"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
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!

:: Friday, July 25 ::

US hopes for 'quick impact' - BUT WHERE WILL IT IMPACT?

This article made me grimace a little, one of those rare moments when I regret, for a moment, how Israel sometimes chooses to punish the Palestinians.
AS US President George Bush hosts the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, at the White House today, US officials in the Gaza Strip will be fine tuning a $15 million programme to win hearts and minds for the moderate leader.

The emergency allocation to war-ravaged Beit Hanoun marks the most intensive US cash injection yet to a Palestinian locale. It is a sign of the improved relations since the inauguration in May of Mr Abbas, who is seen by Washington as a successor to the Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, whom it shuns for alleged links to terrorism.

The city of 35,000 is in dire humanitarian need - Israeli forces bulldozed much of its citrus orchards and levelled factories and houses in a punitive campaign against Hamas rocket firings on the Israeli city of Sderot.

As in Iraq, what the US calls its "quick impact" funding comes with a clear political agenda.

"We view the efforts of Abu Mazen and the road map as deserving of US support and we want to make sure some of the negative impact from the conflict that the population has felt is reversed," says Larry Garber, director for the West Bank and Gaza Strip of the United States Agency for International Development.
The remark about the bulldozing of the citrus groves is sad, but it is more sad that Hamas cares more about killings Jews than helping its own, that it hides among the civilians knowing that their murderous actions invite the devastation.

So it worth it to throw this US money into Beit Hanoun? Still a good question. Will these people again dance in the streets and pass out candy if America suffers another mass murder by Muslim fanatics or Ba'ath remnants bent on revenge? Merde in France provides an image that suggests a probable answer, and the Hootinan adds to it.

We threw good money at Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and I thought that was a very strong point when making the case for the ultimate action we took against them.

The money will at least prevent them from (honestly) saying we never give them anything, and I am afraid to ask if this is better than Clinton sending James Carville to aid Ehud Barak's re-election campaign.

:: michael Friday, July 25, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 24 ::

Plumbing the dark depths and smoke-filled rooms of politically conservative agendas, four researchers at Berkeley have answered the question, "But are there consistent underlying motivations?" the language is fascinating:
Ten meta-analytic calculations performed on the material - which included various types of literature and approaches from different countries and groups - yielded consistent, common threads, Glaser said.

The avoidance of uncertainty, for example, as well as the striving for certainty, are particularly tied to one key dimension of conservative thought - the resistance to change or hanging onto the status quo, they said.
Meta-analytic? it took meta-analysis to discern that conservatism resists change? Even in neighboring Oakland, where Ebonics was recognized as a second language, do you think a high-school English student could have told the meta-analysts the root of the word conservative? With record numbers of Berkeley students signing up for Arabic classes, is it any wonder they have lost their grip on the white man's language?

But there's a lot more:
Concerns with fear and threat, likewise, can be linked to a second key dimension of conservatism - an endorsement of inequality, a view reflected in the Indian caste system, South African apartheid and the conservative, segregationist politics of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-South S.C.).

Disparate conservatives share a resistance to change and acceptance of inequality, the authors said. Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form. Talk host Rush Limbaugh can be described the same way.
This explanation of Conservatism is not new, others in academe have sailed these waters before. The professor emeritus of physics at Duke University, Lawrence Evans, explained why university faculty is mostly liberal. He wrote the following to the Raleigh News and Observer:
In seeking faculty, universities look for people who can analyze and discuss matters of some complexity, who are unafraid to challenge the wisdom of simple solutions, and who have a sense of social responsibility toward those who cannot buy influence. Such people tend to be put off by a political party dominated by those who believe dogmatically in the infallibility of the marketplace as a solution to all economic problems, or else in the infallibility of scripture as a guide to morality. In short, universities want people of some depth, subtlety and intelligence. People like that usually vote for the Democrats. So what?
In a landmark 2002 Southwestern University commencement address, the depth, subtlety and intelligence of which not felt since Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Evergreen University speech, feminist theorist Bell Hooks gave us another way to understand Lawrence Evans’ insight. Speaking of “life-threatening conservatism,” Bell compared conservatives with “every terrorist regime in the world.”

Sorry about that.

:: michael Thursday, July 24, 2003 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 23 ::

:: michael Wednesday, July 23, 2003 [+] ::
:: Monday, July 21 ::
Michael Ramirez has long been one of my favorite cartoonists, and that remains unchanged, even after this cartoon in the LA Times.

It should not need to be explained, even to the Secret Service, what the message of this is. I was born too late to feel a thing from the Vietnam War, but I have always known the image that Ramirez is borrowing from here. Today, Diana West sums up the image of the executioner:
But now the word -- make that, The Word -- is that the sentence about uranium in the president's 4,000-plus word speech was "false intelligence," as ABC's Claire Shipman put it, and "wrong," according to NBC's Brian Williams. "The president campaigned for the job, in part, on the notion that he was the anti-Clinton, a man who said what he meant and meant what he said, no sentence parsing needed," said CNN's Aaron Brown, opining about the president's uranium statement. "Square that with today and critics who say you've got a bonanza for sentence parsers and at least the makings of a credibility gap."
Here is a link to that photo (accompanying an essay about war photography and set-ups), which is actually of General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner. Believe it or not, that General ended up owning a restaurant in Virginia and died there about five years ago.

:: michael Monday, July 21, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 17 ::
Truman's "Anti-Semitism" Wasn't

Posted by Joe Katzman at Israpundit, this is an impressive analysis and defense of Truman against accusations of hating Jews. In it: Katzman's ability to identify human nature when it comes to assuming power.

:: michael Thursday, July 17, 2003 [+] ::
:: Monday, July 14 ::
Last week's Ann Coulter column remarks on the ostracization of historian Ronald Radosh from academe for "concluding that the Rosenbergs were guilty – a few years before decrypted Soviet cables were released proving they were guilty."

Three years ago political historian Michael B. Oren wrote for Azure "The USS Liberty: Case Closed," citing declassified Israeli transcripts and military reports documenting that the pilots did not see US markings on the ship. Now, Israeli Insider reports the declassification of American NSA transcripts proving further that the Israelis thought the ship to be Egyptian.

Oren's Azure article citied Yitzak Ribin's serious warning that Israel would defend its coast by sinking unidentified vessels, and by noting that the U.S. did not inform Israel in any way about the presence of the Liberty. An explosion on the north coast of the Sinai was at the time sensibly thought to be an attack from sea and a possible prelude to an enemy amphibious landing. All this at a time when Egypt was known to disguise its ships with Western markings.

As an American looking back at a pre-Clinton navy during a time of (Vietnam) war, I remain baffled at a US government and Navy that failed to anticipate the dangers near the Liberty. Amid such confusion, with such a tiny nation scrambling to fight combined Arab armies, whose surrounding waters were being sailed by Arab-friendly Soviet ships, how could the command of the Sixth Fleet take for granted that the Liberty was immune from mistaken identity?
:: michael Monday, July 14, 2003 [+] ::

It was a good laugh from listening to CNN's Paula Zahn do a little segment on the trustworthiness of the media, inspired by the New York Times' most recent embarrassment, the 2100-word retraction on the front page of its business section on the same day it announces Howard Raines' replacement and a new start for the paper.

But as Stuart Buck points out, you could have read CNN's report of crime and punishment in Oklahoma and thought CNN was reporting a life sentence for spitting. Some bloggers have fallen for it. Some thinking bloggers can sense that there must be more... like a punishment for repeat felons.

A lot of people lament the thief getting "life for stealing a bike," but many of these people are heard saying that we should do something about the stupid people. Well, we are. You have to recognize the stupidity of risking your freedom by committing crime again, and again.
:: michael Monday, July 14, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 10 ::
Why's Everybody Always Pickin on Kerry?

Blogger Virginia Postrel writes something funny about John Kerry.

:: michael Thursday, July 10, 2003 [+] ::
Iraq weapons 'unlikely to be found'
Meaning we stopped them before we started.

Iraq weapons 'unlikely to be found'
Meaning the delays by the UN and especially France gave Iraq enough time to funnel them into Syria and to sell them to terrorists.

:: michael Thursday, July 10, 2003 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 8 ::
Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker, dismissing suggestions he made a racist assertion when speaking with reporters about day baseball, stands by his comments that black and Hispanic players are better suited to playing in the sun and heat than white players.
Nature does strongly suggest that dark-skinned people can take the heat, especially since nature put them in hot places.

This is simply more proof that the debate has fallen apart, and that Ann Coulter's premise in Slander is correct: debate in America is crippled because "liberals prefer invective to engagement." Facts simply do not belong in the way of those who follow the religion of anti-racism.

It is also the reason a local Sunday school class could not fully discuss the remarks Franklin Graham made about Islam, because they could not acknowledge that labels of bigotry and hate do not apply to a man whose charity benefits the people they accused him of hating. Debate falls apart when the definitions of words are blurred and exaggerated, by people who increasingly become liars as they abuse words to win their arguments.

:: michael Tuesday, July 08, 2003 [+] ::
:: Monday, July 7 ::

Would the former personal injury lawyer from North Carolina, Senator John Edwards, ever think of this?

:: michael Monday, July 07, 2003 [+] ::
Via ISRAPUNDIT, an excellent political cartoon, not to be understood by those with "Visualize World Peace" stuck on their bumpers any more than by those with "land for peace" stuck in their heads.

:: michael Monday, July 07, 2003 [+] ::
Thomas Sowell wrote a good one about July 4 and what it means when it is celebrated:
Why then celebrate the creation of a nation that is no better than any other nation? ... Most people, however, believe their own eyes, their own ears and their own personal experiences. That is why America is like a magnet, drawing people from the farthest corners of the world.

How can you square universalism with slavery? You can't. That is what ultimately destroyed slavery in the West and led the West to destroy slavery in other parts of the world -- over the bitter opposition of non-Western cultures.
Tragically, it has recently become fashionable in the West to move backward from universalism toward tribalism, as the intelligentsia seek to Balkanize and promote collective guilt by race. They will never succeed so long as we all celebrate the Fourth of July as Americans.
Even if so many of us on July 4 are caught up in work and marketing, or having an annual bash, so preoccupied by it that we forget the significance of independence, there seems to be an unconscious understanding of the value of this day by most people. Even if for completely selfish reasons, they would not give it up.

:: michael Monday, July 07, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 3 ::

If you read this, not knowing the author's name, could you name the author?
Liberals sheltered communists, Hoover was on to them, so they called him a fag. With precisely as much evidence as they had for McCarthy's alleged homosexuality, the left giddily "gay"-baited J. Edgar Hoover. Their sensitivity to homophobia was matched only by their sensitivity to the civil rights of Japanese.

While Hoover was alive, any journalist who could have proved he was "gay" would have won a Pulitzer Prize. But they couldn't get Hoover on a jaywalking charge. Only after he was dead did liberals go hog-wild inventing lurid fantasies about Hoover showing up at Washington cocktail parties in drag (perhaps not recognizing their own Pamela Harriman).
A decade ago my opinion of McCarthy was altered by the writing of Samuel Francis, who pointed out in his weekly column that McCarthy's concerns were real. And, quite frankly, the more Hollywood invokes McCarthy, as they did in The Majestic starring Jim Carrey, the less stock I have in that view.

:: michael Thursday, July 03, 2003 [+] ::
A rather old article, by William Tucker, surfaced last night while surfing.

The site is OpinionEditorials.com, with over two dozen contributors and allowances for guest writers. In there, William Tucker, a writer I will return to.

In "Welcome to New York's Sixth Borough," Tucker describes the competition across the Hudson, in New Jersey:
Looming even larger, however, is New York's emerging inability to recover from September 11th. Even before redesigning Lower Manhattan became the city's favorite parlor game, Jersey City had huge advantages. "We go through the environmental and planning reviews over here in one-third the time," says 84-year-old Sam LeFrak, who redeveloped the Jersey City waterfront after becoming fed up with New York City politics. "In New York two people with a fax machine can hold up a project for ten years."

New York City now practices what might be called "veto democracy." Instead of the majority ruling, nearly unanimous consent is required before anything can move ahead. The landscape is cluttered with zoning boards, community planning boards, historical preservation boards, and environmental boards, all dominated by "activists" - meaning people with nothing better to do with their time. If all that fails there is always the courts, where a single individual halts the popular will indefinitely.
Tuckers sentiments on majority rule is what grabbed me. There are two very, very important words in that phrase: majority and rule.

"Let every vote count," they yelled in South Florida, in the name of people incapable of connecting the dots, whose coached votes were still off target. So they demanded a re-vote and changed (and changed) the rules after the event began. Now they glibly remind us about that popular vote... if only it weren't for those archaic laws about the electoral college system.

Given the liberal mentality illustrated, and to see it currently running New York City along with its cigarette-obsessed Mayor Bloomberg, is the rise of Jersey City any surprise?

:: michael Thursday, July 03, 2003 [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 2 ::
Christopher Hitchens buries John Kerry.
So, the junior senator from Massachusetts has finally come up with a winning line. "Vote for me," says John Kerry. "I'm easily fooled." This appears to be the implication of his claim to have been "misled" by the Bush administration in the matter of WMD. And, considering the way in which Democratic Party activists generally portray the president as a fool and an ignoramus, one might as well go the whole distance and suggest a catchy line for the campaign: "Kerry. Duped by a Dope." Given that Kerry once went all the way to Vietnam under some kind of misapprehension about a war for democracy and launched a political career on the basis of what he finally learned when it was much too late, one might be tempted to discern a pattern here.
Diana West creates a Dean's list of her own, with good questions.
Problem is, the media don't know (or, in the case of the Dean-devoted Vermont media, don't really want to know) the questions to ask. Where should they begin their background research? On leaving office this year, Howard Dean sealed his gubernatorial papers for 10 years -- almost twice as long as his two predecessors, but considerably less than the 20-year-lock he sought -- determining himself, with his lawyers, what was covered by executive privilege.
Diane McWhorter tries to break the Strom Thurmond code:
In contrast to, say, George "I Was Wrong" Wallace, Thurmond has always been an ornery redemption project. He did not repent. Even so, his illegitimate daughter further complicates the moral picture. Does she mean that he was even more heinous than we knew? Or that—dude!—he wasn't such a racist bastard after all?
Will someone (Miss Coulter?) please, please do this to the former personal injury lawyer from North Carolina, Senator John Edwards?

:: michael Wednesday, July 02, 2003 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 1 ::
A wine writer with no time to blog posts a column about drinking in public, wristbands, and why he loves where he lives.

:: michael Tuesday, July 01, 2003 [+] ::