April 29, 2003

jk Spring break

Hey! Andrew Sullivan got away with it!

I am in Austin for few days, working on my drawl. Actually, I live in Colorado but do have a drawl from listening to too much blues. JohnGalt and I are both mislaid cowboys, pokin' around Engineer'n meet'ns instead of a campfire... A bit of the Lone Star State will do me good!

See ya Friday...

Posted by jk at 08:21 AM | What do you think? [2]

April 28, 2003

Berkeley Republicans

...more than two-hundred republican college students from across the state marched down Telegraph Avenue, on the sidewalks mind you, hoisting dozens of American flags and pro-America signs in the air. Marching past a few dissenters and many more passersby, standing still in stunned disbelief... Read all about it.

UPDATE: Also covered in the LA Times

Posted by jk at 01:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

UN at Work

Out to lunch last month with a wise and articulate left-of-center friend, he says "I never understood the visceral contempt by the right for the UN."
Well, I mailed him a copy of the Weekly Standard with Stephen Hayes's documentation of UN failures in Kosovo. That's not online, but a great one the week after is.
I will also email him a link to this WSJ OpinionJournal - Featured Article by Lawrence Lindsay about the values of the UN vs. the USA:
"There has never been a single resolution on China, Syria or Saudi Arabia. The current session ended by defeating a resolution to criticize anything about the situation in Zimbabwe, and by eliminating the 10-year-old position of rapporteur on human rights in Sudan. This was despite a report of the U.N. rapporteur on torture informing commission members of the Sudanese practice of 'cross-amputation'--amputation of right hand and left foot for armed robbery, and various cases of women being stoned to death for alleged adultery.
Commission meetings themselves are a platform for incitement to hate and violence. At this year's session, the Iranian deputy foreign minister threatened what he called a 'vicious circle' of violence and future 'extremism' resulting from the Iraq war. The Cuban representative demanded action against 'the most critical case of . . . massive and flagrant violations of human rights [and] of the systemic institutionalization of racism--that of the United States.' The Algerian delegate said: 'The Israeli war machine has been trying for five decades to arrive at a final solution.' The Palestinian representative called for the 'elimination' of 'Zionist Nazism.'"

I did not sign the petition to pull out of the UN, but this baby needs serious, structural reform. I suggest a new body comprised of representatives of free nations. Then you can keep the General Assembly and the Security Council. But a middle body of diplomats who truly offered political representation of their nations could do most of the work.

Posted by jk at 09:20 AM | What do you think? [3]

April 27, 2003

Santorum Contretemps, II

Something's wrong, here. I am agreeing with Rod Dreher over Andrew Sullivan! This is a first, but I fear Sully is joining the left in what Dreher describes:
"The Left has an ugly habit of trying to shut down debate by imputing bigotry to its opponents. Don't like what someone has to say critical of affirmative action? Call them racist. It's a great rhetorical move, because if you can get people to believe it, you've discredited your opponent -- because nobody has to take the views of a racist seriously -- without ever having engaged his argument."
You can disagree with Santorum (as I do, Rod Dreher does, and almost all of National Review magazine seems to), yet not call for him to resign his leadership position.
Sullivan makes a reasonable and heartfelt argument but I cannot join him here.

Posted by jk at 10:38 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 26, 2003

Orwell, call the office

The EU is concerned that its citizens are choosing Hollywood entertainment over European. Mon Dieu! How to fix this? Samizdata sez:
"Understandably alarmed by this disturbing outbreak of free market value judgments, the EU has swung into action and established a 'Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport' (no, really!) that has produced a 'working document'"
The working document is only eight pages, but it is eight pages of this:
"Article 151 of the Treaty on the European Community defines major objectives for
community action in the cultural field. Community action is based on co-operation and
respects cultural diversity and the principle of subsidiarity: the Union can only become
involved in cultural activity if the its action presents a European added value.
Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which will be incorporated into the Treaties
(Treaty) stipulates that "the Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity".
Successive programmes and various reports have introduced other values and objectives,
which have then been translated into actions and means to achieve results."

Posted by jk at 04:50 PM | What do you think? [0]

Matthews: I Was Wrong

"Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's 'Hardball,' began his keynote speech at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting Tuesday with an admission.
'I was wrong about the war,' Matthews said in a booming voice, immediately gaining the attention of 600 people at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale."

This from the New Haven Register, via Ben Domenech, via Pat Ruffini.
I had to stop watching "Hardball," Chris was really driving me crazy with his assertions that we would not be welcomed. I like him and it is refreshing to hear somebody who was wrong say it.

Posted by jk at 04:17 PM | What do you think? [0]

Lileks on Earth Day

Somehow, I missed James Lileks's Bleat on Earth Day but even he was a day late.
"I remember Earth Day in grade school - we all had Scholastic-issued manuals that taught us how to be good Planetary Citizens. They were Bible-thick, culled from a hundred sources, and virtually unreadable. Many dire stories of what would happen if Mom didn't switch to a non-phosphorous laundry soap. We were all eco-warriors then; we were all shamed by the Indian on TV whose single tear made us want to leap up and shout I'M SORRY! IT'S NOT MY LITTER! I HATE LITTER! (That the Native American turned out to be an Italian American actor was one of life's more savory ironies, but nevermind.) "

Posted by jk at 12:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

April 25, 2003

Santorum Contretemps

I must break with my buddy, Andrew Sullivan. He had a huge part of exposing Trent Lott's importune comments. Now he wants to play the same role against Senator Santorum.
I disagree with Sen. Santorum, but the "confederacy arrayed against him" disturbs me.
Andrew proudly prints a letter today of a young reader who has vowed "never to vote Republican." This is going to promote civil liberties? The Wall St. Journal does a nice defense. It is short and I will print it in full (Click "Continue Reading...') sorry Dow Jones.
WSJ.com - Santorum and Tolerance
"The demonization of Mr. Santorum tells us that his opponents really aren't interested in a legal or moral debate. To the contrary, their aim is to eliminate any debate by tagging as a bigot anyone who dares hold an opposing view -- especially if that view happens to be grounded in religious orthodoxy. It strikes us that their argument for tolerance would be far more persuasive if its advocates could bring themselves to extend it to Mr. Santorum."

Let's see if we have this right. By expressing a legal view of "privacy" already enshrined in a Supreme Court decision, Rick Santorum is somehow unfit for U.S. Senate leadership?

In his now-famous interview with an AP reporter, the Pennsylvania Republican discussed the implications of the Supreme Court's pending decision on a Texas sodomy law. "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home," Mr. Santorum said, "then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."

His political critics quickly accused him of bigotry and Trent Lottism. But what he really said is that there is no "right to privacy" on sexual relations in the penumbras and emanations of the Constitution, a view held by tens of millions of Americans. If individual consent (or privacy) were to become the only Constitutional measure involved in sanctioning sexual relations, then no legislature anywhere would be able to draw lines against any kind of sexual conduct.

Mr. Santorum's argument is almost identical to that of Justice Byron White in 1986 when the Supreme Court refused to overturn another sodomy law in Bowers v. Hardwick: "[I]f respondent's submission is limited to the voluntary sexual conduct between consenting adults, it would be difficult, except by fiat, to limit the claimed right to homosexual conduct while leaving exposed to prosecution adultery, incest, and other sexual crimes even though they are committed in the home. We are unwilling to start down that road." White was appointed by Jack Kennedy.

It's true that Mr. Santorum also made clear that, while he had no problem with homosexuality, he disapproves of "homosexual acts," the condoning of which he believes is, like adultery or polygamy, "antithetical to strong, healthy families." That's pretty much the position of the Catholic church, which teaches that homosexual acts are sinful but demands that its faithful (Mr. Santorum is one) "love the sinner." Gay Americans may disagree, and they can make that clear in the next election, but the Constitution doesn't have religious tests for holding public office.

Our own view is that state anti-sodomy laws are almost never enforced, and they deserve the oblivion for which they are undoubtedly headed. But the issue is best settled democratically, not by judicial fiat, and that means it has to be discussable in the public square. Had abortion been left to legislatures in the 1970s, we would have long ago settled the issue with a democratic compromise and spared our politics 30 years of cultural rancor and polarization.

The demonization of Mr. Santorum tells us that his opponents really aren't interested in a legal or moral debate. To the contrary, their aim is to eliminate any debate by tagging as a bigot anyone who dares hold an opposing view -- especially if that view happens to be grounded in religious orthodoxy. It strikes us that their argument for tolerance would be far more persuasive if its advocates could bring themselves to extend it to Mr. Santorum.

Posted by jk at 09:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 24, 2003

"Winning the Peace"

As a champion of the principle of individual liberty that America was founded upon and opponent of the collectivist trends that have been sucking America into state-sanctioned group warfare, I have grave concerns about Iraq's prospect of becoming a secular state with American-style individual rights. The picture is darker still when you figure France, Germany, Russia, China, the Arab League and the U.N. into the equation.

To the administration's credit they have been factoring these greedy forces out, but I have yet to hear what values will be the basis of the new Iraqi government. General Garner says, "Our only requirement is that it be a form of democracy," but this alone is not enough. There must be a constitution which guarantees individual liberty, separation of church and state, and separation of economy and state. (Fat chance on the latter, since even America hasn't managed that yet.)

Robert Tracinski explains the situation perfectly: "In the long run, it is only by protecting the liberty and independence of the individual--not by keeping Iraqis ganged together into warring clans--that "Operation Iraqi Freedom" can succeed."

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:11 AM | What do you think? [0]

Gun Rights in Colorado

How did we miss this? (Well, it did happen at about the same time that Denver had a record blizzard and the liberation of Iraq began.) According to this Rocky Mountain News editorial (strangely, I couldn't find an actual news article about it), Colorado's Governor Owens signed two new gun bills into law on March 18th.

Quoting the editor of Gun Tests, one of my favorite gun magazines and the first place I learned of this news: "SB 24 requires sheriffs to issue carry permits to individuals who have taken handgun training and passed a fingerprint-based background check. SB 25 abolishes local registries of gun owners and prohibits local governments from enacting gun control ordinances and laws more restrictive than Colorado state law."

Predictably, the City of Denver has threatened to challenge SB 25 in court.

As far as I can tell, SB 24 is effective 60 days after passage and SB 25 is effective immediately. Here are links to Colorado General Assembly info on SB 24 and SB 25.

Posted by JohnGalt at 09:36 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 23, 2003

Noble, Humane, Necessary

Jay Nordlinger nails it in one of his Impromptus columns.
"Well, the war has been over for ages and ages--it seems so yesterday--and the press has been consumed with griping and sniping and pouting. But I'm still grateful. Still grateful and amazed at what U.S. forces accomplished. The country, with its allies, committed a great act. A noble and humane and necessary act: Don't let 'them' make you forget that."

Posted by jk at 02:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

April 21, 2003

Hayek lives!

TCS has a great, brief column on the benefits of market economics. Pete Geddes discusses markets springing up in POW camps, along strained supply lines, (anywhere there is scarcity, I hear Thomas Sowell saying...)
"No system equals the market in maximizing the conjunction of liberty and prosperity. To understand the value of markets we must recognize them as a natural process, not a political construct. They are mechanisms by which people can, without coercion, communicate and coordinate their actions."
Read it. Mail it to your friends. Let Freedom Ring.

Posted by jk at 02:25 PM | What do you think? [0]

Network News

Dick Morris is right on in picking Network News as the (2nd biggest) loser in the Iraqi War. I sat through a Dan Rather newscast at a restaurant a month ago and almost left before my roast beef arrived. I cannot imagine turning to Brokaw/Jennings/Rather for war coverage, and looking at the ratings, I am not alone.
"The arrogance of the networks' news coverage has ultimately cost them their audience. The assumption that we would wait to hear of the fate of our sons and daughters until Rather, Jennings, and Brokaw were good and ready to show up in a television studio to tell us was the most arrogant of all. When the networks opted to run entertainment programs during prime time, they were signaling their end as serious news organizations. How ironic that NBC would prefer its fictional show 'The West Wing' over real news from the same offices."
I won't join Morris in complaining that prime-time drivel was broadcast--it's great that other options are available. Yet I am cheered that the nation is now moving away from taking the nets more seriously than they deserve.

Posted by jk at 10:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

Looters, III

"That the Iraq National Museum was looted is, of course, a tragedy. But isn't it curious that the same people who now insist that U.S. Marines should have used lethal force to protect cuneiform tablets were, just a few weeks ago, arguing that only non-military actions were appropriate to stop Saddam's looting of billions of dollars worth of oil wealth--not to mention his mass murders of ancient peoples?"
Clifford D. May on Elites & Iraq on National Review Online

Posted by jk at 09:32 AM | What do you think? [0]

"Not in my reality"

infominister1.JPG

This posting is a bit behind the times, as the Red Wings were swept by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks last Wednesday, but it contains an important idea that goes beyond mere sports loyalties, or even the disinformation campaign of the defeated Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.

The relevant idea is that one's perception is equivalent to, or supercedes, reality. From this starting point it is argued that there is not one reality that we all share, but we each have our own. This idea can be observed in action virtually every time a Democrat politician opens his mouth. "This tax cut is wrong because it rewards the rich," for example. In their "reality," anyone who earns enough money to be taxed under our current system is "rich."

To defend ourselves, our country, and humanity from this dangerous concept just remember this: Existence is primary to consciousness - I am, therefore I think. "A is A." -Aristotle "Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification." -John Galt

And also remember that we are all philosophers. Our choice lies in recognizing that fact or not.

Posted by JohnGalt at 09:16 AM | What do you think? [1]

April 20, 2003

Happy Easter Joke

SCIENTIST "God, we don't need you anymore.
Science has finally figured out a way to
create life out of nothing, in other words,
we can now do what you did in the beginning."
GOD "Oh, is that so? Tell Me...".
SCIENTIST "Well, we can take dirt and form it into
the likeness of you and breath life into
it, thus creating man."
GOD "Well, that's very interesting... show Me."
SCIENTIST [The scientist bends down to the earth and
starts to mold the soil into the shape of a man.]
GOD "No, no, no..Get your OWN dirt.
Posted by jk at 08:21 AM | What do you think? [4]

April 19, 2003

Telecaster Madness

The Telecaster Discussion Page Reissue, offers trading, discussion, QandA -- All things Telecaster.

Posted by jk at 07:55 PM | What do you think? [1]

Great Movie!

Christopher Guest & Company, who brought us "Best In Show" and "Waiting For Guffman" deliver another classic: A Mighty Wind.
Drop everything and go see it.

Posted by jk at 02:40 PM | What do you think? [0]

Adopt Me

Levi is a Gordon Setter / St. Bernard mix. My beloved Skylark is a Gordon Setter / ??? mix.

This is a cheap ploy to get a cute dog on the blog and promote the good works of petfinders.com, who can help you find a shelter animal.

Posted by jk at 10:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 18, 2003

Augusta Protest Draws 18...

"If The National Post's figures are correct, Ms Burk's supporters in the campaign against Augusta National came perilously close to being outnumbered by the holes." Mark Steyn wonders about the NY Times's influence when, after 95 stories about No Women Members at Augusta:
"If I were Howell Raines, I'd crawl into a fetal position halfway down the fairway and hope the groundsmen grass me over. The Times' carpet bombing of Augusta has proved a pathetic bunker-bust. This is supposed to be the most influential newspaper in America, the one whose front page all but dictates the agenda of the network news shows. And its most fiercely sustained campaign can't fill a single school bus?"

One more Mark Steyn: "'There was not another sonofabitch in the country that could sing until Bob Dylan came along,' pronounced Ramblin' Jack [Elliott], with a pithiness that belies his sobriquet."
Man, if I could write one sentence that good, one time...

Posted by jk at 05:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

dS/dT > 0

The Mathematics of Marriage, argues that a marriage can, in fact, be modeled by a surprisingly simple ensemble of differential equations. A Jordan Ellenberg review of the book in Slate provides an overview of the book and the world's shortest explanation of differential equations (for better or worse...)
"The theory's attractiveness is hard to deny. It neatly presents marriage as a process both mathematical and unpredictable, both stable and prone to catastrophe. Even the John Nash character in A Beautiful Mind would have to agree--'love is like that.'"
Thanks to John Derbyshire on NRO Corner.

Posted by jk at 12:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Wonder Land

Daniel Henninger's Wonder Land rocks every Friday, and is always on the free site.
Today, he goes back to Milton and a look at Evil that doesn't comport with our modern ideas.

But evil on itself shall back recoil
And mix no more with goodness, when at last
Gather'd like scum, and settl'd to itself
It shall be in eternal restless change
Self-fed and self-consumed; if this fail
The pillar'd firmament is rottenness
And earth's base built on stubble.--John Milton, 1634

Posted by jk at 10:38 AM | What do you think? [2]

Walter Williams

Walter Williams, one of my Economic Patron Saints, calls for dispensing the euphemisms in our political debate:
"Now we can ask the moral question. Is it right to take, through threats, intimidation and coercion, what one American has earned and give it to another American who has not earned it? Or put another way: Is it right for one person to be forcibly compelled to serve the purposes of another person?
[...]As a sidebar, it's most disappointing that black Americans are some of the strongest advocates for forcibly compelling one person to serve the purposes of another. Isn't that what slavery was all about?"

Posted by jk at 10:32 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 17, 2003

Deceptive?

Judge Asked to Quash "Deceptively Bland" Spam -- that's gotta be the headline of the day. I feared Hayek's fears of coercion were coming true, but it is an article about e-mail.

Posted by jk at 08:43 PM | What do you think? [0]

Shovels?

I admit it. I am fixated on Baghdad Bob. I will stop but it is too much fun, and it keeps me from gloating.
The new We Love the Iraqi Information Minister website is up. T-shirts and a great collection of quotes:
"We have destroyed 2 tanks, fighter planes, 2 helicopters and their shovels - We have driven them back."
"The British forces which were dropped there have been eliminated mostly on the (battle)field, except for those who fled ... It is a complete defeat ... Amazingly the Americans have pushed the British to do that. They pushed them ahead as if it is an experiment. The result was very tragic for the British."

Posted by jk at 03:53 PM | What do you think? [1]

Dr. Atkins, RIP

FOXNews.com reports that Dr. Robert C. Atkins has died at 72.
I love contrarians and suggest to JohnGalt that Dr. A was the Howard Roarke of nutrition. I have lost 33 lbs in a couple of months, feel great, sleep better, and eat all I want. After he was called a quack for years, I think the tide is turning and I am sorry he did not live to see more vindication:
"This year, his approach was vindicated in part by the very medical community that scorned him. In February, some half-dozen studies showed that people on the Atkins diet lost weight without compromising their health. The studies showed that Atkins dieters' cardiovascular risk factors and overall cholesterol profiles changed for the better."
His company cannot keep up with demand for his products and many other forms are releasing low-carb products. Requiescat in pace.

Posted by jk at 01:50 PM | What do you think? [2]

Baghdad Bob Calls NY-BoSox

As espn.com tells it, Mr. Al-Sahhaf is a real Yes man:
"SAEED AL-SAHHAF: Welcome back, infidels! The great Jason Giambi has just hit the Mother of All Home Runs and the indomitable Yankees have extended their lead to 12-3 over the outlaw Red Sox, chasing that most despicable of creatures, Pedro Martinez, from the mound! Retreat to the showers, you foul hurler, you malodorous tyrant! You shame your ancestors and defile the sacred Yankee Stadium soil!"
"KAY: I think you misspoke slightly there, Mohammad. The Yankees actually trail Pedro and the Red Sox by a score of 7-1 here in the bottom of the fifth. But..."

UPDATE: Suicide?

Posted by jk at 10:22 AM | What do you think? [1]

April 16, 2003

Top Ten Quagmires

"It seems these guys are genially indulgent of the anti-capitalist trashing of Seattle, Quebec City, Rome and Gothenberg, but steal the photocopier from Baghdad's Ministry of Genital Clamping and they're pining for the smack of firm government."
Who else but Mark Steyn!

Posted by jk at 09:29 PM | What do you think? [0]

Dear Tim Robbins,

Rachel Lucas is great every day, but when she lets loose on celebrities -- that's the best! She unloads on Tim Robbins today:
"I believe your education has failed you. The Constitution does not guarantee your right to speak at a party at the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Baseball Hall of Fame is not obligated in any way whatsoever to provide a forum for you to express your views. The Baseball Hall of Fame is completely incapable of infringing upon your Constitutional right to express your views, unless they send someone to tape your mouth shut."

Posted by jk at 05:20 PM | What do you think? [0]

April 15, 2003

Mon Dieu! That's my Guv

NRO Corner reports that: "Consul General Jean-Luc Sibiude of France recently requested a meeting with Colorado Gov. Bill Owens. Here is a portion of Owens' reply, from a letter dated April 10: 'I am sorry I will be unable to meet with you during your visit to Colorado. I feel it would be inappropriate to do so at this time. I have been active for many years in the international arena ... I am also proud of my uncle who was killed in action in France on his eighteenth birthday. I give you this background as a preface to my feeling that France's actions over the past few months will have serious and long-term consequences on relations between our countries. I believe your government opposed our efforts in Iraq in order to advance the government's popularity at home and to further French ambitions abroad...' That's the gist of it, and it's one more reason why Bill Owens is America's best governor."
I was lucky enogh to meet hizonner at a campaign appearance this year. Gov. Owens is funny, smart and energetic. We'll miss him (term-limited) in the Gov's Mansion but look forward to big, bright things.
Posted by jk at 02:58 PM | What do you think? [0]

"Happy" Tax Day

Americans recognize April 15th as "Tax Day," but tax day is really every day you receive a paycheck. By taking your money before it gets to your hand, the government has successfully diluted the impact taxation has upon individuals and reduced the outrage of working Americans on election day. If every taxpayer were required to write a check to the government for the full amount of his tax "liability" each year we'd have far fewer tax and spenders roaming our halls of government.

Go here to read an excellent essay on the immorality of progressive taxation. The essay discusses income taxes, but the same principle applies to all forms of taxation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:04 AM | What do you think? [1]

Iraq Playing Cards

No, You can't buy 'em, but you can get a .pdf of the "Most Wanted" playing cards from the Centcom Site or off my server. Uday on the Ace of Hearts, I dunno... Thanks to Mean Mr. Mustard who adds a "Baghdad Bob" Joker.

UPDATE: You can buy cards at www.greatusaflags.com
Posted by jk at 09:54 AM | What do you think? [0]

Consumption-based Taxation

If there's one topic that really drives me, it would be a shift to a national sales-tax or VAT. Why do I have to tell the government how much money I made? Why do profitable criminal enterprises pay no taxes? Why do we discriminate against investment and saving? And why, why, why is this true:
"1. The U.S. "tax army" is bigger than the U.S. army in Iraq. Income taxes are so complex that there are up to 1.2 million paid tax preparers in the country -- six times more than the number of troops in Iraq. The tax army includes legions of accountants, lawyers, and computer experts -- some of the best minds in the country. Unfortunately, their brainpower is adding little to the nation's standard of living."

UPDATE: And David Keating says it is getting worse!

Posted by jk at 08:56 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 14, 2003

Oops.

Thanks to wunderkinder

Hong Kong in hot flush over ad blunder: "[...] the tourist board tried to pull the ads or get the headline changed from 'Hong Kong will take your breath away' to 'There's no place like Hong Kong.' But this was too late for some monthly magazine headlines, so the 'take your breath away' ad is now running in several UK titles."
Posted by jk at 08:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

Which LOTR Villain is jk?

Hmm, can't say I'd've picked Old Wormy, but computers never lie:

So which LOTR Villain are you? Hmm??

made by Michelle at EmptySpace.
Thanks to Samizdata.net

Posted by jk at 06:01 PM | What do you think? [0]

Looting, II

Victor Davis Hanson: "I thought immediately of the macabre aftermath to the battle of Arginusae in 406 B.C. After destroying a great part of the Peloponnesian fleet in the most dramatic Athenian naval victory of the war, the popular assembly abruptly voted to execute six of their eight successful generals (the other two wisely never came back to Athens) on charges that they had failed to rescue seamen who were clinging to the wreckage.
"[...]Instead the people demanded perfection in addition to mere overwhelming success -- and so in frustration devoured their own elected officials."

VDH is always awesome, this is a must read, from Arginusae, he brings us to Germany ("better in '39 or '46?") to Dan Rather, CNN and NPR.
Great stuff!

Posted by jk at 02:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Looting

Rather then end their antagonism, the people who were wrong, wrong, wrong, every step of the way so far now cry about the lawlessness. Taranto nails it:
"Now, rioting isn't exactly unheard of in America; when Los Angeles residents rioted in 1992, good liberals insisted on the need to "understand" their "rage." But there's no such compassion for people who have actually been oppressed for decades. Saturday's New York Times published a hysterical editorial whose headline warns of "Anarchy in the Streets." The editorial complains that "the bureaucratic and law enforcement services in Iraqi cities have melted away." Yeah, the good news is Germany has been liberated from the Nazis. The bad news is the Gestapo is no longer around to provide law and order."
Also, consider P.J. O'Rourke's line: "Even a band of angels can turn ugly and start looting if enough angels are unemployed and hanging around the Pearly Gates convinced that all the succubae own all the liquor stores in Heaven." P.J. Also informs us that looting is the first step to becoming shoppers. (I heard his on TV, if anybody knows the exact quote, please let me know.)

Posted by jk at 01:57 PM | What do you think? [0]

"Nobody kicks ass without tanker gas"

girls kick ass.jpg

In the immortal words of Robert Anson Heinlein, "What a wonderful world it is that has girls in it!" American women (some of them anyway) believe in freedom and self-defense as much as (some) American men, and these female airmen are proving it. Read the story, "Ladies' night over Afghanistan." A larger picture is here.

Thanks to my friend Troy for the links.

Posted by JohnGalt at 09:51 AM | What do you think? [2]

April 13, 2003

BaghdadBob.com Taken?

Reuters/Yahoo news reports that Too Many People Love Iraqi Information Minister
"A Web site that sprang up on Thursday called Welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com was quickly forced offline as a rush of global interest drew as many as 4,000 requests a second for the page."
They plan to reopen the site on Monday, offering T-shirts and a barbecue apron with his trademark "God will roast their stomachs in hell."
I really, really, love capitalism.

UPDATE: Yes, Baghdadbob.com is taken, and is up as well. (A lot of anti-Bush stuff on this site, sigh.)

Posted by jk at 08:29 AM | What do you think? [1]

April 11, 2003

SexDef

"Secretary Rumsfeld: There is an awful lot of misinformation out there. Diane, the reality is that you can get pregnant if you have sex in a hot tub. Are hot tubs fun? Yes. Do hot tubs make you want to have sex? You bet. But anybody who believes that you can't get pregnant is simply uninformed, misinformed, or poorly informed, and does not belong in a hot tub."
More of this at: Esquire:Humor:This Way Out:Sex Tips from Donald Rumsfeld
Thanks to (who else) Andrew Sullivan.

Posted by jk at 09:12 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 10, 2003

Priceless...

I saw this on Fox, I'm glad somebody captured it and that Unigolyn doctored it.

Posted by jk at 10:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

Boom!

A good friend sends me a video. Lots of ordnance with an extremely-non-jazz-not-jk-kind-of-music soundtrack. Strangely compelling, but I will warn you that it is almost 6MB -- cheers!

Posted by jk at 09:33 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 09, 2003

When Tyrants Tremble...

Ramesh Ponnuru receives an e-mail "from Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton: 'When tyrants tremble, sick with fear, and hear their death knell ringing; When friends rejoice both far and near, How can I keep from singing?'--19th century Quaker hymn"
Amen.

Posted by jk at 04:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

Coroner's Report

Tony Blankley thinks it's time to call Meinhardt Raabe:
"Mr. Raabe played the part of the Munchkin coroner in 'The Wizard of Oz,' who, after observing the Wicked Witch of the East under Dorothy's house, famously sang: 'As coroner, I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, And she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead.'"

UPDATE: I like J.K. Rowling's (great initials!) "Harry Potter" books well enough but cannot see somebody digging up a line from them in 70 years. I suspect this line may be E.Y. Harburg and not Baum, but still...

Posted by jk at 12:45 PM | What do you think? [1]

Let Freedom Ring

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Posted by jk at 11:45 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 08, 2003

Free Trade and Freedom

I have had mixed feelings about French boycotts. I have no sympathy for the French, whose feckless appeasement emboldened Saddam Hussein, costing many lives. In fact, watching statist economies like France, Germany and Canada struggle provides a guilty pleasure.
But the WSJ Editorial Page is right today:
"But in today's global economy a boycott against a 'French' or 'German' company can easily be a blow against American workers. Our politicians are figuring this out, albeit slowly. A number of House Members recently sent a letter to the Pentagon demanding that the U.S. Marines end a contract with the French-owned catering firm Sodexho Alliance. But then Representative Chris Van Hollen pointed out that Sodexho's U.S. unit was based in his home state of Maryland, has 110,000 American employees (in all 50 states) and pays $646 million in U.S. taxes."
It would be fun, but not likely effective, to boycott all French products (not the mustard!) but it would be ineffective and counter-productive. Jokes, though....jokes are okay!

Posted by jk at 10:18 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 07, 2003

Dear Caleb,

Jeff Jacoby writes a letter to his six-year old son. It explains concepts that many adults need to learn. And it is an incredible piece -- read it all.
"In kindergarten right now, you and your classmates are preparing for Passover. You are learning about the bitter enslavement of the Israelites and the cruelty of the Egyptians, and about the great leader named Moses, who refused to look the other way when he came across acts of injustice. Once again you are hearing the story of Shifra and Puah, the Hebrew midwives who bravely defied Pharaoh's command to drown every newborn Hebrew boy.
"The lesson I hope you are gradually internalizing is that when victims are suffering, those who can rescue them have an obligation to do so. 'Do not stand aloof from the blood of your neighbor,' commands the Bible in Leviticus 19:16. When someone is in a desperate predicament, you must help if you can. And sometimes the only way to help is through fighting and bloodshed. Awful as war is, the alternative can be even worse."

Posted by jk at 09:49 AM | What do you think? [0]

Stand Beside Her

NO! Peggy Noonan is taking another break, this time to write a book on Pope John Paul II. Sigh. At least she leaves one last masterpiece for us.
"Our young troops love their country. That is why they are where they are. It has had me thinking a happy thought, about the success with which our country, for all its troubles the past few decades, has continued to communicate to new generations the simple idea of the goodness of loving America. They have picked up the sheer exuberant joy of understanding a thing and, because one understands it and because it is good, loving it, and then acting on that love to the extent that you would fight for it, you would even die for it. This is a beautiful thing, more precious than gold."

Posted by jk at 08:16 AM | What do you think? [0]

Prince Harry & Kyoto

I guess victory at Agincourt papered over England's failure to adopt controls on greenhouse gases, because a new study says "Middle Ages were warmer than today."
"[Global Warming] claims have now been sharply contradicted by the most comprehensive study yet of global temperature over the past 1,000 years. A review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today's temperatures are neither the warmest over the past millennium, nor are they producing the most extreme weather - in stark contrast to the claims of the environmentalists."
Thanks to Andrew Sullivan!

Posted by jk at 08:03 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 06, 2003

Well, I will then

"Who will help me to disarm Saddam Hussein diplomatically?"

"I will," said the bear. "I will," said the boar. "I will," said the panda. "I will," said the frog. "I will," said the camel. "I will," said the Belgian waffle. "Good, let's go," said the eagle. "Yes, quite," said the bulldog and the koala. ("Heh heh heh," said the frog. "This does not stop us from trading arms for oil with Saddam behind the eagle's back." "Heh heh heh," said the bear and the panda.)

"Your self-serving duplicity has undermined diplomatic efforts to disarm the murderous dictator Saddam. Who will help me to disarm him by force?"

"Not I," said the bear. "Not I," said the boar. "Not I," said the panda. "Not I," said the frog. "Not I," said the camel. "Not I," said the Belgian waffle. "Well, I will then," said the eagle. "And we will help," said the bulldog and the koala.

"I have done what you said was illegal, immoral, impossible and wrong. I have disarmed the fearsome street gang that was the Iraqi dictatorial regime. Who will help me reform the Iraqi government such that Iraq's great natural wealth may benefit all of the Iraqi people?"

OOH! "I will," said the bear! "I will," said the boar! "I will," said the panda! "I will," said the frog! "I will," said the camel! "I will," said the Belgian waffle! "No you won't," said the eagle. "I have deposed the dictator. I have disarmed his goons. I have liberated the Iraqi people. And I will help them govern themselves, rebuild their economy, and conduct free and productive trade with them. The 'Animal Farm' you call the U.N. can wallow in the mud with the pigs while we share the joys of liberty and capitalism with the people of Iraq. And my friends the bulldog and the koala can help.

[It occurs to me that there may be a handful of people who don't understand the basis of this story. It is a retelling of the classic children's story, "The Little Red Hen," reprinted here.]

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:22 AM | What do you think? [4]

April 05, 2003

We Will Miss Him

Put me down as the last blogger to recognize Michael Kelly's tragic death. I always enjoyed his columns. Asparagirl has dug up one of my all time favorites: All-Negative, All the Time, in which Kelly parodies NPR.
"With me [Perfectly Modulated Voice of Reason], in our Washington studio, are: Fabled Newsman Who Was There When Saigon Fell . . . Scientifically Trained Impartial Scholar . . . and Bureau Chief of Second-Rate Regional Monopoly Newspaper Who Is Desperate to Be Hired by the New York Times. From London, we are joined by our European affairs analyst, Loathes America and Prays for Its Swift Destruction."
R.I.P.

Posted by jk at 02:14 PM | What do you think? [0]

Vice Closing on Baghdad

James Lileks suggests that this brief summation of America, profferd by a smiling Iraqi, should be put on the $20 bill. I'm in!

If you don't read his Bleat, you gotta start, it is fantastic (and always available on the Berkeley Square blogroll).

Posted by jk at 11:51 AM | What do you think? [0]

Pro-Liberty Rally in Estonia

Dr. Dna and Unigolyn form the blog unigolyn organized a rally in support of Iraqi liberation and have posted pictures.

Posted by jk at 11:39 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 04, 2003

Anti-Woodstock

"Some say the youth culture began at Woodstock, the celebration of song, self and mud in 1969." That's my man, Dan Henninger, in his Wall Street Journal Wonder Land column, calling the war "the Anti-Woodstock" and discussing the adult culture and maturity evinced by the troops.
"But for two weeks now we have watched, in random interviews, remarkably well-spoken, courteous and other-directed 26-year-old American adults. These young soldiers seem without modernist guile; they show no need, or inclination, to create an ironic, snickering distance between themselves and everything around them. What I am suggesting is that maybe it's time for the 'youth culture' back home to think about growing up."

Posted by jk at 12:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

April 03, 2003

The "Paper of Record"

I think you're better off reading the NYT corrections than its front page news. Jonah Goldberg finds an interesting correction:
A front-page article on Tuesday about criticism voiced by American military officers in Iraq over war plans omitted two words from an earlier comment by Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, commander of V Corps. General Wallace had said (with the omission indicated by uppercasing), "The enemy we're fighting is A BIT different from the one we war-gamed against."
Take it Jonah: "I don't mean to harp, but this is a very big deal. That quote from William Wallace was used as the news peg for dozens of 'quagmire' stories and editorials. Senior officials and commanders had to swat down and respond to those stories for days. The White House, Pentagon and CentCom briefings were marked by one-hostile question after another, based upon a feeding frenzy launched by that specific, inaccurate, quote.

Posted by jk at 12:23 PM | What do you think? [0]

How Did You Sleep?

My friend asks "How Did You Sleep?"

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I am humbled to share a great counrty with you!

Posted by jk at 08:05 AM | What do you think? [0]

April 02, 2003

Robin Williams

..is taken down effectively by Dave Konig in National Review Online.
"The star of the box-office smash Jack manages to sneak in two jokes here: first the observation that President Bush has been known to make verbal gaffes, secondly that President Bush is a 'dictator.' On the surface, these might not seem to be as funny as, say, an impression of a southern Christian fundamentalist, or a squealing florist. But the key here is speed: Just when you're still absorbing the "second language" bit, the fast-track funnyman (star of the box-office smash Father's Day) doubles up the laughs with the 'dictator' bit."

Posted by jk at 02:07 PM | What do you think? [0]

Oh, Never Mind...

Well, let's see. The FDA has sent Sam Waksal to jail, destroyed the market capitalization of Martha Stewart's company, and allowed tens of thousands to die of colon cancer. All in a days work for the Gub'mint.
The Wall St. Journal Editorial Page has been relentless on this topic, but you don't hear of it anywhere else. The bureaucracy is so stagnant that promising drugs cannot get reviewed in decades, while people die of the diseases they cure. It's a crime.
In WSJ.com - Topic of Cancer, (paid site only, sorry!) they connect the dots. Erbitux actually does work. Sorry Martha, sorry Sam.
"The latest good news on cancer is that ImClone's Erbitux drug works after all. Despite American regulatory delay, Germany's Merck (which owns rights overseas) says an independent panel has confirmed positive assessments of a recent trial and it now expects approval in Europe by next year.
"Forgive us if we claim a little vindication, having defended the drug amid the howling about ImClone and corporate greed last year. The potential treatment for dying cancer patients always mattered more than Martha Stewart's ImClone stock trades. The continuing problem, however, is that every new cancer therapy has to endure a Food and Drug Administration obstacle course of needless delay."

Posted by jk at 12:47 PM | What do you think? [0]

April 01, 2003

Cry Havoc!

The Brits' dog, Buster, finds a weapons cache and 16 Saddam supporters. After reading the Sky News article, my dog, Skylark, sends her brave ally Buster a hearty "hoaah!"
"Explosives sniffer dog Buster unearthed a hidden cache of arms from an enemy camp in the southern Iraqi village of Safwan. The Springer Spaniel's find was followed by the arrest of 16 Saddam Hussein supporters." Thanks to NRO Corner
Posted by jk at 03:12 PM | What do you think? [0]

Citizenship and Treason

My charming bride, Riza, is a naturalized US Citizen. Watching Peter Arnett, she remarked upon the oath that she (and Mr. Arnett) had taken when they received the gift of US citizenship. It is up on her blog and is well worth a read.
"I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same"

Posted by jk at 09:10 AM | What do you think? [0]

CENTCOM Briefings, Part II

I blogged yesterday on a humorous but trenchant column in TechCentralStation.com, speculating on the pointed questions that could be asked of the Iraqi military if they were to hold press briefings.
I watch these every day. The reporters' questions have gone from smarmy to insane.
My complaint today is economic, not patriotic. Organizations are paying these people, their staffs and significant expenses so that these people can gather news. In 40 minutes of questions, no news ever comes out because these reporters choose to pontificate. "I'll ask the same question the last 11 reporters have, but mine will feature biting sarcasm!"
Press corps: why not ask a question that might actually be answered, that might further you customers' knowledge?
NPR and France are of course excepted from this remark, but I'll offer it to the rest. Wow -- I never thought I'd miss George Stephanopolous...

Posted by jk at 09:02 AM | What do you think? [0]

Defend Senator Daschle

Poor Tommy. Salon.com reports that:
"Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's reelection committee sent out an e-mail last Thursday to union presidents and other supporters asking for them to 'take the time to defend Senator Daschle from his critics.'"
I'll spread the word. Any of you want to take some time today to defend the Senator, please go right ahead. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan.

Posted by jk at 08:50 AM | What do you think? [0]
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