July 30, 2004
John Kerry on John Kerry
John Kerry is an even more dangerous man than I thought (from AP):
On the War on Terror? End it. Instead, let's assign lots of FBI agents to the case and get real tough. Maybe we'll get that dude from CSI! And then, once bin Laden is caught, we'll get that guy from Law and Order. Or that chick. Yeah, she's tough.
I want him tried for murder in New York City, and in Virginia and in Pennsylvania," where planes hijacked by al-Qaida operatives crashed Sept. 11, 2001...On the War in Iraq? I have a secret plan. Every time Bush screws up, I'm going to criticize him and pretend like I had planned to do what Bush says he is now going to do all along. Because if I were President I would do this thing differently, but don't ask me what differently is because I can't tell you that.
He called the Bush administration's attempt to create a Muslim security force in Iraq an overdue act of desperation. "Great idea," he said. "Should have been done from the very beginning."On the Death Penalty? I was against it, before I was for it. But I'm against it, except when I'm for it.
Kerry has long been an opponent of the death penalty, but in recent years has made an exception for terrorism. The former prosecutor said crimes like rape and child murder do not warrant the highest punishment.On the Abortion Issue? Abortion should be legal because it is legal and everything that is legal is legal. Besides, Roe v. Wade is based on the Bible. Go read it.
"It's certainly terrorizing to the person who's undergoing it. I understand that," Kerry said. "But terrorism is a political act to terrorize a nation, to try to challenge a way of life and a standard.. It's just a different act."
Asked whether he believes abortion is taking a life, Kerry said a fetus is a "form of life."---------------------------
"The Bible itself - I mean, everything talks about different layers of development. That's what Roe v Wade does. It talks about viability. It's the law of the land."
I had no idea Kerry's ability to obfuscate was so fine tuned. Is it just me, or is this the first time for the rest of you hearing that Kerry is against the death penalty? I'm not saying the mainstream press is playing that down or anything. Because, as we all know, Kerry is not a liberal.
Michelle Malkin also notes the disaster Kerry's foreign policy would be:
So, this is how Kerry proposes to make America "stronger and more secure?" By adopting the Clinton law enforcement approach as the primary means to combat Islamic terrorism? "Fastest, surest route" to a murder conviction? What about the need to interrogate bin Laden and gather critical intelligence on al Qaeda? Where did Kerry ever get the idea that putting bin Laden through our civilian courts would be "fast?" And how clueless could he possibly be to ignore the fact that much of the evidence against bin Laden (for example, statements of interrogated al Qaeda detainees such as Ramzi bin al Shibh and Khalid Sheik Mohamed) would be inadmissable at trial?Brava! I would only add that we have already seen the fruits of treating the War on Terror as a legal manner: 9/11.
The idea of prosecuting suspected terrorists like burglars or drug dealers seems to make sense in principle, but jury trials for War on Terror suspects are fraught with peril.
Courtesy of Big Hominid
Tanzanian al Qaeda Suspect Not Guilty....
....says terrorist's mother. Her reason? Because he is religious.
John Edward's Al Qaeda Strategy
Via Cranky Neocon
US Attacked: US/Israeli Embassy Bombed in Uzbekistan
Simultaneous bomb attacks struck the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan as well as the state prosecutor's office in the capital Tashkent Friday, killing at least two people and wounding five.Remember, a US embassy is the sovereign soil of the US. These terrorists have just declared war on the US.
The action appeared clearly coordinated, days after the start of a trial in Tashkent of 15 suspected Islamist extremists on charges of trying to overthrow the ex-Soviet state in connection with attacks in March that killed nearly 50 people.
UPDATE: Good news, no American casualties but....
Outside the heavily fortified American compound, a body believed to be that of a homicide bomber lay in the street across from the entrance.
Update: Best observation by Jane:"Once we reestablish our alliances with France and Germany, this won't happen any more."
Bin Laden In Bosnia? Beheadings in Kosovo
Stella Jatros believes so and Robert Spencer has the goods:
For the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-training networks throughout Albanian, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. Many recruits to the Balkan wars came originally from Chechnya, a jihad in which Al Qaeda has also played a part.The article also points to some shocking photos of members of the Mujahadin in Bosnia holding up the severed heads of their victims. Don't let that link out of the bag. We wouldn't want to offend any Muslims. That would be bad.
My Pet Jawa in French!
Check it out HERE. A hearty bonjour to my French reader (singular), whoever you are.
(I'm betting it's John Kerry and that he needs to read in his native tongue)
'Worst Recovery Ever' and Other Lies
Time and time again I've heard from disgruntled Democrats that the economy is doing horribly. Others might begrudgingly admit that the economy is improving, but that somehow we are worse off now than we were under Bill Clinton. Despite multiple indicators showing a robust economy and a strong jobs market, Democrats continue to peddle the line that this is the worst economic recovery in memory.
According to John Kerry's official website:
America is still in the worst job recovery since the Great Depression, with 1.9 million private-sector jobs lost in the Bush presidencyIs this charge true? And if it is, should we worry about it? Let's discuss this statement, weed fact from fiction, and try to place the present economic recovery in historical perspective. In the process, we might learn a thing or two about how statistics work and why they can be misused. Indeed, this statement shows why the old axiom about "lies, damn lies, and statistics" has had such widespread appeal for so many for so long.
The statement first makes a claim: "Worst job recovery since the Great Depressionť". That's a pretty big claim. First, notice that the statement admits that we are in an economic recovery, a fact pretty hard to deny. Notice the caveat, though, that somehow economic recoveries of bygone days were much better.
The second part of the statement tells us how they came to that conclusion: $1.9 million private-sector jobs lost in the Bush presidencyť. So, if I am getting their methodology right, they simply took the number of unemployed people at the beginning of Bush's Presidency and subtracted the number of people unemployed at the end of the Bush Presidency. From The US Bureau of Labor Statistics we get the following:
Feb 2001: 6523000
Jun 2003: 8616000
= 2.1 million
Wow, that number is even better for Kerry as it is slightly higher than the number his campaign keeps throwing out there! And, indeed, it is true. There are 2 million more people today who are unemployed than when George W. Bush became President. But what do these numbers mean and do they prove that this is the worst job recovery since the Great Depression?
Ok, it doesn't look good so far, but if their methodology is as I am assuming it is, we must get the following table:
So, using the simplest methodology imaginable, simply seeing whether or not the total number of civilians (hence accounting for the modifier used by Kerry of "private sector" who are considered unemployed rises or falls from the first month of a President's term to that last month of his term, we see that the claim can't possibly be true. Nixon II/Ford has the current President licked by 700k and W's father by nearly 400k!
By this standard the statement that we are in "the worst job recovery since the Great Depression"ť is clearly false.
But let's not jump the gun yet. Perhaps they had some other methodology they used to justify how an increase in the unemployment rate of 2 million is the "worst job recovery since the Great Depression."ť Let's look at the seasonally adjusted civilian unemployment rate, instead. Perhaps what is meant is that this recovery is not as robust as others because somehow the unemployment rate has not fallen as fast as in times past.
Another methodology might be to take the highest rate of unemployment during a Presidency, and then compare that to the rate of unemployment when that President left office or when his term expired. The following table represents just that:
From this we see that this is not the "worst job recovery since the Great Depression”even if we lay aside the odd 1.9 million unemployed number that is used to justify this statement. Presidents Carter and Bush I both had recoveries which were not as robust as the one we are currently in. Further, the above figures make the whopping assumption that the unemployment rate for June 2003 will continue for the next six months!
If we were to drop that assumption, and compare recession recoveries at this same point in a Presidents term, we would get the following table:
Using this method we would have to add Nixon's first term to the list of recoveries worse than the current President Bush's. Clearly, when the Democrats are talking about this being the worst recovery since the Great Depression they can't be using any numbers even related to the unemployment rate!
Ok, so what! It's still pretty bad, isn't it? Why can't it be like the good old days when an economic recovery meant everyone has a job?
A few other observations are in order that might put the present jobless recovery in perspective.
In November and December of 1982 the unemployment rate hung at 10.8%. Those were some pretty bad times, and the country pinned the blame on Ronald Reagan. Of course, we all know how that turned out, don't we? Ronald Reagan is celebrated for having overseeing one of the greatest expansions in the US economy ever. But what was the unemployment rate when he left office? In January of 1989, the month he left, the unemployment rate was 5.4%.
Wait a minute. Hold on. At the height of the greatest economic expansion ever the unemployment rate was only .2% higher than in today's jobless recovery? How can that be?
Other examples also illustrate the point. Let's not forget about the Bush I Recession and the Bill Clinton Miracle Economy. Remember the last time a Democratic nominee talked about the worst economy since the Great Depression In June of 2002 the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. In January of 2001, the month Bill Clinton left office, the unemployment rate was an astounding 4.2%!!
Wow, those are some good numbers and certainly the unemployment figures seem to indicate that the economy, under Bill Clinton, was much better than under Reagan.
But let's take a baseline for comparison. If Clinton and Reagan are to get credit for helping to create jobs, then we have to look at the relative gains made under each man's policies.
So, the Reagan Recovery was, in fact, greater than the Clinton Recovery in alleviating the unemployment rate. We can see the reason why Reagan's unemployment rate dropped 1.8% more than did Clinton's because the recession that he was fighting was so much worse!!
Had the unemployment rate under Reagan fell by the same margin as it did under Clinton, the unemployment rate would have been 7.2% in 1989--far higher than Bush II's unemployment rate would ever reach!
Clinton's economy produced some marvelous job growth, but then again, the economy Clinton inherited was not as bad as he made it out to be. I am not a Clinton hater, but I can't, in all honesty, give him the credit that some wish to laude upon him. It would be like calling Phil Jackson the greatest basketball coach in history forgetting the fact that he inherited teams with Neil or Jordan and ignoring the many other coaches that inherit losing teams, only to turn them around and take them to the playoffs. Baselines matter.
Now let's add both the Bush Recession and the Bush Recovery into the equation:
Wow, not very stellar, then again Bush would need another 4.5 years in office to make the comparisons fair!
In fact, we see that (assuming no change, and that is assuming a lot) President Bush's unemployment rate is only 0.3% higher than the unemployment rate at the end of Clinton's his first term!
It is also better than Reagan's unemployment rate after his first term. Remember, Reagan took the Presidential oath for the second time with an unemployment rate of 7.3% looming over his head--the unemployment rate is lower than that today and never got that high even in the depths of the last recession. If we want to use the Democrats fuzzy logic, we could say that Bush's recovery is even better than Reagan's! And technically, we would be telling the truth.
See why baselines are important?
Ok, you say, but Kerry's people aren't comparing unemployment rates, they are comparing the absolute number of unemployed people and that is something entirely different.
Well, we've already been through that argument and disproved it. However, the statement is much more misleading than it appears at first glance. You see, as difficult as it is to make relative comparisons between recoveries based on the unemployment rateâ€”it is even harder to make the comparison based on absolute numbers of unemployed.
First, think of the absolute number of people who live in the US now compared to 1939â€”the year the Great Depression finally ended. According to the US Cennsus Bureau, in 1940 there were 132 million people in the USâ€”but by 2000 there were 280 million! How can it possibly, under any imaginable reasonable standard of truth, be fair to compare the absolute number of jobs gained today to those gained at the end of the Great Depression when there are over twice as many people living in the US today than there were in 1940?!?! Itâ€™s mind boggling.
When one wishes to compare the number of jobs created, or lost, or whatever, keep in mind that there are more TOTAL people today. In 1940, if 1.3 million people lost their jobs, that would mean that 1% of the (total) population had become unemployed. However, if 1.3 million people lose their jobs today that would mean only .45% of the (total) population had become unemployed.
So, when Kerry's people compare this recovery to that of, say, the Reagan recovery, it is important to note that there are now 30 million more people living in America than there were in 1990 and over 60 million more than in 1980!!
Under no reasonable standard of statistical measurement can the statement that America is still in the worst job recovery since the Great Depressionť be upheld. None!
The unemployment rate goes up, and it goes down. At present, it is going up. But even in the worst months of the past recession, unemployment never really rose very much.
Are the Democrats lying? Well, maybe not. I suppose that someone came up with the statement erroneously and now it has become conventional wisdom to the Inside the Beltway crowd. These things tend to take on a life of their own and get passed on as truth by people in good faith. So, maybe they aren't lying, but neither are they telling the truth.
Remember, it's not a lie if you believe it yourself.
July 29, 2004
Kenyan/Tanzanian Bombing Suspects Captured
This one seems more confirmable as the source is Reuters and they are quoting the Prez of Pakistan:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - Pakistan has arrested a senior al Qaeda figure with a bounty of up to $25 million on his head, Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told CNN television Thursday...Good news for us...bad news for any more Pakistanis working in Iraq.
Al Arabiya said the suspect may be Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. Ghailani is the only Tanzanian on the FBI's most wanted "terrorists" list, for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings by al Qaeda of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Pakistan later said it had arrested a key suspect in the bombings.
Ghailani was among seven people about whom the United States said in May it was seeking information amid fears of a possible attack in the near future.
An FBI Web site lists Ghailani as a suspect in the African embassy bombings and says it is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to his capture.
Hostage Murder Count Update: 12
Remembering the hostages that have been murdered in the name of Islam since 9/11. E-Mail me if I have overlooked any one.
1) Raja Azad (July 28)
2) Sajad Naeem (July 28)
3) Georgi Lazov (July 13) (rant)
4) Ivaylo Kepov (presumed dead) (probably July 14)
5) Keith M. Maupin (June 28)
6) Kim Sun-il (June 22)
7) Paul Johnson (June 18)
8) Hussein Ali Alyan (June 12)
9) Nick Berg (May 12)
10) Fabrizio Quattrocchi (April 16)
11) Martin Burnham (June 7, 2002)
12) Daniel Pearl (Feb. 2, 2002)
Since the source for the info is an internet posting, I'm not holding my breath on this one. Fingers crossed, expectations low.
Update: Looks like all of us are a bit skeptical ---and Dr. Stotch (see comments) wonders when the ACLU is going to get called in.
Udate 2: Kevin says US command is denying the report.
Go visit Professor Chaos, written by the always amusing
Bu Dr. Leopold Stotch. On behalf of the citizens of Rock Ridge, I present to you a hearty handshake and a laurel!
His most recent post, Democrat Strategy: Lie to Dumb People, is a sure fire crowd pleaser.
July 28, 2004
Sarah Bender: Guest Blogger
(As imagined by the Commissar)
"and then there is the lavish praise and appreciation for everything and anything new and different. new shoes? pop those suckers on with a little skirt and go prancing up and down each staircase and each hallway and watch the heads turn and occasionally roll. "cute shoes!" "oooh my gosh those are adorable!!!" "I LOVE YOUR SHOOOOES!!!!!! WHEREDIDYOUGETTHEMMMMM???" anytime you're testing an outfit, unsure of a purchase, sporting a new hairstyle, or simply in need of a little admiring, the Fleet Center is a sure place to get it. just wrap yourself in the warm, snuggly blanket of Party love and/or jealousy."
For more guest blogging action, see the Commie's post. Very funny!
Two more for the list?
A militant group holding two Pakistani contractors hostage said on Wednesday it had killed the men, according to the Pan-Arab television station Al-JazeeraWe'll wait and see on this one. This is not Zarqawi's group claiming responsibility and the last time a group calling itself some variation of "Islamic Army in Iraq" claimed to have killed hostages it turned out to be a hoax. As we've seen, these bastards don't like to ice one of their own. I guess they find it....unpleasant. Or, more likely, they understand that Muslims will tolerate the killing of infidels, but not fellow Muslims.
When I get confirmation I will add them to the list, lest we forget: Raja Azad and Sajad Naeem
UPDATE: The Pakistani Embassy has confirmed that the two are dead.
Al-Qaida Suspect Arrested in Texas
A South African woman picked up in Texas almost 10 days ago may turn out to be a key, high-level al-Qaida operative.
Her name is Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed. She was stopped at McAllen Miller International Airport on July 19 headed to New York....
Ahmed reportedly later confessed to investigators that she entered the country illegally by crossing the Rio Grande River.
Government sources tell FederalNewsRadio.com that capturing this woman could be comparable to the arrest of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11. It was revealed in court Tuesday that she was on a watch list and had entered the U.S. possibly as many as 250 times.
Tuesday, the South African government issued a warning that Al-Qaida militants and other terrorists traveling through Europe had obtained South African passports, and authorities believe they got them from crime syndicates operating inside the government agency that issues the documents.
Update: Michelle Malkin may be the most informed blogger on the immigration debate and ties this news to other happenings in the Southwest. Worth the read.
Kerry, Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, La-La, Po
Now which one did Falwell say was gay? Allah has the answer.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention Bigfoot.
Saddam Has Stroke
World to be spared trial, Saddam may be dying (fingers crossed!!). [note: not the most reliable news source]
Bulgarian Beheading Video
UPDATE: If you are looking for news on the latest outrages by terrorists in Iraq, please go to the main page here. Updated daily.
Update 4/22/05: Bulgarian helicopter shot down, survivor murdered. Story, images, and video here.
Religion of [insert ironic word here] update. Expect frequent updates without the usual update disclaimer.
An al Qaeda-linked group in Iraq posted a picture of what it said was the severed head of a Bulgarian hostage on the Internet on Wednesday. The picture showed a masked man holding up a bloody head in front of a black flag of the Tawhid and Jihad Group led by suspected al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.I found a photo here, one of Zarqawi's sites, and I decided to post it in the extended entry section of this post. It probably depicts Georgi Lazov, but could be of Ivaylo Kepov--both of whom were civillian truck drivers and both of whom were threatened with execution.
The group kidnapped two Bulgarians in early July. It later sent a video to Al Jazeera showing one of them being beheaded, which the Arab television network said was too gruesome to broadcast.
This should make you mad. If it doesn't, go to hell.
Warning!!! Graphic and Offensive, but you need to be offended sometimes. You need to see the brutalilty of our enemies!! Ok, before you see the pic--which is gruesome--let me just give a disclaimer.
I am not posting it in order to titilate. I am not interested in hits from the Tusken Raiders and other filth who sympathize with them. If you are a fan of Ogrish, go to hell.
Why am I posting the pic? Because, as I've argued over and over, you need to be reminded of 9/11. Not just intellectually, but emotionally. The will to fight over an extended period of time does not come naturally to us. An image like this reminds us of who we are up against and why we can never surrender an inch to these vile maggots. When you see the pic, you will have an emotional reaction, but I believe your will to fight will be renewed.
Be warned: This is bad. Very bad. Continue by clicking link below.
This is what we are up against. Go to hell Noam Chomsky:
Along with the image, the following message was posted (translation via BNN):
His government refused to respond to the legitimate demands of the mujahideen (holy fighters) and is an ally of the Americans, and its forces are participating in the crusader invasion of Iraq...
"This is a warning to all allies of the idiot (U.S. President George W.) Bush and those cooperating with him inside and outside of Iraq. You have been warned.
The site also called him the "Bulgarian Parasite". Lest we forget, this is what Ivaylo Kepov looked like before meeting up with 'militants' in the Religion of Peas.
I've been trying to keep the hostages executed count accurate, but may be off. E-mail me if I'm missing anyone.
1) Georgi Lazov (July 13)
2) Ivaylo Kepov (presumed dead) (probably July 14)
3) Keith M. Maupin (June 28)
4) Kim Sun-il (June 22)
5) Paul Johnson (June 18)
6) Hussein Ali Alyan (June 12)
7) Nick Berg (May 12)
8) Fabrizio Quattrocchi (April 16)
9) Martin Burnham (June 7, 2002)
10) Daniel Pearl (Feb. 2, 2002)
*Shove it South Korea
July 27, 2004
Fun With Site Meter
Of course, among the public site stats are recent Google searches.
So, where are the top bloggers getting all that traffic from and how can I get some of that action? Here are some actual searches I found on each of these blogs Site Meter stats page.
Glenn Reynolds "instapundit.com" [Wouldn't it be just as easy to type it into the address field?]
Kos "can kerry win texas?" [Yes, if Kos has anything to do with it!]
Atrios "Atrios" [actually, a Google Image search, which is....disturbing]
Andrew Sullivan "Now, I could have said something very profound today, but you would have forgo" [More like you thought you said something very profound today, but you didn't, and I forgot anyway]
Volokh " '16 year old' + fraud + ebay + newspapers" [What the....]
Small Victory "porn pinball" [Funny, I don't remember that game]
Washington Monthly "political animal" [Yes, you are]
Frank J "i hate michael moore" [me too]
Citizen Smash "Iraq Sarin gas rockets july 2004" [Oh yeah, what ever happened to those WMD?]
Wonkette "jockstrap" & "wonkette anal" [no comment]
Misha "rottweiler puppy weight chart " [note: adopt animal as blog mascot]
OTB "paige davis stripping" & "kerry daughter dress" & "britney spears" & "men who like to pee outside" [Your sick James....just sick]
Talk Left "12 years old sex" [What was that about the politics of crime?]
My Pet Jawa "sudanese woman pics" [blushing]
Update: Llama Butchers "guns nude blondestar"
Religion of [insert irony here]
Now, what was that again? Something about the Religion of Peas or something?
Oh, yeah, this is more like what the meme is supposed to say: Islam Does Not Tolerate Extremism.
Right. That's a relief.
Palestinians Recognize First Gay Marriage: Sullivan to Endorse Arafat for President
You may kiss the bride.
NY Time Headline: 2 Top Palestinians Settle Dispute With a Kiss
Now, do I file this with the Ministry of Reproduction or with the Tattooine Bureau?
*wink to the semi-retired Senator Pundit.
Rusty Shackleford Banned in Korea
I'm not joking. I wish I were.
All blogs with a blogspot.com extension were blocked for awhile (and stll might be) and ALL mu.nu extensions are still being blocked. A friend in Korea tried to look at this site earlier today, he couldn't do it.
This is REAL censorship. You know, where the government blocks content. This isn't what lefties call censorship. You know where you don't buy their art or you say that their music sucks.
If you haven't been following the controversy, Big Hominid has the scoop. He's also featured (although they spell his name wrong...imagine that?) in this Newsweek piece, which has some background info (scroll down to Internet: A Blog Blanket).
Is Massachussettes More Liberal Than France?
France's first gay marriage, which was conducted last month by a local mayor, has been annulled by a court. The tribunal in Bordeaux declared the marriage of Stephane Chapin and Bertrand Charpentier "null and void".Am I ashamed that courts in France are more responsible than courts in the US at correctly interpreting fundamental law? Yes.
So where will all those America haters go now that France has joined the 'right-wing' at upholding the traditional definition of marriage?
PS-A) Notice what party the mayor who performed the wedding belonged to B) Notice that the French took the 'bold' move of suspending the mayor. Govs. of CA and MA take note:
The mayor, Noel Mamere of the Green Party, was suspended for a month after defying government warnings that he would be breaking the law when he wed the two men in the town of Begles.
UPDATE: James Joyner has this to say:
I agree with Rusty, though, that the French courts got this one right whereas the US courts, at least in Massachussets, got it wrong. Fundamental social changes should happen organically through the legislature rather than be imposed by the judiciary. It's not only the way the system was designed but is essential for legitimacy. I believe gay marriage will become "normal" in short order and that voters in the less conservatives states will insist on change soon, probably less than a decade from now.The question, of course, is should gay marriage become 'normal'? I don't think it should. As a libertarian I might tolerate it, but I would never accept it as normal.
Also, the word 'organic' implies that social change is not deliberate--that it just sort of happens. But can anyone really argue that people's acceptance of 'gay as normal' has been anything but tied to a deliberate attempt by the media at presenting 'gay' culture as normal?
Ahem. Anybody? Remember the old running joke on Threes Company? Gay Jack Tripper.
Fast forward to the early 1990's and Seinfeld "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Then Queer as Folk.
See how this is progressing?
If gay marriage ever becomes culturally legitimized, it will not be because we recognized the error of our ways and repented. It will be because we believe the myth that gay culture is just like straight culture--only different. This is only true if NY/Holywood serve as proxies for straight culture. But straight culture is not Sex in the City nor is it The OC.
So, call me homophobic.
I feel nothing. Not interest. Not boredom. Not even contempt. Nothing.
I want to feel something. I want to get pissed off. I want to care what Jimmy Carter looks like up close and personal.
Is irony an emotion? I want to feel that, but I don't.
Forget doing parodies. There is nothing to make fun of. Nothing worthwhile is being said. It's worse than that, there is nothing un-worthwhile being said either. The convention is not happening to me. It is not there and no one is writing about it.
I feel nothing.
I don't even care who's blogging whom at the convention.
I thought I felt something for a second when I read this from N.Z. Bear, but I can't be sure. I should be interested in bloggers who blog from the DNC, but I'm not. Is 'yeah, what he said' a valid emotion?
I definitely felt something when I read Simon's post on the DNC blogging thing. But that was more like solidarity, which I guess counts for something. Maybe.
But on the whole, I feel nothing.
Intellectually, this disturbs me and I know I ought to feel guilty for not giving a rat's ass because one ought to care about such lofty things as democracy and all that jazz. But I don't even feel guilty for that.
I feel nothing. I am an emotional nihilist when it comes to the DNC.
UPDATE: Vindication! Now that is an emotion I am feeling. I knew I wasn't the outlier here. So how come everyone in the blogosphere continues to act as if this is an interesting story or that people actually care?
From Drudge:"THE BIG YAWN: NETWORKS IN RATINGS FREEFALL AT CONVENTION, OPENING NIGHT ALL-TIME LOW"
Feel the hate growing in you!
Come in for the name, stay for the hate! (found via Cranky Neocon)
1. â€śHate is everything itâ€™s cracked up to beâ€ť â€“Jack Riley 2. â€śLove the hateâ€ť â€“The Outer Life Guy 3. â€śHate: Fun. Drawn. And Quarteredâ€ť â€“Stephen Baldwin 4. â€śRousing the rabble and castigating the deserved, all to a beat you can dance toâ€ť â€“Dallas Sipes 5. â€śHe hate meâ€ť â€“Harry Siegel 6. â€śAll the hate thatâ€™s fit to mongerâ€ť â€“The Misspent OneIt's all in the name foolios. It's all in the name.
July 26, 2004
Blogophobes: the blog marriage debate
This DNC thing doesn't interest me in the least. Seriously. No emotion, not even boredom. So, how else to blog away the blog days of summer than to write about my new pet peeve: blogophobes and the blog marriage debate.
Why shouldn't two bloggers get married if they wish?
And what business is it of yours what they blog in the privacy of their own domain?
Yeah, I hear you. The first time I saw two bloggers posting it really intrigued me too. Titillated? Yes. The thought of those verbs, nouns, and adjectives coming together in cyber space sent goose bumps up my back. Intellectually I thought it was wrong, but seeing is believing.
Then something happened. I realized that these bloggers are just like you and me. Yes, they may be MT proficient, but at a basic level we are all the same species. What I had presumed two bloggers posting together looked like was a myth. Propaganda generated by Tech Central Station After Dark. Yes, there are plenty of bloggers out there posting together, but their blogs certainly didn't look like what the blog peddlers wanted you to believe. It was simple pornblography.
After this, the thought of two bloggers posting together kind of grossed me out.
Did this make me a blogophobe?
Not necessarily. I suppose to group-bloggers, the thought of posting by oneself seems a little weird, if not totally obscene. But we all grew up in a culture that emphasized that posting was a shameful act that should be done in the privacy of your own URL. Not to mention the stigma attached to group-blogging which is considering far worse--even unnatural! I am a victim of that culture, I guess.
So, I still don't find the thought of blogging with another blogger any nicer. It still creeps me out. But I do think we ought to treat all bloggers with respect. Let's not call them any bad names that might stigmatize them, because that just wouldn't be nice.
And if two bloggers want to get married, what business is it of mine? Just as long as they don't post together in my comments section, I have no problem with it.
Are there real objections to group-blogging? Yes, and I think there are perfectly valid objections to it.
The group-blogger activists (like Blog Up!) don't want you to know this, and their mouthpieces at the liberal internet news sites cover up the truth at every turn, but I swear there are problems with blogging with other bloggers.
For one thing, it is a well known fact that group-bloggers are hundreds of times more likely to get infected by the Bin Laden Suicide virus. I know, no one wants to say it, but it's true.
Just think about it, how is that the Bin Laden Suicide virus spreads? Through unprotected ports. Yes, it's possible to get the virus through port 8080, but that's extremely rare. That port was made for http extension, and let's face it, when blogging through backdoor ports without a firewall---you know---do I have to spell it out? The backdoor ports were made for ftp out, not in!
Were you that naive to believe the liberal propaganda that everybody is equally at risk for getting the virus? Right, like a monk's laptop without a modem could somehow miraculously catch the virus! Yeah, theoretically he could insert an infected disk in his hardrive, but think of the odds. They are astronomical.
So, we see that bloggers who post with other bloggers are far more likely to become infected with the Bin Laden Suicide virus than most normal bloggers, but there are other problems as well. Rates of trojan horses and worms are much higher in that community too. Sure, they aren't fatal to your computer if caught, but they are inconvenient and a nuisance.
Last, group-blogging has an indirect effect on the blogosphere. I agree with most of you that the arguments against group-blogging are fraught with bad analogies. The blogosphere won't suddenly collapse if bloggers are allowed to marry other bloggers.
But we should be willing to admit that there probably will be indirect consequences to legalizing blog-marriage. For instance, what kind of message are we sending if we say any two bloggers can marry so long as the two parties agree? Where will it end? Will the next step be to let two psudonymned bloggers marry? Or, fictional blog personalities? What if one of the blog personalities is an animal? That's some seriously gross schtick!
Or will we then say that group-blogs with multiple bloggers be allowed to practice blogymony?
Blogymony!!! I mean, bin Laden is for a country that allows blogymony!! Have the terrorists already won?
Also, perhaps some people are born attracted to other bloggers, but what about so-called 'bi-bloggers'. You know the kind, where they have their own blog and a group blog? Like that whole sicko group at Winds of Change or The Command Post. Were they 'born that way' too?
Perhaps our blogorientation, to some extent, is shaped by our culture. It isn't exactly choice, that's a false analogy, because our preferences are not usually chosen. But our preferences are shaped by the culture we live in. For instance, if given the choice between hot dogs and tacos, I choose tacos--but that is because I was raised in Southern California. In the San Francisco area there is a culture that glorifies the hot-dog (or, so I am told) and that is why so many up there prefer to suck them down in such vast quantities.
So, do we want a culture that eschews traditional notions of the blogosphere for a radical new concept? I, for one, do not.
Again, you might ask, aren't you being a blogophobe?
Maybe, but let's get one thing straight here, I have a lot of friends who are group bloggers. In fact, one of my best friends is a blogger of that sort.
So, on the personal level, you will never hear me calling a group-blogger by the many foul words so often heard on the playground or on hip-hop albums. You know: blag, blagget, bleer, blog-sucker, blogosexual, blomo, blairy, blike, etc.
Last, in my own defense, let me say that I am a libertarian by nature. While on the personal level I find the thought of one blogger posting with another pretty gross, I would never outlaw group blogging. If you want to blog with another blogger, be my guest. Itâ€™s a free country.
If you and your blogbuddy want to dress up like Darth Vader and Princess Leah and get blog-married, be my guest. No one should stop you. If you can find some Unitarian minister to perform the wedding, hey, more power to you.
And if the liberals up in Taxachussettes want to recognize your blog on blog union, dude, go for it. I say what some agnostic ministerâ€™s God joins together, let not the state put it asunder.
So, am I pro-blogmarriage? No.
But there is a pretty important distinction here. I also think blogstitution is a terrible evilâ€¦I mean, selling your posts to another blogger for money? Posting ought to be about the love of fisking or the hate of another post, but never about money. But I would also legalize blogstitution.
Heck, Iâ€™m even for decriminalizing the selling of drugs on the internet. What you do with your own computer is your own business. If you want to do something stupid, or even dangerous, go for it. And while youâ€™re at it, please commit blogicide by deleting your post archives. I'm serious. Blogicide ought to be perfectly legal--even if the person committing blogicide is mentally deranged.
So, in conclusion, if a blogger wishes to get married to another blogger, it is none of my business. Itâ€™s sick and wrong, but not my concern. The government ought to recognize contracts, even stupid ones.
If you two want to post together in the privacy of your own domain, be my guest. Please donâ€™t spam me with trackbacks, and for all that is human and decent, please donâ€™t post any pics of you two typing away! Thatâ€™s just wrong.
And a last word of warning: sexy posts of blikes on group-blogs are likely to be fabricated. The real blogger is likely to be a 45 year Initech software engineer who lives in his brotherâ€™s basement and has serious issues.
Don't blog off to their posts! At the least you will need hours of therapy to cure you of the mental illness caused by the ugly reality of their true looks hitting your fantastic fantasy of mythical Blamazons blogging together.
At worst, you can go blind.
Senator Amidala: Traitor Revealed at Last
Via Michelle Malkin.
Do I even have to say it? Yes. Told you so!!
Still....it is disappointing.
Forget voting, this calls for 'negotiations'
Jeff Quinton has extended voting for his contest. Please go and vote for my lame haiku. At stakes are a free blog-ad for a month.
No, I order you to go vote for my haiku. If you you don't, I will have to send my ambassador to 'negotiate' with you.
PS-Don't ever try to do a Google image search for anything related to Star Wars. Trust me, the lengths some pathetic losers go in their adoration is just mind boggling.
July 23, 2004
R.I.P. Link Drop
Click below for more zombie inspired linkage!
First, I invited Bill before I uninvited him.
July 22, 2004
Ketchup, Waffles, Bergers, Pants and Socks: The Contest
Jeff Quinton is having a contest and asked me to join in. Let's just say he made an offer I couldn't refuse.
Here is my entry (with apologies to Jeff Goldstein).
The Bergergate haiku:
Berger springs them
in autumn socks and winter pants
while ketchup waffles
Religion of Decapitations: Bulgarian's Body Found
Looks like another decapitated body from the Religion of Irony:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - A decapitated corpse was found by police in northern Iraq (news - web sites) Thursday and Bulgaria said it was investigating whether the body was one of two Bulgarians seized by militants loyal to al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.Thank you Phillipines. Thank you Spain. You are responsible for this.
Iraqi police said the decapitated body and its severed head were found in the Tigris river near Baiji, 100 miles north of Baghdad, and taken to the city of Tikrit. Earlier this month another headless body in an orange jumpsuit was found in the river in the same area. It has yet to be identified.
The severed head was bloated from being submerged in the water. The body was dressed in a faded and torn reddish-colored tunic. Zarqawi's group dresses its hostages in orange clothing before executing them, mimicking the orange jumpsuits worn by U.S. prisoners including Muslim detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
The two Bulgarians, Georgi Lazov and Ivailo Kepov, were seized as they delivered cars to Mosul in northern Iraq. Zarqawi's group has already executed an American and a South Korean hostage, and has claimed responsibility for a series of suicide bomb attacks in Iraq.
9/11 Commission Report Online
I'm downloading my copy, why aren't you downloading yours?
I used Wizbang's mirror site. Download by clicking here. It took me about two minutes.
Other links can be found via Kevin at Wizbang.
Looks like my afternoon will be filled with some heavy reading.
Paul Johnson Beheading Video: why you should see it
For original post on the Paul Johnson beheading please scroll down past this update section.
UPDATE 10/08: Kenneth Bigley executed in Iraq by Zarqawi terrorist organization. The story is developing, but sources in Fallujah claim Bigley beheaded. For the latest information, links to video, and images on the Kenneth Bigley murder please go to the MAIN PAGE or by CLICKING HERE for the 10/08 report.
For the latest information, links to video, and images on hostages in Iraq please check the main page by CLICKING HERE.
Here is a list of all the victims of Islamic Beheadings since late July this year.
10/08 Kenneth Bigley Executed in Iraq Images and Video Here.
10/02 Iraqi Victim Barie Nafie Dawoud Ibrahim Beheading Video and Images Here
9/22 American Hostage Jack Hensley Beheading Video and Images Here
9/20 American Hostage Eugene Armstrong Beheaded on Video Here
9/13 Turkish Hostage Beheaded on Video Here
9/08 Three Muslim 'Informants' Beheaded by the Religion of Irony
8/31 12 Nepalese Hostages Killed, 1 Beheaded Here
8/26 Italian Hostage Enzo Baldoni Murdered Here
8/25 Alleged CIA Agent Beheaded in Video Here
8/13 Another Alleged CIA Agent Beheaded on Video Here
8/11 CIA Agent Executed: Another Beheading Video
8/09 Another Bulgarian Beheading Video
8/02 Turkish Hostage Murdered
7/28 Bulgarian Beheading Video
7/27 Kashmir Rebels Bomb Hospital, Behead Three
7/27 Paul Johnson Beheading Video and Images Here
Begin original post:
Paul Johnson's beheading video is now all over the place. Amanda Doerty has some stills from the video and a link to it. Especially disturbing is vidcap #5.
I know it was released 5 days ago, but I was on hiatus then, so I wanted to throw in my two cents. Better late then never.
What should the proper response to this video be?
Outrage. Disgust. Anger.
As many of you know, I advocate watching these videos. Why? Because there is something in the human psyche that connects 'knowing' with 'seeing'. Our emotions are intimately connected to what we view as reality.
I was very pissed off after 9/11. But that kind of anger cannot be sustained for a long period of time. Sometime in the months following the attack, my feelings began to temper. After awhile, it was not the feelings of the moment that sustained my willingness to fight, but rather the memory of the feelings I once had.
Even though my resolve to fight never wavered, it certainly was not with the same intensity. My resolve to fight was sustained by written accounts of our adversaries. But these written reports, as convincing as they may have been, just can't connect to people in the same way that pictures can.
My worldview was utterly changed by the events of 9/11. I'm not sure, though, that just reading accounts of those atrocities would have been enough to turn my world upside down. Watching video of people jumping out of the Towers did. Hearing the sound of their bodies hitting the pavement did. It utterly devastated me.
I assume that most people felt the same way as I did. But something has happened in the months following 9/11--many have lost their resolve to fight. Part of this might be explained by differing predispositions and worldviews. Liberals are generally less willing to see American casualties, hence the post Iraq invasion syndrome. Lefties, well, their worldview predisposes them to believe that somehow we brought the whole thing on ourselves--and oddly religious stance, not too much different than the right-wing theology that preaches that there is an invisible shield over the US and God removes that shield when we sin.
But I don't think these predispositions completely explain what is happening. We all shared an initial experience that martialed us to war, but somehow over time my resolve has not been shaken while others grow weary. They began as hawks but somehow became doves.
What explains the difference? Media influence. Back in the good old days this was called propaganda.
I surround myself with constant reminders of 9/11. I consume media that is nearly uniformly unflattering of the terrorists or their goals. The people that I surround myself with (when give a choice) all share my disdain of the Islamic state. I have deliberately chosen the propaganda I am exposed to.
As I've thought about why WWII remains 'the good war' and why that generation was 'the greatest' a number of factors seem to account for their stoic resolve to fight, even as hundreds of thousands of their friends and relatives died. I think many of those factors still remain.
I don't believe they were inherently 'braver' than our generation. That seems like utter romanticism to view past peoples as somehow endowed with superior moral qualities.
One major difference, pointed out by a reader commenting on a previous post (who was that?) was that WWII was so large that it involved nearly everybody. Every one was personally affected in ways that we are not today. I agree, and that was a brilliant insight.
But we shouldn't be so naive as to believe that that is the only thing different. To a large extent, the discourse of the time was different. That discourse was deliberately shaped by propaganda. Constant reminders of the morality of the war effort shaped peoples opinions. All the major media were on board with the war effort. And when I say all, I mean all. Not just the news media, but in all forms of artistic expression and in popular entertainment. Even Bugs Bunny fought the Nazis and the Japs.
But where is the media today? In an effort to be 'neutral observers' the media forgets that they are Americans first. They treat foreign policy and war as if it were an election and the two opposing sides Democrats and Republicans. They equivocate between terrorists targeting civilians and American soldiers accidentally killing civilians (which the terrorists use as human shields, knowing that we try to avoid such casualties and rejoicing when we kill civilians because they understand it's propaganda value).
In short, the events of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor martialed our country to war. I assume that my grandfather's generation was just as shocked as the images coming out of Honolulu as ours was of the images from New York. In fact, it seems to me that the images from New York were much worse and that the grossly immoral nature of the 9/11 attacks dwarf that of Pearl Harbor. Yet, 3 years after Pearl Harbor our country continued to fight and suffer great casualties--3 years after 9/11 a good portion of our country wishes to retreat from the world stage toward a new isolationism.
The events galvanized both generations, but it was propaganda (to a large extent) that gave the previous generation the will to continue the fight. The media was a willing participant in bolstering home front morale. The leaders of the nation were not so duplicitous as to pretend that bolstering support for the war was not official policy. They drafted Hollywood actors and put them to use making propaganda films. Posters were put up in workplaces to give people constant reminders of why their loved-ones were dying. This propaganda effort gave people the courage to see it through to the end.
So why see this video? Call it a revival of sorts.
If you were once for the War on Terror, but find your resolve wavering you need to see this. No, you MUST see this. It will remind you of why we fight. It will remind you of what we are up against. It will be an experience similar to 9/11. It will change you, once again.
If you are already resolved to fight, I say to you look at the video anyway. It will affect you in ways you are probably not prepared for. It will make 9/11 real again, not some fuzzy memory. It will stiffen your resolve.
The terrorists released this video for their own propaganda purposes. Let us use it for ours.
July 21, 2004
Still scratching my head over this one. Iowahawk, on the other hand, has the story pretty well handled.
The Spanish Effect
An Iraqi group threatened in a video tape aired Wednesday to kill six hostages from India, Kenya and Egypt if the Kuwaiti company they worked for did not pull out from Iraq, Al Arabiya television reported. The Dubai-based television aired the tape of what it said were the masked captors and their hostages as they demanded that the company leave Iraq. They also demanded that India, Kenya and Egypt withdraw their personnel from Iraq.Three or Four of you might recall the International Day of Mourning I started after Spain announced it would recall it's troops from Iraq. Check that post out. All of this was very predictable, and with the Phillipines following the Spanish model this news should come as a shocker only to Dean/Nader fringe of Kerry supporters.
Thank you Spain, and give our warmest regards to the Phillipines.
Paul Johnson's Head Found: Kerry's head still missing, presumed up ass
The head of slain American hostage Paul Johnson Jr., who was kidnapped and decapitated by militants in Saudi Arabia last month, was found by security forces during a raid that targeted the Saudi al-Qaida chief. Two militants were killed, the Interior Ministry said today.Despite fellow political scientist, and now fully employed wonk, James Joyner's optimisms, (he thinks this is a good sign that the Saudi's are cracking down on militants) I remain skeptical. Yes, it is now in their interests to fight al Qaeda, but let's remember that all policy is only as good as it is implemented. Implementation must be carried out by people, and people may not always share the same goals as the state. Al Qaeda sympathizers in various Saudi ministries may not fully cooperate with further crackdowns. So, Paul at Wizbang's emphasis on pretending is fully shared here.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said Johnson's head was found after a search of one of three locations after the raid late Tuesday that hit the home of Saudi al-Qaida leader Saleh Mohammed al-Aoofi. Weapons, including an anti-aircraft SAM-7 missile, chemicals, video cameras and cash were among items seized from the location.
In a statement broadcast on Saudi al-Ekhbariya television, the Interior Ministry said the head was found in a freezer in an apartment.
The body was not found.
Further, is it just me, or is this very odd? I mean, head in freezer--come on! That seems less al Qaeda and more Ted Bundy.
Expect a fatwa within 24 hours on this. The media will report the fatwa as "condemning the murder" of Paul Johnson. In reality, a close reading of the fatwa will condemn the mutilation of Johnson's body or the "un-Islamic" treatment of the corpse.
Anyone like to make a bet out of this prediction?
mypetjawa v. 2.0 (beta)
Hey all, welcome to my new digs!
I know I've been promising to make the move for over a month now, but as you can tell, I've had other things on my mind.
The reason that this is a beta version is that I'm still tweaking the layout. Expect many changes in the following days. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
I need to make a few shout-outs here.
Second, props to my referrers. There was once a time when I could actually list ALL of my referrers. This is no longer the case. But those of you involved in the time honored tradition of link whoring, thanks.
Third, thanks to my frequent commenters. Honestly, even as the sitemeter continues to climb, it wouldn't be worth it without some feedback from readers. MB2, ccwbass, Jane, Simon, Brian B., Senator Phil A. Buster, Publius, Gordon, er, and the rest--Thanks.
Fourth, big thanks to my buddy Muddy for all the encouragement over the past few months. Now publish something!!
Last, I would be remiss if I didn't send a big Spacebo Bolshoi to the Commissar. When this site was still testing it's 1.2 beta version, the Commissar always gave me encouragement. In fact, back when the sitemeter hovered around 30, nearly all my hits came from him. Not sure how the whole 'blogfather' thing works, but if there is a Don in my circle of blog-buddies, then the Commissar is it.
So, thanks to everyone. Sorry for leaving so many links un-dropped. We'll try to fix that in the coming months. I promise--and take this as a pledge--a relentless campaign to drop your links. It will be the link-drop campaign to end all link-drop campaigns. A link-dropping campaign so large, so bold, so ingenious, that future generations of bloggers will recall the days of 'ot four' with reverence. Yes, my friends, prepare yourselves.
Let the link-dropping begin!
July 20, 2004
Rusty Shackleford 3.0
Dr. Rusty Shackleford and Mrs. Nancy Shackleford announce the release of the latest version of their software, RS v. 3.0.
Since Mrs. Shackleford and I are pro-life, RS 3.0 is not a beta release ;-)
To be honest, though, the template he worked with was nearly perfect.
July 01, 2004
I'm moving, I swear
Thanks to all the hearty welcomes.
This move is taking longer than I thought it would.
a) I blog from my office, and the servers have been down for almost a week.
b) My parents are in town.
c) I'm on a bunch of hiring committees and it's crunch-time.
d) I'm lazy.
e) This is harder than I thought.