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Saturday, July 02, 2005
Interesting Stuff Elsewhere

Check out Right Wing Nuthouse by our old buddy Superhawk aka Rick Moran. He's doing mil-blogging from the standpoint of a soldier at Gettysburg. Well worth the read.

And stop by and congratulate Word Girl and Teflon, who raised over $200 with their blogathon for our armed forces.
Pink Floyd: Terrific

Wow, that was one heck of a show! Terrific music horrifying fade-out to those idiot commenters (who I assume are just to make sure we buy the DVD set). Floyd was note-on when you wanted them to be and yet just imperfect enough that you knew it was live.
Not a Good Idea

This is pretty funny:

It may have been an inelegant description, but Stephen Caruso said he thought he was just being honest on Thursday afternoon when a judge asked if he could be fair and impartial toward a defendant on trial for kidnapping. No, Mr. Caruso said during the voir dire portion of jury selection. "I have been held up three times at gunpoint," he said according to transcripts, adding, "I am already looking at him; I think he is a scumbag."

Judge William A. Wetzel of Manhattan Criminal Court did not appreciate Mr. Caruso's candor, though, and ordered him held in contempt of court. "That is an insult not only to him, but to the other people in the room and me," Judge Wetzel said, before ordering Mr. Caruso to come back the next day.

I suspect this is a generational thing. When I was a kid, the New York Times would never have published that word. But people who've grown up in the last couple decades (and Mr. Caruso is 27) have heard that word on TV, seen it in print, and don't even realize the original meaning. Indeed, the Times' writer doesn't even appear to think it's a big deal. Get this:

Mr. Caruso seemed shaken by the experience and said he never intended to insult anyone. "I'm a little disillusioned with the whole legal process right now," he said afterward. "I feel like I'm being punished for being honest."
Blogathon Ongoing

Teflon and Word Girl are in the midst of their blogathon for the Armed Forces Relief Trust, an umbrella group feeding the various service branch aid societies, which provide financial relief and services to our troops and their families. They're laying their lives on the line for us---surely we can put our lunch money on the line for them.

Terrific blogging, and Teflon even has a couple of posts on Silver Age Comics! While you're over there definitely consider hitting the tip jar; as noted all proceeds go to the Armed Forces Relief Trust. Those of you who've been around for awhile know how this goes; whenever I ask you to contribute it's because I've already broken out myself, in this case to the tune of $25. (Doggone blog keeps costing me money!)
Friday, July 01, 2005
Thanks for Your Input

Another country heard from:

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) commissioned the report from its human rights representative, Belgian senate president Anne-Marie Lizin, and will vote next week whether to accept its findings.

"A generation of young Muslims, fed on the images of Abu Ghraib, of the treatment reserved for the Guantanamo detainees and rumors about profanation of the Koran, will have filled the al Qaeda ranks and those of other extremist groups," said the report made public on Friday.

"The longer the detention is in the camps the more the hatred against the U.S. and the West becomes anchored in hearts and minds," it said.

Rumor has it they are also preparing their recommendation as to whom President Bush should appoint to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Terrific Interview with Dave Sim

Creator of the fabulous Cerebus comic books.
Blogathon Reminder

Teflon and Word Girl are limbering up their fingers for a 24-hour marathon blog for a charity that helps our armed forces. Pretend you're a Democratic voter in Chicago and check in early and often.
Not Anti-War, Just on the Other Side

A writer for the Nation reveals his sympathies:

Michael Medved: But wait. There's a difference Daniel Lazare, with all due respect, there is a difference here. Let me cite for you something that happened recently since David's book, Unholy Alliance, came out, which is that in Chile when President Bush visited Santiago, the demonstrators there demonstrated with hammer and sickle signs and headbands, and someone was holding a very large sign that said, "Hang on, Fallujah." Now, do you think that – do you feel some sympathy for the so-called insurgents in Fallujah?

Daniel Lazare: Oh, absolutely yes, total sympathy, total solidarity.

Michael Medved: You do?

David Horowitz: So who's the sophist here?

Daniel Lazare: Of course, absolutely. The insurgents in Fallujah are repelling a foreign invasion. They have every right to do it. Now, I’m not going to support every last action by every last fighter there, obviously, but certainly they have a right to repel a foreign invasion of their country.

And later:

Michael Medved: Daniel Lazare, would you like to see the elections scheduled for January 30 in Iraq fail?

Daniel Lazare: I'm totally opposed to what the U.S. is doing in Iraq. Therefore, I would no more support U.S. elections than I would support German elections in France during World War II.

Michael Medved: So you're sticking with this comparison of the United States to Nazi Germany?

David Horowitz: He is, because he believes it in his soul.

Daniel Lazare: I believe it. I believe it entirely.

Is that amazing or what?
Cool Quiz on America

This is pretty entertaining and painless, although I have to disagree with their answer on the Spanish-American War.
Evolution of a Neo-Neocon

Terrific, long post on the changes that come with time and the unveiling of events.
Children of a Lesser God

Good grief, is Nancy Pelosi really this dumb? Asked to comment on the Kelo decision, which has been roundly criticized by folks on both the left and right, she says:

Ms. Pelosi. It is a decision of the Supreme Court. If Congress wants to change it, it will require legislation of a level of a constitutional amendment. So this is almost as if God has spoken. It's an elementary discussion now. They have made the decision.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin
This Won't Work

Hispanic activists are calling on Latinos to boycott gas stations this holiday weekend.

A statewide gasoline boycott this weekend to call attention to the economic contributions of Latino immigrants is part of a growing movement across the country.

Can we say the obvious here? Unless Latinos boycott their cars this weekend, this proposal will have no effect other than to boost gasoline sales on Friday and Tuesday and depress them in between?
Thursday, June 30, 2005
NY Times Discovers Wealthy Don't Pay Much In Taxes; Kerry Haters Discovered That a Year Ago

As usual, you can read blogs or you can wait a year or so until the New York Times catches up with the story.

The chances of having a large income but not paying taxes on any of it are growing, according to the data, issued in the Internal Revenue Service's annual report to Congress on well-to-do Americans who live tax free. About one in every 436 high-income Americans paid no taxes in 2002, up from one in 531 in 2001 and one in 1,010 in 2000.

Over all, the top 2 percent of earners, the 2.5 million filers with income of $200,000 or more, paid almost 27 cents in taxes for each dollar of income they reported in 2002, other I.R.S. data showed. This group accounted for 53.5 percent of the income tax paid by all Americans.

Among that high-income group, however, almost 83,000, or one in 33, paid less than a dime in taxes for every dollar of income. An additional 79,000 paid less than 15 cents. The average for all Americans was 13 cents.

And among those who paid less than 15 cents in taxes for every dollar of income? Why, none other than Teh-RAY-za Heinz Kerry, as reported on the Kerry Haters blog on May 9, 2004, drawing from this article in the Washington Post.

Heinz Kerry reported a taxable income of $2.3 million, primarily from dividends and interest on savings and investments. She earned an additional $2.8 million from tax-exempt bonds. So far, she has paid $587,000 in estimated federal taxes, an effective tax rate of 11.5 percent, compared with the top federal income tax rate of 35 percent.
Boobs Not Brains

New Blogger and Old Friend

Kitty mentioned that our longtime commenter and friend at Kerry Haters, Gayle Miller, is now part of the blogging community. Back in the early days of KH, before it became a big-time blog (topped out at #114 in the TTLB traffic rankings), it was frequently just me, Kitty, Gayle, Conservanatrix (where have you gone?) and Mike G in the comments. Gayle gave us great encouragement to keep going. She was a terrific commenter and I'm sure you'll enjoy her blog.
A Reminder

Our buddies Teflon and Word Girl at Molten Thought are holding their blogathon this Saturday, July 2, for an excellent cause: The Armed Forces Relief Trust, an umbrella group for collecting donations to the Air Force Aid Society, the Army Emergency Relief Fund, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. You want to see how much two bloggers can do? Surf on over to Molten Thought! The blogathon has already been plugged by Michelle Malkin and Hedgehog Blog, so you'll have plenty of company.
Steyn on Batman Begins

He didn't enjoy it as much as I did, although we have a lot of the same criticisms:

But not here. In 1939, Bob Kane told the Batman’s origin in 12 panels — mugger shoots mom and dad, young Bruce Wayne vows in his candlelit bedroom to avenge their deaths ‘by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals’, works out at the gym, and then, just when he’s in need of a secret identity, catches sight of a bat. Boom — and we’re off and running. Nolan’s ‘reinvention’, by contrast, consists mainly of making a meal out of everything. We don’t see the Batman until the second half of the movie, and then only in the briefest of glimpses as he takes on the hoods and punks who work for crime boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson). Meanwhile, we spend inordinate amounts of time watching him fine-tune the synthetic fibre on his body suit.

Yep, that was my problem as well--the long build-up at the front end of the movie. Steyn does point out one problem; that it's all stuff we've seen before. I'd forgotten to mention the car chase scene, but it was pretty banal and unbelievable at the same time; after seeing the car put through its paces earlier in the movie it's simply not credible that police vehicles would be able to keep anywhere near it.

My Take on Things has some cool videos at this page. Definitely check out the "Jihadists Meet Allah" video.
Gee, Can't Imagine Why It's That High

The Democrats commissioned a poll that reveals that only 38% of likely voters had positive feelings about their party.
Democrat Bonds?

The jabronis over at Ankle-Biting Pundits (where yours truly will be guest-blogging next week) caught this one. Howard Dean's latest desperation fund-raising gimmick is what he calls a "Democracy Bond", but really should be called "Democrat Bonds".

Why Democrat Bonds? Because a man's word is his bond. And the word on these bonds is that they pay no interest and don't even offer the return of your principal. Hence, they're worse than worthless, much like the word of a Democrat.
Global Warming Updates

Looks like the full court press is going on with regard to global warming; I suppose the intent is to put pressure on President Bush in the runup to the G8 meeting in Scotland next week.

Insurers claim damage costs from storms caused by global warming will raise the premiums on insurance policies.

Meanwhile, pollution is credited here with preventing more global warming. The bad news? Air pollution is dropping.

More bad news: global warming could lead to a "lopsided planet".

A British think tank says nuclear won't work because we'll run out of uranium (where have we heard that before?).

Robert Samuelson acknowledges the hypocrisy of Europe, which is not even close to meeting its CO2 reduction targets but then meanders into talking about needing to reduce our use of oil:

Even with today's high gasoline prices, we ought to adopt a stiff oil tax and tougher fuel economy standards, both to be introduced gradually. We can shift toward smaller vehicles, with more efficient hybrid engines. Unfortunately, Congress's energy bills lack these measures.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
The Latest Goofy Trend from California

Pam Meister has the details.
The Kiss of Death

Harry "Searchlight" Reid endorsed the notion of Lindsay Graham for the Supreme Court.

I'd say that about does it for Graham's hopes for higher office, whether it's the Supreme Court or the White House.
You Shoulda Seen the One That Got Away

Check out this fish.
John Hawkins Interviews Mark Steyn, Take Two

Terrific piece here.

One can advance reasons for this - it's no coincidence that the most comprehensively wrecked people on the face of the earth are the ones who have been wholly entrusted to the formal care of the UN for three generations now. But the fact is what Israel is doing is the only thing that will force the Palestinians to get up off their allegedly occupied butts and run a state: the Israelis are walling off what they feel they need, or what they can get away with, and it will be up to the gangsters of Arafatistan to see if they now feel like dropping the jihad and getting on with less glamorous activities like running highway departments and schools.
Guilty Verdicts in East St. Louis Vote-Buying Trial

John Ruberry has the details on a story that won't get much play in the MSM.

Interesting headline on this article:

Ga. Justice Is State's First Black Woman

And here I thought there were lots of black women in Georgia.
New to the Blogroll

Check out Young Nationalist. I don't know if you'd call it a blog, per se, so much as it is a multimedia extravaganza. Lots of cool videos, games etc. Loved the video of the drunk getting tazed; Andrew Sullivan would no doubt be nauseated.
The Speech

Lorie Byrd should get some royalties; the President's speechwriting team hit on many of the points that she raised in this post. Of course, in reality it just shows that Lorie and the writers are all on the same page. Either that or she's getting the morning faxes from Karl Rove telling her what to say. ;)
Guest Blogger at Ankle-Biting Pundits

Our buddy Aaron from Lifelike Pundits has put up a wonderful post on President Bush's speech last night. Somebody must have alerted the moonbats, because they're out in force in the comments. Check out this "Moby":

Our homeland is being invaded by illegal aliens and this clown is concerned about Iraq. Whether you call yourself republican, democrat or independent, if you support President Bush you are BRAIN-DEAD. Conservatives and liberals in the U.S. House should unite and IMPEACH President Bush while we still have a country. President Bush's only concern is channeling money in the pockets of plutocrats through deficit spending.
Proof the US Economy is the Strongest

(Welcome Conservative Grapevine Readers)

Here are the top ten countries in the world as ranked by the CIA for Gross Domestic Product Per Capita:

1 Luxembourg $ 58,900 2004 est.
2 United States $ 40,100 2004 est.
3 Guernsey $ 40,000 2003 est.
4 Norway $ 40,000 2004 est.
5 Jersey $ 40,000 2003 est.
6 British Virgin Islands $ 38,500 2004 est.
7 Bermuda $ 36,000 2003 est.
8 San Marino $ 34,600 2001 est.
9 Hong Kong $ 34,200 2004 est.
10 Switzerland $ 33,800 2004 est.

Now you'll note that most of the countries on this list are teeny-tiny little dots in an ocean somewhere. Luxembourg, which is a teeny-tiny dot in the middle of Europe, has an economy that looks quite nice until you realize that the US GDP per capita is multiplied by 691 times as many people as Luxembourg's. Switzerland is the "big" country in population among the other nine, and even its 7.5 million population is dwarfed by the USA's 295 million. Add up all the other nine and we still outweigh them by a factor of 15 times and have a much higher GDP per capita.

We start to see some bigger countries near the middle of the next ten:

11 Cayman Islands $ 32,300 2004 est.
12 Denmark $ 32,200 2004 est.
13 Ireland $ 31,900 2004 est.
14 Iceland $ 31,900 2004 est.
15 Canada $ 31,500 2004 est.
16 Austria $ 31,300 2004 est.
17 Australia $ 30,700 2004 est.
18 Belgium $ 30,600 2004 est.
19 United Kingdom $ 29,600 2004 est.
20 Netherlands $ 29,500 2004 est.

But even so, the combined total of population of all those ten countries and the earlier nine is still only about half that of the US, and the big countries come at the bottom of this list, a full 20% or more below the US GDP per capita. And where are the worker's havens of France and Germany?

21 Japan $ 29,400 2004 est.
22 Finland $ 29,000 2004 est.
23 France $ 28,700 2004 est.
24 Germany $ 28,700 2004 est.
25 Man, Isle of $ 28,500 2003 est.
26 Sweden $ 28,400 2004 est.
27 Aruba $ 28,000 2002 est.
28 Gibraltar $ 27,900 2000 est.
29 Singapore $ 27,800 2004 est.
30 Italy $ 27,700 2004 est.

Ah, there they are, over 27% (and $11,000) below the US. And the bad news is that while there is apparently a smoothing factor to prevent wild swings in GDP per capita from exchange rate variations, the fact is that overall the dollar's been strong compared to the currencies shown here in 2005. The dollar is up over 10% against the Euro, 6% against the pound, 4% against the yen. Odds are good that even before considering economic fundamentals (which favor the United States) the US will surge forward once again compared to the rest of the world.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Early Computer Reference in Batman?

This panel comes to us from "Batman Goes to Washington", in Batman #28, April-May 1945. In the (excellent) story, Batman takes up the cause of former crooks who want to go straight but can't get jobs. He supports a bill by the government to employ these ex-cons in a factory that will show that they can be productive workers. Yes, it's a very liberal storyline, but quite in keeping with the zeitgeist of the postwar era.

Anyway, Batman leads a small group of former crooks anxious to become members of the proletariat to Washington. In an amusing sequence, they tour the FBI building. Get this panel:

Art on this story by the superb Jerry Robinson, who believe it or not is still in the land of the living. A friend of mine interviewed him at a comic convention earlier this year; I'll put up the link as soon as I find it.

Obviously the cards are part of a database, and the "machine" referred to is a card sorter, something of an early computer. Batman was always well ahead of the technology curve in the comics due to his lack of superpowers. But a 1945 computer reference is really quite early. I can't think of one in the comics before then; most of the ones I've read are from the 1950s.
Interesting Stuff

I really enjoyed reading this post at Jane Galt, which refers to this post at Crooked Timber (smarter than average leftism), which leads us to this article by the writer that CT is talking about. There is something to be said for leading the people to a place they may not realize that they want to go yet.

But... as I mentioned in the comments on the Jane Galt post, the central flaw is the idea that economic populism will work, either politically or in the real world of economics, where being wrong can leave you far behind a la Europe over the last few decades. Despite the passionate wishes of folks like Robert Reich and Rick Perlstein, there is no sense in the United States that we wish we had France's economy or Germany's unemployment rate.

Here's what I see as the key paragraph in the Perlstein article:

Now maybe the members of Judis and Teixeira’s emerging Democratic majority indeed think in pretty much the same way as do Mark Penn’s “wired workers,” and maybe to veer toward economic populism is to risk losing their support. But might not it also be likely—especially with fears about the outsourcing of professional jobs abroad being the hottest new political issue—that the reason these people are becoming Democrats is despite the party’s turn from market interventionism, not because of it?

I don't agree with Judis & Texeira's emerging Democratic majority either, but I seriously doubt that market interventionism is going to sell well to a bunch of people in this country. Our experience with it has been pretty bad, from Smoot-Hawley to public housing to welfare.

But of course, in classic (not classical) liberal fashion, Perlstein seems determined NOT to learn from the mistakes of the past. Indeed, he could not be more plain:

When social scientists render conclusions at odds with their own data, it is reasonable to wonder why. Again, one reason may be generational. Dissenters who do call for a bolder Democratic Party—one thinks of Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future—are sometimes dismissed as throwbacks to the ’60s. Well, I can’t be dismissed as a throwback. The ’60s ended when I was less than three months old. The traumas that shaped the world view of a Teixeira, a Greenberg, a Judis were the post-’60s backfirings of left-of-center boldness. The same goes for Al From, whose formative political experience, he has told me, was McGovern’s loss in 1972. The traumas of my own political generation, conversely, were the backfirings of left-of-center timidity.

Which may be why, when I read these writers’ stories about the history of the past 25 years, I don’t know what they’re talking about.

Let's do a little math here, shall we? Perlstein says he was born in late 1969 (arguably late 1970 if he's using the "Jeopardy!" definition of the 1960s). So he's 35 years old now, and he wants to say he's an expert on the politics of the last 25 years... that means he's an expert on everything that's happened since he was 10 years old. Seeing a little problem here? Or maybe he means it literally--that he does not in fact know what they're talking about?

I remember seeing a quote on somebody's blog earlier today about how conservatives believe in the wisdom passed down from generation to generation, while liberals believe in only what they themselves have experienced. It certainly appears to be true.

And this:

"Well, I can’t be dismissed as a throwback. The ’60s ended when I was less than three months old."

is farcical. A throwback is always somebody who was born after his "normal" time. From

A reversion to a former type or ancestral characteristic.

As for Perlstein's economic populism, I would certainly like to see the Democrats embrace it heartily for one election cycle. Once and for all I would like to see this argument defeated in the court of ideas, but it won't happen. The problem has been that nobody has been willing to do it because it polls awfully. So the Democrats run as non-redistributionists (Kerry made a point of it), and when they then lose, the populists claim it was because they weren't redistributionist enough. The only way it will be settled is if somebody from the Democrats goes all Bolshie on us, and even then the Perlsteins of the world will attribute the loss to something else.

Hat Tip: Conservative Grapevine
Moo-On Morons

MoveOn has unveiled commercials calling for an immediate pullout of US forces from Iraq.

The liberal group also unveiled television advertisements that call the Iraq war "a quagmire." "We got in the wrong way. Let's get out the right way," say the ads running in several contested congressional districts.

The good news? The American people are smarter than the Moo-Ons:

The survey found that only one in eight Americans currently favors an immediate pullout of U.S. forces, while a solid majority continues to agree with Bush that the United States must remain in Iraq until civil order is restored -- a goal that most of those surveyed acknowledge is, at best, several years away.

I checked out the demographics (PDF warning) in the Washington Post poll cited above. They were, if anything, skewed to the Democrats, with 34% of the respondents identifying themselves that way, with only 28% Republicans.

Guess who popped up in John Hawkins' favorite 40 blogs at #32? Brainster's Blog hasn't made an appearance on John's list previously although Kerry Haters got as high as #21 back in 2004.

Be sure to surf over there and check out the other blogs listed; you may find a new favorite for your own list.
Lumpy on the Ten Commandments

Our buddy Lumpy has some thoughts on the recent Ten Commandments decisions:

It is a culture which provides the unifying foundation which directs a diverse populace towards some mutually beneficial goal. The purpose of culture is to unify diversity, to provide the structure whereby the individual pieces of the puzzle can be fitted together into a whole, completing the image of what it means to be a member of society within that culture. This is how diversification as a principle becomes a useful tool for survival. It is not how liberals view diversity.

That boy can write!
Koran in the Crapper

Sigh. These stories get published.

Vakhitov said he previously had been held by U.S. forces at Kandahar in Afghanistan, where many detainees were held before being sent to Guantanamo, and that he also saw Quran desecration there.

"In Kandahar, they tore up copies of the Quran and even put it in a bucket of feces," he said.

Let's pass a law making that illegal. Then we can all enjoy it when the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional.
Fatina Abdrabboh Gets Another Whacking

Jonah Goldberg takes the measure of Al Gore, hero.

Let us also take a moment to honor the courage of the New York Times editorial board. So many of these men and women are products of Harvard and Cambridge themselves. (Recall, that just two years ago the Klavern of Klever Kambridgites showed their true colors and successfully schemed to have New York’s hometown newspaper endorse the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees). And yet they were willing to overcome their own personal legacies of bigotry. To evolve. They marched one by one from the primordial ooze of their own hatred into the office-supply closet and got little tiny bottles of Wite-Out® for their souls. They didn’t let their no doubt fond memories of late night, latte-soaked, bacchanalias of bigotry stop them from saving a little slice of America’s Most Important Op-Ed Page to speak truth to power.

Aaron has a post on this subject at Lifelike.
Monday, Monday

Captain Ed has a nice long post on Chicago Cub Rick Monday's famed mad dash to save the American flag. Being a Dodger fan, Captain Ed manages to turn it into a post about the Dodgers. He does include one detail that I hadn't heard before; apparently the LA fans spontaneously burst into "God Bless America" after the incident. It's a good thing the incident happened in the fourth inning, or else nobody would have been there.

I think Ed's right about that moment being something of a turning point. It being the bicentennial year also helped. Not that there weren't some more turns ahead; that was also the year we elected Jimmuh Carter.

I included Monday's save in my trivia quiz about the 1970s a couple months ago.

Hat Tip: Conservative Grapevine.
Terrorist Fights Extradition

Of course, he's an eco-terrorist and he's in Canada, so he might succeed.

Prosecutor Rosellina Patillo said evidence from the federal prosecutor in Oregon indicates Arrow was among four conspirators involved in the bombings of a gravel company and a logging company between April and June of 2001. The evidence comes from statements of Arrow's three coconspirators who have pleaded guilty.

The suspects intended to firebomb a U.S. Forest Service office, but abandoned the idea after they found the security system was too tight, Patillo said.

The 30-year-old Arrow -- who says the trees told him to change his name -- contends he would not get a fair trial in the United States because of the FBI's assertion that his alleged crimes are acts of terrorism.

This is the same Tre Arrow who fell out of a tree during a protest and broke his pelvis; apparently the trees forgot to tell him to stay awake.
Monday, June 27, 2005
The Reality-Based Community? Part LI

The Insane Clown Posse is at it again:

Democrats are eyeing several parliamentary maneuvers to prod Congress into investigating the so-called Downing Street memo and other recently disclosed documents that they contend shows that the Bush administration manipulated prewar intelligence to build support for the war in Iraq.

Although any Democratic move will almost certainly fail in the face of vigorous Republican opposition, such maneuvers would constitute the first steps toward filing articles of impeachment, a bold step that some Democrats have left as an open question in recent weeks.

Good grief!
What Would We Do Without Experts

Get this silly story on Global Warming:

A waste of more than $1,300 a year for every American, undermining economic growth and jobs? Or a lifeline for the planet costing just an annual $20 for each European?

The U.N.'s Kyoto protocol on curbing global warming looks utterly different when viewed from Washington, which opposes the 150-nation pact, or from its main backers in the European Union, Japan or Canada.

So who is right?

Acceptable beginning, but here come the experts:

Experts say there is no sign that investors are shifting to favor the United States out of worry that Kyoto's supporters are shackling their economies with vast costs to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases from power plants, factories and cars.

Maybe it's because nobody's actually planning on meeting their targets?
Good Family Fare?

That's what Lorie Byrd has to say about the new "Love Bug" movie. I'm just a little too old to have seen the original Dean Jones movies.
This Is Unbelievable

Check out this column on the idiotic things some people are saying about Douglas Wood, the Australian hostage in Iraq who was rescued by American forces, and wasted no time thanking President Bush and Prime Minister Howard.

Jaspan is editor-in-chief of The Age, Australia's most Left-wing daily newspaper, and on ABC radio on Wednesday said how "boorish" and "coarse" Wood was at his press conference this week when he called his captors "a---holes".

Said Jaspan: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.

Actually, they are "slightly sceptical" for the simple reason that he didn't use his freedom to bash Bush and Howard. Had he expressed those types of thoughts, he'd be the toast of the left.

Hat Tip: Conservative Grapevine
You Just Might Be a Moonbat

Mr Right has the warning signs.
Kristen "Not Very" Breitweiser

Has an exceptionally stupid piece in the HuffPo.

One month after 9/11, we invaded Afghanistan, took down the Taliban, and left without capturing Usama Bin Laden - the alleged perpetrator of the September 11th attacks. In the meantime, Afghanistan has carried out democratic elections, but continues to suffer from extreme violence and unrest. Poppy production (yes, Karl, the drug trade) is at an all time high, thus flooding the world market with heroin. And of course, the oil pipeline (a.k.a. the Caspian Sea pipeline) is better protected by U.S. troops who now have a “legitimate” excuse to be in that part of Afghanistan. Interesting isn't it Karl that the drug “rat line” parallels the oil pipeline. (Yet, with all those troops guarding that same sliver of land, can you please explain how those drugs keep getting through?)

Note that Breitweiser can't even bring herself to admit that Osama was guilty; he's the "alleged" perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks. There is the usual fascination with poppy production in Afghanistan. Remember, Afghanistan is the war that the left supposedly agreed with. Yet Breitweiser makes a big deal out of the oil pipeline (Ted Rall must love her).

But if that part's confused, get this:

Karl, I mention Bin Laden because recently Director of the CIA, Porter Goss, has mentioned that he knows exactly where Bin Laden is located but that he cannot capture him for fear of offending sovereign nations. Which frankly, I find ironic because of Iraq--and let's just leave it at that. But, when you say that “moderation and restraint” don't work in fighting terrorists, maybe you should share those comments with Mr. Goss because he doesn't seem to be on the same page as you. Unless of course, Porter is holding out to announce that Bin Laden is in Iran. (Karl, I want Bin Laden brought to justice, but not if it means starting a war with Iran - a country that possesses nuclear weaponry. The idea of nuclear fallout in any quadrant of the world is just not an acceptable means to any ends, be it capturing Bin Laden, oil or drugs. But, Afghanistan and Bin Laden are old news. Iraq is the story of today. And of course, it appears that Iran will be the story of next month. But, I digress.)

Well, Kristen certainly does digress. Get Bin Laden unless he's in Iran, in which case, as Emily Litella would say, never mind. And you gotta love the part about Iran possessing nuclear weaponry; where does Mrs Breitweiser's "intelligence" on that come from? The left, which has long hooted about WMD not found in Iraq suddenly "knows" that Iran possesses them?
Barone Gets It Right, As Usual

Commenting on Rove's characterization of liberals, Michael Barone notes:

One reason that the Democrats are squawking so much about Rove's attack on "liberals" is that he has put the focus on a fundamental split in the Democratic Party -- a split among its politicians and its voters.

On the one hand, there are those who believe that this is a fundamentally good country and want to see success in Iraq. On the other hand, there are those who believe this is a fundamentally bad country and want more than anything else to see George W. Bush fail.

He's right; for the most part the actual politicos (except the odd Howard Dean or Dick Durbin) strike me as fundamentally on our side, but the rabid, partisan base is not.

(Doh! Original version of this cited Mort Kondracke as the writer--my bad!)
Times Loves the Hate America Museum

No surprise here:

The protesters have objected to the proposed International Freedom Center, which they fear might someday sponsor discussions that cast America in a negative light, and to the Drawing Center, one of the cultural institutions invited to move to ground zero, which has displayed art that appears to criticize the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

The protesters - and the governor - seem to have little faith in the emotional power of the memorial to the victims, which will be the central focus of ground zero, emotionally, politically and architecturally. The memorial's force will not be diminished by any other activities at the site, and it will inevitably serve as a locus of grief and remembrance for everyone who was touched by 9/11. But it is meant to remember something more than a day of tragedy. It's meant to remember the lives of those who died there, lives that were rich, complex and politically and culturally divided.

What those lives stand for now is American freedom, in its full implication and all its contradictions. That is what has gone missing in the governor's remarks, in which he demanded that the cultural organizations promise never to display art that might "denigrate" the victims of 9/11 or America in general. Mr. Pataki has accepted at face value the tenor of the protests at ground zero, which are, frankly, a call for censorship, indeed for censorship in advance - for political oversight of an artistic process that has only begun to evolve.

I suspect that the Times would be happy to see any anti-Muslim art censored; it's only the anti-American art which needs protecting.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Anarchists on the March

In San Jose:

A crowd estimated at between 200 and 300 persons was far smaller than predicted by “anarchist” Web sites and Police Chief Lynne Johnson, who had estimated up to 800 persons or more might gather.

Shortly before 7 p.m., a group of anarchists arrived with banners, and a masked speaker -- wearing a scarf covering his lower face and a black hooded sweatshirt -- made an impassioned speech against the Iraq war and evil effects of world corporate power. Most of those present then took to the streets, marching around downtown Palo Alto, under the Caltrain tracks and forming in the parking lot Bloomingdale's at the Stanford Shopping Center, later heading back into downtown.

Lots of pictures here.
This Guy's a Law Professor?

This is pretty funny. A blogger and law professor by the name of Brian Leiter apparently wrote an update to this post in which he claimed that Instapundit was behind this site. He claims:

I was misled by this, to which others had referred, and by the fact that the site in question seemed to evince the same moral sensibility Professor Reynolds typically expresses.

What a maroon! The Iraq War Is Wrong is a very silly site, either run by a total moron or someone imitating one. There is zero chance that Professor Reynolds would have the patience to do something this silly.

Hey Professor Leiter? You want to know who I am? Click no further!
Mississippi Dish

Right Wing Sparkle remembers growing up around Mississippi politics and gives us a little dish.
Anarchy in the UK

Here's an inside look at the nuts who will be invading Scotland next weekend to disrupt the G8 conference.

A young man, with blue hair which covered only one side of his head, introduced himself as simply 'an anarchist'. Although he had no clear idea of what he wanted to achieve, he knew he wanted to at least be involved, preferably within the groups arranging suitable squats in the Edinburgh area. It was more of a Citizen Smith kind of scenario than a well-drilled hard-left revolution.

But alongside him were representatives from the Dissent network and the Working Group Against Work, an Edinburgh-based movement against low paid, insecure jobs.
New and Exciting Post over at Lifelike

I take a little whack at deficit hawk Nick Kristof.
Steyn on Flag-Burning

He manages to surprise and delight:

Banning flag desecration flatters the desecrators and suggests that the flag of this great republic is a wee delicate bloom that has to be protected. It's not. It gets burned because it's strong. I'm a Canadian and one day, during the Kosovo war, I switched on the TV and there were some fellows jumping up and down in Belgrade burning the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack. Big deal, seen it a million times. But then to my astonishment, some of those excitable Serbs produced a Maple Leaf from somewhere and started torching that. Don't ask me why -- we had a small contribution to the Kosovo bombing campaign but evidently it was enough to arouse the ire of Slobo's boys. I've never been so proud to be Canadian in years. I turned the sound up to see if they were yelling ''Death to the Little Satan!'' But you can't have everything.

That's the point: A flag has to be worth torching. When a flag gets burned, that's not a sign of its weakness but of its strength. If you can't stand the heat of your burning flag, get out of the superpower business. It's the left that believes the state can regulate everyone into thought-compliance. The right should understand that the battle of ideas is won out in the open.

He mentions Rachel Corrie's flag-burning escapades; here's the picture:

If you make a point to watch, very few of those supposedly burning the flag are burning an actual flag; usually they're like pathetic little Rachel here, burning a piece of paper or a sheet colored to look like a flag.


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Brainster in the Media

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