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Saturday, March 19, 2005
Chickens, When Not to Count Them

Well, I enjoyed the day of basketball right up until the last game of the day, when my predicted runner-up team bowed out in the second round to West Virginia.
Anybody Feel a Draft Coming?

John Hawkins remembers a prediction from the liberals that has not come true.
The Reality-Based Community?

Here's a fun article on the decline of the antiwar movement in Florida.

But their numbers have thinned and, for some, so has their enthusiasm.

Alfredo Tamburrino, 67, Fort Lauderdale, no longer takes to the streets. "I just sort of gave up," he said. "Once the war started, there was nothing really that could be done."

A major blow, activists and experts said, was President Bush's re-election in November. "To lead up to this war, we saw the greatest anti-war movement in history. What really hurt the anti-war movement was the Kerry campaign and the run for president," said Sarah Steiner, co-chairwoman of the Palm Beach County and Florida Green parties.

"Truthfully, we're very, very disheartened at the [Bush] re-election," said Jim Worl, 82, a Fort Lauderdale World War II Army vet. "There was a great letdown, a great letdown."

Professor Stephen Zunes, chairman of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, compared the '04 election to the 1968 victory for Richard Nixon, which temporarily sidelined the anti-Vietnam War movement.

Yes, but in this case, the killer has been the same thing that killed the anti-Vietnam War movement; the end of the war.
NCAA Tournament So Far

Okay, it's way early to be gloating, but my picks are proving pretty good in the NCAAs so far, especially compared to some of the "experts". CBS Sportsline has four expert brackets prepared by the guys who supposedly know their stuff; all four have fewer points in the first round than I do, and all four have fewer points remaining that they can score. Hilariously, the Dodd bracket had Syracuse winning it all, so he's now lost points in every single round of the tournament and is reduced to rooting for Bucknell, which would at least make everybody else look bad.

Doyell's Bracket had eight losers in the first round, and more important, he's already lost five games in the second round because the teams he had picked bowed out in the first.

I lost five games in the first round (Alabama, LSU, Creighton, Kansas, and Syracuse). More important, I've only lost two games in the second round: Bama and Kansas, and none in the third or later (yet).

Mejia's bracket is only modestly better than Dodd's because he had Syracuse losing in the semifinals instead of winning it all. He had 10 wrong picks in the first round, but amazingly despite having the most of his first round teams losing, he's still got 14 teams that could win him points in the second round, the same as I. Still, with him guaranteed not to score points with Syracuse in the next two rounds, he's starting out well behind me, and in the other three brackets we come out the same, so he's not going to pick up any points except possibly in the Illinois/Wake Forest semi, where I pick Wake and he picks the Illini. I could lose to him but it's unlikely starting out with that big an advantage and very few opportunities for him to close the gap.

Darst's bracket does it again with Syracuse. Cool that the town I spent many summers around and where my mom grew up has a college basketball team that is so respected, but if they'd looked at Sagarin predictor, they'd have seen that yes, the Orange should have easily handled Vermont, but after that they'd be in trouble. They were almost four points behind Michigan State in predictor. If they won, they'd face Duke which was four points better than Michigan State!

After picking Syracuse to go to the Final Four, Darst has eight down in the first round (to my 5) and five down in the second round(to my two), and two down in the third (none yet), plus of course the regional championship. However he probably does have the best chance of catching me since he picks Ok State to go to the final, which is far enough different to have a chance.

BTW, the twelve seed/five seed jinx proved to be just a fluke as anybody with half a brain would have figured except for Alabama. The five seeds were 3-1 this year. Too bad the CW was the opposite.

My bracket predictions (some already wrong):


Alabama (wrong)
Oklahoma State

Finals Illinois/OK State


Texas Tech
Wake Forest

Finals Wake Forest/Louisville


North Carolina
Kansas (wrong)

Finals North Carolina/Connecticut


Michigan State

Finals: Duke/Oklahoma

And for the National Championship: NC/Wake
Friday, March 18, 2005
Can the Left-Wing Bloggers Get Any More Disgusting?

From the NY Post comes the word that they are readying another attack on a gay Republican.

A GAY political activist is getting ready to out a "high-profile" female Republican well known in Washington. Mike Rogers, who outs closeted Republican politicos on his blog,, tells the April issue of GQ he's close to going public. "One of my sources was an employee of a woman she dated," Rogers tells the magazine, noting that a number of people from the woman's past "allege that she's gay, that she's dated women." He's proceeding cautiously on the advice of his lawyers. "I can't really discuss upcoming cases," Rogers tells PAGE SIX. "But I'm workin' it." Of course, there are many powerful women in the capital who have been the targets of lesbianism rumors. Rogers began his campaign last summer to combat the Republican stance against gay marriage. He has since "exposed" many high-level Republican officials and has forced some politicians out of office.

I surfed over to his lame site, where he talks about his "work" as if it is something to be proud of. As I mentioned in his comments, I hope that gays everywhere will denounce these activities and desert the Democrats as the party that encourages homophobia. Disgusting and vile are two of the tamest words I would use for Rogers and Aravosis. There is a special corner of hell reserved for these two slimeballs.

I surfed from this twit's site over to a site where a GQ article featuring him and Aravosis was discussed. Get the "evidence" presented for the notion that Ken Mehlman, the new head of the RNC, is gay:

“If he’s now heterosexual, I’d like to know why he’s single at 38,” Aravosis told RAW STORY. “Because we’ve heard nothing about girlfriends, we’ve heard nothing about marriage, we’ve heard nothing about nothing–and he’s bashing [us] about gay marriage? Because he doesn’t seem like much of a defender of marriage himself.”

Oooooh, that's very convincing, John!

Rogers does even worse, if possible:

“With all those eligible, beautiful Republican activist women at his beck and call,” he added, “you would think one would have been handsome (sic) enough for that Harvard-education (sic), handsome lawyer.”
Friday Afternoon Blogroll-Surfing

Neo-neocon wonders how much credit President Bush should get for the Cedar Revolution.

Take a look at Kitty's beeee-yooootiful smile in a wedding picture.

Mobile phones may help poor countries more than wealthy ones, says Tim Worstall at the Globalization Institute blog.

Marathon Pundit shows an example of McCarthyism on campus that does not have the left up in arms.

Michael King reflects on his close shave in the Brian Nichols case.
Hero Getting Screwed?

Found this at InDC Journal via Schadenfreude:

War hero turned away by VA

Vernon Baker battled Nazis to win the Medal of Honor. Now, at 85, he’s battling red tape.

Baker, purportedly the only living black Medal of Honor winner from World War II, needed emergency surgery in September to remove a malignant tumor from his brain.

Healthy for much of his life, the Idaho resident had overlooked the need to enroll for Veterans Affairs and Medicare benefits. When his medical bills arrived, Baker and his wife were surprised to learn the government did not intend to help pay them.

Patients must enroll with the Department of Veterans Affairs to receive benefits, and cannot be reimbursed for costs incurred before their enrollment, said Roxanne Sisemore, spokeswoman for VA.

And although some Medicare coverage kicks in automatically when a person reaches retirement age, coverage to pay doctors’ bills also requires enrollment, said Peter Ashkenaz, a Medicare spokesman.

Residents of St. Maries, Idaho, are organizing a fund-raiser to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills Baker already owes.

Neighbor Marilyn Fletcher is organizing the March 19 fund-raiser.

Baker earned the Medal of Honor, according to Army records, for his courage and leadership in 1944.

I am trying to contact Mrs Fletcher to find out if there is a bank account set up for this purpose and will update when I have more information.
Post-St. Paddy's Day Post

I was pleased to see that the News Hour with Jim Lehrer did a segment last night on the McCartney sisters and their quest to bring their brother's killers to justice. Of course, the story will promptly disappear from the media here in the US, now that St. Patrick's Day is over and the sisters are presumably winging their way home, as is Gerry Adams.

I have taken down the "Gerry Adams is coming" picture from the top banner; he's come and gone. However, I don't intend on stopping my blogging on the McCartney issue, the Northern Bank robbery and others involving the IRA and the peace process in Northern Ireland. As always, I highly recommend Slugger O'Toole and Richard Delevan as the two blogs that seem to have the best handle on the situation over there.

In the meantime, here is a very tough article on Adams and the IRA.

[W]ill any of those who entertain Adams this week have the guts to ask him precisely what role he played in the murder of Jean McConville in 1972? Was he really the commander of the death squad that murdered this mother of 10, as is alleged, or can he account for his movements at the time of her death?
It's Not April Fools' Day

But still, this story sounds like a gag:

For anyone who looked closely enough, presidential campaign finance reports posed a mystery in the winter of 2003: Why were a handful of wealthy investment bankers making donations to the Rev. Al Sharpton?

Federal prosecutors offered this surprising answer: It was all part of a scheme involving government pension funds, city contracts, and a plan to take over scores of chicken joints.
(Boldface added).
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Good News on Global Warming

It can't be stopped.

Even if people stopped pumping out carbon dioxide and other pollutants tomorrow, global warming would still get worse, two teams of researchers reported on Thursday.

Well, then, no sense in stopping, right? Of course, there are the usual doom and gloom predictions, without which no environmental report would be worth covering:

Sea levels will rise more than they have already risen, worsening the damage caused by extreme high tides and storm surges, and droughts, heat waves and storms will become more severe, the climate experts predicted.

First point here: There are no sea "levels". There is one sea level, which is sort of the reason for using it as a reference. And of course, they have not "already risen", as folks in Florida can attest. Most of the state is not more than a few feet above sea level.

More wonderful nonsense, spoken as fact:

Virtually no one disagrees human activity is fueling global warming, and a global treaty signed in Kyoto, Japan, aims to reduce polluting emissions. But the world's biggest polluter, the United States, has withdrawn from the 1997 treaty, saying its provisions would hurt the U.S. economy.

What's with this "virtually nobody" bit? Did Reuters take a poll? Or is that non-subtle editorializing, like the rest of the paragraph?
Harsh Words--Updated

Gerard Baker wonders why it took the Irish in America so long to wake up to the reality of the IRA.

Why does it take the killing of an Irish Catholic outside a Belfast pub to open your perceptive eyes to the reality of Irish republicanism? Where were you when it was a couple of dozen innocent British — Protestants and Catholics alike — in a Birmingham pub? Why were you not similarly outraged when off-duty soldiers and their families were the targets in Woolwich and Guildford? What exactly were you doing and saying when they tried to wipe out half the British Cabinet as they lay sleeping in their hotel beds? Don’t get me wrong. The murder of Robert McCartney is no less heinous than any of the IRA’s other offences. It is as much a study in murderous infamy as the remarkable response of his heroic sisters is a lesson in courage for all who love peace and justice.

Speaking for myself, I lost all sympathy for the IRA in 1976, when I spent a semester in a London on high alert for terrorist bombings.

John McCain, speaking at the annual American Ireland Fund Dinner, seared the crowd with this:

"Anyone, Irish, American or British who desires and works for the success of peace, freedom and justice must denounce in the strongest possible terms not only the cowards who murdered Robert McCartney but the IRA itself and any political organisation that would associate with them," he said.

"Nor should they tolerate the veiled threat to the McCartney sisters or to anyone else with the courage and decency to speak the truth about the IRA."

Update: PeteB in the comments noted that McCain's speech can be found in its entirety here.
Survivor Update

Well, despite my intentions, I'm back to watching Survivor. I gave it up after Survivor: Outback because I got annoyed when Colby took the wrong person to the finals with him and lost the money. Started watching Pearl Islands because of Ruppert, but once again the winner of the final immunity challenge took the wrong person to the finals. Watched a couple episodes of All-Stars, but lost interest because the one tribe kept voting off their strongest players, then was dumb enough not to vote off Amber when she was forced to switch tribes.

It's pretty much the same thing this season; with the Ulongs just completely hapless despite starting out with what appeared like the younger, stronger tribe. Early on, they were actually talking about voting off people because they were "threats". Here's a clue, Ulongs. "Threats" threaten to win challenges for you. The biggest threat Ulong faces is losing all their players before the merge.

Last night, there was only one challenge; the reward challenge. Both teams were required to go to tribal council, which some interpreted as helping Ulong, since the other tribe hadn't been forced to vote off any members. Of course, it also meant that Ulong had no chance to narrow the 4-person difference between the two tribes.

The challenge involved diving down to grab sake bottles. My immediate and uncharitable thought was that the big black guy, Ibrahem, might have some problems. Sure enough, he goes down one time, comes right back up. The second time he actually managed to get his hands on the bottle. But after giving it a yank that would not have taken a rattle from a sleeping baby's hands he gave up. Third time down he didn't even make an effort, and his teammates yelled at him to come back without the bottle.

By this time Ulong was easily one bottle behind, but they caught up as Ian was unable to locate the bottles. One of his teammates yelled out "They're white," which given that they'd already collected four of them, even Ian must have known. Eventually he located them, and suprisingly, then went back for the sixth trip. Although it was close, once again Ulong came up short.

Big surprise at tribal council. After voting off the old guy, Koror got to give immunity to one of the Ulong members. Probably knowing who's neck was on the chopping block, Koror chose Ibrahem. In an incredibly stupid move, the Ulongs then voted off tattoo girl. Granted, she's ugly, but she's been helping the team in the challenges unlike a couple of the guys (i.e., James).

For a more detailed look at last night's episode, check here.
McCartneys Visit with President Bush

Not a lot on the subject yet.

After meeting Mr Bush at the White House, the five McCartney sisters said they had been heartened by what they had heard and encouraged that things could soon change.

"George Bush had an understanding of our case and was 100% behind us on it," Paula McCartney said.

"He said that he believed the result of this could bring peace in Ireland."

The sisters and Mr McCartney's fiancée Bridgeen Hagans said they had come to the US hoping to dispel any romantic vision held of the Troubles.

The support they have received has encouraged them that they have, at least in part, achieved that goal, they said.

Catherine McCartney added: "People did not need us to explain our case, they knew what it was about. And if anyone has listened to what we have been saying then at least that romantic view has been damaged if not dispelled."

Speaking outside the White House after the traditional St Patrick's Day celebration, Paula added she was confident President Bush would use his influence in whichever possible way he could.

"He seemed quite confident - he obviously knows things we don't - that things will change.

"We are very happy with what he said and certainly heartened."
NY Times Bias Watch

Our friend Lorie Byrd has a piece in the Am Spec today, on when she'll believe that the media is not biased towards liberalism.

One of my favorite quick ways to check is the NY Times search engine. For example, the phrase "liberal Republican" pops up 75 times in the NY Times since 1996. But the phrase "conservative Democrat" comes almost twice as often, with 148 sightings in the same time frame.

Or take the moderate label. "Moderate Republican" shows up 618 times in the NY Times database since 1996, while "moderate Democrat" appears 149 times. Get it? As Ann Coulter wrote, Democrats don't require the "good doggie" label anywhere near as often.

Same with "liberal Democrat", which appears 448 times, versus "conservative Republican", which popped up 909 times.
President Bush Hits the Right Notes

Some quotes, apparently prior to the meeting with the sisters and Bridgeen:

“It’s very important that people understand that the parties must renounce violence,” Bush told reporters on the eve of the holiday, which is marked at the White House by a traditional presentation of a bowl of shamrocks.

“We wanted to make sure that we honored those in civil society in Ireland who are contributing positively to the peace process, and that’s what we’ll be doing on this particular trip,” Bush said.

“I’m looking forward to meeting these very brave souls,” Bush said. “They’ve committed themselves to a peaceful solution, and hopefully their loved one will not have died in vain.”
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's a great day for those who are Irish, or wish they were (which about covers everybody)!
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
NPR Interviews Two of the McCartney Sisters

Robert Siegel interviews the women (audio available at link).
Pro-Life and Profound

Right Wing Sparkle has an amazing post on her calling to be active in the Pro-Life movement.
It's Like Cauliflower and Mushrooms

Two of my least-favorite things together: Mumia Abu-Jamal sticks up for Ward Churchill.

Both Malcolm and Churchill knew something about U.S. actions abroad, its export of violence abroad, and its demonstrated hatred of dark peoples the world over. He recounts how American armies and agents have wreaked brutal havoc all around the world, killing almost countless "innocent civilians", in their efforts to insure continued imperial rule. For example, he mentions the CIA's Operation Phoenix, where the U.S. government, the Navy Seals, Army Special Forces, south Vietnamese Rangers, and Australian SAS, "neutralized" people named by CIA snitches as Vietnamese "guerrillas."

Churchill writes:

Upwards of 40,000 people -- mostly bystanders, as it turns out -- were murdered by Phoenix hit teams before the guerrillas, stronger than ever, ran the US and its collaborators out of their country altogether. And these are the guys who are gonna save the day, if unleashed to do their thing in North America?

Let's remember that Churchill used to claim that he was involved in these types of operations, before it was revealed that he was a jeep driver and film strip projectionist.
McCartney Sisters Roundup

They meet with Ted Kennedy, but decline his offer to drive them around.

After the meeting Senator Kennedy said: "I think all of us are impressed with the courage of these women in their determination to get rid of violence from their community and country.

"We have learned a lot from them. There will be more meetings with them until we see justice.

Hillary also sounds a good note:

Mrs Clinton said: "We want to honour the Good Friday Accords and bring the murderers of Robert to justice."

Good article in the Independent on their welcome as heroines.

America often needs a human face to grasp a faraway story. But, this week, it will have no less than five of them - the sisters of Robert McCartney, the Catholic man kicked and stabbed to death in a Belfast pub fight, whose death may fatally tarnish the IRA in the land where its support is strongest.

Gemma, Paula, Donna, Claire and Catherine McCartney arrived last night to begin a four-day trip. Their schedule may have been hastily arranged, but it includes a visit tomorrow to the Oval Office at which the women will present President George Bush with a dossier on the killing.

No mention of the fiancee, Bridgeen, who has more or less remained in the background during this story, but is in the US with the sisters.

Slugger O'Toole has a good post on how the Ulster Unionists don't have clean hands either. This is not "whataboutism". The IRA happens to be taking some well-deserved lumps both here and at Slugger's but the other side isn't blameless either. One of the sad ironies of the Good Friday Accords is that both sides have stopped killing each other, but are now killing people on their "own side".

Spudnik (great blog name) suggests that the McCartney sisters should have accepted the IRA's offer to shoot the men responsible. Very clever post!

Richard Delevan has a superb post on the schedule for the sisters and Bridgeen.
Funny What A Difference a Word Can Make

Partisan Pundit notices a little change in the terminology the anti-religionists are using.

Did anyone notice at what point the Liberal Loonies stopped using the phrase "a government establishment of religion" and switched to the watered down version of "a government endorsement of religion?"

He goes on to explain why this seemingly minor change is important. Great post!
Balanced, Sensible Article on Northern Ireland

Written by Peter King, who has carried the IRA's water in Congress for years. He gives a history lesson in about five paragraphs, building to his main point:

When I first went to Belfast 25 years ago, it was a dark, gray besieged city. Some Catholic areas had unemployment exceeding 80 percent. Today, Belfast has luxury hotels, fine restaurants, a hockey arena and a growing economy. Significant police reforms have been implemented. The majority of college students are Catholics who are well-prepared for Ireland's Information Age economy.

The British, Irish and American governments are pledged to guarantee this progress. All that remained was for the IRA to decommission its weapons. Last fall, it appeared that progress was being made and by December a final agreement was tantalizingly close.

Then, out of left field, the IRA pulled off a $50 million bank robbery — followed by the brutal murder of an innocent Catholic by IRA men in a Belfast barroom brawl.

This has caused me and other concerned Irish-Americans to conclude that the IRA must disband without delay. So much has been achieved in Northern Ireland and there is no place for a private army in a burgeoning democratic society.

No one has done more to advance the peace process or has acted more courageously than Gerry Adams. But, now, all that has been attained is being put at risk by an unreconstructed minority who can't put down the gun and replace the bullet with the ballot.

He lets Adams off the hook a little too easily there, but I think it's a tactical move, to let him save some face.

Hat Tip: Kitty
'We'll tell Bush who killed our brother'

Of course if President Bush has been reading Brainster's the last few weeks, he'd know (from the Australian Herald Sun):

Gerard "Jock" Davison, said to have ordered the killing following a brawl in a Belfast pub, Jim "Dim" McCormack, reported to have administered the fatal knife blow, and Gerard Montgomery, alleged to have orchestrated the clean-up operation afterwards, have remained defiant despite widespread disgust among the nationalist community.

Davison, McCormack and Montgomery are among the Belfast IRA's most powerful and ruthless "volunteers".

Davison, 37, lives in Short Strand -- an island of nationalists surrounded by loyalists in East Belfast -- a few hundred yards from the house where Mr McCartney lived with his fiance, Bridgeen Hagans, and their two children.

He is frequently seen driving around Short Strand in an expensive four-wheel-drive car and his comfortable home, where he lives with his wife and son, 18, is guarded by burly young men.

Davison remains a member of the Northern Command, regarded as the real powerbase of the IRA. He is the undisputed leader of the IRA in Short Strand.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
The Great Lebanese Blog Discovered

The Politicker, perhaps proving his point unbelievably well, has turned over an amazing diamond. Check out Ya Libnan, the blogger of the Cedar Revolution. This guy's going to be famous in about 3 days if I'm any judge of the blogosphere.
Fun Fiction

Kitty's been writing some more fiction. I loved this short story; the descriptions are particularly vivid.
The Reality-Based Community?

Just came across this bit from a particularly moronic commenter over at Jeff Jarvis' Buzz Machine. The AWOL project. Try not to laugh too hard when reading this stuff; after all, there were those on our side who seriously passed around the Clinton murder list. Looks like a lot of work went into this, but as with most conspiracy theorists, Mr Lukasiak (a Philadelphia caterer) started with the conclusion (Bush was AWOL) and worked backwards looking for "evidence" to support that result.
New to the Blogroll

Say hello to Tinkerty Tonk, the blog of a librarian and former journalist in Maryland. Just surfing around her site, I saw that she's a fan of PG Wodehouse, and she even mentions a theft from the British Library of copies of the Beano.
Some Blogging Thoughts

I tend not to create posts about blogging, mainly because even when I had a big audience over at KH, nobody ever commented on those posts. Of course, over here, very few people comment on any of my posts, so that's not as big a concern. ;)

But I came across a couple interesting posts today on the subject. First up is In Search of Utopia, a left-leaning group blog, which posted an open letter to the "whales" of the lefty blogosphere, asking for more help pushing stories up to the top.

Today's story about The Leftsphere reaching out to the MSM, and Paul's response at Wizbang was another Bitch-slap, while more and more I am beginning to think that the reluctance of the big boys to share the linky love, is really not about that at all, but a fear that they may have to share the bling...

In response, Oliver Willis posted a very sensible call for emails:

I am actively asking liberal bloggers to send me tips. Don't send me "link to my blog" emails or "add me to your blogroll" emails, but tips about stuff you're writing on that further the progressive agenda. I don't promise to link them all or create a revolution, but I will look them over and post the good ones on a regular basis.

Now I've been known to poke fun at Oliver, but that is a note-perfect response. A lot of bloggers think that the way to get ahead is to blog a lot and hope somebody notices. That's half-right. Blog a lot, and help people notice. How?

Trackback, comments and emails. Sending a trackback ping to a bigger blog that has posted on a story you have also covered (always with a link to the bigger blog) lets the readers of that blog know you've also written about that subject. Sometimes the bigger blogger will click on the trackback and like what you've written so much they'll amend their post to link to you. Comments work because all bloggers love their commenters. And emails work as well because, believe it or not, Glenn Reynolds is very unlikely to come across your blog while surfing the net unless you've already been linked by one of the other major bloggers.

Note especially the part about not asking for a blogroll link or saying "come check out my blog". Just about everybody ignores those emails. Rather, email your post (always including the permalink URL). It especially helps if you tie your post into something the other blogger has blogged about or has otherwise indicated an interest in. Send your nanotechnology and good-looking women protestors pictures to Instapundit.

Here's a similar post from the right side of the blogosphere.

So I'm making a similar appeal: once a day, make a post where you help out a blogger in need. Donate a front and center link to a blog whose post quality is far beyond their hit count, and in the end, everyone wins because we all are bloggers.

This looks like a fine blog, but Jordan may not have tried combing the lower reaches of the blogosphere for good posters. I did it a lot last summer, and believe me, while there are some gems out there you have to wade through a lot of sewers in order to find them. It is a lot easier for all concerned if the smaller bloggers try sending their stuff up the line. Not everything will draw interest, and certainly not every post should be emailed out to a list. I've sent two posts out to the big blogs in the last two months; one hit the jackpot and one got linked in only a few places.
Adams the Winnie Mandela of Ireland?

Tim Blair with his usual flair.

Also, Mark Steyn follows up by deriding the notion of Adams as "Ghandi with a Guiness".

Hat Tip: Tinkery Tonk
Molten Thought: Drive the Last Snakes from Ireland

Our buddy Teflon has some thoughts on Adams & the IRA. Be sure to read the Mark Steyn piece he links.
Captain Ed Continues to Hammer Sinn Fein

The big guns in the blogosphere are now turned on Gerry Adams and his band of thugs and crooks. Captain Ed posts for at least the third time on the McCartney murder, and focuses on the fact that at least two Sinn Fein candidates were witnesses.

Imagine if your local Congressman and mayor happened to be in a bar when a fight broke out, and members of their political party just happened to have killed the man who tried to break it up. Perhaps these men may have even been there to provide security for the politicians. Regardless of what American political party was involved, do you think for a moment that Americans would sit still while that political party stonewalled a police investigation?
Around the Horn

Roberto at Dynamo Buzz comments on some surprising folks in favor of deer hunting in New Jersey.

Joel explains the strategic importance of Taiwan to the US Navy. Interesting stuff.

The Nudnik File File finds an important indication of the weakness of Al Qaeda in their latest threats.

Aaron hopes that the discovery of anthrax at the Pentagon mail facility does not explain his headache.

Superhawk's been covering the TV show "24". He's disappointed at the way a recent message was shoe-horned into the plot.
Here Comes Gerry Adams' Worst Nightmare

Six strong women who have the IRA on the run.
Monday, March 14, 2005
The Good Humor Truck

A little lighter entertainment is on tap. First, The Nose on Your Face covers the Democrats' outrage at the tactics employed by Counter Terrorism Agent Jack Bauer.

Professor Shade covers the sad plight of suicide bombers in Israel, forced to walk for miles due to Israel's heartless security fence.

Bill Clinton's blog is being handled by his assistant Bobbi Lamoon while the ex-president is recuperating from surgery. She describes the great chocolate battle at the hospital in this memorable post.

Scrappleface comments on the recent merger between the Peoples' Daily of Beijing and the Washington Post.
Kos He's an Idiot

Patrick Hynes gets on Markos Moulitsas' case.

Markos Moulitsas is a slow-witted hate-monger with almost no clue about anything. Take, for example, his recent screed on the Democrat Party?s commission to examine the shuffling of the 2008 primary schedule.

Now, I don't have any particular attachment to the current system where Iowa has its caucus and New Hampshire its first-in-the-nation primary. But Kos is way off base here:

If the issue really is "retail politics", there are other states that fit the bill -- states small enough to allow for that retail politicking much more in sync with each party's base supporters. It's high time we stop letting Iowa and NH decide our presidential nominees. There are far more than two states in the union.

In point of fact, those two states do not decide our presidential nominees.

Iowa has done a poor job of picking nominees, with Ed Muskie winning there in 1972 and nowhere else. In 1980 George HW Bush won Iowa but lost to Reagan for the nomination. In 1988, Bob Dole and Dick Gephardt won Iowa but did not represent their parties. In 1992, Tom Harkin won his home state but did not get to make the speech of his life at the DNC.

And if anything, New Hampshire is even worse. In six of the last nine presidential elections, one of the winners in the Granite State did not represent his party in the fall. Pat Buchanan took New Hampshire in 1996 and John McCain in 2000; for both candidates that was the high water mark of their campaign.

So what's this really about? Kos is one of those bitter Deanie Babies, with no knowledge of history. If he knew a little more about politics, he'd understand that the real problem with the Democrats right now is people like him, pulling the party leftwards even as the population moves to the right. If Kos really wanted the Democrats to start winning, he'd recommend some obvious changes, like putting the process more in the hands of the party bosses rather than democratizing the primary process (which will probably lead to more liberal candidates, who keep losing).

Read "The Making of the President: 1960" sometime. Its description of the primary process sounds like something from a foreign land. The primaries were not the way you got the nomination back then; they were just exercises to prove to the party bigwigs that you could get people to pull the lever next to your name.
Why Am I Not Surprised?

Kyoto turns out to be costing Canada far more than expected:

"It's a political horror show," one official said, noting that it was only last month Finance Minister Ralph Goodale presented Parliament with a budget allocating $5-billion over the next five years to the Kyoto plan and other environmental programs.

"This is a big issue for ministers because it's a big fiscal issue," another official said.

Ministers on a special cabinet committee tackling Kyoto have been warned by bureaucrats from Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada that Ottawa could end up spending billions of dollars of the total Kyoto bill to buy credits for greenhouse gas reductions made outside Canada in order to meet Kyoto targets.
Second Sinn Fein Candidate in Murder Bar?

The McCartney murder story keeps getting stranger and stranger.

A second Sinn Fein election candidate was in the Belfast pub where the IRA murder victim Robert McCartney was attacked, it emerged tonight.

As a beleaguered Gerry Adams prepared to give a speech in America amid a US backlash against Sinn Fein, the party disclosed that Deirdre Hargey was still inside Magennis’s Bar when police first arrived.

Cora Groogan, another Sinn Fein candidate, has already confirmed that she was in the bar.

Slate has a pretty good backgrounder on the whole story. Check out Richard Delevan and Slugger O'Toole for more.
Leaving Heavy Metal

Here's a very interesting post on a heavy metal superstar finding Jesus, by R.F. Burn.

Getting away from thrash wasn’t like kicking heroin or any thing, but it was not easy having been literally the biggest part of my life for so many years. I can imagine it was even harder for a person who lived that life and was a major to star and influence to millions of others because he lived that life.

Yep. When I was a teenager, the Vietnam War and the youth movement was the big deal, and it was very hard to move on, to accept that there was going to be no "revolution", that "Power to the People" was just a fatheaded slogan, that Abbie Hoffman was a showman first and foremost, and that the Weather Underground were nothing but thugs and hooligans. Which may explain why the Irish in America have had a hard time divorcing themselves from the notion of the IRA as a force for good.

Great post, very thoughtful.
Kicking Zombie Butt

Keep me in mind as a good person to have nearby when they start coming out of the ground:

Official Survivor
Congratulations! You scored 64%!

Whether through ferocity or quickness, you made it out. You made the
right choice most of the time, but you probably screwed up somewhere.
Nobody's perfect, at least you're alive.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 90% on survivalpoints
Link: The Zombie Scenario Survivor Test written by ci8db4uok on Ok Cupid

Hat Tip: A Small Victory
Lots of Coverage of Sinn Fein, Adams

Captain Ed notes with approval that Irish-American pols are finally dropping their support.

Most Americans of Irish descent know better than to involve themselves in The Troubles. We understand that Northern Ireland isn't 1922 all over again and that the only solution to NI's problems will be found with the people of Ulster, the Republic of Ireland, and the UK. If nothing else, 9/11 taught us not to deal with terrorists. However, some among us continued to celebrate Adams, Sinn Féin, and pour money into their coffers, and politicians like Kennedy and King lent that credibility. Shame on them for not stopping it before, but at least give them credit for doing the right thing now.

Unfortunately, not all politicians got the word, as Large Bill points out a Cincinnati councilman gave Adams the key to the city.

Secure Liberty says that the Loyalist terrorists are even worse.

Power Line says it's curtains for the IRA.

Adams now says that he looks forward to the day when the IRA ceases to exist. Which is to say, the calculus has changed, and terrorism no longer looks like a winning strategy. President Bush, as usual, stands with the victims of terrorism, and against the terrorists. That doesn't seem like a hard choice--so why could Bill Clinton never make it?

The Anchoress nails it:

Depravity-wise, what exactly is the difference between McCartney's murder and the lynching of the four U.S. contractors in Fallujah? None -- except that the organization responsible for the former has enjoyed a decade of White House photo-ops.
Oh, That Liberal Media

(Welcome Polipundit Readers! Please feel free to look around and check some of the other posts here. If you like what you see, consider bookmarking this blog's home page.)

This story's a pretty good eye-opener.

Even as online pundits criticize traditional news organizations as slow, biased and technologically challenged, a group of bloggers is trying to use old-fashioned telephone conference calls to share their ideas with newspaper and television journalists.

The bloggers, who describe themselves as liberal or progressive, say the conference calls are intended to counter what they regard as the much stronger influence of conservative pundits online. Bob Fertik, president of, the host of the two calls so far, views them as a step toward getting their reports out to mainstream news organizations.

While there is no way to know precisely who dialed in, reporters from news organizations including CBS, The Washington Post, Newsweek, MSNBC and The National Journal asked for a call-in number, according to one participant.

Get this bit:

Mr. Fertik maintains that the blurring of boundaries has benefited left-wing bloggers less than their adversaries on the right, saying that reports posted on conservative blogs more easily make the jump to the main news media. "The way we perceive it," he said, "is that right-wing bloggers are able to invent stories, get them out on Drudge, get them on Rush Limbaugh, get them on Fox, and pretty soon that spills over into the mainstream media. We, the progressives, we don't have that kind of network to work with."

Oh, yeah, left-wing bloggers have such a hard time pushing their stories up the line. Jeff Gannon was in all the newspapers almost immediately; Eason Jordan's story was such a surprise that the NY Times got caught with its pants down, announcing the story after Jordan had resigned under fire. Christmas in Cambodia simmered on the blogs, as did Kerry's involvement in a meeting of the VVAW where the assassination of US Senators was discussed.

And Fertik is moronic on how conservative blogs handle a story. We can't "invent" stories and get them on Drudge, Rush & then Fox. Buckhead, Power Line and Little Green Footballs didn't "invent" Rathergate, they discovered it through old-fashioned hard work. About the only major story covered by conservative blogs last year that turned out not to be true was the Alexandra Polier/John Kerry affair, which started at Drudge.

The good news is that the lefty bloggers are the original gang that couldn't shoot straight, and if the media gets in bed with them, they'll get stung over and over again. The big story the lefty blogs have sprung in the last two years is Jeff Gannon. That's pretty small beer (sorry, Jeff!).
Sunday, March 13, 2005
How to Win Your NCAA Office Pool

Get yourself a real set of brackets. For some reason, most places (including CBS Sportsline) post brackets that show only the regional finals locations. For example, you see that North Carolina and Duke play in the Syracuse and Austin regionals; what you don't see is that they both get to play in Charlotte the first two rounds. Those are gimmes.

The team that looks to have gotten sandbagged in the first round with a tough opponent due to the location is Arizona. They face Utah State in Boise. Definitely one to consider as an upset in the first round, especially since they come up against Oklahoma State in the third round.

One of my keys is not to try to catch the Cinderella. I tend to pick the chalk, but not by seeding or won/lost record. I look at the team's predictor rating at Sagarin and make adjustments for road/home equivalents. Note particularly that the teams show at Sagarin's USA today site are not arranged by Predictor, but rather his "Rating" which combines two different methods. But note what Sagarin himself says:

In ELO CHESS, only winning and losing matters; the score margin is of no consequence, which makes it very "politically correct". However it is less accurate in its predictions for upcoming games than is the PURE POINTS, in which the score margin is the only thing that matters. PURE POINTS is also known as PREDICTOR, BALLANTINE, RHEINGOLD, WHITE OWL and is the best single PREDICTOR of future games.

I'm a heck of a lot more interested in the best single predictor of future games than being politically correct. Here are the top 10 teams in Predictor:

NC 98.90
Duke 94.56
Illinois 93.07
OKS 92.74
Wake 91.39
Fla 91.33
Wash 90.95
OK 90.50
Ky 90.41

And the next 10

Michigan State 90.14
Kansas 90.05
UConn 88.73
ech 88.60
Bama 88.12
Villanova 87.78
AZ 87.57
Syracuse 86.74
Texas Tech 86.72
Cincy 86.71

As you can see, North Carolina is a strong favorite by the Sagarin predictor. They're more than four points better than Duke and almost six points ahead of the nominal tourney favorite, Illinois. I don't see a good reason not to pick the Tar Heels to go all the way this year, unless it's the semifinal matchup against Duke.

On the other side of the bracket is where the upset looks likely to happen. Illinois looks great, but they have Oklahoma State, the toughest two seed in the country at the end of the road, and the Cowboys get a free ride through to the third round, playing at Oklahoma City to start the tournament.

And Washington is obviously vulnerable. They have a very tough road. Boise should be safe for the first two rounds, but then they travel to Albuquerque which is a long way from home. Louisville gets two games at Nashville to start, although the second one is a test against Georgia Tech. And if Washington can get past the higher-ranked Cardinals, they'd face Wake Forest, which is ranked higher than the Huskies in Predictor.

K, so final four is North Carolina, Duke, Wake & Illinois. Take North Carolina over Wake in the finals. Best potential to surprise: Louisville.
More Folks Standing Up to IRA Terror

According to this article.
Jeff Gannon, Journalist

Confederate Yankee does some checking and comes up with some interesting points on the Jeff Gannon story. Did you know that Jeff worked on his college newspaper as the sports editor? Check the moonbats in the comments as well.
King: IRA Making Paisley Look Good

The IRA's problems just got worse:

King said IRA activities were preventing a potential new power-sharing deal between Sinn Fein, which represents most Catholics in Northern Ireland, and Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists, the territory's major British Protestant party.

His comments came as Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-linked Sinn Fein and an alleged IRA commander himself, traveled to New York City on the second day of a weeklong trip seeking support. For the first time since 1995, Adams is being barred from official St. Patrick's Day political functions, including a lunch at the White House.

King, normally an arch critic of Paisley, said the veteran anti-Catholic hard-liner appeared willing to share power - if the IRA would go away. "Probably the worst criticism I could make of the IRA is that they are making Ian Paisley look good, and that takes a lot of work," he quipped.
Ted Kennedy Capable of Shame?

Even he won't be meeting with Gerry Adams.

``Senator Kennedy has decided to decline to meet with Gerry Adams, given the IRA's ongoing criminal activity and contempt for the rule of law,'' Kennedy spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner said.

As late as Friday night, Kennedy had been planning to meet with Adams, whom he vowed to hold accountable for the IRA's acts.

Hat Tip: Slugger O'Toole


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