Saturday, April 10, 2004 - Maundy Thursday to kick off the weekend?: "On Maundy Thursday, Church bells are silenced until Easter."

I love it when people speak about things they don't know about. In the Episcopal Good Friday service, the church bell is rung 33 times to commemorate the 33 years of life Jesus spent on Earth. - Poll: Most Americans oppose same-sex marriage - Apr 10, 2004: "By a margin of 55 to 41 percent, those polled agreed with the statement that 'if gays are allowed to marry, the institution of marriage will be degraded.'
About half favored a U.S. constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman, while 42 percent opposed it, according to the poll published Saturday on the newspaper's Web site."

Backlash coming...

Friday, April 09, 2004

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today: "The reason, Israeli military officials say, is the nearly completed security fence separating this sector of the West Bank from Israel. A 50-mile stretch--from the Jordan River to just north of Netanya--is three months from completion. Already the barrier has virtually eliminated terrorist incidents, as well as car thefts and illegal infiltration, inside nearby parts of Israel. In response, the army has sharply curtailed the hated roadblocks and closures that had disrupted life for local Palestinians. Workers can now reach their jobs. Farmers can bring their crops to market, reviving Jenin's business district." (emphasis added)

I need someone to explain this to me (please do so in the comments section). How does building a security fence work if you end the roadblocks? I mean, if you put a fence around a prison, it doesn't do any good unless the gate is locked. It seems to me that if you build this security wall around Israel, but leave the roads leading in open, it couldn't possibly prevent terrorist bombings. I must be missing something here. Please, anyone who can, explain.

The Volokh Conspiracy: "Easter Peeps: Slate's Explainer says that 700 million Peeps will be eaten this year.

That's all? Just two-and-a-half per man, woman, and child? Call it three for everyone old enough to be allowed to eat (semi-)solid food but not so old to have lost their teeth. Of those 230 million or so, 40 million are on low-carb diets, and another 5 million or so are diabetics. 185 million left, who will eat an average of a little less than 4 apiece.

Is there anyone who actually eats Peeps who eats only four of them?"

Peeps come in sleeves of four, or boxes of 16. I always go through a sleeve of 4 in about 2 minutes, and have been known to go through the box of 16 in the same amount of time. My question is, where are the people who are eating negative peeps to make up for the massive amounts that I consume? - Daily Dish: "I am a 49 year old professional classical musician and educator and not a democrat. Your quote today from Margot Mifflin of Salon in her 'therapy' session perfectly describes the reaction I have stirred up in a new girlfriend. Like many musicians, she is zealously left-liberal. Her heroes are Ted Kennedy and Hillary. (not Sir Edmund) We share everything in common except politics. I am able to accept and understand her values while not agreeing with them, but am perplexed by her difficulty with mine. She is like the robot on the old Lost In Space TV show. When I explain rationally that I do not think that Rush Limbaugh is 'evil', and that perhaps Al Qaeda might better illustrate that concept, she starts spinning around and yammers 'It does not compute, It does not compute'. Furthermore, she is constantly asking questions about my views on one aspect of politics or another with every question beginning with either 'Why'? or, 'How could you possibly?'........ In other words, I am viewed as some kind of double anomaly, on the one hand I am one of those neanderthal Republicans, and on the other I SEEM to be a reasonable and civilized one. This is causing her no end of confusion. She is actually having dinner with and making love to one of 'THEM'. So much for inclusiveness and ending 'Us against Them' thinking in our lifetime. Sigh... "

I certainly have a lot to say on the subject of inter-Party dating, but I think I'm going to save that post for a later date. Suffice it to say, this guy has guts and will-power that dwarf my own.

LILEKS (James) :: the Bleat: "But the 9/11 commission has changed my view of the administration. I now believe that if Al Gore had been president, he would have invaded Afghanistan right away, fortified the cockpit doors, issued an executive order that made the CIA and FBI share intel, grounded all planes the moment "chatter" started mentioning "a winged victory, like the bird of righteousness," and subjected all young Arab males to full-body searches in airports. Pakistan would have come around to our point of view right away.

How does Lileks always say it so well? Let's get this clear: the things the Bush administration did wrong that failed to prevent 9/11 are the same things that any new administration, with any man in the world as President, would have done. There was no personal choice that caused 9/11, or stopped this administration from preventing it. There were intelligence failures that had evolved as a part of the system, and the state of the world prevented the military and diplomatic solutions necessary to overcome them. This had nothing to do with the fact that Bush was in the White House.

And God forbid what might have occured following 9/11 had Gore been in his place. And to those who might object to that sentiment, just think back to what you, and everyone around you felt and said on the matter on September 12: everyone was glad it was Bush and not Gore. Especially Gore.

Lileks also has some spectacular comments on the Iraq-Vietnam connection: "I am struck once again by the incomparable hold VIETNAM has over some people. They don't seem to realize how the use of this inapt example demonstrates their inability to grasp the nature of new and different conflicts. When I was in college, El Salvador was Vietnam. When I was in Washington, Kuwait was Vietnam. Afghanistan was briefly Vietnam when we hadn't won the war after a week. It's Warholian: in the future, all conflicts will be Vietnam for 15 minutes."

Read the whole thing, I implore you.

OpinionJournal - Wonder Land: "I don't need to see Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of The Christ.' I saw 'Ben-Hur.' "

I respect Mr. Henninger quite a lot, and I look forward to his column every week. I have to admit, I'm very disappointed that he would write this piece. For one thing, I'm tired of people writing about The Passion without having seen it. More than that, I'm upset that he would write a piece specifically about why he doesn't need to see it without having seen it. Proud ignorance is in every way worse than ignorance.

Political Wire: Veep Watch: "Sen. John Kerry keeps Sen. John McCain's name in the headlines the search for his running mate intensifies. In a speech yesterday, Kerry made 'a gesture toward independent voters' by mentioning Sen. John McCain four times, USA Today reports. 'McCain may have been flattered, but he wasn't converted: He repeated Wednesday that he would not agree to be Kerry's running mate if asked.'"

There's no way McCain could agree to be Kerry's running mate, pure and simple. By being the vocal liberal in the Republican party, McCain has cultivated a little niche of power from within the party. If he jumps ship, he will lose that, without any hope of the same kind of sway with the Dems. (Just look at Jeffords if you don't believe me). In the meantime, he's earning chips by the feigned courting from Kerry, as the Republicans fight to keep him in line, and, more specifically, in their line.

Kerry, on the other hand, is playing a brilliant strategy. He knows that McCain is the media's darling, and they will cover just about any mention of him. That way he keeps himself in the headlines, and in the public eye. At the same time, McCain has become a favorite of moderates around the country, so Kerry wins a portion of them, at least in the short term, by pretending to have interest in McCain. It's a brilliant strategic play by both, even though it means precisely nothing to either of them.

Thursday, April 08, 2004 " 'We're facing an enemy that's unafraid to fight from behind women and children, from occupied apartment buildings, from protected sites,' said a Marine officer in Fallujah."

I'd like to disagree with this Marine officer, respectfully of course. We are dealing with an enemy who is afraid NOT to fight from behind women and children. There people are cowards, fighting a cowards war against freedom for their countrymen (and, in the case of the foreign fighters, I still believe that holds true -- if we succeed in Iraq, the rest of the Middle East will fall over time). I'm glad to read on "Things have been busy here. You know I can't say much about it. However, I do know two things. One, POTUS has given us the green light to do whatever we needed to do to win this thing so we have that going for us. Two, and my opinion only, this battle is going to have far reaching effects on not only the war here in Iraq but in the overall war on terrorism. We have to be very precise in our application of combat power. We cannot kill a lot of innocent folks (though they are few and far between in Fallujah). There will be no shock and awe. There will be plenty of bloodshed at the lowest levels. This battle is the Marine Corps' Belleau Wood for this war. 2/1 and 1/5 will be leading the way. We have to find a way to kill the bad guys only. The Fallujahans are fired up and ready for a fight (or so they think). A lot of terrorists and foreign fighters are holed up in Fallujah. It has been a sanctuary for them. If they have not left town they are going to die. I'm hoping they stay and fight.

This way we won't have to track them down one by one.

This battle is going to be talked about for a long time. The Marine Corps will either reaffirm its place in history as one of the greatest fighting organizations in the world or we will die trying. The Marines are fired up. I'm nervous for them though because I know how much is riding on this fight (the war in Iraq, the view of the war at home, the length of the war on terror and the reputation of the Marine Corps to name a few). However, every time I've been nervous during my career about the outcome of events when young Marines were involved they have ALWAYS exceeded my expectations. I'm praying this is one of those times."

These Marines are ready for the fight, and they will succeed. May God bless them, and their mission. May God keep watch over them, and protect them, as they fight for His gift of freedom. - U.S. warning halts Paris trains - Apr 8, 2004: "Police in Paris halted traffic on a commuter train line for about an hour Thursday evening after the United States warned French officials of a possible bomb attack, police said.
Authorities found nothing suspicious and lifted the alert around 9:30 p.m. "

Wouldn't it be great if we were just messing with them? - U.S. stakes in Iraq break internat'l law: "According to the Iraqi constitution adopted in 1990, the privatization of key state assets is illegal, as is foreign ownership of Iraqi firms. "

According to an article I read a while back (can't find it now) this "constitution" also stated that all such companies would be the property of Saddam Hussein. Maybe we ought to give them back.

Bob Kerrey - The Search For Answers: "That's his argument. I think he's wrong, but I don't think he is being duplicitous. He is wrong because most if not all of the terrorism since 9/11 has occurred because al Qaeda and other radical Islamists have an even dimmer view of a free and independent Iraq than they do a free and independent United States. A democracy in Iraq that embraces modernism, pluralism, tolerance and the plebiscite is a greater sacrilege than anything we are doing here at home."

Required reading for the day. Liberals and conservatives alike can learn a lot from this piece. Read it!

LILEKS (James) :: the Bleat: "We have a stark choice: Bush’s blunt and frequently inarticulate remarks, versus Kerry’s prolix, labrynthic diplobabble."

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Kerry hits Bush on steel tariffs _ but would not re-impose them (via BOTW): "Kerry, speaking to about 17 reporters from political battleground states on both sides of the matter, said he supported the tariffs because 'under the circumstances, it was an important grabbing-air moment.'
'I wouldn't re-impose them, but I would have let them play out the way they were promised,' he said. 'Once you put them in place, people have expectations. ... And if you, all of a sudden, upset that, you're really wreaking havoc in the market.'"

As Taranto points out, this is one of the few issues that Bush can be seriously accused of having flip-flopped. Kerry, however, remains too "nuanced," to criticize openly, and miraculously ends up flip-flopping even more severely than Bush. How does he do it?

Oh, That Liberal Media
I recently added this site to my blogroll after stumbling across it. They do a very good job of exposing stories that spin imperceptibly to regular NYT readers, and quite obviously to the rest of us. I recommend that everyone add it to his daily blog-reading, along with the rest of my blogroll.

New Mini-Poll
I've created a new mini-poll on the sidebar, inspired largely by a sentence from a recent National Review article by Kate O'Beirne: "In a recent Gallup poll, 9 out of 10 Bush supporters described themselves as pro-Bush rather than anti-Kerry. Only 6 in 10 of his opponent's supporters are pro-Kerry rather than anti-Bush."

Please take the time to answer, and answer truthfully. I'm curious to see how closely my readership matches this make-up. - Working to win the South wastes Democrats' time and resources: "It's time for Democrats to take their cue, get a clue, and recognize that Southerners are to us what Jews, blacks, and all good people are to the Republicans."

You've got to love the way he sneaks that line into the middle of this column. This is otherwise a decent column about strategy, which Mr. Jones decided to reduce to an idiotic partisan rant through this and similar lines of discussion. It's no surprise, as he is the local coordinator for the John Kerry campaign, and he's clearly representing the "you mean everyone doesn't think like me?" liberal mindset so common at Yale.

Compare it to this column, also in today's YDN, by Yale College Republicans head, Al Jiwa. (Full disclosure: Al is a friend and colleague). In it, he does a very nice job of defending Republicans, but never at the expense of the Dems. Instead, he works from entirely within the conservative mindset and explains why libertarian-minded Republicans should support gay marriage.

I think it shows a lot about the difference between Republicans and Democrats at Yale to read these two columns side-by-side.

Then I continue reading today's YDN, and find this column: "The election will be decided on two issues: security and the economy. Bush fails on both accounts, and it seems only logical that voters will kick him out." It just proves my point even further. Liberal Yalies think that they live in a microcosm of the US, and have no concept that so much of the rest of the country thinks otherwise. Read this one, because Mr. Taylor is completely out of touch with politics in this country. If he honestly believes that most Americans even know who Richard Clarke is, and that most of those who do believe him over President Bush, he needs to wake up. Or maybe visit the South and Midwest.

UPDATE [4/7/2004]: I decided that I should add the following: not all Dems at Yale are so out of touch with reality. The above post is inspired in part by the old West Wing episode I watched last night, where Ainsley Hayes (sp?) is first added to the cast, and ends up defending the Left-Wingers to her Right-Winger friends because they're at least trying to do some good. I do not intend to claim that Republicans in general are more in touch with the public than Dems, just at Yale. And, I must also note that there are certainly Dems here too, who have a better understanding than most. Just trying to be clear.

I'd also like to add that, in response to Mr. Jones's statement, quoted above, this line from Ainsley last night. She is referring to the Bartlet White House in a way that I think describes Liberals at Yale quite well: "This White House that feels that government is better for children than parents are. That looks at 40 years of degrading and humiliating free lunches handed-out in a spectacularly failed effort to level the playing field and says 'Let's try 40 more.' This White House that says of anyone that points that out to them that they are cold, and mean, and racist, and then accuses Republicans of using the politics of fear. This White House that loves the Bill of Rights--all of them--except the second one." - Jailed murder suspect plucks out eye - Apr 7, 2004: "Thomas, 21, then quoted the verse Mark 9:47: 'And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell'[...]Thomas is accused in the March 26 stabbing deaths of his 4-year-old son, his 20-year-old estranged wife and her 1-year-old daughter. All the victims' hearts were cut out; two were found at Andre Thomas' house. He turned himself in and was charged with one count of capital murder."

It must suck, after all of that, to discover that you misinterpreted the Bible verse... After all, I'm pretty sure he didn't stab his son, daughter, and wife with his eye. - Kerry suggests Iraq deadline may be 'arbitrary' - Apr 7, 2004

You're damn right it's arbitrary. But don't even try to tell me that six months ago you thought we should be in Iraq as long as necessary. Back then it was "the President isn't doing enough to get out of there quickly." Now, suddenly, he's set a date and plans to do whatever is necessary to stick to it, and you take pot shots at the date. Would all my faithful readers out there please pray for a Bush landslide? If only for my sake--I don't think I could take four years of listening to this jerk. / Apocalyptic president?
This is a really interesting piece, investigating the religion of our President. It's a must read for anyone who would pin him down in the Religious Right, or, more specifically, as a fundamentalist. Also, if you're not particularly religious, or know little about the true make-up of the Religious Right (of which many think I am a part, despite the fact that most of those who consider themselves a part would reject me -- I am a conservative Christian, but not a Christian Conservative), I'd recommend this. It's easy to try and lump conservative christians into one group, but as I've learned very personally of late, it's never quite so easy to do so.

Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 4/7/2004
HAHAHAHA... - Body missing 14 years found in storage unit - Apr 6, 2004: "The body of a woman missing since 1990 was found stuffed inside a container at a rental storage unit, and authorities charged her then-boyfriend with murder."

Q: How do you get caught for a murder you committed 14 years earlier?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - Coalition battling al-Sadr supporters in Najaf - Apr 6, 2004
I could have cited any number of articles to make this point, but I chose this one for no particular reason, so don't feel a need to click through.

All of the major news outlets are describing this "massive insurrection" against coalition forces.
They also like to make comparisons to Vietnam on a regular basis. So, allow me to take this a step further.
The Tet Offensive of 1968 was seen in Vietnam as the turning point of the war, i.e. when America started losing. American support eroded, we started talking about pulling out, and Vietnamization, etc.
In retrospect, historians have discovered that the Tet Offensive was a farce. We did not lose a lot of ground or troops in comparison with the VC losses, and we could easily have counter-attacked. This retrospective analysis usually concludes that such a counter-attack would have been fatal to the VC. You see, they had expended every last ounce of effort they had in the Offensive. By our stalling, getting scared, letting it get to us, we gave them enough time to build back up, and the Offensive turned into a success from what should have been a failure.

Let's look at this week as the Tet Offensive. Let's view it as their desperation, trying everything they can. They got 12 soldiers, according to this article. How many have we taken in retaliation? I'd bet a lot more. Have we lost ground? Of course not--we control the whole country. So, let's turn back and destroy the resistance. Let's save the Iraqi people from the minority who want to destroy them.

UPDATE [4/6/2004]: I beat them to it (via InstaPundit): Useful Fools: Beware the Tet Syndrome! Granted, they say it better than I do, but still, maybe I actually said something with some value.

UPDATE [4/7/2004]: This column (via InstaPundit) claims to contradict the Tet theory, but seems, in my mind, to simply misunderstand what the Tet theory says, and ends up backing it up instead.

OxBlog: "WELL DONE, MA'AM: The Queen, speaking in flawless French, delivered a stirring speech last evening at the Elysee in commemoration of the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, recalling the history of Anglo-French cooperation through the wars of the past century, and calling on the two nations to face the challenges of counterterror side by side. Finishing with a toast to M. le President and the French nation, the Queen ended saying 'Vive la difference, mais vive L'Entente Cordiale.' Well done, ma'am. Britain is fortunate to have such a skilled practicioner to draw upon in its diplomatic service. "

I have to disagree with this OxBlog post, which I have reproduced here in full. The Entente Cordiale is often cited as one of the primary inspirations for WWI. It was secret, and it scared the begesus out of Germany, causing them to form an allegiance with Italy and Austria, causing France and Britain to bring in Russia. That, plus the arms race between Germany and England caused the Kaiser to jump into France.
Read a little history before you encourage the Queen to play nice with the Frogs.

IMAO: "For the Record I: If Kos's burnt corpse was mutilated and dragged through the street, I'd say, 'Hey! Don't do that!'
I guess as a warmongering hawk, I just have a different view on the sanctity of life."

I have purposely not commented on Kos's statement directly. I think it's a stupid thing and Lileks's comments are spot-on. But, I couldn't let this IMAO line go. Here's the thing: we're not in Iraq for oil, we're in Iraq because we're outraged at how certain Iraqis have behaved for more than the past decade. I don't give the slightest damn about who these blackwater guards were who got slaughtered and mutilated in Falujah personally. I care about what happened to them, and it fills me with rage towards their aggressors, not at the newspapers for covering the story so extensively. If it had been Kos, or even Michael Moore, I would have had the same reaction: "Attention Fallujah! We are sending some Marines in there, mess you up good. Please do as they say, and receive your bullet gracefully. If you do not comply, we will kill you anyway."

Basically, the fact that that thought process occured for Kos (the newspapers are covering this wrong) before he even considered the brutality of what had happened shows me how far off his priorities are.

UPDATE [4/6/2004]: I just read that IMAO also said: "If Ted Kennedy's burnt corpse was mutilated and dragged through the street, I'd say, "Wow! That vehicle has some torque!
He may be an uber-partisan, lecherous liberal who's committed vehicular homicide, but he's our uber-partisan, lecherous liberal who's committed vehicular homicide, dammit, and you evil foreigners better not burn him and mutilate his corpse if you know what's good for you (which, as history shows, you probably don't)."

Now that's comedy!

InstaPundit.Com: "CAPTAIN ED has been reviewing the 2000 Clinton national security report and observes that the Clinton Administration ranked missile defense as more important than terrorism. Funny -- I keep hearing that it was a Bush obsession that distracted us from the Clinton Administration's laser-like focus on Al Qaeda."

UPDATE [4/6/2004]: Looks like major media, in the form of the right-leaningWashington Times has picked this up. Let's hope it spreads.

Private Guards Repel Attack on U.S. Headquarters ( "An attack by hundreds of Iraqi militia members on the U.S. government's headquarters in Najaf on Sunday was repulsed not by the U.S. military, but by eight commandos from a private security firm, according to sources familiar with the incident. [...]
In Sunday's fighting, Shiite militia forces barraged the Blackwater commandos, four MPs and a Marine gunner with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 fire for hours before U.S. Special Forces troops arrived. A sniper on a nearby roof apparently wounded three men. U.S. troops faced heavy fighting in several Iraqi cities that day."

The next reporter who refers to this uprising as being led by an "army," or even "militia" ought to be bombarded with hundreds of protest emails. And I hope OmbudsGod picks up on this as well. Whenever "hundreds of Iraqi[s]" attack "eight...Blackwater commandos, four MPs and a marine gunner with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 fire for hours," and are repulsed, they should cease to be referred to as either militia or army. They are clearly just rabble. They are annoying, and threaten security for everyone in the region, but they don't deserve the respect that comes with a better classification.

Read the whole WaPo article, though. It is interesting, to say the least.

David Brooks: Fly the Partisan Skies

I would have excerpted, except I found myself wanting to excerpt every single line. Read the whole thing, this is one of the funniest columns I've read in a long time. - Kennedy: 'Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam' - Apr 5, 2004: "GOP response: 'Outrageous'"

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wouldn't it have been way funnier if the GOP had responded "Vietnam is Kennedy's Vietnam," without specifying which one? Or, maybe even better, "Chappaquiddick is Kennedy's Vietnam." What do you think?

If you can come up with a better one, please post it in the comments. This could be a lot of fun. Plus, I'd do anything to tear Teddy-boy a new one.

LILEKS (James) :: the Bleat: "But when was the last time you heard someone say 'you know, Bill O'Reilly made an excellent argument about that very point.' He's a red throbbing thumb, and that's all. And in the other hand: his hammer. "

I really do love Lileks. If you don't read him daily, start doing so. I had this conversation with a friend of mine the other day who said that all conservatives are the same, "they just do whatever Rush and O'Reilly tell them to." In a separate conversation with another friend, I could be heard saying "Ann Coulter isn't a conservative, she's a harpie."

We're not all dumb, misguided automatons. Some of us really do believe in conservatism for the good of humanity.

Lileks also comments on the Kos debate: "the furor ends being about the furor, not the stupid thing you said. Lines are drawn! Camps are formed! People rally to their standard bearers, and drag out the old saw: I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it, particularly if I secretly do agree with what you say. Then comes the delinking, which has two strata: there's the individual delinking, which is as impressive an act as taking out a Sharpie and crossing out an entry in your personal White Pages, and the institutional delinking, which actually is a big thing. When someone says something stupid - I mean, poisonously, ludicrously stupid - the advertisers on that site have to take a stand. I hate to say it, but that's what it comes to in Ashcroft's Amerikkka: if you express callous contempt for four lynched Americans strung up by a raving mob, there's a chance you might lose advertisers looking to court a moderate audience." (money quote emphasized)

The Volokh Conspiracy

This is important. I've made some comments in the past about how the media doesn't know anything about blogs, and should mention them more. I also complained about how the media hasn't picked up the DailyKos story. Volokh does a great thing here by checking Lexis newspapers and magazines for the specific mention of some of the top blogs. Interesting stuff. - Yale is choosier than Harvard: "With an acceptance rate from the total pool of 9.9 percent, Yale edged Harvard, which had a 10.3 percent admit rate. The coup comes after both universities switched their admissions policies to single-choice Early Action, in which students may apply early to one school only, but need not commit until May."

The real test will come in May when we get the yield numbers, but in the meantime, congrats to everyone in the admissions office, particularly tour guides, etc. who drove up the interest in this fine school. Even if it is full of liberals... :-)

Monday, April 05, 2004

Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia: "American standards of living surpassed those in Europe around 1740. For more than 260 years, in other words, Americans have been rich, money-mad, vulgar, materialistic and complacent people. And yet somehow America became and continues to be the most powerful nation on earth and the most productive. Religion flourishes. Universities flourish. Crime rates drop, teen pregnancy declines, teen-suicide rates fall, along with divorce rates. Despite all the problems that plague this country, social healing takes place."

God bless America. But seriously, I'm a fan of David Brooks, and read his last book Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, and quite enjoyed it. This seems to be a continuation of that, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Asleep on Alert ("Is this reexamination of recent and painful history likely to make us smarter -- render us less vulnerable to future terrorist attacks? Or is it little more than Monday-morning quarterbacking, where any armchair critic can explain how the play that didn't work couldn't have worked?"

His conclusion is definitely worth reading, if only for the deliberation he undergoes before reaching it. I linked to Mr. Raspberry last week, when I read his column for the first time. This makes two weeks in a row that I've been particularly impressed with what he has to say. Read the whole thing.

Planes the Air Force Doesn't Need (

I met Mr. Wilson this fall. He's a huge liberal, and surprisingly anti-DOD for a former DOD correspondent, but he's a smart guy, and worth reading when he publishes.

The Volokh Conspiracy
A good commentary on the changing nature of the blogosphere as it relates to the Kos issues that have been occuring of late.

Healing Iraq (via InstaPundit)
Frightening news out of Baghdad. Everyone, please pray that the military regains control so that we may stop this senseless violence. Iraq has seen far too many innocents fall victim to ethnic rivalries and jockeying for power. It's time it stopped.

Op-Ed Columnist: The Floo Floo Bird Nice piece by Bill Safire, very similar to the YDN piece I linked to earlier today, but from a slightly different perspective. Read it.

UPDATE [4/5/2004]: The YDN piece, I didn't notice, was written by David White, who's blog is linked to on my blogroll, and can be found here. He doesn't post incredibly often, but when he does, it's usually as insightful as his column was today.

Yahoo! News - Spain Makes New Arrest in Madrid Bombings: "The newspaper ABC reported that hours before the terrorists killed themselves Saturday, it received a fax from the group that had claimed responsibility for the March 11 bombings. This time, the group warned it would turn Spain 'into an inferno' unless the country withdrew its support for the United States and pulled Spanish troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, ABC said." (emphasis added)

If you give a mouse a cookie...

OpinionJournal - Fallujah Response:"Lynching is deliberate. It is opportunistic rather than purely spontaneous, and it has a clear intent: to insult, to challenge and to frighten the enemy, and to excite and enlist allies. The mutilation and public display of bodies follows a distinct pattern. The victims are members of a despised Other, who are held in such contempt that they are considered less than human. Respectful treatment of the dead is the norm in all societies, and a tenet of all religions. Publicly flouting such basic dignities is a communal expression of hatred designed to insult and frighten. Display of the mutilated remains must be as public as possible. In Fallujah they were strung high from a bridge. In Mogadishu, where there were no central squares or bridges, the bodies were dragged through the streets for hours. The crowd, no matter how enraged, welcomes the camera--Paul Watson, a white Canadian journalist, moved unharmed with his through the angry mobs in Mogadishu on Oct. 4, 1993. The idea is to spread the image. Cameras guarantee the insult will be heard, seen and felt. The insult and fear are spread across continents.
The other message at a lynching isn't as obvious. It is also an appeal. It is a demonstration of potency designed to sway and embolden those who are sympathetic but fearful. It says, Look what we can get away with! Look what we can do! The sheer horror asserts the determination of the rebel faction, and underlines the seriousness of the choice it demands from its own community. It draws a line in the sand; it is a particularly graphic way of saying, You are either for us or against us. With the potential for further such atrocities afoot, critics of the rebels are frightened into silence and acquiescence.
It is a mistake to conclude that those committing such acts represent a majority of the community. Just"

I've had several very superficial posts today, so thought I'd throw in a pretty powerful political one. Read this whole thing by Mark Bowden, the author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. This is a powerful piece that expresses things much more strongly than I can.

Also, say a prayer that the military finds ways to deal with this weekend's events in Iraq without things spiraling out of control, and that maybe, just maybe, the media can shut up for once and let them do their job. (Wishful thinking, I know)

Caustic comments get girls a date: Women scorn each other at certain times of the month in fight for men. (via InstaPundit)

This is hilarious. - Thousands pay respects to dead whale in Vietnam - Apr 5, 2004: "Thousands of Vietnamese are making pilgrimages to a beach in southern Vietnam to worship a dead whale."

Well, that's a better response than this one. - Study: TV may cause attention deficit - Apr 5, 2004: "Researchers have found that every hour preschoolers watch television each day boosts their chances -- by about 10 percent -- of developing attention deficit problems later in life."

Chicken and the egg. Maybe the kids who have ADD are more likely to watch TV.

Also, I watched the Sopranos episode where AJ is almost diagnosed with ADD, and would like to renew my objection to the "disease"'s depiction as an epidemic.

A Little Comment About Commenting
I haven't yet discovered a way to block anonymous comments on this site, but from here on I am institutind a policy of deleting anonymous comments, no matter how profound. Please, if you're not willing to put your name to something, don't say it--I have little respect for such people.

Political Wire: Bush Leads In Colorado: "A new Rocky Mountain News poll shows President Bush leading Sen. John Kerry by 9 points in Colorado. 'But some of the nation's most respected pundits say the race here could be close, based in part on two other recent polls that show Kerry and Bush statistically tied in Colorado.'

'Few people put Colorado on their swing list until recently. After all, Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 200,000 votes in the state. No Democrat has won its electoral votes since Bill Clinton in 1992.'"

Bad news for someone over at Seditious Libel.

Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 4/5/2004

Let's hope someday we actually have that picture... the one in the third box, of course.

LILEKS (James) :: the Bleat

Cute column about Gnat today. - Rift between pre- and post-Sept. 11 perspectives will decide election

I'm not sure I ever thought I'd say this, but there's a great opinion piece in the YDN. Read it.

UPDATE [4/5/2004]: Keith Urbahn does a great running commentary for this piece.
I disagree with his assertion that Yassin is any different than al-Zawahri, but otherwise some good comments.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

CJR Campaign Desk: Archives (via OmbudsGod: "Turns out that while AP stories about Sen. John Kerry usually include a link to Kerry's or the Democratic National Committee's website at the bottom of the piece, stories about Bush's quest for reelection have lacked such a link. And stories that mention both candidates tend to include a link to Kerry's site, but not to Bush's."

Liberal media bias? What liberal media bias?
And if you don't believe it, follow the link above for a listing of the articles where they did this, between March 19 and March 28.

QandO: Blogs: The Last Line of Defense (via InstaPundit): "The blogosphere: just one more layer of editorial oversight."

I wrote a paper on this topic last semester. My professor asked us to propose a method for major newspapers to get together and force joint ethical practices and excellence in reporting. I sort of dodged the question and basically said it could never happen, and wasn't necessary because the blogosphere was rising up as a check on the media. I still believe it. - Woman killed while claiming police brutality - Apr 3, 2004: "MORVANT, Trinidad "

This is the most absurd headline I've ever seen. Here, I think it's important, it turns out it's in Trinidad. Weird of CNN. - Blast in Spain kills officer, 3 terrorism suspects - Apr 3, 2004: "A Spanish policeman was killed and 11 others injured when three suspected terrorists blew themselves up as police were closing in on them, Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes said."

It's not going to end. They capitulated, and it will never end. Unless you take the war to the terrorists, you will never defeat them. Until you eliminate those who would attack this way, more will rise the more you leave them alone. God bless the dead. God save the living who remain under that chickensh*t government.