April 30, 2004
Grape tomatoes illegal in Europe
Anti-Semitism in Europe
Over a hundred Jewish graves have been defaced in France and Russia. The photos really need to be seen.
Via Ken Wheaton.
'He who acts, makes mistakes.'
A great editorial in a German newspaper actually believes Bush is neither stupid nor evil.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
Tina Brown. Wow. She had her own magazine, huh? Yeah. Wow. Her latest article is something really out of this world.
She starts it off with a waiter interrupting her dinner with 12 'power players' in New York by telling them that he is, gasp, voting for Bush. Like a amateur hunter encountering a bear, Brown and Co. were speechless.
She writes 'Or perhaps he just thought it might be helpful for the guests to hear from one of the Ordinary Americans whose unhappiness with the status quo they are in the habit of earnestly invoking.' Can you hear her sneer as she writes 'ordinary Americans'? She continues: 'All eyes turned to him. "It might seem odd that a savvy New Yorker like me is voting for a guy in a cowboy hat," he went on, as he recklessly doled out ice cream to a network anchor, "but what we want is stability. This Kerry guy -- he's all over the place." Huh? Stability? What about all the mayhem in Iraq? His intervention immediately brought the table back from a troubled analysis of American options in Iraq to how the medals debacle is affecting perceptions of Kerry. It was as if the waiter was a plant from the Bush campaign, diverting attention at a critical moment, just as he was supposed to.'
Medals? Who said anything about medals? The waiter said that Kerry is all over the place. Do the intellegentsia just choose the easiest issue to rebut and go with it? Why not talk about Kerry's multiple positions on Iraq? His flip-flop-and flip again on the Patriot Act. It's not the medals story that is affecting perceptions of Kerry, it is the perception of Kerry that is driving the medals story. Brown then laments the absence of a Karl Rove-type in Kerry's campaign. She longs for the return of Dick Morris. Nothing against Morris, he is an amazing campaign strategist, but in my humble not-quite-a-political-campaign-master-yet opinion Kerry should maybe identify and run on some issues. For a blow by blow of how liberals just don't get it, keep reading Tina Brown as the election nears.
UPDATE: Wonkette on Tina's retardo article.
Young and dumb
Lileks bleats his little heart out today. A great read, as always. An excerpt:
Anyway: at the college paper we lived in a warm capacious womb, dogpaddling in the amniotic fluid of our unexamined assumptions, writing sentences as bad as this one and thinking ourselves quite clever. These things we knew: Soviet influence in Central America could be blunted by a complete withdrawl of American support; Ronald Reagan was indifferent to the possibility of nuclear war; Europeans were wise rational Vulcans to our crass carnivorous Earthlings, except for isolated throwback horrors like Margaret Thatcher. All new weapons systems were boondoggles that wouldn’t work and would never be needed, and served as penis substitutes for Jack D. Ripper-type generals who probably went home and poured lighter fluid on toy soldiers, lit them with a Zippo and cackled maniacally. A nuclear freeze was the first step to a safer world, because if everyone had 10,237 ICBMs instead of 10,238 we might be less inclined to use them. The Soviets were our enemy only because we thought they were, which forced them to act like our enemy. Soldiers were brainwashed killbots or gung-ho rapist killbots who signed up only because Reagan had personally shuttered the doors of the local steel mill, depriving them of jobs. Of all wars in human history, Vietnam was the most typical. Higher taxes on the rich resulted in fewer poor people. The inexplicable mulishness of big business was the only thing that held back widespread adoption of solar power.
Who knew so many Mormons blogged?
'I'm from the hood, stupid, what type of facts are those?'
If you're into this sort of thing, you can watch the new Jay Z video, '99 Problems', here. I've been hearing about it all over the place, from the Vincent Gallo email list I'm on (yeah, that's right, I'm on a Vincent Gallo list) because my love Vincent has a brief cameo, to my rap-listening brother who told me I haaaaad to see it, so finally got a chance to check it out. It's an ok video, some interesting shots of Brooklyn. If you don't like rap, don't bother clicking on. I think Jay Z generally, and this song in particular, is an acquired taste.
April 29, 2004
Also from BOTW:
No Nuance Is Good News
The Washington Times' Tony Blankley has an astute observation on American political rhetoric and John Kerry's difficulties:
His friends say he is just instinctively nuanced in his thinking. . . . According to Webster's Dictionary, the etymology of nuance is from the middle French (Hmm!) word nuer: to make shades of color; from nue: clouds, akin to the Greek; nythos: dark. That would seem to be Mr. Kerry's problem. He thinks and talks in shades that create clouds and darkness around him. No one knows what he is saying, and thus what he is thinking. This makes things rather awkward for an American politician.
The rhetoric of American politics is binary, not gradational: Give me liberty or give me death; our nation cannot exist half slave and half free; are you pro life or pro choice; are you for or against capital punishment; pro or anti-war; for or against tax cuts. . . .
Seeing seven sides to an issue is useful in the study of metaphysics. But men of action--and world events always have required American presidents to be men of action--must be capable of decisive action. A candidate for president who is incapable of clearly expressing a single principle or goal he will fight for is inevitably going to be an ineffective candidate. And if he can't even decide what to say with clarity, he is unlikely to be able to act as president under the crushing pressure of world events.
Running on an old war
According to the Los Angeles Times, "in one 24-hour period," Kerry "invoked his service" in Vietnam:
To fend off attacks by his Republican rivals;
As evidence he will fight to expand healthcare;
As evidence he understands the complicated landscape in Iraq;
To explain his love of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
That last one calls for an explanation: "His passion for PB&Js, Kerry told his companions, dated back to Vietnam, where he not only ate them frequently but traded them for other commodities."
I like parties
There are going to be Bush parties happening all over the country tonight. Find one near you by visiting the Bush campaign website (which is, by the way, a really amazing site by campaign website standards). I'm going to try to make it to a few of them, but I'll be starting out at the one held by the NY Young Republican Club (there are two in NYC, this is the state affiliated one) at the Bar Room, 986 2nd Avenue, btwn 52nd and 53rd Streets. I'll be getting there around 8:30 in case you're wondering. :-)
"I kept running into celebrities out in Vegas. I saw Tony LaRussa. Then I saw Dr. J. I saw Vince Carter at a mall. He was the only one who wasn't cool, wouldn't let me take his picture or get an autograph. But that's ok, I got him back. I was walking through the mall making sure all the kids knew Vince Carter was there and encouraging them to go talk to him."
Canada embraces Sharia Law. I mean, you've got to be open-minded, maaaaaan.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
Although, if the NY Times mentions it, the trend is probably over
I didn't realize that poker had become so hip, especially, reports the NY Times, with the women. Somehow, though, I'm always the only chick playing.
April 28, 2004
Best. Ice Cream. Ever.
I mean, really, wow.
Kofi on the case
The Spoons Experience has a great chart explaining why the media just doesn't care that the UN Oil for Food program turned into oil for palaces for Saddam and cash for many connected UN officials. As my friend Pheeleepok says: "the greatest tragedy here is that Kofi is 'looking into it'"
Up next: Syria.
If I were James Taranto, the headline of this post would be 'The Road to Damascus'. Anti-Com reports that: 'Syrian President Bashar al-Asad has backed armed resistance operations against the US occupation forces in Iraq.'
If I have kids, they're so going there.
Listen to the Prof.
'Message to Republicans: Don't get cocky. Kerry can't possibly do this badly for the entire campaign.'
But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.
-From Osama bin Laden's Fatwa.
April 27, 2004
Today is Israeli Independence Day. 56 years old, baaaaaaby.
Keep your kid away from John F'in Kerry
Lileks: 'Oh GOD said my daughter, not yet four. "What did you say?" She got the uh-oh look, and now I was in the thick of it again. How to explain that God is a bad word. If you know what I mean. “We don’t say that when we’re mad, sweetheart. We say it in church, or when we’re praying, but not when we’re mad, because God doesn’t like that.”'
John Kerry: 'When the segment was over, Kerry turned to two aides and complained, ''God, they're doing the bidding of the Republican National Committee."'
Living in New York, where Schumer is expected to have a landslide of truly robust proportions in November, the skew toward Democrats can get depressing. Looking at some results from the 2002 Senate race, I am reminded that while it does get worse for Republicans in Senate races elsewhere, some Senate races are even bigger disasters for Democrats like in Alaska and Kansas.
Can you tell that I'm supposed to be researching something else entirely?
Where is NOW when you need them?
What an outrage. Turns out, the families of female suicide bombers only get half of what families of their male counterparts receive. It's that damn glass ceiling keeping women down.
New York Times biased? Stop it.
I thought it was funny when Kerry pulled out last month's issue of Bush's National Guard service when his medals flap broke. And, of course, the DNC PR Team, I mean the NY Times, dutifully covered it on page 1.
Via Protein Wisdom.
If the Jennifer Lopez/Ben Affleck fiasco taught us anything we should have known already, it's that a girl from the Bronx and a boy from Boston is a recipe for disaster. Oh, wait. Not that. It's that the public will start to hate and hope for the demise of anyone that is constantly in their collective faces.
I've written before on how I feel the US is waaaaay too overexposed in Europe's media. I would be sick of us too. Of course, just like J-Lo and Ben could do little to deflect their media attention, the US is also powerless to stop the barrage of news about us. I never thought about how bad Israel must have it. This tiny country, the size of some of our smaller states, is covered as if it was a behemoth. Read the piece (that I found via Allahpundit) on the overreporting of Israel and check out this map. The only thing I'm surprised about is that Canada gets more attention than most of the rest of the world. Really? Canada? That's like wall to wall coverage of Ellen Barkin or somehow equally uninteresting. Sorry, was I being arrogant?
Toomey's low cash reserves have been buttressed by spending from an independent group, the Club for Growth, which has listed Specter as RINO — Republican in Name Only, for years, and would love nothing better than to knock off a Senator they consider to be insufficiently conservative (he supports abortion rights).
Actually, the Club for Growth takes absolutely no social positions so it's neither here nor there whether Specter is pro-choice or pro-life. Their purpose is to elect tax-cutting candidates who support limited government. I think this kind of error does a disservice to the Club for Growth as I know many people who support the Club specifically because it stays away from social issues. ABC should issue a correction.
I've written before about springtime music. My favorite summer band are the Stone Roses. Listening to 'I wanna be adored', 'Made of Stone' or other classic Stone Roses songs make me want to get in a car (which I don't have), take the top down (hey, if we're imagining it may as well be a convertible), turn the music up and run away.
Alas. No car. A ton of homework still remaining before I graduate on the 11th. It'll have to be Stone Roses played through my laptop while I procrastinate on doing my work and blog instead. That's not the worst either.
I respect Joe Lieberman
From the Note:
The AP covered Senator Joe Lieberman's speech at Brookings yesterday where he called for an end to partisan bickering over the Iraq war since both sides essentially agree and all it does is demoralize soldiers and encourage the enemy. Two words for our friend Joe: election year.
It depends what your definition of 'own' is.
Right Moment has a good summing up of Kerry's various 'I didn't inhale the SUV' positions. It's worse than I had previously thought.
Vote for Toomey
I am a huge Pat Toomey fan. But, I've got to admit, I was going wobbly for the last few days. I guess I felt like Howard Dean supporters must've felt: can this guy win? The answer is yes he can. Pennsylvania has another conservative senator in Rick Santorum and there is no reason that Toomey is unelectable in the state. Also, as I pointed out to Dawn when she was gleeful that Toomey may win the nomination (as she thinks he will be destroyed in the general): I know there is a Democrat running but I don't know his name. And this is after seeing plenty of ads for him on the liberal sites. Is it Hoeffel? Hoffler? I could be wrong completely.
Anyway, if you live in Pennsylvania and you want to have a Republican senator who votes with the Republicans when it actually matters, go vote for Pat Toomey today.
Update: If you live outside of PA, the Toomey Blog provides ways you can help.
April 26, 2004
Not so proud, then? Or not consistent?
Kerry's website altered the response to the medal flap to remove the words 'John Kerry is proud of the work he did to end the Vietnam War, and he has been consistent about the facts and the symbolism of the medal-returning ceremony' from their statement.
Via Blogs for Bush.
UPDATE: Apparently, there was an even earlier explanation that actually distinguishes between medals and ribbons. Kerry now says there is no difference between medals and ribbons and the words are used interchangeably.
I said to Dawn Summers today 'I'm not interested at all in the Kerry medals story' but then the campaign had to go and entice me with some of the worst PR moves of all time. This is exactly the kind of stuff we're taught not to do in my Public Relations & Media Management class.
I don't even know which post to link to, he's that good
I have a huge crush on Jeff Goldstein's writing.
Sometimes, people get a little too creative.
Stop being wishy washy!
That's why even the old quagmire scenario now playing 24/7 on the cable channels doesn't work for Kerry. Visiting foreigners often remark on that popular T-shirt slogan, usually found below the Stars and Stripes: "These Colors Don't Run." To non-Americans, it seems a trifle touchy. But for a quarter-century the presumption of the country's enemies was that those colors did run -- they ran from Vietnam, from the downed choppers in the Iranian desert, from Mogadishu. Even the successful campaigns -- the inconclusively concluded Gulf War and the air-only Kosovo war -- seemed designed to avoid putting those colors in the position of having to run. As Osama saw it, these colors ran from the African embassy bombings, and the Khobar towers, and he pretty much expected them to run from 9/11, too.
A narrow majority of Americans get this: Being seen not to run -- or, if you prefer, being seen to show ''resolve'' -- is now an indispensable objective of U.S. foreign policy. So, when four contractors get lynched and hung off a bridge in Fallujah, poor foolish Sen. Robert Byrd may think it's time for an ''exit strategy,'' but most Americans want to see the thugs who did it hunted down and killed.
So glad he's on my side
This is from a few days ago but James Lileks has a funny piece on the foolishness of Kerry's 'I'll go to the UN' idea and the uselessness of both international law and the idea that nations have 'friends'.
At least now we know where John Kerry is meeting these unnamed foreign luminaries: "I mean, you can go to New York City and you can be in a restaurant and you can meet a foreign leader," he said on "Meet the Press."
Happens to us all, you know; one moment you're at Denny's garnishing your hamburger, and the next you have the Guatemalan undersecretary for bauxite slapping you on the back and expressing a fervent desire for your victory. You nod, you smile, you play along. And he goes on and on about Kyoto until you note that while you're all for fighting global warming, your meal is growing cold. If you don't mind? Gracias.
Via Bush Blog.
Quote of the Day
'Which is creepier--the possibility that the Times prints only pro-Kerry letters, or the possibility that it receives only pro-Kerry letters?'
3 interesting things in 1 hour
I went to a policy forum today hosted by a new group called the Jewish Policy Center. The topic was 'Liberal Roots and Conservative Solutions: A Jewish, Conservative View of Policy Issues Concerning the Jewish Community.' The featured speakers were Michael Medved, Steven Emerson, David Horowitz, Michael A. Ledeen and John Podhoretz. I came late (that's what happens when you play cards into the night) and left early (we had a traditional Indian engagement party to attend, I think Jessica will post photos) but what I heard was excellent. The few things I learned in my brief time there:
1. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper admitted on Michael Medved's radio show that his ultimate goal was Sharia law in the US. (Medved)
2. Pat Robertson, the Christian conservative Jews love to hate, went to Richard Nixon and begged him to send help to save Israel in the 1970's. (Horowitz)
3. George HW Bush was the most reflexively anti-Israel president in US history. George W. Bush is the most pro-Israel. (Podhoretz)
Kerry whines about a Republican smear machine (two words: I wish) but the below ad is just one indication of what a lowlife the Democrats are running for president. Keep in mind, this is an official Kerry campaign ad. This isn't Move On. This isn't United Socialists for Kerry. This is authorized by the Kerry campaign. I have to say, this is the first time I've felt my blood boil during this campaign. I saw Kerry as a weakling but not as a, excuse my language, asshole. Any candidate that calls his opponent stupid and accuses him of 'buying the White House' is one that doesn't deserve to win. He doesn't even deserve to run. But, the Democrats actually stepped up to Kerry after wallowing in the dirt with Howard Dean. Pathetic.
April 25, 2004
Recently, Peter announced he was no longer buying Heinz ketchup. When asked why, he said something about not wanting to support John Kerry. I thought it was taking things a bit far. Turns out, there are other who think like Peter and for them there is now Bush Country Ketchup.
Stop the presses
The NY Times discovers that Republicans not only like their volunteers but also believe that voters should feel connected to the political process:
When Mehlman talks about the volunteer component of the Plan, he does so with the fervor of an apostle. To hear Mehlman tell it, the Bush volunteers -- there are, at last count, 361,575 of them -- are a harbinger of a new day in American politics, one when ordinary voters will reconnect to the process in meaningful ways. (It was a little disorienting to hear a button-down Republican talk this way; if there had been a few Diet Pepsi cans strewn around the office, I might have thought I was listening to a sermon from Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's former campaign manager.)
Not voting for Kerry?
What's the story?
The Washington Post is reporting 150 dead in North Korea's train accident.
Meanwhile, Britain's Independent has the death toll at 'up to 2000 casualties'.
And, do train wrecks usually wreak this kind of destruction?
Girl Power. Sort of.
I played Texas Hold 'Em with 17 guys tonight and didn't do that badly. Didn't win but also didn't get out in the early stages. Does everyone else who plays this game have the same uncontrollable need to stay in for the flop regardless of what they're holding?
April 24, 2004
Wait just a minute
Ok, something very odd is going on. Guest blogger Bill at Dean Esmay posted some photos of the Kerry Headquarters which he bravely penetrated on a reconaissance mission. He posted this photo:
Now, that's weird because I seem to remember a similar photo I saw on John Kerry's site:
Same hair, same guy in the background, no medal on his chest (I don't think Lennon would've been into that), same beret and jacket on the guy next to him. So which of these is photoshopped and why is Kerry hawking both of them? What to make of this?
UPDATE: Sorry, I assumed all the Kerry headquarters pics were real. Still, how could I not recognize the godfather of the Russian revolution? I can't even plead 'immigrant' on this one, having immigrated from, uh, Russia. Ivan will be disappointed. It did make me feel better that I showed the photo to a bunch of Russian friends and they all said 'who is that?'. I said 'Lenin'. And they said 'yeah, I know that's Lennon, who is the other guy?' My bad.
There's something funny about wearing 'Am Yisrael Chai' (the nation of Israel lives) written on your t-shirt in Arabic. Check out all the slogans here.
The comments that Misha got on this post are amusing and really indicative at how scared so many people are to anger Muslims.
Example: 'This site is appalling. Writing pro-Israeli slogans in Arabic is a deliberate provocation. By endorsing such a thing, you spread nothing but more hate and violence. You make me sick. When one of you gets killed by a bunch of angry Muslims for wearing your disgusting, hateful shirts, you'll wish you had spent more time loving your fellow human beings instead of attacking them. Racism and jingoism go hand in hand. The Nazis put racist slogans on shirts too. All you Jews think alike.' Misha is not Jewish. But who needs logic? Heaven forbid the Arabs are provoked. Because then, they might start blowing up buses with children on them and flying planes into office buildings. Oh. Wait.
Another Example: 'That is the lamest, most immature nonsense I've ever seen. Great, now all the jews can wear their silly little shirts, then this will piss of the Arabs, who will summarily stomp a fucking mudhole in thier asses. Who do you think would win in a fight, a bunch of yarmukle wearing jewboys or a bunch of swarthy ass arabs? Then all the Arabs can wear t-shirts saying "Israel does not exist" in Hebrew! Yippy fucking skippy.' Well, let's see. Pissed off Arabs taking on Jews....hmmm...where have I seen that before? Who do I think will win?
Michael Jackson asks for privacy
Hint to those of us seeking privacy from the media: after your first court appearance, to which you come late and are dressed in full bizarro attire complete with arm band, do not then leave the courthouse and climb on top of an SUV and do a little dance for the throngs of fans waiting outside. You're accused of child molestation. Try to remember that.
Why the UN should be kept far away from Iraq
Lakhdar Brahimi, a UN envoy who is trying to help Iraqis agree on a transitional government to take power June 30, gave an interview to France Inter radio Wednesday and called Israel 'a poison' in the Middle East. That would be Israel, the only democracy in the region and not the countries around it that live by the culture of death. It makes me ill that the UN has any involvement in Iraq. Anything that corrupt, ineffectual, Islamo-fascist-loving organization touches turns to rot. Israel is the poison of the region? The UN is the cholera in the water.
Even when he smiles he's scary
Anti-Com has some creepy Putin pics. I know Bush has it in him to give a scary look sometimes, but nothing like Reagan used to do and nothing like Putin does.
April 23, 2004
What I love about NY is that you can live here forever and still know only a fraction of what is happening around you. Brain-Terminal reports that there is a van that takes people up First Avenue from downtown Manhattan for twice the price of the subway. I'm not really sure how one would find the van but you can read the post and find out all the etiquette rules about riding in it.
In Brooklyn, there used to be (and probably still is) one dollar vans that would pick up people along the Flatbush Avenue bus route. I found out about them because when we were 14 or so Dawn Summers and I were going to Kings Plaza, the only mall in south Brooklyn and probably the worst mall on the planet, and the bus was taking too long. So, she waved down one of these vans. I was fascinated. I asked Dawn how it works. Isn't it illegal to steal the MTA's customers? She told me that if they get pulled over they just say that the passengers are their family members. Then she looked at me, the only white person in the van, with that look she has when she suddenly realizes something and is about to double over in laughter, and said 'but, um, I think you'd be in trouble.'
I saw the Mubarak headline the other day but James Taranto really puts it in perspective:
Then there's this Reuters headline: "Mubarak: Arabs Hate U.S. More Than Ever." Imagine the outcry if this were ever to appear in reverse. Bush: U.S. Hates Arabs More Than Ever.
Appeasement? Why not?
A writer for the lefty British magazine New Statesman shares the following wisdom:
'Appeasement has been present wherever terrorist violence has been controlled successfully'
'Appeasement is only another name for the willingness to negotiate'
The worst part? It seems he is serious. How long before Europe gives in to this kind of thinking?
The Pete Coors for Senate campaign might not have much of a website (I was going to email them and tell them so a few weeks ago but alas they also have no email listed) but they do have a sense of humor about the outrageous NY Times error that described the beer mogul as a Ku Klux Klan member who murdered a black sharecropper. As campaign spokeswoman Cinamon Watson notes "It could have been worse. Pete could have been identified as John Kerry."
UPDATE: Here is a snapshot of the original error.
FURTHER UPDATE: And here goes the controversy.
Guy, forget the UN.
Charles Krauthammer shreds Kerry's Iraq policy in a must-read piece:
Going back to the U.N.: What does that mean? It cannot mean the General Assembly, which decides nothing. It must mean going back to the Security Council.
There are five permanent members. We are one. The British are already with us. So that leaves China, indifferent at best to our Middle East adventure, though generally hostile, and Russia, which has opposed the war from the very beginning. Moscow was so wedded to Saddam Hussein that it was doing everything it could to prevent an impartial Paul Volcker commission from investigating the corrupt oil-for-food program that enriched Hussein and, through kickbacks, hundreds of others in dozens of countries, including Russia.
That leaves . . . France. What does Kerry think France will do for us? Perhaps he sees himself and Teresa descending on Paris like Jack and Jackie in Camelot days. Does he really believe that if he grovels before Jacques Chirac in well-accented French, France will join us in a war that it has opposed from the beginning, that is now going badly, and that has moved Iraq out of the French sphere of influence and into the American?
Jeff Goldstein wants to know: Where are the adults in that party?
Parker Posey and I
I think I see actress Parker Posey in person more often than on film. Once, I saw her rollerblading down 42nd street. Then, I saw her at a friend of a friend's birthday party. And today, I saw her at the Terence Conran warehouse sale in LI City (I didn't get anything because the line was sooooo long but Parker was patiently waiting on it). We're meant to be friends. Clearly.
Drudge is reporting that football star Pat Tillman, who left the NFL to join the Army Rangers, has been killed in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: I like what Crosblog has to say about it.
I'm still working on it but what do we think of the new look?
Sit down for this one
Ron Suskin, author of the 'Paul O'Neill comes out' book, lies to make Bush look bad. I'm shocked. Shocked.
Just like Al Sharpton has 'access' to suits without owning any, John Kerry has a SUV without actually having one. You see, his family has one. Who exactly? That would be his wife. I realize that's four Kerry bashing posts in a row but it's been that kind of two days. May these days continue long into Autumn!
The google bomb is complete
April 22, 2004
At first glance, it may seem that the above photo is a joke, photoshopped by a Bush supporter to make Kerry look stupid. But, no, it's an official campaign picture off the official John Kerry website. Check out the one of Kerry with John Lennon too.
Update: Wooooooo it's my first Allahlanche!
Kerry sure does have a lot of foreign support
Kerry Supporters, Munich, Germany in 74 minutes
Kerry Supporters, Oslo, Norway in 74 minutes
Kerry Supporters, Frankfurt, Germany in 74 minutes
Kerry Supporters, Paris, France in 74 minutes
Kerry Supporters, London, England in 2 hours
Anti-Semitism in Britain
MPs in Britain are warning that anti-Semitism is infecting Britain:
The warnings come after an unprecedented number of attacks on Jews in Britain last year, including desecration of synagogues and cemeteries. Jewish women walking down the street have been attacked by strangers, and Jewish schools and community centres have been put on a high state of alert.
Mike Whine, of the Community Security Trust, which defends Jews against attacks in Britain, said: "We have seen a year-on-year rise since September 2000 of anti-Semitic incidents and, unfortunately, also an increase in violent attacks against both religious institutions and persons. The Jewish community has been at a high level of security since the threat to attack Jewish communities announced by al-Qa'ida two years ago. Increasingly, anti-Semitic discourse is influenced by the Middle East and the anti-Zionism of the far left."
Via Andrew Sullivan.
April 21, 2004
Spanish soldiers not eager to leave Iraq
The official line from officers at the Spanish base in Diwaniyah was that they were simply carrying out orders coming from Madrid and that they were in no position to express any emotion or opinion on the matter.
But ordinary soldiers said the overwhelming majority of their comrades opposed Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's sudden decision to bring home the 1,432-strong contingent based here and in the nearby Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf.
Via Tim Blair.
Just put it together
I posted this event on my other site recently:
April 21, 2004, 7pm: TR Group / Gramercy Park Republican Club present 4 Short Films by Evan Coyne Maloney-Pin the Tale on the Donkeys / Gettin’ a MoveON/ Michael Moore’s Call to Arms / When Protesters Attack. Evan Coyne Maloney is a political commentator & documentary filmmaker whose work has gained national attention from Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC. Turtle Bay Grill & Lounge, 2nd Floor (Screening Room), 987 Second Avenue (at 52nd Street), Cash Bar, but we’ll supply the popcorn. TR & GPRC Members: $5.00 / Non-members: $10.00
Rereading it just now, I realized that I 'know' who Evan Coyne Maloney is! He's the Brain Terminal guy who makes cool videos of himself exposing the idiocy of the anti-war protestors. I watched one of his videos this morning after catching a link to it in Glenn Reynold's Tech Central Station column. I'm probably going to get there late as my class runs till 8 but I would suggest y'all go check it out.
If I wanted to post something private on this site, not that I ever, uh, would, and I wanted to link to it at either www.alarmingnews.com/karol or www.karol.alarmingnews.com, how would I go about doing that? I use MT, if that's any help at all.
New to blogroll
The New Vintage- one of my favorite people, the lovely Jessica, has started a blog. What's interesting about Jessica's blog is that she's been around blogs for so long that she is starting one almost reluctantly, knowing how much time it will suck from her life. I'm looking forward to reading it.
Anti-Com-new friend Ivan introduced me to this group blog. I've put them in the NYC list because that is where the blog was founded but its contributors live in different places across the US and in London. Check them out.
On a slightly different note, I've been getting more and more hits lately (and with them, obviously, new visitors) so I just thought I'd mention that in addition to this site I do another blog that lists all right-leaning events in NYC.
Update: I've also added Kaus Files, someone I've been meaning to add for awhile.
Human Rights in Iran
My friend, and tireless activist for Iranian democracy, Banafsheh Zand-Bonnazi sends me some terrible news today about her father, imprisoned journalist Siamak Pourzand. You can read the whole story here. At the moment, I'm just spreading awareness about this but if I hear of anything that we can actually do to help him, I'll let you all know.
Tell them to send a VERY SIMPLE e-mail saying FREE 74 YEAR OLD, SIAMAK POURZAND, JOURNALIST, UNCONDITIONALLY...FREE ALL IRANIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS UNCONDITIONALLY... they should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org , Khatami@president.ir
Then the U.N. various offices...email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Darling...PLEASE help me get this info out there Karol. These bastards have now hit an all time low...
Didn't get it then, doesn't get it now
This article is about a month old but I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere so I figured I'd post on it.
Apparently, unsatisfied with simply labeling American soldiers murderers, John Kerry went to Paris in 1971 and met with Communist representatives from Vietnam. And while Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan says that Kerry 'did not go to Paris with the intention of meeting with participants in the peace talks or involving himself in the negotiations', Kerry himself said, at the time, 'I have been to Paris, I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points . . . .'
And just for clarification, who were the Provisional Revolutionary Government?
They were 'a communist group based in South Vietnam. Historian Stanley Karnow, author of "Vietnam: A History," described the Provisional Revolutionary Government as "an arm of the North Vietnamese government.'
So, while we were at war, Kerry, someone who was publicly calling the war 'a mistake', and in no official role whatsoever, met with the enemy. Could you ever picture Bush doing something like that?
Last night I went to a comedy show with a rightward slant featuring Julia Gorin from Fox News, Robert George from the NY Post and Luke Thomas from Salon.com. It was a good show, very entertaining and funny. My personal favorite moment of the night was when Thomas picked on Peter, probably the only non-Republican in the room. It wasn't even that kind of show, where the performers talk to the audience, so it was extra funny to me when Thomas singled Peter out for his 'camp counselor t-shirt' (that's my indie boy) and finally asked him if he was a liberal (to his credit, Peter responded 'no').
April 20, 2004
I'm going to be messing around with my template for the next few days so I just thought I'd warn y'all about that should you tune in and find ugly colors on the page (like today for a minute when everything was dark green).
"I do not agree with the U.S. government. What they are saying about Muslims and Arabs is all propaganda and brainwashing." -Jermaine Jackson
That's interesting considering what they're saying is that Islam is a religion of peace and that there is nothing about the Arabs that makes them incompatible with democracy.
Greengrl thinks Bush has had botox. I don't see it. He still has lines in the 'after' photo that would be totally smooth (yes, I come from a community where plastic surgery is not only accepted, it's encouraged) if he had the shots. I think he's just been hitting a tanning salon. Do they have tanning beds at the White House or does he have to worry about unclean beds like everyone else?
Dawn Summers has a great post on the slur 'uncle Tom' that is thrown around at black people, who dare be Republican or something equally awful, these days. People always ask how we are friends, her being a crazy liberal and me a thoughtful and wise conservative. This post is a good illustration of why. If all liberals were like her (and check out her link to the disgusting Kos site to be assured that they are not), I would have a lot more respect for them.
Lots of love
We love Peter. We love Popshot. We love the new American Zine project that Peter and Pop Shot are working on together. Peter will be doing their NYC page. The site is going to cover local indie/punk rock music scenes all over the country. They're looking for writers in a lot of different cities and they pay. Are you a band, record store or venue owner in NYC (or elsewhere)? Get your advertising in now, I don't think you'll be seeing 16,667 impressions for 5 bucks when this site really kicks off.
Clearly, I can't sleep.
So, I just took the longevity quiz and my result was I will live until 81. I'm ok with that.
Via Window Manager.
Seriously, enough with the orange
Six blogs that I read every day (Clarified, Ken Wheaton, Lee Room, NYC Smurfette, Ivan Lenin and Crosblog) have the exact same format and colors. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but sometimes I forget who I'm reading and it gets a little confusing. Like, just now, I thought I was reading Ken Wheaton. He writes:
I have a friend at work who is famous for falling in love with gay man. The joke is that if she is attracted to them they are gay. Their is this med student that she is totally in love with but she can't figure out if he is gay or straight. Usually, I have great gaydar & I am always able to help her out but this guy remains a mystery. He just seems like your typical jewish boy not really my type but my friend digs the dude.
Sounds reasonable so far. But then:
We talked on friday & devised a plan. We decided to wear sexy hip huggin, rump lovin, and not so appropriate for work black pants.
The the idea was that we would walk by and strut our stuff to see if he would check us out
Waitaminute, where am I?
So, please, some of you, all of you, switch templates. It's gotten out of hand.
Yep, More On Omarosa
Love 'em or hate 'em, let's agree that the Bush-Cheney campaign made one brilliant decision recently: The Bushies didn't hire Apprentice head case Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth . Recall that she's the one who flaked off more than worked and spoiled Kwame Jackson's chance to sit at the foot of Donald Trump . Campaign insiders say that Manigault-Stallworth, then in real estate, showed Bush-Cheney chairman Marc Racicot some apartments about 10 months ago, before The Apprentice began. Once she found out who he was, she followed up by sending a resume. "Governor Racicot met her and was very impressed with her, so he forwarded her bio to a few of us," says a campaign aide. Unfortunately for the pouty Washingtonian, she confessed to working for the Clinton White House. She wasn't invited in for an interview. "We will not be uttering the words, `You're hired!' " says spokesman Terry Holt.
Indulge my superstitious Russian side
Please no one wooooo this news. It is a national poll, it is still very early and anything can happen.
If the point of blogging is to try to say something original....
....then I'm afraid this won't qualify 'cause everyone is already saying it: Protein Wisdom rocks.
Via Ace of Spades.
A liberal on Air America
David Shaw has a good piece on what is wrong with Air America. I knew something was up (I don't listen to conservative radio why would I listen to liberal radio) when Dawn Summers was quiet about the new liberal radio station. If it was good, I would've heard all about it. Read the article, it's worse than I thought it was.
April 19, 2004
Um, Feces Flinging Monkey has a photo of the dead Hamas guy and some questions as to why he is still intact.
Don't mess with Lileks
He refers to gas as “woefully undertaxed.” If one uses the phrase “woefully undertaxed” one may be correct, but one should not be surprised when one’s conservative bona fides are called into question.
Read his whole take-down of Andrew Sullivan's gax tax insanity.
Just a woman, eh?
Hey Commissar, I'm also a linker, a Jew and political (but am, of course, honored to just be included).
Does anyone know of any blogs in Georgia (the state, not the country), in particular those that deal with local politics and/or issues? I'm looking for more information on the Senate race (I like Herman Cain, but that's a post for another day) and would like to know some of the factors and issues in the race.
Thank you for the birthday wishes via comments and emails. I had a fun party to celebrate. Ken Wheaton and Yaron have both written on the subject so I'll let them give you the visual. Dawn Summers was in attendance and was pretty friendly and I realize now it's because she was after their links. And a 'oh my gosh, you are my hero' shout out to Lisa who did a walk for charity the morning after.
UPDATE: Dawn Summers has now blogged about it and calls all the bloggers in attendance a bunch of hotties. And for the record, my bangs are awesome.
UPDATE: Ari has blogged about it too.
'Most people had to leave everything, from photos of their grandparents to cars. Their clothes, cash and documents were replaced by the state authorities.
This is incredible, people lived, had homes, country houses, garages, motorcyles, cars, money, friends and relatives, people had their life, each in own niche and then in a matter of hours this world fall in pieces and everything goes to dogs and after few hours trip with some army vehicle one stands under some shower, washing away radiation and then step in a new life, naked with no home, no friends, no money, no past and with very doubtful future.'
-From the photoblog of a woman with a camera on a motorcycle through Chernoble.
Via Politburo Diktat.
April 18, 2004
Guest blogger Peter wishes...
a very Happy Birthday to Karol.
April 17, 2004
I'd send him a box of Godiva
Maybe just his license plate number, then.
And then smack him upside the head
"I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve when they had the chance," the Massachusetts senator said. "I'm not going to listen to them talk to me about patriotism."
Ok, Republicans need to call him on this and call him on it quick. I need to hear the Bush campaign say 'look, moron,' (or something like this) 'no one is questioning your patriotism.'
'I'll show you how an Italian dies'
Apparently, the murder of the Italian hostage in Iraq this week has strengthened Italy's resolve to stay the course in Iraq thereby demonstrating how Italians live.
'Scotland's first topless barber shop will open this week to protests by women’s groups and clergy in a bid to stop customers receiving a short, back and sides from scantily-clad stylists' reports the Scotsman.
Is it me or does the use of 'first' in that sentence imply that other places have topless barber shops and that Scotland is finally getting one.
Via Ace Of Spades
I can't believe she has a shot at being First Lady
'I can't believe I married a second politician. I can't believe I married the first politician. He wasn't one when we met. I can't believe my family left Africa and came to this country. I can't believe I live in America, I can't believe I ever even married an American. And I can't believe we're embarked on this journey'-Theresa Heinz Kerry
As the great economist Art Laffer points out, you can take all your wealth and blow it on gambling and drugs, and not suffer the nasty death tax. But heaven forbid, if you should leave that money to your children, the government will whack you with that punitive tax.
I hate all taxes but this one is particularly terrible. Why should the occasion of your death mean the government should stick its hands in your pockets?
April 16, 2004
I had a conversation recently with a good friend of mine and he called the Little Green Footballs site anti-Muslim. I disagreed and said 'but everything Charles writes about is true. He doesn't make anything up. He links to stories and photos that are all real.' My friend said 'yeah, but it's so mean-spirited'. Mean-spirited? I'll tell you what's mean-spirited.
Memo to Manhattanites
A new establishment called Roll-n-Roaster has opened on Third Avenue and East 11th street. It's a famous Brooklyn fast-ish food joint with great Roast Beef sandwiches and cheesy fries. I highly recommend it though I think it will be filled with drunk NYU kids in the not too far off future. Also, it's down the street from Webster Hall and I can just imagine what a nightmare that will be after hours.
No ideals, just get our guy in.
Teacher: Bush's press conference performance was the worst I've seen since Reagan tried to explain the Contras.
Me: I liked it. I thought he did great, much better than he did on Russert.
Democrat, Hillary-loving girl in my class: The press hated it, though.
Me and another Democrat girl at the same time: Yeah, but the press hates him and will always hate him.
Democrat, Hillary-loving girl: Good. The press can manipulate people into voting for John Kerry.
Me: Well, at least you're honest that that's what they're doing.
Hours later, I relay this story to Ms. Summers.
She says: What part of we just want to get our guy in don't you understand?
Did anybody else find it refreshing that the black guy on the Apprentice wasn't picked because he had too fine a pedigree and was overeducated with not enough 'street smarts'?
April 15, 2004
That truce maker Osama (by guest blogger Peter)
It's bad enough that the word martyr has been disgraced these past few years; now the press is going ahead with another semantic mistake of disgusting proportions. Today's top story involves Osama bin Laden offering a "truce" to European nations.
That's right, a truce.
Upon hearing of this truce, I imagined a weary Osama emerging from his cave with arms outstreched to his European enemies and saying, "Enough of this fighting. Let's put aside our differences, end this terrible war, and learn to live harmoniously as neighbors."
Nope. He simply told them that if they don't get out of Iraq, they should expect more terror attacks. Sounds to me like Osama issued Europe a threat.
Speak up, Shut up
"We made a conscious decision, and part of it was under strong pressure from the [victims'] families, to make this commission as transparent and as visible as possible."--9/11 commission chairman Thomas Kean on commission members' repeated TV appearances, quoted in the New York Times, April 15
"People ought to stay out of our business."--Kean, on allegations that commissioner Jamie Gorelick has a conflict of interest, quoted in the Washington Post, April 15
Off the charts insanity.
Ann Coulter writes:
Last week, 9/11 commissioner John Lehman revealed that "it was the policy (before 9/11) and I believe remains the policy today to fine airlines if they have more than two young Arab males in secondary questioning because that's discriminatory." Hmmm ... Is 19 more than two? Why, yes, I believe it is. So if two Jordanian cab drivers are searched before boarding a flight out of Newark, Osama bin Laden could then board that plane without being questioned. I'm no security expert, but I'm pretty sure this gives terrorists an opening for an attack.
In a sane world, Lehman's statement would have made headlines across the country the next day. But not one newspaper, magazine or TV show has mentioned that it is official government policy to prohibit searching more than two Arabs per flight.
Read the whole thing and wonder if we've learned out 9/11 lesson. I would say we have not.
Thank you Gregg for sending the article.
Where's the outrage?
When Trent Lott said something stupid, it was essentially his own side that called him on it and wouldn't let up until he stepped down from his leadership position. Surprisingly (that would be a sarcastic surprisingly), the left has been dead silent on Dodd. A quick seach of some big liberal sites find they haven't mentioned it at all. Other liberals are jumping to Dodd's defense I understand that the beauty of blogs is that you can write about anything that is interesting to you. I wrote about my love for my ipod and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on my mostly political blog. It's just a little suspicious that the liberal bloggers had so much to say about Lott but nothing on Dodd. I've said this before but I like that the right can criticize itself. It's the mark of assurance.
But they sure do know how to point fingers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Thanks so much to Spot On reader Jake for his fabulous gift of four books off my wish list:
The Virtue of Prosperity: Finding Values in an Age of Techno-Affluence by Dinesh D'Souza
1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.
Thank you Jake, I really appreciate it.
I'm deeply in love
My brother got me an ipod as an early birthday present and I've been obsessed with it ever since. I went to the Apple store today (aka the most beautiful, free internet place in the world) and got a case for it. I was thinking today that it's pretty amazing how many white wires, the telltale ipod sign, I see sticking out of jackets and bags all over the city. So it's no surprise that ipod is lifting all ships at Apple. Ipod is not only technologically genius, it's perfectly designed. My brother has the itrip attachment for his ipod and it really boggles my not-technologically savvy mind. The short version of what the piece does? It plays your songs from your ipod on any radio in the vicinity. Wow, no?
I blame Dawn, myself.
Is there anyone not being blamed for 9/11? Osama must be finding all this finger pointing, at everyone other than him, hilarious.
Via Spot On reader Mr. Meercat.
April 14, 2004
Additions to blogroll
DC just had one, as did Melbourne and Denver is having one pretty soon. So when is NY going to have a blogger's party? I want to expand the New Yorker part of my blogroll as I know or have met nearly every one on it (the only exceptions being the Ace of Spades, Politburo Diktat, Steve Silver and What's A Pundit). So who is going to organize this thing?
Kerry's VP Choice
The Washington Post's Veep-O-Matic lets you select the characteristics you think Kerry's VP should have. The game is cool because it reminds you that characteristics have nothing to do with the reality of the choice. I thought Kerry's VP should be a southerner with a big name who is a strong fundraiser from a battleground state. I got Wes Clark. The game doesn't consider mental health, it seems.
Update: Just checked out Crosblog and he also got Clark albeit with different characteristics. Maybe Washington Post is just trying to send a message?
I wasn't going to mention the new liberal radio station bouncing a one million dollar check and being pulled off the air in a couple of cities but their response is so bizarre that it's worth mentioning. It's the verbal equivalent of nervous laughter.
Via Protein Wisdom.
Update: Daily Lunch has a funny sum up of the Air America situation.
What in the hell is Air America doing paying radio stations to air their programming? We don't. Rush doesn't, neither does Hannity. Is the liberal message so vapid and unappealing that these people actually have to pay stations to put it on the air?
Here's a little more information for you.
Jim Watkins is the program director for my affiliates in Naples and Ft. Meyers, Florida (WINK-AM and WNOG-AM). Several weeks ago he contacted the people at Air America to inquire about putting Al Franken somewhere on his radio station. Watkins remembered Al Franken from his Saturday Night Live days and felt that he might be entertaining and could draw an audience.
So ... Watkins gets an official from Air America on the phone. The Air America official asks Jim what other programs they carry. Jim starts rattling off the names. Boortz, Limbaugh, Savage .... At that point the Air America official says "Stop." He then informs Watkins that they won't allow their programming to air on WINK and WNOG. And why not? Because "We don't want our programming stained by being on a station that carries Rush Limbaugh."
There's that settled then
Cuba doesn't feel like a Stalinist state-Oliver Stone.
Stop taking my money!
Human Events has a ratings list of the worst tax and spent House members and Senators.
Via Move Right.
Bush last night
Admittedly, I only watched about 40% of the press conference. I forgot it was on and turned it on while he was already speaking and then turned it off when the obnoxious press questions got out of hand. I think he did very well, better than I've seen him do lately, and he addressed a lot of things that needed addressing. The one criticism I have, like Glenn Reynolds, is that this is something that should've been done weeks ago. Anyway, my favorite part:
The violence we are seeing in Iraq is familiar. The terrorist who takes hostages, or plants a roadside bomb near Baghdad is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid, and murders children on buses in Jerusalem, and blows up a nightclub in Bali, and cuts the throat of a young reporter for being a Jew.
We've seen the same ideology of murder in the killing of 241 Marines in Beirut, the first attack on the World Trade Center, in the destruction of two embassies in Africa, in the attack on the USS Cole, and in the merciless horror inflicted upon thousands of innocent men and women and children on September the 11th, 2001.
None of these acts is the work of a religion; all are the work of a fanatical, political ideology. The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. They seek the death of Jews and Christians, and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror. They seek to intimidate America into panic and retreat, and to set free nations against each other. And they seek weapons of mass destruction, to blackmail and murder on a massive scale.
Over the last several decades, we've seen that any concession or retreat on our part will only embolden this enemy and invite more bloodshed. And the enemy has seen, over the last 31 months, that we will no longer live in denial or seek to appease them. For the first time, the civilized world has provided a concerted response to the ideology of terror -- a series of powerful, effective blows.
Jews are rarely included in denunciations of terrorism, the terrorism visited on them seen as somehow different or more legitimate. Bush gets that it's all the same thing, that these killers are in the same movement. I also, in light of what I wrote about yesterday about Iran, love that he knows that concessions aren't options. We can't give the terrorists anything. It's been tried before.
April 13, 2004
Scanning Drudge, I saw this headline with a picture of a protestor in Korea holding up a sign with Dick Cheney's face on it and the words 'not welcome' and 'war criminal'. Few of the protests around the world bother me more than those in South Korea. They depend on us for their security and they still have something to say?
Then I saw this headline beneath it:
This makes me very happy. Protest all you want, South Koreans, we're outta there.
My #1 pet peeve, especially lately, are people who say 'Americans are stupid'. This bother me even more when the person speaking is American and they're comments are, of course, meant to exclude themselves (and, I assume, me, since they are talking to me).
I spoke to my first boyfriend today. He just finished medical school in Romania and is currently living in Greece. We hadn't spoken in almost 2 years but have tried to stay friends since our break-up many years ago (in 1996). He is, of course, extremely against the war in Iraq. The American people are blind, he said. He, of course, can see clearly somehow, despite being an American and despite actually being attacked in Greece for his nationality. He was surprised when I told him how high the gas prices were here, as he was convinced the war was for, what else, oil. The interesting thing about our conversation, was that his thinking was so, forgive the term, simplistic. The US went to war for oil and nothing good can come of it. I was practically John Kerry in my nuanced approach to the war. I argued that it needed to be done, to remove a threat that was Saddam Hussein, to send a warning to other Middle Eastern countries to behave themselves, to instill democracy in a place that doesn't have it and hold the people accountable for the leadership they choose and to show how badass the US can still be.
That last point is often overlooked, or maybe people are embarrased to admit that it was a factor in this war. But why? Our enemy is from a culture that admires strength and plays on weakness. Victor Davis Hanson has a phenomenal piece in this issue of City Journal imagining what would have been different if America stood up for itself when the Iranian hostages were taken in 1979. He writes:
Imagine a different November 4, 1979, in Teheran. Shortly after Iranian terrorists storm the American embassy and take some 90 American hostages, President Jimmy Carter announces that Islamic fundamentalism is not a legitimate response to the excess of the Shah but a new and dangerous fascism that threatens all that liberal society holds dear. And then he issues an ultimatum to Teheran’s leaders: Release the captives or face a devastating military response.
When that demand is not met, instead of freezing Iran’s assets, stopping the importation of its oil, or seeking support at the UN, Carter orders an immediate blockade of the country, followed by promises to bomb, first, all of its major military assets, and then its main government buildings and residences of its ruling mullocracy. The Ayatollah Khomeini may well have called his bluff; we may well have tragically lost the hostages (151 fewer American lives than the Iranian-backed Hezbollah would take four years later in a single day in Lebanon). And there may well have been the sort of chaos in Teheran that we now witness in Baghdad. But we would have seen it all in 1979—and not in 2001, after almost a quarter-century of continuous Middle East terrorism, culminating in the mass murder of 3,000 Americans and the leveling of the World Trade Center.
What went wrong with the West—and with the United States in particular—when not just the classical but especially the recent antecedents to September 11, from the Iranian hostage-taking to the attack on the USS Cole, were so clear? Though Americans in an election year, legitimately concerned about our war dead, may now be divided over the Iraqi occupation, polls nevertheless show a surprising consensus that the many precursors to the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings were acts of war, not police matters. Roll the tape backward from the USS Cole in 2000, through the bombing of the Khobar Towers and the U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the destruction of the American embassy and annex in Beirut in 1983, the mass murder of 241 U.S. Marine peacekeepers asleep in their Lebanese barracks that same year, and assorted kidnappings and gruesome murders of American citizens and diplomats (including TWA Flight 800, Pan Am 103, William R. Higgins, Leon Klinghoffer, Robert Dean Stethem, and CIA operative William Francis Buckley), until we arrive at the Iranian hostage-taking of November 1979: that debacle is where we first saw the strange brew of Islamic fascism, autocracy, and Middle East state terrorism—and failed to grasp its menace, condemn it, and go to war against it.
That lapse, worth meditating upon in this 25th anniversary year of Khomeinism, then set the precedent that such aggression against the United States was better adjudicated as a matter of law than settled by war. Criminals were to be understood, not punished; and we, not our enemies, were at fault for our past behavior. Whether Carter’s impotence sprang from his deep-seated moral distrust of using American power unilaterally or from real remorse over past American actions in the cold war or even from his innate pessimism about the military capability of the United States mattered little to the hostage takers in Teheran, who for some 444 days humiliated the United States through a variety of public demands for changes in U.S. foreign policy, the return of the exiled Shah, and reparations.
Read the whole, fantastic thing.
Thanks to Brian for the City Journal link.
Let's help him along
And now on a totally different note
Gawker reports that Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O has been seeing 'Being John Malkovich' director Spike Jonze. This is only interesting to me because Peter went to a Liars show recently and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs made a surprise appearance. During their set, reports Peter, to me but not to the world via his music blog, Karen O got really emotional before playing their hit 'Maps' and babbled about how in love she was with her boyfriend in the Liars and then proceeded to out one of her band members (a guy) who is also in love with one of the members of the Liars (also a guy). I thought this was an interesting tidbit at the time but Peter refused to write about it since he wants to keep his blog music-related and gossip-free. I wonder if she'll get as teary about Spike now.
Those classy Democrats...
Fake kidnappings in Iraq?
What do you make of this?
April 12, 2004
When I check my hotmail account, I often get lured in by an ad link asking something like 'how to make him love you in 7 easy steps' or 'ways to tell if he's seeing someone else'. It's not because I'm looking to make someone love me (as I already have the hottest man 'in the game wearing my chain') or because I worry about said man cheating. It's because I want to see what advice can be given to such obvious problems. Today's topic was 'how can I tell if he wants to break up with me'. I clicked. The answer was the usual: if he seems disinterested, doesn't make time for you, doesn't call. Kanyoo Yasna (scroll down to comments for explanation). But down at the bottom of the page was something I found interesting:
Match.com surveyed online singles, asking them to look back over their dating lives and determine in which season they were most likely to break up with a romantic partner - or be broken up with. Here's what they said:
Who are these people breaking up in the winter? Winter is the worst time to make the split. I find summer to be the best time, everyone is wearing a fraction of the clothing they wear all winter, people are out more, you don't need to hang on to someone for warmth. I'm for summertime break-ups, discuss.
I give them until Nov.2005, myself.
Andrew Sullivan thinks the new liberal radio station is doomed:
Alas, the other missing ingredient for liberal media is intellectual firepower. On this, the left has actually gone soft. In academia, left-liberalism is so entrenched its advocates' debating skills have gone rusty. When you've been talking to yourself for decades and imposing speech codes on everyone else, your ability to argue coherently - let alone entertainingly - inevitably wanes. And when you look at the political parties today, it's only the Republicans who are really still fighting over ideas. Only conservatives are battling each other over fiscal policy, or on abortion, or on gay marriage. The Democrats are only arguing over how to get back into power. Internal debates are almost non-existent. Remember the Democratic primaries? Zzzzz. Compared to the the rifts between supporters of free trade and of restricting immigration, between the libertarians and the Christian right, between the foreign policy realists and neoconservatives, the debates among the Democrats are beyond tedious. So they tend to go only on the attack against the president and anything to do with him, without much intellectual fiber in reserve.
And on radio, ideas do still matter. You don't just need insults (although they help), or gimmicks (though they're fun), or personalities (indispensable). You need arguments. And when you listened last week and heard one Air America radio host after another infer from the grisly murders in Fallujah that the U.S. should obviously get out of Iraq as soon as possible, you wondered whether these people were truly serious. Here's one line from Randi Rhodes that stuck in my head: "The most secure place in Iraq is the airport. So use it. Get out." That's an argument? Sure, there are equivalent no-brains on the right. But not as many. And not as universally. Until the left manages to marshall an intellectual brigade that is not trapped in post-modern jargon or Michael Moore-style incoherence, it won't be able to match the right on the airwaves. Getting on the air is not enough. Getting an intellectual grip would help.
April 11, 2004
I wore my awesome, green Bush hat all over the place this weekend and made a discovery: a lot of people have no idea what the 'W 04' on my hat means. And these are intelligent, educated, successful, well-read people. It's not a good sign that the Bush campaign uses the 'W' to campaign and risks people outside the political bubble not knowing what it means. Still, it's a cool hat and I wouldn't be wearing it if it had Bush/Cheney written on it in red, white and blue. Should the campaign go for cooler or clearer? Anyway, get your own here.
American Idol racist?
April 10, 2004
Reuters takes bias to new levels
In Gaza, Reuters reports that the Islamist terror group Hamas has resorted to armed robbery against its fellow Palestinian Arabs:
Worshippers handed over cash and jewelry to armed and masked men at Gaza mosques on Friday, at the start of a drive by the militant group Hamas to raise money for its armed wing amid U.S. pressure to choke off its funds.
How does the "news" service headline this story? "Hamas Launches Campaign in Gaza to Collect Funds." You'd think they were holding one of those Saudi terrorthons.
The world has gone mad
April 09, 2004
Just a note
I'm really behind on answering email, and I know a few of you have written to me. I've been writing my thesis (it's on third parties and I'm kind of struggling for something interesting and original to say about them-suggestions appreciated) and been busy otherwise. Promise to catch up next week.
I didn't watch the entire Condi questioning and I saw the excerpt in this post quoted in several places. It's pretty unbelieveable, even for those of us who expect nothing better from the station.
But it must be, she's black!
How black people continue to vote Democratic in record numbers, despite the left treating them like pets, I will never understand:
"Let me say at the beginning I'm very impressed, indeed, I'd go so far as to say moved by your story, the story of your life and what you've accomplished," Bob Kerrey, a commission member and former Democratic senator from Nebraska, told Ms. Rice, referring to her early childhood in segregated Birmingham, Ala. "It's quite extraordinary."
Actually, Ms. Rice has said in interviews that there is nothing unusual about her success given her upbringing by parents and grandparents who were college educated and who prodded her to excel.
Whatchoo talkin' about, Kerry?
Did you read Lileks yesterday? He's coined a new phrase to describe the way Kerry speaks: diplobabble. It works.
We have a stark choice: Bush’s blunt and frequently inarticulate remarks, versus Kerry’s prolix, labrynthic diplobabble.
Example of this diplobabble?
Bob Edwards: "President Bush says Sadr's defiance can't stand. What should the U.S. do?"
Kerry: "Well, ahh, huh, it's interesting to hear that, when they shut the newspaper that belongs to a legitimate voice in Iraq, and, well, let me change the term legitimate --when they shut a newspaper that belongs to a voice, because he has clearly taken on a far more radical tone in recent days, and aligned himself with both Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a sort of terrorist alignment, so it creates its own set of needs in order to deal with the possible future spread of terrorism. But at the same time, if its unaccompanied by a broader set of moves to try and broaden our own base in Iraq, um, I just think it asks for great difficulties.
Well, that’s decisive. As Hugh noted, al-Sadr’s radicalism is hardly “recent.” But let’s look at that quote again, stripped to its essence:
"When they shut the newspaper that belongs to a voice, because he has clearly taken on a far more radical tone in recent days, and aligned himself with both Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a sort of terrorist alignment, so it creates its own set of needs in order to deal with the possible future spread of terrorism.”
I have no idea what this means. So let’s boil it down some more: “When they shut down the newspaper it creates it own set of needs in order to deal with the possible future spread of terrorism.”
I still have no idea what this means. What does the “it” refer to? There’s no “it” present. There’s a “they,” the entity that shut down the newspaper; perhaps “it” is the act of shutting down an incendiary broadsheet, but then that created “its own set of needs in order to deal with the possible future spread of terrorism” – oy. He sounded tired. People ramble when they’re tired. But instincts are telling, and Kerry’s first instinct seemed to be to complain about shutting down the newspaper, which his mouth believed was “legitimate” before his brain, or an aide close by, waved hands in the international gesture for NOOOO!
I've heard Dawn Summers engage in this international gesture toward the Kerry on many an occasion. I don't think anyone was happier than she was when Kerry took a vacation. And the campaign still has a long six months to go.
April 08, 2004
No, really, Kerry-Kerrey 04?
9/11 COMMISSION: UM [KJL]
Bob Kerrey says it's off topic but then goes ahead and makes a statement about how he thinks military operations in Iraq are going all wrong. This is during his question time with Condi Rice, meaning a tad out of place. This happens after his disclaimer that he doesn't know if he would have done anything differently than the Bushies (Vulcans!) had he been in their spots. Are we running for something, Senator Kerrey? (How's Kerry-Kerrey...helps insure name ID.)
I still would bet the farm on Bush if Kerry indeed chooses Kerrey. On the other hand, what are some of Kerry's VP options?
1. John McCain-an interesting one since he is not only not a Democrat but is a fiscally conservative, pro-life Republican. It's just not happening, Dems, move on.
2. Dick Gephardt-If Kerry can pick up Missouri and hold on to everything that Al Gore had in his column, we'll be calling him President Kerry next January. I just doubt that Gephardt can carry his own state. I'm told he is not liked there and would mostly get the St.Louis vote, not the rest of the state.
3. Evan Bayh/John Edwards- Two popular guys who, also, probably couldn't carry their own states for Kerry.
4. Hillary!- Dream on. We'll be hearing from her a lot from 06-08. She's mostly staying out of this one.
5. Bill Richardson- Last September, 2/3 of registered New Mexico voters approved of his performance, including 49% of Republicans. Al Gore won NM by less than 400 votes. Obviously, I don't know his background or if he has deep, dark secrets that prevent him from being VP, but if I was a Kerry advisor, Richardson would be at the top of my list.
6. Max Cleland- Yes, he's missing 3 limbs from action in Vietnam and it's a great story but stories don't win elections (not even combat stories) and Cleland was defeated as Senator of his own state. Were there negative ads run against him? Sure. So what? Had he been a popular senator, the ads juxtaposing his face on Osama bin Laden would have been laughed out of the state. Instead, he was. Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball has him second, after Evan Bayh, on his VP prediction list, but I just don't see it.
7. Bob Graham- He would be my #2 choice, after Richardson, if I was on the Kerry campaign. I don't know if he can carry Florida, especially owing to Jeb Bush's popularity (although, with news like this, who knows how long that will last), but I do know he is well liked in the state.
Am I forgeting anyone? Who do you think would be Kerry's strongest pick?
April 07, 2004
Move along, nothing to see here
No, Your Honor, there is no coordination between this 527 group and our campaign: Kerry hires online chief from MoveOn
I have a question....
...and while I can just ask my blog friend Chris to explain it, I figure I'll ask you all: what's the deal with the 'Scotland deserves better' button half-way down the page on the left side of the Toomey Blog? Pat Toomey, for those unaware, is running against Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania for the Republican nomination to Senate.
Since this blog is my water cooler
I don't watch a lot of tv. I'm much more of an internet junkie and I think I've written in the past about how I didn't have a tv for years (my brother bought me one after I had watched the events of election 2000 and 9/11 unfold on my computer, which, he thought, was ridiculous). My favorite shows are 'Six Feet Under' and 'Sopranos', I don't really rush home for anything else. I also really enjoy 'That 70's Show' but well, it's got issues and I know it. For one thing, I think Fox really wants it to fail. Why else would they constantly move the time around (caught it on Wednesday a few weeks ago but on Monday this week). They can't even keep the reruns on at any one time. They were on at 11:30pm. Then they weren't on at all. Now they are on from 12-1am. What is the deal? Also, they need better writers. The older episodes are so funny and sharp. The newer ones kind of count on the personalities of the cast to keep it afloat. And, while I think the characters on this show are individually adorable and interesting, the lack of good writers has been hurting them overall.
Holes in your story.
I went to hear the fabulous Mark W. Smith speak last night (go buy his book, it is terrific) and he said something really interesting (actually lot's of interesting things but this is the one that stuck with me):
If George W. Bush and Tony Blair made up the evidence for WMD and they knew all along that Saddam didn't have these weapons and the war was only to gain control of Iraq's oil fields (or to avenge daddy, or for higher poll numbers or whatever the lefty excuse is this week), why didn't they just plant evidence? It wouldn't be very hard to do, as Mark notes, it would only take a 2-liter Coca Cola size container of Anthrax 'discovered' somewhere. So why didn't they do that? Could it be that they, just like everyone else, thought that Saddam did have these weapons?
The BBC biased?
Via Andrew Sullivan.
That's Mr. President to you, boy
The other day, Bush had an exchange with a reporter that went like this:
11:31 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: I just met with Specialist Chris Hill's family from North Carolina. You know, I told the family how much we appreciated his sacrifice -- he was killed in Iraq -- and assured him that we would stay the course, that a free Iraq was very important for peace in the world, long-term peace, and that we're being challenged in Iraq because there are people there that hate freedom. But the family was pleased to hear that we -- its son would not have died in vain. And that's an important message that I wanted to share with you today.
Let me ask you a couple of questions. Who is the AP person?
Q I am.
THE PRESIDENT: You are?
Q Sir, in regard to --
THE PRESIDENT: Who are you talking to?
Q Mr. President, in regard to the June 30th deadline, is there a chance that that would be moved back?
The left, predictably, jumped all over it. Bush isn't the common man like he pretends to be! He wants to be addressed as 'Mr. President'! I thought 'well, yeah, just like a doctor wants to be called Dr. instead of Mr., what's wrong with Bush wanting to be referred to by his title, especially by reporters who, usually, can barely conceal their contempt of him'. Turns out, though, that the written word can sometimes obscure what is really going on. Andrew Sullivan has this:
NOT SO TESTY: I was a little surprised to hear the president dress down a reporter for apparently not addressing him as Mr President. Drudge ran with it; so did many other sources. It's to Josh Marshall's credit that he points out that this incident may actually have been due to the fact that the reporter asking the question had a cell-phone up to his ear. In that context, "Who are you talking to?" is not so crazy a question. In fact, if this was the case, it seems to me that it was the reporrter who was being ill-mannered, not the president.
April 06, 2004
Blogging The National Journal Breakfast Briefing
Kerry's problem is that he doesn't connect well with people. "If you stuck a thermometer in his mouth, it would come out at 63 degrees." political analyst Charlie Cook said the key test was, "Would you want to go fishing with him?" More importantly, "Would you want to go fishing with him, if you knew you weren't going to catch anything?"
Seems like Cook is my kind of guy:
In response to a question about Congressional races, Cook predicted there was a 99% chance that the House will stay Republican (He only declined to say 100% out of superstition).
Please, please, please let it be so
Go Florida Go.
April 05, 2004
I feel like I need a shower
I agree with Ted Rall. Ewwwww.
Apparently, not dead. Although she's been censored (and I'm sure her patriotism has been questioned).
Some thoughts on globalization and terror (By Guest Blogger Candace)
Am I still allowed to post here? I hope so, because I have a big thought on terrorism that I'd like to throw out here.
This morning I was reading JRL #50, where an article, translated from Rossiskaya Gazeta, on a recent conflict between Russia and Qatar that concerns the murder of Chechen emissary Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.
The claim they make in the following paragraph is nothing new, but today it made me think a little differently:
No sheikh or politician would have dared finance Yandarbiyev
openly. Money for blood and deaths had to be filtered somehow though
a chain of legal financial operations. In short, it had to be
laundered. It was only after that that money via Yandarbiyev and
others like him was channelled to Chechnya, Kosovo, Spain, Morocco,
the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia, Dagestan, and so on. Financial traffic
is the deep dark secret of terrorism which has already claimed many
While money laundering is one of the strongest forces that keeps terrorist organizations functioning, attempts to control international financial trafficking are problematic because of the implications for business. Structural and political forces keep movement of money across international borders fairly free in this era, and attempts to restrain globalization in that vein come up against strong political opposition from business groups.
What is the solution for this? More specifically, how can the Right, currently associated with both laissez faire policies toward international business and a hard line on terrorism, take an appropriate stand on this issue?
I'm interested to hear what's already out there on this subject and also your opinions on it.
(And K. and P., thanks for letting me squat here again!)
Not my hero.
It's not because I'm cold-hearted, or it's not just because I'm cold-hearted, but I can't stand the sappy comments around today about the death of Kurt Cobain. I was a senior in high school, and a big Nirvana fan, when he offed himself. I was using Prodigy for 'internet' at the time (really just bulletin boards) and that was how I found out about his death. The depth of emotion was, uh, confusing. First of all, I never met the guy and neither did the people crying over him. And second of all, he killed himself. So, while I was feeling something that there would be no more Nirvana music (little did I know), it was more anger than sadness. You doofus, you had everything and it was just too much. It got even more annoying when I got to college the following year and heard people calling Cobain their 'hero'. Sorry, my heroes have more guts than to put a shotgun in their mouth and end it all. They actually stick around and live for as long as they can. Protein Wisdom has a much funnier, meaner post on the subject.
Quote of the Day
So many students didn't understand the anti-Semitic slur found on Dunn's car that Hillel, an on-campus Jewish organization, produced a fact sheet explaining the term kike, said Rabbi Leslie Bergson, director of Hillel and the Jewish chaplain for the Claremont Colleges.
It was the first sign to some that the incident didn't ring true.
-From the story about the Claremont College teacher who faked her own hate crime.
Democrats out of Boston!!
Eh, but what isn't these days?
'Don't make us say it again'
By the way, they want them to withdraw from both Afghanistan and Iraq so the earlier appeasement policy concocted by the Socialists, remove troops from Iraq but ramp up troop presence in Afghanistan, probably won't do.
I know I talk a lot of smack about celebrities, so, I figure I'll give some credit where I feel it is due. My friend since childhood was in the Navy for the last five years and spent eight months in Iraq. Looking at his photos the other night, there were some of famous people. I guess what impressed me is that these celebrities didn't make a big deal about going over, I had never heard of them doing it. Also, evil multinational corporation (or 'mercenaries' as Kos would describe them) Pepsi was kind enough to send over some drinks for the soldiers. Here are the pics:
April 04, 2004
Even though you all know me already
I've created an About Me page.
I recently wrote about Maybe I Think Too Much's electoral college game and last week I had Kerry leading. This week, I saw some strong numbers for Bush in Pennsylvania and moved it to Bush's column. The result:
Can we be friends again, Kevin? :-)
Hip Hopping Kerry
Mark Steyn writes about John Kerry's newly found love of rap music and asks a question I've always wondered about: How come no one asks the good follow up questions when they know a politician is lying? Asked about pop culture, Kerry said 'Oh sure. I follow and I'm interested. I'm fascinated by rap and by hip-hop. I think there's a lot of poetry in it. There's a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you'd better listen to it pretty carefully, 'cause it's important . . . I'm still listening because I know that it's a reflection of the street and it's a reflection of life.' Why didn't the MTV interviewer ask him his favorite rapper or song? What would Kerry have come up with? 'The Ten Crack Commandments' by Biggie Smalls? 'I Get Around' by Tupac? 'High All The Time' by 50 Cent? Personally, I like rap music. It's fun to dance around the apartment to when I get ready to go out. But you just know that Kerry has no idea what he's talking about and that he and Theresa aren't rocking out to Obie Trice before heading out to meet with those foreign leaders. Kerry did give one rap reference saying that 'I think when you start talking about killing cops or something like that, it bothers me'. Kerry is referring to the 1992 song by Ice-T. Is Kerry that with it that the only rap song he could name is one that swirled controversy 12 years old?
This isn't entirely a matter of trivialities. The fads and fashions of the world aren't confined to the Billboard Hot 100. All over the planet, men in late middle age are pretending to like stuff just 'cause it's what the likes of Maureen Dowd tell them people want to hear. John Kerry pretends to like gangsta rap. Russia pretends it supports the Kyoto Accord. The European Union pretends Yasser Arafat is committed to peace with Israel. The Security Council pretends its resolutions mean something. Kofi Annan pretends the Oil-for-Fraud program is a humanitarian aid effort for the Iraqi people. The International Atomic Energy Authority pretends the mullahs in Tehran are good-faith negotiators on the matter of Iranian nukes.
It's easy to pander to fashion -- whether on pop music, the environment, the Middle East ''peace process'' or sentimental transnationalism. But on MTV, Kerry wasn't done yet. After coming out for hip-hop, he managed to blame the Bush administration's ''behavior'' for making terrorists become terrorists. I guess that terrorism's just a ''reflection of the street,'' too. Doubtless there's ''a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it.'' The MTV crowd loved the line, and no doubt Jacques Chirac and the Arab League will as well. Welcome to John Kerry's hip-hop foreign policy: Ask the multilateral gang what's hip, and hop to it.
April 03, 2004
I'm finally done with the poll. If you're interested in this sort of thing, click on to take a look at it. The last time I posted an assignment from class, I also criticized the teacher and this loser from my program, a guy named Chris, found my post and sent it to my teacher. So, for the record, I really like my polling teacher even if he does constantly give away how much he hates the president.
KaShei Polling Company Inc.
George W. Bush Presidential Campaign
National Poll-1500 likely voters to be conducted 3/25-3/30/04
1. Are you at least 18 years of age or older and registered to vote? (IF YES, ASK): Are you officially registered as a Democrat, as a Republican, as an Independent, or with another party?
2. Did you vote in the November 2000 election for president between George W. Bush, the Republican, Al Gore, the Democrat, or Ralph Nader (NAY-der), the Independent Party Candidate?
(IF YES): For whom did you vote- George W. Bush, Al Gore or Ralph Nader?
(IF NO): Is there any special reason you did not vote in that election? (IF ANSWER ‘too young to vote’ THEN CONTINUE POLL. OTHER ‘no’ ANSWERS, TERMINATE POLL)
Now I’m going to read you the names of some public figures, institutions, countries or panels. Please tell me if you have a strongly favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or strongly unfavorable opinion of them. If you haven’t heard of them, please tell me and we’ll move on.
1. George W. Bush
2. John Kerry
3. Ralph Nader
4. Condoleeza Rice
5. Donald Rumsfeld
6. Dick Cheney
7. Bill Clinton
8. Theresa Heinz Kerry
9. Howard Dean
10. The 9/11 commission
11. The anti-war protestors
12. The United Nations
III. Current Vote
1. What if the November 2004 election for president were held tomorrow and the candidates were (ROTATE NAMES) Republican George W. Bush, Democrat John Kerry and Independent Ralph Nader? For whom would you vote? (IF UNDECIDED, ASK: Toward which candidate would you say you are leaning at this time?)
1. What would you say is the most important issue or problem facing the country today that you would like your president to work on? (OPEN END, PRE-CODE).
2. Now thinking about some specific issues, I’m going to read you a list of issues some people think are important for the President of the United States to address. For each one, I’d like you to tell me if you think it is very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important for the President of the United States to address.
v. Moral Values
vi. The Environment
V. Candidate Characteristics
Now I am going to read you a list of issue areas. For each one, please tell me who you think would do a better job in that area: George W. Bush or John Kerry?
i. Fighting terrorism
ii. Strengthening the economy while keeping your taxes low
iii. Fixing our schools and giving power to individual states to deal with
iv. Working to insure healthcare is accessible to all
v. Protecting the values that make America strong
vi. Protecting the environment
VI. Candidate Profiles
Now I’m going to describe two of the candidates running for President of the United States (ROTATE PROFILES):
George W. Bush, the Republican, has a proven track record of allowing Americans to keep more of their money. His tax cuts have brought prosperity to millions of Americans. Manufacturing is at 20 year highs with 2004 anticipated to be the strongest economic year in 20 years. A year after the tax cut, the private sector GDP growth is 5.3%, up from 2.5% two years before the tax cut. The markets are up 45% in the past year. Inflation is very low. Homeownership rates are at the highest rate in history.
John Kerry, the Democrat, understands the working man. Having served two tours of duty in Vietnam, John Kerry has the experience to lead the country in troubled times. He will work with foreign leaders to avoid the unilateral engagements of this administration. He will strengthen diplomatic ties with our allies and bring problem states, like North Korea and Iran, into a dialogue. He will have a nuanced foreign policy that will seek to find solutions instead of alienating our friends and allies and infuriating and instigating others.
George W. Bush, the Republican, has shown that he is tough on terrorism. After 9/11, there were several roads that America could have taken. George W. Bush showed that he would not cower to terrorism and would not treat it like a police matter. He went after the terrorists in their refuge, Afghanistan, and then he sought to disarm Saddam Hussein, a tyrant who had invaded two neighboring countries and used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. George W. Bush will continue to fight terrorism and to remove the bees nest instead of swatting individual bees.
Based on this information, what if the November 2004 election for president were held tomorrow and the candidates were (ROTATE NAMES) Republican George W. Bush, Democrat John Kerry and Independent Ralph Nader? For whom would you vote? (IF UNDECIDED, ASK: Toward which candidate would you say you are leaning at this time?)
VII. Bush Negative
Now, I’d like to read you a statement made by critics of George W. Bush.
George W. Bush is out of touch with mainstream America. He had a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein which clouded his judgment and resulted in an unnecessary war which caused the death of many American soldiers and Iraqi people. The Bush economic policy is overwhelmingly beneficial to the top 1% of Americans and large corporations. He is also attempting to impose his sense of morality on American society, particularly with respect to gay marriage. He is disrespectful of the courts and constitutional processes. His administration attempts to conduct business behind closed doors and is the most opaque in recent history to the detriment of democracy.
Based on this information, what if the November 2004 election for president were held tomorrow and the candidates were (ROTATE NAMES) Republican George W. Bush, Democrat John Kerry and Independent Ralph Nader? For whom would you vote? (IF UNDECIDED, ASK: Toward which candidate would you say you are leaning at this time?)
VIII. Bush Positive Items
Now, I’m going to list several reasons people have given for voting for George W. Bush for president. After each, please tell me whether you think it is a very convincing reason to vote for Bush, a somewhat convincing reason, not too convincing, or not convincing at all. If you are not sure how you feel about a particular item or do not think the statement is true, please say so.
i. George W. Bush is committed to waging the war on terrorism. He understands the need to take the fight to the terrorists instead of allowing them to come to us. He recognizes that we must go after more than just individual terrorists, we must also engage those states who harbor them.
ii. George W. Bush signed the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ which targets resources for early childhood education, enacts standards which are tested once a year, provides information for parents on schools and districts, gives options on failing schools and increases federal funding 59.8%.
iii. George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription drug bill giving Senior Citizens prescription drug coverage for the first time through Medicare.
iv. George W. Bush signed the 2001 tax relief bill into law allowing people to keep more of their money and to stimulate the economy.
v. George W. Bush is straightforward and you know exactly where he stands on issues.
Thinking again, What if the November 2004 election for president were held tomorrow and the candidates were (ROTATE NAMES) Republican George W. Bush, Democrat John Kerry and Independent Ralph Nader? For whom would you vote? (IF UNDECIDED, ASK: Toward which candidate would you say you are leaning at this time?)
IX. Kerry Negative Items
Now, I’d like to read you some statements made by critics of John Kerry. After I read each one, please tell me whether the statement raises very serious doubts, serious doubts, minor doubts, or no real doubt about voting for John Kerry. If you don’t think the statement is accurate, please say so.
i. John Kerry flip-flops on issues. He voted for the war in Iraq but then voted against funding it. Now he regrets his vote authorizing the war. He also regrets his votes in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Patriot Act. He was against the death penalty and now he is for it. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to a man and a woman, but he now says marriage should be limited to a man and a woman. In 1992, he said that affirmative action "kept America thinking in racial terms" and helped promote a "culture of dependency." Today, he says he "consistently opposed efforts in the Senate to undermine or eliminate affirmative action programs, and supports programs that seeks to enhance diversity."
ii. John Kerry has supported raising taxes 350 times. He will raise taxes by 900 billion in his first 100 days. The richest senator in Congress doesn’t understand the tax burden for the common working person.
iii. John Kerry views fighting terrorism as a ‘primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation’. Additionally, he says that the threat of terrorism has been exaggerated.
iv. John Kerry returned from serving in Vietnam and testified under oath to Congress that his fellow soldiers killed civilians, raped women and committed various other atrocities, claims that are denied by others who served in Vietnam.
v. Kerry has made claims that he was unable to support when questioned. One of the claims is that he ‘met’ with foreign leaders who told him they wanted him to win. When asked which leaders he met with, since his schedule has been public for the entire length of his presidency run, Kerry changed his story to having ‘spoken’ with foreign leaders. He has still been unable or unwilling to name these leaders or to say what he offered them in return for their endorsement.
Thinking again, What if the November 2004 election for president were held tomorrow and the candidates were (ROTATE NAMES) Republican George W. Bush, Democrat John Kerry and Independent Ralph Nader? For whom would you vote? (IF UNDECIDED, ASK: Toward which candidate would you say you are leaning at this time?)
While finishing up the poll I mentioned earlier, I came across this handy piece detailing Kerry's flip flops. Cut it out and share it with your friends. Those of you who are lefties like Dawn Summers, please make note of the current Kerry position on Welfare Reform and Mandatory Minimums. I'm going to so enjoy watching her vote for Nader in November.
I loooooooove Karen Hughes.
Definitely not Muslims.
Memo to Jews: start watching out for those 'young, disaffected white Europeans'.
Did he poll that slogan?
Wasting time on the internet today, instead of working on writing a poll that was due, uh, yesterday, I came across A Small Victory. After joining in on her Morrisey post and proclaiming my love for a certain Smiths song, I scrolled down to read her take on the whole Kos brouhaha (quick gist of said brouhaha: idiot lefty blogger Kos wrote about the murdered American contractors 'Let the people see what war is like. This isn’t an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush’s folly. That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.' More on all that here.)
Anyway, she noted that Oliver Willis was the only lefty blogger she's seen criticize Kos, so I went to read what he had written. On his site, there is a Kerry ad. It reads 'The choice couldn't be clearer. Elect a new president. Or re-elect the current one. This is your chance to make a difference.' Now, I'm no campaign expert, though I will have a Master's degree in the subject come May, but if the best, clearest choice you can offer voters is 'vote for me or vote for the other guy', the campaign people you are paying are ripping you off. It's a waste of ad money to tell people what they clearly already know. Even the tag line under the slogan is mealy-mouthed. After the usual 'Bush lost 3 million jobs', they end up saying 'we think it's time for Bush to go.' Campaigning 101 says that should read 'it's time for Bush to go', everyone already knows what the Kerry campaign 'thinks'. But hey, why am I giving free advice to the Kerry campaign? Keep at it, Shrum, wouldn't want to mess with your no national election wins to date.
Evil but funny
Even though she makes fun of me for being an immigrant, Dawn's got a Lileks/David Foster Wallace-style post that made me giggle my head off for the past ten minutes (it's long).
April 02, 2004
Speaking of oil dependency
Apparently, we'll finally be doing some drilling in beautiful ANWR.
Via Dean Esmay.
Andrew Sullivan (yes despite criticizing him I still read him every day) quotes: "There is nothing that me and you or the British services or the Government can do about stopping an attack in this country. There is nothing Tony Blair, this liar, can do to stop al Qaeda. There is nothing that MI5 or MI6 can do to stop al Qaeda from bombing London. That is the reality and the only person to blame is Tony Blair himself. They warned him in Madrid - pull your troops out and we will not bomb you. They did not listen. They gave them bloodshed in Madrid. They warned them in New York - stop the terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. They did not listen. They gave them bloodshed in New York. Now Tony Blair has been warned." - a British Muslim extremist. Radical Muslims burned the British flag in London yesterday and called to resist the notion that mainstream Muslims should prevent or criticize terrorism.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the 'bloodshed in New York' happen well before the 'terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq'. Are the radical Muslims just trying to confuse the left? I mean, anti-war people are constantly equating any new attacks with our presence in Iraq. Now they'll have to learn a whole new explanation involving looking into the future. Will they be up to the task?
Feeling misled about Iraq?
Memo to the animals in Fallujah:
Pa·tri·ot·ic (adj)- Feeling, expressing, or inspired by love for one's country.
I laughed and laughed when Dawn Summers tried to tell me that Hollywood wasn't lockstep liberal. She actually denied this and said 'what about Charlton Heston?' Ok, Dawn, I said, that's one and here, I'll even give you a few more: David Spade, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger. 'What about Sarah Michelle Geller?' she said. Buffy is a Republican? Who knew? Ok, but that's still under 10 people that you can name. The rest are all liberals.
Well, here's an article about how Hollywood producers, directors and writers are working anti-Bush messages into their scripts. I know you're all as shocked as I am. Try not to fall down, Dawn. The best part of the story is, of course, when some idiot (sorry to overuse this word today but when you're dealing with the ANSWER and Hollywood crowds, it's hard to avoid it) rants about his 'patriotism' being questioned. "Why does it have to become unpatriotic to do something that is our inherent right, which is to debate issues?" said Tom Fontana, the creator of shows like "Oz" and "Homicide." Doofus, who is questioning your patriotism? This is a classic example of 'doth protest too much'. Why would Fontana even say that? It's like someone walking around saying 'why are you calling me a killer? I didn't kill anyone!' and expecting that no one would get suspicious. Where do these imbecile celebrities get this attitude? The next time someone accuses you of questioning their patriotism, go on and question it, as I will. They deserve it.
Happy 9th birthday....
....to the Drudge Report!
Channeling Lenin with a sense of humor
My friend Ivan Lenin attended the anti-anti-war protests a few weeks back. The video of that escapade is now up and it's pretty funny. Ivan's uncanny resemblence to Vladimir Ilyich must've rattled the protestors because it seems many thought he was joking. Not that I would expect them to have a sense of humor. I saw footage of the protests on some public access channel recently and they were shooting 'Billionaires for Bush' and all these idiot ANSWER people thought that group was a pro-Bush one. The conversations were hilarious:
ANSWER Idiot: Don't you care that people are dying?
BFB: No, we're rich, why would we care?
AI: We have no business being in Iraq! Why are we in Iraq?
BFB: For oil, obviously. I love oil. Oil fuels my private jet.
AI (screaming): You're an asshole.
The whole thing is symptomatic of the humorlessness of the anti-war set. How could they not get that Billionaires for Bush is one of their own?
Another example of how they just don't get it is this article in a small NY paper. The article is about the joy of the anti-war protests and some of the writing reads like satire, though of course it's not: What warmed my heart and even brought momentary tears to my eyes was the recognition of the variety and intensity of the demonstrators. Young people were there in far greater numbers than earlier marches. A year ago I had seen few people with rings in their ears or noses. Saturday there were many. Ah yes, that illusive, pierced contingency that seemed to be lacking in protests worldwide. The best part about this article is the photo accompanying it, it's one of Protest Warrior's spoof signs 'Saddam only killed his own people. It was none of our business!' Ha. Ha.
More appeasement ahead?
April 01, 2004
Spot On commenter Lisa informs me that Brooklyn is having its first ever Restaurant Week starting April 15. For the ridiculously low price of $18.98, you can have lunch or dinner at some of Brooklyn's best restaurants. As a mostly-native (I moved there from Russia as a small child) Brooklyn-ite, I recommend these:
Areo- same owner as Angelo's of Mulberry street and equally amazing. Sadly, only offering lunch.
Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse
The Pearl Room
Bacchus-never been to this one but have heard great things.
Tatiana-unfortunately offering only lunch (although you can still get a table over the fishtank in the floor). Pay the full price for dinner sometime and see the crazy show.
Blue Ribbon-Tied with Areo for my favorite on this list, but Blue Ribbon offers dinner.
Planet Thailand-pretty cheap to begin with, not sure that $18 would be less than normal.
I've been to some other restaurants that are doing this promotion but these are the ones I recommend. Alternately, there are lots of restaurants I have not been to, so don't take my word as gospel. Enjoy!
What is going on with Andrew Sullivan?
I don't get it. I left a semi-incoherent comment on Ace-O-Spades today noting that Andrew Sullivan is a great voice for fiscal conservatism, despite his other flaws. So what does Mr.Sullivan do? He writes a whole dumbass post about how raising taxes on gasoline is such a great idea because, well, he's a non-driver so whatever, tax away! Well, I'm a non-driver too, or rather, I'm, depressingly, a non-car owner, so gas tax wouldn't affect me directly either. But, I'm a fiscal conservative! I'm against taxes! Even worse, he gives the examples of France and Germany with their gas taxes. Does he not see the correlation between their astronomical gas prices and their sagging industries (companies can't afford to transport goods from one place to another, etc.)? Hello?!? What is happening to Andrew Sullivan?
The principle difference will be everything.
"Senator Kerry, in the clearest terms, what would be the principal difference between the foreign policy of your administration and that of the Bush administration?"
Let’s just think back to 1942, and imagine a blinkered, stumble-tongued Republican saying that the real problem isn’t Tojo, it’s the lack of affordable transit solutions to get women to their jobs in the munition factories. Here’s Kerry’s reply:
Brian, the principle difference will be almost everything. This administration has been arrogant. I think they have been reckless. They have been overly ideological. They have pushed our allies away. I will bring our allies back to us.
By “allies,” of course, he means Germany and France. And perhaps our deep long-standing ally Russia. Kerry’s statement indicates that either he doesn’t know about the French government’s vested financial interests in Iraq, or he does know and thinks we don’t. Or he dismisses the story as irrelevant to the larger goal: building a body of international resolve that will meet any challenge by sending diplomats to exchange Frank and Honest Views in conference rooms, with that nice lemon tea they serve. Do they use a zest, or a peel, or just run the lemon along the rim of the cup? Whatever they do, it’s quite delicious.
I know this paints me as a buffoon of the tenth magnitude, but I don’t care what France thinks, and I wonder why some are so eager to seek their approval. France is the only nation that behaves as high-handedly as China and somehow has the moral reputation of Tibet.
How will he bring our allies back to us? By waving the magic ally-reassembling wand? No: by doing what they want us to do, not by doing the things they don’t. It’s almost as if Kerry believes that the point of a war is to have allies first and victory second. But I think I know what he’s doing. It’s an appeal to those who always say – always - that we “squandered” the goodwill of the world after 9/11. But in certain quarters that “goodwill” was equal parts pity, schadenfreude and the belief that we would now realize the errors of our ways. And note how no one ever talks about how the Palestinian Authority squandered the goodwill it got from the Oslo Accords. The Squander, it would seem, is a bird unique to our nation, and we alone are responsible for its care and feeding.
Read the whole phenomenal thing.
Films of a nonexistent event
Waaaah US news sucks
I got a forwarded email today bemoaning the lack of coverage in American news about the dragged and mutilated bodies of those contractors in Iraq. Lack of coverage? I watched Fox for about an hour and it was wall to wall dragged bodies. The many hours I spent on the internet had the murders mentioned extensively on the Drudge Report and plenty of headlines on mainstream sites like yahoo. So what's the deal? What's with the email complaining about lack of coverage? Here's my take: just like it's uber-intelligent to proclaim Bush is an idiot, it's equally intellectually trendy to whine about American media. The truth is, of course, that American media is whatever you want to make of it. If you want to watch nothing but CNN and believe that that is all you need, then, of course, you will miss stories of interest to you. I don't know if CNN covered the dragging of the bodies, I find it hard to believe that they didn't, but it's just one station and one that is losing in ratings all the time.
On a similar note, in my 'new media' class today (or yesterday as it's after midnight), a guest speaker gave us some numbers about internet usage. Turns out, Republicans are more represented on the internet than they are in offline society. The speaker's take was that Republicans are wealthier therefore have broadband therefore are on the internet in greater numbers. I disagree. The poorest area of the country, the south, is strongly Republican. I doubt that Republicans have more wealth than Democrats (a preliminary search finds that the 10 of the richest 15 Senators are Democrats-with man of the people John Kerry leading the pack). After all, there is no phrase 'limousine conservative', is there? The reason the Republicans turn to the internet is obvious: the liberal media bias doesn't exist here. We don't need to read the NY Times or the Washington Post. We can read anything, and do. So, for everyone proclaiming the lack of extensive coverage of their favorite topic on the tv news, there is an alternative and you're already on it.