Sunday, September 28, 2003

And….the GOP is looking to Dennis Miller for…Senate - - If that new CA poll is to be believed then the idea of the Republicans drafting other celebrity candidates such as Dennis Miller doesn’t seem to be off the board. And let’s be honest, if the Democrats had some guys like this in their camp, they would do likewise, but I doubt we’ll see Sen. Baldwin or Gov. Sarandon anytime soon.

Is Arnie Running Away with the CA election - - A new poll is showing increased strength for the campaign of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even if McClintock stays in the race it looks like Davis could be out, and Arnie in.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The West Wing - - Well, there was plenty of backlash on Sunday when “The West Wing” won best drama at the Emmy’s. (And well placed backlash) But John Goodman as the new, albeit temporary, President is amazing. Truly amazing. The best part is contrasting him against the entire regular cast.

What is so fun about Goodman’s President Walken is the contrast to Martin Sheen’s Bartlett. It is a breath of fresh air that rather than a Clintonesque windbag demonstrating his useless Cliff Claven knowledge there is Goodman simply making things happen.

Final word: The show has some conflict, finally. But my guess is that quickly Goodman will be gone. Sheen will be back. And the show will go back to last season’s Clinton year love in.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Victor Davis Hanson Must Read - - This weeks best essay comes from VDH.

We are near the end of such a pivotal summer ourselves, the type that defines not just a presidency, but an entire nation for generations to come. After the spectacular victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, public ardor for the conflict is temporarily cooling. Because of the past recession, the effects of 9/11, the tax cuts, and the cost of the war, we are running up billions in projected annual budget deficits. Our own McClellans and contemporary Copperheads deride the president as a miserable failure cheek by jowl with major newspapers.

Few stop to appreciate that 50 million are now liberated with the first chance of real democracy in the history of the Middle East. We almost take for granted that the Taliban and Saddam Hussein are gone and that 90 percent of Iraq is functioning under local democratic councils — in an irreversible process that is taking on a culture and logic of its own. We are angry not that the situation in the occupied countries is stabilizing — so far at a cost of less than 300 — not 300,000 — American dead, but that they are not yet normal societies. Few Americans ask why and how Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran are suddenly whining privately rather than shouting defiance.

Reading Hanson, you must conclude that the people, come election day next year, will ‘get’ it and Bush will win to continue this mission.

Quotes of the day - - Mark Steyn on Gen. Wesley Clark: “And, now that Howard Dean has driven most of his plausible rivals crazy, we have a new Voice of Sanity -- Gen. Wesley Clark, whose responses to questions on the war make the French foreign minister sound like a straight-shooter.”

And in another article he labels him General Jello: “All General Jello does is remind voters of what they dislike about the Dems on this war: their weaselly evasive oppositionism. All his military background does is keep military matters at the forefront of the campaign.”

Between a rock and hard place - - This Sunday Mirror article reports that Saddam is trying to negotiate his safe passage into Belarus in exchange for information on WMD and the whereabouts of tens of millions of stolen funds. The only comment from me, and a fitting one after my four day absence of posting, is surrender or die! No deals. If this true, it is going to be a huge blow to the anti-U.S. forces in the country. If he wants to cut and run, why stay and fight?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Mariner’s Nightmare - - What happened to the Seattle Mariners? Right now the M’s are 4 ½ back of Oakland in the AL West! And 2 back of the Red Sox for the Wild Card. I said if they didn’t buck up and trade for someone they would be in trouble, clearly their ‘blockbuster’ pickup of Rey Sanchez has not worked out, and they are not going to make the playoffs at this rate. 12 games left for the Sox and M’s.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

The Substance of Style - - Early last week Virginia Postrel’s publisher was kind enough to send me a preview copy of her new book. I loved it, so the least I could do was to get my thoughts posted at a few places. So it is my weekly column over at Enter Stage Right, and in linked-up form as my first piece over at the great site, Blog Critics. And that site will be a place to find all my reviews of books, films, DVDs, and junk television. I hope you enjoy it and the site, its worth the trip.

Lots of other good stuff at both sites, so grab a Mocha, and look around for awhile.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Not to be forgotten - - I forgot to post a link to Matt Welch’s new column over at Reason, ” The day nothing changed”.

Golberg, Goldberg, Goldberg - - Plenty of lasting goodness out of Jonah Golberg this week. He’s one of my favorites, so we’ll have a small linkfest, starting now. First in his G-File, ”On blowing it” he explains that rather than wondering if America blew it post-9/11 that we should blame the victims of our wrath. Next in his syndicated column, Jonah explains it is proper to debate how we should be fighting this war, but not a good idea to debate the merits of the war itself. And then in his all new
Times column he hits some more themes. It’s pretty much a rehash of the former column, but its got some of the best quotes.

“I’m not saying it’s going perfectly; if it were, Saddam would be spending eternity in the ninth plane of hell between the cast of Cats and Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. But, if you listened to some of these folks, you’d think that Osama bin Laden spent his nights in the White House smacking George Bush with a paddle, making the leader of the free world say: “Thank you, sir! May I have another?” like Kevin Bacon in Animal House.

Lost in Translation - - And while I’m on this Saturday morning pop culture kick, I was checking out the “Lost in Translation” website. Is there anything better than Bill Murray? The film looks like it oozes cool. I am looking forward to it.

Pigs Flying, good news - - Sad week for music with Johnny Cash’s passing, but there is good news in music too. Apparently there is news that the great indie-rock band The Pixies are preparing to reunite and put out an album in 2004. Very Cool!

Snow Walker at the TIFF - - Well my friends had their big premiere at the Toronto Film Festival the other night. I’m not sure how it went but I am sure it went off with a bang. Barry Pepper, James Cromwell, and Annabella Piugattuk were all in attendance, as was director Charles Martin Smith. It was nice to see some photos and press from this movie after watching it get made, and I hope it does well. One disappointment, I haven’t seen a picture of my great friend Rob Merilees yet, who produced the film, but I am told he is there in Toronto. It’s at the Vancouver Film Festival next, on October 10th. I’m hoping this post will get daddy a free ticket for the Vancouver screening, but I should probably pay for one like everyone else.

More Press here: Canadian Press article at the Ottawa Citizen.

The Associated Press reprinted in a ton of places.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

”Remembering 9-11” - - Mens News Daily was kind enough to publish my new column about today’s anniversary this morning.

Update: Here are a few comments at Mike Browne's site on my article. Evidence that many people still don't get it. Thanks to Mike for bring them to my attention.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The 2nd Anniversary of 9/11 - - Two years on from that fateful day, the whole day is haunting. I’m not sure these anniversaries will get any easier. And certainly we can’t forget what happened that day. Remember those who died that day. Those on duty on the Frontlines of Freedom then and of course on all fronts throughout the war today.

Tribute in Light

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

The Bush Debate - - There is plenty of debate these days on the subject of George W. Bush. Has he lost his base? Is his big government conservatism going too far? Are Republican libertarians going to jump ship before 2004, and jump about SS Dean?

Well we have Republican’s for Dean (although Andrew Sullivan suggest to take this site with a grain of salt.).

And we have Libertarians for Dean. And this is all very interesting. What happens to Dean, or his supports if they figure out this is going on. I would suspect a Klein predicted flip flop I would think, but we’ll see.

And when Jonah Goldberg is saying: “I have a big wait-and-see attitude toward the President's comments tonight. But I must say that if it weren't for the war on terrorism, I'd be a bit at a loss these days to say something nice about him given his performance of the last six months. Yes, yes, tax cuts: good. And a few other things: Good. But, I'm really fighting this feeling that when he said earlier this week that whenever someone's "hurting," the "government has to move", he essentially jumped the shark. Maybe I'm just in a down mood about politics generally, but every day it seems more and more like the President is moving the Republican Party to the kissy-huggy liberal center at the behest of Rovian imperatives. I'll tell you, if he goes all Souter when/if there's a Supreme Court vacancy, I don't what I'll do. Ramesh noted a while back that when the Democrats move left, so does the GOP because the Center gets abandoned. It seems to me that's exactly what's happening and it just bums me out.”

Let’s start with the first line of defense. From James Lileks: “The Prof says he sees more comments along these lines from staunch Republicans, which is you won’t find that sort of comment here. With all respect to Jonah, saying that the administration has “jumped the shark” is almost Dowdian in a snarky pop-culty way. I get impatient with this, I really do. What part of “Compassionate Conservatism” was unclear from the start? As for the tax cut, I’m extremely grateful for it, even though I plan to do nothing with it but bury it in the backyard.”

Tech Central Station is offering even a more interesting defense of Bush, its Keynesian. Which sounds kind of like a very strange Star Trek episode or something equally weird.

And more indicative of the debate I think would be Stephen Green’s (The Vodka Pundit) viewpoint. “’Get the UN in and the US out.’ Dr. Dean, of course. Speaking of Iraq, naturally.That's a slogan, not a program for rebuilding a shattered country, and reforming a disturbed region. And it's completely indicative of at least five of the nine Democrats' foreign policy plans. ‘Mom, do I have to vote Republican again?’”

Did I answer the questions I started with. Um, no…but I think this is a debate worth looking at. So far I am with James Lileks on this. Bush hasn’t jumped the shark, yet, and deficits were always a pretty lame thing to talk about anyway. Like talking about your Visa bill at a cocktail party. Hey if you still can buy the girl a nice dinner and some cool stuff at you’re not going to be talking about how you are at your limit. Sorry guys it just isn’t on. And to think Democrats can win an election on this is amusing. They might win one, but I would imagine that that ultimate shark jumping-or I guess donkey jumping would be too much.

Opus returns to the funnies - - Radly Balko, who has so much stuff worth reading on his site it isn’t funny, also finds news that the creator of Bloom County is bringing back Opus for new daily strip.

The Vietnam Party - - James Taranto has a big post on the current problem with the Democratic Party, which he calls the “Vietnam Party.”

“So the great triumph of Howard Dean's generation, and the model for his own presidential aspirations, is the election of . . . Richard Nixon!

Hasn't the nation moved on from Vietnam? Yes, but the Democratic Party clearly has not. Vietnam may have traumatized the country, but it utterly transformed the Democrats, helping make them what they are today: a minority party.”

Joe Klein to Howard Dean: You are no Clinton Buddy - - Joe Klein who it would seem worships Clinton and wrote two Clinton is so cool books (The Natural and Primary Colors) doesn’t seem to think too much of Howard Dean.

“Dean turns out to be a flagrantly political anti-politician. As his campaign gains altitude, he seems to change a position a week. In the debate, he changed two — first on American troops in Iraq, then on American labor standards on trade. Before that, he trimmed his honorable position on raising the age of eligibility for Social Security and his support for lifting the embargo on Cuba. Dean still proudly struts his pro-gun stance in the anti-gun Democratic Party, but as often as not he points out the political efficacy of that position in the red states. The question is: How many of Dean's positions are negotiable?”

But on NRO’s “The Corner” Tim Graham wonders, “Isn't that how Klein fell for Bill Clinton, the big lug?” I guess Dean didn’t have little Joe at “Hello.”

75 Years ago today - - Was the date of a great baseball series, and The Baseball Crank has all the glorious details. Enjoy, and thank you Baseball Crank.

Must Read Jarvis - - Didn’t manage to see the latest PBS documentary on 9/11, but Jeff Jarvis (who will no doubt be must read on 9/11 himself) caught some of it and isn’t very happy with it.

Must read Hitch - - With the two-year anniversary of 9/11 coming up in two days, Christopher Hitchens gives his take on it. And it is worth reading.

“Two beautiful fall seasons ago, this society was living in a fool's paradise while so far from being "in search of enemies" that its governing establishment barely knew how to tell an enemy from a friend. If there is anything to mark or commemorate, it is the day when that realm of illusion was dispelled—the date that will one day be acknowledged as the one on which our enemies made their most truly "suicidal" mistake.”

But read the whole thing. Most certainly read it again on Thursday.

Baseball Tuesday Night Round Up - - I wanted to post a link to the latest Peter Gammons article yesterday. It didn’t happen, but it’s good for one thing in particular slamming football talking heads for continue to tow the line that parity, basically NFL socialism, has improved the game.

So it is Gammons who suggests that with almost half of the league competing into September, parity is laughable as baseball has none and is more competitive than ever. “There is the school of thought that the reason there are so many teams still in contention is that there are so many horrible, dreadful (pick your own adjective) teams, which runs hypocritically opposite to the greatness of parity theory that holds more than half the NFL teams to the final Sunday. Granted there isn't one seemingly great team, a '98 Yankees, '95 Braves, '89 A's, '84 Tigers club that could be matched against great teams of the past.” Food for thought.

But what about tonight? Boston came back tonight beating the Orioles 9-2! You need to know more? Well the Yanks won and the Cubs are back into a lead.

Rush Limbaugh’s Football Night job - - doesn’t think too much of Rush Limbaugh’s new job at ESPN, but it sounds like he’s doing better than Lisa Guerrero at ABC.

And nobody needs to imagine this: “Perhaps the network missed a big opportunity on Thursday night before the opener, when two celebrities the network currently favors were on hand in the nation's capital. Imagine the buzz if Limbaugh and Britney Spears had kissed on the Mall.”

Seahawk Stadium Mini Review- - Okay, as promised a quick and dirty review of the Seattle Seahawks new digs, “Seahawk Stadium”. Starting outside first, the stadium, across the street from Safeco Field (the home of the Mariners) it looks harsher, rougher and generally I suppose is the antithesis of a baseball field, but generally unremarkable. But on the inside, the stadium is beautiful and conveys an impressive intimate atmosphere.

Now this review is not going to near as good or thorough as ESPN Page 2’s coverage of the Baseball parks which has been an excellent feature all summer long. And this last ditch review of Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, which also happened to voted the best is surprising and most enjoyable of all-it ended up being given by ESPN’s writing staff, the highest mark of any of the 32 stadiums at 95.

I actually can’t give a full review of the Seahawk’s stadium. My friend Stewart hooked us up with basically the “Rain Man” seats. He got the tickets from Saint’s wide receiver Jerome Pathon who actually came out of little old North Vancouver. Needless to say, it was pretty hard to cheer for the home team, but as it was my first NFL game in the flesh, so it didn’t matter.

The seats were in row Q which is up some from the field, (just about the 10 yard line) but they were in the Club section, so an additional wristband also allowed us into the Club section with, literally, no-wait clean bathrooms, and good looking food, like the Prime Rib Sandwich my buddy TC had ($10), I doubt the poor slobs in the upper deck had. But is $7.50 for a microbrew beer anything but highway robbery? The selection was pretty standard too. But the seats were cushioned, the jumbotrons on both ends of the field crystal clear, the sound great, and the fans (not near the capacity 67,000-in fact guys were selling $40 tix for $20 or less about a half hour before the game) was loud and proud. On one downside, our seats completely lacked the view of the scoreboard with all the out of town scores-how lame. And the constant Seahawk on the screens was down right creepy.

The Seahawks won 27-10. The stadium, out of 10, I’d give a solid 8. A definite first down, but I’d like to see another game just to make sure.

Monday, September 08, 2003

That’s it, that’s all I got - - Still tired from too much excitement at my first NFL game, and grumpy. The Red Sox are back to 3 ½ games back. So close but back to back loses, including tonight’s 13-10 heartbreaker to the Orioles is not good. Not good at all, and cats and dogs living together Bill Mueller and Derek Jeter are tied for the AL batting crown right now.

I’m not in the same hell as say Bill Simmons was on Sunday. My friend Bruce wants to know how it is exactly that in a full football game you can’t get the ball down to the 40 yard line and at least score once, a field goal, something. How is that possible? Simmons is right, pure hell.

So we’ll leave it at that now. More tomorrow, and I promise a review of the Seahawks game and their fancy stadium.

Let the Dean backlash begin - - right…wait for it….now! First up is an article by John McClaughry in The Wall Street Journal that suggested Dean isn’t fit to be President. Good read, here’s the money part:

“He has run a brilliant pre-primary campaign. He is saying the things that energize the Angry Left of his party. He can boast of executive experience and, at least superficially, some fiscal conservatism. But as chief executive of a multitrillion-dollar enterprise and leader of the most powerful nation in a dangerous world, I believe that most Vermonters who have watched him closely as governor would, after sober reflection, agree that as president Howard Dean would be far, far, over his head.”

Well the backlash is starting slow, and as one slight bump in the road is a growing number of commentators on the right trying explain Dean. Try on some Stephen Moore in The Weekly Standard who details a CATO Institute – Howard Dean meeting some five years ago:

“Ever since that first meeting with Howard Dean some five years ago, I've been trying to think of what politician he most resembles. The former governor of a small state, he is charismatic, good looking, wonkish, craving of the spotlight, and capable of telling a room full of people precisely what they want to hear. The obvious answer recently hit me: Dean is Bill Clinton, but without the skirt-chasing.”

Lite Posting Tonight - - Well, so far. But really, could we ignore this delightful photo that Goldberg posted earlier? I guess we couldn't avoid it could we? Nude WTO protests. I can only imagine what sorts of freaks that sentence will bring to the site. Welcome troglodytes!

Jonah seems to think that, "That will definitely slow down international capital flows and global trade."

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Horowitz on Iraq - - And finally, David Horowitz has some clear, and important words this morning on the situation in Iraq.

"Help is certainly not coming from the European nations who armed and then appeased Saddam Hussein and opposed the liberation of Iraq.

Far worse, with exception of fading candidates like Joe Lieberman and John Edwards, it is certainly not coming from the leaders of the Democratic Party, who from the moment Baghdad was liberated have with ferocious intensity attacked the credibility of the U.S. commander-in-chief, the justification for our mission in Iraq and the ability of our forces to prevail. "

The Graveyard of Rock N' Roll - - Japan is now the official graveyard for aging rock stars. Good for them.

More News From Iraq - - I'm down in Seattle, again. This time I am having my morning coffee in Seattle's nicest internet cafe prior to meeting some friends-then were gonna hit the Seahawks-Saints game. Never been to an NFL game before, so this should be something.

But back to the news... Max Boot has an interesting read on the situation in Iraq in this morning's LA Times.

One thing which is not good is that we don't own the airwaves in Iraq yet. "The CPA's [Coalition Provisional Authority run by L. Paul Bremer III.] television station, the Iraqi Media Network, is not received in the north, thus ceding the information war to anti-American satellite channels like Al Jazeera," said Boot.

Why are we not flooding the zone 24-7. There should be some help from the Major TV channels here. They should have 150 channels and fast.

And More, from George Will - - In his column today Will talks about the media too. "Today it has 186 newspapers, 26 radio stations and 27 television stations, and satellite dishes are proliferating. The literacy rate among those 15 or older is 40 percent. Iraq, says Rice, is porous to information about models of modernity beyond the Arab world, models that will inform Iraq's coming constitutional convention."

And More Will:

"Fine, but it was astonishing that America in 1787 even was home to the 55 men who attended the Philadelphia convention and even more astonishing that it gathered those 55 in Philadelphia. The administration expects Iraqis to find their James Madison. "

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Robots are here! - - Austin Bay gives us a nice round up of robots and the war on terrorism. And points out the three latest books on the subject. Interesting looking stuff. Especially this one: Winning The War: Advanced Weapons, Strategies, and Concepts for the Post-9/11 World by John Alexander.

More Austin Bay on Robots ‘n stuff here.

Unlimited Solidarity, German for “Go Suck eggs”? - - It’s a week for two-fers, and it is fitting that Jonah Goldberg’s first column in The Times of London should be his second mention here this week. He jumps into the America as empire debate…

Here’s the key graph: “Europeans look at America and say: ‘That was us 30, 40, 50 years ago. Thank God we are more advanced now, with our endless conversations and clever cheeses.’”

Clever cheese! I hate those guys, always thinking they’re so smart.

Props to Tucker - - Steve Martinovich, writing in The American Prowler, has an interesting review of the “bowtieman’s” new book. Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures In Cable News seems like a fun read, from a pretty amusing commentator. That makes 2 Tucker posts in one week.

Red Sox Update: Final - - Bottom of 9 note: It’s 11-0. Whoa! Bottom of Nine, and M. Hernandez comes in for his first ML at bat. This mind you is after Luis Sojo back in the bigs for the first time in awhile (he was coaching in Double A) is also pinch hitting (he fouled out). And Drew Henson now is coming up for his first at bat this year. Yikes pop up. See next graph for fall out.

They win! It’s a buck fifty now, and if Steinbrenner was explosive before, he’ll be downright nuclear tonight as the Yanks lose big time with Wakefield on the mound. “Nuclear, baby.” Check the NY Post for details; they’re sure to have the money headline.

NEXT: Suppan vs. Wells tomorrow. 1:05 PM EST.

Red Sox Update: Top of 8 - - Millar fouls out. Next back-to-back hits by Trot Nixon and Mueller. Pop out, 2 out. Base hit by Damon, Nixon safe at home: 8-0! What an awesome slide. Runners on 1st & 2nd still. Whoops, three run bomb by Todd Walker! 10-0!!

David Pinto of Baseball Musings wonders if we are witnessing the “Breaking of the Bronx.” Stay tuned! Will this weekend be the Yankee Massacre?

Red Sox Update: Bottom of 6 - - The Yanks were threatening until the double play ball. Still one on with 2-outs, with Giambi up. Pop’s it up. On to the Top of seven!

Now in the bottom of seven, with a man on due to a walk, and a visit from the pitching coach and action in his bullpen, Wakefield finds a double play helper. He gives up a two-out hit. And he’s out with a fly ball. On to the 8th, still 7-0.

War Update - - Start by reading the latest by Victor Davis Hanson.

And some good news from Iraq. Howard Owens has a round up of all the good news getting crowded out from the bad news.

“If your only source of news is the mainstream media (or leftist media, which in this case I mention as two separate entities),” says Owens. “Then you probably believe all hope is lost, Iraq is a quagmire, and the Bush Administration isn't doing anything right.
I don't buy that for a minute.”

“Is everything hunky dory in Iraq? Of course not. Is post-war Iraq a bigger mess than most people expected? I don't think so -- not if by most people, you mean reasonable, honest, fair-minded people.

Nobody ever promised -- not the President, not Don Rumsfeld, not any neo-con you care to name -- that the rebuilding of Iraq would be easy and without costs. Personally, I said it would be easier than the leftists said it would be, but I never said it would be easy. And so far, nothing has happened to change my mind. It is going pretty much as I expected. Some good things. Some bad things.”

This good news isn’t getting any press and that is making the arguments difficult. Way to go Howard Owens for keeping it real!

A couple of more links from Glenn Reynolds. Here and Here.

And (Via Virginia Postrel and while I give her some props, I should mention that today I am finishing reading her new book that her publisher was kind enough to send me, and which will be reviewed shortly. ) the situation in terms of Iraqi infrastructure. It’s going slowly, but repairing stuff neglected since 1958 can’t be easy.

Red Sox Update: Bottom 5 - - Yankees have runners on the corners and two out. Pop out to Damon, on to the Sixth. Wakefield is actually making that crazy knuckler work…He pitched it 3-0, and 3-1 for strikes.

Nixon is hit to lead off the 6th. Mirabelli doubles (ground rule) with one out. Torre makes a pitching change. Nixon gets gunned down at home, runners on 1st and 2nd (2-out). Nothing doing. On to the bottom half.

Fun with Clinton - - I’m enjoying the liberal Democrats get giddy with excitement claiming that Clinton was a small government pioneer. Oliver Willis proclaimed, “The era of smaller government (thanks to President Clinton) is over.” And The Daily Kos quoting the Andrew Sullivan rant, wonder if he is waken up in an “alternative universe.”

Now, I’ll agree that the government is growing like John Madden at a Vegas buffet, but this nod to “small government Clinton” while passably true, doesn’t realistically reflect the inner Clinton. The guy would have busted the budget with Healthcare, and if he hadn’t botched it, he would have loved to pork it up. But turnaround is fair play; I think they can get traction with the issue. Especially with the Libertarian crowd. The question is whether or not they can convince people, with Dean, Kerry, or whomever that they would cut spending.

Red Sox Update: Top of 4 - - Nomar Hits a two-run homer. Goodbye Baseball. Another couple of hits, another run (Ramirez, who actually looked quick footed there for a minute.), but Kevin Millar is caught in a run down. 4-0, with David Ortiz on 3rd. Walk, for Trot Nixon, Single for Mueller (76th RBI), Ortiz scores.

5-0, 2-on, 1-out. Action in the Yankee bullpen (Righty Chris Hammond) as Clemens walks ‘em loaded. Back to Damon and the top of the order. Base hit Damon! Sacks still drunk. 6-0. Clemens has thrown about 77 pitches so far…here comes Torre. The hit machine takes another victim and payback from last week’s Clemens win over the BoSox. Sac-fly 7-0. Inning over. WOW.

The 20 Gamer - - Well Mike Maroth did it. He lost twenty games and Brian ‘I lost 20 in ‘80’ Kingman is now a small footnote in history. But maybe Kingman just has a new friend to hang with.

Sox Game Update - - Kevin Millar solo shot in the 2nd Inning (23) off a high fastball from Clemens. Red Sox up 1-0. The Sox have outscored the Yanks 48-27 in The House that Ruth Built. Wow, Clemens just started walking off the field, thinking he k’d Trot Nixon, but it was a check swing. Ouch.

Wakefield does a second 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of two. Striking out Aaron Boone. With the knuckler, what up?

Cuban Night - - Went out for some Cuban food on Commercial Drive last night. Great music, food, company, and of course a couple of Mojitos over at Havana. Had the Havana Fried Rib Steak which was sinfully good (and really can deep fried meat be bad at all?) There was a bit of a wait on the street, but between the Latin music, and the strange fellow singing Led Zeppelin to ‘spoons’ it was great. Kind of a trendy place, with a few posers trying to look cool, but the food was great, the Mojitos refreshing and all in all a great evening.

Capped off with some delicious Gelato at Brazza. That is twice this week I have been “dragged” to have the best gelato since being in Italy. If you’re in North Van, you need to have some.

The Dirt Bags - - Huge Boston Red Sox game about to start. And we are rooting for the “Dirt Bags” as Kevin Millar calls them. (And that is why you gotta figure that someone like Manny Ramirez isn’t a great fit, though he seems to have gotten the message to smarten up.). But boy can this team hit. And with the season ticking down the Red Sox are starting to wear out their welcome with the Yankees bossman who was explosive after last nights loss to the Sox. Win or else is the word from the top.

Here’s hoping that the Red Sox are for real today and are only 2 ½ back-it’s now or never I would say. It’s Tim Wakefield vs. Roger Clemens. And I’ll be posting throughout the game. (Although at this point, Blogger isn’t working, so the curse is on)

And as the game starts how about giving props to Red Sox hitting coach Ron “Papa Jack” Jackson. How important are hitting coaches? Hard to say really, but he has a damned cool name and seems like a good guy.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

New Goldberg File up - - Thankfully Jonah Goldberg is back from vacation, and the G-File is back. Today’s Golberg is amusing, and if you need the money quote:

“I hate blue cheese. I mean I hate it. To me, it tastes like death or Al Sharpton's socks after they've been under the fridge for a year. But no matter how much I hate it, no matter how much I loathe its texture and smell and taste, it's still only blue or, if you must, "bleu" cheese. Even if you tripled my hatred for it, it would still just be a musky fromage from the land of cheese, long speeches, and short-lived loyalties. It would not, through the mysterious alchemy of hatred and bile, become poison. Sure, I could call it Sarin or Anthrax but that would not make it so. Because, you see, hating an object doesn't change an object. Only the most arrogant and solipsistic fool would argue or convince himself that his hatred of something increases the importance of that thing.”

Celebrity Politics Debate - - Speaking of celebrity politics, and in response to my Johnny Depp post yesterday, I got an interesting email last night from Michael D.:

“It seems to me curious that every liberal celebrity is constantly challenged to ‘shut up, you don't know nothing about nothing’, such as Susan Sarnadon, Babs Striesand, Johnny Depp, Alec Baldwin, etc., but right wing celebrities are treated as legitimate political players like, Arnold Swarzenegger, Dennis Miller, Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston. How come conservatives blow their lungs out yelling about the inappropriateness of these americans contributing to the political debate but don't seem to mind the celebrities that cheer for their side. I got a deal for conservative commentators: either pan all celebrity 'political activists' or shut up themselves.”

I disagree that it is a gut reaction for them to shut up. But loud mouthed liberal celebs (like Baldwin) say dumb things, like “if Bush wins I’m moving to France.” I guess I should have given props to Depp for actually moving to the socialist paradise. I guess for me the difference between Arnold and Reagan, for starters, and the liberal actors I skewer, is that these two have actually put there money where their mouth is. If Baldwin ran for office, rather than talking about it, he might not be so easily dismissed.

Arnold gets marks for being involved in political causes for a long time, now running, rather than moving to France. As for Miller, he has always been one of the smartest commentators out there, so I don’t see why treating him like a legitimate voice is wrong, he’s witty, and intelligent, and right on the money a lot of the time. Heston? Come on the guy was the head of a major activist and lobby organization, the NRA, that gets serious “street cred” in Washington.

In short, show me a liberal actor who genuinely adds to the political debate, and I will show them respect, honest-I promise. And I am not sure that I would classify any celeb-political musing inappropriate, more like low hanging fruit, or shooting fish in a barrel. Either way, they cannot get a free pass. Neither can liberal commentators give Conservative celebs a free pass either. I’ll do my part, and the liberals have been doing there’s in regards to Schwarzenegger. It is the nature of things. I’m in my trench lobbing my grenades at the morons, Liberals need to do likewise. Good times!

Why Arnold Will Win - - When you get egged on the campaign trail, and later can laugh about it. “This guy owes me bacon now," he joked. "I mean there's no two ways about it because, I mean, you can't just have eggs without bacon. But this is all part of, you know, the free speech.”

And yes you should never have eggs without bacon. Ever.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Crossfire Britney - - Tucker Carlson took a walk on the wild side today, talking lesbian kisses and politics with pop superstar Britney Spears.

Here is the transcript:
Welcome back to a very special and very grave edition of CROSSFIRE.

There are serious questions about war and peace in the Middle East. There are questions about how to fix the electricity grid, how to reform Medicare and shrink the deficit. But last Friday, all those questions took a back seat to the one question all of America was asking: Why did Britney Spears kiss Madonna during the MTV Music Awards show?

This afternoon, your roving CROSSFIRE correspondent was on the scene to pop the question.


CARLSON: Tell me -- give me the chronology of the kiss. How did you decide to kiss Madonna? BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Well, actually, in rehearsals, it wasn't something that was, like, this is what we're going to do. It was just kind of like, we played around a little bit. And she said before the performance: Let's just feel it out and see what happens.

So I didn't know it was going to be that long and everything. It was cool.

CARLSON: Had you ever kissed a woman before?

SPEARS: No, I have never kissed a woman before.

CARLSON: Would you again?

SPEARS: Would I again? No. I would not do it -- oh, maybe with Madonna.


CARLSON: Well, with business out of the way, I went on to ask the pop music diva for her views on matters more pertinent to CROSSFIRE.


CARLSON: A lot of entertainers have come out against the war in Iraq. Have you?

SPEARS: Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

CARLSON: Do you trust this president?

SPEARS: Yes, I do.

CARLSON: Excellent. Do you think he's going to win again?

SPEARS: I don't know. I don't know that.


CARLSON: She's a Bush supporter, Paul. Can't argue with it.

BEGALA: She's pro-Bush. It was a brave, courageous interview, Tucker, one of the highlights of your journalistic career.


BEGALA: You're the envy of teenage boys -- and middle-aged men, I suppose -- everywhere. So congratulations.

CARLSON: You're making me nervous, Paul

Armageddon - - Well, not quite. How bad is the U.S. economy? Who knows, but can this be a bad thing? (Via: Henry Hanks)

Worst Ball Player Website Ever - - Sports Filter brings us to the attention of Kevin Witt, whose personal website proudly proclaims him to be, “the former 1994 first-round draft pick and high school All-American who has gone on to become one of professional baseball's most feared power hitters.

I’ll let my favorite post from Sports Filter’s comments section have the last word: “This guy was drafted nine years ago and has played how many pro games? New URL: What a dorkwad.”

P.J. O’Rourke: The Interview - - The Onion has a wonderful Q&A session with O’Rourke. Is it me or is there simply not enough PJ?

Here’s the juicy parts:

O: Dennis Miller is starting to lean more right.

PO: Ah, can't tell. There's such a self-conscious balance that goes into television. Also, these are not people that think things through. I mean, you read Maher's book, and he didn't take Econ 101. All his arguments about gasoline, it's not that they're right or wrong—they're just not informed.

O: How about Michael Moore, or Al Franken?

PO: I like Michael Moore, but I think of him more as a rabble-rouser. On his TV show, when he went to the home of the guy who invented the car alarm and set off all the car alarms on the block... pretty funny. [Laughs.] But Moore doesn't really use his sense of humor that much. Franken is left-wing and funny. He's a pretty good political humorist.

Michael Moore acting unilaterally - - Over at Reason’s “Hit & Run” Matt Welch tackles Moore’s latest statements that coincide with the DVD release of “Bowling for Columbine.”

“In typically charming fashion,” says Welch, “Moore has pre-emptively declared that
‘Absolutely every fact in the film is true. And anybody who says otherwise is committing an act of libel’”.

Note: Free Film Pitch: Is it me or would a road trip documentary with Jayson Blair and Michael Moore not be funny? Messing around with facts, dates, bylines, and timelines two ‘journalists’ crisscross the nation to find themselves…hilarity ensues.

Film Festival Fun - - Jeff Jarvis has the details on yet another actor opening his mouth. This time Tim Robbins. Read on, he manages to congratulate himself for keeping his mouth shut. Then he sounds off, “Too often people abdicate their freedom in their minds and choose not to speak. But once you abdicate that freedom you may as well not have it.”

We are all confused. Mr. Robbins meet Mr. Depp.

The humanity…. - - Hotline’s Wakeup Call has the “hide your women and children” photo of summertime Teddy Kennedy. Ah, the summer of love. Two words: Shirts On!

Johnny Depp Surrender’s to France - - Actor Johnny Depp sounds off on America: “America is dumb, it's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive.” Hey Johnny as many as 11,000 of your fellow Frenchmen have died during the heat wave in France this past August…care to comment on that you big dumb puppy?

UPDATE: Tim Blair wonders if we might be able to dust off the Stalin Peace Prize for Mr. Depp. “Depp now resides in France,” says Blair. “Where the political climate is just dandy and nobody ever gets hurt on account of everybody being so intelligent.”

Monday, September 01, 2003

Here’s one truth about International Relations in 2003 - - Here is the axiom in Washington Post headline form: “Countries Resist Aid To Iraq Few Pledge to Help Because of Security Fears, U.S. Control.” Gee, do you think? So back when the U.N. was dithering, it is know wonder why they didn’t want any part of invasion, because they didn’t want any part in rebuilding Iraq.

And it must be therefore be seen that if none of these countries buck up, then they want nothing to do with remaking the Middle East, and fighting terrorism and tyranny. So the truth is that nobody wanted to, wants to, or will help us substantially. Basically the U.S. will be back to JFK’s words: pay any price; bear any burden and today’s reality: loneliness.