Friday, September 29, 2006
issue that needs to be resolved before the 2008 Republican National Convention. One commenter picks up on an issue that ties in with a post from Ivan at JSW earlier this week. I won't spoil your fun by going into a lengthy explanation, but hit both posts and think about it.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
previous posts regarding the Pope's statements on reason and religion, or as they have been cast everywhere, violence and Islam. Now today I ran across a column on the Prospect's website (no, seriously, this one is worth reading) by one Kirsten A. Powers, in which she compares and contrasts reactions to the Pope's statements on Islam with Rosie O'Donnell's on "radical Christianity." Yes, I'm serious, yes, so is she, and yes, it's good reading.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
post something like this (no warranty on the link, since, you know, reports are moved when circumstances warrant). True to Drudge style, there's very little from the man himself, but it really couldn't be much better if he had.
efforts to reform the ACLU, and feel they're long overdue.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
this blog about sports law. Head over and check it out.
But here's where the story takes a turn. First, Hugo the Terrible brandished a copy of a a Noam Chomskey book while making his speech. I suppose one crazy arrogant overblown jackanapes deserves another. (And by the way, if you think I put in that part just so I could use the word Jackanapes, you are a sage observor.) But today on the way in, I saw a sign that promised some humorous hijinks on AM 950, if one would only turn the dial there from 8 to 11. Little did I know that it was Air America radio. Frankly, little did anyone know, except perhaps the IRS and various creditors, who seem to be the only one interested in the slightest in Air America's operation. But I turned this on, and it was a Hugo Chavez love-fest. Some woman called in claiming that all African-Americans realized that Hugo was right and that Bush is the devil. Another woman called in, and after getting the commonplace "Bush is Hitler" routine out of the way, proceeded to praise Chavez to high heaven. She included a quote that Chavez and the peoples of the world saw Katrina and decided they didn't want "that kind of freedom". Meanwhile, the host (without a trace of humor as far as I could tell), good-naturedly concurred with all these opinions, agreeing that Chavez was the man.
I wanted to call in for a second, and ask if the world had gone mad. I know the left hates the President. I know they'd like nothing better than to impeach him. But is a little perspective TOO MUCH to ask? And again I'm fully aware that it was talk radio, and the Right's talk radio mavens annoy me almost as much with their polemics. But the fact that some Americans actually admire Hugo Chavez is unbelievable. The absolutely offensive and frankly imbecelic comparison to Hitler is one thing. I suppose it's far worse than admiring a blowhard with socialistic ambitions. But HOW can you admire Chavez? How can people who profess admiration for the expensive and absolutley worthless institution of the UN admire a man who made a mockery of the whole idea of reasoned speech bridging the gap between nations? Sure, there might be some sensual enjoyment from hearing a man (who you hate more than anything else) called the Devil. Sure. But at what point do you wake up? WAKE UP! It's time to set aside the petty Bush-bashing and Anti-American Dictator loving and advance some new ideas. Some have advanced the idea that the Democratic Party is the party of new ideas. I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing people who are so idea-less and leaderless that they express admiration for somebody's whose act is tired, but whose ideas at least SOUND interesting (to somebody with no understanding of economics). Our two-party system cannot long continue is such an environment. I'm already on record that the Republican Party is losing its way and needs to wake up and smell the coffee. But I sure don't have any hope of the Democratic Party, in the grips of the absolutly insane minority of people whose voices, insistent and loud, are pushing the party towards absolute lunacy.
(Hey, I never said polemics weren't fun to deliver. And at least I'm not running for something, or, to my knowledge, admired by any influential people in either party.)
EDIT: Apparently, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Rangel somewhat agree with me. I'm abashed.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Surprise! Violence over the Pope's remarks! Who saw this coming? Does anybody in the Muslim community see the irony of this situation? "Islam is violent" says the Pope. "How dare you?", says Muslims, "Take it back or we'll threaten your life, exhibit generally violent behavior, and stab one of your followers to death!" And that deafening silence you hear is the Muslim community expressing outrage towards the "minority" that is giving it a bad name. Let's update the scoreboard. Christian expressing doubt as to the direction of Islam, and calling it violent? The most outrageous statement ever, and "Hitler-esque". Muslims rioting, looting, and killing innocent nuns? Not a problem. If I were a Muslim, I'd be so embarrassed.
Friday, September 15, 2006
says something about Muslims. They see it to be offensive. It probably is. I personally don't think that quoting from the 14th century is enough. Obviously, he quoted it for some purpose. Now, we can argue about whether what he said was both offensive and true. I think it's definitely possible to posit that in fact Islam has had a long history of spreading religion by the sword, and it's understandable by those hurt by it would have harsh feelings for it. But I'm more interested in the reaction. Anger. Rage. Burning effigies in the streets. And a lawmaker in Turkey comparing the Pope to Hitler and Mussolini. Hmm. Let's evaluate. Hitler and Mussolini killed millions of people based solely on their geneologies, oppressed much of the world, and were the cause of a war that almost destroyed Europe. The Pope said something mildly offensive. Okay, I suppose that's where we're at today. I know many Islamic leaders are noted for their rabid hatred of Jews, but equating the butchery of millions of them with the hurt feelings of a group of religious people seems a bit inappropriate. Maybe I'm a little sensitive (I'm noted for it). Others claimed that the Pope was trying to restart the crusades and was totally ignoring the fact that only a small portion of Islam is doing heinous things. Interesting. Cartoons and offensive remarks prompt firestorms of outrage from moderate Islam (often complete with violence against the Pagans foolish enough to say a discouraging word against their beliefs). Meanwhile, horrific violence against non-believers by the "fringe" of Islam prompt...crickets. Bland statements that indicate that what occurred was sad but inevitable. In some sense, the feeling is "you drove those folks to it, and we understand, though obviously murdering thousands of people is usually somewhat inadvisable". If we saw this type of outrage and backlash against the real threat to Islam (itself), there would be nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this immature and infantile attitude continues to pop up, and underline the growing tension between cultures.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
this without comment, except this. James Lileks is a very funny man.
Monday, September 11, 2006
here's a post by baseball crank, one of my favorite baseball and legal bloggers, whose office was on the 54th floor of the WTC.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
this as a sign of things to come? The prisoners in Abu Ghraib are begging for the U.S. to come back. Turns out the Iraqis aren't as nice as we are. Now I'm not excusing naked-human-pyramid building. That's not cool. Seriously. Not cool at all. But sometimes I think we tend to take things a bit out of perspective. Sure, where there are problems in our treatment of detainees, they should be addressed. But in a peculiar way, I think the criticisms highlight an attitude that the left loves to blame the right for. And that is a sort of "America-first" concentration on the activities of the U.S. while ignoring the rest of the world. It strikes me as similar to the hullaballoo we constantly have about racism in our country (which of course still exists and should be addressed). Meanwhile, the left idolizes countries in which the most virulent forms of racism are endemic. Similarly, some would rather focus on waterboarding in a few scattered camps than on mass genocides. Again, I'm not saying that we should ignore our country's errors, just keep them in perspective.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Alykhan Velshi and Howard Anglin on NRO:
"Neal Katyal, who represented Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard Salim Hamdan before the Supreme Court, recently told the Legal Times that for every one piece of hate mail he has received, “there are 10 supportive e-mails from [American] troops, saying, ‘Thank you for defending me and my cause, because if I’m caught in some other country, what’s going to save me from a beheading, except for the fact that the U.S. plays by rules?’”This is nonsense. When militant Islamists slit the throat of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, there was not a single al Qaeda member in Guantanamo Bay and the only torture in the Abu Ghraib prison was by order of Saddam Hussein. What capacity for self-delusion is required to believe that granting captured terrorists Common Article Three protections will suddenly reduce their depravity? For Katyal to claim that militant Islamists are even aware of the Great Writ of habeas corpus, let alone Justice Stevens’s ipse dixit in Hamdan, is more than harmless self-aggrandizement; it is dangerous folly."
Say it ain't so! Old Clinton cronies are outraged, OUTRAGED, sir, at a new ABC docudrama that says that the Clinton administration may have not handled Al Quaeda perfectly in the runup to 9/11. I'm personally shocked that any media outlet would distort and twist the facts so as to reflect negatively... on a liberal or democrat. And a dramatization that seems to impute some measure of ineptitude towards a President? We've never seen that before, have we? I just think the whole thing's hilarious. I can just imagine the look on the faces of the Clinton aides. I imagine it's similar to that of Julius Ceasar. Et tu, ABC?
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Apparently, the GOP is putting immigration reform plans on hold until the election, focusing instead on more bankable issues. On the one hand, this craven political pandering disgusts me, and reinforces my dislike of politics in general. Issues that really need attention (and immigration definitely fits the bill) are put off if they're unpopular, while popular issues likely to inflame the populace's sentiment, but that really need no attention, are emphasized. On the other hand, I tend to disagree with some of the Republican party's position on immigration, tending to believe in a free market of labor. On the whole, I think this qualifies as a bad thing. We elect people to take care of things that need to be taken care of by the government, a list which in my opinion is a lot smaller than most politicians think it is (MUCH smaller). So get your work done! (And don't think that this pro-work ethic screed is for the benefit of any employers who might happen to be visiting this site. Because I've seen the traffic reports. I'm fairly confident I know all of the readers of this site by name. Jason and James.)
Friday, September 01, 2006
After a lot of build-up and a discussion of Richard Armitage:
"Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously."
Al Gore lecturing the audience on global warming at the VMA's. How rockin is that?