Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Bruni Book Review - - My reading list follows Andrew Sullivan’s book club, but I read them on my own time. Over the weekend, I managed to finish Frank Bruni’s book Ambling into History and the review has been posted at Opinionet.com. I hope you enjoy.

The New York Sun - - Bought my first copy of the New York Sun. I have to say that it is a pretty cool paper, though small. The very first article I read was about NY Mayor Bloomberg and the fall out from him unilaterally declaring that Taiwan is a separate nation from China. You can tell the paper thinks so, and maybe I miss this in other papers, but the article would only refer to China as, “Red China”. I like that.

UN Olive Branch - - Readers of Dispatches know I am no “friend” to the juvenile toiling of the United Nations, but yesterday they voted to get the US back on the UN Human Rights Commission.

Huntington name dropping - - I’ve recently begun rereading Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations book, and love it when he come up elsewhere. Stanley Kurtz has an interesting piece today at NRO. Beyond the Huntington content, the article raises an excellent basic premise:

“This war is different. Without a clear declaration, or even a well-defined and stable enemy, there will be repeated lulls in the fighting, and therefore repeated opportunities for domestic debates between "state of nature" hawks and "social contract" doves. For now, the problem is at least partially submerged. The country is still united behind the president, and for many, differences over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seem not to be about the war on terror. Yet the debate over the Powell mission threatens to become the characteristic debate of this very open-ended war against terror.”

Monday, April 29, 2002

Argentina thoughts? - - No I don’t have any, in fact I can honestly say that I haven’t devoted one second of thought to this place, er, until now. I will leave it to Brink Lindsey: “What does one say about a car in the interval between its zooming over the cliff and its bursting into flames on the canyon floor below?” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt.

My weekly ESR column - - is up today, and guess what, more DC nonsense if anyone cares. pork, France, and AOL are some of the topics. Enjoy.

Europolitics - - Vast right wing conspiracy of Europe? We could only hope-but even Austria’s Haider doesn’t care for Pepi Le Pen.

Media News of the day - - Very strange collection of news stories from Drudge and beyond today. Johnny Carson breaks long silence and proceeds to shove entire lower body in mouth.

Aaron Brown thinks he Venezuela in CNN memo flap-if he is the “face” of CNN is it any wonder why FOX wins ratings?

In an interesting development another flap over ads, this time not the boozy kind the Saudi kind are not getting play. The market works.

In other media news, CBS boldly signs Dan Rather for another four years. Oh goody.

Being James Trafficant - - The congress will miss the shenanigans of James Trafficant but he isn’t going quietly and is talking in secret code. Mr. Speaker, Beam don’t beam him up!

Our friends the Chinese - - Across the pond, China continues to surround Taiwan with weapons.

Clinton, Clinton, Clinton - - North Korea wants him to come and play, he’s having trouble getting the $20 million needed to fund his “library” (personally I think he should skip the library, and build a casino/theme park-now that’s Clinton), and a bored Clinton is returning soon to deliver a “major” policy statement (which, again, I hope is a strategy change from Library to them park).

Insecurity nation? - - More arrests of security people. At least they had a few months on the public teat. I am told through sources that the employment of airport security officials will continue to grow from the projected 28,000 to possibly 72,000. Of course there is no guarantee that there will be more security, but it demonstrates the evolution of a government program. I'll be confident then, if there is that many how many will be arrested week-on-week?

AOL on the street - - To know what an interesting world we all live in these days, I was buying some Milk at a corner store here in Foggy Bottom, and the guy in front of me was buying a six pack because he just lost his job with AOL. Sad as it was the guy at the counter and I had a good laugh when he said, that something had to give with the $54 billion in losses. I said he should make a hostile bid to take over the company-he put it under advisement.

Rats - - Talking Points Memo is talking about DC’s rat problem. Well I went for a walk the other night at around 11:30-1am from Foggy Bottom to the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument and the White House and I didn’t see one.

Our friends the French - - Link to the Saturday Night Live French commercial is spreading fast through the blogosphere today and that is a good thing.

“The French
Cowardly yet opinionated
Arrogant yet foul smelling
Anti Israel, Anti-American
And, of course, as always, Jew hating. . . .
With all that's going on in the world
Isn't it about time
We got back to hating the French?”

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Slippery Brock - - Oh scandal of scandals, the CNN Transcript Andrew Sullivan, and I cited failed to include the phrase, “in prime time.” So that excuses David Brock from being a “liar” for a brief minute-though doesn’t let him off the hook for lying to Carlson. The truth is that he is one slippery guy who doesn’t seem to think that he needs to ever comply with full disclosure. And his idea of being open and honest is to give the impression that Fox News won’t review his book.

The depths of lies and shoddy writing in it should excuse it from review anywhere. As Tim Noah at Slate.com noted, Brock could have cleared the matter up himself, but why bother. He learned one thing from Bill Clinton, that is parsing words, and telling half truths, instead of just saying yes I was on Fox and leaving it at that.

Friday, April 26, 2002

David Brock: Liar - - Andrew Sullivan did my work for today. He found the link that shows turncoat and obnoxious twit David Brock is a liar. After announcing on CROSSFIRE last night that Fox News would not invite him on, this MRC page shows he already was there…On March 18th. (With Picture included)

The other indignity on CROSSFIRE last night (I was in the audience again) was that he kept lying to Tucker Carlson about something he claimed Tucker once told him. Then when they cut to commercial and Brock was leaving, Carville made Brock sign his book, and Tucker’s! Tucker should go around town, get Carville, Begala, Clinton, and others from the vast left wing conspiracy to sign it. Then put it up on EBay and donate the money to the GOP.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Speaking of Pork - - An article in today’s Washington Times by Martin Gross introduced me to the word: “porking” The article says that $21 billion is shear pork in DC. It highlights pork projects and other porking:

*$8 million for the Russian Leadership Development Fund, which is used for trips to Coors Brewery.
*The fact that Connecticut which sends more money to DC than it gets back go $20 a person in pork, while Alaska gets $714 per person.

The horror, the horror. . . What is this AOL? My oh My.

Useful Capital Hill Activity - - I was not able to attend, but was curious about yesterday’s Capital Hill event for the “Zestiest Legislator”. It turns out that Rep. Max A Sandlin (D-Texas) ate 8 jalapeno peppers to become the zestiest legislator. Nice. Better that these guys are gorging themselves on spicy food than sending pork back to their homes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Hughes’ replacement? - - Everyone seems to agree that Karen Hughes departure from the White House is for the same reasons she listed. But there is speculation Mickey Kaus buys it, and slams down any speculation that Cheney aid Mary Matalin is going to replace her.

I can tell you that last night when I was in the CROSSFIRE audience, and Carville and Carlson took questions from the audience there were two questions on the topic. The first was asking how Matalin was. In the second, Carville said that there was no way she was going to do that-meaning that she would be even busier than she is now.

Good enough for me. And really Hughes still seems to be in the loop, and will continue to be so. Really White House Counselor? You don't have to be in the West Wing to give adive.

Dirty Bombs - - Just watching CBS’s late news with a report on “dirty bombs” and why people fear the idea of contamination (Hey I’m no fan either). Normally I pay these warnings no mind-really who would use a dirty bomb in Vancouver?

But while I am here in Washington D.C. I was paying more attention. Best place for a dirty bomb? 10th and Pennsylvania Ave. It is by the FBI, and half way between the White House and the Capital Building-plus depending on the weather, it could contaminate all sorts of other buildings along the way. I will not be spending any leisurely afternoons around there.

Stupid Ad Tricks - - I saw CNN’s CROSSFIRE live again tonight. (More on that later) But they featured a new commercial which brings back to life the silly couple Harry and Louise.

To clone or not clone, that is the question. Well, even if cloning is the answer to all our problems, this commercial is not going to make the debate any better. Here is a blurb:

Louise: One bill puts scientists in jail for working to cure our niece's diabetes.
Harry: So ... cure cancer, go to jail?
Louise: Alzheimer's, heart disease. Take your pick.
Harry: Is it cloning?
Louise: Nooo ... uses an unfertilized egg and a skin cell.
Harry: So, not making babies?
Louise: Just lifesaving cures.

The issue is framed. Jail or cures. Even though not one thing has been cured, or is close to being cured via this method. I am guessing that this is not going to work.

Naomi Klein Smackdown - - Damian Penny gives everyone’s favorite anti-globalization girl a good lecture. I especially like his connection between Klein’s beliefs and the success of Le Pen in France on Sunday. She doesn’t get it.

In a somewhat related item, Ken Layne has “hot puppet action” over in his Fox News Column.

”The Ledeen Doctrine” - - Jonah Golberg has a wonderful G File today outlining the “Ledeen Doctrine” which states, more or less, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” Print it off, and post it to your fridge. This of course is another way to clear up any ambiguity that people have about US Foreign Policy.

Let Bush be Bush - - Reader Micheal Dea sent along a link to what he feels sums up his position of George W. Bush. The Link by J. Bradford DeLong. and reaffirmed by Electrolite goes like this:

“Defenders of Bush say that the fact that he is a slow study with a weak general knowledge base who doesn't crack the books too hard and doesn't think too fast doesn't matter. Why not? Because Bush has smart people to do his thinking for him: Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, et cetera. In Bush's own words, "My job isn't to try to nuance. My job is to tell people what I think. And when I think there's an axis of evil, I say it. I think moral clarity is important..." Once the President has given his people clear moral clarity as to what the important things are, they will have their marching orders, and good policies will emerge.

The first problem with this is that the President's words are actions, and should be considered actions. If you have a potential adversary that you are trying to isolate--Iraq--and if its largest neighbor Iran hates Iraq more than it hates you, you should not pop up and in your State of the Union address say that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are an "axis of evil." That instantly gives the country you are trying to isolate two new allies. There would be substantial benefits to having a President smart enough to know, while his State of the Union address was being written, that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were not an "axis"--an alliance--of any sort. And there would be substantial benefits to having a President who would think far enough ahead to consider whether his State-of-the-Union rhetoric might make his diplomats' task of isolating Iraq needlessly harder.

The second, and more important, problem is that even the smartest group of subordinates will not generally produce good policy out of their mutual tug-of-war. You need somebody at the top smart enough to harmonize--to have a policy of his or her own into which the talents of subordinates can be fit. If you don't have a smart boss, then decisions about the views of which subordinate should prevail on which issue are made randomly as the boss chooses one over another on a case-by-case basis for no good reason. What emerges is not a policy, but an incoherent mishmash.

Thus Colin Powell tries to isolate Iraq through diplomacy. Karl Rove drafting the State-of-the-Union address wins Iraq two new allies--one of which, Iran, hated Iraq more than anything else up until the State-of-the-Union address gave them powerful interests in common. Colin Powell persuades Bush to call for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. Donald Rumsfeld blocks Bush's words from being backed by any deeds to put more than verbal pressure on Ariel Sharon. Karl Rove pushes the nice rhetorical line that the sponsors of terror are as guility of it and are as much enemies of the United States as the terrorists themselves. Donald Rumsfeld points out that the Saudis who financed Al-Qaeda and who finance Hamas today are necessary allies in any campaign against Iraq.

The net result? No one, anywhere in the world, has any idea of what American policy actually is. No one, anywhere in the world, thinks that they can trust American words to be backed up by American deeds. Neoconservatives like Michael Kelly try to assure us that this is all part of some deep, cunning plan. But it isn't. It is the inevitable result of having a dumb boss. Smart subordinates with different views of the world then play tug of war with the dumb boss in the middle, and the result is total chaos.”

And there we have it. We are back to Bush is an idiot again. Some conservatives are rightly debating policy; unfortunately the left doesn’t get it. It is in such disarray that it thinks a critique is returning to the underlying first position of Bush as the idiot.The Weekly Standard has been one of the more critical of Bush and his policy in the Middle East. Was he using Powell as a diplomatic cover while Sharon rooted out Palestinian terrorists? Or was he unable to deal with Powell on one hand and the conservatives on the other?

More to the point, Michael Kelly hasn’t suggested that Bush has some deep hidden cunning plan. On the contrary, “This government is doing something large and important that the preceding two administrations failed to do: It is defining the new American position in the new world. This world's essential fact is the revivification of the 19th-century cultural and territorial conflicts previously frozen in the hundred years' war of giants between democracy and totalitarianism. On a running basis, but as a matter of fundamental philosophy, the Bush White House is demonstrating an understanding of this truth, and an understanding of the corollary truth that America must make clear its position in this world.

The position is this: The United States is for democracy and order, not necessarily always in that order. It is against threats to this of any sort. It is against all forms of fascism, including Islamic. It is against those who would seek to destroy democratic nations or to drive the United States from its position in the world as the paramount protector of democracy. It regards those who are friendly to these aims as friends and those who are inimical to them as enemies.”
All of this comes from Bush. He outlined what he expects in the middle east-a exposure of what is wrong-and when the players of the drama act out their parts reinforcing conceptions of what the world thinks of the region he should not be blamed. We all have witnessed in recent months that Europe is burdened under the weight of relapsed attitudes of all sorts: anti-Semitist, anti-American, superiority complex. And the left doesn’t seem to burden them with any sort of blame for being stupid. Bush isn’t stupid. I am reading Frank Bruni’s (Reporter with the New York Times) book about Bush on the campaign trail, and so far, he doesn’t say that Bush is dumb, instead what I get is that Bush is very smart indeed. The same reason that Clinton couldn’t be defeated simply because most people thought he was a ‘pig’ is why Bush will not be defeated on the basis of people who think he is dumb.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Dave Barry Rocks - - Read this story from Sunday’s WAPO Magazine. Here is a taste:

The other product is an Iranian laundry detergent called: "Barf." Right on the box, in big red letters, it says: "Barf." It also says: "To obtain best result soak very dirty clothes in a solution of Barf for a few minutes and then proceed normally."

The Protests in DC - - Ok, I didn’t really go to the protests. Shame on me. But when I saw the “protestors” dancing in the streets, and little tear gas, what was the point. The messages, from what I saw was totally incoherent, and they sure don’t get the crowds like they used to. I suppose, irrelevancy kicked in some where on the way.

Are they just fair weather protestors? The Agitator has the tale, and frankly better him than me. Instead of watching these twits I was having my first Krispy Kreme. I have my priorities just right me thinks.

Sullivan on the French Elections - - Andrew Sullivan is dishing on the French choices for a presidential run off election next month. Reading the Washington Post this morning, and I can say that it wasn’t so clear. It failed to speculate on the implications that such a shift, rightward, would do (in addition to other similar circumstances throughout Europe) for the US. Sullivan sees this as a “trend that can help weaken the pretensions of the EU to becoming a transnational rival to the U.S. is a thoroughly healthy thing.” But did anyone see Saturday Night Live this past weekend? It had a very good “commercial” about France. I am trying unsuccessfully to find a link to this. (email me if you know a good SNL transcript site)

Bad Blogger - - Sorry for the lack of posting, I will resume tonight. In the time being check out my weekly ESR column up right now. It is about my first thoughts on DC this week

Thursday, April 18, 2002

More US Politics - - The big issue of been hearing all over town since I got here is the Middle East, the war, and if Bush is doing a good job or not. Typical thoughts on the issue are that Bush really is a dummy and just doesn’t know what he is doing, and the war is just not going well. That he spent 15 months as too hands off in the Israel-Palestine hornets nest. Nice talking points boys, but it isn’t gonna fly. Most Americans are staying with Bush’s policy on the Mideast.

Small victories - - On the other hand, Republicans in the House moved to make last years tax cut, permanent. Of course Democrats, sorry Daschle, denounced it and said that as long as they controlled the Senate it would be dead. This Daschle logic is typical. Wasn’t it 12 Democrats that backed the tax plan last year anyway? So is this not, essentially, saying that the repetitive issue over the next decade will be the tax cut? This is a good reason to do whatever it takes to win back the Senate in 2002.

No drilling - - Instead of going to the Capital today, I took a lovely walk along the Mall. Meanwhile in the Senate, the elder statesmen voted to not drill in ANWR. So I think it was best that I wasn’t in attendance for the vote, Shouts of “Boo” from the gallery may not have played well.

And I suppose the best thing you could say about it, was that it showed the true nature, and failure, in bipartisanship. The vote had 45 Democrats and 8 Republicans. I guess this also puts a monkey wrench in the “Republicans-are-all-oil-pigs” theory-drats!

Venezuela coup talking points - - When I was watching CNN’s CROSSFIRE (live in the Studio tonight) I was appalled that the Garden Gnome Paul Begala was ready to peg the coup on Bush’s administration. As if we should be defending this leftist twit who is back in command. John J. Miller has a wonderful paragraph over at NRO’s the Corner: “What amuses me is how the Left--without a shred of evidence--assumes the CIA was down there doing bad things.”

Look out Socrates - - Socratic king pin Jonah Goldberg asks a new question: what if Israeli’s were gay? Interesting.

Baretta behind bars - - Looks like Robert Blake isn’t going to get the Juice treatment.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Why Israel is our team in the game - - My knowledge of the Israel march on Washington from Monday was when I overheard a cell phone call while I was on the Shuttle at Dulles Airport. And it would seem that the majority of people are siding with Israel-proof positive that Bush’s rhetoric in the past 7 months has worked. The people know terrorists when they see them. If it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, well then you know the rest.

But one thing struck me as I was reading the news tonight. As I was reading Tal G it became so obvious. When Israeli’s celebrate things, such as their independence, they have dinner parties and watch fireworks. What do Palestinians do when they have something to celebrate? Well, they take to the streets, say on the news of 9/11, and fire off AK-47’s. If they are really into something they send suicide bombers. Mmmm.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Book Review - - And before I forget, this week’s column is a review of Robert Kaplan’s Warrior Politics. I know, it was given the Sullivan treatment months ago, but the book is good-so I thought I would throw down my two or three cents (Canadian cents of course). Enjoy.

Arafat & Connery - - Layne gives us the straight goods about Arafat and Sean Connery. “The point is that Connery is a healthy, rich, beloved golf fanatic living in Spain and Arafat is a stinky old death whore living in a wrecked old British imperial building in the Middle East.”

What luck - - Finally internet running again. I am in Washington DC. No, I don’t have any Welch/Layne secret newspaper meetings, but I am here nevertheless. My flight yesterday was fine. In Seattle’s airport I was making the blippy thing go nuts and got a sweet pat down from a nice security man. Then I got the shoe treatment. Isn’t it lovely to be surrounded by strangers, your 3,000 dollar laptop off in one machine, your wallet and passport, jacket and shoes going through another all while you are shoeless and the security guys are, well, clueless? It just seems like they don’t know what they are doing. But, it was a relief knowing that they are all part of the happy big government union family. I would love to see the procedure book for these halfwits.

The luck is that there will be the latest anti-globalization/anti-war/anti-t-bone steak/pro-terrorist rally later this week at the World Bank/IMF. We’ll be checking that out. And I’ll also be visiting CNN’s CROSSFIRE on Thursday to see the new live show. Any other events I run into will come up to. And regular posting will resume later tonight.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Next stop, Dulles - - It is always heartening when the airport that you are to fly into tomorrow is still not secure.

Ahhh Venezuela… - - Who is running this nation? Woody Allen? There is a coup, there isn’t, the leader is gone, now he is back. Hey Venezuela get a grip.

The incredible growing budget - - News that the US government budget is growing at its highest level since the Johnson era is sure to annoy many. But this article takes the figure of a 22% increase in spending over the 1999-2003 fiscal years. Note, as the article tries, that the increase includes the final two years of the Clinton administration.

I sure didn’t hear Al Gore talk about how he was proud of that Clinton-Gore legacy in Florida this weekend.

In Seattle - - Well I am in Seattle toniight waiting for my early morning flight to Washington DC. Regular posting will resume tommorow, but here are some things to get you through the next 24 hours.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Classic column - - I am going to be out running around like a chicken with my head cut off today, and probably won’t be posting until later tonight, or perhaps not until tomorrow. So I offer you an article I wrote last summer on cloning. It is slightly dated, but the basics are there. Enjoy.

If the world’s population was shrunk to 100… - - they would be very small. No, seriously, here is a nice debunking of the old myths about comparing the world population with a model of 100 people. Read on. (via Slate.com)

Springtime for the UN, and the International Criminal Court - - So the International Criminal Court becomes reality and as a first order of business it wants to look at possible Israeli war criminals. I have one question: just how exactly does this court plan to get these Israeli’s? I am sure that Israel will let them into the country to investigate it for defending herself when monkeys fly and Europe collectively smartens up. The fact, as the Prof noted, is that it took one day for the new court to deteriorate into a sick parody.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Conason’s Crossfire Rant - - Joe Conason’s latest mumbo-jumbo about Republican leadership’s possible boycott of the CNN’s new “Crossfire”.

The reason? “What is it about Messrs. Begala and Carville that brings out the inner wimp among their opponents, who have been perfectly happy to appear on Crossfire for so many years? Could it be their enthusiasm for the battle, as when Mr. Begala confided that he was eager to "kick a little right-wing ass"? Might it be their unwillingness to back down, as when Mr. Carville forced the Republican Party chairman to admit that he opposes campaign-finance reform? Or is it just their insistence on factual discourse, as when Mr. Begala instructed conservative host Tucker Carlson on the vastly greater number of Reagan administration aides indicted and convicted than in the supposedly corrupt Clinton administration?”

It certainly couldn’t be that both Begala and Carville are lickspittles and toadies for the Democrats while Carlson and Novak are not-they may be conservatives but they don’t always, especially Novak, tow the party line. You just know that the two ‘war-roomers’ will. I haven’t made my mind up yet. I still watch Hardball more, the new Crossfire seems still all over the place. But I will let you know. I will be in DC next week and have tickets to see it live a week from today. I will report more then.

Deadbeats - - PLO was evicted from its Washington offices. They blame the landlords support for Israel, but they were behind in their rent payments for the second time in the last year. Thankfully the PLO has plenty of resources for blowing their children and Israeli’s up.

The Pool - - Was watching MSNBC moments ago and Andrea Mitchell was describing the flight into Israel from Jordan and how the reporter pool spent the short flight setting up a ‘pool’ on what day, and what hour Powell (and of course the reporters) will come home. Will he leave with a ceasefire? Or not.

Looking at my calendar, and judging by comments by Sharon and de facto Israeli ambassador to the US Benjamin Netanyahu (and Read Howard Fienberg), my guess is that Powell will leave Israel or the region, and therefore back to the U.S., on: Sunday April 21, 2002 at 11:13 PM with a passable ceasefire. These 10 days will give Israel the time it needs to continue to rope-the-dope.

The importance of being Lileks - - I rarely laugh out loud, but today’s James Lileks article was too much even for me-the man simply rocks. Here are two excerpts (but please go on and read the whole bit):

*“When Bush signs the order rounding up the Jews and Christians, banning alcohol and tobacco, music, kites, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, as well as sports, illustrations and swimsuits; when he blows up Mount Rushmore because its graven images offend the mullahs; when he beats Condi Rice to death on the White House lawn for leaving the house without a sack over her head, and deploys an army to Europe to reclaim Spain for Islam, then he’ll be close to the way bin Laden wanted it. Not quite there. But close.”

* “Yes, Chomsky couldn’t possibly be called the Radical Left, because there are Spartacists who are more extreme. And Castro can’t be a Communist when you consider how strict the Shining Path boys are. (I’m always amused that the people who insist that our Consent is Manufactured all quote the same guy, and all use his phrase “Manufactured Consent.” But Manufactured Dissent is okay, because, well, it’s dissent.)”

This show is still on? - - I don’t know why, (Oh yeah it was Morgan Fairchild) but I watched Bill Maher tonight. Our favorite cartoonist Ted Rall called Christian writer John Lofton a, “big jerk” to which Lofton called Rall, “a big poop face.” (The Transcript should be here later) I can go to sleep happy and dream happy thoughts of Ted Rall and his poop face.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Europe Standing Firm as always - - Is it any wonder, any wonder at all, how Europe was ever able to accomplish anything. Is there a category of appeasement that could describe a group of nations so dedicated to siding with terrorism? Does this mean that Europe has to “support” Israel at every turn? No, but please, where are the sanctions on Arafat and his workshop of terror?

Damian Penny will be happy to note that they did condemn the recent acts of anti-Semitism. Right after they demanded that Arafat “enjoy” freedom of movement. Reminds me of the Monty Python…Run Away, Run Away…

Not Hawkish enough? - - Sir, I say, Sir, I demand satisfaction! If I had a white glove someone would get a generous slap and an invitation to a duel…right after I finish my mint julep that is. Why? Because I’m not yet included in the more-Fisk-than Fisk War Blogger Watch.

I don’t know if I should be offended or just disgusted that this moron has a website. DaddyWarblogs (great name) has some words. (via: Glenn Reynolds)

It may be time us warbloggers get some money together and take over blog spot, thus marginalizing the anti-war bloggers, no, what would be the fun in that.

Oil? We don’t need their stinking oil - - James S. Robbins makes a point I have believed for some time. We may buy Middle East oil, but the relationship is not one of our dependence, it is one of their dependence.

In related news: Chris Mathews last night on MSNBC’s “Hardball” was almost praising Iraq for refusing to sell oil, saying that they were playing, and in his eyes fairly, a diplomatic game of “hardball”. Is this guy for real?

Of course the US should slap back with a full embargo on Iraq. John McCaslin reminds us that “Congress noted this week that the United States last year paid Iraq about $6.58 billion for oil — money Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is no doubt now using to pay, at $25,000 a pop, to the families of each Palestinian suicide bomber.”

Arafat Smackdown - - Michael Kelly has the goods today. “Neither Israel nor America can any longer pretend Arafat is anything but the overall director of the war against Israel. It is possible, of course, to make peace with him still. But only by defeating him, and the forces under his command, and negotiating from the point of their surrender. And surrender stems from victory in war.” It is points like this which make me thank Bush and Powell while publicly trying to get diplomatic peace, they are dragging their knuckles letting Sharon round up and kill terrorists.

Everyone else Loves Ned Flanders - - Ken Layne does it again with his analysis of Ashcroft on Davet. “He even did a Jerry Lee Lewis-style keyboard roll at the end. He might be a jeebus-nut weirdo, but he also showed a happy Ned Flanders side. (Who do you want living next door? Ned or a bunch of meth addicts?)”

Our friends the Saudis - - Saudi Arabia is giving families of suicide bombers money Iraq-style. But only $5,333. But they are also giving out $4,000 to any Palestinian receiving medical treatment in Saudi hospitals. Maybe this is “Fear Factor.”

Live from…Jerusalem - - Tal G reports on the propaganda activities of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, the calm associated with the IDF campaign has ended. 10 dead in new rush hour suicide bombing.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

“Live From…Paris” - - Not only is Glenn Reynolds’ site great, but his readers are something else too. His de facto Paris Correspondent for Instapundit is good. Read the whole report but this is interesting:

“In other words, we are not talking any longer of different opinions on how to achieve the same goals, nor are we talking about disagreement inside the Western Civilization. We are talking about great-power politics. NATO or Shmato aside, it seems quite realistic to say that we are seeing the first open shots in the new clash of civilizations, and the opposing sides in it are the US and Europe. The European Union is clearly taking a Gaullist turn. Equally clearly, the goals of each side in the Middle East (I mean the US and Europe) are divergent. And in a collision route. I would not be absolutely sure by now that Europe is at all committed to the existence of a Jewish state in the region, not if it harms its interests (its growing and developing anti-American alliance with the Arab world) and advances America’s. Britain, obviously, up to the moment, is split in the middle.”

I am not convinced that Europe and America are so far apart that we are turning towards a clash of civilizations. For one, we are one civilization-the West. Second, the West has been on different pages before (as in when Europe was the leader of the West and America was, well, self absorbed). But I don’t think that the people in general are opposed to one another. The capitulating elites of media in both are certainly not on board with much of this war, but does that mean the people are. I would imagine that this may have much to do with eating a steady diet of European media-writing about how Europe is standing up to US imperialism.

Don’t feed the pinko - - Damian Penny has a detailed analysis of a Globe and Mail column by James Laxer. “What really gets me about Laxer, and people like him, is their insistence that they are the progressive liberals, and we're the knuckle-dragging troglodytes who want to keep everything the same. But when free trade was being debated, who wanted to keep everything exactly as it was? The left. When the future of health care is discussed, who refuses to even consider any degree of private-sector involvement? The left. Changes to a dysfunctional policy regime toward aboriginals, which has created a nightmare of dependence and depression? Once again, it's the left which demands more of the same (i.e. the same programs, more money).”

Mickey Kaus on Fire - - Kausfiles has the best line about Bush and his polls. In response to a Washington Monthly article which said Clinton used polls to craft policy and Bush, cynically, uses them to figure out how to sell unpopular ideas. Kaus answers, nay, it is Clinton who is the cynical one. This is good stuff. Kaus also further blurs his political leanings for defending the Bush model-love it.

Monday, April 08, 2002

Shuttle Launch - - Remember when the launch of a space shuttle, or anything else into space was a big deal? It all seems so routine, and unimpressive today. But if you really think about it, it is still impressive, and we should make a bigger deal of things like this. It is called demonstrating our capabilities and they are vast, staggeringly so.

Sure the US is at war on terror at many hot spots around the globe, but we are launching our spacecraft, enjoying baseball, and eating pork chops. It demonstrates this too; just what in the blue blazes is the Islamic world all about? Their scientific achievement of last hundred years? The suicide bomber.

Tom Friedman - - Friedman wins Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He has his ups and downs, but he likely deserved it for his work in the last year. He makes you think. On the downside, the New York Times was rewarded with a record 7 awards. Don’t encourage them.

Goldberg on FIRE - - Jonah Goldberg is on fire again. There is so much good stuff, I can’t pick a quote. Trust me, get a pepperoni stick, and go read it.

The Iraqi Oil Stoppage - - After years of Chomsky rhetoric blaming the west’s attempted targeted embargo of Iraq, causing death to children, although Saddam could still muster the resources to make weapons, and still had money left over to send $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, Iraq is imposing a strict no oil trade policy onto itself. OK, you do that. Now what could we do to make them stop trying to get weapons of mass destruction? Oh yeah, invading them.

Live from Jerusalem - - Is it just me or is Tal G more interesting and informative than any network or cable personality in the region right now? Ashleigh Banfield? Christiane Amanpour? Eat your hearts out. Read this one and this one

Bush and his detractors - - Much has been written or blab’d about on tv in regards to Bush being woobly or too tough on Israel. Over at VodkaPundit a reader analyses Bush’s latest speech. The numbers speak for themselves, and anyone who is convinced Bush is being hypocritical, should reconsider.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

Oh Oprah will you ever win - - My latest article is up at Enterstageright.com and takes a look at Oprah Winfrey's decision not to continue her book club.

PC Watch - - Speedy Gonzales isn’t getting the play that he deserves on the Cartoon Network. The article reports: “Laurie Goldberg, a network spokeswoman, conceded, however, that part of the audience appeal problem is the toons' negative stereotypes — like Speedy's lazy cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez — and their depictions of drinking and smoking, clear parent turnoffs.”

Never fear: “What deee hell is all the rucus about. The leeettle mouse is one of the foniest mouses in all of Mejico. I have enjoyed the leeettle mouse and Slooowpoke for many yeeers. Now, weeee have Pokemon and his amigos. Weee need to bring back Speedy! . . .”

Arriba! What I find amusing in this is that a person who works for the “Cartoon Network” feels that the negative depiction of Slowpoke Rodriguez, especially the drinking and smoking and laziness, is a turn off. I hate to mention The Simpsons in two posts in a row, but is the Cartoon Network aware that many people watch cartoons to see funny and politically incorrect depictions of people?

In praise of the pork chop - - Surprisingly decent article about the return of the pork chop. “Then in the late 70's, the saturated-fat police broke down the door, and pork sales declined as the country went mad for pasta and bread and something frighteningly called ‘legumes.’” Has Homer Simpson or Jonah Goldberg suddenly taken over as food editor for the NY Times mag? Let’s hope so.

Weekend Update - - If you missed SNL this week, the weekend update was particularly impressive. Watch it here. How is it that a comedy show newscast in under a few minutes “gets” the middle east problem. I especially like the understanding that the $25,000 Saddam is sending to families of suicide bombers is both a lot of money and doubly lots o’ cash when you consider that there aren’t “game shows” in the region. The Palestinians would clean up at “Fear Factor” was one of the good jokes. There is also a fantastic parody of Geraldo as the "Jerry Garcia of Terror Tours". Here is my favorite part:

TINA FEY: “President Bush has clarified his worldview saying you’re either with us or you are with the terrorists. Or you’re with the terrorists but you have oil (Graphic showing Kuwait) You’re with us, but you hate us (Graphic showing Egypt). Or you’re with us but you fund all the terrorism in the world (Graphic showing Saudi Arabia). Or you’re 100% with the terrorists except for one little guy in charge (Graphic showing Pakistan). Or you’re with us but you can’t really help us (Graphic showing Iceland). Or you’re with the terrorists with each other against us even though you hate each other (Graphic of Iran and Iraq).”

Old People our greatest natural resource - - Tim Blair reports on the new threat facing the planet…in 50 years there will be 2 billion ‘seniors’. “Oh, I see,” says Blair. “… so now the big problem we face isn't that we'll all die, but that so many of us won't die.
Thankfully, the UN is on the job. Is there no problem they can't solve?”

Adam Shapiro Wire - - Welcome googlers and appeasers to the Adam Shapiro News Service (ASNS) where the motto is: “All Sympathy, All the time; but only for conniving terrorists”. Enjoy your stay.

(ASNS) Friday April 5, 2002 - -John Weidner has some excellent words about Shapiro and his friends.

On why they don’t care about Israel: “Leftizoid "activists" hate Israel for the very same reason that Islamic thugs hate Israel. And what's more, both groups hate the US for the that same reason.”

Conclusions: “If Israel was an improverished Third-World command economy, they could probably grind up Palestinians to make Purina Pig Chow, and none of the activists or Arab brothers would say a word. Didn't Syria wipe a whole city off the map to get rid of some troublemakers, and where-oh-where were our activists then ? ...” (Via Ken Layne)

(ASNS) April 5, 2002 - - Interesting defense of Mr. Shapiro here. Is he a traitor? Or just a phony? or simply a media whore?

(ASNS) Sunday April 7, 2002 - - Saw a CNN Promo that tomorrow’s sort of all new edition of CROSSFIRE will feature our favorite guy, Adam Shapiro. Tune in and see why thousands of suicide bombers can’t be wrong.

Sunday Baseball - - Is there anything better? Watching Braves-Mets game right now. OK, yesterday was a fiasco for the Braves, but John Smoltz is still good (Simply ignore his 43.20 ERA). He was pitching in the high 90’s today. Seeing Met Pitching coach Charlie Hough go to the mound every few minutes amuses me too. (Ah the glory day of the “knuckler”)

New Plan - - Everyone is complaining about the inevitable invasion of Iraq, Glenn Reynolds turns the question around, and says we should invade Saudi Arabia first. He has four compelling reasons. Wonderful.

”LIVE from Canada” - - Damian Penny reports on a synagogue firebombing in Saskatoon. It is shameful that this sort of thing is in the news, today, when it is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Local stuff - - If any readers care, and some of you live here in Vancouver, there is one observation I’d like to make on the now not-so-new provincial government. It was my friend Bruce’s birthday last night so we made a stop to the local cold beer & wine store. (For my US readers, this is a store that sells sort of what the name applies-but at they are “private”)

But to my surprise they are now selling liquor in these stores too. So protest all you want tree huggers, this government has done something good: breaking the government monopoly on booze selling. You see, previous to this, all hard alcohol was available in Government run stores. What is this the USSR? Another rule recently changed is that you no longer have to eat in a restaurant to get served drinks. Honestly how silly is all of this-what are we Salt Lake City? Actually, the government has been on the war path and is cutting pork, jobs, and slapping around unions at will (read: for fun) and many people are upset. But hey the market is back.

Saturday, April 06, 2002

Meanwhile…In China - - While ‘we’ must remained focused on the region at hand, Gertz & Scarborough are keeping an eye on China. And we all know that if you leave most of the world to their own devices they will not play nice.

New Stuff - - I spent last night getting together all the links to my online articles. I think I have them all from the last year. Find them here where they are divided by topic. (The Topics are on the side bars of both my sites.) So if I ever fail to post for a day or so, check out some oldy but goodies. Enjoy.

Run the Numbers - - Well the latest poll numbers on Bush’s approval ratings are in. The ABC/Washington Post has numbers taken during the Passover terrorism in the Middle East. The Result? Bush holding steady at 79%.

He dropped a few points in this poll over the month, but we are talking about 79% people. (You can also run the numbers on the conflict itself here) So how is it that people like former Sec. Of State Albright is running around town mouthing off about Bush’s policy? The country seems to be sticking with the prez!

Yet another example of the legacy of Clinton’s “Me Foreign Policy”, as in it was, is, and remains all about Bill (he being the me). Eight years in Office and Bill handed Bush II the second Infitada like a game show announcer “Don Pardo, tell our 43rd President what he’s won” “…a new …Mideast conflict”

More Perils of Wisdom…from Adam Shapiro - - You “Googled” me, I respond. More Adam Shapiro. Do-gooders beware! Charles Johnson takes up the Shapiro watch. Take a look at the CNN interview:

SHAPIRO: “President Arafat has done this repeatedly. I understand Arabic. I read the newspapers and I listen to the TV stations here. President Arafat, after every terrorist incident, every suicide bombing, after every action, has condemned this loss of life, of civilian lives on both sides.

The Sharon government, sometimes will apologize after it kills an innocent civilian, but it does not apologize for raping the cities and for going in and carrying out terrorist actions, going to house to house much like the Nazis did in World War II, going house to house to house tearing holes through the walls, roughing up people, killing people, assassinating people. This is a terrorist government funded, by the way, by the United States government to the tune of $300 million a year in U.S. military aid. These are American helicopters and tanks and F-16s doing this damage to the Palestinian people.”

This is what can happen to perfectly good people when they stop thinking for themselves.

Go Barry - - I don’t care what people say about the man, Bonds is blunt and that is just fine. He didn’t want to play extra innings, so he hit another one. Houston, we may have to reevaluate my low-balled prediction for Bonds homers.

Friday, April 05, 2002

Poor Oprah - - First she snubs a Presidential invite to visit the women of Afghanistan, now she is cutting her monthly book club segment on the grounds that it is becoming too hard to find books.

Oprah my dear, perhaps you could do some appropriate book recommends for the situation we all find ourselves in instead of counting your money and flogging yet another Toni Morrison book which is not what we need. How about book clubbing things like: Brink Lindsey’s, or something real far out like Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations? Instead of cramming down another donut and gushing over Tom Cruise and how wonderful Phil is! Is Oprah, along with Clinton, the epitome of what life was like pre-9/11? Or is it just me.

Or was this all the work of Andrew Sullivan whose third month of his own Book Club is going strong.

Slogging toward Revolution - - The Prof has had more good commentary about Canada this past week, including the linking to the Ed the Sock editorial, than most of the Canadian Media has. He extends the welcome wagon:

“Well, come on down, folks! We're always happy to take refugees from the Great White North. Hell, we took Peter Jennings, and we don't even like him.

Or else get your own alternative media / alternative politics machine going and take back your country. You'll have plenty of sympathy and support from most of the blogger community.”

I have been doing something to try to liven up the Canadian Media but not many people have noticed quite yet. And of course this week I haven’t posted there since Monday-maybe I am the problem.

Day Six - - And we might as well get this out of the way too. I am a baseball nut. So for the next 180 days or so, expect a few tidbits and links about baseball. Let’s start with Tony Pierce’s baseball blog. That’s pretty cool. I smell a new section of perma-links!

Special Props to Matt Welch - - I was visiting Matt Welch’s site today. It’s good, so please click on over and say hi! But he has linked to Dispatches in his extensive MORE LINKS section. Thank you Mr. Welch.

Welcome Google Bombers - - Have had many a hit in past 24 hours for those searching for Adam Shapiro-mostly people who think he is a hero. Thank you do-gooders and Arafat appeasers. And I am the ninth selection for those seeking links to Johnnie Walker Red Scotch. No, this isn’t the ScotchPundit.com but thanks for stopping by anyway boozers.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

It is a good day: Postmodernism is dead - - Dave Kopel over at NRO declares postmodernism the “intellectual axis of evil”. Read the whole article to see why but here’s a small yet yummy taste: “Capitalism believes that individuals are unique, and should be able to act in a free market to fulfill their unique desires. Rather than being prisoners of their culture, individuals are free to pursue their own dreams. Rather than seeking a reversion to the primitive, supposedly authentic past, capitalism looks forward to a dynamic, ever-changing future, in which authenticity is created by the individual, rather than imposed by an omnipotent Hitler or Khomeni.”

Put that in your pipes and smoke it!

Anti-war Libertarian Smackdown - - Brink Lindsey (this post and the others so far today) whose blog is fantastic, takes on the anti-war Libertarians. “Anti-state libertarians fail to grasp the great paradox of human freedom: its ultimate dependence upon raw force. Consequently, they don’t fully understand the nature of what they so sincerely and admirably treasure -- because they don’t recognize where it comes from and what sustains it. And when raw force is called for to defend liberty from external threats, anti-state libertarians are prone to betraying their own cause.”

In praise of the sock - - Many (The Sarge, The Prof) have linked to this Ed the Sock commentary. Why is it that a sock in Canada is better than most of the regular opinion writers all across the nation? Ok, David Warren is good, Mark Steyn, is great; then the damned sock.What does this say about journalism in Canada-don't ask. Here is the highlight:

“Think about this country. Europeans came here, took the land from the natives, forced them to live on squalid reserves often no better than refugee camps, and re-educated their children to squash native culture. They have a legitimate gripe. But how long would we tolerate natives bombing our shopping malls, pizza parlours, cafes, hotels or neighborhoods? The Mohawks in Ontario blocked some little road and the government responded with lethal force. A few mailboxes blew up in the 1960s, and Trudeau suspended our civil rights and put tanks in the street.

Does anyone think that we, or the U.S., would allow ourselves to fall victim to an ongoing campaign of terror on our lands? And how many of us would feel well-disposed toward negotiating with such terrorists in order to make them our neighbors?”

He is right, it is right, the sock is right! Muppet commentators of the world unite!

April Fools in Afghanistan - - I know what you’re thinking, April fools was so Monday, but I didn’t watch Letterman and here is his Top Ten:

10. Short-sheeted burqas

9. A fake beard over your real beard

8. Saying you're wife #4, when you're really wife #2

7. Offering someone a can of peanut brittle and a goat jumps out

6. Painting giant bull's-eye on roof of friend's cave

5. Rocket launchers that shoot out little flag that reads "Bang"

4. Replacing secret stockpiles of weaponized Anthrax with Folger's Crystals

3. Writing "Wash me" on Osama's camel

2. Saying you support the Hamid Karzai government, but secretly supporting a warlord who has secretly begun to support the Taliban again, but then betraying the warlord, but then betraying the Karzai government and really supporting the warlord again

1. Writing "Wash me" on Osama

Plus the two too good and/or not too good for TV:
*While he's sleeping, put friend's hand in bowl of warm sand
*Ordering 30 falafels delivered to secret Al-Qaeda hideout

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Hello Mr. Bonds - - Two games into the season and Barry Bonds has four homers and nine RBI's. He joins Eddie Mathews (1958) as the only two players to start a season off with back to back multi-homer games. He is also set to move past Harmon Killebrew on the all-time list when he hits two more. I was thinking he would only get about 57 or so, but I wouldn't object to seeing 75+.

War Dept: Humanitarians, PA Tax money, Stinky offices & more - - First was the news that Cheese man, McDonald’s trasher extraordinaire, and anti-globo anti-hero Jose Bove paid a house call to Arafat in Ramallah. It was Ken Layne who referred to him as the “French Hamburgler” and wrote that he had moved from “anti-McDonalds to the traditional anti-Semite.” When I first read about this it was April 1-April Fools day. I thought, well that figures. And I thought the stench from all this was in my head but what about the ripeness of Arafat’s room?-yikes. But if they are only eating a few potatoes it couldn’t be much worse than being in a cave with bin Laden after a few Lamb kebobs.

But the constant coverage of this Adam Shapiro fellow who is also trying to “help” in Palestine is mystifying. For many it is like looking at a puppy-awe now isn’t that cute. But he is not a doctor, or medic, he is basically a human shield to allow ambulances into the area. He is however a member and organizer for the International Solidarity Movement. While he claims not to have taken sides between Israel and Palestine, he obviously has. The movement’s mission: “The International Solidarity Movement is a growing movement of Palestinian and international activists working to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. We utilize non-violent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge the illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.” This is great stuff, it is just too bad that Arafat doesn’t want to do this with non-violence and has no plan to help his people.

Now Shapiro’s parents have been forced to flee their homes because of death threats, which is not good-but that shouldn’t absolve this brat whose brother said on MSNBC that he should get a noble peace prize. Is he the same Adam Shapiro who took these photos?

It is without a doubt it is this Adam Shapiro who wrote this article back in January that not once denounces Palestinian terrorism but takes great pains to call Israeli action “state terrorism”.

Of course, Canada has a ‘great statesman’ too, er, anti-globalization protestor and socialist MP Svend Robinson who wants to meet Arafat as a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Elsewhere, a 2002 missile crisis may be happening as reports of a massive missile base in Saudi Arabia was revealed last Wednesday.

Meanwhile the sensible deliberative body, The EU, is going to send extra cash to the Palestinian Authority because Israel stopped sending Tax transfers when the violence started back in 2000. Let me get this straight. Israel won’t pay money to Arafat because he is a terrorist, but the EU will. This is not a good development. Does the word “encouragement” mean anything here? And who knows how much “aid” the rest of the world has handed over to these suicide bombers. We’re sending money, they buy bombs to strap their little girls and boys with, they blow up coffee shops and pizza places, then Saddam sends them some cash for their families as a nice thank you. Regardless, George Will says that Arafat would fit in nicely in Europe with his apologist pals-notably France.

We all know that Arafat is a terrorist and this is a unique and timely article by the indispensable Michael Kelly who describes Arafat and his buddies this way:

“the whole of the Palestinian Authority from the beginning, an ugly little cartoon of Middle East despotism. There was never any pretense of democracy, of rule of law, of a free press, of a working system of taxes or courts or hospitals. There was never any real government. No one ever bothered to build an economy or create jobs or even pick up the trash or pave the streets. There were only security forces -- many, many of these -- and villas by the sea for Arafat's cronies, and millions of dollars in foreign aid that seemed to always turn up missing, and prisons and propaganda. And in the middle of it all: "President" Arafat sitting in a room -- surrounded by waiting sycophants and toadies and respectful ladies and gentlemen of the press -- and complaining.”

And that’s the way it was for April 3, 2002.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Ken Layne: Does this guy rock or what? - - Layne’s new Fox News piece is up. Excepts from “The Layne Peace Plan”:

“That's why I'm asking you both to consider my big idea of moving Israel to the lovely and sparsely populated Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Presidente Fox, you're the first democratically elected leader of Mexico, and most Mexican Jews voted for you. Prime Minister Sharon, you're an old warrior who needs a vacation and a bucket of Corona beer on the beach. Israel has money and smarts. Mexico has a bright future but could use a few hundred billion in foreign investment.”

“Where do Jews and Palestinians live in peace? North America — right here in Los Angeles. Down with the Old World. Up with Fish Tacos. Let's call 'em Gefilte Fish Tacos.”

Bravo Layne, Bravo. Viva Layne. Mmm Tacos.

Ring a Ding Ding - - It is more than nice to see that the Dean Martin of Bloggers, Stephen Green has shaken the funk off, got his groove on, and his back going post crazy. Forgiving the French, Fun with Kristof, and Making sure Ken Lay keeps his cloths on.

From Middle East Dept: Here is a couple of must-reads - - Read fellow Canadian and the Dean of Canadian bloggers Damian Penny who slams Canadian policy and the notion of “proportionality”. “My question is, what would be a "proportionate" use of force by the Israelis? Would the Chretien government be happier if they sent teenagers into Ramallah to blow themselves up? Once again, the important question - What should Israel do? - remains unanswered. Certainly, Israel should not be free from criticism (serious questions remain about alleged "execution" of Palestinian police officer by the Israeli army, for example), but it's not enough for Israel's critics to say what the country should not be allowed to do. Israel is a desperate nation which has attempted negotiation, time and time again. What are its options?”

And Charles Johnson’s Arab Talking points (Take that Marshall). I particularly like this one: “If asked again about suicide bombings, change the subject. Keep returning to the ‘evil Israeli oppressors.’” Now try to grapple with this:

Question of the day: What will the stop Israel crowd do if, and this is a big if-no it is THE BIG IF, they round up terrorists, seize weapons, and send a message that terrorism will not stand, and the violence slows or at least seems to stop, allowing a window of opportunity for some sort of negotiation without young girls having to blow themselves up?

Its not wrong but it is stupid - - That is how Josh Marshall characterizes the Sharon plan to give Arafat a one way ticket to exile. I think he’s wrong.

Sharon isn’t going to be the peace broker but I doubt anyone ever thought he was. He was elected (an important point) by the people to be tough on the violence that started in the fall of 2000 after Camp David failed. The poll numbers aren’t treating him very good now but I think Marshall is wrong that he has no plan. Maybe he didn’t before, but now he is rooting out terror, period. It is the media, and old fossils like Albright, who are demanding that Bush send Powell or do something; he is he is letting Sharon round up and kill terrorists.

Ok maybe exile isn’t the answer as Jeff Jarvis smartly notes: “I'm amazed that anyone is talking about exile for Yasser Arafat. Picture it: Arafat -- fat, sassy, and tanned under his pathetic beard of 10 hairs -- is sitting on the sand in Casablanca, snarfing down the hummus and couscous as he gets on his mobile phone back home: "Send in another suicide bomber," he orders. "Make it a young one this time... No, we just bombed a mall. How about a hospital? Have we done a school yet? Screw the peace process." He will make his people suffer and delight in making his enemy suffer as he basks. Bad idea.” Sort of like Meet Joe Black or Death takes a vacation.

Sullivan on FIRE - - Andrew Sullivan has an excellent post on the Middle East this morning. Just click it.

Opening Day shocker - - I know, I know, I picked the Yanks to win the whole enchilada. Still the 10-3 loss on opening day to the Baltimore Orioles of all teams doesn’t mean I am wrong. It’s not like I am a NYY fan anyway.

Letter of the week - - In response to my Match 24th ESR article on debate on campus I received this delightful email from a Professor of History of Consciousness and Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz:

Your article accomplishes that difficult literary feat of exemplifying what it would analyze.

Btw, campus politics are in dialogue with mass media. To wit: Your thought. Of course and as you might imagine, that dialogue and its many mediations are more complex than the partial instance of exchange you endeavor to stage in your essay.

But keep it up. Maybe you'll be able to think the bigger conversation, although you'll probably have to become someone else first.

You could know what I mean if you tried.”

Nice! To which I replied:

“What an interesting and oh so clever retort to my opinion piece. I suppose that the theft and burning of conservative papers at places like Berkeley, the death threats against organizations who try to bring 'controversial' [read: Conservative] speakers to universities, and the rise of websites such as Campus Nonsense to counter the dominant liberal perspective on campuses are all just figments of my imagination?

It is nice to see that a professor such as yourself so wrapped up in his own bias that your only criticism to my hypothesis is denial. I am not sure what you feel is so complex about campus debate and politics and whatever interaction with mainstream media is that I cannot not comment on it, but I am sure Santa Cruz is an exception, they do after all have conservative groups: Students for a Conservative America But that doesn't tell the whole story does it-perhaps what is taught in class does?

Thanks for reading; maybe you'll become someone else too.
You could know what I mean if you tried.”