Thursday, December 25, 2003


I've been enjoying this holiday time with my family and friends, and I hope your Christmas has been as fun and relaxing as mine!

Sunday, December 21, 2003


There will be light blogging over the next week due to the Christmas holiday and associated events. See you all soon!


About two minutes ago, Fox News Channel announced that Tom Ridge will be elevating the terrorist advisory level from "Elevated" to "High" at a press conference to be held early this afternoon. Stay alert.

Alternate Description! A GOOD CHOICE

Time's "Person of the Year": The American Soldier.

Saturday, December 20, 2003


There will be light blogging this evening due to this:
A fire at an electrical substation has caused a widespread power outage here affecting about 120,000 customers, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company said.

The blackout, which started just before 6 p.m. Saturday, has affected many San Francisco neighborhoods, including parts of North Beach, Chinatown, Fillmore, Western Addition, the Mission, Sunset, Richmond and downtown, said PG&E spokesman Jonathan Franks.
That's all for now. I have to go because my battery...


The New York Times actually credits President Bush with holding the line against Libya:
Over the past five years, by turning over two suspects for trial, acknowledging its complicity in the Lockerbie bombing and paying compensation to victims' families, Libya finally managed to persuade the United Nations Security Council to lift the international sanctions that had shadowed its economy and its international reputation for more than a decade. Those sanctions were lifted in September. This page recommended lifting American sanctions as well, but President Bush left them in place pending further steps, most notably Libya's decision to end its unconventional weapons programs. It is now clear that he was right to do so. The added American pressure worked just as intended.
Wonders never cease.


John Derbyshire over at National Review Online pegs it:
So let's see: 3/4 of the way through his first administration, George W. Bush has put two dictators out of business and, without firing a shot, persuaded a third to dismantle his WMD. And the Democrats' case against administration foreign policy is... what, again?

Kabul, Baghdad, Tripoli. On to Pyongyang and Tehran!
You betcha.

Friday, December 19, 2003


Ahh, the benefits of US, UK, and 50+ countries acting unilaterally (via the AP):
WASHINGTON - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has agreed under pressure to halt his nation's drive to develop chemical and nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles to deliver them, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday. Bush said pointedly, "I hope other leaders will find an example" in the action.
"Other leaders" obviously refers to the leadership of North Korea and Iran.

I don't know about you, but I haven't been thinking much about Libya lately. This is obviously a great piece of news, and it's indicative of the extent to which the war coalition is pursuing the war against terrorism.


The Financial Times opines on the vindication of Bj�rn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist." Here are the money paragraphs:
First, given a choice between alarmism and honesty science must always choose the latter. There is nothing to be gained by alarmism about an uncertain future in an attempt to influence the public and change policy. It merely creates opportunities for Mr Lomborg and others to knock down these and many other straw men. The truth is that the vast majority of scientists, whether they study environmental change or other fields, already adhere to this principle.

So the second lesson is for the media, politicians and the public. If we pay attention to important scientific issues such as global warning only when disaster or salvation is confidently predicted, bad policies are almost certain to be the result. Our appetite for a good story without caveats provides an incentive for some scientists to skip the qualifiers and for us to be fed a diet of distortions.
Right on. But will fundamentalist enviros and the "if it bleeds it leads" media crowd heed this advice? Unlikely.


What ever happened to Saddam's crew of body doubles, now that the brutal dictator has been captured? Eric Gibson offers his thoughts (via
A Vegas gig would give the doubles a chance to expand their repertoire beyond stiff hand-waving and firing a rifle over the heads of a crowd. They could hang out with the Elvis impersonators, getting pointers on voice projection and hip swivels. Or they could join the cast of "Legends in Concert" at the Imperial Palace Hotel, where look-alikes for Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Marilyn Monroe and other pop-culture icons mimic their greatest hits. Or they could take a leaf from the Three Tenors and play packed stadiums as "The Six Saddams."
I think David Letterman should recruit them for a recurring "Dancing Saddams" feature, a la the once-popular "Dancing Judge Itos".


The Democratic National Committee web site features a blog entitled "Kicking Ass". Anyone can post to the blog with a DNC account, and today's entires are delightful, as several conservatives are posting with vigor.

You can check out "Kicking Ass" here.


Byron York over at National Review Online takes a look at the evidence that Halliburton tried to deceive the US government by overcharging for fuel supplied to Iraqi citizens. Additional facts are now available: In order to quell unrest, the US Army directed Halliburton to expedite shipments of fuel from Kuwait, where it was much more expensive. Halliburton itself then suggested much cheaper sources in Turkey:
"Not many people want to drive eight to fifteen days through a war zone with a truck full of flammable materials," the company says. "Three drivers have been killed and many others injured while performing this mission, and 60 vehicles have been damaged."

As a result, Halliburton officials say they came up with the idea of arranging for another fuel source in Turkey. "[Halliburton] initiated the idea to source fuel from Turkey," the company says. [Halliburton] presented this idea to its customer, and because of this, saved taxpayers well over $100 million."
Don't expect this to reported anywhere in the mainstream press.

York's article also discloses this interesting fact: If you average the fuel prices based on the volume of fuel delivered from each source, the number you get is $1.60 per gallon. Sigh. I wish Halliburton was delivering fuel to the Bay Area.

The entire article can be found here.


The San Francisco Chronicle missed this error not once, but TWICE:
Stories on Nov. 28 and Dec. 6 incorrectly stated that the winner of the mayoral runoff between Matt Gonzalez, 38, and Gavin Newsom, 36, would be the youngest mayor in the history of San Francisco. San Francisco mayors who were 36 or younger when they took office include John White Geary, Charles James Brenham, Frank McCoppin, Levi Richard Ellert and James Duval Phelan.
The error itself wasn't picked up until 10 days after the last story ran. And it wasn't just one other person who was the youngest mayor, but FIVE people.

Got research?

Thursday, December 18, 2003


You may have noticed that the Dow Industrial Average closed up +102.82. There were three pieces of good news, as reported by the AP:
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new jobless claims fell last week by a seasonally adjusted 22,000 to 353,000, the lowest level since Nov. 1. The decline was much larger than analysts' expectations.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board reported that its Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose to 114.2 last month, offering hope that the economic recovery was gaining momentum. The 0.3 percent rise was in line with analysts' expectations.

And the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its business conditions index, which measures the region's manufacturing sector, rose to 32.1 in December � up from 25.9 in November and the seventh straight month of gains. Economists were expecting a more modest reading of 25.

"The numbers show that the jobs situation might be better than people expected all along ... and the economy is actually going well," said Tim Smalls, trader at SG Cowen Securities.
Keen on truckin', America.


The Newseum website has a feature that allows surfers to scan over 280 front pages from around the world. The site lets you zoom in on a front page, and provides links to each newspaper's home page, as well as PDF versions that can be easily read and printed.

You can check it out here. I've also added a permanent topline link to Newseum's feature called, conveniently, "Today's Front Pages".


Tom Perry delivers an excellent fisk of CNN's coverage of protests in Iraq. If you protest for freedom, democracy, and liberty in Iraq, you are ignored. If a couple dozen of you, however, cheer for Saddam Hussein, you get plastered all over the network news.


I can still hear the ringing in my ears as the Europress, the New York Times, and the Washington Post screamed about President Bush's "bullheaded" decision to restrict prime contract bidding in Iraq to those countries that were part of the coalition. That the President would then send Jim Baker to ask these same countries to forgive Saddamite Iraqi debt represented stupidity of the worst order.

What do these pundits say now that France and Germany have both agreed to play ball (from the Washington Times lead editorial today)?:
The most revealing word in the New York Times' otherwise estimable article yesterday, reporting on Mr. Baker's success, was in the following sentence: "[the agreement] comes despite Washington's move to bar the two countries from bidding on ... contracts in Iraq." We would suggest that the word "despite" should more aptly have been replaced with "because of." In other words, the judicial use of American power tends to advance, not diminish, our interests. It is clear that Mr. Bush will continue to use our economic, military and diplomatic power. Much of next year's political debate will revolve around exactly that point: Is there efficacy in asserting our power, unilaterally if necessary, or should international consensus be a pre-condition for action? How news organizations answer that question will shape much of next year's journalistic coverage of the presidential contest.
Right on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Today, the Dutch Ministry of Science threw out the findings of it's own Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty:
The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has today repudiated findings by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DSCD) that Bj�rn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist" was "objectively dishonest" or "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice".

The Ministry, which is responsible for the DSCD, has today released a critical assessment of the Committee's January 6 ruling. The Ministry finds that the DCSD judgment was not backed up by documentation, and was "completely void of argumentation" for the claims of dishonesty and lack of good scientific practice.

The Ministry characterises the DCSD's treatment of the case as "dissatisfactory", "deserving criticism" and "emotional" and points out a number of significant errors. The DSCD's verdict has consequently been remitted.
Of course, the Washington Post and others have not yet seen fit to cover this story, although they immediately "flooded the zone" when the DSCD first slammed Lomborg's book. Typical.

The full statement by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation can be found here.

The DSCD statement about Bj�rn Lomborg's book is here.

My earlier post about the religion of radical environmentalism can be found here.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) HILLARY THINKS YOU ARE STUPID

The following quotation is from Sen. Clinton's recent address to the Council on Foreign Relations:
Now, some of us spoke out about the excesses of the Taliban regime, especially its treatment of women, and the Clinton administration did attempt, through military action with missiles, to ferret out bin Laden and his training camps. In the years that followed, the government looked for efforts, covert and overt, to try to hit bin Laden, but he was, as he is today, an elusive enemy.

September 11th gave us the opportunity as well as the obligation to do what there had been no domestic or international consensus to do before we were attacked on our own shores: to go into Afghanistan and to try to root out both the Taliban and al Qaeda. We cannot afford to make the same mistake that we made in 1989, yet I fear we might unless we ramp up our involvement in this forgotten front-line land in the war against terror.
Sen. Clinton failed to mention that her husband's use of "missiles" on deserted terrorist training camps (which resulted in the bombing of an aspirin factory) was meant to distract the country from the ongoing news about Monica Lewinsky. Even more shameful is her assertion that, prior to 9/11, there wasn't "domestic or international consensus" for action against our terrorist enemies. Translation: We were too cowardly to act when the circumstances called for it (i.e. the first bombing of the World Trade Center, etc.), because of "allies" and looney left supporters wouldn't have approved.

RealOne video of the Senator's remarks can be launched by clicking here.


The Washington Times reports that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari read the riot act to the UN Security Council about that institution's lack of concern for the Iraqi people:
Although he did not list names, France, Russia and Germany were prominent among the countries that had resisted a Security Council resolution authorizing the war in Iraq.

"One year ago, this Security Council was divided between those who wanted to appease Saddam Hussein and those who wanted to hold him accountable," Mr. Zebari said dispassionately in an address to the 15-member council.

"The U.N. as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny that lasted over 35 years, and today we are unearthing thousands of victims in horrifying testament to that failure. ...

"The U.N. must not fail the Iraqi people again," Mr. Zebari said in a plea for Secretary-General Kofi Annan to return international staffers to Baghdad for relief work and nation-building assistance.
Take that, France, Russian, Germany, et al.


From today's lead editorial (registration required):
The trial of Saddam Hussein must do several things at once. It must educate Iraqis and the world about the nature of his regime, adhere to the highest international standards of fairness, and provide a mechanism for appropriate punishment.
And who should administer justice to this tyrant who killed at least 300,000 of his own citizens, including those he gassed with weapons of mass destruction in Halabja?
The best way to achieve those goals is by creating a tribunal inside Iraq under United Nations authority, staffed by Iraqi and international judges and prosecutors.
That's right. Under UN authority. The New York Times obviously received the same DNC "internationalization" memo that went out to Hillary, Howard Dean, John Kerry, etc.


Mark Steyn appears in today's Wall Street Journal, where he evicerates the looney left:
Vermonters marked the end of the Dean era by electing a Republican governor and a Republican House. Even Vermont isn't as liberal as liberals assume. What's liberal is the idea of Vermont as it's understood across America: a bucolic playground of quaint dairy farms punctuated by the occasional boutique business that's managed to wiggle through the Dean approval process. A lot of those dairy barns are empty and belong to weekending flatlanders, the rest are adorned with angry "Take Back Vermont" signs, and the quintessential Green Mountain boutique business, Ben and Jerry's, wound up selling out to the European multinational Unilever. But these dreary details are irrelevant. To Democratic primary voters across the land, Vermont is a shining, rigorously zoned, mandatory-recycling city on a hill. And the only way up the hill is by the bike path.
The column is also available at, where you can read it with a free registration.


Mark Steyn appears in today's Wall Street Journal, where he evicerates the looney left:
Vermonters marked the end of the Dean era by electing a Republican governor and a Republican House. Even Vermont isn't as liberal as liberals assume. What's liberal is the idea of Vermont as it's understood across America: a bucolic playground of quaint dairy farms punctuated by the occasional boutique business that's managed to wiggle through the Dean approval process. A lot of those dairy barns are empty and belong to weekending flatlanders, the rest are adorned with angry "Take Back Vermont" signs, and the quintessential Green Mountain boutique business, Ben and Jerry's, wound up selling out to the European multinational Unilever. But these dreary details are irrelevant. To Democratic primary voters across the land, Vermont is a shining, rigorously zoned, mandatory-recycling city on a hill. And the only way up the hill is by the bike path.
The column is also available at, where you can read it with a free registration.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


At the web site called the Democratic Underground [emphasis added below]:
There really do seem to be a lot of us here who are genuinely happy that Saddam is captured. This suprises me. I'm not happy they captured him. That's not to say that I'm sad. I just think today's news doesn't stir any emotion in me at all. Saddam was never a threat to me. He never did anything to me personally. I doubt he ever did anything to you. In fact, Saddam, over the course of his life and rule of Iraq, probably did more to help America than any other world leader.
No relief that the rape rooms are gone? No celebration of the destruction of facism in Iraq? What a fruitcake.


From the Wall Street Journal:
  • Underlying inflation plunged to a 40-year low of 1.1% in November as slack in the economy continued to put downward pressure on prices.

  • The current-account deficit, the broadest gauge of the nation's global trade, narrowed to $135.04 billion in the third quarter from $139.39 in the second quarter.

  • More U.S. employers expect to boost hiring than to reduce jobs in the first quarter of 2004, according to a bellwether survey by staffing agency Manpower.

  • Bush reaped a quick political benefit from Hussein's capture as a new poll showed increased approval of the president's leadership and the nation's direction overall.
More to come...


Author Michael Crichton delivered a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last September. His assignment? Identify and discuss the most important challenge presently facing mankind. His answer?
The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
So far so good. I'm sure the San Francisco audience was in rapt agreement, particularly because that evil President Bush has "misled" our national into an "unjust" war.

But it gets better. Crichton's example of this challenge is... environmentalism!
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists...

Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die.
You need to read the entire speech to get the full effect. It can be found here (thanks to The Corner at NRO for the pointer).

The uber-liberal McDermott had this to say (via FoxNews, via AP):
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told a Seattle radio station Monday the U.S. military could have found Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted." Asked if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott chuckled and said: "Yeah. Oh, yeah."

The Democratic congressman went on to say, "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing."

When interviewer Dave Ross asked again if he meant to imply the Bush administration timed the capture for political reasons, McDermott said: "I don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was. It was just a matter of time till they'd find him.

"It's funny," McDermott added, "when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."
Ha ha. Very funny.

Monday, December 15, 2003


David Frum, on his National Review Online blog, opines that God has a vested interest in the outcome of the next election:
For now, let�s say that while the President�s opponents have made much sport of the idea that God called George Bush to the presidency, it�s becoming increasingy difficult to doubt that God wants President Bush re-elected.
I'm smiling, even if Frum's statement is over the top.


Andrew Sullivan has a list of "George Galloway" award nominees on his blog. A sample:
GALLOWAY NOMINEE I (for thinly veiled disappointment at the capture of Saddam): "I can't believe this. I'm crying here. I feel that we now don't have a chance in this election." - poster Carrie B. on Howard Dean's campaign blog. Way to get your priorities straight, Carrie.
If it's good for America, it's bad for the looney left.


Howard Dean has a BIG problem:
The capture of Saddam is a good thing which I hope very much will help keep our soldiers safer. But the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.
All of the cable news network stations have cut away from Dean's "major" foreign policy speech.


Rush opened his show today saying that he thought Saddam looked just like the type of guy who would vote for Howard Dean.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam Hussein - We got him "LADIES AND GENTLEMENT, WE GOT HIM"

The unrestrained cheering of the Iraqi press corp showed more about the general feeling of the Iraqi people than all of the analysts at Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. could possibly muster.

Congratulations to our troops, our intelligence agencies, our President, and the Iraqi people.

I repeat the words of President George W. Bush:

"May God bless the people of Iraq, and may God bless America."

Friday, November 21, 2003


The other day I was walking around UC Berkeley with a group of friends, and the topic of human accomplishment came up. Specifically, we discussed how some folks have the ability to effortlessly produce a huge body of accomplishments in a relatively short period of time.

To that end, I ran across a story about John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Berkeley. I'll let the NY Times tell the story about this man and his work:
Mr. McWhorter, 38, a professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a policy research group in New York City, is hardly the first to complain about Americans' brazen disregard for their native tongue. But unlike many others, he says the problem is not an epidemic of bad grammar.

As a linguist, he says, he knows that grammatical rules are arbitrary and that in casual conversation people have never abided by them. Rather, he argues, the fault lies with the collapse of the distinction between the written and the oral. Where formal, well-honed English was once de rigueur in public life, he argues, it has all but disappeared, supplanted by the indifferent cadences of speech and ultimately impairing our ability to think.

This bleak assessment notwithstanding, Mr. McWhorter, an intense, confident and � perhaps not surprisingly � loquacious man, is not a curmudgeon or a fuddy-duddy. Nor, for that matter, a nerd, despite a r�sum� that bristles with intellectual precociousness.

Self-taught in 12 languages � including Russian, Swedish, Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew, which he initially took up as a Philadelphia preschooler when he was 4 � he is a respected expert in Creole languages. (In his spare time, he is compiling the first written grammar of Saramaccan, a Creole language spoken by descendants of former slaves in Suriname.)

A college graduate at 19 and a tenured professor at 33, he has published seven previous books, including the controversial best seller, "Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America" (The Free Press, 2000), in which he accused middle-class blacks of embracing anti-intellectualism and a cult of victimology. An African-American who is an outspoken critic of affirmative action, welfare and reparations, he has aroused the ire of many liberals and earned a reputation as a conservative.
Professor McWhorter, you're a whiz, and you win the first edition of the 'Where Do They Find the Time?' award. Future award winners will be announced occasionally on this page.


First Things, in the October issue, presents an insightful editorial by Michael M. Uhlmann on the history and calamity that is judicial activism in the United States:
The academics' Constitution, which has willy-nilly become the Court�s, is commonly described as a framework for democratic aspiration, by which is meant a Constitution that is in a constant state of becoming. Toward what end the proponents do not precisely say, at least for public consumption, but they remain confident that the Supreme Court should be the preferred instrument through which the details are implemented in beneficent fashion. The living Constitution should be a protean artifact, changing shape in response to the impressions made upon it by what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes called �the felt necessities of the times.� For reasons that have yet to be adequately explained, the Supreme Court has been vested with the authority to determine just what those necessities might be.
You can read the entire thing here.


On the Taste page of today's Wall Street Journal, some depressing news about student and administrator knowledge of the first amendment on our college campi:
That amendment begins as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." But twin surveys commissioned by FIRE and conducted by the University of Connecticut's Center for Survey Research and Analysis tell us how few on campus really understand it. One of 10 college administrators even checked "don't know" when asked to name a specific First Amendment right. Increasingly this lack of awareness is having ugly consequences for campus believers.
Additionally, a puny percentage of those surveyed know anything about the religious liberties granted in the amendment:
Only 6% of administrators and 2% of students knew that freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned by the First Amendment.
Sad. You can read the whole story here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Today, jurors in the trial against former-Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski viewed a video tape of an extravagant party help in honor of Mr. Kozlowski's wife. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports:
The weeklong event, which included a birthday party for Karen Mayo, Mr. Kozlowski's wife, cost $2.1 million. About half of the cost was paid by Tyco, the rest by Mr. Kozlowski...

...Judge Michael Obus sided with the defense about which scenes should be edited out of the tape and which accompanying still photos shouldn't be shown, saying many scenes -- including still images of guests "mooning" the camera or jumping into the pool -- were of "extremely marginal relevance" to the case...

...Later on the video, pop musician Jimmy Buffett performed his version of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl." Mr. Buffett was paid $250,000 for the appearance. The party ended with an archer firing a flaming arrow, which set off fireworks. In sparklers, a sign read "Congratulations Karen and Dennis."
Mr. Buffett was paid a quarter of a million bucks to entertain a whopping 75 guests.

You can check out a clip of the video here. Having now seen an excerpt of the video, all I have to say is this: Dennis Kozlowski is a horrible dancer.

Monday, October 27, 2003


And from the New York Times, no less:
Wage increases for employees at almost all income levels are giving important and unexpected support to the nation's economy. If the gains continue, they offer hope that the rapid economic expansion of recent months could prove more durable than other spurts of growth over the last two years.

Forecasters expect the Commerce Department to say in its quarterly report on Thursday that the economy grew about 6 percent in the three-month period ending in September, which would be the fastest pace since 1999. Most of that growth stemmed from a sharp rise in consumer spending, driven largely by a continuing boom in mortgage refinancing and checks that were mailed out as part of the recent tax cut.
What? The President's tax cut may be spurring economic activity, as predicted? The Democrats are going to run out of issues, folks.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


This weekend, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Mother Teresa to be among the blessed. This same weekend, US audiences made "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" number one at the box office.

Friday, October 17, 2003


Howard Dean and the other dwarves keep blasting the economy just as good news hits the wire (via Reuters):
Consumer sentiment rebounded in early October while U.S. home builders accelerated new construction in September to a near 17-year high, according to two reports that added to this week's evidence of fast-paced economic growth.

Other data this week have revealed that while consumer spending eased in September, spending was far stronger in August and July than originally estimated. That means gross domestic product in the third quarter could have been as high as 7 percent -- the best since the end of the late-1990s boom.

The University of Michigan said its preliminary gauge of consumer sentiment rose to 89.4 from a final reading of 87.7 the prior month, beating forecasts.

"It shows that consumers are sensing some good news on the job front and the income front," said Kurt Karl, head of research at Swiss Re in New York.

A separate report from the U.S. Commerce Department ( news -web sites ) showed ground-breaking for new homes jumped 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.888 million units in the month, beating expectations and up from an upwardly revised 1.826 million pace in August.

Taken together, the news this week has had many economists upwardly revising forecasts for growth and employment next year. Federal Reserve ( news -web sites ) officials have also expressed optimism that the hearty pace of expansion will lead to healthy hiring soon.
Still want to repeal all of the Bush tax rate cuts, Mr. Dean?

Thursday, October 16, 2003


The weasels adopted the US Iraqi rebuilding resolution unanimously (via FoxNews):
UNITED NATIONS���In a slam-dunk vote, the U.N. Security Council approved Thursday a U.S.-drafted resolution to help reconstruct Iraq.

All 15� Security Council (search )�members -- including Syria -- voted in favor of the measure to authorize a multinational force under U.S. command and call for troop contributions from other countries. The measure also seeks "substantial pledges" from the 191� United Nations (search )�member states.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan (search ) commended the�council members for having reached a "significant agreement on what obviously is an important resolution to address a complex situation in Iraq.

"The process has been difficult but the outcome is a clear demonstration of the will of all the members of the Security Council to place the interests of the Iraqi people above all other considerations."

Earlier in the day, Germany, Russia and France announced that they would back the resolution.

That decision -- announced by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at a European summit in Brussels -- marked a dramatic shift by the three European countries, who had bitterly opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq.>
Here's what this means: President Bush is now garnering more support from the likes of France and Germany than from members of the Democratic party here in the US.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


This map looks very similar to that famous county-by-county map of the last Presidential election.

Arnold Terminates the Opposition

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Gray, you are SO fired. Welcome to Sacramento, Governor Schwarzenegger!


Today's the day! I've already voted to remove the secretary-beater Gray Davis out of office.

Friday, October 03, 2003


Via the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - The nation's unemployment rate held steady at 6.1 percent in September as businesses added to payrolls for the first time in eight months, suggesting a turnaround in the weak job market.

A survey of U.S. companies showed a net increase of 57,000 jobs last month in wide-ranging industries, the Labor Department (news - web sites) reported Friday, and there was new hope for recovery in the slumping manufacturing sector. Some 29,000 factory jobs were lost, but that was considerably fewer than in previous months.

Economists had expected the overall civilian unemployment rate to rise to 6.2 percent, with a loss of 25,000 more jobs.

"This is potentially the key turning point," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors.

"It is really taking on the tone of a labor market that is finally getting over the hump. Indeed, this is what we need to create the confidence in both the household sector and the business sector that this recovery is real," Naroff added.

Job losses in August, initially reported at 93,000, were sharply revised to 41,000, a positive sign, he said.
When will this economic insanity end??

Thursday, September 11, 2003


James Taranto, at OpinionJournal:
Goodwill Industries

Perhaps the most fatuous post-Sept. 11 clich� is the notion that America (or "the Bush administration") has "squandered" the "goodwill" the world felt for America in the wake of the attacks. The idea seems to be that popularity is more important than national security. Probably without meaning to, John Hassell of the Newark Star-Ledger offers a parody of this argument:

In the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nearly two years ago, America became a mailbox, receiving letters of condolence from all corners of the globe. Even Moammar Gadhafi and Mullah Mohammed Omar of the Taliban, no friends of the United States, sent their sympathies.

Today, after U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the launching of an ambitious enterprise to reshape the politics of the Middle East, things are very different. Polls show a deepening resentment of U.S. power worldwide, even among traditional allies. America's mailbox is again full, this time with hate mail.

Does anyone really yearn for the approval of such reprobates as Moammar Gadhafi and Mullah Omar? Anyway, we would rather be alive and hated than dead and popular. If the rest of the world likes Americans only when we're dying, the rest of the world can go to hell.
I couldn't have said it better myself.


In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN today, the former mayor of New York said that he not only supports the President, but intends to vote for him in the next election. Additionally, he labeled Howard Dean "McGovern II."

I'm looking for the transcript now, and will post excerpts as they become available.

UPDATE: Rush transcript excerpts. All spelling and related errors are uncorrected (via CNN):
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get some perspective now on New York City, how it's been affected over the course of these past two years. And for that, I am joined by the former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch. He's joining us live.

Mr. Mayor, once again, thank you very much for joining us. How has your beautiful city, a city so many of us love, no one more than you yourself, how has it changed?

ED KOCH, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: Well, the aftermath -- the immediate aftermath we were overwhelmed with sorrow. Now, while we are still sorrowful, we are also proud of how we responded and how we are rebuilding.

And I will tell you that when I entered the area, there was a picket group that just revolted me, not very many. But they had a sign which said, "The Bush regime engineered 9/11." It is such an outrage.

I happen to think that President Bush and his team deserve enormous credit. [My emphasis - CD] They had a monumental but short war with minimal casualties, and I think they should be commended and not attacked by the Democratic candidate, and I'm a Democrat.

I'm not suggesting anybody is unpatriotic by having a different position, but it seems to me that you have an obligation not to weaken America by denigrating the president of the country.
Amen to that. Koch continued his comments, this time about John Ashcroft, or "Great Satan" if your a leftist progressive:
BLITZER: In your opinion, Mr. Mayor, how much safer is New York City, New Yorkers today, than they were two years ago, assuming you do believe that they are, in fact, safer?

KOCH: I do believe. And on the other hand, you could have a terrorist act anywhere in the world, including again in New York or anyplace else within the next hour. Nobody can guarantee about that.

But also, there you've got the media attacking Ashcroft for wanting to have the Patriot Act, which gave him additional tools extended. Now, you can discuss individual provisions that you may think are not worthy of being extended, but the people who are smearing Ashcroft and smearing the law, they're nuts. Their lives are in danger, too, but they don't care. [Emphasis mine - CD]
Finally, Mr. Koch proclaims his voting intention for 2004:
BLITZER: But David Obie (ph), who has been in the Congress, as you well know, for 34 years, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, someone highly-regarded, when he comes to the conclusion that Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, should resign, not because of the way they prosecuted the war, but the way they apparently failed to understand the implications of winning the war that quickly, that's a conclusion he comes down to in all sincerity.

KOCH: And my answer is this sincerity doesn't make it right. And the fact is that what Rumsfeld has done in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country has been magnificent. Yes, there are continuing casualties, because we're still at war. But the major war has been won. There is a guerrilla war going on, and it has to be faced.

So, what I believe is wrong is the -- not the argument. You can argue. It's the demeaning. When he says you should resign, now, he knows they're not going to resign. But he just seeks to reduce his status in the world, and that's just wrong.

Yu know, there are lots of countries that resent us, hate us, because we are so successful, not only our standard of living, but our willingness, as President Bush has been willing to declare the Bush doctrine. It's equal to the Monroe Doctrine. What he said was, we're going to go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. No other country has been willing to do that except Great Britain on the battlefield joining with us.

I think our administration -- and I'm a Democrat, but I'm voting for Bush. I think that people who are demeaning Bush, you can disagree with him...but who seek to demean him are just dead wrong.
It's amazing what a Democrat will say when he/she isn't running and trying to pacify the, well, radical elements of the party.

You can read the entire exchange here.


How should we commemorate September 11, 2001? I think Christopher Hitchens says it best (via Slate, via Rod Dreher at NRO):
What is required is a steady, unostentatious stoicism, made up out of absolute, cold hatred and contempt for the aggressors, and complete determination that their defeat will be utter and shameful. This doesn't require drum rolls or bagpipes or banners. The French had a saying during the period when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine were lost to them: "Always think of it. Never speak of it."
'Nuff said.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


A Republican governor tries to raise taxes -- and gets rejected (via the Associated Press):
MONTGOMERY, Ala. � Gov. Bob Riley's $1.2 billion tax plan was rejected overwhelmingly Tuesday night as voters agreed with those who said Alabama needs spending cuts rather than the biggest tax hike in state history.

With 82 percent of precincts reporting, 742,446, or 68 percent, opposed the plan while 345,811, or 32 percent, voted for it.
Here's the deal, all you politicos: Americans are already paying enough tax.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Thanks to Instapundit for posting this photo of 158 101st Airborne solidiers re-enlisting for another tour in the Army:


Friends, let's keep these folks in our prayers.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Joseph Farah over at WorldNetDaily reports that "Bowling for Columbine" wasn't even submitted according to the Academy's own rules for documentaries:
While critics of the filmmaker and author have called on the academy to investigate whether Moore fabricated scenes in the movie, it also appears he misled the academy about the film's eligibility on purely technical grounds.

Candidates for Best Documentary feature have unique procedural requirements for eligibility. According to Rule 12, qualification for the 75th Annual Academy Awards in this category demanded that films be exhibited in a commercial theater for paid admission for seven consecutive days in either Los Angeles County or Manhattan prior to Sept. 30, 2002, and that the entire engagement of the theatrical run be displayed in a major newspaper's movie pages.

While "Bowling for Columbine" reportedly had its qualifying run at Laemmle's Fallbrook 7 in Los Angeles County from Monday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Sept. 15, the required major newspaper ads were never published.
I'm not surprised. Rules don't mean anything to the Left when the rules get in the way of the accepted orthodoxy.


Abdul Kader Faris and Nadia Jergis Mohammed, residents of Baghdad, have named their now 6-week old son after President George Bush (via Fox News):
"He saved us from Saddam and that's why we named our son after him," the baby's mother, Nadia Jergis Mohammed, told the Associated Press Television News. "It was George Bush who liberated us; without him it wouldn't have happened."

Baby Bush was born July 11 to Mohammed, 34, and her husband Abdul Kader Faris, 41. His full name is George Bush Abdul Kader Faris Abed El-Hussein.
In what must come as a horror to the Euro-wanks and liberal Democrats, the mother continued by saying:
The tiny boy's mother told APTN that all Iraqis hated Saddam's regime, and that President Bush freed them from his dictatorship.

"If he hadn't done it the sons of Saddam would have ruled us for years," she said.
A picture of the adorable little George Bush can be found here.


Will Al Franken do a book on this big, fat idiot? Unlikely. Via Spinsanity:
In the newly-released DVD version of his Academy Award-winning documentary "Bowling for Columbine," filmmaker Michael Moore has altered a caption that he fictitiously inserted into a 1988 Bush-Quayle campaign commercial -- one of a number of misstatements and deceptive arguments we criticized when the film was released last year. Ironically, on the same day the DVD was released, Moore issued a libel threat against his critics on MSNBC's "Buchanan & Press," saying, "Every fact in the film is true. Absolutely every fact in the film is true. And anybody who says otherwise is committing an act of libel."
The DVD will undoubtably be a huge hit in Europe, Seattle, San Francisco, and Berekely.

Sunday, August 24, 2003


I predict that it will be only a matter of time before something idiotic like this happens in the Bay Area. The left-coast liberals have an insatiable appetite for your income (via the Seattle Times):
Foam or no foam, a latte in Seattle may soon come served with an extra dollop of taxation if city voters approve the dime-a-cup tax proposed for espresso drinks on the Sept. 16 primary election ballot.

The espresso-tax initiative � which would raise millions of dollars to go toward preschool and day-care programs � has attracted national attention, much of it incredulous.

Charging an extra tax on Seattle's iconic drink strikes some as weird, like a cheesesteak tax in Philadelphia or a jambalaya surcharge in New Orleans.

"When we heard about it we were just sort of stunned. We thought it was nuts," said Mike Ferguson, spokesman for the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Remember, it's for the "children."


Comedian Dennis Miller is now filing the occassional report over at Fox News. His debut commentary targets Arianna Huffington, the former SUV-driving candidate for Governor, who lives in a huge mansion, flies around in private jets, all while paying little or no tax:
Huffington is running for governor of California and she just released financial records which show she's paid about $700 in federal taxes and $0 in state taxes over the last two years on her earnings as an author and a lecturer. To put that in perspective, she paid less in taxes than the clerks at Borders who spend their days stacking the remainder shelf with her latest opus.
Let 'er rip, Dennis.

Saturday, August 23, 2003


Steyn, as usual, crushes his puny liberal opponents by pointing out the absurdities and hypocracies of the Left (via the Telegraph):
Certainly, Iraq has its problems. Jacques Chirac, en vacances just up the road from me in North Hatley, Quebec, took time out of his three-week holiday to issue a statement on events in Baghdad, where 20 people died on Tuesday. But he didn't bother to interrupt his vacation to issue a statement on events in France, where so many people have died, the funeral homes are standing room only and they're having to store bodies in the freezers at the fruit and veg markets.
WHACK!! But wait! There's more!
There's an old, cynical formula for the weight accorded different disasters on American TV news. It runs something like: one dead American = 10 dead Israelis = 100 dead Russians = 1,000 dead Bangladeshis. But 10,000 French can die, and even the French don't seem to care � or not too much, and not with any great urgency.
WHAM!! And finally...
In Paris this spring, a government official explained to me how Europeans had created a more civilised society than America - socialised healthcare, shorter work weeks, more holidays. We've just seen where that leads: gran'ma turned away from the hospital to die in an airless apartment because junior's sur la plage. M Chirac's somewhat tetchy suggestion that his people should rethink their attitude to the elderly was well taken. But Big Government inevitably diminishes its citizens' capacity to take responsibility, to the point where even your dead mum is just one more inconvenience the state should do something about.
You must read Steyn right now.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

A Whiney Liberal Upset with Good Economic News MORE BAD NEWS FOR THE BUSH-HATERS

Via "Reuters":
Manufacturing in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region surged well beyond Wall Street expectations in August and unemployment lines were shorter last week, lending renewed vitality to hopes for stronger growth ahead.

In a sign that the nation's long-slumping factories may be finally gearing up for a sustained recovery, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its monthly industrial gauge leapt to 22.1 in August from 8.3 in July. The jump far exceeded economists' expectations of a rise to 9.9.
Geez, what a bummer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


I discovered this essay via Instapundit. The author, Bill Whittle, addresses the requirement of personal responsibility in a free society.

Highly recommended.


Rachel Neuwirth at ChronWatch discovers that the the Director of Communications at the Coucil of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) won't give answers to fundamental questions about terrorism (via
In late July, I contacted Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman and director of communication at the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). When he returned my call, he presented his point of view about the Arab-Israeli conflict and militant Islam. When I reminded him about CAIR's record of openly supporting Hamas, Hizbullah, and other organizations deemed by the government to be terrorists, he replied by telling me that "CAIR does not support these groups publicly."

But Hooper must have realized that he had said too much: he lost his composure and I suddenly found myself listening to a dial tone!
Please check out the entire story -- it's pretty disturbing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


This is shocking (via MSNBC):
THE FBI�S ARREST of London-based arms dealer Hemant Lakhani, 68, at a hotel room near Newark Liberty International Airport this week was supposed to be only an interim step in what officials hoped would be a far more meaningful long-term operation, law-enforcement sources said. The bureau�s plan was to quickly flip Lakhani, a British citizen of Indian extraction, and then use him as an undercover informant who could lead agents to real-life Osama bin Laden operatives seeking sophisticated weapons.

But those plans went awry late Tuesday afternoon when the Feds learned that the BBC was about to broadcast a sensational report on Lakhani�s arrest by one of its star correspondents, Tom Mangold. The BBC story, based on an apparent leak from a law-enforcement source, had some key details wrong. For one thing, it falsely claimed that the arms dealer�s attempted sale of a shoulder-fired SA-18 missile and launder was part of a plot by terrorists to shoot down Air Force One�a target that never actually came up in the discussions.

But even so, U.S. law-enforcement sources tell NEWSWEEK, the damage was done. The FBI had to abort its plan to recruit Lakhani as an informant and instead charged him today in federal court in Newark, N.J., with weapons smuggling and with providing material support to terrorists.
The war continues, and is made more dangerous by the BBC.


Until today, I wasn't aware of anyone from the "progressive" left who had been hit in the face with a pie (via the AP):
SAN FRANCISCO - Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader (news - web sites) was hit with a pie as he endorsed party member Peter Camejo for California governor.

The show of political support at the Green Party's San Francisco headquarters took an unscripted turn Tuesday when a prankster burst into the room and slammed a cream pie into Nader's face. The culprit fled through a side door.

Camejo later suggested the pie assault was the work of Democrats who may feel threatened by the Green Party's growing popularity.
Photos of the "unscripted turn" will be posted as soon as possible.

UPDATE: As promised, here's a pic (via the San Francisco Chronicle):

Ralphie Gets Pied

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


Liberals love to shove green ideas down everyone else's throat, except when it obstructs their view of the ocean. That's what's happening in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Here's Jane Galt on these limousine liberals:
[It's] just the sort of nanny-state NIMBYism that usually succeeds, because these people are rich and well connected, and they have lots of friends in the media and government, and it usually turns out to be easier to just drop the idea than listen to Barbra Streisand calling -- again! -- with the latest talking points on why celebrities who are heavy donors to the Democratic Party have a special civil right not to have poor people walking on their beaches.
Oh, those compassionate fakes. You can read about this hypocricy at the AP.


Shoulder-fired missles are everywhere, and they're a favorite weapon of our terrorist enemies. Read the story here.

Monday, August 11, 2003


From the AP via the Salt Lake Tribune:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has picked Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, an advocate of shifting environmental regulation to the states, to become head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a senior administration official said Monday.

Leavitt, a three-term Republican governor, would succeed Christie Whitman, a former New Jersey governor who held the post of EPA administrator for the first 2 1/2 years of the administration before resigning in May.

The EPA post has been a lightning rod for critics of the administration's environmental policies. Bush, on a Western trip to talk about timber policies and wildfires, was expected to announce Leavitt's nomination late Monday.

Leavitt, 52, has championed the idea of increasing environmental cooperation among federal, state and local officials.
Leavitt is also known for his cockamamie internet taxation drive.


Courtesy of The Onion:
CAPE MAY, NJ�Steven Woods, a claims adjuster with Midland Insurance and coach of the Midland Maniacs fantasy basketball team, announced Monday that he is "deeply saddened" by the sexual-assault allegations leveled against his team's star guard, Kobe Bryant.

"I can't believe this is the same Kobe I've worked with all these years," Woods said at a breakroom press conference. "I've won two Midland Fantasy Basketball League championships with him. He's always handled himself with such class, both on and off the court."

"Obviously, Kobe has my full support during this difficult time," Woods added.
My recent vacation was in Vail, Colorado. Last Wednesday, our group stopped by Eagle to check out the media circus at the courthouse. The entire block across from the courthouse was packed with satellite vans and anchor standup platforms. You can bet that there are actually fantasy basketball players who share the feelings of the fictional "Steven Woods."


Robert Novak is pretty well-connected:
[Pentagon weapons inspector] Kay has told his superiors he has found substantial evidence of biological weapons in Iraq, plus considerable missile development. He has been less successful in locating chemical weapons, and has not yet begun a substantial effort to locate progress toward nuclear arms.
Via the Chicago Sun-Times.


Donald Luskin is demanding a series of corrections from the NY Times over several factual mistakes in recent Paul Krugman columns, to wit:
When is the "newspaper of record" going to run a correction of Paul Krugman's egregious mathematical error in which he claimed, in his August 1 column, that growth in real per capita California state spending from $1,950 in 1990 to $2,211 in 2003 was "only 10%," when anyone with a pocket calculator can tell that it is really 13.4 percent? And when will it correct Krugman's flatly deceptive claim that this growth "was simply a matter of keeping up with the population and inflation," when calculations of real per capita growth, by definition, already take those factors into account?
The list goes on, so make sure you check out the entire story at the National Review Online here

Saturday, August 02, 2003


I'll be visited with friends in Vail, Colorado until next Saturday, August 9th. Blogging will resume at that time. Have a great week everyone!

Friday, August 01, 2003


We wondered where some of the Iraqi aircraft went. Now we know (from the AP):
Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the discovery pointed to how far Iraqi forces went to conceal their activities. The Florida Republican was briefed on the discovery during his recent trip to Iraq.

"Our guys have found 30-something brand new aircraft buried in the sand to deny us access to them," Goss said. "These are craft we didn't know about."

He said the planes were not considered weapons of mass destruction for which coalition troops have been searching for months, "but they are weapons (Iraq) tried to hide."
Hmm. Do ya think there might be a chance that WMD might be hidden in a similar fashion?


Check out the problem in France (via Jane Galt's Asymmetrical Information).


Let's raise our glasses to Rush Limbaugh, who despite unceasing criticism from the wacko left has remained at the pinnacle of broadcast excellence.


What is a Bobo? A term coined by David Brooks, Bobo is an abbreviation of "bourgeois bohemian". Here's a description (from an review):
You've seen them: They sip double-tall, nonfat lattes, chat on cell phones, and listen to NPR while driving their immaculate SUVs to Pottery Barn to shop for $48 titanium spatulas. They tread down specialty cheese aisles in top-of-the-line hiking boots and think nothing of laying down $5 for an olive-wheatgrass muffin.
They are a psychologically conflicted class. Bobos like really expensive things, but they want them to look beat up in order to avoid accusations of ostentation.

This bobo view of the universe has infected the foreign policy views of our country's leaders, particularly those on the left. How else can you explain the rush to intervene in Liberia? Bobos love the security afforded by our powerful military, but they are terrified of appearing "arrogant" and "unilateralist" if we use it for our own interest. Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head:
It�s precisely the lack of any national interest that makes it appealing to the progressive [bobo] mind. By intervening in Liberia, you�re demonstrating your moral purity. That�s why all the folks most vehemently opposed to American intervention in Iraq � from Kofi Annan to the Congressional Black Caucus � are suddenly demanding American intervention in Liberia. The New York Times is itching to get in: �Three weeks have passed since President Bush called on the Liberian President, Charles Taylor, to step aside, and pledged American assistance in restoring security. But there has been no definitive word here on how or when.
The Liberian issue is just another symptom of how our generation is struggling to adapt to its still-new role as members of the most powerful and successful nation on earth -- a world we inherited from our parents and grandparents. Let's hope we treat this priceless deposit with the respect it deserves.


Pornographer Larry Flynt is running for governor of California (via
Unlike many who say they want the job, Flynt says that he has a plan on "how to balance the budget without raising taxes . . . I've done my homework."

"I would expand the gaming and the private casinos, the slot machines," said Flynt, who is connected with the Hustler Casino in Gardena. "This would provide enough revenue to where the state could get out of debt -- the entire deficit. Nobody's taxes get raised, and no programs get cut."

Thursday, July 31, 2003


John Miller has a nifty synopsis of the 2004 senate matchups at National Review Online.


Multi-millionaire man-of-the-people Sen. John Edwards can't seem to pay his taxes on time (via the Washington Times):
Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat and 2004 presidential hopeful, is four months delinquent in paying the property taxes on his Georgetown mansion and owes the cash-strapped District more than $11,000, city records show.

Mr. Edwards is worth somewhere between $12 million and $30 million after a successful career as a personal injury lawyer, according to his financial disclosure forms. He bought the eight-bedroom, 6,672-square-foot home in the tony neighborhood for $3.8 million in September.
Imagine if a Republican presidentail candidate was tardy with a tax payment -- the story would be front-page news at the New York Times.


The Democrats have obviously written off the South. Sen. Sessions (R - AL) was himself rejected by Democrats in the Senate. He took his revenge by getting elected to the Senate, where he was subsequently appointed to the judiciary committee. This is an impassioned defense of President Bush's nominee.


A few days ago, Robert Bartley penned a treatise on the death of objectivity in the "big" media outlets:
Let me give you one view of what that is, based on watching my craft evolve over 30 years as a senior editor. I think we're coming to the end of the era of "objectivity" that has dominated journalism over this time. We need to define a new ethic that lends legitimacy to opinion, honestly disclosed and disciplined by some sense of propriety.

Though an opinion journalist myself, I'm certainly not against attempts at objectivity. Indeed I believe the ethic is a more powerful influence than disgruntled readers and viewers often seem to believe; it's simply not true that journalists conspire to slant the news in favor of their friends and causes. Yet it's also true that in claiming "objectivity" the press often sees itself as a perfect arbiter of ultimate truth. This is a pretension beyond human capacity.
Amen to that (via OpinionJournal).


Secretary of State Colin Powell has authorized a $30 million payment for tip that lead to Uday and Qusay. If there ever was proof that we got 'em, this payment is it (via the AP).

A Whiney Liberal Upset with Good Economic News MORE BAD NEWS FOR THE BUSH-HATERS

From the AP:
Stocks barreled sharply higher Thursday following news that the economy grew at a much stronger-than-expected pace in the second quarter and that claims for jobless benefits fell for a third week. The Dow Jones industrials climbed more than 150 points as upbeat earnings from components Exxon Mobil and Procter & Gamble also contributed to the market's first gain in four days.

Investors enjoyed a renewed sense of confidence that the economy is poised for robust growth in the second half of the year, as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan predicted earlier this month during testimony before Congress.
If our economic performance continues to improve, this will come as a huge disappointment to those on the fringe left, for whom any good news during a Republican administration is viewed as anathema.

Also, I wonder if this would have changed the view of the reporter who asked this question (obviously from a Democrat press release)at yesterday's Presidential press conference:
Q Thank you, sir. Since taking office you signed into law three major tax cuts -- two of which have had plenty of time to take effect, the third of which, as you pointed out earlier, is taking effect now. Yet, the unemployment rate has continued rising. We now have more evidence of a massive budget deficit that taxpayers are going to be paying off for years or decades to come; the economy continues to shed jobs. What evidence can you point to that tax cuts, at least of the variety that you have supported, are really working to help this economy? And do you need to be thinking about some other approach?
This was part of the President's answer:
And yet our economy is growing. In other words, what I'm telling you is, is that we had a lot of obstacles to overcome. The '01 tax cuts affected the recession this way, it was a shallow recession. That's positive, because I care about people being able to find a job. Someone said, well, maybe the recession should have been deeper in order for the rebound to be quicker. My attitude is, a deeper recession means more people would have been hurt. And I view the actions we've taken as a jobs program, job creation program.

Secondly, there are hopeful signs. I mean, most economists believe that over the next 18 months we'll see positive economic growth. Interest rates are low; housing starts are strong; manufacturing indexes are improving.
Today's news clearly demonstrates that the President is on the right track.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003


A team of deeply skilled numismatists have authenticated one of five remaining Liberty Head nickels. How cool.


James Bowman, writing for the New Critereon, waxes on his recent "escape" to Central America:
In Central America the possibilities of distributing blame for the missing WMD were not a big topic of conversation. There was, however, considerable interest in the question of whether or not America's president had engineered the September 11th attacks on America for partisan advantage, so I guess you can say this for the American media to date: at least they (mostly) confine their scandal-hunt to the upper, more genteel slopes of Conspiracy Mountain.
"The Bush Junta" can be found here.


Is it possible to fail a personality test from an online dating service? Apparently, it is:
Nik Bosyk considers himself a decent catch. The six-foot-four, blue-eyed voice-actor makes great calamari, likes sappy movies, and never forgets birthdays. But after a recent dating dry spell, the 25-year-old swallowed his pride and turned to the refuge of the semi-desperate: online dating. "It seemed like you were guaranteed to meet someone," he says.

He was wrong. After completing a mandatory 40-minute personality test on the match-making site, Mr. Bosyk experienced the latest -- and arguably most extreme -- form of courtship humiliation: He was rejected by an online dating service.

"I was stunned," says Mr. Bosyk, who apparently failed the personality test. "Is that even possible?"
This story appears in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required).


...If you're the wrong kind of Catholic, woman, or hispanic. The Democrat-let obstruction of judicial nominations continues.


From the President's press conference this morning:
On national security front, it has been 90 days since the end of the major combat operations in Iraq. The nation has been liberated from tyranny and is on the path to self-government and peace. The Iraqi governing council is meeting regularly. Local police forces are now being trained. And citizens are being recruited into a new Iraqi military -- a military that will protect the Iraqi people instead of intimidating them. Soon representatives of the people will begin drafting a new constitution and free elections will follow. After decades of oppression, the people of Iraq are reclaiming their country and are reclaiming their future.

Conditions in most of Iraq are growing more peaceful. Some areas, however, the violent remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime, joined by terrorists and criminals, are making a last attempt to frighten the Iraqi people and to undermine the resolve of our coalition. They will fail. Our coalition forces are taking the fight to the enemy in an unrelenting campaign that is bringing daily results. Saddam Hussein's sons did not escape the raids, and neither will other members of that despicable regime.
High bandwidth video of the press conference can be viewed here.

Low bandwidth video here.

Transcript here.

UPDATE: When you listen, notice how the reporters parrot every message of the looney left.


Via Andrew Sullivan, a letter from one of our GI's in Bagdad on the recent celebrations over the demise of Uday and Qusay:
We are still here because the mission that we started is not over, but it will be soon. If you think our presence here is not warranted, you have the misfortune of not being able to see the faces of a liberated people.
Read the entire letter here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Mark Steyn's take on a great man


Almost $100 billion in size, the new California state budget passes the buck. Perhaps the new Governor will be able to lead the way to a solution (I'm not holding my breath).


Chris Muir is, thankfully, back from his short absense. Here's a taste:


Dr. David Robbins is dying of pancreatic cancer. This is a story about making the most of the time you have (via the Wall Street Journal):
Dr. Robbins, 60 years old, was diagnosed in April with pancreatic cancer and was told he had less than two years to live, maybe much less. He reacted to the news by considering his options: He could stick to his normal work routine at a government research institute. He could search desperately for a cure for his disease, even though his doctors told him the cancer is inoperable. He could go home and wait to die.

Or he could finally get around to a math problem that has been bugging him for decades. The problem is in a category some mathematicians consider "recreational" math. Solving it would do nothing practical for mankind. But to Dr. Robbins, the choice was easy. "I wanted to finish it," he says.

Here's the problem: What is the area of a polygon if you know only the lengths of the sides?
You can read the entire story here (subscription required). Good luck Dr. Robbins!

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


From FoxNews:
Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez of U.S. Central Command (search) announced late Tuesday night that Odai and Qusai were two of the four people who died in a firefight between U.S. troops and Iraqis at a house in Mosul earlier in the day.

Friday, July 18, 2003


Yes, it is true. I'm reading the fifth Harry Potter book. So far, it's pretty good.


Tony Blair is a great orator. The text of his remarks can be found here. You can watch video of the Prime Minister's address here.

Saturday, April 12, 2003


Here is one of Mark Steyn's top 10:
"Iraq's slide into violent anarchy" (Guardian, April 11). Say what you like about Saddam, but he ran a tight ship and you didn't have to nail down your nest of tables: since the Brits took over, Basra's property crime is heading in an alarmingly Cheltenhamesque direction. MBITRW (Meanwhile Back In The Real World): A year from now, Basra will have a lower crime rate than most London boroughs.
To read the rest, click here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003


From the AP, with the following caption "An Iraqi man kisses an American soldier in downtown Bagdhad on Wednesday, April 9, 2003."

An Iraqi man kisses an American soldier in downtown Bagdhad on Wednesday, April 9, 2003.


From James Lileks:
Allied troops liberated a children�s jail today.

I wish that sentence made no sense.

Someone had to decide there would be children�s jails. Who? Saddam? He had more important things to do. Children matter as much to his world as dogs, or lamps. He may have signed off on the idea of creating a youth brigade, and put a gold star in the dossier of the sweating toady who proposed the idea. When someone put forth a proposal for jails to hold the children who resisted joining the brigades, he may have felt that spasm of impatience that shoots through the dictator�s heart from time to time: why are you bothering me with this? Build them; I don�t care. You think this is the path to advancement? You want my ear and my eye, kill someone who matters.
Read the whole thing.


Read Andrew Sullivan today:
This is an amazing victory, a victory over a monster who gassed civilians, jailed children, sent millions into fruitless wars, harbored poisonous weapons to threaten free peoples, tortured thousands, and made alliances with every two-bit opportunist on the planet. It's a victory over those who marched in the millions to stop this liberation, over the endless media cynics, over the hate-America crowd, and the armchair generals. It's a victory for the two countries in the world that have always made freedom possible and who have now brought it to another corner of the world made dark by terror. It's a victory for the extraordinary servicemen and women who performed this task with such skill, cool, courage and restraint. It's a victory for optimism over pessimism, the righting of past wrongs, the assertion of universal truths against postmodern excuses, and of political leadership over appeasement. Celebrate it. Don't let the whiners take this away from you or from the people of Iraq.

Monday, April 07, 2003


Courtesy Fox News:
Iraqi civilians are rising up against Saddam Hussein's militia in Baghdad and Basra, the country's two largest cities, according to various news reports.

Sources in Baghdad were reporting citizen uprisings against the Fedayeen Saddam, Kuwait News Agency said Monday.

Fox News also has confirmed that preliminary tests on substances found at a military site near Karbala in central Baghdad have indicated the presence of several banned chemical weapons.

Friday, April 04, 2003


A letter from today's Wall Street Journal (click here to subscribe):
A Career of Anti-American Journalism

Peter Arnett's appearance on Iraqi TV has moved him out of the world of journalism and into the murky waters of sedition and treason. His televised conduct gave aid and comfort to the outlaw regime of Saddam Hussein, endangered the coalition mission by emboldening the enemy leadership, and placed at unnecessary further risk the lives of coalition fighting forces in the theater of operations. What he has perpetrated is all the more heinous given that he is an American citizen.

Having been swiftly and properly terminated by his employers, National Geographic, NBC and MSNBC, it now remains for the U.S. Justice Department to take a long, hard look at what he has done, perhaps by presenting the facts to a federal grand jury, so that a public determination can be made as to those laws he may have broken with his perfidious conduct.

There is no excuse, no justification, when America is engaged in a military conflict, for one of its own to actively undermine the successful prosecution of that effort. He must not be rewarded for this treachery, but rather punished by public censure and if appropriate, by the government to the fullest extent of our laws.

Martin W. Schwartz

Former Assistant District Attorney

Bronx County, NYC

Former Special Agent, U.S. Customs

Nanuet, N.Y.
I tend to agree with Mr. Schwartz's take on this. Peter Arnett is a naturalized US citizen. It is hard to understand how his actions can be justified during a time of war.

Thursday, April 03, 2003


A good story about the rescue of Jessica Lynch, courtesy of Knight-Ridder:
MARINE COMBAT HEADQUARTERS, Iraq - The Iraqi man who tipped U.S. Marines to the location of American POW Jessica Lynch said Thursday he did so after he saw her Iraqi captor slap her twice as she lay wounded in a hospital.

"A person, no matter his nationality, is a human being," the tipster, a 32-year-old lawyer whose wife was a nurse at the hospital, said in an interview at Marines' headquarters, where he, his wife and daughter are being treated as heroes and guests of honor.
The lawyer, who would only state his first name as "Mohammed", says he loves America. I think his sentiment is shared by many others in Iraq. This will become increasingly apparent in the coming days.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003


What will the Saddamites do? Halliburton has withdrawn their bid to help rebuild Iraq. So much for the lame-o argument that the war was all about enriching Vice President Cheney's buddies.


Mark Steyn has really been on a roll. Here is his latest take on the ridiculous position the Liberal government finds itself in:
Meanwhile, I find myself in the unprecedented position of being temporarily the least immoderate adult in my household. My wife, who was born in England, says she's ashamed to be Canadian and wants to renounce her citizenship. She only became a citizen five months ago, so that'd rank as the fastest turnaround on record. The missus took her oath of allegiance to the Queen (of Canada) mainly out of spousal solidarity, and she feels suckered -- like when you sign one of those petitions in the mall without really looking at it and you're in the paper next day calling for the age of consent to be lowered to seven.

I tell her she's making too big a deal out of it, there are all kinds of fellows running around with Canadian citizenship, Somali warlords who happen to change planes in Toronto and figure hey, it can't hurt, can it? Qutbi al-Mahdi, the Sudanese Cabinet minister who played such a key role in the development of that country's impressive state torture system, is a Canadian citizen. I'm sure he's had moments where he's been ashamed to be one of us. The APEC conference, maybe. "Ha! Pepper spray? Call that government repression? You wimps!" The way to look on Canadian citizenship, I try to explain, is like, say, a points card for an obscure supermarket you keep in the back of the wallet just in case Loblaw's happens to be closed one day. That's how Qutbi sees it.
The National Post has the entire story.

Monday, March 31, 2003


MSNBC has fired Peter Arnett.

UPDATE: National Geographic has also fired Peter Arnett.

Sunday, March 30, 2003


Mark Steyn has officially moved into first place in my list of favorite columnists (and he's a Canadian, for peet's sake):
After little more than a week, is this war coverage in trouble? Already questions are being raised about whether the media's plan was fatally flawed. Several analysts are surprised that, despite overwhelming dominance of the air, television and radio divisions have so quickly repeated the mistakes of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, on the ground, rapidly advancing columns become stalled in Vietnam-style quagmires around the second paragraph.
You get the gist. Check out the entire commentary here.