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Tuesday, June 29, 2004


The definitive profile 

Matt Labash on Michael Moore back in 1998.

No shame at all. 

Liberal moral bankruptcy. Michael Moore has actually been very useful in one sense, in that he has caused many to reveal their true colors.
As Jonah Goldberg notes
I am simply amazed by the willingness of so many honest liberals to embrace what they recognize as dishonest merely for the sake of zinging the other guy.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Thought for the day 

The Prime Minister's broadcast informed us that we were already at war, and he had scarcely ceased speaking when a strange, prolonged, wailing noise, afterwards to become familiar, broke upon the ear. My wife came into the room braced by the crisis and commented favourably upon the German promptitude and precision
....
we made our way to the shelter assigned to us, armed with a bottle of brandy and other appropriate medical comforts.
Winston Churchill, Memoirs of the Second World War, abridged, p165-166

Sunday, June 27, 2004


What liberal media? 

The Bush campaign is running an internet ad showing Moveon.org ads which compare Bush to Hitler. Basically, it is exposing the nutjob left for what they are. See it here.
The Kerry campaign has responded with an email, that among other things says
The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.
As Josh Chafetz notes
That said, it's really unfair of the Kerry Campaign to suggest that Bush is comparing Kerry supporters to Hitler, when in fact all he's doing is pointing out that Kerry supporters have compared him to Hitler.

I'm not sure whether this is malice or incompetence on the part of the Kerry Campaign -- and I suspect the answer is incompetence -- but it doesn't bode well for them either way.
End of story right?

Nope. I open up Yahoo this morning to find the following headline among the news stories-
Hitler Image Used in Bush Campaign Web Ad
Ah yes, the AP, always ready to parrot DNC talking points. The story eventually gets around to mentioning most of the relevant facts, but most of the damage is done by the grossly distortionary headline, and by paragraphs like this one
The Bush Internet video, which was sent electronically to 6 million supporters, intersperses clips of speeches by Democrats John Kerry,Al Gore and Howard Dean with the footage of Hitler.
Which doesn't mention that the "footage of Hitler" is clearly marked as footage used by Moveon.org, and further, that the footage actually shows them comparing Hitler to Bush. The story also somehow makes no mention of Al Gore's recent description of people who disagree with him as "digital brownshirts". Let's say it all together now, "What liberal media?"


Saturday, June 26, 2004


Thought for the day 

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.
Winston Churchill, Memoirs of the Second World War, abridged, p.149

And the world turns.... 

Back.
Interesting to see both that WMDs that Saddam Hussein was hiding have been found
He also told Fox News that about 10 or 12 sarin and mustard gas shells have been found in various locations in Iraq.

The shells are all from the first Gulf War era and thus weakened, though intelligence sources say they’re still dangerous.
and that there is evidence of collaboration between Osama Bin Laden and Iraq
The document states that Iraq agreed to rebroadcast anti-Saudi propaganda, and that a request from Mr. bin Laden to begin joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia went unanswered.
...
The document, which asserts that Mr. bin Laden "was approached by our side," states that Mr. bin Laden previously "had some reservations about being labeled an Iraqi operative," but was now willing to meet in Sudan, and that "presidential approval" was granted to the Iraqi security service to proceed.
And why isn't this front page news? I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

While I was travelling, I briefly watched a bit of television news, during which a news reader blithely mentioned that claims that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa had been "discredited". No, actually, they haven't. In fact, Joe Wilson has, past all his rationalizations and obsfucations, essentially confirmed this. I've come to the conclusion that all journalists are either liars and/or idiots(the two categories not being mutually exclusive) until proven otherwise.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Gone again 

Going to New Mexico, be back at the end of the week.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Hitch on Moore 

He's not holding back-
Finally, Moore complains that there isn't enough intrusion and confiscation at airports and says that it is appalling that every air traveler is not forcibly relieved of all matches and lighters. (Cue mood music for sinister influence of Big Tobacco.) So—he wants even more pocket-rummaging by airport officials? Uh, no, not exactly. But by this stage, who's counting? Moore is having it three ways and asserting everything and nothing. Again—simply not serious.
...
But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them. By the same token, if I write an article and I quote somebody and for space reasons put in an ellipsis like this (…), I swear on my children that I am not leaving out anything that, if quoted in full, would alter the original meaning or its significance. Those who violate this pact with readers or viewers are to be despised. At no point does Michael Moore make the smallest effort to be objective. At no moment does he pass up the chance of a cheap sneer or a jeer. He pitilessly focuses his camera, for minutes after he should have turned it off, on a distraught and bereaved mother whose grief we have already shared. (But then, this is the guy who thought it so clever and amusing to catch Charlton Heston, in Bowling for Columbine, at the onset of his senile dementia.) Such courage.


Lileks 

And it’s not going to get better. I don’t think the next attack will bring us together like 9/11. Last time a small portion of the nation went straight to blaming us for enflaming poor Mo Atta and his motley crew; the last three years have seen that poison spread and flourish, and blaming America for the ravings of medieval theocrats is now a legitimate argument in polite society. I’d almost venture to say that a third of the country would conclude that a radiological device exploded in Manhattan would be Bush’s fault, because he made the “evil doers” (roll eyes) super-extra-fancy-grade-AA mad.
Lileks

Sunday, June 20, 2004



Pear Lake, Sequioa National Park Posted by Hello

Aaaaaaaaaawwwwwww 

This is just adorable. You definitely wouldn't want to do this to it.

Saturday, June 19, 2004



Monkey Posted by Hello

History 

I've been reading Winston Churchill's Memoirs of the Second World War, and have found it fairly fascinating, even though I was already fairly knowledgeable about World War II. This bit, concerning events from 1935, was a revelation-
Only the Soviet Government could give permission to the important section of Frenchmen whose allegiance they commanded.
...
Nevertheless he obtained a public declaration from Stalin on May 15 approving the policy of national defence carried out by France in order to maintain her armed forces at the level of security. On these instructions the French Communists immediately turned about and gave vociferous support to the defence programme and the two years' service.

-Winston Churchill, Memoirs of the Second World War, abridged, p67-68
Here you had members of the French parliament, apparently a substantial block, transparently taking orders from a foreign government. And the ruling party knew this and acted accordingly. They didn't waste their time and try and convince the communist party members directly. Why bother? They went straight to their master, knowing his was the only opinion that mattered. Amazing.

Is there a moral for the present? I don't know, although it's worth pointing out that Communists are still a force in both French and European Union politics today.

A letter to Europe 

David Frum writes a letter to Europe, to be published in a Swedish newspaper-
But there is a problem with this berserk-America explanation of the present trans-Atlantic tensions, and a problem that Europeans ought to be the first to perceive: It treats Americans as the stars of the show and Europeans as mere extras. In the berserk-America hypothesis, only America acts--everybody else reacts.

This is an insulting and untrue statement of the case. Europeans are not secondary characters in modern politics. Europe is a mighty force in world affairs, and Europeans act as they do for their own reasons, and not merely in reaction to the United States.

Friday, June 18, 2004


The news they don't want you to hear. 

While the press is busily lying about both what the 9-11 commission said and what the Bush administration said, they are completely ignoring this story-
Russia gave the Bush administration intelligence after the September 11 attacks that suggested Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was preparing attacks in the United States, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.


Exclusive interview 

Interview with Madonna. As factually accurate as a Michael Moore movie.

Thursday, June 17, 2004



Ruby Mountains, Nevada Posted by Hello

Multiculturalism 

From an essay on multiculturalism in the New Criterion-
It has also resulted in some humorous exchanges, such as this telephone interview with a reporter from The New York Times in 1997.

REPORTER: What are you?
CONNERLY: I am an American.
REPORTER: No, no, no! What are you?
CONNERLY: Yes, yes, yes! I am an American.
REPORTER: That is not what I mean. I was told that you are African American. Are you ashamed to be African American?
CONNERLY: No, I am just proud to be an American.

Connerly went on to explain that his ancestry included Africans, French, Irish, and American Indians. It was too much for the poor reporter from our Paper of Record: “What does that make you?” he asked in uncomprehending exasperation. I suspect he was not edified by Connerly’s cheerful response: “That makes me all-American.”
Also
Affirmative action is Orwellian in a linguistic sense, too, since what announces itself as an initiative to promote equality winds up enforcing discrimination precisely on the grounds that it was meant to overcome. Thus we are treated to the delicious, if alarming, contradiction of college applications that declare their commitment to evaluate candidates “without regard to race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or national origin” on page 1 and then helpfully inform you on page 2 that it is to your advantage to mention if you belong to any of the following designated victim groups. Among other things, a commitment to multiculturalism seems to dull one’s sense of contradiction.
(via Jay Nordlinger)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Female Viagra 

My guess is that men will be more thankful for this than women will be.

Logic failure at the Post 

From the Washington Post we get this leading paragraph-
The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks found "no credible evidence" of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States, contradicting President Bush's assertion that such a connection was among the reasons it was necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.
Further in the article we get this, from the commission report,
"There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan"
and then we get this
In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaida operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11 attacks
So. The Bush administration said Iraq and al-Qaida had contacts. The 9-11 commission says the same thing. The Bush administration hasn't said Iraq aided al-Qaida in any of it's attacks. The 9-11 commision says there is no evidence that Iraq aided al-Qaida in any of it's attacks. According to the Washington Post, this is "contradiction". Apparently somebody needs to sit the reporters and editors of the Washington Post down for a remedial logic course.

Update: The AP is worse. They just outright lie.
the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday there was "no credible evidence" that Saddam Hussein had ties with al-Qaida.
Notice where the quote marks begin and end. This is what the actual report says
We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.
Notice the difference between the actual statement and the paraphrase. What the commission refutes is something the administration has never said.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Not polite to point out 

Another vignette: Three women to whom I was close were huddled together, oohing and aahing over a sonogram image. (One of the women was pregnant.) As I passed, I chirped, "Don't forget: That's just a meaningless blob of protoplasm." Oh, gosh, were they mad. Livid! (I should have mentioned that all three were proudly "pro-choice.")
Jay Nordlinger

Den of thieves 

No comment-
But now there's evidence to back up the charge. In video shot by Reuters in Southern Gaza, Palestinian gunmen are seen piling into the back of a clearly marked U.N. ambulance in the midst of a firefight.
...
When Israelis leveled the charge, the U.N. denied the incident and demanded an apology.

A U.N. spokesman now concedes that armed Palestinians used the vehicle, claiming the driver was forced into service. But Israel's deputy ambassador to the U.N. notes that the driver didn't report the incident until after the videotape was shown.

Sunday, June 13, 2004



Kiowa National Grassland, New Mexico Posted by Hello

Hacks pushed 

So the LA times is trying to push this gaggle of publicity hungry bureaucrats to the fore.
A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November.
...
include 20 former U.S. ambassadors
...
Others are senior State Department officials from the Carter, Reagan and Clinton administrations and former military leaders
Ok, so, 26. Out of all the former ambassadors. Out of all the senior State Department officials from three administrations. Out of all the former military leaders. What percentage do you suppose that is? I would guess it's fairly small. But when %100 of John Kerry's former commanders in Vietnam say he is unfit to be President, this isn't worthy of coverage. Interesting.

Saturday, June 12, 2004



Sonoma Valley, late afternoon Posted by Hello

Putin states the obvious 

The Kremlin leader, answering a reporter's question in Sea Island, Georgia, suggested that the Democrats were two-faced in criticizing Bush on Iraq since it had been the Clinton administration that authorized the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia by U.S. and NATO (news - web sites) forces.

The reporter had asked Putin to respond to U.S. press articles questioning Russia's place at the G8 feast of leading industrial countries.

Putin brushed these off, saying such articles were part of an internal U.S. political debate.

He went on: "I am deeply convinced that President Bush's political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq because they did exactly the same.

"It suffices to recall Yugoslavia. Now look at them. They don't like what President Bush is doing in Iraq."
When Vladimir Putin is calling you out for hypocrisy and cynicism, you know it's bad.

Back 

I was gone in New Mexico for a few days. I'm back now. Here's an something about racist hate speech at (gasp)Berkeley. I'm sure you're shocked.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Quidditch sucks 

Continuing with pricking the bubble that is Potterism, we have this post by Tom Frank, explaining why Quidditch makes no sense.

This comment puts it best
One other point I wanted to make is that Quidditch is another of Rowling's unnecessary add-ons to make Harry be The Most Special Boy In The World.

The story could probably get by just on Harry's natural qualities, his initial fame, and his connection to Voldemort, but Rowling keeps inventing additional devices to thrust Harry into the center of the story - he's given a series of powerful magic items; he stumbles onto the essential clues of each books plot; Dumbledore is apparently content to guide Harry through annual conflicts with Voldemort rather than intervene more directly; and, last, but not least, he plays a sport in which he is the only person on his team allowed to score the game-winning goal.



Pyramid Peak, Desolation Wilderness Posted by Hello

Monday, June 07, 2004



South Lake Tahoe post office Posted by Hello

Kaus on Reagan 

Mickey Kaus has a good overview of the Reagan legacy, my favorite part-
In the late 1970s, when the liberal enterprise had become a comic-book version of interest-group politics, I went back and read for the first time Reagan's famous speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in 1964--the speech that put Reagan on the map. I was more of a traditional liberal then than I am now, but I remember that there wasn't a single sentence of Reagan's rabble-rousing right-wing address that I really disagreed with. In part that's because Reagan was right about the liberalism of the '70s. In part it's because he had an FDR-like way of avoiding words or examples that would trigger a gag-reflex in his opponents.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


More 

"Communism is neither an ec[onomic] or a pol[itical] system—it is a form of insanity—a temporary aberration which will one day disappear from the earth because it is contrary to human nature. I wonder how much more misery it will cause before it disappears."

Ronald Reagan, Reagan, In His Own Hand (written 1975, collected 2001)


More 

Early1980: Scroll back to a moment twenty-four years ago in Brussels, Belgium. I’m on a university field trip to NATO headquarters. Someone asks whether there is any hope of rolling back communism.

An official laughs. Dumb question.

Summer 1988, just over a year before the fall of the Wall: on a train rolling through Poland on its way to Warsaw. “You’re American?” “English.” Smiles, handshakes, out come the beers, and then the toasting starts. “Thatcher. Reagan. Thatcher. Reagan.” Hours later we all pour out onto the railway platform.

And no, it’s no longer a dumb question.

Thank you, President Reagan.
Andrew Stuttaford.

More RR 

"I won a nickname, "The Great Communicator." But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation - from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense."


Techno 

I like this. Bucky is a cat after my heart.

Kinda reminds me of this.

RR 

A good roundup of reactions from Tim Blair- Here.

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Ronald Reagan, RIP 

There's much commentary on the subject, most of it good. I particularly like this AP report on reaction in Eastern Europe.

Friday, June 04, 2004


Can't believe it's real 

From the American Spectator, we get this-
On several occasions, Kerry paused, seemingly expecting applause for his lines. For example, at one point he said, "I will do what I think is best for the country," then waited for applause that only developed after one of his advance staffers began leading a weak round of applause.

His lukewarm reception was so bad that Kerry lost his cool, telling his audience, "I know you don't want to be here anymore."
Honestly, is this really the Democratic Candidate for President? What's with the acid remark like he's a teacher dealing with a bunch of bored 13-year olds? This is in addition to the reports of big money fundraisers with empty chairs. Apparently there are people willing to contribute to his campaign, but who would rather not be physically near him.

And then there's this story, although I'm not sure how accurate it is, which would seem to have John Kerry giving somebody the middle finger in public... and in front of schoolchildren.

I have to ask, does John Kerry know he's running for President?

Harry Potter, Fraud! 

This article was written a few years ago, it's still funny.

Thursday, June 03, 2004



Medicine Bow Peak Posted by Hello

Ann Coulter 

Maybe a little nutty, but she knows how to get off the zingers-
The good news is: Liberals' anti-war hysteria seems to have run its course. I base this conclusion on Al Gore's lunatic anti-war speech last week. Gore always comes out swinging just as an issue is about to go south. He's the stereotypical white guy always clapping on the wrong beat.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Day after Tomorrow 

The definitive review-
The Day After Tomorrow is Emmerich's first film since The Patriot, and it carries on his bizarre tradition from Independence Day and Godzilla, which celebrate American virtues while destroying the nation itself. It also carries on their tradition of not being particularly good.


DSL 

Yeaaaah! I have DSL.

It was supposed to be functioning yesterday after 5pm. So, yesterday after 5pm, I tried to sign on. Didn't work. The little green light on the DSL modem kept blinking like it wasn't even hooked up to the line. I call up Qwest. They say, "Well, it should be working". They say they are going to send a message to the central office, it should take a few hours to check it out there, and then they'll probably have to send a technician to my place to check out the line. A couple of hours later, I looked down and the DSL lights were all lit up, so I tried it, and it worked. I imagine the guys down at the central office probably said something like, "What, you mean he actually wants to use his DSL? Why didn't he say so?"

That appears to be how Qwest does things. When I moved in, my telephone wasn't working(like it was supposed to). I called them up(on a different line) and told them, they send a technician, and it starts working. In Qwest land, you don't just order a service and then get it. You order a service, then call them up and tell them it isn't working, and then you get it. They wouldn't want to take the risk of burdening you with telephony services you didn't really want.

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