Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 30, 2004

Delusions of Grandeur

Drudge has a report from a "Washington insider" that Hillary is top Veep pick. I have no idea if this is substantiated, but the insider definately has some interesting thoughts about Kerry. This is the best part:
"Kerry believes that no one is better on national security than he is, he served in Vietnam after all, so he has that covered and the suggestion that he needs to strengthen the ticket with someone who has national security credentials is dismissed as foolish."
This does not surprise me, but it alarms me. One of the better attributes of Bush as a leader is that he recognized his initial lack of national security credentials and this put together a team of people who were far more luminous than he to advise him. Even if you accept the questionable claim that Kerry is smarter than Bush, I'd rather have a moderately intelligent president who can pick good advisors and take their advise wisely than a very smart president who believes he is the end-all and be-all of wisdom, insight, and cleverness.

I don't really have any thoughts about the idea of Hillary for veep (or I do, but I have things I need to do) except that if you thought the country was polarized now, I can only imagine what it would be like after throwing her into the mix. The Republicans who aren't excited about Bush at the moment would certainly snap out of any fantasies of Kerry they were having. Besides, Karl Rove would and should have a field day with Hillary's "Take things away from you" speech.

ONE MORE THING: If I was Bush and I thought there was any possibility of this being true, I would immediately have Dick Cheney back out of the Veep slot for health reasons, or something, and pull Condi into the veep slot. First, I think that would be good simply because Condi isn't a lightening rod in the same way Cheney, and second, I think she'd be a terrific veep, and a great president, and finally, it would beat Kerry to having a woman on his ticket. Beyond that, it would at least make the black vote more interesting. Please bear in mind that I would also approve of Condi if she were a white male and would support her selection on her merits besides race and gender. I think that even if Hillary's not the veep-can, Condi would be a great veep, and Cheney could go be NSA or something.

On Neutrality

Deb at Accidental Verbosity writes:
I have a very good friend who I can't even bear to talk to anymore because of her conviction that a certain overweight filmmaker is more credible than the President of the United States. No amount of information, regardless of source (I quoted Clinton at her without making a dent), can sway her conviction that George W. Bush is the embodiment of evil.

This so-called friend actually asked me not to vote.
I myself have recently had two close friends come to me with similar exhortations. One of them, a very partisan Kerry supporter, when I gave her a thoughtful analysis of how I felt about each of the candidates, including what I don't like about Bush (spending, FMA) but that I supported him anyway, simply begged me to not vote, since I "couldn't make up my mind." I told her that just because I wasn't ready to throw my knickers at Bush didn't mean my mind wasn't made up.

In the second instance, one of my best friends (who also happens to be a liberal democrat and anti-war loon, but I love him anyway -- I just have to choose to ignore those things) and I were discussing my move to New York, and I mentioned that I was thinking about volunteering at the GOP convention. He agreed that it would be an interesting decision, but "you don't support Bush, right?"
I said, "Well, I don't always agree with him, but I'm certainly not voting for Kerry."
He replied, "Then just don't vote. Vote for Nader!"
Uh...yeah... I'll think about that...

You know, in a small way, this is heartening to me, simply because it means that the soul-sucking cretins over at the MTV Rock The Vote campaign haven't won yet. Their main message is that it doesn't matter for whom you vote, as long as you vote and make your voice be heard. Hogwash. I've spent enough time in choirs to know that if someone can't carry the tune of any of the parts in the choir, they're just screwing things up for everyone, and if they insist on staying on stage and looking decorative, it's far better that they lipsync. At least my friends, misguided though they are, still believe that who you choose does matter. I'm reminded of the bit in Dante's Divine Comedy when he encounters the Neutrals. Heaven won't have them, and neither will Hell, but it's still not a pleasant fate, marching forever behind a flag of surrender and being devoured by hornets and flies and maggots. Thanks, but no thanks. If Dante won't let me into heaven, I'd like to earn my place in Hell properly, thank you.

This is one of the things I love about Bush (even when I don't agree with him) and dislike about John Kerry. I like that Bush is not neutral, he does not fence sit, and he will never surrender. He is sometimes wrong, as are all people of action. I'm fine with that. Even great baseball players miss more than half of the balls they swing at, and while I expect a somewhat higher success rate from my Commander-in-Chief, I appreciate the fact that he's up there swinging.

All that said, I am not especially fond of my friends encouraging me to take a place among the neutrals when they know I won't be swayed to their side (incidentally, they've never really tried with anything more than "John Kerry is a good man"). I dislike their opinions and I think they are frightfully and perhaps fatally wrong, but I'm not going to try to stop them from voting.

I tend to vacillate wildly on the idea of who should vote. On the one hand, I feel that the people who have a clue and care should be the ones who make the decisions. Some days I feel that you should have to be able to match a candidate with at least five of his or her positions before voting for him or her. The founding fathers must have had at least a similar sentiment (at least about the first part) because that's the idea of representative democracy. I know we can't do this though. On the other hand, I feel like abstaining should not be an option. I am wary of this, as I'm aware that many dictatorships have mandatory suffrage, but I also feel that people should have to take some sort of a stand. If you were forced to really defend your position, and then feel responsible for the consequences of such a position, maybe you'd have to think about things a little more soberly. The universal suffrage scenario frightens me, simply because as it now stands, the idea of even more unwashed masses voting is scary. I guess I just wish that our political process encouraged some level of personal responsibility for act of voting. In ancient Athens (I think, and I can't find it at the moment, and I know I read it somewhere -- help me out here), it was strictly illegal not to take sides in a rebellion, which caused people to have to fight for what they believed, and defend themselves, rather than waiting for it all to blow over and hoping to attach themselves to the winning side.

I did not vote for GWB in 2000. I was 17 at the time, and therefore unable. I would have, however, and so for the sake of this next paragraph, let's assume I did, just because it makes the verb tenses work out more nicely. By voting for Bush, I purchased one "share" of the next four years. That share had certain dividends -- most literally in the form of the tax cuts. However, it's more than that. I bought that share with my trust, and it was repaid in leadership and liberty. I consider that I invested my trust wisely. In November, we get three choices -- Win, Lose, or Draw (Nader or abstention). We all have to pick the best return on our trust -- for my money, that's Bush -- but I'm not going to bury it in the backyard or hide it under the mattress. Voting is absolutely crucial, but for whom you vote is too. If you don't know for whom you should vote, do your homework. Read what they've said. Figure out how you want to live your life and how you want the government involved in that. Keep thinking until you've made a decision that you feel you can defend (and have defended) and live with it's consequences, but don't sit it out. The fate of the Neutrals is not pretty.

P.S. While we're on the idea of getting out and voting, this is...special...

Τρίτη, Ιουνίου 29, 2004

A Goose Named Hill

To follow up on my previous post, here's the Democrats' latest on redistributing your wealth.

First, we have John Kerry, who wants to repeal your tax cut. Here to explain the implications we have Lilek's buddy the campaign girl and Hillary, who says:
"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
...Paging George Orwell, George Orwell to the Farmhouse, George Orwell to the Farmhouse...

Hillary, you're very welcome to fork over your and Bill's incomes, royalties, speaking fees, etc for the common good as you see it. But my opinions vary from yours fairly significantly, and I'll keep my things myself and distribute them as I see fit. The "common good" can earn its own keep. The "Common Good," at least as defined by the Dems, as far as I'm concerned, is total crap.

BTW -- Can anyone find out what was ellipsis-ed out?

The Gander's Ticked

It's funny how Kerry and his supporters think that it's a good idea for the richest Americans to pay the lion's share of the taxes, yet they start to get all, um, righteous about it when America, the richest nation in the world, is asked to do the heavy lifting in Iraq because we have the resources to do so. He says:
"Ninety percent of the coalition on the ground is American, 90 percent," Kerry told reporters in Maryland, where he was campaigning. " And 90 percent of the cost is being borne by the American people."
If the liberals could somehow rig the tax system so you could use that statement to describe America, just replacing "coalition on the ground" with "taxpayers" and "American" with "the rich" (and changed the verb conjugations to agree), they'd do it in a heartbeat, and we'd have no economy. Interesting.

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 28, 2004

The Case of the Missing Voters

Today's OpinionJournal has an absolutely fascinating analysis of the effects of legal abortion on electoral politics. The gist is basically that kids tend to vote like their parents and liberals are more likely to have abortions than conservatives, so if all of the aborted kids were alive today, the Democrats would gain gobs of voters. Read it.

IRAQ IS NOW SOVEREIGN NATION!



If ever there was a time for "Second Coming" font for the headline of a the major news sites, now would be it. The headline over at CNN.com, which appears to be curbing its enthusiasn, at the moment reads "Bush: 'Iraqi people have their country back'" which implies that a handover has occured, but in about the most bland way possible. The story is here. At least CNN got around to sending out a breaking news story about it which read:
Coalition administrator Paul Bremer hands sovereignty over to interim Iraqi government Monday morning, two days earlier than scheduled. Bremer, Iraqi officials express confidence the new government is ready to meet challenges ahead.

Also the picture is of Bremer getting on a plane.

FoxNews, unsurprisingly, is far more interested, with the headline "Coalition Transfers Power to Iraqi Government" and a great picture of Bremer handing over a portfolio which contained, I don't know, sovereignty, I guess, and all of them grinning like the happiest men alive. Go read the story, it will make you smile.

Captain Ed speculates, and I agree, that the "surprise" ceremony two days ahead of time was most likely the goal to start with, and June 30th was a red herring of sorts, and also gave them a few days fudge room. Also it's a nice round number.

I suspect that one of the reasons the media hates the Bush Administration is that the Bushies tend to do thing without consulting the media for their opinion (like the Thanksgiving Iraq trip) and those things tend to work out pretty well. That's one of the main differences between Bush and Clinton -- Clinton consulted and triangled and whatever but never did much. Bush does things he thinks are right, and continues to do them and doesn't seem to care that much whether people (or France or China) like it or not. That's a mark of a leader. Clinton was all spin, no frisbee.

Finally, let's hear from Iraq. Sarmad Zangna has a really touching post up about the transfer.
Great moments ,great time ,here in Iraq , The transfer of power to Iraq sovereignty has been completed 2 days in advance ,this was ,a great news for the Iraqis .
From this moment we started to celebrate ,and people ,all over here conciliation each other ,this is a great moments ,I resaved calls from all over the world greeting me for this happy moments .
Thank you Mr. . primmer ,for being great president for Iraq all this time, Thank you for great job you did for Iraq ,we will never forget you , you will be always in our minds and harts.
Thank you united state of America for your great Job you done here .
Thank you coalitions forces for you brave work and supporting good.
Thank you all Brave mans ,who lost there life here ,your bloods will be the river of hope for us .
[...]
I will go now to celebrate with all people for this happy moments ,it has been long time since we celebrate.
Read the whole thing.

Alaa also has an incredlibly moving post up, posted before the transfer, and it is absolulely a must-read. It talks about some mistakes that have been made, and then says:
But we don’t want to dwell on that. For there is another feeling that comes also from the guts: that the thing is right, that the liberation is real, and necessary and preordained by Providence. Salvation is to come through pain and tremendous suffering, like that of Jesus (PBU). And now we shall go through hell for it and gladly. There is no turning back. If the terrorist, obsessed by the devil is willing to explode himself to kill the innocent; we, filled with the light of Love and the Love of light are even more capable of sacrifice. It is at these extreme times that one can begin to understand the true meaning of such profound messages as that of Salvation through suffering. Yes, we shall bear our cross, like Jesus, for the salvation of generations to come.

Come rain, come tempest, descend fog and darkness, We Shall Overcome. The Devil is going to be defeated again, as usual, by the very evil of his machinations.

And the enemy is desperate, he is striking left and right, beheading, slaughtering, murdering; blind with the rage of the wounded dying beast. And we have seen them, Egyptians, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians, our “Brothers”, running amok in our streets, murdering our men, women and children, and for what? What are they trying to achieve? And the whole lot of lying hypocrites, shedding crocodile tears about the “Iraqi People”, it is they who should get out and shut up. That is the invasion and occupation that we want to be rid of.

But We Shall Overcome; have no doubt about that. This, more than anything else, I know with every fiber of my being. And praise be to Allah, and thank you America.


UPDATE: There's a great roundup of transfer coverage at The Moderate Voice. Scamper on over.

Fellowshipping with the Ring

Neal Whitman (formerly of Agoraphilia), guest-blogging at Volokh, has this great post on linguistics and grammar and all that fun stuff. He's talking about "backformation," in which prefices or suffices are removed from existing words or phrases to make new words. His examples, both from the grammatical oracle known as Ashton Kutcher:
1) I like to peoplewatch.
2)The Bushes were underage drinking at my house


The suffix was dropped from 'peoplewatching' and 'underage drinking' took 'underaged drinker' and made it into a verb of sorts.

My favorite example of something similar (although not entirely the same thing) is the verb 'fellowship,' which is popular among Evangelicals. For example: "After church we went out in the hall and fellowshipped," or "So we were fellowshipping and then Mary started speaking in tongues," or "At the retreat there will be free time to pray and fellowship." This has always made me slightly batty, as, in my mind, 'fellowship' is not a verb, strictly speaking.

Anyway, if you enjoy linguistics, go read the whole thing.

Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 27, 2004

Debunking Dick

MSNBC has a new article up on the Veepstakes, along the general lines of "Lots of guys want to be veep but they can't say so, so they act like that girl you know who REALLY likes this one guy and would just DIE if anyone knew and won't tell a soul who it is except everyone knows she likes him cuz it's really obvious." So go read the whole thing if you want to, but no new info there, folks.

I keep hearing things along the lines of "Kerry should pick Edwards so he'll carry Carolina" or "Kerry should pick Gephardt so he can win Missouri." Well, I can't speak definatively on Carolina, but I can tell you that Gephardt's gonna be about as useful as a rudder on a mule in Missouri. Here's why:

First off, Gephardt represents St. Louis in the House, and he may well be representative of the sentiments of St. Louis. However, St. Louis is in no way representative of the rest of the state -- it's urban, it's (more) liberal, it has highways with more than two lanes in each direction, etc. Those of us from other parts of the state instictively distrust those things. Kansas City also tends towards liberalism, but it's not representative either. Most Missourians permit themselves to be represented by St. Louis' (or KC's) sports teams, but there the cooperation ends. "Nice place to visit but we wouldn't want to live there and wouldn't want to be the sort of people who would want to live there;" this is the sentiment of most non-STL Missourians.

If you want a city that's more representative of the remainder of the state, Springfield is as good as any. It's mostly conservative, mostly white, mostly Southern Baptist or Assemblies of God, and the sort of place where John Ashcroft is fairly mainstream and international foods are fairly hard to find. Yes, there are pockets of liberals, mostly around the universities (or at least around the secular ones) but there aren't that many.

St. Louis, if any area was to be, would be the most likely to be affected by Gephardt's candidacy, since the voters there have voted for him consistantly for 30 years and Missourians tend to be stubborn like that. However, the sorts of people who have always voted for Gephardt are most likely Democrats who are already voting for Kerry. Also, the sorts of people who have always voted against Gephardt aren't likely to change now, because, as I said, we're a stubborn people.

Kansas City has never had much of a use for St. Louis (you're either a St. Louis person or a Kansas City person) and I can't imagine that anyone in KC that wasn't gonna vote Democrat would switch because a St. Louis rep was on the ballot.

So then there's Springfield and the rural areas. The university folk aren't gonna vote for Bush because they just aren't. The unions are already all about Kerry, Gephardt's not going to pander any more votes out of them. So then you get the Conservative Christians, and the Christian Conservatives, to whom the national Democratic party is the work of the Devil, and the state and local Democratic parties are what the Devil does as a hobby (apologies to Garrison Keillor). Bush'll be have to be caught in a hotel room naked with a shaved llama that is not his wife before most of these people will vote against him. Additionally, it's not like Gephardt's some big rockstar that we've all grown up knowing and loving. He's kinda like the red clay -- always been there and we're used to it, but don't expect us to get all excited about it.

But go ahead, John, pick Gephardt. He might provide much needed continuity to with the previous administration -- win or lose, at least the country will be reassured to know that we will have a veep named Dick.

UPDATE: Don't underestimate the political power of St. Louis though... as the OpinionJournal points out, "St. Louis is one of several American cities in which registered voters outnumber residents of voting age."

UPDATE UPDATE: Captain Ed has a bit on "Missouri's Favorite Son, Dick Gephardt" not being the Show-Me State rock star that others seem to assume he is. It says,
Missouri favorite son Dick Gephardt is not the favorite vice presidential candidate of several rank-and-file state Democratic leaders looking to deliver its 11 electoral votes to John Kerry.

Asked which prospective running mate would help Kerry win the battleground state, eight of 11 county chairmen and chairwomen selected at random by The Associated Press chose Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Gephardt and Edwards are among those Kerry is reported to be considering. ... "Gephardt just doesn't have the get-up-and-go that Edwards has," said Irma Brannum of Poplar Bluff, the Butler County party chairwoman. "Edwards is the exciting one," said St. Charles County chairman Joe Koester.
If anyone was curious, the role of Missouri's Favorite Son, Southwest Division, is currently played by Brad Pitt.

What a Girl's Gotta Do

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around...  per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on. The post I'm submitting is above.

Unfortunate Headline of the Day

Seeds are shaken by Sprem's flowering talent

Σάββατο, Ιουνίου 26, 2004

What I Love About America

Tonight I was watching Springfield's FireFall celebration (on TV -- we had too much going on this week to think about going out there tonight) which combines fireworks with the Springfield Symphony (out in a field --interesting) playing patriotic and American music. They played some good music, some very bad music that sounded like it should have been the soundtrack to a WWI documentary, and some Copeland, which is my absolute favorite. "Fanfare for the Common Man" is quite possibly the most perfect piece of music ever composed, and most everything else he wrote was approaching that level of excellence. I love that, in America, a gay Jew from Brooklyn can write the ultimate American music, that fully captures the national character and is embraced as the sound of the nation. Sure, there's still bias against people and groups, but essentially, people don't care if you're outside of their tribe or clan or whatever (maybe if you're outside of their political party...) they care if you have chops. Aaron Copland did.

Thank You, Leftists

JunkYard Blog has a marvelous post about America's reputation in the world. It's hard to pick out specific passages, so go read the whole thing, but I'll excerpt part of it here.

The world press, taking its cue mostly from the US press, has of course taken the hard left Michael Moore-ish view of things, that no matter what happens it's America's fault speaking broadly and George W. Bush's fault if you want to get specific. And since the US press is mostly in bed with the left wing of the Democrats, it's not much of a leap to cast the following aspersion--the left wing of the Democrat party as represented in the press is destroying America's reputation around the world.

What consequences will shake out from this is anyone's guess, but the fact is that the international press, again taking its cue from our own press and the arguments the Coalition of the Wild-Eyed is proffering, is just shredding the good name of America on a constant basis. Mrs. JYB reports that it does no good to try and reason with people overseas about this--they only see and hear what the press feeds them (blogs aren't big yet over there), and the press is feeding them a diet of anti-Americanism of Al Jazeera proportions. So even in allied Japan, our reputation is shot. It will take years to recover.

And let me drive home a point about who is actually destroying our reputation. It isn't George Bush or the Republicans who are constantly ripping our allies as a coalition of the bribed and coerced. It isn't George Bush and the Republicans who are drumming up so many half-witted conspiracy theories about the war, and it isn't George Bush and the Republicans who are accusing their opposites of betraying the country when the plain facts say it isn't so. It's the Democrats, the psychotic and increasingly dangerous Democrats, who are casting these lies in the direction of our leadership and who are dragging the name of America through the sewer. It's the Democrats who have taken a war fought for necessity and for humanitarian reasons and have constructed elaborate lies about it, and it's the Democrats who have insulted our allies who are shedding blood and treasure to help us. It is the Democrats and the press who are creating all the negative perceptions of us around the world--if we appeared unified, the world would be a lot less likely to believe the worst about us. But when you have a former vice president spewing the most vile lies about the current president, well, it gives the press around the world even more license to muddy us.

Well, thanks a hell of a lot, Democrats. You may not only cost us the war, which will get many, many people killed, but you may also cost us our alliances hard won over decades of patience and bipartisan effort. You liberal left-wingers are fools. If it were in my power I'd make it so that we could defend only those Americans who want to be defended from terrorists, leaving you idiots out in the cold to combat the terrorists on your own. Maybe then you would learn which side you should be on. Maybe then you would figure out that the enemy isn't some God-fearing architect in Mississippi but nutbag Islamicists who keep capturing innocent civilians and cutting their heads off to make snuff films. Maybe then you would figure out that however imperfect the effort has been, our cause in Iraq and in the war in general has been noble, just and necessary.

But you'll never learn, will you? 9-11 taught you people nothing. Not a thing. You'll watch your Fahrenheit 9-11, you'll try and get as many young minds filled with its lies as you can, and you'll continue to lie about your country and thereby help the terrorists.
It's really baffling to me how thinking people could possibly believe that Bush is worse than bin Laden. That people would rather get rid of Bush than protect America (or the Poor in other countries) is incomprehensible to me. And it makes me mad.

I had a friend, a sane, normal, nice, intelligent friend who told me, with a straight face, that Bush was the most dangerous man in the world. All I have to say is, "Good!" I want him to be. Just like they say that the most dangerous place in the world is between a mother and her children, I want the most dangerous thing in the world to be threatening Bush's Americans. I want him to be extremely dangerous. I want him to be good, but dangerous. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, one of the girls asks if the Lion Aslan is safe and is told, "Safe, of course he's not safe, but he's good." I do not want a safe president. I do not want a president that makes everybody happy. I do not want a president that cares what the French think.

And now the big finish:
History will vindicate President Bush and the war in Iraq. It will. He has been right and his critics have been wrong all along. That's the hopeful part. I don't think he'll back down, and in the end I think the left will once again overplay its weak hand and find itself out on the political wilderness again, where it belongs. Well, I hope all that happens. I hope Bush doesn't back down, and I hope he manages to defeat the left while he's also leading the fight against the terrorists. Losing to one would probably mean losing to the other, and the consequences of that are unthinkable.
Now go read the rest.

Dueling Disgust

I'm on both John Kerry's and George Bush's mailing lists, just for kicks and grins, and it makes for some interesting inbox-wars. The general pattern is that Bush sends out links to his new campaign ad and then Kerry sends out an email denouncing it as the most despicable 30 seconds of video ever produced, not excepting the terrorist snuff films and most of Battlefield Earth. The only exception to this pattern is that sometimes I get the irate reaction before I get the ad, or in any case, before I get around to going and looking at the ad. Sometimes I go look at the ad just to see what has done such a great job pissing off Kerry.
The current ad brouhaha is over Bush's "Coalition of the Wild-Eyed" commercial, which could also have been titled "Gore's Gone Wild" or "Democrats in the Mist."

The email that accompanies the ad reads: Dear Katie,

This new video shows something unprecedented in politics - the coalition that John Kerry is building to defeat our President - a Coalition of the Wild-eyed: [HERE]
As the video shows, the faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party are ones of pessimism, rage, and baseless attacks. The choice will be clear in November.  This is not a time for pessimism and rage.  It's a time for optimism, steady leadership, and progress.


Two hours and two minutes later, the voice of righteousness, Mary Beth Cahill, strikes back.
"Dear Friend,

Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.


Not quite... First, the Hitler images are labelled as being from MoveOn.org, because that's who's ads they're from. Second, the only person who gets compared to Hitler in the ad is BUSH. Continuing on...

The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.

There's a nifty little Bible verse about removing the plank from your own eye before getting the speck out of your brother's. That seems to apply here. Now, theoretically John Kerry has no control over the 527s. However, if comparing people to Hitler was so wrong, wouldn't his own supporters be a good place to start? Just asking...

We sent you a fundraising plea earlier this morning. But when this came up, we decided it was important to show you just what we're up against: a presidential campaign that is willing to do or say absolutely anything to win. You're our only line of defense against these underhanded tactics. Please contribute today:

https://contribute.johnkerry.com

If he were a real leader, George Bush would be talking about his first-term accomplishments -- and his second-term vision for America. But he has cast aside that opportunity because he has nothing to offer except a string of broken promises and a steady stream of fear and deception.

And yet when he does that, you still get your imported silk undies in a wad, John. Make up your mind. And in any case, if we want to get in a pissing contest over accomplishments, Bush wins hands down. Yes, I know you fought in Vietnam, John, and frankly, I'm not impressed. Have you done anything remotely useful in my lifetime? Alright then.

John Kerry is talking to this country about his optimistic vision for a stronger America. By contributing, you're giving him the resources to get that vision to millions more Americans every week. Help keep up the incredible momentum of this campaign by making a donation today:

https://contribute.johnkerry.com

Thank you,

Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager


You'd think they want your money.

P.S. It's hard to believe that the Bush campaign would use images of Adolf Hitler. See it for yourself: http://www.georgewbush.com


It's hard to believe that the Kerry campaign would be incapable of recognizing the irony and hypocrisy of these statements, or not realize that perhaps this could come back to bite them in the butt, but here it is.

So then the Bushies reply: Dear Katie,

On Thursday, the campaign launched a web video titled Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed.  The video featured Democrats who support John Kerry making negative and baseless attacks against the President.  Interspersed in the video were segments of two ads that appeared on a website sponsored by MoveOn.org - a group campaigning for Kerry - in January.

On Friday night, John Kerry's campaign denounced our use of these ads, and called that use "disgusting."

The Kerry campaign says, "The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong."

We agree.  These ads, like much of the hate-filled, angry rhetoric of Kerry's coalition of the Wild-eyed, are disgusting.

  • Where was John Kerry's disgust when he hired Zack Exley - the man responsible for encouraging the production of these ads as part of a MoveOn contest - to run the Kerry campaign's internet operation?

  • Where was John Kerry's sense of outrage when Al Gore, just yesterday afternoon, compared the Bush Administration to the Nazis saying, "The Administration works closely with a network of 'rapid response' digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for 'undermining support for our troops.'"

  • Where was John Kerry's anger when Al Gore in May spoke of "Bush's Gulag"?

  • Why has John Kerry not denounced billionaire and Democrat Party donor George Soros for comparing the Bush Administration to Nazis. Soros stated, "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit ('The enemy is listening')."

  • Why has Kerry not spoken out against filmmaker Michael Moore who last October compared the Patriot Act to Mein Kampf.  "The Patriot Act is the first step. 'Mein Kampf' - 'Mein Kampf' was written long before Hitler came to power."


  • We created this web video to show the depths to which these Kerry supporters will sink to win in November.

    Is this the Democratic Party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who reassured his countrymen we have nothing to fear but fear itself?

    No.  This is John Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed, who have nothing to offer but fear-mongering.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Mehlman
    Campaign Manager


    Incidentally, in neither of Bush's emails does he ask for money. They do sometimes, but it's nothing like Kerry's "If your outraged and you know it, write a check...and another one...have you written a check today? C'mon, fork it over" pleas.

    UPDATE: Apparently the folks over at Powerline got a different email than me, although it was same general gist. I think theirs was from the DNC, mine was from Kerry. You should go read the whole thing, but here are some key bits.

    From the DNC email: It isn't often that we'd ask you to go to George W. Bush's campaign website.
    ...Cuz you might get those Republican cooties...
    But every single American should go to georgewbush.com immediately and watch the disgusting ad the Bush/Cheney campaign has featured on the front page.


    Powerline sez: The Democrats' position is that it is OK for Democrats to produce that show images of Adolf Hitler morphing into George Bush; but it is terrible for Republicans to reproduce those images to point out how nuts the Democrats are. Not all Democrats are crazy. But the Democratic Party has gone insane.

    Apparently the ad now features the following disclaimer at the beginning:
    The following video contains remarks made by and images from ads sponsored by Kerry Supporters. John Kerry has denounced our use of these ads attacking the President. He has not denounced liberal supporters like Al Gore, George Soros, and many others who have made speeches comparing the President to Adolf Hitler.


    The thought of these people running the country is absolutely terrifying.

    Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 24, 2004

    Fisking Teresa

    So apparently Teresa's nuts too. In this article, she goes on about what a great guy her hubby is, and the Boston Herald laps it up.

    Heinz Kerry took veiled aim at Bush, saying if Kerry is elected, he will go to the United Nations and "represent this country with great pride, but no arrogance.''

    This is John "Do you know who I am" Kerry we're talking about. The guy who blames his falls skiing on the Secret Service guy. I see it more as the converse -- I see him as representing this country with great personal arrogance, but no American pride. And yes, Johnny, I am questioning your patriotism.

    "He will never, ever, ever send any children, or men - as he was with young men in Vietnam - into harm's way without being the first one to go out on the boat,'' she said.
    Well then. As the Secret Service will never stand for that, I suppose we might as well eliminate the armed forces. And even though he doesn't command them directly, firefighters and policemen ought to be let off the hook also. And come to think of it, maybe the Secret Service too. And is he gonna hang out on the tops of tall buildings, just so he'll be the first in harm's way when the terrorists strike again?
    In any case, if I recall correctly, Bush got a lot of crap for going out on that boat, flying the plane, going to Baghdad, etc...

    Addressing terrorism, she said, "We're not going to fight terrorism with missiles, we're going to fight terrorism with ideas. And I think that John knows that, deep down.''

    If you're not going to fight terrorism with missiles, I don't want you as my president. Imagine if FDR had said on Dec. 7th, 1941 that we were going to beat the Japanese with ideas, not with missiles. Now, our ideas may motivate us and hold us together, and they may cause us to build bigger and better and smarter missiles, but it's absolutely insane to think we're going to reason the Islamofacists out of ideas they were not reasoned into. I don't understand how people can exist in a world in which mind actually overrides matter. Now, I grant you that a liberalization of the Middle East would produce an ideological shift and openness that would drastically change the Middle East and win a major victory in the war on terror. Liberalizing the Middle East, however, seems to require missiles. Kerry seems to want to shout information on concept of the breast stroke to a drowning man instead of throwing him an actual life preserver. No thanks.

    Freudian Headline at the Seattle-PI

    If you want to know how the liberal media really feels about the Abu Ghraib incidents, look no further. The headline:

    Prisoner Abuse Highlights

    As it turns outs, it's highlights of documents about treatment of detainees, but the headline reflects the overall glee of the media over the issue. As Susan said, perhaps the headline writer should be encouraged to explore other career options.

    Even More Fun Search Strings

  • Wolverine movie screencap (#26)
  • Avenue Q Pictures of full puppet nudity (#4)
  • Hail to the Victors Midi (#12)

  • A Very Bad Idea

    So apparently a Democratic PAC/527/No-of-course-we're-not-affiliated-with-Kerry group has had the brilliant idea of sending ex-cons around to handle registering voters door-to-door. So a bunch of felons are going to come to your door and stand there while you write down your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, and drivers license number, and then take the card with that information with them and enter it into the system. This bleeding-heart lefty group, ACT, believes that everyone deserves a second chance, (although good luck finding this information on their site) but having a sex offender or burglar on my porch is not reassuring, and handing my personal information to a con man of some variety strikes me as a Very Bad Thing. Captain Ed writes:

    Apparently, the Democrats feel very comfortable sending sex offenders, burglars, and drug dealers to the door of your house to get such information from you as your telephone number, Social Security number, and driver's license number. I agree that someone who has served their time deserves another chance, but that doesn't mean I want my kids or my granddaughter meeting them at the door, nor do I want my private information in their hands.

    What could ACT be thinking? They have $100 million in funding -- apparently they must be a 527 -- which means they can afford to hire people who haven't been convicted of violent crimes to approach houses looking to register new voters. ACT instead acts with callous disregard for the safety of the public, offering us as a sacrifice on the altar of political correctness. The Kerry campaign has to answer for this breach of common sense. Is this how Kerry plans on "protecting America"? Next he'll be hiring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to run the Department of Homeland Security.

    Now that I know this, I plan on bolting my door whenever anyone knocks on my door and identifies themselves as working to register Democrats. I suggest that you do the same. Your safety and your family's safety may be at risk.


    Keep that in mind when the doorbell rings. Incidentally, why doesn't it surprise me that the felons support the Dems?

    Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 21, 2004

    Waiting for Sorgh-dot

    Abigail's here!

    Today we visited the Wonders of Wildlife Museum at Bass Pro, which, among other things features exhibits of the droppings of assorted animals and also otters. Not the droppings of otters, but they have actual otters. Although I suppose you could see the droppings of said otters if you looked hard enough, but they're not on exhibit per se. From the dropping exhibit, I was able to determine that the mystery poop that had appeared on the sidewalk yesterday was most likely bobcat. White-tailed deer have strangely small poop for the size animal they are. Anyway...

    The otters were extremely cute and playful and either making out in an ottery sort of way or trying to rip each others heads off. Whatever floats your otter, I suppose.

    We then went to Lambert's (Home of the Throwed Rolls) for dinner, which was a jubilantly Southern experience. We were out waiting on the porch when a very large lady drove up and asked us about the wait and I replied "'Bout haf an arr," and Mom yelled at me for being just like my dad by using a Southern accent when dealing with the locals (though, as I grew up here, I'm not technically a Yankee and thus it's not really local-baiting -- I'm just being helpful, speaking a language I knew she'd understand.)

    Within about 30 seconds of being seated, we were offered fried okra, which I love, but we just had a few bites and I'm sure that will hold us for the next few years. And then the rolls started flying. At one unfortunate moment, the guy threw one to me but aimed poorly and it flew directly at the woman behind me. The real crisis though, was that we were shunned by the sorghum boy. We were high-dwelling booth-folk, and the sorghum boys just never made it around to us, so we spent most of dinner trying to get people to send us the sorghum boy, but it just kept not happening. He'd be servicing the floor people, and then wander off, leaving us with plain, dry, sorghum-less buns. Finally, we convinced our server to go threaten to tear him limb from limb if he did not give us sorghum, although by that time, I had nearly snorked a peach, and we were all laughing so hard we could hardly speak.

    Tomorrow, we will go to Steal'Yer Dollar City and then Top of the Rock for dinner. The chances of finding sorghum tomorrow are limited, but we will press on.

    If you'd like to know what Abigail thought, click here.

    Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 20, 2004

    Discussion Question Envy

    Just when you thought you understood politics, Bill Clinton comes out and says that Bush had no choice but to attack Iraq after 9/11.

    CNN says: "I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over," Clinton said in a Time magazine interview that will hit newsstands Monday, a day before the publication of his book "My Life."

    Clinton, who was interviewed Thursday, said he did not believe that Bush went to war in Iraq over oil or for imperialist reasons but out of a genuine belief that large quantities of weapons of mass destruction remained unaccounted for.

    Noting that Bush had to be "reeling" in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush's first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining "chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material."

    "That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for," Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.

    "So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.' You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks," Clinton said.


    Fair enough. But why on earth is he saying this?

    Captain Ed, along with his readers, postulates that "Clinton is undermining Kerry deliberately in order to leave the field clear for Hillary in '08. Normally I'd scoff at that, as political parties would much rather have the bird in the hand than perhaps have one after Bush. However, Bill has always been about Bill and not about the party (although he's rarely been about Hillary, for that matter), and combined with the timing of his book and publicity tour, it looks odd to me too."

    I think I agree with that, but I have another theory as well. As Ed said, Bill has always been about Bill, and a large part of that is the Legacy of William Jefferson Clinton. He desperately wants history to remember him kindly, which is why he's jumping on the Bush bandwagon. Crazy thing for a Democrat to do, especially the one who allowed the situation to get so out of hand in the first place, but it also makes sense.

    For the most part, no one remembers the president who preceded a war president, and even if they do, it's not a position of historical glory. Clinton basically presided over the economic boom of the 90's, which will not be a huge credit to his historical account because he inherited it and left a recession to his successor. Even if you don't grant that, being the president during an economic boom is sorta like being president during an El Nino year -- it just happens independent of your governance. Beyond that, he passed some micro-initiatives, maded passes at an intern, and took a pass on the whole issue of Islamofacism. Not a lot to work with.

    And then Bush comes along, and he gets all sorts of tasty historical fodder. His four years have already seen a major attack on the US and two successful wars. So what's a guy to do? Well, Clinton is a clever man, and I'm sure he can see how kindly history is going to treat George W. Bush. He has a very different perspective than the rest of the Democrats, because he's looking at it from how it's going to read in the text books, not how it's going to play out at the polls. You just know that Clinton's seeing himself consigned to a short sub-chapter in high school history books entitled "Between the Wars," which will mostly focus on impeachment and letting bin Laden get away, while the Bush years will get a pages and pages and pictures and discussion questions.

    The Democrats have power-envy, but what Clinton has is discussion-question-envy. Now he's trying to position himself so the answer to "Bill Clinton was in power for 8 years during the rising threat of Islamofacism but allowed to flourish. What contributed to this decision?" is "Bill Clinton supported taking the fight to the terrorists and freeing the people of Iraq as a part of his commitment to the safety of Americans and to the freedom of oppressed people around the world, but without a trigger like 9/11, was unable to act" instead of "Bill Clinton's attentions were caught up in the scandals that plagued his presidency, and did not have the will to stand firm against the terrorists that targeted America."

    By getting behind Bush, he's aligning himself as the moral and political predecessor of the Bush Doctrine. It's really a slick little bit of triangulation, but I'm not sure how well it will work out. I'm convinced that Bush will earn an honored place in American history, and I'm not sure if he'll be willing to share it with Slick Willy.

    Excitement

    If you'd forgotten (or simply didn't know in the first place) today is my 21st birthday. Also, Abigail is coming in for the week and we're doing fun touristy Springfield things like Steal Yer Dollar City, Lamberts, Wilson's Creek, and Bass Pro Shops. We'll also be doing adventurous things like dining with the Rhoades and going to Kamp for closing ceremonies. Good times.

    Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 18, 2004

    More Fun With Search Engines

    People have reached this blog using the following search strings:

  • last mango in paris lyrics
  • Miss USA Headress
  • email hoax WWII Memorial God
  • Mustard Man
  • heroe lyrics translated to english
  • sneeze (searching Greek pages only)
  • male body odor
  • "Andrew Giuliani" video
  • unable to get Randi Rhoades archives
  • best scrabble word
  • mango togo protesters
  • squirrel resplendent
  • andrew giuliani golf


  • And these old ones.

    Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 13, 2004

    Kofi Removes All Doubt

    CNN's headline: "Annan: World has become 'more unequal.'" That's a bit rich, wouldn't you say, coming from Mr. Oil-for-Yachts-Scandal himself. Fun quotes:

    "The sad truth is that the world today is a much more unequal place than it was 40 years ago," Annan told the group of developing nations.

    "Debt crises have revealed serious weaknesses in the international financial architecture," Annan said. "Too many developing countries remain dependent on the export of primary commodities for all or most of their foreign currency earnings, leaving them vulnerable to price declines and volatility."

    ...And vulnerable to supposedly well-meaning international organizations skimming of huge sums of money when they export their primary commodities. And vulnerable to those organizations looking the other way while a dictator misappropriates the funds received. Yep, they're vulnerable to a lot of things. But you wouldn't know anything about THAT, would ya, Kofi?

    The article goes on to say:

    He also called on leaders of the developing nations to build on progress they have made "in improving governance and economic management."

    "Building democratic institutions is essential, as are popular participation in decision-making and the protection of women's rights," he said. "The most vulnerable members of society should also have a special claim on your attention, and I hope that even as you strive for fiscal prudence you will also ensure that the necessary social investments and safety nets are put in place."


    Yet when the US decided that it might be a good idea to build some democratic institutions in Iraq, it got all kinds of self-righteous lectures from Kofi. He reminds me of one of the pigs in Animal Farm, he wants everyone to be equal, he'd just prefer that he and his cronies are more equal.

    Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 10, 2004

    Quotes of the Evening

    TITLE: It's about a Czechoslovakian bagpiper.

    FRAISER: He's a billionaire.
    NILES: Ah, The Forgotten Minority.

    Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 09, 2004

    Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Australia

    This is entirely insane. Apparently the prisoners in Australia have decided to go on strike to protest Abu Graib. They say:
    The aim is to get recognition that we are a fundamental stakeholder in the direction of human civilisation and that we can and will play our part. We should say that we will not tolerate behaviour like that in Abu Ghraib any more.

    You know, as long as their securely locked behind bars, what they elect to tolerate or not tolerate is pretty much immaterial. And if they decide to sit in their cells and do nothing for a day, well, it's not like they're depriving the Australian public of a service that will be missed. I would argue that they're less of a fundamental stakeholder and more of a pothole in the journey of human civilisation.

    [The prisoners] should escalate the pressure for the exposure of prisons to the outside community for being the crime against humanity that they are, and similar to slavery discarded not so long ago.

    It's a bit rich for a bunch of convicts to get their government-issued undies in a wad about the crime against humanity that is incarceration. All of these guys have committed at least one crime against some human, that's how they got here. Slavery is entirely different, in that the slaves were nice, peaceful Africans who were abducted, loaded onto horrid ships, and taken to other countries to be slaves. Incidentally, concentration camps are also entirely different, as they too were filled with nice law-abiding Jews who were rounded up and killed. The prisoners are not nice law-abiding citizens and did in fact have a choice to become prisoners. The Africans and the Jews by all means did not.

    So here's the strategy:
    High profile exprisoners such as Nelson Mandela can be approached for statements of support. Prisoners of war have had the same experience as do those in mental institutions and refugee camps. They and their organisations need to be asked. Our community is enormous.

    On the first day we should ask for a gesture of goodwill and discipline from all those who abhor the behaviour exposed at Abu Ghraib. Those involved in the law could refuse to imprison, offer free legal assistance, or give money to the campaign.

    A 24 hour hunger strike, with the right of conscientious objection, should be proposed for prisoners and supporters outside. Money saved donated to the campaign. Other forms of strike should be non-confrontational in order to keep the initiative and the control. Negotiations should be continuous. The
    form is the message.

    Funds raised should be controlled by prisoners in their local areas.


    Hmm, donate a bunch of money and have it controlled by local groups of cons? If that sounds like a good idea to you, I have a bridge you might want to buy. Besides, if you're upset about Abu Graib, wouldn't it make more sense to send your money to Iraq? Also, Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner, which is once again, similar except that it's completely different. And refugee camps and mental asylums are not the same experience and are once again places one finds oneself due to no fault of one's own. Convicts are not victims.

    Now here's the best part:
    An offering to the public would be a safer life. To deal with us means a fundamental move away from aggression and intolerance. Prisoners and their communities could decide on a crime strike, and tell the public what would make that possible. To make a conscious decision to not break the law for a
    day. The police could be asked to show goodwill and tolerance at the same time. If we can show that we can make a difference that would lead to greater possibilities in the future. Worldwide the effect would be enormous.


    I have a counteroffer: Make a conscious decision every day not to break the law and we'll never put you in jail in the first place. Finish your sentance, get out, and never break the law again,and we'll not put you back. But this is an insane deal for us: we meet the demands of the prisoners, give them money, and presumably let them out, and they'll not commit crimes for a day. And after that day? All bets are off.
    Or we could keep our money, keep them in jail, and they won't commit crimes at all.
    Of course, then we miss out on this: A suggested logo is the purple circle. The circle represents the cycle of continuity. What you give is what you get. Purple balloons rising over the
    jails would be seen from inside. Possibly at 11am before lockup.


    Yes. What you give is what you get. I support that. For example, you give a little old lady a concussion while stealing her purse and you get a couple years in jail. Don't know why we need a logo for that. Purple balloons. How very...festive.

    Monica White has a great post on this, and she says: "I suggest a contra-strike to this one. I propose a symbol for it too - a brown circle. Take from that what you will."

    Exactly. Go read the whole thing.

    Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 07, 2004

    Blogging the Tonys

    Last night were the 2004 Tony Awards, the world's best award show with no viewers. I hadn't seen them in a few years and had pretty much forgotton exactly how much better they are than the Oscars. I think the most noticable thing was that the stage actors are far more articulate and poised than their film counterparts. Sure, some of the acceptance speeches involved some babbling and crying, but for the most part, the stage actors seem to think on their feet better. The other beautiful thing about the Tonys is how extremely live they are. This was well demonstrated when Hugh Jackman, our host, best actor nominee, and eye candy was performing as the flamboyant Peter Allen and took a break to embarrass Sarah Jessica Parker (who knew it was possible?) by offering her the sound marital advice that she should consider giving Matthew a lapdance, and trying to get her to dance the lambada with him. The problem was that she was wearing an extremely low-cut push-up dress that was threatening a wardrobe malfunction at any moment. In any case, it was definitely live TV. The other great moment of that was when Billy Joel was presenting and his cue line wasn't in the tele-prompter and then when it was it was lame and he commented on it, which was pretty amusing. What was also nice was that first thing he did was thank his dad and the other men who were part of the D-Day invasion.

    I'll spare you the play-by-play of the whole show, but here are the highlights, with pictures. Lots of Hugh Jackman-y goodness.

    So the show started out with Hugh singing a song about how this was "One Night Only." Not my favorite song. He did, however, sing it while dancing with three sets of three back-up singers from assorted shows and also while dancing with the Rockettes.

    And then he had to talk. He was a bit winded by that point, but still highly decorative.

    Early on, Audra McDonald won Best Featured Actress in a Play (what the Oscars call Supporting Actress, but this sounds more glamourous and less like an undergarment) which she deserved, making it her fourth Tony at the ripe old age of 33. Incidentally, she was also instrumental in my decision to write for the musical theatre, so I was rooting for her.

    Kristin Chenowith did a fly-by in her Wicked bubble, singing a version of her opening number but with the words changed to be about Hugh Jackman. She then spent the rest of her time floating offstage trying to get Hugh Jackman to commit to call her. As she finally disappeared, he said, "Well, I hate to blow her off like that..." (rim shot)

    In one of the more disconserting moments, LL Cool J and Carol Channing presented an award together. Oddly, LL Cool J was not the disconserting part. Carol Channing trying to be ghetto was scary. LL did a cute rap version of "Hello, Dolly," and CC lifted up her skirt, which was even scarier. Fortunately, they eventually got her offstage. After that award, Hugh Jackman commented, "This just in, Carol Channing has been picked up in a drive-by shooting."

    We saw scenes from all of the Best Musical nominees, both for the Best New Musical and Best Revival catagories. Fiddler on the Roof performed "Tradition," starting with a fiddler on the roof of Radio City Music Hall. We heard the pivotal aria from Caroline, or Change but I didn't like that. Same for the excerpt from Wonderful Town. It was theoretically swing, but it was more people with funny postures in flapper outfits. They showed a clip from the revival of Big River which was conceptually interesting because they did it both sung and in American Sign Language. We also got to see a bit of the revival of Assassins, an incredibly dark show about all of the people who have at some point or other tried to kill an American president. Thankfully, Assassins won Best Revival, keeping it from Fiddler which need to stop being revived.

    As the excerpt from Wicked, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenowith and some chorus types performed "Defying Gravity" which was impressive on TV but is infinitely more so in person. Idina Menzel won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for playing Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, although they'd gotten her white again by the time she had to go accept it.

    The cast and puppets of Avenue Q did a rousing performance of "It Sucks to Be Me," one of the anthems of this R-rated version of Sesame Street (with full puppet nudity!) Avenue Q beat out everyone's pick of Wicked for Best New Musical, and even though I really liked Wicked I agree with that decision, because Wicked is fairly standard in a lot of ways (which is also why it's doing very well) but Avenue Q is far fresher and edgier.

    And then Hugh Jackman did his number from Boy from Oz, which was also up for Best New Musical. Boy from Oz is about the late songwriter Peter Allen, who was bisexual, married to Liza Minelli at one point, and very flamboyant. People who go to this show expecting to see Wolverine tend to be rather surprised. First of, he can sing and boy, can he ever dance. The number he performed last night was "I'm Not the Boy Next Door" and he performed it wearing a tight, sheer, leopard-sequined shirt, shiny gold pants, and leopard print shoes.

    And then he did the aforementioned lambada with Sarah Jessica Parker, or at least tried.

    Unsurprisingly, he got a standing ovation from the crowd when he won for Best Actor in a Musical.

    All in all, good times. My goal: Win a Tony by the time I'm 30. 9 years to go...

    Σάββατο, Ιουνίου 05, 2004

    Quote of the Evening

    What, are you reading from the Big Book Of Medieval Professions?

    -Niles

    Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 04, 2004

    The Fellowship of Fake Women

    150 P31W points to Gail Heriot.

    She managed to save $150 buying shoes, and says:
    "Like the "virtuous woman" of Proverbs, Chapter 31, I am a merchant ship.

    'Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies....
    She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
    She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar....
    She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard....
    She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night....
    She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
    She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.'

    Well, perhaps I have not exactly clothed anyone in scarlet. Or even made coverings of tapestry or clothing of silk and purple. But I have done the modern equivalent: I discovered BARGAINS.


    I also say that I relate to her comment about people teasing that she's "not a real woman" because she's conservative, outspoken, and good at math. For me, it's that I'm a hawk, conservative, outspoken, mechanically inclined, love to fish, and hate to shop. I do, however, manage to rack up the P31W points by cooking, grocery shopping, and sewing. I generally find myself in situations where a bunch of guys are complaining about women (hello!) or where they're generalizing about women ("except for Katie...she doesn't count"). Oh well...

    Remember Them Today

    Samuel Morrison wrote of the Battle of Midway:

    "Threescore young aviators . . . met flaming death that day in reversing the verdict of battle. Think of them, reader, every Fourth of June. They and their comrades who survived changed the whole course of the Pacific War."



    (via OpinionJournal -- the rest of the article is good too, go read it.)

    The Kerry has Two Faces

    I'm appalled, but not shocked, by John Kerry's latest on bioterror. I think I'm also insulted. Here's the deal, according to California Yankee: Kerry, the only Senator not to vote for the Project BioShield Act, spent today telling anyone who would listen (i.e. the mainstream media) that the U.S. is not adequately prepared for Bioterrorism.

    First off, I don't want anyone who voted against this as my president. Does Kerry think that by voting against it he would then be able to accuse Bush of doing nothing? Pity for him that the remainder of the Democratic senators didn't play along. Free advice for Kerry: If you're gonna bother to vote (which doesn't seem to be happening that often these days) don't stick out. Don't be the lone wolf, especially on a slam-dunk issue like this.

    Second, does Kerry really think we the people really won't notice? The arrogance of voting one way and then trumpeting your opposite position is unfathomable to me. How stupid does he think we are? Here's to proving him wrong...

    Quote of the Evening

    "Avery Wheeler wears shiny acetate man-panties!"

    "This country was built by gun-toting square-dancers."

    --From Frasier

    Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 02, 2004

    CNN Massacres Headline

    The current headline link to the new CNN.com story about the Army's stop-loss program reads "Army Kills Retirement of Thousands of GIs in Combat:
    The Army will prevent soldiers in units set to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan from leaving the service at the end of their term.
    "

    Oh please. Of all the zillion ways that story could have been headlined, they had to pick one that includes the words 'Army', 'Kills', 'Thousands', 'GIs' and 'Combat'? It takes a few times over that sentance to figure what exactly their talking about, and that it's not some sort of massacre. How about 'delays' or 'postpones'? Sheesh.

    I wasn't able to get a screen cap of the page with it, so if they move it, you'll just have to take my word for it. You can see the headline here and here (at the moment), and the story (which has a different headline) is here.

    Τρίτη, Ιουνίου 01, 2004

    I Don't Know

    Let me state right off -- I don't know what to do about Iran. But I want to do something. Captain Ed has the story from the AP and CNN that you should go read, but here's the synopsis: Iran is importing nuclear material and parts of things that process nuclear material. They say it's to produce electricity, we think they're making weapons, who do you believe?

    I'm fairly sure that the US Armed Forces aren't up to regime change in Tehran at the moment, but as a placeholder until we are up to it, I suggest we imitate Israel (or let Israel handle this one) and render inoperable any and all nuclear reactors in Iran. If they need power, that's fine, give the Iraqis money to build a plant, assign American contractors to guard it, put security cameras all over the thing with closed circuit access constantly monitored by the CIA or someone else stern, and run a line over the border to Iran. If you think someone's gonna kill someone with their steak knife, you cut their meat for them, and if you think they're gonna use their uranium to hold the world hostage, you make their power for them and send it on over to them. I'm sure Israel'd be willing to take out the reactors -- they definately have a dog in this fight, and it's not like they could make the Arabs much madder at them, or really, at this point, Europe more anti-Semitic. It's amazing how the lessons of history are lost on Europe. They lost well over 10 million people to appeasment, fascism, and anti-Semetism, and here they are, bellying up to the bar of appeasment, fascism, and anti-Semetism again. It's not gonna taste better the second time around, and don't expect us to bail you out again. We probably will, but don't count on it. As I said before, I don't know what to do about Iran. Suggestions appriciated.

    Mustard Mustard Man!

    Glenn Reynolds has asked us to stop impugning Heinz Ketchup with Kerry. Fair enough. Other condiments are still fair game though....

    I'm proud to present:

    MUSTARD MAN


    Man, that's a bad suit. If you'd like to read the accompanying article about how Kerry's gonna reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism through international cooperation, click here. (Note: I hadn't actually read the article when I wrote that last sentance. But sure enough, paragraph 5, "As president, Kerry said, he would also lead an international coalition seeking a global ban on production of material for new nuclear weapons." Yep, I'm good...)

    BONUS SNIPE: "NEW STRATEGIES FOR NEW THREATS" Since when has nuclear proliferation been a new threat, or anything that Kerry's proposing been a new strategy? Heck, Kerry's "new" plan sounds a lot like my 11th grade debate case on the resolution "Resolved: That the United States of America should significantly change its foreign policy towards Russia." And that was a while ago.

    (UPDATE: I forgot to put the actual link in when I posted this earlier and CNN has since moved it. Thus, this now links to a slightly different, but more or less the similar, article.)

    UPDATE UPDATE: Wonkette seems to agree on the suit. She writes:
    John Kerry introduces his proposal for a new Pastel Terror Alert System, noting that recent events may raise the threat level from "Butter" to "Mango."
    All I have to say is, as a Mango, I am offended by association.

    Why We have Laws

    Peter Burnet (via RandomJottings.net)posts a section of the Guardian article on Amnesty International's new report on the scumminess of America.

    For example: "It condemns attacks by al-Qaida and others as "sometimes amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity" but says principles of international law that could prevent such attacks were being undermined and marginalised by powerful countries such as the US."

    This misses the fundamental point, function, and usefulness of laws, international or otherwise. Laws have two basic functions: to advise people what is and is not permissable, and to punish them once they've broken them. Laws do not, however, prevent crimes or terrorism. Two things prevent crimes: the fear of punishment, and burly individuals with a good idea of where to be when to stop the perpetrator either prior to or during the act. (Possible third thing: preventing people from having criminal motivations, such as being brainwashed with Islamofacism. Doing that requires burly men however, and isn't a law anyway.) Now, laws can instill the fear of punishment, but that still doesn't prevent crime, for the most part. (This is why I find it ridiculous when the Take Back The Night folks go marching through the streets once a year chanting "2,4,6,8, No more violence, no more rape!" Cuz that's gonna stop 'em if the threat of life imprisonment doesn't.) However, when you're dealing with a suicidal death-cult, especially one that believes that they'll be rewarded in the afterlife, the threat of punishment goes out the window as a deterant because the perpetrators are dead by the time we catch them. Not very useful. We're back to the preventative measures involving burly men, a demographic unwelcome at Amnesty International, where the women are strong, the men well-dressed, and all the children are left-handed.

    Burnet also writes:
    We tend to imagine that appeasement in the 1930's was an expression of collective fear whereby people cowered in their homes and, somewhat guiltily, refused to concern themselves with Hitler’s threats or his victims. In fact, it was an aggressivly idealistic force that was marked by a gradual demonizing of those victims, a preoccupation with the “underlying causes” of totalitarianism, a scorning of moral distinctions, utopian dreams and a constant blaming of all things Western and democratic for– well, just about everything. For many, it was an inspiring, cutting edge cause that filled young and not-so-young hearts with a sense of noble purpose and the conviction they were fighting for a just and peaceful world.

    Sounds very familiar. The people of the 30's snapped out of it, albeit too late. Fortunately Bush snapped first and has the guts to do something about it, and fortunately he's in charge. In any case, perhaps there's hope that Americans of the 21st century will once again be like the Americans fo the 1940s.

    Hillbillies!

    In case you were wondering after Five Men and a Goat, this here is Big Smith:

    Rik, Jay, Jody, Mark, Mike, in that order.


    Go to their website. Buy their music. Come to the Ozarks. See them play. It's worth it.

    My Latest Shows

    The press release and pictures from my last show, An Arthur Miller Celebration are now online here.



    If you never got to see the materials on The Nutcracker, you can find them here.

    Vote Early and Vote Often

    Today I got an email from DemocracyForAmerica, which is essentially where Deaniacs go to convince themselves they're still relevant.

    Their current dead horse to beat is the Count Every Vote petition, which essentially says that Bush is gonna hack into all the e-Voting machines and delete every 17th Kerry vote or give himself a set number or something. Thus they want there to be four audits of every vote to make sure error or fraud is not an issue. This is an admirable goal. However... I have a few issues with their approach. First, there's no way to rig all the e-Voting machines in the country with printing devices, etc by November. This would have been a great point, say two years ago, but it's a bit late for that. So what is this really about? It's a preemptive CYA manuver, so if Bush wins, then he stole the vote, the idea is already planted. Send in the lawyers!
    Second, the Deaniacs are all in favor of e-voting when that voting takes place online, which is at least as hackable, if not more so, than an e-Vote kiosk. Why were they in favor? Because they had a more significant online presence than the other candidates and were going to leverage that into primary votes.
    Third, how stupid do Dean and the Dems think the Republicans are. Their damning proof that Bush is going to steal the election (again!) is this: "And the head of the largest e-voting machine company -- who is a major contributor to George Bush and has promised to deliver Ohio to him -- asks that we just trust him." Cuz if the guy was really gonna rig the election he'd announce it. Republicans don't generally go around making public statements they don't want the public to hear. I mean, unfortunate statements, sometimes, but not intentional ones. The best examples of this genre were comments by northern candidates, in the North, about how they were gonna get them redneck Southerners to vote for them. Just cuz you're up there and we're down here DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN'T STILL HEAR YOU. In any case, were it that the head of the e-voting machine company were a Dem, do you think they're have their natural-fiber undies in a wad about it? I doubt it.

    Just Don't Diss the Ketchup

    Glenn Reynolds writes: [Mocking Kerry is okay but] I'm tired of the ketchup stuff.

    Yes, Kerry's married to the Heinz heiress. And some people think it's funny to associate him with a condiment. But Heinz Ketchup is an American treasure. Kerry should be proud to be associated with it, and Kerry's critics aren't diminishing him by making that association.

    Oh, Hunt's is OK, and Del Monte has its charms. The off-brand Paramount "Oyster Hot" is really good. But Heinz is the Ketchup Reference Standard. It's the uber-Ketchup. So please stop dissing it in a lame attempt to make Kerry look bad.


    It's sad when a politician is so bad that you have to defend a condiment based on its association with him.

    For the Future of the World

    Arthur at Chrenkoff has translated and posted an interview with the sole remaining survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Marek Edelman. This man gets it. Great quotes:
    Interviewer: But there are people who say it's not our business.
    Edelman: And whose business is it? Every war with fascism is our business.

    Interviewer:... What to say to Polish people after the death of several more of our soldiers?
    Edelman: But they died fighting for their freedom. How many thousands of people died in the Warsaw Uprising [in 1944]?
    Interviewer: But those people then were fighting for their country.
    Edelman: They were fighting for their world. Free and democratic. Just like those who died during the martial law [in Poland in 1981-3]. Did they die only for Poland? No. They died for the freedom of the whole Europe, for the freedom of all those enslaved behind the Iron Curtain.


    Go read it all.

    Fun with Sitemeter

    One of the more interesting features of Sitemeter is that you can see from whence your visitors came, either other blogs, listings, or Google. Here are some of the search strings that have sent people my way:

    lobster internal organs only (Google NZ)

    salon middle tennessee dreadlocks

    albright, madeline & E.Q. (this was in the Korean version of Google)

    "mollie wilson" (not quite sure how that one happened...)

    UPDATE: "Ted Kennedy" "musical theatre"

    You Gotta Have Priorities

    In today's OpinionJournal, there's a piece about Israel's condemned-at-the-time decision to take out the Osirak nuclear reactor. Great passage:
    Prime Minister Menachem Begin and his Likud allies, such as Ariel Sharon, had to stiffen the spines of Labor Party and intelligence officials who feared the repercussions of such a raid. "If I have a choice of being popular and dead or unpopular and alive," Mr. Sharon told fellow cabinet members, "I choose being alive and unpopular."