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Saturday, June 04, 2005
 
Gore Has Good News

We're all doomed. The good news is that once Gaia gets rid of us parasites it will be heaven on earth again.

The world's population explosion, which by 2050 will reach 9.1 billion, has increased the demand for energy, water and food, he said, and has contributed to the problem of global warming.

In 15 years, Gore said, there will be no more glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro. As for Glacier National Park in Montana, he said, "Within 20 years, this is the park that will be formerly known as Glacier." And the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland "is almost completely gone," he said.

He denounced critics who say global warming is not a serious threat.
0 comments links to this post
 
Names Released in McCartney Arrests

UTV reports:

The five sisters of 33-year-old Mr McCartney were in Belfast Magistrates` Court to see Terence Davison, 49, charged with the murder of the father-of-two.

Mr McCartney, from Belfast, was beaten and stabbed to death after being dragged from a bar near the markets area of the city on January 30, this year.

A second man, 36-year-old James McCormick was charged at with the attempted murder of Mr McCartney`s friend, Brendan Devine, during the attack outside Magennis`s Bar.


Interestingly, both those surnames have come up in the past. But the Davison that was accused was Gerard "Jock" Davison (apparently the nephew of Terence), and Jim "Dim" McCormick was accused of being McCartney's killer.

Hat Tip: Slugger O'Toole
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NY Times Pans Cinderella Man

Sounds like it will be a blockbuster. Get the sneering tone:

Like Gary Ross's "Seabiscuit," the legend of the little Depression-era horse that could, "Cinderella Man" is a shamefully ingratiating old-fashioned weepie. To his credit, Mr. Howard does not wave the flag as vigorously as Mr. Ross, though the new film's tagline ("When America was on its knees, he brought us to our feet") prepares you for the worst. In any event, given that Mr. Howard and his writers would be hard-pressed to bend this underdog narrative to our current political nightmare, it's a good thing they don't venture down that path.

Well, thank goodness for that! It's not hard to see that this movie's going to get the "Passion of the Christ" treatment from the liberal press.
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New to the Blogroll

Say hello to Third Wave Dave. Noticed him a couple times in the comments both here and at Lifelike, checked out his blog and liked what I saw there. It's very much a mix of politics, culture, and entertainment. He even does reality-TV blogging, like me.

He's got an interesting post on Mark Felt's daughter.

Now that your dad can't remember what he had for breakfast, you thought it would be a good time to tout him as a hero to the world, while working to secure a book deal. You could've maintained your family's self respect by at least waiting for your dad to die. But, he might've hung on too long for your comfort. After all, you've got bills to pay, right?

I'm conflicted on this, I have to admit. On the one hand, Felt and his family don't necessarily deserve any big payday; on the other Woodward and Bernstein certainly got one. I guess that Dave's got the right take here. If anybody should have the right to make money off this it was the old man and he elected not to. For his daughter to come forward now with her hand out seems a violation of his desires.
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Contest: Come Up with a New Term

The liberals have had a lot of fun with the term "chickenhawk", which they apply to anybody who hasn't served in the military yet supports the war.

Jim Lampley today shows the need for a new term.

"I tore up my draft card one night in 1968 on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. No way you would ever find me supporting the draft. But Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y) said it one day a couple of years ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since. And I've decided Charlie was right.

Got it? We need a term for people who opposed the draft during the Vietnam War when it was their tushes on the line, and who now support the draft. Should we call them Draft Codgers? There's gotta be a good nickname, something punchy and funny at the same time. Selective Selective Service fans? If you post a proposed nickname on your blog let me know in the comments.

BTW, although Rangel supports the draft, he doesn't qualify; he was an Army sergeant in Korea.
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The Zipless Speech

Erica Jong, who became briefly famous during the era of the Nixon Administration for writing a book about zipless sex, delivered a graduation speech at the College of Staten Island that apparently lacked zip as well.

A little less than halfway through her speech, some graduates began tossing around an inflatable beach volleyball. Some even got up from their chairs, just yards from her podium, to go chat with friends and family who were seated behind them.

Dorothy, a 48-year-old mother of a CSI graduate, categorized Ms. Jong's speech as "all-around bashing.

"It was disgusting, despicable," said the Fort Wadsworth woman, who would not give her surname. "She called politicians liars, called us all liars. She trashed America. Mostly, she just wanted to talk. It was personal spewing. There was nothing about graduation."


Jong is one of the "celebrity" bloggers over at the HuffPo. No mention of the story over there; we'll see if it pops onto Airiheadda's radar screen.

Meanwhile, for local reaction, let's go over to our Staten Island correspondent, The Leather Penguin (strong language but funny).

Could they really not find someone, anyone, who was in the slightest way relevant to those graduates’ lives (as opposed to the college’s majordomos, who probably consider Jong an “important” author, because her book titillated them when they were students)....

I talked about this all last year over at the Kerry Haters blog. For boomer liberals, the song goes:

"Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1969!"
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Friday, June 03, 2005
 
Living Wage/Minimum Wage Revisited

Thanks to Today's Blogs, I found out that the Silky Pony, John Edwards, is blogging himself. You remember, the guy who ran as the veep on the Kerry/Edwards ticket, sorta disappeared after saying something about "Just spend three minutes with the men who served with him [Kerry]." Nice hair?

Well, he's a guest blogger over at the TPM cafe, which I guess is some sort of Josh Marshall/Matt Yglesias combo blog. Here Edwards blogs on the Federal Minimum Wage, which he terms a disgrace.

A full-time minimum wage worker earns under $11,000 a year - about $5000 less than the poverty line for a family of three. The current minimum wage is just 33% of the average wage of American workers today - the worst ratio since 1949.

First question: How many of those minimum wage workers are raising a family of three on that income? And flip his comment on the ratio around; the average wage of American workers today is three times the minimum wage, the best ratio since 1949. It's not hard to see that's not a bad thing. ;)

Of course, every time we start talking about raising the minimum wage, critics chime in and say it's bad for business and will cost jobs. So now is a good time to repeat what we know: several studies have shown that the kinds of increases in the minimum wage we are supporting do not lead to higher unemployment.

Except of course, that Edwards does not tell us exactly what kinds of increases he has in mind. However, on the higher unemployment issue, there is some evidence in that I talked about yesterday. The LA Living Wage Study website, which certainly appears to be enthusiastic about minimum wage increases, notes a loss of 112 jobs out of 10,000, or a little over 1%. This is in line with what Mark over at Tempus Fugit would predict.
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Read The Comments

Matt Yglesias highlights a problem that the Democrats have:

...[W]hen you ask if America is "the greatest country in the world" most voters say that it is. When you ask if Democrats believe that America is the greatest country, most voters say that they do not.

I think it's clear that this perception creates some electoral problems. Indeed, it's a particularly serious kind of electoral problem because my guess is that the perception is probably correct.


Now, that's a pretty intelligent analysis, but check out the comments:

I sometimes don't like my country that much either.

So, how do I "get on board"? Is it enough just to lie, or maybe not bring up the question at all? Or do I actually have to come up with some way of believing the assertion?

I think most liberals probably don't think America is "the greatest country in the world." Not because we "hate America" or whatever but because, as you say, it strikes us as a pretty silly question.

In 1850, or roundabout when DeTocqueville was writing, America was in many ways exceptional. But I don't really see it today. I don't see the US has that Canada or Britain doesn't, except for greater habitable landmass and really big miltary.

Looks like they proved Matt's point. I'd be interested in seeing a poll as to whether most liberals think America is the greatest country in the world; if they're anything like the commenters on that post, the answer is no.

Hat Tip: Instapundit
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More on Income Inequality Between Europe & the US--Updated!

As a follow-up to this post, Tim Worstall catches Crooked Timber trying to use two different sets of numbers to prove that median household incomes in France are quite comparable. However, when only one set of numbers are used, the US comes out quite a bit ahead:

How delightful. By the very figures and system of measurement that John points out are the correct ones, the US is indeed some 35% richer than France, which he uses as a marker for the EU 15. Not quite what I think he set out to show.

Update: Tim pointed out to me over at Lifelike that the poster at CT has acknowledged the mistake, so I don't want to leave the impression that it was intentional as the word "catches" might imply. As one who looks up numbers quite often, I am aware that what you get from one source may differ from what you get from another, yet often you cannot get all the data you need from any one source.
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Lebanese Protest Murder of Journalist

You oughta know by now that when something happens in Lebanon, I go to Ya Libnan for the scoop.

They've even got the traditional Protest Babe:


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Over at Lifelike

Professor Shade's got his usual Freakin' Friday Softcore Links post up. If you haven't checked these out, they're quite amusing and worksafe. He also explains that North Korea's revising their "bloodthirsty" comment about Dick Cheney.

Pam Meister points out that Tom Cruise gets respect for his religious burblings precisely because it's a wacky cult.
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McCartney Suspects Arrested?

This is good news in a story we've covered for the last couple months.

A 49-year-old man will face a charge of murdering Robert McCartney, while a 36-year-old man will be charged with the attempted murder of Brendan Devine, police said. The arraignment was set for Saturday in Belfast Crown Court.

No mention of the names as yet. Slugger's got links to more articles.

Hat Tip: Captain's Quarters
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A Legend Passes

Marathon Pundit has some thoughts about George Mikan, the first NBA superstar center.
0 comments links to this post
 
Patty Hearst Revisited

In a new documentary.

"This was huge; it was the biggest story in the country - maybe even the world," says British-born documentarist Robert Stone, director of Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst. "It was like Paris Hilton getting kidnapped by Al Qaeda, turning to Islam and becoming a terrorist."

That's an exaggeration; Patty Hearst was an unknown before she was kidnapped. However, it was an astonishing story that riveted the nation, especially after the twist where she joined her kidnappers in a bank robbery.

But it's hard to believe the filmmaker's claims of impartiality with statements like this:

"Out of all the groups, the SLA were the most interesting, the most off the wall and got most of the attention," says Stone. "They started out as political but morphed into this weird cult: there was this big incestuous sex thing going on and at one point they thought their fugitive black leader - Field Marshall Cinque - was the fifth prophet.

"But they were the ones who succeeded most. They made the FBI look like fools, they made Randolph Hearst grant them media access and give away millions of dollars worth of free food to the poor… and, lest we forget, there were only 12 of them.

"But I think the real lesson to be learnt is that the SLA were a perfect example of how not to go about changing the world," concludes Stone. "The way they went about things did more harm than good to any cause that they espoused."


That strikes me as dangerously close to the formulation that "You may not agree with their methods, but at least their goals are just." Which is a bunch of crap. Stone (not Oliver by the way) accepts at face value the claims that the SLA never raped Patty:

"The treatment that she described is somewhat exaggerated," says Stone. "I do know she wasn't raped, as the SLA were run by right-on feminist lesbians who wouldn't have let that happen, although I would say she wasn't treated as well as the SLA like to remember either. It's kind of somewhere in between.

Those "right-on feminist lesbians" didn't do much to save Myrna Opsahl; in fact one of them shot and killed her.
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Rather Looking for A Sign from God?

(Welcome Captain's Quarters and Ed Driscoll readers! Thanks, Eds!)

Sheesh, according to Captain Ed, Dan Rather's still insisting that the documents he presented on 60 Minutes II haven't been proven phony.

"...[T]his panel came forward and what they concluded, among the things they concluded after months of investigation and spending millions of dollars, they could not determine that the documents were fraudulent. Important point, that we don't know whether the documents were fraudulent or not."

We also don't know whether Dan's a secret agent for the Chinese who's been cleverly fooling us with a caucasian mask and his folksy Texas Ratherisms, or not.

You see the problem? When he says nobody's proven the documents false or not, he's demanding extraordinary proof of their falsity. But of course, a real newsman should be in the business of demanding extraordinary proof of their validity. That's supposed to be the difference between CBS News and the National Enquirer.

If God were to appear suddenly in the Western sky and write in letters of fire, "The documents were fake!" Rather would note that there was no record of anybody by the name of God serving with then-Lieutenant George W. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard.
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Better Late than Never

Just found this terrific post by the Politicker, displaying graphically how out of touch liberals are on issues like the Ten Commandments, Gay Marriage and the Christian Movement.
0 comments links to this post
 
Senate 2006 Look

Baseball Crank ran some numbers to determine which Senate seats look vulnerable in 2006. Short answer: Seven of the nine likeliest turnovers are current Democratic seats. Our old buddy Gerry Daly does some analysis off that.

Hat Tip: Conservative Grapevine
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Silly Lede

Check out the opening paragraph of this article:

Conservatives may strive to portray New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as a polarizing figure, but she unified Hollywood Democratic political donors at a series of fundraisers that netted an estimated $1 million in a single evening, hosts estimated Thursday.

Try replacing but with because.
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Thursday, June 02, 2005
 
Batman Tries Liberalism

I talked about this a little earlier. Back in 1988, the writer for Batman in Detective comics was Alan Grant. I don't pretend to know Mr Grant, but it was not hard to pick up his politics with stories like the one that appeared in Detective #590, "An American Batman in London".

Now remember, this is not current stuff, it was written and published 13 years before 9-11, so it's just garden variety nonsense, not nearly as offensive as it might seem otherwise.

The basic plot is that Arab terrorists shot up a Vietnam Veterans' bar/club, killing seven and wounding another 13 before committing suicide. The government suspects that Hassan, a Syraqi (cute, eh?) diplomat planned the mission, but he has already departed for London for another attack. Bruce Wayne is on the next flight, getting to England on the night of Guy Fawkes' Day. He breaks into the Syraqi Embassy, and confronts Hassan, the diplomat. After a fight sequence, Batman tries to extract from him the details of the London attack, and Hassan channels Ward Churchill:

(Note: you can click on any of the pictures here for a larger version)




Intially Batman comes back strong and righteous, but the liberal proxy quickly begins to convince him with the force of his logic and argument. At least, that's what I imagine Grant thought when he wrote this tripe:




Of course, Hassan is just talking to stall while his guards are creeping up behind Batman, but he really knows his liberal talking points well. All the tropes are there, even the accusation of being a hypocrite.

Eventually Batman figures out that the London attack is to be an assault on Parliament (Guy Fawkes' Day, remember?) and foils the plot. But in the end, he's still musing on Hassan's words:




Now of course, this kind of liberalism makes no sense at all for Batman. He's a vigilante, a guy who beats up crooks. How could he do that if he were overcome with liberal guilt about their depressed childhood?

And this is not even the worst of it; wait till I tell you about Batman's anarchist buddy.
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The American Gulag

Bill Ardolino has details of some of the horrors of Gitmo.
0 comments links to this post
 
Living Wage "Only" Results in 1% Rise In Unemployment

Well, this is certainly welcome news.

They found an overall loss of 112 jobs, or about 1%, attributable to the law. They also found that employers made up the wage hikes, which amounted to more than 20% in some cases, in a variety of ways. They cut overtime and fringe benefits, hired more skilled, productive workers or passed on costs to the city. Lower employee turnover and absenteeism also helped offset the higher wage costs, making up 16% of the pay difference, the study said.

Now, just imagine that Paul Krugman had evidence that the Bush tax cuts had resulted in a percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate, and also resulted in a loss of overtime, fringe benefits, and additional costs to the government. Do you think it would be presented as "only" a 1% increase in the unemployment rate?

Me neither.
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Batman Begins: Good Conservative Movie?

This sounds like good news.

One of the posts I've been meaning to do and never getting around to is the ridiculous effort by some comic book writers to make superhero characters more liberal. This is a fool's errand, because superheroes are vigilantes. Vigilantes are not bleeding hearts. There was some effort about 20 years ago to introduce liberal storylines into Batman, with pretty disastrous results. I'll try to put together some images to show what I'm talking about here this evening.

BTW, the site linked above looks like a good resource for conservatives who want to know what they're supporting with their money before they plunk it down.
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A Question from Hitler

Errr, sorry, a question from Kitty. ;)
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David Brooks Channelling Brainster's?

My latest post over at Lifelike.
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If You Want to Ruffle Some Feathers

Just try comparing Nixon to Clinton. You have to read the comments on this post, they're hilarious. I guess one of the Lefty bloggers picked it up, because it's pretty much moonbat central.
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Let Us Know When He Takes One Out

Ankle-Biting Pundits mentions that Howard Dean has put his foot in his mouth once again. All kidding aside, you've gotta read some of these quotes; they're hilarious:

"We need to have pension portability, so that pensions as we move from job to job to job, the pensions follow us. they don't stay in the company. That great Democrat, Jim Jeffords has been introducing this for 15 years."

The head of the party doesn't know that Jumpin' Jim is an independent? And for 11 of those 15 years he was a Republican?

Actually that's not this:




It's more like this:


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Hey Everybody, I'm Hitler!

Michelle Malkin says you haven't made it in public life if you haven't been compared to Hitler. No wonder the producers at CNN and Fox haven't been calling me! Here are my credentials:




Some more obvious Hitlers:





0 comments links to this post
 
Morning Coffee

As a blogger, the first two sites I check in the morning are Lucianne and Real Clear Politics. Lucianne because the Must Reads are a quick look at what's getting buzz in the news world, and Real Clear Politics because it has the top columns of the day.

But the new site that's turning out to be a godsend is Conservative Grapevine, by John Hawkins of Right Wing News. John surfs 90 blogs a day, looking for the best in political commentary and analysis.

Today he's got some interesting links. Donald Luskin continues his kneecapping of Paul Krugman. Joshua Micah Marshall, one of the big blogs on the left, revealed to his readers three years ago the identity of Deep Throat: Pat Buchanan. And Jihad Watch proprietor Robert Spencer is getting threats on a Muslim bulletin board.

Conservative Grapevine is like morning coffee: It gets you going.
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Wednesday, June 01, 2005
 
He-Man Woman-Haters Club

(Welcome Polipundit readers! Thanks, Lori!)

That's how Christina Odone describes the Labour Party in Britain.

TWO YEARS ago I attended a meeting at a well-known bastion of the left-wing intelligentsia. There were a dozen representatives of the Malaysian media and three senior members of the Labour establishment. There were two Malaysian women, but the rest of those gathered were men. I was seven months pregnant and arrived slightly late and very out of breath. There were no chairs left, and slowly I huffed and puffed my way to the window sill, where I perched uncomfortably for the next 90 minutes. No one stood up to offer me a seat. When I remarked upon this afterwards to one of the Labour honchos, he shrugged off the criticism: “Chivalry is not part of Malaysian culture, I guess.”

Forget the Malays, I exploded, what about the male Britons present? He responded with a shrug: “I thought you women were interested in equality.” This was more than bad manners. The incident was indicative of the Left’s attitude to women in positions of influence: they are an irrelevance to be overlooked, an irritant to be brushed aside.


She brings in Bill Clinton:

Ms Jackson, who describes herself as a libertarian feminist, shows how, because Mr Clinton was pro-choice, pro-equal pay, pro-state-funded childcare, he could count on the complicity of women (and men) who would normally have delighted in blowing the whistle on a male sexual predator. As with the similarly priapic and disreputable Kennedy clan, Mr Clinton’s track record on social issues protected him from being outed as a serial misogynist.

Entertaining and well-written.
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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

Neo-neocon takes a look at Radical Son by David Horowitz and identifies an earlier turning point than is generally attributed.

As I have commented in the past, I was a radical leftist during my high school and college years. But one of the reasons I am not any longer, is because I have a pretty good memory for the arguments of my youth, and who turned out to be right or wrong.

For instance, after the famous John Kerry speech in 1971 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, there was this exchange:

Mr. Kerry: Well, I think if we were to replace the Thieu-Ky-Khiem regime and offer these men sanctuary somewhere, which I think this Government has an obligation to do since we created that government and supported it all along. I think there would not be any problems. The number two man at the Saigon talks to Ambassador Lam was asked by the Concerned Laymen, who visited with them in Paris last month, how long they felt they could survive if the United States would pull out and his answer was 1 week. So I think clearly we do have to face his question. But I think, having done what we have done to that country, we have an obligation to offer sanctuary to the perhaps 2,000, 3,000 people who might face, and obviously they would, we understand that, might face political assassination or something else. But my feeling is that those 3,000 who may have to leave that country-

Senator Aiken: I think your 3,000 estimate might be a little low because we had to help 800,000 find sanctuary from North Vietnam after the French lost at Dienbienphu.


Of course, Senator Aiken was quite a bit closer to the mark than John Kerry was.

If you do this, keep track of arguments over time and figure out who was wrong and who was right, more often than not you'll see that the liberal was wrong and the conservative was right.
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Victor Navasky at the Columbia Journalism Review?

Okay, so we knew the CJR wasn't exactly middle of the road, but this is ridiculous.

As for whether having the longtime editor of a magazine with a famously political (liberal) bent involved in the administration of CJR, Hoyt said appearances might not match with reality. "It could give somebody an opportunity to make a connection, but the connection is not there," Hoyt said. "He doesn't push anything editorially."

That's a bunch of hooey. First of all, The Nation, which Navasky edited for years and is currently the publisher, is NOT liberal. It's Leftist. I have a continuum of magazines/newspapers in my mind:

Far Left: Z-Mag, Lip
Left: The Nation
Left-Liberal: The American Prospect
Liberal: The New York Times
Moderate Liberal: The New Republic, Washington Post
Centrist: Not thinking of anybody offhand
Moderate Conservative: Weekly Standard
Conservative: The National Review
Right-Wing Conservative: The Wall Street Journal
Right: Manchester Union-Leader?
Far Right: The American Conservative

Not sure if the Manchester Union-Leader is still as hard right as it used to be. Anyway, it's not hard to see that on this scale, the Nation is pretty far out of the center. Navasky is still an apologist for the excesses of the Soviet Union; years ago I heard him give a speech where he laughingly referred to the "Moscow Money"; unfortunately for him it was later discovered that indeed, the "Moscow Money" had been sent by the Kremlin to the Communist Party of the United States. As far as I know, The Nation has never acknowledged the guilt of Alger Hiss and some of the others who were found to be on Moscow's payroll.
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Great Opening Paragraph from Lileks

Today's Newhouse column:

He swore at subordinates. He chased after women, used bad language to underlings, cooked the data to get the results he wanted, and alienated as many people as he attracted. So much for his U.N. ambassadorship, eh? So let's hear no more about giving Bill Clinton that job.

Well worth the full read.
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Congrats to Kitty!

Her post on the Canadian Blood story gets linked at Lucianne, her fifth time as blogtruth of the day. I'd guess that half of the blogs in the top 50 haven't been linked five times by the divine Mrs G!
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100 Greatest Sports Finishes

A buddy of mine loaned me a copy of the book "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings", a look back at what the author concludes were the 100 greatest sports finishes. For the heck of it, I decided to compile my personal list before reading the book. In no particular order:

1. Joe Montana leads Notre Dame back from a 34-12 deficit with under eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to win the 1979 Cotton Bowl, 35-34.

2. Joe Montana hits Dwight Clark in the endzone to beat Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, on the play that will forever be known as "The Catch". Undeniably the play of the 1980s.

3. Franco Harris catches a deflected pass and rumbles for a touchdown in the closing seconds of an 1972 AFC playoff game. The "Immaculate Reception" is the most famous and most important touchdown in the decade of the 1970s.

4. Roger Staubach heaves the "Hail Mary" pass to Drew Pearson to beat the Minnesota Vikings in a 1975 NFC playoff game.

5. John Elway leads the Broncos on a game-tying 98-yard touchdown drive against the Cleveland Browns in a 1986 playoff game.

6. Doug Flutie uncoils a miracle pass to Gerard Phelan as time runs out against Miami, the day after Thanksgiving, 1984.

7. The NY Giants get jobbed by the umpires on Merkle's Boner, 1908. In one of the most famous incidents in baseball history, Fred Merkle, a 19-year-old rookie becomes the goat. He was on first base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, game tied. Al Bridwell hit a clean single into the outfield, scoring the runner from third. Game over, right? Not so fast. Johnny Evers, the savvy shortstop for the Cubs recognizes that Merkle has failed to touch second base, and the force is still on. He yells for the ball, touches the bag, and the umpire, Hank O'Day, calls Merkle out. The game is called because of darkness and when the Cubs and Giants are tied at the end of the season, the game has to be "played off" (this appears to be the origin of the term playoffs). The Cubs win the rematch and go on to win the World Series (ironically, their last).

8. Mazeroski hits a walk-off homer to defeat the NY Yankees in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series.




9. Bobby Thompson rocks the Dodgers with a bottom of the ninth, three-run homer to win the 1951 National League Pennant.

10. Kirk Gibson comes out from the dugout and hits a homer off Dennis Eckersley to shock the heavily favored Oakland A's in the opening game of the 1988 World Series.




11. Ken Stabler hits Clarence Davis in the endzone with no time remaining to defeat the two-time defending World Champion Miami Dolphins in a 1974 playoff game.

12. Georgetown's Freddie Brown throws the ball to North Carolina's James Worthy to cost the Hoyas a shot at the 1982 NCAA Championship.

13. Joe Montana hits John Taylor for a TD in the last minute of Super Bowl XXIII to beat the Bengals.

14. Willis Reed comes out of the locker room to play game seven of the 1970 NBA Finals.

15. The Miracle Mets of 1969.

16. "Little roller up along the bag... and the ball gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!" Paul notes rightly in the comments that there's not enough attention paid to Mookie Wilson's at-bat in that inning, which was undeniably the greatest plate appearance in the history of the Mets. Mookie fouled off pitch after pitch, then managed to get out of the way when Schiraldi uncorked the wild one that tied the game.

17. The Arizona Diamondbacks rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, game seven of the 2001 World Series, to defeat the greatest closer in the history of postseason baseball. You could nominate several games in that series, particularly the two in New York where the Yanks rallied from two runs down in the bottom of the ninth.




18. Jack Nicklaus charges back to win the 1986 Masters.

19. Phil Michelson birdies three of the last four holes to win the 2004 Masters.

20. Bjorn Borg outlasts John McEnroe in the 1982 Wimbledon finals. The tie-breaker in the fourth set goes to 18-16, with McEnroe surviving five match points there alone.




Olympics:

21. The USA hockey team stuns the world by beating the Russians in the 1980 semifinals, then goes on to win the gold medal.

22. Kerri Strug sticks a vault landing despite a broken ankle to win the team gold for the USA in gymnastics in 1996 for the USA women.

23. Dan Jansen wins a gold medal in speed skating in his last attempt in 1994. Jansen, whose sister had died in 1988 the day of the 500-meter event, had fallen down in five previous attempts at a gold medal.

24. The 2004 Boston Red Sox break the curse of the Bambino by coming back from a 3-0 deficit. This one probably won't be in the book as it's too recent, and it's arguable that it doesn't qualify because the final game wasn't very close.

25. Gar Heard of the Phoenix Suns hits a desperation shot in double overtime of game five of the 1976 NBA finals to send the game into a third OT.

26. Lorenzo Charles catches an errant shot by Dereck Whittenburg and jams it home to give North Carolina State the 1983 NCAA Championship over the heavily favored University of Houston.

27. Villanova misses one shot in the entire second half and still barely holds on to defeat the defending NCAA Champion Georgetown Hoyas in the 1985 finals.

28. Miami runs out to a 28-0 lead in the 1984 Orange Bowl then has to hang on for dear life as Nebraska storms back 31-24 with time running out. Facing fourth and 8, Nebraska seemingly put a dagger in the heart of the Hurricanes as Mike Rozier rumbled for a touchdown. There was no overtime in college football then, and everybody has concluded that had Nebraska made a extra point kick, they would have been crowned as national champs. Tom Osborne elected to go for two. With even God expecting a run, Osborne tried a pass to Irving Fryar that was behind him and dropped. Cited by many as the greatest college football game ever.

29. The Music City Miracle. Frank Wycheck of the Tennessee Titans fields a kickoff, then heaves it backwards across the field to Kevin Dyson who dashes for a touchdown to stun the Buffalo Bills in a 1999 playoff game.




30. A very similar play took place on Thanksgiving, 1982. SMU, which had gone undefeated so far, were losing by seven with almost no time remaining. An SMU player fielded the kickoff, ran to the right, then chucked left to a waiting Eric Dickerson, who galloped down the sidelines to salvage a tie. A terrific play, and one that folks would be talking about for years after had it not had the misfortune of occuring the same day as:

31. John Elway's final game at Stanford. Elway leads his team to an apparent 20-19 victory over Cal with time running out. Stanford kicks off. Moen to Rodgers to Garner to Rodgers to Moen to Trombone Player. Touchdown Cal!

32. The Comeback. The Buffalo Bills are losing a playoff game at home by 35-3 just before the half, with their star quarterback, Jim Kelly, injured. Game over, right? Nope. Frank Reich engineers a 41-38 comeback victory. Amazingly, Reich, who was never a star player, is the quarterback who led his team to the greatest comebacks in both college and pro football history.

33. Kellen Winslow and the 1981 Chargers-Dolphins playoff game. The Chargers took a 28-0 lead early in the game then watched as the Dolphins came storming back. Winslow blocked a field goal attempt near the end of regulation, and another in the overtime period before the Chargers finally won it on a Rolf Benirschke field goal.

34. The Ice Bowl. Bart Starr sneaks across late in the game.




35. The Reach. Kevin Dyson of the Titans comes up a yard short in Super Bowl XXXIV against the Rams as time runs out.




36. Mr Right in the comments suggested a good one; Michael Jordan's game winner against Utah in 1998 for his sixth and final NBA championship.

37. Christian Laettner's miracle shot against Kentucky in the 1990 NCAA's.




38. Joe Carter's walkoff home run to win the 1993 World Series (Prediction: this one doesn't make the book's list).

39. Secretariat wins the Belmont Stakes completing the 1973 Triple Crown. The drama in this one was in the scope of the win; a world record time that still stands for that distance, and a staggering victory by 31 lengths.




40. Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.


Fisk

41. Southhampton upsets Manchester United in the 1976 FA Cup finals. Southhampton was a second division club in the English League. It was comparable to a minor league team beating the New York Yankees in the World Series.

42. Dale Earnhardt finally wins the Daytona 500.




43. Jack Morris tosses a ten-inning shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series to lead the Minnesota Twins to victory over the Atlanta Braves. The entire series that year was a classic with drama to spare, but that game was truly extraordinary. Good catch, Paul!

This is a work in progress. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.
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The Reality of Gitmo

Michelle Malkin covers the "torture" allegations.

A significant number of detainees' complaints were either exaggerated or fabricated (no surprise given al Qaeda's explicit instructions to trainees to lie). One detainee who claimed to have been "beaten, spit upon and treated worse than a dog" could not provide a single detail pertaining to mistreatment by U.S. military personnel. Another detainee claimed that guards were physically abusive, but admitted he hadn't seen it.

Another detainee disputed one of the now-globally infamous claims that American guards had mistreated the Koran. The detainee said that riots resulted from claims that a guard dropped the Koran. In actuality, the detainee said, a detainee dropped the Koran then blamed a guard. Other detainees who complained about abuse of the Koran admitted they had never personally witnessed any such abuse, but one said he had heard that non-Muslim soldiers touched the Koran when searching it for contraband.


This, of course, is what the Left wants to convince us is the American gulag.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
 
The Deep Throat Thing

Confirmed by the WaPo. I had to laugh at this though:

He was the romantic truth teller half hidden in the shadows of a Washington parking garage.

Earlier:

But Felt's repeated denials, and the stalwart silence of the reporters he aided -- Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein -- kept the cloak of mystery drawn up around Deep Throat.

So to recap, he was the romantic truth teller half hidden in the shadows of a Washington parking garage who lied for over 30 years about it.

Meanwhile, others aren't so certain about the truth of Felt's confession:

On the other hand, as the years rolled by, Nixon ruled out Peterson and everyone else at Justice and FBI because they could not possibly have had access to what was perhaps Deep Throat's greatest revelation.

This was the story in the Washington Post of November 8, 1973 saying that a crucial White House tape of June 20, 1972 featuring Nixon and his chief of staff, H R Halderman, had been "doctored" and that the problems on the tape were of a "suspicious nature".

Deep Throat told Bob Woodward that this tape contained "deliberate erasures". This was the sensational story of the 18-and-a-half minute gap on the tape. It remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of Watergate because it contains the probable identity of Deep Throat.

When Deep Throat leaked the information about "deliberate erasures" to Woodward at some time in the first week of November 1973 only six people in the White House, or for that matter in the world, knew about the problem of the gap in the tape. They were Richard Nixon; Rose Mary Woods (Nixon's personal secretary); Alexander Haig (The White House chief of staff); Haig's deputy, Major General John C Bennett and two trusted Nixon White House aides, Fred Buzhardt and Steve Bull.


It's long been suspected by those in the know that Deep Throat was not just one person, but a composite of several people. The advantage from the informants' standpoint was that they could then claim not to be the leaker because they hadn't been at a particular meeting. And of course from Woodward & Bernstein's point of view, they could offer plausible deniability to new sources for that same reason. In theory, they could fill in the gaps based on their guesstimates and just claim they got it from Deep Throat.

Hugh Hewitt mentioned on the radio that John Dean did a book revealing Deep Throat's identity. That book is called "Unmasking Deep Throat". Published by Salon, it sits at #630,574 on Amazon's Hot 700,000 list. Unfortunately there are no reviews with spoilers so I went on to Google.

Here's an article Dean wrote earlier this year for the LA Times. He's coy, but he sure doesn't sound like he's describing the #2 guy at the FBI here:

I have little doubt that one of my former Nixon White House colleagues is history's best-known anonymous source — Deep Throat. But I'll be damned if I can figure out exactly which one.
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English to Democrat Translation

You might say that Mr Right is functioning as your own personal Babelfish.
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The Media Start to Awaken

Our buddy Patrick Hynes scores a regular column in the Concord (NH) Monitor, with the first one up today on corruption in the New Hampshire governor's office. I have always said that the mainstream media would co-opt the bloggers; it's good to see it starting to happen. Congratulations, Patrick!
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Interview with Sam Brownback

Worth a read. There's a fair amount of buzz around Brownback as a potential presidential candidate, which won't be cooled by this:

John Hawkins: I understand. In 2008: Are we going to see Sam Brownback toss his hat into the ring for the presidency?

Sam Brownback: Well, I’m looking at it and I am considering it. No final decision has been made. My wife and I are talking about that. I’ve made some early trips into Iowa and New Hampshire, Michigan, and last year some travels around South Carolina. I haven’t been there this year and I’m considering it. It’s quite a challenge and so I’m taking time and looking at it quite carefully.


That about as candid a response as I've ever seen a politician make about whether he's running. Compare that to Hillary's ridiculous "I haven't even thought about it" claims.
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The Reality-Based Community? Part LI

Ralph Nader calls for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Minutes from a summer 2002 meeting involving British Prime Minister Tony Blair reveal that the Bush administration was ''fixing" the intelligence to justify invading Iraq. US intelligence used to justify the war demonstrates repeatedly the truth of the meeting minutes -- evidence was thin and needed fixing.

We talked about problems with the memo previously. Beyond the issues raised there is that the memo reflects the impressions of the writer and not some objective truth that can be verified. Indeed, as Power Line wrote when the memo first surfaced, the best indications are that the memo is wrong on that score.

The Bostonist is opposed, but chiefly on the pragmatic basis that the votes would not be there.
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McCain Reactions

I concur with Jack Kelly's take.

I'm not sure McCain will run for president in 2008 (he'll be awfully old). But if he does, he'll run more for the ego boost he'll get from a fawning press corps than because he thinks he has a serious chance to win. If McCain does run, he'll skip the Iowa caucuses, win the New Hampshire primary (where independents can vote), get killed in South Carolina, and then fade away, like four years ago. The press corps wouldn't fawn if McCain ran as a regular Republican instead of a "maverick." McCain's role as chief broker of the compromise already has generated lots of favorable attention from the MSM, which is what butters his toast. Sorry Hugh, McCain's a winner, not a loser.

John Hawkins has an early McCain 2008 poster.
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Foreign Policy Smackdown

Pat Hynes covers the ongoing battle over the direction of conservative foreign policy between National Review and the Weekly Standard. As usual Pat's analysis is spot-on, although I do wonder about this part, where he summarizes Rich Lowry's major points:

1. The best defense is a good offense.
2. A healthy skepticism of government action.
3. A healthy appreciation for all instruments by which national power is projected.
4. A healthy appreciation for the role of democracy in fostering liberty.
5. A solid grounding in American traditions, “built on the four schools identified by Walter Russell Mead.”

In my view, the neocons would have no gripe with items 1, 3, and 4 above. As for number two, I think the neocons are more optimistic on the question of the government’s competence than the average conservative.


The term "neocon" has migrated a bit from its original meaning. The central tenet of neoconservatism is the Principle of Unintended Consequences, which holds that the unintended consequences of government action are frequently equal to and opposite from the intended consequences. Thus welfare, which was intended to help people out, ended up trapping them in poverty.

So the idea that neocons might object to item 2 on that list seems a little odd. I understand where Pat's coming from on this, but it highlights the need for some new terminology. It's obviously true that if you are a big believer in the Principle of Unintended Consequences, then you should have been opposed to the notion of remaking the Middle East, which is a vast government project rife with potential for bad unintended consequences.

And yet, it is clear that neocons have been pretty enthusiastic supporters of the war in Iraq. What's going on here?

Three things:

1. Neocons (true neocons) are a much smaller and less influential group than is commonly assumed. This should be obvious given that Bill Kristol is arguably the most influential and famous neocon. I myself came over to the Republican Party via the neoconservative bridge, but I no longer consider myself a neocon. I'm more of a National Review guy than a Weekly Standard guy.

2. The War in Iraq is not necessarily a violation of the Principle of Unintended Consequences. We have put the systems in place to allow the Iraqi people to determine their own future. The systems that were in place were preventing that to happen, which was boiling over elsewhere.

3. Not all the people who support the war are neocons. This should also be obvious. Yeah, the paleos are against it. But those in favor include the traditional conservatives at the National Review, and folks like Michael J. Totten who are liberal on just about everything else.

This is (I think) what our good friend Neo-neocon is getting at with the name of her blog.
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One Question about Hillary

Lorie Byrd does the asking, which means it's a good one.
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Michelle Malkin Covers Art

She notes some of the more ridiculous art in the news, including a photograph of the painting that depicts President Bush getting sodomized by an oil sheikh (which of course, won an award).

Interestingly, the piece won an award from a "local gay arts activist", whose only complaint was that Bush should have been on top. I'll confess to being a little confused about the whole point of the homoeroticism of the president. The left (and presumably local gay arts activists) think there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior, right? Then why do they snicker when they see depictions of right wingers engaging in it? Is it all just about "the hypocrisy"?
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Showing Proper Respect for the Koran

Danegerus has the photo. And yes, it does look quite a bit like Tevya.
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Contra Bill Maher

Check out Incoherant Ramblings (not a misspelling), the blog of Risawn, a gal milblogger in Kosovo. Lots and lots of intelligent commentary and some excellent photos, particularly of her trip to Greece (there's a pair of pix in there that should get a good laugh).

I discovered this via an apparently new John Hawkins project, called Conservative Grapevine, where he has quick links to recent posts by conservative bloggers. Looks like it's going to be a regular morning stopping place. Check out the blogroll over there; this has indeed been a wonderful weekend for my ego. (Update 1: Gulp! Guess I gloated too early, now I'm not in the blogroll!) (Update 2: Looks like somekind of rotation on that blogroll; some of the other folks who were up there this morning are also gone now)
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EU Follies

Mark Steyn is going to have a difficult time parodizing the current EU mess. Was it only yesterday that he wrote this:

Only in totalitarian dictatorships does the ballot come with a pre-ordained correct answer. Yet President Juncker distilled the great flaw at the heart of the EU constitution into one straightforward sentence that cut through all the thickets of Giscard's unreadable verbiage. The American constitution begins with the words "We the people". The starting point for the EU constitution is: "We know better than the people."

Unfortunately, before the ink was dry on that joke, the Dutch took him up on it.

Unlike France's referendum, which was binding on the government, the Dutch vote is advisory. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's governing party said Monday it will accept a "no" verdict only if turnout reaches at least 30 percent and if 55 percent of those who vote reject the charter.

But if Richard Delevan is correct, the Dutch will exceed those numbers. Will Balkenende start moving the goalposts?
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Monday, May 30, 2005
 
Why Not Make Everybody Valedictorian?

Sheesh, this is a dumb article even by Margaret Talbot's standards on the growing practice of not having class valedictorians any more. The story starts with Sarasota High School, where apparently several students had perfect GPAs.

The school had a system in place to break ties. “If the G.P.A.s were the same, the award was supposed to go to the kid with the most credits,” Kennedy explained. It turned out that one of the top students, Denny Davies, had learned of this rule, and had quietly arranged to take extra courses during his senior year, including an independent study in algebra. “The independent study was probably a breeze, and he ended up with the most credits,” Kennedy said.

Davies was named valedictorian. His chief rivals for the honor were furious—in particular, a girl named Kylie Barker, who told me recently that she had wanted to be valedictorian “pretty much forever.”


Let me get this straight. You wanted to be valedictorian pretty much forever, but you never thought to find out what the rules were? Now Davies, not being piggish, offered to be co-valedictorian with Kylie. Problem solved?

But the Barkers weren’t excited about it. “The principal was trying to make everybody happy, and when you do that there’s always somebody who isn’t,” Cheryl Barker said. “I guess it was me.”

Well, I have a question for you, Mrs Barker. On what basis should your daughter have been valedictorian alone? Should the school have reversed its policy and said that ties go to the person with the fewest credits?

The rest of the article is pretty much standard liberal fare: Why are we putting the kids through so much pressure, and who's going to remember who was valedictorian five years from now....

In some ways, it seems that the valedictorian is a status designed for a simpler time, when fewer people aspired to college. It isn’t entirely suited to a brutally competitive age in which the dividing line between those who go to college and those who don’t may be the most significant fissure in American society, and in which the children (and parents) of the upper middle classes have been convinced that going to an exceedingly selective college is the only way to insure wealth and happiness.

But of course, almost anybody who's in the running for valedictorian is going to college, and most of them are going to those exceedingly selective schools. And ironically it is Cheryl Barker who has the last word:

Cheryl Barker still marvels at how hard Kylie worked, how determined she was, how she never missed a day of school, how she’d go to the library all the time to use the computer because they didn’t have one at home. Barker thinks that it was a mistake for the high school to stop naming a valedictorian and a salutatorian. “Those kids all know who the No. 1 and 2 are, anyway,” she told me over coffee. “Everyone’s so afraid of getting sued or losing their jobs these days that they try too hard to candy-coat things.” But, she added, “there are some kids who what they’re good at is studying. That’s what they do. They deserve something special to strive for. They do.”

Exactly.
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New Linker Linked

First of all, you have to love the name: Lump on a Blog. Second, how could I resist when he puts me in with this company:

My first daily stop was Hugh Hewitt, followed by Powerline, Little Green Footballs, and Polipundit. A quick right at The Kerry Spot and it was on to The Corner, Kerry Haters (now Brainster's), Crushed Kerry (now Anklebitingpundits), Instapundit, Ratherbiased, and Rathergate. Then it was onward to explore the other hard-hitting, no-holds-barred pit-bulls of the blogging community. These were, and still are, some of the biggest giants in the blogging business.

:) One of these things is not like the others, but I'm not complaining! Thanks Lumpy!
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OODA Loops and An American Hero

Interesting article on one of the greatest military minds of all time:

To find out how to design a good jet fighter Boyd went to Georgia Tech and got an engineering degree. It was while studying thermodynamics there that he realized that the key to fighter operations was energy, trading off potential and kinetic energy. Assisted by Tom Christie and $1 million of purloined computer time, he developed Energy-Maneuverability (E-M) Theory. It allowed him to draw performance curves for every airplane that flew and predict which fighter plane would win in a matchup. In the late 1960s he headed up an ad hoc guerrilla group in the Pentagon, the “Fighter Mafia,” that designed the best fighter aircraft in the world, the F-16.
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More On the DePaul Story

John Ruberry has been covering this case from the beginning.
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Celebrity Sightings

Rachel wants to know whom you've seen and the circumstances. My Hollywood sightings are pretty pathetic; about the only ones I can remember are Paula Prentiss & Richard Benjamin. Back in 1968, my parents, who were active in the anti-war movement, had a fundraising party for Gene McCarthy, and those were the two "draws". They had been in a critically acclaimed (and quickly cancelled) TV show called "He and She". Benjamin went on to appear in "Catch-22" and "Goodbye, Columbus".

I saw Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner filming "The Lady in Red" when I lived in San Francisco. Film shoots were an everyday occurence there, but that was the only time I can remember seeing real stars. In New York in 1980 I saw Sigourney Weaver working on some film; I think it was "Eyewitness". She was tall and really, really thin.

I do better in the world of sports. I met Joe Namath at Super Bowl XXX. A friend of mine and I were hanging outside Sun Devil Stadium, just watching the passing parade. John said, "Hey, look, there's Joe Namath!" I turned around, fully expecting to say, "That's not Joe Namath," but it was him, coming down out of a nearby parking garage. Everybody was asking for an autograph, but he begged off saying he was late and needed to be on the field for the coin toss. So as he walked past, I said, "Joe, you gotta shake my hand!" and he did. Definitely one of my idols growing up, although my favorite Jets player of that era was Don Maynard.

In 1995, I was at a closing dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for an apartment complex we had financed. I had to go to the bathroom, which required walking to the end of a row of tables and then hanging a left. As I neared the final table, a huge guy was standing there, looking at me nervously. It was Charles Barkley, and the funniest thing was that I could see the fear in his eyes--"Damn, this guy's going to make a fuss and ask me for an autograph"--so I gave him a wink of recognition and walked right by.

Around 1988 I was at a Phoenix Suns game when they announced Dave Winfield was in the audience. Everybody's applauding and looking directly at me for some reason. Turned out he was in the row behind us. Nice guy, another really big man.

So I've met Hall of Famers in the big three sports. Another guy bound for the Hall of Fame that I came close to was Tim Brown, receiver for the Oakland Raiders. It was at the Players' Party at Super Bowl XXX. I was just hanging out watching the band (I think it was Meatloaf) when all of a sudden a whole bunch of bouncers were zooming past us shouting "Coming, through, coming through!" They were bodyguards surrounding Tim Brown, who was on his way into the private section of the party. He was surprisingly small, but every muscle on his body looked perfectly toned. I wouldn't say ripped because that gives an image of bulk; Brown just didn't have an ounce of fat on him. Chuck Cecil (Green Bay & Houston safety), whom I met at a party, looked the same way.

I also met Philadelphia defensive lineman Byron Evans on a golf course in Phoenix. A friend and I were playing a round and invited the twosome behind us to join in. One of them was Byron, who was one of the biggest men I have ever seen. But I outdrove him on all but one hole (I can give the ball a pretty fair knock when warmed up). He wore shorts and you could see his knees had been operated on many times.
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Sunday, May 29, 2005
 
I'm Sure They're Very Nice Sweatshops

This is hilarious:

Wristbands sold to raise money for a campaign against world poverty are made in Chinese sweatshops in "slave labour" conditions.

The conditions are disclosed in confidential "ethical audits" of factories that make the ultra-fashionable white wristbands for the Make Poverty History campaign, started by a coalition of more than 400 charities.
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The Over-The-Hill Gang

Proving that it's a little hard to make a getaway when you have to use a walker.

Cue a fast escape and it would have been almost the perfect crime. But theirs was to be anything but a textbook getaway. Hampered by various arthritic, respiratory and prostate problems, they staggered and wheezed their way through the final stages of the heist.

Their shambolic exit was topped off when one of them, Rudolf Richter, fell over in front of the vehicle and, unable to get up by himself, had to be dragged inside by his cohorts.


Hat Tip: Tim Worstall
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Back When Blow You Meant Something Different

Noticed this auction on ebay.
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Kuttner on How the Dems Can Win

(Welcome Slate Today's Blogs readers! Please look around and if you like what you see, consider bookmarking this blog's home page)

It starts out okay; I agree with much of what he says about the Republican party and the conservative movement. Yeah, there are the obligatory snarky digs. But when it comes time to look at his own party and the liberal movement, Kuttner doesn't come off so well.

In one story line, liberal interest groups have disproportionate in?uence, leaving the Democratic Party with a message too left wing for the country on both social issues and national defense. On economics, New Democrats want a modernizing party committed to ?scal responsibility, globalism, and market-like strategies for social problems such as health care and education. This is said to be “pro-growth,” though its detractors view that as a code for pro-business. The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), initially cheering Gore-Lieberman as just the ticket, became progressively disillusioned the more populist Gore sounded. In a DLC postmortem, Joe Lieberman declared that Gore’s “economic populism stuff was not the pro-growth approach. It made it more dif?cult for us to gain the support of middle-class independent voters who don’t see America as … us versus them.”

The opposite view -- whose exponents include Tom Frank, Robert Borosage, and David J. Sirota -- holds that by failing to run as progressives, Democrats allow Republicans to use cultural issues as a proxy for class issues. Frank, sifting through the ashes of the Democrats’ 2004 defeat, wrote recently in The New York Review of Books: “Conservatives generally regard class as an unacceptable topic when the subject is economics -- trade, deregulation, shifting the tax burden … . But de?ne class as culture, and class instantly becomes the blood and bone of public discourse … . Workerist in its rhetoric but royalist in its economic effects, this backlash is in no way embarrassed by its contradictions.”


So far so good; that fairly summarizes the two sides in the debate. Guess which side Kuttner endorses?

In theory, either recipe could produce a governing coalition. But a resurgent Democratic Party built on progressivism would be more worth having.

Good lord, where to start? First, notice the assumption that underlies the whole economic populism argument: That Democrats are better for the working class economically. But the jury's quite obviously out on that issue. Look at Europe, which has the kinds of business and labor laws the Democrats would like to see enacted here; are Europeans doing better than we are? No, they are quite a bit behind us economically. France's GDP per capita ($28,700) is almost 30% lower than ours ($40,100), and that gap has widened during the last 20 years.

Economic populism is a bunch of nonsense. We hear all the time about the gap between the wealthy and the middle class, and how it's growing and how awful it is for society. But think about it for a second. The only time the gap between the wealthy and the middle class grows is when the economy is doing well. The rich, because of their ownership of financial assets do very well indeed in a strong economy. But does that mean that the middle class does poorly, or that they do better when the economy is in the tank? Obviously not.

You ever notice that economic populists all pine for the glory days of the Depression? So much so that they are constantly seeing it just around the corner, like Paul Krugman, still holding out hope for his long-awaited double-dip? Is it because those were great times to be a working man in America? Obviously not. But they were great times to be an economic populist.

Anyway, back to Kuttner's piece:

Economic progressives such as the late Paul Wellstone have won working- and middle-class support, often in improbable places. The hugely popular Bernie Sanders, very likely the next senator from Vermont, got elected and re-elected more by rallying the locals than the Birkenstock set.

It worked in Minnesota and Vermont (well-known conservative bastions). And Robert? The Birkenstock set are the locals in Vermont.

It's all downhill from there. Look, when I was a kid I thought communism could work, that it was better for the common man. But the common man disagreed, and over time he was proven right. Economic progressivism is code talk for "Let's try communism again, but this time we won't kill the goose."
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They Also Serve

Superb article on the mothers of US Marines. Perhaps surprising coming from the New York Times Magazine and the Dean of the J-School at Cal, but it's well worth the (long) read.
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The Blogger's Friend

When you can't find anything to write about, look for the latest Mark Steyn and link. This one's about EUtopia and how it will handle no votes this week:

Alas, this tactic doesn't seem to have worked. So, a couple of days before the first referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker, the "president" of the European Union, let French and Dutch voters know how much he values their opinion:

"If at the end of the ratification process, we do not manage to solve the problems, the countries that would have said No, would have to ask themselves the question again," "President" Juncker told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

Got that? You have the right to vote, but only if you give the answer your rulers want you to give. But don't worry, if you don't, we'll treat you like a particularly backward nursery school and keep asking the question until you get the answer right. Even America's bossiest nanny-state Democrats don't usually express their contempt for the will of the people quite so crudely.


Kind of like the election for Washington's governor, where they kept counting the votes until the Democrat won.
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