The Weigh In

July 31, 2002


THIS IS WHY YOU KILL SCUMSUCKING TERRORISTS: As if this isn't enough, here's another example of what diplomacy and concessions get you, Colin Powell-

'As Israel considers a plan to deport the families of suicide and homicide bombers to the Gaza Strip, Fox News has discovered dozens of militants sent off two months ago are actually living the high life in their land of supposed exile.'


MAJOR CHANGES AHEAD FOR THE WEIGH IN: I have been approached by a fellow blogger (hint) with an offer to move my blog onto a new server- and I have accepted. This means a new domain name, a new layout with Movable Type, no more tirades about my hatred for Blogger, and a host of other assorted upgrades in quality.

I am very excited about this move, which will be taking place over the next month or so. I hope you readers will appreciate the improvements in appearance and reliability; as for the writing quality, well, you're kind of stuck regarding that one. :)

More details will follow...


I LOVE A LIST: Yes, it's true. I'm a sucker for lists. Especially for pop culture-related stuff. I love 'em- the fights over the rankings, the inclusions, the omissions. TV Guide has polled readers for the 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time.

The winner? Bugs Bunny. Second place? Homer Simpson.


BLOODY PAINFUL TO WATCH: Lindsey has become hooked on FOX's "American Idol." Somehow I have avoided the same affliction. I beg you, don't fall for its train-wreck charms. Tom Shales of WaPo provides us with a suitable smackdown-

'Each week, often twice, the Fox network airs its latest innovation: A talent show with no talent. Or at best, precious little. But people who tune in to "American Idol" may not be watching it for the alleged talent on display but rather to enjoy another exercise in Humiliation Television.'


THE "I" STANDS FOR IDIOTS: Mark Steyn has a legitimate beef with the INS, especially regarding the way they have been trying to deport Deena Gilbey, who lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks. I was really pissed off when I finished reading this. The INS needs to be totally gutted; those faceless losers need to be assigned private sector jobs, where they may actually be held accountable for their stupidity.

'But then came September 11th. And a few days afterwards Mrs. Gilbey received a form letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service informing her that, upon her husband's death, his visa had also expired and with it her right to remain in the country. She was now, they informed her, an illegal alien and liable to be "arrested and deported."

Think about that. On the morning of Wednesday, September 12th, some INS departmental head calls the staff into his office and says, "Wow, that was a wild ride yesterday. But the priority of the United States Government right now is to find out how many legally resident foreigners have been widowed and see how quickly we can traumatize them further."'
Correct me if I'm wrong; have you read any news stories about any of these government-entrenched a--holes being fired? Of course not.

Instapundit is all over this one too...


ON "THE RISING": Bruce Springsteen's new album is getting A TON of press, and he is touring all the major morning and late-night shows to promote it. Supposedly this is even bigger than his "Born in the USA" blitz back in the mid-1980s. I will be waiting to hear my die-hard fan brother's opinions on it, but all signs indicate that he's created a thoughtful, inspiring look at American post-9/11. Check out some reviews of the album here, and here, and here.

UPDATE: Rolling Stone has given the album 5 stars.


STILL HOPE THIS IS ROPE-A-DOPE: Saddam Hussein undoubtedly is preparing for a massive invasion. But the chattering continues. It's looking like our country is growing more interested in talking about a war than actually fighting one-

'Bush administration officials have told key lawmakers not to expect a U.S. attack on Iraq before the fall elections, allowing time for Congress to debate the possibility of war.'
Slate's Jack Shafer wonders if this is all being done intentionally. So does Tony Blankley of the Washington Times. I sometimes think that Bush Sr.'s decision not to take out Hussein back in 1991 will soon be regarded as one of the worst decisions made in the 20th century...

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan is properly worried-
'Those of us who think the majority of Americans decided last September that war with Iraq was essential to our present and future security had better be prepared.'
UPDATE: Cold Fury is also concerned by the calls for inaction.


YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP:

'A man suffering a heart attack yesterday morning was kept aboard an MBTA commuter train that made two scheduled stops before reaching waiting paramedics at Back Bay Station in Boston as horrified passengers implored the crew to bypass the stations.'

July 30, 2002


LIKE A GOOD FRIEND: The Onion always knows how to cheer me up... maybe we can let a few of those suckers loose in this jackoff's house? Wishful thinking...


WE'RE NOT WINNING ANY WAR: So long as our supposed protectors are this inept (Link via Instapundit)-

'When Web operator Jon Messner gained control of one of al-Qaida's prime Internet communication sites, he offered it to the FBI to use it for disinformation and collecting data about sympathizers.

What followed, he says, was a week of frustration. FBI agents struggled to find someone with enough technical know-how to set up the sting. By the time they did, the opportunity was lost as militant Islamic Web users figured out the site was a decoy, said Messner of Ocean City, MD.'


IN THE BLACK: I received an email from Amazon.com last night... turns out that four people have purchased items from their online store using The Weigh In as their link! This means that I have received commissions totaling...

$3.00! Yes, $3.00!

No, it's not much, but given that my startup and maintenance costs to this point have been absolutely nothing, I'm in the black! Here's to profits! Everyone gets a Chicken McNugget on me.

But seriously, I extend a genuine thank you to my loyal readers, using this site for more than just news and opinion. I encourage you all to use the Amazon.com storefront; keep it in mind especially during the approaching-way-too-rapidly holiday season...


I ALMOST FEEL BAD FOR THIS JERK:

'A federal judge Tuesday afternoon sentenced ousted former Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, to eight years in prison and fined him $150,000 following his conviction on 10 counts of bribery, racketeering and tax evasion.'
Well, not that bad...


CALLING IT WHAT IT IS: Jay Nordlinger writes in his latest "Impromptus" column that perhaps we shouldn't putz around with incremental changes to standardized testing-

'If no test is permitted on which blacks and Hispanics do less well than others; if no test is permitted on which Asians, as a group, outpace others — then let’s just junk the whole concept. Let’s not temporize or dissemble, but say, straightforwardly, “Race is the main thing, and if tests interfere with our racial jiggering, then the tests will just have to go.”'
I know that my children won't be taught this garbage that equality of results supercedes equality of opportunity...


I WISH MY JOB WAS THIS EASY: Jonah Goldberg takes apart Al Whore's latest attempts to blame President Bush for, well, everything wrong with the world-

'Over the weekend, Gore explained, once again, that President Bush is responsible for the corporate meltdown. According to Gore, Bush's tax cut created a climate of "unfettered corporate greed," which encouraged companies like Enron to collapse. This was a follow-up to his assertion in late June: "You see now what it means to have an administration that's that committed to fighting and working on behalf of the powerful and letting the people of this country get the short end of the stick."

In short, according to Gore, past events were caused by future acts.'


AN IDEA LONG OVERDUE:

'Preseason football practice opened at Syracuse University on Monday. The only participants allowed were women.

The school presented its second annual clinic for women called "Football 101." About 175 women took advantage of the crash course in football run by Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni and his staff.'


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Something I have been wondering of late, with an assist from Lindsey...

This country was founded here in Boston because the people of this region would not abide the outrageous taxes the English king levied against them. So how is it that Massachusetts has become one of the highest-taxed (and most bureaucratic) states in the union? What would the perpetrators of the Boston Tea Party think if they could see us now, voluntarily forking over thousands of our hard-earned dollars to comically inefficient and wasteful state and local governments?

Methinks too many liberals in power in this state, with good intentions yet a poor grasp of basic economics and cause/ effect.


TAKE OUT IRAQ NOW: That's what N.Z. Bear is thinking...

'Do you remember what we started hearing about Clinton around '99 or so? He was focusing more and more on his "legacy". He wanted to establish himself a place in history.

I think its hard to avoid the conclusion that Saddam is thinking the exact same thing right about now. And I really, really, do not want to find out what his idea of a proper place in history for himself is.'
In a related item, Howard Kurtz of WaPo is curious about all these war plan leaks...
'Why are military sources leaking this stuff? Self-importance? Disinformation? Loose lips that sink ships?

And why is the press printing the stories in such detail, which is like sending the Iraqi leader a telegram?'
Junk Yard Blog also questions the motives of the NY Times and the zeal they seem to show when printing these kinds of items...


SCUMBAGS IN ARMS: I think this picture says it all.


IDIOT WATCH: It's just too easy to hate this silly, self-important woman, who has absolutely no grasp of economics or business cycles. She's all about image and politics. What a waste.

'Previewing an expected Democratic campaign theme in the fall elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton said yesterday that President Bush and congressional Republicans have squandered the economic gains made when her husband was President.'
Of course,
'Clinton did not mention that the first steps of the recession and the stock-market swoon began in the closing days of her husband's administration.'


THEY JUST DON'T GET IT: I'm talking about the dinosaurs running the music industry. Pea-sized brains for sure. File sharing is the future, despite their best efforts to the contrary. Farhad Manjoo writes in Salon today about the current mp3 scene; while Napster is gone, nothing has changed regarding the fans' interest in mp3 trading. He also includes some thoughts regarding what the record labels need to do to win back some trust from music fans-

'"None of these services seems to know what the consumer demand is for," Sinnreich says. For a subscription service to work, he thinks it needs to offer four features: content from all five record labels; the capacity to play songs from as many computers as you like; CD burning, for an incremental fee; and "no limitation on the number of songs you listen to in a month -- you have to make them feel like they're getting a lot."'
I currently use Kazaa, and recommend it to everyone out there, provided you install a free firewall like Zone Alarm to add some extra security to your PC. It's got the most users connected to its network, and therefore the most files available.

For more on the unbelievable arrogance and ignorance of the music industry, be sure to check out industry insider Bob Lefsetz's columns.

And I'm sorry, promotions like this will still not be enough.


MORE ON WHITE-COLLAR CRIME: My friend Mark tracked down some appropriate Dennis Miller comments regarding my post yesterday on white-collar crime (italics are mine)-

'"So I don't want to see some CEO going to jail for three years a minimum-security prison that doubles as a community college during the day. I want them to witness the damage they caused up close. I think they should be sentenced to community service sorting the shoe bin at Goodwill in a low-income neighborhood to get a sense of how real people have to get by. Make Kenneth Lay work the drive-thru at Jack In The Boxso I can literally hear that lying bastard's voice coming out of a clown's mouth. Just don't drive away without checking that you got everything you ordered.

What I'd actually like to see is these guys do hard time in hard prison. See how they like it when we let the warden get creative with the books keeping their sentences. You want to make sure this doesn't happen again, put these losers in with the general population who are doing 10-20 for stealing a scintilla of what these guys did. Then make sure there is a live "Big Brother" shower-cam feed into every CEO's office in the country. You are going to think twice about cheating the numbers when you spot your ex-golf partner all lathered up with a windchime hangin' from his ass."'

July 29, 2002


U.S. ENVY: Victor Davis Hanson, back in the states after two weeks abroad, writes about the Europe-America disconnect in his latest column-

'...the constant criticism of the United States that we read in European newspapers and magazines are not reflections of an out-of-touch elite, but the general pulse of a complex anti-Americanism that is widely shared among much of Europe's citizenry.'


MUST-READ OF THE WEEK: I know it's only Monday, but this is the best thing you'll see all week (probably all month). N.Z. Bear has written a series of posts from the point of view of a blogger in the year 2014, where the war on radical Islam hasn't gone as we expected. Chilling.

'You'd think we would have learned that lesson back in '02 --- you know, most folks tend to forget that even *after* the WTC, there were plenty of people arguing that we weren't at war.

Tel Aviv and the pox kinda put a rest to that line of thinking, didn't it?'


THE WEIGH IN POLL UPDATE: There's a new question on the left side of this page, be sure to cast your vote!

I've also tallied the results of the previous poll. The question was "Which finger (on your dominant hand) is most important to you?" While it would take some justification to choose a finger other than the first two or three (I went with the thumb; we need that opposable thumb!), I was happy to see that someone did indeed select the Ring Finger as his or her most precious...

Here are the final results, with 31 total votes cast-

Thumb- 15 votes, or 48%
Index Finger- 8 votes, or 26%
Middle Finger- 7 votes, or 23%
Ring Finger- 1 vote, or 3%
Pinkie- 0 votes, or 0%

Thanks for weighing in!


HARDER THAN IT LOOKS: The NY Times magazine has quite an interesting piece from this weekend on the intricacies of creating movie trailers (registration required). This article uses the upcoming Mel Gibson film "Signs" to demonstrate how an effective trailer teases the audience yet doesn't give away too much of the story.


WAY COOL: I can't be certain that this image isn't doctored in some way, but it sure is cool. (Link via Rodger Schultz)


OBVIOUS TO THOSE PAYING ATTENTION: Sadly, many are not. WeekendPundit has a nice rant which discusses the differences that exist between Palestinian suicide bombers and Israeli soldiers.

'One side uses suicide bombers and ambushes to slaughter innocent civilians as their primary military tactic. They surround themselves with “innocent” civilians, counting on the civilized nature of their foe to protect them from attack. The other side uses military actions targeted at capturing or killing enemy combatants and disrupting their logistics. They employ tactics that often lead to civilian casualties, but they do everything they can to minimize this, short of deciding not to defend themselves.'


A NEW POLL QUESTION IS IN THE WORKS: Get your final votes in for the current poll, a new one will be posted sometime later today...


THERE'S A DIFFERENCE: Lisa Schmeiser of Teevee.org writes about reality TV shows and the difference between celebrity and notoriety-

'At its base, celebrity is still tied into the idea that the person being showered with gift baskets, attention and softball profiles in InStyle has, in fact, evidenced some talent at some point in their life. Celebrity is in no way proportional to the talent in question -- if it were, we'd be much more familiar with Joan Armatrading than Brittany Spears, or Jeremy Piven over Ted Danson -- but it is typically rooted in recognizing that which is indeed special. Notoriety, on the other hand, is what happens to people who live in O.J.'s guest house, marry 90-year-old men, or have their penis cut off by their irate wife. You will note that the only talent required for noteriety is that of happening into the right situation at the right time.'


WE'RE WATCHING YOU: John Leo writes on how every blogger is now your fact-checkin' cuz. Great piece.

'The mighty Times may not have noticed that a lot of bloggers–some with small reputations, some with no reputations at all–now swarm over its news columns searching for errors and bias. The established media learned long ago how to marginalize critics and shrug off complaints of bias as the ravings of right-wing fanatics. But the bloggers aren't so easily dismissed. They don't bluster. They deal in specifics and they work quickly, while the stories they target are fresh. They link to sources, to one another's sites, and to the articles under attack, so readers can judge for themselves. The blogging revolution, says commentator Andrew Sullivan, the best-known blogger, "undermines media tyrants."'


SHOULD WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES BE PUNISHED MORE SEVERELY?: Um, YES. It's pretty remarkable that in some places, someone caught with a small amount of marijuana on their person faces a mandatory jail sentence, but a scumbag like Jeff Skilling may never spend a day behind bars although he has willfully (yes, willfully) defrauded thousands of people out of millions of dollars. This New York Times article (registration required) discusses harsher penalties for old white man corporate crimes.


CAN'T KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT:

'Former President Clinton says the bull market of the 1990s bred corporate corruption but that President Bush's laying blame on his predecessor twists the truth.'
Can't Congress pass some law that prevents ex-Presidents from all media access for a predetermined amount of time? (This would also help Jimmy Carter immensely.)

Cold Fury can lay a better smackdown on Two-Face better than I ever could-
'As for Billy-boy: please, for God's sake, sit back, shut the hell up, and try to enjoy your retirement. We've all heard everything you have to say already, and it's always variations on the same old theme: "it's not my fault, it's the Republicans." I for one don't want to hear anymore of it. And most especially not from you.'


A VOTE OF DISSENT: Not everyone loves "Six Feet Under." Just ask Emily Nussbaum at Slate-

'Six Feet Under may have won an outrageous 23 Emmy nominations, but it's really just Ally McBeal in mortality drag: dream sequences, romanticized narcissism, fake-o self-conscious dialogue, meaning-of-life montages and all.'


HELP WALL STREET: So says Dave Barry, who weighs in on the accounting scandals and stock market collapse-

'Your major brokerage firms, in an effort to show they have "turned over a new leaf," have taken the extreme step of running a new type of commercial, wherein Wall Street professionals show sincere concern for small investors by actually talking directly to them, answering their questions, stroking their hair, etc. The message of these commercials is: "You can trust us now, because we are no longer flagrantly lying to you!"'


I AM IRON MAN: The now-superhuman Lance Armstrong has won his 4th consecutive Tour de France. Isn't it great to watch an American dominate the crown jewel of French sports?


July 26, 2002


UPDATE: TOO FUNNY TO PASS UP:

'Ryan Leaf, once considered one of the NFL's most promising young quarterbacks, has retired.'
Punk-ass coward all along...


HAVE A NICE WEEKEND: I leave you with the great David Halberstam, writing on the joys of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and the possible baseball strike in September...

'What we have is a world of greed and arrogance and some measure of stupidity: arrogant owners, arrogant players, and arrogant agents. No one willing to work on (or even try to come up with) any kind of formula that would give even the semblance of negotiation. The idea -- I suppose this is the genius of it -- is to wait until the very moment when fan interest should be at its peak, when the pennant races are in full bloom, and then turn it all off. The fans will be angry, it is presumed, and will demand some kind of action. I'm not so sure.'


ANOTHER GIRL IS MISSING: This is completely out of control.

'Authorities in the St. Louis area were searching Friday for the whereabouts of a 6-year-old girl who went missing earlier that morning.'


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: A beautiful, accurate, scathing dismissal of the elitist, unrealistic, liberal mindset that is nurtured in the Hollywood cocoon of ignorance... by none other than Pat Sajak. Yeah, that guy.

'Speaking of silly, Alec Baldwin, an actor, recently compared the election of George W. Bush to the terrorist attacks of last September. This is the same Baldwin brother who promised to leave the country if Bush were elected. Sadly, he reneged on that one. Baldwin also went on Conan O'Brien's late-night show during the Clinton impeachment to say that Illinois Republican Congressman Henry Hyde should be shot -- along with his family.

Do remarks like that get you chastised in Hollywood? Ostracized? Marginalized? No, it's Alec Baldwin. He's an actor. He's in Show Business. He's important.'


AL WHORE IS BACK ON THE HILL: I am so sincerely grateful that this sack didn't win the presidency. What a selective memory he has. What a creepy, blinders-wearing, manipulative man.


YOU JUST CAN'T WIN: ESPN's Mark Kreidler writes that Lance Armstrong shouldn't take recent booing of him by French cycling fans so seriously; it should be expected, given his dominance and the widespread doping being uncovered in the sport.

'When Armstrong, a cancer survivor, won his first Tour, it was a remarkable story. When he won his second, to many people, it was better still. And, naturally, by the time he got to a third, he had to be cheating.'


THE HAMMER OF WISDOM: Charles Krauthammer lays it out, plain and simple-

'To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.'
UPDATE: John Hawkins has some thoughts of his own on this matter-
'Conservatives tend to favor capitalism, traditional values, and have results oriented policy and liberals favor socialism, don't like traditional values, and have process oriented (the intention is more important than the results) policies that they favor. But all these differences are rooted in the fact that conservatives tend to make decisions based on logic and liberals tend to make decisions based on emotion.'


WHAT KIND OF VILLAIN ARE YOU?: Take the test...


What Type of Villain are You?


SOME REVIEWS OF "GOLDMEMBER": I'm still not sure that it's theater-worthy, but in the meantime I have gathered some reviews to quench your curiousity.

Roger Ebert. Salon. James Berardinelli. Enjoy.


THESE ARE NOT ROLE MODELS, NEVER WERE: Mike Freeman writes in the NY Times about the recent outburst of violence against women by professional athletes. (registration required)

'Certainly not all athletes abuse the women close to them, but the recent arrests smell of arrogance and disconnect. Do you know who I am? Part of the problem is athletes know a sad fact: They nearly always get a second chance, even if they have been accused previously of attacking women.'
So many athletes are no more than partially-civilized animals, chemically and physically enhanced, shamelessly spoiled by acolytes and enablers, who follow their basest instincts and have difficulties living in mainstream society. Why Americans have ever looked up to them and allowed so much awful behavior to pass is confounding. As I grow older and pay more attention to everything, I'm having a much harder time caring or respecting these individuals' athletic feats, given that most of them are so reprehensible and selfish. Professional athletes, amateur human beings.


LEADING OFF: John Hawkins takes on Glenn Reynolds' latest FOXNews column, as well as legalizing drugs-

'You have to consider the fact that making drugs legal, cheap, and easier to obtain would cause an explosion in the number of people using them. That means more people committing crimes because they're stoned out of their gourds, more homeless people, a large jump in healthcare costs, a massive increase in the number of civil lawsuits because drug related injuries and deaths, and a huge increase in ruined lives.'
Given that most people can't handle their shit when it comes to drug use, I'm inclined to agree.

July 25, 2002


STATE GOVERNMENT TO MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS: Fuck you.

'The Massachusetts Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to override acting Gov. Jane Swift's veto of the $1.1 billion tax package.

The $1.1 billion tax package would freeze the state income tax at 5.3 percent, reduce the personal exemption; postpone deductions for charitable donations; raise cigarettes taxes and tax capital gains income at 12 percent for the first year and 5.3 percent after that.'


LOOK WHO'S BACK: Keith Olbermann, once a "Sportscenter" anchor, now a Salon columnist. Damn. His first piece covers the impending baseball strike, the less-than-outstanding season opener of "Sex and the City," and what Americans want-

'If the last 10 months have shown us anything, it's that Americans are ready to bite whatever bullets come our way. But in between painful moments of real life, we'd like our entertainment to actually be, well, entertaining, thank you -- escapist if at all possible.'


IT'S GOOD TO BE KING: Thomas Sowell writes in praise of Milton Friedman, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday-

'Milton Friedman's enduring legacy will long outlast the memories of his students and extends beyond the field of economics. John Maynard Keynes was the reigning demi-god among economists when Friedman's career began, and Friedman himself was at first a follower of Keynesian doctrines and liberal politics. Yet no one did more to dismantle both Keynesian economics and liberal welfare-state thinking.'


DOUCHEBAG OF THE DAY: Fat blubbery loser Caesar Barber, who is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against four fast-food corporations, saying their foods are responsible for his obesity and related health problems. Read this entire news story, it's completely ridiculous.

Take some responsibility for your actions, you brainless pathetic f$*k.

Check out The Safety Valve for more links and thoughts on this matter.


LEAVE IT ALONE: Jonah Goldberg writes that government should not try to solve every problem, and ponders a movement for "inactivism"-

'When Calvin Coolidge said "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business," he didn't mean he was proud of doing nothing. Rather he was proud to have worked hard to keep the government from mucking things up. When he said, "When you see ten problems rolling down the road, if you don't do anything, nine of them will roll into a ditch before they get to you," he didn't mean you should spend your life lying in a hammock ignoring problems. Rather, he meant that you should dedicate yourself to fixing the problems that you can and should fix. If you try to fix too many things or the wrong thing, you will make everything worse.'


GOOD RIDDANCE:

'The House on Wednesday expelled Ohio Rep. James Traficant for taking bribes and kickbacks, only the second time since the Civil War that it has removed a sitting member for unethical conduct.'
The vote was 420-1. The lone dissenting vote? None other than resident scumbag Gary Condit.


LET IT GROW, LET IT GROW: The Yankees now lead the Red Sox by 4.5 games in the AL East...


July 24, 2002


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: Thanks to Instapundit for this link, a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle showing that the FBI still just doesn't get it (scroll down to the fourth letter, "Don't Count on FBI").


SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO: It's Michaels, it's Madden, it's the new Monday Night Football!

'Sports fans can almost see and feel it now. "MNF" has always been one of the great treats in all of sports -- football after work on a lousy Monday -- and that adrenaline-pumping music (no, not Hank Williams Jr., though he is inexplicably back) only adds to the anticipation. Can you imagine what it's going to be like sitting back to hear Michael's smart, clipped descriptions weave into Madden's often funny and always insightful analysis?'
42 days, 6 hours, 19 minutes and counting until the season starts...


TOM SOWELL WISDOM: In his latest column, he addresses the current stock market disaster and misguided efforts toward recovery-

'What can be even worse than a stock market crash -- including the great crash of 1929 -- are politicians rushing in to fix things.'


THIS SEEMS, WELL, KIND OF IMPORTANT:

'An asteroid discovered just weeks ago has become the most threatening object yet detected in space.

A preliminary orbit suggests that 2002 NT7 is on an impact course with Earth and could strike the planet on 1 February, 2019 - although the uncertainties are large.'
Think the Red Sox will have won a World Series by then?


THANK YOU RODGER SCHULTZ: For making my day...


EXTREMES: Here's an incredibly brave little girl, and here's a cowardly piece of shit old man.


TALES FROM MY OLD STOMPING GROUND: My pops sent me two good reads from the local New Jersey papers- one, on a possible solution to overaggressive sports parents-

'[Mike] Blackwell, 43, has now taken yet another bold step that has caught the attention of coaches across America. He's building a parent-proof Little League field.'
And the second, on the things you miss when you leave NJ-
'When my cousin Steven moved to New Mexico in the 1970s, he found one great love - his wife, Debbie - but lost another. He couldn't find Yankee Doodles in New Mexico.'


IT'S JUST TOO EASY: Another reason the hate the French. (Link via Little Green Footballs)


CHANGES TO THE WEIGH IN: As I'm guessing some of you have noticed, The Weigh In has been shifting away lately from commentary and more toward sheer linking. I don't like this turn of events, as my initial ambitions were to move this blog closer to that of a USS Clueless or an Armed and Dangerous. I just don't have it in me right now. This is a result of several things, all of which are seriously cutting into my time for blogging - a serious health problem in my family, a busier workload, fewer news stories that really set me off, preparations for my wedding (just 3 months away), preparations for the LSAT (just 2 months away), and more.

So, I intend to keep posting, with an occasional rant every day or two. But in-depth analysis will be sporadic for the time being. I apologize to all the people who I will not be inspiring (or aggravating) with my opinions. Cheers!


SPACE TRAVEL HAS OFFICIALLY JUMPED THE SHARK:

'Lance Bass of the boy band 'N Sync is working to finalize his contract with the Russian space agency, Russian officials said Monday, voicing optimism that the singer could catch an autumn flight to the international space station.'

July 23, 2002


HEATHER MAC DONALD ON: Underappreciated police officers. An eye-opening article.

'How much is a cop's life worth? Judging by media attention, not much. On June 22, a black man shot a sheriff's deputy in Seattle several times in the head with the deputy's own gun, killing him instantly. The deputy had been trying to restrain the man, just out of jail for assaulting another officer, as he ran naked through traffic pounding on cars. The case raises troubling questions about whether the ubiquitous crusade to portray cops as racist has resulted in a potentially lethal reluctance to use necessary force. But in the three weeks since the killing occurred, the incident has received only two mentions in the press outside Seattle — an article in the New York Times, and a passing allusion on CNN.'


WUSS ALERT:

'Kenny Rogers blocked a trade to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, choosing to pitch for the last-place Texas Rangers instead of joining a team in a playoff race.'
I always disliked this guy, he pitched briefly for the Yankees... he has the mental toughness of shaving cream.


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: It's from Mark Steyn, whose latest column points out that corporate America's poor accounting practices pale in comparison to those of our government...

'No accountability? Missing billions? Fantasy bookkeeping? Pick any Federal agency you like. WorldCom's $4-billion is less than a third of the $12.1-billion Medicare misplaces every single year. It's less than a thirtieth of the $142-billion the Federal Government has overspent its supposedly binding budgets by in the last five years. It's less than one-sixtieth of the new US$248-billion farm subsidy bill, three-quarters of which goes to a bunch of multimillionaire play-farmers like Ted Turner and David Rockefeller.'


GUNK COLLECTOR: Are you fascinated by the insects that splatter across your windshield during the warmer months? You aren't alone-

'Bugs come alive when it rains. Mosquitoes hatch. Mole crickets try their wings. Flying ants take off to start new ant hills. Often, these bugs fly across roads and have fatal run-ins with vehicles. Dr. Hostetler, who is 37 years old and a wildlife biologist here at the University of Florida, identifies the remains.'


WHICH "PEANUTS" CHARACTER ARE YOU: Not surprisingly, I came out as...



I am Charlie Brown

Which Peanuts Character Are You Quiz



SPOONS IS BACK: Having conquered his DSL demons, he's got some newfound perspective on blogging...

'Taking a few weeks of from blogging, albeit unintentionally, gave me an interesting perspective on this whole hobby. Yeah, it takes a lot of time, and to an extent, detracts from some other worthy pursuits. At the same time, though, it keeps me far better informed, and keeps my reasoning sharp. I know that when I have to write about and justify my opinions, they're going to be more fully thought out and better reasoned. I also get a range of feedback from people who agree and disagree with me, and occasionally, someone will actually change my mind. That hardly ever happens in The Real World -- I guess the blogosphere just attracts a hipper and smarter breed of cat.'
Right on.


CONFUSING TO ME: Why is there always an outpouring of protests and support for stories like this, but there is little made of stories like this? Too many people have mixed up friggin' priorities...


MUST-SEE MOVIE: Roger Ebert reviews one of my all-time favorite films, "Unforgiven," in his ongoing series of "great movies"-

'There is one exchange in the movie that has long stayed with me. After he is fatally wounded, Little Bill says, "I don't deserve this. To die like this. I was building a house." And Munny says, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Actually, deserve has everything to do with it, and although Ned Logan and Delilah do not get what they deserve, William Munny sees that the others do. That implacable moral balance, in which good eventually silences evil, is at the heart of the Western, and Eastwood is not shy about saying so.'


THIS IS NICE: From yesterday's tribute to Ted Williams in Boston...


I'M HOLDING BACK THE TEARS:

'A top Hamas leader was killed early Tuesday morning when an Israeli air-to-surface missile destroyed his Gaza City apartment building...'

July 22, 2002


I'D LIKE TO SEE MORE OF THIS:

'A father of four told last night how he beat up a man who he said had abused him for six years as a child.'


THIS WOULD BE SAD IF IT WEREN'T SO FUNNY: Lindsey found this startling graphic, from an article on Vegsource.com, on "What Americans Are Really Eating"-


MUST-READ(S) OF THE DAY: Strictly for the sports nuts.

The New York Times Magazine put together an interesting article on the cult of sportcasters and sports news. Why do legions of males who follow their every word? There are profiles of John Madden, Tim McCarver, Charles Barkley and more.

'And as was obvious to Disney when it bought ESPN in 1995 and to anyone who has been to Bristol and has seen the Pentagonian girth of its headquarters, hard-core sports fans are not a fringe cult. With the odd allowance for extreme mathematical or artistic ability and eccentric parenting, they include pretty much every heterosexual male in America.'
As a compliment to this article, check out ESPN.com's Bill Simmons, who recently took an all-access trip behind the scenes of "Inside the NBA," the "postgame show that occasionally improves on the ratings from the actual game."

RELATED NOTE: Jim Caple of ESPN.com lists his 30 worst moments in baseball history. And Page 2 has the 10 most shocking moments in baseball history.


BAD BAD BAD:

'The Major League Baseball Players Association has tentatively targeted Sept. 16 as a strike date, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.'
If all those greedy shits deny me the chance to experience another Yankees' World Series run, I will seriously consider abandoning the sport...


CALL ME SODJU ROFOR: Why? That's my "Star Wars" name! What's yours?

Take the test.


THIS IS VERY INTERESTING:

'Baseball teams would play better if coaches did away with the traditional batting line-up, suggest mathematicians. They say that putting the best batter second, rather than the customary fourth, can substantially improve team performance. Surprisingly, the weakest hitter should not bat last.'
(Link via GeekPress)


WHAT IS LAW? BABY DON'T HURT ME...: Steven Den Beste has written a nice post on law and his problems with the International Criminal Court-

'And that's the problem with the ICC, too. The whole point of it is to create a body of law which applies to those who don't agree to it. The whole point of it is that there is no consent, because "criminals" as such clearly will never consent to the laws that are applied to them. The process by which those laws will be made is liable to corruption and subversion, and there are no checks on the power of the process. The makers of the law will not face those to whom the law applies on a regular basis for reaffirmation; the trials will not be based on juries, and there is no judicial nullification. This is lawmaking by a star chamber without any limits, and it claims universal jurisdiction.

In short, it is tyranny.'


"SEX AND THE CITY" IS BACK TOO: Last night's season-opener was entertaining, and a bit more somber, as expected. I kind of liked the more mature, less ridiculous storylines... we'll see if that keeps up or not. TV Tattle has a ton (and by that I mean a TON) of articles about the show. Check them out.


IT SEEMS THE POLICE CAUGHT HIM: Now let's kill him.

'Prosecutors are deciding whether to seek the death penalty against the man arrested in the murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, the district attorney said Sunday.'
Bill O'Reilly thinks that children are now targets, of all the sick and depraved people in this country, and they must be better protected.


"JUSTICE THESE DAYS COMES DOWN TO THE FACTS": Brendan Miniter writes in today's WSJ that shamed (and convicted) politician James Traficant shouldn't be mocking our judicial system. Americans aren't tolerant of that anymore.

Cathy Young writes in the Boston Globe that John Walker Lindh's parents are as bad (if not worse) as Lindh, with their ignorant, blind support for their son.


INSTAPUNDIT IS BACK: And he has some thoughts on the TIPS plan-

'I don't think it will be much use against terrorism. Our current domestic-security apparatus has shown itself utterly unable to cut through the data fog -- it can't even process tips from freakin' FBI agents! who think they've spotted a terrorist, as the Moussaoui case demonstrated. It can't possibly handle the vast quantity of low quality data produced by a million active participants, and there's no indication that anyone is addressing that issue, making the whole thing basically an exercise in PR.'

July 19, 2002


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: The latest from Peggy Noonan, a call to dreams-

'To respect is to record. There is a response function at the end of this column, and you can use it to send in your Sept. 11 related dream--recurring, unusual, striking, whatever. (If you are a psychiatrist, send as many as you like--without identifying your patients, of course.) I will read them, and appreciate them and possibly weave them into a piece on what Sept. 11 has done to our dream lives and to our imaginations, when our imaginations are operating on their own, unfettered, unstopped, spanning.'
I've had a few dreams involving airplanes and people fleeing in panic, but (thankfully) nothing too intense. It's my daytime thinking, though, that covers most of the really grim and frightening stuff...


SCUMBAG OF THE DAY: A slight revision on my theme, but justified-

'A public inquiry announced Friday that family doctor Harold Shipman — Britain's worst serial killer — murdered 215 of his patients.'
What in God's name is wrong with people???


EASYGOING ON THE POSTING TODAY: I'm pretty beat, it's a Friday, during the summer, lots of people out and about, I have a bit of work to do today, so... posting will resume early this afternoon.

Wow, it's odd to not have Blogger to blame for my limited posting. Keeping my fingers crossed...


GOT PLANS FOR TONIGHT?: The Yanks and Red Sox open a 3-game series at the Stadium tonight. Pedro vs. Mussina. Rapture!


THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS: Toby Harnden of the Daily Telegraph sits down for lunch with "Angry Ann" Coulter. And did you know that she's a Cornell graduate?


July 18, 2002


THE HAPPY COUPLE: As promised, now you all know what I (and my beautiful fiance) look like...


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: It's actually more like a must-see. In light of IFC's recent "Weekend of the Living Dead" movie marathon, I tracked down this Culturedose.com review of George Romero's classic (and probably in my top 3 favorite horror films of all-time) "Dawn of the Dead." I still have recurring dreams about zombies, at least one per year...

'When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.'
See this movie, the thinking man's horror movie.


YOU WILL BE MISSED: Green Bay Packers veteran defensive back LeRoy Butler is retiring after 12 seasons-

'He also is known as the inventor of the "Lambeau Leap.'' In a game in December 1993 against the Raiders, Butler forced a fumble that Reggie White recovered and lumbered with 10 yards before pitching it to Butler, who scored his first career touchdown and celebrated by jumping into the stands.'


DOUCHEBAG(S) OF THE DAY: The U.S. State Department, for this fairly shocking story-

'High-level State Department officials have circulated e-mails accusing Rep. Dan Burton and Bush administration officials of McCarthyism and neo-Nazism for criticizing the visa system's failure to keep the September 11 terrorists out of the country.'
Do these thick-browed imbeciles realize the State Department is supposed to be protecting the United States? So many jerkoffs, so little time to ridicule them... (Link via Little Green Footballs)


NONSENSE 'R US: John Hawkins wearily asks, "Whatever happened to personal responsibility?"

'Are you overweight? It's not your fault, it's the companies that actually made the food you ate who are responsible.

Did someone get shot? It's those gun manufacturers who are responsible, not the people who pulled the trigger.'
The people who endorse this kind of thinking are truly, completely, full of shit. People who constantly cry "victim" do not deserve respect or pity, they deserve our scorn.


THE BUSH BACKLASH: The Wall Street Journal is reconsidering the promise of the Department of Homeland Security (registration required).

In addition, Robert Levy of the Cato Institute is leery of the new Terrorism Information and Prevention System. Good points to be made all around.

It's strange to see a growing call by conservatives (both in government and in the media) for more and more government programs and oversight, ranging from anti-terror initiatives to legislation to protect children and investors...


IF BLOGGER SUCKED ANY MORE, THEY’D HAVE TO CALL IT VACUUM.COM: I haven't been able to post or anything this morning until now. I mean seriously, what the fuck are they doing over there? Are they trying to single-handedly build up and then destroy blogging all in the same calendar year? I don’t know if I can put up with much more of this.

Wait a second- maybe some old media company has secretly infiltrated Blogger.com and is trashing their servers and infrastructure to turn bloggers off. Well, it’s working…


THANK YOU, WILLIS HAVILAND CARRIER: He's the inventor of the air conditioner, my best friend during these humid summer days. Carrier's eureka moment?

'One of Buffalo Forge's clients, the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographic and Publishing Co. in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, had a problem: The paper it used in its printing jobs, including the popular humor magazine Judge, was expanding and contracting in the heat and humidity. The printers were finding it impossible to align the ink.

So Carrier came up with a simple solution. If the plant was heated by blowing air through coils pumped full of steam, why not cool it by blowing air through coils full of cold water? Water in the air would condense on the coils, the way it does on a glass of iced tea in August; as a result, the air in the plant would be both cooler and drier.'


THE CREAM RISES TO THE TOP: Emmy nominations were announced this morning-

'The HBO series "Six Feet Under" led all nominees with 23 nominations, including best drama series. "The West Wing," the winner the last two years for best drama series, picked up 21 nods, including one for best drama.'
And, Michael Chiklis was nominated for "Best Actor" for his work on "The Shield."

Take a look at all the nominees here. Unless I'm overlooking something, it looks like the "Buffy" musical episode got shafted...

July 17, 2002


COMING UP TOMORROW: The first (and quite possibly only) online photograph of Justin Sodano, your humble blogging host...


I DON'T HAVE THE WORDS TO EXPRESS MY HATRED FOR THIS MONGREL:

'The nude body of a little girl found in a California forest was identified Wednesday as that of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, and police warned that the man who kidnapped and murdered the little girl was likely to strike again.'
He should be executed on sight.


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: The latest article from Malcolm Gladwell, who asks: Are smart people overrated? He uses Enron and the consulting firm it worked with, McKinsey and Company, to illustrate.

'The broader failing of McKinsey and its acolytes at Enron is their assumption that an organization's intelligence is simply a function of the intelligence of its employees. They believe in stars, because they don't believe in systems. In a way, that's understandable, because our lives are so obviously enriched by individual brilliance. Groups don't write great novels, and a committee didn't come up with the theory of relativity. But companies work by different rules. They don't just create; they execute and compete and coördinate the efforts of many different people, and the organizations that are most successful at that task are the ones where the system is the star.'


MAYBE THIS IS WHY THE LEFT IS KEEPING MUM ON IRAQ: Because the level of discourse is as ignorant of recent history and public opinion as this Sacramento Bee editorial. Yes, many American soldiers will die if we go to war with Iraq. Yes, it could have been avoided if Bush senior had finished the job back in 1991. I’m not happy about that. And, it will most likely destabilize the region for a (finite) period of time. But Christ, what kind of evidence do you need to accept that Saddam Hussein is evil, and is a direct threat to the United States and its interests? How is it that 9/11 did not even slightly alter these editors’ perceptions about the Arab world and American vulnerability? 3,000 dead Americans don’t faze them. What will it take, 30,000 (or even 300,000) dead from the next attack? And then the left can blame Bush for not taking enough steps to prevent such a tragedy. This is high-minded, passive bullshit.

It’s almost as if the editors are speaking out against war with Iraq simply because the Bush administration is strongly supporting it. Most people who still possess common sense could say with confidence that Saddam Hussein will not hesitate to attack us with weapons of mass destruction when he acquires them. At what point can we defend ourselves?


DOUCHEBAG OF THE DAY:

'A man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly burning a kitten on a barbecue grill as several other people stood around and watched in amusement.'
Fuckhead.


THE WORD IS THE DERB: John Derbyshire makes some observations about working for the government, and he lays out some unpleasant truths about our corpulent, ever-expanding Congress. Hmm. Could we say then that Ted Kennedy is the walking embodiment of our nation's awful do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do leadership?

'While senators and congressmen hyperventilate over accounting scandals in a handful of big corporations, the U.S. government itself squanders, wastes, loses, and misappropriates hundreds of billions without a blush. Congressional accounting is a joke, auditing is an entire comedy routine, and all government "budget" and "expenditure" figures, including any I may have quoted in this article, are science fiction. Corporate bosses who swindle their way into private fortunes while their companies go under, end up disgraced and/or in jail. The congressional crooks and shysters who hose public money into sinkholes like Haiti, farm subsidies, home-district pork projects or the Department of Education, go on to ever greater political triumphs, and eventually to colossal pensions and lucrative speaking engagements or prestigious academic posts.'


HUMOR BREAK: The Onion is back! It even has a new format.

'Stoner Mike "Gonzo" Dornheim, 37, a freelance carpenter and part-time drummer, is the favorite uncle of his six nephews and nieces, family sources revealed Monday.'
Meanwhile, Mike Hendrix (you know him as Cold Fury) has compiled Al Bundy's greatest hits, such as
'The Ferguson is the Stradivarius of toilets. And my dad could play it like a violin.'
Don't miss it.


SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: Jonah Goldberg writes about the surprising lack of a national debate regarding war with Iraq, which he attributes to silence from the left-

'Conservatives and other hawks have been making the case for war for months, though some conservatives, most notably Robert Novak and Patrick Buchanan, disagree. What is shocking is the inability or refusal of the doves to argue back. If one boxer shows up for a fight and the other is a no-show, you can hardly blame the guy in the ring if the bout gets canceled.'
Meanwhile, Saddam is running his mouth off again...


THE EXCEPTION, NOT THE RULE: John Walker Lindh pleaded guilty because he's still a rational human being, says Dahlia Lithwick in Slate today. Most hardened terrorists won't play along with the U.S. justice system, which is still ill-equipped to prosecute terrorists. Interesting read.


NOT SURPRISING:

'Pentagon leaks of military secrets to news organizations are hurting the war on terrorism and endangering American lives, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told senior officials.'
I for one don't understand what these people are hoping to accomplish by leaking information to the press. What possible good can come of it?

July 16, 2002


"THE BETAMAX OF WORLD HISTORY": It's France, of course. Jonah Goldberg has written his annual French-bashing column, and like past entries, it's a good one.

'Why is French-hating so popular today? It's not like they've denied us fly-over rights recently. We haven't had to liberate Paris again (yet). French forces haven't fired on us like they did during Operation Torch in North Africa. They haven't stuck us with Vietnam, or propped up Carrot Top's career the way they kept Jerry Lewis going all those years.'
He does move beyond the ribbing to point out some unpleasant hypocrisies regarding French disdain for the United States-
'The assumption that France is more "progressive" than America is widespread among American liberal cosmopolitans, even though France in many ways represents everything American lefties are supposed to dislike about America. France was a colonial power, and still is far more of one than America. If you think dropping bombs in Puerto Rico was bad, consider that the French dropped a nuclear bomb in a minority neighborhood of the globe not too long ago. The French use nuclear power, torture animals to make their food tastier, laugh at sexual harassment, and have absolutely no racial affirmative-action programs whatsoever. French families are abandoning their older relatives at French hospitals so they can take extended vacations. French schools have been forced to issue "bully insurance" because playgrounds have become so dangerous. Over a hundred candidates in France's parliamentary elections were under criminal investigation.'


PIPING HOT: The latest column from Daniel Pipes considers the differences between the United States and Europe-

'The differences, in brief, are stark: Americans are from Mars; Europeans, from Venus. Europeans spend their money on social services, Americans continue to devote large sums to the military. Europeans draw lessons from their successful pacifying of post-1945 Germany; Americans draw lessons from their defeat of Nazi Germany and of the Soviet bloc.'


THE SUN IS A MASS OF INCANDESCENT GAS: A gigantic nuclear furnace. And Space.com has this great article, you can learn about the mysteries of the sun...


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: George Carlin has spent a lifetime compiled more dirty words than you can imagine. And he's gathered them all on one handy web site!

Take a look, it's The Weigh In's must-read of the day.


FROM THE TIME CAPSULE: Bill Simmons celebrated the 15th anniversary of the 1986 World Series by penning this outstanding column about the immortal finish to Game 6...

'Schiraldi gets two strikes on Ray Knight before Knight fists a little bloop single -- damn him -- that practically hits second base. Base hit. Carter scores, Mitchell to third, Mets trailing by one. I am frozen. I cannot move. I am frozen. I cannot move. I am frozen. I cannot move.'
Read the entire thing, you'll thank me later.


USE YOUR IMAGINATION INSTEAD, LOSER:

'A quadriplegic has sued a strip club, charging that it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because the lap dance room does not have wheelchair access.'


TIGER WOODS IS TOO GOOD: John Feinstein writes today that Woods is so dominant, and lacking a true rival, that golf could suffer as a result-

'It is never healthy, long term, for any one person to be bigger than his sport. The NBA is still dealing with the fallout from post-Jordan malaise because it became too dependent on Jordan's stardom to carry it in the 1990s.'


LEAVING IN DROVES: Bloggers are running for the Moveable Type hills in the wake of Blogger's inability to clean up its template and server problems. (NOTE: Blogger, you suck.)

While a move seems mighty appealing, I will unfortunately need to stick around, not having the financial resources to commit to another web hosting company at this time. And I'm not switching to Blogger Pro either, I'm not padding their increasingly unresponsive and ineffective pockets.

Several bloggers are changing domain names, which means that some of my permalinks (on the left hand side of this page) may be outdated. I assure you all that I will try to update them at some point later this month.


TO HELL WITH HIM: John Walker Lindh plea bargains his way to eventual freedom. Charles Johnson puts it best- "Just get him out of my sight."

And would someone please talk (or preferably kick) some sense into his deluded parents?


THE DOMESTIC INFORMANT PLAN: May or may not be a good idea, and it is an expansion of government power (which I'm inherently opposed to), but I do feel strongly that more everyday citizens should be given something to do to fight potential terrorist attacks. "Going shopping" or "investing in stocks" doesn't count. I would rather be scared and vigilant and "let the terrorists win" than to wait around for my bloated, inefficient government to protect me and my family. I respect that the current administration is at least trying something beyond the status quo to protect U.S. soil. If this program fails or is abused, I believe that the citizenry will raise the stink necessary to remove it.

Of course, I think that more rigorous enforcement of existing laws (especially regarding immigration and citizenship) should be undertaken before any new government powers are established.

UPDATE: Charles Murtaugh has a post on Operation TIPS (The Terrorism Information and Prevention System).


July 15, 2002


WHERE DO I SIGN UP?:

'The Bush Administration aims to recruit millions of United States citizens as domestic informants in a program likely to alarm civil liberties groups.'
If you are interested in learning more about this, visit the Volunteer for America web site.

If it can be handled and implemented responsibly and carefully, this kind of program could be an effective means of locating and fighting terrorist activity. A mighty big IF...


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: A voice from the intelligent left. This recent piece from The Stranger's Dan Savage points out the challenges that the common sense left must overcome in our post-September 11 America. A telling excerpt-

'This is what we're up against these days, and it depresses this Gore voter past the point of despair to write this... but... uh... the recently unveiled Bush Doctrine (rough translation: If we think you're coming after us next Tuesday, we'll be bombing your ass flat this Tuesday) is a necessary evil. Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: If it was within your power in August of last year to order a pre-emptive strike that would've prevented the attacks of September 11, would you have done it? Of course you would. That's the Bush Doctrine.'


RANDOM FUN: Here are some items of interest I've come across today...

Phil Rosenthal is desperate for new "The Sopranos" episodes-

'By the time Tony Soprano and the gang return to HBO this fall, "The Sopranos" will have been gone 483 days.

That's 69 weeks, nearly 16 months or, as the die-hards are all too keenly aware, 11,591 hours--a long time to go unseen and unheard in the prime time equivalent of witness protection.'
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Jim Lefsetz misses Eddie Van Halen dearly, much more so after seeing a performance of the awful Sammy Hagar-David Lee Roth tour...

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Do you know how computer viruses are named? You will after reading this...

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And lastly, my friend Patrick pointed me to this, a new way to kill time at football game tailgating parties...


POWER-MAD: Steven Den Beste writes that Yassir Arafat has gone the way of the classic power-mad tyrant (or CEO) who doesn't know when to let go. We are very fortunate that our system of government provides peaceful transfers of power. Much of the world is not like this-

'Executive power is intoxicating, and there is no drug as addictive. Many if not most executives understand that they have a job to do, and dedicate themselves to that job. But the experience of leading is heady. Being able to give orders and have them carried out, of being able to do large things which could not be done by normal people, of having subordinates kowtow and peers at other companies hobnob, these things become a part of someone's life.

They don't want to give it up. While doing their job, and advancing the cause of whatever organization they lead is definitely important, at a certain point maintenance of their own power also becomes an end in itself.'


GOOD NEWS:

'A court in Pakistan on Monday convicted four Islamic militants of the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl earlier this year, sentencing the British-born leader of the group to death by hanging.'
Let's see those Islamoidiots make a video of that...


"SURVIVOR GUILT": Andrew Sullivan has been fending off AIDS for several years, and he sometimes feels guilty about it, but he's still practical and realistic about how difficult it will be to stop the epidemics spreading throughout Africa. Awfully brave of him to write so openly about his trials...


DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?: The latest from John Leo-

'A Zogby International poll of college seniors came up with a fascinating finding. Almost all of the 401 randomly selected students around the country -- 97 percent -- said their college studies had prepared them to behave ethically in their future work lives. So far so good. But 73 percent of the students said that when their professors taught about ethical issues, the usual message was that uniform standards of right and wrong don't exist ("What is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity").'
I also found this somewhat disturbing (from Bill O'Reilly's own column on this topic)-
'A large majority of the 400 students polled also report that they've been taught that corporate policies furthering "progressive" social and political goals are more important than those ensuring that stockholders and creditors receive accurate accounts of a firm's finances.'
Leave it to elitist intellectuals to take perfectly reasonable ideas like postmodernism (not to mention "government", "education", and "free speech" as well) and run them into the ground...


FROM OVER THE WEEKEND: George Will celebrates the influence of Milton Friedman, as well as free market capitalism, in his latest column-

'Many intellectuals disdain the marketplace because markets function nicely without the supervision of intellectuals. Their disdain is ingratitude: The vulgar (as intellectuals see them) people who make markets productive make the intellectual class sustainable.'
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Jonah Goldberg writes that if we aren't going to blame Islam for the current war, we at least need to blame Wahhabism, the perverted radical sect of the religion.

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And, Mark Steyn criticizes European nations for their traction and inability to accept the new world order-
'But that's Europe's problem all over, isn't it? There's a terrible reluctance to change the script: The old jokes are the best, and so are the old policies.'

July 12, 2002


BLOGGER'S ACTING ALL SCREWY AGAIN, I'M CLOSING UP SHOP EARLY: I think the Professor may be on to something, what with all the Blogger problems lately. Blogger, why don't you get your shit together, before we all ditch your ass?



In any case, have a nice weekend...


HOW MUCH COVERAGE DO YOU THINK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA WILL GIVE THIS?:

'Turns out actress Candice Bergen really did agree with Dan Quayle.

Ten years ago, then-Vice President Quayle criticized Bergen's Murphy Brown TV character for "mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice."'

"I never have really said much about the whole episode, which was endless," Bergen said Tuesday. "But his speech was a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable and nobody agreed with that more than I did."'


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: Tony Pierce has a memorable photo essay on the MLB All-Star Game held this past Tuesday.

Note: Check out his solid recommendation for a new baseball commissioner (the guy's gotta end up somewhere, right?)...


AN ATHLETE WHO REALLY IS A ROLE MODEL: Peggy Noonan applauds Pat Tillman, the NFL player who is joining the U.S. Army-

'Pat Tillman joins a similar line, of stars who decided they had work to do, and must leave their careers to do it. They include, among others, the actors Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable and Tyrone Power in World War II; sports stars Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio in the same war; and quarterback Roger Staubach in Vietnam. It is good to see their style return, and be considered noble again.'


HOPE YOU READ THIS DAD: ClassicGaming.com looks back at the video game "Lady Bug"--

'Lady Bug finally got some recognition when Coleco bought the home rights and released it on the ColecoVision, Atari 2600 and the IntelliVision. (Coleco always had a good eye for small arcade licenses - other great but relatively unknown arcade games that would find popularity on the home console market were Mr. Do!, Ventura, and Cosmic Avenger, among others.)'
I lived in a Colecovision household growing up; Cosmic Avenger was one of the coolest games ever.


THE SECOND-BEST MOVIE ABOUT HUMANITY ENCOUNTERING ALIENS: James Berardinelli ranks "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" number 74 on his list of All-Time Top 100 films.

The best movie about humanity encountering aliens? For me, it's "Contact."


DOUCHEBAG OF THE DAY: Another no-brainer. Today it's deposed Tyco CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski, who spent the July 4 weekend partying in Nantucket and irritating his neighbors. I sincerely wish "Oz" was an actual place, where we could send Kozlowski and related pasty white criminals to experience some genuine suffering. I'm all for swashbuckling, win-at-all costs capitalism, but when someone breaks the law, how about actually being punished for it?


A WELL-MADE POINT: John Hawkins has a "random thoughts" column of his own, including the following bit of wisdom-

'If you believe that your skin color is the most important thing about a person, that people of your race deserve special privileges under the law, and that anyone of your race who disagrees with you is a "race traitor", then couldn't you just as easily be a member of the NAACP as the KKK?'


SAD NEWS:

'Dennis Miller's long-running rant on HBO is ending next month.

The acid-tongued, high-brow comedian is quietly calling it quits after nine years of Dennis Miller Live.'


ON APPRECIATING AMERICA: Victor Davis Hanson persuasively calls for a renewal of civic education in America, and a need for Americans to be proud of their country's history and accomplishments-

'Ask a high school student to define an “American”—you will be met either by silence or by cant: “diverse,” “multicultural,” “nonjudgmental,” allowing others “to do their own thing” or “just hang.” Or worse: “bully,” “exploiter,” “racist,” “imperialist.” Such confusion is more than mere intellectual incoherence. Youths who feel no national sense of who they are also lose a valuable spiritual element of social cohesion, which, along with familial and religious ties, encourages them to take emotional pride in their school, community, and country. More important still, they will enter college without either self- or national confidence—and thus ready to accept all the current untruths about the American experience so readily voiced by an often out-of-touch professorate.'

July 11, 2002


LEAKS LEAKS EVERYWHERE: Now we've uncovered some possible Iraqi plans in response to a U.S. attack. I don't like the looks of it. There's too much information being thrown around regarding this potential Iraq invasion. This is what talking and talking and talking about fighting, but not actually doing any fighting, gets you. (Link via Little Green Footballs)


WORTH A LOOK: Jonah Goldberg on the "tyranny of cliches" in our country-

'Because I'm skeptical about slippery-slope arguments, because I've argued that America is largely immune to becoming a totalitarian state, and because I don't particularly care if Jose Padilla, John Walker Lindh, or Richard Reid ever get a lawyer, a lot of people keep telling me that when one person loses his freedom we're all a little less free.

You wouldn't believe how many famous people have offered or repeated this observation. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Eli Wiesel, Captain Jean Luc Picard, as well as countless politicians have said something to the effect of "we are only as free as the least free among us." It sounds nice, of course. Unfortunately, it's also a crock, factually, logically, and morally.'


THIS IS FUNNY: Thanks to GeekPress for the link to this piece, titled "Then and Now: Wasting Time at Work." My favorite observation?

'THEN: Hid copies of magazine inside corporate document so boss thought you were a diligent worker.

NOW: Keep fingers on Alt-Tab to switch to that Excel spreadsheet so boss thinks you're a diligent worker.'


POSTING WILL BE... SPOTTY TODAY: I'm in meetings and a training for the past few and the next few hours.

But here's a thought I've been poring over recently- Why is it that perhaps the two most important fields or topics that adults must deal with, finances and parenting, are not taught at all in the American education system?

Can you imagine how much more productive, happier, and less prone to poor decisions we would all be if every student was introduced to money management and child-raising techniques in school, as opposed to the fly in the real world? Feel free to weigh in with comments...


THE "NO SPIN ZONE" DOESN'T EXIST: Cathy Young highlights her problems with Bill O'Reilly-

'At its worst, O’Reilly’s black-and-white approach to complex issues translates into a tendency to demonize the opposition. After his appearance on The Factor , Nadelmann received an obscenity-laden e-mail accusing him of promoting drug use and threatening to "break every bone in your worthless useless body." While O’Reilly is hardly responsible for the ravings of his less stable fans, Nadelmann believes that "he does play to such sentiments."'


GLENN REYNOLDS' LATEST FOXNEWS COLUMN IS UP: And it's excellent. He discusses the LAX July 4 shooting, and our government's refusal to categorize it as a terrorist act. Why not? Because then it can't be called an anti-terrorist failure. Thankfully, the Israelis are not hypocritical, supersensitive wusses like we are. They killed off that scumbag good and dead-

'The clearest lesson of the Los Angeles International shooting is that diffuse threats like terrorism are best answered with diffuse defenses: lots of people, preferably armed, who are ready to respond in a hurry. Despite being heavily armed, Hedayet managed to kill only two people. That's because armed El Al security guards — and one courageous bystander who happened to be standing in line next to Hadayet — immediately tackled him and killed him.'


JUST ASKING FOR A BEATING: Who else but Saudi Arabia. Andrew Sullivan asks, "We still have diplomatic relations with these nut-cases?"

And I found this related piece via Little Green Footballs.

For a refreshing, sobering look each day at "Our Friends the Saudis," go to James Taranto's Best of the Web. You won't be disappointed, though you may become quite angry...


D-BAG OF THE DAY: Another no-brainer. Today's douchebag is Michael Jackson, for his recent spewing to the press about what a victim he is... and for 10+ years of being a total classless act.

John Hawkins has a great takedown of this hapless, pathetic, synthetic creature over at Right Wing News.


WORDS OF WISDOM: Stephen Green lays into the WWF for its hysterical, unprincipled report-

'Don’t blame the West if you think there are too many humans. The population explosion is happening in the Third World, the Arab World, and the Totally Messed-Up World. You say you want to decrease global population? Don’t “decrease consumption” – that’s Environmental Wacko code for “make people poor.” Poor people breed like. . . well, they breed like poor people – not even unsupervised teenage rabbits with a hot tub, a plate of oysters, and a stack of Barry White records can outdo the happy humpers of Egypt, Nigeria, India, and Indonesia.'

July 10, 2002


AU REVOIR: Until I'm back tomorrow, check out this nice piece on a truly impressive individual, Lance Armstrong, who is gunning for his 4th straight Tour de France victory.


THE REAL AGENDA: Steven Den Beste opines on the WWF-International the-world-is-ending report just released-

'Certain activists think that the US is too successful, and want to force us to do less, use less, be less than we are. They tried to use Kyoto as a backdoor way of turning down the volume on the US economy by starving it of energy, and the US government refused to play.

So now, finally, they're saying what they really think: the people of the United States are too rich, and too successful.'


OPENING OF EYES: James Higgins writes that the real decade of greed was the 1990s. And check out the startlingly hypocritical Bill Clinton quote that opens the article (although, when it comes to Bill Clinton, being hypocritical is par for the course)...

I hope people are beginning to understand that the accounting and corporate scandals currently in the news all developed and grew into their current form during the Clinton Administration. They've only come to light during Bush's presidency. Can we really trust the media to convey that?


WHAT'S THE GREATEST MOMENT IN BASEBALL HISTORY?: Major League Baseball has started a poll of the game's most memorable moments, with the Top 10 Moments to be announced prior to Game 4 of the 2002 World Series (if there is one... sigh).

Take a look at the nominees here. Their list is somewhat odd... some strange candidates. Ichiro's rookie season? An all-time baseball moment?!? Speaking of which, there aren't many true "moments" - several of the nominees are season-long accomplishments! Look, I know that minutes seem to pass as hours when one is watching a baseball game, but does anyone over at MLB remember the concept of time?

I don't have a greatest baseball moment, too many to choose from, and also I'm biased towards recent history, having only watched baseball games from the early 1980s on...


HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU'VE HIT A NERVE: Debbie Schlussel, guest writing at NRO today, asks-

'"Why are Muslim and Arab "civil rights" groups the only ones protesting new FBI rules to fight terrorism?

Why aren't mainstream Christian and Jewish groups protesting the new guidelines handed down by Attorney General John Ashcroft and his Justice Department? Or Hispanic groups?'
It seems the new guidelines are working...


MUST-READ OF THIS SHORTENED DAY: I'll be leaving for a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so the posts will come fast and furious until then. Today's must-read is from Mark Steyn, commenting on the U.S. government's refusal to classify the July 4 LAX shooting as an act of terrorism-

'I quote from The New York Times headline: "Officials Puzzled About Motive Of Airport Gunman."

Hmm. Egyptian Muslim kills Jews on American national holiday. Best not to jump to conclusions. Denial really is a river in Egypt. "It appears he went there with the intention of killing people," said Richard Garcia, the Bureau's agent in charge. "Why he did that we are still trying to determine."'


WE HAVE A WINNER: City Journal has deemed Noam Chomsky "America's Dumbest Intellectual." Read it for yourself.


DOUCHEBAG OF THE DAY: I'm considering adding a quasi-regular feature to this blog, called "Douchebag of the Day." I believe the intent behind this feature is apparent, as there are just so many foolish, ignorant and dangerous people populating our planet nowadays, all angling for our attention. Please let me know what you think about this idea, and I strongly encourage submissions for candidates to be posted about.

Today's douchebag? Ignorant old white man Hootie Johnson, Augusta National golf club chairman, who lashed out at a national women's group Tuesday for urging the club to have female members before next year's Masters. Read his statement here. Nice guy. It's good to know that some stereotypes still exist, so that I can continue to ridicule them. Golf is sure to prosper in his sexist, racist, capable hands...


JESUS H.: The MLB All-Star Game ended in a TIE?!?! How pathetic. Jim Caple says baseball fans should get used to feeling cheated, especially with another strike looming. John Donovan says the game got on just fine, despite the finish.

King Kaufman has some thoughts on the tacky pregame show...


INTERESTING: I came across this article in the American Prowler, regarding what "the big disconnect in America" is-

'It's this: Some people are obsessively driven to do the same thing again and again, and other people -- most people -- just couldn't care less.

The obsessives include the media, the entertainment industry, the leaders of business and finance, politicians, and all their assorted flacks and hangers-on. The rest include everybody else.'

July 09, 2002


ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS: In the tradition of Thomas Sowell's excellent series of "Random Thoughts" columns, ESPN.com's Bill Simmons tries his hand at some random musings... my favorites?

'Why didn't Fox's "Beyond the Glory" special on Hakeem Olajuwon mention his four-year stint as Adebici on "Oz"?'

'When boxing broadcaster Barry Tompkins dies, what gets mentioned first in his obituary -- the Hagler-Hearns fight or the Drago-Balboa fight?'


FROM THE NATIONAL REVIEW: John O'Sullivan wonders why the U.S. government won't come out and state that Hesham Mohamed Hadayat was a terrorist. (Daniel Pipes rightly asks the same question.)

Elsewhere, Jonah Goldberg criticizes Stanley Fish for alternately defending and shunning his intellectual baby, postmodernism.


TAKING ON THE BIG BOYS: The Economist has an article on the blogging phenomenon and wonders how old media will respond to it-

'Blogging, the publication of running commentary on personal online weblogs, has in the past couple of years exploded from a cultish techie activity into a cottage industry churning out increasingly compelling content. In 1998, there were about 30,000 weblogs; today, there are some 500,000, according to Cameron Marlow, who runs blogdex, which tracks them.'


WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE...: Victor Davis Hanson has written a thorough essay on why the United States needs to reconsider its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Here's a link to the piece, definitely worth your time. If only we had less reliance on their oil reserves, we could treat them as the hostile adversary that they wish to be...


MAYBE I SPOKE TOO SOON YESTERDAY: When I said that there are no current-day athletes who would make the sacrifice to defend their country...


MUST-READ OF THE DAY: It's The Truth Laid Bear. First, check out his updated Blogosphere Ecosystem, where The Weigh In is moving on up, now ranked as a Slithering Reptile!

And then check out his outstanding post "The War of the Memes," where he explains how the United States is in reality at war with an idea-

'Now take a step back, and think about the current war facing the United States. It’s commonly called the War on Terrorism. And if you look closely, you’ll realize that for perhaps the first time ever, a nation-state has declared war on: a meme.

This is new. Traditionally, you declare war on another specific group of people; whether its an opposing tribe, a neighboring city-state, or another nation. Historically, wars are generally declared and prosecuted against a static enemy: you declare war on Germany, and when you’ve defeated or obtained surrender from all the German people, well, then, you’re done. Our current war, however, is against “terrorism”, which certainly isn’t a nation, and doesn’t inherently define any static group of people to point at as the enemy. It simply identifies that we are fighting a meme; and therefore, we will fight any individual people who happen to be running that meme. This is a confusing concept to many folks; nobody’s used to declaring war on memes; a situation not helped by the rather poor job our leadership has done of explaining it to people.'

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