Friday, May 31, 2002

What me worry - - The first pre-multiple terror warning poll is in.

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. May 28-29, 2002. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"How worried are you that you or someone in your family will become a victim of terrorism: very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not worried at all?"

Very: 9%
Some-what: 31%
Not too: 37%
Not at all: 22%

Memo To: Canada RE: Defense Spending CC: The gig is up - - This is old news, but I think even the US media is on to the freeloading northern neighbor. Canada needs to spend more money.

Another Day, another fear factor test - - Bill Gertz is now reporting that there are shoulder-fired anti-Aircraft missiles being smuggled into the US.

Japan & the World Cup - - Fascinating piece by David Plotz on the World Cup in Japan. The article recounts the “new” deal logic of present day Japan by looking at how much they are spending for stadiums (10) that mostly will be useless later. Here’s a taste:

“Japan's stadiums have laser-guided johns, earthquake-proofing, winged roofs, retractable roofs, grand swooshing roofs. The stadium I visited this spring in Sapporo is a ludicrous marvel. It is a domed stadium with artificial turf, but a grass soccer field sits just outside the east wall. On soccer game days, the wall slides open, a bank of seats retracts, and the turf field—floating on an air cushion—is rolled indoors. Then the wall closes, the turf field is rotated 90 degrees, and—voilà—an indoor, grass soccer stadium. This insanity cost $400 million, plus $15,000 every time they move the field.”

Here is a primer on the WCUP from if you care, but really-HELLO, the NBA is still going get over this nonsense. Well at least France lost.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Fun at TAPPED - - The American Prospect’s blog, “Tapped”, had a post today on the latest Debbie Schlussel column.

Tapped: “This one is supposed to be about the WNBA, but it reads more like a transcript of whatever bizzare thoughts are running through her head -- sort of like Larry King, only Clinton-obsessive instead of senile. We're not quite sure to make of it. Why the obsession with the WNBA's "bearded ladies" and "muscular, butch giantesses," Debbie?”

Schlussel: “But whether or not you want to watch, that Waste of National Broadcast Airtime, the WNBA, is baaaack for yet another season, it's sickest-I mean, sixth.”

First, they can’t spell bizarre. Second why is Tapped defending the indefensible? It’s the WNBA for god’s sake! Third, lighten up!

Joe Klein does Europe - - Surprisingly interesting episode of Joe Klein’s travelogue today. It certainly seems to give props to Bush’s line that Europe isn’t all Anti-American. Especially the accounts of the soulless Euro! Well worth the read.

More Big Blogs - - now has the C-Log by Jon Garthwaite. And while there I found the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Briefing. Good stuff.

Last call - - Our little friend Mushy is talking tough with his nukes. Let me say that I think the proverbial fork needs to be stuck in this guy. He is no longer helping, OBL is probably in the country, or at least his minions are, and hell India can kick his ass-nuke or no nuke. Abandon ship.

NBA ACTION - - Ken Layne says if the Lakers lose he’ll cheer for the Kings! Then suggests that “should they beat the Nets, I'll expect half of 'em to hock their championship rings in 2007, for box wine.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Independent Investigation of 9/11? - - Upon further review, and some very quick calculations I may be more open to an independent review of 9/11 rather than leaving it in the hands of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Here’s why:

In the House Committee (where Gary Condit still haunts-the irony of him being on the “intell” committee is typical) they overwhelmingly voted in favor (in the committee it was 14 yea, 6 nay) of the Farm bill earlier this month. If ever there was an “indicator” of the idiotarian, this may be it.

In the Senate Committee they voted by a 56% margin in favor of the giant pork sandwich. Better than the House-but this committee does have probable Presidential contender Senator Handsome himself.

Prognosis? That these two committees are full of politician’s politicians and that does not bode well for coming to the bottom of this. No good can come from this.

Republican Outlook for 2002 - - Deroy Murdock savages the Republicans for a laundry list of weak policy, and says put two and two together.

Baseball & da ‘roids - - Regular reader Michael Dea passed along this Sports Illustrated article about Steroid use in Baseball. I say test the bastards. I like bunts, and steals, and sacrifices more than homers anyhow.

Bono vs O’Neill - - Patrick Ruffini has a lovely post on “National Lampoon’s African Vacation”. Okay not really, but it does have O’Neill making Bono look a sheep caught in the headlights:

“But by getting specific on Bono's ass, O'Neill showed remarkable acumen. Bono looks like he's been painted into some pretty indefensible territory — wanting to pretty dramatically improve the aid picture in the third world while simultaneously defending the status quo to the hilt, and turning a blind eye to how aid money is spent. O'Neill won this compassion bout by showing how profoundly dissatisfied he was with third world poverty — and with the lackluster effort to combat it. Not even I thought this Hollywood touchy-feely stuff could be this easily outgunned.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

The realizations of Wolf Blitzer - - Interesting tidbits in John McCaslin’s Washington Times column about CNN’s Wolf Blitzer’s commencement address to Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

First he admits something about journalism: "Indeed, in looking back on the weeks and months that preceded September 11, I must say, I — like so many of my journalistic colleagues — was embarrassed. We often neglected important news, especially from overseas, in favor of the softer yet perhaps more popular news."

Then Wolf gets downright opinionated: "As bad as the situation is right now, it easily can get a whole lot worse," he warned. "That's why it's so important that the Bush administration remains actively engaged; without high-level U.S. involvement, it will get worse — much worse." Perhaps not all television news people are morons.

Monday, May 27, 2002

New Article up - - ”Our Crazy World” is a link heavy article in the “Ken Layne School” articles of “blogitude”. All sorts of good things in this weeks issue of today. Enjoy.

Bush smackdown - - Bush publicly mocks NBC News White House correspondent David Gregory, for basically being a twit. Beyond the humor, Bush makes a good point all media should pay attention to. That is that just because 4,300 people are protesting, it doesn’t denote the “will of the people” but that is the narrative that news chooses.

Tune into Imus tomorrow or this week and when Gregory turns up Imus will mock him to no end-just like every week.

Memorial Day- - I Was up to watch Bush tour the Normandy beaches and give a short but poignant address.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Sandwiches, is there anything they can’t do? - - The three year old sandwich is a reality. Finally! Rooney had the story awhile back and tasted them. “This is a pepperoni pocket sandwich made in June, 2000. Two years old, that's not so bad.”

Place your Bets - - Odds on war between Pakistan-India? David Warren says we are at 50-50. But seriously, Warren says that a small little exchange would be best.

Martin van Creveld is more optimistic saying in short that if deterrence is good enough for us and the commies it may well be good enough for our friends too.

Water on Mars - - Glenn Reynolds and Rand Simberg have all the Martian stuff. How utterly “Total Recall”

Anti-Idiotarian Translation service - - Damian Penny rips apart the general John Ralston Saul Message by translating him into English from Idiototarian. Thank you!

Shawn Green’s bat - - Shawn Green went on a tear this week. On Thursday he hit four home runs in one game. He hit one on Friday, and miraculously he hit another two yesterday. He went 11-for-13 with 14 runs batted in in those three games. Seven in three games is a new record, nine in a calendar week is another record. But the bat he used to hit all of them broke in his last at-bat on Saturday.

Some bat! 34-inch, 32-ounce Rawlings. Last week Green went 0-for-18 and was benched. Quite the wake up call Mr. Green.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Fantastic!! - - Just watched the unbelievable fourth quarter come-from-behind victory by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics broke a 170-0 streak that saw every team, which was leading by 19, or more in the fourth quarter (in the playoffs) win. They scored 41 in the fourth, to the Nets 16. They also did what the Lakers could not last night-either way two great games in a row for the NBA!

Plan? We don’t need no stinkn’ Plan - - I wasn’t as quick to judge Bush’s claim that there was no war plan for Iraq on his desk as some people (ahem Sullivan). Rumsfeld it seems knows exactly what to do-as if we are surprised. Here are the Pentagon’s talking points:

1. It is “dumb” to talk about plans. (Topple regime, drop bombs, who needs plans?)
2. The Military is ready to take on any mission the leadership wants no matter what the stress on the military. (Ready to go NOW)
3. It is not going to be as bad as everyone says. (Less than 200,000 troops, way less)
4. Diplomacy isn’t going to remove Saddam, force will. (Stick a fork in Saddam)
5. Give us some time and we’ll make blowing Saddam up look, “elegant”. (Nice)

Bonus Secret CIA Talking Point:
*The CIA is already mixing it up on the ground in Northern Iraq. (We are closer than we think)

The importance of being Steyn - - People always link to Mark Steyn’s columns-why ‘cause they are damned fine. Today’s dispatch (he he) from the Telegraph is not to be missed.

Friday, May 24, 2002

Get a life - - I am not trying to go fishing for hits on this one, but it is true. I am really tired of people talking, writing, opining about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Stop wasting my time. It may have its moments of cleverness or humor but, seriously, I watch “The Simpsons”, the Simpsons are friends of mine, and Buffy you are no Homer Simpson. Not even close.

Is Bush going wobbly? - - Reading Sullivan this morning didn’t exactly make me too happy. “Dreadful news today that the president may be wavering in his intent to destroy the Iraqi regime. If true, then those of us who have supported the war on terror need to revise our assessment of this president,” he writes. Then he goes on about how Bush told the press that he has no war plans for Iraq on his desk and that the military according to the Washington Post are pushing for no invasion.

This doesn’t, at least to me, seem to be grounds for claiming that Bush is going soft. Maybe he doesn’t have the plan on his desk; perhaps there is no plan. But this would seem like a good case for, oh perhaps secrecy. Why would you announce to Europe: “Yep I have the plans on the desk back home, it is only a matter of time.”

At least Noonan is more realistic in her assessment of Bush’s time in Germany. She says that the subtext of Bush’s big speech is this: “Mr. Bush is trying to communicate to European elites that American actions, views and plans on Islamic terrorism are not a threat to Europe but its salvation. He is trying to tell Europe to open its eyes, see the threat, join the cause. He is trying to convince them that this is not America and Israel vs. the world but civilization vs. madmen. If he cannot convince the elites he may at least win new support from the people of Europe--he's talking to them too. And he is attempting to rally the American people again, using a European stage to drive home his worldview and display what he hopes will be perceived back home as growing personal stature.”

So I would imagine that if you are trying to communicate these messages, now would not be the time to add, “by the way we got the plans were taking Iraq down with or without you.”

I am not ready to question the superior wartime leadership of Bush so quickly. Iraq is going to happen, but when and how are still being worked on. Heck if I was Saddam and saw this open debate I may wonder when and where the attack was coming from. I am not buying the wobbly view, yet.

Mmmm Donuts - - Anti-globalization monkeys take note, in Canada, according to this Globe and Mail article, McDonald’s is set to be passed by Canadian donut maker as the largest fast food chain in Canada. The secret is that most Canadians still believe that Tim Horton’s is owned by Canadians on not by Dave Thomas’s Wendy’s Inc. Suckers! I doubt that this will cause any change from the anti-globo hooliganism against Ronald’s. Give me a break. If you want to see the latest from the troglodytes visit Damian Penny’s site he’ got the pictures and the site. Enjoy.

It doesn’t matter because the donuts are terrible. I have had a Krispy Kreme and they are far and away superior. Plus they don’t sell all the other mumbo-jumbo.

On Canadization - - My favorite quote of the day, so far today, comes from Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard: “America in the George W. Bush era sees Europe a bit like Canada. It is mostly friendly, occasionally annoying and seldom worth worrying about. When important decisions are made or large initiatives carried out, Europe is to be politely consulted but rarely given a big role and never a veto. In fact, "the Canadization of Europe" is a phrase that pops up sporadically these days.”

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Four Homers - - No this is not about Homer Simpson, it is about Shawn Green’s 6-for-6, four homer, 19 total bases game. That is two four-homer guys in 2002 so far. Only good can come from this.

Kurtz on the Chandra Levy Media Frenzy - - I think Howard Kurtz gets this particular media feeding frenzy just right. The time devoted to this story versus the suicide bomber that day, or gosh, the WAR is sickening.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

The world today - - Remember what it was like to read and watch the news, say, back in the late 1990’s? It was bull market this, Clinton-Lewinsky this, Dot.Com that, and so on.

What do have to absorb today?

* Another suicide bomber in Israel.

* Nuclear tension rising in South Asia, again. Then again it is hotter than hell in India.

* Daily terror warnings.

But you know what? We also had Celebrity Boxing II and David Blaine’s Vertigo today, so all is not so serious.

Towing the Party Line - - Sometimes the difference between news and commentary is very blurry. There is this “op-ed” in today’s Washington Post by Madeleine Albright goes on, at great length, about Bush’s trip to Europe. Then there is this piece in the World Section offering, as “news” or at least news analysis, basically the same thing. The party line: that Bush is unilateralist and that Europe and American Democrats don’t like it. Tough.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Meanwhile… - - Doesn’t seem that every time we right ourselves and get back on track in the war on terror, and somebody starts to lose it. This time it appears that it is back to an India-Pakistan showdown. Freaks!

Total Bummer - - I missed this when I tried to read the New York Times earlier today. But it is very sad to learn the news of Stephen Jay Gould’s passing. He seemed like the guy you’d want to have at “the” ultimate dinner party.

And if that wasn’t enough my editor at points out the death of Walter Lord, the famed author of A Night to Remember.

Why we are fighting - - Damian Penny watched and reported on the video of Daniel Pearls death. He won’t link to it, I won’t link to it, but judging by his words it is disturbing stuff. Read his post it is damned good. I am going to attempt to watch it tonight based on his suggestion to do so.

Question of the day??? - - Perhaps someone can help me. The pilots have been denied firearms on planes today. So let me understand this correctly, and it probably does have a simple technical or legal answer, but why is it that Airlines are not able to hire their own “Air Marshals” or security? Would people pay slightly more for a ticket on a plane they knew had trained gun-toting security guards on board? Who in the hell would object? There are private security guards all over North America with weapons, why not on planes. I’d pay an extra fee for that sort of service. But I suppose that the FAA has some sort of jurisdiction here.

I guess, I shouldn’t ask this because the aftermath of 9/11 led to the creation of new government workers and bureaucracy that may not help to stop hijackings at all.

Welcome - - Welcome new friends via and Bourque’s new Blog Log. There is a place for comments on my latest article here (just scroll past the article).

Update: Also a welcome to anyone who found this via the link in today’s Plain Talk.

Mmm BBQ - - has the BBQ sauce tasting results. And a great explainer (especially for those of my readers within Canada who have to hear about me ranting about Barbeque all the time) as to what Barbeque is:

“People confuse barbecuing with grilling all the time, but they're not the same; in fact, they're opposite. Grilling is cooking something at high heat directly over a flame. It's fast, it's very hot, and the food is on top of the fire. Barbecuing is cooking something slowly, over indirect, low heat, such as a firebox that is attached to but not part of a pit. "Slow and low" are the keys to barbecue—slow time, low heat.”

The New Chris Mathews Blog - - I was curious enough to look at Eric Alterman’s blog. Sure curiosity killed the cat, and thankfully the site is annoying, and Alterman is a sure-fire twit. That said I think having more lefty blogs is good for business.

And while I was there I noticed his link to Chris Mathews’ own new blog. It is basically a written version of his final segment of his show, but with links. Not bad because when he is on, like he was last night he is good.

Poor Cuba - - Damian Penny breaks down something I have been grumbling about since Carter hit Havanna and illuminates the Bush Cuba speech of today.

Those who demand engagement with Cuba because we engage nations like China are off their rockers. In fact, non-engagement actually has worked, so long as people are fully committed a la Cold War. The real question is: has engagement ever really worked.

It doesn’t matter; non-engagement doesn’t mean doom and gloom-as Penny rightly points out PJ O’Rourke’s nod to Taiwan under the non-engagement of China. Hell we engage with all sorts of places that never change-anyone, anyone? Bueller?

Well, there is France? All we have done is engage with them since the end of WWII and well; you don’t have to be Jonah Goldberg to see that they are cheese eating appeasing monkeys does it? Click on this old G-File to see some classic “France” stuff-plus a great, surprise, O’Rourke quote: "The French are sawed-off sissies who eat snails and slugs and cheese that smells like people's feet. Utter cowards who force their own children to drink wine, they gibber like baboons even when you try to speak to them in their own wimpy language."

Seriously though, if Castro wants to continue his socialist death march to oblivion why should we give him a parting gift? I have wondered that when the entire world trades with Cuba except America and Israel why the embargo even matters. Let me get this straight: 98 percent of the world can trade with Cuba yet they need to trade with all 100 percent to succeed.

Non-engagement, to me, seems to be something akin to appeasement. We’ve tried that too and given the French preclusion to it; you can see why it is a bad, bad, idea.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Michael Moore does Cannes - - The Prof ain’t gonna like this tidbit. According to the NY Times (and who knows this may not be ‘news’ anymore, and let’s face it, this wasn’t news before either) Michael Moore is living it up in France (now there is a match made in heaven huh) pimping his latest film. Life sure must be tough for the workingman Moore.

“Last week Michael Moore presented "Bowling for Columbine," in which he applied his familiar documentary techniques and his humorous, aggressive man-of-the-people persona to American gun culture. Mr. Moore's America, a country ruled by fear and obsessed with firearms…”

This is all we need. Mr. Moore talking about guns.

Joe, Joe, Joe - - Sen. Lieberman is going insane. He should only be allowed to talk about attacking Iraq, or other topics of the “hawks” because when he talks of Enron, Intelligence failures, or Taxes he is a complete nut.

New column at ESR - - I was grumpy all week, and still am. In my bad mood I didn't want to write about the what Bush Knew flap, so I did what any self respecting writer would do. Write about Europe. "The sick man is Europe" is up at now. Lots of good stuff in this weeks issue too-check it out.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Anti-globalization persists - - Anti-globalizers feel like the villains in Scooby-Doo. We could get away with socialism if it wasn’t for you meddling kids in the first world, and that damned dog.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Jonah Goldberg - - Kicks Rep. McKinney around yet again. You'd think It wouldn't be funny anymore, yet it is. Read it, love it.

Read Gertz - - Always a good read is Bill Gertz take.

What did Bush know commentary- - Now, what Bush knew and when he knew it is the “news” this week-you can tell because on Sunday’s Meet the Press Cheney will be on for the full hour. Many have said, that the FBI and CIA could have connected the dots and at least learned what was possible-that planes would become deadly missiles. I don’t question that they could have. At first my defense, if I was in the White House, was to say that we can think clearly now having seen the outcome (20/20 vision).

But now I am inclined to think, well jeez, it looks pretty obvious, but had we done that what exactly would we have done to stop it? Ground all planes? Ground all Arab-looking passengers on said planes? Scrambled planes? Armed pilots with guns? Tighter airline security?

And if only we had paid more attention to the flight schools, and Atta and his buddies we would have been ok. Clearly this isn’t true either; we could have (should have) arrested these terrorists. But does anyone think that 9/11 or something like it would not have happened? I defer to Israel where for every would-be suicide bomber they round up two are ready act.

Ya, sure people are still complaining about either the airline security being too lame (no guns for pilots, lame screening) or being too much (inconvenient, shoe checks). I am sure last August they would have been pleased about tighter security. So that is where we are. The exact same place as 9/11. The only true defense against terrorists on planes is us-it was thus on 9/11 it is thus 5/17 and it will be on 6/25, 7/14, 8/19, 9/10…and every damned day until we track these terrorist bastards down and kill them before they try to kill us.

What did Bush know morning briefing - - Whatever you do, please refrain from watching the current MSNBC anchor-Chris Jansing. It is painful to watch her expose idiotarian points of view daily, hourly, by the minute, or second. I wouldn’t let most news anchors mow my lawn, but judging by some of the MSNBC anchors’ comments this morning they would have you believe that not only are they experts on intelligence (not likely) but they could have analyzed the August intelligence and prevented 9/11. I defer to Don Imus who has constantly called much of the MSNBC news team “morons”.

Instead read James S. Robbins who has an excellent piece in NRO today asking the dogs to be called off. Here is Robbins on what I will call the Chris Jansing effect: “But once an event happens and it all seems preordained, the dots connect themselves. It no longer takes a specialist to analyze the unknown — practically anyone is free to state the obvious as though it always had been. This is the problem with hindsight — you can instantly sift through the information and apply it in a way an analyst would love to do if he only had a time machine.”

Or Andrew Sullivan who also writes about this story today. His take? It is a non-story. And John Ellis. Both link to a delightful exchange between Rumsfeld and Rush Limbaugh. Read it. Avoid MSNBC.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

The Blood in the water, well no, not really - - Judging by the talk shows (Just finished watching CROSSFIRE and HARDBALL) this story, framed by those looking to find blood as what did Bush know, and when did he know it. Two guests stuck out in my mind, both on Mathew’s show that really didn’t fall for the scandal blood in the water like many others have. Talk about this amongst yourselves just don’t read this statement preeminent conspiracy scholar Cynthia McKinney.

Seriously though, Christopher Whitcomb and G. Gordon Liddy were all over this issue-and in a good way. It helps that Whitcomb was former FBI, and Liddy of course was the burglar at Watergate-they seem to have a sense of intelligence ops successes or not. Between them they pretty much put to rest any idea that this is some sort of cover up-Whitcomb seems to agree with Bush’s notion that there ”is a sniff of politics in the air”.

Rand Simberg also gets the issue just right. Monday morning quarterbacking is silly, but that shouldn’t let post-9/11 incompetence by officials such as Ridge and Mineta go unanswered.

(Here is the Rice Briefing)

CBS News Strategy - - Is it me, or is CBS news doing the equivalent of trolling for hits on a website by deliberately being controversial? First airing parts of video showing Daniel Pearl and of course leading the way on pre-knowledge of hijackings in the FBI. They are in third place in the nightly news ratings, everyone at 60 Minutes is aging rapidly, and two words: Dan Rather. Will it bring the viewers back? Doubt it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

The Finer Points of Episode II - - Haven’t seen it, and will try to wait some to avoid the make-up and wig crackpots. Cool article on the Star Wars universe and stuff at the Weekly Standard. Here is a taste:

“But the most compelling evidence that the Empire isn't evil comes in "The Empire Strikes Back" when Darth Vader is battling Luke Skywalker. After an exhausting fight, Vader is poised to finish Luke off, but he stays his hand. He tries to convert Luke to the Dark Side with this simple plea: "There is no escape. Don't make me destroy you. . . . Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy." It is here we find the real controlling impulse for the Dark Side and the Empire. The Empire doesn't want slaves or destruction or "evil." It wants order.”

This just in… - - The Washington Post discovers that the new tone is gone. Good riddance. The new-new tone is killing our terrorist enemies before they kill us deal with it.

Picking on Condie - - Today’s news ( and here) of the knowledge pre-9/11 that intelligence agencies failed to act on information that may have outlined what was to come is mildly disturbing. That said, I think it is clear that judging intelligence on acts such as hijacking before and after September 11th is tricky. We look back now, and say geez why were these people able to get visas, airplane training, etc but back in August, or earlier, it seems pretty flimsy.

Tonight on the Alan Keyes is Making Sense show this was the hot topic (transcript tomorrow). It may shock supporters of the Condie Rice “wing of the GOP party” that Keyes and guests were at least debating how much the current National Security Advisor should be held responsible for the intelligence failure of 9/11.

Rice was the person advising the President on Security issues, but in her defense I am sure she was dealing with bigger picture issues (China, Russia, NATO, Iraq) but it may hinder her chances for being on the ticket in 2004, 2008 or beyond.

Layne On FIRE - - Ken Layne has some thoughts on why the anti-globalization cranks go after the second largest fast food chain in America (McDonald’s over Subway), the McDonald’s website which Layne suggests is “stupider than a child-molesting clown”, and why you eat at McDonald’s more when you leave North American airspace.

Read his post here too, and celebrate 4 AM Layne.

Quote of the day - - Radley Balko sums up my feelings on the fund raising use of a picture of Bush on the phone on 9/11:

“To be honest, I really don't understand all the hubbub over the RNCC using a 9/11 picture of President Bush talking on the phone of Air Force One as a fundraiser. Perhaps Terry McCauliffe would be more comfortable if Bush sold nuclear secrets to the Chinese to raise campaign funds.”

Woody Allen signs off on France - - Thankfully Woody Allen has given the thumbs up to France. Perhaps Allen should cast Malkovich in his next film to bring him down to reality. Movie I never want to see? Being Woody Allen-yikes.

Say it ain’t so II - - First the possible demise of New Era manufacturing in the US, now news that Baseball players may strike as early as August. Baseball played a major part of the getting back to normal last fall, striking would not be a good idea deadbeats.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

It Feels like August again… - - This is not a good sign of things. Rich Lowry writing, very briefly, in NRO’s “The Corner” talked to a mideast expert who said that it feels like August again. Another post responded that it is because we are “winning.”

Are we winning? I am not sure, but I can tell you that it sure doesn’t feel like August to me. And it won’t feel like it again until Saddam is gone, the suicide bombers have stopped, Bin Laden’s head is on a platter in the Oval Office, and our troops are home again.

G-8 Dept. “Operation Grizzly” - - The next anti-globalization showdown is coming to Alberta, Canada. In an interesting turn the location is pretty much in the woods at Kananaskis making it difficult for protestors to protest. The protestors will probably be forced to do so in Calgary far from the summit. The key is to have the summit in a location big enough that it will be able to hold 5,000 Canadian troops but small enough that any additional protestors will bring environmental damage. Checkmate.

Jimmy Carter Smackdown - - The wonderful Julia Gorin gets the “Mr. Carter goes to Havana” story just right.

Legitimate Complaint Dept. - - Andrew Sullivan, I think, understands this president as well as anyone writing today. He manages to explain Bush’s weaknesses (Farm pork, judicial nominees, protectionism) within the context of his already huge successes (the tax cut, the war, compassionate conservatism).

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Say it ain’t so - - I came across this editorial at the Washington Times on the outrageous development with the world’s greatest maker of baseball caps, New Era. You want to learn about how silly the Union movement and their friends on campuses have become read on. Not good.

The Former Presidents - - First, I have enjoyed the coverage of former President Carter hanging out with Axis of Evil class of 2002 hopeful Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Then there was an interesting exchange on CNN’s Late Edition today when the panel noted that the Bush Administration would send Former President Clinton to East Timor. Here is Jonah Goldberg’s

“Yes, well, when we asked the producers why we were discussing this, they noted that it's the furthest geographic point from the White House.

So I think Bush is on the right track with his Clinton policy, and I think he should stay on it. And if he wants to get involved in a sort of manned mission to mars, more power to him.”

I'm back - - Hello Dispatches faithful. I am back in Vancouver, and posting should resume later tonight or early tommorow. Had a great weekend with young leaders from around Canada at the Fraser Institute. I just added my Pay Pal button, so if you want to drop a few bucks in the tip jar, I would be most grateful.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Housekeeping - - Don’t expect too much posting until Sunday. I am traveling back to Vancouver early tomorrow morning, and staying downtown to attend a conference. Check out the links, read the archives.

Perpetuating myths of US Isolationism - - Silly article by Richard Gwyn who says that Canada looks naturally outward while the US looks naturally inward. I went to an AEI book forum on Monday that looks at US foreign policy and finds that far from being isolationist America has produced its ‘empire’ by being involved throughout the world through its participation in ‘small wars.

The panel was looking at Max Boot’s new book ”The Savage Wars of Peace”. Very interesting.

Or is it the 1930’s in Europe? - - David Pryce-Jones thinks so.

Monday, May 06, 2002

The European 1960’s - - A question: is today’s Europe having the kind of cultural crisis and possible transformation that America went through in the 1960’s?

Here we have an entire continent searching for an identity, and its subsequent place in the world, and there is multiple backlashes against the establishment. Last week France occupied much of our time, they have had their election (and their fun on May Day), and now we turn to the Netherlands. Assassinations, turmoil, oh my!! Sure it is not like they are losing their “Kennedy” or “King” and they aren’t fighting their “Vietnam” (‘cause they don’t have the power to do anything on the world stage) but it may be just as important a period of history for them. (BTW: this is going to become my column this week so if you have any ideas on this pass them along via the email!)

Spider-Man - - Lileks has his review on the Box Office giant today. I think he is pretty dead on. Personally I thought the stuff on the ground about Peter Parker and his discovery of his “powers” was far more interesting than any of the over-CG’d effects. But I digress.

I almost wrote about some lame extrapolations I found in the film, but never bothered. Lileks covers some of them for me today. On the moral center of the film: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

”Go ahead; argue this is a sign of Western self-delusion, or a statement of solemn principles - that’s not my point. I’m just saying that that simple homily means something about the culture from which it came. Not: with great power comes great opportunity for burying your foes beneath the spiked wheels of your juggernaut! or with great power comes booty like you would - not - believe! Of course, the next question is, responsibility to do what? And there the arguments start. The EUians would mean we have a responsibility to sign Kyoto and join the ICC; others would insist we have a responsibility to reduce global income inequality, or smash states that are on a crash course to develop weapons of mass destruction. You could say that Spider-Man’s credo is the central dilemma of a unipolar world. But that would be silly.”

As a Canadian, who happens to have spent three weeks in the American capital, I think Spider-Man is a useful metaphor for America. And damn if he doesn’t piss much of the world off often while it tries to do the right thing.

CROSSFIRE Update - - Went to Crossfire, again. The topic that caught my interest was them delving into Media Bias with Dee Dee Myers, and Brent Bozell. What I found interesting, was when the shot the teaser on Lou Dobbs show, Paul Begala talked about the segment saying his “good friend” Dee Dee would be on and “Conservative” Media watchdog Bozell. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but he felt it necessary to qualify one but not the other. It went down hill from that point on.

Arafat’s Groundhog Day - - My latest article is up at on Arafat and his future. I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, May 04, 2002

Another Alamo? - - I found this sordid Gwynne Dyer column when I was reading USA Today. They had a selection of clips on the West Bank in their “OpinionLine” section.

The nut and bolt of it: “Masada, the Alamo, the Easter Rising -- are the mythic bedrock of national identity. Now Sharon has given the Palestinians Jenin, as the founding myth of the state that will one day be theirs.

Outnumbered five- or 10-to-one, with only Kalashnikovs and explosives against tanks and helicopter gunships, Jenin's fighters from all the rival organizations, secular and Islamist, stood up together against the Israeli army and defended their squalid little patch of earth for eight days. Half or more of them were killed, but it was the first time that Palestinians had ever done that. And so all is changed, though to talk in terms of 'terrible beauty' you have to be far enough away not to smell the bodies rotting under the rubble.”

Well, what to say about this. Dyer is wrong in his belief, or maybe it is his wish, that the fighters in Jenin were the same as those at the Alamo. Perhaps the idea of this being some sort of needed myth for the nation building of a future Palestine, but can this wash away the litany of evidence that the Israeli’s were going after terrorist-terrorists sponsored by the so-called leader of their territory.

Dyer’s view seems to operate in a vacuum. Charles Johnson (via Instapundit) believes that in fact, the past year and a half is taking its toll on the senior leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

And the evidence mounts. This article by way of Fred Pruitt suggests that outside of Arafat’s media bubble, the people are not dancing in the streets. Good.

This is not good - - Damian Penny discusses the new pipe bomb epidemic, and what the nasty conspiracy clowns are saying about them. The note is totally creepy if you ask me.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Matt Drudge Back - - Drudge was doing the rounds in Washington today, and I happened to be in the audience at his Crossfire appearance. What a treat. (The transcript will be here later)

Whatever you think of him, Drudge is a personality that adds to the journalism scene. I was worried that he couldn’t think of any reporters he really liked these days, and relies on the more Gonzo school for divine inspiration. Wonder how many, if any, blogs he reads?

But he still has Begala and his friends in tizzy from the Monica fallout. Let it go man. Marshall contends that, “Paul Begala really took a whack at Matt Drudge on Crossfire tonight. And he definitely drew some blood. Matt really had the look of serious regret that he'd come on the show. And he looked more than a bit pissed. “

But he didn’t look or act pissed. During the breaks he and Begala were cordial, and Drudge looked like he was having plenty of fun, especially with Begala. And he got a huge applause from the audience when he finished his segment.

Slick Willy TV - - Jonah Goldberg makes the case for Bill Clinton getting his own television show. I agree with Peggy Noonan, I just don’t think even Bill could devote enough time to a regular show, perhaps he could just do prime time specials; or Survivor 5; how about Big Brother 3?

Fun with Kofi Annan - - Foreign Policy has his favorite websites listed. What’s next his own blog? Yikes. Selecting some of your own organizations sites is pretty cheesy though.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

If You read one thing today - - Read James Lileks today and see why he should be read by every person on the planet. Everyone is going to link to this, and everyone should read it. (Especially my friend in Vancouver Ali!-I will expect an email response)

Here is the orienting question: “If Saudi Arabia had a Star Trek, do you think they’d put a Jewish Chekov at the helm?”

If you read two things today - - Humor me and read my thoughts on yesterday’s May Day celebration. ”A Giant Cheese Sandwich” is about May Day, the Left, Le Pen, Cheese Sandwiches, and more.

The Great Libertarian Debate - - Francis Fukuyama suggests that Libertarianism has peaked and is on the defensive on two fronts: cloning (biotechnology) and foreign policy.

The Dean Martin of Blogs takes this view on.

I think Fukuyama is right in that some Libertarians are fighting along these fronts, although the Libertarian foreign policy crowd over at is not gaining any friends through “isolationists unite” rhetoric. But I think his point is important nevertheless. Certainly more than Stephen Green does. I also think that few if any really care about everything Libertarians have to say. Stick with the meat and potatoes stuff on the size and scope of government and its reach, don’t bother with Foreign Policy, and cloning is going to be tough even for some Libertarians.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Rumors of Western Civilizations demise greatly exaggerated - - Reports of The Simpsons demise are wrong, and the world breaths a sigh of relief.