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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, May 31, 2004


Fiddlin' With The Polls

Media bias? What media bias? Captain's Quarters has some good analysis of a recent CBS poll that used some underhanded tactics to skew their poll results (hat tip NE Republican):

The CBS poll, on the other hand, uses only 1113 registered voters, broken down in an unusual manner: 346 Republicans, 390 Democrats, and 377 independents. Since when are there that many more Democrats than Republicans? The poll then shows its "weighting" (although it doesn't explain what it means), and the numbers get even worse: 330-R, 401-D, 381-I. According to the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, Republicans accounted for 32.5% of the registered electorate, while Democrats accounted for 33.7%. In a sample of 1113 voters, you would then expect to see 361-R, 375-D, 376-I. The result of CBS's sample is to throw off representation for Republicans by 8.6%, while bolstering Democrats by 7% and independents by 1.3%, using CBS' weighting.

Hum. Surprised? I'm not. This sort of thing has been going on for years. The Left's problem now is that they don't have a monopoly on information anymore. Unfortunately, while blogs are great at pointing this sort of thing out, they simply don't have the readership that major media outlets do. I don't expect that will change any time soon, but I hope we can each do our own small part to keep spreading the truth to combat the never-ending lies out there.


I'm Back, And I'm Disgusted

Baseball was great this weekend. It's always nice to get unplugged from the world for a while and just sit in the sun and watch the greatest sport on Earth.

Unfortunately, I got plugged back in today and found Drudge posting a very disturbing story about children being killed because they are considered less-than-perfect. This is really terrible and you should read the whole thing. Here are a few tid bits:

There were more babies with Down's aborted than born with the condition in 2002, with 372 terminations compared with 329 births.


The charity LIFE said it fears women may come under increased pressure if their unborn babies are judged to have special needs.

Trustee Nuala Scarisbrick said: 'This is straightforward eugenics. The message is being sent out to disabled people that they should not have been born. It is appalling and abhorrent.'


Anne Weyman, chief executive of the Family Planning Association, said techniques to detect foetal abnormalities have become very sophisticated, giving women more information on which to base decisions.

'Ending a wanted pregnancy because of serious foetal abnormality is a difficult decision for the woman,' she added. 'It is vital she receives support and guidance to make the right decision for her and her family.'

I see, so Anne thinks that we should "base decisions" about whether or not to kill an unborn child on the presence or absence of a cleft lip? I'm sure she would say no...but I don't care. The fact is she supports these horrible actions by condoning abortion in the first place.

As a term I think Eugenics has lost some of its original meaning. It seems that people can read this article, see the word 'eugenics' (and the actual practice thereof) and not be absolutely horrified. I say this because if people were to take a strong (and correct) stand against eugenics there would be absolutely no one out there defending anything even resembling the despicable practice of abortion-on-demand.

I am constantly astounded by the anti-life's stances on all of this. They say that a woman needs to choose and make the "right decision for her and her family." Of course, that decision cannot be anything even close "right" since she is, in fact, killing a member of her family. Do you disagree? Let me know. I'd love to hear why.


Thursday, May 27, 2004


Gore Honored

Al (Qaida) Gore has been honored at Junk Yard Blog. Check it out. I think you'll agree that he deserves all rights and privileges associated with this highly (un)sought after award.


Karyn Huges

Karyn has written a very nice article at Useless Knowledge on her feelings as her daughter is about to become "deployable" in the US Armed Forces. Give it a read.


Ann Coulter's New Column

Ann's newest column is up on her website. She has a certain way with words:

We have liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator who gassed his own people, had weapons of mass destruction, invaded his neighbors, harbored terrorists, funded terrorists and had reached out to Osama bin Laden. Liberals may see Saddam's mass graves in Iraq as half-full, but I prefer to see them as half-empty.

Read the whole thing.


Right To Die In Oregon

The AP reports the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that;

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft overstepped his authority when he ordered Oregon doctors to ignore a state law that allowed them to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients who wished to die.

Ok, I’ll admit that I have a hard time with this issue. I think that it has huge potential for abuse as well has honest mistakes. We have to decide, as a society, whether or not someone who wants to die is, by definition, crazy. While there are a lot of issues, some of them are addressed by the fact that, under the Oregon law:

…terminally ill patients must get certification from two doctors stating they are of sound mind and have less than six months to live. A prescription for lethal drugs is written by the doctor and administered by the patients themselves.

This removes some of the potential for abuse and relieves doctors of being in the position of 'Causing Harm'. However, there is something I think everyone should recognize about how this court’s decision was made. This is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and they are famous for their nutjob rulings. Please note:

"The attorney general's unilateral attempt to regulate general medical practices historically entrusted to state lawmakers interferes with the democratic debate about physician-assisted suicide and far exceeds the scope of his authority under federal law," the court said in a 2-1 opinion. (emphasis added)

This is yet another 2-1 ruling by the 9th Circus Court. It seems to this non-law-professional-observer that the 9th Circuit makes it a habit to hand down a 3-judge ruling (often a split one, at that) only to be promptly overruled either by the next court or by a larger subset of the Court.

The unfortunate thing here, in my view, is that they might actually be right. It might just be that American's think the terminally ill should have a right to die, and that they should be allowed to get at least passive assistance from a physician. However, I just wish that these fine judges would take the time to get a few more of their colleagues together before handing down these controversial rulings. In the end, it would save us all a bunch of time, money and headaches.


Democratic Fairness

Well, it looks like Kerry is going to be accepting the nomination in Boston after all. Hum, the nominee accepting the nomination at the Convention...strange. Here's a bit from the Bloomberg article:

``We believe it is right to start the general election on the same day as our opponents, and we will continue to explore every way possible to level the playing field against the Republicans' five-week advantage,'' Kerry said in an e-mailed statement.

Here is yet another example of Democrats ignoring laws and quoting fairness when the law is inconvenient. Somehow I doubt they would have a huge problem with timing if their Convention were second.

This is the background provided by Bloomberg:

The finance rules have been in place since the 1976 presidential election. As a condition of receiving federal funding for the general election campaign, candidates cannot raise or spend any additional money. The Democratic and Republican parties each may spend $16 million in a coordinated effort with their nominees during the period between the convention and the Nov. 2 vote.

So, these restrictions are a condition of receiving federal funding, huh? If this is such a huge problem, why not just forgo using our money for his campaign? Then he could spend all the money he wanted. Of course such an action would be hypocritical (but who's counting, I ran out of fingers a while back) in that the Democrats generally supports the so-called Campaign Finance Reform BS (I added that last part).

So I suppose if he were to say he wanted to spend funds limited only by his ability to raise money it might be considered a waffle. This begs that the question be asked: Why has Kerry passed up such a wonderful waffling opportunity (a waffltunity, perhaps)? I think he might be a bit off his usual game. I hope he gets his waffling legs back soon. Otherwise he might actually have a shot in November.


Wednesday, May 26, 2004



I see some serious baseball watching in my very near future, so the blogging will be scarse to nonexistant for a few days. I trust my faithful readers will stay strong and watch for more dazzling commentary in the not too distant future =).


Drudge Has It Right

Drudge has linked to the latest Algore BS with the phrase Gore Unhinged. Yep, that just about sums it up.

I haven't read the whole thing yet because I don't have a caffeine IV hookup available. Oral administration just doesn't get the job done. So far, I thought this was a great line, considering the source:

He [President Bush] promised to "restore honor and integrity to the White House." Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon.

This from the guy how played second fiddle to the biggest scumbag in recent memory. Amazing selective moral memory.

As for reading the rest of the speech I make no promises. I can endure only so much stupidity in a day and I'm almost at my limit now.


I couldn't help myself. Here's a good line:

There was then, there is now and there would have been regardless of what Bush did, a threat of terrorism that we would have to deal with. But instead of making it better, he has made it infinitely worse. We are less safe because of his policies. He has created more anger and righteous indignation against us as Americans than any leader of our country in the 228 years of our existence as a nation -- because of his attitude of contempt for any person, institution or nation who disagrees with him.

Did he just say righteous indignation? Are you kidding me? He just refered to Terrorists as RIGHTEOUS! That's it. I'm nonimating him for Junk Yard Blog's Golden Bombbelt Award right now.

Update 2:

One more reason that Algore deserves the JYB Golden Bombbelt Award, hands down. Rush as this to say about Al-Qaida Gore:

He has succeeded in giving our adversaries in Europe and our enemies in the caves of Afghanistan and the allies of Iraq a message that they'll take to heart, and that is that we are not a united nation, that we do not have the will to win this war, and that we are weak and indecisive. That's the message that Gore sends today, and it's the wrong message, because it's a lie, and beyond that it is an outrage.

Go to the C-SPAN homepage for the video feed (Notes: this link will most likely go bad eventually and the server is overloaded at this moment).

Also, the GOP has responded exactly as they should have (by which I mean they have not used polite political-speak):

Washington, DC—RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke issued the following statement today in response to a speech by former Vice President Al Gore attacking President Bush.

“Al Gore served as Vice President of this country for eight years. During that time, Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States five times and terrorists killed US citizens on at least four different occasions including the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the attacks on Khobar Towers, our embassies in East Africa, and the USS Cole.”

“Al Gore’s attacks on the President today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia.”

I'd put my money on, 'He's just a dumbarse.'

Update 3:

Protein Wisdom has a good one on Algore.

Update 4:

More on Algore's versions of waffling.

Update 5:

Ken over at Esoteric*Diatribe obviously has access to the IV caffeine that I lacked. Check out his extensive fisking of Gore's speech. Congrats Ken, you've got a stronger stomach than I do =).



This was too funny to not link. I'm still chuckling.


Ideas That Stand The Test Of Time

I have added a new feature to the sidebar called Ideas That Stand The Test Of Time. I will be adding permanent links to this area as I come across writings that are universally true and give me hope for the future of the human race.

The first to recieve this honor is a post entitled Why I’m not an isolationist by Arthur at his blog Chrenkoff. Give it a read and I think you'll agree.


Is Anyone Suprised?

We can thank the Spanish for this little gem:

That information dovetails with other intelligence "chatter" suggesting that al Qaeda operatives are pleased with the change in government resulting from the March 11 terrorist bombings in Spain and may want to affect elections in the United States and other countries.

There are a few things we must make Al Qaeda understand:

1) We will NOT react like Spain did to an attack before our elections.
2) We will hunt each and every one of them down like the dirty rotten snakes-in-the-grass they are.
3) When we find them, they will be put to death.

If we follow these three guidlines then the Terrorists don't stand a chance. I guess we'll see what Americans are made of come November. Please, make the right decision.


Chrenkoff has an amazing story about more attempts to undermine our efforts against Terror. What would we do without these artsy-fartsy types?



Does anyone still read the New York Times? If so, why?

I just don't understand how this pile of crap can still have a loyal following. People complain about Fox News, blah, blah, blah. Here's what Drudge has on his site as of now (there is no permanent link yet):

NYT EDITOR TO OFFER DEFENSE OF FLAWED IRAQ COVERAGE; REPORTER JUDITH MILLER OFF THE HOOK: 'Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated. Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper'... Developing...

I see. So the problem was not a few rogue reporters, but rather was systematic and pervasive. Think there'll be a Congressional hearing on this matter?

Now I wonder to which side they erred. Just one example:

Three days after its first report on the D.C. antiwar protests, readers of the New York Times were treated to a much different account of the same event. On October 30, the Times reported that the October 26 protests "drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers."

This directly contradicted the Times' October 27 report, which noted that the "thousands" of demonstrators were "fewer people... than organizers had said they hoped for." The October 30 Times report also included much more information about similar protests around the country, and featured quotes from various antiwar activists...

As for the actual numbers:

...National Public Radio, another target of FAIR's action alert, has also offered a correction of its misleading coverage of the D.C. protest. The following message is now posted on NPR's website:

On Saturday, October 26, in a story on the protest in Washington, D.C. against a U.S. war with Iraq, we erroneously reported on All Things Considered that the size of the crowd was "fewer than 10,000." While Park Service employees gave no official estimate, it is clear that the crowd was substantially larger than that. On Sunday, October 27, we reported on Weekend Edition that the crowd estimated by protest organizers was 100,000. We apologize for the error.

Moral of the story? Read more blogs =).


Here is the full story from the NYT themselves. I applaud their candor here, but I wonder if it will change anything in the future. Somehow I doubt it.

Of course, the interesting thing here is that only one side of the equation is dealt with. I suppose they never erred in the other direction, huh?

Update 2:

Wizbang's all over this one:

The Times, like many in the media, made numerous mistakes in its coverage of Iraq. Perhaps the most (in)famous of all was the series of "Strategic Pause" stories. The stories, which ran only a few days after the start of the war, claimed that American forces were bogged down in Iraq and were forced to pause for a few weeks to regroup. "The war plan had failed" was a favorite quote of the day. Apparently the Pentagon missed the stories because just 2 weeks later, Iraqis were dancing in the streets and pulling down statues of Saddam as American tanks rolled thru Baghdad. The Times never did explain how it blew that story.

Read the rest. It's good.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Sullivan Takes on Sontag

Andrew Sullivan does his usual great job of fisking the stupid...in this case Suzan Sontag. He does a good job of pointing out the proper perspective of Abu Ghraib and taking her to task for just skipping over any positives that have come from the liberations. Give it a read.


What Al-Qaida Wants To Do To Us

Junk Yard Blog has a great post on what Al-Qaida wants to do to us.

Now that we know more about what President Bush wants to do in Iraq, it's worth examining what experts believe al Qaeda wants to do to us:

The United States remains al-Qaida's prime target, the report said. An al-Qaida leader has said 4 million Americans will have to be killed "as a prerequisite to any Islamic victory," the survey said.

Four million American dead. That's a little over half the population of New York City. Or four times the population of Rhode Island. Or slightly less than the entire population of Maryland.

Put another way, al Qaeda wants to kill eight times as many Americans as died in the entire Civil War, or 20 times the number we lost in World War II. In some ways those numbers are abstractions, so look at it this way: 9-11 was a drop in the bucket. If it had its way, al Qaeda would repeat that feat but magnify it by roughly 1,333 times. And we aren't talking combat deaths here. Al Qaeda wants to kill you while you cut your grass, sit at your desk, take your child to the zoo or fly across the country to visit your grandparents. And it wants to kill your family, your children, your friends and neighbors and everyone else it can kill as long as they are Americans. And they won't stop at four million like it's some kind of magic number or bright red line: Four million is the minimum they believe they need to kill in order to defeat us. The minimum. They'll kill ten million or a hundred million or a billion if they can.

Anyone who’s surprised might want to rethink his or her affiliation with the Democratic Party. Now, everyone quotes the old truism that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Well, it seems that there is a huge 20/200000 eyesight problem for some people looking back over the ‘previous’ administration. Fortunately, JYB has corrective 20/20 lenses in place when looking back:

Put another way, while we allowed their camps to exist in Afghanistan they trained 20,000 killers and sent them on their way. Nineteen of those killers hit their targets on 9-11, and we have killed or captured another 2,000 since then. But 18,000 of them remain at large. They would not be out there and would not have been trained had we taken out al Qaeda's camps during the 1990s. It's also likely that those terrorists would not be out there and trained had the previous administration made good in the war it declared on terrorism in 1998, or if it had accepted Osama bin Laden in any of the deals in which the Sudanese government offered him up. In the 1990s our government failed us, and we're facing a terrorist army today as a direct result of that failure.

Exactly. Now, I’m sure that causing Osama to assume cave temperature in 1998 (or even just tossing him in a little dark cell) would not have stopped terror. Only an idiot would claim that getting one guy would stop thousands. But how far back would his arrest (or death) have set Al-Qaida back? Months, years? Who knows? The point is that we (by which I mean some of us) recognize the importance of fighting Terror wherever we find it. I don’t care if each anti-terror action puts but a nick in their armor. The important thing is that we be more dedicated and stalwart than the scum who would kill our innocent.

This is not a fight we can afford to lose. We can't just turn tail and run has the 'peace activists' of the 60's made us do. If we do that the bad guys will not be content to just take over the equivalent of South Vietnam. No, today's bad guys will again bring the fight to us. They will kill us where we live. The only choice (and thank God that Bush understands this) is to kill them where they live.

Go read the rest of what he has to say. It’s a great post.


Click It Or Ticket

There is a new ad campaign out there funded by your friendly local and federal governments aimed at letting the unwashed masses know that the police are going to start enforcing the law. As fate would have it, I've written a column for Useless Knowledge on this very topic. Check it out and let me know what you think.


I'm not alone! It's always nice to see someone who agrees with one my of my relatively lonely opinions =). Check out Wizbang's comments on seatbelt laws.


Good News From Iraq

Not only that...but good news from Fallujah! (hat tip Backcountry Conservative)


Good news from an insider over at Chrenkoff. Gotta love it.


These Poor Children

According to the Independent, UN troops in the Congo have been raping little girls (hat tip Instapundit (see also Stambord)). These scumbags have been forcing sex on girls at least as young as 13:

The Independent has found that mothers as young as 13 - the victims of multiple rape by militiamen - can only secure enough food to survive in the sprawling refugee camp by routinely sleeping with UN peace-keepers.


The trade, which according to one victim results in a banana or a cake to feed to her infant son, is taking place despite a pledge by the UN to adopt a "zero tolerance" attitude to cases of sexual misconduct by those representing the organization.

One girl, Faela, 13, whose son, Joseph, is not yet six months old, has described how the social stigma of her fatherless child, the result of repeated rape by militiamen in her village, mean she is treated like a pariah in the chaotic and violent Bunia camp, which is home to 15,000 people.

There are few things more repugnant than these acts. And who is committing these crimes? UN soldiers. This at a time when our troops are under Media fire for abusing prisoners and those same people want the UN to take over for us! Let's see...abusing prisoners (most of whom were guilty of crimes and/or of killing our soldiers) vs. soldiers forcing sex on young girls whom they are supposed to be protecting.

What the hell is going on here? Why is this not all over the front pages of the Major Media? Why did it take my perusing Instapundit to have the brought to my attention? We know that the Media, as a whole, is Anti-American (note difference in Berg vs. Abu Dhabi coverage)...but are they also racist? Do they simply not care about what's happening in the Congo because it's happening to little black girls? What, no evidence to support such a charge? Well, as the Princess of CA once said, it's the seriousness of the charge that's important. I think there should be a hearing on this.

All politics aside. What is happening to these poor little girls is absolutely horrifying and indefensible. There is no excuse for any of this. I think the UN should be deeply involved in the process of rooting out the guilty individuals and bringing them to justice. If they hope to keep any of the little credibility they still have, they damn well better be keeping the World informed of every inch of their progress as they go.

And finally, if other world events are to be any guide, we should be having a serious debate about whether or not Kofi Annan is to be held personally responsible for these soldiers’ transgressions.

Think any of this is likely? I don’t…but that doesn’t make me feel one bit better. And…more to the point…it certainly does nothing for those poor little girls being systematically raped in the Congo.

If only there were pictures and the Media hated the UN. Then maybe something might get done.


Random Nuclear Strikes also has some thoughts.

Update 2:

Chrenkoff has some thoughts.


More on The Day After Tomorrow

Here is an informative article by Patrick J. Michaels of the Cato Institute highlighting a few of the many absurdities in The Day After Tomorrow. One quick example:

Start with the Gulf Stream. Carl Wunsch, a professor of physical oceanography at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, knows more about ocean currents than most anyone. He thinks the nonsense in The Day After Tomorrow detracts from the seriousness of the global-warming issue. So he recently wrote in the prestigious science journal Nature that the scenario depicted in the movie requires one to "turn off the wind system, or to stop the Earth's rotation, or both."

Read the whole thing.

I only hope that people will listen to reason on this one and somehow (against historical trends) manage to keep fiction and reality seperate. Unfortunately, I hold very little hope this will actually happen.


More Good News From Iraq

Again, Chrenkoff has the definitive summary of all things good happening in Iraq (for the first go 'round see here).In honor of his amazing service to the world I have added him to the Blogroll so you can always get the latest. Here's a teaser:

HUMANITARIAN EFFORT: Iraqi education system is being rebuilt - slowly: after years of neglect under Saddam and post-liberation looting, of "14,924 schools in Iraq... 80 percent of them (11,939) need some sort of repair following the looting when the former regime fell. Some 40 percent (5,970) need major rehabilitation and 9 percent (1,343) are in need of demolition or rebuilding." USAID has already spent $74 million through primary education activities and approximately $70 million through secondary education activities on its Year 1 Education Program.

Additionally, Arthur has a great bit on perspective in the Abu Ghraib prisoner situation:

"They called all the prisoners out to the courtyard for what they called a 'celebration.' We all knew what they meant by 'celebration.' All the prisoners were chained to a pipe that ran the length of the courtyard wall. One prisoner, Amer al-Tikriti, was called out. They said if he didn't tell them everything they wanted to know, they would show him torture like he had never seen. He merely told them he would show them patience like they had never seen."

Wonder what happened to Mr. al-Tikriti? How about his wife and unborn child? Go read the rest.

Visit his site and encourage him to keep up the great work!


Monday, May 24, 2004


Any Questions?

So, is anyone unclear as to where President Bush stands?

Agree or disagree with him on any issue you like. Say what you will about his supposed lack of intellect and misunderestimate him if you like.

The one thing you cannot honestly do is to doubt his conviction. If ever we needed a stand-up, straight talkin' Texan that time is now. Thank God we've got him at the helm. He will see this country through these (relatively) dark days and history will judge him on what is accomplished.

Only time will tell for sure, but I think we will look back in 50 years and be proud of President Bush and the American People. And more to the point, I think that the Iraqi People will look back and consider themselves extremely fortunate that a country was willing to expend billions of dollars and the beyond-precious lives of their young men and women to free them from the bonds of tyranny.

Disagree if you will, but if you choose to do so promise me just one thing. Vow that you will be consistent over the next 3 decades. At that time, we'll talk again and honestly decide who was right. Can you do that?


Technical Note

As I'm sure my faithful readers (and yes, there are a few =)) have noted, I have altered the title line of the posts. It recently dawned on me that Blogger was kind enough to have provided preset heading tags, so why not make use of them? I went back a day or so and changed headings...but that's as far back as I'm going to go. I hope you like the updated look.


Lying Sacks Of Horse...

I am so sick of this crap from the media. Here's a line from an AP article published today:

Bush, who initially shunned the United Nations, is now relying heavily on the world body to set up the caretaker government, and expects U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to name the country's interim leaders within the month.

What freaking alternate universe are this idiots from? Have they been hiding under a rock for the past 1.5 years? Does anyone but me remember Bush going to the UN and saying, 'Get on board while you still can'...and could someone please explain to me how that is considered shunning?


Sunday, May 23, 2004


Stop The Press(es)!!

Amazing Pew poll results:

At national organizations (which includes print, TV and radio), the numbers break down like this: 34% liberal, 7% conservative. At local outlets: 23% liberal, 12% conservative. At Web sites: 27% call themselves liberals, 13% conservatives.


The survey also revealed what some are sure to label a "values" gap. According to Pew, about 60% of the general public believes it is necessary to believe in God to be a truly moral person. The new survey finds that less than 15% of those who work at news outlets believe that. About half the general public believes homosexuality should be accepted by society -- but about 80% of journalists feel that way.

Amazing. Who-a-thunk? The funniest paragraph of this story was the last one:

In an essay accompanying the survey, the directors of the sponsoring groups -- Bill Kovach, Tom Rosenstiel and Amy Mitchell --declare that broad conclusions about the political findings should be tempered by analyzing some of the details in the findings. For example, they identify strong "libertarian" leanings among journalists, including doubts about the role of "big government."

I find this very hard to believe given that liberals dominate. Now maybe there really is the silent majority of libertarians hiding out in the Media...actually, I pray that they are. I just don't believe it. But then I'm part of the VRWC (Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy)...so I wouldn't be expected to =).


Wizbang also has some comment on this poll.

Update 2:

Cold Fury also has some good insight into the meaning of this poll.


Confessions of a Scumbag

Middle East Media Research Institute's News Ticker (hat tip Instapundit):

May 21, 2004

I agree with Glenn: Interesting.


Instapundit has more good news from the Middle East. It's all very promising, but I'll believe it when I see it (I pray real progress is made on these issues in my lifetime).

Read both articles as they may not be as rosy as our friend Glenn makes them sound (unfortunately, the glass if often half-empty in the Middle East).



Did anyone else catch tonight's Simpsons? Lisa started up her own newspaper to counter Burns buying up all the media outlets in Springfield. The upshot was that the whole town was inspired to publish their own newspapers. Homer made a (paraphrased) comment:

Now instead of having one idiot controlling all of the media, we have a thousand idiots spewing their useless opinions.

I'm more than happy to be one of the idiots spewing my useless opinions =).

--cue cheesy theme music--

So long as Media Tyranny rears its ugly head...
So long as Uniform Opinion dominates the evening news...
So long as Rehashed 24-Hour News Cycles bore us to tears...
There will be Bloggers to pick up the slack and find the truth!

--fading shot of Blogger riding into sunset--


Here's a real life example of a blog not only dispersing ideas, but also catapulting the blogger to new, exciting and unexpected heights. Oh, and also overcome the liberal academic elite.

In my case, I was able to formulate ideas and thoughts regarding a wide variety of issues, then get them out to a far wider and certainly much more diverse range of people. Ideas that gained readers in significant places, and brought a Kansas army brat to a major Washington think-tank. Is blogging a replacement for our current channels of public discourse? No. Still, I do think that by we have been more than able to ensure that ideas, concepts, and positions can no longer be shouted down or excluded the way that they once were.

Amen brother. Keep on puttin' those opinions out there!


Kerry's A Jerk

I refrained from commenting on Kerry's little insult towards Bush the other day about the latter having fallen off his mountain bike. Here's what Kerry said after the Leader of the Free World took a tumble (according to Drudge):

'Did the training wheels fall off?'

Nice. Does anyone remember Bush having anything snide to say about Kerry after falling off his bike?

Amazing, I also did not hear any accounts of President Bush accusing his Secret Service agents for causing his fall. Does anyone remember Kerry calling a Secret Service agent (you know, the one who has sworn to take a bullet for him) a "Son of a Bitch"?

So why do I comment now? I ran across a defense of Kerry for his comment (hat tip Instapundit). Here's what he had to say:

OK, get past your first reaction, and open your mind to the possibility that this was a topical quip. Apparently, it was only yesterday that Bush was using a training wheel metaphor to describe Iraq:

"He talked about ‘time to take the training wheels off,"’ said Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio. "The Iraqi people have been in training, and now it’s time for them to take the bike and go forward."

That might have provided the inspiration for Kerry's attempt at humor; I suspect that will be the explanation, anyway.

BONUS: The straight news story has Kerry's approved reaction - ""I hope he's OK. I didn't know the president rode a bike."

Soo...Bush talked about training wheels in a relatively metaphorical sense regarding Iraqis taking over their own government (something they have literally never done) and that is supposed to explain/excuse this comment?

Let's be generous here and say it was just an unthinking little slip of the tongue. Fine. I also recognize that Kerry wished the President well. The only thing I expect is an apology for directly insulting (as I have already said) The Leader of the Free World.

Is that too much to ask?


Wash Times has now commented on Kerry's foot being in his off-the-record-mouth. Here's what his spokeswoman had to say:

Interviewed by The Washington Times yesterday, Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter would say only that the words Mr. Drudge reported were "off the record."

Oh, so being a stupid arse off the record is ok. I see. Next time I stick my foot in my mouth in front of reporters I'll make sure they all understand it's off limits because I'm just dumb...but first I'll have to become a Democrat to get such a pass (as evidenced by a certain Republican Senator).

Update 2:

I realized that I failed to mention an important aspect to this story. Random Nuclear Strikes has done it for me. Not a bad blog, give it a read.

Update 3:

Oh, and he's an idiot too. I guess you just can't expect someone who's on every side of every issue to know anything about history (hat tip Instapundit).


Darrell Scott Before Congress

Darrell Scott is the father of Rachel Scott, one of the students killed in the Columbine school shootings on April 20, 1999. I seem to recall hearing something about him going before Congress, but my memory is far from perfect. I received a forward this morning (as many of you probably have) with the text of his testimony before the US House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on May 27, 1999. The PDF can be found here, and other related links here (scroll down about half way). This is obviously ‘old news,’ but I think it is both important for its content and in that stands in stark contrast to something that has happened much more recently. Here is a bit of what Mr. Scott had to say:

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart."

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent."


…when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs - politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws.

"Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We DO need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!"

Here is a man who lost his daughter to absolutely senseless violence perpetrated by two very sick and confused teenagers. I cannot ever begin to imagine the pain of losing a child in any way…but to have lost your child like this must be unimaginably worse.

And yet, notice what he says. He lays the blame for this horrific act at the feet of the individuals who actually carried out this evil. Additionally, while he implicates the legislators by proxy, he does not call for their political heads on a platter. Rather, he challenges them to make things right.

Now, let’s compare Mr. Scott’s response to losing the most precious thing in his life to a more recent event. The beheading of Nick Berg caused both personal and national trauma. The response of his father has been nearly diametrically opposed to that of Mr. Scott, as I have mentioned previously. The Berg family claims (and are probably correct) that US forces held their son in Iraq causing him to be unable to leave before things went south, leading Mr. Berg to say:

"My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. This administration did this,"

The equivalent would have been if Mr. Scott had gone before Congress and blamed the NRA for his daughter’s death. After all, the reasoning would go, without the NRA protecting the right of US citizens to own and carry guns, his daughter would still be alive.

The difference here, and the reason that I have immeasurable respect for Mr. Scott, is that Rachel Scott had no choice but to be in school and no reason to suspect that anything bad might happen to her. She was just going about her life like millions of other innocent kids in this country. To then be killed and have her father be man enough to stand up and lay blame where it belongs, namely at the feet of those who killed her, is amazing.

Mr. Berg’s response has been markedly different. He has laid the blame for his son’s brutal murder at the feet of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. Further, he has done so after his son was killed having been taken hostage in a war zone. His son was an adult who made a conscious decision to do good in the world while putting his own live in danger. That is a noble act and it should be applauded.

However, his father’s response has been a disgrace. I think the Berg family has the right to grieve however they see fit. The thing that concerns me (and should concern every American) is that Mr. Berg has used the death of his son, who supported President Bush’s decision to liberate Iraq, as an opportunity to undermine our efforts in that region. This action has put other sons and daughters still working for peace in Iraq in greater danger and is, therefore, both immoral and inexcusable.


Saturday, May 22, 2004


This Guy's Got Something

David Wong has written one of the funniest, and most true, commentaries on modern warfare. Here's a bit (hat tip Junk Yard Blog):

3. Every War Sim has a "Fog of War" that obscures the map in darkness until units scout the landscape. Well, I want a hazy, brown "Fog of Bullshit" layer below that. I want it to make a village of farmers look like a secret armed militia, I want it to show me a massive enemy fortress where there is actually an Aspirin factory. I want to never know for sure which it was, even after the game is over.


18. I want to be able to build a POW camp structure where enemy soldiers and suicide bombers are held should they somehow survive battle or should their suicide bombing only be half-successful. I want to right-click on the building and open an option that says "Interrogate Prisoners," which will make parts of the map open up and reveal enemy positions, saving my own units from ambushes.

Then, I want a little cutscene to pop up to announce that photos of my prisoner interrogations have emerged, sparking international outrage because several prisoners were upset and humiliated and some even physically harmed.

The whole world is shocked. Because people were physically harmed.

In a war.

Read the whole thing. He does a great job of mixing humor with stark, cold and undeniable truth. Many of the jokes will make you uncomfortable because he tells it (mostly) like it is. There is one point in particular that hits the whole thing right on the nose. Can you tell which?


Roll The Media Bias Clip Please

I've been bitten by the Media Bias Bug even more than usual lately. So...let me alert you to this bit of (secondary) blog-reporting by a new blogger in Egypt that the media (Middle Eastern AND Western) are apparently not bothering with (hat tip New England Republican):

It seems that bad news only get the most coverage. Today something significant happened that received no coverage whatsoever from the 2 main Arab propaganda satellite channels. A group of senior clerics in Najaf sent a harsh worded letter to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the radical Lebanese Shia group Hizbollah, accusing him of telling half the truth when he accused only the US forces of desecrating the holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala. The letter mentioned that Al Sadr’s militias fought from inside the shrines, it even went further to accuse Al Sadr’s men of shooting at the shrine’s doom and intimidating Sistani’s group by spraying his house with bullets.

To be cautious, this is a very new blog (i.e., just about as old as my own), and I have no independent confirmation that this person is who he says he is. So, take it with a grain of salt if you will.


NRO has a great piece on Media bias. Check it out.

Update 2:

The NYT has an article entitled Prison Interrogations in Iraq Seen as Yielding Little Data on Rebels. Here's a great example of the bias that the NYT continues to insert into their so-called reporting:

Many of the prisoners in that cellblock spent months in Abu Ghraib, and some became victims of horrific abuse at the hands of the military police.

Did they just refer to abuses at Abu Ghraib with the word horrific? If that term is to be applied to what was done by our soliders, how would the NYT describe what went on before the liberation? Saddam wasn't playing pattycake with (and this is important) innocent people. We all agree that what went on at Abu Ghraib was bad and should be punished, but I'm sick of the Liberal Media redefining our words for us.


Friday, May 21, 2004

More on Media Bias and Iraq, etc.

New England Republican has some comment on a poll concerning the Media's handling of Iraq and Nick Berg (for my posts see h-e-r-e). I'm glad to see that I'm not alone on this issue. The Media has really done (and continues to do) us all a huge disservice.

I suppose it’s too much to hope that they’ll come around and actually start reporting news fairly. I think the best we can hope for is that the Alternative Media (that would be us bloggers) will expand their role by continuing to collectively sift through the news stories out there and piece together the truth. I hope that Blog readership continues to increase as people find there is more than one way to skin a day’s worth of news.

The development of the blogosphere is really an amazing thing to watch.


Here's a great memo on the abuse scandle. Check it out =).

Blog Survey Results

The results of the Blogads survey are available. Make of it what you will. I was happy to see that only 21% of blog readers are bloggers themselves. If true it gives me hope that we're not just propping each other up and rehashing inbred opinions =). Check it out.

Blacks and Private Schools

The NYT has a great article (yes even a blind pig) on the flight of black students to private schools (hat tip Volokh). This is an amazing, if not entirely surprising, trend...and I love it. Here is a group of parents that have decided public school sucks and their children deserve better, even if it means sacrificing:

Every month, she and her husband send the school a check for $900, the equivalent of almost two weeks' take-home pay from her job. They make the sacrifice because Trey Whitfield offers their children a demonstrably safer and better education than what is available at either P.S. 158 or their local school, Public School 149.

Now, regardless of what anyone might tell you, this is the reason people will put themselves under severe financial burden to send their kids to private school:

Like the Catholic schools favored by many black parents, the Whitfield School has stuck to instruction in basic skills. The other day, the blackboard in Louise Browne-Jackson's first-grade classroom was equally divided into sections about phonics (sh, en), grammar (contractions) and mathematics (place value in three-digit numbers). Classes routinely recite aloud. Every pupil in pre-kindergarten is required to learn to read.

Imagine that, a school with standards.

So here we have a bunch of people making difficult personal economic decisions that allow their children to attend decent schools. Still, I am sure there are some families that simply cannot afford any private school. Can you imagine what this country would look like if we overhauled public schools (or threw them out all together) and allowed people to actually choose where their children attend school? And…allowing them to do so without having to pay taxes to support failing public schools? I don’t have any expectation that it’ll happen in my lifetime…but maybe some day.

Kerry's New Slogan

According to Drudge, Kerry is going to adopt a new campaign slogan: "Let America Be America Again". Sounds great, huh? Surely we can all relate to the idea that it certainly would be nice if we could just get back to that old America. You know the one, the America that existed when I was a kid. Soda shops, five and dimes, walking to school uphill both ways in shoulder deep snow with no shoes but all while just being grateful to be getting an education.

If that were are far as it went, I would just say that Kerry is be, well, stupid and pandering to people's unarticulated nostalgia. This slogan seems, however, to go quite a bit further off the deep end. Junk Yard Blog has a great (and extensive) post on this very topic and I don’t have much to add except to agree wholeheartedly. Here’s a bit:

So Kerry's new campaign theme is actually a backhanded slap at America disguised as patriotism. Fits nicely with his old theme, whatever that was. His new slogan may only be a call for a return to Clinton's unserious pre-9/11 America, but his unrepentant pro-Communist radical ideology and activism is a sign that he may have much more planned for a Kerry "regime."

Intrigued? Read it all.

Berg Update

I appears that the four arrested in connection with the murder of Nick Berg may have been Fedayeen. I wouldn't be terribly surprised considering this.


A Salute To The American Soldier In Iraq.

I first saw this posted on Healing Iraq a while back. The story behind it, as I recall, was that the artist had been forced to make statues of Saddam for many years. After the liberation he melted down some of those and made this. A touching tribute, to say the least. Posted by Hello

First Attempt At Photoblogging

I've always liked this picture. I originally saw it posted on Healing Iraq.


I think I've got the hang of it now. Pretty cool.

A Kerry Watch Blog

Catholic(?) Kerry Watch just popped up on my radar via Thrown Back and I have added it to my New On The Blogroll. If you want to effortlessly keep up to date on Kerry's copious waffles, this is the place.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Has Andy Returned?

I saw something about this earlier today at Backcountry Conservative, but I just dismissed it out of hand. Now I'm not so sure as his apparent return to the world of the living has been posted as a press release.

Also, a blog has been started...apparently by Kaufman himself.

Now, I have to admit that I am still a bit skeptical. This is just the sort of thing he'd have instructed his friends to pull long after his death (if, indeed he died). On the other hand, from what I know of the guy I wouldn't put a 20-year-hiatus-just-for-kicks past him.


Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Here are two stories that I guarantee you will not see mentioned in the same breath anywhere else.

Berlusconi vows to stay 'to the very end' with US in Iraq, bashes opposition



That’s right folks, both Israel and Italy are on the right track. The former is still in the process of killing bad guys and the latter has reaffirmed their commitment to securing a former haven of terror and transforming it into a free and open society.

With any luck (and a whole lot of hard and sometimes distasteful work) we will succeed in shutting down Terror and sending the scum of the Earth who would kill the innocent to whatever awaits them after they have assumed room temperature (apologies to Rush).

What Is The Catholic Church Supposed To Be?

It seems that a lot of pro-abortion Catholic Congresspeople don’t want there to be any problems with their public stances. These types tend to claim Separation of Church and State (a nonexistent concept) or that they have Freedom of Conscious to hold whatever opinion they want and still be in good standing with the Church.

So this raises the question: What is the Catholic Church supposed to be?

Is it: A) A fun little group whose only membership requirement is that a person claims to be Catholic, B) An entity that supplies moral direction as a mere suggestion, or is it C) An organized religion that fully expects its adherents to follow the teachings of Christ and its own interpretation thereof?

If you answered A or B, please readjust your thinking cap because it’s obviously falling off. The Catholic Church is all accepting. She will welcome any (and I mean any) person into the fold. There are only two fundamental requirements…you must be sorry for the bad things you have done in the past and be willing to try to do better in the future.

Since we, as human beings, cannot see into another’s soul, we have to go by what they say and do. If someone says they’re sorry and acts like it, then we believe them. If, on the other hand, that same person unabashedly supports something that is antithetical to the Church’s belief structure then the Church is under no obligation aside from trying to show that person the Light of Truth.

Say what you will. There is no requirement that you agree. There is also no requirement that a priest give you Communion if there is proof that you are in a state of sin. Since the act of abortion is one of the most fundamentally wrong acts by Church standards how can anyone expect that a supporter of that horrifying act be eligible to receive the Body and Blood of Christ?

To say this is a political issue is to completely miss the point. The fact is this is 100% a moral issue, and it is not one on which the Church can possibly compromise.

I have to believe that these Congresspeople are smart enough to have realized the truth of what I have just said (although not necessarily). Given that at least some of them have, then those individuals are guilty of attempting to pervert the Teachings of the Church for the their own political gain. So, who’s going to destroy the Church for the sake of politics, again? I must have missed it the first time around.

On a related topic…John Kerry apparently can’t decide which side to waffle to on this issue.


Just to prove that I'm not completely crazy, check this out (hat tip Catholic(?) Kerry Watch). Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark wrote the following regarding pro-abortion 'Catholic' elected officials:

But with abortion (and for example slavery, racism, euthanasia and trafficking in human persons) there can be no legitimate diversity of opinion. The direct killing of the innocent is always a grave injustice. One should not permit unjust killing any more than one should permit slave-holding, racist actions, or other grave injustices. From the perspective of justice, to say "I am personally opposed to abortion but…" is like saying "I personally am against slavery, but I can not impose my personal beliefs on my neighbor." Obviously, recognizing the grave injustice of slavery requires one to ensure that no one suffers such degradation. Similarly recognizing that abortion is unjust killing requires one-in love and justice-to work to overcome the injustice.

This backs up my own thoughts and makes me a lot more comfortable with them, as a Catholic (also, as I have mentioned previously, Fr. Rob has commented on this extensively).

Ann Keeps On After The Lefty Times

I love it:

This is the same L.A. Times that responded to the largest number of canceled subscriptions in the paper's history from readers enraged by the paper's liberal bias by putting Michael Kinsley, one of America's leading leftists, in charge of the editorial page.

Read the whole thing. She's right on.


Prometheus is a great blog on Science Policy. Give it a read (new on the blogroll, of course. For related concent on MuD&PHuD see this post.

Blaster's Blog

I've added Blaster to the blogroll because he's doing a great job keeping us up to date with the supposedly nonexistent WMDs in Iraq. Here is his latest.

Just a taste:

In short, this type of artillery shell is one that the Iraqis never declared, and the UN inspection teams on the ground never discovered. It introduces something entirely new into the WMD story of Iraq. Here is the nub - this type of weapon has never been found in or attributed to Iraq before, where did this one come from? This isn't quite an airplane in King Tut's tomb, but it is highly significant. Was it produced in Iraq right under the noses of the inspection regime? Was it purchased from outside in violation of UN sanctions? Did it come in from some outside country after the fall of Hussein? I don't know the answer to those questions, but whatever the answer, it changes the narrative of the WMD story in Iraq.

Terminator or 1984?

Which will come first? That's usually the question that pops into my head when I read stories like this one. Check it out:

Although English teachers at Warren Central applaud the computer's ability to evaluate spelling, punctuation, grammar and organization, Richard Reed, the department chairman, made it clear that "we are not 100 percent sold on the computer's ability to grade content."

I'm actually a strange mix of impressed and scared that some people are just "not 100 percent sold" on the content issue. I'm telling you, when computers get better at parallel processing (as opposed to the traditional serial variety), we're not going to have too many advantages left. So, will it be Arnold or Orwell?

Cosby Steps In A Steaming Pile of PC

It looks like Bill has made some people angry (second story on page). I guess the bright side of the story is that the NAACP and their buddies at Harvard have not given him a pass just because of his skin color...but then they never gave Clarence Thomas, Condi, etc. much of one either. I guess they mostly don't like successful, Conservative blacks. Humm...

Anyway, let's see what made them so hopin' mad:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal," he declared. "These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids -- $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.' . . .

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English," he exclaimed. "I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' . . . And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. . . . Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. . . . You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

Now I haven't found the complete transcript yet...but from what I've seen I can't seem to find any falsehoods in Mr. Cosby's statements. Did he go too far? Sure, in the sense that he obviously made liberals mad. But what did he say that was factually incorrect. And further what, among the things he pointed out, would not leave the black community in a better place if fixed? Are people really so attached to ebonics that they would insist on speaking that way even if it cost them a chance to make something of themselves?

I don't think that Bill was out to insult all black people...and I am obviously not. I don't care what color your skin is. All I ask is that people shut up, work hard ask for help only when they need it. The endless cycle caused by Welfare in this country hurts everyone. We need to do whatever we can to break people's dependency on the government while giving them a fighting chance (not a guarantee...just a fighting chance)…we do not need to be berating a guy who points out some of the root problems.


Ramblings' Journal has some comment.

Michael, Partisan? Tell me Moore!

Michael Moore (as Evan has pointed out) has rejected the 'charge' that he is a partisan filmmaker. Right…and the CIA is listening to my thoughts right now.

So here is a story linked by Drudge informing us that Miramax has hired some Lefty Spinmisters to promote (and defend) Moore’s latest hack-job film:

Parachuting into France for the documentary's Cannes Film Festival launch, a Miramax rep told us, were Howard Wolfson, ex-campaign press secretary for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Michael Feldman, a top adviser on Al Gore's 2000 presidential race. (Feldman founded the Glover Park Group, a D.C. communications outfit, with ex-Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart.) Also providing PR expertise on the anti-Bush movie: former Clinton White House advisers Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane.

What a bunch of strange coincidences. Good thing Moore doesn’t take one side over the other. I certainly hope that he doesn't start down the now-well-trodden path towards the kingdom of waffler.


Perhaps you would like to see Moore crushed? Check out Right Side Redux (hat tip marcland).

Update 2:

Evan picks up on, and expands, the theme here. As usual, great analysis. Give it a read.

Update 3:

Here is a story about the Cannes Jury and their decision to award the top prize to Moore:

Moore's response, according to Tarantino, was "that means more to me than anything. If I wanted to make political statements, I would have run for office. I want to make movies".

This wasn't a political statement...just like his other 'films' haven't been. How stupid does he think we are?

Update 4:

And...Junk Yard Blog points out that he's also a liar (surprise, surprise...I know).

Update 5:

Moore Jumps the Shark at The Command Post.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Do You Remember?

Of course you do. Who could forget? I just caught Hannity and Colmes on Fox talking with Mayor Giuliani about his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. Much of the discussion was about the general tendency to want to assign blame with 20/20 hindsight. Nothing bothers me more…and most especially where this horrible event is concerned.

The arrogance, well after the fact, of judging decisions made in the blinding dust of the moment is inexcusable. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to get caught up in the blame game. If you want to point fingers at the politicians, be my guest…just be fair. But the face of any belly-crawling-scum will certainly deserve to find my willing and able fist if it dare disparage the firefighters or policemen who risked and gave their lives in the service of others.

With all the noise being generated with this ‘independent’ commission, I think we all could use some clarity. So…

Let us set aside all the political bickering to reflect, for a brief moment, on that terrible day. My feeble attempt at expressing my true, visceral, feelings on that day is below. I know there is no way that mere words could possibly convey the enormity of that day and how it impacted me…and continues to. So my only hope is that my words will elicit in you your own very personal and unique feelings on 9/11/01. I know most of them were painful…especially for any who lost a loved one, friend, etc. I apologize in advance if I cause any pain. I only do this here because it saddens me greatly that so many seem to have forgotten.


Do you remember?

All memories fade with time, some more than others. This one, however, will never leave me.

We were sitting in the 1st year medical lecture hall. Cell phones rang, irritating but nothing out of the ordinary. A few students listened to their phones after a second ring…and walked out of the room. As the 8am lecture was drawing to a close the always-gruff Dr. G walked to the front of the class. He took a second, looking at the podium. Then he looked out at the class. The words hit me as his look had its effect, “One of the World Trade Center towers in New York City is on fire. It appears to not be an accident. It appears that we have been attacked. Class is dismissed. Go home.”

I have no memory of the short drive to my friend’s apartment. We sat and watched. Absolute disbelief and stunned silence cast a pall over the room. With our over-connected, real-time, world…I saw with my own eyes…the second plane hit the Tower. With that, all suggestions of accident were abandoned and we knew…

We sat and watched. The towers, one and then the other, imploded and fell straight down to the ground. We saw tiny dots falling…people choosing to jump to their deaths rather than sit in a doomed building.

Scenes bounced up and down as cameramen risked their lives trying to capture and transmit images of firefighters and policemen risking their own lives while ensuring the survival of as many as possible.

I sat many miles from The City. Never before had I felt so useless. Never before had every ounce of my being wanted to reach out and help. Never before had I been so grateful to be safe, and to know that my family was also.

Yet somehow, in the midst of watching my Countrymen engulfed by such horror…

Never before had I wanted so badly be in The City, to be a part of that groundswell of NYC comradery…

Never before had I wanted so badly to be a New Yorker.


Do You Remember?


Here's more on the Giuliani testimony (marcland).

Dare We Hope?

Could Dashel be on his way out? A new poll linked by Daschle v Thune might suggest that he is (hat tip Power Line). Oh what a wonderful world it would be!

The Brits

It's good to see the Brits still have it (hat tip Backcountry):

OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army’s first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago.


After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills.

When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway — and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured.

Notice the numbers (assuming they're correct):

100 bad guys + 1 charge - 9 captured = 91 dead bad guys

God Bless Her Majesty's Troops.

Freedom, Anyone?

Volokh has a really disturbing story from Seattle involving the ACLU. The short story is that a printing business was sued because the owner refused to print wedding invitations for a gay couple getting married. The upshot is:

SEATTLE -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington today announced an agreement settling a discrimination complaint filed by a gay man against a local business that refused to print invitations to his wedding with his same-sex partner. Under the agreement, the business owner has apologized for her actions and agreed to abide by Seattle’s anti-discrimination law in the future.

Eugene's reaction to this mirrors mine closely:

One can imagine a libertarian regime in which gays enjoy freedom from government interference with their liberty, and enjoy equal access to government benefits, but those who disapprove of homosexuality enjoy equal freedom not to help with practices and rituals that they find abhorrent. But that doesn't seem to be how our legal system works these days. Greater legal acceptance of homosexuals' freedom from government intrusion and government discrimination has indeed been accompanied with greater constraints on private choices not to deal with homosexuals. There are many reasons for this (chiefly attitude-altering slippery slopes and multi-peaked preferences slippery slopes, under which some voters take the view that once certain sorts of behavior are recognized as legitimate they generally shouldn't form the basis of private discrimination as well as public discrimination, and also perhaps in some measure political momentum slippery slopes and political power slippery slopes); but whatever the reason, it does appear to be the case.

This is a truly disturbing development. I have no problem with the government being sued/pressured on the grounds of discrimination. The specifics of each case can be dealt with individually.

However, when the government steps in and tells a private citizen that he or she must deal with a given person against the former's will...that reeks of restrictions on individual freedom.

The elected officials in a Representative Republic are (in my ever-humble opinion) supposed to do a few things. They’re supposed to protect us from internal and external threats to our security. They’re supposed to ensure that the rights of minorities are not trampled by the majority. Oh, and I would add to the list that they’re supposed to make sure that the rights of the majority are not trampled (these days, by the courts).

So where is the outrage? The owner of a private company has just been forced against her will to do business with someone she does not wish to. Does no one else (aside from Eugene) see a huge freaking problem here?

This sort of thing scares me more than a lot of ‘little’ domestic issues. The reason is simple; the issue is ‘little.’ It’s just so easy for everyone to shrug their shoulders and say, “Hey, what’s the big deal? We shouldn’t be discriminating against gay people.” I would counter that we shouldn’t be discriminating against anyone…including private business owners!


50minutehour also as an opinion on this. Also, take a look at the first comment to that post and my reply (#4). This is a very important distinction that far too many people confuse.

Blogging In Real Time

Talk about turnaround in Blog-time! I have just been promoted to Real American Hero over at marcland. Now, I realize that I have met the one and only requirement...and I'm lovin' it. Blogfriends make me feel so warm and fuzzy. =)

All right, all right enough about me…what do you think about my new shoes?

Keep up the good work marc.

I Thought I Smelled Something

I have received the nearly-penultimate honor of being added to marcland's New Blogs and I am apparently fresh. That would explain the smell =). So, in the spirit of reciprocal blogging (and because I like what I've seen so far) I've added to marcland to my blogroll (not to mention linking to marcland numerous times in a single post).

Movin' on up.

In The Interest Of His Own Longevity...

...Castro's personal physician says the dictator can live until age 140. Yeah, sounds like he's doing great:

Castro led the march past the US diplomatic mission in Havana to protest US policy against the island's communist government for about 800 metres, walking slowly and with some difficulty.

Umm, sounds like he's doing what many 77-year olds are doing, except he also happens to be a really bad guy. Hey, at least his doctor is going to keep on living. I'd say a good way to get not living is to tell the world that your friendly neighborhood dictator is in bad shape.

Oh The Great American Legal System

Here is a story that I find disturbing for a number of reasons (hat tip: Insults Unpunished). The short story is that John Rapanos decided to place sand on ground that the government says is a wetland. I'll just mention on of the the most bothering points here:

At the sentencing, Judge Zatkoff, who had just sentenced an illegal immigrant on narcotics charges, made clear his disgust with the Rapanos prosecution. "So here we have a person who comes to the United States and commits crimes of selling dope and the government asks me to put him in prison for 10 months," he said.

"And then we have an American citizen who buys land, pays for it with his own money, and he moves some sand from one end to the other and government wants me to give him 63 months in prison. Now, if that isn't our system gone crazy, I don't know what is. And I am not going to do it." A three-judge appellate panel unanimously reversed Judge Zatkoff and ordered him to sentence Mr. Rapanos to prison.

Totally aside from the fact that Mr. Rapanos (and many, many others) is being told what he can and cannot do with his private land, we've got a legal system that punishes his violation more harshly than some selling drugs. Amazing and sickening all at once.

More Good News From Iraq

Another bit of good news from Iraq put together at Chrekoff (hat tip: Sullivan):

DEMOCRACY TAKES ROOT: Democracy is spreading - from the ground up, as it should: "In the province of Dhi Qar, about 230 miles southeast of Baghdad and a backwater even by Iraq's standards, residents voting as families will have elected city councils in 16 of the 20 biggest cities by next month."

And in Baghdad, "American authorities created nine district councils... with representatives sent by 88 neighborhood advisory councils. The district councils, in turn, sent representatives to the Baghdad City Advisory Council to work with the American administration." "Every day the evidence is a little stronger that the council members understand the benefits of this system, and we even see signs out in the community of it catching on."

Meanwhile, a Western PR firm, with Arab partners, tackles the world's toughest ad campaign - selling democracy to Iraqis accustomed to life under a dictatorship.

Go see what else he has to say.


Good news keeps on a comin' in...as long as you listen to the people who are actually there! (hat tip Instapundit)

The Catholic Church vs. Abortion

My latest is up at Useless Knowledge. I decided to again take on Andrew Sullivan over his position on the Catholic Church, Abortion and Communion. Here's a bit:

While it is impossible for one human being to see into another’s soul to judge whether an act of repentance is sincere, it is certainly possible (and quite easy, actually) to determine that John Kerry, for example, is an unrepentant supporter of abortion. Therefore, in the eyes of the Church, he is tantamount to an unrepentant supporter of murder (if not an actual murder himself). So, in that sense, the Church seems really to be under an obligation to refuse him Communion, given that he actively supports the worst sin imaginable.

Give it a read if you want. I'd love to know what you think.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Absolutely Unhinged

All right. I’ve had just about enough of the Abu Ghraib nonsense. There were a lot of bad things that went on there. The people who did those bad things need to be punished. But this goes well beyond the pale:

ABU GHRAIB, Iraq — On the eve of the first court-martial in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, relatives of those still held at Abu Ghraib prison (search) said Tuesday the only suitable punishment would be death -- illustrating the potential gap in expectations in the case.

Umm…I would certainly agree that there just might be a pit of a “potential gap in expectations” here. Jeeze. So far, even the Red Cross has labeled some of these acts as, "tantamount to torture.” Notice the first word, the definition of which is not actually.

Now, I understand this to some extent:

The U.S. military hopes the presence in the courtroom of such prominent Arab media as the Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera television networks will demonstrate American resolve to determine who was responsible for the abuse and punish the guilty.

However, Al-Jazeera is nothing more than an anti-American propaganda machine…and a pretty effective one at that. Does anyone honestly believe that the people running that station are going to just play representative segments of the trials? Humm, I’ll put my money on them cutting the living daylights out of the footage and then following it up with some nutjob ‘analyst’ who will ‘objectively’ point out that America is the Great Satan.

What a freaking mess.

A New Low

Assuming this account is accurate, I would say that at least one member of the US Media has sunk to just below pond scum (hat tip: Evan):

A British reporter says a U.S. journalist in Baghdad told him she wants to see more Iraqis die so President Bush will be thrown out of office in November.


"Startled by her candor," said Herndon, "I asked whether thousands more dead Iraqis would be a good thing."

The British journalist said, "She nodded and mumbled something about Bush needing to go."

He then suggest to her that by this logic another Sept. 11 attack, on about Sept. 11, would be perfect for pushing up John Kerry's poll numbers.

"Well, that's different — that would be Americans," she said, haltingly, according to Harnden. "I guess I'm a bit of an isolationist."

This would be absolutely astounding if it weren't so obvious from what we read between the lines every day. Part of me hopes that this isn't true, or that it's at least an exaggeration. However, I tend to think that these views are most likely held close to the chest by many who simply hate President Bush. It's scary and quite disgusting.

I say turn away from the traditional Media as much as possible and check everything against as many sources as are available. More than ever it is up to individuals to actually think for themselves and try to distill the truth from the copious lies handed down from on-high every day.


Glenn has some great comments on a related topic. Here's a bit:

What's most bothersome to me is that the anti-Bush stance adopted by most media organizations makes their reporting less useful to those of us who are trying to figure out what's going on, and makes the Administration, and its supporters, tend to tune it all out, possibly causing them to miss important information. I don't know what to do about it, except to try to point out the stuff that it seems they're missing.

I agree. I tend to either ignore CNN or watch it incredulously until I see their opinions supported by copious data. I just don't feel like the Media can be trusted anymore (as if you couldn't guess from this, that, the other thing and even this, just to name a few =)). I suppose that they never could be trusted...it's just easier to see that now. Unfortunately, it's not necessarily easier to figure out what the heck is really going on.

Berg Update

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Four people have been arrested over the beheading of US businessman Nicholas Berg, whose killing was shown earlier this month in a video on an Al-Qaeda linked website, a senior Iraqi source said.

Hopefully we're on the right track. We'll have to wait and see, I suppose.

Update (on the Update):

Yet another indicator that the Media has failed us:

Late last week, Web users became focused on seeking
out, finding, and watching the actual execution video and searches began
emerging for: find Nick Berg video, watch Nick Berg beheading, and Nick Berg
video link. Nick Berg-related searches are so prevalent that they dwarf all
other searches, including the consistent pop-culture leaders. Over the past
week, Nick Berg searches were 24 times higher than Britney Spears (#4), Paris
Hilton (#6), and Clay Aiken (#5).

This translated directly into the pummeling that a ton of blogs took. Although I'm more than happy to increase my readership (or it is bloggership?), I still say it stinks that the Media choose leave people uninformed. They failed this test terribly and the blogs filled in (esp, in my view, Wizbang and Backcountry Conservative).

Update 2:

More on the Media's serious shortcomings and biases over at Instapundit. I know I keep harping on this, but I think it's important and it will (by definition) never receive the sort of attention it deserves since the guilty parties aren't going to do it.


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