Sunday, March 26, 2006


I regret that blogging is likely to be light to non-existent for a week, since I am called to deal with a family illness.

In the interim, cling as if your life depended on it to the following important concepts:

"9/11 looked like a controlled demolition to me."
This from a man so stupid he signed personal checks to pay for hookers.

"Christian Peacemaker" hostages held for the past four months in Iraq were freed through a well-planned cooperative rescue effort carried out by American, Canadian, and British forces. The three hostages (a fourth was murdered) were quick to celebrate their liberation by denouncing these multinational forces as "the root cause of the insecurity which led to htis kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq."

The hostage-freeing team may have been heard to reply "You're welcome," but were probably drowned out by the sound of the Iraqi Ambassador to Canada, who had this to say about Christian peacemakers:
[They] practice the kind of politics that automatically nominate them as dupes for jihadism and fascism.
The Ambassador also called the peace-ninnies "phoney pacifists...willfully ignorant.. outrageous."
But what does he know? He's far too close to the situation to be objective.

As I predicted here, the musical version of Lord of the Rings opened to mixed (at best) reviews, some of which were decidedly unkind. However, most people seem able to see past its flaws to its charms, so it may survive after all. Hard to tell at this point.

Displays a Sense
of Humor"
roars the headline from National Public Radio, an incredibly dessicated comment, which says a great deal more about NPR than about the pants-wettingly funny film that opened last Friday. Based on the Christopher Buckley novel of the same name, the movie's laughs are a little front-loaded-- you are cackling till your sides ache, non-stop for the first five to ten minutes, and never quite reach that fever-pitch again. But it's a delightful flick, skewering all types in all directions. A little raunchy, definitely for grown-ups, primarily because it's funny in a way that's over most kids' heads. Waste no time-- go see it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Pioneering Iraqi blogger Mohammed at Iraq the Model gives his thoughts on three years of war, with his customary natural poetry. [read it all]

He concludes:
The green bud looks weak and is buried in the dirt and surrounded by a tough shell but it will break through this covering, pierce the dirt and stand on its feet to announce a new era.We will not be defeated and orphans of the dark past will get what they deserve and our sacrifices and the sacrifices of those who stand with us shall not go in vain, our sacrifices will pave an easier road for those [who] want to follow us when they decide it's time for them to change.

And yes…Iraq will be the model.


We can't let these people down.

Monday, March 20, 2006

[See last item, previous post]

Use of the phrase "everything that has gone wrong in Iraq" is decidedly NOT the same thing as saying "everything in Iraq has gone wrong."

A Texan Crawford (as opposed to a Crawford Texan, the most famous of whom on his best day apparently doesn't know half of what is contained here) provides, in the Arthur Chrenkoff tradition, a dandy round-up of Good News from Iraq. (Thanks Bill Crawford, hat-tip NRO)

Read it and weep, John (Murtha, Kerry, take yer pick).

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Way behind on blogging (can we call t
his "blagging behind"?) due to ridiculously intensive preparation for teaching previously untried material on the Flemish Renaissance.

Top this, Michel[freaking]angelo!--


Went to see Beowulf and Grendel. I'm not familiar enough with the poem anymore to say whether this was tribute or travesty, but we really liked it.
The Icelandic landscape is absolutely breathtaking-- various in form, always both majestic and brutal. We found it a tale well-told, as only non-Hollywood film-makers could tell it. I have no doubt that some portion of purists will despise it. Well, goodie for them.

One outstandingly bad element was the token Canadian actress (this is a U.K./Iceland/Canadian-taxpayer-funded production) playing a witch with dyed dreadlocks and an otherwise vogue face with pink lipstick, which perfectly complemented her irritatingly flat accent. Even within Canada, Sarah Polley is pretty-much B-list (maybe even C), remembered most for her childhood TV role in the somewhat corny but cute "Chronicles of Avonlea," and seems a desparate choice to have cast in the film when there is a plethora of much better underemployed actresses floating around. (I could have found them a couple of Ryerson Theatre School grads of my acquaintance-- April Mullen and Chelsea O'Connor, call your agents.)

Anyway, it's the (roaring/whacking/pissing/
baptizing/bardic) sleeper hit of the season. You could have nightmares just from the waves hitting the beach.


Just me and some Iranian Communists –
hangin’ out on str
eet corners
March 11, Stand Up For Denmark rally, Toronto

The crowd has been estimated at up to 150—it was certainly no more than that. We were overwhelmingly middle-aged, but the young were really young, like the two organizers, Nav Purewal and Daniel Dale, who looked about 20.

We had an Iranian communist on the bull-horn,
passionately reciting the sufferings of his countrymen under an Islamic theocracy, followed by a young Hindu cataloguing the ongoing (for YEARS) massacres of his co-religionists by Indian Muslims, which continue to go unremarked in the Western press. Behind us on the steps, taking pictures, was a 60-ish man who was plainly too shy to take the microphone, but muttered an undercurrent of what had been done to him and his family in his Islamic homeland.

The secularists, the humorists, the true internationalists (those who support the anti-terrorist war, not those who jibber/blubber about paying fealty’n’homage to the UN), were gathered together in the shadow of a concrete curtain-wall of office buildings (holding back the tidal wave of crass modernity that looms threateningly over the corner Church of the Redeemer -- nothing has spared it from the tide of crass modernity which has devoured the Anglican communion from within, however!—but I digress…) within which is tucked the Danish Consulate. The day was perfect, bright and sunny with a hint of crispness in the air appropriately akin to that mini-snap heard when you break a Danish flatbread. (Truly the most tortured simile of my entire writing life. Ha-ha! I kill me!)

Met some nice people, with a willingness to strike up conversation, somewhat uncharacteristic of Torontonians as a whole (or so one of my seminary students has observed, previously a lifelong resident of wee Brantford). All in all, a good day—no low-grade insults, ranting, or hatemongering, just wise words from bitter experience, and the satisfaction of saying what needs saying. (That's me quoting Shakespeare on the right.)

Amusing, predictable sidelight, as quoted in Now Magazine:

Toronto Coalition to Stop the War member James Clark , on the other hand, wonders if those behind the Toronto Supports Denmark rally aren't trying "to use the cover of freedom of speech to spread intolerance, [which] undermines the freedom of speech of everyone."
Ow, ooch, don't hurt yourself dude, bending and twisting so far over to arrive at your pre-determined conclusion.

Some Cuban human rights advocates came forward to speak, and provided an interesting footnote as the event wound down, inviting one and all to another rally-- but they were not too adept with the bullhorn, so the details didn't come across. However, I saw their small group on the following Saturday, in front of a building quite close to my home. Had I but known! As it was, I could only honk the horn as I passed and give them thumbs up, which seemed to excite them no end. Have to keep an eye on developments from them.

The reported overthrow of the American government, originally s
cheduled for March 15, has apparently been moved back to tomorrow, March 20. Guess the kids were on spring break and couldn't tear themselves away from Myrtle Beach and Aruba long enough to get it together. We await with bated breath the first intiatives of the Amnesty International platform on Tuesday morning. Should be heaps of unusable ploughshares available on e-bay by week's end.

Department of You can't make this stuff up:
Quoting from a report on the well-attended anti-war march in Los Angeles yesterday:

A middle-aged woman carrying a picket sign for the demonstration said this was the first time she had ever gotten politically involved. She explained that she used to be one of those many who never questioned the government and couldn’t understand why people in other countries hated America. She said this was not her government, asking how America could be attacking a poor country like Iraq. After living 15 years in France, she returned to California to find the social conditions here absolutely appalling.
That's fifteen years in FWANCE, my fwiends. Their meat may be cooked to a delicate medium rare, but their grandparents get cooked well-done in the long hot summer. (Scroll down and see Speaking of myths, below)


This past week there was much ado about a massive air a
ssault (Operation Swarmer) conducted in Iraq, based on intelligence gathered and plans formulated by the Iraqi army. Not sure what to make of this. I have a feeling it Is pretty much an exercise in political theatre, but if so I don't have too great an argument with it.

A couple thousand Iraqis participated in a ser
ious, professional military manoevre where they performed everything they have learned, under pressure, ferried in by the most powerful military machine with the hottest equipment in human history, and they did so in the interest of bringing order to their own society. Now they'll all go home and tell many more thousand Iraqis how it all went down-- how well they did, how responsible they were, and most importantly how it feels to work as a team-- something which, according to knowledgeable people, could be a whole new concept within their culture.

It is unclear whether any significant military objectives, of the conventional kind, have been achieved by the raids (weapons caches have been found, and about 80 possible bad guys picked up), but that may never have been the point. If the point was to test the previously unte
sted, and instill in them the pride and cohesiveness necessary for their long-term success, I suspect the campaign will prove a signal accomplishment.

The best eggs in one basket: JEWISH WORLD REVIEW
Every single day (amazingly) Jewish World Review will send you, for the asking, a round-up of the best current events commentators in the business (as well as the best cartoons, and a bunch of other stuff I'm too busy to allow myself to read). The mix of writers and points of view is different from day to day (only on rare occasions is the selection predominantly Jewish, despite the site name). Some days there's an overriding theme, usually dictated by events, but more often there's a wide spectrum of subjects that have piqued the commentators.

The March 16 issue featured a couple of juicy tidbits, the
most sizzling touching on one of my favorite recent themes, "Mr. President, I can't take it anymore, you are such a damned DOOFUS." In more serious tones,Victor Davis Hansen, eminent classical historian, sticks it to an administration whose insistence on operating from a distant Olympus screwed up the Dubai ports deal beyond saving, despite the veracity of its conviction that the deal would be advantageous in a host of different ways (the LEAST important of which was financial). Actually, Hansen pretty much sticks it to EVERYBODY-- both major parties, the press, and the American public, all of whom are equally guilty of complacent ignorance about how the practical world works, even within the homeland. It's a concise and much-merited equal-opportunity spanking. Enjoy.

[BTW, JWR exists on donations -- those who benefit from the daily email should contribute.]

In the same Jewish World Review issue, Max Boot, foreign relations expert and prominent author on the U.S. Marine Corps required reading
list (betcha didn't know they had one), gives Way-Lefty Actor/ivist George Clooney the worst possible spanking by awarding him the statuette for "Best Supporting Neo-con." Boot demonstrates, rather handily, how the themes of some of Clooney's better film work score big geo-political points any neo-con would endorse. Neo-con movie of choice?: Three Kings, or How I Learned To Stop Abandoning The Iraqis And Embrace Regime Change. Check it out.

SPEAKING OF OSCARS, seems we had another (much less pivotal) Nixon-Kennedy Debate media moment regarding Jon Stewart's performance as emcee. Those of us who didn't watch the award broadcast but only read the text of the opening monologue had a much different view of the proceedings than those in the audience (live or TV). On paper, Stewart's material was hilarious, or at least wickedly funny. But the audience impression was that he bombed, because liberal Hollywood could not manage to have a sense of humor about itself when he repeatedly poked truth-based fun at its predominant ethos. (I believe that's the dictionary definition of satire.)

From what I've read, most of the attendees went glum and sat on their hands because Stewart dared to associate them with terminal self-importance and the Democratic Party, and dared to hint that the movie business has some Jews in it (gasp). IMHO, Stewart did great work-- which is why he'll never eat lunch in that town again.

P.S.: I heard, and I think it's true, that Chronicles of Narnia has made more money than all five Oscar Best Pic nominees COMBINED. Wish someone would 'splain to me how Tilda Swinton managed to escape nomination for Best Supporting White Witch-- she scared the bejeebers out of me, so evil she could make a thousand Orcs wet themselves with one withering look.

The March issue of that raving racist heartless extremist right-wing media rag, POPULAR MECHANICS, [!] carried a fascinating article on "Debunking Katrina Myths-- What really happened, what to do next time" (and there will be a next time). [full PM Katrina archive here]

Covers almost everything on offer as an indictment of the evil feds, and pretty much demolishes the notion that the Bush administration deserves the lion's share of blame for everything that went wrong-- noting that a lot of what people believe went wrong actually went right. Why aren't these Mechanics more Popular?!

I bet they wouldn't be so popular in France were they to do an analysis of how FIFTEEN THOUSAND PEOPLE died in the heatwave of 2003. (Where was the tsunami of Hollywood hand-wringing then?) Not to mention (and how dare we) an audit of the 1995 heatwave in which ONE THOUSAND CHICAGOANS died WHILE A DEMOCRAT WAS PRESIDENT! (hat-tip, the Galvin Opinion) Unthinkable! Impossible! FEMA was PERFECT back then! (Hillary said so.) We had a fully-functioning Federal Department of Emergency COMPASSION back then! There's only one possible explanation!-- I guess nobody in Hollywood gave a flying fig-newton what happened to poor black people when Clinton was the first black president. Because he CARED-- and that's all that mattered.

BTW, that bit above about Popular Mechanics being a "right-wing rag" was intended to amuse for its total absurdity, but I have since discovered that there are those who believe it is precisely that, because it's published by Hearst Communications! Orson Welles, call your agent.

After due consideration (and a commission or two) the Bush administration, under the guidance of our Delegator-in-Chief, decided to claim error about Iraqi WMD, and to embrace the weenie fall-back position that they "never SAID Saddam had anything to do with September 11."

Now, at long last, the White House has finally gotten around to arranging for (by pleading where they should have compelled) the public release of millions (yes, millions) of documents seized in the course of the invasions of Afgahanistan and Iraq, many of which are likely to demonstrate that the original suspicions about WMD were substantially true, and that Saddam and Al Qaeda were thick as thieves (Saddam being a generous facilitator of, and therefore accessory to, any and all Al Qaeda undertakings including September 11). Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard has been documenting all this as best he could for YEARS, even while agitating for the release of the rest of the files.

It has been unspeakably painful to watch the administration at first maintain pointless silence in the face of a flood of criticisms and slanders on these issues, instead of answering back with the known facts, such as they were-- and then finally respond by caving in with the concession that they must have been mistaken, when there is a barrow-load of evidence to the contrary.

Why, for instance, did they never draw anyone's attention to the massive April 2004 chemical weapon attack thwarted in Jordan, the only possible explanation for which was transport of Iraqi WMD into Syria (observed at the time by satellite, and now claimed by former Hussein regime officials)? Does no one in the Big House do their homework? Stupid question. (Nine men were sentenced to death for this plot last month, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. This is one of the most heinously under-reported stories in western media.)

Republicans are now begging the administration to do a Vincent Van Gogh: "If you love me, cut off your ear." That is, the astonishingly tin ear this administration has about public perceptions and the persuasive power of facts-- not to mention good old American common sense, which is certainly not infallible (heh!) but does sometimes serve us well.

Common sense dictates that NSA wiretaps on international conversations reasonably suspected to involve Al Qaeda are a GOOD THING, and that the thoroughly unqualified Harriet Miers on the U.S. Supreme Court is a BAD THING. In the absence of the kind of specialized information which could sort out the role of port facility management, common sense told people that the Dubai ports deal smelled bad. This was perfectly justified skepticism, despite not being grounded in an explicit understanding of the facts.

The deal should have been tastefully scuttled at the earliest possible stage, back when the savvy businessmen of Dubai would likely have understood the "optics" problem and cheerfully agreed to back off the American portion of the purchase (which is a small part of the total operation). The administration's grandiose bungle was in failing to recognize this until so late in the process that the only possible political solution involved humiliating the Dubai-guys, in a wave of what looked like rank racism. And theirs has not been an Arab-machismo type humiliation, either-- the kind that gets young Muslim girls murdered for an ill-considered glance or conversation. In this case it's largely a professional humiliation, an offense to personal dignity of the "no-Irish-need-apply, no-pushy-little-Jews-in-our-club" sort.

Typically, the Democrats tried to sieze the ports issue to look like they were being stronger on national security than the administration-- Democrats who appear to have had no idea that a substantial proportion of American ports, plus the Panama canal, are now managed by the Chinese government-- Democrats who didn't know the difference between a cargo "manifest" and the "manifold" that makes your car go. (Chuck Schumer, to name names.)

Those in the know about the running of ports and 21st-century trade routes now say that the United States and the world in general may be substantially LESS SAFE than they would have been if the deal had gone through, and perhaps even less safe than we were before it was ever proposed. Peeving off the Dudes of Dubai could make them less co-operative about intelligence sharing than they have been hitherto-- whereas opening American port management to them might have given us access to more security information and a hand in inspection processes within Dubai Ports World's far-reaching global management purview.

Nice going, everybody.

I was totally befuddled as to what to think of the deal when I first heard about it-- in one ear was my mother (most often a barometer for dubious positions in desperate need of "nuance") saying, basically, all Arabs look alike to me; and in my other ear is Jimmy Carter (a barometer for positions to be dismissed out of hand as childish, spiteful, and dumber than dirt) saying it's a good deal, go for it. Somewhere in the middle was Charles Krauthammer (one of my oracles) saying this thing is questionable and ill-considered at best, and politically doomed. HELP! Krauthammer probably had a few things wrong in his assessment of the dangers, but he was spot-on about the doom.

Who says we don't learn anything from experience? Gerry Adams was back in the U.S. and hoisting Guinness (or something) at the White House on St. Paddy's Day, even though his name still turns up on the odd terrorist watch list (he missed his connection to Buffalo when detained at Reagan International Airport on his way out of town, where his luggage, if not the man himself, got the old anal probe). Adams' nosh companions at the D.C. reception were a few women who believe their brothers to have been murdered by the IRA-- awkward? I hope so.

Meanwhile the junior senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Broadbottom, joined the Arizona chameleon, Sen. John McCain, in a pander-fest to aid the FIFTY THOUSAND illegal IRISH aliens now in the United States, in their quest for the (appropriately seductive) Green Card. Now as someone whose forebears arrived Stateside from Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840's and got into the United States the old fashioned way-- shipping over in fetid steerage holds and standing in line to be poked, prodded, and pronounced legal-- let me say a hearty "sod off, eejits!" to those who now wish to jump the queue because they find the Emerald Isle, grown fat with the goods of the EU to which they sold out their independence for a mess of secularist pottage, no longer brassy and sassy enough for them. Jaysus, boyos-- think about it-- soggy Fr. Jack's mantra: "Drink, arse, feck!" Hillary?!

SPEAKING OF JOHN MCCAIN & common sense (or is that straight talk?)
He was my guy in the 2000 election primaries, and, like him, I've been all over the map in the interim, wondering if that was really such a good idea. I now think that the gas in his engine is predominantly self-interest, and I don't much trust him-- but there are days when the Delegator-in-Chief makes me wish for somebody in charge with just a soupçon of McCain's ruthless political instinct, instead of faith in the Rapture.

But the thing McCain and I will always agree on is that there has been one key factor in everything that has gone wrong in Iraq: the big fat hole where 30 to 50 thousand additional troops should have been. And still should be.

Notwithstanding the scoffing historical revisionism of the left, we WERE, in fact, welcomed as liberators. But blink and you missed it. What we lost in those four days of looting, April 2003 [primarily the confidence and good will of a hopeful Iraqi people, who reasonably expected that the fearsome American military machine would easily impose order on their Hussein-raped nation] we haven't entirely made up for since. That's my talking-points memo, and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye

This Saturday Toronto finally takes its place in the network of cities where a gaggle of concerned citizens has decided to demonstrate solidarity with Denmark in its Time of trial as the Islamist world’s punching bag.

I plan to be there, though I expect the crowd will be light. Canada has proudly marched at the forefront of legally enshrined thought control (hate crimes, “human rights” star-chamber tribunals, and other modes of enforced political correctness), not to the shrill cadence of fearsome tyrants but willingly under democratically-elected, majority-endorsed public policy.

Despite the recent political right-turn which brought a minority Conservative government, I would still be surprised to see a large public outpouring of sympathy for a nation being threatened and persecuted for its citizens’ exercise of free speech through a free press— supposedly “dat’s da Canadian value” (in Chrétien-speak), but it is honoured on the lips, not really written on the heart. Nevertheless, I’ll be there, with cheese. (Danish Consulate, 151 Bloor Street West, Saturday March 11, 12-1:30 p.m.)


It was bright and brisk in North Carolina last weekend, visiting Mr. and Mrs. Lieutenant in the newlywed nest (so CUTE!). We got the GWOT “anal probe” at the gates of Marine Air Station New River, but found our way out to the squadron hangar and got a close-up view of the Big Birdy.

Also got to poke around inside the simulator unit and got to see where he’ll sit and push the buttons.
Mom, Dad, can I use the rotors tonight?



"Iraq at war with itself” trumpets the cover of this week’s Economist, Britain’s high-class world-events [especially-as-concerns-money] journal.

The New York Times weighed in on a similar note on Feb 24 with:
“More Clashes Shake Iraq; Political Talks Are in Ruins”

Except when they’re not.

As Mickey Kaus points out at The Times was seen munching silently on its own words by March 2 when the political talks were clearly back on, full throttle: "Iraqi Parties Want Jaafari Out of Prime Minister Race."

Civil war in Iraq -- if you blinked, you missed it.

>>NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS, so to get bad news we have to massage it a little

USA Today headline: "8,000 Desert During Iraq War

The story underneath it: “The U.S. military's desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001"

The rest of the piece gives stats on desertion numbers in all branches of the service over the years since September 11, 2001 [slightly off, I think, since the numbers don’t appear to include the U.S. Coast Guard], showing total desertions for 2005 at .24% of all U.S. forces. This they compare with a peak year of the Vietnam war, when in 1971 3.4% of the Army alone deserted (at a time when the draft was still in operation and the full active duty force was 2.7 million, nearly double what it is today).

Another small factoid buried under the flaming headline: today most deserters return within months, without coercion.

Apropos of nothing, total American military, both sides, who participated in the American Civil War (War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, the Late Unpleasantness— depending on whether you live in Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas, whatever…): 3,213,000.

Random factoid #2: Google “US military statistics" and the first three “new results” listed are:

1) "Full text of Human Rights Record of the US in 2005" (from the China Daily)

2) "Military families stay strong after Afghan attacks, but can’t help…" (from the Calgary Sun)

3) "Blacks spurn military service" (from CBS news)

Yeah—thanks, Google, that’s exactly what I would consider helpful information when I search "US military statistics". But let's not get mad— Google’s just the messenger— right?

>>OSCAR, the grouch

I didn’t watch the Oscars (tuned in for just a moment and happened to catch the performance of the winning song—then retired to my meditation room to contemplate the plight of the stressed-out pimp), and haven’t seen any of the five nominated films yet (if ever—maybe via Blockbuster, in a month or so when they’ve all done their final tank at the box office).

Little Green Footballs offers two interesting takes on Hollywood’s 2006 version of itself, as opposed to the way it used to was once upon a time: the first from a reader who catalogues the great stars (and I mean GREAT STARS) who left their comfortable armchairs to serve in World War II (18 men who earned 70 decorations); and the other from Ben Stein on the true measure of Hollywood’s “out-of-touchness” and bogus claims to courage.


>>I couldn’t help but enjoy this massive culinary metaphor from Ron Black of Junction City, Oregon (my old home state, buzzing hive of lefty moonbats)

After having been force-fed a steady diet of terrorist teriyaki in 2004, fearful Americans re-enthroned a delusional White House chef de cuisine who believes that he has a divine mandate to jam his recipe for theocracy down the nation's throat.

Consequently, a five-star evangelical eatery has its tables set for a battle between Planned Parenthood and the state of South Dakota. This fundamentalist food court is called Chez Scalitomas. And anti-choice members of its staff are now preparing the Lord's supper at One First Street NE in Washington, D.C.

Voters asked for this born-again carte du jour. Now the meal they ordered from it is about to be served. Bon appetit!

>>Will Rogers observed that
it isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that aren't true, English ex-pat John Derbyshire reminds us at National Review Online.

He’s been an Iraq war skeptic pretty much all along, and now finds himself in exalted neo-con/isolationistic company with William F. Buckley and George Will. He puts forward the following for our consideration, not without merit:

If your judgments about human beings and human affairs are grounded in false propositions about human nature, no amount of knowledge will rescue you from folly.I do believe that over the past generation or so, we in the West have sunk into some seriously false beliefs about human nature. This is perhaps truer in the USA than elsewhere in the West. Our national fondness for high-flown rhetoric about liberty, rights, and the brotherhood of Man, which we have inherited from our Founding Fathers, and which we have been applying with special diligence to our domestic affairs since the 1960s, has worked on us like a spell, enchanting us into folly. It has left us blind to some of the coarser, meatier realities of human nature, to the passions stirred by family, tribe, faith, race, and charisma, by the contemplation of imagined honor, glory, and transcendence… If "all human beings desire liberty," how is it that unfree societies ever arise and persist? … If "all human beings desire good government," why do the people of Washington DC keep electing Marion Barry?

>>Michael Graham gives President Bush a sound caning (the gentlemanly form of ass-woop) at Jewish World Review, and I have to admit I share his frustration. He begins by quoting Michael Moore’s infamous Oscar diatribe about the “fictional” aspects of the current administration, and is prepared to grant fictional status to the War on Terror —basically because we can’t really be at war when we’re giving Talibastards scholarships to Yale, or cheering the sale of port facilities to entities which were selling us out until about an hour ago, even as our sniveling State Department knees our Danish allies right in the frugtbollers.

>>If you aren’t into the latest eyeball chewing-gum from Hollywood,, switch over to AL-JAZEERA! -- and watch psychologist Wafa Sultan eating her interlocutor for lunch. She’s tougher (and vastly more important) than Simon Cowell.

Her theme: There Is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century

Now I never like to hear the Middle Ages disparaged—they had more greatness than flaws, in my view, and merit careful treatment— but Islamist mental paralysis takes a brilliant pounding at Ms. Sultan’s hands, and it’s gratifying to know that she was heard over the Arabic airwaves. Read or watch. (hat-tip to Middle East Media Research Institute and

Seen on a T-shirt at Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
"Keep drinking till Nagin makes sense"

Hizzoner in the Fat Tuesday parade

Blackfive calls him: Commanding General of Stuck on Stupid

>>I've been a little worried about how one of the first projects I contributed to through Spirit of America was faring, a women’s centre in Fallujah.I bought them a sewing machine a couple of years ago and have often wondered whether it had been flattened by artillery in the interim.

However, it looks like the place is still in working order, and is now in need of computers for further job-training for women.

Other projects are still thriving, including those carried out in Tal Afar, Nineveh, in aid of elementary education and Iraqi troop training—projects administered by the Army, contributing to the goodwill recently highlighted when the Mayor of Tal Afar wrote a letter of thanks “To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.”

Didn’t hear about that letter? Funny—it was available to all the mainstream press weeks ago.

Anyhoo, nice to know my sewing machine is still chugging away in Fallujah, despite all the battering and chaos that city has known from time to time.

Similar Corporal Works of Mercy are now accessible online.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Going out of town for the weekend to visit Mr. and Mrs. Lieutenant in North Carolina (Camp Lejune, or thereabouts). Shall report back on Monday with news of the world.

Oh yeah-- there's a coup d'état scheduled for March 15. (Mark your calendars.) Some politically-motivated kiddles called Political Cooperative, a flea on the body of United for Peace and Justice, are planning to "Storm the White House" and are looking for volunteers to help overthrow the government. To "stop genocide, torture, and occupation"-- except occupation of the White House, of course.


Oh, and they'll be installing an interim government when they've ousted Bush and Company-- made up of upright citizens from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch-- because, of course, in a free country everyone is free to impose a benevolent ruling junta on people who aren't smart enough to know what they want or what's good for them or how to look after themselves. Apparently Michael Moore is totally onside.

Did anyone ask the American voter if he/she would mind a small change of government on March 15? Significantly, no. Does it matter to United for Peace? No. Because they believe in freedom-- theirs, and no one else's. L'état, c'est moi. The French did it first, and did it best-- Reign of Terror scheduled for St. Patrick's Day.