Monday, June 30, 2003

Rating Canada - - Oh what a melancholy it is to be Canadian. For fun lets see what people think of Canada? The Globe has a group of four listing the great achievement of this nation…

Here’s a sample from the author “Paris 1919”:

Top Ten Contributions Canada has made in the World…

3. Cyprus
4. 1st ceasefire in Kashmir
5. Ending apartheid in South Africa
6. Korean War
7. International Criminal Court
8. D-Day
9. Human Rights Declaration
10. Suez

Oh yes, often when I am at a hockey game singing the anthem, or lying awake at night, or pondering the nation at the local watering hole, my thoughts turn to…Cyprus.

The International Criminal Court? What the hell?

Look at us, we’re different - - Call me on the 2nd hobos.

And our Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa are, naturally, brought to us by the chicken farmers. No doubt completely without the irony of us skipping our duties in Iraq. But Happy Birthday buddies….

More Canadian Stuff - - We likes beer, Shania Twain, and hanging with PET. What a sad, sad, backwater we have become.

Maroth Wins - - Tiger pitcher Mike Maroth who is better than his now 3-12 record shows, wins again, pitching a little gem. And the old Tigers beat Toronto.

'04 Update: This is great news - - Let me just say, for the record, that I think it would be a lot of fun if Howard Dean won the nomination. News that Dean and his merry band of supporters gave like they were super rich. I heard Howard Fineman and Chris Mathews muse that it was a bunch of Republican’s donating the cash to ensure Dean as the nominee. Questions: What in the hell does Dean do if wins the Primary? Second, what will be the moment his candidacy jumps the shark?

Oh wait a second… Here’s more on the Dean record!

I particularly like this part: “As governor, Dean raided special funds to even out budget shortfalls: Is that balancing the budget? And how can Dean blame President Bush's recent tax cuts for rising property taxes when, for the past decade-plus, he governed a state with one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation? Corporations have left Vermont; farm revenues are down; logging and manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Maybe the only sector to thrive in the Dean years is the public sector: why? Indeed, what exactly does the Vermont economy consist of minus federal funds and pork? How well does such a record bode for the national economy?

With lower-than-average incomes, a heavier-than-average tax burden, and some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country, Vermont is hardly paradise for working people. Howard Dean has some explaining to do -- if someone will just ask a few questions.”

You see, this is exactly why you never want to peak too soon in a primary run. You peak early, and become the early frontrunner, you risk fizzling out. And worse you risk becoming a target. I would think that the money raising gives Dean a very large bull’s eye on his back today. Welcome to Uglyville people, population nine, its gonna get messy, and soon.

”About Blix” - - Here’s a question: what sort of retirement party do you throw a former weapons inspector? Especially one like Hans Blix who is going to spend his retirement hunting, “for field mushrooms and blueberries in the countryside around his home.”

I would imagine nothing less. It would be a funny reality show, to put him in a humongous RV and have him travel through America though.

World Stupidity Watch - - New awards being handed out for egregious stupidity. Canada’s doltish prime minister has been named, the ‘Stupidiest Canadian.’ That’s pretty incredible even for Chretien.

’04 Update: Problems for Dean - - Political Wire is spreading the news of a Roll Call story that has some democrats trying to calculate the Dean effect in Capital Hill races. The consensus is that a Dean nomination, with his anti-war stance, would have a negative effect on House and Senate democrat races.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Mail Bag - - Some recent feedback from my latest columns has been a mixed bag of opinions.

In response to my column on the state of Canadian journalism:

“The report was nothing but an extreme conservative piece of ‘#$%&@’ rag. Good riddance.”


“The loss of The Report is just another sign this country is going to hell in a handbasket. I'm not saying I liked their social conservatism--hell no--but hearing at least one voice in favour of the market is music to my ears.”


Thanks! And in response to my series for American Daily on the Democratic Field for 2004:

“Here's what I comfort myself with - Bush looked like an idiot most of the campaign and he almost won the popular vote.

Clinton the candidate didn't look particularly presidential, and he made it into the White House. Bush "pere" was Doonsbury cartoon character. Reagan seemed like a joke campaign - a B movie
actor - and yet there he was in the oval office.

And don't even get me started on Nixon.”

I figure that the email I got about Kucinich was a from someone who thought Kucinich might be next on my hit list.

And from Bill Breen on my “Meet Howard Dean: Maple Powered Howard” article:

“Have to say, I was googling and your article made me laugh.

Seriously though, you're going to attack a candidate for the president on their foreign policy given the current occupant of the white house? I mean, how many countries did GWB visit before becoming president? And better yet, how many of them could he have found on a map? Every time he opens his mouth its an embarassment to the education system that he underfunds.

And really, an icecream company endorses someone else and that is a crisis? I guess in conservative circles, maybe. He'll never (nor will whatever democrat wins the party nomination) be able to say that the government was brought to you by haliburton.

Other points:

"But already Dean seems to be dumping the
anti-war lefty stance that brought him into the first tier of candidates for the Democrats. So he wasn't left, then he was, now he isn't, but he could be again. His new stance casts the nation in perpetual crisis under Bush with his as savior could hurt him too. Candidates who stress the negative most of the time tend to be left behind in the polls."

So do you just make this stuff up as you go along? Being negative works, anyone with half a political science degree will tell you that. Hell, everytime a democrat calls the president to point on his dangerous agenda he's labeled something (revisionist historian is the most recent example). Anyway, being negative works, its why you see so many attack ads during campaign season. If it didn't work, if it wasn't effective, candidates wouldn't use them.

Personally, I've love to see a Howard Dean/GWB election season, irreguardless of whether or not Dean would have a chance or not. It would be nice to see Some issues debated (assuming Bush would agree to a debate of issues, it doesn't seem to be his strong suit).”

Dear Mr. Breen:

Only two thought from me, on Mr. Breen’s comments. First, the ice cream business wasn’t a serious shot about that being a ‘crisis’ only insofar that if you can’t get the support of your own state people who are making an ice cream flavor based upon you, and you are losing it to an even nuttier left winger, I would say some trouble is brewing. Not least of it, that you aren’t left enough for the state of Vermont.

And second, on going negative. Thanks for sending me the link to his speech the day the article was published. I hardly was making ‘this stuff’ up, only responding to the stump speeches and information at hand.

When I was speaking about negativity in politics, I sould have been clearer. I was thinking about the candidate who goes negative on the nation, painting it as being in crisis (Dean is saying this daily-if you listen to him daily, he uses the words, and come on, the nation is hardly in crisis right now).

Negative ads surely work, you are absolutely correct, but basing your candidacy on the nation being in some sort dangerous irreparable doomsday situation doesn’t work. Bush won because he was more or less positive in his “message”. Negative ads work, we all remember Willy Horton, which disemboweled the Dukakis campaign in 1988! But the Bush campaign was more than the sum of its attack ads. Clinton was positive in 1992 and he won. Dole lost in 1996, trying to run against the good times during Clinton-just a hard sell. How about the 1998 mid term elections where the Republicans were still hot on the Clinton-Lewinsky thing, going pretty negative about the state of the nation? Dean is in the same boat. How bad are things? They aren't bad enough for Howard Dean to be president that is for damned sure.

I too would love to see a Bush-Dean race. It would be fun.

“Full Throttle?” - - Checked out “Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle” last night. Let me start by saying that I think a good rule of thumb for sequels should be, never, ever, replace Bill Murray. But that is this movie’s smallest problem. Let me sum up the movie this way: I never thought this would be possible but there is indeed a limit to how far you can take “campy.” Clearly you can. Sometimes when you go too ‘over-the-top’ you can never come down. It makes Hulk look downright artsy and serious comparatively speaking.

And if I have to hear one more thing about how much fun the three girls had making the movie, and how much they love each other, I am going to be sick. Seeing movies be made, like elections, and sausage making, is not pretty. I’d say it was fun too, if I made $20 million.

Contrary to others I don’t have a problem with what amounts to employing the “bootycam.” But no amount of butt shots and babes could save this infernal movie. I liked the last one; it was like a great music video (no surprise with “McG” helming) with great scenes built around music and situational hijinks. Full Throttle on the other hand is none of those things-motocross, please, was always fairly lame, trying to make it look fashionably cool is dangerous nonsense. This is a franchise I would wish would just go away.

Sunday Morning Moore Thrashing - - Misha over at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has a charming little rant on Michael Moore’s latest letter to the masses (probably steadfast Kucinich & Dean voters) on weapons of mass destruction.

Quiet there’s an old man on the mound - - Jesse Orosco is still pitching…amazing since he started in 1979! Check his career numbers here.

Harry, Harry, Harry - - It’s that time again. The new Harry Potter is out, and like a drug, people en mass are absorbed in Pottermania. Frank Rich looks at the phenomenon today praising how great it is and what a cultural event it is and so on. I don’t mean to be Scrooge to the Bob Cratchet, but this is all too much.

Bravo for JK Rowling for selling a bundle of books and getting our children reading again. But this franchise couldn’t, for me, end soon enough. When everyone you know and my demographic is not four and up, but in the 25-40 range is talking Harry, and Houston, we have a problem. And plenty of people I know are overjoyed about this damned book. But I have yet to find one of them make a compelling argument why I should read it. Characterization seems to be the best reason to, but I think I can live without the character of Harry-what is he a witch or something?

When I read reviews by actual readers that begin like this, “I am a 15-year-old Harry Potter addict. Just to give you a general idea, I sleep, drink and breathe Harry Potter,” I find it at worst “creepy” at best mildly disturbing. I’m all for the success of writers (I would love that kind of success), I’m all for kids reading lots (that’s a good thing), I’m all for pop culture phenomenon’s, but raising a generation of Potterheads at such a grand scale is only slightly better than raising a brood of “Trekies” who get married dressed up like Klingon’s. And probably on par with the kind of fat loser who runs the comic book store in Springfield.

Gratuitous Comic Book Guy Moment:

Burns: Look at that comic book fellow, calmly eating candy like a Spaniard! [Hands Homer a briefcase] Time for monkey to shine.
Homer: I'd like to buy a mint-condition "Spider Man" #1 please.
CBG: And I'd like an hour on the holodeck with 7 of 9.
[Homer opens his money filled briefcase]
Oh! Saturn's rings. Let me get that for you [produces the comics]
Paperback or tripple mylar?
Homer: No thanks, I'll just eat it here. [starts to eat the comic]
CBG: [In horror] Oh! No! What are you doing? [breaks down sobbing]

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Pujols & .392 - - St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Albert Pujols is having an amazing season, and Cards fans are probably asking themselves Mark who? Pujols is now batting .392. He is actually raising his average lately. He also is leading the NL in RBI’s and is in the hunt for long bombs. No wonder his manager thinks he is so great.

Greatest Injustice living in Vancouver - - Sure we’ve got all the greatest Sushi you could ever want. But in a gross miscalculation of globalization, we are pretty short on good taco huts. Matt Welch reports on another opening of a taco stand in his neck of the woods in L.A. There is a new one here in my neighborhood that is pretty good. But not 24-hours….

635 - - Saturday’s on Fox are great. Now the Battle of the Bay: Oakland A’s-San Francisco Giant game. Bonds just hit his 635th home run.

Update: Barry Zito, last years AL CY Young Winner, has just seen a 6-0 lead evaporate in this inning. Six straight hits, then a ground out, then a hit. Only one other game in the season has Zito given up 8 hits. He's given up 8, in this inning. Bonds is back up...flies to outfield, two out. This must be some of that Red Sox mojo going around. Bleeding is over, for now. But it is 6-6 just like that.

Democrats 2004 Update - - Move On holds online primary and Howard Dean wins…what he won is unclear. Honestly what can you learn from a sample primary of people where nearly 68 percent voted for the furthest left wing candidate. Dean won with 44% and that is pretty understandable, but what about the 24% who picked Kucinich? Yikes. Those aren’t primary voters you necessarily want come the election.

Nothing wrong with JF - - Watching TWIB and is there any bad that can come from Jennie Finch. No.

Cinncinati’s Ryan Demster - - Demster’s a local guy who spend some of his early off seasons working in a restaurant in bar here in Vancouver that I worked at while I was going to school. Guess he doesn’t need to worry about the extra cash these days. He had a rough, rough, start this season (and pitching in that home run derby field doesn’t help).

But he seems to be getting his grove back. Today his on the mound again. He’s gone Six and a third, and is looking good-he left with a runner on. And his “relief” walked his first victim. Nice. Except for those nasty 4 walks. That’s gonna kill you. But so far he’s got a three hit-one run gem going!

Update: Demster got a no decision. The lighter fluid relief that he was replaced with lasted a third. But the Reds ended up with the win.

What a night - - Could you imagine being in Fenway for last night’s game. The Red Sox won 25-8! Johnny Damon hit a singe, a double, and a triple…all in the first inning! He ended up going 5-7. Here’s the Box Score. Here’s more about the game, gloating, and unwritten rules of baseball.

Hulk Smash - - Earlier this week I happened to see the Hulk. What a disheveled mess that Nick Nolte has become, huh. But the movie isn’t too bad even though it’s looking pretty limp at the ole box office. First, you have to give some serious props to Ang Lee for doing something different with the comic book movie genre, and that was, making it have the feel of a panel comic at various points. He also wasn’t afraid to show you the whole thing.

I found the film was much better than the wasteful X-Men franchise and can you really feel bad about watching Jennifer Connelly on screen for a couple of hours. No, I thought not. But this movie and pretty much every other comic movie spend so much time on how it looks and seemingly never enough on what they are about.

Still wondering why when Hulk returns to being Banner that his pants continue to fit well. But that is campy fun isn’t it.

Watching Subway Series Baseball - - Yanks-Mets in the 4th Inning. “Godzilla” Matsui hit his second grand slam of the season, Clemens is on the mound. But the question is how bad are the Mets? Well their record is pretty abysmal (34-43). And could they have any more people on the DL? Hey our leading batter has a .277 average. Terrible.

Update: Yanks win 7-1. They are 13-2 since being no-hit two weeks ago. Clemens wins number 301.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Coming this weekend - - I got a few letters to the editor this week. I will respond to them. Apparently I have been “making stuff up as I go along.” Also plenty of Baseball Blogging! More “MoneyBall” thoughts! Hulk Review! More… Stay Tuned!

What you talking about Willis - - Howard Owens (via Welch) discusses the phenom rookie pitcher who is now 8-1 with a 2.54 ERA. This just in…the kids got some stuff.

Damn you Layne! - - Summer brings the vacations of many great writers, including the infamous Ken Layne who taunts readers with a creepy monkey picture to announce his summer of fun. Damn you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

A two-fer - - Over at American Daily, my look at the Democratic candidates fro 2004 continues, with "Meet Howard Dean: Maple Powered Howard". I am pretty confident that the Governor from Vermont will fail but read it anyway.

Then over at I am not exactly dancing on the "Graveyard of Canadian Journalism" but the fact that magazines and newspapers are failing is no surprise. So many of them are terrible to read anyway.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Way off the page - - Eugene Volokh and Andrew Sullivan can’t quite figure out why Dick Gephardt is claiming he’ll use executive orders as president to overturn decisions the Supreme Court makes that he finds objectionable.

Volokh says that even the Bush administration complies with the big court and Sullivan says, “You expect it of Kucinich who is - let's put this politely - not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. But Gephardt? Fibber, dumb-ass, or panderer? I report. You decide.”

Baghdad News - - Here’s an article that tells more of the inside of Saddam’s Iraq. Whether we find WMD soon or later we did a good thing.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Good Lord - - Don't worry I will get to John Edwards in my series, but man many people are saying that he is sounding pretty interesting these day. Slate and William Saletan are talking about Edwards latest claims about Bush, his economic plan, and socialism. Don't worry I'll get to this guy...but it sounds fishy.

Nude Branding - - There is nothing wrong with streaking at major sporting events, so long as it is female streakers of course.

Forgot this - - The picture of Nat Baily Stadium. It's lovely.

Best little Ball Park in the NW people! - - The invaluable Brock Stephenson who keeps up a lively Blog called MEP (in case you’d forgotten, go say hi to him, please) gave me a friendly reminder about some great Northwest League Baseball action which has finally begun. Still not sure about that damned CBL. Honestly, it looks worse than watching the Single-A or the worst of College Baseball. Not sure if anyone cares what is happening with the Trois Rivieres Saints. Anyone, anyone?

A pair of new ones - - I wrote two divergent articles this past weekend. The first is a book review of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball called “Baseball & the Art of War”. Hey it mentions Yoda and Luke Skywalker, and Machiavelli’s “The Prince”-take that sports fans!

Okay it is no Matt Welch piece (he used the cool term “Jamesean” which I am sure will be used in the same way as neo-conservative or Straussian so beware), read his damned fine take on the book (and he won a bucket of awards for some other great stuff to check out here particularly this one also on the baseball theme).

The second piece was the 2nd in my series on the democratic candidates for ’04. American Daily has ”Meet John Kerry: Thurston Howell III” and it joins my previous Lieberman piece. (Dean is next, sometime midweek also to come the Dispatches 2004 Section or some such thing.)

Jose Canseco for Village Idiot - - I had heard last week that there was talk of a Jose Canseco reality television show. After his arrest for violating his parole. That’s fun. Hey buddy, you should have stayed healthy and hit 500 home runs instead of acting like a delinquent hobo. Could robbing a 7-11 or video store be far away…let’s hope.

Update: Toss in Tyson for a two character show and you've got yourself a deal. "Jose and Bitey"

Blogger Pain in the butt - - I haven’t published anything all weekend. Blogger seems to be stuck in some sort of time warp. I am not sure if I have tricked the googled robot into posting, but if I have, let’s celebrate my genius. Hooray for me! If not, blogging should return shortly. And let me say that be this time next month, or perhaps August that Dispatches will rid itself of Blogger once and for all!

Friday, June 20, 2003

VDH Breaking it down - - Victor Davis Hanson has a great one today that ends with some darn right hope & optimism. Things are going pretty well.

“….for all the doom and gloom we are making amazing progress. If on the evening of September 11th, an outside observer had predicted that the following would transpire in two years, he would have been considered unhinged: Saddam Hussein gone with the wind; democratic birth pangs in Iraq; the Taliban finished and Mr. Karzai attempting to create constitutional government; Yasser Arafat ostracized by the American government and lord of a dilapidated compound; bin Laden either dead or leading a troglodyte existence; all troops slated to leave Saudi Arabia — and by our own volition, not theirs; Iran and Syria apprehensive rather than boastful about their own promotion of terror; and the Middle East worried that the United States is both unpredictable in its righteous anger and masterful in its use of arms, rather than customarily irresolute and reactive.”


“Between 1946 and today there are, after all, too many books, academic departments, careers, reporters, and anchormen who have institutionalized notions of moral equivalence, multiculturalism, and Western pathology from a safe and comfortable distance. But all that pessimism and self-doubt does not mean that we are failing, or that we should cease our present efforts. In fine, we are now engaged in one of the most ambitious, perilous, and radical undertakings in our history — and we are ever so slowly winning.”

George Will: Democrat Folly - - Will outlines the problems the democrats have in 2004. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Kerry, WMD, & the future - - Andrew Sullivan has a remarkable post that both savages John Kerry for going on the attack yesterday on Bush and links it to the capture of Iraq’s number four and the US going on a new hunt. Sullivan is growing confident that the WMD may still be on the board, may still be found, that the capture or death of Saddam himself is at hand, and that all of this may destroy candidate Kerry because he doesn’t know when to shut up.

Nader back on the Radar - - I was wondering when the Green Crackpot would throw his hat in the ring again. Ralph Nader is mulling another run for the White House. He isn’t sure about running Green, or Independent, or the funniest option: as a Republican. Bush v Nader in the 2004 GOP Primary. HA!

Mmmmm Donuts...- - Krispy Kreme is taking the world by storm.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

No Surprise here - - Canada’s military cannot quite figure out how many members are in its reserve or what they even spend their money on. No surprise that this is the case, but sad nevertheless.

Gore TV? - - Absolute insanity of the solution for the left is to get Al Gore to help run a tv network.

Snoop TV - - Fa Shizzle friends. Snoop Dog has a new tv show. Here how puts it:

“Generally, Snoop leans too hard on pimps-and-hos humor. But who's complaining? Doggy Fizzle Televizzle is a very good time—loose, mellow television with an excellent comic ringmaster who has a gift for Wildean inversions. Take the political segment of the show: ‘Police brutality is horrible. I think the way the police is treated is disgusting.’”

Go Ichiro - - Ichiro went 4-4 last night (including 2 HR’s) raising his average to .347! I just watched 2 games last weekend at Safeco against the Braves and didn’t get to see much offense. The Mariners keep rolling along.

Warning Labels? - - Hit and Run has the dirt on a modest proposal that would place warning labels at Fast Food Restaurant. This just in fast foods have magical ingredient called “phat”, no, its “fat” and it is apparently bad for you and addictive like heroin.

Blog Link of the Day - - Tacitus.

When Governments Attack - - Budget crunches south of the border are leading to a serious crack down on all things sin. Gambling, drinking, and smoking are the first battles for governments facing budget troubles. All this in my latest column: it is up now!

They Hate us - - they really, really hate us-or at least they’re really mad at us for not dropping by for a $5 espresso, or a $10 brie sandwich at the Eiffel Tower. Amazing people the French. Read on.

Ashton Kutcher is officially over - - Bunsen has mercifully stuck the fork in Ashton. Thanks to Ken Layne at LA Examiner.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Canada Economic woes - - Canada is possibly facing a one percent growth rate cut this year from the impact of SARS, MAD COW, and our crazy rising dollar. Wait a minute wasn’t it our fearless PM bragging about how great our economy was less than a month ago? Interesting.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Apathy - - Another set of by-election in Canada today. Two interesting things to note: 1. voter turnout was 23% in one and 29% in the other. 2. The government won both of them. Proof positive that no one really wants a change in this country.

NBA Finals aren’t so fantastic this year - - No one seems too happy with the recently wrapped up NBA finals. Some people don’t like Tim Duncan. Some really don’t think much of Kenyan Martin’s Game Six performance (3-23, nice work “clutch”). Some are predicting that the Spurs might be the worst Championship team, ever. At any rate it was very ugly and no one seemed to be watching. I miss Shaq…

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Oldies but goodies - - Meant to publish these short posts on Friday, but never got the chance. Enjoy them…

Pop Che - - Personally I’m tired of seeing people walk around sporting Che, or Castro, or Mao (not sure if any wears a Mao shirt) memorabilia cloths. It is ludicrous to think it is pop culture cool to have dictators and such as icons. Thankfully someone agrees.

Recap for the cheep seats - - Jed Babbin has a great sort of recap of what has happened since 9/11 and some disturbing ideas about what is to come. One is that if the terrorist’s chief aim were to disrupt our lives, then another attack prior to the 2004 election would be a huge blow.

No Tina Fey - - Nick Denton takes aim at one of my least favorite lefties. Sure I find her kind of Tina Fey-sexy, but Katrina vanden Heuvel is off her rocker most of the time, and rarely, rarely goes off the cue cards of what is standard talking points for the left.

Bad team names - - I suppose the new NBA team could be really miserable and take a name like this team. Instead they picked Bobcats…

Sports By Brooks found this:
The WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL has player reax on the new nickname, "Bobcats," for the Charlotte NBA expansion franchise:
Malik Rose: "That sucks. ... I thought they'd do better than that."
Steve Kerr: "It sounds like a girls softball team to me. It doesn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of NBA players. ... I guess it shows there aren't many good nicknames left to be had."
Harsh. Los Angeles "Lakers" strikes fear? Hasn't seemed to hurt them on the court over the years.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Overheating on the road to peace - - The Bush peace plan is getting bumpy. But this violence should not end the process. It was a matter of fact that the terror groups don’t want peace. This has to be completely clear now, it was before, but now even the most skeptical must see it. The answer is two-fold. Proceed with peace, proceed with creating a Palestinian state, but the terrorist must be dealt with and eliminated, and fast.

I was thinking about something late last night. Someone said that there was one man with as much one-name recognition as Hillary. He’s “Rudy” and Bush should send him over there. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. And who better to hammer home peace than Rudy! Just a thought.

More: Check out James Robbins in NRO too.

Double Secret Extra: James Lileks on the Roadmap:

The top-of-the-hour radio news played today's news just as you’d expect - everything shoved through the tit-for-tat template. Israel attempts to take out a terror leader; Hamas “responds” with a bombing. As if they’re equal. As if targeting the car that ferries around some murderous SOB is the same as sending a blissed-out teenager to blow nails and screws through the flesh of afternoon commuters so he can bury himself in the heaving bosom of the heavenly whorehouse. Cycle of violence, don't you know.

They don’t have helicopters, we're told, so they use suicide bombers. If they had helicopters, they would have strafed the bus and everyone waiting at the corner. Give them a nation where Hamas runs unchecked, and they’ll have helicopters. They won't be Apaches. The bill of sale will be calculated in Euros and the manual written in French. By then the excuse for the terror won't be oppression; it'll be "the legacy of oppression." Sometimes I swear the mainstream media won't take a look at the Palestinian's horrid death-cult subculture until we learn that a suicide bomber played "Doom" at an Internet cafe for five minutes. And then they'll blame Intel.

Six Pitchers, No Hitter, Yanks bitter - - Last night Houston Astros, freakishly, sent six pitchers (a record) against the Yankees and didn’t give up a hit! First time in 44 years the Yanks have been hitless.

Miller Time - - Dennis Miller, a Dispatches favorite, is apparently taking a position on Fox News doing some commentary for Hannity & Colmes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Arnie on the stump - - Sounding more and more like a candidate, especially his denials and assertions that he is ‘only’ thinking of The Terminator 3.

Clinton offers support to Sosa - - Clinton simply is a scandal junky. First there was news that Clinton offered his words of support to Howell Raines who eventually, er, ‘resigned’ (You were fired buddy) now he’s offered the kiss of death to Sammy Sosa. Poor Sammy.

Ali G Watch - - Reason has a really funny piece about the Ali G show.

Sacred Cows Slaughter - - This weeks column at takes a look at the upcoming provincial budget in Quebec.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Uncle Joe Jumping on Bill’s Lap - - ”Meet Joe Lieberman: The New Clinton?” is my first fresh article over at I know its only June, but the first primaries are only 7 months away. So here is the first of many articles about my opinions on the democratic field.

In related news USA Today reports, Lieberman Euphoria is waning…no, say it isn’t so…

GOP Battle Plans - - Political Wire has picked up this report (Dispatches paraphrase): Deep in the bowels of the Republican campaign building they are secretly building an attack mascot in the guise of eccentric millionaire Thurston Howell III (of “Gilligan’s Island” fame). The plan is to send the “attack mascot” to Sen. John Kerry events to play up the similarities between the two.

Monday, June 09, 2003

What is it with Clinton & Scandal? - - It would seem that that Bill feels left out whenever there is scandal. He begged for Howell Raines to keep his job, can he ever leave well enough alone, ever.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Supersized Loser Week - - New one over at Enter Stage Right! ”Supersized Loser Week” is a review of the big losers of the past week: Sammy Sosa, Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, and who could forget Howell Raines. Enjoy!

Magic WMD theories - - Kagan’s latest, on the mysterious lost weapons of mass destruction, is well worth the read. His contention is that the rabid arguments that Bush & Co. lied about WMD are silly. Arguing, now, that there never were any WMD in the first place is simply dead wrong.

“Today they are unaccounted for. But the answer to the continuing conundrum is not that Bush and Blair are lying. The weapons were there. Someday we'll find them, or we'll find out what happened to them,” writes Kagan. “Unless, of course, you like your conspiracies to be as broad and all-pervasive as possible.”

And these arguments are the equivalent of a “magic bullet” theory that magically there never were any weapons. And anyone who thinks this is worse than Watergate either was a central player in Watergate or is tired of being lumped into that clownish cover-up or complete dupe.

The Bush Administration used WMD to complete their case for invasion and regime change in Iraq. But the case was strong, and continues to be, with or without that evidence.

More on Bush & WMD - - Oliver Willis makes some fairly sensible points in a new post on the elusive WMD. He certainly is as rabid and outrageous as say Dean or Katrina Vanden Huevel. But I think he does him self a disservice by mocking the “think of the children” crowd. Sure if we never find the weapons in Iraq, falling back on the children argument will be inevitable, but I don’t see it as cynically as Willis does.

The idea that Bush can’t use this defense because we aren’t doing anything about the human rights disaster in the Congo is juvenile. “No, our president took the way of least resistance in the post 9.11 era: terrorists. It is a part of us that he has consistently mined, not just in the area of international diplomacy but also as the reasoning behind his tax plan and other regressive social policies.” And hold on a second. Either your against interventions or your not. But if you want the US to clean up the world’s crapholes you believe that the US can go everywhere and do everything. Iraq and Afghanistan in two years is a pretty good track record.
“If George Bush had said that we were fighting a war in Iraq to stop Hussein from oppressing his people, it would have been the right thing to say. Instead, he said we were doing it for our safety - to end Iraq's WMD programs and to stop the proliferation of nuclear/biological material,” writes Willis.

It may have been the right thing to say, and it was part of the larger argument from the start. But the argument about WMD is larger than Iraq. But the only WMD foolishness has been those who are now spinning things to make the lack of evidence of those weapons a reason for discrediting the war. One thing is certain; the security of America and her allies is greater today than in January of 2003 when Saddam was firmly in power playing games with his accomplices in the UN Security Council. There is the possibility that it turns out that Iraq was both playing us, and our intelligence, for the fool (and actually deluding Saddam too) by simply maneuvering to end sanctions at which time they could jump start their program again the idea that Iraq was a threat is still there. But I was more hopeful that invading Iraq was the beginning of rolling back the nefarious forces that currently have their claws in the Middle East. The preemptive action in Iraq was certainly a line drawn in the sand…we are not going to accept regimes that sponsor terrorism, seek weapons of mass destruction, or oppress their people. Slowly but surely we’re coming for you.

And of course let’s go to the Steyn. Mark Steyn ever the calm rolling thunder of debate wants us all to sit and wait.

Because what Mr Blair said is not only in line with what American officials told me, it is in line with what Continental officials told me - as recently as two weeks ago, when a big-time Euro paused midway through his harangue about the illegality of the war to assure me that "of course" Saddam had been up to WMD monkey business.

That's why, if you notice, the axis of weasels (France, Germany, Russia) and its short-pants league (Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada), while undoubtedly enjoying Mr Blair's discomfort, have nevertheless declined to join in the show-us-the-sarin taunts. They know what their intelligence services say (assuming, for the purposes of argument, Luxembourg has an intelligence service), and it's the same as the British and Americans. The Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is presumably privy to more high-level briefings than I am, so his tawdry opportunism is especially contemptible.

Martha, Martha, Martha - - Mark Steyn has his kick at the proverbial Martha Stewart can of cling peaches. Only Steyn could say this:

“If you were going to cast her as a villain, she'd be the murderess in a "Columbo" episode, the one who commits the perfect crime it takes Peter Falk two hours to unpick. Instead, everything about l'affaire ImClone seems as slapdash as my pie. According to the prosecution, Martha's broker faked the exonerating paperwork by using a blue pen that didn't match the blue pen in the rest of his notes. That's exactly the lack of attention to detail Martha's railed against all her life. It's the equivalent of not making enough crème patissiere and saying, "Ah, to hell with it. A dollop of Cool Whip'll do." Not for the first time you can't help noticing that, as with most stories about unreasonably demanding perfectionist celebrities, under the control-freak exterior they seem to be amazingly indulgent of the various third-rate flunkeys around them. Not that Martha's alleged decision to gild the phone logs with a dab of Liquid Paper was the smartest move.”

Undiscovered Country - - Here’s a post that’s sure to please. The Middle East peace process, that President Bush has tried to jump start, was under attack again. Three terrorist groups, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, all claimed joint credit in the sneak attack on an Israeli military outpost that killed four. If I may, all of this reminds of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

This sounds incredibly stupid, but the movie was all about warring factions trying to end a conflict while some stubborn people tried to stop the possibility of peace. How do you have peace in the Middle East? Hunt down the terrorists and take them out of the equation. If Abbas can’t get this done, and that must now seem more than possible, someone is going to have to. Or we’ll be talking about road maps, and peace plans forever. Where is Captain Kirk when you need him?

Mets Vs. Mariners - - Watching the Seattle Mariners completely disembowel the not-so Miracle Mets this morning. This is Game One of a double-header, it is middle of the 4th inning and Seattle is up 12-0. (Update: Cliff Floyd just made it 12-1)
I guess this helps to answer the question of whether the M’s need a DH, and star slugger Edgar Martinez, in their line up to win. Apparently not so much.

Stanley Cup Malaise - - Going to game seven…surely nobody could honestly care.

Hitch to Dixie Chicks… - - Hitchens certainly has a way with words, even when he calls the Dixie Chicks names.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Empire Maker - - There’s your obligatory Belmont Stakes reference friends. I hope he ensures that Funny Cide doesn’t win, sparring the sporting world from another embarrassing look at his midget jockey’s kid’s unfortunate post-win screaming. But really this post was to send you to this article about the American Empire.

In defense of Strauss - - Here’s a good one on Strauss again.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Ebert’s Colonoscopy… - - Damian Penny details the feud between film critic Roger Ebert and filmmaker Vincent Gallo, who claims to be a conservative Republican. This little public quarrel surrounds Ebert’s contention that viewing his colonoscopy was more entertaining than Gallo’s latest film, “The Brown Bunny,” which was universally panned at Cannes.

Why would they lie - - is the question Max Boot offers in The Weekly Standard today. He makes some excellent points including asking why, if Saddam didn’t have any WMD, would he have been so uncooperative when the inspectors came in. He may have been destroying the weapons in hopes he would live to fight another day. He gambled wrong, and that doesn’t mean Bush & Blair ever said anything that was untrue. In fact if you think about it this line of reasoning probably gives more credibility to the guys.

An oldie but a goody - - Starting this week I have started getting my articles published at American Daily. They will syndicate my weekly column that I do for Enter Stage Right, and I’ll be doing some extra columns there too. My first column has been posted. Drop by and check out the site. So the growing tentacles of Dispatches and my writing take one more step to taking over the world.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Dow 9,000 - - Math Geeks, is there some sort of equation you can make to have the advances or declines of the Dow juxtaposed against Bush’s reelection chances. At any rate Stocks are rebounding this week. The Dow is up 20.1 percent since March 11. Even as Teflon Martha is getting the perp-treatment.

372 Reps Can’t be wrong - - Incredible ironies batman. The House voted on Monday on this: “Congratulating Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs for Hitting 500 Major League Home Runs” (372-0). They never stop working, and then the next day they find something curious in Sammy “The Cork’s” bat.

Where are the WMD? - - Having a tough time finding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Yet it seems like we are having no trouble at all finding Mass Graves, of children, guess we should have not invaded!

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Dispatches Question of the day - - Is the rabid desire by some to uncover that Iraq never had any WMD at all an attempt to uncover the Bush administration as some sort of strange retribution over the NY Times/Jayson Blair deal? Talk amongst yourselves.

Not a good thing - - Martha to do the perp walk?

Outdoor Game - - There is nothing wrong with this. Having a Hockey game outside. That’s cool…literally. (Ed. Note: And that is a bad pun!)

Cork is for Wine Bottles Sammy - - Ouch! Sammy Sosa was ejected today for cork in his bat. Was it the 2-15 slump he was in?

Inter-league Play begins - - MLB is doing its crazy bizzaro-world-thing where teams play in strange places and people like Edgar Martinez take a seat on the bench as the Mariners visit the National League. This is good news for the Mets-they may actually win! Well, no, probably not. Does he even have a glove these days?

More Positive News - - Glenn Reynolds finds this piece offering a pretty positive view of how things are going in Iraq. Read it!

Operation ‘Internut’ - - Jeff Jarvis has all the details on beginnings of a plan to help grease the wheels of freedom in Iraq. It is about computers and the internet. So perhaps somewhere between the shock and awe and the food rations drops the US military needs to think about dropping wireless networks and laptops on the oppressed enemies? Operation techno-geek anyone? Or maybe one of the many dotcoms needs to pull off a huge public relations coup.

Get them hooked on technology, the internet, information, and then see how operation Iraqi Freedom went.

Monday, June 02, 2003

”Saddam’s Mark Geragos” - - Patrick Ruffini points to a good post by L.T. Smash, then explodes by saying: “Those of you with no higher ambition than to be Saddam's Mark Geragos on WMD and other issues — shame on you.” That’s a spicy meatball! I like.

Diamond in the rough - - Was watching Jay Leno for a few minutes tonight. Jewel was on singing something from her new album. I have a question: when did the crazy hippy chick turn into the slinking sex bomb? I guess when you can’t beat ‘em (all those pop girls) you might as well join them.

Headline of the Week - - NY Times has an article this evening titled: G-8 Leaders Talk Tough on Spread of Nuclear Arms”. Oh yes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan….oh yeah the tough talkers speak-eth.

Monday Morning Political Quarterback - - Okay, lets say I probably wouldn’t have signed the troglodytes pact to win the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives. And on first glance yesterday and again this morning my first instinct like Damian Penny is fearing for the worst, and it may in fact be.

Is this going to be the deal that ensures Liberal rule in Canada, and a permanent split within Canada’s right wing forever? Perhaps. But I may give Mackay credit for trying something different. While I hardly want to make deal with anti-free traders, this may be a more calculated move than it appears on the surface. It actually might keep the Alliance and PC’s at each others throats. But it also might get the PC’s more seats. Look the political Alamo in Canada, the front lines as it were, are fought and lost in Ontario and Quebec. These two provinces have no problem voting for the Liberal party whose sole ideology is “winning elections.” They pander to whoever will vote for them. By making this crazy deal with Orchard, Mackay might actually be able to take votes away from the Liberals.

He has probably lost the west for a few years, but then again, he never had it in the first place. But his crazy Hail Mary pass this weekend to win the leadership sets him up to take votes from both the Liberals and the NDP. This possibly means more leftist government in the long run, but it also gives another party a shot a actually winning elections. Then again, Liberals say insane things all the time (Free Trade is bad, we’ll repeal the GST, we’ll decriminalize pot) and by the time they actually run the show they don’t do anything at all. That’s politics!

Sunday, June 01, 2003

The Beginning of the end of chaos - - On Thursday night I wrote my latest article for Enter Stage Right. I spent much of this past week reading all the doom and gloom about what is happening in Iraq. How bad things were going. I haven’t bought into it and as this weekend progressed it looks like optimism is contagious.

Andrew Sullivan is looking more upbeat. And Glenn Reynolds is too. I think that the tipping point was Mark Steyn going to Iraq and having a jolly good time. There is nothing like a great writer going into Iraq and telling you what you were not hearing. And that things are doing better than the rest of the media says.

Steyn in Iraq - - Mark Steyn went to Iraq and says that it is coming along just fine thank you very much. As I have suspected the ‘story’ for reporters is how terrible things are going, who wants to report that things are actually going, well, pretty good.

“So that's the most basic thing about post-Saddam Iraq: for all the "anarchy", no one's fleeing. In the course of my trip, I drove as far east as the outskirts of Baghdad and as far north as Kirkuk. I spent a pleasant evening prowling round Saddam's home town of Tikrit, where I detected a frisson of menace in the air, but marginally less than in, say, Stockwell, south London. Come to think of it, I was wearing a suit and tie (the Robert Fisk look isn't really my bag) and carrying substantial amounts of hard currency, which I'd never do after dark round Tottenham. I had an illegally acquired firearm but, even in Tikrit, I was relaxed enough to leave it in the glove box.”

Interesting Paradox - - Glenn Reynolds notices something very interesting about the protests at the G-8 Summit. Obviously, suggests Reynolds, “Rumsfeld failed to send enough troops to keep order.”