Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Gospel Readings: John

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Gospel Readings: Luke 2

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Gospel Readings: Luke

The Magnificat

And Mary said,

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers,to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Gospel Readings: Matthew

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

All Things Ill Considered.

Julian Sanchez at Reason - Hit and Run has a nice little piece on conservative window dressing at NPR. The comments that follow the essay hit the nail squarely on the head about the standard fare on NPR's news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

The Cycle of News Topics on ME and ATC (many courtesy of the thoughtful commentators on Sanchez's essay):
  • The unfairness of the capitalist system
  • The danger to the environment posed by the capitalist system
  • The danger to children posed by the capitalist system
  • Continuing racism in the US
  • Continuing sexism in the US
  • The plight of illegal aliens in the US
  • Scandals in the (Catholic) Church, mostly about sex
  • The latest threat posed by fundamentalist Christians
  • Scandals of Republican politicians
  • Too little funding for public education
  • Inadequate healthcare
  • "Progressive" art (almost always the last piece in the morning)
  • Israeli persecution of Palestinians
  • Crisis in the US Military (scandal, fraud, abuse, some-ism)

Write each of these on a 3x5 card, arrange them in any order you want, and voila! An instant Morning Edition program!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Labyrinth of Justice.

The fate of "Tookie" Williams draws nigh. The Mainstream Meatpackers have provided an incessant drumbeat of reasons to grant Williams clemency from death. It's also important to recall Williams' brutal deeds. Here is a passage detailing the court record of the first killing by Williams, a convience store clerk named Albert Owens:

When [Williams' accomplices] Darryl and Sims entered the 7-Eleven, Owens put the broom and dust pan down and followed them into the store. Williams and [Williams' accomplice] Coward followed Owens into the store. (TT 2146-2152). As Darryl and Sims walked to the counter area to take money from the register, Williams walked behind Owens and told him "shut up and keep walking." (TT 2154).
While pointing a shotgun at Owens' back, Williams directed him to a back storage room. (TT 2154).

Once inside the storage room, Williams, at gunpoint, ordered Owens to "lay down, mother f*****." Williams then chambered a round into the shotgun. Williams then fired the round into the security monitor. Williams then chambered a second round and fired the round into Owens' back as he lay face down on the floor of the storage room. Williams then fired again into Owens' back. (TT 2162).

...Both of the shotgun wounds were fatal. (TT 2086). The pathologist
who conducted the autopsy on Owens testified that the end of the barrel was "very close" to Owens' body when he was shot. One of the two wounds was described as ". . . a near contact wound." (TT 2078).

After Williams murdered Owens, he, Darryl, Coward and Sims fled in the two cars and returned home to Los Angeles. The robbery netted them approximately $120.00. (TT 2280).

Once back in Los Angeles, Williams asked if anyone wanted to get
something to eat. When Sims asked Williams why he shot Owens, Williams said he "didn't want to leave any witnesses." Williams also said he killed Owens "because he was white and he was killing all white people." (TT 2189, 2193). Later that same day, Williams bragged to his brother Wayne about killing Owens. Williams said, "you should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him." Williams then made gurgling or growling noises and laughed hysterically about Owens' death. (TT 2195-2197)...

The record of the Williams killing of the three members of the Yang family can be found here.

The point here is not to advocate death for Williams. In fact, we at Dead Drifts oppose the death penalty because it represents the ultimate power over an individual the State can acquire and ultimately abuse. But it is the law in California, and the monstrous - and racist - nature of Williams' crimes cannot be dismissed frivolously. If it is the intent of capital punishment to express the outrage of society and the State toward heinous acts, then such an expression can be justified in the Williams case.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Repudiating Intelligent Design.

The real issue behind Intelligent Design is not the clash between science and religion. It is the promotion of a pseudoscientific "theory" in order to advocate for "required" explicit evidence for divine intervention in creation of the universe. The Vatican Observatory's Father George Coyne remarks that the thinking faithful need not subscribe to this notion:

In a June article in the British Catholic magazine The Tablet, Father Coyne reaffirmed God's role in creation, but said science explains the history of the universe. "If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly."

It's been particularly frustrating during the ID brouhaha to hear little from "scientists of faith" who concur with Coyne. The ID controversy is a very old arguement that has been revisted many times in the last few centuries. This problem is partly the fault of ignorant bullhorns, a cliche'-addicted press, and thoughful believers who left the public square on many issues years ago.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Is Civilized Behavior Now In?

Kids at Ann Arbor's Huron High School, repudiating the examples of the shagging-maned, Birkenstocked-footed, parasite-infested, tie-dye moo-moo bedecked neo-hippies and the black-garbed, impaled and tatooed foul-mouthed anarchists that now represent the apex of free expression, have formed a social club to promote civilized behavior, courtesy, and mutual respect.
Red China Ain't a Green China.

In case you don't remember Soviet-style environmentalism, The WaPo reminds us: Chinese Officials Sought to Hide Toxic Spill.

Can you just imagine these jokers with a fully industrialized society? And remember, they're exempt from Kyoto, jes' like that old evil Earth enemy the US of A...

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Entitled Slob.

Dead Drifts has in earlier entries lamented the "slobifying" of culture and manners. George Will has a summary of our complaint.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'll Say Anything if You'll Say You Love Me.

The Jackass-in-Chief of the Jackass Party, William J. "Love Me, Please" Clinton, pandered to a Dubai crowd by asserting the United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq. He then bathed in the adulation of his audience, which, sadly for this man, are what his actions always seem to be about.

I think that an Iraqi citizen who lost a loved one to Saddam's terror during Slick's eight years in office may direct blame in a different direction.

Monday, November 14, 2005

W in Wonderland.

President Bush finally responds to the incessant pounding by the Left and Mainstream Meatpackers on Iraq - and is now accused of (recklessly) escalating the "war of words". What? He's been called liar, Cheney-Rove-Haliburton puppet, Hitler, Dumb as a Stump - and his words are escalating?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh, If We Could Tax Stupidity!

Today congresscritters will express their outrage at Big Oil's criminal profitteering from this summer's oil squeeze. You know Big Oil - you've got lots of their stock in your 401(K), and their profits will help pay your bills in your retirement. They're also the big corporations that took it on the chin when crude fell to $15 a barrel in the early '90s oil glut.

You'll see plenty of pyrotechnics today on Capitol Hill, but little substance. It's not Big Oil's fault that Ford, GM and the UAW have been caught completely flat-footed in hybrid vehicle development. Then again, if you remove 3% inflation for twenty years from the price of a gallon of gas you get a price that is less than what we paid in the early '80s. Unlike, for example, college tuition. Again, today's congressional hearing is not about substance, rather it is about theatrics and pandering.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Happy TR's Birthday!

27 October 1858. Have a Bully weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Man's Triumph.

Men have circumnavigated the globe, explored the seas, air, and space, built magnificent structures reaching to the heavens, and conquered diseases. Yet these triumphs pale to that of an ordinary man surveying his newly cleaned and ordered garage. Time for a victory cigar!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Good Night, and Good Luck.

George Clooney has created a masterpiece, a visually beautiful film, with a superb screenplay. The smoky jazz score wings one back to the 1950s. David Strathairn is magnificent as Murrow, and Frank Langela is a powerful co-star as Bill Paley. Ah - all those lovely cigarettes! Can we be anywhere but in the glorious '50s?

"Good Night and Good Luck" has relevance to our present condition well beyond cliche' Patriot Act allusions. As I was watching the film, I thought of the Dan Rather, Eason Jordan, and Jason Blair affairs, Bill Bennett and the march of PC across college campuses. The "Report it Now" dovetail blog is, sadly, skewed itself: "responsibile" journalism appears to be ...left-leaning "social justice" journalism, and certainly not found in the conservative strata of the blogosphere.

Was McCarthy wrong? There were some communists and communist sympathizers within government. But McCarthy was a juggernaut who exploited the legitmate concern over communism, and as William F. Buckley has observed (the same Buckley that the film's screenplay recalls defending McCarthy) "..McCarthy did more damage to his cause than benefit."

Great movie - find some good friends of a variety of political stripes, go see the movie, then find a damn good coffee shop and argue 'till dawn. Of course, your communist friends will be remorseful that come the Revolution all of the rest of you will need to rounded up, shot or perhaps "reeducated" for the good of the people.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's That Special Season.

Fall is the trees on fire, crisp air, cider, hunting, football, and...public radio begathons. This morning, Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life?, declared that the average American spends over $200 a year supporting the production of TV and radio programs, "many [programs] that you despise". So, Ira suggested, why not give some money to support NPR? But, dear Ira, what if the programming we despise includes much of the NPR programming?

But wait, there is a solution: do give to your local public radio station, but insist that your contribution go only towards local programming production. As we've discussed in Dead Drifts, NPR isn't really public radio, it's a corporation that takes public money (either by direct solicitiation or by legislative lobbying) and then decides for themselves what to fund for production. I don't remember ever getting a ballot from NPR to vote for a program, nor does the NPR website feature a "what kind of program would you like to hear?" form (correction - there is a suggestion box, buried deep in the site). I know what I want - let's rebroadcast the audio from the old Firing Line programs!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hurricane Delphi.

Delphi Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This, coupled with the return of the Ford prodigal son Visteon, is very bad news for the Michigan economy. It may signal that the business model assumed by the huge network of automobile parts suppliers, that has provided wealth and prosperity to many of the working people of this state for generations, is now inoperative. The Detroit News documents Delphi's woes and where things may go.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Eyes on the Ground.

Book TV recently featured a panel discussion featuring Michael Goldfarb, Anthony Shadid, Kayla Williams, and Steve Mumford. All have written first-hand accounts of their experience in post-Saddam Iraq. Certainly none of them would be considered cheerleaders for the White House's post-war administration of Iraq. But in response to a question by a strawhatted antiwar protestor from the audience, who fished for a denounciation of the war and a call for an immediate withdrawl by American forces, they were resolutely committed to staying the course. Their replies had a common theme - a moral obligation to the people of Iraq to stay and finish the job and to give them a chance to reap the benefits of democratic civilization. Perhaps there has been progress in journalism since the their celebrated abandonment of Vietnam.
Regarding Bennett, III.

William Bennett appeared in Bakersfield, Californina, and addressed the controversy regarding his recent remarks on abortion. The Los New York Angeles Associated Presstimes article on the appearance gave the essential account by the Mainstream Meatpackers:

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) -- Former Education Secretary William Bennett on Saturday blamed the news media for distorting his remarks about aborting black babies, saying he had intended to make ''a bad argument in order to put it down.''...

...Dozens of residents marched in protest outside the convention center where Bennett spoke, many saying they wanted to make sure he did not feel welcome in their community. Before the speech, local black leaders met with Bennett for an hour.

''He heard our outrage and our hurt, but he didn't say he was sorry,''
said Irma Carson, a Bakersfield councilwoman. ''We didn't take (his comment) out of context, because there's no context in which those comments would fit.''

Many in the largely white crowd attending Saturday's conference said it was clear to them that Bennett was using an extreme example that did not represent his views to make a point.

Doretha Jones said it was ''obvious'' that Bennett's radio remarks were ''just a discussion of a possibility that could be espoused by human beings who don't have any feelings for babies or for blacks.''

Bennett was education secretary under President Reagan and director of drug control policy under President George H.W. Bush.

A fragment of a single sentence is actually quoted as to what Bennett said at this venue. There is more as to what was said by the angry mobs outside the convention center. A quick check of the web indicated that this was the only account of the appearance that was circulating. Given the stir that his original comments created, one would think that providing an extended quotation might be more enlightening than what the AP wants to say about it. And just to make sure you haven't forgotten, Bennett is a card-carrying member of the Reagan-Bush Cabal.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Regarding Bennett, II.

A good example of the specious reasoning that the Left has applied to Bill Bennett's recent remarks can be found in the Tapped online posting at the Amercian Prospect. For example, Garance Franke-Ruta claims to have read Bill Bennett's mind:

...Implicit in Bennett's statement is the assumption that African Americans contribute only criminality to America, and that if he could he wave his magic wand and bring African Americans' tenure in this nation to an end, that is all that would disappear. That's what's offensive about his statement.

Franke-Ruta also feels the need to tell us all in a pedogogic blather would the horrifying consquences would be for a city like Detroit if the Bennett/Rove/DeLay/Haliburton scheme were to come to pass.

By Franke-Ruta's remarks I realize that a Philosophy and Critical Reasoning distribution requirement must be reinstated at all colleges and universities. Perhaps we could add to the No Child Left Behind program?

There are some propositions that are so bizarre and obtuse that you're left almost paralyzed by the mental disorientation. So it is with Richard Cohen's WaPo column that argues for an apology to the notorious Lyndie England from Bush, Rumsfeld, and the United States Army, for leading her to her sorry state.

I think the legal and philosophical precedent that Cohen is citing is Greg "Otter" Stratton's defense of the Deltas to the Faber College Student Court ("...then shouldn't we also condemn all of society?").

Friday, September 30, 2005

Don't Drink the Helmlock, Bill.

Bill Bennett's Morning in America is a different radio-talk show: he tackles extremely thorny issues with a deliberate and unhysterical approach in thinking and Socratic dialogue. As Socrates himself discovered, this is difficult for those with histrionic dispositions. And now Bennett finds with his recent comments on race and abortion. Carefully listen to
his comments for yourself, take a deep breath, and think about what is actually being said...

Bennett responded to a caller who suggested that abortion has led to the Social Security crisis. Bennett stated that this was an unknowable proposition: he cited a book Freakonomics which suggested that abortion had reduced the crime rate. He then stated:

"I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," Mr. Bennett said in the broadcast. "That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky."

You can reduce crime by that method (the principal beneficaries would be the equally disproportionate number of same-race victims - white, black, Hispanic, you chose the race), you can also do it by killing all children of single parents, or young men between 15 and 35, or all men for that matter. If you are a racist or sexist you are likely to assert that certain races must therefore be genetically predisposed to crime, or that men must be predisposed to crime, etc. (My hunch - and it is only an unsubstantiated hunch - is that there is a surprising number of people who will, rightly, condemn the racist claim, but will tacitly accept the sexist claim.) Intelligent thinkers know Bennett's plan of philosophical attack: just because one finds a condition with a state of being, it does not follow that this state is a cause for the condition. Nor can good ends - reducing crime or taming a financial crisis - justify any means. Bennett explains:

"Then, putting my philosophy professor's hat on, I went on to reveal the limitations of such arguments by showing the absurdity in another such argument, along the same lines. I entertained what law school professors call 'the Socratic method' and what I would hope good social science professors still use in their seminars. In so doing, I suggested a hypothetical analogy while at the same time saying the proposition I was using about blacks and abortion was 'impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible,' just to ensure those who would have any doubt about what they were hearing, or for those who tuned in to the middle of the conversation. "The issues of crime and race have been on many people's minds, and tongues, for the past month or so--in light of the situation in New Orleans; and the issues of race, crime, and abortion are well aired and ventilated in articles, the academy, the think tank community, and public policy. Indeed the whole issue of crime and race is not new in social science, nor popular literature. One of the authors of Freakonomics, himself, had an extended exchange on the discussion of these issues on the Internet some years back--which was also much debated in the think tank community in Washington.

We will state it again, clearly: it does not follow from discovering a condition within a state of being that it is the state of being that causes the condition.

This is a line of reasoning that can't be compressed into a 15-second soundbite (the length of the bite of Bennett's words as featured on the CBS News website). Here's how the Newspaper of Record - the one with the really tough crossword puzzles - led off their Bennett story:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 - The White House distanced itself today from the comments of a prominent Republican who said on a recent radio program that the nation's crime rate could potentially be reduced through aborting blacks...

What a fair, balanced, and thoughtful introduction to this story. The WaPo - via the AP - was no better. Bennett has been called racist, evil, stupid, and so on. Erstwhile champions of free speech now call for his gagging and removal from the airwaves. (from which we learn the meaning of myrmidon.) And the White House sniffs the air and follows these odors. Thinking people, conservative and otherwise , understand the threat to meaningful public discourse here.

This, for me, has been a utterly disgusting confluence of the sewer streams of ignorance, political correctness, and naked partisan opportunism. We are reaping the bitter harvest of a totalitarian culture of political correctness, lousy public education, supressing opportunity for politcal gain, and the trivial "theatricizing" of critical policy issues. Can we have a serious discussion about the disintegration of urban life despite the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars spent? May we speak freely, and perhaps discover truth? Maybe not; maybe the morons and the morally corrupt have prevailed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Brown Strikes Back.

Former FEMA head Michael Brown has decided he is not going to be a patsy. He gave a spirited defense of FEMA to a House committee of the Agency's actions during Katrina. And he said the words that others have dared not speak - that the Louisiana and New Orleans governments were disfunctional in the crisis. For an unspun, unfiltered account of this, watch the recorded testimony at C-SPAN.

Where is the truth? It would be cliche' to say that it falls somewhere between FEMA, Louisiana, and New Orleans. For example, Brown did not explain why the response to the Gulf coast in Alabama and Mississippi was similarly sluggish. But what is truly flabbergasting is the boycott by the Democrats of the hearings. Nancy Pelosi's accusations are ridiculous; these hearings are far too publicly visible to be a whitewash - the truth can be discovered in them. For heaven's sakes, if there is any legitimate value for congressional investigations, where partisanship has to be put aside, this inquiry would be the case.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

They Neuter Wolverines, Don't They?

Michigan pulls defeat out of the jaws of victory in a 23-20 loss to Wisconsin. The kind of Michigan loss we've come to know and love over the last few years: no ball control in the last five minutes of a close game, leaving them in the hole with 24 seconds left. Ugh.

Conservative Theories Meet Political Realities.

David Brooks addressed the YAF on the history and future of the modern American conservative movement (podcast at C-SPAN's American Perspectives). His thesis: conservatives developed a tremendous structure to analyze and formulate ideas, but lack the political acumen to get them implemented as policy (ending Communism and beginning welfare reform may be exceptions). John Podhoretz, writing in the 10th anniversary issue of The Weekly Standard, recalled:

OH, LORD, the government shutdown of 1995. How I craved it. How utterly sure I was that it would reveal the naked political perfidy of the Clinton administration, which was resisting important entitlement reforms and spending restrictions that the nation surely wanted and certainly needed. And, like so many conservatives in Washington, how I had waited for the moment when, at last, there would be a true confrontation between the Big Spenders and the Rugged Individualists that would finally lift the veil of Beltway secrecy on the rottenness of the federal budget.

Oh, Lord, how wrong I was.

The political and social impact of the government shutdown was
completely the reverse of what I had expected. For it was not Bill Clinton and the Democrats who were blamed for the shuttering of the government, but Newt Gingrich and the Republicans. Americans wanted the federal government up and running, and they didn't like the image (admittedly fed to them by the liberal media) of a petulant GOP having a temper tantrum because it couldn't get its way...

Have conservatives learned the ropes of governance? The runaway spending by the government would suggest - No. Any progress on Social Security? No. Health Care? No. Education? Very little progress. Dismantling the culture of dependency? Not evident in the last month's events.

In The Candidate, Senator-elect McKay turns from the wild crowd of his victory party and asks his campaign manager: "now what?" It's time to learn how to transform ideas into realities.
March of the Comedians.

Kris of Reflections of a Libertarian Republican has a photoessay of today's fete' of the Hard Left in Washington, DC, co-sponsored by our "comrades" at ANSWER. Some of the attendees were Jesse Jackson, congresscritter Cynthia McKinney (D-Neptune), and Cindy Sheehan. And those were the moderate voices...

(LGF suggests the estimates of 100,000 may be dubious; photos of the event at Getty show marching crowds a tad thin and standing crowds possibly huddled to appear larger.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Above the Tumult We Heard...The Blues.

The South Mississippi Blues Sampler podcast is up and running again, featuring the last pre-Katrina recordings from the Shed and The Boulevard Martini Club, featuring Dwayne Burnside and Mississippi Mafia.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Current Reading.

The Winter's Hero, by Vassily Aksyonov, is the second book in the story of the Gradov family, who struggle to survive the long winter of Stalin. In his first book, Generations of Winter, Aksyonov told of how the generations of the Gradovs, bourgoises, intellectuals, Bolsheviks, patriots alike, are scattered across the Soviet Union to their fates, by the winds of war and political terror. In this second book, we find the surviving members of the family now taking root and growing life after war and in the late years of the Man of Steel's reign. I read Generations years ago, and the Gradovs have never left my heart. Highly recommended reading, but sadly not currently in print. You can find it at a good used book store.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"I Came for My Country and for a Better Future."

Afghan parlimentary elections, the first since 1970, are underway. Another inchstone for human freedom. (Photo by David Guttenfelder, AP)

Friday, September 16, 2005

The "Paying Money to Read a Column by Maureen Dowd is Like..." Contest.

OK, gentle readers, here's a contest for you: complete the following sentence:

"Paying money to read a column by Maureen Dowd is like ___"

For example: "Paying money to read a column by Maureen Dowd is like writing a check to your proctologist."

Submit your entries to the comments of this thread by 12:00am 21 September. The winner for the best comparative phrase will receive some TBD Dead Drifts swag. Good Luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mistress Maureen's Charging For It Now.

No more will the New York Times' covey of columnists bestow their wisdom on us e-slobs for free. You will be charged about 50 bucks per year for online enlightenment. Too bad - I find Tom Friedman a thoughtful read, but not for fifty skins. I'll wait for his books. They run about 20 dollars a piece, and word for word they're a better deal. And the royalties go to Tom. We can't expect the NYT to be socialist - well, when it comes to its own financial enterprise at least. Too bad they can't have an online auction for the columns, maybe something like - I would bid Friedman high, but I would get it back by being paid by the Times to read Herbert, Rich, and ... Fraulein Dowd (did I hear a horse whinnying in the distance?).

All proceeds will go to the Pinch Sulzberger Home for Editors Victimized by Plagarism Scandals.

...Fraulein Dowd! (....neighheyyyy!)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina Blow-Out.

Fierce winds caused by Hurricane Katrina are now blowing in - Washington, DC, of course. FEMA head Michael Brown has "resigned", replaced by a veteran firefighter. Good move - time to focus on FEMA activities, not personalities. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu gave her state and local authorities a complete pass on their handling of the Katrina disaster, placing blame squarely on the White House for inadequately funding municipal mass transit. She's got a point: all of those extra buses could have been - just as wasted as the scores of waterlogged buses that are presently sitting in the New Orleans municipal bus yard. And that was the coherent part of the Landrieu's Ophelia-like monologue directed at Fox's Chris Wallace. You can watch it here, courtesy of Political Teen. Meanwhile, Barbara Bush does what she does best. If you don't know what you want to say, perhaps you shouldn't say anything, Bar.

My prescription for this irritating malady is to open your checkbook and write one out to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Relief. Your blood pressure will drop, and your mind will be cleared of those icky dismemberment thoughts.
Alligator Boogaloo.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown has died, a week after losing his home in Slidell, La. His great music spanned genres, including swing, blues, and zedeco. The man could pick. He was 80. RIP. (photo from the Gatemouth Brown website)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Remaking Man in Marx's Image.

TV programs with a conservative bent on PBS are almost always consigned to Sunday afternoon. There they are likely neither to be seen by public television's predominantly leftish demographic, who would be enraged (and may withhold their $35 annual membership), nor viewed by rightish folk, who may want more. So it was with Heaven on Earth, a three-hour documentary on the history of socialism and communism. One the film's themes, and what certainly has been forgotten in the analysis of socialism's failings, is its inherent need to remake human behavior, expunging people of the intolerable condition of self-interest. In the case of British socialism, (of the Labour Party) this was accomplished by legislation to abolish capitalism and to create the welfare state; in the case of the Bolsheviks, mass murder was the vanguard's prescription for ridding humanity of such misfits. Four star television, available for purchase at the PBS store.
FEMA's Leadership.

FEMA is now receiving close scrutiny, and the qualifications of personnel that fill critical leadership positions. Here is a list of some of the people that fill these positions (from the FEMA website), and a yea or nea as to whether their professional background would be, in our opinion, adequate to emergency managment at such an important level. Keep in mind that this is not a measure of leadership ability.

  • Michael Brown, Undesecretary for Emergency Preparedness: Nea (politics)
  • James Rhode, Chief of Staff: Nea (politics)
  • Kenneth Burris, Jr., Acting Director of Ops: Yea (firefighting & EM)
  • Edward Buikema, Acting Director of Response: Yea (police & EM)
  • Daniel Craig, Director of Recovery Division: Nea (lobbyist)

Our conclusion is not as unanimous as that of the MSM: some critical positions are filled by people with inadequate resumes, others appeared to have strong experience in emergency management.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Data Recovery for the Katrina Disaster.

Don Singleton has assembled some of the pre-Katrina emergency management documents and plans. For those of you wanting a ground-floor understanding of the process, it's valuable material. Dead Drifts is not joining the blame game. It is just extremely important to know the initial conditions of this situation to competently judge whether officials will draw the right conclusions in after-action studies.

Meanwhile, if you haven't cut a check yet to help the people of the Gulf Coast out, get on it now.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Your Contribution is at Work.

Certainly, this is just the start.

American Red Cross shelters:

-- Louisiana: 127 shelters; 51,480 people
-- Mississippi: 102 shelters; 13,510 people
-- Texas: 49 shelters; 23,850 people
-- Alabama: 47 shelters; 3,760 people
-- Georgia: 17 shelters; 880 occupants
-- Tennessee: 9 shelters; 70 occupants
-- Florida: 8 shelters; 1,380 occupants
-- Arkansas: 1 shelter; 1,250 occupants
-- Missouri: 1 shelter; 0 occupants
Lock the Doors.

When NASA has had its two Shuttle accidents, at one point the Flight Director orders the doors to Mission Control to be locked: no one goes in or out until all the data of the flight has been secured. It is essential for a successful accident investigation.

The same should hold true for all of the data pertaining to the Katrina Catastrophe. Let's not have any city, state, or federal documents that pertain to the planning and preparations for this disaster to suddenly come up "missing".
For example, the City of New Orleans' disaster plan...(courtesy Bush in a Tree)
The Economic Backwash from Katrina.

Stratfor summarizes the consequences of the loss of New Orleans, the most critical port of the American economy.
"Ironpants" Honore' Takes Command.

Ooorah! Lt. General Honore' and his Task Force Katrina is getting the job done. In the process he blows the air clear of wouldshouldcoulda: when asked why troops weren't just thrown in earlier, the General stated clearly: because they would have become causalities themselves. This guy knows when it's time to kvetch and when it's time to shut up and work.
Jesse, can you just shut up?

Or at least get the facts straight:

Jesse Jackson lashes out at Bush over Katrina response
Doug Simpson / Associated Press

BATON ROUGE -- Racism is partly to blame for the deadly aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, calling President Bush's response to the disaster "incompetent."...

...Jackson questioned why Bush has not named blacks to top positions in the federal response to the disaster, particularly when the majority of victims remaining stranded in New Orleans are black: "How can blacks be locked out of the leadership, and trapped in the suffering?"

"It is that lack of sensitivity and compassion that represents a kind of incompetence."

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, head of the military task force overseeing operations in the three states, is black. His task force is providing search and rescue, medical help and sending supplies to the three states in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Time for Unity.

Lincoln's allusion has been overused, but it really is time for us to appeal to the better angels of our nature. A reckoning of accountability will one day occur, but we are many months from it, despite the goading by the MSM. Let keep our mouths shut and instead open our checkbooks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Since 911 most Americans have probably wondered when the crippling of an entire city and economic center would occur. Nature has provided the answer - it has happened now. All of New Orleans has gone offline...and it's almost impossible to comphrehend. God be with all of them. And let's roll up our sleeves, even if it's only to write a check.

A blog from WWL-TV New Orleans, located in the French Quarter, tries separate the fact from rumor of events in that stricken town. The station also features streaming video.

Keep your help simple: if your circumstances are such that you can't volunteer for service in the Gulf Coast, just give money to the Red Cross.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Learning the Wrong History.

Chuck Hagel missed an important point in his Iraq-as-Vietnam arguement: the US cutting and running, and leaving people who put their lives on the line on our word to the wolves...and feeling morally self-satisfied while doing so.
Is "Chippewa" is a Four-Letter Word?

The Sensitivity Flying Squad of the NCAA threatens Central Michigan University with sanctions if they don't abolish the "Chippewa" nickname. It seems however, the local tribe sides with CMU in defending its use:

...The university said the nickname was adopted in 1942 "to reflect the rich Native American heritage of the mid-Michigan region" and its use has been approved by the area's Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
"CMU's continued use of the name is dependent on whether the Chippewa people in our region continue to feel that CMU's use of the name is in fact a proud reflection and is used with dignity and respect," the university said in a joint statement with the tribe...
Perhaps it is the NCAA bureaucrats who associate "Indian" with a Looney Tunes charicature?
Hitchens Makes the Case.

Christopher Hitchens defends the overthrow of Saddam, filling the inexplicable vaccum left by the White House.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Calling Him a "Fibber" is Polite.

George Will documents another Jimmy "They All Laughed At Me But One Day They'll See I Was Right" Carter whopper. (thanks to VodkaPundit)

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Open Champion.

Tiger was in command, truly a great victory at the British Open. He has the greatest focus of any player on tour, focus that is essential to win the Open.

Nike, however nearly spoiled the moment by running a truly demeaning and tacky commercial where they superposed the toddler Tiger's head on his
adult body in scenes of his earlier triumph at the Open. Yuck.

This contest was won by a man, against other great men of golf - it wasn't won by a toddler. Tiger conducts himself as a man, not an enfante terrible, or some childish savant. Save that kind of marketing for the other sports, where it is much more appropriate.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Hard Left's Brownshirts in Action.

Antiwar and anarcho/anticapitalist protests frequently have these thugs in attendance. They destroy private property, silence counterdemonstrators (for example, see the video documentation provided by Protest Warriors), and send cops to hospitals. And you don't read, see, or hear anything about these brownshirts in the MSM. Shouldn't these punks be exposed to as much disinfecting sunlight as the KKK when it parades in bedsheets through a town square?

PS - some background on these hoods found at Front Page.
In Praise of the French.

Daniel Pipes claims France is a lot tougher on Islamofascists than the Brits. Pipes makes a few good points, but I doubt that a defending the wearing of a jilbab constitutes weakness in the face of terrorism. Nevertheless, plaudits to France.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The War to Save Civilization.

The horrible events of yesterday in London are a brutal reminder that we are in a death struggle with the forces of evil and darkness. Nothing less. Tom Friedman declared it to be World War III after 9/11; the attacks in Bali, Madrid, Moscow, Beslan, and now London should be ample corroboration for Friedman's claim.

This war's stakes are basic human liberties such as speech, religion, travel, economic, intellectual, and cultural intercourse, and the dignity of individual thought as bestowed by our Creator. These essential freedoms are threatened by a splinter perversion of religion that requires complete and mindless adherence to theology - as revealed by an infalliable elite - or death with rest of the "infidel" world.

A unavoidable decision now faces the peoples of the world, and citizens of civilized societies: will you join this struggle against the forces of darkness or by your inaction collude with them?

Efraim Halevi writes in the Jerusalem Post: (thanks to The Daily Demarche)

...There will be supreme tests of leadership in this unique situation and people will have to trust the wisdom and good judgment of those chosen to govern them. The executives must be empowered to act resolutely and to take every measure necessary to protect the citizens of their country and to carry the combat into whatever territory the perpetrators and their temporal and spiritual leaders are inhabiting.

The rules of combat must be rapidly adjusted to cater to the necessities of this new and unprecedented situation, and international law must be rewritten in such a way as to permit civilization to defend itself. Anything short of this invites disaster and must not be allowed to happen.

The aim of the enemy is not to defeat western civilization but to destroy its sources of power and existence, and to render it a relic of the past. It does not seek a territorial victory or a regime change; it wants to turn western civilization into history and will stop at nothing less than that. It will show no mercy or compassion and no appreciation for these noble values when practiced by us.

This does not mean that we can or should assume the norms of our
adversaries, nor that we should act indiscriminately. It does mean that the only way to ensure our safety and security will be to obtain the destruction, the complete destruction, of the enemy.

Much has been said in recent years about the vital need for international cooperation. There is no doubt that this is essential. Yet no measure of this will suffice and it cannot replace the requirement that each and every country effectively declare itself at war with
international Islamist terror and recruit the public to involve itself actively in the battle, under the direction of the legal powers that be...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Curiosities in the matter of Kelo.

VodkaPundit has found a hot trail from Kelo involving Nancy Pelosi and some very wealthly bicoastal developers...
Cato to G8: Stop Enabling African Tyrants.

Moeletsi Mbeki has written an essay for the Cato Institute that is a breath of fresh air compared to the brain-dead calls for unconditional debt forgiveness. His solution: empower normal people with property rights and stop the top-down funding strategy that only encourages kleptocracy.

Meanwhile, anarchists and hoodlums in "solidarity" with suffering Africans, reenact their misery of the last forty-five years by laying waste to the Scottish countryside and ruining the livelihoods of innocent people.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Coming to a Theatre Near You?

Unlikely, but the talented Evan Coyle Maloney of Brain Terminal is working on a sequel to Brainwashing 101, entitled Indoctrinate U. On a related note, Thayrone X, on his WAAM talk show On the Edge, recently interviewed a fellow who has written a re-revisionist history of Hollywood's Blacklist era. Spoiler follows: there were hard-core Communists in Hollywood, and it was a good thing that guys like Elia Kazan stood up to them.
Hang Down Your Head, Al-Tikriti...

The perfect venue is picked for Saddam's trial.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...
Life, Liberty, Property.

The Federalist Patriot Founders' Quote Daily:

"A just security to property is not afforded by that government,under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species." -- James Madison

Brian Williams "Clarifies".

NBC Nightly News anchorcritter and famous GQ coverboy Brian Williams has been roasted for his recent outrageous comments about how the modern world may view our Founding Fathers through the lens of recent history:

Many Americans woke up to a curious story this morning: several of the former Iran Hostages have decided there is a strong resemblance between Iran's new president and one of their captors more than 25 years ago. The White House and most official branches of government are ducking any substantive comment on this story, and photo analysis is going on at this and other news organizations. It is a story that will be at or near the top of our broadcast and certainly made for a robust debate in our afternoon editorial meeting, when several of us
raised the point (I'll leave it to others to decide germaneness) that several U.S. presidents were at minimum revolutionaries, and probably were considered terrorists of their time by the Crown in England.

BlogWorld immediately dumped a bucket of chum on Brian's head for these comments. And for good reason: Washington, the Adams Brothers, and Jefferson very likely did not regard England as an infidel nation whose inhabitants required annihilation. Dead Drifts greatly doubts these men would have celebrated the detonation of a keg filled with black powder and horseshoe nails in a crowded Philadelphia market. But fear not, Mr. Williams has now provided further clarification for his Deep Thoughts:

And on this busy day I'm compelled to throw in a personal note of my's about a question I asked Andrea Mitchell on Nightly News last night. Coming out of the story alleging that Iran's President-elect may have been among those who kept 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in Tehran, I asked Andrea the following question:

"What would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today: The first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries... and might have been called "terrorists" at the time by the BRITISH CROWN, after all..."

Today, apparently, on some radio talk shows and blogs, my
friends in the media have accused me of labeling George Washington a terrorist. They apparently missed my point: That the BRITISH CROWN might have viewed American revolutionaries that way.My question — and specifically the line, "what would it all matter..." was meant to address the popular support within Iran for those who acted against the U.S. and are now in positions of power. Those of you who are regular readers of our blog know we spoke about this very issue
yesterday in our afternoon editorial meeting.

All I ask is that people re-read what was said on the air. I've talked
to several viewers today, and one conversation I actually enjoyed was with a woman from Virginia, who said, "These days, you just can't use the word TERRORIST for anything but a TERRORIST." And I take this nice woman's point about the power of words in our current climate.

While I insist that a re-reading of my question will prove that in no
way was I calling the framers "terrorists" (for starters, the word did not exist 229 years ago), I regret that anyone thought that after a life spent reading and loving American history, I had suddenly changed my mind about the founders of our nation.

Bri, you still miss the point: neither did the word exist nor would the notion have existed with Loyalists or the Crown that their American bretheren were madmen killing for the sake of killing. Traitors, to be sure, but not terrorists as we understand what this word connotes. So your comments were just...well, stupid. (stupid: lacking intelligence or reason; a word that did exist 229 years ago).

Monday, June 20, 2005

And the Low shall be brought High.

Pinehurst No. 2 chewed up the Big Five, with only Tiger offering a Sunday rally. Michael Campbell hung on, suffering an 18th hole bogey before the Big Green Sea relinquished him to raise the trophy for the 2005 US Open. Ah, golf is a game like a fine diamond, with millions of facets: some days I can't drive, on others I can't hit a fairway iron, still other days find me floundering in my short game. So many ways to fail!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dad's Favorite Movies.

In celebration of Father's Day, here is my list of the Ten Great Guy Films of All Time (in no particular order):

  • Spartacus
  • Diner
  • The Big Country
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • The Searchers
  • Zulu
  • Animal House
  • The Godfather
  • Goldfinger
  • The Right Stuff

Ya got yer Bond, ya got yer Mafia, ya got yer Bogie, ya got yer Duke, ya got yer Toga Party...yer set, bub.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Red River
  • Battleground
  • Fobidden Planet
  • My Darling Clementine
  • Drums Along the Mohawk
  • A River Runs Through It
  • Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer version)
  • American Graffiti
  • Gladiator
  • The Natural

"The Notebook" did not make the cut, sorry...need a Kleenex? For an exhaustive list of Guy Films, consult The Von Hoffman Bros' Big Damn Book of Sheer Manliness.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Oath of Office.

The blockbluster revelation of my generation's political history has occurred:

How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat'

Was Felt's conduct consistent with an FBI Agent's oath of office?

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Was it consistent with the Pledge of FBI Officers, which states in part:

Humbly recognizing the responsibilities entrusted to me, . . . . I accept the obligation in connection with my assignments to . . . consider the information, coming into my knowledge by virtue of my position as a sacred trust, to be used solely for official purposes. . . . In the performance of my duties and assignments, I shall not engage in unlawful and unethical practices . . . . While occupying the status of a law enforcement officer or at any other time subsequent thereto, I shall not seek to benefit personally because of my knowledge of any confidential matter which has come to my attention. I am aware of the serious responsibilities of my office and in the performance of my duties . . .

The question remains, posed by none other than G. Gordon Liddy: what was Felt's duty as one of the highest law-enforcement officials of the United States? Wasn't that duty to bring his information to some authority (like the grand jury) to pursue the criminality in the Nixon White House through our laws? Or did Felt feel that there was no such untainted authority to which he could turn? Or was this payback for Patrick Gray being named as FBI chief rather than him?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Whar's Ol' Possum?

WSDS 1480 bites the dust tonight, as we knew the funky little classic country radio station that brought SE Michigan George Jones, Loe-rettie Lynn, the Man in Black, Ernest Tubb, and all the other legends. At midnight tonight it transmogrifies into an all-Spanish language format. More of the story courtesy .

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bob Herbert's Troubled Psyche.

In recognition of Memorial Day, Bob Herbert offers up this dreck:

This Memorial Day is not a good one for the country that was once the world's most brilliant beacon of freedom and justice.

...The U.S. is now widely viewed as a brutal, bullying nation that countenances torture and operates hideous prison camps at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in other parts of the world - camps where inmates have been horribly abused, gruesomely humiliated and even killed...

...William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in an interview last week that it's important to keep in mind how policies formulated at the highest levels of government led inexorably to the abusive treatment of prisoners.

"The critical point is the deliberateness of this policy," he said. "The president gave the green light. The secretary of defense issued the rules. The Justice Department provided the rationale. And the C.I.A. tried to cover it up."

...In much of the world, the image of the U.S. under Mr. Bush has morphed from an idealized champion of liberty to a heavily armed thug in camouflage fatigues...

It's waste of time to try to refute the claims of a mind so convinced of the inherent evil of our government. One can pity him, though.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Celebrating the Slob.

Brent Staples has offered his interpretation of the brouhaha caused by Bill Cosby's recent comments on the misguided priorities of some inner-city parents, namely that such comments are an example of class antagonism with the African-American community. And of course, class antagonism is a bad thing.

Staples' arguement is an insult to anyone - of any race - who wanted greater meaning to their life than eating, sleeping, and reproducing. It is antithetical to the American ideal, which is to make our children's lives better and more significant that our own.

Mr. Staples, what Bill Cosby was confronting was the phenomenon of "The Celebration of the Slob": anti-intellectualism, narcissism, immediate gratification, and apathy. This malady has infected all of American life. If it's snobbery to reject such behaviors, then let us "Celebrate the Snob".

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Looking Back at the War with Japan.

PBS' "American Experience" recently discussed the history of the last year of war in the Pacific Theatre ("Victory in the Pacific"). It was, surprisingly, balanced. It refuted revisionist claims that the last year of the Pacific war was unnecessary, that American blood-lust, desire for revenge, or anti-Soviet maneuvering prevented a chance for a satisfactory peace between Japan and the Allies. It described in detail the fanatical strategy of Ketsu-Go, the defense of the Japanese homeland by mass suicide attacks. It also dispelled the myth that there was any serious challenge within the Japanese war leadership to Ketsu-Go (there was opposition, but it had no real chance of reversing this tragic policy). It is this point that most revisionist histories of the Pacific War either omit or dismiss. The documentary came to the same conclusion as Truman: that the atomic bombing of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary to conclude the war as quickly as possible, that Bushido and Japan's war culture were as pernious to global peace as Nazism and to destroy them would require a complete unconditional surrender by Japan.

Unfortunately, such an honest analysis of the Pacific War is about 25 years too late.
Bring it On.

In the last week we've learned that the Dems' declaration of "unacceptable...radical...extremist" judicial nominations was just milquetoast: a judge previously regarded as a troglodyte can suddenly be acceptable for a lifetime federal appointment by a 82-18 majority in the Senate. Provided a certain senator can get the satisfaction of political payback. Now the Dems are threatening fillbuster on the Bolton UN appointment. Well, go ahead...make our day. Go right ahead and paralyze the Senate's ability to get the people's business done for the sake of rejecting an appointment that reasonable people - even those in your own party - find acceptable. You go right ahead and become the "Party of Nyet". No ideas for Social Security and Medicare reform, no ideas on the WOT, no ideas for UN reform, no ideas for a realistic energy policy, no ideas on education, no ideas on stopping illegal immigration...just no, no, no.
With Profound Gratitude We Remember.

If at all possible, please take the time to attend a Memorial Day parade and ceremony this weekend. If you meet a vet on the street, shake his hand and say thanks. Include in your daily and Sunday prayers the men and women now in harm's way. Find a service-related charity and give some time or money to help the families of those who serve. These efforts are trivial compared to the sacrifice of life, limb, family, or prosperity that our soldiers have made to serve our country and protect our liberty, and to give the same to other peoples around the globe.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Origins of Gridlock.

Courtesy of The Federalist Patriot:

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers,whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.

--- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 16, 2005

Weaknews Clarifies: It's the Government's Fault.

Weaknews has quasi-retracted their inflammatory story about the desecration of the Quran at Gitmo. However, Howard Fineman apparently clarified the real line of accountability for this deadly fiasco: it was the responsibility of Pentagon representatives that were shown a pre-press copy of the Periscope article to have provided comment on the report, which they did not. Therefore, Fineman argued on this morning's Imus program, silence by these government officials constituted some form of corroboration of the story for Weaknews. In other words, the Pentagon had its chance to deny the story, and they didn't, and therefore the story must be true? I didn't know that Weaknews had now outsourced their fact-checking.

Well, the Main Stream Meatpackers have reasserted their primacy over the Blogosphere - they certainly have the power of life and death.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Legend of Taxalot.

Wizbang follows a great story about America's Royal Family - the Kennedys - and their artistry with the tax codes.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

How would he know?

Ohio Senator George Voinovich (R!) blasted UN Representative-nominee John Bolton, stating that if Bolton worked in the private sector he would have been fired.

George apparently has quite an extensive and distinguished career in the private sector:

  • probably in private law practice from 1961-1962
  • Ohio Assistant Attorney General 1963-1964
  • probably in private law practice from 1965-1966
  • Ohio state/county/city office holder 1967-1988
  • probably practiced law in 1989, while eating lotsa rubber-chicken suppers
  • Governor of Ohio 1990-1998
  • United States Senator 1999-present

I assume you were speaking theoretically about Bolton, eh George?

And your actions in committee was a true act of courage, George.

A Lucid Moment in Alabama.

Alabama School Drops Klan Founders Name (AP-Yahoo)

The idolatry that Alabamians have for Nathan Bedford Forrest, AKA "The Butcher of Fort Pillow", has always baffled me. Imagine Heinrich Himmler Hochschule in Bremen...
And now, a cheap shot.

During yesterday's emergency in DC, members of the House and Senate Democratic Leadership were taken to a daycare center at an undisclosed location...

OK, enough of that.
Tales from the Ivory Tower.

First, this outrageous story from Columbia University:

The Tale of Two Columbias (WSJ Opinion Journal)

And then a review of the problems on campus and some cautious hope for change:

Retaking the Universities, by Roger Kimball (WSJ Extra)

The story of the "courageous" vote at Columbia butresses Trilling's claim of the "adversary culture of the intellectuals" - and scholarship's form of "diplomatic immunity" from consequences of actions. Kimball also reminds the reader of another component of the problem:

Academic life, like the rest of social life, unfolds within a frame of rules and permissions. At one end, there are things that one must (or must not) do; at the other end, there is rule of whim. The middle range, in which behavior is neither explicitly governed by rules but is not entirely free, is that realm governed by what the British jurist John Fletcher Moulton, writing in the early 1920s, called "Obedience to the Unenforceable." It is a realm in which not law, not caprice, but virtues such as duty, fairness, judgment and taste hold sway. In a word, it is the "domain of Manners," which "covers all cases of right doing where there is no one to make you do it but yourself."

In other words, a chaired professorship is no excuse for intellectual slovenliness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Over what-you-call-your Dey.

The Ghoul, beloved Rust Belt TV Schlockmeister, opines on FM radio. Well, perhaps they listen to Clear Channel Dreck in...Parma!