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Saturday, July 01, 2006
Scamming the Scammers

Always love to hear stories like this:

To ensnare his victim, Shiver Metimbers replied to numerous scam emails with a standard letter apologising that he was too busy to accept their business proposition at this time, asking instead if they knew of any local artists that might benefit from his financial help.

When he found a willing victim, his anti-scam unfolded in much the same way as a typical 419 scam, promising payment only after a substantial investment had been laid down - in this case the receipt of a series of commissioned wooden carvings from a local artist.
Here's an Interesting Strategy

Israel threatens to assassinate Palestinian PM if soldier not released.

The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit.

It came as Israeli military officials readied a second invasion force for a huge offensive into Gaza.

Hamas's Gaza-based political leaders, including Mr Haniyeh, had already gone into hiding.

But last night's direct threat to kill Mr Haniyeh, a democratically elected head of state, sharply raised the stakes.

It's certainly a startling announcement. I wonder if the British ever considered threatening to off Gerry Adams if the IRA didn't cease their nuttery.

It makes some sense. When terrorists kidnap or threaten their opposition, they usually have a list of demands. Essentially they are offering a bargain--each side gets something it wants in return for giving up something it doesn't want. The Israelis have changed the terms of the bargain.

I assume that at some point we'll hear bleating about how the guy was "democratically elected". Fine, he's also a leader of Hamas, just as Gerry Adams is a leader of the IRA.
Friday, June 30, 2006
I Ain't Marchin' Anymore

USA Today covers the hot new protest songs:

Today, the mood and the marketplace are accommodating Let's Impeach the President, one of the most vitriolic titles on Neil Young's Living with War album. It was delivered because the veteran felt that younger stars weren't speaking up.

In fact, armies of musicians are churning out anti-war songs. Arriving Tuesday is The Diaries of Private Henry Hill by New York band Blow Up Hollywood, which mined a dead soldier's journals for its searing anti-war concept album. Experimental art-rock trio TV on the Radio bashes Bush in Dry Drunk Emperor. Rising British singer Nerina Pallot dreads news of a soldier's death in Everybody's Gone to War.

Why do I suspect that nobody's going to buy these albums? Neil Young's effort is currently at 92 after 7 weeks on the chart.
The Show Must Go On

Rachel Corrie's play is now appearing in New York.

After the New York Theater Workshop had the good taste to back away from staging "My Name is Rachel Corrie" a few months ago, the British production has moved to New York's Minetta Lane Theater for a one-month run starting October 15th.

I love this editorial comment:

According to Corrie's aunt Cheryl Broderson, the family is "absolutely ecstatic" that the play will be seen in New York.

As am I, since I adore English comedy. I mean, let's be honest: I've seen how slowly a bulldozer moves. There's a lot of construction in my neighborhood, and my dog and I had to get out of the way of one that was heading toward us. We managed to do so 16 times before it got close. In other words, in order to end up under a bulldozer, you would have to really want to be under a bulldozer. It would have to be your life's ambition to be under a bulldozer. And if that's your life's goal, there's nothing anyone can do about it. So it's a good thing that the play's intention is to be celebratory of Corrie's life: unlike most of us, she achieved her dream and died doing what she loved: being under bulldozers.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
TNR Discovers Conservatives

Those of us in the movement may have a little difficulty recognizing ourselves.

Here's a fairly amusing article about conservative dating.

With its polls, events, and forums, ConservativeMatch provides such embattled conservatives the chance to get together and engage on the topic of their alienation. The most charming manifestation of this sentiment is a movement on the site to refer to Democrats as "Vichi-crats." In the ConservativeMatch imagination, conservatives--even if they control every branch of the government--will always represent the underground Gaullist resistance to the liberals' sellout Vichy.

That's rather interesting, because at least in the blogosphere the term Vichycrats is pretty much reserved for Lefty bloggers discussing Joe Lieberman; the idea is that Democrats are collaborating with the Nazis.

Sadly, the article on Conservative Cuisine is subscriber-only, since the title and synopsis sounded intriguing:

Spam-a-Lot by Kelly Alexander
The stultifying blandness of conservative cuisine.

Who knew?
Brainster's In A Book!

Some of you may recall my takedown of a Paul Krugman error in a column on the Ohio Election, which resulted in Krugman having to issue a correction. That post is used as an example in a new book by Marshall University Professor Stephen D. Cooper, entitled, Watching The Watchdog; Bloggers as the Fifth Estate. I'll order a copy and review the book in the next week or so.
Hamdan Decision

Our buddies over at Ankle-Biting Pundits have the roundup.

So the majority here is of the mindset that Al Qaeda detainees captured abroad in a time of war deserve United States Constitutional protections? There’s another question Republicans running for office should confront their democratic opponents with. BTW, still no word on whether Al Qaeda will be joining the Geneva Convention now in response to their victory over the US today.
Moron the Lousy Economy

First quarter growth rate estimated at 5.6%.

The stronger GDP figure mostly reflected an improvement in the country's trade deficit, which was much less of a drag than previously estimated.

Gross domestic product measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the best barometer of the country's economic fitness.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Sheen Addresses the Truthers

Busy, Busy, Busy

Sorry, had a lot to get done today. Check out the Educated Shoprat and Third Wave Dave while you're waiting for new content here.
Daou's Job With Hillary Raises Eyebrows

Among his co-bloggers at the Huffpo. RJ Eskow:

While I'm happy for Peter -- she's not the anti-Christ, for God's sake! -- I would be insulted at the idea that the substantive differences that I (and many others) have with Hillary can be resolved through some sort of outreach program. This member of the "online community" is not going to be persuaded by some "Internet game plan" that her stand on Iraq, and defense issues in general, is anything but a) unprincipled, and b) poor political strategy.

Cenk Uygur, who may just be the dumbest poster at the Huffpo, says:

There are three possibilities:

1. Hillary will actually listen to what Peter has to say and adjust her views and actions.
2. They will not be able to see eye to eye and Peter will be ignored and then will eventually leave the job.
3. Peter will become an apologist for Hillary’s current stances on things like Iraq, which are hideous and morally repugnant.

Hideous and morally repugnant because Cenk doesn't agree with them.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Chait: McCain is a Liberal

Here's a pretty oddball little observation:

I should note one more point. Ross says I'm confusing moderate liberals for liberals generally. In fact, there are lots of disagreements within liberalism. I think McCain is (or was) a liberal because a liberal today is anybody who rejects conservative assumptions about the role of government (and isn't a socialist.) By today's standards Eisenhower and Nixon were liberals, a fact conservatives make themselves.

This does get back to a theme I blogged often on in 2004, that liberals today define themselves as un-conservatives. In other words, it's not that liberals have ideas and programs to propose; it's that they oppose the conservative ideas and programs.

As for Nixon and Eisenhower, they were conservative for their time; it was just a whole lot more liberal time.
An Interview with Mort Kondracke

Our buddy the Real Ugly American scores an interview with one of the Beltway Boys. Good job!

TUA: I would like to ask you about your partner on the Beltway Boys Fred Barnes; how long have you guys been friends now?

Mort: Well let’s see we covered the Ford White House together so that would have been 1975 and then let’s see I was a Nieman fellow at Harvard in 1973/74 and he became a Nieman fellow either the year after I was or two years afterwards. I mean he and I have sort of been trailing along before and after each other but we really became friends when he joined the McLaughlin group in about 1988. I think it was when Pat Buchanan quit to run for president one of his times. I can’t remember if that was 88 or 92. Fred was the chief substitute on the McLaughlin group for a long time so it was during the mid to late 80s that we really become good friends.

Pretty sure Buchanan's first run was in 1992.
Hillary Hires Daou

Peter seems like a nice fellow, he's just got a bee in his bonnet about that narrative stuff.

He's going to have his hands full trying to coax the netkooks to support Hillary. The good news is that they'll come around once the primaries start in February of 2008, just as they did in 2004 for John Kerry once the Vermonster imploded.

Dan Riehl connects a few dots. Let me just say that if Daou's really the one who leaked emails from the Townhouse list to TNR, he's not going to survive in the left-wing blogosphere.

I suspect it's not true. First, the timing's a little too obvious. Peter's no fool. and I doubt he'd have screwed up on the Gilliard email which is causing TNR some headaches.
Rush Busted for Viagra?

Story here:

Obligatory conservative comment: Deplorable and all that if he didn't have a prescription. Worse if he answered one of those email spams.

I can absolutely understand why this story will be hot on the blogs on the lefty side and off the radar screen among the right wing.

The main reason is that the libs believe that conservatism is about personality not ideas. They see this as another chance to attack the messenger. And, as we have seen countless times in the past, that's more important to them than winning.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Who Said It?

I fondly remember seeing the Dead when I was at Cornell. It was the day of the fabulous Fiji Island party on the driveway “island” of the Phi Gamma Delta House. We'd cover ourselves in purple Crisco and drink purple Kool-Aid mixed with grain alcohol and dance on the front yard. Wait – I think got the order reversed there: We'd drink purple Kool-Aid mixed with grain alcohol and then cover ourselves in purple Crisco – then the dancing. You probably had to be there to grasp how utterly fantastic this was.

Answer here.

Hat Tip: Lucianne. For what it's worth, I hated the Grateful Dead, and all my friends at college loved them. When there was a party, we'd hear one album by another band, and then the rest of the night was wall-to-wall Dead.
Frodo Suggests Peace Department (Again)

Dennis Kucinich, proving once again that he doesn't get it:

"I think it's inevitable that there's going to be departments of peace and non-violence, and not only in the U.S.," said Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat congressman from Ohio.

Supporters of the concept say that peace departments would promote the values of peace just as environment departments --relatively new agencies -- protect the environment.

Kucinich introduced a bill last year that would create a cabinet-level department of peace. Seventy-three members of the U.S House of Representatives have said they would support the legislation.

"All over the world people are looking to establish these structures, and I'll tell you why," said Kucinich. "Because people don't want to live in fear."

The Department of Defense is the Peace Department.
An Interview with Patrick Hynes

Our buddy Patrick Hynes is interviewed in connection with the upcoming release of his book, In Defense of the Religious Right.

Miner: Some media conservatives seem actually uncomfortable with the Religious Right. Why?

Hynes: Conservatives have their elites, too. And, of course, there are different kinds of conservatives. But those who dismiss the Religious Right do so out of ignorance, I believe. These folks generally operate under old, worn out stereotypes and believe polite society would be embarrassed if Christians were to represent the public face of conservatism.
Sore Loserman Redux

It never ends.

But the counts that were being reported on TV bore little resemblance to the exit poll projections. In key state after state, tallies differed significantly from the projections. In every case, that shift favored President George W. Bush. Nationwide, exit polls projected a 51 to 48 percent Kerry victory, the mirror image of Bush's 51 to 48 percent win. But the exit poll discrepancy is not the only cause for concern.

As I never tire of saying, the exit polls were the outlier; the other polls taken just before the election all showed Bush winning.

Vote suppression and electoral irregularities in Ohio have been documented, first in January 2005 by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, and in June 2005 by the Democratic National Committee, which found, in the words of DNC Chairman Howard Dean: ``More than a quarter of all Ohio voters reported problems with their voting experience."

The Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and the Democratic National Committee wouldn't have a horseface in this race, would they? And the percentage of Ohio Democrats reporting problems with their "voting experience" was not significantly higher than the percentage of Ohio Republicans reporting their own problems.
Gore's Movie

Barone On the Times

He's right on the money here:

Why do they hate us? No, I'm not talking about Islamofascist terrorists. We know why they hate us: because we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, because we refuse to treat women as second-class citizens, because we do not kill homosexuals, because we are a free society.

No, the "they" I'm referring to are the editors of The New York Times. And do they hate us? Well, that may be stretching it. But at the least they have gotten into the habit of acting in reckless disregard of our safety.

Last December, the Times ran a story revealing that the National Security Agency was conducting electronic surveillance of calls from suspected al-Qaida terrorists overseas to persons in the United States. This was allegedly a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. But in fact the president has, under his war powers, the right to order surveillance of our enemies abroad. And it makes no sense to hang up when those enemies call someone in the United States -- rather the contrary. If the government is going to protect us from those who wish to do us grievous harm -- and after Sept. 11 no one can doubt there are many such persons -- then it should try to track them down as thoroughly as possible.

The answer, of course, is that the Times no longer believes that there are terrorists out there; to them the real threat is Bushitler. In this regard, the Grey Lady is hardly alone; the peals of laughter from the Left every time a terror alert is issued reveals that it's a common belief.

Last Friday, the Times did it again, printing a story revealing the existence of U.S. government monitoring of financial transactions routed through the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which routes about $6 trillion a day in electronic money transfers around the world. The monitoring is conducted by the CIA and supervised by the Treasury Department. An independent auditing firm has been hired to make sure only terrorist-related transactions are targeted.

Members of Congress were briefed on the program, and it does not seem to violate any law, at least any that the Times could identify. And it has been effective. As the Times reporters admit, it helped to locate the mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombing in Thailand and a Brooklyn man convicted on charges of laundering a $200,000 payment to al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan.

But it's all part of a pattern with this administration; they're so nosy. And secretive! Why are they so secretive when it just encourages the press to reveal their secrets?

Bill Keller, editor of the Times, claims:

It's not our job to pass judgment on whether this program is legal or effective, but the story cites strong arguments from proponents that this is the case. While some experts familiar with the program have doubts about its legality, which has never been tested in the courts, and while some bank officials worry that a temporary program has taken on an air of permanence, we cited considerable evidence that the program helps catch and prosecute financers of terror, and we have not identified any serious abuses of privacy so far. A reasonable person, informed about this program, might well decide to applaud it. That said, we hesitate to preempt the role of legislators and courts, and ultimately the electorate, which cannot consider a program if they don't know about it.

This is an excellent point, and should be considered in other cases. For example, when our military received the information regarding the location of Zarqawi, did the electorate get an opportunity to consider whether he should be blown up? No, and the nation suffered for it. I think we're close to a principle here, which is that the nation should not use any weapons against terrorism that have not been completely debated and voted on out in the open. Anything less is being unfair to the terrorists, who after all, may have legitimate reasons for what they do.

Okay, sarcasm off.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
70 Years Ago

A woman named Margaret Mitchell published her first (and only) book, Gone With the Wind.

Mitchell was not the greatest writer in American history, but this may well be the great American novel. The combination of plot, backdrop and the unforgettable two main characters combine to make GWtW one of my favorite books of all time.


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Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

May 9, 2005

June 3, 2005

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

Greatest Hits

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

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained

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