"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -Sir Charles Napier
:: :: bloghome | contact ::
Michael, God bless that cotton pickin' fertile ding dang noodle of yours! I now know that there is a thinking man among us who dares to speak up. xoxox Pam
Reported as BANNED IN CHINA!
recommended sites
Accuracy in Academia
Alarming News
Benador Associates
Bill Whittle, on War
bleeding brain
Blog Iran!
Daily Lunch
Experimental Insanity
Junk Yard Blog
Midwest Conservative Journal
¡No Pasarán!
The OmbudsGod!
Scylla and Charybdis
Sgt. Stryker
Stuart Buck
The Truth Laid Bear
The Urban Grind
I know how the Jacksons feel
The Other Michael Parker
Hunt Waterfowl and Flyfish in Western North Carolina
Yellow Dog Outfitters: Jerry Ward, NC State Licensed Guide, 828-231-0570
::website:: Jerry's e-mail
BigEarth of New Mexico sez, The warmest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great national moment, reserve their neutrality.
Bill Whittle's mom sez, If you can’t say anything of deep and meaningful scientific or political import that is not supported by fact, reason, historical precedent and in-depth step-by-step logical analysis then don’t say anything at all!

:: Saturday, October 8 ::

-----Original Message-----
From: john
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 1:26 AM
To: mfp

Seems you left the blogging a wee early. Loved the administration's response to Katrina... truly illustrated the 'compassionate Republican' agenda. How much did you 'reflect' on that?

Grace and peace,

Rev. John


Hello, Rev. John,
I blogged to get my local friends in on the discussion. Few posted comments, and I was writing the same opinion daily. Still, thanks for noticing the dusty old blog... maybe it will be reactvated.

Louisiana received $1.9 Billion in federal money during the first five years of Bush's administration. Bush declared an emergency early.
He also has 49 other states to oversee.

This was a time for charitable America to prove itself again. Faith-based volunteerism and plain goodness, whatever the motivation, outdid goverment work, even by those in government who bothered to read the plan, as they always have and always will.

"Compassion" voted in a mayor and a governor because of how they looked rather than for their ability to read the plan and handle an emergency.

Reflection here:

Tee shirt here:

Cheers! -michael
:: michael Saturday, October 08, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, April 22 ::

So an unknown Melody Townsel emerges to say she was, what?, sexually harassed? in Moscow 11 years ago. Gee, where have I heard this before?

My strong interest in politics really began with the Clarence Thomas hearings and may, at least temporarily, end with the John Bolton hearings.

I'm tired of politics for now. I hate TV news. I hate it that a great thinker like Andrew Sullivan resorts to the word "shocked" in describing his own reaction to the new Pope, and then learning that he wrote that even before the white smoke. Fox News is using the phrase "nuclear option" which shows they don't think anymore there, either.

Republicans have a wonderful chance to rage about the worthless UN as well as against the Democrats wanting to side with it, but I don't sense much more than men who still want a favorable media spotlight.

And there goes my motivation to blog. I may just take a hiatus and think about what I think about.

Because, I foresee no real change in the discourse for the near future:

(via Brainster via Moonbattery)
:: michael Friday, April 22, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, April 15 ::

I heard it on TV News:
No error on Newbury St.: A-Rod saves boy from truck.
And, in the wake of the Colorado Cookie Girl Story, I waited for the report that the boy's parents were suing. But no, the story has a good ending.

:: michael Friday, April 15, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, April 13 ::


Gold Hill Coffee is where Ashevillians go to read the NYT op-ed page and nod in agreement, and where I go to see the talented Stephanie for perfect cappuccino. I take advantage of an already-read Times, if available (to disagree with the op-ed but indulge in the Arts Section), until yesterday, when I read this, appropriately on the front page:
Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, and before the defense called a single witness, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges.

During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.
Now, dammit, enough illegal activity went on at that time for Officer Wohl and his like-minded eager-to-arrest
to have a field day. Actually, enough significant illegal activity goes on with or without a Republican Convention. Not only did this officer commit crimes himself, his wasted time let some real lawbreakers get away and he wasted the time of the overburdened courts.
Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.
The proof of his crimes is right there. I hope he goes to jail for this. But this is just as disturbing:
Last week, he discovered that there were two versions of the same police tape: the one that was to be used as evidence in his trial had been edited at two spots, removing images that showed Mr. Dunlop behaving peacefully. When a volunteer film archivist found a more complete version of the tape and gave it to Mr. Dunlop's lawyer, prosecutors immediately dropped the charges and said that a technician had cut the material by mistake.
I don't believe it, even while I still fully disapprove of the behavior of the RNC protestors during that time.

Defense lawyers: Reload! - and more power to you.

:: michael Wednesday, April 13, 2005 [+] ::


I went to the Hubble space telescope site and found this hard-to-believe image of galaxy collision:

The scientists say the stars rarely hit each other in such collsions.


Progressive blogger and fellow Ashevillian, Screwy Hoolie, blogged about microscopic electric motors.

:: michael Wednesday, April 13, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, April 11 ::


Wow - this guy was almost President:
''Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote,'' he said.
Don't you feel good, knowing how stupid he thinks you are? Unfortunately, too many are already that stupid, mainly due to such institutional deception by "men" like Kerry, the kind of men who go on talking like this five months after an election.
A different news source, Boston.com, reports this version of Kerry's intent:
Returning to the room where he gave his concession speech at the end of the bitter 2004 presidential campaign, Senator John F. Kerry yesterday said citizens must take more responsibility for their right to vote even when obstacles are placed in their way.
Yes, it really does boil down to the responsible doing the voting. Anyone who would believe a leaflet over the major news media concerning voting day, who would believe the bit about parking tickets, is too stupid to be voting anyway.

:: michael Monday, April 11, 2005 [+] ::


This morning NPR was talking about Tom DeLay. The DeLay media thing is happening while I am about to burn out on politics... even considering a break from blogging for a while. Last week's paper news seemed to pin nothing on him, in fact seemed to be saying that he'd done nothing but was still bad.

This morning, still not so familiar with all this, I listen to NPR report on the questions surrounding his ethics, and additionally on the "Republicans now putting pressure on DeLay", naming specifically the "moderate" from Connecticut. NPR's formula is laughably familiar, and all I needed to believe that DeLay is therefore not all that bad after all.

:: michael Monday, April 11, 2005 [+] ::


Oh, yes. I lost sleep over this: I had the royal wedding on as I vacuumed and cleaned out the fireplace on Saturday morning and observed the faces of the British aristocracy. They seemed downright bored with the whole thing - their lives, that is. The royally wedded looked unhappy. I don't think their expressions would have changed even if they had been given six months to live. And really, what kind of a king-to-be cannot stand firm about who he wishes to marry, anyway?

Funerals, common and noble, are better, and not just for the food...

:: michael Monday, April 11, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, April 7 ::


I'm still getting a big kick out of the exclusion of best ex-President Jimmy Carter from the US delegation to the papal funeral.

Let's keep him on reserve, however, for the funeral of Kim Jong-Il. That would be appropriate.

:: michael Thursday, April 07, 2005 [+] ::


He wrote the memo. He did the wrong thing. He has resigned.
The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.
But that won't be enough for liberal talk radio today.
They will not make the distinction between a memo created in poor taste and forged documents created in a dead man's name.
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in an interview Friday that he considered it "ludicrous" to suggest that his party created the document and said Republicans were using such talk to divert responsibility.
They only do that once every couple-a-years.

:: michael Thursday, April 07, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, April 4 ::

WEST VS. (middle)EAST

Any questions?

:: michael Monday, April 04, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, April 3 ::


While there is nothing I could blog about the Pope that has not been written already, my thought today is inspired by a recent post by Karol at Alarming News, where she asked, "what is Michael Jackson thinking?"

Today I ask, what was Michelangelo thinking?

:: michael Sunday, April 03, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 31 ::


If you think, you will recognize an amazing decription of what goes on inside Israel's borders:
Clerics of 3 Faiths Protest Gay Festival Planned for Jerusalem
Clerics, not the Knesset. Hmm... This report should remind the anti-Israelites that such are the freedoms in Israel. Women march there, too. Before President Bush's decisions, where else in the Middle East or Persia?
International gay leaders are planning a 10-day WorldPride festival and parade in Jerusalem in August, saying they want to make a statement about tolerance and diversity in the Holy City, home to three great religious traditions.
But we have a lot of trouble in the first sentence. "Religious traditions"? - who wrote this, Al Gore? "Religions would have been the accurate word, but ! -

- How is Jerusalem "home" to that third religion, Islam, when the name of Jerusalem does not once appear in the Qu'ran?

Further, what's with this "pride" thing? Will they simply march with dignity and remind the people of the importance of certain inalienable rights, or will they march and dance naked in an extended public sex show in the face of millenia-old "religious traditions" while demanding tolerance? They marched here in Asheville, the parade led by Candace Gingrich, followed by dancing nude "mud men." and a flamboyant, multi-float freak show that gave thousands of ordinary onlookers the impression that the gay agenda was this vision of decadence without discretion or dignity.

The article does end, though, with another positive reminder of civil liberties and civilized behavior in Israel:
Annual marches by homosexuals have become routine in Tel Aviv, a secular coastal city. For the past three years, gay parades have also been staged in Jerusalem. Religious groups have complained, but the police have issued permits for the events, which have been held without any serious incidents.
Will NYT readers understand it before they think again of sporting a "We are all Palestinians" tee-shirt?
:: michael Thursday, March 31, 2005 [+] ::

Polls Show Drop for Bush's Job Approval
(Boy George) relishes the vitriolic soundbite. 'I won't be voting for Tony Blair again,' he announces.

:: michael Thursday, March 31, 2005 [+] ::


Go to urbandictionary.com and vote on this word:
1. mashy
An overly aggressive panhandlin bum.
From the phrase "let me ask you a question," but when asked by a southern derelict or bum who is severely intoxicated sounds like "Mashyaquestion."

:: michael Thursday, March 31, 2005 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 29 ::

to keep you stupid

There are only four news events in the world, according to TV news this morning.
1) Earthquake and tsunami fears.
2) Terri Schiavo
3) Michael Jackson
4) What Madonna wore to a party.

And Jesse Jackson is involved in half of them.

:: michael Tuesday, March 29, 2005 [+] ::


I got this funny request yesterday via e-mail:

My buddy Jason Thinks He might need some surgery for his snoring. I told him what I knew about yours.
Could you send him an email and let him know what procedure you had done and if it worked.
If the info is useful... I had a deviated septum corrected in my nose in 1996 after yet another sinus infection. I haven't had such an illness since. With breathing passages opened, snoring gets very much reduced, but snoring also depends on alcohol and exposure to smoke.

My dad always snored. It led to severe sleep apnea, which became truly miserable and put him on a road to premature death.

:: michael Tuesday, March 29, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, March 28 ::


On last week's Republican antics, someone already wrote almost exactly as I would have, in an e-mail to Andrew Sullivan:
Why not consider the current debate within conservatism on the Shavio case as an indication of vitality rather than imminent demise? Conservatism has been "cracking up" for years now, along the libertarian/conservative divide, along the paleo/neo divide, along the religious/secular divide. Look at The Corner: reasoned arguments on either side of a topic that I think we can all admit is at least morally difficult. Do you see the same thing going on at DU? Or at The Nation?

I consider this a strength of American conservatism: we tend to be much more accommodating of ideological differences than the left. I know that statement will draw scoffs from many of your readers, and possibly from you. But consider: abortion. Who has a more diverse spectrum of opinions? Similarly Affirmative Action. Immigration? As counter-intuitive as it seems, I think conservatives in America can claim to be more accepting of diversity of opinions on each of these topics. Hell, even gay marriage. Some are for, some are against. It's all a glorious mess, and hopefully we'll muddle through and do some good along the way.

:: michael Monday, March 28, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, March 27 ::


Rwanda. Bosnia. Darfur. Iraq.
Sad, isn't it? -that it takes a financial scandal involving his son, not standing by while genocides -plural- go unprevented and unchecked, to make this worthless secretary-general step down from his worthless organization. And while someone peddles a device to block FOX news from your TV, aren't they the only network who really seems to be following that story? Oh. He's sad, too:
Depressed Annan close to quitting over UN scandals

KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary-general, is said to be struggling with depression and considering his future. Colleagues have reported concerns about Annan ahead of an official report this week that will examine his son Kojo’s connection to the controversial Iraqi oil for food scheme.

Depending on the findings of the report, by a team led by the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, Annan may have to choose between the secretary-generalship and loyalty to his son.
Oh, boo f*****g hoo. Bad legacy for you.

Something else to consider: what the hell is someone from a thrid world country doing in that leadership position, anyway?

:: michael Sunday, March 27, 2005 [+] ::

After Defeats, Schiavo Parents Tell Supporters to Go Home

Bob and Mary Schindler, both practicing Catholics, urged dozens of supporters gathered outside the Florida hospice where Schiavo is being cared for to go home for Easter.

"The family would request that everyone go home, be with your children, hold them close and share every moment you have with them," said Brother Paul O'Donnell, a Franciscan monk who is a spiritual adviser to the Schindlers.
I look forward to knowing what reward they reap for their good work.

I insist this case boils down to a simple element: witness credibility. Her husband is not credible. Her parents are. The judges are siding with a witness who is not credible.


And stupid.
Device lets you out-Fox your TV

It's not that Sam Kimery objects to the views expressed on Fox News Channel. The creator of the "Fox Blocker" contends the network is not news at all.

Kimery says he has sold about 100 of the little silver bits of metal that screw into the back of most televisions, allowing people to filter Fox News from their sets. The Tulsa, Okla., resident also has received thousands of e-mails, both angry and complimentary, as well as a few death threats since the device debuted in August.
He may just be capitalizing on blue-state America, especially since liberal magazine subscriptions have gone way up since the election. Maybe this article will help him sell more than the 100 he's sold. (This means he has not even passed $1000 in sales. Liberals will laugh at his idea, but will they be conservative enough to choose the cost-free option of simply choosing to not tune in to that channel?)

But he is lying about Fox News at the same time. Yes, there are lots of opinion shows on that channel, but so what? They report news, too, and haven't been caught up in forged document scandals like CBS and, now, ABC. Likening a purchase of the device to burning a draft card is stupid, but will attract buyers who also do not know the meaning of "unilateral," "tyranny," "Nazi," and, suddenly in this instance, "choice."

:: michael Sunday, March 27, 2005 [+] ::


Why? He's done a good job. He's old and sick, will die, and go to heaven. That's worth rejoicing over.

He forgave his would-be assassin, traveled more than any other Pope, and did not bend from his principals concerning the sanctity of life. I had to respect his opposition to the Iraq war, and while I struggle with his message against contraception in the third world, his message was one of faith. I didn't like the message, but his consistency is admirable.

The only necessary concern for Christians worldwide is, WWNPD? What will the next Pope do?

:: michael Sunday, March 27, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, March 25 ::


And the President of Columbia University said this:
We should not elevate our autonomy as individual faculty members above every other value. ... (Professors have an obligation) to resist the allure of certitude, the temptation to use the podium as an ideological platform, to indoctrinate a captive audience, to play favorites with the like-minded and silence the others.
Do you think we will read of his mysterious disappearance later this weekend?

:: michael Friday, March 25, 2005 [+] ::


At Astronomy Photo of the Day, the lens used to discover Titan 350 years ago today. Very Cool. There's an anagram etched on the thing.

:: michael Friday, March 25, 2005 [+] ::


So this artist sneaks his work into major art museums. Cool.
A British graffiti artist who goes by the name "Banksy" went one step further, by smuggling in his own picture of a soup can and hanging it on a wall, where it stayed for more than three days earlier this month before anybody noticed. The prank was part of a coordinated plan to infiltrate four of New York's top museums on a single day.

The largest piece, which he smuggled into the Brooklyn Museum, was a 2 foot by 1.5 foot (61cm by 46 cm) oil painting of a colonial-era admiral, to which the artist had added a can of spray paint in his hand and anti-war graffiti in the background.

The other two targets were the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, where he hung a glass-encased beetle with fighter jet wings and missiles attached to its body -- another comment on war, Banksy told Reuters on Thursday.
The story gets funnier:
Last year he smuggled work into the Louvre in Paris and London's Tate, attracting attention in the British media.

"My sister inspired me to do it. She was throwing away loads of my pictures one day and I asked her why. She said 'It's not like they're going to be hanging in the Louvre.'" He took that as a challenge. "I thought why wait until I'm dead," he said.
I suppose security in museums just cannot break the boredom of their jobs. I often feel sorry for them. It is certain there has been a lot of yelling in the security offices.

This threw my memory back to a richly informative article about a different thing, forgery in the art world. My local museum's director shuddered at the level of entertainment I got out of the story. You have to pay to read it, but it is worth the money if you have an interest in art history.
The Forger and the Spy, by Igor Golomstock
But no, while funny at first, it was not acceptable behavior, not even at the Brooklyn Museum. He used glue and damaged the walls, he's gotten people with already bad jobs under more scrutiny at work, and his work is cliché, just more turd-on-a-stick anti-war statement art.

Just three years ago, he would have been sent to the torture chamber if he did this at the Iraq Museum. So this is another reminder that so many in the art world do not understand how free they are, and despite the creative ability so many of them possess, they are incapable of visualizing the societal consequences, big and small, of their vision.

:: michael Friday, March 25, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 24 ::


While liberals here continue to hallucinate about the freedoms eroded away by the cowboy President, blogging is the only way for journalists to avoid being jailed by the censors in Nepal:
Blogs rise above the Nepal information coup
In the face of an information meltdown, readers turn to blogs for news from Nepal, reports Annie Besant

In the fight against the King Gyanendra's media censorship, the Internet is playing a vital and unexpected role. Bloggers are becoming Nepal's new watchdogs. In the face of strict rules restricting print, television and radio communications, Nepali journalists have begun using web logs, or blogs, to communicate their opinions and news to the outside world.
Tom Brokaw and those other arrogant-ass news anchors should be forced to go there and live it.

:: michael Thursday, March 24, 2005 [+] ::


Liberal talk radio went nuts about this on Monday. But ABC is backing off from claiming where the memo actually originated, and there are those pesky errors, such as the spelling of Schiavo's name and the incorrect Senate bill number. Hmm... Back to liberal talk radio, which will now accuse ABC of being run by conservatives and may still find a way to blame it on Rove. At Powerline, a senate staffer explains why it smells even more like fraud.

:: michael Thursday, March 24, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 23 ::
Today in History, 230 years ago:
Give me liberty, or give me death!

:: michael Wednesday, March 23, 2005 [+] ::


So there's this quote from a very smart James Pinkerton column:
...whenever the Democrats retake power and resume their own ambitious national agenda, they will happily trample on "states' rights," citing the Schiavo legislation as their precedent. But maybe by then Republicans won't care as much, because the traditional conservative belief system, which grounded its politics in the original intent of the Founding Fathers, has been superseded - the Constitutional Right now being the Religious Right.
So many people are blaming this on the looming religious right, the "rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth Christians," (as my barista said yesterday), the fundamentalists, as liberal talk radio says endlessly. It should alarm no one that this case gives many irreligious people the creeps. (However, it should be asked, again, loudly, even though we know the answer: Where are the outraged feminists, outraged at the ownership this cheatin' husband has over her, who would surely blame him at least in part for her bulimia?)

The big point: states do not have the right to run amok just because Conservatives usually favor states' rights. Federal law is a tool that , when necessary to address matters of right and wrong, is rightly used. Civil rights, anyone? Hello?

This from the majority opinion of the Eleventh Circuit:
There is no denying the absolute tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo. We all have our own family, our own loved ones, and our own children. However, we are called upon to make a collective, objective decision concerning a question of law. In the end, and no matter how much we wish Mrs. Schiavo had never suffered such a horrible accident, we are a nation of laws, and if we are to continue to be so, the pre-existing and well-established federal law governing injunctions as well as Pub. L. No. 109-3 must be applied to her case. While the position of our dissenting colleague has emotional appeal, we as judges must decide this case on the law.
That's a bit refreshing, actually. Now let the elected lawmakers do their thing, and let the judges go by the rule of law.

:: michael Wednesday, March 23, 2005 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 22 ::

Document: Bin Laden Evaded U.S. Forces
Why must we continue to pay people to fill the "no shit" file with such documents?

:: michael Tuesday, March 22, 2005 [+] ::


It had better get resolved quickly before the public gets sick of the whole thing, now that everybody is trying to get involved. The President did sum it up nicely, that it is better to err on the side of life.

I decided to tune in to liberal talk radio as I worked yesterday. I noticed, more than the routine dismissal of every church-going American as "fundamentalist," the frequency of the word "tyranny" being used to describe the Congress... that's the body of hundreds of people recently elected to limited terms, known on left radio as tyrants. Well, maybe they can vote those tyrants out next election and get someone in there more like Castro.

Health insurance! they cried. National health care! "I don't have insurance!" cried a man who sounded like he was around 30 years old. Did the all-knowing hosts ask why? Was the caller dealt bad cards in life? ..or was he spending the money on something else, maybe something else which lessens his health? No, of course the hosts did not ask.

Then there is this rampant use and misuse of the word, "politics" and it's various forms. Not all politics is bad politics. Using your legislative power to fight something you truly believe is wrong and behaving in a way your constituents would like you to behave may be labeled 'political," but it isn't bad.

:: michael Tuesday, March 22, 2005 [+] ::


Is it the trap, or is it the gorgonzola?

:: michael Tuesday, March 22, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, March 21 ::


Dear liberal friends,
You've been telling me Karl Rove is really the man on top all along, and I didn't believe you:

(I found this link via an angry LGF ranting about the standards at Google News.)

Such an extremely high-profile person letting himself be seen around DuPont Circle during Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend suggests he may not be as smart as the theorists have been saying. Perhaps the President really is the smart one after all.

Oh , I guess he wasn't on top:
A Barnes reporter told Storch that "Karl greatly enjoyed the supervision of a certain hairy 350-lb. Leather Dominator who had won the Miss Virginia Daddy Bear title at the MAL festivities."
The Daily Kos blogged this 3 weeks ago. Of course he did.

:: michael Monday, March 21, 2005 [+] ::


Alarming News points to a specific new word in Webster's new World College Dictionary: partial-birth abortion. She caught it from a longer list posted at The Club for Growth.
Al Qaeda
cargo pants
irritable bowel syndrome
partial-birth abortion
digital camera
identity theft
Megan’s Law
street cred
touch screen
First question: how in Sam Hill did it take so long for many of these words to get into the dictionary?

Second: Since every year it is a news story when new words get added, what news organizations reported the new words but left out partial-birth abortion?
NBC's WKYC.com didn't mention it.
Neither did NBC's KING5.
Via Google News Search... the new words aren't news.

:: michael Monday, March 21, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, March 18 ::


While researching ex-President Bill Clinton's "apology" - his stupid remark about the Crusades and Native American displacement bringing on the 9-11 attacks, this is found via Google News:
Sheikh Fawzi Zafzaf, President of the Interfaith Dialogue Committee of Al-Azhar, said during a press conference that his committee has sent a request to the Pope last February, demanding an official apology on Christian crusades against the Muslim world, following the example of the Jews.
This, of course, reflects the ongoing Muslim view that all land once possessed by Islam still belongs to Islam. But this apology is perhaps the best they think they can get for now, since the only war Muslims ever won against the west was against France.

"...following the example of the Jews?" - do what? The Jews apologised for the Crusades? I am missing something here.

This news, especially being from Egypt, threw me back to a lawsuit filed by Egyptians in 2003 against all the world's Jews. Click this text for an informative, amusing read on that attempted suit:
(The) lawsuit is ostensibly being filed against "all the Jews of the world" for recovery of property allegedly stolen during the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt approximately 3300 years ago.

Citing the Torah, Dr. Hilmi is demanding, presumably on Egypt's behalf, the return of "gold, jewelry, cooking utensils, silver ornaments, clothing and more," not to mention interest thereon, taken by the ancestors of today's Jews "in the middle of the night" -- a "clear theft of a host country's resources and treasure, something that fits the morals and character of the Jews."
Read the whole thing, it's amusing because it sites a similar suit in ancient times, and the writer fires back with the same ammo used by the plaintiff.

I also stumbled on this very good essay on the Crusades. Click the text for the whole thing:
So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword.
And have a nice weekend.

:: michael Friday, March 18, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 16 ::

via Michelle Malkin via Hugh Hewitt

I know enough about China and should have suspected this as a possibility.
Mr. Bennett should have, too. One point made below still stands... that a big wig in American media making such a comment was and still is believable. The free press is in a sad state when we cannot read a report like the Chinese interview and immediately think that such a remark is out of character.

:: michael Wednesday, March 16, 2005 [+] ::


Two years ago, some protester made the news. See next post.

In the significant category, however, sixty years ago, Iwo Jima was declared secure.

Thank you, brave gentlemen.

And for you Corrie-wannabes out there, a lesson in comparison:


:: michael Wednesday, March 16, 2005 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 15 ::


Strategerically speaking, I am actually glad this has happened:
Family of protester killed by bulldozer suing Caterpillar

The parents of woman killed while trying to save a Palestinian home is suing Caterpillar, the company that made the bulldozer that ran over her.

Attorneys said the lawsuit they are filing today in Seattle said Caterpillar violated international and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to Israel that it knew would be used to demolish homes and endanger people.

The Corrie family, of Charlotte, North Carolina, are represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old student at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She was trying to block a bulldozer from destroying a home in 2003, when it ran over her.
(The longer version of that last sentence, if written by a responsible writer, was that the bulldozing operation was intended to stop weapons smuggling via tunnels from Egypt.)

At the root of this, the lawsuit against Caterpillar is a continuation of the effort to dissuade anyone from doing business from the Jewish state. Nevermind that if the Palestinians hadn't chosen war, again, when they had the choice in 2000, there would be foreign investment in the Palestinian state as well.

Ahh, choice. I choose to stand in front of a heavily shielded bulldozer. I choose to take a shot at Tienanmen-style immortality, even if I am taking a stand for weapons-smuggling tunnels instead of freedom for the people.

But this lawsuit, if the media keeps up with it, should force the sensitive public to consider, as they should, where the responsibility lies (as in gun maker lawsuits). Also, with this case, even if she really did not know about the Palestinian weapons-smuggling tunnels, she still stupidly stood in front of a bulldozer that was heavily shielded, in which the driver could not see her. Oh, and this:

That's what's left of a scribbled American flag as Rachel teaches Palestinian children to play with fire and hate Americans, who have sent billions in aid to their people. To her credit, the stars weren't drawn with six points, not this time, anyway. Is her hair covered out of respect to the Muslim tradition of controlling women? - gee, she wouldn't have had to worry about that inside Israel's borders, where she could even have freely choosen to be a gay rights activist, if that's what she wanted to do.

Having viewed the above flag-burning photo, I challenge you to make sense out of this one:

Rachel Corrie's behavior, and that of those who visit Rachel Corrie memorial websites, were summed up nicely a year ago in a comment by Paul from Experimental Insanity:
The problem with people like her is they have Siding with the Underdog Syndrome. People afflicted with this syndrome will automatically and stupidly sympathize with what they perceive to be the underdog. This syndrome will defy the concept of good and evil, morality and intelligence and force the afflicted to side with the underdog no matter what the circumstances. In this situation, the afflicted girl with SWUS (siding with underdog syndrome) perceives the Palestinians as the underdog and Israelis as the top dog. At least she was put out of her misery.
Now the family who encouraged this behavior may be excused for suing Israel in their grief, suing the employer of the bulldozer's operator, but going for the money from Caterpillar demonstrates, conclusively... that's a low class family she's got there.

:: michael Tuesday, March 15, 2005 [+] ::

If the bare peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro has not been seen for 11,000 years, what happened 11,000 years ago that caused the peak to be bare?

:: michael Tuesday, March 15, 2005 [+] ::

Judge Sanctions Trial Attorney for Filing Frivolous Lawsuit against Physician

The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) Frivolous Lawsuit Committee scored a major victory on behalf of Ohio physicians recently when a Stark County judge formally sanctioned a trial attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit against a Canton-area physician.

The judge also ordered the trial attorney to pay $6,000 to the physician as reimbursement for legal expenses incurred as a result of the frivolous suit.
And the complaint was...?
In the suit, Barbato claimed unnecessary severe physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering resulting from a perforated colon caused by a surgical procedure that Dr. Maycon did not even perform.
This is good news for doctors, but also for those us us who have weakened faith in judges after the Colorado cookie girl lawsuit.

:: michael Tuesday, March 15, 2005 [+] ::


Accuser Told Dean Jackson Did Nothing

:: michael Tuesday, March 15, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, March 14 ::

via LGF
via Hugh Hewitt
I know enough about China to have guessed this as a possibility.
Mr. Bennett should have, too. One point made below still stands... that a big wig in American media making such a comment was and still is believable.

Washington Post Managing Editor Philip Bennett grants an interview to the Chinese media, and in an act of Narcissistic psuedo-intellectualism, repeats the same old boring lines. Imagine being anyone in the Chinese media and saying this about China in an interview:
Yong Tang: In such sense, do you think America should be the leader of the world?

Bennett: No, I don't think US should be the leader of the world. ... I also think it is unhealthy to have one country as the leader of the world. ... If we are heading into another period of imperialism where the US thinks itself as the leader of the area and its interest should prevail over all other interests of its neighbors and others, then I think the world will be in an unhappy period.
You know, it really angers me that a managing editor in a position at the Washington Post has that job when he doesn't even know the definition of imperial, (any more than Jimmy Carter knows the meaning of unilateral) and repeats it just like the state-controlled media in that part of the world. Worse yet, he probably knows he is misusing the word, as he talks to the press of a country that would jail any Chinese who would say such a thing about China.

His answer to the question would most likely be the UN, just never mind the UN's inability (unwillingness) to stop the horror of the Ba'athist regime (where of course America took the lead) or the current Darfur genocide, and its proclivity to abuse programs like Oil-for-Food.

:: michael Monday, March 14, 2005 [+] ::


Conservative bloggers got cocky after the demise of Dan Rather. There was the John Fund thing, which isn't worth even explaining. There was the Jeff Gannon thing, which is the best the liberal bloggers could do (only to be buried alive by Ann Coulter). Brian at Junk Yard Blog posted a reminder to all that blogging is a hobby and to not get so uppity. I agreed mostly... Prolegomena does not pretend to be journalism. Hell, it's not even prolegomena for 99% of it's readers, considering how rarely comments are left behind.

But Brian has re-thought the hobby label, and correctly de-generalizes blogging-as-hobby, and then blogs deeper into what he also no longer calls "Rathergate"

The best illustration of his point is this Cox and Forkum cartoon.

:: michael Monday, March 14, 2005 [+] ::


At Little Green Footballs, the weirdest images in the cover-your-hair category since:

:: michael Monday, March 14, 2005 [+] ::


Via LGF, the Italians screwed up... badly.
The Italians say the car was swerving around cement blocks in the road when a bright light went on and, with no warning, the car was pummeled with automatic weapons fire for 10 to 15 seconds. U.S. military officials say troops made hand and arm signals, flashed white lights and fired warning shots to no avail.
You know damn well that our guys fired warning shots at a speeding, approaching car swerving aroung the concrete barriers.
If the Italians do not own up to this big mistake made in the hostage payoff, we might do better without such stupid friends.

:: michael Monday, March 14, 2005 [+] ::
:: Saturday, March 12 ::

Afghan Warrior
He reports women's news as well, including a health and fitness club for women in Kabul!
(Imagine that happening during a Gore Presidency. Remember, dear liberal friends, they would have been executed for exercising before Bush overturned the Taliban.)

via Daily Lunch (link at left)
:: michael Saturday, March 12, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, March 11 ::


Here, have a nice up-to-date read about the barbaric government which best-ex-President Jimmy Carter helped become nuclear capable:
N. Korea launches harsh crackdown
And easily predict what liberals will say when it is time to take action against Kim Jong-Il's brutal, Stalinist regime.

:: michael Friday, March 11, 2005 [+] ::


Miscreant Abu Ghraib guard Lynndie England faces court martial on May 3, and Drudge has the famous leash photo posted right now.

I only had minimal sympathy for these prisoners, assuming they were Ba'athist thugs, not men thrown in prison for looking funny, but the media never cared what kind of men these prisoners were. Of course not. They didn't care what kind of devil Saddam Hussein was, either. Americans did, however, go on laughing at the idea that Martha Stewart was going to get beaten in prison.

Still, I wonder about fair punishment. I expect such military prison guards to not be the best and the brightest in uniform, but even the dumbest Americans should know to avoid the camera when committing a crime. These guards gave the enemy and the enemy media, theirs and ours, exactly what they wanted, severely and terrifyingly endangered the real soldiers in the field, and made the idea of women in the military look like a bad idea, which in turn would surely hurt women's rights in the region.

About punishment: the thought of her getting 16 to 30+ years is mesmerizing. Will the military court be fooled by the incorrect labeling of her actions as torture? But look at the damage, I am at the same time in agreement with Christopher Hitchens's May 4, 2004 opinion, that it is not unreasonable to think that these guards should have been "taken out and shot." Had there been a firing squad for the guards, I would still be typing in support of it now, a year later. Oh, the pain of being civilized...

About women: what was the media saying about women when they made Lynndie England the face of this scandal? Why didn't it matter that she had likely leashed a man who raped wives and daughters in the name of Saddam's state? Why do we know only her name and not the names of the other guards?

About ordinary people: the media made damn sure you knew she was from West Virginia.

About the importance of events: I woke every morning last year for months to a voice from an obsessed NPR saying the words, "Abu Ghraib." Helen Thomas called the scandal, not the capture of Saddam Hussein, but the scandal, "the biggest story of 2004" (making Ann Coulter's recent characterization of Thomas as an "old Arab" even more fitting). And leftists and war protesters dressed as the Ba'athist prisioners and engaged in a worldwide, multilingual scream of "BARABBAS!" Here, in my local pool of liberal people, it means nothing to them when reminded that women and men voted in Afghanistan after the removal of the Taliban, and the Iraqi rape-rooms, torture chambers, and mass grave-diggers are gone. It means nothing.

:: michael Friday, March 11, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 10 ::


Spanish Muslims issue fatwa against Al-Qaeda's Osama Bin Laden

MADRID (AFX) - Spain's Islamic Commission, which groups the nation's Muslim community, said it was issuing a fatwa against Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden,
'We are going to issue a fatwa (religious decree) against Bin Laden this afternoon,' Mansour Escudero, who leads the Federation of Islamic religious entities (Feeri) and co-secretary general of the Spanish governmenmt-created Commission told AFP.
The Commission invited Spanish-based imams to condemn terrorism at Friday prayers, when the whole country will be remembering the 191 people who were killed in the train blasts and the 1,900 injured a year ago.
The attacks have been blamed on mainly Moroccan Islamic extremists loyal to Bin Laden.
'We have called on imams to make a formal declaration condemning terrorism and for a special prayer for all the victims of terrorism,' Escudero said.
The Commission has also drawn up a document designed to 'thank the Spanish people and the government for their attitude towards Muslims' since last March 11, in particular for not taking 'disproportionate' measures similar to those which the Sept 11 attacks sparked in the US.
The Commission called on Muslims to take part in Friday's commemorative programme being organised by Spanish authorities and community groups and to work with them to ensure terrorism was defeated.
This article should be reporting the second fatwa, don't you think? ..but that explains the slur against nonexistent "'disproportionate' measures similar to those which the Sept 11 attacks sparked in the US." Well, at least they didn't call us the Jewish-controlled U.S.

Of course it took them a year.


Kofi Annan's uselessness is, in light of American-led success, truly laughable. Annan has actually managed to make Al Gore's endorsements look timely:
Annan proposes treaty on terrorism

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed the creation of a comprehensive treaty outlawing terrorism, denouncing attacks that target civilians and arguing that no political grievance justifies killing the innocent.
whoop. ee.
Isn't it interesting how Spain's tardy terror-condemning Muslims actually have more substance than the UN Secretary General?

:: michael Thursday, March 10, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 9 ::

William Thatcher Dowell writes with spectacularly clichéd ignorance on today's LA Times opinion page:
In fact, George W. Bush may now find himself in the same kind of trap that ensnared Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud. To gain political support, Saud mobilized the fanatical, ultrareligious Wahhabi movement — the movement that is spiritually at the core of Al Qaeda. Once the bargain was done, the Saudi royal family repeatedly found itself held political hostage to an extremist, barely controllable movement populated by radical ideologues. The evangelical movement in the U.S. nudged the president back into the White House, and Bush must now try to pay off the political bill for its support.
Did this writer notice that support for Bush's war against the fruits of Muslim extremism "nudged" him back into office? Has this writer ever read a thing about Wahhabism? Yes, he has:
In Saudi Arabia, what drives the Wahhabis is a deep sense of grievance and an underlying conviction that a return to spiritual purity will restore the lost power they believe once belonged to their forefathers. A belief system that calls for stoning a woman for adultery or severing the hand of a vagrant accused of stealing depends on extreme interpretations of texts that are at best ambiguous. What is at stake is not so much service to God as the conviction that it is still possible to enforce discipline in a world that seems increasingly chaotic.
But he doesn't bother to think about what is different, like the illiteracy rates, state-controlled media, and blaming all problems on the Jews throughout most of the Middle East. And... do what? - discipline is no longer enforceable?

It's no surprise he repeats the failing abortion/death penalty talking point which demonstrates the liberal inability to distinguish innocence from criminal condemnation. And of course he goes to counting abortion doctor murders without analyzing the seven - seven - such murders (and convictions) in more than three decades of Roe... Yeah, those Christians are out of control in this nation of free speech, constantly open debate, and successfully prosecuted criminals. Again - quick! Let's bitch about the numbers in our prisons.

¡Qué susto!

The point of this blog: there is nothing new here, yet this guy gets his re-hashed, second-hand opinion published for the (thankfully) less-than-fifty percent of Americans, those who nod their heads in agreement today, not even recognizing that he would have already been tortured and executed in the culture he compares to that of American Christians.

:: michael Wednesday, March 09, 2005 [+] ::


I got him, finally, with a nugget of gorgonzola and a D-Con trap that closed on his little mousy head and nearly popped out his eye, but created no mess. The guy at the hardware store suggested the trap I used because it was the most "humane." I really haven't half a shit to give about how a mouse gets caught, I like the covered-box design of the trap.

He got into every kitchen drawer, every dining room drawer, even on top of my refrigerator and wall-mounted cabinets, and on top of my bar. Cheese and rice! - mice can go anywhere! The pit bulls were worthless, and kept me from bringing in a cat. He ignored the bread in the trap, but went for seashell-shaped candy in a closed box in the cigar drawer atop the buffet instead. That's when I switched to a little nugget of stinky cheese. WHACK!

:: michael Wednesday, March 09, 2005 [+] ::


"Not guilty," will say the jury. These inconsistent witnesses, plus the paralegal who testified having witnessed coaching in the kids' mother's past lawsuit, make it predictable. I really do not think he is guilty of child molestation. Wouldn't there be a victim from a normal family? Wouldn't there be witnesses who wouldn't get caught in their lies? This time, we do not have race-baiting lawyers, brain-damaged jurors, a Fifth-taking cop, or a Judge Ito to blame.

:: michael Wednesday, March 09, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, March 6 ::


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran said Saturday it will never agree to a permanent halt on enriching uranium and warned that a more unstable Middle East would result from a U.S.-backed effort to haul Tehran before the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

Any effort by Washington to bring Tehran's suspended uranium enrichment program under Security Council scrutiny is a dangerous path, warned Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani.
Given that the UN Security Council gave Saddam Hussein another ten years to do his thing, Iran 's mullahs should be begging for the reappearance of Security Council sanctions and Susan Sarandon.

Allah did not grant their prayer for a Kerry-Edwards victory last November, but maybe it is a test of their faith, maybe ten years from now, the Security Council will get to surpass what they did with Iraq and pass an eighteenth resolution against Iran.

Still, the above phrase "U.S.-backed effort" is a disappointing thought, that we would still have to, again, play that stupid game of acting like the UN has any worth in these matters. This second-trerm, war-winning, world-changing President should call that spade a spade and jump straight to taking charge of Iran.

:: michael Sunday, March 06, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, March 3 ::
(brought to your attention by Gina in Chapel Hill)

Already, I am cringing for two reasons. Someone minding his own business got beaten, badly, beside the busiest intersection on Franklin Street. The thugs didn't even care that he was on the phone.

The other reason is not the large protest that was organized to raise awareness, it was is the call for a change in so-called hate crimes legislation. For all the arguing that that a racist or anti-homosexual motive is especially heinous, the people are better served when the message is simple: beating someone is wrong. (The police have called it aggravated assault for a long, long time.)

So the community does the predictable: they hold a rally. But there is a problem with these things, hundreds of people showing up not to protest violence on principle, but to relate to the crime victim, with many even lying about knowing him. One campus gay activist did contribute a remark worth remarking on:
"You'd think in 2005 we'd move beyond this and clearly we haven't yet."
Well, there is the facts-of-life right there, young man. College campi will always be populated by adolescents, with adolescence in charge of their human nature. This includes guys from backgrounds where the sign says, "No whiners." There will always be incidents like these, best fought with simple messages about right and wrong, and severe punishment for the wrong.

The murder of Matthew Shepard was a horrifying reminder, and the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas further reminded that men will never be rid of it. But thoses cases also reminded us that life sentences and death penalties follow such crimes, and are far more likely in an ever-improving world of crime-solving. Quick - let's now bitch about the number of convicted in our prisons!

Do you get outraged? Yes. Do you rally against violence? Yes. Do you, as the leading figure of the community, say something like this?:
Chancellor James Moeser was the first to deliver prepared remarks affirming the University’s commitment to tolerance and inclusion. He said the response to the attack reminds him of how the people of Copenhagen, Denmark, accepted the Jews in desperate times under the Nazi regime.

Do you, as a newspaper, use this rally photo to change the bad guys' ways?:


Back to Chancellor Moeser - whose administration is guilty of literally persecuting Christian organizations at UNC - that remark is exactly the kind of sanctimonious and historically inaccurate crap that gets protesters off the point, and, I believe, motivates the thugs to go beat up another queer.

Memo to Moeser: those who hid Jews in Copenhagen would have, along with their entire families, faced bayonettes and bullets, on the spot, for their good deed, and they knew it. You were only serving the protesters' onward-tolerant-soldiers illusion, while at the same time most of these people would be back tomorrow with new signs if you decided to protest Israel.

Interestingly, the press has little to say about the disparaging remarks spoken to the crime victim before the beating began. The word "fag" is quoted third-hand, but the rest is only references to "other" "several" remarks. It happened as the bars closed. Were the thugs students or not? Drunks? It is known that there are many witnesses, but only one has come forward. Why? Was the word "fag" even being used because they knew he was a gay man? That word is loosely used. If so, how did they know he was gay?

Are we going to learn via a conservative college newspaper (before college liberals steal them) that this victim acted like an ass in the bar? It's possible. In dozens of articles on this event, robbery is not reported as a motive.

My main point: this taking-action in Chapel is not as much a protest against crime, it is a self-congratulatory gathering of the oh-so-tolerant, willing to distort history and eager to control thought by law. Thank God the real world is coming soon for most of them.

:: michael Thursday, March 03, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 2 ::


The gun news blogged below reminded me of another infamous name, Wanita Young, the woman who sued two good girls after they anonymously delivered a love gift of cookies after dark (blogged here Feb. 6).
Wanita Young said she hasn't returned to her part-time job at Wal-Mart and might have to give up the presidency and her seat on the board of the local food bank, a post she's held for 16 years, because of the negative attention she's received.

She's received hundreds of crank calls, along with truckloads of strange packages some containing cookies or cookie crumbs.
Whataminute - the President of a food bank did not recognize the concept of an anonymous gift of food when it was found at her door with a construction paper heart gift tag attached? That food bank is about to get smarter leadership.

Well, people shouldn't harrass her, but maybe a little mob justice isn't always all that bad. Especially when it is clear that she still doesn't get it:
"All this over cookies," she said. "Our home is like a funeral parlor. They've robbed us of our laughter. My spirit, my soul, is damaged." Despite that, Young said she believes going to court was the right thing. "I don't know how to change. I don't know how to compromise my principles," she said.
Uh, hello, bitch. "All this over cookies" is the girls' line. For you, it is over suing two sweet girls, even after the parents offered to pay your bills for overreaction and melodrama. It is over abusing the ER and the courts.

:: michael Wednesday, March 02, 2005 [+] ::


Anti-gun activist arrested after firearm found at home
Annette Stevens of Million Mom March fame. Remember that? - the march that drew, oh, some 200,000 marchers?
It gets interesting:
Annette "Flirty" Stevens, however, said Monday she's innocent, and the arrest is an attempt by police to get her to give up information about unsolved crime in the city. The handgun, which had a scratched-off serial number...
Well, these anti-gun activists wanted gun owners to be guilty until proven innocent. Not only is she in a heapa her own trouble, she is going to feel very lonely during this trial.

In Vermont, a Town-Meeting revolt over Iraq war

Foes call the resolution so much "poppycock," and complain activists have hijacked an annual event they say is better suited to debate on snowplows and school roof repairs. But to supporters, the war in Iraq is the essence of town business: It's about the men and women who live, work, and raise families in the community.

:: michael Wednesday, March 02, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, February 28 ::


"We Didn't Criticize You When You Fired Those Reporters at CBS"
Is it that Putin is crazy, or not smart enough to run a country? - meaning, who might be pulling his strings? How in the world can you be the Russian head of state and a former KGB agent, and not know about the power of the American press, and that Presidents don't fire reporters? How can you know of rolling heads at CBS but not that it was ratings, something more like people pressure, and certainly not Presidential pressure.

Is this Putin projecting his relationship with the Russian media?

Perhaps, this was a bone thrown to the American media for more favorable writing toward Putin's leadership.
(You can take the man out of the KGB, but you can't....)

Reading it gave me the same chill as when I read the dialogue of old Soviet interrogations and related propaganda, and the same chill I got when the likes of Gore and Kerry delivered their distracting whoppers at Presidential debates. I am betting, in part, that Putin really believes it, but also he wants the favor of the American press - a little bit stupid, a little bit smart, with a scary dash of Vishinsky.

Still, we have a Sovietologist for Secretary of State, and therefore an informed President. The Bush Administration seems to be doing the right thing with this mess:
U.S. aides say that to help fight against this kind of misinformation, they are struggling to build relationships that go beyond Putin. "We need to go deeper into the well into other levels of government," explains an aide.
Damn right, we do.

Now, this:

Something told me to keep the music on and not tune in to Meet the Press yesterday morning. If I had heard her say this, I might have broken something:
Russert: " Would you now accept the fact that because of the invasion of Iraq, there is a possibility of democracy in Iraq and that may spread in the Middle East?

Dowd: "We are torturing people, we're outsourcing torture, the administration is trying to throw journalists in jail and basically trying to replace the whole press corps with ringers, including male escorts."
Are there shadowy figures whispering into Putin's ear, or does he read Maureen Dowd? If he's reading Dowd, why does he suppose she has not yet been fired by Bush?

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::


..and it spoke well when Bill Gates said this to 45 governors:
"America's high schools are obsolete," Gates said. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools _ even when they're working as designed _ cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."
and this:
"Training the workforce of tomorrow with today's high schools is like trying to teach kids about today's computers on a 50-year-old mainframe," said Gates, whose $27-billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made education one of its priorities.

"Everyone who understands the importance of education, everyone who believes in equal opportunity, everyone who has been elected to uphold the obligations of public office should be ashamed that we are breaking our promises of a free education for millions of students," added Gates, to strong applause.

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::

For the property rights case that really does have me nervous. Jeff Jacoby's column makes it easy to understand even if you didn't know about the case before now.

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::


It's an instructive collection of liberal venom, the result of cartoonist Ted Rall's bring-it-on. (The "execrable" Ted Rall, as Bill Whittle put it while putting "execrable" permanently in my vocabulary.)

At the end, something positive from someone I gave up on long ago:
"Believe it or not, no, I did NOT know that any of this stuff was out there. I'd read references by Republican bloggers to such things, but no one ever provided a link and I could never find it....Has the challenge been met? Yes."

:: michael Monday, February 28, 2005 [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 27 ::

I really should have known better, but friend and superb martini-maker Thomas helped me understand - "Fractals are infinite," he pointed out to me.

This is a loop:

:: michael Sunday, February 27, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, February 25 ::
But when asked if he feared that the alliance could impose Islamic rule in Iraq, Allawi said he opposed the creation of any form of Islamic government.

"We are liberal powers and we believe in a liberal Iraq and not an Iraq governed by political Islamists."
In the meantime, next door where Islamists rule:
Iran girl gets 100 lashes for sex

The court dismissed the girl's claim that she was raped. It said she had sex of her own free will, the official Iran Daily newspaper reported. The girl was sentenced to 100 lashes because her accusations of rape and kidnap could have landed her partners a death penalty, the Tehran judge said. Sex outside marriage is illegal in Iran and capital punishment can be imposed. The young men in the case were sentenced to 30 and 40 lashes each.
I had to read this twice before I saw it - her punishment was greater because of her willingness to risk others' executions with a false accusation. Now, I have no idea what really happened, but if there was this tiny element of justice within that judicial mullah-brain, how much lithium do we need to send to help them connect the rest of the dots and stop it with punishing sex crimes altogether? Of course, that won't happen. Minds like that need laser-guided elimination and for better people to replace them.

Has anyone tried to search Amnesty.org? It pulls little up, and much of it is old stuff. Recently, NPR reported that Amnesty International was bitching about the treatment of women in Iraq, but I can't even find that there. I wonder if Amnesty does anything besides bank on its nice-sounding name.


...by contradicting Vladamir Putin
The White House has argued that Iran's nuclear program appears aimed at producing nuclear weapons, not just generating electricity, as Iran maintains.

Putin disagreed. "The latest steps taken by Iran have convinced us that Iran does not intend to produce nuclear arms," he said after meeting at the Kremlin with Hassan Rowhani, the head of Iran's national security council.

"We will continue cooperation in all areas, including nuclear power," Putin said, adding that there would also be "military-technical" cooperation.

In Washington, Bush and his senior aides offered a muted response to Putin's assertions.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the architect of Bush's Russia policy, noted that Russia has promised to provide fuel for Iran's Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr only if Tehran agrees to inspections and promises to return the spent fuel so it can't be used to manufacture a nuclear or radiological weapon.

"I think the behavior of everyone suggests that there are good reasons to be suspicious of what the Iranians are doing," Rice said at an appearance with Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot. The European Union is negotiating with Iran over nuclear issues, and the International Atomic Energy Agency also is scrutinizing Iran's activities.
She don't wear them boots to just look pretty.

:: michael Friday, February 25, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 24 ::
Ann Coulter writes on the Gannon thing, a liberal-interest topic otherwise not worth discussing, except that she chooses the words perfectly:
Are we supposed to like gay people now, or hate them? Is there a website where I can go to and find out how the Democrats want me to feel about gay people on a moment-to-moment basis?
..but implies that three men ran for President not with the names they were given at birth.
How did Gary Hartpence, Billy Blythe and John Kohn (Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and John Kerry) run for president under invented names?
Well... Gary Hart dropped the "Pence" in his thirties. Mr. Blythe died, And Mr. Clinton was given the name of the stepfather (remember that?). I didn't think Kerry was not born Kerry - just that his Jewish grandfather escaped European persecution (no surprise there) and made the name change after coming to the states. This is why you gotta read Coulter carefully.

:: michael Thursday, February 24, 2005 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, February 23 ::

Do you write letters to your editor?

More people than King deserve a memorial road

In naming roads nationwide, Presidents Washington and Lincoln are honored the most. In third place, Rev. Martin Luther King is so honored around 730 times.

The Feb. 8 AC-T headline, "Haywood's African-American community seeks Martin Luther King memorial road," reported an unoriginal, even hackneyed idea, especially when there is already a national holiday for him.

The idea brings to mind two current race problems: 1) resistance to such a dedication often evokes bullying, unjust charges of racism, and 2) it elicits more utterly unoriginal calls for a "white history month."

Weren't there other civil rights activists whose sacrifices also deserve a road name? Can you name the man who endured a pot of coffee poured on his head at a sit-in? Surely, there is a deserving Haywood County activist who endured humiliation, whose sacrifice brought good change, more than those who sanctimoniously wear black at the Vance Monument ever will.

Name a road after that person.

I was worried about the editing that happens on letters pages. In the past, the entire meaning of some letters was lost. This time, they changed nothing.

This will offend local people who cannot read. Fortunately, there are several Michael Parkers in my phone book so my house should still be here when I return from work. Those who wear black are the Women in Black, who protested the war at the town's center, "Standing in silence mourning violence." They do the King march as well.

My message: do something real and have an effect. Give honor to the little people who have. And to the W.I.B.: have you prevented a single act of violence in the world by your... standing there?

:: michael Wednesday, February 23, 2005 [+] ::


Please remember, dear non-blogging readers, the real occupation over there is not the territory Israel won in the wars it didn't start, but in Lebanon, by Syria.

Daniel Pipes writes with exciting optimism, and in a way instructive to aspiring dynastic dictators:
The fate of Syria was in good measure determined on January 21, 1994. That's when, driving at a too-high speed to the Damascus airport for a skiing trip abroad, Basil Al-Assad crashed the Mercedes he was driving, killing himself and his passengers.
After the car crash, his younger brother Bashar got yanked back from his ophthalmologic studies in London and enrolled in a rapid course to prepare as Syria's next strongman.
The lesson: don't put all your loins in one basket. But think again - grooming two didn't work for Saddam. This is a nifty round-up of the world's hereditary autocracy:
(This made Bashar the second dynastic dictator, with Kim Jong Il of North Korea having been the first in 1994. The third one, being Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, emerged earlier this month. Other sons waiting in the wings include Gamal Mubarak of Egypt, Saifuddin Gadhafi of Libya, and Ahmed Salih of Yemen. Saddam Hussein's pair never made it.) [later addition: a reader notes that Ilham Aliev succeeded his father Heidar as prime minister of Azerbaijan in August 2003.]
Saddam Hussein's pair never made it. Let's savor that for a moment, shall we? And who do we thank?

Back to grooming a couple of back-ups...
There can be little doubt that Mr. Assad was behind the massive (probably underground) blast on February 14 that gouged a 20-yard-wide crater, killing Hariri and 16 others. With his flair for incompetence, Mr. Assad presumably decided that the former prime minister had to die for this betrayal. But, quite contrary to Mr. Assad's presumed expectations, far from reducing pressures on Syria to leave Lebanon, the atrocity magnified and intensified them.

Mr. Assad's response – pretending to denounce the murder, putting a relative in charge of the intelligence services, purchasing SA-18 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, and announcing a mutual defense pact with Tehran – points to his cluelessness about the trouble he has stirred up for himself. For the first time in three decades, Lebanon now seems within reach of regaining its independence.
His optimism doesn't stop there. Click the text and read the whole thing.

:: michael Wednesday, February 23, 2005 [+] ::


I like stories about old found frozen friends. The wooly mammoth was a favorite.
Currently in the news: much ado about another frozen man:
Alpine Iceman Reveals Stone Age Secrets

BOLZANO, Italy (Reuters) - Some 5,300 years after his violent death, a Stone Age man found frozen in the Alps is slowly revealing his secrets to a global team of scientists.

But despite more than a decade of high-tech efforts by geneticists, botanists and engineers many questions about his life and death remain unsolved.
Well, that would suggest the Alpine Iceman is not revealing secrets, now wouldn't it?
This raised an eyebrow:
In the latest project, genetic researchers in Oxford and Bolzano are testing his DNA for clues about ethnicity. Scientists expect the first results within months. The outcome could stir controversy in a region controversially claimed by Italians, German-speakers and members of the ancient Ladin culture.
Oh-oh, I thought. Now the Arabs are going to use this to claim the bin Ladins were there first. Al-Jazeera picked up the story, but they haven't jumped on it yet.

:: michael Wednesday, February 23, 2005 [+] ::
:: Monday, February 21 ::

By contrast, Karol at Alarming News posted recently, "Resuscitate!"

However, an interesting, opposing point of view from an old doctor:
AN emergency medicine specialist has given himself an 80th birthday present with a difference – he's had DO NOT RESUSCITATE tattooed across his chest.
Albert Cutter has performed enough resuscitations to know what his wishes would be if the tables were turned and he was the patient.
Click the text above and read the whole article.
:: michael Monday, February 21, 2005 [+] ::


Cell phone jammers are increasing in use, and its wrong. The FCC says it has fined no one so far, but I await the first negligent homicide case because someone blocked an emergency call.
Their sole goal is to zip inconsiderate lips. The smaller gadgets emit radio frequencies that block signals anywhere from a 50- to 200-foot radius. They range in price from $250 to $2,000.

But don't expect to find jammers at the local Radio Shack — they're against Federal Communications Commission regulations because they interfere with emergency calls and the public airwaves. They are illegal to buy, sell, use, import or advertise.

A violation means an $11,000 fine, but the FCC's Enforcement Bureau has yet to bust one person anywhere in the country.

"This is not a crime that they're going after," said Rob Bernstein, deputy editor at New York City-based Sync magazine.
If someone is talking loudly, people should be able to ask for some quiet in the same way they should be able to ask someone to not smoke. It's all about civility, which does leave some of the responsibility with the would-be-bothered.

The only good that could come from this is if that annoying Verizion guy asks, "Can you hear me now?" and gets no answer.
:: michael Monday, February 21, 2005 [+] ::
:: Friday, February 18 ::

The AP has 884 words about the torture of Manadel al-Jamadi.

Two-thirds of the way down the article, they offer thirty-one words as to why he may have been the subject of such contempt:
Navy SEALs apprehended al-Jamadi as a suspect in the Oct. 27, 2003, bombing of Red Cross offices in Baghdad that killed 12 people. His alleged role in the bombing is unclear.
According to court documents and testimony, the SEALs punched, kicked and struck al-Jamadi with their rifles before handing him over to the CIA early on Nov. 4. By 7 a.m., al-Jamadi was dead.
Gee, do you think he had information about upcoming events and wouldn't spill it?

Such bombings don't just kill 12 people, they leave behind survivors with missing limbs, blindness, deafness, and shrapnel in their bodies to provide pain - torture, if you will - as long as they live. Then there is the loss of the medical facility and the number of would-be patients affected.

Quick, leave open the possibility that Bush knew:
The prisoner died in a position known as "Palestinian hanging," the documents reviewed by The AP show. It is unclear whether that position was approved by the Bush administration for use in CIA interrogations.
(Notice how the Leftist idea that Bush knew about 9-11 would be reprehensible and deserving of constant contempt, but the probability of a terrorist holding vital information is no reason to get tough.)

Of course, let's give the routinely terrorized Jewish State some bad publicity, too:
The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of torture in 1996 in a case of Palestinian hanging ? a technique Iacopino said is used worldwide but named for its alleged use by Israel in the Palestinian territories.
So the technique is certainly used worldwide, but we'll still name it after the tiny, terrorized Israeli state which is alleged to use it.

Let's finish today with the x-ray of a bombing victim:

:: michael Friday, February 18, 2005 [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 17 ::
as VDH put it:

Abbas okays 'collaborator' executions
In the first decision of its kind since he succeeded Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ratified death sentences against three Palestinians found guilty of "collaboration" with Israel.
You would suppose they were murderers. Their crime:
tipping off Israeli security forces about the whereabouts of wanted gunmen.
Well, I guess that speaks for itself.
:: michael Thursday, February 17, 2005 [+] ::

Ann Coulter writes a reminder of what many have already written, and what those of us who went to supposedly good universities witnessed:
Tenure was supposed to create an atmosphere of open debate and inquiry, but instead has created havens for talentless cowards who want to be insulated from life. Rather than fostering a climate of open inquiry, college campuses have become fascist colonies of anti-American hate speech, hypersensitivity, speech codes, banned words and prohibited scientific inquiry.
..and they teach students (but only the right kind, their kind, of students) to want the same: I experienced my own trouble at UNC for publicly ridiculing a student government leader. I faced sexual harassment charges while she and her fellow lawbreakers were absolutely no cause for concern to the school's administration. This was the event that confirmed my conservatism. After that, everything else I witnessed made sense.

Fascist colonies? Well, a friend argued that public support for the Vietnam War was evidenced by huge box office success of The Green Berets. He got a D on his paper until he argued the professor back up to a B. The student newspaper opined that there was no coincidence when the Allied forces lauched Operation Desert Storm on Martin Luther King's birthday.

Hypersensitivity? When Rite-Aid Pharmacy moved their number-one category of shoplifted inventory to within visual range of the cashiers, organized black activists on campus went nuts. Black hair-care products were what got moved. Instead of calling against their own for making them all look bad, they blamed the store that suffered the losses.
I remember mere a handful of days, in four years, when the Daily Tar Heel did not mention racism, sexism, and homophobia on the front page.

Harvard, of all schools, was the first I remember actually creating free speech zones. My language was blamed for creating "a demeaning academic environment for another student's academic pursuits." My victim, the one who broke four laws, never filed a complaint. Someone else made the decision for her that she was a victim. Her grades were never presented as evidence. Five months later, my case was dropped for lack of evidence by the Chancellor. Thank God it was not the current UNC Chancellor.
talentless cowards who want to be insulated from life
An accurate description? Yes, especially if lawbreaking is not an issue with them but being told they are wrong is. And all that happened over 14 years ago. To keep up with current campus antics, I regularly read Dr. Mike Adams's columns, in total amazement that he hasn't been fired or beaten on campus.

:: michael Thursday, February 17, 2005 [+] ::