Thursday, September 23, 2004

I'm Baaaaaack.

I have been spending all of what few hours I have each day for the past week-and-a-half watching the disassembly of the CBS/Dan Rather/DNC/John Kerry cabal by the blogosphere. I have not had time to post any original thoughts, mainly because I have not had any original thoughts. Oh, and I also took five days off to visit Oaxaca to soak up some sun, only to discover upon my arrival that the hurricane sandwich job (Ivan moving through the gulf and I-don't-know-who in the Pacific) brought daily clouds and rain to Oaxaca. Well, at least it was warmer than Puebla.

So, I'm off to see what words of wisdom the vampiress Tina Brown has for us today.

Monday, September 13, 2004

How to admit one's error(s)

That nice fellow, what's-his-name, over there at Instapundit has this to say about one of the intrinsic traits of the blogosphere and how it differs from MSM (mainstream media),
"This also means admitting when you're wrong. And that's another difference. When you're a blogger, you present ideas and arguments, and see how they do. You have a reputation, and it matters, but the reputation is for playing it straight with the facts you present, not necessarily the conclusions you reach. And a big part of the reputation's component involves being willing to admit you're wrong when you present wrong facts, and to make a quick and prominent correction."
Well now, I certainly feel a lot better having seen this expounded in writing, for I have on several occasions found it necessary to report the following;
"Yup, y'all's raht, ah'm jist a stoopid sumbitch, har, har."
I await Dan Rather's like-worded admission. Perhaps I should send him a script. I know. I'll check with a well known mystery novelist and screenwriter. He'll be sending a similar script to the Cincinnati Post.

Update: Hugh Hewitt disagrees a bit with Glenn (the what's-his-name from above). Hugh says that small bloggers, and Mark in Mexico would qualify as one of the teeny weeniest, actually operate in a high-trust environment because their friends read the blogs and expect to be told the truth. Well, that's certainly true because all of my friends who slavishly visit Mark in Mexico daily already know that Ah'm a stoopid sumbich, har, har.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Einstein, Machiavelli, Rove, Fischer, Galileo, Ponzi

If the following quotation proves, in fact, to be correct, then Karl Rove is, currently, the smartest human on the planet.
According to one ABC News employee, some reporters believe that the Kerry campaign as well as the DNC were parties in duping CBS, but a smaller segment believe that both the DNC and the Kerry campaign were duped by Karl Rove, who would have engineered the flap to embarrass the opposition.
If not true, then Karl Rove has a reputation rivaling that of James Butler Hickok.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Red Sox, Cards, Braves, LA, it's all over for you.

This intrepid blogger has just learned that I can buy a FATWA for 15 bucks from Imam AMR-KHALID. What a deal! My papal blessing signed by Pope John Paul II cost me $150 in Rome at the Vatican in 1995. Disinflation rocks! Heh, heh. See-ya Pedro! If this deal-of-the-century still exists in the late fall, the Red Wings are assured of another Stanley Cup, Bobby Knight will bring home the bacon, er, the mutton to Lubbock, Tiger grand slams it in 2005 and Jeff Gordon wins 20, beginning with Daytona.

This is tooo easy.

What is is, is.

Just thought I would mention that.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Ahead by a neck

Jeff Goldstein, up and around early on a Sunday morning. Follow his link on the LAT onefer of the twofer. Hilarious. Maybe brontysauri?

Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice

Newsweek says that Colin Powell may well stay on for another term as Secretary of State. I think this should be a really good thing for Mr. Bush and for the country. I have my doubts about Mr. Powell's nuanced views of diplomacy, but he is still highly respected around the world. If (probably, it would now seem) Mr. Bush wins another term, there are going to be a lot of foreign leaders who will have to suck it up and deal with him. Mr. Powell will make that a little easier, I think.

Now, to Ms. Rice. Rumor around the MSM is that she will not stay on another term as National Security Advisor. That would be a real shame, a real loss to the president's team. She has taken a lot of crap the last four years, probably only slightly less crap than Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. That would rank her number four on the left's dartboard cover list. I hope that she stays, if for no other reason than she deserves to be there, taking her rightfully deserved bows, when Iraq and Afghanistan both elect representative governments.

I have met the I and he is me.

In The Calgary Sun, columnist Paul Jackson writes an article titled "Let's Wing It", in which he compares the "left" and it's intolerance for dissent against the "right" and it's thoughtful consideration of all viewpoints. Well, heh heh, I don't know about all that. Somehow, the names Neil Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, and a few others are not exactly, at least to my mind, synonymous with "thoughtful consideration of all viewpoints". Nevertheless, he made a statement that pricked my interest. He says that John Kerry seemed to use the pronoun "I" in every other sentence of his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. Really? Hmmm. Off to compare acceptance speeches (you're right, I have no life).

You know, he has a point. I reviewed the acceptance speeches of both Kerry and President Bush and found the following. "I" totaled 71 in Bush's speech, plus two more times when he quoted John Kerry. "I" appeared 106 times in John Kerry's acceptance speech, or 47% more than that of the president. Now, one could be unkind and add the two "I's" from Mr. Bush's speech to John Kerry's total, after all, he was quoting John Kerry, but remember that the "right" is thoughtfully considerate of all viewpoints as well as patiently condescending towards French-coiffed Massachusetts blowhards.

Well, I cleverly thought, maybe it's a challenger's thing against an incumbent or incumbent party. "Let's check the 2000 acceptance speeches," said I, er, that is... was spoken to myself by myself. I found, er, it was discovered by yours truly that in 2000, George Bush used "I", incredibly, almost exactly the same number of times as he did in 2004, 72 times plus once more quoting someone else (a juvenile delinquent he met during a Texas detention center visit). How about Al Gore, the "incumbent"? Holy bejeezus! Albert used the fateful subjective personal pronoun in the 1st person a whopping 154 times in his 2000 acceptance speech. That is more times in one soon-to-be-loser's acceptance speech than did Mr. Bush in two speeches.

Now I, uh, that is to say, the author of this fact-filled, hard-hitting essay upon which you feast your eyes admits that he zipped through all four speeches very quickly. In the case of Mr. Bush and even Mr. Kerry, I,, this human calculator might have missed 1 or 2, but in the case of Al Gore, I...umm...ummm, the administrator of this blog could have missed 20 or 30 "I's".

Frequency chart of the I-word useage in nomination acceptance speeches.
Bush - 2004 - 71 - +/-0
Kerry- 2004 - 106- +2/-0

Bush - 2000 - 72 - +/-0
Gore - 2000 - 154- +20, or maybe +30/-0

TOTAL - Bush/Bush - 143 - dif = +0%
TOTAL- Kerry/Gore - 260 - dif = +82%

I think, uh...uh...umm, it is thought by this Pulitzer-challenged scribe that one of two possibilities may be at play here. Either the difference between the two candidates' use of the subjective personal pronoun "I" is meaningful, in the long run, or it isn't. I, that is to say, this thoughtful considerer of all viewpoints tends to think that both and neither is the case.

Know what I mean?

Al-Jazeera from the Republican convention

USA TODAY told us a few days ago that Al-Jazeera, the Arabic language cable news channel of truth and light would be covering the Republican National Convention. Mark in Mexico is proud to announce that we have acquired copies of the first photographs sent by satellite by Al-jazeera back to the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. We must remind our readers that all of the original photo captions are in Arabic and had to be translated to English by our in-house translator, Muhammed Ali Baba ibn Raaghhed al-Caamel. As further Al-jazeera transmissions become available, we will get them translated and posted as soon as we possibly can.

Posted by Hello

Senator Zell Miller (D), Georgia (above), addresses the Republican National Convention. In his efforts to reach out to all of America, and indeed to all the world on behalf of his Republican hosts, he included in his stirring speech the terms "kikes, spics, wops, pollocks, japs, chinks, gooks, slants, spooks, ragheads, camel-jockies and sand ni**ers". All of Al-jazeera's fellow members of the religion of peace will be glad to see that we were mentioned prominantly in his speech (that would be the ragheads, camel-jockies and sand ni**ers).

Kerry trails by 11 pts., Washington Post gets into gear.

In a series of articles this morning, The Washington Post enters the fight with all guns blazing in a desperate attempt to salvage John Kerry's presidential campaign, last seen listing heavily to port.

In this article, someone named Jeffrey H. Smith, identified by The Post as a former general counsel for the CIA (boy, now that fills one with confidence, doesn't it?) has the following to say regarding the Swift Boat Veterans;

But the central charges have largely been discredited by the Navy's records and by serious reporting in the mainstream media. (me: Beldar is going to be pissed to realize he has been wasting all this time.)

I did not serve in Vietnam, but...
We have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, which is a great achievement, but...

In 1971 Kerry recognized that we needed to change our policy. In 2004 he recognizes the need to change our policy. That is the issue. Who is better equipped to lead us: Bush, who rigidly insists that he is right, or Kerry, who has charted a new direction? (me: towards Paris, right? Oh, and what should Bush be doing, rigidly insisting that he is wrong?)

Then there is this;
President Bush opened the Labor Day weekend with a bus cavalcade through Ohio for the second Saturday in a row, and said that peace and prosperity -- which largely eluded him in the first term -- would be his mission in a second.
But this one is the topper. In It's Still Nixon's Party, a weepy, sputtering Harold Myerson offers these tired old spitballs;

...public mugging of John Kerry.
...Zell Miller's ferocious and largely fictitious diatribe...
...after whom he modeled himself was Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
...Dick Cheney's more low-key falsifications of Kerry's record...
...Miller's crazed sermon...
...would be hard to construe as decency...
...the hallmarks of their campaigns against Michael Dukakis, John McCain and now John Kerry have been slander and lies.
and ...Bob Dole, old hatchet-man...
and ...

well, you get the idea, right? (All emphases mine,'s my blog.)

Friday, September 03, 2004

Why Bush is America's natural leader, stupid

Writing in The Telegraph, Charles Moore takes an interesting look at George Bush and America. My favorite parts;
You could scarcely be more New England Anglican (or, as they call it, Episcopalian) posh than the Bush family. The reason the President is called George is that one of his great-grandfathers, George Herbert Walker, was named after George Herbert, perhaps the greatest poetic voice of Anglicanism ("Teach me, my God and King…" etc).

Methodism was a purifying movement within Anglicanism. Eventually, it broke with its mother Church and claimed an independent existence as a cleaner, simpler, more personal faith, one that rejected worldly status. Bush junior's conversion follows that path - a turning away from personal failure (in his case drinking and getting nowhere) through a direct experience of God, a journey away from social grandeur to something that seemed more rugged, a journey from Connecticut to Texas.

If he hadn't put down roots in somewhere like Texas (silly phrase, sorry: there's nowhere like Texas), he would for ever have been vulnerable to the jibes about being an effete East Coaster. Now he can make a good joke about his "swagger" being what, in Texas, they call "walking".

Once one understands how this works, the suggestion that Mr Bush is stupid looks, well, stupid.

The Democrat candidate has to prove something to conservative America, whereas the Republican has to prove nothing to the liberals.

Looked at in this way, I find the Bush story reassuring. It shows that Mr Bush is not the half-witted fanatic of the BBC's imagination. He is an absolutely mainstream figure in a country that has always gone very big on God and Mammon and does its best to see if the two can't achieve peaceful coexistence. It is a country that believes very deeply in freedom, but its idea of freedom is so strongly related to its sense of itself that, when it feels external threat, it reacts with unified fury.
(emphasis mine)

Read the whole thing. It is an interesting read although I don't know about the "unified" part (see Kerry, Kennedy, Laufenberg, Michael Moore, et al).

Bad, bad, bad. Children, for God's sake.

100 Die in Russian School Siege Shootout

Sept. 3, 2004 — By Richard Ayton and Oliver Bullough

BESLAN, Russia (Reuters)
One hundred or more people were killed when Russian troops stormed a school Friday in a chaotic battle to free parents, teachers and children who had been held hostage for 53 hours by Chechen separatists.

Naked children ran for safety, screaming amid machinegun fire and explosions while attack helicopters clattered overhead.

Julian Manyon, a reporter for Britain's ITV television news, said his cameraman had seen into the gutted gymnasium of the school in Beslan, in the North Ossetia region adjoining Chechnya, after the hostage-takers left.

"Our cameraman ... told me that in his estimation there are as many as 100 dead bodies, I am afraid, lying on the smoldering floor of the gymnasium where we know that a large number of the hostages were being held," he said. The Russian Interfax news agency reported a similar number.

Tass news agency said there were more than 400 wounded, and agencies said at least seven people had been dead on arrival at hospital.

Rebels fled with soldiers in pursuit.

The authorities said events forced their hand after insisting from the outset they would not resort to violence.

Manyon said police had told him some children had tried to escape, and that when the captors fired and chased them, the troops opened fire and the battle began. Moments earlier, authorities said they had sent a vehicle to fetch the bodies of people killed in Wednesday's seizure of the school.

"No military action was planned. We were planning further talks," the regional head of the FSB security service, Valery Andreyev, told RTR television.


In the ensuing chaos, children ran from the building or were carried by soldiers. Stripped to their underwear after two days without food or drink in a stiflingly hot and crowded school, they gulped bottles of water and waited in a daze for relatives as gunfire crackled around them.

"I smashed the window to get out," one boy with a bandaged hand told Russian television. "People were running in all directions ... They (the rebels) were shooting from the roof."

The outcome of the siege may have repercussions for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who came to power in 2000 on a promise to restore order in Chechnya after years of violent rebellion and hostage-takings similar to the one in Beslan.

Some 129 hostages and 41 rebels died when Putin sent troops to overpower Chechen rebels who had seized a Moscow theater in 2002. But the violence in the region and elsewhere in Russia has continued.

A North Ossetian Interior Ministry source told Interfax the guerrillas, believed to number about 40, had split into three groups. About five had remained in the school while a larger group had tried to break out of the city, and others tried to flee by merging with the hostages.

Interfax said more than 10 of the captors were killed.

Officials had said some 500 people were being held in the school in North Ossetia, but released hostages said the number could be nearer to 1,500 people lying on top of one another in increasingly desperate conditions.

Izvestia said 860 pupils attended School No.1. But the number of people on the campus would have been swollen by parents and relatives attending the first-day ceremony traditional in Russian schools.


Alexander Dzasokhov, president of the province of North Ossetia, said earlier the masked gunmen had demanded an independent Chechnya, the first clear link between them and the decade-long separatist rebellion in the neighboring province.

One unidentified woman freed Thursday told Izvestia that during the night children occasionally began to cry:

"Then the fighters would fire in the air to restore quiet. In the morning they told us they would not give us anything more to drink because the authorities were not ready to negotiate."

Attacks linked to Chechen separatists have surged in recent weeks as Chechnya elected a head for its pro-Moscow administration to replace an assassinated predecessor.

Last week, suicide bombers were blamed for the near-simultaneous crash of two passenger planes in which 90 people died. This week, in central Moscow, a suicide bomber blew herself up, killing nine people.

Russian media have speculated that the gunmen could belong to separatist forces under Magomed Yevloyev, an Ingush who is believed to have led a mass assault on Ingushetia in June.

A representative of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov in London repeated denials of involvement by forces loyal to him and condemned the hostage-takers.

"This is a monstrous act ... There is no way to justify what they have done," Akhmed Zakayev, the representative, told Channel 4 news.

Up to 16 people were believed to have been killed in the early stages of the assault.
Update: I don't know what happened to this post. It should have appeared here early this morning. When I returned home and checked the blog, it was not here. If it had been one of my usual dopey half-wit posts, I wouldn't have minded, but this is serious as hell.

Update 2: The Russians are saying that among the dead terrorists (if anyone calls them "militants", they are misinformed, stupid assholes) are 10 bodies identified as Arab. What a shock is that?