Thursday, April 25, 2002

One of the many excellent speeches given at the AIPAC conference, this one by John McCain.
Could never say it better myself: I was going to respond with faux-lefty mockery of this post by Ribstone Pippin on Prof. Tribe's ridiculous 13th Amendment claim, questioning whether there was such a thing as a correct interpretation. He beat me to the punch.
Second, I am fully aware that my assumptions about our legal system being based on a rule of law in the way I described a "rule of law" (i.e., in textualist, "original meaning" terms) are far from universally accepted in the looking-glass world of legal scholarship, particularly among the unrepentant neo-Marxist camps that currently hold sway in many elite law schools. I know, I attend one, and that's part of my point. I began by identifying Professor Tribe as a respected legal scholar and I realize that his opinions carry great weight in the groves of legal academe; he is probably on more Democratic shortlists for the Supreme Court than any other academic. These things are all true. It is also true, however, that his proposal in this article is laughable and intellectually bankrupt. Even very intelligent people believe some pretty outrageous things. If you don't believe me, go to law school.
Having experienced this as a classmate of our dear pundit, I concur in entirety.
Further proof that the Lane McFadden we have come to know and love on the blog scene is not, in fact, the same Lane McFadden I met in August, 1999.
Sleeping well tonight: A post of mine mentioned in the same sentence as The Princess Bride = pure bliss.
Lane McFadden is your man on land use and property rights. Here is his thorough evaluation of Tahoe-Sierra. Here is his summary: The property owners asked the Supreme Court to do too much, too soon - but while they did not win, their loss was narrow and specific enough not to constitute an important setback for property rights advocates.
Le Pen not so Le Bad?: A reader has sent me the following theory (which I have paraphrased) on the French situation:

1. The possibility of Le Pen winning, or even garnering large support, is not necessarily a bad thing for Jews in France. Le Pen has already stated that he stands behind Israel and its war against terrorism (and terrorist havens). He has made some more than inappropriate comments in the past, but what matters is that Jews are being attacked now. How much worse can the situation get under Le Pen (I know, I know)? The whole world is watching France. They've pegged him as the Pat Buchanan of France (and are likely right). But Le Pen in power for a short while can be beneficial to Jews. He has a strong anti-immigrant policy and is fighting on behalf of those who are sick of the terrorist haven-welfare state creation that is the decent portion of immigration in France these days. He will crack down on Jew-hatred related violence first because it correlates highly with the welfare-dependent North African and Arab Muslim populations that have been causing trouble.
and, course,
2. He wants Le Pen to win so that France suffers. Really, though, don't we all?!?
They've killed Scooby. You bastards!: Just saw the first commercial for the new Scooby Doo movie. The dog looks nothing like Scooby. This is scandalous!
I think we should start a collection to assist Egypt for two reasons:

(1) I'd like to see if they have the intestinal fortitude to attack Israel.
(2) I'd like to see them get smacked down if they went forward.

And, for clarity, Egypt requested a payment worth over 10% of the entire GDP of the Middle Eastern Arab countries. The offer sounds about as realistic as the Saudi plan for peace.
Just to clarify: A priest who is not caught can continue to serve even after molesting multiple children? Brilliant.
From the New York Times: Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia said today that the United States would face serious consequences in the Arab world if it does not temper its support for Israel.

Bring it on!
Rwanda: I've touched on this before, but now it is time to add some news. The ICTR (Rwanda's genocide tribunal) is being run, in part, by those who committed the genocide. Over the length of the tribunal, with billions spent, there have been less than 10 convictions. Those involved have complained, loudly, for a long time. But no one is willing to listen. (This has been reported from a recent conference in Sweden hosting 44 nations. There was a lot of garbage at this conference, but the Rwanda situation should open eyes to the state of world affairs on the NGO level.)
Looks to be a construction accident.
signing off - jcw
The entire building was being renovated -- was under construction.
Police now saying the boiler exploded.
Probably won't know for a while.
Definitely not related to Con-Ed, though.
More sirens
Streets are completely closed off now. do not go down there.
more sirens -- they pass me and then I hear them on tv
Report from Channel 4- first told it was boiler, but now not sure anymore (from someone at close by restaurant)
More sirens
People standing around watching
Helicopters now overhead.
plus, it's drizzling here. don't know if that helps or hurts.
Origin still unknown -- was near Apex Tech.
50 people hurt, at least.
one station reporting the explosion was in the basement.
firefighters pulling people out of buildings
by now this has to be on all the major channels on television.
no fire. that is strange.
Reports are, obviously, varied.
All I can say is that the engines I just heard outside are now passing through NBC.
This was an "incredibly loud" bass-ey explosion.
Apex Tech School. 19th between 6th and 7th Avenues. Firemen on the scene already.
Explosion of some kind at 19th street.
Been away from blogger. Not very happy with it right now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Hey, Vedrine: Bite me, loser! Prophesy true, Instapundit.
This is your life on drugs any questions?
Irony or Man destroyed by his own invention: The anti-Blogspot phenomenon is growing. We've all had major troubles with it. The Political Hobbyist has added his two cents in response to Lane McFadden, who appears to be looking to create a whole new blogsphere. LGF has made its voice heard.
Cory Booker alert: Patrick Ruffini has some good links on the Booker saga in Newark, including this link which says Booker and James are in a dead heat. There may be a chance for Newark to win here.
Fabricating a massacre by Israelis and comparing them to Nazis is a globally effective rhetorical device. For masses in the Islamic world, such propaganda fits perfectly into the daily regimen of anti-Semitic drivel fed by state-run media.

For Europeans, many of whom were silent or complicit in the extermination of their own Jewish communities, the opportunity to equate Jews and Nazis absolves them of any particular guilt.

For the simple-minded elsewhere, the notion of a moral settling of scores acts as an intellectual laxative. And for anti-Semites everywhere, it conforms to an agenda of defamation.

What is Nazi-like is the persistence of the big lie — that if, as Goebbels said, a lie is told often enough and loud enough it will become accepted as fact.

Jonathan Gurwich, via LGF.
First the Islamofascists came for Americans in the World Trade Center, and the Europeans didn't speak up, not as they ought to have done, because their capitals were not attacked. Then the Islamofascists came for the Jews, and the Europeans didn't speak up, because they were not Jewish, and besides, Israel is a sh**ty little country...." You know, reader, how the story ends

(via The Corner)
Best of the Web Today continues its excellent crusade against the MSN hate speech sites.

Also from BOTW: "Although it sounds too good to be true, increasing evidence from the Gulf of Mexico suggests that some old oil fields are being refilled by petroleum surging up from deep below, scientists report. That may mean that current estimates of oil and gas abundance are far too low."
Semantic situation: Time for nitpickery -- Go the front page of the New York Times on-line. There is an article on Tahoe-Sierra by Linda Greenhouse, the Times's SCOTUS reporter. Notice the title: Justices Weaken Movement Backing Property Rights. I thought the movement backing property rights was called freedom, the right to be protected from unwarranted governmental intrusion into a citizen's private life. I didn't realize this was a movement. Here I was, this whole time, thinking property rights were a foundation of our country. (Unless, of course, she is referring to the movement commenced 230 years prior, in which case I retract my statement.)

It all comes down to phraseology.
The real Saudi Arabia: pulling people off planes, taking their videotapes and a laptop. It happened to MSNBC reporter Dr. Bob Arnot. I hear a deafening silence from the international community. Wait, maybe the security council or one of those other bodies could vote to invite greater freedoms. Someone would vote for it, right? (Courtesy The Political Hobbyist.)

ps -- I think we are settled on the German police issue. Though ... haha, just kidding.
I wish I could lose $50 billion in one quarter, just like AOL/TW.
Congrats to Asparagirl for being named ESR's Conservative Site of the Day. If you scroll down, the 4/18 site on the list is Patrick Ruffini.
Perspective: Yesterday would have been my third highest hit day total ever, barring the previous few days. But because of those days and because of major blog problems, I felt that I lost out. It's all about perspective. In any event, thanks again for showing up and reading my links and commentary. I really appreciate it.
Cool: I still thing Segway is cool. It is heading to a street near you, if you live in Atlanta.
I haven't read any blogs this morning/afternoon, nor yet read the news, so pardon any duplications.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Cultural Comment: Maybe this reveals too much, but when I see the commercials for Star Wars II after having read the reviews, I get excited that it will be out so soon.
Mullings has a good tribute to Karen Hughes, one of his (Rich Galen's) former colleagues.
Bibi -- You know where his passion is.
Blogger is up ... for now. ARGH
Now I have no idea where the Political Hobbyist stands re: my statements about smart, community policing and welcomed political methods in Germany. All I was stating was that the method that this was sent out, by some cop on a radio station, was probably not the best P.R. move. There are ways to promote safety through public knowledge. This wasn't it. And it was on a touchy subject.
Well isn't that nice ... : Italian doctor says three cloned pregnancies exist. I doubt the man's authenticity of knowledge, but we'll see how it unfolds.
The Osbournes is on MTV at 10:30 EST. Watch it if you haven't yet seen it. You'll enjoy it.
As well, the Palestinian Security Chiefs say they will not stop suicide bombers. My response: Kill the chiefs, one at a time, just like the Taliban. You're with us or you're a terrorist.
Chris Matthews: "There has never been a woman in the room when the big decisions are made ... until Karen Hughes." This statement means so much more than how wonderful and special Ms. Hughes was to the Bush White House and for this country. This is the type of groundbreaking effort that occurs more frequently these days but often goes unnoticed. The strides this country has taken, to have Karen Hughes in such an important role, to have Condi Rice and Colin Powell in such important roles, are tremendous. It will take more time. But we are heading in the right direction. We are nearer each day to that dream, where we judge one another not on the color of our skin but the content of our character.
Can you hear me now?: I can't, which may be one of the many reasons that Verizon is floundering and, dare I say, near bankruptcy.
The Sun recap over at Ribstone Pippin.
I was all excited to watch America NOW on CNBC. Then I see Pat Buchanan is a guest. I've got better things to do now.
House and Senate: (good book, btw, if anyone is interested in the inner workings of congress) Both the House and Senate now have pending resolutions that back Israel, stating that the U.S. shares a common fight against terrorism.

Of course, in the Reuters story, which was e-mailed to me, the reporter finished with the following quote: At least 1,297 Palestinians and 454 Israelis have been killed during the 18-month Palestinian uprising. Explain the relevance of this?!?
Now that The Political Hobbyist agrees with me, I fall in the middle, I think. There are better ways to broach the subject of these types of attacks than the way that occurred. I do think the reaction was a bit much, but it got attention in a civilized manner (okay, 'Saudi' Arabian Ambassador guy). This is an issue of community-oriented policing methods and crackdowns from a national level downward. And the Germans, of all people, should be aware of how carefully they should tread.
Normally I'm not such a huge supporter of the following message, but on many levels I agree with this one, which was forwarded to me by a friend:

Over the past 18 months The New York Times has been engaging in unprecedented bias Anti-Israeli reporting. Examples of this is well documented in numerous publications and web sites. (See www.honestreporting.com and www.smartertimes.com ) Their news articles (and when there is no news, their editorial commentaries and "human interest stories" ) serve as a daily assault on public opinion with an agenda to create pro Palestinian and anti-Israeli sentiments. The reality of this campaign is that the fine line between anti-Israel and antisemitism has been breached. The New York Times is treading on very dangerous ground.

Therefore, May 1, 2002 is being designated as "Cancel Your Subscription to the New York Times Day". Our goal is for the NYT to receive 100,000 calls canceling subscriptions. This will send a strong, powerful and potent message that we will not stand silent in the face of reporting by the likes of James Bennet and C.J. Chivers. These cancellations will also have significant financial ramifications as NYT advertising revenues are based on circulation.

This drive is being supported and encouraged by a multitude of Jewish and Christian organizations, political figures, community leaders, schools and Synagogues.

On May 1st, call 1-800-6397 (1-800-NYTIMES) and tell them the following: " I am calling to cancel my subscription to the New York Times due to your bias anti Israel Reporting. We demand the replacement of your current Middle East reporting staff with writers who will report truthfully and fairly"

Will this help? A similar campaign was conducted last year which resulted in the removal of Debra Sontag, a virulent anti-Israel reporter, as the NYT correspondent to the Middle East.

We ask that you maintain your cancellation for as long as possible, but in no event for less than 30 days.

Please forward this letter to as many individuals and organizations as possible. Thank you for your participation in this most powerful and effective campaign.
Blogger has given me terrible troubles today. I couldn't post minus a couple new ones below. I'll be posting shortly.
Update on the German police situation. They have apologized for the officer's comments, suggesting Jews drop religious symbols.

Now my opinion is different: Screw them!
Blogger is giving me major trouble right now.
A friend and reader e-mailed me the CNN story about another Palestinian fighter who didn't see many people killed. It's up on NRO, at the Corner. So enjoy.
A few notes on today's Best of the Web:

Does Microsoft check any of its online communities for content? Apparently not, which is one of the reasons blogs are so great. Bloggers have the ability to be a moral conscience watchdog of the internet's underbelly, at least as it relates to major corporations' websites and pieces of punditry. If you find any pieces of the MSN sort that should be noted, e-mail and Opinion Journal. I'll definitely put them on for all to see.

I was going to weigh in on the Krugman piece (like Andrew Sullivan), but BOTW pretty much summed up how I feel:

According to Krugman, though, the "far right" actually won the 2000 election. He doesn't actually try to argue that Bush, the pro-immigrant "compassionate conservative," is equivalent of the nativist Le Pen. Here's what he says instead:

In the United States . . . the hard right has essentially been co-opted by the Republican Party--or maybe it's the other way around. In this country people with views that are, in their way, as extreme as Mr. Le Pen's are in a position to put those views into practice.

Consider, for example, the case of Representative Tom DeLay. Last week Mr. DeLay told a group that he was on a mission from God to promote a "biblical worldview," and that he had pursued the impeachment of Bill Clinton in part because Mr. Clinton held "the wrong worldview." Well, there are strange politicians everywhere. But Mr. DeLay is the House majority whip--and, in the view of most observers, the real power behind Speaker Dennis Hastert.

And then there's John Ashcroft.
That last line is wonderful. To Krugman and his presumed readers, John Ashcroft is simply a demon. The mere recitation of his name is enough to evoke horror; no argument is necessary. And it's scurrilous to draw an equivalence between DeLay's "biblical worldview" and Le Pen's xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

BOTW also notes that a few monks that have escaped the Church of the Nativity say the Palestinians are holding hostages, desecrating crosses, and stealing gold artifacts. Where's the Pope now?

And speaking of the Pope (good segue, eh), they include under the caption You Don't Say the following quote from a Reuters story: "Pope John Paul . . . told American Catholic leaders Tuesday that pedophilia was 'a crime' that had no place in the Church," Reuters reports. Why is a crime in quotes? Has Reuters gone so morally relativistic (except, of course, when it comes to America or Israel) that it now questions the criminality of pedophila? Maybe there is a simpler answer, that Reuters is just quoting the ole Pontiff, but this seems like an awfully strange use of quotations.
I don't agree, yet, with Asparagirl's comments on the German police warning Jews not to look, uhm, Jewish (I guess?), which she likely got from Drudge and has been linked by Instapundit. The story is far from clear that this situation is so open and closed. The police have denied it and, though I trust Ha'aretz, I don't know much about the sources Ha'aretz uses. This is a wait and see situation.
I agree with the restaurant in this tip counting case. If we are to be a society that permits tips as a bonus for good work, the onus should be on the tip receiver to recognize the proper levels of income. While there is no question that waiters fudge numbers on tips collected (I've heard the average is about 40% of actual tips earned), the restaurant should not be forced (nor should the IRS be permitted to) estimate the level of tips.
On rent control, the debate continues: Even in the ivory tower, the opinions on rent control mix like oil and water. The vast majority of economists think that rent control, by restricting supply, raises rental prices, thereby hurting the very people it's supposed to protect. However, if you get your doctorate in a left-leaning discipline like urban geography, you'll likely emerge from school with a skullful of reasons that rent control is a powerful and fair-minded safeguard against price gouging.

Let me get this straight. One side explains, with economics, the effects of restricting supply. The other side offers an emotional plea with no statistical proof. And we are to treat these claims equally.

That's okay. A cursory glance of the article has revealed other problems, such as cause/correlation issues.

If the argument for rent control is that it keeps down prices, the argument fails miserably. If the argument is that we should morally impose ceilings on rent so that certain classes of individuals need not pay what they cannot afford, that is a different ballgame. But don't use economics falsely.
Karen Hughes has resigned.
It's always good news when Castro lashes out at you. Go Vicente.
Sorry, working out this morning, didn't have chance to check the news yet.

Morning posts from Instapundit:

-- Good link to America vs. British views on Israel.

-- On the UN voting 23-21 to invite Cuba to extend greater freedoms: Reader Sean Fitzpatrick wants to know who the 21, and the 9, are. Who can vote against a resolution for greater civil and political rights? Oh, I have some idea. . . .

-- Perhaps Arafat should be held accountable. Or, if executions by death squads don't arouse the ire of Mary Robinson, perhaps Israel should form some of its own? After all, it's been savagely criticized for simply arresting Palestinians suspected of terror, while these acts of undeniable savagery go almost completely uncriticized simply because they don't (quite) bear the open imprimatur of government sponsorship. You have to live with the incentive structures you create.

-- Good article on the UN and anti-Semitism here

Monday, April 22, 2002

Can Enron really claim possible accounting errors or irregularities without anyone laughing?
Overdramatic anyone: Go to almost any major paper, American or European, and you see the same thing: Must fight right, must stop fascism. Now, while I'm not saying that I favor Le Pen over any other candidate (anywhere), these editorials (especially when they are the headlines) are getting pathetic. The far left is rioting (of sorts) in France because they lost, and they are whining crybabies. It is that simple. Le Pen has no chance of winning. These papers know that yet continue to pound forward. Why?
Betcha can't post just one: Ravenwolf didn't seem too keen on publishing political-type blog randomness when we spoke at the infamous Blog Bash, but she's getting the hang of it quickly. And she's right! GO RW.
This is hilarious (and not just because I've had a few beverages endorsed by Vodka Pundit). LGF, of course, links this great piece by comedian Larry Miller. This one paragraph should be enough to get you to read the whole piece:

The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no "Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation." So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs From The Same General Area Who Are In Deep Denial About Never Being Able To Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death." I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters."
Daschle the new Gingrich. Some points to take out of this OJ article:
1. Description of Al Gore: a professor at Fisk University and Middle Tennessee State University. Very funny.
2. Earth Day was yesterday and no one noticed.
Linda Lovelace, dead at 53 from injuries suffered in a car crash. Now will Woodward and Bernstein reveal their source?
What better way to start than with Opinion Journal, and Michael Ledeen's piece on the re-awakening of the center-right movement in Europe. Well, not so much a reawakening as a realization that a movement is afoot. Portugal, Spain, Germany, and France now have had a real change in voting electorate. What this means is as of yet unknown. But it likely means something.
Late night blog time.

A guy walks into a bar ... Went to see Jay at the Boston Comedy Club's New Talent Showcase last night. He rocked. I wouldn't say he's good ... No, that's it. Kidding. He was much better than the pros they had there (one of whom is the star of Welcome to New York). To show I'm not biased, they asked him to come back. The only one (out of everyone) better had a set that included Philadelphia, the Constitution, Dungeons and Dragons, and Lord of the Rings.
Blogspot appears to be down. My apologies, on the site's behalf.
Best of the Web Today is up. You should read it. If you don't, I be perusing and posting their best links today.

Here are their best quotes:

Whereas a bipartisan group of congressmen and administration officials addressed last week's pro-Israel demonstration, [the Pro-Palestinian] one drew few dignitaries. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the only member of Congress who turned out Saturday was Georgia nut-job Cynthia McKinney, and even she, the paper says, "stopped short of taking sides in the Middle East dispute."

The The Jerusalem Post gets it right: "The miasma of international hypocrisy is running so thick that Israel should consider wearing its pariah status as a badge of honor."

"Arab soccer officials have urged FIFA [the international soccer association] and the International Olympic Committee to bar Israel owing to its 'racist policies' against the Palestinians," the Associated Press reports. The Palestinians, of course, demonstrated their own idea of sportsmanship at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

"The European Commission has proposed extra tariffs--some as high as 100 percent--on a range of U.S. goods in retaliation for new U.S. steel import duties," CNN reports from Brussels. We don't approve of America's steel tariffs, but don't the Europeans understand that trade war is not the answer? Their disproportionate response will only perpetuate the cycle of retaliation. Someone, call the U.N.!

Witnesses say the [Cincinnati] mob attacked only white motorists, waving blacks through. Bronson faults his own paper, which barely covered the riot, giving it only three column inches with the headline "Fight Draws Crowd; Police Close Street." If a white mob had set upon black motorists, it would rightly have prompted national outrage. What does the racial double standard say about the press's attitude toward blacks?

Media Watch: From a USA Today article: Entire blocks of apartment buildings and shops have been leveled, the wreckage bulldozed into piles in some places. "They punished the whole camp," said Mohammed Fayd, a 36-year-old accountant who lives here. We know this quote is untrue. Yet the USA Today allows it to be used. Why?

And some moral equivalency, or darn close: There have been some guided tours by Israeli officials, but many journalists have sneaked into the camp, built 50 years ago by Palestinians displaced from homes in what had become a Jewish state. Displaced from homes in what had become a Jewish state? They weren't displaced; they left because they thought the fighting would be over shortly, the Arabs would kill the Jews, and they could go home. It didn't happen. No need to stop USA Today, though.

The Kicker: Who do they use for the stench of death quote? One guess. C'mon, you know. Yep, that's right: Terje Roed-Larsen, the United Nations' special envoy to the Middle East. At least the paper got a credible source for the info in the story.

And more: The Jenin camp is said to have been a key base for suicide bombers ... 2 things: (1) This is in the passive voice. Why? (2) is said? I think everyone agrees by now, if on nothing else, that this was obviously a haven for suicide bombers and other terrorists alike.

Then the truth comes out, buried at the end: The old man in the story, whose pieces had been picked out of the wreckage, had been informing Palestinian fighters of the location of Israeli troops inside the camp when an Israeli sniper shot him dead. But wait, there's more: Palestinians said Israelis executed captured fighters. Some said the Israelis dug a trench and dumped bodies there. But they said they never actually saw the bodies and the site they pointed to didn't appear to have been dug up.
Here's my blogwatch round-up:

The Corner and Instapundit have picked up on LGF's awesome Jenin photos. And go to LGF for a link to a video of Palestinians standing around watching 'collaborators' writhing near death after being shot in the streets. (Caveat: I did not watch the video, and it appears very graphic from the picture alone.)

Lane McFadden wants to fix a blog problem that many are having.

Ken Layne links to a story about major terrorism in a Philippino city. I'm not going there when I head out East.

A conversation in which I took part at the Blog Bash (Enron and reform) is covered by The Political Hobbyist, who gives thanks to Overlawyered for linking to him. The PH links to a PJ O'Rourke column calling for free marketeering (is that a word?), which the three of us (PH, OL, WW) seemed to agree was the best solution for the Enron mess.

Off the Pine goes off on Camp David Revisionism. Go Mr. Pine!!

Ravenwolf links to Blog Bach pictures c/o Raghu, none of which include me.

Enjoy!!
I'm gonna do a quick spin of my fav blogs and post anything worthwhile, so bear with me for a few minutes. Cheers, jcw.
Rummy time: The D-man himself is going at it with reporters on MSNBC right now. He is a paragon of intelligent bellicosity. And I love every second of it. He is Required Watching. This is true especially for extended periods of time, so that you can see how masterfully he crushes the poor press personnel.
Lileks's new Bleat: Best 'Culture' Graphic Ever

Update: And he likes The Osbournes.
Am I a neo-con? I don't even know what the term means. I just love the fact that Chris Matthews rails against neo-cons on Hardball.
A new progressive site??? I very much dislike the word progressive. It brings back ugly memories of the progressives in Madison, Wisconsin. But I'm willing to listen to most ideas anyway. So give Mr. Schneider a chance. Maybe he'll make sense. Or, even better, he'll come over to the dark side.

Update: I think we've got him. It seems to me that Mr. Schneider is not certain about the empirical successes of the free market of goods and services. But he does seem to believe in the free market of ideas, which is better than most lefties today (and why he has become disillusioned).
Back to socialism and sports for a second. My main argument, as a fan, was against the younger players because they tend to not have developed as well, and I am unwilling to make that trade-off of a couple of superstars for a bunch of duds. I believe this is true in basketball, but I don't know how well it holds in other sports. I think Ribstone Pippin is correct as regards soccer.

The area of my biggest concern is in basketball, because of the distinct type of play, which will go down in certain ways as younger guys enter the league. Younger players cannot develop in nearly the same fashion once they have joined the pro ranks, especially if they are on an NBA team. The NBA has tried to construct a developmental league, and that may be better for the future of the kids in the league, but I don't imagine it will be any more successful at developing NBA talent than was the CBA.

I don't have anything against attempting to impose a free market system, but baseball has that (minus the draft). It doesn't work well. While I'd love the Mets to win every year, I'd much rather have challenging teams in each division each year. While it is exciting to watch an Oakland or a Minnesota make a run for the pennant, it is only so because they don't have a legitimate chance, barring a collapse by other teams. Football doesn't have the Curt Flood legacy and, therefore, enjoys a much more stringent salary and benefits structure.

Which is why I love the draft. All of the teams come together, trying to determine who would best serve their individual needs. They are often wrong. Most of the time it takes years to find out how useful players will be. During that time there we see plenty of analysis and disagreements. (Plus, I wouldn't want to put Mel Kiper, Jr. out of work.)

So, basically, it comes down to this. I like the NFL system. I think the MLB system is broken (even if fixing it hurts the Mets). I don't care enough about basketball, except to the extent that I enjoy it aesthetically. And hockey is, well, hockey; it's a lot of fun to watch in person, but it has many of the same problems as MLB. I don't care what you do in other sports, just leave the NFL draft alone! ;-) Okay, so these weren't arguments so much as pleas, but I'd rather see data on the effects of free market vs. socialism within the leagues, as well as how that plays out amongst the leagues competing against one another.
Brendan Miniter, in today's Opinion Journal, says some of the homeless are criminals. This is true.

It reminds me of a story from a year or so ago. I was walking along West 3rd Street, near two of the Law buildings, when a homeless man asked me for spare change. I reached into my pocket and proceeded to offer to him all the change I had. He took one look at the coins and slapped them to the ground. He only wanted quarters or larger, he informed me. My pennies, nickels, and dimes wouldn't do. Only in NYC.
Confessions of a reformed radical OR Portrait of a blogger as a young bloke: Has David Brock (oops, for those of you who saw Brooks, I was typing quickly and scatterbrained myself) turned back around? No. Has David Horowitz put out new memoirs? No. Ribstone Pippin admits he's been hiding a secret: In my first year of undergrad, I declined to join the university's Marxist-Leninist Society because it was not radical enough.
Saddam Hussein has called for all Arab nations to cut off oil to the U.S. and Israel. Maybe he wants war, I just don't know. I could think of nothing better for separating this world into Us vs. Them then if countries were to follow through on it. (That does not mean, however, that I endorse them doing so.) Of course, no countries will. They may be antagonistic, the may say they dislike us, but they need our cash. They have to suckle on the teet of democracy and capitalism to survive, even while denouncing both as evil.
Random Thoughts: I know this has been bandied about, but what will happen when Sharon leaves the political scene. Who will the Palestinians have to use as their arch enemy? Will it be Netanyahu? Will it be Peres? Just wondering.
There's no need to link them separately, so go to LGF for the three recent updates on the lovely U.N. and our partners in the War on Terror.
I'm on the Blog Book website as a one of the samples for possible Blog Book selection. Check out my entry here. It was written back when I first wanted to start blogging. I wrote some pieces up and put them on an old blog site which I killed shortly after starting. Among the other quality nominees is Lane McFadden's entry on the American Flag.

I am honored that my article is up there at all. I don't know if the selection was a list of all nominees so far, or just a few, but I think it is amazing to see my name up there next to the names of writers whom I greatly admire and respect in many ways. I think it would be amazing to be included in a blog book, even if it serves no purpose other than to record our lives from 9/11 forward. But I see good things in the future with blogs. As with other forms of modern communications, the applications of new ideas expands geometrically as that many more minds are put to the task of using and evolving the medium.
Thanks for making my day.
Cheers, jcw.
Moussaoui wants to go it alone. He has been ordered to undergo a mental examination to ensure fitness to represent himself, but he will have court-appointed co-counsel regardless of his desires. (Cultural Comment: In fact, this was part of the plot line on The Practice last night. The Practice is a great show, even touching on real and relevant legal issues.)
Law of unintended consequences: RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, was designed in large part to combat mob rings. It has, shall we say, expanded over the years. The Supreme Court has accepted an abortion clinic disruption case, hopefully to determine the level of applicability RICO has on civil disobedience. Many will focus on the abortion aspect of the case, but it has much larger ramifications.
War Crimes: I haven't developed this at all (done the research) on the following, but it seems interesting to me. How good is the case for arguing, successfully, the the U.N. has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other violations of international law and norm? If anyone has info, give me a buzz. Or if you've posted something good on it, tell me and I'll link it. Cheers, jcw.
In a perfect world, I believe Andrew Sullivan is correct in asserting that it is good news that the Vice President's lesbian daughter is a Republican who will promote inclusion of open homosexuals.
He is even more correct, in the real world, that gay Republicans fight a difficult battle. They are demonized, as are many other minorities who choose Conservatism as their belief system. This demonization is wrong and disgusting. And sometimes doesn't even cross party lines. I reference you back to Cory Booker in Newark. He has been called (or told he takes donations from) the KKK, among many other harsh criticisms, and he is a Democrat.
Well, we know that Congress stands by Israel. This is more positive proof of that theory.
It's also my last post until after noon. Cheers, jcw.
Will be on with fine posts and witty commentary ... in a few hours. I may find one or two things now, but I have only 5 minutes. So, check out Asparagirl, a two-time celebrity. This time she's in the Washington Post.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Touche, Ribstone Pippin, on your commentary. What I intended by my prior post was the following: as a fan, I do not enjoy watching 16 year olds in the league (or 18, for a more realistic matter). Too many have come forward in basketball, only to take up roster spots and play poorly. For every Kobe and Kevin, there are 5 or 10 others. I think that most kids need the development of in the college ranks, for even a year or two. I, as a fan, am willing to sacrifice two younger years of Kobe or Kevin to prevent the flops. Of course, that is just as a fan.

In terms of the market, I was saying that I don't have a particular desire to impose a free market within the leagues. Let the leagues get it right (or wrong) themselves. I did not intend to stress the parity point, as my only reason, so strongly here. If the leagues were to adopt a freer system, we would learn the results. Anecdotally, as well, I think football is in much better shape than is baseball because of the salary structure, which includes strict caps (well, of sorts) and revenue sharing on a national basis.

As for Steve Kuhn's argument about the good old days, I don't think that is an honest comparisn. There was no (or little) television and no (or little) radio even. There were very few teams (as few as 6 or 8), as well. The talent pool was much larger than the availability of players, so only the top played the games. This is no longer true.

Okay, I'm not sure I made sense because I'm very tired. So I'll go to bed and think about it.
In this instance where we find out the Palestinians have been 'securing' teenagers and younger youths inside the Church of the Nativity, read the following: The Israeli assertion was also refuted by a 16-year-old Palestinian who escaped from the church last week.

Let me get this straight. The same Palestinians who have been lying about Jenin, have lied about Ramallah, lie about virtually all issues re: Israel perpetually, who have children blow themselves up and/or throw bombs at Israeli soldiers, these are the people we should trust as regards the existence and well-being of children in the Church of the Nativity?
This is another dirty, little secret of our federal government. Though it really isn't litte and it isn't much of a secret, the feds are great at 'mismanaging' (euphemism for sometimes incompetence and other times fraud) the funds of American Indian tribes. There is not a tribe remaining today (whether federally recognized or not) who has not had oversight by the feds or state governments. Land and money just disappear, much more so before the Age of Information, particularly in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Quick Quote: "We don't want to win a war. We want to gain a peace. If we wanted to win a war, we'd deploy our army in a much different manner." -- Shimon Peres, on Meet the Press, replayed now on MSNBC.
Stop the Presses: Off the Pine is on the record as agreeing with Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and Tucker Carlson. Come hither, dear Mr. Pine, to the world of a free market, with individual responsibilty and choices (well, mostly). It might scare you at first, oh it will, but you'll get used to it. I swear.
This may be more up the line of a Megan McCardle, but I'll give it a shot. Here is a new study saying that the college you attend may not be a precursor to economic success even though you went to a great school.

What this study seems to be saying, based only on what is mentioned in the story, is that ambition and intelligence drive salary. That seems to make sense. While it is nice to be surrounded by those who can provide you with the necessary intellectual stimulation in your formative years, I would argue this is more important in the younger years (such as grammar school and secondary school) rather than in college. Of course, I have no empirical data, only anecdotal experience.

Once one has reached various levels of employment, drive and ability should determine levels of economic success in a given field. This may not be a full correlation (r=1), but it is likely to be positive.

Furthermore, the Ivies have a now proud tradition of grade inflation, which many non-Ivy competitive schools disdain. Success at the second level schools can put you on par with others because you have succeeded to the same extent as those who all get the same GPA.

And then there's luck.
None of the links to stories, etc., on Arab News work.
Maybe Africa gets what it deserves in terms of civil war and strife if all they do is not stop it from occurring when they are able to do so.

I wonder about the Europeans though. They had to know that nothing would occur in the Commission when they set the vote. This seems to me to be as much a way out for EU.S.S.R. countries as it is a blow for actual human rights.

And anyway, what is the HRC doing now voting on non-Israeli topics, what with the massacres and all in the West Bank?

Update: I don't mean the people of Africa, all of whom are oppressed and living in squalor. Well, of sorts. It is hard to say who is at fault here, but there is plenty to go around. Nigeria should be ashamed, especially since it has seen a tremendous surge in Muslim violence against Animists and others.
Ribstone Pippin has now been linked by Instapundit. Congrats. May the hits flow freely.
"All democracies turn into dictatorships—but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea ... What kinds of things push people and institutions into this direction?"

I think George Lucas is right. Humans are lazy animals, especially in today's society. This is also why the American system was designed so uniquely. The Founding Fathers (yes, big caps, they deserve it) created a system in which no one could trust anyone else, all checking and balancing the other. This was supposed to include the people, both as a check-er and a check-ee. As well, the various governments were supposed to check each other and the people. Hence federalism. Give the centralized government little power, spread it more locally, and allow the states to experiment freely. This doesn't mean there haven't been many problems. And it is the worst form of government ever, except for all the others (WC). But there has to be the ability to trust everyone to check everyone else, at least somewhat.

If society (meaning the people) decide no longer to check (See, e.g., Clinton, Condit, Traficant -- yes, they are all Dems, but they popped into my head first), then we get what we deserve. But this happens because we have come to rely, in particular, on the federal government. If we had sleaze at the state level, it would be much easier to change the system or move to another state, leaving the sleaze with the sleaze. But we can't experiment if we have 280 million represented once, rather than 50+ times.
Ribston Pippin has jumped into the fray on the socialistic tendencies of sporting leagues in this country.

Here's my take on his take:
My original post was intended to be descriptive, which I think it was. This does not mean, of course, that I don't think it would be fun to tweak the system. I am not in favor of having younger players in the leagues. But I don't run the leagues. So they should do as they please. If that means restricting, so be it; if not, then not. I wouldn't mind seeing a system where teams got bumped down a level for poor play. But the salary structure is such that the league would inevitably fold. A team with even $25 million in payroll getting shipped to the minors would collapse immediately. I guess this would free up more players, becoming even more laissez-faire, and I haven't fully thought it through, but I don't like it instinctually.

Plus, the Mets can't play defense anymore.

And I love Megan McCardle's description of Kuhn's original post.
By the way, I have now tied my hits record!!!!!!! Just one more in 5 hours. And no cheating from those who have been here before (dad!) Oops, miscounted. Still two short. tee hee.
Now I'm tied. I apologize for subjecting you to this.
New record. Thank you all. You make my day. Especially when the rest of my day consists of prepping for my last law finals and writing papers.
So Le Pen, according to Ken Layne, can be a scary guy. Why can't there be some normal righties (conservative-libertarian types) in France? Or most of Europe for that matter?
Thanks: To the next organizer of an NYC Blog Bash for showing me how to put Java onto my counter so that I can tell from where I get referrals. Cheers, jcw.
From Matt Welch, picking up on George Soros comments:

"If we assess the foreign policy accomplishments of the Bush administration since Sept. 11, the scorecard is quite dismal," Soros said. "There are some people in the Bush administration who have the same mentality as Arafat or Sharon. I can name names, like Ashcroft, Cheney and Rumsfeld, although that is considered impolite."

""Only by recognizing that the war on terrorism cannot be won by waging war. We must, of course, protect our security; but we must also correct the grievances on which terrorism feeds."

This goes to prove that the marketplace of goods/services and the marketplace of ideas do not always match evenly. But I'm glad it's there. It's good to see just how wretched a man George Soros is. And this isn't just because I think Donald Rumsfeld is one of the coolest individuals alive today.

Update: Of sorts unrelated, but in Welch's same post. How he survives when he hears dissenters who contact him: a strict regimen of margaritas and no food. Vodka Pundit and Jim Treacher would be proud.
This is an LA Times piece on the conflicting stories of Jenin. Here are my comments on a few of their quotes:

What they met were fierce resistance and terrified women and children. It has become clear in recent days that the terrified women and children were pawns in the terrorists plans, rather than actually being terrified. Those who were terrified hid. Those who confronted the soldiers 'peacefully' led those soldiers to death.

The turning point came with the ambush of an Israeli platoon. Enraged and alarmed, the army from that moment on decided to fight a different way. Foot patrols and house-to-house searches were replaced with large-scale, unforgiving demolition of any building that might harbor gunmen. After the LAT makes a big deal about explaining how the situation's circumstances are still relatively unknown they go on to publish this as fact. This is, in fact, not true, according to many sources. The reason for the bulldozing was that the trip wires and the bombs used as mines were everywhere and bulldozing was necessary to protect the soldiers from extra harm. So, you say, why is your view any different from the others? Besides being based on a reliable source with proof, the IDF, it is no less valid than the Palestinian claim. Therefore, if the story is about both sides, one side should not be presented as fact without appropriate collaboration.

Despite Palestinian claims that a massacre occurred here, there is no evidence, as yet, supporting the loss of hundreds of lives. The most egregious allegations--of summary executions, mass graves and hidden bodies--have not been proved. It is more and more clear, each day, that these claims were blatantly false, as many of us predicted. Yet the media are still willing to believe (or at least consider even) other similar Palestinian claims that offer no evidentiary support as well.

Radical Islamic organizations are especially strong here. Yes, they are called terrorists.

Almost from the moment [the IDF reservists] ...neared the first buildings, they began taking fire. Because this was a war.

We saw a Palestinian man who is the perfect age to be a warrior crawling out of his house. You automatically suspect him. We had to shoot him. Unfortunately, such are the prices of warfare when the enemy wears no uniform and does not obey any modern rules of war.

At one point, military officials said, soldiers arrested a 6-year-old boy ferrying three pipe bombs from one building to another. This is an example of one of the many terrified children mentioned above.

Palestinian loudspeakers blared propaganda in Hebrew as the soldiers nervously made their way down the hill. "Be careful--it's going to be a graveyard. We have plenty of surprises for you," one voice called. No comment necessary.

In response, the military called in helicopter rocket strikes on specific windows and doorways. Specific windows and doorways: If this was a massacre or genocide, it was most likely the most incompetent one ever conducted in the history of warfare. Oh wait, you mean IDF actually only targets those whom it believes are soldiers and terrorists? But that's not what the UN envoy seemed to indicate.

So, there you have it. Just an example of what actually happened. Read the whole piece. Enjoy it, in that observer-type role. Because it shouldn't be enjoyable in that real-life kind of way. And while you're at it, go back to that poll I mentioned down here.
South East Asia and Australia: It's my last big vacation for a while. I have a little over a month, and I'm flying far, far away. Any suggestions on where to go and what to do would be greatly appreciated. Send me a note at jcw227 -at- nyu -.- edu
This poll asks whether media coverage is pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. I think you know my views (given that the media loves the poor Palestinians). You should vote, just like with the CAIR poll. Have your voice heard, even if by no one in particular. Do it because you it is your right in this country, as opposed to a whole lot of other places.
Poor babies: They are confined to their cells 22 hours a day without radio, television, videos or music. Even when taken for a shower or to the gym -- where Lindh prefers the StairMaster -- they do not make contact with other prisoners. It's too bad in many ways that they are treated this nicely, especially because of how the international community bitches unjustly all the time. But I am glad that this is our system. It is a lot better than prisons in Arab regimes.
On a day for the right in France, the left won in Hungary.
Great story intro: French voters stayed away in droves from the first round of the country's presidential election.
And y'all said the NY Times and France were useless.
Wow, of importance: Not only have you been propagandized, I've been so as well. Look at these photos of the Jenin Refugee camp to see just how small the area of fighting actually was. I'm now really mad at the UN, ICRC, AI, etc., for their blatant lying (because it cannot be deemed anything less at this point in time). Thanks to LGF!!!!
Cultural comment: It's a new post segment. Any time I have commentary on culture, of any type, I'll throw it under this heading. My first official one is the following: I really like "Don't Let Me Get Me" by Pink.
Four of the five UW players on the board have gone, in Rounds 1, 4, 5, and 6. Nick Davis is the only one left. He was our returner. I never liked his play much. The kid couldn't catch the ball on the field, even if he was a great returner.
Another wide receiver? What is going on? But Daryl Jones could be interesting. He's got speed and quickness, if not size. Maybe a good 4th receiver and even a returner (?!?)? So the G-Men have a TE, 2 WRs, a T, and 2 LBs. A couple of these picks are purely developmental, but if any payoff they can payoff really well.
Nooooooo: Giants about to go on the clock with their first Round 7 pick and ESPN2 goes to commerical. I hope they get back in time. (Does this prove, yet, that I am a diehard fan? And doesn't it work well with my belligerent attitude? I've been told I sound like a Texas high school football coach. I'm not sure if it was intended to be a compliment or not, but I'll take anything I can get.)

Update: yes, they're back in time, because the Titans took forever. And now the G-Men are on the clock with pick # 226 of the draft. Who will they take? What position can they fill, if any, this late in the game?
Lane McFadden has announced his fake retirement. He is going to continue to post on topics of interest, though not as much on politics and the like. This isn't a retirement. It's called finding your niche. I had a good discussion with Walter Olson about that during the blog bash. You can still contribute to the blogworld, even if you aren't purely political. And it probably would help to have a good divergence of topics, as well. Politics is fun and all, but there is more to life. Like music and comics. What would I do without Billy Joel and Peanuts?????
Bledsoe is now a Bill.
Jay's jokes are hilarious, for those who know what I mean. And y'all know what I mean (or you don't).
And my father has scolded me (well, not really) for not giving full descriptions to some of my links. I like to keep y'all guessing, but I'll try to change it up in the future.
UPDATE: He's also 'threatened' to increase my hits by logging in repeatedly. And that's a bad thing?
Okay, so I happened to be scrolling down Ravenwolf's blog, and I come upon the note that my blog is 'becoming one of [her] favorites'. Too much pressure; head slowly imploding. pop!

Even though I can't handle all that pressure, I'm glad she got an awesome number of hits yesterday. It was a good day for us all, I hope. It really is an honor to know someone is willing to spend their time reading my site when there are many, many other things that can be done, no matter where you live.
WOW: I don't have a clue what the repercussions of this will be, but Le Pen has upset Jospin in France's first election round. Le Pen will now take on Chirac in the general election. Thanks to Instapundit. I don't know anything about Le Pen at all.
Only in the NFL can someone who is 6'1 and 220 lbs. be considered too small (and not even for a line position). Yes, Wesley Mallard is another G-Men selection.

As you can tell, I love this stuff.
The G-Men have two picks remaining -- both in the 7th.
Blogspot appears to be having troubles again.
Because I don't think I've said it before, this Patrick Ruffini is an up-and-comer (if he hasn't already made it officially).
It isn't just because of his excellent site. He writes well (I've seen his work on NRO, for example) and when he asks questions, he gets answers. Like this answer to his question about the Northern Ireland peace process.
From an off-line friend: History Channel this morning. The history of palestine. One word. War.
Attack of the Clones: The Time reviewer loved it.
Cool: In the 5th Round, the New York (Football) Giants select ... Nick Greisen, Linebacker, Wisconsin. My alma mater. On Wisconsin. Varsity, Varsity ...
The G-MEN have taken quite a few Badgers in recent years.
I am going into Lileks withdrawal.
Professor Cohen is right in asserting that putting American peacekeepers in the Middle East is a bad idea. He brings up some salient points:
1. Peacekeepers can only work when there are definitive boundaries or a decisive victory.
2. For each peacekeeper, there are many others providing logistical support or completing other tasks.
3. Either Yasser Arafat has control (which I think is true), in which case the antagonism will continue, or he doesn't, in which case the peacekeepers would have to establish themselves (in a manner similar to Israel's own incursions), doing so much more perilously than if Israelis were to act in a similar manner.
4. What will happen after the terrorist attacks continue
Steve Kuhn posits that professional sports have been socialized. This has come up in other places as well; one example was Rush Limbaugh attacking the New England Patriots, who had just won the Super Bowl, as communists (or something similar).

This might be a worthwhile argument were the goals of the sports leagues the same as the goals of the free market. They, however, are not.

The goal of the free market is to come up with competitive goods or services (G/S), selling it in return for other G/S (often now through conduits such as money), hoping to one day have the best G/S (or at least one with which you are satisfied allows you to live as you wish in a free society).

Professional sports do not attempt the same thing. While it is true that one of the primary goals of sports franchises is to win championships, the leagues have larger interests. They must maintain a fan base, sell merchandise, etc. In otherwords, each league is more important than each team. And leagues must entertain. The role of sports as a pervasive form of entertainment likely has coincided with the desire to bring parity to the leagues. The leagues have recognized that to sell the best product on the free market (thereby beating the other sport leagues -- the real market) they must have competitive and interesting play. The only way to do so is to take the top X number of athletes and spread them around. In fact, the two more successful leagues currently (football and basketball) have much more stringent salary cap rules than do the other two (baseball and hockey).

I'm sure what I've written can be developed much further and probably has plenty of holes, but it's a good start for now.

I'll be interested to see how Steve (courtesy Lane McFadden) develops his thesis.

UPDATE: You could further extend my response as follows: Steve brings up the point of law firms fighting against one another. This is an apt analogy, but in a different manner. Each law firm has a set of departments. These departments strive to be the best, at billing, at revenues, at reputation, etc. They do so while 'competing' against one another. But they have a vital interest in the firm remaining strong as a whole. Therefore for a litigation department to take all of the top prospect, it would do so at the expense of capital markets, tax, and all the other departments. The only way for the firm to maintain its strength and compete against other firms -- the real market -- is to do so by maintaining some balance within the firm.
I thought I had plausible deniability. Then Lane goes and puts the evidence on the web ... one of which I took and one of which I'm in.
When did Asparagirl become Brooke?
Finding scores if not hundreds of people to blow themselves up in order to kill and maim large numbers of enemy civilians requires organizational skills in recruiting, collecting and hiding explosive materials, setting up safe houses and finding holes in Israel's security net. It is, in a technical sense, impressive.
This is, as was in the Hitlerian/Stalinian sense, that kind of impressiveness that makes you want to wretch both because it is occurring and because people support it (within and without).
The rest of the piece is VodkaPundit's Required Reading.
George Plimpton on C-SPAN's American Writers II. He's talking about the Lost Generation right now, in particular Hemingway. Taped from 4/10.
And another catch by PH is the following:
What America exports to poor countries through the ubiquitous media -- pictures of glittering abundance and national self-absorption -- enrages those whom it doesn't depress. In Sierra Leone, a teenage rebel in a disarmament camp tried to explain to me why he had joined one of the modern world's most brutal insurgencies: "I see on television you have motorbikes, cars. I see some of your children on TV this high" -- he held his hand up to his waist -- "they have bikes for themselves, but we in Sierra Leone have nothing." Unable to possess what he saw in images beamed from halfway around the world, the teenager picked up an automatic rifle and turned his anger on his countrymen. On generator-powered VCR's in rebel jungle camps, the fantasies of such boy fighters were stoked with Rambo movies. To most of the world, America looks like a cross between a heavily armed action hero and a Lexus ad.
So let me get this straight. They see us leading happy, comfortable lives (broadcast to them by private companies). They get angry because they live in filth. And we are to blame when they decide to start slaughtering their entire country? Hey, that sounds kind of like Israel as well. Well, golly gee, pa. I guess we just better roll ourselves right back to that darn middle ages period, 'cause we sure wouldn't want none of them unfancy folk being mad an' all.
I'm not the only one to find the Saudi take on the Meet the Press as, umm, interesting. Here's the Political Hobbyist's (PH) take on those lovable Saudis. And scroll around for his comments on Natalie Portman and sex.
But in The World That’s Not Insane (a world that exists in a parallel universe next to ours), Israel is sending a fact-finding mission to UNRWA, to investigate those responsible for allowing a UN-managed refugee camp to be turned into a terrorist haven, with bomb factories, suicide bomber training schools, and huge caches of illegal weapons. -- LGF
As I have written, Clinton and the UN were warned that huge numbers of Tutsis would soon be slaughtered, but Kofi Annan, in charge of the UN's peacekeeping and later a Nobel laureate, was silent ... A mere 5000 UN troops, supported by the United States, could have stopped the killings, because the Hutu murderers were armed largely with machetes.

Sound familiar? It should. The above is part of a larger piece by Nat Hentoff prepping his way to a bigger column on Clinton's assaults on civil rights for next week.
Bastard won't answer the questions: Never mind, he just answered.
Russert: Are suicide bombers wrong?
Saudi Spokesman: (after fumbling with excuses about how the Saudis have condemned terrorism of all kinds) I can't give an answer to that.
He is also completely lying about Camp David and a host of other topics right now. A$$hole. Tell the truth.

Update: Russert is letting this guy spout garbage without calling him on it. He has done so a little bit, but not well.
It's good to know Al Gore is back and commenting on things of which he knows nothing. One day I'll further explain why Gore is not just wrong but has ideas that would lead to major disasters (though many others have already spoken on this topic). Can't do it now though. Just read his pre-Earth Day rant and sigh.
From a NY Times article on AOL's troubles: [T]he men at the helm of AOL Time Warner, do not yet agree on just how the America Online Internet service ... should evolve or on just how quickly it can grow over the next few years. How about starting by not being a terrible service that just happens to be riding its wave of marketing and good timing, kind of like Windows.
Ron Bailey, from Reason Magazine, is on WABC now. Steve Malzberg has had some excellent guests this morning. Booker was awesome.
I don't have much to add to this excellent column on policing in D.C. When I worked at Justice two summers ago, these problems were evident. They still are. The hope now is that Anthony Williams can help the city revive itself, even if it takes years. Williams seems like the right candidate for the changing, especially when compared with his predecessor.
New terrorists attacks in a Christian city in the southern part of the Philippines, which is predominantly Muslim. No comment necessary.

UPDATE: More than 14 killed and 46 wounded.
This doesn't seem surprising to me. Children who are restless are more likely to be much brighter later in life. Why is this shocking, or even curious? Give children an opportunity to experience, and they can translate that stimulation into a long-term curious and perspicacious mind.
Iraq: Following up from Clift below, the issue of Iraq rose as well, with Clift claiming we need the support of the other Arab regimes to topple Saddam Hussein. If there is one thing we don't need up front, it is just that. These regimes understand power. They understand winning. This is why UBL is no longer a fan favorite in places like Pakistan and Indonesia. We beat the hell out of Afghanistan, relatively easily at that, and demonstrated that we wouldn't back down once we had won the first battles. We have countries that will offer the bases and support we need, enough so to effectively prosecute a war. Once it becomes clear that Saddam's time is near, the Arab regimes will change their minds about our war with Iraq. This really isn't tough, Eleanor. Look at what their culture values. Look at what our country needs. The needs and values coincide. Let's roll.
Cory Booker is on WABC radio right now. 770 AM. Listen to him. His is challenging Sharpe James for Newark's mayoral race. He should win, but he has been demonized (gasp!!) by the far left. I don't know that I agree with him on all issues (nor do I with anyone for that matter), but he is a much better choice, at 32, than Sharpe James and his cronies could ever be.

He also could be a presidential candidate one day.

UPDATE: His first promise is to cut the Mayor's salary. The Newark Mayor makes more than the Governor now. (It has nearly tripled during James's terms.)
Emblematic: In another stupor, I decided to sit through at least part of the McLaughlin Group again. After waxing nonpoetically about how badly we need regimes such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the essence of one regular guest escaped. "How do you get terrorists out?" Eleanor Clift chuckled as the show went to break after Mort Zuckerman suggested Israel would not fully withdraw until capturing holed up terrorists in Bethlehem and Ramallah. In that instant you had seen the Liberal Left/EU.S.S.R. view on the issue. This task is too challenging for them. There are too many risks. We might make more enemies. Since the terrorists will not readily surrender, it is better that we stop our pursuit, even after we have cornered them in a single building or even a single basement.