Friday, December 31, 2004

What Is A "Beguine," Anyway?

Big Band leader Artie Shaw has died in Thousand Oaks, California, leading to the inevitable question: Good grief, Artie Shaw was still alive?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Brush With Greatness

Okay, this is weird.

I don't watch so-called "Reality TV." At all. I've never seen "Survivor." I've seen maybe five minutes of "American Idol." I'm just not into it.

That having been said, I've heard a little bit about (and saw a promo for) something on the WB called "High School Reunion." They take a bunch of people ten years out of the same high school, stick them on an island somewhere, and they relive all the unresolved drama of their high school years.

This time around, the big buzz is that there's an insane woman on the show. Evidently she was jilted by some boyfriend (who's also on the island) back in high school, and now she's insanely pursuing him again. It's been written about by many, including Bill Simmons, my man over at (who says "Believe me, I wouldn't make a statement like this lightly -- there's a chance that she could be the craziest person in the history of reality-TV").

Anyway, I just went and picked my lunch up at Subway down the street here. There was a woman there holding forth at a table with six or seven people gathered around her, and she was talking about how she had been treated on "reality TV" and all the lessons she had supposedly learned. The people around her were asking about "hall passes," whatever that means.

Yup, you guessed it: It was crazy girl.

I checked the show out on the internet when I got back to the office, and sure enough, the high school being featured on the program is here in Ft. Lauderdale. She's listed as "Jaime, the Obsessed Ex."

She didn't strike me as crazy, though. Just a little self-involved and vacuous in that Valley Girl sort of way.

A Wave Of Guilt

The predictable liberal self-flagellation has gone into full swing in the wake of the tsunami disaster in Asia.

Why don't we care as much or more about this than 9/11? they wail. This death toll is dozens of times that of 9/11! And why are we so stingy with our relief money? It's probably more evidence that we're a racist nation!

Now as any reasonable person knows, the United States far and away gives (and will give) far more money to the relief effort than any other nation. And all Americans (including liberals) are free to write checks to the disaster relief organizations of their choice. (Which, by the way, is a much better and more efficient way of helping than our government giving tax dollars to the United Nations--money that will inevitably be skimmed by the corrupt U.N. bureaucracy.)

It's quite telling, however, that liberals want to frame American generosity purely in terms of tax money sent overseas through the United Nations. The only money that really counts as "generosity" to liberals is government funds raised through taxation, because that's where they get to engage in their favorite activity: spending other people's money to assuage their own consciences.

This disaster is one of biblical proportions, and it warrants our prayers and our giving. But I'm not going to participate in a liberal guilt-fest over my level of emotional reaction to this tragedy.

There are perfectly good reasons why we cared more viscerally about 9/11 than we do about this disaster. These make sense to any thinking person--which is why liberals are having such difficulty comprehending them.

  • 9/11 was a unique event: a foreign terror operation carried out on American soil. Nothing like it had ever happened before. In contrast, Third World death tolls in natural disasters, while regrettable, are nothing new. Nearly a million Chinese are estimated to have died in earthquakes in the 20th century alone; 400,000 of them in one quake in 1976. 20,000 people died in an earthquake in Turkey only three years ago. Natural disasters kill tens of thousands in Bangladesh every decade. In 1991, a cyclone there killed nearly 140,000. The same thing killed half a million there in 1970.
  • Proximity matters. I'm more interested when a friend or family member is in danger than someone I've never met before. Nearly everyone in America is in some way connected with someone who lives in New York City. The vast majority of people in America, when the 9/11 attacks took place, thought "I know somebody there!" In contrast, there were maybe a few dozen Americans involved in this recent disaster. You don't even know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who was there. Does it make us cold and callous that we care more, then, about New York City than Sri Lanka? Of course not, it's just common sense.
  • Closely related to the previous reason is familiarity. Most of you had personally seen the Twin Towers, and many of you had perhaps actually been in those buildings at one time or another. They (and the Pentagon) were extremely familiar landmarks in the American consciousness. They were a part of daily American life. The World Trade center defined the skyline of the biggest city in our home nation. On the other hand, most of us wouldn't know Thailand if you dropped us in the middle of it.
  • 9/11 was a man-made event and was preventable. The tsunamis were a natural disaster and were unpreventable. Evil intent always sparks more interest than the forces of nature. In 9/11, there were causes to evaluate and criminals to bring to justice. There was no wrongdoing or evil intent with the tsunamis, just raw force.
  • There is a general recognition that the reported death tolls are not even close to being accurate. When there is a large gathering on the National Mall in Washington D.C., they aren't even able to estimate the crowd to the nearest hundred thousand--and that's using modern technology such as aerial photos of the event itself. Crowd estimation is so notoriously difficult that the U.S. Park service won't even do it anymore. So how are we going to get an accurate estimate of the dead with nearly zero technology in a Third World disaster area? The answer is: we aren't. These figures have a margin of error of probably +/- 80%. It could be many, many more, and it also could be far, far fewer. Remember, we didn't even get a final death toll for 9/11 until something like a year after the event. And the total was much lower than all the initial predictions and estimate. The numbers being thrown around for the Asian disaster are being manufactured purely out of thin air. Nobody has even the slightest idea of the real toll.
The bottom line is, I will pray for the victims, and I will write a check to the Salvation Army or Samaritan's Purse. But I won't let goofball liberals make me feel guilty for not feeling more guilty. Write a check from your own money for once in your lives, you liberal crybabies.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Catcher In The Wry

I see that author Susan Sontag has died at 71.

I can think of no more fitting epitaph than the eloquent words of "Crash" Davis, the grizzled catcher in the best-ever baseball movie Bull Durham:

"The novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap."

The fact that Crash (Kevin Costner) says this directly into the face of Susan Sarandon (even if she was only playing a part) makes it even more wonderful.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

How Much Confirmation Do You Need?

According to reports, pro-abortion forces are amassing their troops to oppose the rumored elevation of either Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Both are said to be candidates to replace the ailing William Rehnquist.

Kim Gandy of NOW was quoted last week as opposing Scalia because he "is so disrespectful of his fellow and sister justices on the court. The level of disdain for the other justices in his opinions comes through loud and clear."

It's rare for me to agree with someone from NOW, but I completely concur with Miss Gandy's characterization of Scalia's attitude towards the rest of the Court. In fact, it's a primary reason why he's one of my personal heroes.

Nonetheless, I think the Bush administration would be foolish (though that's never stopped them) to promote Thomas or Scalia. Whoever is nominated to be Chief Justice will face a bruising confirmation fight in the Senate. Neither Thomas nor Scalia would fare well in such a battle. Thomas was famously lynched during his first Senate hearings in the early 90's. Scalia is hated with a passion by the left and they'd bring out everything they've got against him. So why go through a bruising confirmation battle and expend tons of political capitol on behalf of someone who's already a member of the court? The administration would be fighting a huge battle just to stay even, really. And when it's all said and done, they'd still be stuck with an opening to fill (and another horrific confirmation battle).

Instead, Bush would be smart to simply kill two birds with one stone. He should nominate the new person (whoever it is) directly for Chief Justice, and save the rest of his ammunition for the next opening, which is likely to come along sooner rather than later.

It's not at all unusual. Before Rehnquist was promoted from Associate Justice to Chief Justice in 1986, his previous two predessesors (Warren Burger and Earl Warren) both entered the Court as Chief Justices.

It would be senseless to fight two costly battles to merely add one conservative justice to the Court.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Kwanzaa, Twozaa, Threezaa, Fourzaa...

Though I've been running a bit behind, this is the time of year when it's always nice to debunk the farcical, made-up sham of a "holiday" called Kwanzaa.

This year, we'll hand the baton to LaShawn Barber, who points out, among other things, that Kwanzaa is the invention of one Ron Karenga, who besides Kwanzaa is probably best known for his conviction on charges of torturing two women in the early 1970's.

Make sure also to check out the links LaShawn includes at the end of her piece for more info on this ridiculous sham. If it's supposedly insensitive to wish someone a merry Christmas, you ought to be able to execute someone for wishing you a "Happy Kwanzaa."

Monday, December 20, 2004

"She Was A Quiet Girl, Kept To Herself..."

Somebody tell me this wasn't a psychotic episode just waiting to happen:

Friday, December 17, 2004

Some Folks Just Can't Make An Exit...

...or an entrance, either.

Pedro Martinez, on his way out of Boston, paused to insult the Red Sox GM, the team's other star pitcher, the manager, and the rest of the organization that just won the World Series. In an Associated Press story, Martinez calls GM Theo Epstein "arrogant." He also says:
I told [owner John Henry], 'You want to sign me, get it done. Please force them to get it done. I'm willing to stay here. Negotiate with them. I just don't want to be under Schilling....I'm way over Schilling as a pitcher and I've pitched pretty much like Schilling the last few years, if you're going to talk about durability.
Of manager Terry Francona, the first Red Sox manager to win a World Series in 86 years, Martinez said:
Francona is subject to what they decide....Francona had no say, like he didn't have any say in managing the team. He was manipulated from upstairs.
But at least Pedro did manage a compliment for one former Red Sox teammate, catcher Jason Veratek. In fact, Martinez says that he wants Veritek to come with him to the Mets--to replace the guy who's going to be his catcher, future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza:
Piazza is a good hitter. We can move him to first or somewhere. ... I want 'Tek. 'Tek is a good player, a good catcher.
Now that's a graceful transition.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

'Tis The Season To Be Hackneyed

It has become a perennial Christmas rite that at least one of the three major newsmagazines will publish a cover story on Jesus, examining the issue of his life and work with scholars running the gamut from liberal to super-liberal.

This year, it was Newsweek that stepped up to the plate with its entirely predictable offering. It includes the requisite copious quotes from the wildly liberal and unorthodox Jesus Seminar, a group far beyond the fringe of respectable Biblical scholarship--liberal or otherwise--yet the darling of the media on all things Christian nonetheless.

Rather than going through each of the myriad errors (which would take months), I'll simply direct you to those who've already done a great job debunking it, such as Hugh Hewitt, Dr. Albert Mohler, and Mark D. Roberts, whose terrific treatment is the most extensive point by point refutation I've seen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Attention Fox News Channel Fans!

Though the network has been doing well, they've reached a crucial juncture. What happens now could determine the next two years of the network.

So if you are a Fox News fan, we must ask you: Would you at least consider murdering your spouse before the end of the year? I know it sounds radical, but it's imperative. With the Peterson trial ending, Greta has maybe two shows left in her at best.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Smell Of Kwanzaa Season

Of course, this has become the time of year where we now regularly hear outrageous stories of the ridiculous purging of any hint of religious vestiges in Christmas celebrations around the country.

John Leo writes about the New York City public schools allowing only secular holiday symbols in the classroom, "such as Christmas trees, menorahs, and the star and crescent." Yeah (as Leo points out), that star and crescent are real secular.

Jay Nordlinger describes "Sparkle Seasons," "December Nights," and "Frost Time Festivals."

In New Jersey, one parent (an attorney--go figure) nearly succeeded in having "Silent Night" removed from a school concert that also featured (unprotested) "The Dreidel Song" and "Kwanzaa's Here."

In Wisconsin, the state capitol now displays a “Winter Solstice” sign which proclaims, “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.”

One New Jersey school district has banned for its brass ensemble even instrumental versions of songs that mention Jesus or Santa Claus.

And the examples of silliness go on and on and on.

Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost has an interesting post on the subject (though I think his conclusion is ultimately misguided; no, Christian symbolism at Christmas is not the most important battle there is, but it's part of an overall secularization of society that Christians worsened through passivity. And the Christian side of the issue still enjoys a good degree of popular support, thus it's a good place to take a stand for Constitutional liberty.)

In his post, Carter makes one of the best statements I've seen on the silly position of the secularists:
[E]very year I’m baffled by the animosity toward Christmas symbolism. The same secularists who think that playing Grand Theft Auto:Vice City while listening to gansta rap has no affect on children act as if hearing “Merry Christmas” will turn little Johnny into a Pat Robertson clone.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Museum Piece

This is the best one I've seen today:

PBS blowhard Bill Moyers, who, unable to compete in the journalistic free market, has suckled from the public teat for nearly all of his silly career, is hanging it up after he completes the newest edition of his program. Get this:
"I'm going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee," says Moyers.
Actually, from where Moyers stands, the media probably does appear right-wing. Which pretty much tells you all you need to know about Bill Moyers.

When he's done, they can put him in a museum next to the other unreconstructed Marxist fossils of another age.

Back To Reality

Well, now that the election is safely over, we can go back to observing how much the Bush Administration really does bite.

In addition to it's idiotic and incomprehensible policy on illegal immigration ("We like it!"), there is also the staggering arrogance.

Several examples just from the last few days:

Robert Novak writes that the Bushies refused to receive Catholic Italian statesman Rocco Buttiglione, one of the few conservative, pro-America figures left in modern Europe:
While this conduct contradicts Bush's campaign posture, there is no mystery about what is going on. The re-elected president is offering a hand in friendship to "Old Europe," at the cost of alienating the traditional Catholic constituency so avidly courted the past four years. Never having to worry about running again, Bush can give the back of his hand to Buttiglione, just as the leftist-dominated, anti-American EU refused to seat him as a commissioner.
The administration couldn't even spare a staffer to meet with perhaps our nation's best friend in Italy.

Perhaps that's because all the staffers were too busy spending the weekend dumping on Rudy Giuliani, whom they're blaming for the abortive Bernard Kerik nomination for Homeland Security chief. (It's called "vetting," Mr. President. Look into it.)

According to the Times:
Although people close to the president say he likes and respects Mr. Giuliani, they say the president has long been leery of him as a man who could not be counted on for the loyalty demanded by Mr. Bush. And while the breakdown of Mr. Kerik's nomination is not lethal to Mr. Giuliani's relationship with the White House, the friends and officials say, it will hardly burnish his credentials with the president.
As Steve Martin used to say, "Well excuuuuuuuuuuse meeeeeeee!"

Good grief, all this "loyalty" stuff is starting to sound downright Nixonian. Imperial Presidency indeed. Just how many days did Giuliani (whom I don't particularly care for) spend stumping for Bush during the past election? Towards the end, Bush and Giuliani were were spending more time together than Chang and Eng.

But that's not "loyal" enough. Is "loyalty" how the idiot savant Norman Mineta has been able to retain his cabinet post so long? If so, perhaps we ought to start looking a little less at "loyalty" and a little more at "competence."

What do you have to do to be considered loyal to these people? Donate a kidney? Carry out a hit on Paul O'Neill?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Holy Cow!

Anthony Flew, perhaps the world's most famous atheist, has announced that he has given up his atheism due to scientific investigation.

According to ABC News:
A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God more or less based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday.

At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.
While such a faith won't do him any good, it's still a stunning admission from one whose atheism has been so prominent.

Says the article:
[B]iologists' investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved," Flew says in the new video.

Judging Thomas

Ann Coulter has a typically terrific column today on the endemic racism of "enlightened" liberals.

Opponents of affirmative action, for example, have long argued that the program is merely white paternalism springing from an attitude that blacks are not intelligent enough to accomplish anything without white liberal help--what President Bush beautifully called "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

The liberal "intelligentsia" (such as it is) increasingly confirms the accuracy of that suspicion every day. Its latest attack has been on Condoleeza Rice, President Bush's nominee for Secretary of State. It's as if liberals (and the Democrat Party) almost can't help themselves from betraying their racist attitudes. Prominent Democrats have been running around to every microphone they can find saying that Dr. Rice "has not demonstrated great competence" and "doesn't bring much experience or knowledge of the world to this position" (as opposed to, say, that genius Madeleine Albright).

As Coulter points out:
Liberals at least give white Republicans credit for being evil. Rumsfeld is a dangerous warmonger, Paul Wolfowitz is part of an international Jewish conspiracy, Dick Cheney is "Dr. No." But Dr. Rice? She's a dummy.

In fact, after spending the last four years telling us that President Bush was an empty suit, a vessel for neoconservative fantasies of perpetual war, liberals have now found someone who is Bush's puppet: the black chick.
As Ann points out, this is not an isolated phenomenon. It's what liberals routinely do with blacks who refuse to work the Democrat Party plantation:
The late Mary McGrory, a white liberal, called [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia "a brilliant and compelling extremist" – as opposed to McGrory herself, a garden-variety extremist of average intelligence. But [Clarence] Thomas she dismissed as "Scalia's puppet," quoting another white liberal, Alvin J. Bronstein of the American Civil Liberties Union, to make the point. This is the kind of rhetoric liberals are reduced to when they just can't bring themselves to use the n-word.

Most recently – at least as we go to press – last Sunday Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, had this to say about Justice Clarence Thomas: "I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written." You'd think Thomas' opinions were written in ebonics.

In the same interview, Reid called Justice Antonin Scalia "one smart guy." He said that although he disagreed with Scalia, his reasoning is "very hard to dispute." Scalia is "one smart guy"; Thomas is the janitor. If Democrats are all going to read from the same talking points, they might want to get someone other than David Duke to write them.
Understand, this is the party line with Democrats--the ultraconservative Scalia is brilliant (but evil), and the ultraconservative Clarence Thomas is his stupid puppet.

In reality, Thomas is a brilliant jurist. He and Scalia have wound up on opposite sides of more than a few cases. Kenneth Starr, in his wonderful little book First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life actually argues that, while Scalia is more flamboyant and entertaining, Thomas is the most original legal thinker on the Court.

But the Democrats wouldn't know any of this, because they don't actually read legal opinions, and they don't read books either, as Coulter notices:
On the Sean Hannity radio show, Democratic pundit Pat Halpin defended Sen. Reid's laughable attack on Thomas by citing Bob Woodward's book "The Brethren," which – according to Halpin – vividly portrays Thomas as a nincompoop.

..."The Brethren" came out a decade before Thomas was even nominated to the Supreme Court. The only black Supreme Court justice discussed in "The Brethren" is Thurgood Marshall. That's one we haven't heard in a while: I just can't tell you guys apart.
There have been exactly two black Supreme Court justices in American history. And as Coulter's excellent column points out, Democrats can't keep them straight. Why do you suppose Halpin got Thomas and Marshall confused? Do you suppose it was because of the ideological viewpoint Thomas and Marshall share?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Piling On The Cheese

A British firm with way too much time on it's hands polled people to find out what the ten all-time cheesiest movie lines are.

There seems to be some chronological arrogance involved in the selections, since every line is from a movie made in the late '80's forward. But it's hard to argue with any of the selections (though I could quibble with the order; nothing, but nothing tops "Nobody puts Baby in the corner"). They are:

1). Titanic: Leonardo DiCaprio’s “I’m the king of the world!”

2). Dirty Dancing: Patrick Swayze’s “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

3). Four Weddings And A Funeral: Andie McDowell’s “Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.”

4). Ghost: Demi Moore’s “Ditto,” to Patrick Swayze’s “I love you.”

5). Top Gun: Val Kilmer to Tom Cruise: “You can be my wingman anytime”

6). Notting Hill: Julia Roberts’ “I’m just a girl... standing in front of a boy... asking him to love her.”

7). Independence Day: Bill Pullman’s “Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

8). Braveheart: Mel Gibson’s “They may take our lives, but they will not take our freedom!”

9). Jerry Maguire: Renee Zellweger to Tom Cruise: “You had me at hello.”

10). The Postman: A blind woman says to Kevin Costner: “You’re a godsend, a savior.” He replies: “No, I’m a postman.”

Okay, maybe I can argue a little. The number 8 line from Braveheart is actually a terrific line, in my own humble but most accurate opinion. And I think "You complete me" is an even cornier line from Jerry Maguire than the one they selected.

A few more:

  • Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan: "Earn this." Great movie. But this is the big cry line, and let's face it, it's corny.

  • Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not: "You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and...blow." As my wife once said, "What does that even mean? That's not sexy, it's stupid."

  • Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween: "Was it the boogie man?"

  • Harrison Ford in A Clear and Present Danger: "Sorry Mr. President. I don't dance."

  • So what are some of your choices for corniest movie line?

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Not For One More Mineta

    As long as we're purging most of President Bush's cabinet, would at least be possible to include the least competent member in that mass exodus? Norman Mineta is the most dangerous member of this cabinet, and I'm not even hearing a whisper of finally canning him so that we can bring some sanity into protecting airline passengers.

    According to a fascinating article (linked above) by the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald:
    The government antidiscrimination hammer has hit the airline industry most severely. Department of Transportation lawyers have extracted millions in settlements from four major carriers for alleged discrimination after 9/11, and they have undermined one of the most crucial elements of air safety: a pilot's responsibility for his flight. Since the charges against the airlines were specious but successful, every pilot must worry that his good-faith effort to protect his passengers will trigger federal retaliation.

    Transportation's action against American Airlines was typical. In the last four months of 2001, American carried 23 million passengers and asked 10 of them not to board because they raised security concerns that could not be resolved in time for departure. For those 10 interventions (and an 11th in 2002), DOT declared American Airlines a civil-rights pariah, whose discriminatory conduct would "result in irreparable harm to the public" if not stopped.
    This is nothing but sheer idiocy, and it's the reason why "increased safety" on the post-9/11 airlines is merely a mirage. Airline security, under threat of federal government lawsuits, is mandated to ignore the single most reliable predictive factor for hijacking.

    This is what happens when you include Democrats in anything. If the president's cabinet is going to be entirely reconfigured, why not replace Mineta (who, when asked on 60 Minutes whether a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach should receive the same airport scrutiny as a Muslim young man from Jersey City, famously replied "I would hope so") with someone who's actually competent and cares more about airline safety than applying affirmative action to strip-searches?

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    Sounds Like A Brokaw Record

    Recently, in a fit of nostalgic bonhomie, I realized that I had allowed myself to forget just how far off the beaten path Tom Brokaw really was.

    Generally, I've tended to look at him as the least objectionable of the Big Three anchors, and that view strengthened with his impending retirement. But in watching an MSNBC retrospective of his just-ended career last night, I recognized anew that, though he may originally be from a "red state" (a fact he likes to tout in order to bolster his supposed objectivity), his sensibilities are purely Manhattan.

    Two things he said, in particular, jumped out at me.

    1). In discussing the emerging realization of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980's, Brokaw said "My friend Larry Kramer called me...." I don't even know what he said after that. My mind froze at the sentence "My friend Larry Kramer..." I'll tell you this much: Larry Kramer (the founder of ACT UP, whom the ultra-liberal Salon magazine refers to as a "gay rights hell-raiser") is not hanging out with anyone he suspects of being more conservative than, say, Barbra Streisand. Among Kramer's notable recent accomplishments is his claim to possess evidence that Abraham Lincoln was a flaming homosexual. And he and Tom Brokaw are buddies.

    It would be the equivalent of Brit Hume saying "I really began to understand [insert issue] after my pal David Duke called me up." But hey, don't all of we normal Americans have a few friends who are flamboyantly gay, HIV positive, found radical activist organizations dedicated to "vigilant acts of political and cultural provocation," and who run around looking for evidence that America's major historical figures were sodomites? Of course we do.

    2). Brokaw, in his discussion of Ronald Reagan's presidency (which, to his credit, he gave generally high marks), claimed that Reagan was way too slow in responding to the "AIDS crisis," and that on issues of race Reagan was "still a man of the 1930's and '40's." The first claim, though mindlessly parrotted to this day, is eminently debatable. All recent evidence shows that, despite shrill media pronouncements to the contrary, AIDS in America was (and is still) primarily and overwhelmingly a behavior-related phenomenon among primarily homosexual males. The homosexual community could have stopped the spread of AIDS very quickly by discontinuing its prodigiously promiscuous sexual practices. And the notion that it's the president's job to fight diseases presupposes a rather expansive and paternalistic view of the government--a view that's certainly not conservative. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated by critic after critic that the major media actually gave wildly disproportionate coverage to the AIDS issue in the 1980's. Brokaw's toeing of the party line on the Reagan-was-negligent-on-AIDS issue speaks volumes about his basic worldview.

    As for Brokaw's slanderous insinuation about Reagan's views on race (since, after all, "stuck in the '30's on race" is euphemistic for "racist"), he's simply wrong. This again is nothing more than party-line hackery. All the evidence points to the contrary. Everyone who ever knew the man claims exactly the opposite.

    Brokaw was a decent looking fellow who could read the teleprompter and make people feel comfortable, which is important in a news anchor. But he was also every bit the reflexively liberal media dinosaur which is currently killing the network news business.

    More Of Those Super-Rational Blue-Voters

    According to the Boca Raton News, the traumatized Kerry voters had their first group therapy session last Thursday. Even aside from the delicious irony of those claiming to be rational and scientific turning to the witch-doctory of group therapy, it's fun to watch:
    The first of several free noontime therapy sessions at the American Health Association in Boca Raton was designed to treat what mental health counselors have dubbed Post Election Selection Trauma (PEST). “If I had a cardboard cutout of President Bush, and these people wanted to throw darts at it, I would let them do it,” Robert J. Gordon, AHA executive director, told the Boca News after the session. “It’s no joke. People with PEST were traumatized by the election. If you even mention religion, their faces turn blister-red as they shout at Bush.”
    The story adds:
    “There’s an overall sense of emotional helplessness and abandonment,” said Sheila Cooperman, a licensed AHA psychotherapist from Delray Beach. “In psychology, we call it ‘learned helplessness.’ After you zap a caged dog twice, he stops moving because he knows there is no place to go. That’s what happened with these Kerry voters. They’ve been zapped so many times that they’re on the verge of giving up on politics.”
    The nation should be so fortunate.

    Not In The Pink

    If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

    Friday, December 03, 2004

    Wake Up And Smell The Kofi

    Have you been keeping an eye on what's been going on at the United Nations as of late? Seriously--have you checked it out? If not, you need to. The implications of the rampant corruption being exposed there are, quite literally, mind-boggling.

    William F. Buckley has an interesting column today on the confusing departure of U.N. ambassador Jack Danforth after only four months on the job. Though Danforth cites family reasons for leaving, Buckley points out that the complete moral bankruptcy of the U.N. had to play a part in his thinking.

    Danforth was quoted earlier this week, after the General Assembly attempted to cut off a motion criticizing the horrific human rights violations in Sudan, as saying "One wonders about the utility of the General Assembly on days like this. One wonders, if there can't be a clear and direct statement on matters of basic principle, why have this building [in New York City]? What is it all about?"

    Keep in mind he actually said that after he had already written his resignation letter to President Bush.

    I keep hoping for the coup de grace that will finally either end the U.N., or end the United States' involvement in it. One can only pray that the multiple investigations of Anan & Company's regnant depravity will finally do the trick.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    A Capitol Time

    Washington D.C. is a super-liberal town, filled with snarling traffic jams and homeless vagrants. Never, except in New York City, am I accosted and yelled at by more deranged people than on the streets of D.C. Yet strangely enough, I love being there. No matter how often I go or how much time I spend there, I never seem to reach a point where the Capitol rotunda comes into view and it doesn't take my breath away just a little bit. Never once have I driven past the White House without suddenly turning my head and saying "Wow! That's the White House!"

    We interviewed Gary Bauer while we were there, and found him to be far more genial and friendly than the media portrays him, which probably shouldn't be surprising. We talked about a wide range of subjects, but I thought one of his best statements was on the issue homosexual marriage. Bauer said (and I'm paraphrasing, but it's pretty close): It's ironic that liberals call the homosexual marriage opponents "divisive." In reality, homosexual marriage is one of the least divisive issues in the country. The American people are overwhelmingly unified in their opposition to it.

    We also spent some time with Terry Jeffrey, editor of Human Events yesterday. He was on deadline finishing his most recent column.

    "What's it about?" I asked.

    "The greater sage grouse," smiled the conservative pundit.

    "Huh?" I thoughtfully responded.

    Anyway, here's that column in its final form. And yes, it is political.