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Saturday, July 23, 2005
Brian Haw-Haw

We have indeed grown more tolerant of the idiots:

Everyone who comes wants to know the answer to the same question. The Zambian journalist blinks at Brian through thick glasses. 'Why are you here, sir?' he asks.

There is an obvious answer to this question, the one which Brian Haw repeats to anyone who will listen. It is the answer that is painted on the placards that surround him and that stretch along the railings. He is here for peace, to stop the war in Iraq. 'I am here for all the world's kids,' he tells the Zambian reporter. But there are, I guess, other more personal answers, too.

Brian keeps a little Biro reminder of the 1,500 or so days and nights he has spent on this pavement; Robinson Crusoe adrift on his traffic island. He sleeps under a green tarpaulin a few hours a night, sits on a deck chair most of the day. Facing Big Ben, he's never stuck for the time. He eats whatever he is given, soup or chips, washes in a bucket, take one shower a week at a friend's.

Turns out the guy they shot was not a terrorist. Just an idiot in a heavy coat in midsummer who jumped a turnstile.

The Metropolitan police named him as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, an electrician from Minas Gerais who was living in Scotia Road, Stockwell, with three cousins. He is an innocent victim of a new "shoot to kill" policy under which officers have been told to shoot at the head if they believe they are confronting a suicide bomber.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night that there would be an inquiry. "We are satisfied the victim of the Stockwell Tube shooting is not linked to our terrorist inquiry. For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one the Metropolitan police regrets.

"The man emerged from a block of flats in the Stockwell area that were under police surveillance as part of the investigation into the incidents on Thursday, July 21. He was followed by surveillance officers to the Underground station. His clothing and behaviour added to their suspicions. The circumstances that led to the man's death are being investigated."
When Knives Are Outlawed

Some stores will still sell them:

A 15-year-old boy was illegally sold more than 20 dangerous weapons in shops — including several high street chains — with no attempt made to check his identity.

Calum Duke, a schoolboy from Glasgow working undercover, was able to buy a potentially lethal haul of blades including kitchen knives, daggers, dirks, hunting knives, craft knives and even an axe.
More on the Tube Shooting

The man shot didn't have a bomb.

Here's a pretty cool graphic of the final moments of this punk's life.

Speculation on why the bombs didn't go off this time around:

The suspicion is that the London cell had been deprived of some of the equipment and explosive abandoned in the boot of the car at Luton railway station after the July 7 attack.

Whoever constructed the devices for Thursday’s assault had to improvise with home-made detonators and appears to have made the same, simple mistake in all four bombs.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Is The Times Capable of Embarrassment?

(Welcome Conservative Grapevine readers!)

They decided to hire Sarah Vowell to stand in for Maureen Dowd. She's contributed 3-4 of the most incomprehensible columns I (or Bulldog Pundit) have ever seen. But today she's just a little too clever:

We celebrate the Minutemen of 1775. And I'm not saying we shouldn't. I do love a good "Listen, my children, and you shall hear" legend. In fact, my mushy nationalistic heart skipped a beat when an old Minuteman statue, caked in alien goop, made a cameo in Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds."

All I'm saying is that there is an inherent pitfall in revering the volunteer militiamen of Lexington and Concord, our beloved raggedy, gun-toting amateurs who defied the powers-that-were. As when today's raggedy, gun-toting amateurs defy the powers-that-be in their honor and someone gets hurt. Timothy McVeigh, for example.
Ten years ago, he bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City - on April 19.

Get it? The heroes at Lexington and Concord were the equivalent of Timothy McVeigh. I suspect there will be an uproar over that one.

From there she deftly segues into discussing a film about a band called "The Minutemen". From which comes this poignant moment:

The best part of the film, and the most heartbreaking, is when Watt walks around the park where he met Boon, a childhood friend who died in a car accident in 1985. "I was quite smitten with him," Watt remembers. "He was playing army and he fell out of a tree on me."

As he stares at the very tree, it occurs to me that playing army when you're 13 is fine. Grown men playing army on the Mexican border? No, thanks.

Uh, you know, playing army when you're 13 is not quite so fine, Sarah. It's pretty weird, actually.

And I'll freely admit that immigration is not my hot button. But I see nothing wrong with what the modern Minutemen did at the Arizona border, despite the obvious horror with which the MSM greeted them.
Carnival of the Chillin'

Brainster says check it out.
Suddenly Kerry Wants to Do His Duty?

This is rich:

Democratic Sen. John Kerry urged the White House on Friday to release "in their entirety" all documents and memos from Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' tenure in two Republican administrations.

"We cannot do our duty if either Judge Roberts or the Bush administration hides elements of his professional record," said the Massachusetts senator who was his party's presidential candidate last year.

First, it comes from the man who refused to sign his SF-180 to release his naval records for over 6 months after the election so that the voters could do their duty, and even now only allows selected columnists access. And second, how many votes did Kerry miss doing his duty on last year?
Howard Courts the Pro-Lifers

This should go over big:

Democrats need to reach out to voters who oppose abortion rights and promote candidates who share that view, the head of the party said Friday.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a group of college Democrats that their party has to change its approach in the debate over abortion.

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," said Dean. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."

Heh, yeah. Let's see how this might go:

"Haaaa! How yew all? I'm How'rd Dean and tonight I want to talk to y'all about God, guns and gays. And abortion."

"God. Personally I'm in favor of him. Unless he gets in the way of my bikepath. Let's all remember Jesus told us to give more money to the federal government to pay for universal health care. And something about squeezing the rich guy's wallet through the eye of a needle, so don't worry, we'll raise their taxes much more than yours. But we can't allow any mention of him in our schools. However, Mohammed is an important historical figure, so we have to teach about Islam."

"Guns. I love 'em. Nothing I like better than crawling through the woods with my shotgun, deer hunting. Or is that my buddy John Kerry? But I love guns. Unfortunately thanks to the Republicans we do have a problem with terrorists. At any moment they might strike America, and when they do we may need your guns, so we want you to fill out this handy registration form when you drop them off at the local police station."

"Gays. What can I say? I love 'em. But Jesus did say something about hating the sin and loving the sinner. So I'm here to tell you tonight that I don't know a Democrat who's pro-homosexual behavior. And we're not in favor of gay marriage, no, sir. But we are opposed to any efforts to ban it. Basically we're hoping the courts will take care of this one."

"The same with abortion. If that's a hot button issue with you, I'm here to tell you that we're completely in favor of running pro-life candidates in Republican areas, as long as they accept a woman's right to choose once they come to Washington. So you do have a voice in the Democratic Party! The same voice those babies have!"

Y'all're great! Eeeeyyyaaaaaaahhhhh!
Nice Tribute to Brian Chontosh

I covered this American hero here last year. Here's a terrific page dedicated to his exploits.

Hat Tip: Young Nationalist
Lucky Dawg Gnaws on Grenade Attack Story

Chris at Lucky Dawg continues poking around (scroll down past the NASCAR stuff to "Russia denies ties to grenade attacker". This story is starting to get a little more interesting, to say the least:

Russian military uniforms were found at the home of the Bush grenade attacker. That has raised suspicions there may be ties that lead to Russia. This was the Russian denial.

``I confirm categorically that he never served in our structures,'' said Col. Vladimir Kuparadze, deputy commander of Russia's forces in Georgia. ``As to the Russian military
uniforms, getting those in Georgia doesn't present any difficulty.''
Pilger's Bombs

John Pilger gained a bit of notoriety in the US a couple years back when he published a book on the "theft" of the 2000 election. Now he's back with a screed in the poorly named New Statesman called "Blair's Bombs".

In all the coverage of the bombing of London, a truth has struggled to be heard. With honourable exceptions, it has been said guardedly, apologetically. Occasionally, a member of the public has broken the silence, as an east Londoner did when he walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. "Iraq!" he said. "We invaded Iraq and what did we expect? Go on, say it."

What about 9-11? Pilger's got an answer for that one, too:

Anyone with an understanding of the painful history of the Middle East would not have been surprised by 11 September or by the bombings of Madrid and London, only that they had not happened earlier. I have reported the region for 35 years, and if I could describe in a word how millions of Arab and Muslim people felt, I would say "humiliated". When Egypt looked like winning back its captured territory in the 1973 war with Israel, I walked through jubilant crowds in Cairo: it felt as if the weight of history's humiliation had lifted. In a very Egyptian flourish, one man said to me, "We once chased cricket balls at the British Club. Now we are free."

So who's to say that the cricket balls at the British Club aren't still to blame?

Moron Pilger at Oliver Kamm's. Oliver's an old Usenetter; I remember his terrific posts skewering the goofballs at

The always-terrific Jonah Goldberg says that of course Iraq is the reason.

This is all a prime example of how politics can distort a serious argument. After all, it is obvious that the attacks in London were a result of Iraq, and in a more straightforward debate this would be an inconvenient fact for the opponents of the invasion.

For years we've been told that the war in Iraq was a mistake because the real enemy was al-Qaida or jihadism. Iraq is a "distraction" and all that.

And all along Blair and Bush have been saying the exact opposite: Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.

And yet, when terrorists strike at the heart of London, the pro-war crowd says this has nothing to do with Iraq and the anti-war crowd says it does.

There's plenty of time for figuring out the motivations; let's wait for more evidence.
Rooters, Again

Get this little snippet in their coverage of the tube shooting:

Police said the man was directly linked to an ongoing "anti-terrorist" probe but it was not clear whether he was suspected of involvement in failed bomb attacks on Thursday or had been mistaken for someone else.

What part of directly linked don't they understand? The "mistaken for someone else" part is just an invention of their reporter, Katharine Baldwin.
Serious Note

Our buddy at CrosSwords' dad passed away. Drop by and give your condolences.
Politically Incorrect... You're Fired!

Two stories, same ending:

Jillian Caruso, 26, a teacher at Birch Lane Elementary School in Massapequa, said that Principal Joyce Becker-Seddio demanded her resignation after discovering Caruso's political activity last fall, according to papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.

Becker-Seddio is the wife of Brooklyn Assemblyman Frank Seddio, a Democrat.

And this:

A former employee has sued Northbrook-based Allstate Insurance Company for discrimination, maintaining he was fired for writing an Internet-published essay that slams same-sex marriage and homosexual lifestyles.
Roberts in the Bank?

I pointed out the other day that the only folks who matter on the Roberts nomination are the seven Democrats on the Gang of 14:

* Joe Lieberman, Connecticut
* Robert Byrd, West Virginia
* Ben Nelson, Nebraska
* Mary Landrieu, Louisiana
* Daniel Inouye, Hawaii
* Mark Pryor, Arkansas
* Ken Salazar, Colorado

Lieberman has already said that he didn't think Roberts would provoke a filibuster. Now Robert "Sheets" Byrd is on board:

After Mr. Bush nominated federal Judge Roberts this week, Mr. Byrd again issued a statement praising the president. "I thank President Bush for reaching out to senators on both sides of the aisle as he worked to select a nominee for the court," Mr. Byrd said. "I hope that this bipartisan cooperation will continue as the confirmation process begins."

Salazar hasn't made a decision yet, despite his complaints about Roberts' plumbing, for which he gets a well-deserved gnawing from the Ankle-Biting Pundits.

Hat Tip: Alexander McClure at Polipundit
More on the Tube Shooting

Tim Worstall's got lots of links. He reports some controversy over the shooting:

As Nosemonkey says:

Are you really going to push someone to the floor and shoot them FIVE times if they're a suspected suicide bomber? F***ing risky, wouldn't you say? This is more like execution-style...

I may be well out of step here with what others think but we’d better damn well hope that guy had a bomb on him. Executing someone for being Asian isn’t going to help race relations now is it?


JohnB is less than enamoured of the practice of shooting suspects.

Let me just point out that with suicide bombers you definitely want to shoot to kill, so he can't push the button. If anything, I'd criticize them for not emptying the chamber.
Multiculturalism At Its Finest

What Ace said.

Hat Tip: Conservative Grapevine.
PC-NYPD Proposes "Random" Searches?

You gotta love today's PC-NYPD. In response to the London terror attacks they are proposing random searches of subway riders' baggage.

People who do not submit to a search will be allowed to leave, but will not be permitted into the subway station. The police commissioner said officers would take pains to avoid singling people out for searches based on race or ethnicity.

It strikes me that there's just a tiny flaw to this plan. Suppose you're a suicide bomber, and you get picked for a random search. You refuse, walk out and head to the next subway station. Odds are you won't be randomly selected...

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin, who has a links-filled post.
Bombing Suspect Shot in Tube Station

Good news if he's really one of them.

[A witness] said: "An Asian guy ran on to the train. As he ran, he was hotly pursued by what I knew to be three plainclothes police officers."

He tripped and was also pushed to the floor and one of the officers shot him five times.

"One of the police officers was holding a black automatic pistol in his left hand. They held it down to him and unloaded five shots into him. I saw it. He's dead, five shots, he's dead."

He reported the man did not seem to be carrying a weapon or wearing a rucksack.

Terrific coverage here.

Hat Tip: Instapundit
Thursday, July 21, 2005
This Will Undoubtedly Work

Or at least generate some consultants' fees:

Call for 'feminised' approach to tackling terrorism

Muslim women could play a vital role in tackling terrorism in the UK and abroad, a study by the thinktank Demos claimed today.

The report argues that the "bridge building" and communication abilities of women should be better harnessed as a force for good in Muslim communities following the London bombings.

The study, entitled Hearts and Minds, calls for Muslim community women's groups, or "mothers' meetings", to be encouraged and given funds by the government. It says such groups could become intermediaries with public bodies, and "forums where issues and grievances within the community are raised and resolved".

The authors, conflict resolution experts Scilla Elworthy and Gabrielle Rifkind, also argue for more "feminised" security services, with more women police officers and intelligence agents. Following the July 7 attacks, they call for officials to ensure that the police and other public agencies also employ women liaison officers "to act as a point of contact with women in Muslim communities".
Grenade Attacker "Confesses"?

This is kind of weird. Why would Rooters put the word "confesses" inside quotes? Is it some sort of PC nonsense that "confess" is too judgmental a word, like substituting "bombers" for "terrorists"? Or is the notion that there's nothing to "confess" about an attack on the President of the United States?

Just in case they change it:

Lucky Dawg on an Ignored Story

The attack (about a month ago) on President Bush's life in Georgia (formerly part of the Soviet Union, not Ted Turner's Georgia) hasn't gotten all that much play in the US. Chris has been digging and turned up some photos and a video clip.
Over at Kitty's

She's got an excellent post on her blogging habit, and an extra post on the monster in the backyard.
Eban on the Job

Audio blogging some of the TV and Radio reports from London (you may need to scroll down a bit).
Who Will Be The First?

The first left-wing conspiracy theorist to suggest that today's London bombings are an attempt to deflect attention from Rove? 5,4,3,2....
Moron Ken Livingstone

(Welcome to my fellow Polipundit readers! Thanks, Lorie!)

His tenure as the British Rudy Giuliani is officially over.

KEN Livingstone, the mayor of London, yesterday stunned even his political opponents by claiming the terrorist attacks on the city a fortnight ago were motivated by British foreign policy in the Middle East.

Shattering the political truce that had emerged since the four bomb attacks, Mr Livingstone said resentment was being fuelled as a result of the treatment of detainees by United States troops at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. He went so far as to suggest the English public would themselves resort to suicide bombings if placed under certain circumstances.

Let's turn this around. Could it be that terrorism is fueled by all the attention the Left and the liberal media focus on Guantanamo? Maybe that's why they have such a tough time condemning the bombers without a little whataboutery.

Ken gets a little going over here.

There is part of Mayor Livingstone that still aspires to world domination, or at least a much greater role in national political life.

But - as his pitiful behaviour yesterday showed - the bigger he tries to be, the smaller he gets.

Hat Tip: Slugger
Atta's Dad Gets His Wish

More London bombings; good news is that initial reports do not indicate any deaths.
Response to the Terror Apologists

Norm Geras (of the Normblog) has a terrific article in the Guardian today, rebuking some of their regular columnists.

A hypothetical example illustrates the point. Suppose that, on account of the present situation in Zimbabwe, the government decides to halt all scheduled deportations of Zimbabweans. Some BNP thugs are made angry by this and express their anger by beating up a passer-by who happens to be an African immigrant. Can you imagine a single person of left or liberal outlook who would blame this act of violence on the government's decision or urge us to consider sympathetically the root causes of the act? It wouldn't happen, because the anger of the thugs doesn't begin to justify what they have done. The root-causers always plead a desire merely to expand our understanding, but they're very selective in what they want to "understand".


The "We told you so" crowd all just somehow know that the Iraq war was an effective cause of the deaths in London. How do they know this, these clever people? For what they need to know is not just that Iraq was one of a number of influencing causes, but that it was the specific, and a necessary, motivating cause for the London bombings. If it was only an influencing motivational cause among others, and if, more particularly, another such motivational cause was supplied by the military intervention in Afghanistan, then it's not the case that the London bombings wouldn't have happened but for the Iraq war.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Mohammed Atta's Dad a Real Pig

In case you wondered how such a monster could be the son of a doctor, it turns out that the fig didn't fall too far from the tree:

Speaking to CNN producer Ayman Mohyeldin Tuesday in his apartment in the upper-middle-class Cairo suburb of Giza, Mohamed el-Amir said he would like to see more attacks like the July 7 bombings of three London subway trains and a bus that killed 52 people, plus the four bombers.

Displayed prominently in the apartment were pictures of el-Amir's son, Mohamed Atta, the man who is believed to have piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center as part of the attacks on the United States.

I don't know about you, but I feel physically ill when I see pictures of Atta. I don't make a practice of wishing ill on people, so I pray Mr el-Amir will live a long time. With acute hemorrhoids.
Medal of Honor Found

I pointed to the story of the theft of the Medal of Honor from recipient Sammy Davis last week. Nice to hear that the story had a happy ending:

The Indianapolis Fire Department's dive team recovered the medal belonging to Sammy Davis, a Vietnam vet who travels the country talking about his war experiences. His medal was stolen out of his vehicle on the city's west side while he was in Indianapolis for a speech last week.

The search brought the IFD dive team to the White River, where Private Mike Scott, who just recently graduated from dive school, had an important find. Scott was in the White River for about ten minutes and the water was so murky he couldn't see anything.

Scott says his training prepared him for the moment but luck was definitely on his side. "I was just feeling around on the bottom and felt something that felt like a box. I could feel some buckles on it and felt the handle. I figured it was more than likely a briefcase so I just came to the surface and handed it to the other firefighters in the boat," he said. It was Scott's first operational dive.

My guess from the story is that the guy who stole it did indeed feel guilty and phoned in an anonymous tip that it was in the river.
Sometimes I'm Smarter Than I Think

Lileks in his Newhouse column:

Bombing Mecca to revenge the acts of maniacs is like nuking the Vatican to protest the pedophilia scandal in Boston.

Me two days ago:

It's like bombing the Vatican over the priests who molested small children.

Obviously Lileks didn't get the idea from me. But he's always struck me as a brilliant guy so anytime I'm thinking on the same wavelength as he, I'm doing pretty well. :)
Lumpy On Tancredo

Our buddy Lumpy over at Lump on a Blog has issued a challenge to "detractors of Tom Tancredo". It's a terrific and thoughtful post. Unfortunately, it focuses on the question of whether Islam is or is not a religion of peace, and I confess it's pretty obvious that Lumpy knows a heckuva lot more on that score than I do.

Many believe that Islamic fundamentalism is a minority movement within the Muslim world. Our leaders tell us of the hijacking and perversion of a religion of peace by a few who adhere to a fascist ideology. We yell warnings at the top of our lungs that Islam is a religion of violence. They rebut that Christianity and Judaism were once religions of violence and that given enough time Islam will experience its own enlightenment. To which I rebut, there is no more time.

So I'll skip that part for now, other than to note that there are millions of Muslims in America today, and thousands of them in the US military. But the number of them that have participated or would be willing to participate in terrorist attacks on the US is very small; Johnny Walker Lindh and Jose Padilla come to mind. The guys in Lodi, and the other cell in Buffalo.

For those who counsel a restrained response I have to ask myself: Would they feel the same way if they awoke tomorrow to country in ruins, on the verge of anarchy; a collapsed economy; one million dead, and their own lives and the lives of their children forever altered? Would they beg on the behalf of Islam for restraint? I doubt it.

Probably not. But this is not the way Tancredo approached it. He was not talking about a US response after a nuclear attack in the US. He was talking about the threat of a US response before such an attack:

But in statement this week, Tancredo said he was talking about a making a threat that might deter such an attack. He went on to say: "I do not advocate this."

Not sure what he was not advocating there--the threat or the actual retaliation. I don't think either make a lot of sense for reasons I've gone into in the past.
Accusations And Smears

That's the title of this interview of Ward Churchill at Counterpunch, and nobody can accuse them of false advertising, as that is indeed what Churchill delivers.

Hell, even that famous AIM leader Vernon Bellecourt weighed in, claiming to have been "intimidated" by a message I left on his answering machine about ten years ago. This, from a guy who, according to police intelligence documents released in the Denver "Spy Files" case, appears to have tried to have me and a couple of his other opponents shot during the summer of 1995, and who is generally believed to be responsible for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash back in 1976.

On the plagiarism issue, Churchill offers lots of excuses, but his consistent one is that "Everybody else did it, too!"

There is a number of other striking illustrations of "patriotic" historians not being held by either the right or the left to the "strict standards" imposed on dissident scholars. Before his death it was thoroughly demonstrated that the late Steven Ambrose regularly engaged in plagiarism throughout his career, yet neither his reputation nor his book sales appear to have been damaged in the least. The biographer Doris Kearns Goodman, to offer another example, was proven not only to have plagiarized a lesser-known writer, but to have paid her victim a substantial sum to keep quiet about it. As a "penalty," she was hired as a political commentator by both NBC and CNBC (you can see her regularly on Hardball and Meet the Press).

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin, via Conservative Grapevine.
The Framing Thing

Interesting post over at Donklephant, the group weblog for centrists, based on this article in the NY Times by Matt Bai. Basically, the article is about George Lakoff, a linguist from Berkeley, who's selling the idea that Democrats don't need to change their message so much as change the words they deliver it with.

Luntz's dismissiveness is what you might expect to hear about Lakoff from a Republican, of course. But the same complaint has surfaced with growing ferocity among skeptical Democrats and in magazines like The Atlantic Monthly and The New Republic. An antiframing backlash has emerged, and while it is, on the surface, an argument about Lakoff and his theories, it is clearly also a debate about whether the party lacks only for language or whether it needs a fresher agenda. Lakoff's detractors say that it is he who resembles the traveling elixir salesman, peddling comforting answers at a time when desperate Democrats should be admitting some hard truths about their failure to generate new ideas. ''Every election defeat has a charlatan, some guy who shows up and says, 'Hey, I marketed the lava lamp, and I can market Democratic politics,''' says Kenneth Baer, a former White House speechwriter who wrote an early article attacking Lakoff's ideas in The Washington Monthly. ''At its most basic, it represents the Democratic desire to find a messiah.''

In a devastating critique in The Atlantic's April issue, Marc Cooper, a contributing editor at The Nation, skillfully ridiculed Lakoff as the new progressive icon. ''Much more than an offering of serious political strategy, 'Don't Think of an Elephant!' is a feel-good, self-help book for a stratum of despairing liberals who just can't believe how their common-sense message has been misunderstood by eternally deceived masses,'' Cooper wrote. In Lakoff's view, he continued, American voters are ''redneck, chain-smoking, baby-slapping Christers desperately in need of some gender-free nurturing and political counseling by organic-gardening enthusiasts from Berkeley.''

Yes, that seems to be the theme of Lakoff's work, that Americans are too dumb to understand that the Democrats are better for them economically, that they are tricked into voting for Republicans because the GOP does a better job of "framing" the issues. And it's not as if Lakoff was the first to make this point; the book, What's the Matter with Kansas? makes the same argument according to this Amazon review:

The largely blue collar citizens of Kansas can be counted upon to be a "red" state in any election, voting solidly Republican and possessing a deep animosity toward the left. This, according to author Thomas Frank, is a pretty self-defeating phenomenon, given that the policies of the Republican Party benefit the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the average worker.

Now of course a lot of us would argue that Democratic policies do not benefit the average worker, and that this may be the central flaw in the Democrats' argument. The Democrats seem to have the idea that the way to victory is to tell the working class, "Look, we'll only raise your taxes by $100 a month, but we'll raise them on the rich guy much more, so you'll come out ahead!", and so they end up scratching their heads when the working class respond, "I'd rather keep that $100 a month."

When a political party is mired in a losing streak like the Democrats, there are three basic responses they can make:

1. There's something wrong with our ideas; we need to move towards the center.
2. There's something wrong with our ideas; we need to move away from the center to energize our base.
3. There's nothing wrong with our ideas; the voters are idiots.

Lakoff (and Frank) take door #3. This is an appealing notion, because it doesn't require the Democrats to abandon any of their principles, just to change a few words around. It's not risking complete disaster, like #2, and it doesn't anger the base like #1. But will it recapture the middle? I have grave doubts, as does the original poster at Donklephant:

Sure, some ideas are going to be brought up again and again because (I think) they’re good ideas (universal health care?), but you can’t just “frame” everything and think that’s going to work.
Scotty Beamed Up

James Doohan, dead at age 85. I didn't know he was a Canadian and that the Scots accent was just one of many in his repertoire.

Our buddy Chris from Lucky Dawg points out something that I missed in the obit:

At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home by joining the Canadian army, becoming a lieutenant in artillery. He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. Fortunately the chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.
Will the Gang of 14 Deliver?

This is the big test for the moderate coalition that John McCain helped assemble. If they can prevent the filibuster from being used on Roberts, then we'll have to consider the McCain Mutiny a rousing success.

The key of course are the Democrats in the gang:

* Joe Lieberman, Connecticut
* Robert Byrd, West Virginia
* Ben Nelson, Nebraska
* Mary Landrieu, Louisiana
* Daniel Inouye, Hawaii
* Mark Pryor, Arkansas
* Ken Salazar, Colorado

It will be key to watch these senators for their pronouncements on Roberts. Ted Kennedy and Chuckie Schumer really don't matter a whit. BTW, this probably explains why the reports yesterday on the supposed nomination of Edith Clement stressed the support of Landrieu. We can afford one or two defections from this list (Byrd and Inouye seem the most likely), but more than that will probably force the nuclear option. I am assuming here that the Republicans will all vote in favor; that George Voinovich won't start crying about his grandchildren again.

Lieberman is quoted here as saying that he didn't think Roberts would provoke a filibuster.
Editorial Responses to Roberts' Nomination

Captain Ed has the goods. Can you guess which paper cribbed its editoral from Ted Kennedy's press release?

Meanwhile, around the blogosphere:

Lots of info on Roberts at Confirm Them. Just keep scrolling.

Michelle Malkin has a long and links-filled post. Hat tip belated for the note that Hugh Hewitt was pulling double duty last night.

Lorie Byrd comments on a pretty amusing exchange between Orrin Hatch and Chuckie Schumer from Judge Roberts' prior confirmation hearing for the Court of Appeals.

The Ankle-Biters weigh in here.

I suspect that this post over at Mahablog is typical of the left-wing reaction: Roberts? Yes, he's a partisan hack, but let's talk about Karl Rove!
More Gutfeld

This guy is really, really funny. Addressing the lack of jokes about homophobia and abortion, he contributes:

How many conservatives does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Five. One to screw it in, and four to hate gay people.

What do you get when you cross a Republican with a Christian?
I don't know, but you better keep it away from your uterus.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Moron the Sucker-Cide Bomber Theory

Viking Pundit has additional evidence that makes it sound even more likely.
Jim Aparo, RIP

He drew Batman for as long as anybody out there, and was certainly among the best artists to handle the caped crusader.

His Batman was always active, and unlike most of the Batman artists, Aparo emphasized the cape, showed how it could distract the enemy while making the Dark Knight appear that much bigger.

Another facet of Aparo's artwork was his use of shading. The top right panel of this sequence gives you a feel for it:

Jim Aparo, dead at age 72.
Turban Durbin Blasts Roberts

John Ruberry has the story. No word yet on whether Durbin has compared Roberts unfavorably to the judges in Hitler's Germany.
Hugh Hewitt Live Radio Extended Program

He's pulling an extra three hours. You can listen in here: I certainly am.
Bush Dribbles, He Fakes, He Scores!

Well, after all the grumbling early this afternoon about the possibility that Edith Clement would be the choice, Bush comes up with a pick (John Roberts) that is already delighting his base.
Moron Red Ken

Lashing out at the Jews again:

London Mayor Ken Livingstone, whose city was devastated by Islamic suicide bombings earlier in the month, lashed out at Israel Tuesday, comparing the Likud to Hamas and accusing Israel of "crimes against humanity."

At a London press conference, Livingstone, who has a long record of anti-Israeli diatribes, drew a connection between the London blasts and the Middle East. He said Israel had "done horrendous things which border on crimes against humanity in the way they have indiscriminately slaughtered men, women and children in the West Bank and Gaza for decades."

Put a sock in it, Ken.

Marathon Pundit has some pictures of Red Ken with an imam who's banned from the United States.
How About Just Passing Everybody?

The self-esteem gurus are at it again.

THE word "fail" should be banned from use in British classrooms and replaced with the phrase "deferred success" to avoid demoralising pupils, a group of teachers has proposed.

Members of the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) argue that telling pupils they have failed can put them off learning for life.
FBI Right to Investigate Leftist Wackos

The ACLU raised a stink yesterday about this, but Ben Johnson points out that investigating these kooks is absolutely appropriate.

Actually Aaron and I are having a vigorous exchange of ideas over at Lifelike on the Tancredo story. I like and respect Aaron, but I'm completely unconvinced that Tancredo's right on this point.

A lot of people have been "correcting" the impression that Tancredo was suggesting nuking Mecca, but that's just a difference of degree. I don't think he was talking about exploding a bomb somewhere where it wouldn't kill any innocents.

The other line of defense is that Tancredo was just suggesting that we threaten the Islamofascists with that, not that we'd actually do it. Of course, admitting that it's just an empty threat removes any potential deterrent effect.

The best argument Tancredo's supporters have (it seems to me) is the MAD argument; that the threat of nuclear retaliation prevented the Russians from nuking us during the Cold War and it will do the same with the Islamofascists now. I don't know that I buy it; if the attack comes from Bin Laden (who's supposedly in Pakistan or Afghanistan), how does threatening Mecca deter him? There may be a willingness on his part to sacrifice Mecca to start the jihad against the Americans in full force and fury.

Lumpy makes some interesting points here, that if you look at it as a war of civilizations rather than just individual battles with individuals involved, then Mecca makes sense as a strategic target. I don't think he can get around the intentional killing of innocents problem.

AJ Strata has more here, including Hugh Hewitt's response to the MAD argument.
GoreTV Won't Be Partisan?

No, it's going to be hip and edgy. Just like the man himself.

Monday, July 18, 2005
Contest Winners Announced; New Contests Starting

Over at Mr Right's place, results are announced on his hilarious caption contest.

He's got another one starting so if you missed out on the last one, get your entry in.

And Lorie Byrd has one of the funniest pictures I have ever seen; it almost doesn't require a caption, but if you can come up with one, you could win a major award!
Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right...

(Welcome fellow Hugh Hewitt fans!)

Tom Tancredo qualifies as a joker:

Talk show host Pat Campbell (search) asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

"Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.

I'm sure we've all contemplated this; I've had folks I like and respect talk about turning Mecca into glass. But it's one thing to say that over drinks in the bar, quite another for a congressman and aspiring Presidential candidate to say it over the air. It's like bombing the Vatican over the priests who molested small children. You may feel it's quid pro quo; don't be surprised if Catholics who despise the pedophile priests turn on you.

Michelle Malkin agrees it was a stupid thing to say, but disagrees about whether it's the most irresponsible thing he could have said, contrasting it with other stupid things. I agree, but at this point that's whataboutery, as my Irish cousins would say.

I have further thoughts about the ways in which this statement was wrong at Lifelike.

Hat Tip: Hugh Hewitt on the radio.

Sucker-Cide Bombers?--Updated!

A little interesting tidbit at the bottom of this article which mostly concerns the idiot rantings of an uncle of one of the London bombers:

“We do not have hard evidence that the men were suicide bombers,” a Scotland Yard spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph. “It is possible that they did not intend to die.”

According to the paper, one police hypothesis is that the bombers were tricked by a ‘master’ who told them they would have time to escape - when in fact the devices were set to go off immediately.

“The bombers’ masters might have thought that they couldn’t risk the four men being caught and spilling everything to interrogators,” an unnamed security official told the Telegraph.

Lending weight to the theory is the fact that all four men had paid up their parking tickets before boarding a train at Luton for King’s Cross, and that they all bought return tickets to the capital.

Moreover, the paper said, the men were carrying their explosives inside rucksacks, as opposed to strapped to their bodies as is common practice among suicide bombers.

Update: Maybe, maybe not. One thing that bothers me about this theory is the bus terrorist, whose bomb exploded about an hour or so after the others. If the bombs were set off by the master, wouldn't they all have been set off at the same time?
Funny Stuff

Multimedia maven Chris of Lucky Dawg News has a funny song and photo dedicated to Bernie Ebbers, former head of Worldcom/MCI who'll be cooling his heels in prison for the next 25 years.
Rudolph Gets Life

Glad to hear it.

Eric Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison Monday for his role in a deadly women's clinic bombing after he angrily denounced abortion and one of his victims told the federal courtroom he was a "monster."

One of the differences between the Left and the Right is in their respective ways of looking at terrorism. The Left is all too willing to forgive terrorist acts if they are in pursuit of objectives they consider reasonable (e.g., eco-terrorism, Palestinian statehood, etc.). I don't think you'll find a blog on the Right that is disappointed in this sentence, unless it's to say he should have gotten the death penalty.

More from the Ankle-Biters
Blogs to Check

John Hawkins has his list of daily blog reads over at Right Wing News. As Hugh Hewitt put it last year, these are the people who influence the influential. If you're well-read, you'll probably recognize most of the names; the ones that you don't, you should definitely check out. Full disclosure: John lists Brainster's and Lifelike Pundits. :)
Real Story of Gitmo

Interesting article on the treatment of prisoners there, and the effect of the "Close Gitmo" crowd:

The common belief among the terrorists, fed by reports apparently conveyed to some by their lawyers, is that political pressure will soon result in our having to close Gitmo and let them go. (Note to Messrs. Durbin, Kennedy, the New York Times, et al.: Please shut up. You are making the interrogators' job much harder than it already is.) Because they believe we'll close Gitmo, many of the detainees resist years of interrogation.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
A Man and a Ring

This is one of those articles that you just shake your head at and say, "The greatest generation, indeed!"

And for the former football star and war hero, it's been that way since the beginning. At 6, he suffered third-degree burns on 80% of his body when a trash incinerator toppled onto him.

[Mario] Tonelli's immigrant father, Celi, a former quarry laborer in northern Italy, stonewalled a doctor's notion that his son might never walk again. He fastened four wheels to a door and taught his first U.S.-born offspring how to move about using his arms. Within months Tonelli was back on his feet, and by 1935 he was the pride of Chicago's prestigious DePaul Academy, a prep standout in football, basketball and track.

Goes on to glory at Notre Dame, including a key run and touchdown to defeat USC. Gets into the army and is caught in the Phillipines for the Bataan Death March. A Japanese soldier steals his school ring, but moments later an officer gives it back:

The act left Tonelli speechless. "I was educated in America," the officer explained. "At the University of Southern California. I know a little about the famous Notre Dame football team. In fact, I watched you beat USC in 1937. I know how much this ring means to you, so I wanted to get it back to you."

Just a terrific read.

Hat Tip: John Ruberry
Gitmo Poets Society

This article is self-parody:

During three years in Guantanamo Bay, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost says that poetry kept him from losing his sanity. By the time of his release this spring, he had written more than 25,000 lines in his Cuban prison cell.

During the first year of his imprisonment, the 44-year-old Afghan prisoner didn't even have paper or a pen. Instead, he scratched lines of verse with his fingernail into Styrofoam cups.

One poem reads: "Just as the heart beats in the darkness of the body, so I, despite this cage, continue to beat with life. Those who have no courage or honor consider themselves free, but they are slaves. I am flying on the wings of thought, and so, even in this cage, I know a greater freedom."

Styrofoam cups. With his fingernail.
Vote Fraud? What Vote Fraud?

Apparently it was going on right under the noses of Democrats in East St. Louis and they had no idea of it.
Thanks to the Ankle-Biters

For letting me have a bigger soapbox last week! Bulldog Pundit and H-Bomb (aka Patrick Hynes) have a terrific crowd over there, and it's always an honor to blog alongside those two jabronis, even if they do root for the Eagles and Patriots. Go Cardinals!
Rove Story

Mark Steyn summarizes:

This controversy began, you'll recall, because Wilson objected to a line in the president's State of the Union speech that British intelligence had discovered that Iraq had been trying to acquire ''yellowcake'' -- i.e., weaponized uranium -- from Africa. This assertion made Bush, in Wilson's incisive analysis, a ''liar'' and Cheney a ''lying sonofabitch.''

In fact, the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe. Just about everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa. Don't take my word for it; it's the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report, Lord Butler's report in the United Kingdom, MI6, French intelligence, other European services -- and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson's own briefing to them. Why Yellowcake Joe then wrote an article for the New York Times misrepresenting what he'd been told by senior figures from Major Wanke's regime in Niger is known only to him.


The British suicide bombers and the Iranian nuke demands are genuine crises. The Valerie Plame game is a pseudo-crisis. If you want to talk about Niger or CIA reform, fine. But if you seriously think the only important aspect of a politically motivated narcissist kook's drive-thru intelligence mission to a critical part of the world is the precise sequence of events by which some White House guy came to mention the kook's wife to some reporter, then you've departed the real world and you're frolicking on the wilder shores of Planet Zongo.

Terrific writing.


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Contact Me: pcurley (at) cdwebs (dot) com

Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

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Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

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

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

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What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

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

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

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