Day By Day

Monday, July 31, 2006

Great News -- Drive Ins are Making a Comeback

I'm old enough to have fond memories of drive-in movies. They were a big part of my childhood and teen years. My parents used to bundle us all into the station wagon with plenty of coke and popcorn for a night in front of the big screen. Years later I remember seeing my first James Bond flick, "Dr. No," at a drive-in and my date got upset because I was paying more attention to Ursula Andress than I was to her. And then there were "dollar a car" nights.... aaaah! I remember...., I remember..., "I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled...."

Well, those thrilling days of yesteryear may not be gone for good. Reuters reports:

AVERILL PARK, New York (Reuters) - It's a smokers' and drinkers' paradise where pajama-clad children and crying babies are welcome and bug spray is essential: The drive-in movie theater is making a muted comeback in the United States.

While it's not quite a return to the heyday of the 1950s, when there were more than 4,000 outdoor theaters across the country, 20 new drive-in cinemas have opened up during the past year, taking the national total to 420.

Read it here.

Well, it's a start....

For those who want to take a trip down memory lane. Check out this site. I'll meet you at the snack stand.

Lileks Goes To the Movies

Remember the times when people would go to the movies just to get in out of the summer heat? Well, I do..., and so does Lileks.

He reviews both the weather and the latest kids flick, "Ant Bully." here. and does a great job with both -- but then we've come to expect nothing less out of James.

The money quotes:

First the reaction of an intelligent, sophisticated observer --
"[T]he geewhiz spirit computer animation once gave me has been replaced by a splenetic grumpy annoyance."
And what does the movie have to tell us? What else? The endless lefty project of indoctrinating our kids into the wonders of communal, anti-humanistic, sacrifice continues unabated.
The wizard [ant] asks [our hero..., don't ask] about human society, and he is amazed that humans don’t all work together. That is not the Ant Way, which is selfless and communal. John Galt wept. I mean, is it too much to ask that the kid at least stick up for humans? A little? Nope! We’re all selfish and individualistic, scorning the common good, which is why the distant city they’re observing is brightly lit and reaches for the heavens, and the ants are all naked drones giving in a defenseless hole, ruled by a gigantic maternal ant (Meryl Streep.)
That's right -- posthumanist, primitivist communalism is just the ticket. How did America's cultural elites get themselves into such a fix? Why do they loathe us so much? Something to think about....

What about the scripting?

“Ant Bully’ ladles out one thin cliché after the other; every line of dialogue is witless, strained, leaden, derivative, or annoying. It’s one of those movies where everything everyone says could be replaced with “I’m shouting out Expository Dialogue!” and every scene would have had the same impact.

And the length?
Any movie that seeks to immerse you in the wonderful world of insects yet makes you learn for the exterminator to show up has gone on too long.
There's more, but you get the drift.

There's really something sick about Hollywood's offerings for kids these days. I haven't the stomach to look too closely at it, but thank Ghod we have people like Lileks to do our looking for us.

Thanks, James.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rove Gets It Right

Karl Rove delivered a speech at Georgetown's Graduate School of Political Management that has been garnering a lot of attention in the MSM and the blogosphere. The focus of the commentary is some disparaging words he had to say about professional journalists, but the really important part of his address was little remarked.

From the WaPo:

"There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line," said Rove, who is credited with President Bush's victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. "I've seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing."

Rove said it is "wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention."

But he said voters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and "this messy and imperfect process has produced great leaders."

Read it here.

This is the kind of truth that political and journalistic pros can seldom admit. Their livelihoods, after all, depend on the assumption that they provide an essential service by informing and controlling an ignorant, feckless, and probably dangerous public. But it important, especially for young people entering the field, to remember that the public has a mind and a wisdom of its own. Rove is doing his listeners a profound service by reminding them of that fundamental, but often unrecognized, fact.

Don Surber notes the same passages and considers them to be almost "Sandbergian" [here]. I suppose he means that as a compliment. I don't have a similar regard for poor old Carl, he was a really lousy historian and biographer. Really, really lousy!!!!

Smoking Gunners

The "international community" and the MSM and Muslim media is focusing obsessively on the question of civilian casualties [only Muslim casualties, you understand]. Here's a big reason for those casualties. These are Hiz'bullah "soldiers" ready for action, dressed in civvies, operating in the middle of a residential area, hoping to draw Israeli fire, and ready to blend into the local population at a moment's notice.

Chris Link, in the Australian Herald Sun, writes:

THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.

Read the whole thing here. [emphasis mine]

Note, these damning pictures of Islamic jihadis were taken in a Christian neighborhood and had to be "smuggled out" of Lebanon.

There are more pictures here.

Captain Ed writes:
When people complain about the civilian death toll in Lebanon, we need to remember why it has been as high as it has been. Lebanon and the UN allowed Hezbollah to use civilians as human shields for their rocket launchers and anti-aircraft batteries. The Israelis have little choice but to target Hezbollah's offensive assets, and that makes the collateral civilian damage the responsibility of the terrorists and their enablers.
Jonah Goldberg writes:
It really just says what we all knew, and there are only three photos. But when you see Hezbollah "soldiers" dressed like mechanics and day laborers, you can see how attuned to the media Hezbollah really is and how messy this conflict is.
Allahpundit writes:

no one doubts that Israel killed the civilians in Qana accidentally while targeting terrorists, whereas, on the other hand, Hezbollah has launched hundreds of rockets into Israel for the sole and express purpose of killing civilians. Yet where is the outrage against Hezbollah? Why is it that Kofi Annan swings into action only to denounce Israel and to promote the course that Hezbollah wants, namely a time-out so that it can rebuild its terrorist infrastructure?
He also notes that several hours passed between the air strikes and the collapse of the building and wonders why.

Commentary on the news shows was unanimous. This is the turning point where Israel lost the public relations battle and therefore the war.

The question is, whether Israel's political class is as lily-livered as our own. I suspect not. And no matter how much the US tries to pressure Israel, it is not clear that we can force them to quit attacking. That won't stop the loons form blaming all of this on Bush.


Tacitus has an interesting, and sensible, commentary on the entire question of collateral damage:
The news this morning brings word of a massacre of children in Lebanon at the hands of the IAF. There is no other word for it: they were asleep, and now they are dead. It is a profound tragedy, an unspeakable horror, and a wrenching consequence of war. It is also, contrary to what you will hear in the coming days, utterly irrelevant to the justice of the Israeli cause, and meaningless to the need for a ceasefire.

The notion that civilians do not die in war is a new and absurd concept: it was not terribly long ago that they were not merely expected to, but meant to. The modern concept of civilian slaughter-as-tactic (or even strategy) was born in the minds of airpower visionaries like Giulio Douhet, and brought to fruition by the likes of "Bomber" Harris and Curtis Le May. (The premodern concept of the same was simply a feature of warfare from time immemorial.) The Second World War saw the maximum application of this concept: and if, postwar, men shrank from it, they did not therefore shrink from that cause, or their belief in the justice of the victors. Let us further note that those who did raise their voices against "area bombing" in the six decades since raised them against that per se -- the intentional slaughter of civilians as such. They did not and do not protest, for example, the appalling slaughter of French civilians from the air in the Normandy campaign. Nor should they. There is a difference between murder and manslaughter; war is war; and the Allies were forced by military necessity in a fight against a barbarous foe. Most who think about this -- and they are admittedly few -- understand this.

What a pity that this measure of sanity is abandoned where Israel is concerned.

Read the whole thing here.

David Bernstein, quoting the NYT in the Volokh Conspiracy, illustrates just how utterly despicable these "freedom fighters" are.

[F]or some of the Christians who had made it out in this convoy, it was not just privations they wanted to talk about, but their ordeal at the hands of Hezbollah — a contrast to the Shiites, who make up a vast majority of the population in southern Lebanon and broadly support the militia.

"Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets," said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. "They are shooting from between our houses." ... Mr. Amar said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.

One woman, who would not give her name because she had a government job and feared retribution, said Hezbollah fighters had killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail.

“This is what’s happening, but no one wants to say it” for fear of Hezbollah, she said.

Read it here.

Note, these Islamic jihadists are not defending their own territories. They move into Christian neighborhoods, set up their guns, hold the local population hostage, use them as human shields, and then try to attract Israeli fire.

Some heroes....

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Maryland Politics -- Steele Gets Lucky

Ever since Dana Milbank exposed his off the record comments about the Republican Party conservatives have been accusing Michael Steele of being a traitor to the Party, or at least an an ingrate. At the same time the MSM has been chortling over the gaffe and predicting that it will sink Steele's candidacy.

Well, not so fast. Steele may have inadvertantly had his Sister Souljah moment and made victory in the Fall elections far more probable. The Washington Times reports that the widespread publicity given his criticisms of Bush by Democrats and their MSM stooges have boosted his standing among black voters. Democrats have worked hard for months trying to tie Steele to Bush, but now, in their rush to portray Steele as incompetent, Milbank and his ilk have severed that carefully constructed link, enhanced his appeal among black voters, and done the Republicans a big favor.

Couldn'ta gone better if he'd planned it.

Thank you Dana.

Read about it here.

Signs of the Apocalypse Continued -- Japanese Ball Buster

In this Japanese TV game, contestants have to recite a tongue twister accurately. If they fail..., well see for yourself.

This should give the executives at FOX a few ideas.

Signs of the Apocalypse -- Penis Painting

Reuters reports:

Star attraction of the annual Sexpo in Sydney, Pricasso, shows off his raw talent by painting with his penis.

Pricasso, who's real name is Tim Patch, claims to be the only artist who uses his penis to paint.

The former builder says there's a lot of things to consider when using this particular tool of the trade, including positioning and the type of paint.

Video here. [not work safe]

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Anarchists and Jihadis

Austin Bay, writing at Strategy Page, notes the similarities between today's jihadis and the international anarchists of a century ago. He expects that today's terrorists will meet the same fate as their predecessors, but notes that Western liberalism must start showing some backbone if that is to happen.

The Islamo-fascists aren't the first international mass murder movement to deserve the moniker of "death cult." In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, trans-national anarchists touted "politics of the bomb" and "propaganda by deed."

The anarchists spilled blood -- over a seven-year period (1894-1901) they killed a French president, a Spanish prime minister, an Italian king and a U.S. president (William McKinley). However, they failed to ignite a global revolution that they claimed would produce an earthly paradise of justice once the ancien regimes disappeared in flames. The anarchists believed their own propaganda, and by doing so misjudged the enormous strengths of liberal capitalist democracies. They totally underestimated the United States.

Read it here.

Would it be impolite to suggest that the situations are not really all that similar and to note that assassination touched off the Great War that brought an end to the liberal order throughout the West? Probably, but I'll do it anyway.

Sex in Space

MSNBC considers what it would be like to have sex in a zero-gravity environment:

[O]ff-Earth romantics will have to cope with some practical challenges:

  • Sex in space would likely be "hotter and wetter" than on Earth, Bonta said, because in zero-G there is no natural convection to carry away body heat. Also, scientists have found that people tend to perspire more in microgravity. The moisture associated with sexual congress could pool as floating droplets.
  • The physics of zero-G make the mechanics of sex more complicated. Bonta said it was challenging even to kiss her husband during a zero-G simulation flight they took recently. "You actually have to struggle to connect and stay connected," she recalled. Partners would have to be anchored to the wall and/or to each other. To address that need, Bonta has come up with her own design for garments equipped with strategically placed Velcro strips and zippers.
  • Although zero-G could be a boon for saggy body parts, Bonta said males might notice a "slight decrease" in penis size due to the lower blood pressure that humans experience in microgravity.
  • Romantics will also need to guard against the type of motion sickness that space travelers often encounter, especially if they get too adventurous right off. "Save the acrobatics for post-play vs. foreplay," Bonta advised.

For all these reasons, Logan said spontaneous sex in space could be "a little underwhelming."

"It's a pretty messy environment, when you think about it," he said. "And for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction....

Read the whole thing here and be glad you are earthbound.

For those who are still interested, The Space Review has an article [here] about orbital honeymoons, which they claim are all but inevitable.

Steele Steps In It

Down here in Maryland the hot political topic is comments that Lt. Gov. and Senate candidate Michael Steele made in an off the record conversation with reporters. Those comments -- to the effect that running as a Republican would cost him support in heavily Democratic Maryland, particularly among blacks, and that it would be a bad idea for President Bush to campaign for him -- were reported in a despicably dishonest WaPo column by Dana Milbank. Milbank made it sound as if Steele was embarrassed by the Republican Party and by President Bush, and included enough descriptive material in his column to enable readers to identify his source. The result has been to give State Democrats lots of talking points and they are having a field day in the local media. At the same time many Republicans are expressing their disappointment with Steele's "disloyalty." Steele has done himself no favor by making statements to the effect that he is good friends with Bush and considers him to be his "homeboy."

Here's a link to Steele's WBAL interview in which he tries to explain the situation.


Steele was only stating the obvious -- the Republicans run at a disadvantage in Maryland and that many black voters are die-hard Democrats. All through the race so far, Democrats have used every possible opportunity to attempt to portray Steele as a Bush hand puppet. Naturally Steele is responding by keeping a distance between himself and Bush and repeatedly proclaiming and demonstrating his independence from the White House and the Party leadership.

So what's the story? Democrats now have anti-Bush statements that they can use to tar the administration, and pro-Bush statements that they can use to smear Steele. That's it and that's all. Bad tactics, indiscretion, and a sleazy columnist have added up to a big bag of nothing.

Move along, folks. There's nothing to see here.


John Dickerson, writing in Slate argues that Steele's attempts to explain his remarks have just made things worse -- much worse.
Steele, who is the leading Republican for his party's nomination, committed a gaffe, according to Slate founding editor Michael Kinsley's classic definition: He accidentally said something true in public.
Once outed, Steele produced a variety of responses, all of them bad. They have been so bad as to constitute a kind of minitutorial on what a candidate shouldn't do when caught telling a truth.
Read it here.

Of course, you have to take Slate with several shakers of salt. It is a Democrat rag and was commenting on Steele's remarks only as a way to trash Bush and the Republican leadership. My prediction is that this will blow over and might even benefit Steele somewhat with black voters.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

At Last! Nazi Archives Opened to Public Scrutiny

BBC reports:
Germany has signed an agreement to open for research purposes vast Nazi archives containing millions of files on Holocaust victims.

So far, only survivors and their relatives have been able to get personal information from the archives.

For many years, Germany had argued that giving wider access would violate its privacy laws.

In May, the 11-nation commission in charge of the Nazi records decided that they would be opened to the public.

Read it here.

This has been long overdue. Objective analysis of the information in these archives can add valuable insights into the Holocaust and the regime that brought it about.

Already there are attempts to discredit potentially embarrassing information contained in the archives:

The files contain also the names of collaborators, homosexuals and prostitutes.

Much of this information may be incorrect - the Nazis often had an interest in defaming their victims, the BBC's Ray Furlong reports from Berlin.

Uh, huh. I can hear it now:

No, no, kids, great grandma wasn't a prostitute. That was just a mean story the Nazis made up.

Whaddaya mean? Grandpa was a collaborator!!! You told us he was a freedom fighter!!!

Parenthetically, what was that again about a right to privacy in the brave new world of the EU? You say it doesn't exist? Really!!!!

Army of Shadows

A few days ago "She Who Must Not Be Named" and I went with a friend to see "Army of Shadows." It's a classic of European cinema -- directed by Jean-Pierre Melville; starring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse and Simone Signoret; based on a novel by Joseph Kessel, author of Belle de jour. I had heard wonderful things about it for decades, but had never seen it.

Here's a sample of critics' reactions:
Glenn Whip -- "Movies don't get any better than this."

Michael Wilmington -- "Overwhelming..., a classic of life."

Kenneth Turan -- "Masterfully made, with no detail unattended."
You get the idea -- This is one I was really up for, and it let me down.

As I left the theatre the question that occupied my mind was "how can so many people whose opinion I respect praise this thing so extravagently?" To be sure the acting is above par, although mostly it consists of sraring moodily into the distance; the cinematography is superb, muted colors that reflect the darkness of the subject; the subject is certainly weighty enough, a story illustrating the moral dilemmas faced by members of the French underground as they forced to face horrifying situations; and there is a hefty existential undertone to sate the appetites of those few who still take such silliness seriously.

And that is part of my problem.

This is a period piece.

At the time it was made (1969) existentialism was still all the rage and taken seriously; the French underground was still thought of in heroic terms and a substantial portion of the European public still saw the Communists as the good guys; and of course the New Wave was in full flower, even if it was beginning to tatter a bit around the edges.

Today all those affectations seem mildly ridiculous, and so does "Army of Shadows." If you are old enough (and I am..., I am) you might remember how exhilarating the revolutionary editing in Godard's Breathless was. Cross cutting, jump cuts, hand held shots, looping, reversing directions during a chase..., take that D. W. Griffith!!!! So much for your stuffy old film "grammar." We're being "creative" here.

Well, nine years later, those things were not so new any more. Eliminating transition shots no longer quickened the pulse..., it only made the narrative choppy.

And that is one of the problems I have with "Army" [I almost wrote, "Of Darkness"]. It is choppy and episodic. You will have a long sequence in which very little happens. The camera is static, the characters spend a lot of time pacing slowly while staring off moodily into the dark distance or sitting quietly in a harshly lit room casting significant glances at one another. Then there is a burst of New Wavery, a staccato series of jump shots, and then somber stasis again.

I know that there is a lot of subtle stuff going on here -- the characters are pondering deep existential dilemmas, and the audience is meant to consider the impending crisis along with them, and the form of exposition emphasizes mood over narrative drive. All that is legitimate, but too much of a good thing is still too much, and all too often you are often left thinking "For God's sake..., do something!"

And then there is the problem of absurdity -- not existential absurdity, although there is a lot of that, but sheer narrative loopiness.

An example:

In a long early sequence our heroes expose a traitor and are determined to kill him. They need to do so without attracting the attention of authorities, so they rent an empty house surrounded by other vacant structures where they will do the deed. But when they arrive with their prey, they find a family of squatters has moved in next door to their house. They then engage in a long discussion of how to kill the guy, debating differing methods, and searching the building for implements, finally deciding to choke him with a kitchen towel.

I emphasize that the whole episode is not played for laughs [one can imagine what Peter Sellers would have done with the situation], but is deadly serious.

Through the whole long episode the traitor has walked, unbound and ungagged, freely accompanying his killers past numerous witnesses, and in the dark death room he stands quietly for several minutes while his killers debate ways to end his life. If at any point he had shouted or screamed or run or done anything to attract attention he would have lived, but he remained quiet and died a terrible, agonizing death. Is there a philosophical point being dramatized here, or is it just incompetent writing? I suspect the latter.

And I haven't even mentioned the major groaner -- the sudden, magical appearance in an execution chamber of a rope, which our hero, who has just been shot in the bicep, easily climbs to safety. Afterwards he looks questioningly at his rescuerer, who simply says "we were well informed." Indeed! Again we have a scene that could be played for laughs -- imagine a Monty Python version -- but it is presened in a deadly serious tone, and the audience is left to think, "Oh come on, now..., you expect us to swallow that?"

And finally, there is the problem of history. We now know a lot more about the French underground than we did back when this film was made. "Army" assumes that the audience shares the film-makers' sensibilities and simply accepts the iconic heroism of the main characters and the inherent villany of their victims and antagonists. That was probably true in 1969. But this is not 1969 and if the characters are to be more than shallow icons some development is in order. Those long, moody pauses could have been filled with bits of business that would have told us something about these people other than the fact that they will do anything for the cause.

This is a shallow, adolescent, and empty film. The characters are one-dimensional, the crises simplistic, morality nonexistent, the narrative nonsensical. What we are left with is a political polemic riddled with vast empty spaces into which we can insert our own meanings. I don't mind a film that asks the audience to do some work, but here the viewer has to do all of the heavy lifting.

And, come to think of it, that is what excites the critics. The film purports to be a view into the abyss..., but what the viewer really sees is his own reflection smiling back at him, and that, my friends, is always something exciting to behold.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lies Of the Left -- Hitch on Wilson-Plame

Christopher Hitchens, over at Slate, has got the goods showing both the incompetence and the duplicity of Joseph Wilson.
[B]oth pillars of the biggest scandal-mongering effort yet mounted by the "anti-war" movement—the twin allegations of a false story exposed by Wilson and then of a state-run vendetta undertaken against him and the lady wife who dispatched him on the mission—are in irretrievable ruins. The truth is the exact polar opposite. The original Niger connection was both authentic and important, and Wilson's utter failure to grasp it or even examine it was not enough to make Karl Rove even turn over in bed. All the work of the supposed "outing" was inadvertently performed by Wilson's admirer Robert Novak.
Read the whole thing here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

For Your Consideration -- Pat Metheny and Anna Marie Jopek

Metheny is one of the most innovative musicians of our time. Here's one of my favorites, "Minuano" performed with full orchestral accompaniment. Now, if he could only do something about that hair....

And here he is backing up an amazing Polish songstress, Anna Marie Jopek.

And here is with Anna Marie again, this time showing off his virtuosity (and her amazing voice)

She's perfect, he's still gotta work on that hair.


Bloggers are frequently urged to "find your community" -- the grouping of like-minded commentators with whom you regularly interact. Well, my response has always been that of Groucho Marx, to wit, "I would never be a member of any club that would have me." That's why I am registered "Independent" in a State that has closed primaries.

I'm beginning to wonder now. It seems that I find myself nodding in agreement often when reading these guys -- the self-styled RINOs*. Maybe I have found my "herd of free-thinking individuals." But maybe not. DLC Democrats look pretty good to me on some issues.

In the end it pretty much comes down to the War on Terror. The anti-war factions in the Democratic Party exercise sufficient influence to make me doubt that a Democrat can be trusted on national security issues. And for me, the GWOT is the overriding issue of our time. That's why I will not be supporting Democrats this fall, even though some of the Republicans for whom I intend to vote make me feel a bit squeamish.

"RINO Sightings" is up here.

The Truth Laid Bear's, "RINO Community" is here.

* “Raging RINOs” - Republicans / Independents Not Overdosed (on the Party Kool Aid) Conservative bloggers who might not want to drink the Party Kool-Aid on every single issue (ESCR, Schiavo, small government, fiscal responsibility, senatorial compromises, free markets/trade, pandering to Creationists, etc.)

To Be Black in Bush's World

Is to see real and dramatic progress -- something that somehow doesn't get reported much in the MSM.

Gateway Pundit has the story:
* * The Bush Administration has increased spending on elementary and secondary education by 41 percent.

* Minority students are also making progress at a faster rate, so the achievement gap is narrowing. According to NAEP, African-American and Hispanic fourth graders set records in both reading and math scores. Eighth grade Hispanic and African-American students achieved the highest math scores ever. (January 2006)

* Reading and math scores for African-American nine-year-olds reached their highest levels in the history of the test, with reading scores up 14 points and math scores up 13 points in the past five years.

* African-American Business Ownership Is At An All Time High.

* Bush cut taxes on small businesses, and last year increased Small Business Administration loans to African-American businesses by more than 28 percent.

* The Administration is working to give minority-owned businesses better access to compete for Federal contracts, and has provided $8 billion in New Market Tax credits to boost investment and community development in low-income areas.

* Nearly Half Of All African-Americans Now Own Their Own Home. The minority home ownership rate rose a record 51.6 percent during the first quarter of 2005, as 15.7 ethnic minorities claimed ownership of the roof over their heads, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

* Violent crime is at a 30 year low. Violent crime rates in Canada, the EU and have begun to equal or surpass the rates in the US (see France).

* The Bush Administration has awarded $2 billion in competitive grants to faith-based institutions that are working to transform minority neighborhoods with faith and compassion.

* The Bush Administration partnered with the National Urban League in a new initiative to expand business ownership and entrepreneurship among minorities July, 2004.

* 50 million Iraqis and Afghanis now live in freedom because of the War on Terror - and millions across the broader Middle East are claiming their liberty as well.

* Because of the US and Allies action, there are significantly less people dying daily in Iraq today than when Saddam was in power.

* Minority unemployment rates are lower now (Black 9.3, Latino 6.0) than they were in 1997 (Black 9.9, Latino 7.5)

* Hurricane Katrina was not a racist disaster, not hardly.

* George Bush has put more blacks in prominent positions than any other president in US history.

* The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. PEPFAR, the largest international health initiative dedicated to a single disease in history, is providing historic levels of support to the fight against the AIDS pandemic.

* The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Has Supported Life-Saving Treatments For Approximately 400,000 Sub-Saharan Africans Living With HIV/AIDS.

* And, of course there are the other black history moments that the democrats won't share with you this weekend including the Twenty-Five Historically Significant Black Experiences..
** Oh, and don't forget this history-making event by President Bush.

In fact, GP has been on the story for a long time. Here's a post from january.

Read it here.

Add it up and it is damn hard to find any Democrat who has done nearly as much for Black Americans, indeed Blacks all around the world as has the current President.

A few more reasons to count Bush among the greatest of our leaders -- a leader for all, not just some Americans -- a compassionate conservative in the best sense of the word.

Buckley on Dubya

For years now the Democrats and their MSM mouthpieces have been spewing nonsense about how George Bush is a conservative ideologue. Well, nobody knows more about conservative ideologues than William F. Buckley and here's his assessment:
"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology...."

Read it here.

And that is one of the things I like best about Dubya. He transends, rather than being constrained by the ideological structures that have kept our political culture locked into a set of antagonistic and irreconcilable positions for a generation now.

Bush is a terrible disappointment to the ideologues of both left and right and for that I applaud him.

Long ago, as a candidate for the Presidency, Bush proclaimed his desire to be a "reformer with results" thus signalling his intention to focus on results rather than ideological disputation, and the effort has paid off. Dubya, as much as any President in our recent history, has been an effective agent of change. For this he has been much reviled, but it is for this that I celebrate him.


Toby, the Bilious Young Fogey, Australia's favorite "homocon", purveyor of auto-porn, and connoisseur of abo-art, has returned from his latest homewrecking spree. And that, to quote a famous criminal mastermind, "is a good thing."

Check out his blog here.

Condi in Beirut -- Another Diplomatic Triumph for Dubya?

Condi is in the house!

AP reports:

Rice met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who greeted her with a kiss on both cheeks. Rice told him, "Thank you for your courage and steadfastness."

Her mission is the first U.S. effort on the ground to resolve a crisis that has convulsed the Middle East and threatens to engulf other countries in the region.

En route to the region, Rice discussed the possibility of working with Syria on a solution.

Responding to idiot comments by critics in the MSM who fault the US for not being engaged Rice said:

"The problem isn't that people haven't talked to the Syrians. It's that the Syrians haven't acted," she said.

"It's not as if we don't have diplomatic relations," she said. "We do."

Rice has tried to walk delicately between supporting the Lebanese government, while also not dictating to its ally Israel how it should handle its own security. Her posture has frustrated numerous allies.

"We all want to urgently end the fighting. We have absolutely the same goal," Rice said. But she added that if the violence ends only to restart within weeks, "then all of the carnage that Hezbollah launched by its illegal activities — abducting the soldiers and then launching rocket attacks — we will have gotten nothing from that."

Read it here.

Things are moving fast and a lot is going on behind the scenes, and it is far too early for those of us who have limited knowledge and understanding to try to make sense of the whole thing, but that doesn't stop the usual suspects in the MSM, on cable and in the blogosphere. So, here's my current understanding -- one that can always be radically revised in the face of new information.

Bush/Condi seem to be handling this situation masterfully, as they have so many others. Just a few months ago it seemed that Iran was on the verge of emerging as a regional hegemon, leading a broad Islamic coalition in defiance of an enervated and ineffective West. But, interestingly, that scenario has begun to fall apart. Israel is effectively decimating Hiz'bullah, Iran's instrument in Lebanon and dramatically reducing its effectiveness. Syria, Iran's major ally, has refused to get involved, contenting itself with warning Israel not to approach its national borders. The stage is being set for the Lebanese government to at last exercise control over Hiz'bullah. And, most importantly, the Arab powers in the region have refused to condemn Israel, thus defying Iran's attempt to construct a broad, multi-ethnic Islamic anti-Western coalition.

Things are still fluid and the outcome might be something quite different from what I expect, but I will not be surprised if a year or so from now we are seeing a Middle East in which Iran, not Israel, stands in isolation.

Several weeks ago Dan Drezner posed an important and interesting question -- "where is the anti-American balancing coalition?" He writes:

For the past fifteen years, the big question in international relations is why no balancing coalition has emerged against the United States.

The answer you get depends on who you ask. During the nineties, some liberals credited the existing framework of international institutions as forming binding constraints on the U.S., assuaging the concerns of other states. Other liberals credited America's "soft power" in getting other countries to want what we want. Still more liberals would have answered with variations on the democratic peace. Realists didn't say much about the topic during the nineties, other than to warn that a balancing coalition was sure to come, you betcha.

With the arrival of George W. Bush, the September 11th attacks, the U.S. response, and the Iraq war, just about everyone has been predicting a balancing coalition. And yet the funny thing is that it hasn't happened.

Read it here.

Even funnier are the contortions engaged in by foreign policy theorists who are trying to account for this unexpected development [or, more properly, lack of development].

Sure, some realists have claimed the existence of "soft balancing," but that's really just a fancy term for self-interested diplomacy. Plus, it's just plain odd to read realists who would otherwise pooh-pooh the existence of international organizations suddenly claim that the diplomatic activity taking place within those organization really matters. The lack of appreciable evidence is also kind of a problem.

This head-scratcher has caused people to start looking for hard balancing coalitions in out of the way places -- inside sofa cushions, under rocks, near Central Asia, you name it.

Critics of the Bush administration have time and again heralded the rise of an anti-American coalition. But the Arab "street" refused to rise. The anti-American Kyoto coalition was miserably ineffective. France's pretention to European leadership crashed and burned with the result that today it is the Chirac regime, not Bush that is isolated. Russia and China's attempt to exclude the US from Central Asia has failed miserably. Now, Iran's attempt to construct a regional Islamic coalition is collapsing.

Instead, it is the United States that has effectively put together broad coalitions on Iraq, on the environment, Asian security arrangements, on African disease initiatives, and a host of other issues. Bush, not his opponents, has been the effective coalition builder.

We are now reaching a point where the repeated failure of foreign policy "experts" to adequately confront reality is becoming a major embarrassment. It is becoming apparent that their understanding of the international system and how it operates is woefully inadequate. What is more it is becoming clear that Dubya and his people have a much better grasp of how to conduct effective diplomacy in the post-Cold War environment than do the academic theorists.

Zuleyka Wins!!!

Here she is, folks. Miss Universe! And she's a real beauty. Meet Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza, this year's winner. And she's from Puerto Rico!!!

The very definition of "hubbalicious"! She seems a bit fragile though. She reportedly fainted at the end of the ceremony.

Check out her unofficial website here.

She's already got a Wikipedia entry, here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Michael Goodwin Says "Give War A Chance"

Writing in the Daily News, Michael Goodwin makes the case for allowing the Israeli-Hiz'bullah conflict to proceed to its natural conclusion.
The scenes are heartbreaking. Mangled civilians, wailing children and wholesale destruction fills the landscape. Lebanon is being shredded by the whirlwind of Israeli bombs.

"Stop the violence" is the natural human response to these grisly images. It's how most of us feel....

Yet now is not the time to stop this brutal war. Human nature notwithstanding, peace is not always the best answer. Not when wrongs have to be righted. Sometimes, deadly force is the righteous option.

He gives a series of arguments in favor of war, of which the most important is this:

[T]he call for restraint reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of terrorists. Their barbarism, including the beheadings of hostages, sets them apart from mankind. They have proven they are not subject to rational approaches. They are not interested in compromise any more than a mad dog will share its bone. Hezbollah and its Iranian patrons don't want to make a deal with Israel. They want to destroy Israel. And then America and Europe and Christians and ... .

And that's the real question isn't it? Can you compromise with fanatics dedicated to your destruction? Normal diplomacy is based on a presumption of rationality and a calculus of interests. Neither would seem to apply in this case.

Read his column here.

James Bond: Do you expect me to talk?

Goldfinger: Why no, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.

Latest From Zimbabwe

News 24 reports that Zimbabwe is deporting 265 persons every day. South Africa is starting to feel the strain of dealing with the rising tide of refugees crossing the Limpopo River to escape Mad Bobby Mugabe's Hell on Earth.

Read about it here.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rose Friedman Gets It!!

In an interview with the WSJ, Milton Friedman opined that the war in Iraq was a
mistake for the simple reason that I do not believe the United States of America ought to be involved in aggression.
Here's what followed:

Mrs. [Rose] Friedman--listening to her husband with an ear cocked--was now muttering darkly.

Milton: "Huh? What?"

Rose: "This was not aggression!"

Milton (exasperatedly): "It was aggression. Of course it was!"

Rose: "You count it as aggression if it's against the people, not against the monster who's ruling them. We don't agree. This is the first thing to come along in our lives, of the deep things, that we don't agree on. We have disagreed on little things, obviously--such as, I don't want to go out to dinner, he wants to go out--but big issues, this is the first one!"

Milton: "But, having said that, once we went in to Iraq, it seems to me very important that we make a success of it."

Rose: "And we will!"

Mrs. Friedman, you will note, had the last word.

[Emphasis mine]

As well she should. She gets it..., he doesn't.

Read it here.

Check out her comments on immigration too.


Ilya Somin, over at the Volokh Conspiracy, notes this disagreement and thinks it reflects a fundamental divide within the "libertarian community." Most conservative libertarians, he notes, seem, like Rose, to support the war effort, but a minority would side with Milton against her.

He theorizes that the split reflects deep philosophical differences.
One possibly theory is that this disagreement tracks the longstanding division between those who endorse an absolutist interpretation of libertarian principle versus those who take a maximizing approach. Wars clearly lead to violations of rights to life, liberty, and property. If you are a deontological absolutist who believes it is always (or almost always) wrong to violate such rights regardless of consequences, then that gives you a logical reason to oppose virtually any war, possibly excepting a strictly defensive one, with "defense" defined very narrowly. By contrast, if you take a maximizing approach, you will be more willing to accept some rights violations now in order to reduce the total incidence of violations in the long run. For example, it could be argued that the War in Iraq, despite the carnage it has caused, saves a much greater number of innocent lives in the long run, as well as expanding personal and economic liberties for most Iraqis.
Alternatively he suggest:
It is possible that those libertarians who embraced the ideology primarily out of hostility to the various works of the US government are more likely to be antiwar than those who came to it primarily because of personal or familial experience with statist and socialistic governments elsewhere. Certainly, anecdotal evidence suggests that immigrant libertarians are more likely to be pro-Iraq War than native-born ones. So too with Jewish libertarians (who, even if native-born, may have a strong consciousness of their people's oppression by governments outside the US) as opposed to gentile ones, though Milton Friedman is one of many exceptions to the pattern. If you are highly focused on the evils of oppressive regimes and political movements outside the US, you might be more willing to countenance the use of American military power to destroy or contain them than if you have regarded the US government itself as the main threat to your freedom.
Read it here.

Personally, I find it incomprehensible that any responsible person would consider the U.S. government and more specifically the Bush administration to be a credible threat to his oe her freedom, but then I'm not a libertarian absolutist.

Peggy Noonan On the Corruption of Scientific Authority

From the WSJ:

[H]ow sad and frustrating it is that the world's greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of global warming, pore over all the data from every angle, study meteorological patterns and temperature histories, and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is global warming real or not? If it is real, is it necessarily dangerous? What exactly are the dangers? Is global warming as dangerous as, say, global cooling would be? Are we better off with an Earth that is getting hotter or, what with the modern realities of heating homes and offices, and the world energy crisis, and the need to conserve, does global heating have, in fact, some potential side benefits, and can those benefits be broadened and deepened? Also, if global warning is real, what must--must--the inhabitants of the Earth do to meet its challenges? And then what should they do to meet them?

You would think the world's greatest scientists could do this, in good faith and with complete honesty and a rigorous desire to discover the truth. And yet they can't. Because science too, like other great institutions, is poisoned by politics. Scientists have ideologies. They are politicized.

All too many of them could be expected to enter this work not as seekers for truth but agents for a point of view who are eager to use whatever data can be agreed upon to buttress their point of view.

And so, in the end, every report from every group of scientists is treated as a political document. And no one knows what to believe. So no consensus on what to do can emerge.

If global warming is real, and if it is new, and if it is caused not by nature and her cycles but man and his rapacity, and if it in fact endangers mankind, scientists will probably one day blame The People for doing nothing.

But I think The People will have a greater claim to blame the scientists, for refusing to be honest, for operating in cliques and holding to ideologies. For failing to be trustworthy.

Read it here.

Yes, Peggy, it would be nice to live in a perfect world where disinterested seekers of truth discovered and handed down to a deferential government objective information and recommendations upon which enlightened policy would be based. That, after all, is the old "Progressive" dream. But as Jean Calvin and St. Augustine understood, there is no such thing as a disinterested elite -- it is a chimera -- and all human enterprise, science included, is a product of human weakness and limited by human failings.

So quit your moralistic posturing and accusatory rhetoric and recognize instead that what you are describing is nothing more or less than the human condition.

Learn to live with it and remember to take all "expert" opinion with several grains of salt.

Lileks Shoots..., He Scores

The inimitable Lileks is screedblogging again [about time, I say]. Here's a sample -- an imagined account of Clintonian-style negotiations with Hiz'bullah:

Fierce-eyed Hezbollah representative: Thank you for the invitation; lovely office. Death to Israel.

Gullible American: Well, that’s just rhetoric; we understand.

Hezbollah: It is not rhetoric. It is truth. The Zionist entity is a festering infected splinter in the lip of the Caliphate.


GA: So you’re saying you want some antibiotics as well? We can do that. But you have to show us you’re ready to coexist with Israel.

Hezbollah: We recognize the right of Israel to exist, but only as a footnote in history books.

GA: So we agree on principle, and the rest is just a matter of details. Great! We’ll draw up the treaty for the signing ceremony. You’re going to love the pens. They’re Cross. Smoothest pen you’ve ever used.

Hezbollah: I will save it to plunge into the heart of the last Jew to crawl towards the sea.

GA: Do you need your parking validated?

Repeat until the last accords fall apart, then call for new accords.

It's good to see James get all screedy again. He has a way of painlessly leading readers to the point where they can glimpse essential truths.

Read it here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another Front Opens on the War

AP reports:

NAIROBI, Kenya - Ethiopia is prepared to invade neighboring Somalia to defend its U.N.-backed government against what appeared to be an imminent attack by Islamic militiamen, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

The militiamen, who hold most of southern Somalia, deployed hundreds of fighters outside the town where the largely powerless government is based and said they planned to seize it.

"We have the responsibility to defend the border and the Somali government.We will crush them," Ethiopia's Minister of Information, Berhan Hailu, told The Associated Press.

Jihadi Watch reports that the Islamists have temporarily pulled away from the capital.

Read it here:


Now there are reports that the invasion is underway.

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Hundreds of Ethiopian troops in armored vehicles rolled into Somalia on Thursday to protect their allies in this country's virtually powerless government from Islamic militants who control the capital.

The move could give the U.S.-backed Somali government its only chance of curbing the Islamic militia's increasing power. But Ethiopia's incursion could also be just the provocation the militia needs to build public support for a guerrilla war.

"We will declare jihad if the Ethiopian government refuses to withdraw their troops from Somalia," a top Islamic official, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, told The Associated Press.

Read it here.

Sound familiar? Just as in Lebanon, Jihadis take advantage of a weak government to create chaos, and then when confronted by outside forces, pose as defenders of the nation.

Maryland Politics -- The Races Tighten

The latest Rasmussen Poll shows the Maryland Senate race tightning. Steele is gaining as the Democrats fight over the nomination.

If Kweisi Mfume is the Democrat candidate, Steele leads 45% tp 44%, a tossup.

If Ben Cardin is the Democrat, he leads 47% to 41%. But that is too close for comfort.

Read the poll results here.

This is not good news for the Democrats. Recent polls show Mfume leading Cardin for the nomination and then losing to Steele. And Gov. Ehrlich is rapidly closing the gap between himself and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley in the gubernatorial race.

Republicans seem to have genuine momentum, at least in Maryland.

Pennsylvania Politics -- No Change

The latest Strategic Vision poll is out. It shows Democrats comfortably in the lead in both the Senatorial and the Gubenatorial races. Ho hum!

Rendell leads Swann – 49% to 36%. Not much change there.

Casey leads Santorum – 50% to 40%. Ditto.

The Republicans are running out of time and the undecided element in the electorate is shrinking fast. Doesn’t look good….

Read the whole thing here.

Stay tuned….

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The War on Islamofascism -- Santorum Takes His Stand

Speaking at the Press Club yesterday Rick Santorum laid out a major theme of his campaign for re-election. He's all for fighting "Islamofascism" for the sake of our children. In this way he fuses his past theme of defense of the family with the new Republican project of fighting "World War III" and manages to simultaneously sound touchy-feely and tough.

"[T]oday the biggest issue facing our children’s future is a war. Not, as so many describe it, the War on Terror. Not the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the world war, which at its heart is just like the previous three global struggles."

Well, “just like” is probably too strong. Any competent historian can point out huge differences among the conflicts, but his key point is a legitimate one -- that this is a war we cannot evade or afford to lose.

I believe that the threat of Islamic fascism is just as menacing as the threat from German Nazism and Soviet Communism. Now, as then, we face fanatics who will stop at nothing to dominate us. Now, as then, there is no way out; we will either win or lose.

He takes on directly those opponents of the war who try to particularize the conflict. It is not just about Iraq, or Afghanistan. It is being waged on,

every continent except Antarctica. Ask the Indians, the Thais, the Egyptians or the Argentines. Ask the Australians, the Indonesians, the British or the Spaniards. All have seen Islamic fascists at work, and have mourned their innocent victims.

And now he sticks it to the Democrats:

And yet we [read: "the Democrats"] are foolishly reluctant to come to terms with this terrible reality. It's an old, sad story isn't it? Over and over again, our enemies announce their intention to attack us, and we refuse to believe them.


If we have learned anything from the twentieth century, it should be this lesson: when leaders say they are prepared to kill millions of people to achieve their goals, we must take them at their word. Particularly in this case when the enemy sees dying for their cause as a desired objective as opposed to a tragic consequence.

Why, he asks, are the Democrats and their allies in the media so obtuse?

Well, partly because they are afraid to face the truth.

[Accepting that we engaged in such a war] forces us to recognize that we, the infidels, are being hunted. This is not just happening someplace thousands of miles away.

And such recognition would imply sacrifices that many Americans are unprepared to make.

Many political opponents of the administration have tried to exploit this fact. Here he brands the Democrats and their media allies not just cowards, but liars.

We have worked very hard to provide security without compromising liberty. Some leaders saw political advantage in disputing that fact. The result, for one thing a four-year misinformation campaign directed against the Patriot Act.
Even worse, there has been a war against the war: a joint campaign by some people inside the government and allies in the media to undermine critical national security programs. To their shame, the bureaucrats have broken the law by revealing classified information to some in the media. Again, to their shame, some members of the media have put American lives at greater risk by publishing these secrets.

Here, again, the charge is based to some extent in truth. Many Democrats have found the war to be politically inconvenient, and have therefore tried to minimalize it and to misrepresent necessary actions taken to provide security. That's politics! But there is also a legitimate argument to be considered. An emphasis on security requires some compromise of liberty. Democrats and other critics of the war are perfectly right to inform the public of that tension and to allow the citizenry to ultimately decide just where to strike the balance.

Santorum, though, is completely right to denounce the bureaucratic leakers and obstructers and their co-conspirators in the media. These people are at best irresponsible fools, at the worst they are possibly traitors. They place their institutional and ideological interests ahead of the national welfare. They actively impede and obstruct the war effort. They should be identified and, if in violation of the law, prosecuted to its full extent.

And then he takes on the PC police who would prevent serious and accurate descriptions of the situation.

There is a bigger problem: our fear of speaking clearly, publicly, and consistently about the enemy. It is unfashionable in some quarters to speak about the Islamo fascists, because of the misguided cultural reflex that condemns anyone who speaks critically about others' practices or beliefs. Therefore, we can’t say or do anything that might offend Muslims.

But that's backwards. The real offense to Muslims is to remain silent about an ideology that produces the systemic murder of innocents. Mostly, Muslim innocents. They are the first victims of Islamic fascism, and the enemy directly targets them, as we have heard once again in the most recent audiotape from Osama bin Laden. Those who refuse to criticize Islamic fascism undermine the cause of freedom of religion because if the Islamic fascists win this war, no other religion will be permitted to flourish.

Here I am in complete agreement and have no criticisms to make, but Rick does indulge in a bit of over-the-top hubris when he then compares himself [the "truth-telling" Senator] with Natan Sharansky, the heroic Soviet dissident. Come off it Rick. There's no need for that sort of stuff. The Democrats and media elites are not the Soviet Union.

Finally, Rick links his critique to the coming elections.

Individuals... make bad choices.

Journalists made bad choices when they decided to betray the secret of our terrorist surveillance programs, our programs for tracking terrorist finances, and the location of the prisons in which al Qaeda’s most senior leaders are held.

Democrats in Congress make bad choices when they urge the president to withdraw our forces from Iraq before the war there is won.

And as you all know, this fall the voters of our country have a choice to make. One vision sees the role of Congress as raising objections — finding reasons not to do things — and punishing those who take risks to defend our nation. I have a different vision. I want Congress to contribute to victory — not just complain about how long things are taking.

That last is a good line. As I said before there are legitimate questions to be raised, especially concerning the conflict between security and liberty, but he is right, exposing military secrets and constant sniping at those who are conducting the war are at the least irresponsible, and possibly treasonous.

Finally he ties the whole thing up by focusing on Iran as the center from which Islamofascism derives, our oldest enemy in the Islamic world, and one that must be confronted and defeated..., for the sake of "the children."

In 1979 Iran declared itself our enemy and for 27 years it has proven the truth of those words. A democratic Iran may not end the war against Islamic fascism, but without it this war will last to be our children’s war, not just ours. We owe it to them, it is our watch, it is our challenge.

Not bad, and strategically well conceived. Rick has taken a clear and important stand -- one that will appeal to conservatives in his Party. Now let's see how Casey responds to it.

There is a trap here for Casey -- he cannot allow himself to be identified with the anti-war wing of his Party, nor can he defend the irresponsible practices of Beltway bureaucrats and the New York Times. but if he remains silent, he looks weak and indecisive. He could denounce the left loons and have himself a Sister Soulja moment, but that would cost him vital support. Will he do it? Stay tuned....

Read the whole thing here.

I admire the Republicans and people like Senator Santorum for making the war itself the focus of the campaign. There are really important issues to be resolve here, and hard choices to make. The American public must be active participants in making those choices. The election is when they shall be heard.

Zimbabwe Update -- The Genocide Gets Serious

Just when you think things can't get any worse in Zimbabwe, they do.

Collen Makumbirofa writes:
The media report that, thousands are dying every day due to starvation and diseases on contrary food & medical aid is being denied entry into Zimbabwe. In 2002 the Catholic Institute for International Relations in its report has stated that, "Two thousand people per week were dying from HIV/AIDS in 2002 and the figure is now more than 3,500. Life expectancy has dropped to 35 years from 65 in 1990." Inflation is over 1,000%.

The government of Zimbabwe has destroyed means of live hood for millions by invading productive farms, embezzling public funds, destroying informal traders, destroying companies, and destroying homes for millions of people. Murder is murder even if the government kills through denying food aid and medical assistance. The reason is that people no longer want the ruling government.

Didymus Mutasa, the administrative Secretary of Mr. Mugabe’s ruling Zanu Pf, has declared:
"We would be better off with only six million people… who support the liberation struggle… we don’t want all these extra people."

What do you think there are doing to those extra millions they do not want? Killing them. How? Starving them to death. Depriving hospitals of medicine. Forbidding food aid into the country. Torturing them and imprisoning them. Assassinating many. The government of Zimbabwe is actively doing this.
Read it at Gateway Pundit, here.

This has been going on for years and is accelerating. First there was election violence and assassination, then confiscations and mismanagement of property, then the systematic starving of specific groups, then the destruction of urban neighborhoods creating hundreds of thousands of homeless people, then concentration camps and wider starvation, now it is reaching the proportions of genocide with the stated goal of killing off most of the nation's population.

And through it all the "civilized world" has sat by and watched. Nobody -- not South Africa, not the AU, not the EU, not the UN or the churches or Britain or the US has done anything more than express dismay at the horror unfolding before us. The western press ignores or soft-pedals the issue.

Mad Bobby Mugabe refuses to step aside and the innocent die in ever increasing numbers.

And the sickness threatens to spread. Already prominent politicians in South Africa are saying that Mugabe's policies in Zimbabwe should be emulated in their country. And, as Gateway Pundit notes, Namibia considers the mad old monster to be a "role model".

Such is the legacy of Marxist anti-colonialism.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Now this is amazing. The pictured rug is a gift from an elderly Hazara man in Afghanistan to President Bush. It expresses his profound thanks for the liberation of his people.
The colorful and beautifully crafted rug was hand-knotted by an elderly Hazara man from Kabul. The Hazaras, believed to be descendants of Ghengis Khan, were one of the most persecuted ethnic minorities in the Middle Eastern country prior to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance's war with the Taliban.


The... elderly man [was] so overwhelmed with gratitude to the United States for its intervention in the conflict that he made a gift for President Bush - a gift that was a year in the making and made, given the conditions of the country, under penalty of death.


"For this man to sequester himself away for a year to hand knot this rug speaks highly of his gratitude," he said. "And for an extraordinarily devout Muslim to have taken very strong Christian and Catholic symbology and incorporate them into the rug is amazing. He may come from a different religious culture, but he was respectful enough to do that, and that is very interesting and humbling."
Indeed it is!

Read the story here.

The Anchoress, commenting on this story, writes:

Someday, when the current fever of hate and the trend to mendacity has faded…in a saner world…right-thinking people will look back and realize that this president - THIS president - has not been an evil, moronic, malevolent and war-mongering dictator but one of the greatest humanitarian presidents in the history of our nation. It may not happen in Bush’s lifetime, but Dr. Martin Luther King said, “a lie can’t last.”

I couldn't agree more!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I'm Not Sure, But I Think This is One of the Signs of the Apocalypse

Paris Hilton has a video out [no not that one -- on this one she sings..., sorta]. Check it out here. Audio only here.

Chad Vader, Day-Shift Manager


Chad Vader, Day-Shift Manager

Check it out.

The Book of Days

Oh Wow!

Hillman's Hyperlinked and Searchable Chambers' Book Of Days is now available online.

Check it out here.

Hat tip Mirablis.

Massive Voter Fraud in 2004 Election Revealed

Gateway Pundit is all over this one [here]. Sixteen, count 'em, sixteen Democrats have now been convicted of election crimes in Missouri. We're not talking about unfounded allegations here -- these are actual convictions. Why is the NYT not headlining this? Oh, yeah... I remember. Election fraud is not newsworthy if Democrats do it.

Maryland Politics -- The Gubenatorial Race is Tight

RCP summarizes the results of the latest Sun and Rasmussen polls on the governor's race. Both show Baltimore's Macho Mayor Martin O'Malley with a small lead over incumbent is Governor Ehrlich [7-8 points]. This is actually good news for Ehrlich. Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1 in Maryland and to have this race this close means that..., well I'll let RCP speak:

These two new polls are actually very good news for the Ehrlich campaign and indicate that the Governor is poised to pull this race out in November. This race has always been slated to be a dog fight to the end, but Ehrlich's ability to pull within 7-8 in the pre-Labor Day polls should be giving the O'Malley folks concern.

Maryland's economy is booming, unemployment is at 3.8% and Ehrlich's job approval is over 50%. These are not small factors that will all work solidly in Ehrlich's favor as this campaign kicks into high gear.

Read it here.

The Presidential Grope -- Dubya and Angie -- Should Laura Start Worrying?

Shades of Slick Willie!!!!

I know that world leaders are supposed to be friendly at these conferences, but aren't George and Angie taking things a bit too far? Check out this photogallery of Bush groping the German Chancellor [here]. Video here.

Laura..., have a long, long talk with your guy!

UPDATE: The German press is now calling Merkel "Bush's Girlfriend." [here]