Wednesday, August 27, 2003Aggh
I couldn't get to sleep last night. On top of that, my headache is much worse than normal today. There may be some posting this evening, but I'm not making any promises.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003Sorry for the light posting today
Are we willing?
Irwin Stelzer thinks he knows how to fix the electric grid:
We will never eliminate the possibility of human error or equipment failure. But we can reduce both the frequency of such events and their consequences. All we have to do is surrender some due process protections, replace local with federal control of where transmission towers and lines may be sited, and add several billions to our electric bills.
I really don't know what to say to this.
Our Airline Screening is Still a Joke
That's the basic gist of this column by Rachel Ehrenfeld. Here's one of her illustrations:
Unfortunately, this joke isn't very funny.
Monday, August 25, 2003After you
When I heard about Lugar's idea to dispatch troops to control the violence in Israel, my initial thought was, "Why not just get out of the Israeli's way?" But before I even got a chance to post my thoughts, John Hawkins posted pretty much what I was thinking.
Well, this is good news
Lucent has just won a big contract to restore phone service in Baghdad. I hope they hurry. Our goal is to create a modern democratic country in Iraq. If that's going to happen, the Iraqis are going to have to have a modern communications network.
What a shock
Fidel Castro isn't very happy with us. (Still.) At the moment, he's concerned with the U.S. governments television and radio broadcasts directed at his country.
He says we're trying to "impose [our] political views" by putting them broadcasting them on television? This must be some new definition of the word "impose" that I was not previously aware of.
Of course, redefining twisted redefinitions of words is one of the hallmarks of a communist government.
Let's just ignore the law!
Bryan Preston has the scoop.
Oh happy-happy joy-joy
There's good news, and there's bad news. The good news is we may know where Iraq's WMDs are. That's also the bad news.
Isn't that lovely? Now here's the part that really hacks me off:
U.S. intelligence first identified a stream of tractor-trailer trucks moving from Iraq to Syria to Lebaon in January 2003. The significance of this sighting did not register on the CIA at the time. (Emphasis added.)
EXCUSE ME!!! How could they not have thought of this at the time? How did that happen? Wouldn't you think that would be the obvious conclusion?
What on earth is wrong with these people?
Until science marches on
In the hope that DNA research will eventually reach the point that they can be properly identified, all the unidentified remains are going to be placed in Ground Zero memorial.
I don't know if this is a good idea or not. On the one hand, preserving the remains gives the hope of more complete closure at some point in the future, but on the other this seems like an awfully morbid move. I just don't know.
Even Moore Trouble
Another day, another lawsuit.
People, people, please stop now. It's time to end this while everyone still has some semblance of dignity left. Check that, it's too late for that. Regardless, the issues been decided. It's time to stop beating a dead horse.
Jared at Exultate Justi has some thoughts on Justice Moore worth reading. Here's his conclusion:
The Bad Guys
John Hawkins has posted his questionaire results on the 20 worst figures of the 20th Century.
When I saw the list, I realized that I had forgotten to vote for the Rosenbergs. Also, I chose not to vote for bin Laden because while he is a horrible man, he was really only small time during the 20th Century.
Waste of time
I've heard several people say that those fighting to keep the 10 Commandments monument in that Alabama courthouse are fighting the wrong battle and wasting resourcs. (I've even said it myself.) Now, John Derbyshire argues that liberals have also chosen the wrong battle.
Only this time Ledeen isn't talking about Iran. This time he's calling for American spy masters and diplomats to open their eyes faster. Like, before it's too late.
Reading Ledeen isn't likely to make an optimist out of you.
The Devil Made Me Do It
That's just one of many misconceptions people have about Satan. Satan tempts us, but he can't actually force us to sin. David Heddle has a very interesting essay about angels and Satan in which he addresses many misconceptions.
One of the things he points out is that while man has most often portrayed Satan as being in a battle with God for our souls, that this is not accurate. The truth, Heddle says, is that Satan wants to diminish God's glory. He doesn't really care about our souls per se; our souls are just the means Satan uses to attack God's glory.
I think this is an important point, but it's not one I'd really thought about before. It did get me thinking though. What, I wonder, makes us believe that Satan is after us when the truth is that Satan only cares about us in as much as our souls are a means of attacking God's glory? Is it possible that this misconception is part of a subtle attack by Satan against God's glory? Is he puffing us up? Is he trying to convince us that we are more important than we really are? Is this pride in our own importance something we've done all on our own, or is it just one more avenue of attack by Satan?
I don't know, but it's something worth considering.
Sunday, August 24, 2003What could 50 governors possibly agree on?
Police Academy XXXII
Well, not quite, but the New York Times is reporting that the US government is setting up a police academy for Iraqi recruits in Hungary. It's probably a good idea.
I did notice one thing about this story. It's the next to last sentence:
[sarcasm]And I thought the primary difference between "Big Media" and blogs was the editing staff.[/sarcasm]
An autistic boy died during a prayer service. I just have no way of knowing what to make of this.
Wanna be mad?
This column might do it.
Moore trouble in Alabama
For those who are both politically and religiously conservative, the brouhaha in Alabama is likely to produce a variety of conflicting emotions. David Limbaugh seems to have navigated the various danger pretty well. His conclusion is worth repeating:
Jack Rich has this to say to the people of Virginia:
1The use of the phrase "Indeed" should not be construed to mean that I am taking sides in the Blog War.TM
You know what makes me mad?
Finding a story like this on Google News. How intelligent do you have to be to know that a web site called "Jihad Unspun" isn't a legitimate news outlet?
Now here's something that warms the heart
I just found a story about baptisms in Iraq.
I hadn't thought of this
Here's a story about how modern forensic science is causing some problems for Iraqis.
I'm a little unhappy
As you've probably noticed, I've put up the news box from the GeorgeWBush.com site. I've got to say that I'm a little unhappy with it at the moment. The current top headline says, "Oregon supports President Bush." However, if you follow the link, you find a speech by President Bush in Oregon. He does thank people for their fundraising support and mentions record-breaking numbers. He also thanks a lot of people for their support. However, I don't find anything that supports the statement made in the headline.
When I saw the link, I assumed I was going to see poll numbers or some other kind of evidence that a majority of people in Oregon supported President Bush's re-election. I found nothing of the kind. I'm very annoyed at the moment. If this keeps up, I may have to take it back down.
Update - I should note that I've received an e-mail from the web site addressing this issue. I think they're taking care of things adequately for the moment. In retrospect I realize that this post was probably a bit of an over-reaction. I have no current plans to drop the news feed.
Oh, those missing stories
Dale Amon reminds us of some terrorism related stories that seemed to have slipped through the cracks.
It's a sad day for baseball
So not enough people voting in your elections? What should you do? Let non-citizens vote of course! His Royal Imperial Highness has the goods.
Saturday, August 23, 2003I never have understood this
Well someone please tell me why so much of the world accepts as an article of faith that it's the US's responsibility to end the warfare in Israel.
And now, a word from someone on the ground
I'm always worried when I click on a Guardian link, but this article by Latif Rashid, an Iraqi Kurd, seems quite reasonable.
Oh, isnt' that sweet?
More on Equal Time
If you're looking for a more detailed look at how the Equal Time rules affect the Florida election, I think you'll find this Michael Dorf column worthwhile.
But of course
Just say no
... to appeasement. Here's a slightly humorous, but very pointed post on that subject by Bjørn Stærk.
Jack Rich has an interesting look at Just War theory as it relates to nuclear weapons. He concludes that under some circumstances, the US would be justified to use nuclear devices against terrorists.
The Rumsfeld Strangler
Frank J has put out what is probably his best "In My World" yet.
Sometimes you've just got to laugh
You've got to watch this.
Sense in our time
I'd have trouble arguing with this letter to the editor.
Another great idea
As if the "peace process" wasn't in enough trouble, we now have this:
Yeah, that will help.
The advantages of being hated
David Carr has a great piece about Bush taking advantage of being hated.
I'm not going to pull any quotes because it's all good. I suggest you read Carr's piece before reading the rest of this post.
If I understand Carr's premise, he's basically saying, "Hey, they already think you're Satan. You might as well do what you want to do. I think it's a great point.
For as long as I can remember, conservatives have been afraid to say and do what they really think. The reason for this seemed to be that they wanted everyone to think they were nice and kissed puppies. Therefore, every time a liberal accuses a conservative of doing anything mean, rude, or insensitive, the conservative drops everything and panders like crazy to try to convince the liberal that he's really a nice guy.
One of the many flaws with this approach is that history shows that you'll never be able to convince a liberal that you're a nice guy. Most modern liberals only know two sins: insensitivity and conservatism.
If you plan on being a conservative in America, you just need to get used to the fact that a certain percentage of the population believes you're Satan. The only way to change that is to abandon your beliefs and adopt theirs. There is nothing you can do to change this.
Consequently, you might as well do what you think is right and ignore the people who want to burn you in effigy. (And especially those who would prefer to leave "in effigy" out of that sentence.) It probably won't change anything. It really doesn't matter if the people who think you're Satan decide you're really Satan-squared. Those who don't think you're Satan are going to make their decision based on whether or not they think you did the right thing. The best way to please those people is to do what you believe is the right thing.
Just Say NO!
... to equal time. So says Martin Devon. He's upset that CBS cut a parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger from Craig Kilborn's show.
I've always found the equal time law to be morally and legally dubious. I wouldn't shed any tears if it was struck down.
That must have been a shock
Imagine being in a Texas hospital recovering from surgery, only to find out that you're also apparently being held hostage in Iraq.
And how would we even notice
That was my Dad's response to this headline:
Yeah, I'd say it's on hold. It's been on hold since about 1993. As soon as the PA was given the responsibility to prevent terrorists, they've taken a, "We'll get around to it someday," approach.
Palestinian officials say they have put on hold plans to crack down on militants after Israeli forces killed a Hamas leader in response to a suicide bombing in Jerusalem earlier this week.
Funny, I would think it would be easier, not harder, to disarm people Hamas now. I mean it's not like they're going to sweet-talk them out of their guns. If you're going to have to take their weapons by force anyway, while they're distracted would be a good time.
Of course, if you actually have no plans to disarm them, this is as good an excuse as any.
Friday, August 22, 2003The mysteries of rank
Sgt. Mom has an entertaining essay on the wonders of the hidden rank.
The mysteries of rank
Sgt. Mom has an entertaining essay on the wonders of the hidden rank.
Glad we got that out of the way
For those of you waiting breathless to find out what The New York Times has to say about the California recall, Martin Devon has a roundup. Since I don't live in California and don't much care what people at the Times have to say, Martin's summary is good enough for me.
Waste of Resources
If I'm reading Josh Claybourn correctly, that's what he thinks the 10 Commandments monument battle is.
I think he's right about that. Getting in people's faces and yelling is rarely an effective way of convincing them to see your point of view.
Thursday, August 21, 2003And the award for understatement of the week ...
That was polite.
Angela Phelps has an excellent article on the price of freedom.
Can't touch this
Yeah, that may have been part of the problem
Perhaps the UN should be more careful about who they hire.
Of course, I'm sure it's still America's fault.
Here we go again
I think the road map is getting torn to shreds:
I know what we'd do if terrorist fired rockets at American houses. I don't know why we continue to restrain the Israelis.
After arresting numerous dissidents over the last few months, Casto's government now claims that one of the few remaining dissident leaders is actually a government spy.
I really don't know enough about any of this to comment intelligently. However, I will say that this seems a little suspicious. After all, if you had an effective undercover operative in place, why suddenly expose him? Of course, I don't know for sure, but it does seem a little odd.
Oh, this is a good plan
Yeah, this ought to work:
At this rate, why don't we just skip the middleman and fund the bombing ourselves.
Ok, maybe that was overly snarky. But seriously, anyone who still, at this late date, believes that Arafat has any desire to stop the violence has some pretty serious delusions.
I found this at Right Wing News:
Sorry, but you'll have to follow the link to find out what's that ridiculous.
Jury of One's Peers
Eugene Volokh has an interesting look at the meaning of this phrase.
Questions that need answering
Timothy Lynch has a list of questions that he wants John Ashcroft to answer about the PATRIOT Act. I think he's got some good points.
Can't argue with that
Tacitus has quite a bit to say about the UN and Iraq. I don't really have an opinion about his larger point, but the last paragraph makes a very good point.
He's right; whatever you may think of the UN in general, the UN people on the ground in Iraq went there because they want to help the Iraqi people. Even if you think their methods were misguided, they were there to do what they could to aid people who have been oppressed for decades. They risked their lives to do good and they ended up getting killed for it. That's not funny, or ironic, or "just deserts." It's tragic. Those who died in the bombing should be honored, not looked down on.
Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood!
He's got a point
Jack Rich makes an interesting point about the Alabama Supreme Court monument honoring the Ten Commandments.
I think he makes a good point. I don't know what secession has to do with anything though.
Another dumb law ...
... and acronym.
Nick Gillespie points out some of the aspects of the "Victory" act.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul
Filling his usual post as pessimist at NR, John Derbyshire writes that he doesn't want to live forever. Of course, neither did Bilbo Baggins.
On the Sidebar
As you can see, I've added the News Box from GeorgeWBush.com. I can't say for certain at this point that I'll vote for Bush, but I don't see any other viable alternatives at the moment. For now I'll have to say I'm going for Bush.
I feel for him
Once again, Christopher Johnson is explaining some problems of the Anglican church. This time, he does it by illustrating the difference between Western Anglicans and their African counterparts.
David Heddle has an interesting post about "Carnal Christians". I don't really have anything to say about this larger topic, but I did have a thought about this:
I would agree with David that no model of free will is completely satisfactory, but I question the statement that we always chose what we want the most. I have certainly done things which I didn't think was what I most wanted at the time. Was that just an illusion?
Good for them
I just saw this story on Arutz Sheva:
Good for them. Of course there was also this:
Shame on them.
I got this in the mail and I thought I'd share.
This might be a valid concern
Stephen Schwarz takes a look at the failure of media commissions in Bosnia and Albania and worries that the same problems may occur in Iraq.
It's hard to argue with his conclusion:
You might notice that I've taken down the flags to the left. That's because I've always hosted them and any other pics on this blog on my AOL webspace. I've decided to discontinue AOL service. That means that any and all pics will not be accesible.
BTW, if anyone knows of someplace that I could host pics for free, please let me know. (I thought I could do it on Geocities, but that doesn't seem to work.)
Sad, but true
James Robbins explains why the U.N. was such a compelling target for terrorists:
Of course, the terrorists don't come out and say that they oppose civilization. They use words like "crusaders" and "westerners". The reality is that they don't just attack people from the "West". They certainly don't target only "crusaders" or even Christians. They just attack anyone in their way.
Nah, nah,nah. I can't hear you.
Tim Blair has pointed out many instances in which members of the left are trying to shut down debate.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003I guess I'm still running slow
I've been hunting around looking for something to post for, and I can't seem to find anything. More later.
Hey, this is better
Well, I've got my computer up and running. It seems my video card crashed. I took it in to be repaired, but they told me belatedly that the tech was on vacation. (If I'd known that earlier, I could have gone elsewhere.) Any way, I'm up and blogging. It may take me a couple of days to get up to speed as I've been intentionally ignoring the news.
Monday, August 11, 2003Sorry for the absence
I'm sorry for the absence as of late. I realize I've been offline for a while. It wasn't planned, but there it is. My home computer has crashed which has made updating problematic. It's in for service, but things are going a bit slow. I've also had some interference from real life. The new medication that gave me at Mayo helped with my headaches a lot, but they really threw me for a loop. I ended up sleeping. A lot. And when I say a lot, I mean like 12-14 hours a day.
Anyway, I seem to be over the worst of the side effects from my medication and my headaches are much reduced. As soon as I can get my computer back, blogging should resume a more normal schedule. In the meantime, I can't promise much.