Three Stooges, they'd still be condemning it. I mention the review to illustrate a basic feature of communism that not enough conservatives realize - they're trained to be very, very, very prudish."
Thursday, July 31, 2003
"Hussein praised his sons for putting up a brave fight, noting that U.S. forces had surrounded their compound with advanced weaponry, ground troops and warplanes. In case that didn't work, U.S. forces were prepared to tell Janet Reno that a small Cuban boy was inside the house. " -- Ann Coulter
Thanks to Gene Reynolds for this:
MORE NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN via InstaPundit's Afghanistan correspondent, Boston University Professor John Robert Kelly:
BEER AND LOAFING IN AFGHANISTAN
It's a lonely and frustrating life for the western NGO and UN grief relief workers in Afghanistan. There are those hefty paychecks, often amounting to thousands of dollars——tax-free-- a week, but no place to spend it. After all, how many carpets and antique swords can one collect? Then there’’s that pesky problem of the desultory hours surfing the net in air conditioned estates converted to office space, but nowhere else to travel, except back to the villa in new, chauffeured Landcruisers for an evening of the same old faces, same old conversations. Numerous fearful directives and warnings keep these NGO workers from hitting the street and meeting and mingling with the Afghan population. When these warnings are lifted, few wish to wander from their guarded compound. There’’s a very valid awareness that the NGO permanent party isn’’t well liked by the Kabulis. An elderly Hazara rug merchant whose business has been halved by the timidity of NGO shoppers snorts derisively in perfect English, "Their feet never touch the ground in Kabul." And he’’s right. In a typical week, one sees just a few handfuls of westerners, mostly ISAF troops on holiday, even in the safest zones of the tourist traps and souvenir shops on Chicken Street, Kabul’’s answer to Rodeo Drive.
Many of the professional compassion corps are feeling restless and bored; they’’ve already been staff in Kosovo, East Timor and Afghanistan, and nowadays believe they belong in Iraq, that’’s where the real money is. In the status conscious pecking order of NGO hierarchies, Afghanistan is passe. Only the palpable danger of Iraq keeps down the flurry of resumes from Kabul to Baghdad. It’’s the rare NGO worker who applies for work before the shooting is over and the maximum salaries are fixed. The money has been spent in Afghanistan, the bank is closed. The UN has larded tens of millions of dollars on an enormous fleet of brand new top-of-the-line Toyota Landcruisers, many times that on inflated salaries, mansions and the luxurious perks of occupying pashas. The needy locals are not amused. The American citizens who’ve liberally financed this largesse would be appalled at the waste.
It’’s not all monotonous or pointless in Kabul; at one French NGO housed in a stunning antique-laden chalet, I’’ve devoured a seven-course meal prepared by a 4 star chef. Then there’’s always the sumptuous UN House, where one can take a dip, mingle poolside among scandalous bikinis and dowse dehydration with inspired cocktails fashioned by our languid Euro masters. Unfortunately, since "American UN employee" is an oxymoron, our one attempt to storm the formidable barricades is a spectacular failure. We’’re rudely turned away, despite flashing $20 bills to the Afghan UN security. My companion, a fierce Pushtoon-American licensed to pack a very visible Glock 19, glances back at the sunbathers as we’’re escorted out: "We've paid for all this with our taxes, you bastards!" One of the Pushto guard’’s shrugs his shoulderssympathetically, muttering an apology that suggests "someday this will all be ours again." For all the heroic American efforts in Afghanistan, truly and deeply appreciated by the indigenous population, we’’re still treated as unwanted nuisances by the predominantly European NGO residents.
For us hoi polloi, there was always the Irish Pub that opened on Saint Paddy’’s day to such fanfare in the western press——and with far greater gratitude in Kabul——but is now shuttered, a victim of its own success.
Sean McQuade’’s commercial instinct was impeccable: the creation of a stimulating oasis for thirsty westerners in one of the driest and most oppressively conservative cities in the Islamic world. The demand was high——a bit too high, according to some Afghans. In a city where getting stoned isn’’t an amusing colloquialism for intoxication but a literal description for the Taliban sport of getting smashed at the soccer stadium, Sean’’s otherwise laudable enterprise had a few defects in the business model, the most notable was that his public house had a mullah next door. McQuade had hoped for a lower profile for his tavern, but the spirited swarms of tipsy patrons pouring into their NGO SUVs in the late hours scandalized the neighborhood and not even the owner’’s gracious offer of baksheesh to rebuild local roads and schools could keep the speakeasy alive.
All is not lost for parched westerners in search of a public lager with good company, however, since other more discreet taps have opened throughout the city. At the Mustafa Hotel, long the favorite haven of adventuresome tourists and savvy international journalists, where last summer we diluted toxic contraband Tajik vodka (at $50 a liter) with Fanta, one can not only legally quaff a draught, but also surf the net or file a story at the same time...and not a mullah for a hundred meters.
Meanwhile, conservatives, with their simple-minded lack of nuance, tried to "turn back the clock" to a time when angry barbarians did not fly planes into our skyscrapers. They shunned – and even punished – outsiders who threatened their cherished worldview of a country free of savage terrorist attacks.
The report described "liberal" traits as including a powerful "need for closure." (I believe conservatives just want closure on the word "closure.") But in the press release, one of the researchers, Jack Glaser, said the study suggested that Bush had "ignored intelligence information" about Iraq because of the conservative "need for closure." So I guess another liberal trait is "making no sense."
The study also explained that "conservatives don't feel the need to jump through complex, intellectual hoops in order to understand or justify some of their positions ..." Whenever you have backed a liberal into a corner – if he doesn't start crying – he says, "It's a complicated issue." Loving America is too simple an emotion. To be nuanced you have to hate it a little. Conservatives may not grasp "nuance," but we're pretty good at grasping treason
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
From a new (to me anyway) online comedy site.
Hussein supporters asked to understand "root causes" of American attacks.
In the wake of the attack earlier this week that left Uday and Qusay Hussein dead, many in America's academic community came forward to encourage the remaining supporters of Saddam Hussein to "look past their anger" and try to discover the "root causes" of the American attack. Said Middle East correspondent and professional idiotarian Robert Fisk, "While it might be tempting for Saddam's supporters to lash out at the west, they would be better served by trying to understand why they are so hated throughout the world, including in their own country."
Fisk went on to suggest that invading Kuwait and supporting terrorists around the world had done much to draw the ire of the west, and that the best course of action would be to try to understand American culture. A leading Berkley professor suggested that Ba'ath party members should "spend time learning about Americans, Western Culture, and maybe every try a cheeseburger or maybe listening to some pop music."
Said Fisk, "The temptation will be for the Ba'athists to strike back, but violence only begets more violence. You can't judge an American until you've walked a mile in his Nikes."
Christopher Hitchens, a Brit, says this about his trip to Iraq:
It's quite extraordinary to see the way that American soldiers are welcomed. To see the work that they're doing and not just rolling up these filthy networks of Baathists and Jihaddists, but building schools, opening soccer stadiums, helping people connect to the Internet, there is a really intelligent political program as well as a very tough military one....
I felt a sense of annoyance that I had to go there myself to find any of that out.
Thanks to CD Harris for finding this one.
"The Democratic Party is at risk of being taken over from the far left." -- U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh (democrat - Indiana), at a Democrat Leadership Council meeting in Philadelphia.
You are like Lord Shiva. He is a God who works in
two ways. He is responsible for both in the
form of death and destruction and in a positive
way he has the sense of shedding old bad
habits. He is self-controlled and celibate. You
are stongly religious like Lord Shiva and you
can obtain yourself to a proper level in your
life. You are able to keep yourslef
undercontroll and by this you are probably very
popular and not hated or disliked by others
because of your bright ways.
What Hindu God or Goddess are you like?
brought to you by Quizilla
A key to stopping terrorists on American soil is to crack down on hobby rocketeers, according to Senator Charles E. Schumer (democrat - HCI) of New York and Frank R. Lautenberg (democrat) of New Jersey.
From the New York Post:
July 29, 2003 -- Dead men tell no tales - except at the New York Times.
The obituary of comedian Bob Hope, who died Sunday, carried the byline of Vincent Canby - a Times writer who has been dead himself since 2000.
If there are any mistakes, obviously don't call the writer.
In fairness, the Times Web site, which posted the story last night, did say that the writer had died in 2000.
Bruce Bartlett on Capmag.com
According to a Rasmussen poll taken on July 14 and 15, the Times bears much of the blame for the widespread view that much reporting is inaccurate. Only 10 percent of people find the Times to be very reliable, with 36 percent saying it is only somewhat reliable. Compared to this 46 percent reliability rating, other news sources do far better. Sixty-six percent of people find CNN to be reliable, and 73 percent says that their local newspaper is such. Interestingly, Fox News, which is often attacked for a lack of objectivity, is considered reliable by 72 percent of Americans.
Longtime Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley believes that liberal ideology is behind the problem of inaccuracy. "An editor trying to put out objective reports," he wrote in a July 28 column, "has to contend with a newsroom dominated by a single viewpoint." That viewpoint ignores or downplays facts that contradict the liberal worldview and plays up those that support it.
Fortunately, new media -- the Internet, cable news and talk radio -- provide alternate sources of information and opinion for those who want it. In order to compete, old media like the Times need to strive harder to achieve fairness and balance or continue to lose the respect of the American people.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
The Onion asks:
Last week, the U.S. military defended its decision to place the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons on display. What do you think?
"I can think of no better way to win opposing Iraqi hearts and minds than by showing them some opposing Iraqis' actual hearts and minds."
-- Patrick Herron, Computer Specialist
Here is some good stuff from the Wall Street Journal on our Friends the French:
"French President Jacques Chirac, making his first visit to Polynesia since ordering a final round of nuclear tests in the South Pacific in 1995, on Saturday defended the decades of testing that some islanders claimed gave them cancer," the Associated Press reports from Papeete, Tahiti:
Chirac, making a five-day visit to the French territory of Tahiti, said the atomic tests that generated international outrage helped establish France as a world power.
"Without Polynesia, France would not be the great power that it is, capable of expressing in the concert of nations an autonomous, independent and respected position," he said.
And so what if a few island-dwellers got cancer? Meanwhile, the New York Times reports from Paris that France and Germany are belatedly considering how they can help in Iraq. "One senior French official" tells the paper: "The French Army would feel humiliated to go to Iraq and be put in the same category as the Poles or the Uruguayans as part of the cleanup team." Does French arrogance know any bounds?
The Associated Press reports that "the number of American tourists visiting France has dropped dramatically this year, by as much as 80 percent in the first half of 2003." The reason? France's Tourism Ministry attributes the decline "mainly to the weak dollar." Yeah, that must be it.
Norman Geras blogs eloquently on the War in Iraq.
Here are some hightlights:
Something similar has now been repeated over the war in Iraq. I could just about have 'got inside' the view - though it wasn't my view - that the war to remove Saddam Hussein's regime should not be supported. Neither Washington nor Baghdad - maybe. But opposition to the war - the marching, the petition-signing, the oh-so-knowing derision of George Bush and so forth - meant one thing very clearly. Had this campaign succeeded in its goal and actually prevented the war it was opposed to, the life of the Baathist regime would have been prolonged, with all that that entailed: years more (how many years more?) of the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the children's jails, and the mass graves recently uncovered.
This was the result which hundreds of thousands of people marched to secure. Well, speaking for myself, comrades, there I draw the line. Not one step.
It is, in any event, such realities - the brutalizing and murder by the Baathist regime of its own nationals to the tune of tens upon tens, upon more tens, of thousands of deaths - that the recent war has brought to an end. It should have been supported for this reason, irrespective of the reasons (concerning WMD) that George Bush and Tony Blair put up front themselves; though it is disingenuous of the war's critics to speak now as if the humanitarian case for war formed no part of the public rationale of the Coalition, since it was clearly articulated by both Bush and Blair more than once.
According to Human Rights Watch, during 23 years of Saddam's rule some 290,000 Iraqis disappeared into the regime's deadly maw, the majority of these reckoned to be now dead. Rounding this number down by as much as 60,000 to compensate for the 'thought to be', that is 230,000. It is 10,000 a year. It is 200 people every week. And I'll refrain from embellishing with details, which you should all know, as to exactly how a lot of these people died.
The crassest are the statements by supposedly mature people - one of these Clare Short, another the novelist Julian Barnes - that this war was not worth the loss of a single life. Not one, hey? So much for the victims of the rape rooms and the industrial shredders, for the children tortured and murdered in front of their parents, and for those parents. So much for those Human Rights Watch estimates and for the future flow of the regime's victims had it been left in place.
You have to go back to the apologias for, and fellow-travelling with, the crimes of Stalinism to find as shameful a moral failure of liberal and left opinion as in the wrong-headed - and too often, in the circumstances, sickeningly smug - opposition to the freeing of the Iraqi people from one of the foulest regimes on the planet.
The Dissident Frogman
Has some interesting things to say about caring and compassionate musicians and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
"That said, to find "no message" in a 1974 independent movie (the important words are "independent" and "1974") staging a group of hippies suddenly confronted to a bunch of unprincipled wackos focused on the idea of hunting and eating anything that runs on two legs and utterly immune to the virtue of unilateral peace, love (Imagine all the people. In the seasoning bowl) as well as 12 years plus 19 UN resolutions (it's just an example), frankly, one has to watch this movie in a very superficial way."
"Or be a former - or 'neo' - love loving hippy I guess."
"These poor peaceful 'methodically hunted down and disposed of in brutal fashions' young people. How sick! How vile! How immoral!"
"Can you please put down that chainsaw and stop eating the fleshy love children of peace Mr. Leatherface?"
"Tell you what: I'm afraid the Texas Chainsaw Massacre's message is still cruelly valid these days."
Janeane Garofalo, Hollywood leftlist extremist once accused a right wing radio talkshow host of "making things up", and carried that generalization over to everyone to the right of her viewpoint.
Like many far left extremists, she got it wrong. Here is yet another example of lefties just making things up.
Monday, July 28, 2003
Today's Raped-By-Uday Count Stands at Zero
(2003-07-28) -- The Pentagon announced again today that its raped-by-Uday count remained at zero for the sixth day in a row. About 11 million Iraqi women have not been raped by Uday Hussein since he, and his brother, were killed by American troops last week.
"Since the end of his major sadistic operations about six days ago, we have no recorded incidents of Uday Hussein raping teenage girls or anyone else," said an unnamed Pentagon spokesman. "He has also not tortured anyone since that day. Iraq is still a dangerous place, but our estimates indicate that Uday will rape approximately no girls or women for the rest of this month, nor for many months to follow."
From The Irish Examiner
Farmer who shot burglars released today
28/07/2003 - 9:42:25 am
British farmer Tony Martin has been released from custody after serving two-thirds of his five-year jail sentence for shooting dead a 16-year-old burglar and wounding his accomplice, according to the Prison Service.
Martin, 58, today enjoys his first day of freedom after serving two-thirds of a five-year sentence for manslaughter.
He was originally jailed for life after being convicted of murdering Barras and wounding his accomplice Brendan Fearon, 33, also of Newark.
That conviction was reduced on appeal.
I'll be offline for two weeks starting Saturday.
Leslie Bates (yes, that one) will be guest hosting while I go cold net-turkey.
Interesting data found in the Washington Times.
"[data from] a June study by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. It found that Republicans out raise Democrats by 63 percent to 37 percent among penny-ante donors -- those who give under $200. The GOP retains that advantage at all levels up to $100,000, although it steadily narrows as the dollar amount rises.
Once you hit $100,000, the Democrats really begin to clean up. They hold a fund-raising advantage that widens rapidly as the numbers gets more stratospheric. In contributions of over $1 million, they out raise Republicans by 92 percent to 8 percent."
Sunday, July 27, 2003
This will drive the liberals up a wall while foaming at the mouth.
Ann Coutler, highly successful conservative author is signing a $3 Million dollar book deal.
Her books Slander & Treason have sold over 600,000 copies, and that's without being on the Opra book list!.
Tip of the fedora to Matt Drudge for this one!
More examples of why democrats shouldn't be President:
"And Dennis Kucinich -- a long-time member of Congress -- now calls for legislation -- I love this -- to ban "mind control" weapons in outer space."
"... time's arrow flies in only one direction and when writing about history, it is essential to get the dates right. Joseph McCarthy's entry on the national stage in regard to domestic communism came in 1950. The House Committee on Un-American Activities began its highly publicized hearings, hearings that led the imprisonment of ten Hollywood writers (all who really were secret Communists by the way) for refusing to testify and also refusing to invoke their fifth amendment rights. What McCarthy did in 1950 and later could in no way have influenced or caused what happened in 1947, 1948 and 1949 in regard to Hollywood and the House committee." -- John Earl Haynes, Twentieth-Century Political Historian, Library of Congress.
Speaking of the Greens
Q: How many Greens does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: There's no important difference between darkness and the so-called light that is created by destructive multinational corporations. The only real answer is to pruduce natural light that doesn't depend on global capitalism, by burning down the house.
Posted by Timothy Waligore, 6:37 PM
Friday, July 25, 2003
From a Washington Post article on Uday.
Seven years ago, a Baghdad man's pretty 17-year-old daughter vanished and was rumored to be held inside the Iraq Olympic Committee compound run by Uday. After 10 days, the frantic father asked his attorney to inquire about the girl. The attorney presented himself at the committee and was eventually taken before Uday.
According to the file of the attorney's testimony, Uday "was looking at the papers I had filled out. He said, 'I was going to break both your legs so you can never come back here, but I see your left leg was wounded in the Iran-Iraq war, so I am only going to break your right leg.' "
A henchman shot the lawyer's right foot, leaving him unable to walk, and he recalled being dumped near a hospital. The girl was eventually sent home, having been repeatedly raped, and her family was told not to move. But they fled in terror to Poland, where they had relatives. Several years later, gunmen working for Uday tracked them down there and killed the girl and her father, according to the lawyer.
"This is just a sample," Adnan Jabbar Saadi said today at the Human Rights Organization of Iraq, where several weeks ago he listened to the attorney tell his story. "Hitler was mild compared to Uday."
Esam Saadi, a human rights lawyer, said the killings were both a political victory for the United States and an example of divine justice. After the U.S. invasion, he said, "people were afraid Saddam would come back, but now they have less to fear. The evil crow's two wings have been cut off. He can still cry, but he cannot fly anymore."
"Gun control laws are like OSHA for criminals. When criminals have guns and their victims don't, crime becomes a safer occupation. In some countries with strict gun-control laws, burglars enter houses while people are still at home several times as often as that happens in the United States." -- Random Thoughts for July 2003 by Thomas Sowell
Thursday, July 24, 2003
"Anyway, the gist of the disagreement between Europe and America is the 'peens think they achieved lasting peace through endless conversations in Swiss hotels with bottles of bubbly water and plates of runny cheese scattered about the table. Americans think the reason Europeans have achieved lasting peace has something to do with the fact that every time these conversations broke out into full-blown brawls, the United States marched into the room and imposed order like a parent getting the kids to stop wrestling over the remote control. This is a profound difference in perspectives and a profound example of how history informs ideology. The Europeans think their "miracle" was achieved through talk. Americans think this miracle was achieved through tanks. And that is all the difference in the world." -- Jonah Goldberg
Found this in the Wall Street Journal Online
Those who fear another Vietnam in Iraq (as opposed to those who hope for one, who are impervious to reason) should bear in mind that the situations are entirely different. Vietnam was a defensive war in which the enemy had territory of its own and the support of a rival superpower. In Iraq, guerrilla remnants are all that is left of a vanquished foe. The situation is more analogous to postwar Germany, where, as History Today explains, the occupying Allies faced attacks from a guerrilla/terrorist force called the Werewolves, which was not organized until the fall of 1944:
The Werewolves specialised in ambushes and sniping, and took the lives of many Allied and Soviet soldiers and officers--perhaps even that of the first Soviet commandant of Berlin, General N.E. Berzarin, who was rumoured to have been waylaid in Charlottenburg during an incident in June 1945. Buildings housing Allied and Soviet staffs were favourite targets for Werewolf bombings; an explosion in the Bremen police headquarters, also in June 1945, killed five Americans and thirty-nine Germans. Techniques for harassing the occupiers were given widespread publicity through Werewolf leaflets and radio propaganda, and long after May 1945 the sabotage methods promoted by the Werewolves were still being used against the occupying powers.
"The citizens of this great nation generously give of their scarce resources in order to assist various other peoples of the Earth, and they get defecated upon for their trouble. If we take a hands-off approach, we are denounced as greedy and miserly. If we assume a hands-on approach, we are denounced as imperialist opportunists ([Brits] should be able to appreciate this); in either event, we are condemned. Frankly, we're fed up with it. We will no longer tolerate aggression and cowardice. We fully intend to call those responsible for such violence to account, and, if the rest of the world (or the French, for that matter) doesn't like it, to hell with 'em." -- " Lord Covington" speaking about the United States on the Citizens of the Imperium boards
"The anti-tax-cut, soft-on-defense, big-spending Democrats will take the Democratic Party to the edge and maybe over." - democrat Senator Joe Lieberman, 7/24/03
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Chris Matthews just compared Howard Dean to Chauney Gardner!
Somehow I don't think this former Tip O'Neil staffer has much respect for Gov. Dean.
Andrew Sullivan makes this comment about former President Clinton:
Clinton is politically shrewd, whatever else you think of him. Far, far shrewder than the current political pygmies in his party.
He's basing it on the following quote by Clinton, and I agree with Mr. Sullivan's assement.
We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq. We can have honest disagreements about where we go from here, and we have space now to discuss that in what I hope will be a nonpartisan and open way. But this State of the Union deal they decided to use the British intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence. Then they said on balance they shouldn't have done it. You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president. I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That's what I think.
Found at Instapundit:
POLITICIZED SCIENCE AT BERKELEY. This sounds like an updated version of those psychology studies from the 1920s demonstrating the intellectual and moral inferiority of despised immigrants, and it's just about as scientific. Your tax dollars at work.
"Number of Grateful Dead concerts attended by columnist Ann Coulter: 67" - Harper's Index, July 2003
Interesting picture from Communist China. In a communist society, everybody has a job. Some jobs just have a high turnover rate.
Interesting bit found on a mailing list I'm on. People who have their panties in a knot over the way the prisoners at Gitmo are treated should read carefully:
Article 4 of the Geneva convention spells out what you have to do (carry weapons openly, wear a distinctive uniform, etc.) to earn the right to POW treatment if you take part in a war and are captured. If you don't fulfill your responsibilities - responsibilities that are designed to protect the civilians around you - then you aren't entitled to the rights of a POW if captured.
Other articles of the Geneva convention spell out what you can do with such people (currently labelled with titles like "illegal combatants") - including things like executing them on orders of military tribunals. These executions can be carried out in full accordance with the convention.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Democrats Caught Plotting to Worsen California's Budget Crisis
You know the Democrats have done something awful when even the leftist Los Angeles Times breaks ranks and exposes them. "In a meeting they thought was private but was actually broadcast around the Capitol on Monday, 11 Assembly Democrats debated prolonging California's budget crisis to further their political goals."
Members of Democratic Study Group, which has pushed to confiscate billions more dollars from taxpayers, failed to note that a microphone in a committee room in the state Capitol was on as they schemed about using the Dems' favorite tactic, obstructionism, to pressure Republicans into accepting the Dems' favorite non-solution, tax increases, to fix Gov. Gray Davis' $38 billion budget deficit.
"The conversation was transmitted to roughly 500 'squawk boxes' around Sacramento that political staff, lobbyists and reporters use to listen in on legislative proceedings," the Times reported today.
From Boycott Hollywood:
Follywood Never Pays In Full??(Follywood)
Cameron Diaz, Alanis Morissette and other former celebrity clients of convicted Wall Street fund manager Dana Giacchetto have agreed to repay the money he illegally diverted to them, thesmokinggun.com website says.
Diaz has repaid $100,000 after being sued for $208,600. Richard Lovett, president of Creative Artists Agency, returned $75,000 after being sued for $150,000 and actor Tim Roth returned $60,000.
Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese had to stump up $90,000, Morissette $1800, Leonardo DiCaprio's father, George, $2000 and composer Philip Glass repaid $2500, the crime website said.
Giacchetto, 40, was convicted in 2001 of improperly diverting funds to his Hollywood clientele from the accounts of ordinary clients, claiming they represented investment gains.
Ordinary clients? Once again here is an example of the Follywood types being above the rest of us here on planet earth.
The article also would make one think that the Follywood stars did a nice thing to pay back the money to the "little people" - - but let's do the math!
They only paid back half of what was owed - - meaning they made a profit.
From CD Harris's Blog
That refund Dick Gephardt owes us is getting bigger every day. He's now missed an astonishing 90% of House votes this year (356/397 total votes). By contrast, John Kerry's only missed 52% (150/290) of Senate votes and is starting to look downright hardworking.
Andrew Sullivan on the Africa-Uranium story:
My liberal readers have just about had it with me on the Africa-Uranium story. They think I'm deliberately ignoring it; in denial about the collapse of the occupation of Iraq; and still swooning for Dubya. Well, they might be right about the third. But the reason I'm unmoved by this story is that I can't see why it matters. Intelligence is always a somewhat dubious enterprise. There is little certainty, only grades of uncertainty. No one - left, right or center, European or American, Democrat or Republican - believed that Saddam had come clean about his WMD ambitions in the months before the war. Does anyone today? That refusal is the entire reason for the war. Not our intelligence - his refusal. The notion that a single minor piece of evidence which is still defended by British spooks somehow undermines the case for war against Saddam is just loopy. Should we investigate to see where our intelligence might have failed? You bet. Should we worry, as one letter writer today does, that our credibility has been tarnished? Absolutely. Did the Bush administration "lie" about the intelligence it received? There is no evidence whatever that the president deliberately misled the American people. If he had one fault, it was veering on the side of caution when faced with Saddam's record in a post-9/11 world. Count me as someone who is glad he didn't veer toward complacency instead. This non-scandal, as Bill Kristol has argued, may well hurt its advocates more than the Bush administration, just as the BBC may end up (here's hoping) mortally wounded by its own attack on the war.
On September 11th 2001, . . .the United States came under aerial attack by planes piloted by foreign nationals. Two planes struck the World Trade Center destroying it and, with it, thousands of innocent civilians inside. Another struck the Pentagon killing hundreds of member of the armed forces. You may have heard about this unprovoked attack on the United States. It made all the papers.
If so you also know that a fourth plane, United Flight 93, was heading for the nation’s capital. Its likely target was the White House. It was stopped from reaching its target, but not by the Army, Navy, or even the Air Force. Nor was it stopped by the armed constabulary of the District of Columbia. After all, these official personnel cannot be everywhere the nation is threatened. No, unlike 1812, this time the White House was saved from possible destruction by the heroics of members of the unorganized militia who, after learning of the attacks by other planes on their cell phones, gave their lives to protect the capital from a second successful attack in the same morning.
Notwithstanding the opinion of Richard Uviller and William Merkel, we may just need them again one day and in circumstances where it would be better if they were armed. Fortunately, the right of the people to keep and bear arms remains enshrined in the Constitution by the Second Amendment.
I added the links to his text.
Monday, July 21, 2003
From CD Harris' Blog:
Chris Matthews, obviously channeling his inner Tim Russert (with a splash of Bill O'Reilly?), eviscerated Dennis Kucinich the other night. After trying and trying to get a straight answer out of him and finally getting thoroughly fed up with Kucinich's pathetic evasions and piss-poor excuses, Matthews summarily dismissed him thusly:
MATTHEWS: You’re desperate. Let’s move on here. Congressman Hunter, let me ask you a serious question because you’re a serious man. This was not a serious conversation.
"Thirty Four years after Apollo. For what we have spent on the space program we could have asteroid colonies as well as a permanent Moon Base.?
We could still have them. Prizes and X projects would do it; but that would require abolishing NASA, because NASA simply will not allow anything to succeed that it can't do." -- Jerry Pournelle
From Andrew Sullivan's Blog:
THE BBC'S VICTIM: Readers of this blog will not be surprised to find that the tragedy of British scientist David Kelly's death may well be linked to the corrupt journalism of the BBC. It was clear to anyone with eyes and ears that at some point in this past year, the BBC decided to launch a propaganda campaign against the war against Saddam and to tarnish, if not bring down, the premiership of Tony Blair. When news organizations turn into political parties - as we saw with Howell Raines' New York Times - it's only a matter of time before they over-reach. May 29 was such a moment. On that day, the BBC produced a story claiming that a "senior intelligence official" had told them that the Blair government, in the person of Alastair Campbell, had "sexed up" its dossier on Iraqi WMDs against the wishes of the intelligence services. One central claim was the notion that Saddam could launch WMDs within 45 minutes. We learned yesterday that David Kelly was indeed the source of such a claim. But Kelly denied that he had made such broad claims when he was alive; he was never a "senior intelligence source," but a mere, if excellent, scientist; and it's becoming clearer and clearer that the BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan, sexed up his own story in order to further the BBC's campaign against the Iraq war. Kelly's member of parliament, Robert Jackson, has drawn the obvious conclusion:
"I think the fact of the matter is that Gilligan, under pressure from his news colleagues for a scoop, for an exclusive story, under pressure from the wider BBC establishment and its general vendetta against the government on the question of the war against Iraq, I believe he sexed up the whole story and this created the situation that led to the death of my constituent."
That's a very serious charge, and we may not yet know every detail of this story. It is certainly not to the credit of the Blair government that, when Kelly told his superiors of his contact with the BBC, they pushed Kelly into the limelight in their defense. But they are still not ultimately responsible for this tragedy. Kelly deserved to have his views accurately represented by the BBC, rather than hyped in a way that made him the center of a grueling public storm. That very hype destroyed his privacy and led this very private man to despair. Someone at the BBC must be held accountable. And resign.
"With respect to Iraq's history, the Security Council noted Iraq's threat during the Gulf War to use chemical weapons in violation of its treaty obligations, Iraq's prior use of chemical weapons, Iraq's use of ballistic missiles in unprovoked attacks, and reports that Iraq attempted to acquire materials for a nuclear weapons program contrary to its treaty obligations." -- democrat Senator Levin, on the Senate Floor, 1998
Sunday, July 20, 2003
What is not being said about WMDs is what bothers me. What if one of the reasons to take Hussein out, to keep the WMDs from spreading, did the opposite? As US & British forces raced to Bagdad, a lot of people and material flowed into Syria. This included two tractor trailers filled with cash (about $2 Billion). The Bio/Chem WMDs that Hans Blick said were unaccounted for, don't take up a lot of space. The nerve agents can fit in several dozen 55 Gallon drums. That can easily fit into a tractor trailer. The chemical & biological warfare labs don't take up much space either. Those could have rolled into Syria along with the cash.
On the other hand, as Moxie points out, the LAPD can't find meth labs in LA.
The NY Time's 9-11 Scam
by Michelle Malkin (July 18, 2003)
The New York Times -- unrelenting champion of the underprivileged, mighty battler against all corporate evils, and vehement opponent of Republican tax cuts for the "rich and powerful" -- lives by a far more self-serving motto:
All the corporate welfare that's fit to collect.
You won't see it reported on the Times' front page, so here's the scoop: The Gray Lady is a greedy leech, siphoning off millions of dollars in state taxpayer subsidies for private real estate development disguised as a public good. Now, the company stands to benefit from a federal tax-exempt bond program intended to help businesses devastated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
This week, it was revealed that the Times Company's development partner for the headquarters project has asked city officials for $400 million in federally financed "Liberty Bonds." The federal program was meant for rebuilding in New York City's Sept. 11 disaster zone, not for subsidizing a private newspaper's long-planned palatial ambitions.
Saturday, July 19, 2003
Frankie Lou, "our man in Nebraska," passes us the following illuminating anecdote. It seemed that an Army wife at Fort Bliss was so upset by the forthcoming assignment of her husband to combat contact that she had difficulty in sleeping, so along about midnight she drove to the convenience store to acquire some unaccustomed sleeping pills. The parking lot of a convenience store at midnight is a war zone, as everybody knows. As she was locking her car, a voice behind her said, "Give me the purse, bitch, or I'll kill you." She gave it to him all right, squarely in the face, smashing his nose and knocking out most of his front teeth. As it is not unheard of in our current social comedy, the goblin is now bringing suit against the girl for some obscure reason dreamed up by his attorney. Regardless of any legal angle, this further emphasizes the importance of attitude in combat. Mind-set is what wins.
--LTC Jeff Cooper, USMC, Retired. July 2003
Brett Sokol in Miami's "alternative" New Times newspaper writes:
One can be troubled by the apparent exaggeration of Iraqi intelligence reports without dismissing Hussein as a threat altogether. As Christopher Hitchens wrote recently in Slate: "To believe that the Saddam regime had nothing to hide is to believe that he threw out the U.N. inspectors in 1998 and then said to himself: 'Great. Now I can get on with my dream of unilaterally disarming Iraq!' Who can be such a fool as to believe any such thing?"
Who? Unfortunately a lot of Democrats. In fact it's getting harder to tell the party's principled liberals from the more delusional figures on the Left. Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel breathlessly equates antiwar "dissidents" marching in New York with Iranian students risking their lives as they take to the streets of Tehran protesting the ayatollahs. In Fort Lauderdale, New Times's own sister paper earnestly refers to Bush's overseas "jihad" on its cover, seemingly unable to distinguish any difference between al Qaeda's terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center and the U.S. ousting of Saddam Hussein's government.
Given a choice between burying their heads in the sand or erring on the side of caution, most Americans in 2004 will opt for the candidate who recognizes the all-too-real threats facing us. John Ashcroft?= Osama bin Laden? As Bush himself might say: "Don't be so melodramaculous."
" Come on, come over here and make me, I dare you. . . . You little fruitcake. You little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake." -- Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (democrat-Calif.) to another member of Congress. So much for reasoned debate from the left. Why is it when every liberals get really mad, they accuse their foe of being gay?
Friday, July 18, 2003
While the far left extremists are getting their selves all worked up of AG Ashcroft and his resort hotel for terrorist in Gitmo, Ann Coulter points out some great moments in democrat history:
AFTER PEARL HARBOR, President Roosevelt rounded up more than 100,000 Japanese residents and citizens and threw them in internment camps. Indeed, both liberal deities of the 20th century, FDR and Earl Warren, supported the internment of Japanese-Americans. In the '20s, responding to the bombing of eight government officials' homes, a Democrat-appointed attorney general arrested about 6,000 people. The raids were conducted by A. Mitchell Palmer, appointed by still-revered Democrat segregationist Woodrow Wilson, who won the 1916 election based on lies about intelligence and war plans.
"Can we be sure that terrorism and WMD will join together? If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that, at its least is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering. That is something I am confident history will forgive. But if our critics are wrong and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in face of this menace, when we should have given leadership. That is something history will not forgive." -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking to the US Congress, July 17, 2003
In the latest in a series of grisly discoveries, the U.S. military said Thursday it found another mass grave this one in northern Iraq and thought to contain the bodies of up to 400 Kurdish women and children slain by Saddam Hussein's regime. . . .
Some 25 sets of remains all women and children have been pulled from the grave, each with a bullet hole in the skull. The military said the size of the area leads them to believe the site contains between 200 and 400 bodies.
Since the end of the Iraq war, at least 60 mass graves, some with hundreds of corpses, have been discovered. The United Nations is investigating the killing or disappearance of at least 300,000 Iraqis believed murdered during Saddam's regime.
Trent Stamp, an adept number cruncher and database sleuth, has spent the past two years poring over the finances of the nation's leading nonprofit organizations, and he is convinced of one thing: There are just too damn many charities in this country. To hear Stamp tell it, financial inefficiency and mismanagement are more prevalent among nonprofits than anyone knows, and he wants to let the whole world in on the secret.
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Winner: Science Fiction
Colonel Cleatus Yorbville had been one seriously bored astronaut for the first few months of his diplomatic mission on the third planet of the Frangelicus XIV system, but all that had changed on the day he'd discovered that his tiny, multipedal and infinitely hospitable alien hosts were not only edible but tasted remarkably like that stuff that's left on the pan after you've made cinnamon buns and burned them a little.
Auburn AL 36830
'Theeeey're here!' whispered Billy Joe under his foul breath through yellowed teeth as brilliant white light permeated all of the windows of his trailer, and he flashed back to fragmented recollections of the previous four abductions--the questions, the pain, the probe--which he was powerless to stop but this time was better prepared for, having just finished a seventh bean burrito, a case of Bud, and four packs of Pop Rocks.
Jim Sheppeck II
She fumbled for her laser gun, knowing that the alien was eager to ravage her, unlike Captain Johnson, who wanted to take things slow since he was coming off the heels of a very painful divorce.
Colorado Springs, CO
Brock de-holstered his Maxi-Hurt 3000 phaser and blasted off the Narguwullian trooper's head, the way a teenager pops the head off a zit, except of course on a much larger scale because those Narguwullians are big suckers, and although Brock had personally had some door stoppers in his teenage years, most zits aren't twelve feet high, blue, and liable to rip your arms off if you look at them the wrong way, and are also much less inclined to leave a mess on the flight deck.
Bundaberg QLD Australia
Found on Andrew Sullivan's Blog:
CAN THE TRUTH BE A LIE? The WSJ uncovers the national intelligence estimate of the uranium-Africa Saddam link. It's clear; solid; still backed by the Brits. The more I read about this, the less there is to the critics' hyper-ventilation and glib assertions of "lies" where no lies were spoken. The president and the prime minister should go on the offensive soon. Maybe Blair will in front of Congress.
Good News on the Civil Rights Front:
Found on Instapundit.com
THE BATTLE OVER GUN-CONTROL HAS ENTERED THE ROLLBACK PHASE:
The D.C. Personal Protection Act, introduced Tuesday by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), would repeal the District's ban on handguns, end strict registration requirements for ammunition and other firearms, and lift prohibitions on the possession or carrying of weapons at homes and workplaces. . . .
"It is time to restore the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and to defend their families against murderous predators," said Hatch, whose bill has 18 co-sponsors. "Try to imagine the horror that [a] victim felt when he faced a gun-toting criminal and could not legally reach for a firearm to protect himself."
According to U.S. Justice Department statistics, the District's per-capita murder rate hovered between third- and seventh-highest from 1994 to 2001 among cities with more than 100,000 residents. Calling the District the "murder capital of the United States," Hatch said the gun prohibition is "as ineffective and deplorable as it is unconstitutional."
The District of Columbia is a case-study in the ineffectiveness of gun-control. Heck, it's a case study in the ineffectiveness of a lot of outdated government policies.
But here's the most revealing quote:
Matt Nosanchuk, litigation director for the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control advocacy group, said there is no evidence that greater access to guns reduces crime.
Remember how anti-gun folks used to say that reducing gun controls would lead to "blood in the streets?" Now the best they can claim is that it probably won't reduce crime.
Take 'em at their word. If liberalizing gun laws won't make crime better, but won't make it worse either, then what's the justification for keeping the laws on the books? That some people find gun ownership offensive?
Some people find gay sex offensive, too. Big deal. You don't outlaw things and deny people civil rights on the basis of offensiveness.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Here is some very good stuff found on the Oriental Redneck Blog. A lot of good stuff there. Check it out.
Taking Anti-Americanism A Little Far, Ain'cha?
I've come to the firm conclusion that Heather Mallick needs a good swift kick to the head. Or some powerful medication.
Now, this isn't a conclusion I've come to lightly, or on the basis of no evidence. I would refer you to this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. Her columns reflect a sneering condescension of the United States, that views intelligent Americans as an aberration.
Her "America-Can-Do-No-Good" attitude causes her to opine in a rather outrageously stupid manner.
For instance, she writes:
U.S. commanders say they are now seeing guerrilla warfare, the kind that Americans were famously not good at in Vietnam.
While ignoring that while, ultimately, Vietnam was a loss, rather notable exceptions existed, in which the Americans proved themselves capable of taking on guerillas.
Moreover, her only point of reference is Vietnam, and she either, out of ignorance or willfully, ignores that America has a great deal of experience dealing with guerilla warfare, dating back to the Civil War and beyond. The 1940 edition of the United States Marine Corps Small Wars Manual points out:
The ordinary expedition of the Marine Corps which does not involve a major effort in regular warfare against a first-rate power may be termed a small war. It is this type of routine active foreign duty of the Marine Corps in which this manual is primarily interested. Small wars represent the normal and frequent operations of the Marine Corps. During about 85 of the last 100 years, the Marine Corps has been engaged in small wars in different parts of the world. The Marine Corps has landed troops 180 times in 37 countries from 1800 to 1934. Every year during the past 36 years since the Spanish-American War, the Marine Corps has been engaged in active operations in the field. In 1929 the Marine Corps had twothirds of its personnel employed on expeditionary or other foreign or sea duty outside of the continental limits of the United States. [emphasis added]
For specifics, I would refer you to the Phillipines, Boxer Rebellion, Haiti, and Nicaragua as instances of American experience in fighting guerillas.
Mallick's latest sneer at the United States can be found here. In it, she opines:
Smart people have become a cult in the U.S. When the next Waco comes, it won't be Branch Davidians they're after, it will be the intelligent, literate Americans, the kind who speak in whole sentences with clauses, who run libraries and write heartfelt letters to Salon.com. The American writer Bill Bryson, unwilling to tolerate the awful schools and a president he calls an imbecile, has announced he is moving back to Britain, and not a moment too soon. For I watched mid-American TV for an afternoon last weekend and I'm still whimpering.
I find myself amused that she seems to equate letters to Salon.com with intelligence. I would imagine that Ms. Mallick's world view views intelligence as a function of CBC/PBS/BBC viewing, believe all the "right" things, and mouth the "correct" platitudes. What a sad, narrow vision that must be.
Of course, Ms. Mallick's as one of those smart, intelligent people, would never engage in gross, inaccurate generalities, right? Of course not:
Americans themselves call it dumbing down, but I think it's more a matter of catering to Southerners. My theory is that the United States was ruined by air conditioning. That's what made possible the industrial rise of the South and finally allowed what was basically a swamp populated by yokels to be taken semi-seriously.
American reporter David Drehle, in the course of a very depressed book on Florida's death row, has a simpler explanation. He says America occasionally gives itself a shake and the scum settles to the bottom. My impression is that tiny bubbles rise, too, isolated outbreaks of intelligence that thrive in the colder climates of the Eastern Seaboard, Seattle, and parts of the Midwest. This explains Harper's Magazine, some fine, subversive rock 'n' roll, and a Web site known as The Onion.
Might I suggest that Ms. Mallick would be better served by sticking to columns about bracelets? Her attempts to demonstrate her "intelligence" by writing about politics does nothing except to showcase an astonishing level of slack-jawed stupidity, which hardly serves the purposes of the Globe and Mail.
Have I mentioned that I like the Ragin' Cajun before? I dont' agree with a lot of what he says, but he's got style and sticks to his guns.
I found this in the Washington Post:
[Tucker] Carlson describes co-host James Carville as a hilarious wild man, recalling an incident in which the Ragin' Cajun, miked up before the show, started describing one of his sexual fantasies "in detail. Complete with hand gestures." When a producer ordered Carlson in his earpiece to get his partner to shut up, Carville loudly chided "our corporate butt-boy producer."
Carville yesterday dismissed the shtick as "just a joke. I wouldn't call it a fantasy. I was just letting off steam in the locker room."
Comments like these from conservatives make Left wing extremists heads spin:
"I often feel the natural place for a gay person is on the right. Conservatives should be all about an individual's right to his or her own life, his or her own business, without the interference of hypersensitive, offended others. And it follows that true conservatives ought to support gay marriage, particularly those partial to family values. It's difficult to argue that society doesn't benefit from stable relationships. And what better way to encourage stable relationships than to support gay marriage? It is hard not to snicker at the idea that same-sex marriages would threaten straight ones. We straight people in Canada and the US have done a good job of bringing the divorce rate close to 50 percent all on our own." - Rondi Adamson, Christian Science Monitor.
Found on CD Harris's blog
The Mudslinging Never Ends
I'm just about fed up with the increasingly tiresome Nigerian uranium non-story. Everyone now knows that, in all likelihood, we could settle this issue in an afternoon but for the fact that the French refuse to allow Tony Blair to let us see the intel upon which he continues to insist that the story was reliable. That being the case, Bush's detractors have had to shift their argument that 'it was all a lie' (yet again) because, as a matter of simple logic, if the British still believe in July that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa, the 16 words* cannot possibly have been a deliberate fabrication in January.**
Let Them Eat Yellowcake aptly sums up the utter ridiculousness of the anti-
According to Krugman, the Bush administration is to be held accountable both for not being sufficiently alarmist with respect to intelligence estimates prior to 9/11 and then for being unduly alarmist with those same intelligence estimates after 9/11.
Think about the absurdity and hypocrisy of this for a moment: Krugman wants to vilify the Bush administration for not piecing together scraps of intelligence, speculation and theory to "predict and prevent" a one-in-a-million terrorist attack scenario and then turn around and vilify the administration when they take seriously intelligence reports - reports that the British government continues to stand by even to this very moment - that Hussein attempted to purchase material to make a nuclear bomb.
The ridiculousness of this part of Krugman's argument does, I think, put a nice highlight on why this issue may not damage President Bush the way the Democrats hope and may even backfire on them in a big way.
Rather than offer up a clear cut case that "BUSH LIED!", what the Niger/uranium story does indicate explicitly to voters in this country is that if there is even the slightest indication that terrorists or rogue regimes around the world are trying to get their hands on WMD's, President Bush is willing to act swiftly and forcefully to take them down and defend America. This stands in stark - and I mean STARK- contrast to Howard "Let's Send Troops to Liberia but Not Iraq" Dean and most of the rest of the Dem presidential hopefuls. [Emphasis in the original.]
It doesn't change anything, BTW, that Krugman makes this assertion in the service of a larger argument that the "Niger story is just one example of a larger pattern of 'dishonesty' and 'corruption' by the Bush administration." I mean, when has the New York Times' most famous former Enron consultant ever not insinuated that the Administration was lying about something? Bush could say he expects rain tomorrow and, should it turn out to be merely cloudy, Krugman would scream and yell about how Bush lied again.
One of these days, some Democrat is going to have to come up with an actual, honest-to-God alternative to the Bush national security policies they dislike. But it doesn't seem likely that'll happen soon. They're all too busy trying to gin up scandals where none exist.
P.S.: Now, the Daily Howler (a source which is, as a matter of general principle, rarely inclined to take Bush's side about anything) has come to the Administration's defense. They don't say anything we haven't all said, but maybe some people who aren't prone to listen to right-wingers will listen to them, even if the content is practically the same:
THERE THEY GO AGAIN: It isn't hard to state the Bush Admin's case about that uranium-from-Africa statement. According to the Admin, Bush's "sixteen words" were based on British intelligence — and British intelligence still believes that Bush's statement is accurate. According to the Bush Admin, it may turn out that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium from an African country. We don’t know if this is true. But this is what the Bush Admin has said.
No, the case isn’t complex, or hard to state. But the Washington press corps has turned hard against Bush in the matter of uranium-from-Africa. And there they go again, dear readers! At present, many journalists are bungling the facts, in a way which harms Bush, when they discuss this hot topic.... [A]ll across the Washington press corps, reporters suddenly seem unable to grasp simple facts about this still-murky story. Did Saddam seek uranium in African countries? Here at THE HOWLER, we simply don’t know. But we do know what the Bush Admin has said, and we know that the press corps is fudging their statement. But there they go again, dear readers! The Washington press corps is fudging the facts. Let’s face it: It's the thing they do best. [Emphasis in the original.]
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Lights, Camera, Action. Marxism, Semiotics, Narratology.
Film school isn't what it used to be
By David Weddle
Even if you don't agree with the author, it's worth if for stuff like this, "The prose was denser than a Kevlar flak jacket..." & " Including tuition, books, school supplies, food and rent, it cost about $6,100 for Alexis to learn how to distinguish between a chair and a nostalgic feeling. I don't like to complain, but that just didn't seem like a fair return on my investment."
Any rumors to my assistance to Spike Lee's lawsuit against four billion Chinese nationals for using his last name without his expressed permission are to be ignored until further information is released.
Found in the Washington Times, A BJ Clinton "Action" figure
Anybody miss Bill Clinton?
"While the former first lady and junior senator from New York [Hillary Rodham Clinton] is baring her soul on every channel from CNN to Animal Planet ? reminding America of the most scintillating details of the Clinton years ? Americans young and old can hear once again from [Bill Clinton]," says the California-based doll maker Talking Presidents.
That's right, the long-awaited talking William Jefferson Clinton political action figure is officially baring its soul this week, reminding proud Democrats and Republicans alike of the historical and hysterical moments of the Clinton co-presidency.
Inside the Beltway couldn't help but pick up one of the presidential collectibles yesterday. After listening to it speak, here in our opinion are the most historical phrases that helped shape the Clinton legacy:
- "Last year, the vice president launched a new effort to make communities more liberal, ahhh liveable, liberal, ahhh, no. "
- "I experimented with marijuana a time or two and I didn't like it, and didn't inhale and never tried it again."
- "I want to say one thing to the American people ? I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
- "It depends upon what the meaning of the word is is."
Bill Clinton is the second in a series of political action figures by Talking Presidents (www.talkingpresidents.com). It follows the release of the wildly popular talking George W. Bush action figure, 12,000 of which sold out in less than a week.
The toy maker expects the Clinton doll to be even more popular.
Found on Instapundit.com
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE LEFT:
But, as McClure found out, "everywhere" does not include Congo. In fact, it doesn't include Africa at all. ANSWER has organized no protests and issued no statements on Africa's four most ravaged countries--Congo, Liberia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe--although they contain exponentially more oppression and suffering than the four targeted by the group's "International Days of Protest."
ANSWER is symptomatic of the left in general. A LexisNexis search going back to 2000 finds not a single reference to the crises in Congo, Liberia, Sudan, or Zimbabwe from Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Michael Moore, Michael Lerner, Gore Vidal, Cornel West, or Howard Zinn. In Congo alone, according to the International Rescue Committee, five years of civil war have taken the lives of a mind-boggling 3.3 million people. How can the leaders of the global left--men and women ostensibly dedicated to solidarity with the world's oppressed, impoverished masses--not care?
The answer, I think, is that the left isn't galvanized by victims; it's galvanized by victimizers. The theme of answer's upcoming protest, after all, is "Occupation and Empire." In a recent essay, Roy explained that "the real and pressing danger, the greatest threat of all, is the locomotive force that drives the political and economic engine of the U.S. government." In other words, imperialism, what she elsewhere calls "a super-power's self-destructive impulse toward supremacy, stranglehold, global hegemony."
But, if the greatest injustice in the world is U.S. imperialism, the world's greatest injustices must be found where U.S. imperialism is strongest. And, here, Africa poses a problem. Africa, after all, has less contact with the United States than any other part of the world.
"Ostensibly" is the operative term. Are there people whose suffering won't advance the Cause? Ignore 'em. End the occupation of Iraq! Free Mumia!
Monday, July 14, 2003
Wow...I actually heard someone, with a straight face, spout off that the North Vietnamese were "land reformers."
Maybe back in the days of the French occupation, there might have been a sliver of truth to that.
By the time the Chinese & Russian Communists got through with them, and their armored divisions overran the ARVN, they were typical cold blooded Communists who murdered large segments of their own population as part and parcel of doing business.
Found on Andrew Sullivan's Blog
"What I once loved about journalism went missing some time ago and seems to have resurfaced as the driving force of the blogosphere: a high-spirited, irreverent, swashbuckling, lances-to-the-ready assault on the status quo. While mainstream journalists are tucked inside their newsroom cubicles deciphering management's latest 'tidy desk' memo, bloggers are building bonfires and handing out virtual leaflets along America's Information Highway."- Kathleen Parker, Orlando Sentinel.
"It messes up the natural order for reading stuff."
"What's so bad about top-posting?"
Sunday, July 13, 2003
The Hussain/Bin Laden connection
Found at InstaPundit:
THE SADDAM/OSAMA CONNECTION, DOCUMENTED. INTERESTING ARTICLE BY THE JUDGE I CLERKED FOR, Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, who has been in Iraq on a judicial-assistance mission with the ABA:
Through an unusual set of circumstances, I have been given documentary evidence of the names and positions of the 600 closest people in Iraq to Saddam Hussein, as well as his ongoing relationship with Osama bin Laden.
I am looking at the document as I write this story from my hotel room overlooking the Tigris River in Baghdad.
One of the lawyers with whom I have been working for the past five weeks had come to me and asked me whether a list of the 600 people closest to Saddam Hussein would be of any value now to the Americans.
I said, yes, of course. He said that the list contained not only the names of the 55 ''deck of cards'' players who have already been revealed, but also 550 others.
When I began questioning him about the list, how he obtained it and what else it showed, he asked would it be of interest to the Americans to know that Saddam had an ongoing relationship with Osama bin Laden.
I said yes, the Americans have, so far as I am aware, have never been able to prove that relationship, but the president and others have said that they believe it exists. He said, ''Well, judge, there is no doubt it exists, and I will bring you the proof tomorrow.''
So today he brought me the proof, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is right.
The document shows that an Iraqi intelligence officer, Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, assigned to the Iraq embassy in Pakistan, is ''responsible for the coordination of activities with the Osama bin Laden group.''
The document shows that it was written over the signature of Uday Saddam Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein. . . .
That is the story of the ''Honor Roll of 600,'' and why I believe that President Bush was right when he alleged that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama and was coordinating activities with him.
It does not prove that they engaged together in any particular act of terror against the United States.
But it seems to me to be strong proof that the two were in contact and conspiring to perform terrorist acts.
Up until this time, I have been skeptical about these claims. Now I have changed my mind. There is, however, one big problem remaining: They are both still at large and the combined forces of the free world have been unable to find them.
Until we find and capture them, they will remain a threat ? Saddam with the remnants of his army and supporters in combination with the worldwide terrorist organization of Osama bin Laden.
Read the whole thing. Those who know Judge Merritt -- a lifelong Democrat and a man of unimpeachable integrity -- will know just how significant this is.
[T]he Constitution appears to be fundamentally at odds with progressive ideals and visions.
The incompatibility, however, of progressivism and the Constitution goes deeper. Not only does the Constitution fail to prohibit subordinating abuses of private power, but, at least a good deal of the time, in the name of guaranteeing constitutional protection of individual freedom, it also aggressively protects the very hierarchies of wealth, status, race, sexual preference, and gender that facilitate those practices of subordination.
Thus, the Constitution seemingly protects the individual's freedom to produce and consume hate speech, despite its propensity to contribute to patterns of racial oppression.
It also clearly protects the individual's right to practice religion, despite the demonstrable incompatibility of the religious tenets central to all three dominant mainstream religions with women's full civic and political equality.
It protects the individual's freedom to create and use pornography, despite the possible connection between pornography and increases in private violence against women.
It protects the privacy and cultural hegemony of the nuclear family, despite the extreme forms of injustice that occur within that institution and the maldistribution of burdens and benefits visited by that injustice upon women and, to a lesser degree, children.
Finally, it protects, as a coincidence of protecting the freedom and equal opportunities of individuals, both the system of "meritocracy" and the departures from meritocracy that dominate and constitute the market and economy, despite the resistance of those systems to full participation of African Americans and hence despite the subordinating effects of those "markets" upon them.
Very generally, the Constitution, incident to protecting the ideational, economic, and familial spheres of individual life against the intrusive effects of benign and malign legislative initiatives, protects that realm of private, intimate, social, and economic culture that creates and then perpetuates a spirit of intolerance toward, alienation from, and active hatred of subordinated persons. By so doing, the Constitution not only fails to protect against that subordination, but it also fails to exhibit neutrality toward it: it nurtures precisely those patterns and practices that are most injurious to the economic opportunities, the individual freedoms, the intimacies, and the fragile communities of those persons already most deprived in the unequal and unfree social world in which we live.
In short, because of the Constitution's emphasis on protecting the liberty of individuals, it is incompatible with the goals of the progressive Left. This isn't just identity politics, this is outright rejection of the concept of individual liberty because the "results" of such society organized around individual liberty are unacceptable. The problem is, if one cannot abide the "results" that obtain from a system based on individual liberty, the only alternative is a totalitarian state that enforces the results one demands. Of course, we libertarian types have known that this is what the far left really believes for decades. It's just shocking to see it admitted so openly.
Wayne Dunn writes:
Censorship has nothing to do with the rules you establish for your own property having to pass some popularity litmus test. Censorship is when free speech is trampled. Well, what's free speech? Just consult the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law&abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble&."
The First Amendment chains the government, not the individual.
Well, if free speech means government can't encroach on people communicating, peacefully assembling, and the like, censorship is when government does encroach.
For instance, if an editor chooses not to print this piece, I've not been censored. If politicians bar printing it, I have. If station execs pluck the Chicks from their playlists, even against listener wishes, that decision may prove unprofitable, but it's not censorship. If government bans the Chicks, it is.
From Overcoming Liberalism: A 12-Step Program
Step 11: Stop re-writing political history
It’s now time to admit that Bill Clinton is a lying-cheating-sexist-racist-rapist jackass, Hillary Clinton is one of the worst role models for women in this country, Al Gore really did lose the 2000 election by every vote tabulation you attempt, Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War and didn’t create the homeless problem, John McCain is not a typical Republican, and Jimmy Carter is a nice man but has one of the worst presidential records of anyone in history.
I love James Carville. He is soooo damn good. I'm catching up on old Meet the Press episodes and I'm watching him in rare form.
First he starts off with a flat out lie: "[President Bush] didn't even carry Florida." News Flash James! He did. Dispite the best efforts of the DNC and their roving teams of hit lawyers and their owned and operated judges on the Florida Supreme Court.
Then he goes on to claim that litmus tests (of course he didn't use that term) by liberals are constitutional and entirely right. Of course, he said the exact opposite when his boy, BJ Clinton was in the White House.
As I have written (and others), Doonesbury stopped being funny, and became just sad far left propaganda years ago.
Todays cartoon is yet another example of that. He does the DNC playbook rant against Fox News.
Gee Gary, that sounds so damn familiar. It is what everybody to right of Ted Kennedy has been saying about CBS/ABC/NBC/PBS/CNN/NPR/NY Times for years.
The left has considered their strangle hold on major news organizations their God Given Right, just like their control of the judiciary. Any encroachment on either of those, and they react with kneejerk hatred.
Wake up and smell the coffee liberals! A lot of people live in those flyover states you speak so dismissively of, and they were more than ready for news that wasn't filtered through a far left lens.
So lets be honest here, if the lefties in major news organizations where the slightest bit "Fair and Balanced", there wouldn't be a "Fox News Channel."
So let me leave you with a bit of advice from a source you probaby won't recognize:
"As you sow, so shall you reap."
Friday, July 11, 2003
Good stuff found in Ringo's Tavern
Sparked by a flicker of annoyance over the current Iraq = Quagmire debate, I vented in a note to some friends the other day. While I am sufficiently pleased with the hasty result (enough to pass it along here) I am also painfully aware it is a first draft and could easily be tightened up and sharpened. I hope the folks here can suggest improvements/additions. Or at least enjoy it...
A Brief Overview of Quagmires Past:
Serbia-Kossovo War: American troops still occupy area, even after the brilliant, Clinton led intervention to end ethnic cleansing succeeded in rescuing the oppressed Kossovars.
Gulf War I: Ended 1991, American troops STILL in Kuwait & Saudi Arabia!
The Cold War: lasted 40+ years, from 1945 until ended only by brave self-sacrifice of enlightened Soviet Premier, Michael Gorbachev who dismantled his nation to protect world from threat of American nuclear missiles. American troops STILL in Europe, even after collapse of opposition forces!
Vietnamese War: only war in American history which did not become a quagmire. After US recognized futility of its attempted suppression of freedom-loving Vietnamese people's army, all American troops were withdrawn.
Korean War: ended in early 1950s - American Troops STILL there!
W.W.II: ended 48 years ago, American troops still in Germany, Japan, Okinawa!
W.W.I: ended with the return of our troops when it was over over there. Failure to address long-term effects of our intervention resulted in ethnic cleansing and a second major war within two decades.
Spanish-American War: ended over a century ago. American troops occupied Philippines for over 80 years; Puerto Rico and other Hispanic peoples still occupied by American troops!
Amerindian Wars: American troops have held captured enemy combatants on "reservations" for over a century, misappropriating their wealth and looting their cultural artifacts. Racist Americans have practiced in racial profiling, addicted the victims of their oppression to drugs, and engaged in ethnic cleansing of the American West.
War Between The States: Northern troops invaded and occupied the South, overthrowing the peaceful agrarian local governments and imposing foreign rule on the inhabitants.
War of Independence: An elite cabal of European white male rebels seized power from the British government and have yet to return power to the working classes.
Britain's record is far worse. The British have occupied Scotland and Ireland for several centuries now, only recently allowing a beginning of self-rule. The British were stuck in the India quagmire for over two centuries.
In Britain itself, Norman troops who arrived in 1066 have been unable to leave. Saxon troops who arrived in the time of the sixth century king, Arthur Pendragon, have been unable to leave.
The Bush administration's failure to learn the lessons of History before overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iraq is proof of their arrogance. Their misleading of the British, Australian, Polish, Spanish, Italian, and middle-European nationa demonstrates the corruption of their isolationist policies.
My one fear is that left wing loonies will take this list seriously...