Thursday, September 26, 2002

Thank God for Christopher Hitchens - - Hitchens strikes again. This time he makes his case for engaging in the war against Iraq. Not only does he refute the utterly simple argument that it is “blood for oil” but he makes an interesting case against this being a wag the dog war too (it is risky, it’s outcome far from certain). Yet it is worth doing. Here! Here!

The fact that he has left (no pun intended) The Nation after 20-years is a testament to his evolution as a writer and thinker. Is he a middle aged porker of the right? Hardly. But in the post 9/11 world Hitchens gets “it”-he gets pretty much everything about it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Al Gore, will you ever win - - Thankfully Al Gore has returned to the spotlight. Right! Can anyone actually imagine himself or herself saying that? At any rate his discovered criticism of Bush’s foreign policy is as Andrew Sullivan suggests, “pure opportunist, with no consistency in his political views on foreign or domestic policy. He'll say whatever he thinks will get him power or attention or votes.”

Earth to Steve Earle - - Long for the days of Earle’s Copperhead Road? I think not friends. But his new album is sparking debate. His latest album is full of what sound like tiresome lefty notions and crack pottery, er, jackassery.

Not an Empire - - Jonah Goldberg offers a well crafted, in his usual style, argument why America is not an empire. Nutshell: I know Rome, Rome was a friend of mine, you sir are no Rome.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Harmless Goo - - Scott Ritter says even if Iraq was able to hide weapons it is now simply “harmless goo.” Love those UN weapon inspectors. Makes you feel good, he says sarcastically, about Hans Blix who is the weapons inspector dude now. Please note that he was Minister of Foreign Affairs in Sweden in 1978. Nothing wrong with that per se, but come on shouldn’t the weapons inspector be some gun-totting cowboy? I suggest Arnold?

Free Speech - - Alive and well in Canada as Concordia bans all speeches, rally’s, and cupcake sales pertaining to the Middle East.

UN to Bush… - - Drop dead. The UN tries to out maneuver Bush politically by basically forcing the US to go it alone.

Sullivan On Maureen Dowd - - Asked to comment on the latest column Andrew Sullivan says this: “It's class hatred mixed with fantasy, made palatable by occasionally diverting turns of phrase. And wildly popular with some.”

Back to Suicide Bombing - - A six-week absence of suicide(homicide) bombers in Israel is over. This is the second bombing in two days. 6 dead, over 50 injured. Damian Penny already is correcting Reuters.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Weapons inspectors huh - - Will they be able to find the weapons? In other news Ukraine is missing 200 nukes. Oh boy.

Stupid Canadian tricks part 1,002 - - Still making headlines is Canadian Prime Minister-obviously a subscriber to the any publicity is good publicity school. Tom Nichols takes on the PM in today’s NRO. Listen up Jean, and for that matter much of the nation, this war is about us.

Ditto, number 1,003 - - Intrepid Canadian PM denies trial balloon rumor that the government will increase the much loved GST tax from 7% to 10% to pay for our deteriorating healthcare. For Canadian watchers could this be the last ditch effort on the PM to prevent Paul Martin from becoming the Prime Minister by destroying the Liberal Party? A long shot to be sure, but it is Chretien.

Introducing the “Derb Plan” - - John Derbyshire asks why we can’t inspect and bomb at the same time. Indeed, why can’t we?

Take that Losers - - Ken Layne takes the time to respond to those annoying help me move money from Africa spams that you get, like, everyday. He also points out this amusing little site.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Novel Idea - - All this talk about “regime change” in Iraq, but a clearer objective is right in front of our noses-and quite frankly more pressing. It is the much needed regime change in Canada. Clearly our Prime Minister is off the deep end, and continues to drag the Canadian international reputation, such that it was, through the murky waters of radical leftist idealism. Please United Nations do something-the citizens are suffering from this outrageous regime. Besides the Soprano’s doesn’t play until Tuesday in the Country (well I guess if you had satellite) what a sham!

Before Christmas - - Instapundit speculates on the news that Saddam may have a nuclear bomb before Christmas and wonders what this means for the timing. In a word, soon.

Good News People - - I love turning to NRO’s “The Corner” and reading about Snoop Dogg. Anyone who denies that conservatives are having more fun these days is out of touch. Jim Robbins explains that Snoop Dogg is re-branding his image into “pimp”-a change from his “gangsta” past. I love the fact that I read this first in National Review Online, and more so it is comforting to hear about Snoop’s new image.

Answers for Ron Paul - - Vodka Pundit offers up answers to Rep. Ron Paul’s 35 questions on Iraq. Wonderful stuff.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Global Village Idiot - - Andrew Sullivan noticed this gem from the halls of idiotarianism. Now, the quote Sullivan chooses to highlight is wonderful in its description of the angry US President storming into the UN and driving the organization into catastrophe. Oh to dream. Upon closer inspection, the author, one John O’Farrell, wrote an aptly titled book in October of 2001 called “Global Village Idiot”. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Global Village Idiot 2.0 - - Damian Penny gives a solid Fisking to the namesake himself. What fun. Fisk gets bent out of shape over a speech disrupted by audience members holding pink placards. Yes certainly, and Penny rightly asks: where the hell was Mr. Fisk when Netanyahu was prevented from speaking. Oh never mind.

This just in… apparently, they say, HBO is good. Savvy Jeff Jarvis has all the important details.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Bush lays out case for action against Iraq - - Strangely Peter Jennings is impressed. Meanwhile Jonah Goldberg recounts how silly the UN has become. Basically: Yes, Saddam is in violation of UN resolutions. No, we shouldn’t act, those resolutions are down on the priority list.

I have a word for this organization: bankrupt.

Glenn Reynolds calls Canadian PM, “BLOWHARD” - - The Instapundit, who set new feats of blogging strength yesterday today takes on the little guy from dat place in Quebec. Who can disagree? If I wasn’t constantly plotting ways to get out of this lame place I may care, but I don’t. Most of us are embarrassed by the man.

In other news the erstwhile PM believes it was western greed that caused 9/11. Not only is that so, September 10th 2001, but has the man not since the movie “Wall Street?” Greed works moron.

Speaking of Blowhards - - Did anyone catch Clinton on Letterman. The man is a pig.

Quote of the Day - - William Quick has the link to an article on Kyoto (another fool hearty scheme the Canadian PM likes). The article attempts to ask real questions, how novel, of the treaty. To which Quick says: “Hey, man, don't challenge our religious beliefs with your filthy facts! What are you, a bigot or something?”

And that is the problem with debating Kyoto; supporters treat it like a religion. Damn the science full speed ahead. Here’s a handy tool. If the current Canadian PM supports it, oppose it, oppose it now people.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

9.11.01

My fist reactions are here.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Going Hawk - - Valuable piece by Jim Cramer-who obviously has spent just the proper amount of time with Larry Kudlow lately. An essay of honesty and emotion well worth the read.

Wanted, one proctologist - - Best of the Web names the man in dire need of help, Scott Ritter, “Baghdad Jane.” Fitting really. But hey, he says we are in no danger.

The War began in 1979 - - Daniel Pipes (thanks to The Sarge) outlines when this war started-it was not last year it was 1979.

We interrupt these posts for some shameless Self Promotion - - Dusting off the July/August writing cobwebs-you may have noticed. EnterStageRight.com was good enough to publish my first article in some time. ”Mr. Proof, Mr. Budget, and Mr. Don’t know much about history” looks at the feeble Canadian leadership post 9/11. Hey I’m a tad rusty, but check it out, if only to read the babbling twit quote from the Prime Minister.

War Election - - Is the US Midterm Election about the war? You bet. Jonah Goldberg gets the mood just right and says that, yes, this election should be about ‘the war’, and says get over it!

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Welch on Fire - - For those of you who haven’t been to Matt Welch’s site before-go now, early, and often. I started going to his site back in September of 2001, enjoyed his writing (and his famous hat picture), and stayed for the juicy bits.

Today he offers a wonderful essay on why dissent has not died since 9/11.

Also check out his stuff on the Hungarian Big Brother and more importantly enjoy the lengthy post on why the USA Today (now 20-years old) is pretty damned good. I agree wholeheartedly-especially on his note that the News Across the USA feature is incredibly entertaining. I remember being in Europe and often reading USA Today (every wonderful useless word) and being incredibly fascinated about what was happening in Topeka or whatever other place or nugget they found.

Oh and like me, he has taken no pleasure in the regretful Oakland A’s winning streak-which thankfully is over now. (I am not, perhaps to Mr. Welch’s disappointment, an Angel’s fan however. I was a Giant’s fan, because of Will Clark naturally, and still harbor resentment from the 1989 World Series and thus the foul A’s. That is if you care.)

Saddam’s crawfishing us - - Rather amusing little dispatch in Slate.com about President Bush’s rather poetic Southern language. His use of the word ‘crawfished’ stumped the British Press. The Financial Times thought he made it up although a later Op-ed had this lovely Graf: "The President may not know it, or show it. But he is a linguistic archaeologist as well as a poet. His vivid metaphors are just the kind of colloquialisms that we Limeys expect to hear around the Texan barbecue or bar of our imaginations. They are lovely."

(The Independent, resourceful little minks, came up with an actual definition for the word: “to retreat from a position, to back out, to fail to stick to a statement made.”)

It is too bad that Jacob Wiesberg, tiresome as he is, is still on about his ‘Bushisms’ deal. Like a Saturday Night Live sketch that goes on too long, or worse is made into a really bad movie, Wiesberg still thinks he’s being clever and amusing. Instead it is simply annoying-think Pat, Coneheads, Mary Catherine Gallagher waste of time bad.

Hamburger-Terrorists? - - Tim Blair reports on an academic exploring the worlds of Hamburgers and Terrorism. Superb.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Today’s Morning Must Read - - A delightful conversation between Europe and America as envisioned by Victor Davis Hanson.

“Americans: Can you people at least decide whether as Leftists you object to our military power or as rightists you find our democratic culture reflective of a mongrel nation — one that subverts your ingrained hierarchy and accepted protocol? So what are you guys anyway, Marxists or reactionary snobs — or both? In fact, we are a revolutionary society of precisely the type Europeans on the barricade once demonstrated for — before returning in failure to their lounges.”

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Keep our eyes on the Ball - - Over at Sullivan’s site there is a link to wonderful, and mighty timely, essay by the one and only Christopher Hitchens.

And like Sullivan this part in particular is what I have been trying to articulate since returning: “It is also impossible to compromise with the stone-faced propagandists for Bronze Age morality: morons and philistines who hate Darwin and Einstein and who managed, during their brief rule in Afghanistan, to ban and to erase music and art while cultivating the skills of germ warfare. If they would do that to Afghans, what might they not have in mind for us? In confronting such people, the crucial thing is to be willing and able, if not in fact eager, to kill them without pity before they can get started.”

Think of this, and think about Iraq too, and Iran, and Saudi Arabia, oh and Syria. Are we willing? Sullivan sounds pessimistic about our commitment to defeating this outside another attack. We’ll see.

Warning Shot? - - Stephen Green has a serious thought about the assassination attempt on Afghan leader Karzai today, and the assassination pre-9/11 of Northern Alliance Leader Massoud. Is this a warning shot? Let’s hope not.

Trying to out-Carter-Carter - - Never one to pass up a chance at emulating Jimmy Carter and hearing himself talk Bill Clinton speaks out again. Hey I don’t have access to the latest intelligence, and I hear Osama is still alive, so I think we should leave Iraq alone. Hey Bill when we want your opinion twice in one week, we’ll let you guest host ABC’s “The View”-otherwise clam up.

Finally - - It only took a year.

Morning Must Read - - Take a gander at Mark Steyn’s thoughts on “sustainable development.”

“There's no such thing as "sustainable" development. Human progress and individual liberty have advanced on the backs of one unsustainable development after another: When we needed trees for heating and transportation, we chopped 'em down. Then we discovered oil, and the trees grew back. When the oil runs out, we won't notice because our SUVs will be powered by something else. Bet on human ingenuity every time. We're not animals, and it's a cult as deranged as the screwiest fringe religion to insist we are. Earth's most valuable resource is us.”

Get Carter… - - Off the Oped pages, please. Jimmy Carter has an amusing Oped today. Amusing for the fact that while Mr. Carter was sleeping, again, the world has changed, and the terrorism that was alive and well on his watch and has now been super-empowered. Failing to see real danger then and failing to see that we are in a war now.

Then again, there is a beacon of slight hope. Glenn Reynolds believes it is a great thing for Bush. Seriously who will side with Carter? Reynolds reminds us what the dreaded “A-word” (get your minds out of the gutter, I’m speaking of Appeasement) looks like, and more importantly where it will lead us.

Canadian Political Doublespeak - - Okay, the deputy Prime Minister, John Manley for those of you not keeping track in our home version, has two thoughts in today’s news.

First Manley says that he, “wouldn't fault the public for becoming complacent. [He] would say that there is a danger if government becomes complacent as a result of that.” Great Canadians are becoming complacent on the issue of terrorism, but really hardly a surprise.

Next, in another article, Manley says that, “We are not going into deficit to build the Armed Forces or to build anything else”

So let me get this straight. There is a danger, Canadians are feeling complacent, but we aren’t going to beef up our national security because we don’t have the money.

But what can you expect from a nation where the Minister of Defense doesn’t know the difference between Vichy France and Canada’s most famous battle in WWI at Vimy Ridge.

Couldn’t resist - - This one goes out to one potential reader we’ll call “Bravo”. How could anyone resist linking to an article that refers to Michael Moore as, “a hypocrite, a bigot, and an exaggerator.” (Thanks to Henry Hanks)

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

From the Dept of “There ain’t nobody here but us chickens” - - Hey bunny huggers, read this and snap out of it.

Here’s a Question: - - Is there a simple question to this CS Monitor Headline: “UN Summits: A spent Force”? Um the answer is, um, er, yes sir they are a spent force. Moreover they are waste of time and money. Somebody find out how much this 9-day farce cost taxpayers of governments all over the world!

Chill and Enjoy - - The Vodka Pundit dispels the great Chinese myth-that they are all knowing foreign policy gurus. I particularly liked this part, “For friends, China picks perpetual losers like Pakistan, North Korea, and Albania(!).” Right on!

Ah Europe… - - Jeff Jarvis took words out of my mouth with his thought on the European poll numbers that place 9/11’s blame on well the US and it’s foreign policy.

“This from the peoples who thought colonialism was their God-given right. Aren't they the ones who F'ed up the world? And this from the continent that made moral squishyness famous. Let's take a census of those who created Nazism, allied with it, laid down in its path, or continued its work afterwards. The obvious rejoinder? You bet it is. And we can't use it enough.”

Glad I was out - - I may have seen a terrible film last night (no I won’t tell you which one-thanks S!) but at least I missed Clinton’s appearance with Softball Larry. Rand Simberg has some thoughts on Clinton claiming he was obsessed with Osama bin Laden. Right. Burgers, yes. Sex, yes. Important matters of international relations, come on who is he kidding.

Say it isn’t so - - Damian Penny keeps us up to date on the incomparable Edward Said. I second his Augh!.

Go Ken Layne - - Ken Layne has a new venture called “The Weird Files”-give it a look. He is a sheer nutty delight. Take a few minutes and call me in the morning.

Enough of France Bashing… - - Instapundit disputes the often ignorant Eric Alterman and his love in with Sweden and Demark. The Professor basically says to Alterman no one gives a crap what Sweden does-they collaborated with the Nazi’s, were snooty in the Cold War, and their hippy-socialist paradise well is finally drying up.

What gives with the Sweden? Well Alterman apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed and didn’t like today’s daily liberal dose from the NY Times OPED page. Especially this Thomas Friedman piece-but read the whole thing, I promise it is worth it-although I’m not sure about trying to get the rest of the world to like us by being more “green.” (And never once will you be singing the Swedish national anthem). But hey it’s Friedman-agree, disagree, whatever-the guys got game.

Expanding the War - - The debate is news item number one, but any discussion of war limited to simply talking about Iraq is of little use. Read Michael Ledeen’s excellent piece in today’s WSJ and see why.

Expanding it beyond Iraq and into places like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia will be the answer long term. As Ledeen suggests, this does not mean that all of these will need a military action. “We should instead be talking about using all our political, moral and military genius to support a vast democratic revolution to liberate all the peoples of the Middle East from tyranny.”

If you want an idea why Ledeen, in my opinion, is hitting a bulls eye check out this juicy quote from Jonah Goldberg: “The cultures of the Middle East are rich and impressive. But at the moment, they are also stagnating in a cesspool of bigotry, poverty, and oppression of every sort. Even the — by most accounts — decent societies of the region, like that of Jordan, are being held back by the undertow of bile which flows freely through the Arab street. In 1990, for example, the king of Jordan had to show fealty to an Iraqi dictator he surely must have despised.” Think about it. If there was anything good about living in the Middle East for an average person they might not be so willing to pick up rocks, guns, bombs, and fly airplanes into buildings. It is the “Why” question that we, collectively, haven’t been able to grapple with-and it has been almost a year. It is because they hate us? Obviously, but without risking too much of a cliché, why do they hate us? Because they are living in that cesspool that Goldberg speaks of and want something to be angry at besides themselves.

It is clear that if the world takes on the task of defeating these reprehensible regimes the people of the Middle East, and the world, will much better off. If we choose to turn our backs, again, then worse will result. Check out today’s Slate.com piece (part two of a nine part series) by Robert Wright that outlines some answers to why smaller and smaller groups of people can impact the world to such a startling way. His first prescription is to take our bitter medicine early rather than later. We can do it now, or we can wait, but the bottom line is that it is going to have to be done. Break out the Buckley’s.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Four Alarm Rant of the Day - - Found this delightfully magnificent rant from Andrea Harris while reading The Daily Pundit. Bravo. It was like listening to Don Imus on crack.

Oh, the humanity - - No good, I repeat no good, can come from altering McDonald’s French Fries. Fascists!

Monday, September 02, 2002

Requiem for Hunter S. Thompson - - Welcome to the ash heap of history you twit. Tim Blair has the details on Hunter S. Thompson’s merger with the idiotarians.

Trifeca- -

First, news that Russia may use its UN veto against any action taken against Iraq because it may destabilize the Middle East. Interesting, but the region doesn’t exactly scream “stabilized” if you ask me.

Second, there is Nelson Mandela claiming that any US action will turn international affairs into “chaos.” Yes of course, and Saddam acquiring nuclear weapons will make the world seem like Mr. Rodgers neighborhood won’t it.

Lastly, our friends in Iran, you might remember them as 1/3 of the axis of evil, is also saying that they won’t stand idly by. Good for them.

”I don't want to talk to you, no more, you empty-headed animal, food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. . .” - - Radley Balko is on fire today comrades-so much so that he made me pull out some Monty Python [”Holy Grail”]quotes to reflect my feelings.

He points us to this great Mallaby piece in the WaPo about Zambia, currently engulfed in a famine refusing to take US assistance in the form of food containing genetically modified food for fear that Europe would punish it. Good grief.

“It's one thing for rich Europe to deny itself the benefits of biotech; it can afford to pay extra for its breakfast. It's another to deny Africa the chance to feed itself. Whereas the dangers of biotech are unproven, the dangers of malnutrition are undeniable. One in three children in sub-Saharan Africa is underfed and suffers consequences ranging from mental retardation to blindness,” writes Mallaby.

Balko writes, “This is more then your usual European leftist folly. This is groundless, factless, pointless environmental extremism -- and it's killing people. Marvelous, innovative scientific breakthroughs which have given us methods of raising high-yield crops on smaller plots of land -- advances you'd think environmentalists would applaud -- are rejected because they too much tamper with Mother Nature. And so Africa starves.” Right on!

To which I could only add: “You don't frighten us, [European] pig-dog! Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person. I blow my nose on you, so-called Arthur-king, you and your silly [European] K...kaniggets.”

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Disapointed - - To say that I’m disappointed in Jim Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, and Brent Scowcroft just doesn’t make me feel any better. Want to know what I’m talking about? Read Victor Davis Hanson’s NRO piece and to get the gist this passage in particular: “In the winter of 1991 we chose to be either magnanimous or realistic, and so let Saddam be. Thousands of civilians subsequently died for that decision, and now, a decade later, we are dealing with a wounded monster rather than a defeated despot. We should remember all that in the present frenzy.”

So here we are in the frenzy of a debate about invading Iraq, and the authors of the last showdown with Iraq are starting to get a little soft. Well, that is overstating it somewhat, you could tell that the normally stalwart Eagleburger was not quite comfortable defending the dove side of the debate on Meet The Press.

Jonah Goldberg made a superb case today on CNN’s Late Edition. (check here later for transcript) That these grand gentleman of the Bush 41 presidency have traded on their reputation of winning the Gulf War, coalition building, getting out of the Vietnam funk, and blah blah, for so long that they can’t help themselves. When they see that all their ‘grand’ work was, in the long run, worthless and now the battle must be joined, again, they are forced to question a new invasion.

Buggy - - I came across this at the New York Times, and it reminded me about how many bugs there were while filming in Manitoba. Maybe this cough I picked up isn’t just a cough, but West Nile Virus. Oh well. I didn’t try eating bananas, but I certainly tried to kill as many brain cells as possible with my deet cologne.

True Tales from the North - - Rankin Inlet is only accessible by barge or plane. Churchill is only accessible by plane, train, or boat. Try that out for six weeks friends.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a tidbit for readers. A 4-litre jug of milk in Rankin Inlet was, impossibly, 13$, yet they still had strawberry and banana milk-two things you can’t find anywhere in, say, Vancouver. What gives?

Lesson?

Banana Milk good.

I’m Back… Not that anyone especially noticed, or cares, but Dispatches should return to its regularly scheduled “whatchamacallits” in due time. Sorry for the six-week stoppage, I figured if Baseball can do it (well, apparently not this time) so can I.

I had a wonderful time working on a feature film in Churchill, Manitoba which happens to be the polar bear capital of the world. We also shot for two weeks in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut What an interesting odyssey. (Props, again, to Rob for bringing me along). The locations were remote and I stopped reading the news, as Internet access and my free time were limited. But by the sounds of it, I didn’t miss much. Let me get up to speed, and then I will attempt to wade in on some issues.

What’s interesting is that my posting from before I left town on letting baseball play (albeit during the silly All Star debacle), and going to war with Iraq are still major stories today. Sweet. Play ball.