Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Dispatches Prediction Robot 2003 Edition - - Predictions are pretty funny, what’s the worse that could happen? I’ll try my luck at predicting the world of 2003 right now…

Ten Prediction for 2003:

1.The current “axis of evil” (Iran, Iraq, and North Korea) will all be changed regimes by the end of the year. Iran by revolution and Iraq and North Korea by force. Bonus: Saddam’s Iraq will be exposed as the truly horrific place that everyone already believes. Sean Penn will return to see for himself.

2.A new “axis of evil,” AOE version 2.0, if you will, will be named and may include such “friendly” states as Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.

3.On day three or four of the war, either in Iraq or North Korea, journalists will use the word “quagmire” and talk about either the fierce North Korean or Iraqi winter, summer, fall, or spring or the dreaded mountains, lakes, rivers, dessert, or jungle or the training of the republican guard or North Korean army.

4.A new, unlikely, and as yet undeclared democratic candidate to face George W. Bush will emerge by the fall of 2003. John Kerry, John Edwards, and Howard Dean will all lose their luster. Al Sharpton will become a force to be reckoned with at a mere 3%. But as they say in Star Wars…there is another.

5.The Stock Markets will rebound nicely as concerns regarding war are resolved. Mainstays of US globalization (Disney, Coke, McDonald’s) will lead the pack.

6.In an attempt to bolster ratings news channel MSNBC will hire Mark Burnett, the man who brought us Survivor, to run day-to-day operations. He will hire Jesse Ventura, Richard Hatch, Bill Maher, Ann Coulter, Al Gore, Jesse Helms, Eminem, Howard Stern, and a slew of especially good looking local news people.

He will require them to compete in immunity challenges weekly, and then vote out the weak member of the ‘news’ team. Ratings soar, news coverage is kept at a minimum. As a consequence Tina Fey from Saturday Night Live will get a real news job. And Chris Matthews does surprisingly well yelling at them all. Fox News continues to lead the ratings.

7.US agents working around the globe will expose an Al Qaeda network just prior to them doing something terrible.

8.Bob Dole and Bill Clinton will make quick friends in the Senator’s spouse club.

9.And speaking of Bill Clinton, he will try to go to North Korea and get his very own Nobel Peace Prize, just like his buddy Jimmy. He won’t get nominated, and there will be a war to defuse the situation.

10.Rudy Giuliani will work his way into the hearts of the Bush administration positioning himself to run for something, anything, or getting appointed to something or anything. (Okay it is a safe bet, but Rudy is da man)

A note to end on for 2002 - - Buckley has the positive word for the end of the year. Things are getting better.

Oh no what are we going to do? - - Fred Kaplan says that the only way out with North Korea is ‘appeasement’. They have nukes! They have us by the short and curly ones! Let’s give them cash to stop. (Slap!) Shut up wussy boy. I’d gladly take the odds that the US and friends could decapitate and neutralize their small amount of nukes and weapons, take the country by force-probably with Putin’s help (he loves this sort of stuff), and be done with this mess.

Good grief - - Why is it that around New Years Eve time we get these terrorist freaks crossing into the US from Canada? Read the account of the five men wanted by the US taking the B.C. ferry-that’s in my backyard for $500 Alex! Lets see where this story goes tonight.

Sullivan’s End of Year Winners - - Andrew Sullivan has his awards for excessive liberal rhetoric, conservative hyperbole, and posing. These are my two favorites:

Here is a runner up for the Begala Award (Liberal rhetoric)“Give the Republicans credit. They know what they stand for. Tax cuts. Guns. Bombs. Oil. Big business. Old boy networks. Privatization. Plundering the earth. Pillorying and padlocking the poor. Party-line votes." - Derrick Z. Jackson, the Boston Globe.

Here’s a runner up for the Poseur Alert (Pretentious Writing) : From Vanity Fair's "Proust Questionnaire" of Gary Hart: "What is your idea of perfect happiness? HART: Reading The Odyssey in classical Greek on board a three-masted schooner off the island of Chios."

Gary Hart has to run for the Democrats. What fun it would be.

The best 2003 Predictions EVER - - Tim Blair who has been on fire lately peers into the future. Highlights:

February 2nd: “Coca-Cola stocks fall despite the introduction of three new flavours: Progesterone Coke, Pepsi Coke, and Meat Coke-on-a-Stick.”

March 24th: “With market recognition of the Axis of Evil brand running at 90%, President George W. Bush announces plans for a luxury subsidiary. Containing Belgium, Monaco, and Switzerland, the Lexus of Evil range will be launched in 2004.”

March 17th: “Al Gore replaces Phil Donahue as MSNBC's prime chat show host. His program, I Will Talk To You, Then You Will Reply, and Then I Will Again Talk, is cancelled after 17 minutes.”

October 7th: “After a week-long Las Vegas bender in the company of Christopher Hitchens, Noam Chomsky calls a press conference to declare himself "a convert to the cause of Western values". A halting attempt to elaborate on his conversion is cut short by Hitchens, who menacingly reminds the outspoken former leftist about "the photographs. Don't make me show them the photographs, Noam." Chomsky refuses further questions.”

Lots more fun! Makes my half-finished list of 2003 predictions look both tame and lame. Sadly they will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, December 30, 2002

MMMM….lab grown meat - - Leave it to Jonah Goldberg to find the article on lab-grown meat and its potential consequences. Does this mean lab grown pepperoni too? MMMM…

Dispatches Best and Worst of 2002: Politics & Leaders - - Here we go my annual recap of the year that was. Take it away…

Politician or Leader
Best: Clearly this has to be George W. Bush. Put his political capital on the line and campaigned directly winning his party the control of the Senate. When the Senate leader was on the edge, Bush pushed him off and engineered his choice as Majority Leader to be named-while not appearing to do so. Al Gore dropped out of the 2004 race because he knew he would lose. Bush took the homeland security department as his own, and turned it on democrats. And finally he guided the U.S. into an entirely new foreign policy while getting the U.N. to endorse his plans on Iraq.

Worst: (Tie) The list was long and distinguished. You have to include Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien who in a nutshell announced Canada’s quiet retirement from any usefulness on the world stage-no invite to ‘the ranch’ in Crawford for you pal. He does have a partner in crime however, with Germany’s Gerhard Schroeder who used plenty of odious anti-Americanism to win the far left vote thus ensuring his reelection and alienating him from the power brokers. North Korea also didn’t want to be outdone and launched a last minute stupidity campaign to be here. Bravo crazy town!

Honorable Mentions - - Worst: Jimmy Carter (who used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech as a venue for criticizing current US policy); Trent Lott (The consummate porker finally got his); Gary Condit (No words necessary). Getting Walter Mondale to return to politics. (Worst idea…ever); having a Political Rally to mark Sen. Wellstone’s untimely death (Okay, this was worse than Mondale). Best: Al Gore (for having the guts to quite while he was behind and for playing Lott on SNL); the political comeback of, gulp, surprise, Gary Hart (Monkey Business redux lets hope);

Political Play of the Year: It has to also go to George W. Bush. When his administration announced early in 2002 that there was an “axis of evil” the world was shocked by his obtuseness. Now almost a year to the day that he gave his first State of the Union address war is pending against one third of the axis, a second is poised to restart its nuclear weapons program, and the final is on a path to revolution. By the end of 2003 all three parts of the axis of evil may have been dealt with-that is a home run!

Dispatches Best and Worst of 2002: Business, Arts, Entertainment & Sport - -

In Business:
Best: The best in business was watching Martha Stewart weather a firestorm for something that was no big deal. Her brand seems to remain intact. I also think George W. Bush gets a nod for getting rid of Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill who clearly spent way too much time with U2’s Bono.

Worst:Clearly mega Mergers were the bane of the stock market and business world, but not to be outdone were the morons who Report on Business demonstrating that they are only interested in one thing: inspiring panic. (Please see the worst Christmas Shopping season EVER). You also have to give some props to North Korea for continuing to sell weapons to places like Yemen. Try it in 2003 clowns.

Honorable Mentions: Note to MSNBC: Bringing back Phil Donahue to bolster its anemic ratings was ill thought out. Next, is it a coincidence that when McDonald’s begins to offer Salads that earnings finally evaporate, so they counter with cheaper food when they should be trimming out the majority of the menu and making a better burger damn it!

In Arts & Entertainment:
Best: The Entertainment field is pretty weak, but you seriously have to make Eminem your man for the year. Music, movies and picking on that loser Moby-that’s spells triple threat. But who could not also give a nod to perennial loser Winona Ryder who had to endure a show trial for stealing some cloths.

Worst:This is where things go terribly wrong. Is there any thing more despicable than Dr. Phil? Leave it to Fox to give us something as good as the Simpson’s and as truly shameless as American Idol. The absolute worst was part-Hollywood and part-politics. The Hollywood peaceniks led most notably by Sean Penn. But it could also have been given to the insidious work of Michael Moore who proved that truth is not necessarily the most important thing in a documentary.

In Sport:
Best:The best has to be how baseball managed to avoid a strike… for the first time. Way to go boys.
Worst: Finally figuring out that Olympic figure skating is a corrupt ‘sport’ when the nefarious French judge played quid pro quo with the Russians and robbed poor little Canada of a Gold medal. A story with something for everyone.

Honorable Mention: Would have to be the backlash against the US in this year’s World Cup. Boo hoo soccer fans! You’re a bunch of snobs. Wouldn’t the thing be more exciting if it wasn’t just Brazil?

Dispatches Best and Worst of 2002: Trends, Ideas, People & Stuff - -
Best: Four words: Predator Drone/ Hellfire Missile
Worst: Four words: What would Jesus Drive.

EVEN MORE Losers of 2002:
5. Jacko is wacko.
Osama bin Laden show us that you are alive little buddy. Proof of life!
3. Whitney Houston. Who would have thought Whitney would replace Mariah Carey as the biggest piece of trash in music. I didn’t.
2. Canada. Do the words Enron mean anything people?
1. Saddam Hussein. Have fun in 2003 buddy.

Even More of the Worst: You have to take issue with Tom Ridge’s Terror Warning System. Cloudy, light rain, and an elevated terror threat. You also have to loathe the completely useless UN Weapons Inspectors. Have you seen these people? -They are a bunch of paper pushing nerds. Two words: Cardinal Law How could I forget to put on the list the freaky UFO cult cloney buddies-not good freaks!

In tomorrow’s Dispatches: Look for my prediction for the year ahead.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Yes we also talk sports here, sometimes - - Some readers say I don’t link to enough fun stuff, or sports stuff, or basically stuff they care about. Well Sports fans here’s some good stuff! Eric Neel remembers Ted Williams. Meanwhile Charley Rosen investigates the LA Lakers in two parts. Another appears to suggest that freakish Chinese center Yao-is the Michael Jordan the NBA is looking for. Really?

Belarus? - - Will Saddam find a safe haven in Belarus? Yikes, that cannot be good. Sure it is not like Tahiti or something, but still letting him go doesn’t make any damned sense. Belarus with its very own bloody dictator emeritus in residence. Who else wants one?

Ground control to Chairman Mao - - China is continuing to rush their space program . Kung Pow!

Selfish nation adopts Alfred E. Newman code - - Canada officially approves “what me worry” as national moniker. Here are the details of Canada’s end of year poll.

In brief: We want more cash for our lame military, but only if it doesn’t stop the cash flowing to our sacred cows like healthcare. We aren’t fearful that a terrorist will strike Canada (even remembering Bali and Osama’s threat against us) and just to make sure we aren’t sold on following a US/British attack on Iraq (if we could help). In sum: the world is dangerous but we are blissfully ignorant and happy to slip into irrelevancy.

But there is a disconnect-well, isn’t there always? Canada’s commentators are not shrinking from the challenge. Here is a fine column from The Calgary Sun’s Paul Jackson.

Canada at year end - - Peter Worthington of The Toronto Sun highlights some of the problems in Canada.

He sums up the state of Canada’s military this way: “Romanian soldiers have replaced the Canadians in Afghanistan but, unlike us, their troops arrived on their own transport planes, with their own vehicles, weaponry and supplies. The Romanians don't depend on the Americans for military essentials as we did.”

The Romanians have their own stuff? Kind of sums it up people.

On the Upside - - Somehow missed this one yesterday (thanks Rand Simberg) about Western Canadian complaints with the federal government. As Simberg suggests: “The amusing thing is that the Canadian military is so ineffectual right now, that there's nothing Ottawa could do about it, and it's unlikely that they'd be able to raise an army to do so, given the prevailing attitudes. It could cause a cascade in which most or all of the western provinces break off.”

Shout out to Sunday political junkies - - Pundit Watch is up. Apparently there is a situation, or conflict, or crisis, er no not a crisis, thing-a-ma-do-hickey over in North Korea.

Definitive Michael Moore Review - - Another bit of fine writing from Aussie blogger/journalist Tim Blair.

How about this: “Millionaire Moore – who is to working class as French is to resistance, despite once spending one entire day on the Buick assembly line in his hometown of Flint, Michigan – is waging a class war, but it's against the rubes and hicks he claims to represent. They are mere joke fodder in his deceitful Playschool morality play. Go to hell, Mikey.”

I saw the damned film a few weeks back, and haven’t said a word about it. What’s to say, I gave the fat bastard my monies-I feel a deep and lonely shame.

Let them eat fries - - There are very few of my regular list of bloggers (links on the left) who are churning out new stuff this holiday season-those who are, are doing a stellar job. Here is a second day of good stuff from Radley Balko. This time he is taking on the fat police. Sure “supersize” meals are big, fatty, and unhealthy, but Balko points out that we ain’t getting fat because of them, although they surely don’t help, but because our, surprise, government approved diet is all screwy.

Inside the US Capital - - I particularly enjoy the tiniest of details about how governments practically function. Cool little article in today’s New York Times about the office space, er nook space, in the capital. Oh to be a fly on the wall on Teddy’s little sanctuary.

Thanks a bunch queeny - -

Having the Queen over for 12-days: $6.4 Million

Letting the Liberals manage the finances for the trip: Priceless. (Well actually $2 Million OVER budget. I wouldn’t let my government run a hot dog stand.)

I’ll play my drum for them… - - Tim Blair (Via: Instantpundit) has some choice words for our human shield friends.

Blair asks: “Question: would you have acted as a human shield in the World Trade Centre?”

They laughed at us in France… - - So we came to Canada. Good grief, the hits just keep on coming-now UFO’s, cloning, and cults. Andrew Stuffaford explains.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Canada’s left wing leader on Sean Penn talking points - - Giving Jean Chrétien a run for the money is NDP Leader Alexa McDonough. She is off to the Middle East with some buddies for what appears to be a nearly twenty-day vacation. It’s masked as a mission of peace. Goody for her. (Thanks to Bourque)

Perhaps Alexa could meet up with Patty Murray and they could have a really super time praising the humanitarian efforts of our nemesis.

Proof positive that leadership matters - - Another poll tries to articulate why Canadians are increasingly hesitant in backing a new US led war. I offer this analysis. If our current government offered up some sort of credible leadership (not “proof is a proof because it’s a proof” nonsense) the Canadian people would follow. Our leadership has shown that they are not interested in maintaining or sadly improving our military and the Canadian people consequently realize ‘what is the point’.

As for the US as world bully? Nothing changes; it is the same tiresome talk of yesteryear. Canadians just don’t have a leader to explain world affairs right now. We simply can’t have our cake and eat it too. This editorial suggests that “A reckoning is coming, Canada.” Yes indeed.

No I won’t be watching… - - Radley Balko urges us not to, wink wink, partake in, wink wink, the new Fox show “Joe Millionaire.”

Radley also points out the search for the hottest local news personalities. These are the people I want to read news. I don’t watch news to seriously learn anything new-that’s what papers and the internut are for. But a good-looking news babe that is what television news is to me. There are a-plenty. (it is also a pretty funny nominations page. Some strange nominations. Go now!)

2003 will be all about action - - David Frum details the how’s and when’s of the war on terror in 2003.

Friday, December 27, 2002

More 2003 predictions - - National Review Online rolls out some predictions for the new year. Many predictions, most popular seem to be how dead is bin Laden, finding parts of his corpse, and other great stuff.

Jonah strikes again - - Dispatches favorite Jonah Goldberg offers up his Winners & Losers of the year. Don’t think he forgot about our home and native land either:

“Canada, once a staunch and valuable ally in war and peace, has been exposed to have the military might of the Rhode Island National Guard, thanks to a liberal government intent on impressing the United Nations by bad-mouthing the United States.”

Oh, Jonah if our military was as strong as Rhode Island’s national guard life would be good. It’s not.

Who is the Most Admired Man in America? - - George W. Bush that’s who! He beat Jimmy Carter and Clinton. Who admires these two clowns? And thankfully J-Lo made the list too, although she is a distant fifth on the list after Hillary Clinton who was in first place.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Sure fire defense from Islamic terrorists - - Announcement that Hooters is going to begin a charter airline service. Take that buddies.

Deep Fried - - I may make a New Years resolution for 2003, but cutting out deep fried foods will not be one of them. Deep-fried meat pies…good golly they must be sent from heaven-hand made no less. Can any bad come from this? No I think not friends.

Iraq to let scientists out - - The more Iraq tries to cooperate the more I have trouble believing them. News that Iraq will allow scientists to leave the country to be interviewed by the UN strikes me as odd. Suggesting that it is a “personal decision” must be the Iraqi government’s code word for talk and we’ll kill your family. But hey, lets giver-a-go.

Disecting the Imperial Presidency myth - - Sam Tanenhaus has a charming article on the myth that George W. Bush is “Caesar.” Tanenhaus instead offers us another view of Bush, as someone combining “strength and imagination” operating with leadership, not “ruling.” If you believed Maureen Dowd’s rantings, you’d think otherwise.

Hit Parade - - Some great stuff from the Wall Street Journal today. Slamming Kwanzaa is up first. Swan prices are keeping the Days of Christmas cheaper this year. And the Top 20 resolutions from 2003.

Is it surprising? - - That the business writers and commentators who brought us such stories as the 1990’s boom or being blindsided by corporate frauds was busy reporting how utterly crap-tap-u-lous the holiday season was at the malls. Well it wasn’t that bad at all, and Timothy Noah is all over this in today’s Slate.com. Send all the business reporters your old fruitcake-they have been naughty, or lazy.

Bravo Chairman Mao - - The ironing is delicious over at Reason’s Hit & Run where the truth is out-Mao’s little red book is published in San Fran. Viva the revolution commies. Globalization is just plain fun.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Music to my Parent’s ears - - It is like Christmas, wait, it is Christmas. Hazzuh! Here’s the news from the link: “WHILE it has not been the best time to travel, invest in the stock market or indulge in truffles, there has never been a better time to buy and drink wine.” Rejoice friends for the wine is good and it is cheap. Drink and be Merry!

Newt’s advice to the GOP - - A quick and easy 5-part road map of Republican to-do lists from Newt Gingrich. I think the creation of a US MI-5 is going to be an issue all year. I am likewise intrigued by campaigning on “scientific environmentalism.” Worth the Boxing Day read.

In all the events of the year - - I had forgotten one of my favorite stories from 2001, which should have been mentioned before Christmas. The Dreaded Afghan Winter! Where is it again? In fact the Afghans are doing pretty well. I wonder: will there be talk of the dreaded Baghdad summer, or will there be talk of a “quagmire” by March only to find us liberating Iraq by February 15th.

May I suggest a new strategy, Let the wookie win - - The Democrats are gearing up to campaign against Bush for not doing enough on the War on Terror or defending the Nation. The early plans for such a campaign are beginning to manifest themselves. Here’s the problem: counting on future terrorists attacks or breaches of security, which would be proof of Bush’s non-action, would require failure-and kids it is never advisable to spend your fortunes in US politics waiting for failure. Go ahead guys, make our day.

When will it end - - Robots at it again.

Carter Frontrunner - - Jimmy Carter has emerged out of the pack to lead the “Idiotarian of the Year” award voting. Michael Moore is running a disappointing, but heartfelt second.

”The Adlai” - - Just prior to when the U.S. is going to finally pull the plug on the Saddam regime, I think it is increasing clear that Bush will pull this rabbit out of his hat. Iraqi weapons are here, here, and here he’ll tell us. He’ll do it with real cool big pictures, hopefully while wearing a cowboy hat to emphasize the endgame to our slowpoke European and dimwitted Canadian friends. We call this “The Adlai”. Something I was skeptical of a few weeks back, but I think it has all Bush written on it. And if Syria is involved, it is like ‘bonus’ time. Merry Christmas.

Don’t mess with NY - - A new USS New York will be built using some scrap steel from the World Trade Center-a fitting tribute and reminder.

Christmas with Dave - - Nice to see one celebrity not making a complete ass of one’s self. Nicely done Mr. Letterman.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

The Night Before Christmas: Wanted Dispatches Intern - - Well it is indeed the night before Christmas. Joy of joys. I watched a great episode of Seinfeld last night. It is the one where Kramer employs an NYU student to become his intern at “Kramerica Enterprises.”

Sure they tried to solve world energy problems and have a bottle with both ketchup and mustard-in the same bottle (“You’re insane Mr. Kramer.”) Well if anyone didn’t know what to get me this year, I think an intern/butler would be nice. And I don’t mean in a Clinton way. But with all the emails and phone calls; and someone preferably who knows more about HTML than me-cause I always seem to mess up the site.

It would be a lot like helping out Homer Simpson. Checking gravy levels, stocking up on cheese, installing the ranch dressing hose etc. This would all be part of the exciting 12-18 hour days. Think of it as working at the White House, but without as much security-although keeping Sean Penn out is going to be a big issue in 2003.

What would an intern do at Dispatches? Well, I think our first task for the New Year is to sort out one of our most prized world treasures. McDonald’s corporation is under siege from fat kids, anti-globalization rabble-rousers, foul smelling French cheese snobs, Islamic fascists and granola freaks and it shows. First the news that the company is losing money for the first time but they have changed their fry recipe and now are tinkering with the burgers. Hey I have no problem with the improving of the burger, but will this be like New Coke? I would suggest that they need to drop the yogurt and salads first and speed up the service ‘cause it is falling big time.

Next up would be a daily trip to the nearest Krispy Kreme that would be about a three hour round trip as we are in the dead zone when it comes to the worlds most perfect donut. Mmmm donuts. And don’t forget my morning newspapers buddy.

Other major projects for the Dispatches 2003 Intern/butler: Getting more “face time” with Shatner to resolve questions of who would win in a fight Capt. Kirk or Saddam Hussein; Helping to redesign my website so it doesn’t seem so, well, ghetto; Helping to move on reality television idea (with friends Johnny O, David, and Fred) about four guys, a 7-11, a gas bar, and 365 days in a small town in the North (Survivor? Whatever); two words: helper monkey! (Come on Mojo!); and working on that government and corporate money to start the Dispatches Thinktank: "The Jacksonian Institute for War" (thanks guys).

EDITORS NOTE: Merry Christmas all! Dispatches will struggle to continue posting throughout the holidays. Any interested Interns/butlers should email me with your resume and cover letter (PS: French applicants need not apply). And no, I haven’t had any eggnog yet. Jeez. Look for Best of 2002 stuff all week long, Book Reviews possibly, and more. Thanks for reading throughout the year!! - - Jackson!!

Christmas with Ramallah buddies - - While I was voting for Idiotarian of the year at LGF’s (Go Vote) I looked at this post with photos from some buddies yucking it up with Santa. This reader has one great reaction: “Gadzooks!”

Final Round: Idiotarian O’ The Year - - Little Green Footballs has moved into the second and final round of Idiotarian of the year award voting. Jimmy Carter, Ted Rall, Mikey Moore, and Canada’s very own Prime Minister look to be early favorites-please vote now.

Another one joins the fray - - Amusing new Canadian blog (from The Rottweiler): Shiny Happy Gulag. You simply have to see his logo (half-Russian, half-Canadian flag naturally) to believe it. The natives must be getting restless.

Monday, December 23, 2002

I am Jeff Spicoli: Useful Idiot - - Clifford May is in the giving spirit with one of our favorites Sean Penn. If there is anything with Sean Penn in it under the tree this year someone is going to pay.

Just a thought - - But I would imagine that this report on the Bush family Christmas is a far cry from whatever the last first family would do.

You gotta love Rummy - - Rumsfeld reminds the creeps in North Korea who is in charge.

Bond who - - Seymour Hersh’s latest article details the ultra secret “Gray Fox” unit. I guess not so secret now. Way to go pal! It’s fun reading. Enjoy.

And Speaking of Goldberg, CNN, and Canada - - Were we? It doesn’t matter. Mr. Goldberg also couldn’t resist one last 2002 parting shot at Canada when picking his winners and losers of the year:

GOLDBERG: Winners: Rove, he did everything he wanted to do, and J.R.R. Tolkien, who's emerging as the greatest novelist of the 20th century.

Losers: Canada, because everyone's paying attention to them, and their government suffers when people pay attention to it.

Meow - - Jeff Jarvis slams Andy Rooney for his shtick. Easy buddy, Rooney is an institution. I watched him on Tim Russert’s CNBC show last week and Rooney was so ‘on’. The guy is amazing, grumpy, funny, and generally tapped in. Five minutes on Bathtubs and baths? C’mon it’s Gold baby. Lay off.

”The Bush M.O.” - - W has done a masterful job of tactics on many key issues. NRO’s Jonah Goldberg lays out the Bush Game Plan in an exchange on CNN’s Late Edition. (Transcript here):

BLITZER: I don't know, Jonah, if you were watching CNN earlier today when we broadcast live from Baghdad the news conference from the chief Iraqi scientist, General Amir al-Saadi, who said basically, you know, "We're telling the truth. You don't believe us, come over, bring over the CIA, put your stuff on the table, prove it."

GOLDBERG: Yes, well, look, it's funny that people still don't expect this pattern to come up. The pattern on how Bush handles these things is pretty clear by now. He waits for his chorus of critics to say, "Do X, do X, do X," and then he does X, and they all have to get in line because that's what he did.

That's what he did with homeland security. You had Lieberman out there screaming, "We need a Department of Homeland Security." The chorus got fever pitch. He said, "We're going to have a Department of Homeland Security." He did the same thing with going to the U.N. to get a resolution.

My guess is that what he's trying to do is, he's trying to get the world to say, "Show us the smoking gun," and then he's going to walk into a room and dump a smoking gun on the table, and say, "Aha." Because, look, he does have to show evidence. There's no way that he'll rally a nation to war without the evidence, and you have to assume he has it.

Brotherhood of the Wolf - - Paul Wolfowitz speaks. We listen.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

The long national nightmare is finally over… - - I have actually written something new. Okay the national nightmare continues-and the article will fill you in as to why. Check out my new article in this weeks issue of Enterstageright.com. This weeks issue features a whole Lott-of-Lott, plus much, much more. Please check it out.

Optimists no more - - A year-end poll on Canadian attitudes reveals that, yes we have no bananas-or that things ain’t so good up in this here hills.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Well it must be Christmas - - Here are some holiday stories Dispatches is following:

The insufferable icons Friends will return for one more season.

The French, yes that’s right, the cheese eaters are actually defending themselves somehow. In related news no one charges unruly French with unilateralism.

Hillary Clinton, with that meddlesome Gore out of the way miraculously emerges as front runner.

Canada’s friendly dictator Jean Chrétien is polling 6th in an “Idiotarian of the Year Award.” (For the record he is running close to the United Nations but seems to be losing to Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, and Ted Rall-but he is getting enough votes to move onto the 2nd round-BRAVO buddy! France it would seem is running very distant-it is not too late French pals.)

And this just in… CNN reports that malls are “abuzz” The news organization also regaled the world this week, when pop-skank Mariah Carey declared that she is “not wacko.” (Phew)

End of year Lists - - Ya just gotta love the end of the year. As everyone starts milling around lists of best and worst. Damian Penny has his list: “Despicable Dozen” for 2002. He lists perennial dimwit Svend Robinson as number 12. This prompted a question from yours truly: when is Svend going to Iraq as part of Canada’s rapid reaction force of human shields for the dictator?

Monday, December 16, 2002

Monday Mornings in Canada; Springtime for Hitler - - Every Monday morning is a bit of a crap shoot here in the Great White North (and no, don’t take that literally Mr. Lott). First you get the sense that Canada, or Canadians, sometimes doesn’t get it-and certainly don’t take some things seriously enough. The Toronto Star gleefully prints a proud supporter of Hezbollah after they were finally, and rightly so, labeled as a terrorist organization by Canada.

And of course the breaking news over the weekend was the story of a prominent native leader who praised the work of Adolph Hitler. This would make the debate over Canada’s moral superiority over the US ridiculous. By the way the author who wrote that silly article received 1,400 emails and then “poof” he has an instant article. Who’s kidding whom? While not the leader of Senate (like that would matter anyway) this guy said things much, much worse. Praising 1948 segregationist campaign at old coot’s 100th birthday party: stupid, idiotic, and really not good. Praising Hitler’s extermination of millions of Jews: frightfully disgusting.

But as if all was right in the world the Prime Minister signed the Kyoto treaty. Hazzuh! What a second…

Then again, Maybe, just maybe, as The Guardian reports Canada is just fine. Here’s their take: “Imagine, if you will, a homely kind of girl - well-liked but usually ignored - who lives next door to the town hunk. He is the centre of all her thoughts. She peers through the net curtains as he swaggers out for a night on the town. She reads major significance into every gesture: every time he ignores her on the street; every time he gives her an affectionate pat. She despises his unruly ways but, deep down, desperately wants to believe this is true love. He barely even gives her a thought. In romantic fiction, you end up with a white wedding and happy-ever-aftering. In international diplomacy, you get the US-Canada relationship.”

The life and Times of William Jefferson Clinton - - News that “The Slick One” is secretly dating Demi Moore! Bruce Willis, Demi’s ex and Republican, will probably kick his ass.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

The field opens up - - John Ellis updates the Democratic Field prospects for 2004. I would only add one thing. With the frontrunner of frontrunners out, I would expect a dark horse to appear with no obvious strengths. The WaPo adds a few other names to a growing list. I find it still lacking. Fred Barnes adds his two-cents.

A week - - Reports that a war with Iraq could take as little time as a week. The references to the new, new weapons not even available last year are interesting, but the timeline is incredible.

A primer on the “new” US Foreign Policy - - Bartley outlines the evolution of the current Bush Foreign Policy-striking a balance between the “national greatness” crowd and starry eyed Wilsonianism. The two driving forces: that the US cannot step away from the world and that overwhelming US power is a good thing.

Clinton on preemption - - Part of me wants to dismiss this as ramblings from Uncle Bill trying to one-up President Bush, or at least to suggest that he wasn’t as clueless and appeasing as Jimmy Carter. The other part of me wants to know why if preemption was acceptable for Clinton why wouldn’t it be for Bush?

Jeff Spicoli, no. Cast of Benson, um, still no - - The continuing drip, drip, drip of insanity continues from the wacky world of Hollywood where celebrities embody all that is good and wise.

Pundit Watch - - I spend every possible Sunday watching the Sunday News Programs but here is the Cole’s Notes to the good, bad, and ugly. I’ve linked to this often, but it is always good to remind the Dispatches fold.

No Gore in 2004 - - CBS is reporting that Gorebot is done for 2004. Question: had Gore calculated that running in 2004 against Bush is a non-starter? Perhaps he will be willing to wait in the wilderness for a little more time. And be the new-Nixon. As Slate.com is suggesting today, “Last night was his kiss-off, and you've got to admire that he delivered it sitting in a hot tub and wearing a silly wig.” Indeed!

”Dude Where’s my foreign Policy?: The foreign policy of Jeff Spicoli” - - Sean Penn is hobnobbing with his buddies in Iraq trying to ‘understand’ what is going on. Look, nobody cares what Spicoli thinks about international relations. Mr. Spicoli, you're wasting my time.

More Hollywood Foreign Policy - - Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte apparently are going around Cuba describing a Hollywood controlled by the Pentagon and a growing anti-war movement.

Full Disclosure, A sad day for Dispatches Mngt. - - Rather than this come out in some media circus, I have decided to admit that yesterday afternoon I saw the new J-Lo movie “Maid in Manhattan.” I know what you’re thinking. But come on, who doesn’t like a good escapist romantic comedy during the holiday season? If you must know it wasn’t like I went by myself; I went with my lovely friend C-Mak. You do the math buddies.

All-righty then. The movie was simply “J-lo-tastic.” But what I did find interesting about the movie is that J-Lo fell in love with a Republican! Imagine my surprise that the movie was everything about the Republican Party that the Trent Lott imbroglio isn’t. And a Republican Senatorial candidate, hanging with J-Lo, in New York no less. Hazzah! No of course the movie wouldn’t let us off that easy, the Republican had a very good environmental record and better still a solid voting record. At least that is what J-Lo’s son thought-who by the way was a huge fan of Richard Nixon. Very odd. Don’t worry I’m fine; and certainly in the J-Lo wing of the Republican Party-well, who isn’t!

No longer a serious candidate for public office - - Al Gore’s appearance on Saturday Night Live was not the worst television I’ve ever been party to. To be honest seeing Gore in a hot tub with Joe Lieberman was pretty funny; as was Gore playing Trent Lott. I can’t wait to see that first political ad featuring Gore with that disgusting little dog with the guitar. Good for him for lightening up; good for us for seeing the beginning of the end of candidate Gore.

Ken Layne: “Let them eat dirt” - - Ken Layne has a passionate and inspired critique of those who against modified foods. “By these anti-GM-foodies' logic, we shouldn't be allowed to eat anything we've tinkered with at any point in history. That means no wheat, tomatoes, chicken, coffee, beef, pork, beans, apples, oranges, avocados, grapes ... nothing but wild berries and dirt.” Right on!

Thanks Bond - - Not quite sure what to make of North Korea’s beef with the US because of the latest James Bond film. They hate playboy Bond and yet blame America. The Bond movie is the least of their problems. Keep it up backward land.

Dave Barry Economics 102 - - Fun Sunday reading: “The best way to understand the economy is to think of it as a horse. This economic "horse" has four legs: (1) government spending, (2) business spending, (3) consumer spending, and (4) eBay. If you remove any one of these legs, the horse will run slower; if you remove two, the horse, which is not a complete idiot, will bite you on the arm and attempt to hop away, generally in a circular pattern.”

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Henry the K is out - - Great, super, lovely. Kissinger is out; both George Mitchell and Henry have abandoned the 9/11 commission. I don’t have the seething indignation for Henry the K as some do, but this is probably for the best. Let me propose a couple of names. Alan Simpson? And since John Wayne is not with us, and it is clear that they are not going to appoint Arnold Weapons inspector-why not put Arnold in charge of this.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

There ya go - - Okay Bush has final word on Trent Lott comments. Bye buddy! Enjoy the pork on the way out.

See no evil? - - Those who are quick to deny any, or all, connection between Iraq and terrorism (even Al Qaeda) would benefit from reading this David Rose article. Apparently there are 100 examples of cooperation between the two big daddies of terror since the early 1990’s. And these examples happen to come from the CIA’s intelligence files. Weapons, no weapons, Saddam is a supporter of terrorism and we should go get him.

Gore not running? - - John Hawkins has all the dirt on Al Gore and his ‘maybe-maybe-not’ pre-campaign. I especially like the fact that Gore’s latest book is in the tank, but I agree, that doesn’t mean that Gore-bot will fail to run.

Vodka Scuds - - The Vodka Pundit doesn’t want to speak of the Scud-Yemen-North Korea issue anymore because they, well, suck. Perhaps he’s right, but the question remains why does Yemen need missiles? What are they $4 million a pop? It doesn’t add up. They used their last inventory of scuds against themselves. Besides the problem with this brouhaha is not the scuds, it is North Korea. Isn’t it? North Korea to world: “You don’t mind if we turn our nuke bomb factory, er, I mean plant back on guys? Do you?”

Oh never mind. The real news isn’t scuds, but the shocking revelations that the American Idol winner was not an amateur!

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

”The Searchers” - - Watched the wide screen DVD of The Searchers last night. The movie was incredible. For a film from 1956 the old girl holds up distinctly well. John Ford’s direction, in particular, should be an inspiration to today’s filmmakers who want to cut, cut, cut and have the lead’s close up everywhere. And John Wayne, well, what needs to be said.

Letters ‘n stuff - - Received some interesting correspondence in the past 24 hours and the author is pleased to share. It is in response to the “Goldberg versus the wimps” article, still getting some attention:

“Damn Murphy..!!!

Great piece... Stumbled on it looking for responses to goldberg... know a few Canadians here in LA and back home in Texas.. Funniest guys I know.. really...

Your response was the first, indignation--free piece I've seen.

I think what you get, and what most Canadians don't, is that the new-style-conservative writers in the US.. particularly the younger ones, like Jonah are a playful lot.. supremely confident in their logic.. tight grasp of history, sprinkled with a little intellectual honesty, (I mean Jonah didn't have to go and admit we got our white house torched by you guys) but he did, a reminder of how rambunctious you could be.

Fun stuff Murphy..


Stop it, I’m blushing. It is nice to see that many are on board with the new conservatives. Arvin adds:

“How bout those scuds huh? Can't really get my mind round givin ‘em back to Yemen.. Secretly hoping that they were returned with a few "improvements". Like say uhhh tracking devices and maybe booby trap or two...? I'd love to see those things tagged and tracked to Iraq.”

Great idea! I hope that is why letting the scuds continue on to Yemen. This is not a good development. It has been asked before, but I will again: what does Yemen need with scuds?

Debunking Conservative Media Bias - - Michael Kelly undermines Gore’s assertion that the world’s media is a hotbed of conservatism.

Hammering it out - - Krauthammer has the final words, so far, on the Lott comments. He’s right, Lott should go. And could Dispatches, in good conscience leave out the impressive views of one Jonah Goldberg on this issue? Of course not! Here’s two: First, and quite frankly this is grounds for removal on its own, he says, “Trent Lott's hair is actually a space-age polymer similar to the material used in the George Foreman grill.”

Then Goldberg says that he doesn’t “think he should be dumped from the GOP leadership because he's allegedly racist. I think he should be dumped because he's politically stupid.”

Alas, Goldberg also apparently said this so there ya’ go

And then there was Buckley - - Of course before there was Goldberg, and before there was Steyn, there was the man.

2004 Candidate Watch - - Okay, yer absolutely right. There may not be a day when I don’t link to either Jonah Goldberg or Mark Steyn. They are what we like to call in the biz, um, MUST READS. So just get used to it. And a special message to reader, and dear friend Rob, please, please, click the links man. Mark Steyn on the John Kerry situation.

Why must read: “Come the New Hampshire primary, when the candidates are doing their grip-and-grins high atop Mount Washington, Al Gore will be howling in agony as the 200-mile-per-hour winds rip the chest hair out of his low-cut olive polo shirt and scatter it like confetti over gay weddings in neighboring Vermont, but Mr. Kerry's furrowed brow will be as attractively immobile as ever. The Kerry candidacy is such an obvious disaster waiting to happen that it seems a shame to wait for it to happen.”

Oh, alright this is why: “Now already I can hear Sen. Kerry frothing like a vat of Alberto Balsam on Don King's head: "I don't want to raise taxes. I just want to repeal the tax cuts you were expecting to get but haven't yet. It's not the same!" To which I say: Whatever, dude. But personally I'd save the hair-splitting for Cristophe's. By the time you've spent 20 minutes explaining why your tax hike isn't really a tax hike, the only two words anyone's going to remember are "tax" and "hike."

It’s just too much. (Thank you RWN

Charlie Hustle to Return to Baseball? - - If Bud Selig reinstates Pete Rose to baseball, does this mean that he will no longer show up dressed as the San Diego Chicken at WWE wrestling events, or even their commercials and get beat up? What’s the win-win scenario for the fan here? I’m kinda used to Rose as the “down-on-his-luck-guy”. Why change the narrative to appease a few diehards.

Can there ever be enough Shatner? - - Details on the spry 71-year old.

Damned Robots - - Hospitality Robot? How old will this routine get, being greeted by a 4-foot robot? Perhaps the GOP could replace Trent Lott with a life-size hospitality robot and everyone would be happy.

If you’ve got Yemen, then let’s make ‘Yemen-ade’ - - Okay, so those dozen SCUD missiles sent with love from North Korea were destined for Yemen. What kind of a partner in the war on terror tries to pull a fast one like this I ask? And why are we not getting ready to invade North Korea too?

Also check out this Bill Gertz article-always a worthwhile read.

Critical Mass - - Everyone’s favorite has reached the pinnacle of success-a website tracking his every sleazy move. (Thanks to Damian Penny who thanks Andrea Harris)

Oh No! The Celebrities are coming! - - Shut up!

Who cares what Ed Asner thinks. Hmm I’m an impressionable nitwit what does washed up Lou Grant think, he probably knows best. Here’s a question worth asking. What do the real A-List stars think? Hey J-Lo what should we do? Should we invade Iraq? Perhaps you should ask Ben-he did, after all, play Jack Ryan this year (fighting Nazi’s no less, so his foreign policy credentials are untouchable) No instead let’s ask Ed Begley Jr. he’s sure to know.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Weapons Inspector or Sock Puppet - - The Rottweiler has the details.

Nuclear Weapons just for warming up Cocoa - - Max Boot lays out the case for going to war with Iraq as soon as we’re ready. He also skewers the anti-war crowd by suggesting that, “Even if weapons inspectors stumbled on a cache of nuclear weapons, this would not satisfy Saddam’s defenders in Paris, who would no doubt claim these bombs were meant for heating cups of cocoa.”

Boot also does an excellent job of dealing with the ‘Chris Matthews School’ who believe that we need to have ridiculously large pictures of proof over at the U.N. ala Adlai Stevenson. Hey buddies, Saddam isn’t a dolt, the weapons and germs and stuff are buried or are being transported around Iraq 24-7 in Lamb Kabob carts.

Return of Mad Max - - The fairly groovy new group-blog over at Reason.com, “Hit and Run” has the links to the new Mad Max movie. 25$ for Uncle Mel, huzzah for us.

Monday, December 09, 2002

State of the Union December 9, 2002 - - Here are some cold hard facts about the state of affairs in Canada. Good Morning folks, this just in: “The government of Canada is hopelessly incompetent and the majority of Canadian voters, who show every sign of continuing to support it, are a flock of hapless turkeys.”

As Michael Bliss reports in today’s National Post: “Having proven its complete incapacity to make a registry of a few million firearms, the Liberal government now proposes to replan the whole Canadian economy to serve the Kyoto protocols and to reorganize the whole Canadian health care system to serve the Romanow report. Does anyone in their right mind, from the PM down to the newest page on Parliament Hill, really believe Ottawa has the capacity to handle these files intelligently and prudently?”

Worse still Bliss suggests is that Canadian voters are waiting for two ridiculous scenarios to save them. Paul Martin or Uniting the Right Wing. Both are foolhardy! “If you want to see a real change of government in Canada in your lifetime, you're going to have to screw up your courage, swallow your reservations and vote for the Alliance in the next election. If you're not ready to do that, then you might as well stop gobbling and grumbling as the Liberals carve up you, your family and your country. You are getting and will get the government you deserve,” writes Bliss.

Meanwhile another boondoggle now underway will see the government build new office space for our un-elected and useless Senate.

And to top off the bad news, another National Post story reports that Canada’s army is on the cusp of insolvency. Here are some choice quotes from inside Canada’s military:

“We are a military force that's going down the toilet quickly, because of funding problems and manpower problems" - - Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Vance of the Second Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment.

“If we don't get more money in the next federal budget, I'd say we're screwed.” - - Brigadier-General Andrew Leslie.

And that is the state of this Union.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

The dichotomy of Canada - - Read these two choice quotes from the Canadian Prime Minister, incidentally chosen as the finalists in a radio ‘stupidest Canadian comment contest’.

Quote A: " A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It's a proof. A proof is proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it is proven."- - Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Quote B: “If we do not approve Kyoto, people will start to die within the next 35 years." - - Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Now contrast these sentiments from the depths of idiocy and outrageousness with the editorial from the Toronto Star proclaiming Canada’s moral superiority to America.

Land of Milk and Honey - - Ken Layne has the wino story of 2002 detailed, leaving this Canadian depressed to be so far away from Napa Valley. More details over at LA Examiner. $1.99 for a bottle of drinkable Merlot. And people say capitalism and globalization doesn’t work.

What would John Wayne Do - - I was reading Dinesh D’Souza’s new book Letters to a Young Conservative yesterday. While I am not that young anymore, I had so much fun reading Christopher Hitchens’ Letters to a Young Contrarian last year, that I just couldn’t resist. And D’Souza is pretty funny. But here is one great excerpt:

“The Economist Arthur Laffer recalls that shortly after the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983, he met Reagan at a conference. He told Reagan that the newspapers had reported that the administration had gone back and forth on whether to go with invasion. Laffer asked, ‘What made you finally decide to do it?’ Reagan said, ‘Well, Art, finally I asked myself, what would John Wayne have done?’ Somewhere deep down, Reagan knew that John Wayne was a better guide on this occasion than the collective wisdom of the Washington establishment.”

It certainly is a different orienting question to ask than the usual what would Jesus do? When in doubt, ask the Duke!

Why is Amnesty International Soft on Saddam - - Opinion Journal questions the human rights organization for ignoring the regime of horrors in Iraq.

Worth the wait - - I waited to mention anything about Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday, and then out of the wilderness Mark Steyn lets the magic happen. And with a guy like Strom it happens:

“Considering that only 100 folks get to be senator out of a talent pool of almost 300 million, there's a lot of mediocrities in there. Strom Thurmond, as Democrat or Republican, as war hero or assiduous tender of his constituents or squire of generations of Miss South Carolinas, is the size of fellow a United States senator should be.”

Say what you will about the man, he lived a hell of a life.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Sport in the Post Enron World - - Even the most connected insiders can enjoy the battles between the uber-rich racing their little boats. What is funny about this article is the part on John McCaw who is the exactly what I picture when I think billionaire. Rich, earnest, and of course an environmentalist do-gooder. Why are many billionaires’ left wing crackpots?

Letters ‘n stuff - - Received a short email from ‘David’ whose has been following the links to read up on the questionable logic of Michael Moore:

“I just read your articles on M. Moore and I have to say that I am intrigued. I did not know about all the inaccuracies and lies and I have to say that my opinion of the man has begun to disintegrate. However, he still fights for the little man in more ways and with more ferocity than any living republican. He also fights against the tyranny of "The Old Boys Network", which I love. So even though my ideas about Michael Moore might have changed I will still take him over 95% of all politicians.”

Glad to see that the tarnish is wearing off of Mr. Moore. I do take issue with the notion that he fights for the little man more than any Republican and against the tyranny of the old boys network. Nevertheless I find it shocking that even when it is revealed that Moore is shall we say less than perfect in his reporting of facts that young David will still take him over 95 percent of politicians. Not that I necessarily disagree with that-but I would still leave Moore at the buffet table. As for those mean Republicans? Well, here’s one Republican the outgoing Majority Leader Dick Armey who exemplifies the aims of Republicans by fighting for freedom rather than government handouts and solutions. And of course there is also maverick John McCain who has more than a little of the flair of Moore while fighting for the little guys.

What the hell - - Victor Davis Hanson speculates on the world turned upside down. It sounds like that strange Star Trek episode-you know where Spock sports an ‘evil’ goatee.

Um…….No - - Canadians traveling to Iraq to be human shields in hopes of deterring US action. No Jonah we sure aren’t a nation of wimps…indeed as Jonah suggests “Canadian baloney seeks the grinder.”

Why do they hate us - - Miss World names Turkish model its winner. Hubba Hubba!

Rex Murphy Making Sense - - Rex Murphy (via Penny) has these choice words on Canada’s growing fiasco, the gun registry: “The combined brainpower and foresight of Homer Simpson and Mr. Magoo couldn't have composed the billion-dollar nullity that is still ludicrously referred to as our national gun registry.” Ouch.

Blair Skewers Begala - - Perennial Dispatche's favorite aussie blogger Tim Blair has some choice details on Paul Begala’s latest, well you know.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Goldberg Strikes again - - Jonah Goldberg continues his one man assault on Canada

Thank God - - One man content provider Mark Steyn is finally online. I know some of already know this. For those who don’t, like my father who claims he doesn’t know who Steyn is. Go there now, order his book, and catch up to the rest of us.

Chances of Invasion - - William Saletan gives the change for war in Iraq a 55 percent today.

Meanwhile the U2 loving, KD Eating guy - - is being dissected by the National Post. Particularly of interest is this article on the future PM’s foreign policy.

West Jet - - A flew on West Jet for the first time. For those of you, outside the west coast of Canada you probably have not heard of them before. It is your standard regional cheap carrier. Well, I guess not so standard. Three things are important about this company. 1. I had to wait to get my bag out of the very back of the plane yesterday and had the pleasure to find the Captain (who introduced himself as Captain Dan) and his copilot helping to clean the plane. WOW! 2. It makes money, and its fares are cheap. It is low frills, or more specifically no frills (the in-flight snack: cookies or pretzels). And 3. There are plenty of attractive and friendly workers on the planes.

Lonely Man in Canadian Government - - It sure must be lonely, being John Manley some days. Like today when he is stressing that Canadians should drop the moral superiority chip on their shoulders when it comes to the US. Hey is this guy on talking points from Goldberg?

Finally…. Civilization - - Well, finally I am back in a city, with all the comforts of home: coffee, television, roads, McDonalds, etc. Blogging should return to normal for the month of December. Weeeeeeeeeee.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Dispatches ON RADIO - - Hey friends, if all goes according to plan & if you are at all interested, yours truly is going to be doing about a 10 minute radio spot on a Manitoba station tomorrow morning. At 11:05am Manitoba time (9:05am Pacific) I will be on the “Adler On-Line” show with Chuck Adler on CJOB 680 (you can listen live on www.cjob.com) I will be discussing my most recent article about Jonah Goldberg and Canada; and they also want to hear why I was in Churchill Manitoba. If you’re bored or have nothing better to do-listen up.

Goldberg versus Canada Mailbag - - Received a fair amount of email from my article the other week on Goldberg and Canada. I sometimes feel like Jack Nickolson in “As Good As it Gets.” (Hey go sell crazy someplace else, were all stocked up here!)

Email Number One is from Paul:

Hello Jack
Saw your story in EnterStageRight
'Jonah goldberg versus the wimps'

What's lacking in these stories written by Goldberg is: What is Goldberg's tribal affiliation? Because if Goldberg is a jew, then it goes a long way in explaining his propaganda. Hidden agenda's are everywhere.


Paul Streppel
Peace River, AB

Dear Paul, please don’t ever call me Jack, and thank you for carefully pointing out that Jonah Goldberg could possibly be Jewish. It is too bad that your hidden agenda is out in the open and that you are indeed obsessed with race. Hope you are enjoying your freedom in Peace River and I hope you don’t crawl out of the rock you live under.

Sincerely Jackson.

Email Number Two is from M. Niemi:

I think you've missed the more interesting point about the whole
affair--not that Americans can so easily get under our skin (we really
don't have the luxury of NOT listening to them), but how we seem to be
getting under theirs, especially after 9/11. Of course, they merely
assumed the whole Western world would rally around them and come to
their aid just as they "liberated" us and the British, the French, the
Italians, etc. during WWII. And I'm sure it hasn't escaped the notice
of Mr. Goldberg that Canada isn't exactly the pro-Israel country that he
thinks we ought to be, after all--we have yet to realize that our number
one enemy in the world turns out to be Hezbollah, next to Hamas, Saddam,
Arafat, and 8-year old Palestinian rockthrowers.
I admit that archaic references to a 200 year old war seem
laughable, but 9/11 was a national humiliation for them on a scale no
more (or less) damaging to their national psyche than the sacking of
Washington was no doubt for them in 1814. And I'm sure some Americans
are equally aware of the fact that a lot of Canadians believe that they
deserved what they got. I wouldn't exactly chalk that up to petty
anti-Americanism. Every country invariably saves its most obscene
profanities for its neighbours: the British and French reciprocate no
less than the French and the Germans, or the Iraqis and the Iranians,
and so on, and so on. Anti-Americanism is as much a pasttime for some
as a natural reflex. We shouldn't supress that impulse, but find more
inventive ways of expressing it. Unfortunately, your humour about the
whole subject is superficial and rather bland; a good satirist would
have something more serious to say, but with wit. Forget the donut
jokes and think up some good cutting remarks. Fontanelle once quipped
:"There is something about the misfortunes of even our closest friends
that does not leave us entirely displeased". I can't speak for most
Canadians, but I for one haven't been entirely displeased by the events
of 9/11. Perhaps they should consider renaming New York New Tel Aviv.
That would surely increase the tourism business--or at least the planes
flying into New York.

M. Niemi

Dear M. Niemi. What is interesting is that you spent nearly 400 words simply to tell me that I am not a very good satirist and that you probably half-smirked on 9/11. And you’re probably right, I am no satirist, but it was enough for you to write me, explaining how clever you think you are.

And you have failed to explain why we should articulate better ways of expressing anti-Americanism. To what end sir? The question to ask is why don’t they hate us? There is such a tiny amount of Anti-Canadianism that when someone says something remotely critical we act like the Ayatollah is issuing a fatwah.

Sincerely Jackson.

Adaptation - - An article that actually makes me yearn to see this movie. Gleefully I just can’t wait for more Jonze/Kaufman ramblings.

Good Morning - - Okay, back on the beat sort of, well, for today anyhow. I am in Thompson, Manitoba drinking coffee and hiding in my hotel room. I happened to catch John Kerry on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Found it terribly interesting to see him try to cast himself as some sort of outsider with solutions to most of the problems. Hey wait a sec, John haven’t you been inside the beltway for years-what exactly were you doing? Oh that’s right you have been voting with Teddy in the Senate. Hey look at me, I’m the Michael Dukakis of the new millennium. Weeeeeeeeeee.