Thursday, January 30, 2003

Deranged Opposition - - Here is a site demonstrating the sound that is the scratching of the bottom of the barrel of the idiotarian movement. Well-done comrades.

Axis of Weasel News Service Con’t - - Glenn Reynolds is now asking whether or not the European Union with such a sharp divide over Iraq can stay together? Who knew that a side benefit of the showdown with Iraq would be the splintering of the EU? We are in Super Bonus territory now friends. Yee Haw!

New Europe - - The good news about France and Germany acting like a couple of babies, is that it has given the rest of the continent the opportunity to shine. News on the development of New Europe.

Just the facts Man - - Nelson Mandela has a little trouble with the facts.

A wonderful graph from CNN.com: “Mandela said U.S. President George W. Bush covets the oil in Iraq "because Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil." In fact Iraq contributes to only 5 percent of world oil exports.”

Axis of Weasel News Service - - France gets a taste of ‘why do they hate us’ with its very own unilateral neo-colonial action in the Ivory Coast. (More here) Total eclipse: A French politician reportedly backs the USA. Meanwhile other members of Europe are clamoring to be at our side in the upcoming war.

Robert Scheer thinks the Group of 8 (Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain) could be bought at EBay! Yes, yes buddy the group that includes actual cool places in Europe are nothing.

And Glenn Reynolds explains the ‘bad week’ for France. “In one week, the French have suffered a major PR blow at the hands of an ordinary American with a Web site, and been outmaneuvered at diplomacy by Africans and Americans. By any measure, a bad week. But, I suspect, only one of many to come. And a week that suggests the administration is playing a deeper diplomatic game than many may realize: not merely building a coalition to take on Iraq, but also seeking to neutralize its diplomatic opposition for the long term.”


Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Super Bowl of US Politics - - Well that may overstate the State of the Union speech. The elections of course are bigger, but they only come every two years, and the presidency only every four. The SOTU is once a year. Here is some of my take:

Most importantly I think if there was any doubt about the direction of the U.S. on the issue of Iraq before, there isn’t any now. War is coming, soon. But wait, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The first part of Bush’s speech was on domestic politics. Tax cuts were highlighted prompting a ridiculous photo op for the Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi. She smirked and tried to hold back laughter. Great footage for the ’04 campaigns: “This Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to the idea that you should be able to keep more of your money…vote GOP

There was a lot of spending being thrown around. My friend Francis will not be pleased. Even though Bush promised to hold spending at 4 percent Francis said to me the other day: “4%? Are you kidding me? That's totally ridiculous. You look at FDR. Even FDR abandoned a lot of his domestic spending programs during WWII.” Good point. Steve Martinovich called all this simply “the axis of spending.”

Some critics didn’t like what they saw either. Democrats aside, Slate.com’s William Saletan was disappointed because there was no real talk about how the ole union was doing. Then he said: “What Bush said of Saddam's disarmament record could equally be said of Bush's domestic record. He has given no evidence of progress. He must have much to hide.” Ouch. And I will add one more thing about technical union speech type thingys. No shout outs. Bush never pointed Babe Ruth style to someone up in the nose bleeds and gave them some props. (There is no time for that thing these days.)

While we are talking about the Democrats, two short thoughts. First, seeing Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears during the speech was disgusting. Don’t stand, don’t clap, but for god sakes Hillary pay attention. Second, the Democratic response by Gov. Gary Locke of Washington state was a total joke. Bush is talking about War, Locke is talking about, nothing. A west coast John Edwards? Well, no, worse I’d say.

John J. Miller is pretty sure that the Democrats didn’t learn anything from the 2002 elections-the Democrats still are talking enough, or at least credibly enough, about the war and terrorism and security. Ramesh Ponnuru calculates the war/terrorism portion at 16 percent. Enter Gary Hart.

Bush put up $1.2 billion or some such number of the budget to make sure that kids of tomorrow will drive hydrogen powered cars. Ruffini highlights technological environmentalism. A new plank in the conservative arsenal.

The best line of the night is perfectly described by NRO’s Jonah Goldberg. When Bush mentions that we are winning the war on terrorism then breaks it down into cowboy lingo for his peeps in the Red States. On the terrorists: “Let's put it this way: They're no longer a threat to America or her allies." And "One by one the terrorists are learning the meaning of the word justice." Giddy-up!

John Hawkins got “warm fuzzies” when Bush said this: "In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great alliances and by the might of the United States of America."

I’ll also let Goldberg break down the Democrats night in a nutshell. Paraphrasing: too many running for president, running too hard on the left, with too much hatred of Bush.

Andrew Sullivan liked pretty much everything about the speech. Even the “axis of spending” bits. He thought that the speech expanded and illuminated the idea of compassionate conservatism. Perhaps. But Sullivan really liked the war talk. “But if his goal was to show resilience, patience and a moral grasp of America's current responsibility, then he accomplished it. In many ways, this was a Kennedy-like speech, a speech a Democratic president could have made, if the Democratic Party hadn't fallen into such moral and strategic confusion. Self-confident, convinced, as he should be, of the benign nature of America's role in the world, ambitious, and warm, it was a tour de force of big government conservatism, mixed with Cold War liberalism.”

The compassionate part was really cooking with gas when Bush announced that America would dive into the AIDS in Africa problem-with conviction and sincerity.

All in all it was masterful. I think the speech was a good icebreaker for war. The administration has until February 5th when Powell is now going to the UN to fill in some blanks for those in the cheap seats, the axis of weasel, the Democrats, Kofi Annan, and anyone else who isn’t up for war. As James Lileks points out. This is the first of four speeches- “the SOTU, the Bush/Blair speech, Powell’s UN speech, and Bush’s address from the Oval Office the night the war begins.”

One other thing to note. David Brooks points out that this speech will reverse the anti-war ripple that has caught the headlines lately-“it was a strong, sober, moral, and determined speech, which will give the president the latitude he needs to pursue the right course.”

And I will let Lileks take us home: “If I were a 44-year old Iraqi man with a two-year old girl and a wife who worked in the Ministry of Justice and came home every day weeping because someone else had been taken away, I would hear this speech and be filled with piercing fear and incandescent hope and the two emotions would wrestle every day until it was over. When you think about it, a postwar Iraq might actually be safer from WMD than New York City.”

Monday, January 27, 2003

Zukes not Nukes - - Vegetable wielding protestors hit the bricks in Canada. Here is another rhymen’ word kids, “kooks”

When pop culture and war collide - - German MTV is airing public service announcements, by pop stars, around the theme: “war is not the answer.” (Courtesy Sullivan) Wouldn’t you know, that little freak Moby is in on it? Where is Eminem when you need him-“nobody listens to techno!” (More on Celebrities from Sullivan over this here way.)

Today’s Useful Celebrity Idiot - - Janeane Garofalo does the near impossible. She complains that news organizations are unfair to liberal activists while achieving an incredible amount of face time for, being a liberal activist celebrity. Bravo! Oh, and lest we forget, Janeane says Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. Phew! Thanks.

Safire building the case - - William Safire builds the case for the linkage between Iraq and al Qaeda. (via Crow)

Sunday, January 26, 2003

My take on the Axis of Weasel - - My Latest column is up at Enter Stage Right. It is on France, it’s position in the “Axis of Weasel,” and Iraq. There is plenty of good stuff at Enter Stage Right so go on over and check it out.

US gears up for war - - Members of the Marine Corps are guarding a large jar of pickles in Times Square. Why? Well they are making sure that crafty Penn and Teller don’t change their Super Bowl picks-which incidentally are kept in a test tube in the pickle jar. Entire U.S. military is gearing up for war, but they need some Marines to watch a pickle jar for an afternoon, no problem-o. Think of this as a small metaphor that the U.S. I ready for a rumble in the gulf.

Firing on all thrusters - - With Powell’s comments this weekend, the Bush administration is united, and ready to go.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Laughable Opposition II - - A few days ago, I wrote and linked about the latest Canadian political poll that had the opposition party, The Canadian Alliance, in a miserable fourth place. That’s behind the dreadful NDP and the hapless Progressive Conservatives for those keeping track at home.

Now, another poll is out-it is an Environics poll, that I can’t find anywhere-you find it, I linky (I saw it in an email sans link) and frankly it doesn’t matter. This poll in contrast to the last, shows the Alliance is in, hold your breath, second place with a firm 17% of the vote. Some chatter from groups friendly to the Alliance is nonsensical. Hey having 17% of the national vote, with regional “whatchamacallits” factored in, is really no prize at all.

Weeeeee look at us, we’ve got 17% support-and like Lucy, the football will be pulled out of the way as Charlie Brown tries to kick. In baseball a good hitter is someone who hits above .300 (that’s 30% support). So batting .170 or .105 is splitting hairs at best. It is utterly ridiculous but typical of the current state of politics in Canada.

Praise for Tennessee - - David Brooks writes about the state and possibilities of a little place called Tennessee, its go to guy Bill Frist, and plenty of other good stuff. (Props to Glenn Reynolds) Makes me want to go.

Quick Links Canada and US stuff - - Jerry Springer for Senate (as a democrat no less). What a country! MeanwhileCanada a nation which prides itself as being immune to cold weather is wussing out-well Toronto at least.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

France and Germany; Like cats and dogs living together - - Oh, joy of joys France and Germany are celebrating 40 years of “friendship”. I’m not entirely sure about this, but I think things would begin to be normal when France and Germany stopped being so buddy-buddy. They might even begin to think for themselves and not take on the UN talking points.

If you have insomnia, read these forum posts from yahoo on the France/German hug-a-thon.

More France? C’mon you know you want some. Read the Steven Den Beste of the USS Clueless’ take on what France and Germany have to hide if and when the US/UK actually get there. It is about as pretty as a French retreat.

But wait there’s more. Really. Jonah Goldberg writes that France wants “peace for oil.” He also mentions the horror, the horror, stinky cheese. Run! Read on.

But wait this limited time offer ends soon. Dave Barry (Via Layne and Crow) figures that the squid, who unilaterally attacked a French boat, and the guy laying beside it should both be smoking a cigarette.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Let’s Roll - - Good News, it sounds like Bush is getting ready to drop a certain stamped in the USA hammer on Saddam.

Good Riddance III - - Rand Simberg likes the prospect of a Gary Hart campaign. Then he admits that the Democrats are unlikely, at their peril, to choose him as their candidate. Olliver Willis drools over a Hart/McCain ticket.

Good Riddance II - - Andrew Sullivan has pulled the plug on the League of Nations, er, I mean the United Nations. Horrah!

Good Riddance - - I don’t watch any Canadian drama shows, or comedies for that matter. Good thing Billy Gate’s webmag is doing it for me. But good god man, I watched the melodrama commercials for this show and immediately thought of flowers and happy things and people who read the Toronto Star. It sounds like the West Wing of the CBC.

Wow - - The last Union Civil War Veteran widow dies. (Another Props to Steve Martinovich) I wonder if in a hundred years, or even fifty we will be reading articles about the 9/11 widows.

Ken Layne on, er, everything - - Layne on Lakers, pundits, North Korea, Stones, Economy, and Iraq oh my.

Why I don’t hate us - - Gregg Easterbrook talks football and babes oh and McNuggets. Fabulous. (Props to Steve Martinovich)

NOOOOOO - - Okay actually this would amuse me to no end.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Should we be alarmed? - - France vows to block any Iraq war resolution. I would imagine that they will crumble sooner rather than later. Go free my cheese eating surrender buddies!

Bring it on - - Gephardt is leading in early Iowa polling according to Zogby. Run, run damn you!

Bring on the SUV’s - - Here is a ‘two-fer’ defending SUV’s from the latest insane movement. First, David Brooks says he is going to get one.

Brooks: “My SUV, assuming Hummer comes out with a model for those who find the current ones too cramped, will look something like the Louisiana Superdome on wheels. It'll guzzle so much gas as I walk out to my driveway there will be squads of Saudi princes gaping and applauding. It'll come, when I buy it, with little Hondas and Mazdas already embedded in the front grillwork. Inside I'll install video screens so that impressionable youngsters can play Grand Theft Auto on the way to weekly NRA meetings. And there will be room in the back for tobacco lobbyists nibbling on french fries and endangered prawns.”

Next try on Jonathan H. Alder in today’s National Review Online for size.

Quick Links - - Libya to head UN Human Rights commission. More celebrity nuttiness from the likes of Clooney and Belafonte. And only Ken Layne could link to this: ”Monkeys riding other monkeys? For sport? Terrible.”

Best Award Show - - Watched the ‘train wreck’ they called The Golden Globe Awards last night. Slate.com had one article today, which had a little too much emphasis on that abomination Dick Clark. (He must be the clone of the first Dick Clark. One word: Creepy.)

The Golden Globes follows a simple formula: take insecure stars, add booze, add television cameras, hand out awards to said stars (with booze added or in Jack Nicholson’s case valium), selected by the hoity foreign press, then voila let the magic happen. “Hey Sharon Stone lay easy on the boozy little missy, your career is doing worse than Enron.”

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Shameless Self Promo Alert - - This week’s issue of Enter Stage Right is live and online. My contribution is “Hating America: Preemptive Protest” a little riff on this weekends lame-o anti-war protests. (I must thank editor Steve Martinovich for his patience and his flexibility with deadlines this weekend.) There is plenty of other good stuff, so go check it out. Especially mine.

Sullivan on America, Tony Blair, and anti-anti-Americanism - - Andrew Sullivan offers a splendid article on all three topics. I especially like this graf:

“But disdain for what? America? The very idea, I came to realize, is preposterous. America is many things - now, perhaps, more than ever. It is rural Alabama and urban San Francisco. It is Michael Moore and Jerry Falwell. It's Colin Powell and Don Rumsfeld. It's MTV and the right to bear arms. It's a country that still won't accept a one-dollar coin but embraced the Internet with the enthusiasm of a teenage crush. It's cowboy country in Wyoming and Little Havana in Miami. It's Rambo and the "Sopranos." It's Little Vietnam in the exurbs of Virginia and mega-churches in suburban Houston. Anyone who despises all this despises not America but humanity. And humanity in one of the most daring multicultural, multiracial experiments in human history.”

I might link to this everyday this week-it is a great little article. Well, not so little-it’s big baby!

Laughable opposition - - The unchallenged governance of Canada continues. A new poll shows that the Liberals are still way, and I mean way, out in front of the competition. And the opposition Canadian Alliance has slipped to a dismal fourth place. Apparently the Alliance is on the wrong side of key issues: Kyoto and Medicare.

Well, I don’t agree with that particularly (Kyoto is not exactly a barn burner of an issue), but I do believe that the Alliance has not done a single thing in opposition that is worth noting, have failed to keep the Liberals accountable, and have done nothing to secure a place as a viable alternative to the Liberals. Way to go clowns. Image our surprise when the Liberals get elected to form government again even though they have blown billions on useless schemes and political payoffs.

Politics over football - - I spend almost every Sunday watching the political news shows. Here’s a scorecard from today’s issue of Pundit Watch. I especially like this review of presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman: “He may regret having said at the outset of the interview, “I never changed a single position,” referring to his positions as a vice-presidential candidate in 2000. “

Indeed, I would think that Chameleon Joe should get out of the race before he changes opinions again. In other Sunday news, I think Gary Hart (Gary Hart Website) did a pretty good job this morning-although he is in serious vague territory unless he is talking defense. Glenn Reynolds thinks he is the strongest Dem in the race. Back from the wilderness for another stab? Time will tell, but first things first, a hair cut sir! At the very least he would be an appealing vice-presidential guy.

As Simpson’s Comic Book Shop owner would say: “Worst Protests…ever” - - Here are some interesting facts highlighted by Glenn Reynolds:

1. Ranting Screeds points out that more people will be at AFC and NFC championship games than at the protests. “What does that say about the country's priorities when more people are showing up for a game than are massing under the banner of World Socialism and defense of dictatorship? Even if you don't like football, it says that our priorities are pretty good.”

2. A protest in Miami yesterday drew 50,000 people. Not to protest the war, but to protest the lefty leader of Venezuela. Powerline suggests: “So the anti-Chavez, pro-freedom rally by Cuban-Americans and others in Miami was likely larger than any of yesterday's antiwar rallies. How much coverage did it get in your local newspaper?”

Rambo back - - Stallone is reviving his Rambo character and he is taking on bin Laden and company. Sadly, as Damian Penny notes, Rambo’s buddy played by actor Richard Crenna, passed away this weekend.

Anti-Globo crowds new talking point - - Solidifying her role as first lady of the anti-globalization crowd Naomi Klien offers an article that manages to decry perimeter defense of North America while also slamming leftist poster child Hillary Clinton for being, well, too harsh on Canada’s porous borders.

Oh and she also manages to say that all of this means that borders are locking down and immigrants are losing out or in Europe getting shipped back to their homelands. That’s Europe’s problem. In the next 20-years they will be begging for immigrants to offset the costs of social programs that are losing cash from a decreased population. Please relax Naomi.

Fun in Cuba - - Kathryn Jean Lopez writing in NRO’s “The Corner” has the details on both a sad election in Cuba where Elian Gonzalez’ papa is “running” for office and the pathetic reporting of the absurd mess by the Associated Press.

The Majesty of Mark Steyn - - I was over at Steyn’s highly entertaining home page, and he has this teaser to his latest article: “GETTING TO KNOW YOU: The meaning of Kate Winslet’s Bottom.” Alrighty then, I was intrigued. Read on

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Strike Two! - - For those of you with the Iraqi home game keeping track of the events. I believe this might make two material breaches of the United Nations in less than a week.

Sssshhhhh don’t tell the peaceniks. They might get angry. more here at the Belligerent Bunny Blog. Protestors getting food, neat signs, and minuteman missiles?

Weird Canada stuff - - Brock Stephenson is cataloguing weird stuff about Canada and holding a reality-competition (elimination style) on what is better. Go over and vote in the first round. I would suggest one weird thing to add in future contests: “poutine”-which I find not so weird, but actually quite creepy. Oh and possibly Churchill Manitoba-very weird.

How is Arafat going to explain this? - - Israel sending up its first astronaut.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The Toxic Gun? - - Wasn’t it about a week ago, that critics were telling Bush & Co. that they needed a smoking gun to go to war with Iraq. And I wouldn’t be surprised that these finds would be a part of Bush’s grand strategy. The fact that Bush’s team didn’t immediately crow over this discovery, seems, to me at least, that there will be bigger things to come in the next few weeks.

An Interview with North Korea’s wacko leader - - Jonah Goldberg lets his dog Cosmo ‘interview’ Kim in North Korea-fun is had by all. (Or is it Kim interviewing Cosmo?) Clearly Jonah is off the soy and onto the meat at last!

Microsoft delivering the goods - - Split and dividend from the Bill Gates empire. Thanks buddy, and more thanks since Bush won’t tax on it either. Huzzah! Cake and eating it too friends.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Grab Bag: Reality Bites - - I have a few incoherent ramblings that don’t necessarily fit into any certain category, or title-and quite frankly they are perhaps a product of too much heavy lifting. (But that is another story).

Is it me, or does the whole Gordon Campbell debacle have something to with the Celebrity Mole television show. That Stephen Baldwin can be such a scamp. Was Campbell the mole-I suppose we’ll never know? With a .149 blood alcohol thingy I guess we can rule out he was a sober mole.

While we are degrading this Blog with mindless drivel (mmm the drivel is so tasty & mindless-delicious.) why not mention The Surreal Life? Okay, should I? Well that Emanuel Lewis is so funny! Corey Haim, er, Feldman is the most ridiculous person on television. I smell a comeback. More, more, I want to see more reality television.

With celebrities on television being themselves doing stunts, finding moles, or simply living in a big mansion with other, albeit washed up ones, celebrities when will the show emerge that takes these themes and mixes them with current events. Take some leftist celebs: Sheryl Crow, Sean Penn, John Le Carre, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Barbara Striesand and Alec Baldwin and put them into a house with some hard core righties and celebrity righties: Rush Limbaugh, Richard Perle, Dennis Miller, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Bill O’Reilly, Jonah Goldberg, and Bruce Willis. Let the sparks fly. I call it: ”Celebrity debate off”

And after watching the latest in an endless stream of Jared, I lost 240 pounds eating Subs, something or other (the spokesperson of Subway.) I had an idea for my buddy Mikey Moore. You might remember him from such movies as Bowling for Columbine. Get Moore to do entire 6-part documentary on fast food. Him hanging around with Jared, the Hamburgler, over at McDonald’s U. “Another sub Mr. Moore?” Eat Fresh!

One-man opposition - - If you are interested in or follow the status of Canada’s armed forces, Lewis MacKenzie, is a must read. He is a one-man opposition party on defense and security issues. Here is the hook: that Canada’s military is so decrepit that it leads our foreign policy. Not good.

Replacing Canada? - - Washington Post editorial worth the read (especially for my Polish friends Marta and Kasia) which shows a burgeoning strategic partnership. Poland is buying 48 (!) F-16’s from the US for about $3.5 billion and Canada is dithering on whether to spend an extra two or five billion. Go Poland.

Campbell on the hot seat Day Six - - The story is not going away, the details are filling in, and there is no end in sight.

Media Domination - - You might remember him from such required reading as Instapundit.com, but Glenn Reynolds, now has a new corporate sponsored Blog over at MSNBC.com. Please just give him the lead in hour to Matthews on television. Okay two Reynolds sites is good, poised to take over the media.

Shaking down Author John Le Carre - - Tim Blair takes issue with John Le Carre who said some totally boneheaded stuff this week. I usually make a point of not paying much attention with those have ‘le’ or ‘de’ in their name somewhere.

Shaking down San Francisco - - Ken Layne who has a mess of good stuff up the past 36 hours or so, takes feverish delight in picking on San Francisco.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Gordo on trial day 5 - - The fire continues on BC Premier Gordon Campbell. Charles Adler, who I had the pleasure of being on air with last year, has some tough love for the premier. But the judge he talked with said he should not resign. I have heard in many in conservative circles in the province that they are outraged and demanding his resignation. I also heard one particularly interesting theme.

Here it is: Why is it that some are really lowering the boom on Campbell but have not whipped themselves into the same frenzy as the Federal Liberals have freely robbed us blind, and nothing happens to them. Brock Stephenson has a few kind words for the fledgling Unity Party. To which I said: huh? They’re still around? Still there is a new fissure in Conservative politics. Great this is all that we need. Developing…

And Colby Cosh wants Campbell to resign because it has revived the fortunes of MADD.

Keep your SUVs kids - - The always helpful Patrick Ruffini takes on the deplorable Arianna Huffington and wins. He has the script of the anti-anti-SUV commercial. Apparently it has something to do with killing terrorists.

Ms. Crow, give war a chance - - Andrew Sullivan shakes down singer Sheryl Crow and asks her to give war a chance. Ms. Crow, meat Sean Penn, Mr. Penn, meet Ms. Crow. Travel forth to North Korea and let ‘er rip.

Lava Lamp Town - - Soap Lake Washington wants to build a giant Lava Lamp to bring more people to the town. Yes, this is good. It reminds me of this place

Monday, January 13, 2003

Stirring Oratory - - Joe Lieberman announces he is running for president. Hold on to your seats folks, he is tenacious. Let boredom rain!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Leftist sacrifice-a-thon - - and other groovy stuff in this weeks issue of Enter Stage Right. My latest is about the ridiculous notions of sacrifice like getting rid of SUV’s, the draft, and pork spending. Other good stuff includes an interview with Michelle Malkin (what a photo!), a review of Mark Steyn’s new book, and the possibility of inevitable tax cuts in Canada. Lots of other good stuff all at Enter Stage Right.

Where did Anti-Americanism come from? - - Victor Davis Hanson has a wonderful and lengthy guide to anti-Americanism and its faults.

Sullivan: Bush the Gambler - - Andrew Sullivan details the boldness of George W. Bush. Worth the read-especially those who still consider Bush to be less than good.

Super Nova - - Sorry Sci-Fi fans, this post isn’t about no Super Nova. But if I had to describe what is happening in Germany right now, that would be the word I’d use. Details here. Germany is giving Canada a run for the money in the unserious country Olympic games.

Nuclear Blackmail - - Resident Opposition blogger Atrios just loves Sandy Berger today. In a nutshell: Berger praised the 1994 Clinton method of dealing with North Korea-“The fact is that there are 100 nuclear weapons that were not produced by North Korea as a result of that deal. What they got was a few million barrels of oil. It seems to me 100 nuclear weapons, a few million barrels of oil, that's not a bad deal.”

Mr. Atrios, this is nuclear blackmail. Not only that, it is the beginning of a dire future where the hint of a nuclear program demands a payoff, no doubt a payoff that could quickly escalate. This is round two for Korea. What do we give them by round three? Or four?

Supporting SUVs - - Yep, I like mine just fine. Tim Blair and I must have ate the same mind altering mozzarella cheese stick because we hit upon the same, relatively, topic. Since Australia, by some freak accident of planetary alignment and geography is ahead by about four days Blair’s latest article is up before my new one at EnterStageRight.com (which will be up later tonight) One similar point, among his many, being that stopping SUV’s has the quaint consequence of making terrorists more mad at us! See Bart Simpson: “The ironing is delicious.”

Drinking while Premier - - Well, Gordo (That’s BC Premier Gordon Campbell) held his post DUI presser (that’s Press Conference). Bourque is still all over this stinking mess, but his headline of “Dead Man Walking” is a little much. Watching the news tonight there was already a backlash against the coverage.

Bourque: “BC Premier Gordon Campbell drew a tenuous distinction between his public duties and his private life. And on that minute detail hangs his political future. As if he was leading two separate lives, one buttoned down, the other wild and crazy. The former, his official, even officious, self. The latter, a boozy self-destructive party animal. But unless Clonaid announces that it successfully cloned Gordon Campbell and the "clone" is really to blame for all of this, Campbell's convenient excuse is a difficult one to accept.”

Ouch! Basically Gordo is using the Clintonian defense of public versus private life-except (this is a big but, as in ‘ya but’…) that Gordo has owned his mess. He screwed up, he’s admitted it, and he owns it. He didn’t deny it, he didn’t lie about it, he didn’t give some lame parsing of legalese. And most of all he didn’t do it with an intern in the legislature. He may not last as leader and Premier, that’s BC politics hardball, but then again maybe he will. It may even help him to cross over to those who think he is a heartless robot. We’ll see.

Canadian Deterrence - - You would have to imagine war thinky guys in a place like Baghdad would start laughing (muwa ha ha ha), hysterically, when they read about the major procurement and Canadian Forces readiness. News that Canada is spending $500,000 to add roughly 60 addition coach seats to a military Airbus plane that has carried the Queen and other notables. Whoopee! -The article also talks about a “revolutionary” idea for time-sharing transport planes with some other deadbeat NATO countries.

Meanwhile a real problem in Canada has developed. Under the radar, Tim Horton’s corporation has changed their “apple fritter” recipe. Shut up!

Emailing Saddam - - Slate.com’s resident blogger Mickey Kaus somehow managed to get a hold on the Pentagon’s latest psychological warfare. He also is testing out cars regularly.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Inside the crackpot nation - - William Quick pointed out the story of the million brain dead march in North Korea. 1 million North Koreans who managed to muster the will power to cheer on their benevolent leader.

Cheer away, your leader is nuts, you just left a treaty you didn’t abide by anyway, and the rest of us think you pretty much can get stuffed. We’ll give you something to cheer about. You see there is a subtile difference between being crazy, and being well crazy. I will gracefully allow The Head McCainiac tell the final story. McCain usually isn’t so bad on foreign policy.

Later on Dispatches - - Going out for the rest of the day, blogging will resume later tonight. Look for comments on Frum’s book about Bush, new NBC show Mister Sterling, Reality TV (Surreal Life), hockey, North Korea, and more complete coverage of the embattled premier leader dude of BC. Later.

Monkey Business In paradise - - While I was toiling away with writing non-Dispatches stuff yester the premier of British Columbia clearly wasn’t at the top of his game. Friend Brock Stephenson has the details, and he was, is, on the case! B.C.’s premier was driving under the influence. There is already news that Christy Clark would be in a position to replace Campbell? Personally I would stay with the drunk guy, but I would bet he’s gonna be gone, soon. Bye Gordo!

What do bloggers Drive - - Blog man Damian Penny has the details on what bloggers drive-sort of like What would Jesus drive, but not? Go here and see the details. Dispatches is pleased that one of our favorites, Ken Layne, also drives a dated Jeep Cherokee. And he also is trying to get into a pick-up. Craziness how that works.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Dangerous Developments - - Viking Pundit is already predicting the downfall of NBC’s new drama, Mister Sterling. In short: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington updated, and weekly. NRO’s Jonah Goldberg explains thus: “From the promos alone, the schtick seems to be that Mr. Sterling looks like Warren Beatty (before Beatty needed diamond-cutter lighting to prevent his forhead from looking like Oklahoma with a hairline), talks like John McCain channelling Oprah Winfrey and votes like Paul Wellstone.” (Then again, Jonah’s all new forced diet by the National Review bigwig suits is probably affecting his critical thinking-soy pudding and tofurky. This is a national calamity.)

Now far be it for me to express future glee in the downfall of an obviously hideous new program to rival the vile West Wing. Well, I will watch and report back tomorrow.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

The Big Picture: State of Canadian Hockey - - Good lord Dispatches much be affected by a pretty flimsy news cycle today to be digging into, of all things, sports-particularly hockey. Not that there is anything wrong with the sport-I follow it, occasionally. I was forced to watch the dreadful “news conference” of the increasingly pathetic shambles that has materialized as the Ottawa Senators. The team, which is leading the entire league, is going broke-bankrupt in fact.

The owner was on the television today. He blamed the fans that stayed at home and watched games on the boob tube rather than forking out mucho cash to see the team live. In fact he said that if fans didn’t fill the stands when the team returned from a road trip, then the gig would be up-what ‘crazy’ investors would throw some mad cash at the team.

Colby Cosh says that the problem lies not with the fans per se, but with the high tech slump Ottawa is facing. It doesn’t really matter, news that my own home team may make a ‘profit’ if the team manages to make the playoffs. (If a team needs to make it to the playoffs to make cash…oh never mind. Who am I kidding: If they didn’t pay those half-breed louts so much money they’d be making off like banshees. Welcome to the ‘baseballization’ of hockey. Business plans that include cities that have no, and I mean no, business having a team at all.)

And imagine the renewed Amer-o-bashing that could result if the team ends up moving south. When the six Canadian teams fly the white flag, the country will succumb to its ultimate fate-disintegration.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Grant vs. Lee - - Article discussing which Civil War general was better. A renaissance for Grant it would seem.

Elvis Church - - Elvis Preacher in Canada. Only good can come from this.

Running the Numbers: Bush - - Approval ratings for George W. Bush have been updated.

*CBS/NY Times - 64%
*Zogby/Reuters - 63%
*Gallup/CNN/USA Today - 63%

Planet of the lobsters - - Hello sci-fi fans. Imagine a world where super intelligent lobsters overpower man and their weak traps! “We laugh at your feeble death traps,” said one Lobster with PhD.

On a somewhat serious note: the lobster catch has “exploded” from 20 million pounds in the 1970’s to 50 million pounds now, yet the lobsters just keep on coming-there is no detectable trace that the increase in lobster consumption has impacted the lobster civilization.

Boldness - - Andrew Sullivan nails, I think, the Bush stimulus/tax plan announced earlier this week. Sullivan: “I'm not really qualified to judge economically. But politically, it seems to me that Bush has again completely outwitted his opponents. What matters is the size and boldness of his plan, its appeal to his political base, and the insipid nature of the alternative. In all three respects, Bush wins. His boldness signals to then public that he's not his dad. And it also signals that he's taken control. But the most stunning sign of how deeply the president has changed the political landscape is what the Democrats are saying. They want tax cuts too!”

Indeed. The boldness of the plan is simple. It appeals to people who want to, or someday will, or someday wants to own stock. In a nation of 100 plus million stockholders this is a political base-clearly not just the “rich.” The plan has a certain, er, Americana about it. Invest in stocks and get tax-free income from dividends. Who could possibly be against that? And still it is a very good thing for corporate governance-show us the profits CEO buddies. Show us the profits!

Also: Buckley throws in his two cents-hell, its Buckley his two cents is like 10 cents at least.

Also: A primer on Mr. Bush’s audacity and boldness from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.

The other Blair (Hint, not Tony) - - Tim Blair has a fun look at the UFO Cloning nitwits.

Especially this bit of wisdom from downunder: “A bigger problem is that the media hears Rael and his followers all too clearly. The same media will be reporting on the coming war. It should worry us – and this applies whether you're a bloodlusting wardog who won't be happy until Saddam's head is on a stick, or a milk-drinking pacifist girly-boy who believes in the healing power of hugs – that the conflict will be covered by a press that has abandoned scepticism.”

Great Review of Gangs - - Some how I missed Mark Steyn’s well crafted review of Gangs of New York. I guess I just want my money back more than I thought before and will continue to point out good criticism of the terrible film. In short: the story of Scorsese’s “Gang’s” has nothing to do with the evolution of America-America was not born on the streets of this film, some how it was born by transforming itself in the Civil War. A fact that the film seems to completely ignore. The movie is worse than I originally thought, much worse.

Emily Jones doesn’t agree. Colby Cosh continues his assault on Scorsese. Young DeNiro, camera, and Colby Cosh masterpiece factory-I’m in.

Blogging tonight’s “West Wing” - - Blogged the ridiculous “West Wing” episode tonight. Scroll down to Part I and read, up. You’ll figure it out. Or simply ignore this superfluous Dispatches special.

West Wing Part IV - - . (From 3rd commercial – 4th Commercial) I can hardly contain myself: will they pass the $17 billion dollar porker? Here we go:

President got a turf war memo from the pentagon thanks to his aid.

Josh and the president go at it. Zzzzzz.

Donna and Josh come to conclusion that things are “getting harder.” This second term business is so hard. They have “health and strength” and they’re going to steal the rest.

Why is foreign aid important? “It fosters democracy” is Josh’s answer. And they wonder why they can’t sell it to those pesky dumb voters.

Donna confronts the senator’s aid. “The senator is supposed to do what’s right” Response: “No, the senator is elected to do what the people think is right.”

The smartest person in the West Wing is the reporter: “You can’t make [foreign aid] about charity” - - “Why are democrats always so bumfuzzled?” In short: The democrats should have been making the case of foreign aid on national security. Isn’t this nice, the democrats are getting campaign advice from Hollywood. Bumfuzzled is a great word!

“Set that clock for 90 days” The guys are going to take a stab at the same bill in 90-days. Wow it’s like a two-parter (maybe).

West Wing Part I I I- - . (From 2nd commercial – 3rd Commercial)

Here we go again. Oh no, it’s not a cow-it’s a goat. “What does the first lady get you drunk and take you shopping,” says Chief of Staff to press secretary.
Charlie, the president’s aid, subverting the chain of command has ordered a memo from the Pentagon about food stamps. Ya okay buddies.

“The little aid that could.” Donna is still on hunt for the elusive Senator, in a kitchen.

The goat ends up in the speechwriter’s office-maybe that is why David Frum left? The writer has a conversation invoking Churchill’s pessimistic views of the voting public. This may explain much of Democratic tinkering in things as they have an elitist, snobbish, view of the people.

West Wing Part I I- - . (From First commercial – 2nd Commercial) A senator is “missing.” Well out range of the White House. Meanwhile…

“We live in an interdependent world. . .” President Bartlett says in a big speech, which he ends with: “America is going to lead the world and not just bully it.” Yikes that sounds like Michael Moore has been made his speechwriter. That’s why we have to spend all this cash on foreign aid.

Back to the Cow. What is the veiled message from the President’s attitude towards his daughters annoying French boyfriend.

Wait, someone has a vote to give, but wasn’t too happy with Bartlett’s characterization that the last 50 years of security policy was described as “bullying.”

Josh makes the case for Democrats versus Republicans. He finds it very inconvenient with the president in charge of the Executive and the Republicans in charge of Congress. Damn that meddlesome constitution.

$115,000. 115K “to pray” is the price of that Senator’s vote. If you pray they will heal. Interesting. Oh there it is: the aid bill is $17 billion! 115K for 17B-I smell a bargoon!

Josh’s secretary Donna found the Senator with some light hearted chicanery.

West Wing Part I - - . (From Credits to First commercial) The president is going to a photo op with a cow. (Insert own caption here) There is this poll that says 68% of people say the government hands out too much foreign aid, while 59% of people want foreign aid cut.

Oh no, they are a vote down on this foreign aid bill. Some nonsense metaphor about a hockey player and being ignorant and apathetic. Oh that Josh, what a cut-up. First bill out in the new congress is foreign aid-I can only imagine that campaign talking point.

Reporter Danny is still hot on the trial of the killing of a terror guy from earlier in the series-he is uncovering it as a US action (which we the viewer already are aware of).

So the big issue: foreign aid. The argument for is that it is part of America’s grand part in the world, and cutting it cannot be good. The Republicans are bad, because they are arguing that the money should be spent at home. A whiff of a future “gate”.

Blogging tonight’s “West Wing” - - Here’s something, as a result of my watch and simultaneous review of last Sunday’s TV movie, “Crooked E,” I am going to try again. I am going to watch and blog the entire episode of tonights “West Wing.” The episode is must-watch drama tonight as it centers on a foreign aid bill-I smell ratings success NBC. (The blogs will follow this one, well; this one will appear last-for now)

Which is worse? - - I don’t know what I find more outrageous. The fact that the government of California ‘lost’ 33,000 sex offenders or the fact that there are more than 33,000 convicted sex offenders in California. You be the judge.

Rogue Pundits - - Increasingly preposterous and self indulgent commentator Arianna Huffington has launched a new campaign: The Detroit Project. Its goal, “is to mount a citizens' ad campaign aimed at getting people to stop driving SUVs and other gas-guzzling vehicles.”

Well that’s just ducky Arianna. The organization has begun running ads that equate driving SUV’s with supporting (funding) terrorists. Interesting, I am sure that if we all dropped off our keys (Yes, I drive a Jeep Cherokee) to Ms. Huffington the terrorists would just stop. The ad is meant at parody, but the organization and premise is what is laughable. All this from the same person who suggested that we were heading to an SUV war. Get a grip!

Saddam will fight to last drop of blood - - Fine

When is starting war not aggression? - - is the question the always opinionated Christopher Hitchens. It is worth the read with history, context, and juicy ideas aplenty. I particularly liked this thought: “Surveying the bloody past, one can only wish for the opportunity to rerun the tape so that enough judicious force could have been employed, in good enough time, to forestall greater bloodshed.”

Canada’s Gun Registry, According to my Philosophy Prof - - My superb philosophy professor John Dixon has an article in The Globe and Mail today. What a treat. Haven’t seen John since his Civil Liberties group had that pompous crank John Ralston Saul to their 2002 AGM. Mr. Dixon even got noticed by Instapundit. John Dixon is an amazing guy, who didn’t think too much of my right wing ideas back in the day, but we had some good times. Go John. (Damian Penny saw it too.)

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

First Gore now Daschle - - Sen. Daschle is bowing out of the 2004 race for president. Now he can compete full time with 2nd in command Sen. Harry Reid to find out once and for all: who is the least charismatic democratic senator.

The humanity! - - Meddlesome doctor warning women about ill effects of low riders.

The unraveling of Michael Moore - - Damian Penny, Henry Hanks and Tim Blair are all over lefty poster child Michael Moore who is disintegrating faster than Whitney Houston. He is in full on princess mode (which is not surprising considering his work in the ego codling film business).

French Imperialism? - - No, we haven’t harkened back to the 17th century. But Michael Ledeen’s latest basically sucks the wind out of the article I had been working on. I do like his subtitle: frog invasion. Why hasn’t the UN been more critical of reckless French imperialism, unilateralism, and warmongering? You’re right it’s a trick question. Even the UN knows the real France.

Canadian Irrelevancy Part 118 - - Awareness that something must be done before we slip into the primordial ooze. But answer is a full-scale review. Yes that is what we need, the problem is not obvious we should review it, write a paper on it, then discuss it, and finally do nothing about it.

By the way our intrepid Minister of Defense is going to see Rumsfeld this week. I hope Rumsfled knocks some sense into him.

Gangs of New York fallout - - I reviewed the new Scorsese movie Sunday. Colby Cosh does it today (Spoiler alert, but click here for his take it rocks.). He has much the same view as I did, but I didn’t go as far as this though: “[Scorsese’s] anointment as the Greatest American Filmmaker is pure pack criticism at its absolute nadir. Take Goodfellas out of his filmography and he's not fit to be Sidney Lumet's key grip. I think a lot of people know it, too; they do, anyway, if they have an erg of independent brainpower in their heads and they were forced to sit through that saccharine kaleidoscope called Kundun and the cake-frosting shambles known as The Age of Innocence.” And surprisingly I agree!

Canadian Blogs - - Looking Back…Looking Forward looks at Canadian Blogs. (Via: Bene Diction)

No mention of Dispatches. But in the comment section blogger Mark Byron says this: “There are some good secular conservative Canadian blogs as well. Damian Penny, Colby Cosh and Jackson Murphy are two that come to mind, although Penny and Cosh get a bit R-rated at times.”

Good, secular, and not R-Rated too. That’s right people; you can send your mom to this site. (Thanks Mark, and I figure I am in good company with Cosh and Penny! Working on potty mouth)

Later - - Off to watch endless hours of Ken Burn’s Civil War- DVD set that made it in the mail today. Huzzah! Expect posting tomorrow morning, if the mood should strike me. Remastered DVD version has plenty of goodies, though listening to Ken Burns comment on the making of seems annoying. At any rate the picture is great, and I don’t have to endure that whole pledge drive nonsense.

Details of the Lazy Monkey Civilization - - $24 million retirement home for monkeys. This is the first step to Planet of the Apes people! First retirement then they’ll be demanding the right to vote. Beware of the slippery slope.

Krugman dismisses Bush Plan - - Predictable talking points from Mr. Krugman on the eve of the Bush stimulus plan. Let me counter with this idea: that eliminating an entire tax, capital gains (that’s the tax on the income of dividends my friends), is good long term for a nation of growing investors, and better still for redirected the stock market (doing more to patrol reckless corporations than any bill could) to produce profits and give them to you and me-so we can buy donuts and KFC. But Krugman and his friends, the Democrats, would rather give you a handout. Who will win this contest? Hint, he is in the White House tonight.

Funniest Person of the Year report - - The Daily Show’s Lewis Black reports on his persons of the year. (video clip). They include they guy suing McDonalds because he got fat and Sean Penn. Fantastic stuff.

Canadian War Preparations Underway - - I wonder if Mr. Bush is waiting for our 6 or 12 planes to be “ready” before laying the smack down on Mr. Saddam? The first 2 CF-18 planes are going to ready by next month. Phew, and the other ones will be upgraded by “cannibalizing” others. Never mind us here in Canada folks, nothing to see here.

Russian War Preparations Underway - - Russia plans to scrap 1/5 of its navy.

French War Preparations Underway - - France taking stock of its military. Can it fight in Ivory Coast and somewhere else at same time? Unit specializing in surrendering and boat licking in top form French Minister says.

In defense of KFC - - Damian Penny has the link to PETA’s new campaign, this time against The Colonel. Not good people, not good at all. Seeking to improve the lives of 700 million chickens worldwide…shut up. What are we going to do with 700 million snooty and spoiled rotten chickens? Christopher Johnson takes up the issue as well. He also links to this unfortunate website.

And he also noted this, er, chicken mission statement: “Chickens are inquisitive and interesting animals and are thought to be at least as intelligent as dogs or cats. When in natural surroundings, not on factory farms, they form friendships and social hierarchies, recognize one another, love their young, and enjoy a full life, dust bathing, making nests, roosting in trees, and more.” Um, it makes we want to wash down my lemon chicken with more chicken, then have a “dust bath.”

Juan Gato (who is going on the perma-links this week, or so) has some words about the filthy animals too.

Iraq: We have no weapons, preparing for war - - Let me get this straight. Iraq, it is said, has no weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Saddam told us so right? So why fortify for war? Is he telling us something? Like, hey I have weapons, even those twit UN people are on to me-that’s why he called them spy’s right. Frankly how can you take this dude seriously?

Seoul, get this, may not know best - - Fred Hiatt explains. You don’t say!

Let them eat cake - - The trogladyte empire (North Korea) says any sanctions mean war. Canada sends envoy at UN’s request. Alrighty then your move buddy. Don’t mess around with Canada.

The tinkering of a “mainstream” website - - Media, and blog junkies read on, regular humans, standby for next post, er, posts. Checking out Salon.com’s website and came across their announcement. Claiming to be “the most provocative and informative destination on the web” the editors have announced such changes as, putting the opinion articles in a “opinion section” (wow that is ground breaking), and putting the news stuff in a “News and Politics” section (how do they do it). Let the profits start rolling in…not.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Movie-quote-a-thon - - John Hawkins, over at Right Wing News has compiled his 100 best all time movie quotes. Worth the visit.

They Might be Giants - Absurd Cure All - - Jonah Goldberg’s dad, Sidney Goldberg, has an amusing article at Tech Central Station on of all things: shrinking things and people. I feel though this has a scary Lord of the Rings quality-some people would chose to remain large, some opting for small. Large and small living together, miniature cows, small person climbing Mount Rushmore. Just the right amount of crazy. I see a movie, not unlike John Woo’s “Face Off”, with small people

We need more of this - - Shenanigans and tomfoolery. (Thanks to Rand Simberg) Prank calling embattled leaders of the world. Prank callers unite! Hello, is this Kim?

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Dispatches On Film - -

Crooked E: (Review as it happens) Sitting back watching the absolutely tragic television movie on the Enron story. How clever it is called “Crooked E.” It makes me long for the movie Wall Street. Now there were some shady business dudes you can get behind. Mike Farrell playing Ken Lay-hey isn’t he that anti-war guy. How clever. Wait, I think there is some climactic love story in the movie…oh wait, now they are looking at satellite photos of Skilling’s house (Enron kids hard at work). Lead character just ripped up a deal and threw it off top of headquarters. Whatever. Wait, he just quoted Abraham Lincoln, now he’s running and talking, summing up the aftermath. He was lucky, he was in love. Pardon me, I’m getting weepy or maybe sick. In short: Buy, Buy, Buy…no wait, sell, sell, sell

Adaptation: Saw the newSpike Jonze movie, “Adaptation” on Saturday. It was good. Writing oneself into a screenplay about flowers was pretty much the only way writer/character Charlie Kaufman (also writer of Being John Malkovich) could go-and it works. The movie dissects itself as it goes along (what some have called “eating itself”) pointing out its own weaknesses and going for its own jugular. Brian Cox practically steals the show-a shady character who tries to boil screenwriting into a science while still being able to truly talk about film. Think of an earnest Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise in Magnolia only on film, and smart.) In that it is totally unique and refreshing. In short: delightful sustained madness.

Gangs of New York: Still trying to figure out what this film was about. Was it history, fantasy? Both? Mr. Scorsese must have been confused with the book title mentioning “gangs.” Sure they’re gangs all right, scary ones with top hats and moustaches. Daniel Day Lewis was fantastic! He was like Homer Simpson in Rent II: Condo Fever-“he literally chewed the scenery”-chomp chomp! The funny thing about this gang war movie was the inconvenient American Civil War, which seemed to show up and mess things up throughout half the movie. Huh, civil war? But the war is just sort of there, like Miramax had a bunch of costumes hanging around and they had to use them. It is a shame Charlie Kaufman didn’t take a crack at this. He could have written himself into this (here you go Fred) with “hilarious results.” The movie doesn’t seem to make much damned sense. Yes, cities are forged by every cretin who ever inhabits them; but every cretin in a city shouldn’t be made into a sprawling and unmanageable epic. In short: Looks great, less filling.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: In another Kaufman penned screenplay, director George Clooney offers a story about game show impresario, and apparently CIA contract killer, Chuck Barris. The film is almost a grand slam. The wackiness of shows like “The Gong Show” are crying out for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. (Coincidentally as Crooked E finished, I stopped by the Game Show network to find a Gong Show Marathon-Jamie Farr in his element!) Clearly the movie captures Barris’s craziness (both on screen and destinations far off) but spends a bit too much time on the dark side. I wanted more manic behind the scenes of his shows and less Sam Rockwell posing in the nude. The cast was great, and Rockwell in particular is superb. I did want to see more: of shows like $1.98 Beauty Pagent and The Rah Rah Show which were just mentioned in passing. And when did I miss this. (Read more about Barris in a Salon.com article by King Kaufman) Almost as far out as Barris’s life, and mind, are. Truth is always stranger than fiction. In short: Madness squared.

You say you want a revolution… - - Mucho Goodness over at Enterstageright.com’s first issue of the new year. Bush as Man of the Year, Good Books, and of course a helping of My latest. All good stuff worth looking at.

”What ever happened to revolutions?” is a new look on why there isn’t any good revolutions anymore. Here’s a taste:

“But there hasn't been a really good revolution in years. And certainly not in any place that truly counts either-or truly needed one. Revolutions lately have been mostly bad. They are often Islamic, radical, radically Islamic, Islamist, fundamentalist, or all of the above. Revolutions are usually about breaking stuff or joining stuff. Places like Iran or Sudan are about joining fundamentalist Islam and then, surprise, trying to break stuff.”

There is also an article by Daniel G. Jennings on revolutions e doesn’t think that they are so great. You be the judge.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Bizzaro World File - - Was reading the new Foreign Policy magazine last night. There was a strange book review. A review of something so amazing that I find it hard to believe. But signs of life in France may not be as hard to believe as the latest Raelian UFO cloning announcement.

The book, by French author Regis Debray and called, in English: The Edict of Caracalla, or a plea for the United States of the West by Xavier de C***.

The book review, currently unavailable online, by Washington Post assistant foreign editor Max Berley is incredible-not because the review itself is so amazing, but rather the content of the book, which is available at Amazon.fr. and soon at Amazon.ca

Here’s the hook: Debray’s book, “makes the ostensible argument that resistance to the United States’ overwhelming power is vain and that Europe’s only hope for survival is in its absorption by the United States.” (Breathe, Frenchies and lefty buds, breathe)

Now Debray, it would seem, has leftist credentials on his resume-no strike that, he has spent a life fighting with Che, advising Allende, and funning about with Mitterand. But he apparently has written a book in which he wants to challenge the “Swissization” of France! (Berley writes that, “[Debray] meant [France’s] creeping irrelevance and mediocrity.”) Debray’s book makes an alarming, at least for French readers, and convincing argument of joining the U.S. and becoming “full-fledged Americans” rather than the current “second-tier Americans” that they are. Amazing.

According to the review by Berley the book, designed as satire has not been received well within the stuffy and cheese smelling corridors of French-ness. Jean Daniel, editor of Le Nouvel Observateur (imagine a French version of The Nation) said: “The demonstration a contrario by the anti-hero ends up being too effective. The tongue-in-cheek inventory of humiliations becomes more and more convincing.”

Let me get this straight. A French Lefty writes a book challenging France and the reception it gets is weak because it is written so convincingly well that it ends up making France look, well, badly. It must be some book.

Choice excerpts from Debray:

On France: “Apart from a certain quality of life, this country has nothing left to offer the world. It s too busy preserving the circumflex accent, its Roquefort.”

On Europeans: “Your passport is from the European Union…but your libido is made in the U.S.”

On Europe: Nothing more than a “stock market without borders.”

There may be life left on the European continent. As Berley writes: “Beneath the agitprop Debray’s book offers valuable insight into the growing resentment in Europe at the perception of U.S. unilateralism. The book allows him to demonstrate how this antipathy coexists uncomfortably with the profound identification and mimetic desire generated by American culture.”

Canadian Making Sense - - Editor Bossman, Steve Martinovich, of Enterstageright.com has an excellent article at WorldNetDaily.com today!

Take this: “Occasionally nations must flex their muscle in order to defend those values. That means while American soldiers are fighting across the planet to defend the ideals that Canadians once held dear, our leaders will be at yet another international conference enjoying the crème brûlée and decrying the bully to the south of us.”

Bravo! Here Here!

In more important news, Saturday Fun - - This one is for my friend Rob-he reads, always wanting more non-politics stuff. I try. Anyhoo, here is the big story of the day. P Diddy-that’s the man formerly known as “Puff Daddy”- and Sammy Sosa hanging out. That’s cool man.

Also, watched the trailer for the new Tarantino Movie ”Kill Bill”. It seems like an Uma Thurman Kung Fu deal-I know what your thinking how bad could it be-and yer right. It looks like a crazy film-and crazy is good-just ask this guy.

If you are bored, check out this site too, What’s Better where you can figure out what is better. I clicked and refreshed a few times. What is better: Rich Old People or the University of Delaware; candles or soul train; Count Blah or New Hampshire; bathing instruments or hand puppets. Hours of entertainment here. And a picture of the best thing about Sweden.

Here’s a new argument - - Now the forces of the left have a new argument. In Canada lefty buddies are now saying that you can’t give more money to the military ‘cause they are wasting it, and we spend way more than Luxembourg, well not as a percentage of GDP (‘cause that’s an unfair stat they say). I don’t doubt that anything in the Canadian government is run with the accounting smarts of 12 monkeys, but the evidence of our equipment and our troop readiness would counter the wasting of the millions. We’re talking billions needed here!

This just in. . . - - A super National Post editorial debunking the “war-for-oil” arguments of the left.

Good news - - Al Sharpton is going to get into the race for Democratic President 2004. Thank god. This will spice things up some.

Friday, January 03, 2003

That’s what I’m talking about - - Here is a hardball article on the whole North Korea deal, poker, and why that’s better than chess!

Here’s the article oozing confidence: “Further instruct the Pentagon to be prepared to incapacitate the entire firing line of rocket launchers and artillery cannons, of which there are several thousand, and annihilate the entire force of close to a million North Korean soldiers clustered along the DMZ (demilitarized zone) border with enhanced radiation weapons, either produced by us or borrowed from the Israelis, who already have hundreds.”

WOW.

More on Edwards run - - Both Virginia Postrel and Instantpundit are warning that trial lawyers aren’t that bad-like Sally Field, people like them, they apparently really like them. The idea that a trial lawyer, Edwards, is great at convincing jury’s that he should win cases is a good one.

Here’s one problem I see with it. I agree that if you can convince a jury, perhaps you can convince a nation of voters. But here’s where it gets tricky. Getting Edwards to defend, or prosecute, the case for Democratic, or more specifically his Democratic, ideas is not the same as convincing a jury that, say, a drunk driver hit a kid on a bike. The democratic ideas simply aren’t that good. Fighting for the “regular people” isn’t going to cut it.

I offer “Exhibit A” into evidence: Helen Thomas loves ‘em. Not Edwards, per se, but her pals, the trial lawyers.

Meanwhile he seems to have put Sullivan in some sort of Handsome trance-talking about how “Tony Blair” Edwards is. Um, no.

Tacking Hawk - - Tacking, that is a sailing term-yikes, a bad sports analogy. Anyhoo, I’m going to offer this Jonah Goldberg article and this quote in particular about why such a double standard between Iraq and North Korea: “Um, yeah. That's because North Korea has the fifth-largest standing army in the world, huge supplies of weapons of mass-destruction, probably including nukes, and the ability to inflict staggering casualties on South Korea, Japan and our own troops.”

It is not that I necessarily disagree with the argument-it is pretty sound. But were these not more or less the arguments made back pre-Gulf War I? Iraq has the fourth largest military, lots of weapons, sure maybe not nukes, but they might be able to hit Israel and our own troops?

Now, I know North Korea’s military machine is a little more beefy, but I’m just guessing that the battle-hardened troops, probably malnourished, would be largely ineffective in an attack. An attack could really spark this puppy up.

Keys to Successful Writing - - Ah writing… Editor bossman over at Enterstageright.com struggles all night with his latest piece, and updates the progress. Drinking, smoking, and Hemingway references result. See being a writer isn’t all fun and games people.

Two more years… - - News that the Canadian military is going to try to squeeze two more years out of the 40-year old Sea King helicopters.

And bringing ineptitude into new territory: “The Sea King replacement has turned into what many in the military community believe is the longest-running defence procurement program in Canadian history. The Canadian Forces started the process of replacing the choppers in the early 1980s.”

What a joke.

Signs of life - - In one encouraging development, Ralph Klein, the Premier of Alberta, is floating a school voucher trial balloon. Good stuff. Why isn’t he running the nation?

Thursday, January 02, 2003

What about Gil? - - Here is a great story about Baseball great Gil Hodges.

President Handsome? - - I don’t think so. Can you say overplaying your cards? I knew you could. I was up early this morning, tuned into Imus, who already was all over Sen. Edwards:

Sen. John Edwards: "Because I want to be a champion for regular people..."

Imus: "...He wants to be a champion, Shut up!"

Charles: "You know what he needs to do?"

Imus: "What?"

Charles: "Stop now!"

Imus: "He needs to just get out!"

Imus and Charles respond to Sen. John Edwards announcing this morning on The Today's Show that he is going to run for President in 2004.

Indeed. William Saletan at Slate.com thinks that Edwards is copying “The Clinton Strategy” (or Clinton Magic, or simply Mojo, depending on who you ask). Basically that Edwards is young, smart, and good looking. First, was Clinton really that ‘good looking’? Never mind that, Clinton was young and smart (yes, he was). Edwards is a successful lawyer, but you don’t need to be an expert on lawyer jokes to realize that this dog don’t hunt. Being a lawyer in 2002, or 2004, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are smart. Smarmy perhaps, smart, well not so much? Well you only have to watch lightweight John to see for yourself.

But let me add something-something that is largely forgotten. Clinton was able to use his strengths (youth, brains, good looks, and I’m from the South shtick) and join it with his message (Economy blah blah & I’ll fight for you) against George Bush the elder and Bob Dole. And you wonder why he won. Edwards, should he dupe the democrats into believing that he is Bill Clinton is not running against either of those (old, tired, out-of-touch) opponents. He is going to be running against George W. Bush (who is young, good looking, most certainly from the South-and not just ‘cause he apparently lives there, but because he acts like it-and, yes, smart too). This Bush is also running on a record of incredible achievement (tax cut, 2002 election, war on terror, ousting Lott, and by 2004 probably more.) not reversing “no-new-tax” pledges. So what would really make Edwards attractive? It would be like running Clinton against Reagan. This is not 1992, or 1996 buddies. But what fun.

Predictions from the Riverboat Gambler - - One of my favorite pundits, is the delightfully appareled Tony Blankley-who occasionally looks either like a riverboat gambler, or an extra from Frank Sinatra’s “Robin and the Seven Hoods.” The man has the sweetest collection of suits going. He has his predictions on 2003 out today, and they are detailed. Drudge described them as “doom, gloom, and boom.”

This is Michael Moore’s fault - - Fellow Canadian Damian Penny is back. He offers a thorough look at some “filmmaker” whose “documentary” (you see, now that Moore’s “films” are referred to as “documentaries” anything is possible) contends that the 25 most popular films of all time show the deaths of more than 9 billion people.

Here’s Penny’s take: “Frankly, I have a real problem with some self-appointed moral arbitrator lecturing me on what kind of content is justified in a movie. If this guy was some right-wing fundamentalist Christian, nobody would give a damn, and rightly so. But, ooh, he's exposing our militaristic culture! And, uh, he's a vegetarian! What an important statement he's making!” I agree.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Tony Blair ON FIRE - - British Prime Minister Tony Blair used his end of the year address to stress exactly how dangerous the world is today. A great ally.

Way cool - - Got a link from William Quick over at Dailypundit.com! Thanks & Woohoo! Go have a boo at his site, now!