12/30/2004 07:03:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Away
In Delaware than northern Pennsylvania til Sunday. Later!|W|P|110445143653519499|W|P||W|P|12/27/2004 01:34:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The sugar plums are rancid!
Being that I bought half of the world's known consumer goods this year, I was not expecting a ton of gifts at Christmas. Those expectations are still bearing fruit, as one gift from Rhino Handmade, ordered on 12/13, has been put on "backorder." Oh Jimmy Webb box set, when will you be mine?
The stuff that did arrive is pretty amazing.
The Police - Message in a Box
As I had with Led Zeppelin, I'd forgone buying any Police albums because I knew this box existed. The four-disc monster includes literally every song ever released in any format by the band Sting was in before he sucked. Lots and lots of little songs I've never heard are on here, most of which I like. The cons ("Mother") are pathetically outnumbered by the pros ("So Lonely").
Kirsty MacColl - Galore
18-track compilation for the singer-songwriter, released before her untimely 2000 demise in Mexico. Top-notch shit like "They Don't Know" and "He's on the Beach" predominates, although there are some tracks I don't love.
Wiseguy - "Sonny Steelgrave and the Mob" and "Mel Profitt"
The first season of Stephen J. Cannell's badass cop show, starring Ken "the chin" Wahl as undercover spook Vinnie Terranova. The first box pits him against mobster Ray Sharkey, and the second features Kevin Spacey as a blinkered criminal genius straight out of David Lynch.|W|P|110417927036405278|W|P||W|P|12/26/2004 01:09:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hanoiharthgate
I've been out of the office since Wednesday, but I now see Al Neuharth's USA Today column (which goes through me) has been reprinted on the left-wing site Commondreams. Meanwhile, Editor and Publisher has been publishing pro- and anti-Al letters.|W|P|110408553514229963|W|P||W|P|12/24/2004 02:54:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|When friendship reared its ugly head
This is a cute (but short) feature. I've always loved skimming old Entertainment Weeklys for the movies they hyped to hell and back or pegged as Oscar hopefuls, only to never mention again after they were seen to be shit. (To wit: they had three (3) Matrix covers in 2003)
In the end I only saw two of these movies, Sky Captain and Van Helsing. My practically Kucinichian dating abilities are to blame. A whole bunch of times, I "saved" movies for dates that either never happened or got cancelled. So my yearly roundup of movies seen will be slightly truncated next week.|W|P|110387541266367838|W|P||W|P|12/24/2004 02:40:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Plus ca change
It's pretty damn funny to watch FreeRepublic turn into DemocraticUnderground circa December 2000. From mocking Democrats who whined about the Florida election to calling an election winner "selected not elected" in four short years!
In any case, the presence of a Republican Secretary of State overseeing the Washington race would seem to give this election all the legitimacy in the world.|W|P|110387419595953370|W|P||W|P|12/23/2004 03:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hanoiharth
I'll be damned - my paper's founder has committed news. The column is here, but if you pick up the paper copy you also get quotes I collected from Operation Truth and a support-the-troops org, A Million Thanks.|W|P|110383508096894894|W|P||W|P|12/23/2004 01:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Does anyone ... want ... a peanut?
Buy this. Buy it now. The rumors of scant special features are false. There's a ton of special features. Buy this and pass it on to those you love.|W|P|110382791983957615|W|P||W|P|12/23/2004 01:38:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|P. V. Narasimha Rao, 1921-2004
Former Indian PM Rao is dead. He, along with new PM Manmohan Singh, is responsible for dragging his country out of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty's economic muck. RIP.|W|P|110382726696498222|W|P||W|P|12/22/2004 01:39:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|More reporter-bashing from Charles Johnson
OK, no more LGF for me. He's bad enough to make the liberal label for warbloggers - "the 101st fighting keyboarders" - sound way too charitable.
To these people, the death of Yasser Arafat was more important than the death of Ronald ReaganOf course it was. Reagan's obituaries had been typed up in 1994, when he announced his illness and left public life. When I got to USA Today, I stumbled across the dummy front page for Reagan's death - "40th President dead at 89."
By contrast, Yasser Arafat was a key - perhaps the key - figure in one of the most pressing issues of our time. He was the leader of the Palestinian authority. The would-be peacemakers, Bush and Sharon, were prevented from making peace until the guy was dead or desposed. There was an immediate and momentous effect from his death. There was not for Reagan. He had been effectively dead for years, as even National Review said in its editorial.
Then there's this shit, about Abu Ghraib.
"the scandal fueled anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world." Indeed it did. Mission accomplished, AP.Funny. This is the same Charles Johnson who only yesterday posted in shock! horror! about Daily Kos, when that blogger apparently blamed Bush for the Mosul bombing. He should have blamed the perpetrators, Johnson implied. So does he blame the perpretators for Abu Ghraib? No - he shoots the messenger.
Intellectual consistency aside, the idea that the AP was responsible for hyping Abu Ghraib in the Arab world is fucking lunatic. They have this thing called Al Jazeera, I hear.
Ah, well. Johnson's an idiot. I'm done with him.|W|P|110373801909098390|W|P||W|P|12/22/2004 11:46:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|It's the only thing
If this pans out and Christine Gregoire is elected governor of Washington by eight votes, will it have any effect on anything? My instinct said yes - I'd be bored and cynical if this was happening in Virginia - but honestly, when has a politician who got into office through a contested recount ever suffered? The two examples that come to mind are Pres. George Bush in 2000 and Sen. Lyndon Johnson in 1948. They excercized their power just fine, thank you, and their opponents faded into obscurity. I'd predict the same thing here.|W|P|110373426466085565|W|P||W|P|12/22/2004 11:36:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Fair warning
I'm leaving for scenic Delaware this evening, to stay til Sunday. Update your itineraries accordingly.|W|P|110373346393314648|W|P||W|P|12/22/2004 11:31:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Roger L. Simon is a terrorist
Or at least I have enough proof to declare him one if I use his own insane troll logic. But I'll say no more. Simon doesn't deserve to lick the shit off a real war photographer's heels.|W|P|110373328344996449|W|P||W|P|12/21/2004 05:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The song remains the same
Seven or eight years ago, when my family had a vacation home in Lewes, DE, a local record store held a clearence sale on cassette tapes. Most of the tapes were original remasters of Warner artists - The Cars, Black Sabbath, &c. Back then my entire music collection of 200-odd albums was on cassette tape. I'd owned Led Zeppelin's fourth album for a little while, and liked it without being obsessed. But at this clearence, I saw every other Zep album available for $4.77. So I picked up the debut album, Led Zeppelin. The cassette format screwed up its sequencing, and it began with the song that sounded least the rest of their career, "Communication Breakdown." Boom. Hooked. Bought the rest of the albums, except Coda, in less than a week.
Because I'd heard 8 out of 9 of the band's records years ago, I held off on buying them on CD. Then in 2000, my friend Nerd left out his copy of this box set - The Complete Studio Recordings. Christ, it was beautiful. The band's ouvre is splayed over 10 CDs - the double album Physical Graffitti gets two of them. The discs are packaged two-by-two in hardcover books with paper slipcases and glossy liner notes that replicate all the original album art. The kooky cloud-castle of Led Zeppelin II looks that much stranger when you treat it like priceless art. Accompanying these discs was a hardbound book of worshipful, undated band photos and an essay by Cameron Crowe.
Obviously, I couldn't settle and buy normal Led Zeppelin CDs when I knew this monument existed. Trouble was, it retailed at $110. Even when I included the four otherwise-unavailable tracks included in this box and averaged the disc price to $11 each, I couldn't justify buying it. I put the box on my Amazon.com list for two years, hoping some Zshopper would flog it, but to no damn avail.
Then last week I stopped in a Falls Church used CD/DVD store to pick up an unnamed DVD set for my parents. And there in the CD section, for $60, was the Led Zeppelin box. And now it is mine.|W|P|110367131182039555|W|P||W|P|12/20/2004 01:03:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|There are days and there are days
If you were to assemble the worst, most inconvenient weather, and tidal waves were disqualifed, you would do what the sky did today - steady rain, followed by a temperature drop that froze that rain, followed by snow that stuck to said frozen rain. This makes the ground not just slippery, but hard to see. And it mucks up cars something fierce.
Me and Mark Greer went out for 10 minutes in this weather, and on the way home, on one of Bailey's Crossroads 10 gazillion hills, a car had stalled. This became apparent about 2 seconds before I was set to collide with the car. I saw a car right next to me in the next lane, so I nixed swerving, slammed on all brakes, and slowwwwly skidded into this car downhill. My bumper took the hit; the car was fine. But then I got home and noticed that my rear parking lights were stuck on. Were they jostled when I slammed the brakes then bumped a car? Maybe.
I was ready to go to sleep hoping my battery would survive (it will - I had left the headlights on overnight before and it was a-ok), and then - some shitcock seems to have caused a horrendous accident one block away that's inspired a loud, loud siren to go off.
So, that could be better.|W|P|110351984054813320|W|P||W|P|12/17/2004 02:40:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Ha ha
Oh, Charles Johnson. You kill me. Back in February '03 you rightfully mocked a protestor holding a sign proclaiming "Peace in Our Time."
Neither the protester holding this sign nor the Reuters copy editor who captioned the photo have any idea of the historical significance of its message, or what it says about the so-called “anti-war movement.”Those dummies! Anyway, yesterday Charles gives a post this title.
Hearts and MindsHearts and fucking Minds! Where have we heard that before?
Hearts and Minds refers to ... the campaign by the United States military in Vietnam to do as President Lyndon Baines Johnson had urged them, when he said that, "The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there." The military then set out to "win the hearts and minds of the people" beginning in the early 1970s.
Over the years, "Hearts and Minds" has become a shorthand reference for a disasterous and misguided attempt to use a military to make a subjugated population like its conquerors, and the 1974 film has become an accepted masterpiece of political documentary film.That's right. It's been used very recently.
The Pentagon has admitted that the war on terror and the invasion and occupation of Iraq have increased support for al-Qaeda, made ordinary Muslims hate the US and caused a global backlash against America because of the “self-serving hypocrisy” of George W Bush’s administration over the Middle East.
The mea culpa is contained in a shockingly frank “strategic communications” report, written this autumn by the Defence Science Board for Pentagon supremo Donald Rumsfeld.
On “the war of ideas or the struggle for hearts and minds," the report says, “American efforts have not only failed, they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended."I repeat: Ha, ha.|W|P|110331297846362245|W|P||W|P|12/16/2004 05:27:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Man o' the Year
I'm fairly certain Time magazine will run with George W. Bush as "person of the year." This will be an unusual choice. Not in the sense that he doesn't deserve it - Bush was certainly one of the biggest newsmakers of the year - but in that Time rarely gives presidents man of the year for both of their election wins. By rarely, I mean never. Clinton got it for 1992 and 1998 (with Ken Starr), but not 1996. Bush Sr. only got it for 1990. Reagan got it for 1980 and 1983 (with Yuri Andropov). Nixon got it for 1971 and 1972.
Here's my point - the 1972 cover, Nixon and Kissinger, should be the model for this year. It should be Bush and ... someone else. In 2000, Bush's big news coup was winning the presidency. In 2004, he was steering the ship in a culture war, two actual wars, and oh, an election. The culture war could be represented by Karl Rove, who spun it into tight election victories in several states. The actual wars could be represented by Donald Rumsfeld, obviously the most polarizing and important Secretary of Defense since McNamara, if not Stimson. In 1972, Time gave credit to Nixon for the election victory and Kissinger for the foreign policy, and made one story out of it. Same should be done this year for People of the Year: Bush, Rove, and Rumsfeld.|W|P|110323703590917517|W|P||W|P|12/16/2004 05:21:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Move, bitch, get out tha way
AEI fellow Tom Donnelly, who was nice enough to contribute to a USA Today page in tomorrow's edition, has a level-headed critique of Don "you can still get blown up" Rumsfeld in the Standard.
We have a Defense secretary more concerned about the Army and the force he'd like to have--the high-speed-low-drag transformed force of the future--than the force with which he actually has to fight today's wars. And, in fact, Rumsfeld and his lieutenants would also simply like to fight the wars they'd like to have rather than the war as it is. How else to explain the Pentagon's conduct of operations in Iraq? The administration is still patting itself on the back for the initial invasion; this week's ceremony honoring retired General Tommy Franks, President Bush acted as though the problems of the post-invasion period didn't exist: the invasion was "the fastest, longest armored advance in the history of American warfare" with "a force half the size of the force that won the Gulf War" and "defeated Saddam Hussein's regime and reached Baghdad in less than a month."
But the reality in Iraq today is Tommy Wilson's war, not Tommy Franks's war.Damn straight. I choked on my soda when I heard Bush say that about Franks. Bragging that we went into Iraq with a small force?
Start remodeling the office for Rumsfeld's most apt replacement.
|W|P|110323600186245114|W|P||W|P|12/15/2004 11:06:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Live by the sword
Holy hell. If this scandal isn't karmic payback for basing an entire political campaign on 9/11, I dunno what is.
An apartment in Battery Park City that former Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik secured for his personal use after Sept. 11 was originally donated for the use of weary police and rescue workers who were helping at ground zero, according to a real estate executive who has been briefed about the apartment.
After the cleanup had settled into a routine that fall, the executive said, Mr. Kerik, who was still police commissioner, asked to rent the two-bedroom apartment for his own use. During his use of the apartment, Mr. Kerik and Judith Regan engaged in an extramarital affair there, according to someone who spoke to Mr. Kerik about the relationship.
After taking the apartment, Mr. Kerik, who is married with two children and lived at the time in Riverdale, the Bronx, began to meet there with Ms. Regan, said the person who spoke to Mr. Kerik about the matter.
That person said that one bedroom faced the pit of ground zero, and that Ms. Regan visited it while Mr. Kerik was police commissioner, meaning between Sept. 11 and Dec. 31, 2001.Even Drudge is leading with this.
UPDATE: Some words of wisdom from GW Bush.
As police commissioner on September the 11th, 2001, Bernie Kerik arrived at the World Trade Center minutes after the first plane hit. He was there when the Twin Towers collapsed. He knew the faces of the rescuers who rushed toward danger.And he knew where they kept their keys!
When's the next Medal of Freedom ceremony, anyway?|W|P|110312693794190810|W|P||W|P|12/15/2004 10:41:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Drink Coke
Shawn Macomber explores the new Bill Hicks DVD. Shawn's right on - Hicks was a semi-genius, and the DVD borders on essential. (Ten points if you get the Hicks reference in this post's title.)|W|P|110312537160999622|W|P||W|P|12/14/2004 01:01:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Beyond parody
So I'm talking to John Tabin, and I try to make fun of Andrew Sullivan. I write two parodies of his typical posts.
ISLAMOFASCISM AND THE LEFT
Finally, the alliance between anti-globo radicals and Islamic murderers comes into high relief.
The Defense Secretary may be aiding the Islamofascists. Time for him to go.But then John points out that Sullivan has updated his site for Tuesday. Here are his first two posts.
THE ENEMY'S PROPAGANDA: The striking thing about this piece of video propaganda for the insurgency in Iraq is how Western-left it appears. From the British accent narrating the talking points to the weird challenge to "use the euro!", it's an interesting mesh of the anti-globalist, anti-American ideology in Europe and the murderous, Jihadist creed. The merger of the anti-globalist left and the anti-Semitic Jihadist right was always possible. Maybe this tape is evidence of its progress.
MCCAIN AND RUMMY: He's right, of course. The sheer cumulation of incompetence, arrogance and denial make our current defense secretary a serious and continuing liability in the war on terror. The trouble is that Rumsfeld's critical errors - misrreading pre-war intelligence, needlessly alienating allies, under-manning the occupation, the loosening of ethical restraints that led to Abu Ghraib, leaving troops in the theater without adequate armor, and on and on - are inextricable from the president's own policy decisions. So Rummy stays.Holy CRAP!
Unrelated: Someone as Rather-obsessed as Sullivan should probably think twice before linking to a video like that "propaganda tape." It looks pretty damn fraudulent.|W|P|110300077793322305|W|P||W|P|12/13/2004 09:59:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Burn in hell, Deborah Norville
I just watched her show play a montage of Laci Peterson baby pictures soundtracked by Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You."
KILL. DEATH. FIRE. MURDER.|W|P|110299324556558332|W|P||W|P|12/13/2004 01:53:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Saddamy
It's always fun to dig back through blogs of the past and see what predictions they made about things that didn't pan out. The capture of Saddam Hussein a year ago provides some great examples. I'm no saint, but I mostly stand by my post of that day.
It's no sin to see this footage and say "Damn, where's Osama?" That's what I said. It's my hope that international forces in Afghanistan are emboldened to find Osama and the Mullah Omar.Other bloggers were ... well, first on the scene was Instapundit.
So, on the one hand, he's caught (I assume by now it's clearly not one of those doubles), and that's likely to be a rather major blow to the "insurgents" -- though I rather suspect that some of that has been supported by Syria, Iran, and Saudi elements in the hopes of keeping the United States busy. With Saddam gone, though, it'll be harder for them to escape responsibility, which is likely to cause them to reduce their exposure in this area. That's unalloyed good news, unless we're looking for an excuse to invade Syria.Sadly, no. Then came Oxblog.
OBVIOUSLY, this is really, really good news. I said below that I think guerilla attacks will intensify before they fade away, but I think this is basically the death knell for the opposition. With Saddam gone, the locals should be less afraid of turning the guerillas in -- there was clearly fear among many that Saddam would return to power and punish those who had aided the coalition. Saddam's capture will also make it harder for the guerillas to recruit any new members, and at least some current members may well decide to give up and try to blend back into civilian life. Finally, today's pictures of Saddam looking pathetic are not likely to win his cause any converts.
I think that, in the very short run, those former regime loyalists who do decide to carry on the fight will step up their efforts. But I also think that they will increasingly be killed or captured, that they will not be replaced by new recruits, and that many will decide not to carry on the fight at all.National Review Online went into overdrive to hire special weekend columns. Mac Owens:
What will happen now that Saddam has been captured? Will attacks against the Coalition and our Iraqi allies decline? The answer is probably "yes," but such an outcome is by no means guaranteed.Jed Babbin:
Until Saddam was caught, the war wasn’t over. Now the win is almost in Dubya’s hands. But not quite. Saddam’s capture changes but does not end the insurgency. The ability of the remaining Baathists to terrorize the Iraqi people into cooperation will reduced enormously. As will their ability to be funded out of Saddam’s coffers. There must be others who have access to the funds that Saddam has been passing to insurgents, but those with access are now as likely to take the money and run as pass it to the insurgents.Of course, there was some degree of rational exuberance. Cliff May, for all his faults, rightly said this represented "the end of the beginning." But what grates when I read these early commentators is their dismissal of anyone who was pessimistic about the aftermath of Saddam's capture. After Howard Dean's remark that "the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made us safer," the most lambasted quote was probably from Atrios.
Capturing Saddam is a good thing - he was a bad guy. I'm really glad he was captured and not killed.
But, it really doesn't change much. Capturing Saddam isn't going to end the resistance to the US occupation in Iraq. It may improve things slightly, or it could even make it worse, but the net effect will probably be negligible.For this, Jeff Jarvis inaugurated Atrios into "the coalition of the pissy." Folks like Mark Steyn and Tim Blair (whom I actually adore) snarked for around a week about these stupid leftists and their heretical doubt about the effect of the Saddam capture. It's just a sad lesson in the perspicacity of bloggers - especially those who, the same day as the Saddam capture, were snowed by forged documents.|W|P|110297611295444682|W|P||W|P|12/13/2004 09:22:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hollywood
Here's that USA Today sidebar all the kids are talking about.|W|P|110294776219173072|W|P||W|P|12/12/2004 09:00:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Personality crisis
Here's something about me - I'll just write it down and see if it makes sense. When I go home to Delaware for the weekend, on Sunday night, as I drive home, I am CONVINCED I did something wrong that will appear in Monday's paper. (I finish my work week on Friday, other staff comes in to do the real work on Sunday night.)
Why is this? I've never actually seen this worry borne out. The only mistakes I've made have happened during the week. I think it's a function of two things -
- the 64 hour gap between me leaving the office and the next paper coming out. Lots of time to angst.
- being back home feels like being on vacation, even though it's a 2 hour drive.
I combed the Monday page days ago, and I know the facts are all checked. It's just a phantom worry. No crisis here, just working out why I'm prone to worrying after a nice weekend.|W|P|110290359702982912|W|P||W|P|12/09/2004 01:00:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Things which are good
Some recent additions to the Weigel Library of Art and Science.
- Patton Oswalt - "Feelin' Kinda Patton" (CD)
It is easy to go overboard praising Patton Oswalt, as Henry Owings does ("nothing can really prepare the unitiated for Patton's wickedly insightful stand-up commentary that has secured him a place in the Comedy Hall of Fame along such unconventional titans as Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks." - from Chunklet #17). But if you throw every superlative starting with letters from "A" to "S" at him, you'd still only be overrating him a little. The man is hilarious - one of the two or three best stand-ups in America. He welds the esoteric knowledge of the Mr. Show cast with the delivery of Jack Black and the pissing outrage of Zell Miller.
One thing he does extraordinarily well is inappropriate wording. Bill Hicks had a routine wherein he detailed a orgy involving Rush Limbaugh, Dan Quayle, and a bunch of other hate objects, which concluded with Limbaugh cumming into a "gray gym sock." The joke, of course, is that the sock is gray. Oswalt does that kind of stuff all the time, as in a bit about liquor ads, where he mocks Johnny Walker for being sold as "the antidote to road rage." In the middle of a litany of fake ad copy for the booze, he slips the phrase "casket-aged." It's breathtaking, and I can't think of another comic who peppers his/her jokes with extra words like this.
This CD doesn't have his best recent bit, about why NPR has wimpy jazz as bumper music but right-wing radio uses modern rock ("Bill O'Reilly has the White Stripes as bumper music! 'Up next: Why do black people smell different? DADADADA-BWAAAAAOW!'"), but it has his bits on steakhouses, Robert Evans and 80s metal videos, so you need to hear it right the fuck now.
- Steven Blush - "American Hardcore: A Tribal History" (book)
Ah, the Feral House oral history. There is no more dependably awesome genre. This one's slightly less fun than the Darby Crash book and slighty better than the Ed Wood one. Blush's breadth of sources and interviews is absolutely stunning and opens all the doors on music that still isn't very well remembered or understood.
- Bradley Martin - "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader" (book)
It looks like a lengthy journalistic memoir of North Korea (indeed, Martin has photos of himself in the art section), but it's actually an experienced journalists' primary source-heavy history of the Kim dynasty. The early parts are fascinating military and cold war history - the rest is a thrilling look at propaganda and the cult of personality. I almost never recommend John Derbyshire, but check out his review in the new National Review for a good primer on the book.
- Psychedelic Furs - "All of This and Nothing"
Their greatest hits CD, which I picked up for $4 despite having their first three records already. You cannot love 80s British music if you haven't heard "Heaven" and "Dumb Waiters."|W|P|110257055382002912|W|P||W|P|12/08/2004 11:44:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Lou Doebbels
I don't have any trouble with Lou Dobbs hyping a segment on Mexican immigrants as "Culture in Decline." Whatever, Lou. I do wonder why the fuck the segment's graphic is the hand of God touching the hand of Adam from Michaelangelo's "The Creation of Man."
I'm ready for Bill Hicks's dream news, now. "Hey, it's all gonna work out. Here's sports!"|W|P|110256770482815459|W|P||W|P|12/08/2004 11:48:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Nazi supermen are our superiors
Never mind my post below. Here's the real reason Clarence Thomas has been a lousy justice.
Blacks tend to display more of typically male qualities like muscularity, aggressiveness, self-esteem, need for dominance, and impulsiveness. ... Compared to Japanese organizations, black communities tend to be physically and psychologically masculine, sometimes to the point of disorderliness. Yet a relatively high percentage of individual black men achieve fame by possessing charismatically masculine looks and personalities, without the nerdishness that Dilbert-style male intellectual skills often induce.Jesus! And we're giving these people driver's licenses?
By the way, eugenicist Steve Sailer was approvingly cited in David Brooks' last column. The real question is whether there's a figure in the Republican establishment who's willing to take on the yada yada yada.
UPDATE: Another black mark (pun intended!) on Thomas ...
Blacks tend to enjoy advantages in "real time" responsiveness—hence black strengths in running with footballs and basketballs and in jazz, rap, dance, trash talking, preaching, and oratory.Do you want SCOTUS opinions written by someone genetically disposed to skilled trash-talking? Even if he can stop rocking the mic and pull himself away from the dance floor, this would be a serious-ass problem.|W|P|110252488885476251|W|P||W|P|12/08/2004 10:52:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Campus bias is a phony issue
As a conservative who just spent four years on a college campus - most of them editing a conservative newspaper - believe me when I say this curreent whinging about campus bias is intellectually fraudulent nonsense. The subject probably deserves a full post, but for the moment check out this Bruce Bartlett column.
In certain fields like political science, it is simply impossible to receive a good education unless exposed to conservative thought. Students are also not likely to receive an adequate appreciation or understanding of the conservative perspective if it is only taught by those hostile to it.Bruce, college students are not progammable idiots who accept whatever our instructors tell us. We often - hold your breath - ask them questions! Trying to break down arguments of the liberal texts I was assigned usually meant cracking open conservative texts. So, when you tell me it's impossible I received an understanding of the conservative perspective, you're slapping me in the face.
Oh, the rest of the argument is silly, too. If this "the slightly larger proportion of liberal professors than liberal students is a threat to America" train goes anywhere outside of the Colorado lege and the punditocracy, maybe I'll post on it.|W|P|110252201843852152|W|P||W|P|12/07/2004 09:31:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oh, for fuck's sake
Listen, Sean Hannity, Gary Bauer, Noam Scheiber, and staff of NRO: It is no secret that Antonin Scalia is a more skillful justice than Clarence Thomas. And it is no secret that Scalia is a better writer of opinions, and that Thomas's opinions can be comically brief.
You don't need to ask me about this. Ask Regnery Publishing, who've released this book.
In their words:
Brilliant. Colorful. Visionary. Tenacious. Witty.
Since his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1986, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has been described as all of these things and for good reason. He is perhaps the best-known justice on the Supreme Court today and certainly the most controversial.Regnery and Harry Reid agree on something! I agree on it, too. Scalia is the most brilliant justice on the court, and Thomas is the quietest. Without naming names, I can say I've worked with very conservative lawyers who said the same thing. And if you want to deny that, get Regnery to publish Thomas Dissents.|W|P|110247412824248345|W|P||W|P|12/07/2004 03:02:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Quote of the day
Just once I’d like to see a "fish out of water" story – like the last Hilary Duff movie – where the fish out of water dies. Because that is what actually happens to a fish out of water.
- Doug Benson|W|P|110244986114128373|W|P||W|P|12/07/2004 02:12:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Turnabout
Take it away, Anne Applebaum.
Many of the same people who found it hard to say anything bad about Saddam Hussein find it equally difficult to say anything nice about pro-democracy demonstrators in Ukraine. Many of the same people who would refuse to condemn a dictator who is anti-American cannot bring themselves to admire democrats who admire, or at least don't hate, the United States. I certainly don't believe, as President Bush sometimes simplistically says, that everyone who disagrees with American policies in Iraq or elsewhere "hates freedom." That's why it's so shocking to discover that some of them do.Pat Buchanan hates freedom. Pat Buchanan endorsed Bush. How does this fit in with Instapundit's world-historical theory of Left decline? Buchanan has been a visible, vociferous critic of the war on terror as it's being fought. He founded a (really good) magazine devoted to the topic. I didn't see any Republican, much less Bush, denouncing Pat and his works.
Another thing: Can we all just admit that we knew bugger-all about Ukranian politics until November 23rd? I know Glenn didn't - he mentioned the country tangentially until November 1st, when he did optimistically say "if the election works, and the transition proceeds smoothly, we'll be seeing democracy bloom in another most unlikely place." I second that emotion. But since the blogosphere didn't give a shit about Ukraine until last month, I'd say it's a flawed test to judge the freedom-loving cred of thine enemies.|W|P|110244751060990753|W|P||W|P|12/05/2004 01:38:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Fiskapalooza
John Tabin fisks the shit out of me in this post. I try to explain myself in the comments.
I'm in a precarious position these days, politically. I broke faith with Bush after Abu Ghraib and the shitcanning of Ahmed Chalabi as Iraqi leader/source of invasion wisdom. The idea of undermining extremism in the Middle East by topping a hated dictator made sense to me, but around May of this year it seemed like that plan was 1.)mostly bunk and 2.)the work of incompetent liars. So I fell pretty easily into the Democratic camp.
John Kerry's national security positions made sense to me (though I had to seek out independent magazine articles to really get them). They sounded like a return to the effective hegemony of George HW Bush. And the criticisms of his stances rang hollow - he thinks terrorism is a nuisance! He threw away his medals! So I've been trudging further and further away from the mainstream GOP, and become more sympathetic to the Democrats. The shuffling up of lousy national security minds in Bush's new cabinet - Rice, Hadley, Rumsfeld - is laying a thick coat of cement on my new platform.
So, not nuts.|W|P|110228686615455776|W|P||W|P|12/05/2004 01:21:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|New blogroll addition
After going through my own stint with National Review's The Corner-bashing, I have decided to leave those duties to Roy Edroso. Bashing the lesser lights of NR isn't exactly liberal - the folks at Reason do it with aplomb. It's just plain funny. Witness Edroso's take on John Derbyshire's review of the new Tom Wolfe.
Thus agitated, Derbyshire consults a "young friend" who informs him of the undergrad life he experienced, not to say enjoyed: "The probability of a hookup getting all the way to full-on intercourse the first time is a function of the status disparity between male & female." (The young man also says "Leftism, or at least apolitical attitudes, are required to get action... don't be openly rightist about anything or you're set for years of social & sexual ostracism." I guess we can assume he got away clean.)Heh.|W|P|110226762725620348|W|P||W|P|12/02/2004 04:08:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|If this van's a-knockin'
Sam Rosenfeld has a thoughtful post up at TAPPED noting the irony of fact-free abstinence education being exposed as the movie Kinsey gets a full theatrical release.
The key line of the film -- when Liam Neeson, playing famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, lambastes the sex-ed literature that prevailed in the 1940s as “morality disguised as fact” -- couldn’t serve as a more apt description of what’s happening to government and government-funded research under Republican control. Change “morality” to “ideology” and you’ve just about summed up the Bush era in four words.Hell, don't bother changing the terms. This stuff is indeed a replay of the phony sex education that preceded Kinsey. After all, despite the puritan spin, Kinsey's research revealed as much about the habits of ordinary hetero couples as it did gay sex. I was put in mind of this over the weekend, when I heard about the sex life of some friends who just got married. The bride and groom had remained abstinate, and now that they were hitched they wanted to put off having kids. But they were being told that the pill actually murders potential life and that condoms are very iffy (as opposed to 1% iffy). And they were being encouraged to use the rhythm method - which doesn't fucking work (pardon the pun). These are people who had sex ed, but run in religious circles.
So the real problem with fraudulent sex ed extends way beyond what some high school students do. Do we really want married couples who don't think condoms work and think you can get AIDS from sick peoples' teardrops?|W|P|110202268930072837|W|P||W|P|12/02/2004 01:30:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Last Night I Dreamt George W. Bush Loved Me
I was polling a music group I belong to and finding the names of songs written to bash or praise George Bush. They quickly ruined the list of songs, but the results are funny if you're a music geek.
Alice Cooper - "George W. Bush's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)"
Anal Cunt - "George W. Bush Committed Suicide Because You Suck"
The Beach Boys - "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On George W. Bush's Shoulder)"
The Beatles - "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For George W. Bush And My Monkey"
The Birthday Party - "Big-George W. Bush-Trash-Can"
Blur - "B.U.S.H.E.M.I."
Brian Wilson - "Old Master Painter/George W. Bush Is My Sunshine"
The Clash - "George W. Bush In Hammersmith Palais"
Creedence Clearwater Revival - "George W. Bush'll Stop The Rain"
The Cure - "Why Can't I Be George W. Bush?"
The Decemberists - "Here George W. Bush Dreamt He Was An Architect"
Dream Theater - "The Test That Stumped George W. Bush"
Eloy - "George W. Bush's Agony At June 5, 8948, 13 PM Gregorian Earthtime"
Frank Zappa - "What's The Ugliest Part Of George W. Bush's Body?"
Genesis - "George W. Bush On A Windshield/George W. Bush Melody Of 1974"
Hüsker Dü - "Something George W. Bush Learned Today"
The Jam - "To Be Someone (Didn't George W. Bush Have A Nice Time)"
Kenso - "George W. Bush Ni Hikaru"
King Crimson - "George W. Bush And Bible Black"
KISS - "George W. Bush Was Made For Loving You"
Led Zeppelin - "I Can't Quit You George W. Bush"
METAMORFOSI - "Lucifero (George W. Bush)"
Mogwai - "Mogwai Fear George W. Bush"
My Bloody Valentine - "Soft As George W. Bush (But Warm Inside)"
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "George W. Bush, My Cup Is Empty"
Nirvana - "George W. Bush Will Have His Revenge On Seattle"
Pavement - "Jackals, False Grails: The George W. Bush Era"
Pere Ubu - "George W. Bush Dance Party"
Pink Floyd - "George W. Bush's Psychedelic Breakfast"
Pixies - "George W. Bush Dreams Of The Olympus Mons"
The Police - "When The World Is Running Down, George W. Bush Makes The Best Of What Is Still Around"
Radiohead - "Bullet Proof...I Wish George W. Bush Was"
The Ramones - "George W. Bush Should Never Have Opened That Door"
The Replacements - "George W. Bush'll Inherit The Earth (But He Won't Want It)"
The Rolling Stones - "Before They Make George W. Bush Run"
Roy Wood - "When George W. Bush Plays The Banjo"
Rush - "George W. Bush And The Snow Dog"
The Smiths - "Last Night I Dreamt George W. Bush Loved Me"
Sigur Rós - "Hjarto Hamast (Bush Bush Bush)"
Sonic Youth - "George W. Bush Lies In The Eye"
Steely Dan - "Only George W. Bush Would Say That"
They Might Be Giants - "Youth Culture Killed George W. Bush"
Todd Rundgren - "Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than George W. Bush"
Tortoise - "In Sarah, Mencken, Christ And George W. Bush There Were Women And Men"
The Tubes - "Love's A Mystery (George W. Bush Doesn't Understand)"
U2 - "A Day Without George W. Bush"
Van Halen - "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout George W. Bush"
Weezer - "George W. Bush Has Turned And Left Me Here"
X - "George W. Bush Hit And Run Pauline"
Yes - "Five Per Cent For George W. Bush"
The Zombies - "A Rose For George W. Bush"
Can - "Vitamin W"
Beatles - "George W. Bush's Silver Hammer"
Jethro Tull - "Thick as a George W. Bush"
King Crimson - "GWBaKaTTaK Part I"
Peter Gabriel - "George W. Biko"
Brian Eno - "Julie with...George W. Bush"
XTC - "Hold Me My George W. Bush"
Van Der Graaf Generator - "Lemmings (Including George W. Bush)"
Stevie Wonder - "Isn't George W. Bush Lovely"
Kinks - "Have a Cuppa George W. Bush"
The Police - "Hole In My George W. Bush"
Bob Dylan - "Sad Eyed George W. Bush of the Lowlands"
The Velvet Underground - "George W. Bush Says"
And their two ironic choices ...
R. E. M. - "World Leader Pretend"
Genesis - "Stagflation" |W|P|110201239172264540|W|P||W|P|12/02/2004 09:08:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Shark jumpery
More reasons I won't restore my permalink to Instapundit. He links approvingly to this Anne Applebaum quote as the Meaning of Democratic Defeat.
At least a part of the Western left -- or rather the Western far left -- is now so anti-American, or so anti-Bush, that it actually prefers authoritarian or totalitarian leaders to any government that would be friendly to the United States. Many of the same people who found it hard to say anything bad about Saddam Hussein find it equally difficult to say anything nice about pro-democracy demonstrators in Ukraine. Many of the same people who would refuse to condemn a dictator who is anti-American cannot bring themselves to admire democrats who admire, or at least don't hate, the United States.I call bullshit. First, what was Applebaum's proof of left-wing democracy-hating? Two articles in the Guardian - the British paper. She only points to one American leftist.
Both articles were liberally quoted, for example, in a Web log written by the editor of the Nation, who, while writing that she admired "citizens fighting corrupt regimes," just as in the United States, she also noted darkly that the wife of the Ukrainian opposition leader, a U.S. citizen of Ukrainian descent, "worked in the Reagan White House."And this quote is the nugget of a column that Glenn Reynolds uses to understand "WHAT'S WRONG WITH LIBERALISM." And wait! We're not done!
1.)Is Reynolds aware of the difference between The Nation leftists and Democratic liberals? Hint: Democratic liberals are criticized by The Nation all the time.
2.)Does Reynolds read The Nation - or any lefty news, for that matter? What does he think of the advocacy in lefty news for democracy movements in Haiti, Venezuela, East Timor? Agree with them or not, don't such concerns indicate that lefties might not be such dictator-loving fascists after all?
3.)Here's a thought - might the total pig's ear we made of the Saddam overthrow, putting our hopes and dreams into Iranian spy Ahmed Chalabi, have made some people a little skeptical of the White House's judgment in dictator-democracy disputes?
This is why I delinked Reynolds. Strawman arguments and wimpy parroting of whatever Republican war hawks are pushing at the moment.
UPDATE: Reynolds wonders whether "whether there's a figure in the Democratic establishment who's willing to take on the Michael Moore / MoveOn aspects of the party." Well, after Markos "Daily Kos" Moulitsas made a disparaging comment about dead mercenaries in Iraq, the Kerry campaign took him off its blogroll. Meanwhile, Reynolds maintains a link to the proud Arab-bashing blog "The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler," where can be found shit like this.
Ordering government officials to essentially tell worthless, partisan, and pathetically inaccurate "journalists" to "eat shit and die", the Republican governor of Maryland struck a mighty blow against Idiotarianism.Why does Glenn Reynolds hate freedom of the press? The real question is whether there's a figure in the pro-war blog establishment who's willing to take on the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler/Little Green Footballs aspects of the blogs -- or whether those aspects have become, in some important ways, the soul of the blogs today.|W|P|110199748954150837|W|P||W|P|12/01/2004 10:26:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Stanley Kurtz, twit. (Part I in a proposed XXIV-part series)
I cannot think of a conservative with whom I disagree more than "scholar Stanley Kurtz" (as Sam Brownback calls him). Not even Steve Sailer. Kurtz has committed the unforgiveable atrocity of making me sympathize with Eric Alterman. Check this out.
When it comes to media bias, a few liberals are still in denial. But the tide has dramatically turned on this score as well. I remember how excited liberal pundits were when Eric Alterman’s What Liberal Media? came out. Now Alterman’s claim is a joke, and Bernard Goldberg is vindicated.Notice how he pronounces Alterman's claim a joke without noting what that claim was. Alterman had many suppositions, which you can summarize in three points.
1.)Conservatives have "worked the refs" so that the mainstream media has brought on many conservative commentators, even though many are factually challenged.
2.)The ref-working has resulted in a flawed notion of objectivity that's made reporters less likely to question government claims, or question power in general.
3.)The most important component of news management, often left unspoken, is ownership. News organizations are increasingly profit-driven, which leads to, among other things, a love of scandal.
I don't think anyone can see these claims have been disproven. If anything, the Dan Rather scandal (which I'm sure Kurtz is referring to) proved the hell out of claim #3. For two weeks, cable news (Fox especially) honed in on CBS News like it was Watergate. If the media was screamingly liberal - the media as a whole, not one batshit insane Texan anchor - they would have circled the wagons around Rather and ignored the story. But it was a scandal, involving forgeries and presidential politics. So, constant coverage.
So what were Bernie Goldberg's claims that have been vindicated? He has a pretty large corpus by now, in which I see two claims.
1.)The media is elite and institutionally liberal, which results in the marginalization of conservative views. By extension, they don't understand ordinary Americans, who are conservative.
2.)Because they are liberal, the media overemphasize lefty social issues while ignoring righty cultural issues. They think, for example, that poverty is epidemic but anyone who opposes abortion is a nut.
I ask you, seriously - were those claims vindicated in the 2004 campaign? Did the discussion of "security moms" and "NASCAR dads" represent an ignorance of conservative issues? Were any conservatives that criticized Kerry marginalized? Was John O'Neill? Was Ann Coulter? Was Michelle Malkin? Sure, Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Matthews yelled at their conservative guests sometimes. Those shows are watched by, what? Thirty people?
I don't have time to doubleback through all the 2004 media coverage, but I was watching it all from DC, and I sure as shit didn't see any conservative marginalization.|W|P|110191633802033385|W|P||W|P|12/01/2004 10:19:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Who cares about 2008?
I like this.
Congressional leaders and state party officials are insisting that the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) radically redirect the committee’s resources toward congressional races and other local contests and away from the presidential enchilada.
In behind-the-scenes positioning, key congressional lawmakers are seeking to prevent the national party from lapsing into another four-year presidential gestation cycle, where the DNC serves as nothing more than an incubator for the party’s ambitions to capture the White House, say leadership aides.And my confidence in the loyal opposition skyrockets. The real action these next two years will be in local and congressional candidate selection, and then in the 2005 and 2006 elections. More article opportunities for me! The party is not going to slobber over Hillary Clinton for four years, even as bloggers and media obsess about her. Result: I read less blogs and watch less TV, and save on expensive electrical costs!|W|P|110191478072582744|W|P||W|P|