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Saturday, September 17, 2005
 
Redskins Again

I've never liked the team, and don't like many of the people associated with it over the years like Joe Theismann and John Riggins. But I do get tired of the constant controversy over the team name.

Today the Washington Post dedicates part of its editorial page to allow one of their sports columnists to opine against the "Redskins".

That's the same tired excuse Florida State University uses to continue the tradition of a student on horseback in full Hollywood regalia, chucking a flaming spear into the ground at midfield before football games, while thousands of people participate in the Tomahawk chop and the accompanying war chant also popular at Atlanta Braves games. The truth: The indigenous people of this continent were almost all hunters, gatherers, craftsmen and craftswomen before some of our ancestors nearly exterminated them and turned them into B-western caricatures.

Lotta fish in that barrel, let me get my gun. First of all, Chief Osceola, as the student on horseback is called, was designed with the approval of the Seminole Tribe. The Seminoles want Florida State to continue to be identified with them, so if you change the name, you'd be disagreeing with the people who are supposedly maligned with the identification.

The "before some of our ancestors nearly exterminated them" is a bit gratuitous; most Indians died from European diseases for which they had no immunity, not European muskets. I'm sure that the vast majority of Indians were not warriors, just as the vast majority of Americans are not warriors.

Why am I still waiting for Daniel Snyder to understand that if his team's logo featured Mandingo tribesmen or orthodox Hasidics, it would be labeled racist and anti-Semitic?

Why would it be anti-Semitic to identify your team with orthodox Hasidics? Nobody names their teams after something nobody likes. If there were a team named the Rabbis, one would assume that whoever did the naming liked Rabbis. If it's all about racism, how come no Southern team was ever called the Birmingham N*gg*rs?

He drags in the history of scalping (not that it's relevant except as another way to bash "our" ancestors), mentions a couple of players who have trouble with the name, then launches back into it:

Don't they realize some folks feel the same way about the Confederate flag, the way others used to feel about Amos and Andy, about putting on black face? Until time told them they were wrong, that they should have known better.

Of course, it's all about feelings.

When parents buy their children bedspreads and rain ponchos with the team's insignia on it -- as Snyder's parents did for him -- it becomes part of your life experience, a piece of personal history.

But it's not your history. It's not your cultural symbol. It never was. You co-opted it, seized someone else's identity and made it part of your own.


Okay, so Daniel Snyder doesn't get a vote in the matter. Well, then, let's put it to a vote of the people affected. We know that the Seminoles approve of their name being used; how about a poll of Indians about the Redskins? Instead of some white guy making it his personal crusade (oops, sorry, Muslim friends!).
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SUVs for Me But Not for Thee

(Welcome fellow Polipundit readers! Thanks, Lorie!)

Michelle Malkin has an amusing story on the "assault vehicle" that the Sierra Club used to pick up Arianna Huffington and deliver her to a recent meeting in San Francisco.

That reminded me of this post about Arianna (and fellow HuffPo global warming nut Laurie David) using private planes to fly around the country.

I'm sure Airiheadda and Mrs David could come up with good rationalizations. They're such busy persons, and with their words they can reduce the gas use of millions of people. So on a net basis, they're reducing greenhouse gases, even adjusted for the hot air coming out of their mouths.

By the way, do you know why Airiheadda is rich? She married a rich man, Michael Huffington, and later divorced him. Michael Huffington got his money from the family business established by his father, Roy M. Huffington. What sector of the economy was Roy M. Huffington, Inc., involved in? You guessed it, oil and gas!

Update: Mr Snitch has some more examples of celebrity environmentalist hypocrisy.
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Friday, September 16, 2005
 
Couple Neat Smaller Blogs

Love the art at Who Looks At These Anyway.

The West Wants Out is a blog about Western Canada seceding from the rest of the country, something that I am on record as predicting will happen in the next 20 years or so.
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They're Just Really Dedicated Democrats

Or should I say deadicated?
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Mother Moonbat

Wait until you see what Cindy Sheehan said now!

In fact, her comments are so absurd that I've fisked them a bit over at Lifelike.
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Meet Tibor Rubin, Hero



Recognized belatedly because of an anti-Semitic sergeant, a week from today, Tibor Rubin will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for his exploits in Korea.

In October 1950, the Chinese army spilled into North Korea and attacked US troops. In an ensuing battle, many in his unit were slain, and a badly wounded Rubin was captured.

He spent 2-1/2 years in a brutal POW camp in which Americans faced starvation and illness. But Rubin, steeled by experience in the Nazi camp, managed to swipe food from Chinese and North Korean depots and distributed it equally among his comrades, according to fellow soldiers.

"Every day, when it got dark, and we went to sleep, Rubin was on his way, crawling on his stomach, jumping over fences, breaking in supply houses, while the guns were looking down on him. He tied the bottom of his fatigue pants and filled up anything he could get ahold of," a fellow soldier, Sergeant Carl McClendon, said in an affidavit.

The army said Rubin's actions to get food and medical care saved the lives of 40 fellow soldiers.
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Coast Guard Tributes

Our buddy Chris at Lucky Dawg has a couple good movies dedicated to the heroes of Katrina. (Scroll down a bit until you see the helicopters). Good stuff. Also check out his Photoshopping of Bubba with some babes, it's hilarious.
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Ward Churchill to Speak at DePaul

Further proof that if you attack the US rhetorically, you'll be welcomed at PCU, but if you dare to do the same to the noble Palestinians....
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Ramblings' Journal to Go Dark

Sounds like Michael is moving on up, but his blog will be missed.
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Looks Like Barbara Bush Was Right

She got a lot of criticism for her "this is working out pretty well for them" comment, but it looks like the evacuees agree:

Fewer than half of all New Orleans evacuees living in emergency shelters here said they will move back home, while two-thirds of those who want to relocate planned to settle permanently in the Houston area, according to a survey by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Still, nearly nine in 10 said they were "hopeful" about the future. And while half said they felt depressed about what lies ahead, just a third said they were afraid.
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US Peace Activist "Hippy" Deported from Oz

This might be an overreaction, but he sure seems like a flake.

Scott Parkin, a 36-year-old teacher based in Texas, was escorted onto a flight to Los Angeles, four days after being arrested on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock told Australian radio Parkin was arrested because his visa was canceled. And it was canceled, he said, because ASIO had given an "adverse security assessment" relating to concerns about "politically motivated violence, including violent protest activity."

Liz Thompson of the National Anti-Deportation Alliance worried that the incident was "an attempt not just to intimidate Scott, but all those working for social justice and progressive social change more broadly."

Parkin was doing nothing wrong, she said, describing him as "a hippy giving workshops on peace, non-violent direct action."


Remember Brainster's definition: Leftwing "justice"= Socialism/Communism in 99% of all cases. When they say "social justice" it's more like 100%.

Here's the goofball website of the group that Parkin belongs to: The Houston Global Awareness Collective. Check out their manifesto:

We are DANDELIONS breaking through cracks in the pavement. Our roots will side-step middlemen and crumble pyramid schemes of every stripe. We are activists against passive complicity. We conjure open dialogues that inspire ears to listen and voices to sing. We reject all saviors and their offers of pie in the sky-we will have our pie NOW (and eat it, too)-and we will always keep extra pies on hand to serve to any self-proclaimed savior. We will rupture a schism in -isms and tear down the fences that rend our psychic landscapes to embrace a sensual politrix of joy and generosity. We labor for a truly FREE market where love, life and laughter bear no price tags and money's only value lies in its potential as paper airplanes and tiddlywinks.

Yeah, communists.

Hat Tip: Pam Meister (at Lifelike)
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Thursday, September 15, 2005
 
How Do Bush's Polling Numbers Keep Falling?

Here's Rasmussen's polling for the last two weeks. As you can see the numbers have bounced around a little bit, but on a net basis they're unchanged. However that would not prevent creative article writers from writing the following stories:

September 3: Bush Poll Rating Drops.
September 5: Bush Ratings in Freefall!

Now comes the tricky part. Bush's rating goes up. But is that a news story? Not in this reporter's eyes.

September 7: Bush Polling Off In Wake of Katrina, Iraq Disasters

Not much news for the next couple days, as the President's job approval climbs to 48. Where's Cindy Sheehan?

September 11: Bush Losing Support!
September 12: Can Anything Stop The Bleeding?

September 14: Bush Support Drops by a Point in Latest Polling.
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Survivor Notes: Week 1

Surprise, surprise, they bring back Steph. Horror of horrors they bring back Bobby Jon with her. Here's a clue to the unlucky group that got him: Don't ask him to do puzzles!

Not surprisingly, the old guys take charge. Yeah! Old men rule! One of the youngsters gets hit by a nasty-looking sticker tree, and a few moments later (it seems) young man drool!

Steph loses yet again. For a woman who's supposed to be one of the great Survivor women of all time, she's never won an immunity challenge and only seldom won a reward challenge. Bobby Jon, true to form, adds nothing to his team other than looking like he's about to slip into convulsions. Lots of puking scenes, but apparently only the one tribe. Early favorite from that tribe is the nurse; I don't imagine anybody's going to want to vote her off.

But Steph finally wins an immunity challenge! Entertaining race, with the teams paddling their boats around an obstacle, grabbing a torch, then hauling the boats up the beach over rolling logs. Having Gary Hogeboom on your team definitely helps. Does he stick out like a sore thumb, though, as a top-caliber athlete?

Hogeboom played for the Cowboys, Colts and Cardinals in his career. He had shown promise as a backup for Danny White, but when given a chance in 1984, he responded with 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. For the rest of his career he was an okay player and a better than average NFL backup quarterback. He completed about 56% of his passes for 7.1 yards per attempt, numbers that are not too bad. The bad part was the interception percentage at 4.5%.

Obvious prediction here: Bobby Jon gets the axe. (DOH!)

Except when they come back we learn that Jim has ripped a muscle in his left arm. In the end Jim gets a seemingly unanimous vote (except obviously for his own).

Comments: Usual gorgeous scenery from Mark Burnett, although I suspect we'll see the folks bathing in that crocodile infested water before long (as always). What was up with Probst's hair in the opening sequence? I'm sure we'll be hearing quite a bit about the Mayans in the next few months.
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Some Suggested Questions for Chuckie Schumer the Next Time a Supreme Court Justice is Nominated

1. If you were me, err, I, err, me, and me, err, I were you, what questions would you, as me, ask me, as you?

2. On the other hand, if you were you and I was me and he is he and we are all together... scratch that.

3. Boxers or briefs?
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Terrific Katrina Blogging

Northshore Politics is typing up the journal entries she made during the storm and its aftermath. Just keep scrolling.

And for an amazing post, read this by a nurse who was in Methodist Hospital in NOLA during the storm.
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More Thuggery from the IRA; Will Gerry Adams Step In?

Here's a story in the Guardian about the threats to the late Robert McCartney's fiancee:

Republicans have picketed the home of Bridgeen Hagans, the one-time fiancee of Robert McCartney, and demanded that a friend allegedly attacked by IRA men withdraw his statement to the police, the family said last night. On Tuesday night, a crowd of 50 people gathered outside the home of Ms Hagans and her two young children, chanting: "Out! Out!"

After McCartney was murdered outside a Belfast bar in January, Ms Hagans, along with his five sisters, accused IRA members of the murder and a cover-up. They led a campaign for justice that sparked international outrage at the killing and gained White House support.

Ms Hagans, who lives behind bullet-proof windows after earlier attacks on her home, is said to be terrified after the recent pickets. The family say that on Monday night IRA men involved in McCartney's murder used the cover of loyalist riots to attack a relative, who was reportedly assaulted outside the family home. Afterwards they are said to have severely beaten McCartney's best friend, Jess Commander, 34, as he went through the nationalist enclave of Short Strand, which had come under sustained attack during the riots.

Almost unheard of in a nationalist area where the IRA are "protectors of the community", Mr Commander complained to the police, naming his attackers. Picketers outside Ms Hagans' home then demanded that no charges be pressed.


Let me specify here that from my reading of the events in Northern Ireland, the problems in the last week have been largely the fault of the loyalists and this absolutely moronic stuff about "marching season".

Unfortunately, some of the thugs on the Republican side took advantage of the confusion. And the part about the IRA men being "protectors of the community" is laughable. In the 1970s one could make that claim, but most estimates are that more Catholics have been killed by the IRA than by Protestants in the last ten years.

Hat Tip: Saoirse32
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Survivor Blogging

Here's the new cast. Looks like Attack of the Killer BR's: Brandon, Brian, Brianna & Brooke. One of the players is a former NFL quarterback/real estate developer named Gary; he's obviously not Gary Danielson. He mentions that his favorite book is "Last of the Breed" by Louis L'Amour; he's gotta be my choice. Looks like Morgan, a 21-year-old waitress/magician's assistant will be the designated cutie pie.

(Later note: It's Gary Hogeboom! He's the answer to a somewhat negative trivia question: Who was the last quarterback not to spike the ball to kill the clock? Hogie was playing for the Arizona Cardinals about 1989 and with time running out, he lobbed a pass to the sidelines to kill the clock, but it took so much time that the game was over. Sometime in the next week Don Majkowski of the Packers spiked it and a trend was born.)

I'll have my thoughts about tonight's episode later. Less than two weeks to the debut of the Amazing Race!

Mrs Media Matters blows a double raspberry at reality TV. But she does admit to watching at least two of the shows, so it's more of a case of blowing a double raspberry at the ones she doesn't like. But the good news is her husband likes reality TV and lots of it. Let's hope they have his and her TVs!
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Klocek Case Started One Year Ago

John Ruberry has a good wrap-up of the history of the case and where it stands. He gives me a little too much credit and himself too little--he's definitely been the go-to guy on the shenanigans at DePaul.

As I have mentioned on several occasions, the Left analyzes everything with the same template: who's the oppressor, and who's the oppressed. This leads them to some ridiculous stances, such as their mindless support for the Palestinians. Looked at in this light, the suspension of Professor Klocek actually makes sense. Students=oppressed, teacher=oppressor.

There are some advantages to using a template; it frees you from any real need to analyze the individual circumstances. Of course, the negative is inflexibility and ridiculous results, as in the Klocek case.
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Shoot Bin Laden

John at My Take on Things has a cute little flash game.

Hat Tip: Lucky Dawg
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Architect Caves on Flight 93 Memorial

The crescent feature "may" be removed.

There is commentary by one family member:

Gordon Felt, of Remsen, N.Y., whose brother Edward Felt was killed on Flight 93, said he called Tancredo's office and said Tancredo should have held off on his criticism.

"I wish he would come out to Somerset and see topography of the land," Felt said.

Felt said it is natural for the design to evolve.

"I think the topography of the land would really dictate there would be some kind of arc," Felt said.


Congress has also approved a Flight 93 memorial at the Capitol.

Hat Tip: Mrs M.
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Air America Saga Continues

Michelle Malkin has the latest instalment.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005
 
Lolita on Social Security?



Nabokov 50 years later, over at Lifelike.
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Hurricane Ophelia Blogging


Lorie Byrd
and John Hawkins are in the thick of it, but fortunately it doesn't sound too bad.

I commented to some friends the other day that one of the nice things about living in Phoenix is that we have very little to worry about here. Of course, the negative is that I can't blog about the weather much. Maybe next summer I can do some heat wave blogging--hey, it's 115 in the shade on my back patio! But we always say here that it's not really hot until it gets up to 120. ;)
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Attack of the Moonbats!

Hilarious photoshop here.
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Looking for Smart People

Patrick Ruffini has a new project:

ECorps allows web geeks, blog aficionados, and graphic designers across America to come in and share what they're good at. From this, we'll build a community of like-minded people just like you. You don't have to be especially political to join, and you don't have to have architected a Fortune 500 company web site either: a snazzy blog, or even just a willingness to learn will do just fine. If you're not the person for this, is the webmaster or database administrator at the office a closet Republican? Then send them this e-mail. I'll need your help to spread the word far and wide beyond the blogosphere.

If you have the skill sets he's looking for, sign up. If you know someone else who does, send them this information.
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Five Year Old Girl a Hero

Nice little story from Australia here.



When Ross O'Brien accidentally shot himself in the heart with a carpenter's nail gun, his five-year-old neighbour Tyla Ludwig reacted with a poise and wisdom way beyond her years.

The youngster swiftly rang triple-0 and calmly relayed life-saving information from an ambulance officer to her mother Sue, who was performing CPR on Mr O'Brien at her rural property at Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland.
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Andrew Sullivan Takes Up Lying

Get this hilarious claim:

Four years later, no real plan is in place. We are still on our own. After all that money poured into homeland defense, we still have no capacity to act swiftly to save lives after a major attack. This is not only a betrayal of his campaign promises; it's a betrayal of war leadership; and, much worse, it's an invitation to our enemies to attack. That's why I endorsed his opponent last November: demonstrated incompetence.

Nonsense. Here's Andrew from February 2004:

The president has made it easy. He's a simple man and he divides the world into friends and foes. He has now made a whole group of Americans - and their families and their friends - his enemy. We have no alternative but to defend ourselves and our families from this attack. And we will.

It's all about the Federal Marriage Amendment with Andrew Sullivan. This stuff about it being all about competence is just face-saving. Read his posts before February 24, 2004 (when the president endorsed the FMA) and after, and there is a clear dividing line.

I used to have a lot of respect for Andrew. Like many other folks, his blog was the first one I started reading. But it definitely looks like he's gone over to the dark side and is now picking up their habit of dissembling about motives.

See also our buddy the Leather Penguin.
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Pledge Ruled Unconstitutional

So much for stare decisis, I suppose.

I agree with the Ankle-Biters take on this; the ruling is a disaster for the Democrats. It virtually ensures that the replacement for O'Connor will be a conservative, and not a squishy moderate.

See also Mrs Media Matters. Like her, I'm not terribly religious, but I do feel the country is under a greater threat from the areligious folks than it is from the Christians. As I suggested last year at CHRISTmas, perhaps the way to battle this is to assert that Atheism itself is a religion, and that the elimination of references to God amounts to a government endorsement of Atheism.
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The War Among the Democrats

Howard Fineman is back with a reasonable (if fence-sitting) column on the coming spat between the DLC (moderate Democrats) and the liberal blogosphere.

Rosenberg rejects that notion that the bloggers represent a new “Internet Left.” It’s not an ideological rift, he says, but a “narrative” of independence versus capitulation: too many Democrats here are too yielding to George W. Bush on the war in Iraq, on tax policy, you name it. “What the blogs have developed is a narrative,” he told me the other day,” and the narrative is that the official Washington party has become like Vichy France.”

Heheh. Yeah, if you believe that Bush is Hitler and the US is the new Nazi Germany, then I guess you could analogize the moderate Democrats as Vichy collaborationists.

Oddly, Fineman seems disinclined to pop the bloggers' bubble. When discussing the evaporating candidacy of Howard Dean in 2004, he notes:

The First Battle of Bull Run (or First Manassas, if you insist) in this civil war occurred in 2003 and early 2004, when party insiders, the Mainstream Media and a network of long-time “funders” anointed Sen. John Kerry, only to see him get chewed up in the early going by Gov. Howard Dean.

Hmmmm. Kerry actually only got chewed up in the blogs and in the punditocracy. When the Democrats started having caucuses and primaries, he crushed Dean like an ant. And that to me is the real story of the Lefty Blogosphere. Yeah, they can raise money for angry candidates like Dean and Paul Hackett. But can they deliver the voters? There is zero evidence of their efficacy on the only day that matters: Election Day.

Strategically, Clinton has no higher priority than reaching out to what Rosenberg calls “the emerging activist class” and word is that, through aides and advisors, she is doing just that: they have set up meetings with key bloggers.

If she's smart, she'll stay away from Kos and Atrios and those idiots. She doesn't need them to win the Democratic primaries. Indeed, the sensible thing would be for her to publicly distance herself from them; it could be another Sister Soljah moment.
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More Supremes and Baseball

Not John Roberts this time, but the New Jersey Supreme Court.
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Let the Government Do It

That's the message hero-hater Ted Rall has for folks donating to charities.

It's ridiculous, but people evidently need to be reminded that the United States is not only the world's wealthiest nation but the wealthiest society that has existed anywhere, ever. The U.S. government can easily pick up the tab for people inconvenienced by bad weather--if helping them is a priority. That goes double for Katrina, a disaster caused by the government's conscious decision to eliminate the $50 million pittance needed to improve New Orleans' levees.

And:

Cutting a check to the Red Cross isn't just a vote for irresponsible government. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what you'll end up paying for Katrina in increased taxes.

You can almost hear Rall saying "Oh, yeah!" to the increased taxes part.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005
 
More On the Gretna Story--Updated!

Tom Maguire looks at the story.

Here's my problem with the story that folks were trying to evacuate in that direction: Where were they going? Here's a look at the map:



The red star shows were Gretna is located. The bridge they were trying to cross is the only one on the map. Now look at a little larger map:



See the problem? They weren't going to get far. From what I can see, there are no bridges over the Mississippi to the east, so unless they were planning on doubling back and heading west, they were going to be out of luck.

Here's the story of a man who did walk out of New Orleans in the sensible direction.

But Stewart, 57, who waited until he could wait no more, walked from New Orleans to Baton Rouge — approximately 85 miles — on La. Highway 61 South, better known as Airline Highway.

You can see 61 on the second map, and it does indeed lead directly to Baton Rouge. So maybe the Gretna sheriffs were right to be suspicious of people claiming they were just trying to evacuate.

Update: K, in the comments points out correctly that the people trying to evacuate (especially the out-of-towners) may not have realized that they weren't going in the right direction. They may have thought, I don't care where, I just gotta get out of New Orleans. The Gretna sheriffs might have avoided a lot of criticism if they'd simply pulled out their maps and shown the folks that Route 61 was their best escape.

Update: Appalled Moderate, in the comments, pointed us to this really cool flood map of New Orleans, showing the approximate maximum water depths reached and the current water depth. It does indicate that the people trying to escape New Orleans from the CBD may have been unable to get to Route 61 due to the depth of the water.
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More (Sigh) Violence in Northern Ireland



Looks like this isn't going to end anytime soon.

Traffic was again held up in Belfast as protesters blocked roads, mostly in the west of the city.Business and tourist interests have already begun to count the cost of disturbances, expected to run into the millions.

The local tourist board said: "Tourism here is dependent on a positive image but the television pictures broadcast reinforce an image which we had hoped was confined to the past."


The article also notes that a friend of Robert McCartney, whose murder we have covered here since February, was beaten by IRA thugs:

And in another sign of tension, there were claims that the IRA had used the cover of loyalist violence to attack a friend of Robert McCartney, the nationalist man who was killed during a bar brawl in Belfast at the start of the year.

Slugger notes reports that the IRA is now threatening the late McCartney's fiancee.
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The Crescent of Embrace--Dishonoring the Heroes of Flight 93



Mark Steyn at his usual best:

But each to his own. If Mr Murdoch sincerely believes in a “crescent of embrace”, let him build one – at the headquarters of a “moderate” Islamic lobby group, or in the parking lot of your wackier colleges. To impose it on Flight 93 – to, in effect, hijack those passengers a second time – is an abomination. Flight 93 is about what happens when you understand that some things can’t be embraced. Perhaps Mr Beamer and his comrades did indeed “look them in the eye” and saw there was nothing to negotiate, nothing to “embrace”. So they acted – and, faced with a novel and unprecedented form of terror, they stopped it cold in little more than an hour. Todd Beamer asked that telephone operator to join him in reciting the 23rd Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” He knew there would be no happy ending that day, but in their resourcefulness and sacrifice he and his fellow passengers gave their country the next best thing: a hopeful ending. That’s what the Flight 93 Memorial should be honouring.

Not to be pedantic about it, but isn't "Crescent of Embrace" grammatically incorrect as well? It's kind of like the "Street of Hug" or "Circle of Kiss".

Sissy Willis argues that it's not that big a deal. I'd be interested in hearing the Flight 93 families on this; I know that some of them were represented on the jury that selected the design. Flight 93 is very important to me on a personal level, as I have mentioned in the past.

After 9-11 I found myself mired in depression for the first week, and hoped that the weekend would bring an improvement. But after spending Saturday watching some of the memorial services, I worried about my own mental health. So on Sunday I decided to devote the entire day to reading as much as I could about the hero flight. It was stunning how many connections to my own life I was able to find.

Jeremy Glick (kissing the baby above) was a big comic book fan as a kid and liked to pretend to be Green Lantern. He grew up a few miles from where I did, in a town which shared our high school. At first I thought he went there as well, so I sent an email to my sister. She wrote back that her husband had worked with Glick's father (!) and she remembered discussing the connection at a company picnic and learning that their kids had gone to private schools.

Todd Beamer (baseball cap) was described in various stories as living in Plainsboro, Hightstown and Cranbury, New Jersey. My sister lives in Plainsboro, but she's got a Cranbury address for mail, and my dad lives in Hightstown. Lou Nacke (far left) was another comic book fan, with a Superman tattoo on his arm.

My depression didn't lift completely, but it was quite a bit lighter by the end of that day. So I feel very protective of our Flight 93 heroes; they are not just a bunch of folks who died in a plane crash. If Lisa Beamer and Liz Glick are on board with the design as it exists, then I'll bite my tongue out of respect for them. But I want to hear that before I say, well, it's no big deal.

And this might never have become an issue without the anti-American exhibit proposed for the WTC site.

More: Michelle Malkin has a column on this today.

Some design contest jury members reportedly raised concerns about the jarring symbol of the hijackers' faith implanted on the hallowed ground where the passengers of Flight 93 were murdered. But their recommendations to change the name of the memorial (to "Arc of Embrace," or some such whitewashing) were ignored.

And Captain Ed:

Nothing about this rather beautiful, beatific design reflects that courage and intrepidity. It instead insists on new-agey windchimes and areas of contemplation, which would have been excellent had the centerpiece of the memorial still recalled the valiant courage of the people who fought back instead of merely contemplated their fate. What do we have in place of that? A centerpiece that, inadvertently or not, invokes the religious symbol of the terrorists who used their religious fanaticism to rationalize their acts.
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Around the Horn



Kitty wonders if Matt Drudge "borrowed" her scan of Sean Penn with a shotgun. She's got pretty good evidence, I'd say.

Chris at Lucky Dawg has the video of President Bush's opening pitch at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, which was used to introduce the president at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Some of you may not be aware but this was a terrific inside joke. A month earlier John Kerry had shown up at a Red Sox-Yankees game and thrown a wild pitch in the dirt to open the ballgame.

After a one-week hiatus caused by the traffic overload our buddy Rick Moran got for his excellent timeline of the Katrina disaster, the Carnival of the Clueless returns!

Dennis the Peasant does a little fisking of a Marc Cooper post on the Roberts hearings.

Pam Meister tackles a global tax to aid the world's poor at her own blog, and discusses how decades of liberal policy led to the situation in New Orleans over at Lifelike.
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Poll Vault

Ankle-Biting Pundits has the lowdown on the WaPo's much-reported poll showing "record low" approval ratings for President Bush. Rasmussen shows Bush's approval ratings are holding relatively steady.
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Bohemian (New Orleans) Rhapsody

Mr Right has a good takeoff on the famous song by Queen:

"I see a little Chimpbushitler of a man!"
"Dubya Bush! Dubya Bush! Sole cause of global warming!"
"FBI hunts Nagin!" "Cannibals crave Cajun meat!"
Media drones, (Media drones)
Media drones, (Media drones)
Media drones, inundate the Superdome!


Funny stuff!
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Professor Denied Tenure for Not Supporting Ward Churchill

Here's a disgusting story:

Meanwhile, Roisman engineered a vote in the law school in which one-third of the faculty not only voted against Bradford for any future tenure but voted as well against retaining him even for three more years even untenured: i.e., that he be fired immediately. Compare this vote with what had occurred just 120 days previously, before Bradford refused to sign the Ward Churchill petition: the law faculty in November 2004 voted unanimously (19-0) that Bradford should be promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

Oddly enough, Bradford himself is a "real" Indian, unlike Churchill, who's a cigar store Indian.
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Poll: 32% Don't Care if Roberts Agrees with Them On Abortion

Of course, it's not being reported that way.

According to a Field Poll released Tuesday, 68 percent of registered California voters polled said it was somewhat or very important that Roberts agreed with them on abortion. That was down from 84 percent when pollsters asked the question two years ago about a hypothetical "next person nominated" to the high court.

Put the other way, when confronted with Roberts, who is eminently qualified, twice as many people said his views on abortion don't matter.
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Monday, September 12, 2005
 
Yet Another Reason to Like Roberts

Apparently he's another Wodehouse fan:

You've said you're a devotee of P. G. Wodehouse. Of the current justices, who is most like Jeeves? Who's most like Bertie Wooster?

More on the Wodehouse theme here:

He's remembered as funny, a hard worker, intensely analytical. He's even got a high-court-ready hobby. His friend and mentor Chief Justice William Rehnquist is famously fond of the English comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan; Judge Roberts loves uber-Brit author P.G. Wodehouse, progenitor of Jeeves.

I don't know about that "uber-Brit" stuff; Wodehouse lived in the US for most of his life.
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Shorter Evan Thomas

Chimpy Bushitler McHalliburton has no imagination, only watches ESPN and hates bad news. The only way his aides could have conveyed the danger of the hurricane to him would have been to draw a picture of a pretzel labeled "Katrina" approaching a throat labeled "New Orleans".

I'm not kidding.

Looks like the lamestream media are reacting to the stories coming out about the incompetence of the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana the way the obnoxious Nicole Sullivan character on Mad TV handles bad news: by plugging their ears and going "Lalalalalala, I can't hear you!"

Jeff Goldstein has a longer take on the same story (no permalink, scroll down to "Katrina Coverage, Stage 2: Competing Narratives Emerge").
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Katrina Death Toll in LA Dropping Like a Rock

This is not entirely unexpected news, but the degree to which the number of deaths was exaggerated is quite startling.

Authorities raised Louisiana's death toll to 197 on Sunday, and recovery of corpses continued. Teams pulled an unspecified number of bodies from Memorial Medical Center, a 317-bed hospital in uptown New Orleans that closed more than a week ago after being surrounded by floodwaters. (boldface added)

Remember, that's for Louisiana as a whole, not just New Orleans. Yes, that number will continue to rise, but it's never going to be anywhere near 10,000 in NO by itself, quite obviously.

As I commented when La Dowd got all hysterical about "As the water recedes, more and more decaying bodies will testify...", the fact is that dead bodies float, so more and more dead bodies were not going to be testifying to anything.

Mark Steyn has a good take on this:

...as the New York Times put it: "Death Toll In New Orleans May Be Lower Than First Feared".

No truth in the rumour that early editions read "Than First Hoped".
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When Did the Media Notice the Levee Breaches?

The Wall Street Journal looks at this question.

In its Aug. 29 online edition, the New Orleans Times-Picayune first reported a breach in the 17th Street Canal levee at 2 p.m., citing City Hall officials. No other major news outlets picked up that report. The newspaper's Web site also reported massive flooding near the Industrial Canal, writing that city officials "fielded at least 100 calls from people in distress in the Lower 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans." At about 2:30, it reported that the Industrial Canal had been breached, citing a National Weather Service report.

But in the hours immediately following the storm, some news organizations seemed to play down the damage in New Orleans. Introducing "World News Tonight" on Aug. 29, anchor Charles Gibson said: "In New Orleans, entire neighborhoods are underwater, but the levees held. The nightmare scenario of an entire city underwater did not happen." A spokeswoman for ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co., had no comment.


They also note the overtopping versus breached distinction:

Confusion over the difference between a breach of a levee and a mere overrun may also be to blame. Locals have long known that an actual break in a levee would mean catastrophic and irreversible damage. But if flooding was only the result of water sloshing over the top of a levee, combined with 12 inches of rainfall and possible storm surges, then the situation could have been far less serious.

Update: Our buddy Rick Moran points us (in the comments) to this post in the Times-Picayune's weblog on Tuesday, August 30:

Seeking answers to rising waters
Tuesday, 8:05 a.m.

"The water continues to rise," according to Walter Maestri, director of emergency management for Jefferson Parish.

Maestri told WWL-Radio that parish officials have given engineers the next "three to four hours" to determine the cause of rising water.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005
 
NFL Week 1

This is where I have told you in 2003 and 2004 that Week 1 in the NFL doesn't matter. But last year, at least, it does seem to have been more important. The teams that won in the first week went on to win 134 games and lose 106 in their other fifteen contests, for a .558 winning percentage. Somewhat oddly, those who won the first game on the road did a little worse; winning 55 and losing 50 the rest of the way for a .524 winning percentage.
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The Right Answer to This Question

From the WaPo:

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday he will not ask not ask Supreme Court nominee John Roberts whether he would vote to overturn the landmark decision that legalized abortion.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., did say he planned to ask Roberts, the president's pick to succeed the late William H. Rehnquist as chief justice, whether there is a right to privacy in the Constitution.


The answer is no, there is no right to privacy in the Constitution. However, that does not mean that there is no right to privacy, for the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution reads:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Ergo, a generalized right to privacy may indeed exist, but it doesn't have to be spelled out in the constitution.
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9-11 Four Years On

Chris at Lucky Dawg still has the terrific flash animation of that awful day.
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