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Friday, April 22, 2005
 
Friday Blog-Cruising

Professor Shade has his "Freakin' Friday Soft-Core Links" up at Lifelike. The linked sites are usually sex-related, but work-safe, and worth the trip.

Lucky Dawg has a fun post today about the tie-in between NASCAR and comic books.

ACE praises James Carville!

Buckley F. Williams unveils the Democrat's new plan: Winning the War on Terror Without Hurting People, Plants or Feelings.

Roberto at Dynamo Buzz reports on Jon Corzine's blogging endeavors at DKos.
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Celebrity Environmentalists

This article on a new environmental TV series has to be read to be believed.

The MTV series features actress Cameron Diaz and a rotating crew of "her close, personal friends [who] think globally and act globally." They tour developing nations, incuding Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Honduras and visit remote villages in Chile.

Actress Drew Barrymore, who reportedly earns $15 million a film, told MTV viewers in one episode that after spending time in a primitive, electricity-free Chilean village, "I aspire to be like them more."

Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."


Do I have to point out that taking a poo in the woods is not environmentally sound, or sanitary? But then this is not about environmentally sound policies.

Despite the celebrities' praise for the primitive life, "Trippin'" shows them flying on multiple airplanes and chartering at least two helicopters and one boat to reach remote locations over the course of the first four episodes.

The series also showed the celebrities being chauffeured to the airport in a full-size Chevy SUV -- despite several on-screen, anti-SUV factoids noting how environmentally unfriendly SUVs are.


Don't do as we do, do as we say, I suppose. Remember Kerry insisting that he doesn't own an SUV, his family does?
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Thursday, April 21, 2005
 
Survivor Thoughts

Tom is kicking everybody's butt; he's gotta be the one person everybody's going to want to vote off first time he doesn't get immunity, because nobody wants to be in the three-person endurance test against him. He showed some smarts in the immunity challenge by making a snorkel out of his hands. He could be another Colby from the Outback, the guy who wins all or most of the individual challenges.

Steph and Janu had the starring roles at tribal council. It seemed fated that Steph was going to be voted off but Jeff goaded Janu into quitting. Steph has now survived an incredible 10 consecutive tribal councils without getting voted off, which surely is a record. There were a lot of scenes that looked like foreshadowing to me; for example, in the highlights of the prior episode they showed again Steph on her own the last night, commenting on how hard it was but that it would all be worth it in the end if she won.

Which of course probably means Burnett is trying to mislead us and Steph gets the axe next week. Nobody else looks ready to extinguish their own torch to save her, so she's definitely in trouble unless Tom somehow loses immunity, in which case things could get ugly for him suddenly.
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Good Point on the Pope

Tim Worstall, writing in Tech Central Station on those who blame Pope John Paul II for not allowing Catholics to use condoms to help prevent the spread of AIDS:

The first and most obvious answer is that of course the Church has no responsibility for these AIDS deaths at all. For along with the idea that one should not use contraceptives are the teachings that one should be virgin at marriage, not have sex outside marriage and marry only one person. It's rather difficult to see how, in a world that actually followed such teachings, AIDS would in fact be a sexually transmitted disease.

Yep. The assumption seems to be that people don't listen to the Pope about sex outside of marriage, but then refuse to use condoms because it's against their religion. That doesn't make any sense when you think about it.
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No Communist Revolutionaries Were Harmed in the Making of This Tee Shirt

That's a relief!
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Brooks: Roe Lengthened the Abortion Battle

As I have written before, when the courts interject themselves into political battles, they generally do not solve them. Why? Because nobody considers the courts to have had the final word on the matter except the winners.

When Blackmun wrote the Roe decision, it took the abortion issue out of the legislatures and put it into the courts. If it had remained in the legislatures, we would have seen a series of state-by-state compromises reflecting the views of the centrist majority that's always existed on this issue. These legislative compromises wouldn't have pleased everyone, but would have been regarded as legitimate.

Consider Brown v. Board of Education for another example. Had segregation been eliminated state by state through the legislatures (as it surely would have been, albeit not as swiftly), you would not have seen "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards throughout the South well into the 1960s. Now you can make the argument that Brown v. Board of Education was the right decision to make on equal protection grounds, but it's hard to deny that it did not settle the matter for good.

So it is with abortion. Had Roe not been handed down, odds are that abortion would be legal in many states, although perhaps not all. New York and several other states had already legalized it by the early 1970s; over the years the battle would have played out state by state.

Brooks notes that Roe is almost the sole reason we have these debillitating battles over judges, to the point where one side is talking about limiting debate, and the other is talking about shutting down the government. But it's his last paragraph that will have liberals in NYC spitting up their morning latte:

The fact is, the entire country is trapped. Harry Blackmun and his colleagues suppressed that democratic abortion debate the nation needs to have. The poisons have been building ever since. You can complain about the incivility of politics, but you can't stop the escalation of conflict in the middle. You have to kill it at the root. Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, politics will never get better.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005
 
Teflon Gives His Concession Speech

Somehow the Cardinals missed a good candidate for Pope.
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Here's Irony for You

Man arrested for spitting in Jane Fonda's face.

Prediction: The liberals will use this incident to buttress their claims that in fact, no soldiers were spit on after returning from Vietnam.
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Here's to Bangor, Maine!

This is a heartwarming story; have some tissues nearby though.

Lining the hall and clapping were dozens of Bangor residents who have set a daunting task for themselves: They want every Marine, soldier, sailor and airman returning through the tiny international airport here to get a hero's welcome.

Even if the planes arrive in the middle of the night or a blizzard, they are there.

Composed mostly from the generation that served in World War II and Korea, they call themselves the Maine Troop Greeters. They have met every flight bringing troops home from Iraq for nearly two years — more than 1,000 flights and nearly 200,000 troops.


Good people, doing what may seem like a small thing.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
 
Amazing Race Update

This segment featured not one, but two spots where all the teams caught up with each other, which had to make the brothers, who lost a few weeks ago when there were none, a little annoyed.

The obvious highlight of the evening was Joyce's bravery in accepting the shaving of her head. I couldn't help but be impressed with her willingness to do something that obviously upset her a great deal in order to win. It was a shame that there was no prize for winning this leg of the race, especially since it was a long (two hours over two weeks) segment.

Gretchen continues to grate on my nerves. She was foolish enough to accept being put in the howdah atop the elephant, as she ended up adding weight to the load while not being an assistance in pulling it. Then of course, Meredith does reasonably well in the camel ride but all we see is Gretch shaking her head in disgust. I got a hunch that she's going to go out like Ray, muttering about how her partner, who is clearly the only reason they've gotten this far, held her back.

This was the second consecutive week where everybody goes for the same task at the Detour, which makes for less excitement. In most of these Detours, when one or two pairs have gone against the grain they've done quite well--remember the brothers passed Ray and his girlfriend when they chose to suck water out of the ground rather than mash the corn. And Uchenna and Joyce aced the "Balance stuff on your head" challenge while the others were milking goats and picked up a lot of ground. Gretchen and Meredith would have been smarter to try the tie-dying experiment, which didn't sound all that complicated or exhausting.

I was a sorry to see the gay couple go; I've generally liked their cooperation and support for each other. And they went out with class talking about all the wonderful people they'd met along the way. However, I did catch one jarring note when Lynn yelled at the driver of the autorickshaw to "run over that elephant" (the one that Gretchen was riding in). Despite the claims of fraternity, they were still quite competitive. Too bad they didn't grill their driver to make sure he knew his way to the pit stop.

Update: Viking Pundit has his recap up, while Kris at Dummocrats sums things up.
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Rob & Ambuh Hitched

Survivor Winners and Amazing Race Contestants Rob & Ambuh have gotten married.

As would only be fitting for a couple whose courtship and subsequent engagement played out on television, CBS was along for the wedding ceremony as well, filming for a two-hour special that will air on May 24.

Hat Tip: Dana of North Shore Politics
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New Pope Getting Criticized Already

Lucianne highlighted this on her front page this afternoon. Look at the adjectives being used:

The Associated Press:

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church's leading hard-liner...

Reuters:

Arch-conservative German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope on Tuesday in a surprise choice that delighted traditionalist Roman Catholics but stunned moderates hoping for a more liberal papacy.

The New York Times:

As an ultraconservative, he had shut the door on any discussion on several issues, including the ordination of women, celibacy of priests and homosexuality, defending his positions by invoking theological truth. In the name of orthodoxy, he is in favor of a smaller church, but one that is more ideologically pure.

President Bush:

President Bush on Tuesday called newly elected Pope Benedict XVI a "man of great wisdom and knowledge."

He is "a man who serves the Lord," Bush said of the pope, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who has been a leading church hard-liner.
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Roosevelt the Radical

Came across discussion of Roosevelt's "Second Bill of Rights" in two places this morning; this indicates to me that something is going on. Expect to see more about this in the near future.

Bob Herbert in the Times lays out the Roosevelt agenda and wonders where we went wrong. Here are some of the proposed "rights":

"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.

"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.

"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.

"The right of every family to a decent home.

"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.

"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.

"The right to a good education."


Now I think we can all agree that most of these rights represent social goods; the only argument is whether government should be in charge of ensuring them.

The second reference to the Second Bill of Rights may explain why we got the first. John Hinderaker, writing in the Weekly Standard notes:

None of this, however, discouraged the conference participants from staking out bold new constitutional ground. The tone was set in the "opening dialogue" between professors Bruce Ackerman and Cass Sunstein. Power Line sent one of our East Coast correspondents to sit in on the discussion. The conversation left no doubt about the "rights" that, according to these eminent liberals, should be constitutionally enshrined by the year 2020.

The touchstone is Franklin Roosevelt's "Second Bill of Rights," which would recognize a right to "a useful and remunerative job"; sufficient earnings to provide "adequate" food, clothing, and recreation; a "decent" home; a "good education"; and "adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health."


Note that interestingly, the focus of the people cited in Hinderaker's article is not on passing these rights legislatively, or even amending the US Constitution to provide for them; rather it's on "finding" these rights (and more) in the Constitution as it exists.

For an example of the "and more", consider this:

Economic citizenship--stakeholder society in which every young adult gets a form of citizenship inheritance of $80,000, funded by a wealth tax . . .

This is of course the proposal of the "Stakeholder Society" a ridiculous book that made the rounds of the lefty talk shows a few years back. It's a classic Democrat proposal: Something for nothing.
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Monday, April 18, 2005
 
Vanessa Kerry Outdoes Her Dad

John Ruberry, aka Marathon Pundit, notes that Vanessa started and finished the Boston Marathon as an official participant (unlike Le Fraude, who when caught lying about it, claimed he'd run as an unofficial entrant). Ruberry notes that she finished in about 3-1/2 hours, a rather impressive time.

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Dworkin Being Whitewashed?

Cathy Young thinks so.

Whatever her defenders may say, Dworkin was a relentless preacher of hatred toward men ("Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman" -- Our Blood, 1976, p. 20), masculinity, and male sexuality -- which she described as "intrinsically drunk on its contempt for all life, but especially for women's lives" (Letters from a War Zone, 1989, p. 14). Yes, she apparently had genuine and even warm affection for some men in her own life, and spent her last 20 years with a male companion she eventually married (John Stoltenberg, a MacDworkinite feminist and practically a poet of male self-loathing). But no one would absolve a male misogynist on the grounds that he loved his mother and sister, or had a devoted wife who embraced his ideology.

More important, from the whitewashers' point of view, is that Dworkin was also relentlessly anti-American. Indeed in the one of her books that I read in the late 1980s, she still referred to this country as "Amerika" which I found rather quaint.
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Hanoi Jane Gets the Albuquerque Treatment

Our buddy Chris at Lucky Dawg News was there to protest. His wicked sense of humor from his Kerry Waffles days is still in evidence:

I spent the rest of the day holding up my sign on the median of Montgomery Avenue. On the whole, the response from passersby was supportive. I did have one troll roll her window down and tell me she loves Jane Fonda. Too bad I didn't have Fonda's ex, Roger Vadim's, number handy.
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Book Reports

Pat Hynes reports on Byron York's Vast Leftwing Conspiracy, while Lorie Byrd and DJ Drummond tackle South Park Republicans.
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Frank Rich Uncovers a Scoop

A scoop of what, I'm not saying. But Rich does some simple dot-connecting:

This time the plot begins with money. Two K Street fixers, a lobbyist named Jack Abramoff and a flack named Michael Scanlon, managed to snooker six American Indian tribes into handing over $82 million in exchange for furthering their casino interests. According to The Washington Post, some of their tribal takings, cycled through a nonprofit center for "public policy research," helped send Mr. DeLay golfing in Scotland.

A Congressman got treated to golfing in Scotland by lobbyists? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

This is one of those stories where you wonder whose mind is going to be changed. Rich's readers are mostly NY liberals who already hate Tom Delay. He appears to be trying to score points with social conservatives ("Look, Tom Delay took money from gambling interests!"), but few of them read his column and the gambling connection is tenuous at best, and not as hypocritical as it sounds. Suppose, as has happened in many states, the local racetracks are begging to be allowed to have slot machines. In that instance the Indian tribes with casinos would of course be opposed, as would social conservatives. So social conservatives and Indian tribes with casinos can have common interests.

The rest of the column is remarkable for its lack of content. Rich introduces a lot of players, but their links to any current story is hard to discover.
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Why Fox is a Threat

According to William Raspberry:

So why would I consider Fox such a generalized threat? Because I think the plan is not so much to convince the public that its particular view is correct but rather to sell the notion that what FNC presents is just another set of biases, no worse (and for some, a good deal better) than the biases that routinely drive the presentation of the news on ABC, CBS or NBC -- and, by extension, the major newspapers.

For the Foxidation process to work, it isn't necessary to convince Americans that the verbal ruffians who give FNC its crackle have a corner on the truth -- only that all of us in the news business are grinding our partisan axes all the time and that none of us deserves to be taken seriously as seekers of truth.

This is huge. As a friend remarked recently, time was when if you found it in the New York Times, that settled the bar bet and the other guy paid off. But if the Times and The Post or any other mainstream news outlet -- including the major networks -- come to be seen as the left-of-center counterparts of Fox News Channel, why would anyone accept them as authoritative sources of truth?


Perhaps because they do have axes to grind, and are not authoritative sources of truth?
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Ward Churchill Comparison?

Here's the story of another Colorado University professor who was let go:

Six weeks ago, a teacher named Phil Mitchell reluctantly spoke to me about his unjust and forced exit from the history staff at the University of Colorado after 21 years in the classroom.

All the evidence, notwithstanding the tortured spin of CU and its defenders, was that Mitchell, a reliable and well-regarded instructor, was being "let go" because of conservative political and evangelical Christian beliefs.
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Sunday, April 17, 2005
 
Steyn in Rare Form

He does a little reductio ad absurDemocrat on Barbara Boxer's vapors over John Bolton's anger issues:

If the Senate poseurs and the media wanted to mount a trenchant critique of Bolton's geopolitical philosophy, that would be reasonable enough. But there's not even a pretense of any of that. Instead, his opponents have seized on one episode -- an intelligence analyst in a critical position with whom Bolton and others were dissatisfied -- and used it to advance the bizarre proposition that every junior official should be beyond reproach, and certainly beyond such aggressive ''body language'' as putting one's hands on hips. Or as Peter Beinart, editor of the New Republic, complained to the BBC the other night: Bolton was ''disloyal to his subordinates.''

Worth the read.

Hat Tip: Lucianne
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Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

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Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

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