January 19, 2002

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JONATHAN TURLEY'S column about the WTC statue is excellent, but he gets a fact wrong that I feel duty-bound to correct. He re-states by inference the common perception that the Iwo Jima photograph was staged by photographer Joe Rosenthal. In fact, the film of the flag-raising was staged--that film represents the second flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi, and the first, smaller flag being replaced by a larger, more inspiring one. Joe Rosenthal, the photographer, wasn't warned that the second flag-raising was underway. He happened to swing around and snap the shutter as the Marines here hoisting the flag--he had no idea until much later that his photo had even come out, much less that it would become the icon we now know it to be. Check out Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley, whose father was among Iwo Jima's flag raisers for a complete telling of the story.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2002

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THE SAUDIS WILL PROBABLY ASK that our troops leave the kingdom soon, says the Washington Post. Let's see...UBL is Saudi, his money is Saudi, and his incoming revenue is mostly Saudi. 15 of the 19 Sept 11 hijackers were Saudi. As the war has progressed, the Saudis have been lobbying OPEC to hike oil prices, and now we're being asked to leave the kingdom altogether.

The Saudis have a set of goals, it seems--get our troops off their soil and re-establish their own preeminence in the region. From the experience of Somalia, the world learned that America can be cowed and forced to retreat by a few casualties. From the experience of the African embassy bombings and the bombing of the Cole, the world learned that if we do respond, we're not likely to respond in any meaningful way. The Saudis themselves learned to block our investigations into bombings on their soil directed against Americans, and that we would respond timidly. We needed their oil and their cooperation, or so the thinking went.

Given these impressions, I'm coming around to the belief that the Saudis have been behind UBL and Sept 11th all along. It was a hit-and-run attack, designed to intimidate us, horrify us, and scare us. Their government-controlled press has been mouthing anti-American sentiments throughout, peppered with the occassional nicety to keep us from getting too upset. Their actions have been the opposite of cooperative, in essence standing with the terrorists as opposed to standing with us.

So what should we do--invade, stay put, leave? I think we should leave Saudi Arabia--to the Turks.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2002

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BATTLE OF THE BOBS: Roberts Kaplan and Wright are dueling it out on Slate's Dialogues this week, giving me ample time to take aim and fire away at Wright from the tall grass of blogland.

Kaplan's opening piece was riveting reading, and devastatingly logical. He praised Pres Bush and his team for foreseeing clearly how the war in Afghanistan would progress, and especially praised the President for not withering from press fire when two weeks of bombing hadn't quite toppled the Taliban. Wright's response? Well, the intellectual equivalent of a big, Great Dane-style yawn. Remember, Wright thought that bombing would help the terrorists, but he isn't impressed that the administration has had a better handle on things than he has, and he isn't impressed that we've made much progress in the war--though al Qaida is on the run and the Taliban is a bad memory. He pokes at Bush for worrying about North Korea (though they've been testing some nasty missiles the past few years), for resisting nation building exercises (a thankless task that no president should entertain lightly, though Sideline Bob is all too happy to promote it) and for generally being Bush.

And then he gets all gloomy again, decrying the spread of information technology and its effect of allowing terrorists to operate without bases (though they always seem to build bases the first chance they get--if they'd just listen to Bob they could cut down on their property taxes). He's starting to sound like the Unabomber to me--technology is going to get us, globalization is our nemesis, etc. To his credit, when Wrongway Robert gets around to listing potential threats in the next few years, he doesn't throw in any conservative group. Ecoterrorists get a mention, neo-Nazis also get a mention (and if any of you suggest to me that Nazis are conservatives I'll disabuse you of that notion), but no anti-abortion activitists, no Boy Scouts, not even the Congressional Republican Caucus. They must've slipped his mind. Whoever the terrorists turn out to be, Bob thinks a few of them could kill tens of thousands of Americans. Oddly enough he's right. President Bush has set about making sure tomorrow's terrorists die today, that supporting states cease that support, and that the next batch of terrorists can't find any place to set up shop. Bob doesn't think that will work. He doesn't think anything the President comes up with will work, and refuses to change his mind when it does.

He finishes with a question--does Bush have a plan that's up to the challenge of stopping future terrorists? In Nixonian fashion, Bob intimates that he has a 'secret plan' to fix the world. Let me guess, Bob--we'll have to give up missile defense (which he manages to jab early in the piece), raise taxes, sign Kyoto (because we all know how miffed UBL was that we backed out of Kyoto), restrain 'globalization' (which he thinks will, you guessed it, help the terrorists--does anything ever actually hurt the terrorists?), spend trillions more in foreign aid programs, empower the UN to put a blue helmet on every street corner, dole out prescription drugs to the elderly, tighten our gun control laws, and vote Democratic in every election from dog catcher to President. Oh yeah, and dump Israel, get our troops out of Saudi Arabia and ban SUVs. Does that about sum it up, Bob? If we do all that, will we actually hurt the terrorists?
Posted by B. Preston at 11:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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ISLAM MEANS 'PEACE'--tell that to Christians and other non-Muslims in Sudan. John Danforth, leaving Sudan after a failed mission to end its civil war, saw a land of horrors:

In his four-day tour of the country, Danforth visited a church where Khartoum's police tear gassed and beat worshipers on Easter Sunday. He visited a polio vaccination facility in Mapel, where government-supported militias have made it impossible for doctors to administer the vaccine to rebel-controlled areas in the province. And he heard government ministers deny allegations of slavery and abductions of non-Muslims, despite the fact he heard in his last tour of Sudan in November from the survivors of the practice.

Sounds real peaceful to me.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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MAYBE A VICTORY IN THE PC WTC FIREMEN STATUE: According to NewsMax, the FDNY and the statue's underwriter Bruce Ratner (who, being the pc guy he is, has close contacts to the Clintons...) seem to be retreating from their history-distoring "diverse" statue replacing the three white firefighters in the famous flag-raising photo with a generic white, black and Hispanic figure. Here's the quote:

"New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta today announced that he will consider new options for a fitting memorial to honor the members of the fire department who died and those who worked tirelessly at the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Bruce Ratner, president and CEO of Forrest City Ratner Companies, said he would continue to underwrite the cost of the memorial."

"I will support the Fire Department's decision on what consitutes a fitting and inspiring memorial that pays tribute to these heroes," Ratner is quoted as saying. "That has been my desire ever since the World Trade Center attack."

Commissioner Scopetta and Mr. Ratner will consider various possibilities that would pay tribute to all members of the Department, the FDNY said, adding that "they would continue to discuss and explore ideas to create a lasting permanent memorial."

The press release does not what they plan to do now, or that they'll even use the photo in the monument at all. But they are on the defensive now, thanks to a deluge of public indignation. My prediction: the monument will depict the photo, and will now depict the three firemen in it.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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JohnMcGBlog says I'm chomping at the bit to take down my favorite target, Slate's Robert Wright. He's exchanging fire this week with Robert Kaplan over the war and GWB's conduct of it. You're right, John. I am chomping at the bit. I can't wait to take that whiny defeatist down again (cue sinister laughter, fade to black).
Posted by B. Preston at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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THE BELGIANS ARE NOT THE BORG, AND RESISTANCE IS NOT FUTILE: The (UK) Times' columnist Anatole Kaletsky says that a conservative tide will soon sweep Europe, creating a resurgence in nationalistic tendencies and perhaps weakening the EU. Want an example of the columnist's bias against such a trend. Well, he invokes no less a sinister personage than Marx to describe the coming 'revolution'--

Surveying this scene and thinking ahead to the most tempestuous year for European politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall, I cannot resist rephrasing Marx and Engels at the start of the Communist Manifesto: “A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of conservatism. All the powers of Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: the Commission and the unions; Schröder and Jospin; German environmentalists and French énarque spies. Let the chattering classes tremble at a conservative revolution. The conservatives have nothing to lose but their seats, they have a world to win.”

Kaletsky then proceeds to completely misdiagnose the state of conservatism in America, which thanks to a real conservative president espousing real conservative ideas such as sweeping tax cuts and a strong national defense before 9-11, is on the uptick. Combine that with a fairly ineffective liberal Democratic opposition espousing tax increases and looking increasingly out-of-touch on issues like gun control, and the situation looks all the better for the US right.

Still, Kaletsky predicts that the European right will take power in the next year or so, and finishes with a warning to Tony Blair: ignore the Tories at your peril. Good advice.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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WEST COAST MADRASSA? California school teaches a class with the following line in the syllabus:'You and Your Classmates Will Become Muslims.' The class requires its 7th-graders to pretend to be warriors fighting for Islam (jihadis, in other words), read the Koran, study Islamic proverbs and other assorted nonsense. This is in a public school, mind you. As the linked article asks, where is the ACLU on this one? If putting "God Bless America" on a school marquee violates separation of church and state, and if hanging a copy of the Ten Commandments in a courtroom violates separation of church and state, and if uttering a prayer at graduation violates separation of church and state, surely force-feeding religious texts down the throats of students violates separation of church and state.

This sort of illegal nonsense is one more very good reason to establish a voucher system, unlimited parental choice, and possibly pull the young-uns out of the system alltogether.
Posted by B. Preston at 02:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Posted by B. Preston at 01:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2002

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SALES AT WENDY'S UP TEN PERCENT since Dave Thomas shuffled off this mortal coil. My wife and I paid our respects the day after he died--I had the spicy chicken, she had fried chicken. One thing I always liked about Wendy's is that if they say something is spicy, it's spicy. It's nice to see the country honor a decent man by patronizing his business. Dave Thomas was truly a one-of-a-kind.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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WILLIAM QUICK cheerleads for bloggers and skewers Jeff Jarvis. I laughed, I cried, I kissed a few blogging minutes goodbye.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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HEY JUSTIN RAIMONDO, this is one reason we blog. The press' bias and screw-ups demand that someone discipline them. The government can't and shouldn't, and the press won't clean its own house, leaving the average citizen to do it. Enter bloggers to do the dirty work and heavy lifting of analyzing and critiquing the spooge the press tends to spread around.

There is an irony to Raimondo's anti-blogger rant on antiwar.com. I once served in the military, and at that time I was sworn to die to defend, among other things, freedom of speech. In Justin's case, that's the right to be a raving idiot. I'd still die to defend that right, for myself, for the press, and even for Justin though he's my political opponent. Sadly, an anti-war type like Justin wouldn't extend the same courtesy to his opponents, and as a result would allow any old tyrant to sweep away all our rights without a fuss. They're anti-war as a principle--nothing is worth fighting for. Not your rights or mine, not even his own. It's a child's worldview, and one that should be exposed for its utter wrongness whenever it pops up.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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WHAT A WONDERFUL SENSE OF HUMOR: Senator John Kerry's telling assassination jokes about Pres Bush's pretzel problem. Not unlike the jokes Tim Blair exposed on those libDem sites. And not funny. Imagine the furor in the press if a Republican did the same thing about a Dem president.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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THERE'S A NEW BLOG IN THE YARD: Doug Turnbull has launched Beauty of Gray. Looks like a promising start, though the guy is a Redskins fan (just for the record, I've got a little Indian blood coursing through my veins and I couldn't care less what the name of the team is--I'd hate them anyway) and he actually thinks Steve Spurrier will be around long enough to do some good. Our two teams, the Cowboys and Skins respectively, suffer from the same problem--stupidowneritits. Jerry Jones ran off the best coach he'll ever have, costing the 'Boys the only chance they'll ever have at winning 4 consecutive Super Bowls. Dan Snyder is a 12-year-old playing fantasy football. It's difficult to imagine Spurrier putting up with him too long.

But anyway, welcome Doug. You've been added to the links section on the right.

Since we're on the subject of football, here are my picks for this weekend's Divisional Round of the playoffs:

Ravens over the Steelers by 6--yes, I hate the Ravens, but they're right where they were last year at this time, and that's bad news for Pittsburgh. The Ravens are disrespected underdogs, going on the road to face a team that is on paper superior to them and actually outplayed them twice this season. None of that will matter, because the Ravens defense will bring out the old Kordell Stewart, and the revitalized running game will allow them to kick a couple of field goals and then sit on whatever lead they build up. Like I said, I don't want this to happen, but I fear and think that it will.

Raiders over the Patriots by at least 10--Tom Whatshisname's Cinderella season comes to an end, and Jerry Rice will score twice.

Da Bears will take care of the Eagles, with a late field goal--Donovan McNabb has played well lately and he'll do well against the Bears, but it won't be enough. Plus, I truly hate the Eagles as Enemy #1 (if you're keeping tabs, the Skins are Enemy #2) so I just hope they get whacked this weekend.

And the Rams will outlast the Pack in a slugfest--I think this will be the most entertaining game to watch this weekend. Warner vs Favre, Faulk vs Green, etc etc.

Those are my picks and I'm sticking to them.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2002

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JACOB WEISBERG ON ENRON: It's not that big a deal. I won't do a full-throated take-down here, mainly because the article as a whole isn't too bad. But there's one line buried deep within that bears scrutiny because it serves as evidence on the side of those that think the media tends to be biased in favor of the Dems. Here's the quote:

The Democratic argument for aiming Enron as a political arrow at Bush is that there's no reward in Washington for good behavior. Fiscal responsibility lets Republicans brand Democrats as the party of higher taxes. Democratic support for campaign-finance reforms lets the press brand them as hypocrites for playing by the rules of the system they haven't been able to change. Al Gore's comparative scrupulousness about tactics in the Florida recount helped hand the election to Bush.

That whole passage is full of bias, but focus on that last sentence again. Al Gore's...scrupulouseness? Cherry-picking which counties to recount, demand a shift in established counting standards, etc is evidence of being too nice? Only if you wanted Gore to win from the beginning, and saw no harm in changing the election rules multiple times during the election and recounts, does Gore's behavior look "scrupulous." To others, it looked downright smarmy.

Slate is known to have no Republicans on its staff, so it's no surprise that tilted writing like the above sneaks out in its stories. The surprise is that Slate continues to insist that it's so scrupulously unbiased.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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PRES CALLS JOHNNY BIN WALKER AN 'AL QAIDA FIGHTER,' according to the SF Gate. Hmmmm...a bit of a mixed message coming from the administration. Looks to me (and the SF Gate) like the administration is still mulling treason charges while holding him on lesser charges. New evidence could tip the charge to the most serious, death-penalty-carrying variety.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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JOHNNY BIN WALKER won't get the death penalty, for now anyway. And he's being charged in a civilian, rather than military, court. After all the sound and fury about military tribunals, I hope somebody faces charges in the dang things.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Kevin Holtsberry, editor and blogger of Ideas etc. comes through with a pretty cogent rant regarding what it's like to be a believing, practicing Christian in the post-9-11 world. Like Kevin, I cringe when Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell open their mouths, knowing that nothing good can come of their speech. Also like Kevin, I'm fed up with the ACLU et al demonizing all serious Christians by lumping us in with the Islamo-fascists of the world. For the record, Christians tend to be among the first to fight against fascists, while the ninnies on the extremes natter on about "root causes" and other such thumb-sucking nonsense. The sooner we all realize that, the better off we all will be.

What most libs miss is that they're often just as fundamentalistic and intolerant as any Christian fundamentalist can ever be--they're just operating from a different playbook. Listen to a lib talk about the "religious right," or "fundamentalists" or Christians, and substitute any of today's racial slurs in place of the religious group being slimed. That's intolerance, a brand of which I encounter nearly every day here in the Baltimore-DC area. But it's a pc version of intolerance, at least to that segment of the populace. They have the proverbial log in their own eyes while trying to remove the speck from ours.

All of this started when Jeff Jarvis wrote a silly screed about the "myth" of media bias. Jeff, all I can say is open your eyes. When two people on opposite sides of an issue are invited to debate on CNN or elsewhere, watch how they're identified. Nine times out of ten, the conservative will be labelled as such, while the lib will get a generic label. More often than not, the conservative will be outnumbered at least two-to-one on such "debate" shows, and the host/moderator will usually spin the nastiest questions toward the lone conservative while softballing the libs. In print, lib point of views are often passed off as canon, while conservative views are either left out or distorted.

As a case in point, read this op-ed that appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Jan 6th. The writer, a poli-sci prof at one of the local universities, says that a run by an up-and-coming Democrat could hurt the reigning Lt Gov in next year's race (also a Dem), helping the Republicans. He says that's bad, without elaborating, assuming that his readers will just agree that anything that helps Republicans is self-evidently bad. The Sun has published no counter to this article, so the Republicans haven't had their say or been allowed to make their own case. It's a small example, but it represents the behavior of most of the media. It's not a cabalist mentality that creates media bias--it just results from the simple fact of life that most j-students are libs and get their educations at lib institutions.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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MCJ has a little screed against Ken Burns' documentary style, and Ken Layne is also weighing in against the epic documentary producer. A few months back I attended a little class on developing tv documentaries, taught by an Emmy-award winning producer who shall remain nameless. The subject of Ken Burns came up fairly often, and our fearless instructor noted that, since the success of Burns' Civil War epic a few years ago, PBS no longer requires that Burns' edit his docs. Ken Burns says it will take 17 hours to tell the tale of baseball, then by God he gets 17 hours to tell the tale of baseball. He says it'll take him 10 hours to talk about jazz, he gets 10 hours to talk about jazz. PBS refuses to hold him to the standards usually set for their other documentaries. It's sort of like what has happened to Stephen King, whose novels get longer and longer while his prose gets worse and worse. Both could use a stern editor.

I've been watching the Ken Burns Mark Twain piece now airing on PBS, and I have to say that while it isn't as bad as some bloggers say, it still could use a boatload of solid editing. At one point in the first night's fare, the narrator was talking about life around the Clemens' household, and the only visual was a shot of some bronze angel on a bedpost. They stayed with that shot for what seemed like half an hour, no slow push into it, no tracking across it, no motion at all. It really was a snore.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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RALPH NADER, AMERICA-HATER: Andrew Sullivan does a fair take-down of Nader, whose mouth is unsafe at any speed, for his Monday appearances on Fox. I happened to catch him on Fox & Friends, where E.D. Donahey essentially called him childish for suggesting that it was possible to apprehend UBL without resorting to military force. And last evening I caught him on O'Reilly. That's where Andrew saw him. The appearances were virtually identical--in both he kept arguing that "You don't burn down the haystack to find the needle," as though that pretty much settles everything. O'Reilly kept goading him while he tried to spit out that pithy line, to the point where Nader mangled it. Ralph Nader did his compatriots Ted Rall and Noam Chomsky proud, bashing American "war profiteers" without actually naming any, asserting that the US should ask for a bevy of UN resolutions and a raft of international support though we don't need any, and generally being a fact-free pain in the neck.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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MORE ON HITLER'S PLAN TO EXTERMINATE CHRISTIANS. Pretty good read, and worth it if only for blowing up the notion that the Holocaust was a Christian program. Far from it, and if you need evidence, read the linked story.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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NOBODY SAID DEALING WITH THE AFGHANS WOULD BE EASY: Afghanistan's new top judge, one Chief Justice Maulana Fazle Hadi Shniwari is blasting the US transfer of al Qaida prisoners to Cuba for eventual trial, saying that they should be subject to Sharia, or Islamic law, instead. If Sharia is anything like Arafat's rounding up of the "usual suspects," which he releases when no one's looking, we want no part of it. Those vermin committed their biggest crimes here, and they'll get a good dose of Texas justice for it.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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MORE EVIDENCE THAT BELGIUM IS TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD: WTO Panel Rules Against U.S.. The Brits aren't skeptical of the euro for nothin'.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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DADGUMMIT, A REAL COLUMNIST BEATS ME TO THE PUNCH: Mark Steyn says "W stands for wisdom." That's something I've been meaning to blog about at some point, the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence is the ability to holds lots of facts and figures in your brain and use them to make your points, influence people and make decisions. Wisdom is the ability cut through the facts and figures and arrive at the heart of the matter quickly, enabling you to make the right decisions. Wild Bill showed scads of the former--he was famous for coming up with wonky dissertations on obscure policy at the drop of the hat. Wisdom, though, sadly eluded him--how else explain a Rhodes' Scholar risking his honored position for a few trists with a portly intern? GWB, on the other hand, is famously unintelligible more often than not, and probably does have trouble memorizing facts. So what? His conduct of the war to date, and indeed his conduct of his life past age 40, show a rare wisdom--how else explain the smooth play in the five-dimensional-chess world of warfare among Afghan tribes? Steyn (who's Canadian) wraps up his real article on the subject nicely:

Let’s take it as a given that George W. Bush lacks the intelligence to hold down a really demanding job like columnist at the New York Times or Slate. Let’s take it as read that he’s a stupid man leading the stupid party of a stupid country. Granted all that, his blissful indifference to the hotshots of the International Who’s Who is as brilliant a distillation of global reality as any. Bush couldn’t name the Prime Minister of Hoogivsadamistan, but in the weeks before 11 September, having already spotted his predecessor’s neglect of the matter, his administration was working on new strategies to combat international terrorism. What a chump, eh? Too dumb to be Prime Minister of Canada.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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WHO DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING? Late-night comedians make Bush a target for fainting episode. I think Letterman's line is the best:

"It's no laughing matter," Letterman said. "He had a cut on his forehead, his cheek was bruised, and this president is not even married to Hillary."
Posted by B. Preston at 12:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 14, 2002

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WAR ON FAT A 'SUCCESS,' SATCHER MOVES ON: Surgeon General David Satcher, pilloried by yours truly for declaring war on fat last year, has decided enough is enough and is moving on to his alma mater, Morehouse College. Now, I really had nothing against the guy, but the "War on Fat" was a silly, typically bureaucratic thing to do. Here's the rest of the story if you wish to read it.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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BALTIMORE SUN GETS THE ENRON STORY WRONG: I hadn't had the chance to pick on the local paper in this space, mostly because it seldom does or says anything of interest, but today's story marks a first. Here's the editorial, by Jules Whitcover. After the usual snide comments about Atty Gen Ashcroft and the business-friendly Bush administration (which, given today's economic climate, should be seen as anything other than a bad thing), Whitcover gets to the meat of his op-ed--Enron proves the need for campaign finance reform. But then he proceeds to offer no points of evidence to bolster his claim. He talks about what happened to Shays-Meehan (the House version of CFR legislation), blaming its failure on House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Then he quotes Democrat sponsor Marty Meehan, saying Enron is a "textbook study on money's influence in Washington," and then Meehan himself offers no evidence to back himself up.

The Enron "scandal," such that it is, is a refutation of the CFR logic: CFR proponents claim that money buys influence, which in turn puts legislators and government officials in the pocket of those giving them the money. If that were true, Enron would have been saved by the legion of House and Senate members to whom it has given money, to say nothing of the administration to which it gave a reported half a million dollars. Instead, it failed in spite of all those donations. Exactly whose influence did Enron buy, Mr. Whitcover, if no one lifted a finger to save it?
Posted by B. Preston at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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A PC WTC? Those who believe we''ve entered a post-politically correct era since 9-11, please explain this. The gist is that the three firefighters in the famous Sept 11 photo have been replaced by generic white, black, and Hispanic figures (and how does one go about depicting a Hispanic person in bronze, anyway?). It's nothing more than a bow to political correctness to remove the three men who actually raised the flag that day and replace them with ethnically diverse ones. Even more disturbing is the attitude of those who wanted the change:

"The symbolism is far more important than representing the actual people," said Kevin James, a member of the Vulcan Society, which represents black firefighters.

"I think the artistic expression of diversity would supersede any concern over factual correctness," he added, citing the city's struggle for healing and reconciliation since the attacks.

The expression of diversity supersedes concern over getting the facts right? Huh?
Posted by B. Preston at 03:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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I'VE BEEN OUTED, but not in that way. Damian Penny outs me for being a Baltimore resident while hating the Baltimore Ravens, and it's true (though my residence in Baltimore county, as opposed to Baltimore city, mitigates my circumstances a little). I was dissapointed, but not surprised, to see them whip up on the Fins yesterday. Though Elvis Grbac is a marginally better-skilled QB than the guy that actually led them to the Super Bowl last year (and who has won 21 of his last 22 starts with three different teams, btw), the Ravens are essentially the same team they were last year--a terrific defense and a sad offense. But that combo proved unstoppable to the Titans, the Raiders and the Giants last year, and may undo the NFL's elite again this time around.

Worse still, the Ravens now have their running game back, with Terry Allen and Jason Brookins bringing in fresh legs after returning from injuries, so we can look for more QB-free football from them. They're soooooo boring, and they're dangerous to the game as a result. I thought I would never, ever, ever say this---but "Go Steelers!" It's all probably moot anyway, since the Rams seem destined to conquer the NFL for their alien overlords again this year.

And thanks for outing me, Damian. I'll remember it....I have a loooong memory.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack