Day By Day

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Althouse on Film

Ann Althouse has been going to the movies a lot recently and she has been noticing a disturbing trend. She writes:

I'm seeing all the well-reviewed year-end movies, and there's an awful lot of wrong-age sex. "Doubt" is about a priest accused of molesting children. "Benjamin Button," with its backwards aging character, had scenes of an old man in love with a young girl and an old woman in love with a toddler. "The Reader" had a 36-year-old woman seducing a 15-year-old boy. "Milk" had a man in his 40s pursuing relationships with much younger (and more fragile) men. "Slumdog Millionaire" shows a young teenage girl being sold for sex. I say that Hollywood is delivering pedophiliac titillation with the deniability of artistic pretension.
Read it here.

Yes indeedy, Hollywood has found a cause it can believe in and get behind -- normalizing all varieties of sexual practice even, perhaps especially, the predatory ones.

Unlike Ann, I haven't been going to many movies this year and haven't seen any of the well-reviewed efforts. Maybe that's because I'm not really into Bush Bashing and strange sex and celebrating the drug culture. But then, I'm getting old..., really old.

Time to break into the DVD stack. I think it's time to check out "La Dolce Vita" again. At least Fellini understood the true cost of the choices we make.


That's the view earlier from Sydney, Australia. My Sister in law was there to see it. Lucky girl!

The Good President (continued) -- Loyalty

Byron York notes that George W. Bush has inspired remarkable loyalty in those who have worked closely with him.

[T]he president’s political fortunes haven’t affected the intense loyalty that those who know him best feel for him. The people who have worked with George W. Bush in the White House for many of these past eight years have seen a different man from the one reflected in so much negative press coverage. And as they prepare to leave on January 20, their feelings for him are, if anything, stronger than when they arrived.

The reason -- Bush has been loyal to them.

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Cult of Expertise vs Experience

Excellent article by Robert Samuelson on the current economic crisis and how it has demolished conventional wisdom on the economy.

Read it here.

Once again expert opinion comes a cropper, but that won't deter the "experts" from assuring us that they have learned from the experience and next time will have it right.

The Year in Photos

Check out this amazing archive assembled by the Boston Globe [here]. Make sure you view all three parts -- there's some fabulous photography on display here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The History Reader

Several months ago I attended a concert in the company of two lovely ladies [and, of course, "She Who Must Not Be Named"]. The women were both from Europe and, though happy to be living in America, were unrelenting in their criticism of our political culture and our current President. At one point one of them leaned close and half-whispered the opinion that President Bush's great failing is that he, unlike European leaders, has never read any history. I pointed out that Bush's undergraduate degree from Yale was in history and that he was, according to people close to him, an avid reader of history. She simply disbelieved me.

Well, from Karl Rove comes confirmation of Bush's fascination with history. He writes:

[President Bush's] reading this year included a heavy dose of history -- including David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter," Rick Atkinson's "Day of Battle," Hugh Thomas's "Spanish Civil War," Stephen W. Sears's "Gettysburg" and David King's "Vienna 1814." There's also plenty of biography -- including U.S. Grant's "Personal Memoirs"; Jon Meacham's "American Lion"; James M. McPherson's "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief" and Jacobo Timerman's "Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number."

Each year, the president also read the Bible from cover to cover, along with a daily devotional.

And, Rove assures us, this heavy routine of serious reading, especially of history, has been going on for several years.

Read the whole thing here.

Interestingly enough, the comments section attached to the article evinces precisely the same reaction I received from the women with whom I talked -- the readers simply refused to believe that President Bush is an avid reader of serious works.


The Good President (continued)

Nile Gardener explains why he thinks Dubya should be recognized as a great president:

Bush began his presidency primarily as a domestic leader. He ends it as a war leader who has left a huge imprint internationally. His greatest legacy, the global war against Islamist terror, has left the world a safer place, and his decision to project global power and military might against America's enemies has made it harder for Islamist terrorists to strike against London, Paris or Berlin.

Bush's decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power will make it less likely that rogue regimes, Iran and North Korea included, will seek to militarily challenge American power. The memory of the invasion of Iraq and the unequivocal message that sent is by far the most effective deterrent to Tehran developing a nuclear weapon.

If superpowers do not demonstrate an ability and a willingness to wield power (as Britain did on numerous occasions at the height of the Empire) their hegemony will be increasingly challenged. President Bush exercised U.S. military power to stunning effect in both Iraq and Afghanistan, an important reminder that America was still a force to be reckoned with after the 1990s humiliation of Somalia and the half-hearted missile strikes against Bin Laden in Sudan. In an age of growing threats and challenges, the projection of hard power matters, and America's next president would be wise to take heed.

Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Baltimore Picture

Federal Hill West in the vicinity of Cross Street.

Dave Barry Reviews 2008

How weird a year was it? Here's how weird:

  • O.J. actually got convicted of something.
  • Gasoline hit $4 a gallon -- and those were the good times.
  • On several occasions, "Saturday Night Live" was funny.
  • There were a few days there in October when you could not completely rule out the possibility that the next Treasury secretary would be Joe the Plumber.
  • Finally, and most weirdly, for the first time in history, the voters elected a president who -- despite the skeptics who said such a thing would never happen in the United States-- was neither a Bush nor a Clinton.

    Of course, not all the events of 2008 were weird. Some were depressing. The only U.S. industries that had a good year were campaign consultants and foreclosure lawyers. Everybody else got financially whacked. So, we can be grateful that 2008 is almost over. But before we leave it behind, let's take a few minutes to look back and see if we can find some small nuggets of amusement. Why not? We paid for it, starting with . . .

  • Read the whole thing here.
  • Honeysuckle Rose

    I have always liked Fats Waller's great jazz classic, "Honeysuckle Rose". It is interesting to see how it, like so many other jazz standards, has evolved over time.

    Here's the original performed by the man himself.

    And from the swing era, here's Benny Goodman's version.

    My personal favorite, here's Rose performed by Django Reinhardt and the Duke Ellington orchestra.

    And finally a contemporary version by Susan Arioli [love her voice] and Jordan Officer.

    Interesting to see how a song evolves. There are several dozen other versions on YouTube, Check them out to see which you like best.

    Saturday, December 27, 2008

    More Pennsylvania Pictures

    No theme this week. Just some random shots.

    This is the main square of New Philadelphia, a town in the coal region of Schuylkill County. I'm not sure what the founders expected when they named it, but it sure hasn't turned out like the other Philly.

    Mist on the mountain -- Pennsylvania may be glorious for nine months of the year, but right now it's just cold and bleak.

    And icy..., did I mention the ice?

    And who needs Christmas trees indoors, when you have these right outside.

    Local Hero

    A true cinephile:

    A South Philadelphia man enraged because a father and son were talking during a Christmas showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took care of the situation when he pulled a .380-caliber gun and shot the father, police said. ....

    After exchanging words, Vanore said Cialella allegedly got out of his seat to confront the family when the father got up to protect them. That's when the victim was shot once in the left arm, sending others in the theatre running to safety.

    Cialella then sat down to watch the movie. Police arrived a short time later and arrested Cialella and confiscated his weapon, Vanore said.

    That's the South Philly way. I mean, who hasn't wanted to shoot a talker during a film. Down there they actually do it.

    Read about the incident here.

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

    And now a classic Christmas poem.

    This cracked me up.

    A Visit from Saint Nicholas (In the Ernest Hemingway Manner) (James Thurber, 1927-12-24, New Yorker)

    It was the night before Christmas. The house was very quiet. No creatures were stirring in the house. There weren’t even any mice stirring. The stockings had been hung carefully by the chimney. The children hoped that Saint Nicholas would come and fill them.

    The children were in their beds. Their beds were in the room next to ours. Mamma and I were in our beds. Mamma wore a kerchief. I had my cap on. I could hear the children moving. We didn’t move. We wanted the children to think we were asleep.

    “Father,” the children said.

    There was no answer. He’s there, all right, they thought.

    “Father,” they said, and banged on their beds.

    “What do you want?” I asked.

    “We have visions of sugarplums,” the children said.

    [HT: Orrin Judd]

    Summing It Up

    Regarding the Obama/Blago mess, Andrew Malcolm of the L.A. Times has a headline that perfectly encapsulates the situation.
    Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team improprieties.
    Obama vouches for his own righteousness in the whole seamy business, so that settles it -- there's nothing here, move on, move on.

    The sad thing is that many in the MSM are so deep in the tank for the Young Messiah that they are perfectly willing to accept this nonsense.

    We are heading into dark and dangerous times.

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    More Environmentalist Follies

    From the American Thinker.
    As the storm quickly raced east, Washington, D.C. braced for its biggest snowfall of the season. Coincidently both the House and Senate had planned major climate convocations for the following day. Alarmed by the weather forecast, a notice was fired off to BlackBerrys across Capital Hill:
    "The [House] Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building has been postponed due to inclement weather."

    The title of the scheduled hearing was, "Climate Change: Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Human Activities Contributing to a Warming of the Planet?"

    Despite the House of Representatives' move to bag their global warming meeting because of non-global warming weather, undaunted, the Senate blindly went forward with theirs. Foreign bigwigs had been called to Washington for this summit and cancelling it would have created great inconvenience-and embarrassment for their Senate host, Senator John McCain. As the dignitaries cruised from their D.C. hotels through the snow-covered city in gas-guzzling 4-wheel drive Suburbans, they witnessed the fluffy white evidence of the biggest snowfall of the season. In addition, the temperature was a stunning 11° below normal. Acting oblivious to the reality outdoors, McCain foolishly addressed the assembled group and said, "The debate is over, my friends. The question is, what do we do?"
    Read it here.

    Oh, Johnny, we hardly knew ya. Maybe it's a good thing you lost, such obstinate stupidity should not be rewarded, but the Obameister is no better. If anything he is even more deluded than our Johnny.

    These are dark and dangerous times and the worst, filled with passionate intensity, have taken the reins of power.


    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Woman Of the Year

    Human Events has an exclusive interview with Sarah Palin, their "Conservative Woman of the Year".

    Check it out here.

    Global Cooling

    Just as the Obamination ramps up efforts to combat global warming scientists confirm that the earth is in a long-term cooling cycle. Read about it here.

    Enviromental Overpromising

    Once again environmentalists promise benefits that ain't gonna happen nohow.

    The Telegraph reports:

    The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) has agreed to scale down its calculation for the amount of harmful carbon dioxide emission that can be eliminated by using wind turbines to generate electricity instead of burning fossil fuels such as coal or gas.

    The move is a serious setback for the advocates of wind power, as it will be regarded as a concession that twice as many wind turbines as previously calculated will be needed to provide the same degree of reduction in Britain's carbon emissions.

    Read it here.

    The Good President (continued) -- Comforter in Chief

    From the Washington Times:

    For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

    Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.


    But the size and scope of Mr. Bush's and Mr. Cheney's private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.

    Read it here.

    I've said it before and I';ll say it again: George W. Bush is a far, far better person than most of his critics.

    Christmas in Iraq

    All I can say is "Wow!"

    From the Iraqi Interior Minister: "All Iraqis are Christians today"!

    The occasion? Baghdad's first Christmas celebration.

    Read CNN's report here.

    Gateway Pundit is all over the story here.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Minimum Wage

    The debate has been raging ever since the Progressive Era -- does minimum wage legislation benefit the working class or harm it? Well, recently David Neumark and William L. Wascher undertook a massive study charting the effects of minimum wage laws. The results of their investigations?
    Based on their comprehensive reading of the evidence, Neumark and Wascher argue that minimum wages do not achieve the main goals set forth by their supporters. They reduce employment opportunities for less-skilled workers and tend to reduce their earnings; they are not an effective means of reducing poverty; and they appear to have adverse longer-term effects on wages and earnings, in part by reducing the acquisition of human capital. The authors argue that policymakers should instead look for other tools to raise the wages of low-skill workers and to provide poor families with an acceptable standard of living.
    Do tell!

    The results are reported here.

    Perfidious Albion

    The Brits are leaving Basra with their tails between their legs and the US is moving in to keep order. Read about it here.

    Michael Portillo, writing in the Times of London traces the full extent of British failure in Iraq and contrasts it with the success the USA has enjoyed there.

    The fundamental cause of the British failure was political.... Blair could not hold public opinion over the medium term and so he cut troop numbers fast and sought to avoid casualties. As a result, British forces lost control of Basra and left the population at the mercy of fundamentalist thugs and warring militias, in particular Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

    The secondary cause of failure was a misplaced British disdain for America, shared by our politicians and senior military. In the early days in Iraq we bragged that our forces could deploy in berets and soft-sided vehicles while US forces roared through Baghdad in heavily armoured convoys. British leaders sneered at the Americans’ failure to win hearts and minds because of their lack of experience in counterinsurgency.

    Pride has certainly come before a fall. British commanders underestimated both the enemy’s effectiveness and the Americans’ ability to adapt.
    Not only the British political class, but that of the United States failed to understand that wars are dynamic situations where adaptability is everything. Fortunately we had a President who was far wiser than his critics.

    If a fair-minded account of the Iraq war is written, credit should go to President Bush for rejecting two years ago the report by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that called for force reductions. He defied conventional wisdom and ordered a troop surge instead. It has been an extraordinary success and, unlike Britain, the Americans will not withdraw in defeat.
    Of course a fair-minded account of the Iraq conflict is not likely to be forthcoming for some time. Far too many people in both Britain and America are today invested in a narrative that blames President Bush for all the world's ills real and imagined.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Saturday, December 20, 2008

    More Pennsylvania Pictures

    After the snow fell I peeked out the door and this was what I saw. Brrrrrr.

    The next morning I walked over to a friend's house to give her a Christmas gift. She invited me in for tea [she's British]. Here's the view she has from her living room.

    Nice, eh? After a pleasant hour of tea and biscuits and conversation I headed home again through the woods.

    There was a lot of ice on the ground and mist in the air -- not much to see. Here's all that was visible of the mountains above the Schuylkill.

    Maybe next week I'll have something more striking to post.

    Here's hoping.

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    In Rememberance

    Turner Classic Movies tribute to those who passed this year. Definitely worth a looksee.

    So many greats..., so many....

    SantaCorp Bailout

    Iowahawk reports:

    WASHINGTON - Flanked by officials from the United Elf Toytinkerers union, SantaCorp CEO Kris Kringle today told the House Ways and Means Committee that without immediate government financial help, his firm would be forced to declare bankruptcy, lay off thousands of elves and reindeer, and potentially cancel its annual worldwide Christmas Eve toy delivery.

    "These are grim economic times for everyone, but even more so for non-profit toy manufacturers in the Snow Belt," said Kringle. "Our accountants have indicated that we are on track to exhaust our reserves of cash and magical pixie fairydust by December 23. Oh deary me."

    Kringle and UET union president Binky McGiggles presented a draft emergency bailout plan to the committee calling for US $18 trillion in federal grants, loan guarantees, and sugarplum gumdrops that they said would keep the company solvent through December 26.

    "We believe this proposal shows that management and labor can work together to craft a reasonable, financially responsible short-term survival plan," said McGiggles. "After the new Congress is seated in January, we would be happy to return to present a long-term package to get us through April."

    Kringle warned that failure to approve the plan would have dire global economic consequences.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Contemplating Colin Powell

    Victor Davis Hanson contemplates the incoherence of Colin Powell's public pronouncements and marvels. [here]

    Hanson feigns perplexity, but the reason for Powell's dissembling is obvious. He was and remains a conservative in most things, but felt compelled, for reasons of racial solidarity, to support Obama, and had to justify that support. His explanation was that the right wing had gained too much influence in the Republican Party. He knows that is untrue, but speaking that falsehood was, for him, preferable to admitting his racial bias.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Lies of the Left

    Kathy Shaidle over at the Examiner is soliciting nominations for the "Worst Liberal Lies of 2008". The list is quite impressive.

    Check it out here.

    Dynastic Politics

    From Kate at Small Dead Animals:

    I think it's great that the son of Basil Paterson gets to choose between the daughter of JFK or the son of Mario Cuomo in order to replace the wife of Bill Clinton in the Senate. Thank God for democracy.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Bjorn Lomborg Talks Sense on Climate Change

    One of the world's leading environmentalists takes issue with B. Obama's recent statements on climate change.

    IN one of his first public policy statements as America's president-elect, Barack Obama focused on climate change, and clearly stated both his priorities and the facts on which these priorities rest. Unfortunately, both are weak, or even wrong.
    He points out that:

    trying to reduce CO2 emissions would have done nothing to benefit the citizens of New Orleans, but that better building codes, evacuation procedures and wetland protection would have saved lives.

    expensive climate control measures will do nothing to feed the world's hungry and in some cases [such as ethanol production] excaberate the problem, and money would be far better expended in increasing agricultural productivity.

    rises in sea level are so small that they pose no threat to any human society and protective measures are far cheaper and more effectie than futile efforts to lower sea levels.

    contrary to public perceptions storms are not getting more frequent or more destructive.

    He concludes,

    "Global warming should be tackled, but smartly through research and development of low-carbon alternatives" rather than through simplistic, ineffective, and expensive measures currently being advocated by Obama and many other world leaders.

    Read it here.

    Then check out one of Lomborg's recent presentations on smart alternatives to the Gore agenda.

    Confronting the Auto Crisis

    Perhaps the best commentary on the plight of the "Big Three" automakers is by Michael Barone, based on observations by Mickey Kaus. He notes that the labor contracts negotiated with the UAW reflect technologies and a confrontational style of labor relations that are both very much out of date. The large industrial unions and the management practices that made them necessary are out of place in modern America and a viable solution to the current crisis will take note of that fact. Unfortunately, the Democrats are not listening.

    Read Barone here.
    Read Kaus here.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    The Best of Iowahawk

    David Burge [aka: Iowahawk] is the funniest man in the blogosphere. To commemorate his five year run he has posted his twenty-five best posts.

    Check them out here. He's hilarious.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    What a Game!!!!!

    What a game!!!! WHAT A GAME!!!!!

    The two best defenses in the league went at each other at Ravens Stadium and the result was just what you would expect -- a great defensive struggle. Going into the last minute of the game the Ravens were leading 9 to 6, when the Steelers finally scored the game's only touchdown to take the lead 13 to 9. And that, my friends, is just how the game ended. There couldn't have been a more satisfactory conclusion to a magnificent game.

    Before the game, partying on the club level. Actually, for a lot of people it was partying during the game, especially in the second half when the temperature dropped.

    There were lots of Steeler fans in town, and of course they brought their "terrible towels" with them. The natives let us know what they thought of Myron Cope's little motivator.

    And overhead the sky was strange. I think this is what novelists would describe as a "lowering" sky.

    That's all right. What matters is what happened on the field of play and that was nothing short of magnificent. Here's the winning play. The stadium only allows you to bring small cameras in so I was stuck with a slow response shutter and couldn't take shots in a rapid sequence. Trust me, Big Ben is going to complete this pass for a touchdown.

    And finally an extremely satisfying walk home surrounded by ecstatic Pittsburghers and dejected Ravens fans.

    Aaaaaaah! It just doesn't get any better than this.

    Sheer, Utter, Lunacy

    A convocation of "Earth Firsters" in North Carolina [HT, Richard Fernandez]

    Sarah Palin's Church Torched

    I hope this isn't what it seems to be -- left-wing terrorism directed against Alaska's governor:

    AP reports:

    ANCHORAGE, Dec. 13 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's home church was badly damaged by arson, leading the governor to apologize Saturday if the fire was connected to "undeserved negative attention" from her campaign as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

    Damage to the Wasilla Bible Church was estimated at $1 million, authorities said. No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside....
    Read it here.

    Consider the contrast -- Rev. Wright's church was a hotbed of racist hate for decades, but there was never any threat against it, but Sarah Palin runs for VP and the torches come out. Interesting....

    The Good President (continued) -- Bush in Iraq

    President Bush made an unannounced visit to Iraq. Reuters reports:
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President George W. Bush made an unannounced farewell visit to Baghdad on Sunday.... [snarky comment removed].

    Bush flew secretly to the Iraqi capital to hold talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and address a rally of U.S. troops.

    "Bush has come to meet Iraqi leaders, thank the troops and celebrate the new security agreement," a White House official said.

    Bush arrived first by helicopter at the presidential palace for talks with President Jalal Talabani and his two vice-presidents. He planned to meet later with Maliki.

    Bush's trip -- his fourth to Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion -- follows approval of a security pact between Washington and Baghdad last month that paves the way for U.S. forces to withdraw by the end of 2011.

    Read it here.

    Jules Crittenden calls it a "victory lap" and gives reasons why. I think he's right. Read him here.

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Victor Davis Hanson has excellent advice for anyone seeking to sort out the substance from the superficial aspects of the endless stream of charges launched against the Bush administration.

    When someone screams about a terrible policy of the present administration, just pose four questions:

    First, was the controversial decision taken with bipartisan support? Second, were there precedents for such action in prior Democratic administrations? Third, will such polices continue under the newly elected Obama administration? Four, have the media changed their position on the issue since the November election?

    If the answer is yes to these questions, then the acrimony was probably about politics and style, not principle and substance.
    Read the whole thing here.

    Pure Genius

    Tim Conway at his best. The Painless Dentist bit from the funniest show ever to be seen on TV.

    HT: TT

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Palin Update

    Sarah Palin is not going to go away. In fact, she is starting to burnish her credentials. Now she is conducting international negotiations has begun to speak out on foreign affairs

    CTV reports:
    Just a few days after signing a historic agreement that will see a Canadian company build a massive pipeline to flow natural gas from Alaska to Alberta, Gov. Sarah Palin says she is working to strengthen relations with Canada, and Barack Obama should too.

    Palin, who recently lost her vice-presidential bid on a shared ticket with presidential candidate John McCain, spoke to CTV's Canada AM from Fairbanks, Alaska, just after signing the deal with TransCanada pipeline. She granted the company US$500 million to plan the pipeline, with construction set to begin in 2011.

    She suggested the contract is an example of cross-border co-operation that Democratic president-elect Barack Obama can learn from.

    "I want to grow the relationship we have with Canada," Palin said.

    Read it here.

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    The Collapse of Western Civilization

    Roger Kimball has a nice piece in the New Criterion on the Orwellian effort to drain Western Culture of its distinctive character. One of the instances he cites is the latest revision of the new English children's dictionary which has removed entire categories of words and replaced them with new technospeak. It is not surprising that all words relating to Christian worship should have mysteriously disappeared, but why would the editors remove words describing the natural environment. Words like,
    Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow
    I must be getting old. None of this makes any sense to me.

    Read Kimball's column here.

    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    4E is Gone

    Forrest J. [Forry, 4E] Ackerman has died at age 92. He was the editor of "Famous Monsters of Filmdom", a legendary collector, and the world's greatest Science Fiction fan. In fandom he was both honored and excoriated for having coined the term "Sci-Fi" [which some FAANs derisively pronounce "Skiffy"]. At his home, "the Akermansion", he housed the world's largest collection of science fiction memorabilia. Rest assured, fandom will be memorializing this man for months -- he was the greatest of them.

    Read about it here.

    Keaton At His Best

    One of my favorite films of all time is Buster Keaton's "The General". Garry Giddens has a nice piece on the film and why everyone should see it over at Slate [here].

    The Doghouse

    I don't care if it is a crass commercial advertisement, it's funny.

    Check it out here.

    Friday, December 05, 2008

    Evolution of a Standard

    Woody Allen and his Jazzmen present a strange version of one of my old favorites "After You've Gone Away". I like it, in spite of [or perhaps because of] the absurd vibrato.

    Whoever posted this on YouTube mislabled it as "Dippermouth Blues" [an old Louis Armstrong Dixieland number]. Here's what the real Dippermouth Blues sounds like. Looking for it I ran across this, an even earlier version of the song [way back when it was called the "Sugarfoot Stomp"] performed by Bert Firman and his Band in 1927.

    Googling around a bit I learned that Dippermouth Blues had originally been written by Joe "King" Oliver.

    Here's Ken Burns' bit on Oliver and his influence on Satchmo.

    Discursive stuff over -- back to the subject.

    And what about the original song, "After You've Gone Away"? It was composed back in 1918 by Turner Layton who also composed "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" [1922]. If you don't remember "Way Down Yonder" here's Satchmo's version.

    There..., I knew you would remember it. I sure do -- it was one of my favorite pieces when I was a kid.

    Finally, back to where I began. It seems everyone and his/her brother has recorded "After You've Gone Away".

    Here's how it sounded back as originally written. The singer is Marion Harris.

    Here's what Bing Crosby did with the song. And here is Judy Garland doing it. I couldn't find the Frank Sinatra version, but he did it too. And here's Sophie Tucker. The song is still being recorded. Here is Brit singer Jamie Cullen's version, recorded in 2007.

    Here's my favorite version. Freddy Taylor singing with Django Reinhardt.

    Looooooooove that Gypsy Jazz.

    And this is for Diane [Sissy Sue] -- Chet Atkins and Suzy Bogguss do it.

    And finally, what most people consider to be the definitive version, by Bessie Smith.

    Now wasn't that nice? Of course it was! This is why I absolutely love YouTube. All of music history is there, just waiting for you to discover it.

    Another Smokin' Hot Republican Babe

    Meet S. E. Cupp, co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right", columnist for "Human Events" and semi-regular on FOX News' "Red Eye". Check out her blog here.

    Matthews' E. D. Problem

    Alex, over at the Pennsylvania Water Cooler, explains what bothers him about Chris Matthews:
    His leg tingles for Obama, but he can’t get it up for Sarah?

    Read it here.

    Pennsylvania Pictures -- Village Views

    Time for some more Pennsylvania pictures. Nothing new this week, so here are some oldies -- all taken around the village [excuse me, "borough"].


    The Good President (continued)

    Mona Charen has a nice piece out on President Bush's aid to Africa, a magnificent humanitarian effort for which he has gotten little or no credit.

    From the beginning of his administration, President Bush has pushed for more aid to Africa. Motivated perhaps by his deeply felt Christian faith (relieving poverty in Africa has become a major charitable push among evangelicals), the president has pressed for greater aid to Africa across the board. The original PEPFAR legislation (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), which passed in 2003, was the largest single health investment by any government ever ($15 billion). At the time the initiative was launched, only about 50,000 sub-Saharan Africans were receiving antiretroviral treatment for AIDS. Today, 1.7 million people in the region, as well as tens of thousands more around the globe, are receiving such treatment. PEPFAR has also funded efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus, provided compassionate care to the sick and dying, and cared for 5 million orphans. One aspect of the program has been to reduce the stigma of the AIDS diagnosis in Africa.

    In July of this year, the president requested that funding for PEPFAR be doubled to $30 billion. The new funding will be used to train 140,000 new health-care workers. It would also address other illnesses, like tuberculosis, that often complicate AIDS.

    The president also backed a malaria initiative that has provided an estimated 25 million Africans with nets, spraying, and other prevention and treatment options. Separate from the AIDS funds, the president has tripled development assistance and humanitarian aid to Africa since taking office.

    Read it here.

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    Chris Matthews Wants to be Pennsylvania's Next Senator

    To politically aware people "Senator" Chris Matthews may sound ridiculous, but apparently it is no more so than "Senator" Al Franken.

    Rasmussen notes that Matthews starts out only three points behind Specter.

    A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters finds Specter leading MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews by just three percentage points, 46% to 43%, in a match-up that may foreshadow one of the nation's most closely-watched Senate races.
    Read it here.

    The problem is that about one/third of Republicans won't vote for Specter.

    This internal warfare is going to kill the Party. Not only McCain, but moderates everywhere are in danger. Look at what happened in New England.

    Is this making the perfect the enemy of the good?

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    McCain Voters Better Informed than Obamaniacs

    Remember that poll a few weeks ago that revealed a startling degree of ignorance on the part of Obama voters? Of course you do. Well, now the same organization has quizzed McCain voters. The results:

    The survey, a follow-up study to an earlier controversial poll conducted by Zogby International of Obama voters, finds that McCain voters were generally more politically aware of issues and events surrounding the presidential race than voters who supported Barack Obama. The poll also found a direct correlation between media consumption, issue knowledge and voter preference.

    Read it here.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    Iowahawk Strikes Again

    The funniest blog on the net responds to Alex Witt's idiotic statements on MSNBC suggesting that the election of Obama should have brought about a halt to, or at least a diminishment of, terrorist attacks.

    Apologetic Mumbai Killers: "We Didn't Get the Memo About Obama"

    MUMBAI - Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole surviving member of the 10-man team of Pakistani gunmen that left hundreds dead or wounded after a bloody three day rampage in Mumbai, today blamed the mayhem on an "email mixup" that left him and his colleagues unaware that Barack Obama had won election as President of the United States.

    "What? Oh bloody hell,

    now you tell me," said Kasab, as he was led away in handcuffs by Indian security forces.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Obama On Your Shoulder

    Mary Katherine Ham has a dream...., and it's not a nice one.


    Another Emily Litella Moment

    The MSM hasn't paid it much attention.

    Remember all those headlines a few weeks ago about Vice President Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzolas being indicted? Of course you do -- the lefties had a field day with it.

    Well..., "Never mind!"

    AP reports:
    A judge dismissed indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday and told the south Texas prosecutor who brought the case to exercise caution as his term in office ends.
    Read about it here. The details are really bizarre.

    Saturday, November 29, 2008

    More Pennsylvania Pictures

    Things that caught my eye.

    This is a statue of Henry Clay, "The Great Compromiser". It overlooks Pottsville, up in Schuylkill County. Clay was born in Virginia and achiever political distinction in Kentucky. So why is he being honored by a Pennsylvania city? The answer, I suspect, lies in his determined promotion of a system of internal improvements, "The American System", that involved the construction of an elaborate network of roads and canals designed to knit the new nation together. One of the areas that most benefited from canal construction was the hard-coal region. It was the Schuylkill Canal that linked Pottsville and its coal industry to the urban areas where hard coal was consumed. So it is only logical that the foremost booster of canal development should be honored in Pottsville.

    A few years ago we cut a tree in our yard [sob!]. Gradually the stump rotted away. This is all that is left. Sorta pretty..., for a fungus.

    Fishing on the Susquhanna.

    Just north of Reading in Berks County. The image isn't all it should be. I was in a moving car and the focus is a bit off, and the depth of field isn't what it should be. I just didn't have time to change lenses. But I'll be back, and next time I'll be prepared.

    The Good President (continued)

    Victor Davis Hanson explains why the Obama presidency, even if successful, will improve the reputation of George Bush.

    [W]e will come, through the Obama prism, to see that Bush's sins were largely the absence of rhetorical skills, unfortunate shoot 'em braggadocio in 2003-4, the federal response to Katrina, and a certain administration haughtiness about the problems in Iraq between 2002-6, but not most of his policies that included prescription drugs, No Child Left Behind, AIDs relief in Africa, the removal of two odious regimes, and consensual governments in their places, a framework at home to stop 9/11-type terrorism, and good working partnerships with key allies abroad such as Britain, Germany, France, Italy, India, et al, and a pragmatism in handling rivals like Russia and China.

    In short, given all that, Obama's victory (predicating on painting Bush as a Hoover/Nixon redux), more so even than perhaps a John McCain's, may do more for Bush's reputation that anyone ever imagined. And the Mumbai mess (over there, not here) will only empasize all this, as an array of old 9/11-era experts who used to warn us about radical Islam, then, in the subsequent respite at home, screamed that Bush fabricated a war against terror against bogeymen, and now in their third manifestation are paraded once more out to warn us about?—why, yes, radical Islam!
    Read the whole thing here.

    Just Because I Feel Like It

    Here are some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time performing "Honeysuckle Rose".

    Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! That's nice.

    Friday, November 28, 2008

    Explaining the Collapse

    Megan McArdle has an excellent explanation of why the political response to the collapse of the credit markets is both inadequate and misdirected.

    Everyone wants a villain: lefties want to hear that it was greedy bankers, or cold-hearted deregulators (or better yet, both!) who are entirely and 100% to blame; conservatives want to hear that it was poor people taking out loans they knew they couldn't pay off, and a pandering government that leaned on companies and the taxpayer to hand those irresponsible wretches free money.

    Nature is not a novelist. Reality does not come packaged in narrative form, and rarely gifts us with either true heroes, or true villains.

    It is safe to say that almost everyone involved in this mess, from the borrowers to the bankers, thought that they were getting away with something—at the very least, that they had found a way to get rich without working. It is an old saw that no one can be conned unless they are willing to believe in something for nothing, and the best cons generally get the victim to believe that he is putting one over on the con man.

    It is trivial to observe that humans are imperfect; that is why institutions exist.

    Read it here. Emphasis mine.

    I would only add that institutions are created by humans, staffed and directed by humans, and therefore subject to all the frailties and foibles of humanity.

    Bush, Obama, and India

    Andrew McCarthy notes that India seems to be something of a blind spot for President-elect Obama and that the world's largest democracy, at least on the basis of his public utterances, has barely penetrated his consciousness. Fortunately, though, President George W. Bush has thought long and hard about India and has worked diligently for years, largely ignored by the MSM, to improve relations between the U. S. and New Delhi. In future years Obama and his successors will inherit and benefit from the unremarked labors of one of our nation's finest Presidents.

    Read McCarthy's comments here.

    And even the New York Times is forced to note how incredibly naive is Obama's stated policy toward the region, which focuses on Pakistan in hopes of enlisting the Pakistani government in the war against al Qaeda in exchange for better relations with India.

    Reconciliation between India and Pakistan has emerged as a basic tenet in the approaches to foreign policy of President-elect Barack Obama, and the new leader of Central Command, Gen. David H. Petraeus. The point is to persuade Pakistan to focus less of its military effort on India, and more on the militants in its lawless tribal regions who are ripping at the soul of Pakistan.

    A strategic pivot by Pakistan’s military away from a focus on India to an all-out effort against the Taliban and their associates in Al Qaeda, the thinking goes, would serve to weaken the militants who are fiercely battling American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

    At least that is an improvement over Obama's promise, during the campaign, to invade Pakistan.

    Read the NYT piece here.

    Of course the NYT, with its customary mendacity, implies that reconciliation between India and Pakistan is original with Obama's foreign policy team. They don't note that when George Bush took office India and Pakistan were on the brink of nuclear war, and that determined and sophisticated diplomacy by the Bush administration was instrumental in convincing both sides to back down and to establish a framework for future cooperation. Bush has also drawn India into a number of regional agreements on security, on the environment, and on economic cooperation that have been enormously beneficial while at the same time establishing an agreement with the Pakistani government that allows us to take limited action against al Qaeda in the tribal regions of northern Pakistan. This agreement, forged with the Musharraf regime, has survived and even been expanded under the new Pakistani leadership and is a testament to the sophisticated and effective diplomacy of the Bush administration. In recent months it has paid off with a number of successful military strikes against al Qaeda facilities and leadership in the tribal regions.

    Now Obama, unwilling to directly confront al Qaeda, seeks to enlist the Pakistani government directly in the fight promising better ties to India. That policy, however, is impossible. Whatever tentative agreements might be reached would be hostage to any incident such as what we saw this week in Mumbai. Bush's policy, which recognizes that building strategic and economic ties with India is immensely more important than "getting Bin Laden", is far superior to the silly fantasies currently issuing from the Obama camp.

    And, parenthetically, we might note that the NYT falsely implies that General Petraeus' shares Obama's enthusiasm for a Pakistani based approach to regional diplomacy. What they are referring to is the narrow consideration that cooperation from Islamabad would be a great boon to our military efforts in Afghanistan and against al Qaeda. Of course, Gen. Petraeus recognizes this and would welcome such cooperation. But to confuse the tactical considerations of the battlefield with regional diplomacy is at best duplicitous. Presidents, as George Bush understands, are far more than military commanders in chief. They have to take into account of a wide range of considerations and give each appropriate weight in making their decisions. During his eight years in office President Bush has performed admirably in this regard.

    He has achieved an unofficial agreement with Islamabad that allows us considerable freedom of action in pursuing al Qaeda and interdicting its operations within the tribal areas. And, simultaneously, we have been instrumental in stabilizing relations throughout the entire region while building solid institutional frameworks for future cooperation. That's quite an accomplishment, but maintaining it will require sophisticated and sensitive negotiations. Let us hope that Obama and his minions will be able in the future to build on the significant achievements of the Bush administration.

    The Good President

    Don Surber, an eminently sensible man, knew this year what to be thankful for -- President Bush! He writes:
    Bush may leave the White House with the lowest approval rating of any president who served two terms.

    That doesn't matter.

    A safer world does. And that is why I am grateful for the presidency of George Walker Bush.

    Read it here.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008


    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    The Civil War in Four Minutes

    Also from Spinning Clio, The Civil War in Four Minutes.

    Neat! Marc is one smart guy. Check out his blog here.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    So Much for Objectivity

    I have watched with dismay as the historical profession has slowly but surely been taken over by left wing ideologues and Democrat partisan hacks. Witness the rush to proclaim President Bush the "worst ever". Now Robert Dallek, before the man has even taken the oath of office, has proclaimed Obama to be one of the great ones, comparable to the Roosevelts, Wilson, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan.

    Read it here.


    Hat Tip, Marc at Spinning Clio.

    Bill Clinton's Third Term

    Iowahawk reveals the next Obama appointment:

    Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post

    WASHINGTON DC - Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch.

    "I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration," said Obama. "He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet."

    Clinton said he was "excited and honored" by the appointment, and would work "day and night" to defeat all the key policy objectives proposed by Mr. Obama during the campaign.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Misdirected Anger

    Tom Sowell, one of the wisest men in America, explains why focusing public anger on the CEO's of major corporations is not only misguided, but dangerous.

    Read it here.

    Bush was Right -- Victory in Iraq (continued)

    Michael Yon reports from Iraq:
    [E]very indicator to me is that we are winning the Iraq war at an ever-increasing rate.... AQI is being defeated.... This is shaping up into a strategic defeat for al-Qaeda, not just AQI. I first started writing this in about July 2007; people thought I was nuts. Now it’s being widely recognized that al-Qaeda global is being devastated. (Though they will continue to kill us, and especially be a problem in places like Afghanistan.) The loss in Afghanistan and also their crimes against humanity are sending shockwaves through the Arab and Islamic world. If anyone hates al-Qaeda more than Americans, it’s Iraqis and some others who have suffered under them.
    So, Bush was right again. By invading Iraq he made it the central front in the Global War on Terror, and victory there has had huge beneficial consequences throughout the Arab and Islamic world.

    The Iraq phase of the GWOT is winding down.
    I believe that by the end of this year, there is a very high chance that a reasonable observer will be able to say, “The Iraq war has ended.” This does not mean that we will not take a small number of casualties each month, but that the war will end and we can switch to helping Iraq stand, and truly start to bring more of our folks home.
    The remaining military problem is the Shiite militias which are increasingly being marginalized even within the Shia population. That means that the biggest problem we currently face is the cadre of professional journalists. The election has removed one motive for partsian journalists to systematically mis-represent what is happening in Iraq. Their boy won. But there remains a second motive -- careerism.
    I am in daily contact with journalists in Iraq and some of them do not want to let the war go. The war has lofted them into positions that they did not previously have (like me, for instance), and some of them do not want to let it go. I can see it. On the one hand, it’s clear they want it to end, but on the other, it’s the highlight of their careers. I have not discussed this with the journalists, but I have noticed the pattern in their communications. They seem almost worried that it’s ending....
    Finally, the pace of change in Iraq is so great that it is hard for observers to get their minds around it.
    When the war was on full-steam there was so much to report that it was impossible to keep track. And now that peace is breaking out, it’s equally impossible to keep track of all the progress.
    Make not mistake about it. This phase of the GWOT is over, and we and the Iraqi people have won. It is impossible at this time to calculate accurately the long-term consequences of the War of Iraqi Liberation, but the outlook for progress in Iraq and throughout the entire region are immense, and the man who made it possible was George W. Bush.

    Read Yon's whole piece here.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    More Misery in Zimbabwe -- Now It's Cholera

    Things just keep getting worse in Mad Bobby Mugabe's racist, Maoist, anti-colonial Hell on Earth. Now on top of all the other troubles there is a cholera outbreak.
    The situation in Zimbabwe may soon "implode" as a cholera outbreak spreads and basic services collapse, South African leaders and a group of international statesmen warned yesterday.

    On the eve of talks in South Africa between Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and opposition rivals, South African leaders sharply upgraded their crisis assessment and warned of Zimbabwe's imminent collapse if urgent action was not taken.

    About 6,000 people have contracted cholera in recent weeks, according to the UN, and almost 300 have died. A chronic shortage of medicine has sent hundreds of people south to seek treatment in South Africa.


    The cholera epidemic has been caused by the collapse in the water and sanitation infrastructure. Cases have been reported in nine of the country's 10 provinces. Fatality rates are well above the international emergency rate of 1% due to a lack of drugs and medical assistance.

    Read the whole thing here.

    The Faded Dream

    California was once the embodiment of the American dream -- the golden State where anything was possible. Well, it sure ain't that any more. Californians are leaving in droves seeking refuge in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, even to the socialist states of Oregon and Washington.

    Victor Davis Hanson, a native-born Californian who remembers the old days, writes:
    California is now a valuable touchstone to the country, a warning of what not to do. Rarely has a single generation inherited so much natural wealth and bounty from the investment and hard work of those more noble now resting in our cemeteries—and squandered that gift within a generation. Compare the vast gulf from old Governor Pat Brown to Gray Davis or Arnold Schwarzenegger. We did not invest in many dams, canals, rails, and airports (though we use them all to excess); we sued each other rather than planned; wrote impact statements rather than left behind infrastructure; we redistributed, indulged, blamed, and so managed all at once to create a state with about the highest income and sales taxes and the worst schools, roads, hospitals, and airports. A walk through downtown San Francisco, a stroll up the Fresno downtown mall, a drive along highway 101 (yes, in many places it is still a four-lane, pot-holed highway), an afternoon at LAX, a glance at the catalogue of Cal State Monterey, a visit to the park in Parlier—all that would make our forefathers weep. We can’t build a new nuclear plant; can’t drill a new offshore oil well; can’t build an all-weather road across the Sierra; can’t build a few tracts of new affordable houses in the Bay Area; can’t build a dam for a water-short state; and can’t create even a mediocre passenger rail system. Everything else—well, we do that well.

    Read it here.

    It used to be said that trends began in California and spread from there to the whole country. Let us hope that such is no longer the case. The California dream has become a cautionary tale.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008


    So the auto execs flew in to Washington on corporate jets..., so what?

    The WSJ prints this reaction:

    The real story is how journalism in this country is so incompetent when it comes to any stories that deal with economics, that the best they can come up with is a "gotcha" story about CEOs and corporate jets.
    What is wrong with a company like GM having a private jet for executive business? If anything, this meeting in Washington is the most important one in the company's history. Its entire business future depends on it. If you are a GM employee, would you really want the CEO stuck in Cleveland and missing the hearing that might decide the fate of the company because he missed his connection on Continental?
    This story goes beyond lunacy, because it is a glaring example of how journalism has failed to accurately report the things that were happening that caused the financial meltdown. The majority of the major stories seem to follow the same themes: exuberant corporate bonuses, corporate excess and the wacky things that corporate America does (AIG going to a spa). If the media did their job, we would be a lot more informed as to why we are in the situation we are in right now. I'm still waiting.
    Read it here.

    Exactly. I remember a time long ago when we supposed that journalists who covered a beat were reasonably well-informed on the subject of their stories. Those days, however, are long gone. With a few exceptions, all we have left is semi-educated dolts trying to sound knowledgeable on matters about which they have not a clue.

    Of course the only reason the idiot press focused on the planes was the fact that a few loathsome Congresscritters decided to make an issue of it.


    I suppose by now everyone has seen the Sarah Palin "Turkey Slaughter" interview. If not, here it is.

    There has been a lot of silly commentary, especially on MSNBC, where pundits have taken it to be proof of Sarah's moral as well as intellectual inadequacy [here].

    My personal reaction..., 'bout the same as Mark Steyn's:

    I didn't think I could like Sarah Palin more than I do, but the nancy boys at MSNBC bleating all over the screen about the Great Turkey Carnage is hilarious....

    After she's sworn in in 2013, I hope President Palin arranges for a ritual turkey slaughter to be going on behind her at every press conference, if only during David Shuster's questions.

    Read it here.

    Byron York posts responses from NRO readers here. I particularly like this one:

    City people think that farms are "where life happens." Nonsense. Farming is about killing stuff. I don't even raise livestock or poultry and I have to kill stuff.

    I can get crops to grow by simply putting seed in the ground. The rest of my job is to kill, kill, kill. Kill weeds. Kill insect pests. Kill vertebrate pests. Whether by herbicide, pesticides, shooting, trapping, stomping, you name it — I spend far more time killing than I do making something grow. Mother nature takes care of the growing. I have to remove the competition. There have been days when I've trapped 50+ pocket gophers and shot 100 ground squirrels - before lunch. They needed killing, and the next day, more of them were killed because they needed killing. At other times, I've shot dozens of jackrabbits at night and flung them out into the sagebrush for coyotes to eat.

    And none of that starts in with helping neighbors slaughter steers, lambs, chickens, etc.

    That's farming: killing. Lots of it.

    I grew up around farms. He's right.

    One of the things I really, really like about Sarah is the kind of reaction she provokes in her critics. They really are unhinged.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    The Goldberg Rule

    "When Bill Maher agrees with you it's a sign you took a wrong turn somewhere." [here]

    Bush Was Right -- Kyoto

    The first in a series:

    Now that the election is safely over and the Democrats are poised to take charge, the MSM has belatedly begun to take a more realistic reassessment of President Bush and what he has done. On issue after issue it turns out that President Bush was right and his critics wrong. We can thank God that we elected a man with sufficient inner fortitude to withstand the gales of misguided criticism directed at him and to hold fast to what he knew was right.

    Remember all that venom spewed by the environmentalists and transnationalists over the subject of Kyoto? Conveniently ignoring the fact that the Clinton administration had blocked American participation in the international suicide pact, lefties of all stripes roundly denounced President Bush for refusal to adopt the Kyoto Accords. Much of the poison was spread by European governments that had already adopted Kyoto standards and insisted that the United States join them in their mad rush over the precipice.

    Well, that was then and now is now. It turns out that the Kyoto standards were not only impractical, they were a terrible burden on the economies of developed nations [something that President Bush in his wisdom understood and tried to warn us about]. For years now, while blathering on and on about the need for America to adopt Kyoto standards, EU nations have quietly failed to meet their own agreed goals [here]. Their denunciations of Bush have been, to say the least, duplicitous. This year Italy and Poland have already signaled their willingness to abandon the treaty and now German German Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined them.

    Italy and Germany agree that measures to cut greenhouse gases shouldn't weigh on the economy, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference Tuesday, indicating government support for tough new measures in Europe is waning.

    Any new European Union decisions on climate change and energy "must be taken in such a way as to not weigh on industry" in Europe, she said at a press conference televised live by Sky Italia.
    Read the whole thing here.

    Note that Chancellor Merkel's statemend carries the implication that President Bush was right in his insistence that the international regulatory standards being proposed would place an intolerable burden on advanced economies and that his refusal to join the mad rush was indeed the course of wisdom.