Saturday, May 24, 2003

I normally keep profanity off of this blog, insofar as possible; my kids might see it some day. But:


No, no, no no no. No. You did not just force one of the best coaches of the twentieth century to the sidelines. You did not just push aside a guy responsible for maturing Steve Francis, and winning your only two championships. You are simply not that stupid.
What?! Coulter's only a two?

I know -- given that the folks who did this probably don't really understand the concept of irony -- that I'm probably shooting in the wind here, but using a technique made famous by your enemies, and doing it lousily, is not really smart, ironic, hip, or anything else: It's just predictable.

I mean, c'mon: Peggy Noonan as a Queen? Ahmad Chalabi? Ken Lay (that story isn't there anymore, kids)? Lou Dobbs?

Be honest: You ran out of people you knew off the top of your head, didn't you? The NR masthead alone should help finish it. And why Nino Scalia, but not Clarence Thomas, who's been more reliably pro-Administration policy in his rulings? (Or are you capable of thinking that deeply?)

Via Andrew Sullivan, of whom I can't figure if he deserves higher or lower.

UPDATE: Jimmy points out to me that "it's a good thing the jackasses didn't put Condi Rice as the Queen of Spades." Yes, that would have been ironic.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Neat post here, even though not a bit of this (aside from the angle -- to quote Bad Boys, "That shit be havin' a slant") is new to me, I sometimes forget that not everyone is a complete politics junkie like I am. For those of you who don't get enraptured by the thought of a National Review-The Nation bloodmatch, but wonder what all the hubbub is about, this post is worth a read.

Hat tip to Cut on the Bias.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

This may be the coolest waste of time I've seen in a while.

Via Lucas Sayre's Daily Contentions.
A little birdie slipped me a transcript of Sen. John Cornyn's statement on the Senate floor today. An excerpt (link to be added when Sen. Cornyn's staff puts it online):

In order for Iraq to grow and blossom from the rubble, it requires security. It requires order. It requires the rule of law.

First, we must begin by ensuring the basic security of the Iraqi people. People must be able to buy food at the market without fearing armed robbery or kidnapping. They must be able to worship without fearing snipers or skirmishes. Their children must be able to go to school without hearing the sound of gunfire nearby.

The Middle East looks like the Old West right now, and we need lawmen to help restore the peace. We must eliminate the threats posed by what remains of the Baathist Party and the common criminals who control the streets and highways. We must end the looting and restore the property rights of the Iraqi people. We simply cannot construct the foundation of a peaceful and just society when there is still no security in Iraq.

Dr. Karim Hassan, director general of Iraq's electricity commission, put it this way: “Give me security, and I will give you electricity.”

The brave men and women of our Armed Forces have done heroic work in Iraq. I know I speak for the people of my State of Texas, for all Americans, and indeed for all freedom-loving people when I give thanks that the operation in Iraq was concluded swiftly with a minimum loss of coalition lives. But it would be a grave mistake to burden our military alone with the job of ensuring security for the Iraqi people. Indeed, that is not their principal mission.

After security is restored, a functioning legal system must be established. There is the immediate problem of establishing a police force. Under Saddam's regime, the police were nothing more than shock troops bent on fulfilling the dictator's tyrannical bidding. Now they must act to protect and defend the people they formerly dominated and abused. The police in Iraq are no longer the law, violently expressed; they must now enforce and be held accountable to the law.

No system of justice can survive long in the absence of law and order, and there can be no democratic Iraqi state as long as lawlessness reigns. [...]

At the inception of this country, George Washington, instead of seeking to rule as an emperor, a king, a president for life, returned to his Virginia farm, handing over the reins of the fledgling American nation at the end of two terms in office. The act was astounding at the time, a political humility unknown since the era of Cincinnatus. It prompted his old foe, King George the Third, to call Washington “the greatest character of the age.”

But Washington's actions were no accident. Washington recognized that for America to truly be a nation where the people were sovereign, it must first be a nation of laws.

We do not yet know which leader Iraqis will choose. But the identity of the democratic leader is far less important in the long term than the establishment of the rule of law, and not men. While leaders come and go, it is laws that make a nation.
Heckuva speech; dead-on, in fact. I'd say that whoever wrote this is one deeply talented guy, even if the Cincinnatus reference is probably lost on certain members of the Senate.
To My (Two) Regular Readers:

Posting will be light for a little while. Stomach flu and work. The latter doesn't make way for the former.



Monday, May 19, 2003

So just for this (her own work) and this (been there, still moving, not her work), I may have to permalink Venomous Kate. She's got a cool shortcut banner, too.

She's a former lawyer who gave it up deliberately. Definite points for her.
Go, Tacitus! I especially like this:

The role of religion in public life. This was something that Clinton seemed to appreciate and understand. He did not hesitate to draw upon the rich tradition of religious imagery and allusion in American political life (see Jefferson's "Nature's God" in the Declaration, Lincoln's Second Inaugural, FDR's D-Day prayer), and so to implicitly endorse the rightful role of individual faith-based conscience in public dialogue and decisionmaking. It is an acceptance that I don't see the Democrats at large as sharing. From the overwrought horror and ridiculous predictions of theocracy every time George W. Bush mentions God, to the denial of the public legitimacy of religious conviction when it comes to abortion politics (though not, tellingly, when it comes to death penalty politics), it's pretty clear that if your politics are informed by your faith, you're going to have a hard time as a Democrat. (The counterexamples that spring to mind -- the mushy "mainline" Protestants, Jewish lefties, Baptists in Dixie -- don't strike me as anything more than local forces in the national party.) This isn't a choice Americans who wish to engage in public life should be forced to make.
He said better what I said here.
So I maintain four separate email addresses, one almost entirely dedicated to bulk (junk/spam/crap) email, one for private correspondence with friends and family, one for this blog, and one I use for everything else (work, formal correspondence, etc.).

I list the bulk email when I sign up for anything on the internet, and only check it to make sure my account isn't overloaded (these days, that's at least once every three days). I've discovered that no amount of "unsubscribe" emails will ever, ever get your name removed from most lists, and neither will most fast-links designed to do the exact same thing. No big deal; that's why I keep that account (that, and sentimental attachment).

Since my personal correspondence email address is in more than a few address books, I'm not surprised that I get spam there, too. A lot of my friends and family have been hit with the Klez worm, and I'm sure some of those Klezes went out from spam companies. (What surprises me is the rate of increase: just two weeks ago, I might get six "bulk" emails a day; now I get thirty-five.)

This leads to the point of this post: This blog's email address. The only folks who use this are friends through blogging, readers, and the occasional hate mail. (Dang it, only occasional.) I get maybe an email or two a day there.

Yet somehow, I'm getting an increasing amount of spam there, too. I know about pagecrawlers, and it's not beyond reason that one of my correspondents at this address (1) added me to this contact list and (2) got hit by Klez (or NetBus -- remember NetBus?) or the equivalent. Let's be honest, though, it's not like I get enough traffic to think this is coming in from pagecrawlers. In fact, it's rather amazing to me to see the spam pile up at all.

This post just shows how absolutely boring I am. I still haven't seen The Matrix: Reloaded. Good gravy, am I lame.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Yeah, the free market really bites, doesn't it?

Look, I know left wingnuts have their collective panties in a twist over the tastes of the common-people-they're-working-for-but-secretly-hate, but lines like this:

But with the chains' power has come criticism from authors, musicians and civil liberties groups who argue that the stores are in effect censoring and homogenizing popular culture. The discounters and price clubs typically carry an assortment of fewer than 2,000 books, videos and albums, and they are far more ruthless than specialized stores about returning goods if they fail to meet a minimum threshold of weekly sales.

What is more, the chains' buyers — especially at Wal-Mart — carefully screen content to avoid selling material likely to offend their conservative customers. Wal-Mart has banned everything from the rapper Eminem's albums to the best-selling diaries of the rock star Kurt Cobain. This month, in its latest bow to its customers' morals, Wal-Mart stopped selling the racy men's magazines Maxim and Stuff.
... only show that the power-brokers in Blue State Land are off their damned rockers.

Gasp! You mean they're effective capitalists with a strong market-response mechanism?

Hint: If folks want something different, they'll go elsewhere. If they like what Wal-Mart, Target, and so on, offer, then those companies will do well.

Of course, Scrappleface has the best take on this.

That's the hat tip.

UPDATE: What he said.