Saturday, April 06, 2002


Because I'm somewhat new to you, dear reader, I should tell you that I'm a big fan of the National Pastime. Later today, I'll be driving to Pac Bell Park for my first baseball game of the season, featuring the SF Giants versus the San Diego Padres.

The more baseball I watch, the more I'm convinced that it's a mirror of our individual lives. I'll get more into that thought later on.

Have you entered the What Next? Good Writing contest?

Friday, April 05, 2002


Bryant Gumbel will leave morning TV, ending 17 years of ante meridiem arrogance. His most recent gig brought the CBS "Early Show" from third place to, well, third place. The reason he won't be back is that this champion of the poor and downtrodden couldn't get the raise he asked for (he currently makes somewhere between $5 million and $6 million, according to Reuters). He will continue to host his HBO sports show.

In memoriam, here are some of Gumbel's more profound "fair and tough" comments (courtesy of the Media Research Center, which features video clips of Gumbel's comments):
Number 1: "This comes at a time when Republicans are looking to gut the Clean Water Act and also the Safe Drinking Water Act. What are our options? Are we now forced to boil water because bottled water is not an economically feasible option for a lot of people?" -- To Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer Erik Olson, June 1, 1995 Today.

Number 2: "Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II." -- July 17, 1989 Today

Number 3: "And Kathleen Willey also spoke about Linda Tripp, a Clinton-basher who seems to be at every ugly turn in this controversy. Tripp was outside the Oval Office when Willey emerged from her encounter with the President. Just how is it that Linda Tripp is so often conveniently involved in the President�s troubles? For some clues let�s bring in The New Yorker�s Jane Mayer, who has profiled the controversial Miss Tripp in this week�s issue. You write that co-workers often viewed her as an inveterate busybody. Has she always been a snoop and a gossip with a particular interest in other people�s romantic lives?" -- On Public Eye, March 17, 1998.

Number 4: "The bottom line is more tax money is going to be needed. Just how much will be the primary issue on the agenda when Congressional leaders meet with the President later today, Wednesday, May the 9th, 1990. And good morning, welcome to Today. It�s a Wednesday morning, a day when the budget picture, frankly, seems gloomier than ever. It now seems the time has come to pay the fiddler for our costly dance of the Reagan years." -- Leading off Today, May 9, 1990.

Number 5: "In the first two years this is a man [Clinton] who tried his best to balance the budget, to reform health care, to fight for gay rights, to support personal freedoms. Couldn�t those be considered doing the right things, evidence of true character?" -- To David Maraniss, MSNBC�s InterNight, October 10, 1996.

Number 6: "Do you give Bill Clinton credit for addressing serious issues that went untouched for 12 years -- deficit reduction, gun control, world trade, health care. He has certainly taken on tough issues, and made them not a question of if, but how much." -- To Mother Jones Editor Jeffrey Klein, January 7, 1994, Today.

Number 7: "We keep looking for some good to come out of this. Maybe it might help in putting race relations back on the front burner after they�ve been subjugated so long as a result of the Reagan years." -- On the Los Angeles riots, April 30, 1992, Today.

Number 8: "Scott, as you and I both know, a popular move these days is to make a titillating charge and then have the media create the frenzy. Given Kenneth Starr�s track record, should we suspect that he�s trying to do with innuendo that which he has been unable to do with evidence?" -- To CBS News reporter Scott Pelley, January 21, 1998, Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel.

Number 9: "If I�m a young black man in South Central L.A., where poverty is rampant and unemployment is skyrocketing, I see that Washington�s promises of a year ago have gone unfulfilled, I see that perhaps for a second time, the court�s inability to mete out justice in a blind fashion, why shouldn�t I vent my anger?"

-- To U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), April 15, 1993, Today.

Number 10: "We've got an awful lot to talk about this week, including the sexual harassment suit against the President. Of course, in that one, it�s a little tough to figure out who�s really being harassed." -- Today, May 10, 1994.
Goodbye, Bryant.


George Will is right on in his latest column. Make no mistake about it, the so-called "occupied territories" were occupied for a reason, which you can read about here.


Anyone with have a normal, healthy mind should realize that Israel's struggle is directly linked to our War on Terrorism. The situation that Israel faces right now, in conjunction with the anti-Semitic violence in such "educated" and "tolerant" and "intellectual" places like France, should be a call to arms against all those "peace activists" who support the homicidal, gay-hating, women-oppressing radial Islamofacists. The President's words immediately after September 11th, and at yesterday's speech at the White House, are right on:
Everyone must choose; you're either with the civilized world, or you're with the terrorists
There is no middle ground.

I get so fed up with the mainstream press and their characterization of the President's remarks, which make him sound like he's completely caving to the admonitions of the "enlightened" Left. Why, when the President says something like this...
The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority has not consistently opposed or confronted terrorists. At Oslo and elsewhere, Chairman Arafat renounced terror as an instrument of his cause, and he agreed to control it. He's not done so.

The situation in which he finds himself today is largely of his own making. He's missed his opportunities, and thereby betrayed the hopes of the people he's supposed to lead. Given his failure, the Israeli government feels it must strike at terrorist networks that are killing its citizens.
...does President Bush's remarks get headlined like this?
President Demands Israel Withdraw from Occupied Territories
The New York Times calls Israel's action an "offensive". Yet the official name of the "offensive" in question is "Operation Defensive Shield." [Emphasis mine] This defensive designation is absolutely correct, as Israel's reaction was brought about by homicide-bombers who initiated killing operations against innocent Jewish citizens and fellow-Palestinians.


Don't forget to enter the new What Next? contest! I'm very impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the entries received thus far.

Thursday, April 04, 2002


From the OpinionJournal's "Best of the Web Today" by James Taranto:
Meanwhile Tikkun's Michael Lerner, the far-left rabbi who once aspired to be Hillary's guru, has this to say about suicide bombings: "Though we at THE TIKKUN COMMUNITY oppose the outrageous and disgusting acts of terror against Israelis, we know that the actual level of violence is small compared to the number of Israelis who die each year in automobile accidents.
Well, I guess that means everything really is a-okay. Those homicide bombers really aren't that evil after all.


Sometimes it is good to see what other people say about your country. Check out this Australian article from the Centre for Independent Studies.


I don't know if it's because I'm writing from Canada today, or if servers are simply very busy, but I've been having a very tough time posting to the blog. I will prevail through this latest technical glitch!

Wednesday, April 03, 2002


Do the words in this article sound similar to what we hear today about "global warming?"


The San Francisco Chronicle is having a hard time with terminology this morning. The headline of the story in question reads "Fetus found in downtown wastebasket". Then, right underneath the headline, we read "Police question S.F. building where abandoned preemie's body discovered." [Emphasis is mine]

The use of the word "preemie" is very interesting. It seems that the Chronicle doesn't know what to call the, well, "thing" that was found in the trash.

And what should we make of this paragraph?
An autopsy was being conducted by the San Francisco medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death of the fetus, which police Inspector Mike Johnson described this morning only as premature.
What is premature? The "fetus", or the "autopsy?" I presume that the writer, Henry K. Lee, was referring to the "fetus", "preemie", or, perhaps "baby?"

Obviously, all of the major style guides at the Chronicle couldn't help with the authorship of this story. If the writer were to have actually stated that the dead baby was, in fact, a baby, you can bet your life certain pro-abortion groups would come out of the woodwork to condemn the story. So we are instead treated with vague language regarding the very subject of the story, a human baby (you won�t find �baby� in the story until you read the very last word in the article).

The SFPD homicide detail is looking into the case, but they are not entirely sure that they should:
"Until the cause of death is determined, we don't know if it's a homicide or not," [Inspector Maureen] D'Amico said.
I guess it's murder if the autopsy demonstrates that the subject question was a premature baby. But what if the coroner concludes otherwise? Will this just be a case of unlawful disposal of hazardous material?

Oh what a confused world we live in.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002


P. J. O'Rourke excoriates a ludicrous press release by 103 Nobel laureates at the
Atlantic Monthly online.

Such Nobel silliness reminds me of the indecipherable blather that frequently issues forth from the halls of academia, for example:
The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

This prize-winning entry from the Philosophy and Literature Bad Writing Contest was written by Judith Butler, professor of rhetoric and comparative literature at none other than the University of California at Berkeley.

What Next? Good Writing Contest: If for some reason you actually know what professor Butler is saying, send me an e-mail entry with your plain English definition. The entrant with the clearest explanation will win a free copy of David McCullough's biography of John Adams (which I first mentioned yesterday). Rules: (1) I alone will judge all contest entries, and (2) my decision will be final. The deadline for entries is May 31st. Good luck!


A great piece by Victor Davis Hanson in today's Wall Street Journal on the spoils of war and revisionist history in the Middle East.

Monday, April 01, 2002


I�ve just begun David McCullough�s beautiful biography of John Adams (available online here). I�m not yet 100 pages into this book, but I can already tell that it�s changing my perceptions about the man who was arguably one of the most influential players in the American Revolution.

McCullough quotes Adams�s voluminous writings throughout the book, demonstrating that Adams had an uncanny ability to predict the future. When he was in his youth, Adams crafted what has turned out to be an profound prophecy about the ascendancy of America in the global political stage. Adams had this to say about the appeasement and conciliatory measures that were being punted about the Continental Congress during it�s deliberations prior to the Declaration of Independence:
But I was not content with all that was done, and almost every day, I had something to say about advising the states to institute governments, to express my total despair of any good coming from the petition [the "Olive Branch Petition" to King George III] or of those things which were called conciliatory measures. I constantly insisted that such measures, instead of having any tendency to produce a reconciliation, would only be considered as proofs of our timidity and want of confidence in the ground we stood on, and would only encourage our enemies to greater exertions against us.
This philosophy, which could be characterized as "peace through strength" must prevail in places like Afghanistan and Israel. There can be no reconciliation with an enemy that is committed, strategically, to the destruction of not only Israel, but of the West.

Binyamin Netanyahu exhibits this Adams-esque understanding in Israeli politics, and although he is no longer Prime Minister (for now?), he obviously still exerts a strong influence, as demonstrated most recently by the justified actions Israel is taking to secure herself from terrorism.


Dateline Oakland, CA -- State Senator Don Perata, from the other side of the Bay, will introduce legislation to impose a "small" 5-cent tax on each bullet sold in the state of California. Here's a link to the senator's letter requesting renewal of his CCW permit to carry a concealed firearm. Senator Diane Feinstein was also caught with a concealed weapon permit when she was trying to ban guns she felt were bad.

Naturally, none of this rank hypocrisy will make your local news broadcast.

Sunday, March 31, 2002


My apologies for the belated Easter greeting. I had a great time today with my friends here in San Francisco. I hope, wherever you may be, that you find the peace and joy you're searching for.


Check out the last paragraph of this article. What a great thing it is to work for a government agency -- you never have to say your sorry because you run no risk of getting fired.