Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hey, Newsweek

Friday, June 03, 2005

Seriously funny:

An attempt by two men from northern Minnesota to cross the Arctic Ocean to call attention to global warming ended this morning because of poor weather conditions.

Lonnie Dupre, 43, and Eric Larsen, 33, were forced to abandon their planned 100-day, 1,200-mile trek after encountering unexpectedly heavy snow storms, strong winds and unusual ice conditions, according to Jane Kochersperger, a media officer with the environmental group Greenpeace, which co-sponsored the trip.
I mean, come on. That's like something out of The Onion.

Who writes this crap?
From a, AP report:

Is Dave Chappelle back?

The AWOL comedian dropped in unannounced at two popular comedy clubs Thursday night, saying he had just arrived in Los Angeles and felt like performing, Daily Variety reported Friday.
AWOL, for those that may not be aware, is a military acronym for the term Absent WithOut Leave, or sometimes Absent Without Official Leave (via Wikipedia). I know they're just trying to be cute and grab people's attention, but AWOL is a very specific term that does not refer simply to someone that's been missing for a while. Chappelle did not need permission to take his spiritual journey, and therefore cannot be considered AWOL.

The AP (or CNN, whoever is responsible) needs to avoid misappropriating words to suit their needs.

Passive-aggressive robbery
An interesting piece from today's WSJ, via OpinionJournal.

Apparently Howard Dean said yesterday:

You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever and get home and still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well Republicans, I guess can do that. Because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.
That's an interesting theory. Now, I'm not going to make some wild claim that Dean's never made an honest living, as he was at one time a physician. Since 1986, however, he has been nothing but a professional politician. Should he really be condemning over 50% of the voting public in this country as having never held honest jobs?

What a dumb thing to say.

To say the least
This is upsetting.

And, unfortunately, a lot of the credit for this goes to my close friend Dan Weeks, who testified in Hartford several times on behalf of this legislation. Trust me, this whole thing makes me rather unhappy. When I get home, I will post some conclusions from a term paper I wrote on the subject last year.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

According to, Sunni Arabs are beginning to participate in the constitution writing in Iraq. This is due to a deliberate effort by the transitional Iraqi National Assembly.

Let's think about this. The Sunnis, many of whom boycotted the January elections because they recognized that they would not have a large enough representation in any elected government for their satisfaction, are now being sought out to participate in the writing of a new constitution. Let's put it another way: despite opting out of the process, the process is pulling the Sunnis in so that their voices may be heard as well in the formation of a new and permanent government. That is, the National Assembly is making an effort to protect minority rights, even to the extent that they are pursuing input from leaders who were not elected because they refused to participate.

Listen up, folks, this is real, democratic process, and it's happening through the efforts of Iraqis, not Americans. We're providing what protection on the ground we can, and they are sorting out how to get it done on their own. This is what it's all about. This is why we took Saddam out. These people will be free from oppression, and they will lead themselves in a democratic government with real legitimacy—they are making sure of it themselves.

It's simple, really
Political Wire sees a problem with the fact that the Republicans are supporting my congressman's reelection bid:

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) has publicly criticized his party�s leadership and was the first Republican to call on the GOP's majority leader to resign. Nonetheless, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) raised approximately $70,000 for Shays at a Greenwich fund-raiser yesterday, 'and called the 4th District congressman a key member of the GOP team,' the AP reports.

Shays said he invited Hastert to the fund-raiser to 'put to bed the criticism that a moderate, independent voice like mine means I don't have the support and respect of my own leadership.'
So, if Shays is so critical of the Party, why do they continue to support him?

There are a few things at play. First off, Shays is the only kind of Republican that can win in Connecticut: a moderate, small government conservative—no matter what the Shays-Meehan Bill (the Senate version was called McCain-Feingold) might imply. While the Democratic Party has shown in Rhode Island that it doesn't understand the idea that moderate Party members are better than moderate opposition, the Republicans still get that.

Furthermore, Diane Farrell (Shay's opponent in the most recent election) is a lunatic, whose only policy position is that our district shouldn't ever vote Republican. She attacks a Shays precisely because he's a member of the GOP—nevermind that on policy questions he often disagrees with the Party, all that matters is his affiliation. Before Farrell, the Dems in this district ran Stephanie Sanchez, who, I kid you not, used to be a registered Communist. In other words, this is correlated to the first point. Shays may not be an ideal Republican by national Party standards, but he's definitely an improvement over whomever might beat him.

Finally, he's not Olympia Snowe, et al. He's not wishy-washy, sometimes going some ways, sometimes going others. Though he was shaky on the Clinton impeachment, he does posess very strong convictions. He knows what he believes in, and he sticks to it pretty well.

Bascially, Political Wire is setting up a false premise that Shays' criticism of his party leadership means he can't be considered a loyal party member.

Phenomenal, just phenomenal
Read, just read.

Deep Throat a Hero?
Hardly, says Peggy Noonan in a nice, simple column. A hero, she points out, would have been brave. A hero would have come forward and blown the whistle—instead of lurking in the shadows to take down those he didn't like.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's touch and go
I had my first day of work today, and they made it pretty clear that personal use of computers in the office is frowned upon—not that big of a surprise. This means that I'm not going to push the limits by blogging at work, and any posts will have to be made in my hours at home. Sadly, this also may mean the end of RFTR. I'm going to try and keep it up, and I'm optimistic, but realism forces me to acknowledge that I may not be around much longer. Rest assured, however, that I will let you know if I have to give it up once and for all. Either way, I'll use this blog as a response to any major developments, and as national election years approach I'll probably be back with some renewed vigor. Please be patient, as I may manage to make it work. We'll have to wait and see.