Friday, May 28, 2004

"The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our Constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, 'boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction].'" --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Ritchie, 1820.
Here's something you don't see very often.

From an interview between Dan Patrick and Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros (with a nod to the guys at the Boar's Head Tavern for the heads-up):
DP: Best conversation you've had with a catcher at the plate.
LB: Benito Santiago is pretty accommodating to conversations. A lot of catchers don't like to talk; they're really focused and concentrating, but he'll talk to you. At least you can hold a conversation with him.
DP: Give me an idea. You step in the box and how does the conversation go?
LB: Well, it just depends on how the game's going. If it's a tight game, late in the game and it's a serious situation, you might not say anything. But early in the game, after a particularly nasty pitch, you might say, "Damn, that was a pretty good pitch there" (or something like that). I mean, we're not discussing Calvinism versus Arminianism or anything like that. Just trying to keep some light banter going.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

I've never watched "American Idol," so I don't know Rueben Studdard from Rueben Kinkaid.

But I'm told that a black gal won the whole thing last night, meaning that Elton John needs to shut his fat yapper.

Last month, John evidently complained about "racism" when a couple of white folks beat a couple of black folks in the telephone voting.
"The three people I was really impressed with, and they just happened to be black, young female singers, and they all seem to be landing in the bottom three," said John, commenting on the tally in which the lowest vote-getter is eliminated.

"They have great voices. The fact that they're constantly in the bottom three -- and I don't want to set myself up here -- but I find it incredibly racist," John said...
Even if a white person had won "Idol," John's comments would still be idiotic. By his reasoning, anyone who purchases an Elton John record is a racist, since there are plenty of black acts they've bypassed in order to do so.

But the fact that the contest was won by a black person means that this poofter ought to A) apologize to America, B) shut his pie hole, and C) go back to picking out which toupee he's going to wear under his pink fez.
In yesterday's rant, Gore worked himself into a feverish lather before a cheering crowd, shouting "Donald Rumsfeld ought to resign immediately! Paul Wolfowitz! Douglas Feith! The intelligence chief Stephen Cambone! All ought to resign immediately! Condoleeza Rice ought to resign immediately! George Tenet should also resign!"

Ah, yes. Wild-eyed, unhinged, sweaty lists have proved to be quite a successful Democratic tactic this year.

Donald Rumsfeld! Condoleeza Rice! And Paul Wolfowitz! And we're going on to California! And Texas! And New York! And we're goin' to South Dakota! And Oregon!....YEEAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!
It's good to see almost-President Al Gore acting so dignified lately.

As my friend Dave G. points out, "I would like to call for the resignation of Al Gore from his post as...ummm...senior adviser to Google..."

Whether you're a fan of George W. Bush or not, is there anyone in America who still wishes Gore had won the presidency?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

While it's almost too easy to make fun of bloviating, bovine filmmaker Michael Moore, it never really gets old due to the fact that he continues to be worshipped as a god by pedantic leftists worldwide.

That's why lots of enterprising folks are actively engaged in creatively exposing Moore's hypocricy, lies, and blatant silliness on the web and in the media.

This summer, one young filmmaker is releasing in theaters his response to Moore's nonsense: a documentary titled "Michael Moore Hates America".

Moore, as you may know, has built a career by pretending to be a populist man of the people, hounding people like former G.M. chairman Roger Smith and N.R.A. president Charlton Heston, among others, on camera. But as it turns out, the rotund, factually-challenged propagandist doesn't like to take the medicine he's peddling. In fact, he's spent no small amount of time hiding from the documentary filmmaker who's hounding him. Ironic, since Moore's first big success was a documentary film about chasing around the CEO of an automobile corporation who refused to be interviewed by him.

Mike Wilson, the director of the film, has even offered to give a portion of the movie's profits to a hurting school in Moore's hometown of Flint, Michigan. According to Wilson:
You all know that I recently made an offer to Michael Moore to give 5% of the profits from the film to Buell Elementary School in Flint, MI, provided he did the 45 minute sit-down interview I’ve been requesting of him for a year now. He has yet to respond.
But Moore rarely puts his money where his mouth is. You've undoubtedly heard Moore complaining recently to every media outlet in the world that his film "Farenheit 9-11" is being "censored." This is, of course, the furthest thing from the truth, but Moore has never been one to let facts get in the way of a good pose. He claims that the film is so important for people to see before the election, he'll break laws to make sure it gets released.

Now, anybody with a brain knows that there are no "laws" restricting him from releasing his movie, and thus none to break. But this makes him sound brave to Frenchmen, since bravery is a virtue the French only know second-hand.

Well the guys at have called him out on it. They've started a petition called "Release the Movie," which calls on Moore (since his film is so important to the maintainence of truth, justice, and the American way) to release his film for free on the Internet so that the "message" can be distributed to everyone. Of course, internet release would mean forgoing profits, which Moore always decries as evil anyway. Let's all start holding our breath now.

Some other good sites devoted to are:,,, and Bowling for Truth.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Another story that proves the old adage: "Never embed a $200,000 diamond in the nose of a Formula One race car."
Holy moly! Do you realize that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor of California?

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Oh, man, do I ever want to write a caption for this one:

NARAL Declares Victory on Judiciary

In a newsletter sent out to members yesterday, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) takes a look at George W. Bush's hard bargain with the Senate, and declares it an unqualified victory:
Big news! After tremendous outcry from outraged activists (that's you!), the White House reached an agreement with Senate Democrats yesterday and vowed to stop installing judicial nominees during Congressional recesses. On two separate breaks in Senate sessions, President Bush appointed controversial judges whose extreme anti-choice views prevented them from earning Senate confirmation. Congratulations on helping make sure this doesn't happen again, and stay tuned for more info on our campaign to stop one more extreme anti-choice activist judge whose nomination will be up for a vote over the next few weeks...
Now the president's got them right where he wants them!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Boy, the Bush Administration drives a hard bargain.

According to Byron York, who writes about Bush's week-kneed judicial collapse in today's NRO:
The agreement came after weeks of frustrated negotiations between the two sides. In the end, it was Republicans who forced an end to the stalemate. They did so by threatening to bring up for a vote the president's lower-court nomination of Marcia G. Cooke, an African-American lawyer from Florida who is supported by both of her (Democratic) home-state senators. If Democrats wanted to maintain their blockade and use the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education to stall the nomination of a clearly qualified black woman, Republicans said, they were welcome to do so. As it turned out, Democrats didn't want to do that, and accepted what was, for them, an extremely attractive White House offer.
Only the Bush Administration could twist the opposition party's arm enough to get it to agree, under duress, to do exactly what it's already been doing for 3 1/2 years.

Pretty sweet deal for Bush. As York points out:
In return, Daschle promised to let 25 of the affected nominees through the Senate. That number includes 20 District Court nominees and five appeals court nominees, who will receive Senate action by the end of June. All of them are non-controversial; Democrats did not agree to stop their filibusters of nominees Priscilla Owen, Carolyn Kuhl, and Janice Rogers Brown (another filibuster target, Miguel Estrada, withdrew his nomination in the face of Democratic opposition). Democrats also did not agree to forgo more filibusters in coming months; some in the GOP expect Democrats to filibuster nominees Terence Boyle, Claude Allen, Brett Kavanaugh, and possibly others if Republicans attempt to bring them before the Senate for votes.
You drive a hard bargain, Mr. President. You gave all your power away in exchange for a return to the logjammed status quo ante of two months ago.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Bush Administration grows more gutless by the day.

Imagine this scenario: you win the presidency, and your party not only wins the House of Representatives, but the Senate too. Then you (as president) nominate some judges to the bench who actually think the wording of the Constitution means something.

But the minority party doesn't like that, and so they try a trick to block those nominations. To overcome this, you, the president (and leader of the party controlling both chambers of Congress) excercise your Constitutional right to sneak in and install exactly two of those dozens of blocked judges while the Congress is in recess.

The minority party screams bloody murder and tells you "Now we're not going to let any of your judges be confirmed. We had been blocking most of them, now we're blocking all of them."

You, as president (and leader of the party controlling both chambers of Congress) put your tail between your legs and say "Wow, you're playing some real hardball here. Tell you what: I promise I won't appoint any more judges behind your back if you'll only please, please, please go back to blocking most of my nominees rather than all of them."

"Okay, it's a deal," the minority party says. "We'll go back to blocking your judges while you go back to letting us."

In such a scenario, who would appear to be in charge?
TOM DASCHLE: Bark, George! Bark!

The recent 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling reminded me of an important truth: if people in America agree with the results of a ruling, they won't give a whit about the legal reasoning (or lack thereof) used to arrive there.

People in America generally think racial discrimination is a bad idea. Therefore, they laud Brown --despite the fact that it's a lousy ruling. Based on no legal reasoning at all, Brown was a landmark in the substitution of sociology and emotion for the text of the actual Constitution.

No less a liberal paragon than the New York Times headlined a story on the ruling in the next day's paper "A Sociological Decision: Court Founded Its Segregation Ruling On Hearts and Minds Rather Than Laws."

But all that's forgotten now. Instead, we look for judges to hand down by fiat the decision that guarantees results we like, Constitution be damned. Liberals and conservatives alike look at the results and ignore the reasoning. And we can thank Brown v. Board, at least in part, for that.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I spent the weekend devouring most of Peggy Noonan's recently re-released memoir What I Saw at the Revolution.

Where to begin telling how much I love this book. It's funny, it's touching, it's perceptive, and it's beautifully written. It is the best political memoir I've ever read, and I've read a few of them. In fact, I honestly can't remember the last book I've enjoyed more. Every word is a delight.

That's not by accident, since the book is not really about politics; it's about the importance and power of words. Noonan crafted some of Ronald Reagan's most important speeches, and the snapshot she provides of the personalities in his White House has proved to be, over time, the definitive picture of that era.

Anyone who loves and values words will find a soul-mate in Noonan. Her illustration of what the Gettysburg Address would look like had it gone through the White House "staffing" proccess (wherein each department has it's say about what should stay and what should go in a speech) is worth the price of the book itself.

If Lou Cannon's and Edmund Morris's Reagan biographies are the bland dinner, Noonan's chronicle of her time in the administration is the delicious dessert. All books ought to be this much fun to read.
I'm happy to announce that, conceding to public demand, Brian at Terrible Swift Word is back in business with the Nigerian scam artists.

This one should be particularly good, since the scammer is preying on Christians in the name of Christ.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Like many of you, I've been deeply disturbed by the Nick Berg situation this week. Though I did not watch the video (nor will I), I saw a few of the still photos, and if anyone needed more proof that we're dealing with animals, this ought to provide it. Unfortunately, the media which has flogged the Abu Ghraib prison photos ad nauseum has gotten suddenly queasy about graphic content and evidently already wants to move away from the Berg story.

I absolutely agree with those I've heard who, recognizing the horror the Berg family has been through, are willing to give them a free pass on whatever they might say. But there is one statement I can't get out of my mind.

One story quotes Berg's father, an anti-war activist, saying:
"I am sure that he only saw the good in his captors until the last second of his life," Berg said. "They did not know what they were doing. They killed their best friend."
I have no idea what Nick Berg believed. Those who knew him seem to indicate that he was not particularly political. But I fear his father's statement reflects the naivete of those who think that radical Islam can be reasoned and negotiated with. They did know what they were doing. What Berg's father is failing to understand is that these terrorists have no friends.

They kill people. It's what they do. Many think that if we were just nice enough, just conciliatory enough, just helpful enough, terroristic Islam would be pacified and leave us alone. Well, that's not the way they work. Scott Berg once again has conclusively proved that. They kill their enemies. They kill their friends. They kill themselves. There is no befriending these people.

The Islamists didn't need to any instigation from prison photos or the war in Iraq to fly airliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. They'll always find a reason to attack. The only thing that stops them is sheer, raw, brutal force.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Try to figure this one out.

In 2001, a high school girl in Michigan wanted to include a Bible verse in a short piece she was invited to write for the school yearbook. The school administration deleted the verse from the yearbook because they were afraid they would be sued by the ACLU, which has in the past sued to disallow voluntary prayer at football games and graduations, to disband extracurricular Good News Bible Clubs, and the like.

So the ACLU sued the school anyway--for censoring the student. They won the case yesterday, and according to CNN:
The ACLU said that under the terms of the settlement, the school district agreed to place a sticker with Moler's original entry in copies of the yearbook on file at the high school; ordered current yearbook staff to not censor other religious or political speech; to train its staff on free speech and religious freedom issues; and to write Moler a letter of regret.
I wonder how the ACLU figures out which side they're going to take on a case like this? Is it a coin-toss? Do they draw straws?

The irony is, the ACLU created the very atmosphere in which school administrators feel they have to stifle religious speech. And while it tries to absolve itself of responsibility by poking its nose into an isolated case in one state, millions of public school children will continue to have their religious freedoms violated daily by the very system the ACLU engineered legislated through the courts. I suppose if it sat back and simply enjoyed the fruit of its success, there would be no further litigation money to be made.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq today.

Evidently the visit went well, except for the short-haired, cigarette-smoking gal who kept running up to the podium and pointing at his genitals.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Just got back from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where I did an interview yesterday with David Limbaugh. He's a very nice guy whose recent book Persecution is a must-read (though the title may be a tad of an overstatement). Of course, I never pass up an opportunity to journey back to White Castles/Imo's Pizza country.

While I get back into the saddle, I thought you might enjoy reading a review of the soon-to-be-dead Air America radio network from the New York Daily News. The piece, by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Goodwin, is called "Liberal radio is airing bad jokes and worst taste." I wonder what he thinks of it?

The best part is this little tidbit:
During a day of torture by radio, I heard ads for Hewlett-Packard, Greyhound and, especially, General Motors. I asked GM why it appeared in such shows.

Ryndee Carney, GM's manager of marketing communications, said the ads were wrongly picked up from an earlier deal with WLIB. She said the station was ordered to "cease and desist" yesterday, and added: "GM will not advertise on any Air America affiliates."

Friday, May 07, 2004

The comical, gastly disaster that is the Air America liberal radio network continues. (Incidentally, even I can't help but feel sorry for them when I look at their homepage, which has a banner at the top trumpeting "11 Sations Nationwide.")

According to Drudge today, the network's chairman, Evan Cohen, has resigned. So too has the vice-chairman. Oh yes, and the network also failed to make its scheduled payroll this week.

I once told somebody I didn't think Air America would last six months. Now I'm not even sure if its going to make it six weeks.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Months ago, a judicially active court ordered brain-damaged Terri Schiavo to her death.

As you might recall, however, Terri shows all sorts of signs of consciousness, reacts to her parents, is not in a persistant vegatative state according to the testimony of a dozen doctors, and has never been given one minute of rehabilitative therapy. No one can be sure of the reason for a court to order her death, but some of us are cynical enough to think that it might have something to do with the fact that her legal guardian is her husband Michael, who now has two children by another woman, stands to make hundreds of thousands of dollars if she dies, and is coincidentally demanding that Terri be starved to death.

In America now, of course, the law is only what a judge says it is. So while we have laws against murdering people, it's okay if a judge orders it to be done. Michael Schiavo found a judge, George Greer, who was willing to order Terri's starvation (against the will of her parents, who are willing to take responsibility for her care). Her feeding tube was removed, with nurses ordered not to sponge Terri's face for fear some of the liquid might make it into her mouth.

The people of Florida were outraged at this act of pure judicial fiat, with a federal judge assuming the power of life and death over a woman who's never been accused of any crime. They rose up and demanded a law to protect Terri from this court-ordered, unlawful execution. Governor Bush, working with the State Legislature, enacted a law ("Terri's Law") that ordered her feeding tube restored. It was a case of the people using their constitutionally mandated power to check a runaway judicial executioner.

But as we said before, the law now in this country is whatever some judge says it is, Constitution and representative government be damned.

Today, yet another judge decided that the will of the people means nothing and overturned the law they duly enacted. One judge on one side, millions of other people and a life at stake on the other side. And the judge, accountable to no one, issues his decree of death.

The governor is appealing, but of course that won't matter since it only will take one judge to disagree with him. It has always been a matter of when (not if) under our judicial monarchy.

Michael Schiavo will act to remove Terri's feeding tube as soon as he is allowed to. Doctors estimate it will take about 10-14 days for her to dehydrate and starve to death. Maybe a day longer if some of that water accidentally drips into her mouth.

UPDATE: The headline on CNN's homepage right now says "Judge strikes down Gov. Bush's brain-dead woman law." Of course, she's most certainly not brain-dead. No one even claims that. But if saying it a few times makes it easier to kill her, what the heck.
Since today is the National Day of Prayer, maybe we could all pray that 'Friends' won't end tonight. I mean, there's still so much ground left uncovered. They haven't explored every possible pairing. I don't think Joey and Ross have done it even once! Or maybe they have. One loses track.

Please, please don't let this show go off the air. Not when we're so close to "The One Where Monica Goes Through Menopause."

But if it must end, would it be asking too much for it to take 'ER' with it? If 'ER' were one of its own patients, an emergency room doctor would have stopped pumping on its chest and said "I'm calling it" sometime around 1998.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

John Derbyshire in NRO writes today on why Arab cultures cannot seem to produce democracy. His analysis is terrific, including his insights into the mind of George W. Bush on the matter. But ultimately, he stops short of recognizing the obvious elephant in the living room.

His analysis of Bush springs from these comments the president made the other day
There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily — are a different color than white can self-govern.
Derbyshire sees the obvious non-sequiter involved here:
What is the president actually saying? What, for instance, is all that stuff about skin color? What does skin color have to do with the matter of democracy in Iraq? I have blood relatives in England who are darker-skinned than Saddam Hussein. Practically the entire editorial staff of National Review is darker-skinned than Muqtada al-Sadr. And how did we suddenly segue from "people whose skin color may not be the same as ours" (Whose? Yours? Condi's?) to "people who practice the Muslim faith," then back again in the very next sentence to "people whose skins...are a different color than white"?

The reason for all the confusion is that the president is talking — or rather, like a good multiculturalist, tying himself in knots by trying desperately not to talk — about race.
Derbyshire doesn't shy away from the question. Instead, he analyzes the racial component of different groups ("population genetics") in that part of the world to find out if there is a genetic reason for their inability to support democracy. But Turkey (and to some degree Jordan) seem to militate against the notion that Arabs are racially incapable of self-government.

And yet democracy continually fails in that part of the world. Observes Derbyshire:
The uncomfortable fact remains that of the 18 nations whose first language is Arabic, not one is a modern constitutional democracy. The further fact remains that while President Bush may, and probably does, believe that constitutional democracy is priority No. 1 for the Arabs, a great deal of circumstantial evidence suggest that for many in that part of the world, priority No. 1 is the humiliation and murder of their enemies, most especially the hated Jews, with constitutional democracy round about priority No. 853.
So what is the problem? It is here where Derbyshire inexplicable shrugs his shoulders and gives up, not seeing what his own research and reasoning (along with obvious observation) lead us to: the problem is Islam. Islam is incompatible with democracy, and the Arab community is fatally infected with Islam.

Until we realize that, we'll never be able to confront the real problem that faces us in that part of the world.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Carl E. Olsen has a fascinating piece appearing in today's NRO comparing Tim LaHaye's and Jerry Jenkins's Glorious Appearing (the most recent in their Left Behind series) and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

The books currently hold the top two spots on the New York Times fiction bestseller list. One might be tempted to see significance in two "Christian" books sitting atop the publishing field, but Olsen says there is no common ground between their two versions of Christianity--at least not in the way you might think:
In fact, Brown's and LaHaye/Jenkins's views of Jesus are a point of serious difference, and no amount of glib semantics should obscure the matter. Rather, it's far more accurate to describe both books as neo-Gnostic mythologies based on radical interpretations of ancient texts. Both are created without much concern for fact and scholarship, but both give a wealth of lip service to supposed research and historical veracity. Both rely on a dramatic emotional appeal that is steeped in anger and fear. Both rest on a distrust of authority and a desire to be free from the confines of tradition. Both promise special knowledge, or gnosis, to those willing to accept the authors' premises and suspend judgment about the veracity and solvency of those premises.
Still, one is a wacky corner of actual Christianity (although LaHaye's and Jenkins's corner arguably comprises a sizeable chunk of the room right now), while the other is a different religion altogether:
Now, if push came to shove, I'd choose to be in the trenches with LaHaye and Jenkins over Brown any day. Despite serious disagreements, we share essential beliefs and I have no doubt about where they stand. Not so with Brown, whose hip and popular postmodern cant is syncretistic, often incoherent, and thoroughly relativistic.
What a shame that a book on Christianity as it has actually been practiced for the past two millennia can't seem to crack the best-seller list.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Last week, Hank Stuever, a staff writer for the Washington Post, penned an encomium for Skankapalooza 2004 in the paper's Style section.

As a staff writer for a bastion of objective journalism, he could hardly restrain his unbounded enthusiasm for the event:
The March for Women's Lives, an impressive and congenial amassing of hundreds of thousands of abortion rights advocates held yesterday, succeeded where other lefty assemblages on the National Mall of late have stumbled: It felt both urgent and singularly focused on its cause, instead of coming at you jampacked with multiple issues and distracting freak shows.

This was a big multi-generational Vagina Monologue, starring everyone. The vibe of the day-long rally was at once good-humored and yet deadly serious. It was aggressive and even occasionally, almost delightfully, profane...
Sounds like fun. And this is before he begins to gush.

Of course, we all saw bits and pieces of this vaunted congeniality, such as the signs that said "Abort Bush in the first term" and "If only Barbara Bush had a choice," and Stuever also describes "a guy in a long pink sarong-style skirt with a white dress shirt and necktie and pink do-rag on his head"--no freak show there. But the writer then gives us some insight into his own perspective:
And the guys! These could be, like, some of the best boyfriends and husbands ever. They all have perfect three-day stubble and look like Gideon Yago from MTV....Many of the men were also wearing "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like" T-shirts. One Asian American guy had on a pink shirt that said "Cute Guys for Women's Lives," and he was cute...
Keep in mind, these words were written by someone named Hank. But he's not finished effusing yet:
Then a spoken-word poet stood onstage and waved her arms around and riffed on the Con-stitution, the coun-try, coun-ter-revolutions -- except in each of those c-words, please insert the naughty c-word. (The one we're not supposed to say in print.)

Now you're speaking the language of the modern movement.
Ah, yes, the modern, congenial, light-hearted, cerebral movement. Great job by the Washington Post in providing the sober analysis.

(Thanks to Diana West's column for the heads-up on the Post article.)
Slate continues to be insistent that Judge Roy Moore is going to run for president on the Constitution Party ticket:
As Chatterbox has noted repeatedly, the Constitution Party is keen to make Moore its standard-bearer. If Moore runs for president, as he's suggested he might do, Moore has the potential to siphon so many Christian right votes from President George W. Bush as to throw the general election to the presumptive Democratic nominee, John Kerry. Moore, in other words, has the potential to become the Ralph Nader of the right.
From what I understand, the Constitution Party already has a presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka. On the other hand, the number of votes Judge Moore would be able to garner on a national level (particularly from disaffected conservatives) would exponentially greater than Peroutka, and as Slate points out, he would have the potential to make a crucial difference in the general election.

From my standpoint (as someone who knows next to nothing about the Constitution Party, but more than a little about Judge Moore), my own guess is that the Constitution Party would be willing to replace Peroutka with Moore if Moore were willing, but that Moore will decline the opportunity.