Thursday, September 29, 2005

Small victory lap

New York Gov. George Pataki informed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation that the International Freedom Center museum that had planned to be located at the site of the former World Trade Center could not be placed there. The IFC is a brainchild of the Left and its principal contributors included such far-left heavyweights as Eric Foner, George Soros and Michael Posner.

Debra Burlingame, sister of pilot Charles "Chic" Burlingame who flew the plane that the terrorists hijacked and flew into the Pentagon, is a member of the WTC Memorial Foundation and spoke out against the Left-wing attempts to proselytize on the WTC site through a public-funded project.

Proving that its only purpose was morally equivalent indoctrination, the IFC refused the Governor's offer of relocating and completely shut down 42 minutes after his announcement to the LMDC.

The Burlingame op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that first shone a light on the IFC's machinations and intentions is linked above.

Easy call

Kausfiles' Mickey Kaus lines up the bios of Harriet Miers and Michael McConnell and essentially asks if the blurbs were written on blank paper without further discussion, who would be more qualified to be the next Supreme Court justice?

The answer is self-evident.

He also approvingly links a discussion between Alan Brinkley and McConnell on the Bush v. Gore decision from 2000. Kaus may like that McConnell trashed the decision, but McConnell's preferred solution would have been even more pro-Bush.

Lastly, I think all this Harriet Miers speculation is pure rubbish -- she has no more chance of being nominated than ultra-leftwinger Shira Scheindlin. Why? One, Miers is 60 (Owen is 50, Jones is 56, Chief Justice Roberts is 50); two, she is taintable with charges of cronyism no matter how good a justice she could be; three, she has no identifiable track record on key issues for conservatives and the base is getting restless thanks to all the pork-barreling the Republican Congress has done; four, she's not a surprise anymore and the Pres. likes to surprise his foes -- Roberts was a surprise pick even when the announcement came down.

Our condolences

. . . to ageless beauty and superstar musical actress Bernadette Peters, whom The Monk had a crush on for AGES. Her husband died in a helicopter crash while on business in Montenegro.

My new favorite Senator

. . . is John Ensign, Republican from Nevada. Why? Robert Novak explains how the Senate tried to raid the Treasury through a procedural trick and handshake deal for yet another $9 billion in "relief" money:

The Senate was up to its old tricks Monday evening. It prepared to pass, without debate and under a procedure requiring unanimous consent, a federal infusion of $9 billion into state Medicaid programs under the pretext of Katrina relief. The bill, drafted in secret under bipartisan auspices, was stopped cold when Republican Sen. John Ensign voiced his objection.

The bill's Democratic sponsors railed in outrage against Ensign, a 47-year-old first-termer from Las Vegas, Nev., who usually keeps a low profile. But he was not acting alone. Ensign belongs to, and, indeed, originated, a small group of Republicans who intend to stand guard on the Senate floor against such raids on the Treasury as Monday night's failure. The group includes Sen. John McCain, who long has tried to wean Republicans from ever greater federal spending but attracted little support from GOP colleagues until recently.

HT: Red State.

Confirmed: Chief Justice John Roberts

The United States' 17th Chief Justice is John Glover Roberts, Jr. By a 78-22 vote, the Senate confirmed the President's nomination. All 55 Republicans and 23/45 Democrats noted in favor of the Roberts appointment.

The "nay" votes came from the following (full state contingent or Senator name if the contingent split its votes): Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois and California, plus Debbie Stabenow (MI), Mark Dayton (MN), Evan Bayh (IN), Maria Cantwell (WA), Jack Reed (RI), Tom Harkin (IA), Harry Reid (NV) and Joe Biden (DE).

Notable liberals who voted for Roberts: Carl Levin (MI), Patty Murray (WA), Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd (WV), Max Baucus (MT), Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Pat Leahy (VT) and Chris Dodd (CT).

The support by the 10 very liberal Dems named above who voted FOR Roberts demonstrates that the opposition to Roberts is purely political and has nothing to do with his qualifications or track record. It also shows that liberal senators who come from conservative states (Baucus, Dorgan/Conrad, Johnson) know that their constituents don't want political point-scoring on nominations and will get in line with the most qualified lawyer to be appointed to the Supreme Court (albeit with a short stint on the DC Court of Appeals) since Thurgood Marshall.

And to salt over the wounds of the Left, Ed Whelan offers this riddle:

Q. Two months ago what would Senate Democrats have called a Supreme Court candidate who had argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and who had close personal ties to a pro-life activist, who favored school prayer, who strongly opposed racial and gender preferences, who criticized “fundamental rights” and “suspect class” analyses as engines of judicial activism, and who described judicial activism as the greatest threat to judicial independence?

A. “Extremist and unconfirmable.”

Q. From now on what will Senate Democrats call such a candidate?

A. “Chief Justice Roberts.”


Food and Cancer

A long article from the NYTimes the other day that calls into question some of today's conventional wisdom about links between cancer and diet -- basically recent studies are finding that the link may be very tenuous.

Dr. Barnett Kramer, deputy director in the office of disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health, said: "Over time, the messages on diet and cancer have been ratcheted up until they are almost co-equal with the smoking messages. I think a lot of the public is completely unaware that the strength of the message is not matched by the strength of the evidence."
Fat in the diet, the studies found, made no difference for breast cancer. "For fat and breast cancer, almost all of the prospective studies were null," Dr. Schatzkin said.

Fiber, in the form of fruits and vegetables, seemed to have a weak effect or no effect on colon cancer.

The more definitive randomized controlled trials were disappointing, too, with one exception. A study reported in May found that women with early stage breast cancer who followed a low-fat diet had a 20 percent lower risk of recurrence.

Even so, the effects were just marginally statistically significant. The study's principal investigator, Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of the Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center, said it needed to be repeated before scientists would be convinced.
[A] four-year study that asked whether beta carotene, with or without vitamins C and E, could protect against colon polyps, from which most colon cancers start, found no effect. People who took either beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E or all three had virtually identical rates of new polyps compared to participants taking dummy pills.

Another study, of 22,000 doctors randomly assigned to take beta carotene or a placebo, looked for an effect on any and all cancers. It found nothing. Two more, involving current and former smokers, found that those taking beta carotene actually had slightly higher lung cancer rates than those taking placebos.

This said having more fish, fruits and vegetables probably doesn't hurt and hypotheses are moving towards volume or type of food.

Specific food can affect general health, he added, but as for a major role in cancer, he doubts it. He now believes that it is the amount of food people eat, not specific foods or types of foods, that may make a difference. "I think the truth may be that particular food choices are not as important as I thought they were," Dr. Byers said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"Do as I say" alert

Here's hoping the President doesn't fall for the sucker play that the Senate's Democrats and even some squishy Repubs are setting up: the notion that only a "moderate" could replace Justice O'Connor. This is a crock, as former Pres. Clinton well knows. Why? He replaced Justice Byron White, who was one of two dissenters in Roe v. Wade (Rehnquist was the other), with ultra-liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Manuel Miranda sums it up:

The call for balance is vapid given that a president is elected with the understanding that he will nominate someone to the Supreme Court in keeping with his judicial philosophy. George W. Bush made this a cornerstone of his campaigns. If a national election is not sufficient to gauge public opinion, a Gallup poll in July found that 70% of Americans want the high court either to be more conservative or to stay as conservative as they perceive it now to be. An Opinion Dynamics poll one week later asked this question: "When a Supreme Court justice retires, do you think the president has an obligation to replace the retiring justice with another justice with similar legal and political views?" An overwhelming 67% said no. The president is on sound footing if he leans to the right.

Not surprisingly, there is also a double standard. In 1993, when President Clinton needed to replace the retiring associate justice Byron White, a John Kennedy appointee who had been one of two dissenters in 1973 (together with Justice Rehnquist) on Roe v. Wade, no one called on him to maintain the "balance" of the court. He nominated the most pro-abortion feminist activist he could find. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was then confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 96-3.

But the left is so reliant on its balance argument that when Republican senators, and this writer, pointed out that Justice Ginsburg had posited that prostitution was constitutionally protected and that the age of consent should be lowered to 12, the same people who have distorted the records of Bush judicial nominees echoed in outrage and obfuscation. The problem is that it's true.

In papers Ms. Ginsburg wrote while she worked for the ACLU, she argued against criminalized prostitution and said that it was "arguably within the zone of privacy protected by recent constitutional decisions." In lawyer-speak that means that she, at least, tended to think prostitution fell under the constitutional right to privacy. She did not say "some would argue" or that it was "arguably not within the zone of privacy." And if arguably Mrs. Ginsburg did not aim, as her defenders say, to lower the age of consent, she was guilty of sloppy lawyering when she recommended that a statutory-rape law that had the consent age at 16 be replaced by a proposal that had it at 12.

But that is not all. The woman nominated to replace Roe's leading dissenter, Byron White, was not only pro-abortion, she wrote that the federal government should be constitutionally required to subsidize elective abortions. She urged coed prisons; criticized the Boy and Girl Scouts for perpetuating "gender" stereotypes; and suggested that "Parents Day" might replace Mother's and Father's day. Ms. Ginsburg had also opined that a law restricting the rights of bigamists "is of questionable constitutionality since it appears to encroach impermissibly upon private relationships."

Of course, when they confirmed Justice Ginsburg, liberals did not worry about balance. Actually, if not for their double standard, one might think that they had no standards at all.

My new favorite Congressman

. . . is Arizona's Jeff Flake. Here are a couple of key 'grafs from his op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (not available w/o subscription yet, check Opinion Journal over the weekend when the WSJ releases some notable op-eds from the previous week):

Traipsing down a flower-strewn path unpricked by the thorns of reason. Perhaps no adage more accurately describes Congress right now. In the midst of a national debate on how to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild hurricane ravaged communities, it has blithely authorized $2 billion for H.R. 250, "A bill to establish an interagency committee to coordinate federal manufacturing research."

There is virtue in getting back to "business as usual" after a tragedy -- if it is a business you ought to be in. But lavish spending on questionable programs should have been out of step with Republican principles before these two hurricanes struck. From any vantage point outside the Washington Beltway, it now looks even more out of place.

How did we get here? Is this the same party that just 10 years ago insisted on dollar-for-dollar spending offsets for its $15 billion response to the Northridge, Calif., earthquake -- with the California Republican delegation leading the charge? Where did we go wrong? And how do we convince the voters in the midterm elections that two more years of Republican control will produce anything more than bigger government and growing deficits?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Leonardo", not "da Vinci"

From a fine Nordlinger Impromptus today:

The mistake of referring to Leonardo as "da Vinci" is so entrenched, I'm afraid it's uncorrectable. I have had to fight with editors about this: You say "Leonardo," and they want to say "da Vinci," thinking it's his last name — thinking it's the same as saying "Reynolds." They think that, when you say "Leonardo," you're saying the equivalent of "Joshua." Actually, to say "da Vinci" is to say "of Orange," instead of "William."
Look, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. You have to learn at some point. I remember when I learned — when I was a college student in Italy. An art-history teacher asked whether I was interested in a particular artist, and I answered, "da Vinci." He looked puzzled for a moment. Then recognition crossed his face, and he said, "Ah! Leonardo."

Uphill climb

Tim Wakefield and Boston have just taken the first game of a doubleheader against Toronto 3-1 putting them again in a dead heat with the Yankees. A bit worried about the boys. Putting the wild-card aside for the moment I think the Yanks need to be a game up going to Boston as asking them to take 2 of 3 in Beantown might be too high a hurdle. Up one game they would need only one win in the series to force a one game playoff at the Stadium on Monday.

Meantime though I'd much prefer to see the Tribe in the playoffs than the Bosox I'll have to be rooting for Tampa for insurance's sake. Best shot will probably be tonight when Scott Kazmir goes for the Rays.

And, surprise, surprise - Vinny's back!

Hollywood hogwash

New York Times movie reviewer A.O. Scott tries to argue that:

"Just Like Heaven," which opened last weekend to a solid $16.5 million box-office take is, in more than one sense, a movie very much in its right mind. ...The film itself provides the latest evidence that the myth of a monolithically liberal Hollywood is dead."


Scott continues:

Let's skip, for the moment, yet another argument about whether it was ever really alive. The notion that the American film industry is a hotbed of left-wing propaganda is a venerable one, and some determined demagogues will cling to it no matter what the studios do.


Scott goes on to cite the success of Mel Gibson's Passion and the popularity of Christian vocalists as evidence of a trend that Hollywood was moving to the right. Additional 'evidence' is provided by the suburban Parrs represented in the Incredibles as well as the satire Team America.

Is Scott being willfully stupid? Did he or she (no idea and not relevant) see Kingdom of Heaven? Remember the savaging of Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears so that Muslims wouldn't be 'stigmatized'? See the Hollywood stars lined up for Kerry and note that you can count Bush supporters on the fingers of one hand?

To see where Scott is coming from it's instructive to examine Scott's review of The Motorcycle Diaries, - a romanticized hagiography of Castro's butcher. In "On the Road with a Young Che":

Walter Salles's stirring and warm-hearted reconstruction of that long-ago voyage. Granado's companion was a 23-year-old medical student named Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, whose subsequent career as a political idol, revolutionary martyr and T-shirt icon — Che! — reflects a charismatic, mysterious glow onto his early life.
What "The Motorcycle Diaries" captures, with startling clarity and delicacy, is the quickening of Ernesto's youthful idealism, and the gradual turning of his passionate, literary nature toward an as yet unspecified form of radical commitment.
At the end of the film, after his sojourn at the leper colony has confirmed his nascent egalitarian, anti-authority impulses, Ernesto makes a birthday toast, which is also his first political speech. In it he evokes a pan-Latin American identity that transcends the arbitrary boundaries of nation and race.

Che couldn't have hired a better ghost writer.

Here's a reminder of the truth about Che Guevara. An excerpt:

He was an Argentinian revolutionary who served as Castro's primary thug. He was especially infamous for presiding over summary executions at La Cabana, the fortress that was his abattoir. He liked to administer the coup de grace, the bullet to the back of the neck. And he loved to parade people past El Paredon, the reddened wall against which so many innocents were killed. Furthermore, he established the labor-camp system in which countless citizens — dissidents, democrats, artists, homosexuals — would suffer and die. This is the Cuban gulag.

Senator Lootsalot

Following up on my post yesterday, check out the Washington Post lead editorial linked in the title that BLASTS Sens. Vitter and Landrieu for their Katrina-derived extortion. First, reaction to the demand itself from the Post:

The nation is at war. It is mired in debt. It has been hit by floods and hurricanes. In the face of this adversity, congressional leaders have rightly dropped proposals for yet more tax cuts, and some have suggested removing the pork from the recently passed transportation bill. But this spirit of forbearance has not touched the Louisiana congressional delegation. The state's representatives have come up with a request for $250 billion in federal reconstruction funds for Louisiana alone -- more than $50,000 per person in the state. This money would come on top of payouts from businesses, national charities and insurers. And it would come on top of the $62.3 billion that Congress has already appropriated for emergency relief.

Like looters who seize six televisions when their homes have room for only two, the Louisiana legislators are out to grab more federal cash than they could possibly spend usefully. For example, their bill demands $7 billion for rebuilding evacuation and energy supply routes, but it also demands a separate $5 billion for road building and makes no mention of the $3.1 billion already awarded to the state in the recent transportation legislation. The bill demands $50 billion in community development block grants, partly to get small businesses going, but it also demands $150 million for a small-business loan fund plus generous business tax breaks. The bill even asks for $35 million for seafood marketing and $25 million for a sugar-cane research laboratory. This is the equivalent of New York responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center by insisting upon a federally financed stadium in Brooklyn.

In its conclusion, the Post notes the fiscal dangers I griped about in my post too:

The Louisiana bill is so preposterous that its authors can't possibly expect it to pass; it's just the first round in a process of negotiation. But the risk is that the administration and congressional leaders will accept the $250 billion as a starting point, then declare a victory for fiscal sanity when they bring the number down to, say, $150 billion.

Sounds 'bout right.

No place for God at Dartmouth

not the Christian God anyway. (Click title for National Review article)

Darmouth student body President Noah Riner '06 gave what I think was a decent speech to entering freshman last week. It was a bit unusual - he mentions some notorious, murdering Darmouth alumni to open - but otherwise emphasized the importance of character citing Martin Luther King Jr., Shakespeare, Bono and Jesus.

The mention of Jesus! in a speech to impressionable!! young freshmen!!! evoked paroxysms of outrage. For instance,

The Student Assembly's vice president for student life...Kaelin Goulet '07, resigned immediately. "I consider his choice of topic for the Convocation speech reprehensible and an abuse of power," she said. Addressing Riner directly, she wrote: "Your first opportunity to represent Student Assembly to the incoming freshmen was appalling. You embarrass the organization; you embarrass yourself. . . . I pity the freshmen in Leede Arena yesterday."


...Paul Heintz '06, whose crudely hieroglyphic "Guy & Fellow" comic strip "parodied" Riner's speech. In the strip, a stick figure with Riner's head says, "Jesus, together you and I shall rule the world and vanquish all those infidels and looters and rioters." Pot-smoking Jesus replies, "Yo, chill out, dawg. Take a hit of this sh** and chill the f***out."

So what did Riner say?

Character has a lot to do with sacrifice, laying our personal interests down for something bigger. The best example of this is Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” He knew the right thing to do. He knew the cost would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway. That’s character.

Jesus is a good example of character, but He’s also much more than that. He is the solution to flawed people like corrupt Dartmouth alums, looters, and me.
Jesus’ message of redemption is simple. People are imperfect, and there are consequences for our actions. He gave His life for our sin so that we wouldn’t have to bear the penalty of the law; so we could see love. The problem is me; the solution is God’s love: Jesus on the cross, for us.

A bit preachy? Perhaps.

Pitiful as according to Goulet? Hardly.

A good lesson? Doing the right thing...people are imperfect...there are consequences to actions? You bet.

By the way I wonder if he would have evoked the same rage from these folks if he had invoked Mohammed.


Bill Buckley weighs in here. The best point in Buckley's piece though is Riner's own observation over the atmosphere at Dartmouth: [emphasis mine]

Riner himself gave a shrewd appraisal of the nature of the taboo. “The problem is not that Dartmouth has a formalized speech code. That would be easy to deal with, and easy for students to break. The problem is that Dartmouth has a speech culture, where some topics are off limits and some perspectives shouldn’t be uttered. [Such] speech restriction is much more difficult to break — as I have recently discovered.”

Ivory Cower

is the title of a good piece by Victor Davis Hanson in OpinionJournal today. He laments the 'intellectual cowardice' of academia today typified by a generation of university presidents who are concerned with everything BUT real learning and the search for knowledge. Compared with giants like Wilson of Princeton and Conant of Harvard,

Hypocrisy, faddishness, arrogance and intellectual cowardice are among the ailments of the American university today, and it is hard to say whether even a great president could save higher education from its now institutionalized vices. Amid the variety of scandals afflicting the campuses, the one constant is how the rhetoric of "diversity" trumps almost all other considerations--and how race and gender can be manipulated by either the college president or the faculty in ways that have nothing to do with educating America's youth, but everything to do with personal aggrandizement in an increasingly archaic and unexamined enclave.

Hanson singles out Larry Summers at Harvard, Dernice Denton at UC Santa Cruz, Elizabeth Hoffman at the University of Colorado and Robert Birgenau at UC Berkeley. Our readers should recognize these names but Hanson's article reminds us of the cowardice of Summers, the hypocrisy of Denton who installed her partner in a $200,000 sinecure and Hoffman who hired and promoted Ward Churchill. Robert Birgenau is the Canadian import who wants to overturn the wishes of the people of California and made race a criteria in hiring once again.

Why is this important?

In the end, why should we care about a few high-flying administrators who feel that diversity is the engine that runs the university? Because the U.S. is struggling in an increasingly competitive world in which Europe, China, Japan and India vie for global talent and national advantage through merit-based higher education. They don't care about the racial make-up of the teams that create breakthrough gene therapies or software programs, but only whether such innovations are valuable and superior to the competition.

As our own industrial, agricultural and manufacturing sectors decline, and as we suffer from increasing national debt, trade deficits, energy dilemmas and weak currency, Americans have maintained relative parity largely through information-based technology and superior research--all predicated on a superb system of higher education.
More importantly, we have lost sight of what university presidents are supposed to be. Their first allegiance ought to be to honesty and truth, not campus orthodoxy masquerading as intellectual bravery amid a supposedly reactionary society. In a world of intellectual integrity, Robert Birgeneau would ask, "Why are Asians excelling, and what can Berkeley do to encourage emulation of their success by other ethnic groups?" Denice Denton might wonder whether open hiring, monitored by affirmative action officers, applies to university staff or only those who are not associates of the president. President Hoffman would decry Ward Churchill's crass behavior and order a complete review of affirmative action and the politicized nature of hiring, retention, and tenure practices at Colorado. And Larry Summers? In the old world of the campus, he would defend free inquiry and expression, and remind faculty that all questions are up for discussion at Harvard. And if self-appointed censors wished to fire him for that, then he would dare them to go ahead and try.

The signs of erosion on our campuses are undeniable, whether we examine declining test scores, spiraling costs, or college graduates' ignorance of basic facts and ideas. In response, our academic leadership is not talking about a more competitive curriculum, higher standards of academic accomplishment, or the critical need freely to debate important issues. Instead, it remains obsessed with a racial, ideological, and sexual spoils system called "diversity."

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lawsuits have consequences

New York Law School Professor David Schoenbrod makes a compelling argument in today's Wall Street Journal that New Orleans would have had effective floodgates against Katrina had it not been for a frivolous lawsuit over 'environmental consequences'. The tree-huggers, predictably, are reacting in rage.

After Hurricane Betsy swamped New Orleans in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stroked its citizens ("this nation grieves for its neighbors") and pledged federal protection. The Army Corps of Engineers designed a Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Barrier to shield the city with flood gates like those that protect the Netherlands from the North Sea. Congress provided funding and construction began. But work stopped in 1977 when a federal judge ruled, in a suit brought by Save Our Wetlands, that the Corps' environmental impact statement was deficient. Joannes Westerink, a professor of civil engineering at Notre Dame, believes the barrier would have been an "effective barrier" against Katrina's fury.

All this was reported in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 9. The reactions of environmental advocates and federal agencies show why we would be a lot safer if the federal government did a lot less.

Speaking for environmentalists, the Center for Progressive Reform called the charges in the Los Angeles Times "pure fiction" because the judge stopped construction only until the Corps prepared a satisfactory environmental analysis. The Corps instead dropped the barrier in favor of levees that were less controversial, but which failed. So, the Center argues, fault lies with the Corps' bumbling rather than with the environmentalist lawsuit.

That's not fair. The Corps cannot stop a project, conduct a lengthy study, go back to court, and then be sure it can pick up where it left off. Large federal projects ordinarily cannot proceed unless executives and legislatures at several levels of government agree on the same course of action at the same time. That's why litigation delay can kill necessary projects. However responsibility is apportioned, but for the lawsuit, New Orleans would have had the hurricane barrier.

This lawsuit killed a barrier that would have saved a thousand lives. The Vioxx lawsuit and those like it, as the Monk mentioned, could do even greater damage if it prevents Big Pharma from aggressively researching new medicines and bringing them to market. A case in point are vaccines where the slender profit margins could easily be erased by a silly lawsuit so there aren't enough manufacturers.

Your Hawkeye Tax Dollars at Work

I'm sure that Iowans are pleased that they are paying the salary of Prof. Erin Buzuvis -- check this out:

Erin Buzuvis moved to Iowa from Boston in the fall and discovered the visiting team's locker room at Kinnick Stadium was pink -- something she said promotes sexism and homophobia.

But officials with the school's sports department said they won't change the pink walls, which is a long-time facet in Kinnick Stadium.

The color was introduced decades ago by former Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry to soften opponents. But recent stadium renovations added more pink items to the locker room, including lockers, sinks and urinals.

I always thought Fry's infamous locker room painnt job was hilarious, and just the type of gamesmanship that makes the competition more interesting. Some people are just too serious about meaningless rubbish. The Monk wonders whether Prof. Buzuvis can keep pets or plants because she seems to suck the life out of whatever is around her.

Allende murdered by ... the Cubans?

A Brazilian blogger, Luis Afonso Assumpcao, makes note of the fact that:

A new book, about to be published in France "Cuba Nostra - Les Secrets D'Etat de Fidel Castro" by Alain Ammar has destroyed a very-well constructed myth by the left: The assassination of Salvador Allende in Chile while he was being toppled by Augusto Pinochet. This article by Eduardo Mackenzie has a brief on the book.
"The fact is that Allende was not a suicide, he was not killed by the military that took the power in september, 1973. During their assault against La Moneda palace, Chilean president was cowardly murdered by one of the Cuban agents that were in charge of his protection" says Eduardo.

Allende was frightened by the military and wanted to surrender. Before he could do this, he was killed.

Afonso notes this doesn't do much for the popular legend of Allende which alleges that he was murdered by the U.S. supported thug Pinochet. Moreover, Allende was in the Soviet Union's pocket according to KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin:

The KGB documents record actual and proposed payments to Chile's Salvador Allende totaling $420,000 both before and after his election as president in 1970.

HT: The Corner

Political joke of the day

Louisiana wants $40 billion in Army Corps of Engineer projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The ACoE annual budget is around $4 billion.

The ACoE estimates that it needs about $2.5 billion to do the work necessary to protect New Orleans from another Cat-5 hurricane. So what about the other $37.5 billion that Louisiana's senators (one of whom is a REPUBLICAN)?

They propose creating a "Pelican Commission" controlled by Louisiana residents! The most corrupt state in the nation would control $40 billion of your tax dollars, of which $37.5 billion is simply like giving ice cream to a kid who bonked his head -- a soothing item to offset injury.

But this gets worse:
[The Pelican Commission] would decide which Corps projects to fund, and [the proposed bill] ordered the commission to consider several controversial navigation projects that have nothing to do with flood protection. The Corps section of the Louisiana bill, which was supported by the entire state delegation, was based on recommendations from a "working group" dominated by lobbyists for ports, shipping firms, energy companies and other corporate interests.

The bill would exempt any Corps projects approved by the commission from provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. It would also waive the usual Corps cost-sharing requirements, ensuring that federal taxpayers would pay every dime.

Worst of all, the Republican "controlled" Congress is so spineless that it will likely give most of the money sought and the President, who lost his veto stamp upon entering office, will sign the bill.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Enlightened European Alert

I liked Prague a lot when I visited there in 2003, and considering that it is easily the most international city in Central or Eastern Europe, you'd expect better than the "racist 'monkey' chants" that arose in the Sparta (Prague) Champions League football (read: soccer) match against Amsterdam's Ajax on "three occasions when Ajax forward Ryan Babel was in possession of the ball."

UEFA is trying to police this idiocy -- it has forced Sparta to shut about 50 rows of seats in the two sections where the chants came from for its next Champions League home match.

Similar nastiness occurred in Bulgaria when defending champ Liverpool played CSKA Sofia and at Bucharest when Romanian champion Steaua played Ireland's Shelbourne FC. UEFA is investigating the former, and has forced Steaua to play 250 miles from Bucharest in response to the latter incident.

And this racist behavior isn't confined to Eastern European fans, as we noted last year.

Raffy's comeuppance

Although his lawyers deny it, reports from an insider at the Rafael Palmeiro suspension appeal arbitration said that Raffy claimed to have received a vitamin shot from Miguel Tejada and blamed that for his positive steroid test. Essentially, Raffy threw Miggy under the bus.

Major League Baseball tested Tejada's stash = all vitamin B-12 -- a temporary and completely legal energy booster. Tejada was initially more shocked than peeved (tho' The Monk would be the latter). But the fallout was immediate: Raffy has been essentially fired by the Orioles:

"He won't be dressing for the rest of the year," Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie said. "We felt it wouldn't be appropriate for the organization."

The abrupt end to Palmeiro's season came one day after it was learned that he cited a vitamin he received from teammate Miguel Tejada as possibly causing the positive steroid test. The Orioles said Major League Baseball absolved Tejada of any wrongdoing.

Beattie said the decision was made during a meeting he attended with owner Peter Angelos, vice president Mike Flanagan and manager Sam Perlozzo. Beattie said Palmeiro was disappointed to learn he would not be welcomed back.

"I would say he wasn't totally in agreement," Beattie said. "He had his sights on finishing out the season."

Beattie said Palmeiro would probably clean out his locker this weekend.

I trusted Raffy as did thousands of baseball (not necessarily even Orioles') fans, he lied, he tried to roll over on Miggy even though Tejada's clean, and his team fired him. Seems like just desserts.

The Left and SCOTUS - It's not really about gender

The fact that the Left's opposition of qualified judicial nominees is actually not based on gender OR race should come as no surprise to many of our readers. OpinionJournal though has this from Justice Ginsburg which clearly indicates that it is IDEOLOGY:

There is another goal: to ensure that, if the president nominates a woman, she is their kind of woman. Remarkably, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did some politicking on this point earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Justice Ginsburg told an audience that she doesn't like the idea of being the only female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, but that in replacing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "any woman will not do." There are "some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women's rights."

When she was counsel for the ACLU, Justice Ginsburg advocated that there was a constitutional right to prostitution and that the age of consent should be lowered to 12. With a "human rights" standard as high as that, Mr. Bush's job just got a whole lot tougher.

So what really she wants is a WOMAN WHO AGREES WITH ME.

Ahnuld on Parental Consent

Ahnuld made very clear where he stands on parental notification for minors getting an abortion:

"I have a daughter," Schwarzenegger said in an interview with The Bee. "I wouldn't want to have someone take my daughter to a hospital for an abortion or something and not tell me. I would kill him if they do that."
"They call me when my daughter falls off the jungle gym in the school and they say, 'What do you want us to use? Can we put a Band-Aid on it? Do you want to come in? She's crying a little bit.'

"They call us about everything. I don't want them in that particular incident not to call us."

If one of his daughters sought an abortion on her own, he said, "then I would deal with that also."
The measure would allow a pregnant girl to petition a juvenile court judge to waive the notification requirement.

[from an article in the Sacramento Bee which requires free registration.]

Governor Schwarzenegger, who is pro-choice, was discussing Proposition 73 up for consideration this fall in California which would would prohibit abortions for minors until 48 hours after a physician notifies a parent or legal guardian.

Schwarzenegger did backtrack in a follow-up that he didn't literally mean 'kill' the person but I think we know where he stands. Second best line of the week I think after General Russell Honore's "Don't get stuck on stupid."

600 is a tragedy, 10,000 is a statistic?

It's easy to discern from this blog that we're both sick and tired of hearing the Left use Hurricane Katrina as a political talking point. As we've shown, first response responsibility for disasters goes to the states and localities, and the reactions by Louisiana's political leaders were completely ineffective -- especially in comparison to the work in Mississippi and prior disaster management in Florida. Now Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is getting high marks for his management of the Hurricane Rita situation, as is Houston's Democrat mayor.

Ray Nagin is Louisiana's crazy uncle, political id, and exhibit 1 in any trial of the inefffectiveness of Louisiana's corrupt politicians. His estimate of 10,000 deaths from the Hurricane is likely to be 93-94% off, thankfully. And yet the Federal government is still being pilloried for being incompetent (which we noted has been debunked), and uncaring.

Somehow the liberals take delight in the fact that the Europeans were laughing at the US. That's stupid on two counts: the liberals' and the Euros'. Why? Four words: France, Summer of 2003. Mark Steyn explained this on August 23, 2003:

Jacques Chirac, en vacances just up the road from me in North Hatley, Quebec, took time out of his three-week holiday to issue a statement on events in Baghdad, where 20 people died on Tuesday. But he didn't bother to interrupt his vacation to issue a statement on events in France, where so many people have died, the funeral homes are standing room only and they're having to store bodies in the freezers at the fruit-and-veg markets. Now that his old pal and nuclear client has been removed from power, M Chirac is utterly irrelevant to the future of Iraq. But surely France still falls within his jurisdiction, doesn't it?

And where are the Red Cross and Oxfam and Human Rights Watch and all the other noisy humanitarians? If 10,000 Iraqis had died of dysentery on George W Bush's watch, you'd never hear the end of it. A few weeks back, with three fatal cases of cholera, the Humanitarian Lobby was already shrieking that we stood on the edge of a humanitarian catastrophe. France isn't on the edge, it's in the abyss. When I motored round Iraq a couple of months ago, the hospital wards were well below capacity. Yet in France the entire health system – or that percentage of it not spending August at the beach – is stretched beyond its limits (35 hours a week, 44 weeks a year). Why aren't Médecins Sans Frontières demanding to be allowed in to take over?

There's an old, cynical formula for the weight accorded different disasters on American TV news. It runs something like: one dead American = 10 dead Israelis = 100 dead Russians = 1,000 dead Bangladeshis. But 10,000 French can die, and even the French don't seem to care – or not too much, and not with any great urgency.

* * *
In Paris this spring, a government official explained to me how Europeans had created a more civilised society than America - socialised healthcare, shorter work weeks, more holidays. We've just seen where that leads: gran'ma turned away from the hospital to die in an airless apartment because junior's sur la plage. M Chirac's somewhat tetchy suggestion that his people should rethink their attitude to the elderly was well taken. But Big Government inevitably diminishes its citizens' capacity to take responsibility, to the point where even your dead mum is just one more inconvenience the state should do something about.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Libertarian Bull in the Socialist China Shop

No major newspaper touts big government in the US nearly as much as the NY Times (the Minneapolis Strib doesn't rank). So an avowed libertarian like John Tierney, not just a conservative with libertarian tendencies (Safire), can cause a stir on the editorial pages. Julian Sanchez of libertarianism's New Republic/Weekly Standard equivalent, Reason Magazine, has an interview with Tierney (click title link). Unfortunately, all the NYT pieces linked in the interview are by purchase or paid subscription only.

A minuet with the devil

The US still allows the EU to take the lead in dealing with Iran's nuclear program, and Iran still plays the Euros like a violin.

For all that we blame Clinton for the holiday from history in the '90s, Bush is falling asleep at the wheel on this issue.

This Cox and Forkum 'toon says it all:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Heroes and goats: NOPD version

Jack Dunphy, a pseudonymic contributor to National Review Online who is a member of the Los Angeles PD, rips a Lieutenant who failed to man his post when the levees broke, and contrasts him with an officer who would not have been out of place with the NYPD first responders on 9-11-01:

The topic under discussion [on the Laura Ingraham show he listened to] was a segment from the previous evening’s edition of CNN’s Newsnight, in which a lieutenant from the New Orleans Police Department explained his decision to stay home with his wife rather than report for duty as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the city.

“I left [my fellow officers] in a bad situation,” Lieutenant Henry Waller told Anderson Cooper, “but I would have been leaving my wife in a worse situation.”

It’s galling enough that this man dishonored himself and his badge by shirking his duty, but it’s almost beyond belief that he would try to justify his decision on national television. “We listened to the radio,” Waller said, “we’re hearing the things, the water’s still rising, the water’s still rising, the water’s still rising. The looting is this, the looting is that. I started thinking, I said, well, you know, we’ve been hearing this story about the levees breaching all day. What if they’re right and I get stuck in this car? I’m no good dead.”

Well, maybe not. But as far as his fellow officers and the citizens of New Orleans were concerned, he was no good alive, either. So said one of Waller’s colleagues who made the opposite choice. “Everybody had a wife,” said Lieutenant Troy Savage, “everybody’s got families, everybody needed to see them. But we didn’t. We didn’t all flee. We all didn’t run in a time of crisis. And, you know, [Waller] did that.”

Have pride in your blue, NY.

Doubtful on Wikipedia

The idea of an online encyclopedia that could be edited by anyone always seemed like a bad idea to me.

This morning the Wikipedia entry on Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter who passed away yesterday included the following:

In the 1970’s he [Wiesenthal] became involved in gay life when he began spending his free time giving oral sex to older black men,”

and went on in lurid detail for several more paragraphs.




Just read it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The power of a symbol: Simon Wiesenthal, RIP

Simon Wiesenthal, Holocaust survivor turned Nazi hunter, died earlier today. An AP obit is here.

Wiesenthal is known for telling Israel (he claimed) in the early 1950s that Adolf Eichmann, the head of the Gestapo's Jewish Department who implemented the "Final Solution", was alive and well in Argentina. Ultimately, the Mossad obtained hard information on Eichmann's whereabouts and captured him in Buenos Aires, just outside his house on Garibaldi Street (see Isser Harel's memoir of Operation Eichmann, The House on Garibaldi Street). Wiesenthal's claim is highly disputed (and questionable). But Wiesenthal's importance has nothing to do with his at-best incidental role in nabbing Eichmann.

Instead, Wiesenthal was a symbol: a survivor of the worst that man can do to man who would seek justice against evil. After helping Allied forces work up evidence dossiers on Nazi war criminals immediately after WWII, he became a tireless pursuer of Nazi criminals hiding throughout the world. He helped bring to justice the Gestapo policeman who captured Anne Frank, nine of the 16 SS officers who were tried in 1966 for participating in extermination of Jews in Lvov, and the commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor death camps. He put together the pieces of the puzzles: tracing hints and spare bits of information from an informant network that would make most spymasters proud to discern the path that Nazis had taken to escape from the Allies after WWII. He had a flair for the dramatic too: he announced that he had tracked down Hermine Braunsteiner, the Nazi "house mother" who helped execute hundreds of Jewish children at Majdanek when he was on tour in the US for his first memoir, The Murderers Among Us. His name, even more than Beate Klarsfeld, became a shibboleth for the fear that Nazis had of being caught and brought to justice after WWII.

He lived modestly in Vienna, frequently villified, a lightning rod on Jewish affairs. But Wiesenthal earned his reputation because he abandoned a potentially lucrative lifestyle as an architect (he received a degree in architecture from the Technical University of Prague in 1932) to become a Nazi hunter for a simple reason:

He was often asked why he had become a searcher of Nazi criminals instead of resuming a profitable career in architecture. He gave one questioner this response: "You're a religious man. You believe in God and life after death. I also believe. When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, 'What have you done?' there will be many answers. You will say, 'I became a jeweler.' Another will say, 'I smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.' Still another will say, 'I built houses,' but I will say, 'I didn't forget you.' "


French history lessons

may be poorer than we feared. According to Haaretz,

The French satirical magazine Le Canard Enchaine reported in its September 14th issue that during the visit of French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy to the new Holocaust museum in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem on September 8, he asked - while perusing maps of European sites where Jewish communities had been destroyed - whether British Jews were not also murdered. Needless to say, Douste-Blazy's question was met by his hosts with amazement. "But Monsieur le minister," Le Canard quoted the ensuing conversation, "England was never conquered by the Nazis during World War II." [emphasis added.]

The minister apparently was not content with this answer, which, according to the magazine, was given by the museum curator, and persisted, asking: "Yes, but were there no Jews who were deported from England?" [emphasis added.]
Douste-Blazy arrived in Israel earlier this month for a first visit, as the guest of his Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

According to an investigation by Haaretz on Sunday, the event actually occurred as described, although no official source was willing to confirm it.
One of the escorts confirmed on Sunday, on condition of anonymity, that the quotes in Le Canard were accurate, and that they caused great embarrassment. "It's a bit difficult to understand," the source said, "how an educated French person, who was serving in the French government during the huge celebrations of the Normandy landings, does not remember basic facts about the history of World War II, and especially Britain's role, especially in light of the fact, that France's great leader, General de Gaulle, led the operations of the Resistance from exile in London."

Guess its a surprise to the French that not everyone tried to deport the Jews.

Church of England is Useless

Here's one very good reason why Church of England attendance has plummetted. A working group of bishops in the Church of England unveiled a report yesterday - "Countering Terrorism: Power, Violence and Democracy Post 9/11."

A coterie of bishops conclude that since the government of the United Kingdom is not likely to do so that the Church should apologize to Islam for the war in Iraq.

from page 29 of the 101 page report:

"Governments are not likely publicly to acknowledge such factors, let along express remorse for is possible for institutions to take responsibility for their corporate action in the past, not in order to make individual Christians today feel guilty, but as a mature, public act of institutional repentance."

It is really unnecessary to read the report in its entirety when the COE helpfully provides a summation which includes lovely tidbits like these:

The report calls for a strengthening of the United Nations as “the legitimate authority for military intervention” and opposes democracy being “imposed on any other country by force,” saying it must be adopted by a nation “in culturally appropriate ways.”

In a case study, annexed to the report, the authors examine the current controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. While recognising the West’s legitimate security concerns the report suggests: “Tehran might forgo a nuclear weapons capability, if the EU-3 delivered a suitably attractive incentive package.” The report thought it “disappointing” that “the EU-3 did not use the Framework Agreement to offer more security assurances.”

The authors also say that the arguments against nuclear proliferation need to be made more compelling. “If certain countries retain their nuclear weapons on the basis of the uncertainty and potentially violent volatility of international relations, on what basis are the same weapons denied to other states?”

"Strengthening the United Nations?" "Culturally appropriate ways?"!?!? "A suitably attractive incentive package"??

The COE has reached the pinnacle of political correctness and the nadir, I think, of its moral authority. We may yet live to see the day that the faithful face Mecca at St. Pauls.


Stepping up and choking?

The Yanks lost Sunday's game at Toronto because Torre AGAIN went by the book: playing switch hitting sometime outfielder Ruben Sierra over lefty Bubba Crosby or lefty Matt Lawton against lefty Ted Lilly (against whom lefties hit better than righties). Sierra cost the Yanks 3-4 runs in the first two innings with bad defense and hasn't hit a lick since coming off the DL; Bubba has been decent and can play the field. Considering how little the Yanks can afford to give up extra outs, they need to play some defenders and rely on Jeter, Arod, Sheff, Cano, Gawzilla, Giambi, et al. to do what they're paid to do.

But big kudos to Chien-Ming Wang for 8 IP, 7 H (all singles), 2 ER and nine assists, mostly on easy bouncers to the box in the midst of a pennant race in a foreign land as a rookie. Wang yesterday started only his third game since returning from the DL and was extremely good. He's tossing up 95 mph sinkers! That's some serious stuff. If he can stay healthy, and get serious rest for his arm in the offseason, hopefully he'll be a contributor for quite a while (as long as the morons in Tampa don't trade him).

In other areas: the NL race is so dull by contrast to the AL. Each team is decidedly mediocre, none can sustain a run, and none is particularly interesting: the Astros are dull outside of Clemens' greatness; the Phils are an AL team with a pitcher batting 9th; the Marlins are young and semi-fun but bipolar. And as bad as these teams are, they're all 3-5 games better than the horrid NL West champs to be!

I'm hoping the Whitesax honk. First, I cannot stand paper tigers (although I do sympathize often with underdogs). I dunno why that is, but it has been the case ever since I heard all the chatter about Temple hoops in 1988 -- a team that simply stank except for Mark Macon. I've said since they're early start that the White Sax are paper tigers: no hitting, ok defense, no bullpen, overachieving pitching (other than Buerhle and Garcia). They were the 2001 Mariners of this year -- and the M's crashed and burned in the 2001 playoffs.

Second, I cannot stand Reinsdorf because I still blame his recalcitrance for the '94 strike (then he signed Albert Belle for a ridiculous amount of money after griping about payrolls).

Third, I think Ozzie Guillen's shtick is obnoxious. He's just a step shy of Larry Bowa on the nut-o-meter. The players will backlash against this in a year or two.

Fourth, I prefer the Indians to the White Sax just because I like how they've played, rebuilt, traded, and operated. My buddy Luskerdu would be out of his head with glee if the Indians made the postseason. Indians' fans are the third-longest suffering fans in baseball after Cubs and WhiteSax fans, and their ownership has actually tried to win (or built toward it) for more than a decade and a half -- something the Cubs and Whitesax have not.

So I'll root for the Indians as long as the Yanks make the postseason. But if push comes to shove, my pinstripes always show.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Germans Disappoint

I was hoping to entitle this post "Gerhard, don't let the door hit you in the Arsch on your way out" but it appears the German electorate has failed to give either coalition enough votes for an outright majority in the Bundestag. Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU party got about a percent more than Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD). Neither natural partners CDU/FDP or SPD/Greens have the 300 votes for a majority.

Generally the outcome I think favors Schroeder because the New Left Party (PDS) made of ex-communists and SPD defectors can give the SPD/Greens a majority. Both Schroeder and Merkel have said outright that they would not discuss a partnership with PDS but I'll bet that Schroeder will go back on his word and come to an arrangement with the PDS. A broad coalition of CDU/SPD seems unlikely as Schroeder has stated that he would have to be chancellor in such an arrangement.

While it appears that Merkel did not run a good campaign while the veteran Schroeder effectively reprised his populist demagoguery - this time it was 'taking the military option off the table in Iran' instead of fighting the US tooth and nail in Iraq the German electorate has shown that it is addicted to the German welfare state - 11.0+ unemployment and stagnant growth fails to dislodge the governing party. It also shows that the anti-American mood still prevails.

This result is bad for Germany and bad for Europe. The euro is off half a percent from Friday's close and short-term gains will be tough given German electoral uncertainty over the next month.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Reuters Cheap Shot

It can be reasonably argued that whatever the President of the United States does is fair game. However, Reuters publishing President Bush's bathroom note though smacks of a deliberate effort to ridicule, demean and belittle the President.

"I think I need to take a bathroom break. Is this possible?" was the message that the President apparently wrote to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice during a session of the UN General Assembly. Not really anything newsworthy aside from the fact that even POTUS needs to go to the bathroom.

Reuters specifically enhanced the handwriting part of the photo for publication but failed to make that clear. A photograph expert analyzes the photo here.

Reuters explains away the note thus:

Wilking [the photographer] shot about 200 images and sent two memory cards to the press room at the U.N., where Hershorn [Reuters Picture Editor] was working. Hershorn looked at the images on a computer and initially decided not to send any of them.

But a few hours later, he started to wonder about a note that Bush was seen writing in three of the pictures. Out of curiosity, he zoomed in to see if he could read it.

Once he saw what it said, Hershorn decided the note was interesting and worth publishing. The white parts of the picture were overexposed, so a Reuters processor used Photoshop to burn down the note. This is a standard practice for news photos, Hershorn says, and the picture was not manipulated in any other way.

Really though, I think for the MSM, if you can embarrass George Bush, there are no rules.


Rampant bias at the NYTimes

Yes, that's a bit redundant. But Richard Stevenson's article on President Bush's New Orleans speech was so egregious in its partiality - remember this is a "news" piece - as to surprise even long-time critics of the Grey Lady.

The title of the piece gives you a clue: "Amid the Ruins, a President Tries to Reconstruct His Image, Too." Actually I thought the speech was about a huge project to rebuild New Orleans but let's get to meatier stuff.

The violence of Hurricane Katrina and his faltering response to it have left to Mr. Bush the task not just of physically rebuilding a swath of the United States, but also of addressing issues like poverty and racial inequality that were exposed in such raw form by the storm.

The challenge would be immense for any president, but is especially so for Mr. Bush. He is scrambling to assure a shaken, angry nation not only that is he up to the task but also that he understands how much it disturbed Americans to see their fellow citizens suffering and their government responding so ineffectually. [emphasis added]

I don't think I've seen a clearer case of overt editorializing. Which is fine for the Op-Ed section. Not the news. Stevenson then closes with:

...But it is not yet clear that his performance will stanch the political wounds he has suffered or ensure that he can avoid being hobbled through his second term, not just by what he lost in the faltering response to Hurricane Katrina but by the rising death toll in Iraq, sky-high energy prices and worrisome deficits.

Sounds a bit like a Angry Left wishlist.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Screaming Harpies

Kate O'Beirne at NRO provides a brief example of how feminist leaders reacted to the nominations of John Paul Stevens, David Souter and John Roberts:

1975: According to Nan Aron, then the president of the Women's Legal Defense Fund, John Paul Stevens should be opposed because had shown "blatant insensitivity to discrimination against women."

1990: With the nomination of David Souter, Molly Yard, then the president of NOW, declared that confirming Souter would mean "ending freedom for women in this country." NOW howled that his confirmation meant "Women will die."

2005: From NOW following the Roberts nomination: "Women's Lives on the Line."

Feminists' credibility should be on the line. Too bad most female reporters agree with them and men dread tangling with them.

Incestuous Bedfellows

Blogger Mark Tapscott inveighs against a little known practice where the New York Times and the Washington Post trade front pages the night before:

NEW YORK When The New York Times on July 16 broke the story of a 2003 State Department memo that had become a key element in the Valerie Plame leak investigation, the paper scored a major exclusive. But when The Washington Post hit newsstands that very same Saturday, it had its own version of the same story. It even credited the Times for the same-day scoop.

Welcome to life under the Washington Post-New York Times swap. As part of a secret arrangement formed more than 10 years ago, the Post and Times send each other copies of their next day's front pages every night. The formal sharing began as a courtesy between Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. and former Times Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld in the early 1990s and has continued ever since.

Tapscott doesn't like the arrangement and for very good reason:

Can you imagine what the outrage would be if it were Microsoft and Apple exchanging their product plans every day? Or GM and Ford? Hertz and Avis?
So the public should know if these two media giants have secretly divided up national advertising accounts? Agreed on who would cover which government agencies most aggressively? Coordinated recruiting operations? Exchanged lists of favored politicos and of those targeted for tough treatment?

After all, what's the difference between a "gentleman's agreement" to fix gasoline prices and two gentlemen in the media agreeing to tell each other their biggest trade secret, every day?

It doesn't pass the sniff test for the two dominant newspapers in the country to share this type of information. It skews media coverage of big events in a signficant way by giving the impression that certain news is, well, bigger than it really is. When you consider that both papers have a significant leftward tilt (in reporting and editorial) it magnifies the effect.

Living in the Northeast I can testify that many folks, especially retirees, read these papers from cover to cover daily and consider it truly the Bible. [I recall a particularly enlightening conversation with a family friend where upon my suggestion that she diversify her sources of news, she replied that well she watched the BBC and listened to NPR!]

HT: Instapundit


A big hat-tip to Roger Clemens who gave up one run in six and one-third innings hours after his mother passed away from emphysema. The Rocket's devotion to his mother was legendary.

Clemens performance helped keep the Astros near the top in the tight NL wild-card race.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Oklahoma humor?

A bit of humor via Jonah at NRO. Monk should love this. You can substitute your most hated team for "Nebraska":

Nebraska Cornhusker Quiz

What's the difference between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Taliban?
The Taliban has a running game.

What do the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Billy Graham have in common?
They both can make 70,000 people stand up and yell "Jesus Christ."

How do you keep a Nebraska Cornhusker player out of your yard?
Put up goal posts.

Where do you go in Lincoln in case of a tornado?
Memorial Stadium - they never get a touchdown there.

Why doesn't Omaha have a Div 1A football team?
Because then Lincoln would want one.

Why was Frank Solich upset when the Cornhusker playbook was stolen?
Because he hadn't finished coloring it.

What's the difference between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and a dollar bill?
You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

What do you call 47 people sitting around a TV watching the College Championship?
The Nebraska Cornhuskers.

What do the Nebraska Cornhuskers and possums have in common?
Both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

How can you tell when the Nebraska Cornhuskers are going to run the football?
Diedrich leaves the huddle with tears in his eyes.

Surrender is an option

Dr. Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, associate director for Harvard's Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Resolution (HPCR), wrote in an op-ed in the Boston Globe today:

How can the war be brought to an end? Neither side can defeat the other. The United States will not be able to overpower a diffuse, ever-mutating, organized international militancy movement, whose struggle enjoys the rear-guard sympathy of large numbers of Muslims. Likewise, Al Qaeda can score tactical victories on the United States and its allies, but it cannot rout the world's sole superpower.

Though dismissed widely, the best strategy for the United States may well be to acknowledge and address the collective reasons in which Al Qaeda anchors its acts of force. Al Qaeda has been true to its word in announcing and implementing its strategy for over a decade. It is likely to be true to its word in the future and cease hostilities against the United States, and indeed bring an end to the war it declared in 1996 and in 1998, in return for some degree of satisfaction regarding its grievances. In 2002, bin Laden declared: ''Whether America escalates or deescalates this conflict, we will reply in kind." [emphasis added.]

Because al-Qaeda has been true to its word in mass murder, we should expect them to be negotiate in good faith? I am a bit surprised he doesn't suggest we open negotiations with an act of goodwill towards AQ - like driving the Israelis into the sea? Mohamedou is either a galactically stupid simpleton or a not-too-bright fifth columnist - in neither case does he belong at Harvard.

Here is perhaps the best response to this nonsense - from commenter Crimso at the ever-vigilant LGF:

We'll never wipe out mosquitoes. They'll never wipe out us. All they ask is that we give them a little of our blood (which, surely, we can spare). Time to start talking about giving the mosquitoes what they want.

Sound idiotic? That's because it is.

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste

OpinionJournal has a superior piece today by former GE CEO Jack Welch on how the reactions to Hurricane Katrina is literally a case study on how people react to severe crises. Welch, also known as 'Neutron Jack', was CEO of GE for 20+ years during which GE returned tremendous earnings year after year and is considered the guru of corporate management and has known his share of crises.

He organizes the reaction of various parties to Katrina comparing it to corporate crises he's seen in the past. According to Welch there are five stages to every crisis:

1. Denial
...No one operated out of malice--that can be said for certain. But the facts reveal the kind of paralysis so often brought on by panic and its ironically common side-effect, inertia. The federal government received hourly updates on the storm, but the head of FEMA, the ill-fated Michael Brown, waited 24 hours, by the most generous estimations, before ordering personnel into the area. The state's governor, in her early communications with the president, mainly asked for financial aid for the city's clean-up efforts. On the local level, the mayor let a critical 12 hours elapse before ordering an evacuation of the city...

2. Containment
...In companies, containment usually plays out with leaders trying to keep the "matter" quiet--a total waste of energy, as all problems, and especially messy ones, eventually get out and explode. In Katrina's case, containment came in a related form, buck-passing--pushing responsibility for the disaster from one part of government to another in hopes of making it go away. The city and state screamed for federal help, the feds said they couldn't send in the troops (literally) until the state asked for them, the state said it wouldn't approve the federal relief plan, and round and round went the baton.

No layer is a good layer. Bureaucracy, with its pettiness and formalities, slows action and initiative in any situation, business or otherwise. In a crisis like Katrina, it can be deadly. The terrible part is that Katrina might have avoided some of its bureaucratic bumbling if FEMA had not been buried in the Department of Homeland Security. As an independent entity for decades prior, FEMA fared better...

3. Shame-mongering
...I would wager that never before has a storm become so politicized...The Democrats used the event to define George Bush for their own purposes; the Republicans--after a delay and with markedly less gusto--used it to define them back. The key word here is delay. Because in any crisis, effective leaders get their message out strongly, clearly--and early. George Bush and his team in Washington didn't do that, and they are paying for it.

4. Blood on the floor
That's what usually happens in the fourth stage of crises. People need to feel that someone has paid, and paid dearly, for what went wrong. Michael Brown was the obvious choice--a guy who had few hard credentials in his bag of defenses.

5. Solutions
Hurricane Katrina has the potential to do that in New Orleans--to compel leaders in government and business to find ways to break the city's cycle of poverty and corruption. The opportunities are huge because the losses were...Crises like Katrina have a way of galvanizing people toward a better future. That's the fifth and final part of the pattern--the best part.

According to Welch we are not quite stage four which sets the stage for stage five which is when the city gets rebuilt, likely better and stronger than ever. Essentially, thanks to Katrina New Orleans gets a chance to start with a clean slate and a tremendous amount of funding which it never otherwise would have gotten.

And as noted by a writer to the Corner yesterday the right rebuilding czar for New Orleans isn't Rudy Giuliani or Colin Powell but Bob Livingston, the popular former Congressman from Louisiana who, under fire for marital infidelity, resigned from the Congress in 1999. He had been elected to succeed Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, a role that eventually went to Dennis Hastert.

Lefty idiocy of the day: the CRESCENT of Embrace

Mark Steyn comments on the Flight 93 memorial approved for a field somewhere in Pennsylvania, where on 9-11-01 Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham and co. forced down the airliner that was targeted for either Congress or the White House. This column appeared in the Irish Times on Monday and is available at Steyn's site, which has no archive. Therefore, extensive excerpts follow:

UPI’s Jim Bennett wrote, “The Era of Osama lasted about an hour and a half or so, from the time the first plane hit the tower to the moment the General Militia of Flight 93 reported for duty.”

Exactly right. Six decades earlier, the American people had to wait four months between Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid. But September 11th was Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid wrapped up in 90 minutes. Flight 93 was supposed to be the fourth of Osama’s flying bombs, its destination either the White House or the Capitol. Had it reached its target, the following morning’s headlines would have included “The Vice-President is still among the missing, presumed dead”. Had Flight 93 sheared the top off the White House, that would have been the day’s “money shot”, as it was in the alien-invasion flick Independence Day - the shattered façade, smoke billowing, the seat of American power reduced to rubble.

But the dopey hijackers assigned to Flight 93 were halfway across the continent before they made their move and started meandering back east. And, by the time the passengers began calling home on their cellphones, their families knew what had happened in New York. Todd Beamer couldn’t get through to his wife, so the last conversation of his life was with the GTE telephone operator, who stayed on the line with him and overheard his final words: “Are you ready, guys? Let’s roll!” And then a brave group of passengers jumped their hijackers and, at the cost of their own lives, prevented that day’s grim toll rising even higher. At a terrible moment for America, their heroism was the only victory of the day.

Four years on, plans for the Flight 93 National Memorial have now been revealed. The winning design, chosen from 1,011 entries, will be built in that pasture in Pennsylvania where those heroes died. The memorial is called “The Crescent of Embrace”.

That sounds like a fabulous winning entry - in a competition to create a note-perfect parody of effete multicultural responses to terrorism. Indeed, if anything, it’s too perfect a parody: the “embrace” is just the usual huggy-weepy reconciliatory boilerplate, but the “crescent” transforms its generic cultural abasement into something truly spectacular. In the design plans, “The Crescent of Embrace” looks more like the embrace of the Crescent – ie, Islam. After all, what better way to demonstrate your willingness to “embrace” your enemies than by erecting a giant Islamic crescent at the site of the day’s most unambiguous episode of American heroism?

. . . One would be unlikely even today to come across an Allied D-Day memorial so misconceived in its spirit of reconciliation as to be called the Swastika of Embrace. Yet Paul Murdoch, the architect, has somehow managed to produce a design whose two most obvious interpretations are a) a big nothing or b) a splendid memorial to the hijackers rather than their victims.

* * *
. . . If Mr Murdoch sincerely believes in a “crescent of embrace”, let him build one – at the headquarters of a “moderate” Islamic lobby group, or in the parking lot of your wackier colleges. To impose it on Flight 93 – to, in effect, hijack those passengers a second time – is an abomination. Flight 93 is about what happens when you understand that some things can’t be embraced. Perhaps Mr Beamer and his comrades did indeed “look them in the eye” and saw there was nothing to negotiate, nothing to “embrace”. So they acted – and, faced with a novel and unprecedented form of terror, they stopped it cold in little more than an hour. Todd Beamer asked that telephone operator to join him in reciting the 23rd Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” He knew there would be no happy ending that day, but in their resourcefulness and sacrifice he and his fellow passengers gave their country the next best thing: a hopeful ending. That’s what the Flight 93 Memorial should be honouring.

Instead, in its feeble cultural cringe, the Crescent of Embrace hands the terrorists of Flight 93 the victory they were denied on September 11th. And it profoundly dishonours Todd Beamer, Thomas Burnett, Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham and other forgotten heroes of that flight.

* * *
Four years ago, Todd Beamer’s rallying cry was quoted by Presidents and rock stars alike. That’s all that’s needed in that field: the kind of simple dignified memorial you see on small-town commons saluting Civil war veterans, a granite block with the names of the passengers and the words “LET’S ROLL.” The “crescent of embrace”, in its desperation to see no enemies and stand for nothing, represents the precise opposite of Beamer, Glick, Burnett and co: Are you ready, guys? Let’s roll over.


Say What?

The Monk is a conservative and nominally a Republican but some things that the GOP does and says are just stupid. For instance, a report in today's Washington Times makes the inference that Tom DeLay is on crack seem quite reasonable:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rick Short Update

hopefully its not an epilogue.

Unfortunately Hurricane Katrina cut short the season for the New Orleans Zephyrs - their site still isn't up - and Rick Short finished batting .383

He was called up by the Nationals on September 3rd and so far is 3 for 9 overall with two dingers - including one off Braves ace John Smoltz.

Chrenkoff signs off

Arthur Chrenkoff, the indefatigable Australian blogger who compiled the biweekly "Good News from Iraq" for the past eighteen months, has 'retired'. More accurately, he has taken a job where he won't be allowed to blog. Chrenkoff's work was by far the most comprehensive collection of the successful efforts - some small, some great - in rebuilding Iraq that would never have seen the light of day.

A number of folks have banded together to continue Chrenkoff's efforts here.

Good Luck and Good Hunting.

Keep the Race Pimps out

Deroy Murdock at NRO is furious at the Angry Left for using Katrina to poison race relations. It's a strong, balanced piece and worth reading in its entirety. For instance:

"We were ready from literally the time the storm blew threw," American Red Cross president Marty Evans told Fox News Channel's Major Garrett last Thursday. "We were ready to go. We just were not given permission to go in."

"The state Homeland Security Department had requested — and continues to request — that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane," a statement on the Red Cross'
website explains. "Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city."
"Acess [sic] to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders," the statement also notes.

Salvation Army Major George Hood told FNC's Garrett that his group was ready to help, too. "We were prepared," Hood said. "The intent and the will was definitely there."

The Red Cross's Evans added: "We understood that the thinking was that, if we were to come in, that, one, it would impede the evacuation. They were trying to get everybody out. And, secondly, that it could possibly suggest that it was going to be OK to stay."

So, while the Red Cross and Salvation Army were able and eager to deliver water, food, medicine, and other relief supplies to those suffering at the Superdome and convention center, Louisiana officials rebuffed them, for fear that hydrating and feeding these individuals would chill an already glacial evacuation while encouraging others to get cozy and settle in for the long haul. In short, Louisiana officials starved their citizens out of town.

Murdock's best arguments though concern how the usual suspects are shamelessly exploiting race:

This fact unravels the corrosive narrative that the American Left has woven furiously since the moment Katrina exited Orleans Parish for points north. From their perspective, this whole mess is Bush's fault, and his misdeeds were fueled by anti-black bigotry.

Consider just a few of these:

"George Bush doesn't care about black people," rapper Kanye West declared September 2 on an NBC concert and telethon for hurricane relief.

Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean told the National Baptist Convention in Miami on September 7, "We have to come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age, and economics played a significant role in who survived and who did not." He added, "The question, 40 and 50 years after Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, is: How could this still be happening in America?" Dean spoke as if New Orleans succumbed to Hurricane Jim Crow.

Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights alluded to Plessy v. Ferguson, the notorious 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case that established the "separate-but-equal" rationale for Southern segregation. Said Ratner, "The legacy of that thought is what we saw at the Superdome."

"There's a historical indifference to the pain of poor people and black people," the Rev. Jesse Jackson fumed as the Big Easy sank beneath the waves. He visited the New Orleans Convention Center and announced: "This looks like the hull of a slave ship." One wonders, had Katrina smashed into Boston, forcing thousands of white evacuees into Faneuil Hall, would Jackson have sauntered in and said: "This looks like the Irish Potato Famine?" [emphasis added.]

Thousands of Americans have toiled and even died to heal this country's racial wounds. Turning Katrina from an epic story of widespread government ineptness into an indictment of anti-black genocide perpetrated by the president of the United States is beyond pernicious. [emphasis added.]

The wild-eyed theory that Bush hates blacks so deeply that he would engineer their wholesale starvation, dehydration, and asphyxiation pries the scabs off these still-healing wounds and grinds fresh pepper into them. Either such explosive nonsense is a warm pile of lies, or Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, FEMA's departed Michael Brown, Democratic Governor Blanco, and Democratic Mayor Nagin (who is black) share Bush's anti-black animus and helped him harm and kill black Americans on live, international television.

This is best-described scatalogically. But to keep it polite, the race hustlers who are exploiting this tragedy are beyond contempt. They are polluting the public square with nitroglycerine. Their twisted view of a bigoted America is belied by the 18,000 mainly black New Orleanians rescued by the Coast Guard, the $762 million in Katrina-related donations Americans of all colors have offered so far to our disadvantaged countrymen, along with free housing, schooling, and more. Thousands of volunteers, many with white faces, raced into the south to comfort the tempest-tossed, many with blacks faces.

"When those Coast Guard choppers, many of who were first on the scene, were pulling people off roofs, they didn't check the color of a person's skin," President Bush told reporters Monday after surveying flood-damaged neighborhoods in New Orleans. "They wanted to save lives." Bush added: "The storm didn't discriminate, and neither did the recovery effort...The rescue efforts were comprehensive, and the recovery will be comprehensive." Some 71,000 federal personnel are now on the ground returning the Gulf Coast to normal.

Let us concur that many public officials from the New Orleans city hall to the Oval Office, overwhelmed by America's biggest natural disaster ever, performed far below expectations, but without malice. Let us marginalize the wretched racial arsonists before they burn anything else to the ground. And let us magnify the heroism and generosity that already are helping Hurricane Katrina's survivors reassemble their shattered lives. [emphasis added.]


The Repulsive "Palestinians"

Even the lowest expectations for Gaza will not be exceeded. Some quick hits from just after the pullout:

The international community was outraged a few years ago when Afghanistan's Talibans blew up giant Buddhist statuaries. But outrage was conspicuously absent against the destruction of Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount. Nor was there any particular international notice, let alone concern, when Nablus mobs ransacked Joseph's Tomb in 2001.

The wish to spare the Israeli public scenes of jubilant terrorists and their admiring disciples wreaking vengeance on synagogues is what prompted the government's original decision against abandoning any synagogues to the marauding rioters' predations. But why must it be assumed that such barbarism is uncontrollable, or even understandable?
To find a counterexample, one need look no further than Tel Aviv. The Hassan Bek Mosque was built about a century ago by Ottoman Turks on the border of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. During the British Mandate, Jaffa's Arabs had no qualms about using this house of worship to sow death and destruction. Arab snipers regularly fired into Tel Aviv streets from the minaret, killing and wounding passersby. After the War of Independence, Israelis had every reason to pull down the infamous mosque. But they didn't.

Israel even allowed Saudi money to finance the mosque's renovation and expansion. It's an operating mosque today. The police reportedly suspected that the suicide bomber who killed 22 youngsters at the Dolphinarium had been harbored there. When a known underworld character recently deposited a pig's head in its courtyard, he was summarily arrested.

But no matter what happens, it's still the Israelis at fault as the column linked in the title of this post shows:

Israelis awoke yesterday to the news that the gates to Gaza had been ceremoniously shut, and that the Palestinians' joyous burning of Gush Katif's synagogues, which the cabinet had voted not to destroy, had begun. We were also informed that the US State Department had criticized the cabinet decision not to destroy the synagogues because it "put the Palestinian Authority into a situation where it may be criticized for whatever it does."

. . . such statements are instructive because they either reflect a conscious, high-level decision or are considered so uncontroversial that a low-level official can say them without fear of contradiction. In this case, the uncontroversial notion is evidently that the problem is not Palestinian savagery but Israel's refusal to spare the world images of it. Regardless of how Israeli decision makers expected the Palestinians to behave, Israel's decision not to destroy the synagogues gave the Palestinians the opportunity to exceed rock-bottom expectations.

Would the Palestinian Authority be "criticized" if it had decided to spare a single former synagogue from the raging mobs, perhaps for use as a library, or for some international aid agency? Is the idea of sparing a former place of worship of another religion so foreign that it cannot even be asked for, let alone expected?

The unwritten script here is that nothing more can be expected from the Palestinians because, after all, they are enraged by 38 years of Israeli presence in Gaza. This ignores both the questions of why Israel was there in the first place, and why Israel was targeted for destruction before it set foot in Gaza. But it also papers over the real source of Muslim rage: the reigning intolerant interpretation of Islam.

Despite attempts to explain it away as a benign form of striving, the Arab-Islamic notion of jihad remains essentially unchanged since Ibn Khaldun described it in 1406: "holy war is a religious duty ... to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or force." Only Islam, he added, "is under obligation to gain power over other nations."

This has been reflected in a "what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine" approach that we see dominates Palestinian thinking. It goes without saying that no Jew, building, or grave must remain in Gaza, as much as it does that Israel must treat its own million-strong Arab minority with utmost respect.

Meanwhile, the nations of the West allow themselves to be used as instrumentalities for Palestinian Jew-hatred and left-wing Israeli self-hatred:

An Israeli left wing group has filed a lawsuit in the United Kingdom against Chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and his predecessor, Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon, for their involvement in the 2002 assassination of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh [who was killed while hiding among random civilians -- his human shields].

* * *
Meanwhile, a lawyer representing a UK Palestinian group that filed a lawsuit against IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog has demanded that the Scotland Yard investigate the actions of Israeli diplomats in aiding the senior officer's hasty departure, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Just another day in the world.

Show da Rage

The MSM has beatified CNN anchor Anderson Cooper who has been very emotional in his Hurricane Katrina coverage famously upbraiding Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana for thanking federal rescue workers. Mary Jensen of the NY Times wrote a glowing piece on Cooper yesterday calling him "an anchor who wears his heart on his sleeve."

Drudge has reported that Michael Kinsley, the editorial chief of the LA Times, writes that guests appearing on CNN are being told to 'get angry':

Kinsley writes:

"The TV news networks, which only a few months ago were piously suppressing emotional fireworks by their pundits, are now piously encouraging their news anchors to break out of the emotional straitjackets and express outrage. A Los Angeles Times colleague of mine, appearing on CNN last week to talk about Katrina, was told by a producer to 'get angry.'"

I don't know how the chronology worked here - most likely its the fact that CNN realized what a 'hit' Cooper has become and is trying to ride the wave. It certainly does not excuse CNN coaching folks to behave a certain way. And I bet it was "get angry at the Bush administration."

HT to Powerline where Deacon writes:

Cooper and his employer embody the bias, ignorance, and opportunism that is sinking the MSM. Like the authors of a fancy advertising campaign (and Curly in the movie "City Slickers"), they want the hurricane coverage to be about one thing -- in this case, anger at the Bush administration's response. The fact that Cooper has seen dead bodies during the biggest natural disaster to hit this country in decades becomes the pretext for ruling out any attempt to analyze, or in Landrieu's case even mention in a positive light, the massive federal relief effort. Outsiders brought in by CNN to discuss the matter are instructed to stay on message.

Without experiencing the death of a loved-one, Cooper has managed to become the Cindy Sheehan of Hurricane Katrina. Because he saw dead bodies, he asserts the "moral authority" to dish out blame without analysis and without rejoinder. He cannot (or does not wish to) distinguish between his anger and the story. Nor, given the attitude of his network, would it be in Cooper's interest to make that distinction.