"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
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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
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BigEarth of New Mexico sez, The warmest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great national moment, reserve their neutrality.
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:: Tuesday, May 27 ::


A few years ago came the title, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. In its version of "Little Red Riding Hood" was the only time I saw the word "species-ist". The definition was immediately obvious, but I never saw the word again and thought it was a joke created for the book. (Recommended, buy it on audio and play it in the car - it won't make you sleepy.)

Debra Saunders' most recent column points out that the word was born over thirty years ago, invented by an animal rights nutcase, Princeton professor and infanticidal bioethicist Peter Singer, who just wrote again in The Guardian. (Interestingly, the anti-animal rights website, animalrights.net, reports that "Singer doesn't believe any living things have rights. Instead, Singer is a utilitarian who believes the goal of ethical action is to minimize pain and suffering.")

Saunders points out some alarming numbers in polls that measure American sensitivity towards animals and against animal research. Does anyone remember an ad from around 1990, three-fourths of it a photo of raging animal rights activists, and a caption that read, "Thanks to animal research, they can protest 28.8 years longer"? Except for life expectancy increases since then, nothing has said it better.

:: michael Tuesday, May 27, 2003 [+] ::
I wonder how far the aspirations of American neo-Nazis go. This horrifying story in Germany will not get the attention that Matthew Shepard still gets.
I wonder if there is more to this story:
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A woman has been charged with aggravated battery for allegedly dousing another woman with a half-gallon of gasoline and setting her on fire during an argument at a gas station.
Anjail Durriyyah Muhammad of Gadsden, Ala., was charged with aggravated battery, a felony punishable with up to 20 years in prison. She was being Monday held in the Cobb County jail.

:: michael Tuesday, May 27, 2003 [+] ::
:: Monday, May 26 ::

It took a minute before I realized how much I admired this family. You might say the boy will have no friends to play with, but notice he really couldn't play in the first place.

Does anyone remember reading in National Geographic World, some twenty years ago, about the family that lived on the sailboat? They sailed the Pacific, and ate flying fish for breakfast that landed on the deck overnight. For a long time I wished I had that, except the fish for breakfast.

:: michael Monday, May 26, 2003 [+] ::
:: Friday, May 23 ::

Please, Miss Coulter, before he becomes completely obscure and the demand withers, would you kerry enough do it to the former personal injury lawyer from North Carolina, Senator John Edwards?

Not another thing could be said about the New York Times, except for this.

:: michael Friday, May 23, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 22 ::

"Chirac to embarrass Bush at G8 conference" reads the headline. Well, again France shows exactly why it needs to be fighting no war: there's nothing quite like telling the enemy your plans ahead of time. Will Chirac be telling George Bush to "shut up" like he told the states of eastern Europe before the war?
The summit at Evian on June 2 and June 3 will be the first time M Chirac and Mr Bush have met since their diplomatic war preceding military action in Iraq. However, M Chirac, as the host, is arranging the meeting on his terms. He made clear yesterday that, despite the debacle over Iraq, he is clinging to his vision of a global balance of powers, with France as an alternative to America.
Putin must be laughing right now. We're done laughing here. We're bored, except for that "alternative" remark. Indeed the alternative is clear, and France has been demonstrating it for some time: allow the enemy in, quickly or slowly, in jackboots, via immigration from the south, or with bank transfers from Baghdad. Stand by as crimes against Jews increase inside the borders, while pandering to an ever-increasing muslim population by opposing "that shitty little country" that had to be formed due to the genocide (that "footnote" in history) that the French let America fight for them.

:: michael Thursday, May 22, 2003 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 21 ::

Alert Saudis arrest three Moroccan would-be Mohammed Attas at Jeddah's airport. Now that's good timing for the recently embarrassed Saudi government, but pardon me for having doubts.
We are told also that, when they were seized at the airport, they were found to be in possession of knives and, we are told, documents that resembled a kind of last will and testament -- something that will be familiar to investigators from the hijackers of 9/11, who carried similar kinds of documents.
Now why would these guys carry their wills with them when they want to crash the plane? You mean documents actually survived the fiery crashes into the towers at speeds exceeding 500 miles an hour? Or were they found in the hole in Pennsylvania? Even John Poindexter could not have found the documents in the Pentagon. I recall a good number of the 9-11 terrorists not leaving such a thing behind. There was early speculation that many of them did not know their fate, because typical pre-death things, such as wills, were not arranged.
Jeddah, I recall, is where Idi Amin has been sheltered by the Saudis since he left Uganda.

:: michael Wednesday, May 21, 2003 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 20 ::

Plucked from BOTW, a friend sent me this:
This is pretty funny – it really shows how sloppy our folks are in academics today.
Don't Know Much About History
Boston's WCVB-TV reports on college presidents who want to protect racial preferences, currently under challenge in a Supreme Court case. "We still have enormous segregation in the high school system in our country," Diana Chapman Walsh, president of Wellesley College, tells the station. "It's almost as bad as it was 20, 30 years ago at the time of Brown vs. Board of Education."
Brown was decided on May 17, 1954--49 years ago.
The nature to exaggerate is one the biggest problems we have. Mothers do it, irate customers do it, victims real and imaginary do it, and I hate it. Then there are instances like this where what's been said is an outright lie. At this point, though, does the Wellesley president even know what she's doing? This religion of anti-racism transforms its followers into people who think like Walsh, sacrificing facts to serve the god of their own good image, a nature that George Orwell understood and illustrated very well.

Now in the wake of five suicide bombings in Israel, Jefferson Morley rounds up Middle East opinion. The blaming of muslim extremism on Israeli extremism brought to memory this list of turnspeak. it's a quick, interesting read.

:: michael Tuesday, May 20, 2003 [+] ::
:: Monday, May 19 ::

Kashei at Spot On led my attention to the latest from Victor Davis Hanson. Read this and you will understand why he is one of the best damn writers out there.

In this essay/story, "Back to the Falklands," he presents a very clever way to look at the situation in Israel, and a nice slap at Nobel Laureate and North Korea appeaser Jimmy Carter - a nice, concise follow-up to Ann Coulter's recent hit on John Kerry, except that Hanson pulls it off without trying to be entertaining. However, if you do not remember the Falklands, this essay will confuse you.

Hanson's writing comes with good timing: there has been a fifth suicide bombing in the past 48 hours, and that just after an outrageous anti-Netanyahu protest by the pro-terror turnspeakers at Canada's Concordia University, the same university that has restored this painting. It makes one wonder why Netanyahu even bothered trying to speak there.

:: michael Monday, May 19, 2003 [+] ::
:: Friday, May 16 ::

In my full-time job of staffing promotions and hiring people nationwide for various duties, I recently had to hire strong guys to set up a large Portland event, including heavy, expensive audio equipment and furniture. Not knowing quite where to begin, I reached out to the local university's career center with a request to call on any strong guys with free time looking for some weekend money. The request was denied, and with that I got a note that my request was discriminatory in that "guys" leaves out the women and put me in danger of being sued by the EEOC. So I changed "guys" to "people", added an extra sentence stressing the physical labor involved and the endurance required, and sent it back to the school with a thank-you. I don't think they ever ran the ad, but Craigslist worked out for me in the end anyway.

As it turns out, a woman answered the ad with a lot of concert setup experience, and she was one of the three best on the crew. evidently I learned nothing from Private Vasquez in Aliens.

There was another expert on politically correct speech, however, on Hannity and Colmes the other night, Diane Ravitch, touting her book documenting the ever commonplace politically correct speech in universities and in national standardized tests. Striking me the most was that "The blind man climbed the mountain" is an unacceptable phrase, even if it teaches the history of an extraordinary man. First, we all know you can no longer say "blind," but the use of "mountain" is also unacceptable because some children in low lying areas have never seen one.

On another note, other factions within academe are decrying the rapid loss of the world's languages. Isn't that a good thing, considering the fight against vocabulary? If progressive is an opposite of primitive, then what are these academics saying when they want to preserve the old languages, replete with specific gender references and calling things as they are? Perhaps the threat they perceive is a large, civilized society with a strong vocabulary instead of them having it to themselves.

:: michael Friday, May 16, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 15 ::

James Taranto pointed at a Boston Globe editorial (?) giving credit to the Clinton Administration for the swift victory in Iraq. Oddly, it begins as an editorial - there is no "by Mr. So-and-so" at the top - but ends with a remark indicating it is by a former Reagan Administration assistant defense secretary. (If that is so, Scott Ritter had better try harder to impress David Brock.)

In that case, why did Clinton oppose the war? And why did big Democrats like Bonior and McDermott go to Iraq in an effort to stop it? If Clinton was the "greatest President in US history" then what was the problem with using his well-trained forces? The legacy he spent eight years+ looking for was right there.

In that case, do not forget to thank him for Mogadishu.
In that case, fret no longer about the weapons advancements given to the Chinese when their money was coming into DNC bank accounts.

All along I thought it was morale and respect for the Commander that helped bring on a swift victory. Alas, it was outfitting everyone with a black beret (or a blue armband) and the wisdom of change according to General Shinseki.

Ann Coulter sees it differently, naturally, in last week's scalding and hilarious anti-Kerry column:
Though Kerry makes liberal ladies' bosoms heave with his self-advertisements about his Vietnam experience, the Democrats might not want to let Kerry pursue this particular line of argument. According to Thomas Ricks' book "Making the Corps," the vast majority of officers currently serving in the military are conservative Republicans – "largely comfortable with the views of Rush Limbaugh."

Citing a series of studies expressing alarm at what they viewed as a disquieting trend, Ricks says that "open identification with the Republican Party is becoming the norm – even, suggests former Army Maj. Dana Isaacoff, part of the implicit definition of being a member of the officer corps." Why the officer corps would take a dim view of a party that has spent the last three decades systematically trying to emasculate the military in pursuit of every conceivable social cause is anybody's guess. Still, there it is. Assuming the country has not already realized it by then, by Kerry's own logic, in a few years only right-wing Republicans will be eligible for the presidency.

:: michael Thursday, May 15, 2003 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 14 ::
WWJD? What would Janet do?

The Texas Democrats who fled to Oklahoma to thwart a vote on redistricting describe the Republicans' intentions as "the tyranny of the majority."

Funny, isn't that what a lot of us thought about the popular vote in the last Presidential election? Even funnier, this is the first Republican majority in the Texas House since Reconstruction. Tyranny, indeed.

So sad they couldn't run back under mother hen Ann Richards' wings like they did when she was governor. Maybe Jimmy Carter should go in to Ardmore, Oklahoma and build them a new house.

Now that they are across the state line, there will be no arrests, and with Janet Reno gone from her old post, Holiday Inn's insurers can rest. Let's just hope the Texas Democrats will pay their hotel bill and not skip out like they did on their job.

:: michael Wednesday, May 14, 2003 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 6 ::

(Obi-Wan Kenobi's voice)
"The U. S. Capitol. Nowhere else will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

........no, wait - that was 1993

and I will write again in a week

:: michael Tuesday, May 06, 2003 [+] ::
:: Monday, May 5 ::

I heard there was a presidential debate between nine power-hungry Democrats, on Saturday night at 9. It would have aired sooner, but out of respect to Joseph Lieberman's orthodox Judaism. While many rightly wonder how such strict observance of the Sabbath would figure in to a presidency, James Taranto in BOTW thinks the same thing many of us thought - just how many people do they think are going to drop their drinks and leave the bars to watch this thing?

To clarify, this is the same Joe Lieberman, famously orthodox Jew, who was excommunicated by the Torah Council of New York for his rather unorthodox support of gay rights and partial birth abortion.

If you can find them, the photos taken of the candidates getting their makeup are Hillary-ous. Several minutes passed before I realized one of them was not John six-years-in-the-hanoi-hilton McCain, but Governor Dean of Vermont getting a McCain look... unless that was McCain getting a Dean look - sorry, I watched Zoolander last night.

The former personal injury lawyer from North Carolina, Senator John Edwards, found himself in South Carolina where he has already contributed to hurting blacks employed in the restaurant/hotel/tourist industry by "supporting" and "honoring" the NAACP boycott against South Carolina. This article, detailing how dull the debate was, doesn't even mention him.


It's is simply a short, interesting read about a very old person with an interesting link to the past, and in her life of Deep South poverty, the beneficiary of people who appreciate history.

:: michael Monday, May 05, 2003 [+] ::
:: Friday, May 2 ::

I mean that. I am not into "Fair and Balanced" reporting as much as I am into to analytical reporting. I know how to find a different opinion. Columnists, particularly at Townhall.com, and for years through the Conservative Chronicle, are more the reason I am informed than by just reading articles, or perhaps they have taught me how to read them. Today, Ann Coulter reminds me of what I missed in the London Telegraph and why we can still make fun of Scott Ritter.
It's been a tough few weeks all around for the anti-war crowd. On Sunday, the London Telegraph reported that documents had been discovered in Baghdad linking Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden. Hussein and bin Laden had a working relationship as far back as 1998, based on their mutual hatred of America and Saudi Arabia. As we go to print, it's Day Four of the New York Times' refusal to mention these documents.

Government documents have also been found in Iraq showing that a leading anti-war spokesman in Britain, Member of Parliament George Galloway, was in Saddam Hussein's pay. Scott Ritter, former U.N. arms inspector turned peacenik turned suspected pederast, immediately defended Galloway in a column in the London Guardian. With any luck, Tariq Aziz will now step in to defend Ritter.
However, trusting columnists outright is foolish. Coulter goes too far with this wisecrack:
Now the biggest mishap liberals can seize on is that some figurines from an Iraqi museum were broken – a relief to college students everywhere who have ever been forced to gaze upon Mesopotamian pottery. We're not talking about Rodins here.
Wrong. That museum housed the evidence of civilization before Islam entered and wrecked it. Is it any wonder how that part of the world longs for the good ol' days before people and arts were so severely restricted? (Is that longing an indication of a latent potential to abandon Islam? If so, should we not be supporting the Christian missionaries who are increasingly active in Iraq?)

Fortunately she returns with a quick dose of realty: "So the Iraqis looted. Oh well. Wars are messy. Liberalism is part of a religious disorder that demands a belief that life is controllable."

:: michael Friday, May 02, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 1 ::

Clifford May, another new columnist to my reading list, words it just right (I hate it when they beat me to it, but I couldn't get the words in order):
Is it not also curious that the same people who, just a few weeks ago, were arguing that Hans Blix’s inspectors should “be given more time to do their job” are concluding that American forces – after less than 2 months in Iraq – must have completed a thorough hard-target search of a nation the size of California?
Also, he asks an excellent question, "Why did Saddam allow Iraq to endure years of economic sanctions if he could have shown that he had given up his WMD?" Meaning, if he had not really given up on WMD (a justification for war), then he was cruel tyrant who would waste his people with something akin to Stalin's agricultural policy (a justification for war).

We already know the latter was true by just looking at the southern Iraqi wetlands, but common sense points to a double justification for the war.

On the side, that last link points to a crime that the United Nations Environment Programme lists as a high priority, the draining of those marshes, and brings to mind how environmental extremists were typically allied with the anti-war movement. Environmentalist mentality in the US has routinely been at odds with property rights, leading to the oppression of individual owners. It seems there a stronger link between Saddam's power hunger and the environmentalist mentality than between the environmentalist mentality and a concern for the land. On top of all that, the looting of the Baghdad Museum is still (rightly) mourned, but too often with the Bush administration being held in contempt. Where has the crying been for Saddam's erasure of 5000 years of history?


Terror attack numbers are the lowest in more than 30 years, reports the VOA. Are the terrorists afraid of the hunters, or are their sponsors afraid of the giant? Hmm, ABC online seems to link it to the big one. Waiter, another MOAB, please!

:: michael Thursday, May 01, 2003 [+] ::