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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Not A Good Day
in Falluja, Iraq. Four American civilians were killed, their bodies dragged through the streets and hung from bridges. Also, in a separate incident, 5 American troops died when a large roadside bomb exploded under their vehicle.
Men with scarves over their faces hurled bricks into the blazing vehicles [of the civilians]. A group of boys yanked a smoldering body into the street and ripped it apart. Someone then tied a chunk of flesh to a rock and tossed it over a telephone wire.

"Viva mujahedeen!" shouted Said Khalaf, a taxi driver. "Long live the resistance!"

Nearby, a boy no older than 10 ground his heel into a burned head. "Where is Bush?" the boy yelled. "Let him come here and see this!"

Masked men gathered around him, punching their fists into the air. The streets filled with hundreds of people. "Falluja is the graveyard of Americans!" they chanted.
You just want to shake your head and laugh at these morons, except good men are getting killed. So then you want to just mow them all down, but that wouldn't be helpful either. Ultimately, I'm glad there are brave men and woman over there who know what the right thing is, and are willing to do it. God bless them.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Love This Ad
Thanks to Jonah for pointing this out.

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Kerry is dangerous
Here is more proof that a "Kerry presidency" must never become a reality. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, reminds us what kind of man John Kerry is.
During his 1971 congressional testimony about the Vietnam War, a man who would one day seek the Democratic party's nomination in the 2004 presidential race was asked by a senator to assess the threat of Communism, not just to Indochina, but to world peace in general. The witness responded, "I think it is bogus, totally artificial. There is no threat. The Communists are not about to take over our McDonald hamburger stands."
The first point I want to make is, who was the idiot senator who asked that question? What does it matter what a 27-year old thinks about the geopolitical ramifications of a communist victory in Vietnam? No doubt the senator knew what Kerry would say and agreed. But rather than have the cajones to say it himself, he let the witness do it.

Now to Kerry. There are two possibilities concerning his assessment of the Communist threat. 1) He was lying. Or, more accurately, saying what he thought was most beneficial to him at the time, regardless of what he believed. 2) He actually believed that communism was not a threat. Notice he talks about whether they're a threat to us ("McDonald hamburger stands") rather than its threat to Indochina. He believed that the expansion of communism was not a problem for America, and therefore nothing to worry about. I think both are true.

So what does he believe now? Is he still the type of person who will say whatever needs to be said at the moment? It's pretty obvious that he is. Does he still believe that world movements with aspirations of domination are not to be worried about? I don't think he wants to have to make that decision. He'd rather avoid it, or delay it. Let someone else handle it. But never make the judgement that communism is evil and must be confronted, or that terrorism is evil and must be confronted.

He's a dangerous man.

By the way, I was trying to think of this the other day.
· At the time of the Great Ukrainian Famine, playwright George Bernard Shaw and his friend, Lady Astor, had a rare visit with Josef Stalin. "When are you going to stop killing people?" Lady Astor brazenly asked of Comrade Stalin. His terse reply: "When it is no longer necessary."

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Runner-up Crapweasel of the Week
Even though he's always a frontrunner for Crapweasel of whatever time period you choose, I believe Sen. Kennedy should be recognized for his outstanding achievement in weaseltude. Think about what the Dems have done to President Bush's judicial nominees, and then read what Kennedy said about the Republicans refusal to consider his minimum wage hike amendment to the Welfare Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 4),
"I think we are on notice now. Are we supposed to assume the majority is only going to permit amendments which they approve? Is that going to be the new rule of the U.S. Senate? After 230 years, we are only going to permit votes which we, the Republicans, approve? That is what we are saying. Is that the institution the American people thought they had in the U.S. Senate? Is that what they thought we were doing here? Come on. Come on. That is not the Senate I was elected to or that I believe in and that the American people do."
Oh, please.

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Rice to Testify Publicly Before 9/11 Commission
I think this is a good idea. I admit I don't fully appreciate the precedent the president (hey, that was a nice juxtaposition) wants to avoid setting here, but I think there are sizable benefits to having her testify. First, she's a very capable woman who will be able to defend the president ably. Second, the "what's the president trying to hide?" argument is muted. Third, let the left (including the media) try to maintain their insistence that Bush is to blame after Dr. Rice testifies - it will be fun to watch.

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War and Terrorism
Former Reagan Sec. of State George Schultz gives a great synopsis of how the world came to be in the situation we are now in - the events and decisions that brought us here and what should be done about it. He gives an excellent defense of Pres. Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, reviewing the history of Iraq and the civilized world for the past 20 years.

In talking about the history of terrorism in the last 25 years he singles out 4 specific events:
1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the 2001 destruction of the Twin Towers, the bombs on the trains in Madrid...
Notice the first three all came in the first year of a new administration - Reagan, Clinton, Bush. Each event, possibly, a test of the new president to see what his method of response would be. Hmmm.

Schultz wraps it up this way:
If we put this in terms of World War II, we are now sometime around 1937. In the 1930s, the world failed to do what it needed to do to head off a world war. Appeasement never works. Today we are in action. We must not flinch. With a powerful interplay of strength and diplomacy, we can win this war.
That's why we need to keep George W. Bush in office. We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

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Nice victory for the T'Wolves last night in Houston. The Big Ticket showed why he should be MVP this year, securing the lead for good with a fadeaway jumper over Yao Ming. The Spurs remain 1.5 games behind the wolves in the Midwest. Here are the Western Conference standings
Team, Games Behind
1. x-Sacramento -
2. x-Minnesota 2
3. x-L.A. Lakers 2
4. x-San Antonio 3½
5. x-Memphis 4½
6. Dallas 7
7. Houston 10
8. Utah 14½

9. Portland 15
10. Denver 15
That is just insane! Minnesota, San Antonio, and Memphis are within 2.5 games. The 4th place team, Dallas, is 17 games over .500. The fifth place team in the Midwest would be tied for 1st in the Atlantic.

No let up for the Wolves.

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Laci and Conner's Law
Human Events has a behind-the-scenes account of the defeat of Dianne Feinstein's "poison-pill" amendment to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997). It is nice to see that Senate Republicans can push a through a difficult piece of legislation.
Congressional sources tell HUMAN EVENTS that the pro-life success in defeating this amendment can be chalked up to hard work by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.). Frist was reportedly instrumental in bringing pro-abortion Senators Ben Campbell (R.-Colo.) -- whose vote was in doubt up to the last hour -- and Lisa Murkowski (R.-Alaska) over to the pro-life side. In turn, Murkowski brought with her Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska).
Way to go, Senator Frist!

And now for our Crapweasel of the Week: Sen. Arlen Specter.
Interestingly, liberal Sen. Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) found this rollcall very unpleasant and tried to sit on the fence. Although he did not want to be the vote that caused Feinstein's amendment to pass, he voted "yes" only after was clear that the amendment would fail. This made little political sense for him, as a "no" vote would have helped him fend off the tough primary challenge he faces from conservative Rep. Pat Toomey (R.-Pa.).

Republican Senators voting in favor of the Feinstein amendment - Collins, Chafee, Snowe, Specter.

Democrat Senators voting against - Breaux, Miller, Nelson (Neb.).

Sen. Biden did not vote.

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Picking Up The Slack
Nick is unavailable for a few days, so I'll try to pick up the slack. I know it's a futile exercise to replace your insight, Nick, but I'll try to provide a little filler.

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Saturday, March 27, 2004

Utterly Unsurprising Headline
The headline on this story didn't even surprise or shock me in any way.

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Friday, March 26, 2004

An Open Letter to John Kerry
Holy Makarel. It doesn't get any more devestating that this: An Open Letter to John Kerry

The money question:

Do you believe any former United States military officer who so much as tolerated the sort of behavior you described in your testimony should be elected President of the United States?

I mean, this is cutting, powerful, and devestating.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Great News!
WASHINGTON - The Senate passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act on Thursday, following House passage last month of a bill that would make it a crime to harm a fetus during a violent federal crime.

Yes! It's about time. This law makes perfect sense and is an added protection for women. All women will benefit from this bill because it's not always obvious that a woman is pregnant (the law describes the baby as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.") Therefore, the possibility of a second life may be a deterrence. I admit that a thug who will attack a woman will probably not give a flying fig about her baby, but he'll certainly care when he's sentenced to twice the amount of time he would have gotten otherwise. But of course, the real goal is to protect that growing life inside of her.

Naturally, the feminists have no interest in protecting women. The usual suspects fought against it. Amendments were proposed by Feinstien and Murray, but both were defeated.

I love this quote:
"This would be the first time in federal law that an embryo or fetus is recognized as a separate and distinct person under the law, separate from the woman," said NARAL president Kate Michelman. "Much of this is preparing for the day the Supreme Court has a majority that will overrule Roe v. Wade."
Lord, haste the day.

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Peggy Noonan
Lest Peggy feel slighted by my earlier post today, I want to give her a nod for today's column concerning the 9/11 hearings. (I'm sure she's thrilled.) She makes these excellent points:

Government takes care of government. - Powell "understands" Albright's decisions, she understands his.

Regarding Albright's suggestion "there was no political will on the part of the American people before that date to attack the Taliban or invade Afghanistan." Peggy says -
She's right. There was no movement among voters to take out Al Qaeda. Most people didn't know what al Qaeda was. But that of course is where leadership comes in.
Dead on.

Off the record, an elected official said about Clinton, "you have to understand that Clinton is purely a poll driven politician, and if the numbers aren't there he won't move." Peggy:
The lunch was off the record, and I appreciated the official's candor; he didn't try to spin me. I wasn't shocked by what he said--Mr. Clinton was a poll driven animal. But you didn't have to be psychic to know bad things were coming; you only had to be watching the world. I found myself marveling at Mr. Clinton's thinking, which in the short term was savvy and in the long term spoke of a kind of moral retardation.

And to make it all worse we had, from 1993 to 2001, an essentially unserious president who had no clue what to do with the power he had accrued, or even the popularity, and who squandered both in a need for personal drama and trauma. He had eight solid years to move, but he did not do the hard things he had to do. He left it for the next guy.
She summarizes her column this way:
Right now we should be preparing--taking protective action in our ports and around our nuclear facilities, at our borders, etc. American officials should not be busy testifying; they should be busy making sure every citizen has a CBN suit, a regulation gas mask and data on how to recognize and respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear incident.

The most pressing thing at the moment is making America safer. Instead, our officials are otherwise engaged. As they were before 9/11.

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Must Read from Gelertner
This simply must be read.

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Jonah on Clark
Jonah is good today, and makes a great point:

"I also think it is outrageous and slanderous for Clarke to assume and assert that when the commander-in-chief asks an aide never mind one he doesn't know well and who served in the previous administration to do something that aide thinks is ill-advised, the most plausible interpretation is that the president was trying to falsely pin the blame on another country to start a war. That is a huge, implausible and dangerous leap. "

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Our Buddy Dick Clark
Another great letter in The Corner. I agree -- Clarke should give the money to the 9/11 victims families as he let them down so badly -- something he admits.

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Speaking of the Derb
Here's a fun interview with him.

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The Wonderful IRS at Work
This is just so wrong on so many levels.

I've always said that the IRS is the most oppressive organization in the free world.

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Re: Whalen
Great piece in Powerline. She'll be sorely missed at the U. She's one of a kind.

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re: Uh-oh
I saw the Derb's article and agree with you. Usually Peggy is spot on, but she let this one go through her legs for a single to right. Derb points out an instance of what I like to call the "Sissification of America".

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This is no time to get all wobbly
... as Margaret Thatcher said -- sort of.

Instapundit has the scoop on ripples of democracy flowing across the Middle East.

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We have a problem. The Derb has written a treatise disagreeing with the always engaging Peggy Noonan. We here at Banterings hold both in very high regard - Peggy a little higher than Derb, in my opinion. We're now forced to make a choice, to take sides. Well, in this argument, I think The Derb is right.

He takes issue with this statement:
It would be good, however, to see the president speak about American open-mindedness and what it means in practice and theory. America is now a country - it was not always - in which people feel free to hold whatever private views on all human groups and behaviors while bowing to the moral necessity to show respect and regard for all groups that are different, in whatever ways. We have gone beyond tolerance in America; we have arrived at affection and sympathy and mutual respect. It has been beautiful to see, and I have seen it in my lifetime. It's worth talking about.
And he's right on all counts. I remember reading this a while back and I thought it was a little too syrupy (as Peggy can be sometimes). Derb then proceeds to take it apart.

He first points out the President has not been derelict in emphasizing the character of the American people. True. A minor point. 'Nuff said.

Derb (emphasis his):
It does not follow that we have, or should have, arrived at "respect and regard for all groups that are different, in whatever ways." Why on earth would we do that, or want to do it? We should, of course, approach individual human beings with respect and proper regard, unless or until the particular human being we are dealing with gives us reason to do otherwise. That is elementary good manners.

The only people expected to "bow to the moral necessity to show respect and regard for all groups that are different, in whatever ways" are we members of DOGs (Designated Oppressor Groups). We are supposed to cultivate the most exquisite sensitivity to members of DVGs (Designated Victim Groups), and to tear our flesh in shame at the recollection of past wrongs. They, on the other hand, can insult us as much as they please. They also have a license to loot our assets, make free use of the money ripped from our pockets by force of law as taxes, and trash our cherished institutions. This is where "beyond tolerance" has taken us.
Stick with me now. Here's the money paragraph:
We have not, in fact, gone "beyond tolerance" at all, we have merely invented new kinds of intolerance. We have not swept away caste-feudalism and replaced it with a shining meritocratic egalitarianism; we have just traded in one style of caste-feudalism for another style. This is not a society "in which people feel free to hold whatever private views on all human groups and behaviors." People are ashamed of their private beliefs and fearful to disclose them. They are baffled by the fact that sincere opinions held by their parents and grandparents, rooted in custom, good sense, scripture, and everyday observation, are now shouted down as "bigoted" and "intolerant." What use are private beliefs anyway, if they are excluded from the public square by a suffocating conformity, imposed by an ever-vigilant Thought Police backed by armies of predatory lawyers? Under this relentless pressure, private beliefs fade from all but the bravest hearts, to be replaced with the state-approved formulas: diversity, inclusiveness, equality, compassion, respect.
So true. Fear of attack, and worse, has silenced many. And, beyond that, it has pressured them to abandon what they know to be true because it's too difficult to continue to think one thing and say another.

The orthodoxy of "tolerance" that Ms. Noonan is so pleased with seeks to stamp out not only private opinions, but also actual facts.

Beyond tolerance? I don't see it. What I do see is a trend towards a European-style society dominated by an arrogant overclass of credentialed intellectuals, who are deeply contemptuous of those less articulate than themselves, and profoundly in-tolerant of traditional customs and morals, of Christianity, of normal sexuality, of manual work, of motherhood, of the military virtues, of any expression of ethnic pride or loyalty by anyone not a certified member of a Designated Victim Group. They don't actually like America much, don't believe there is much good to be said about this country, and would like to change us into something quite different.
Derb wins by knockout. I wish it weren't so. I wish the utopia Peggy describes existed, but it's all too obvious that Derb's world is the real one and it's not about to change soon.

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A Sad, Sordid Affair
The story of the teenage suicide bomber is a sad, sordid, pathetic tale. Normally I have nothing but contemp for murderers, but this one is different. Apparently this boy - he's 14! -- is well below average on the IQ scale, and was recruited to be a suicide bomber by the human filth that is the Palestinain Authority. He was promised the standard '72 virgins' in heaven, and believing that was his only way to get a girl, took the offer, and about $80, to do the deed. It seems the kid was gullible and "wanted to be a hero". (Don't we all) To his credit, he was too afraid to go through with it, and the Israelis were able to explode the bomb safely. I feel for this poor kid.

I have nothing but pity for this unfortunate boy, and nothing but vile contempt for those who put him up to it. Exploiting a dim-witted child is sick and beyond description. It is outside the bounds of human behavior -- only an animal would do something like this.

Addendum: Tim Blair points out that the Palestinians sent this kid off to die, and the Israelis saved his life.

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Lindsay Whelen
Be sure to read Powerline's marvelous ode to Whalen and the Gophers Women Cagers.

I am a great admirer of Lindsay. She's a humble, capable, strong willed winner. Here's the money quote from Powerline:

But the past three years have been a valuable reminder of what a single individual can accomplish through willpower, incessant effort, and a simple refusal to accept defeat.

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Blair and Gaddafi
Here's something you don't see everyday.

I have nothing but mockery for anyone who says that this would have happened without the Iraqi war.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Oh yeah?
Gary is a childish, execrable, scummy, silly cheesemonkey.

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Re: The Corner
Oops -- fixed the link below. Sorry.

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Interesting Question
The situation with Kobe's accuser is interesting. "Advocates" fear a fallout, that victims won't come forward.

By the same token, this girls sex life -- it seems to me -- is utterly central to the facts of the case. If she's a harlot, and had sex with other men right before or right after the incident with Kobe, that absolutely should be an issue available for examination for Bryant's lawyers. Actions have consequences, and if someone is a slut, and then is actually sexually assaulted, then the fact that you've been a slut is very germane to the case; one has to live with the choices that one's made. If there are other ways that this woman might have been injured -- i.e. she had sex with other men around the time that she alleges that Bryant injured her -- then that is in my view totally relevant to Kobe's case.

In Bryant's case, this woman showed up for a rape kit check with someone elses semen in her panties! It wasn't Kobe's! How can that not be germane? Any injuries she may have had obviously could have come from some other encounter that she's had. Clearly that is something that the jury should be allowed to know and use in their deliberations. I'm not saying anything about Bryant's guilt or innocence; I just want justice to be done. But if I were in Bryant's shoes (God Forbid!), and particularly if I were innocent, then I very much would want the fact that this woman was catting around to be part of the evidence that I can present in my defense.

The lesson here? Don't be a slut and don't fool around on your wife.

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Re: The Corner
The reader letters?

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Rummy's Testimony
Rummy's Testimony from yesterday. Good gravy, I admire and respect that man.

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Why Do I Read The Corner?
I read The Corner for the .reader letters

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The Dick Clark Follies
This Clarke flap just gets funnier and funnier.

We are now at the point where all the Democrats are whining "Why didn't you stop AQ? Just because you didn't know they would attack the US is no excuse!".

But yet, they also whine "Why did you attack Iraq? You didn't have any reason to think they'd attack us!"?

Which is it? I guess it's which ever one they think will hurt Bush.

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This helps
Looking for just the right slam? The perfect solar plexus punch to land on your adversary?

Try The Random Goldberg-ism Generator
Nick is a Leftist, execrable, money-grubbing cheesemonkey.
It's like having a little Jonah sitting on your shoulder.

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The Corner
This is why I read The Corner:

Well, this is the second one.
Posted at 12:15 AM

DANG! [Jonah Goldberg]
A minute too soon. This is the first post on Wednesday!
Posted at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

FIRST POST [Jonah Goldberg]
On Wednesday!
Posted at 11:59 PM

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Go Gophers!
Big win for the Gopher women. I am telling you, these gals are ready to make a run at the title. That Lindsay Whalen is a heck of a player.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Politics News Article |
Another third-world dirtbag dicator for Kerry.

I suspect we'll see more of this. That makes two loser tyrants for Kerry.

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Triple Double for Sam Cassell
I note that Sam Cassell had a triple double tonight to help make my prediction of a Wolves victory over San Antonio come true.

I note, too, that Rasho had a stunning two points.

One other note: It would appear that the final minute of the game turned on the play of the humble but useful Earvin Johnson. After a Ginobli offensive rebound, Duncan had the ball, but my man Earvin tied up Duncan, and then one the ensuing jump ball. That's the intangible kind of thing that good, solid players do that never shows up in the box score.

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Re: John Podhoretz
Bravo, Gary, nicely done. I've been enjoying Podhoretz lately, and this latest from him is a home run.

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This Whole Clarke Thing
This whole Clark thing is really fascinating to watch. I view this whole thing as a blatantly political plan to somehow try to blame Bush for 9/11. I've been doing a little reading, and this really is a lot of fun.

From Rich Lowry:

About the Clarke book: "Clarke adds a dash of tendentious partisanship in insisting that President Clinton was an antiterror stalwart even though he rejected Clarke's most-important ideas, and that Bush was too soft even though he took Clarke's ideas a step further."

"Some Clinton partisans have claimed that the Clinton team handed an anti-al-Qaeda war plan over to the Bush administration during the transition that was ignored. It is worth noting that this false claim appears nowhere in Clarke's book"

"After 9/11, Clarke complains about a Bush obsession with Iraq. Clarke says that the president said to him, "I want you to find whether Iraq did this." The conspiracy theorizing about Iraq has thus dwindled down to this: Bush wanted to know whether Iraq was involved in Sept. 11 or not. The alleged obsession with Iraq in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 lasted all of six days, as Bush approved targeting Afghanistan on Sept. 17."

Finally, I agree with Lowry: Bush and his adminstration could have done more to prevent 9/11. But to blame Bush for the event is sick.

From WFB

A dilemma is posed here. Critics of Bush rail against the Patriot Act and the Guantanamo detentions and Homeland Security as impinging on First Amendment freedoms. Meanwhile, other critics are saying that Mr. Bush has not done enough. The two camps have in common only their disapproval of George W. Bush.

A second preoccupation of Clarke seems to be the focus we placed on Iraq, instead of al-Qaeda. But we went promptly to war, and successfully, against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the terrorists' principal provisioner.

From Jim Geraghty

Clark changes his spots; "Not too long ago, Clarke was once a far-sighted, hard-nosed, aggressive counterterrorism official, just the kind of guy you want fighting Osama bin Laden. "

Geraghty points out that "Richard Miniter reported in his book Losing bin Laden, and Robert Novak verified, that on Oct. 12, 2000, the day of the devastating terrorist attack on the USS Cole, Clarke was the only member of Clinton's inner circle urging an attack on al Qaeda." So why is Clark all over Bush for taking his advice and giving Clinton a free pass for ignoring it?

Geraghty's article goes on to highlight all kinds of sound, good advice Clark gave to Clinton that Clinton promptly ignored. He announced — repeatedly — that America's policy included preemptive attacks and making no distinction between terrorists and their host nations.

This is rich: "But while Clarke was laying out what would eventually become the Bush doctrine, the Clinton administration was, as far as the public record can show, not backing up his words with action. The Taliban consolidated its grip on power. Osama bin Laden's training camp kept churning out jihadists. The al Qaeda network kept recruiting and establishing new cells."

In short, the Clarke guy is full of crap.

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Kerry Team Strong Arms a Vet
This is a bit disturbing. Seems Kerry and the crew are looking to do a little history modification.

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Re: Homophobia test
I won't take the homophobia test because I'm scared of being homophobic. I have homophobiaphobia.

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John Podhoretz
Richard Clarke is the greatest man who has ever strode this planet's surface. I know this because I have just read his book, "Against All Enemies."
And so begins John Podhoretz' dissection of Richard Clarke. He is merciless,
What Clarke reveals in "Against All Enemies" is that - not to put too fine a point on it - he is a self-regarding buffoon. But his solipsistic silliness won't give pause to the Democrat-media desperation to rewrite recent history in an effort to delude voters that the 9/11 attacks were the fault of George W. Bush's inattention.
He is the man who took charge of America on 9/11 by "putting together a secure teleconference to manage the crisis," he writes on page 2.

A secure teleconference! Wow!
and on the mark.
Neither Clarke nor the administration discerned al Qaeda's hand in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, though the evidence of financial support is plain now. Clarke believed Iran was behind the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, though we now know it to have been the work of al Qaeda. And he told Bill Clinton that the pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan blown up after the embassy bombings in 1998 was an al Qaeda workshop, which it wasn't.

And the Clinton administration didn't respond at all to the bombing of USS Cole in October 2000. This would seem to be the most glaring failure of all, since 17 American sailors died and more than 100 were wounded.
Finally - according to some, there is no difference between Bush and Kerry. They're just two politicians running against each other. They're morally equivalent. I disagree, and so does Podhoretz:
In the months after 9/11, the Bush administration refused - absolutely refused - to try to blame the attacks on the Clinton administration's failure of vision. The nation needed to be united in its determination and could not afford to surrender to finger-pointing.

Well, guess what? The Clinton administration's senior foreign-policy officials will be appearing this week before the 9/11 commission - to do to the Bush administration exactly what the Bush administration refused to do to them.
They have no shame, no sense of right and wrong. And it worries me that neither does a big chunk of our population.

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Monday, March 22, 2004

How "Homophobic" are you?
Take the Homophobia test!

I got a 38 -- Non-homophobic.

The one question they didn't ask, though, was:

I have been sexually assaulted by a homosexual

to which I would strongly agree, as I have been. I wonder where that falls out on the scale.

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Kerry Quote of the Day
I'm going to try to institute a new feature here at Banterings -- the "John Kerry Quote of the Day". Today's quote:

"We are continuing a defense buildup that is consuming our resources with weapons systems that we don't need and can't use.' -- John Kerry in 1984 on the Reagan defense build-up."

So if Kerry had his way, we would have fought both Gulf Wars with Vietnam era equipment.

More disturbing is Kerry's inability to see the need for new equipment and manpower to defend our nation. Read more about it from Rep. J. D. Hayworth on NRO.

Here's the money quote from that article:

Among the systems John Kerry said he wanted to cancel were the B-1 bomber, the Apache helicopter, the Patriot anti-missile system, the Aegis cruiser, the AV-8B Harrier jump jet, the F-15, the F-14 A and D models, the Phoenix air-to-air missile, and the Sparrow air-to-air missile. And those Tomahawk cruise missiles that have become the standoff weapon of choice? Kerry wanted to cut the program in half.

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Kerry's Tax Returns
Why won't Kerry release his tax returns?

Note the W has released every return of his to the public since 1991, two year before he was Governor of Texas.

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File this one under: Dream On
Irish Lefties want unarmed Secret Service agents for Bush's visit there.

Yeah, right.

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Vice President Cheney Speaks the Truth
VP Cheney on Rush, explaining the Dick Clarke thing.

Sounds like Clarke is no more than a bitter, demoted underling looking for his 15 minutes, which he'll surely get.

Update: Get the facts from the White House.

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Andrew Stuttaford Asks...
Andrew Stuttaford asks what was achieved by killing Ahmed Yassin?

My answer? Don't go wobbly, Andrew. What was achieved is that a horrible, murdering, butchering jackass is now dead and can no longer spread hate and vitiriol to the Palestinians.

And as for the Hamas vowing "war on Israel", tell me something I haven't heard before.

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Free Speech at a Kerry Rally
...or not.

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Barbra Spreads it Thin
This is a fun link.

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Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn. Period.

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Friday, March 19, 2004

Re: Scalia
I read the Scalia ruling on the motion that he recuse himself from a case before the court. I agree, with you Nick, he must be read as much as possible. I especially like the ending:

The motion is
There's a nice finality to that.

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Re: Kerry On the Slopes
Gary, excellent fisking of the article. Kerry is so insufferable, it's almost impossible to take. Swearing at the Secret Service guy. I bet they love him. (Hmm. Maybe it wasn't an "accident" after all....) The sad part is that the Secret Service guy would surely dive in front of a bullet for Kerry. I've never understood the disdain for the Secret Service folks. Apparently both Clintons -- and even Chelsea -- had a similar contempt. I suppose that if I were a shallow, cowardly, selfish megalomaniac, I'd resent selfless men and women of bravery and integrity like the Secret Service agents.

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Re: Kerry in Idaho
Nick, thanks for the link to the NYTimes article, it provided a good laugh. I sensed, as I'm sure you did, that the reporter (DAVID M. HALBFINGER) was having a litle fun at Kerry's expense - not exactly the sycophantic slobbering you typically hear from the media.

"indoor John and outdoor John" -- for a story about a vacation at a wilderness hideaway, this can have more than one meaning.

Moreover, a New York Times/CBS News poll indicated that many Americans were beginning to see him as the kind of politician who says what he thinks people want to hear. -- not very flattering.

A top-flight racing bicycle was also along, in case Mr. Kerry, as serious a biker as he is a schusser, chose to go for a spin. -- On the radio today, Rush has word from a friend in the area that someone has been working hard to clear the bike paths there in case Kerry feels like taking a spin.

The image-conscious candidate -- another jab.

After a fall on the slopes -- When asked about the mishap a moment later, he said sharply, "I don't fall down," then used an expletive to describe the agent who "knocked me over." -- The good Senator from Massachusetts seems to have a bit of a potty mouth.

"I'm going tentatively, but prettily," she said, wearing tight black pants and a flaming red jacket. -- that was Mrs. Heinz-Kerry, not Mr.

"Hey, John! What foreign leaders talked to you?" -- as he was eating lunch on the patio. -- Mr. Kerry beat a retreat back into the lodge, to an upstairs, out-of-the-way dining area where he would be sure to draw even less attention. -- big baby.

"Snowboarding really keeps you in the now moment," said Mr. Riggins. -- In the now moment? Who says things like that?

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Justice Scalia is the man. I am going to make a point of reading his stuff more.

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Amid Natural Splendor in Idaho, a Weary Kerry Gets Away From It All
I'm feeling a little more upbeat about the Bush candidacy after reading this article on Kerry trying to be cool while taking a vacation. Seems like bouncing back and forth on the issues takes a toll on a guy.

The fun came later in the article, though when I ran across this quote:

"'Everyone in this town is anti-Bush,' Barrett, a Junior Olympic skier, said between runs. 'He's trying to destroy our planet.'"

Apparently, you don't have to have any brains to be a Junior Olympic skiier. One rarely gets to see such silliness and stupidity on display in a news article

Yep, that's our President. He wakes up every morning and gets a briefing from his Planet Destruction Management Team on how things are going with destroying the planet. Yep. Every day. Destroy the planet. He's all about that. Yep.

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National Unity Dies
John Kerry, and most of the Democratic leadership, don't care about protecting America and western civilization as much as they care about being in power. As we've seen throughout the primary season, they'll say anything - almost always false, and the more outrageous, the better - to garner votes, support, and ultimately victory.

In his firefighters speech (which is at and deserves to be read in its entirety), Sen. Kerry said: "This administration has put a tax giveaway for the very wealthiest of our nation over making sure that we do all that we can to win the war on terror here at home. . . . America doesn't need leaders who play politics with 9/11 or see the war on terror as just another campaign issue."

As an aside, whenever you see Kerry making an accusation - America doesn't need leaders who play politics with 9/11 or see the war on terror as just another campaign issue - you'll see Kerry taking the lead in doing exactly that.

This is a serious charge. It clearly is accusing George Bush of acting in bad faith every day since the towers fell and an airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. Not everyone needs to love George Bush, but delegitimizing America's 2 1/2-year effort against terrorism is a dangerous game. For my money, the presidential debates can't come fast enough.

Hey, John McCain, who did you say is a "good and decent man?"

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The Price of Freedom in Iraq
Good old Rummy gives a wonderful defense of our liberation of Iraq.

This week, as we mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it is useful to recount why we have fought. Not long ago I visited South Korea, just as the Korean government was debating whether to send troops to Iraq. In Seoul, I was interviewed by a Korean journalist who was almost certainly too young to have firsthand recollection of the Korean War. She asked me, "Why should Koreans send their young people halfway around the globe to be killed or wounded in Iraq?"

As it happened, I had that day visited a Korean War memorial, which bears the names of every American soldier killed in the war. On it was the name of a close friend of mine from high school, a wrestling teammate, who was killed on the last day of the war. I said to the reporter: "It's a fair question. And it would have been fair for an American to ask, 50 years ago, `Why should young Americans go halfway around the world to be killed or wounded in Korea?' "
Americans do not come easily to war, but neither do Americans take freedom lightly. But when freedom and self-government have taken root in Iraq, and that country becomes a force for good in the Middle East, the rightness of those efforts will be just as clear as it is today in Korea, Germany, Japan and Italy.

A great man.

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McCain Defends Kerry's Record on National Security
In a city full of huge egos, John McCain's surpasses them all. He wasn't getting enough attention, so he went out and did his "renegade Senator" bit.

"I do not believe that he is, quote, 'weak on defense,' " McCain (Ariz.) said on NBC's "Today" show.

Asked on the CBS "Early Show" whether he agreed with Vice President Cheney's assertion that Kerry is a threat to national security, McCain said: "I don't think that. I think that John Kerry is a good and decent man. . . . I think he has different points of view on different issues, and he will have to explain his voting record. But this kind of rhetoric, I think, is not helpful in educating and helping the American people make a choice."

What? Only two shows? What could be more important than getting some pub, John?

The guy sitting in a Vietnamese POW camp, listening to John Kerry's Senate testimony being read by his guards, is a distant memory.

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Of Course, This Never Gets Reported
Good things are happening in Iraq. US Labor Secretary Elaine Chao has given $5 million of her department's budget "to help rebuild the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs." She recently visited the Fatima Al-Zahra Center for Women's Rights and Democracy in Hilla, Iraq, "one of 18 centers that the U.S. government is opening in Iraq to support women's political rights and provide educational and income-generating opportunities for women." This "center also houses a kitchen that supports a catering business, a sewing room where women make garments to sell and an auditorium where classes are held and that is rented out." Now, I understand that 18 buildings in Iraq are not going to change the country, but this is the kind of precious, human interest, rights-of-the-downtrodden story that the liberal media serves up on a regular basis. Any reason they're not telling this one and other stories like it from Iraq? Forget it, I know the answer.

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One of Those Foreign Leaders
Well, now we know one of the leaders who wants Bush out that Kerry was talking about, though it still isn't clear that Kerry actually met with this guy. Oh, in case you don't know this guy, he's the one who thinks the Jews run the world.

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Dr.Seuss on Appeasement
Jonah pointed me to these. Good stuff, especially the one with the lollipops.

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Domestic or Imported? Wine or Beer?
This is right on.

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Re: Arab Israelis
Gary -- I saw that Item on the Arab Israelis, and I am not a bit surprised. Many people don't know that lots of Arabs live in Israel, and that there are even Arabs in the Israeli Knesset -- their parliment. Arabs live freely in Israel and vote in Israeli elections. Israel is the only democracy other than Iraq in the Middle East. Of course the Arab Israelis want that fence to keep them in Israel. They aren't stupid.

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Re: Nick Hodges the Cricket Player
You may be a professional, but with stats like those you won't be a profesional for long.

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My other life
Most people know me as the witty but capable Delphi programmer, but few know of my other life as a professional Cricket player.

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Arab Israelis
The Powerline guys have a very interesting story about Arabs living in Israel near the new fence. It seems they prefer living in Israel.

Quoting Powerline's quote from the blog Cali-Carolina which was quoting Newsday:

As Israel built its West Bank security fence here about a year ago, it planned a route to separate Jabarin's family from Israel, leaving them and their land to the prospect of future rule by a Palestinian state.

Jabarin said no.

"We fought them to be inside of the fence, and they moved it so we are still in Israel."

And he's not alone. "A poll of Arabs in towns near here last month found that 90 percent preferred to remain in Israel, and 73 percent said they would violently resist being forced out. The Arab Center for Applied Social Research, based in Haifa, said 43 percent of those polled preferred to remain Israeli because Israel is their homeland and 33 percent because of the country's higher standard of living."

I don't know what to say. Everything I read says the Arabs hate Israel, and are committed to destroying it. Which leads me to 2 conclusions: 1) They hate Israel, but not as much as they like the standard of living and personal ties to the land, 2) Arab emnity towards Israel is not as widespread or vehement as I'm reading it is.

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Shaq Overrated
The folks over at are finally starting to realize the truth about Shaq -- that he's lazy and not as good as everyone thinks. That's not to say he isn't good or even great, but just that he's not as good as he could/should be. For as big and as strong as he is, he ought to be pulling down 20 boards a night, but he barely gets half that. Rebounding is all about hustle and desire -- witness Garnett and Ben Wallace. Wallace is a perfect example of a guy who has become a great player purely by the force of his will: he wants that rebound more than you do. Shaq's rebounding numbers indicate to me that he simply doesn't put out the effort. A body that big and strong should have more boards than he gets -- and I say it's because he's lazy.

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Al Franken is a Big Fat Idiot
Al Franken is such a jerk. He's held up as some great gadfly from the left, but he's just always wrong and silly and ignorant. (I've written about Franken before.)

Rich Lowry skewers him today on NRO for his review of Lowry's book Legacy. Rich is able to go on and on about gross errors and the horrible ignorance in Franken's review. What a doofus. People buy this guys book and think he's some great critic, when in fact he's totally content-free and has nothing but vacuous accusations totally unsupported by any facts. Ann Coulter had to do the same thing as Lowry -- respond to the endless errors -- when Franken wrote about her in his silly book. You think he might get a clue and actually do some research, but no, he just keeps spreading his lies -- in a book accusing the Right of being liars, no less!

The best part of Lowry's scathing rebuttal is Lowry catching Franken in a spectacular Dowdism (i.e. selective quoting). Scroll down to the bullet point that starts with "Reagan" and look at how Franken culls quotes from Lowry to make a "point". Utterly reprehensible.

The Left is just so pathetic. I have nothing but contempt for their bankrupt ideas.

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Is it just me, or are 100% of all Volkswagens on the road being driven either by women, or a young metrosexual looking male?

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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Oh, What the Heck
Oh, what the heck. We're piling on Kerry today -- what's one more?

Be sure not to miss Rich Lowry in National Review Online today on Kerry. He makes a great point -- that Kerry doesn't really mean what he says. For instance, if you are a Lefty, then anyone who opposes gay "marriage" is a fundamentalist bigot. But these days, Kerry says he opposes gay marriage. Why isn't he a fundamentalist bigot? Because the Lefties know he doesn't really mean it. So he says what he doesn't mean to sound good, because we all know if he supported gay marriage out loud, he'd get killed.

That's only one example of what Kerry is all about, er, well, sort of what he's about. It's hard to tell, actually. But Lowry has more examples.

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Kerry vs. Kerry
The hits just keep on rolling.

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Foreign Leaders For John Kerry
While we're at it, why stop?

And now it turns out that he's being a jerk about this when he had a "Dean-like Meltdown" over it.

This is getting fun!

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Hobbs Goes Coast to Coast
Nick: Kerry shoots, misses left. Rebound Hobbs. Hobbs puts it on the floor, up the left side. He cuts middle. Deacon on his right side, he slashes down the lane. Oh my! Holy Cow! Did he just do what I think he did? My goodness! He really rung the rim with that one, Gary.

Gary: He sure did, Nick. Hobbs just went right at MacAuliffe and the rest of the Lefties defense and threw that down in their face with some serious authority! I can't believe what I just saw!

Nick: No kidding. He took that Kerry miss coast to coast for the right-handed jam. Oh, and by the way, that miss by Kerry leaves him 0 for 8 on the night. He's never gotten back on track after that little "I met with foreign leaders" miss that started things off.

John Kerry just wants to play defense.

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Kerry's Solution
Here's the solution for Kerry's little lie.

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File under "Gee, ya think?"
France says it received threat by Islamist group.

Hmm. Terrorism is running rampant in the world, so let's pass a law that makes it illegal for kids to wear Islamic scarves to school. That will make them leave us alone!

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You Can't Make This Stuff Up
This is getting better and better everyday. Remember the "I met with all these foreign leaders and they support me" line that Kerry said? And then remember how no one was able to find any instance of him meeting with any foreign leaders?

Well, first the guy who got the quote says "Oops, I transcribed wrong, he really said "more leaders", not "foreign leaders". CNN changed the quote here. Only thing is Kerry has been defending having said "foreign", and continues to do so today.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

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Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn. Nothing more need be said.

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My Day Yesterday
Yeah, I had a good day, but I'd like to thank my teammates for making it all possible. They fought hard, never gave up, and I was lucky to be with them out there today. They got me the ball in the places I needed it, and I was able to convert. They guys worked really hard and they deserved this win today.

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The French War for Oil
Turns out the war really was about oil... for the French. Seems they stood to make $100 billion in oil contracts had Hussein stayed in power.

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Eurosocialism Sells Out
This is a great post over at the PowerLine. Great analysis, and an angle I hadn't even considered. Europe is simply capitulating to the Islamofacists, and thus will be their whipping boy. The "new, but hardly improved" Spanish government basically has to fulfill every wish of the terrorists, or they will continue to be attacked. Spain now becomes a safe launching point for terror against Europe. Europe, which has been pursuing the workers paradise under the umbrella of US protection (which we should remove immediately, by the way), now has basically an Al Quaeda client state sitting on it's eastern border. The French can't be too happy about that. So, the supposedly free-from-terrorism Europeans who tried so desparately hard to avoid pissing off the terrorists find themselves sitting with a virtual terrorist state right in their midst. It's almost like they deserve it.

The Spanish have placed themselves in a horrible position -- they've basically placed themselves in the position of prison bitch to Al Quaeda. Al Quaeda attacked, and Spain folded like a cheap beach chair. They get "peace" at the price of being what will eventually amount to a terrorist state. This Zapatero joker isn't running Spain, Al Qaeda is. If Osama says jump, Spain has to say "How high?" You need a place to hang out and plan attacks through Europe? No problem, just don't attack us again. Oh, and here's my personal cell number if you need anything else." What feckless crapweasels. Great, Spain, you guys are really great. You are the first country to actually make terrorism work. They bomb you, you guys bend over. Great.

Fight terrorism, and they will leave you alone. Appease it, and the will strike you in your weakness. Hindrocket at Powerline was right -- feels like the 1930's all over again.

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Monday, March 15, 2004

A Good Day
Nick, unlike John F. Kerry, someone else is going to write you a commendation. You, my friend, had a good day at the ballpark. You had a 5 for 5, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI day with a diving catch to end a potential big inning. Excellent work on the Kerry "Silver Star" citation - the key point being, he most likely wrote his own. Your insightful analysis of the Spain debacle was boffo. And the links - to Brooks, VDH, Tim Blair, Kipling - were consistently top drawer.

Here's to you! Huzzah!

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Kerry's Citation
Finally found John Kerry's Silver Star citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Coastal Division ELEVEN engaged in armed conflict with Viet Cong insurgents in An Xuyen Province, Republic of Vietnam on 28 February 1969. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY was serving as Officer in Charge of Patrol Craft Fast 94 and Officer in Tactical Command of a three-boat mission. As the force approached the target area on the narrow Dong Cung River, all units came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from an entrenched enemy force less than fifty-feet away. Unhesitatingly Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered his boat to attack as all units opened fire and beached directly in front of the enemy ambushers. This daring and courageous tactic surprised the enemy and succeeded in routing a score of enemy soldiers. The PCF gunners captured many enemy weapons in the battle that followed. On a request from U.S. Army advisors ashore, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered PCF's 94 and 23 further up river to suppress enemy sniper fire. After proceeding approximately eight hundred yards, the boats were again take under fire from a heavily foliated area and B-40 rocked exploded close aboard PCF 94; with utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets, he again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy. Upon sweeping the area an immediate search uncovered an enemy rest and supply area which was destroyed. The extraordinary daring and personal courage of Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful mission. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

A couple of things to note:

  • Kerry, being the senior officer present, almost certainly wrote this citation up for himself. People who write themselves up for medals are, well, to put it mildly, not well thought of.

  • I don't see anything here out of the ordinary. He got shot at and shot back. Big deal.

  • His allegedly "really brave thing" was to jump off the boat and kill one guy that was already badly wounded.

  • Kerry got out of the theater after only four months, as soon as he could, using the "Three Purple Heart" rule. None of his purple hearts required much more than a band-aid.

  • Here's one vet's view of Kerry's "heroism"

I'm really starting to despise this weasel.

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Leave it to the Derb to find the perfect Kipling poem to describe the situation we find ourselves in today.

I join him in his fear that we Americans don't have the stomach for a fight, and will simply give the Dane-geld to the terrorists.

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John Lynch Cut?
Wow -- John Lynch is getting cut from the Bucs. The Vikings definitely should make a serious run at this guy -- no question. He's exactly what we need.

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You can't even make this stuff up!

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More Spanish Cowardice
The utterly indispensible Victor Davis Hanson is on the case.

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Can't Stop Thinking About Spain
I am really bothered by the cowardice of the Spanish people. They have really done the West a terrific disservice, I think. But perhaps not. Stanley Kurtz has an interesting idea -- perhaps these events will wake up Europe Maybe other European nations will realize that terror can actually topple a government, and they will steel themselves. I myself don't have a lot of faith in that happening, but maybe it will. One can always hope so.

And Kurtz is right -- this is a struggle for the soul of Western civilization.

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John Kerry -- Portrait in Duality
David Brooks in the New York Times (Silly but free registration required) skewers Kerry marvelously. Quote after quote of utter fecklessness. Here's my favorite:

The next crisis occurred in Somalia. Again, the U.S. Senate faced what appeared to lesser minds as a clear choice: to withdraw in the wake of U.S. casualties or not to withdraw. The oxymoronically gifted junior senator from Massachusetts perceived an equivocation between the modalities: "The choice for the United States of America is not between two alternatives only: staying in or getting out. There are many other choices in-between which better reflect the aspirations and hopes of our country."

Let me get this straight -- there is some strange, fourth dimension kind of existence that our troops can be put in where they are both in Somalia and not in Somalia at the same time?

By the way, I should note that it is rather astonishing to read such wonderful stuff from a staff editorialist at the New York Times. Being used to Mawreen Dowd and Paul Krugman, my brain can barely accept the fact that Brooks is writing such clear thinking things for the New York Times.

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Yea! We Capitulated to the Terrorists!

Socialists Oust Spain's Ruling Party -- Love the pictures of the people celebrating being subjected to more Socialism. But at least they gave in to terrorism.

This Is What We're Up Against -- The Powerline boys are, of course, right on top of this.

Spanish Election Postscript - Great summary by Tim Blair of what the Blogosphere is saying.

This is a bad day. Mark my words -- Halloween weekend will be ugly. I wonder how many lefties out there are actually wishing for an attack so that Kerry will get an alleged bump in the polls.

A vote for Kerry is a vote for the terrorists.

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Thanks a lot, Spain
Mark my words -- this is a very dark day for the US. Why? Because Osama Bin Dirtbag now knows that he can influence elections to his advantage. I had respect for Spain for standing with us in the war on terror, but now they have proven themselves to be just another wimpy European country.

This doesn't bode well for our upcoming election. I think that Al Qaeda will now be emboldened, thanks to the Spaniards, to execute a big attack near our election in an attempt to get that lefty, wimp weasel Kerry elected. The frightening thing is that it may very well work. I confess a lack of faith in the fortitude of the American people. There are large swaths of soft, squshy, self-satisfied people who prefer comfort over all else, even freedom.

Things aren't looking good for the land of the free. I'm not sure it's the home of the brave anymore.

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Friday, March 12, 2004

Two Americas
Gary -- you like to point out that we are at war and that the Democrats don't know it. Thus, you should like this offereing from Dispatches from the Frozen North about that very topic. (Via Powerline)

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Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark....
Great quote from Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee:

"Senator Kerry says he either needs to go himself or send a delegation to learn more about the situation in Iraq so he can form his policy positions, and yet for the past six months, he's been criticizing the president's policy. Now we know his criticism is uninformed."

I love that. Just love it. So perfectly on the mark.

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

What Is Wrong With People?
From the Washington Times:

Baltimore police have arrested two women who, according to charging documents, directed at least a half-dozen children to participate in the near-fatal beating at a party of a 12-year-old Baltimore girl who accepted a kiss from another girl's boyfriend.

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Changed My Minde
I read this and I changed my mind on Martha Stewart.

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"Oil For Food"
What a tangled web this OpinionJournal article tries to sort out! I gave up trying to keep track of it all. But it's very interesting how names like Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, Saddam Hussein, Marc Rich (the pardoned one), Tariq Aziz, and Kofi Annan's son all appear to be involved. The UN is a snake's nest of corruption - this is a story that needs to be told.

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The Saudi War on George Bush
It looks like trouble for the President. According to this article in The American Thinker, the Saudis are subtly tightening oil supply in order to slow or halt our economic recovery for the purpose of endangering the President's reelection. If this is true, why doesn't the administration tell the public that oil prices are up because Saudi production is down? The author, Ed Lasky, says,

The Bush Administration, which still needs to deal with the Saudis, and many other repressive Arab regimes on the receiving end of Saudi largesse, undoubtedly perceives what is going on, but is constrained by the norms of diplomacy from openly acknowledging the reality of the situation.... Neither the Bush Administration nor the Saudis can afford to have explicit and open conflict disrupt important ongoing common interests.

But something has to be done. If it's not in the Saudis' interest to be seen as throttling the US economy, Bush could use that as leverage against them. Also, isn't Iraqi oil output increasing? Can't the Iraqis flood the market with oil? I don't know, I'm worried.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Re: Ashcroft
Great minds think alike, eh?

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Let's Pray for John Ashcroft
I pray that Attorney General Ashcroft has a speedy recovery, and thus can get back to the job of defending our nation against terrorists. I am thankful that Mr. Ashcroft has the fortitude to do his job despite the endless scorn of the enemies of freedom that we have in this country.

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Cheri Pierson-Yecke
Support MN Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson-Yecke for confirmation. Sign the petition.

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John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft is a man of strength and character - God Bless him and may He bring him a quick and full recovery. I can't imagine what it must be like to endure the constant hate and vitriol he receives. And he just goes about his job, doing what needs to be done to protect us.

Michelle Malkin gives a stirring defense of Ashcroft ("America, land of the Ashcroft-haters") at

Every single time Ashcroft has brought charges against jihadists in America, he has been mocked and vilified. Every single time he has tightened the screws on Islamic terror recruitment and financing, he has been lambasted as a racist. Every single time they have been arrested, the defendants have proclaimed their absolute innocence. And each time Ashcroft has won convictions against them -- neutralizing terror cells in Lackawanna, N.Y., Portland, Detroit, and now northern Virginia -- he has been met with more condemnation and derision.

John Ashcroft has nobly taken on the grueling job of protecting a nation of ingrates who take joy in his illness while terrorists continue to plot to kill us all. God bless you, Attorney General, and get well soon. America, land of the free and home of the thankless, needs you back.


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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Dr. Phil-ism and the Great Therapy Session in the Sky
Picked this link up off of The Corner from Rod Dreher. This is terrific stuff, right on the money, by David Brooks. God, sin, redemption, and grace are all replaced with a feel-good, all-is-well, don't-you-feel-so-much-better-now therapy session in heaven. Cheap grace has never been this cheap. Now, I don't agree with Brooks apparent disdain of Mel Gibson, but that doesn't detract from his main point -- that sin has been replaced by "hurt" and redemption has been replaced by "healing". It's not all about us, but the world is sure trying to convince us that it is.

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Aristide is a lunatic. Haiti is a horrible mess because the country, rich in resources and human capital, has never been free and run by the rule of law.

I agree -- take Aristide, please.

But John F'n Kerry was ready with troops to invade and unilaterally prop up a third-world dictator. (Apparently Haiti presents a terrible danger to our national security, but Iraq doesn't. You heard it here first.) And please, lefties, don't feed me that crap about Aristide being elected. You are "elected" until you serve past your term of election. When you server past your term of election, you become a dicator.

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President Bush Nails Kerry
Allow me to quote the President from his first campaign speech of the season.

My opponent spent two decades in Congress. He spent a long time in Washington and he's built up quite a record. Senator Kerry has been in Washington so long that he's taken both sides on just about every issue. Senator Kerry voted for the Patriot Act, for Nafta, for the No Child Left Behind Act, and for the use of force in Iraq. Now he opposes the Patriot Act, Nafta, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the liberation of Iraq. My opponent clearly has strong beliefs--they just don't last very long. . . .

Some are skeptical that the war on terror is really a war at all. Just days ago my opponent indicated he's not comfortable using the word, "war," to describe the struggle we're in. He said, "I don't want to use that terminology." He also said the war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law enforcement operation. I disagree. Our nation followed that approach after the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. The matter was handled in the courts, and thought by some to be settled. But the terrorists were still training in Afghanistan, plotting in other nations and drawing up more ambitious plans. And after the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States of America, and war is what they got.

One very important part of this war is intelligence-gathering, as Senator Kerry noted. Yet, in 1995, two years after the attack on the World Trade Center, my opponent introduced a bill to cut the overall intelligence budget by one-and-a-half billion dollars. His bill was so deeply irresponsible that he didn't have a single co-sponsor in the United States Senate. Once again, Senator Kerry is trying to have it both ways. He's for good intelligence, yet he was willing to gut the intelligence services. And that is no way to lead a nation in a time of war.

That about sums it up.

There is a war on, and the Democrats don't know it.

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Monday, March 08, 2004

Just A Reminder
We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

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Re: Libertarian Purity Test
I scored a 44.

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Iraqi Council OKs Interim Constitution
I'd say this is good news. It sounds like there won't be a mullahocracy in Iraq, despite the efforts of the Iranian-born Ayatollah (why do I have a visceral reaction to that phrase?) al-Sistani. We'll have to see how things go from here, but it's a good start.

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Aristide Again Says He Was Kidnapped from Haiti
I have just one thing to say about "Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide" - take him back. Drop him and his luggage on the tarmac of Port-Au-Prince International Airport, give him a hearty slap on the back and a "good luck," and say goodbye.

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Sunday, March 07, 2004

Libertarian Purity Test
I scored a 61.

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Saturday, March 06, 2004

It's Official!
Terrell Owens is the biggest whiner in football.

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And how can we forget?
Oh, and houw can we forget the prosecutors? How can we forget how safe we are now because they've prosecuted a smart, capable, rich, successful woman for, well, uhm, for what exactly? For proclaiming her innocence for a crime that she didn't commit?

Boy, I feel so much now. That'll show those rich, successful, capable people.

Can you tell I'm irritated and hacked off at this? Don't you wish that sometimes there was some button you could push that would overturn this sort of insanity? I'd have used it here, for sure.

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Here's yet another person that thinks they need to run my life. Yep, my old buddy Chappell, I'm much better now, I feel all safe and cuddly and warm now that you've sent Martha Stewart to jail for being rich. That'll show those rich people. The stock market has so much more integrity now. Never mind the fact that any famous person with half a brain will now take their money out and put it under a mattress. Never mind that Ms. Stewart's 500 employees will soon be out of a job. Never mind that she'll be going to jail for selling some stock. We're all taken care of by you, Chappell. We're all safe now.


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Friday, March 05, 2004

The Religion of Peace?
As I understand it, the dangerous religion is the one whose messiah instructs: "(I)f one strikes thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" and "Love your enemies ... do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you." The peaceful religion instructs: "Slay the enemy where you find him." (Surah 9:92).

-- Ann Coulter

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One tough little dwarf
John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli the dwarf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (Nick's favorite movies), is a full-sized human. He's also not your typical actor.

Rather than taking up the banner of global warming, AIDS, world peace, or some other trendy cause, as most of his colleagues are prone to do, the Welsh-born actor has chosen as his particular hobbyhorse the growing demographic crisis in Europe.

Davies, a big Bush fan, began his conversion from leftist to conservative as young man attending a Margaret Thatcher speech. "I went to heckle her," Rhys-Davies says. "She shot down the first two hecklers in such brilliant fashion that I decided I ought for once to shut up and listen."

It is the culture of fundamentalist Islam that concerns Rhys-Davies the most. "When I look at contemporary Islam, I see homophobia, forced conversion, genital mutilation, slavery, two million people being put to death in the Sudan because of their religion."

In his view, "Fundamental Islamism is a particularly brutish and unpleasant form of fascism." He fears that if it becomes the dominant culture in Europe, it will wipe out all that is good about Western culture.

Speaking the truth takes courage.

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It's Always the First Thing They Do
Venezuela Suspends Rights of Citizens to Carry Guns

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Caviezel loves the Vikings
Sansevere has a great story about the actor who portrayed Jesus in "The Passion."

"When I was on the cross, I was thinking about the Minnesota Vikings,'' Caviezel said.

Really. He wasn't kidding. He's a huge Vikings fan.

"I was praying for them all the time,'' he said. "Whenever they lose, it just rips your heart out.''


Caviezel became a Vikings fan when his brother-in-law, Scott Linehan, became the team's offensive coordinator before the 2002 season.

Caviezel's next release is a movie about Bobby Jones. I'm looking forward to that.

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Re: Anti-Semitism
I have liked almost everything I've read from Charles Krauthammer - until today (link requires registration - don't you hate that?). CK contends Mel's movie is anti-semitic, and that Mel is anti-smeitic. I haven't seen the movie yet, but Nick assures me it is not.

Christians have their story too: the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Why is this story different from other stories? Because it is not a family affair of coreligionists. If it were, few people outside the circle of believers would be concerned about it. This particular story involves other people. With the notable exception of a few Romans, these people are Jews. And in the story, they come off rather badly.

Then what happened, you see, is that all of Christendom (once we had control of everything) started killing Jews. Gee, it sounds like he's blaming all Christians for the bad actions of some. So he commits the same sin he accuses Christians of - guilt by association. It's okay to paint Christians with the broad brush of guilt, but don't you dare blame the Jews! Well, I don't blame the Jews. You hear that, Charles? I don't blame the Jews!

But, you know what? Some Jewish leaders were intent to kill Jesus, and they got it done.

In none of the Gospels does the high priest Caiaphas stand there with his cruel, impassive fellow priests witnessing the scourging. In Gibson's movie they do. When it comes to the Jews, Gibson deviates from the Gospels -- glorying in his artistic vision -- time and again. He bends, he stretches, he makes stuff up. And these deviations point overwhelmingly in a single direction -- to the villainy and culpability of the Jews.

The Jewish leaders mentioned in the Bible were culpable and villianous. And it wouldn't be out of character for them to observe and approve of the beating of Jesus. That doesn't make any other Jew villianous and culpable. Peter, James, and John were Jews. They weren't villianous or culpable.

The rest of the gospel story is, of course, that I am culpable and so is every other person that has ever lived. Jesus came to earth to die just as he did. He died for my sins and for Charles Krauthammer's sins and everyone else's. No one should say, "if weren't for the Jews, Jesus would not have suffered and died on a cross." He would have. That was his mission. Hence we have the difficult juxtaposition of human choice and the sovereignty of God. That's a discussion for another day.

Back to Gibson. CK seems to think Vatican II decreed that Jews should no longer be mentioned in the story of the crucifixion. I don't know if that's true or not - I kind of doubt it. But, as I've already said, the Bible makes it clear that there was a certain group of Jewish men who were willing collaborators in Jesus' death.

Finally, CK points out that the Satan character appears only 4 times in the film, and two of those times were in the midst of the Jewish crowd. Giving the impression that the Jews are "Satan's own people." Come on, Charles. This should be seen as a positive. It was only through the influence of the prince of darkness himself that the Jewish crowd was moved to call for Jesus' death. The inference is, absent Satan's presence, they would not have done so.

Mr. Krauthammer has lost an enthusiastic fan.

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Totally Wrong
Martha Stewart's conviction marks a low point in American jurisprudence. This was clearly a "celebrity prosecution" designed purely for the Justice Department to save face. I can't possibly see how Stewart can be found guilty of anything. Good grief, what a sham. I hope and pray that the government never comes after me like they've gone after her. What a joke. I was hoping against hope that the jury would see what a railroading she was getting, but I guess not. Oh well. Martha has my sincere sympathies.

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"Knowing he didn't die alone is a comfort"
Powerline points to a heart-rending story in the Star and Tribune today. Knowing he didn't die alone is a comfort is a powerful, moving tale of a parent's sadness, and the power that a simple piece of information from a dedicated soldier can have on the hearts of grieving parents.

Having three children, I can say that I don't think I'd ever get over the loss of a child.

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Anti-Semitism Update
Just a quick update for those of you keeping score at home:

Total Number of Anti-semitic Violent Incidents Linked to the Passion: 0
Total Number of Pogroms Against Jews: 0
Total Number of Bands of Marauding Christians Out to Do Violence Against Jews: 0

Just for the record.

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

Re: What the terrorists want
I saw Lileks' article too. There are things more important than the NEA budget, the education bill, or the Medicare drug entitlement. There's only one presidential candidate who's serious about protecting our lives - George W. Bush.

If we're going to keep saying it until Nov. 2, we should give credit to the Powerline guys (specifically Hindrocket):

There it is, in a sentence: the reason why it is absolutely essential that this adminstration remain in place, and that conservatives put aside whatever quarrels they have with President Bush until the election is over. We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

We are at war, and one of our parties doesn't know it.

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The Terrorists Want Kerry to Win
And, as Lileks point out, some conservatives want to help them.

You and I have talked about this before, Gary. Clearly the terrorists and the rogue dictators of the world prefer a wimpy, crybaby, French-ass-kissing President like Kerry would be, as opposed to Bush, who along with Sec. Rumsfeld is efficiently killing them and running them out of power. Conservatives are justly unhappy with Bush on the domestic front, and threaten to "sit out this one" in protest. Some protest when it gets Kerry elected.

Conservatives who are considering not voting for Bush need to realize that doing so plays right into Kerry's and the terrorists hands. Domestic/economic issues are important, but the safety and security of our nation is infinitely more important.

Besides, do you actually believe Kerry won't try to raise taxes?

Lileks sums up nicely the point that we both see more clearly each day: There's a war on and one party doesn't even know it.

At least we'll have a clear choice in November. Bush is serious about the war. The Democrats are serious about the war against Bush.

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John Kerry
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, John F'in Kerry is not a good person. He's not a man of integrity. He's not a man of honor. He's not a man of good intentions.

"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

John Kerry's heart is overflowing with bad things.

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"Margaret" (as Chris Matthews calls her) Noonan writes today about the Democrats' "JFK disease." As always, she's insightful and comfortable. Two great points stand out to me:

"That Mr. Kerry is a boring man means the election will be dirty and vicious. If he were interesting and dynamic and sunny, if he seemed both experienced and sincere, he arguably could win the upcoming race without letting his campaign get unduly nasty. But he is a charm-free zone on the stump, and he has offered no galvanizing political philosophy or higher meaning. His people will feel the only way he can win is to be uniquely destructive."

And this one is a 3-run homer, down 2 in the bottom of the ninth.
"The great unmentioned fact of Democrats in power and foreign policy right now is that they try hard to do nothing, because if they were to do something it would be what Republicans do. And they don't want to do that."

You gotta love Peggy.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I've been thinking
I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I'm serious considering changing my party affiliation.

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Re: Bill Simmons
Nick (if that's your real name), you are absolutely right. He's hilarious.

By the way, coach Dale never would have come up with the picket-fence play. Shooter was the driving force on that coaching staff. He was like a drunken Tex Winter...

1:41: After falling behind 16-6, one of the Hickory players has to point out to coach Dale that Jimmy -- the prodigy, the franchise, the guy who's currently 26-for-29 just in the movie alone -- could "probably take the guy who's guarding him if we set him up."

Novel concept. Hmmm ... we could feed the ball to our best guy ... maybe this will work. Jimmy responds by scoring the next three baskets and six of the next eight, which raises the question, "How many points did Jimmy score in the finals?" That's right up there with "What were Roy Hobbs' stats during his season with the New York Knights?"

Then he goes on to give us the box score for the game! Priceless.

Thanks, man. That's a classic.

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Bill Simmons -- The Sports Guy
Over at the left there, we have a link to Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy. Why do we have that link? Because Bill is the best sports writer there is, anywhere. How do I know this? Because he writes stuff like this. I mean, no one else would gin up a box score for the State Finals game. How cool is that? The man is clearly a savant.

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Hero of the Week
The Banterings Hero of the Week goes to Ulster County (NY) District Attorney Don Williams for actually enforcing the law (Link via The Derb).

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This is goooood......
"If consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, John F. Kerry’s mind must be freaking enormous." -- Tim Blair

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Re: Kerry the Wimp
Gary, in looking at those photos, the question that pops into my mind is "Just exactly what color is this guys hair, really?"

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Do we know all there is to know on WMDs?
Great article in the The American Thinker (via the boys at Powerline) about how maybe the final chapter hasn't been written on the book about Iraqi WMD's. And this guy should know.

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In a shocking development yesterday, "A businessman once pardoned by President Clinton pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal tax evasion charges." Anonymous sources close to the former president say Clinton was stunned to learn of ("Big Al") Almon Glenn Braswell's propensity to defraud.

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Kerry photos
Take a look at these photos of John F'in Kerry. Be sure to scroll down and look at all of them - especially the one where he's trying to catch a football. Ha!

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - NBA - Rod Strickland waived, free to sign anywhere
I think that the Wolves ought to sign Rod Strickland. He was a very good, veteran backup for the Timberwolves last year, and given that we are thin at point guard, he'd be a good addition, even if he only sat on the injured list. Money well spent, in my book.

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Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP
With all due respect to our Islamic friends, but this is just wrong.

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Monday, March 01, 2004

Jonah Goes Yard
""Goldberg hits a high, deep drive to right! It's going, going, going! It's Gone! A Home Run for Goldberg deep into the upper deck in right field! Holy Cow!"

"Boy, Nick, that was some blast. Jonah really nailed that one hard."

"He sure did, Gary, but Goldberg can do that. He's got that kind of power."

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She lost her father and her husband.
This woman lost her father and her husband in service to their country, so she is totally qualify to read John F'n Kerry the riot act about his disgraceful acts after Vietnam and hs disgraceful anti-American voting record on Defense and Foreign Policy issues.

And always remember, big "hero"'John Kerry wrote himself up fhat Silver Star. Some hero. Shot a wounded guy in the back.

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