Giving Jews a Good Name

There's not much to say about this Jonah Goldberg article on McCarthyism. It's entirely correct, and right on target message-wise. Every left-winger who wants to toss around the term McCarthyist should read this first.

Now, I don't bring this up because I'm one of those conservatives who can't get over the fact that the Left got away with decades of dishonesty and deceit on the subject of America's struggle to save Western civilization. (Though, for the record, I am one of those conservatives.)

Heh heh.
Communist Fronts Continued

Somehow, now that I think of it, this doesn't seem entirely surprising, but...

However, within weeks of forming, that broad-based student affirmative action group was under assault, not by the cops or the administration, but by a thuggish and violent band called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), a grouplet created by a Detroit-based sect called the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL). The RWL had sent out a number of their leaders to create their BAMN front group, whose members proceeded not just to disrupt the student-led coalition meetings, but to physically assault the students, snatch the microphone from them at rallies, and bring their own megaphones to drown out their speakers.

Looks like the affirmative action folks we know and love are about the same as our good friends at International ANSWER. Nathan Newman, via The Glenn himself, has the full story, and it's definitely worth a look.

The Neverending Winter

It's snowing again! Shall we bow as we pray?

Dear Lord in whom I do not believe,
We thank you for your infinite compassion and timely control of the weather. Please deliver us this day from the bondage of classes and Friday morning drill. Guide the Inclement Weather Hotline with your grace and mercy. Be with those who drink themselves into a stupor this night and grant them their deliverance from studying for midterms and attending classes hungover. We will trust in your wisdom and mutual hatred for rising in the morning.
In the name of the God the Father we pray...

That damned well better work. But, just in case...

Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzotav vit'tsi vanu l'hadlich ne'er shel no classes tomorrow.

There, that'll work.


More Useful Idiots

The Angry Clam has empirical evidence that anti-war protesters are shooting their own cause in the foot.

Gee, who would've thought that hordes of unkempt, ill-informed, and offensive peaceniks invading cities worldwide would turn people away from the anti-war movement? Not that I mind....
Wisdom from Down Under

Australia's John Howard has an extremely insightful editorial in today's OpinionJournal. Howard lances the crowd that has begun using "containment" as a catchphrase for the ideal policy on Iraq.

Given past Iraqi behavior, there is a faint hope that a united expression of view from the Security Council, combined with pressure from neighboring Arab states (which carry a special responsibility), might just induce a decisive change of heart somewhere in Baghdad. But true containment of Iraq can be achieved only if the world recognizes that the challenges of today are so different from those of 50 years ago.

The editorial really boils to one point on which I couldn't agree more: the potential cost of inaction is the true threat in this case, not what might happen following the liberation of Iraq. Howard's arguments show why Australia is rightfully one of of our staunchest supporters.

Heh. Glenn Reynolds can be as nice as he damned well pleases. I, on the other hand, am pure evil. And I like it.

How evil are you?


Back in Force

Russel Henderson, finally back from LI, has news of an interesting story.

According to Guillaume McDowell, the GLBTQIA (the long-winded acronym for the Alternative Sexuality Alliance) has decided to protest the placement of Red Cross flyers in dorms because of their decision not to allow gay men to donate blood.

Russel astutely points out that this is absolutely friggin' ridiculous. It's great to know that The Agenda has apparently replaced human decency and common sense for the gay left movement. I wonder if GLBTQIA has asked the Log Cabin Republicans if they agree with this?
Officious Title Pending

My friend Christian over at VeryVeryHappy has an idea on his to do list:

4. Get into a discussion with a warblogger, and give him or her a chance to convince me that they are right (I have a couple in mind; whoever accepts my challenge will be treated fairly. Those that do not will be beaten with Large Rhetorical Sticks)

Large Rhetorical Sticks...is this the liberal answer to Misha's ClueBat™? Anyway, Christian was kind enough to ask me, and we'll be kicking off our very own little low-rent version of the Cross-Blog Debate next week. Come and watch me (probably) fail miserably but make all sorts of amusing noises while doing so.

As the title suggests, an appropriately witty/humorous/sarcastic title is forthcoming.
Basketball Diaries, Part II

Apparently there's more to the story of Toni Smith, the Manhattanville women's basketball player. Crowds have been rightfully pissed at this twit, who refuses to face the flag during the national anthem, and have wasted no effort to show her at every game. Kudos to one Vietnam veteran who took the time to make a very pointed statement.

A Vietnam veteran came onto the court Sunday and held an American flag in front of Manhattanville senior forward Toni Smith after the Division III player again refused to face the flag during the national anthem.

"She disgraced herself and she disgraced the flag,'' said Jerry Kiley, 56, of Rockland County, N.Y., who was ejected from the arena after he walked onto the court during the first break in play.

Way to tell her, Jerry!

Campus Hilarity

Brian Soloway, my fraternity brother and good little Jewish boy, has weighed in with what may be the funniest Letter to the Editor in school history. He manages to skewer the current two campus scapegoats (our disgrace of a basketball team and our equally inept housing system) with in the space of three paragraphs.

Even the men’s basketball program is a disgrace. However, students on the team continue to get housing preference. This doesn’t make any sense! “Congratulations on being close to last place in the Big East for the first time in several years! We are so proud of you that you and all your teammates get to live in Village A Rooftop apartments.”

If irate ranting is your thing, hit this up.


Surely You Jest

CBS: Saddam challenges Bush to debate


"There's no debating what's required of him," White House communications director Dan Bartlett told CNN.

I think that's about all that needs to be said in that regard.

(I note, LGF-style, that this story is not a joke.)
Weasels' Squeak

The Axis of Weasels has submitted a statement at the Security Council that oppposes this morning's U.S.-U.K. proposal. The document is chock full of the standard false arguments from the anti-war side.

"The military option should only be a last resort," the document says. "So far, the conditions for using force against Iraq are not fulfilled."

It will take a smoking crater that was once Manhattan to convince them. That much we knew already. Surprisingly, though, The New York Times brings up an interesting point.

France's opposition to a second resolution in the Security Council is curious since it was President Jacques Chirac who first proposed a two-stage plan that could lead to United Nations authorization of military force against Iraq.

In an interview with The New York Times last September, Mr. Chirac laid out a plan for a first resolution that would require Iraq to allow the return of United Nations inspectors. A second resolution, he said, would deal with "a possible attack on Iraq" if it did not fully cooperate with the inspectors.

Kudos to the Newspaper of Record for that call.

More from the Master

Bill Whittle's latest is up, and dear Lord, it's a long one. I haven't given this the reading it deserves yet, but what I scanned through so far is his usual mastery.

It should go without saying that when Bill writes, viewing should be mandatory.
The Amazing Vanishing Traffic

Wow, that's depressing.

UPDATE: Whoa. OK, never mind. I don't think it qualifies as a full-fledged Instalanche. If this is what a GlennReynolds.com link will do for you, though, I'll take it.
The Idiotic Lawsuits Dep't

This story is worthy of a small fiskette:

Sisters Suing Southwest Over 'Racist Rhyme'

Oh, dear Lord....

Grace Fuller, 48, and her sister Louise Sawyer, 46, were returning from Las Vegas two years ago when flight attendant Jennifer Cundiff, trying to get passengers to sit down, said over the intercom, "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; pick a seat, we gotta go."

The sisters say the rhyme was directed at them and was a reference to its racist version that dates to before the civil rights era: "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; catch a n----- by his toe."

OK, who the hell actually makes this assumption? Ultraliberals who count the right to frivilous lawsuits and ridiculous unchallenged racial statements as basic human freedoms. I guarantee that these two women are among twenty people in the country who could make that connection.

"It was like I was too dumb to find a seat," Fuller said. Sawyer said fellow passengers snickered at the rhyme, which made her feel alienated.

God forbid should people laugh at something unexpected and amusing! Everyone knows that life is supposed to be humorless and guilt-ridden....

"The court agrees with plaintiffs that because of its history, the phrase 'eenie, meenie, minie, moe' could reasonably be viewed as objectively racist and offensive," [U.S. District Judge Kathryn] Vratil wrote.

At least she threw out their ridiculous claims to damages. But if you really think this a valid case, Your Honor, you're a bigger idiot than these two women.

Plaintiffs' attorney Scott Wissel said the sisters also want Southwest to stop using the rhyme and provide employee training to prevent such incidents.

What kind of training? Anti-humor and personality seminars? Lectures on "Why I Should Assume I'm a Closet Racist"? Yeah, that won't piss people off and waste money. Really.

The Basketball Diaries

A preliminary: Blogger is the root of all evil. Really. I pine for the day when I can afford my own server space and use MT.

And speaking of the root of all evil, here's this story, about a female basketball player who turns her back to the flag during the national anthem.

Smith is protesting "that the government's priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power.'' She has turned away from the flag all season.

The freedom to do this, she's got. The expectation that crowds will follow blithely along with her insulting idiocy, she doesn't. And, thankfully, they don't.


Useful Idiots

I've done a tad of revamping the sidebar and posted a new feature called Useful Idiots. Whenever I find a particularly stupid quote or factoid floating around the Idiotarian outposts of the Internet, I'll slap it up over on the side with a link to the story. Naturally, pithy commentary will make an appearance.

If you happen to spot some succinct Useful Idiocy out there, let me know about it.

Also, I'll use this post from now on as the Useful Idiots Repository; whenever I post a new quote, I'll throw the old one onto this post so that all of the gems of idiocy aren't lost.

The Repository

"We are threatened as Americans because of the way our president carries himself. He's the biggest threat in the world."
- Def Jam founder Russell Simmons

Yet another celebrity with vast foreign policy experience and academic credentials acknowledges the shocking, immediate threat of an elected leader of a liberal democracy to the world.

"A lot of people blindly stand up and salute the flag, but I feel that blindly facing the flag hurts more people."
- Manhattanville women's basketball player Toni Smith on her refusal to face the American flag

Yup. Everyone know facing the evil American flag hurts more people that totalitarian dictators. Unsurprisingly, Smith is a sociology major.

"That you can have a gay parade on Christopher Street in New York, with naked men and women on a float cheering, 'We're here, we're queer!' -- that's what makes my heart swell. Not the flag, but a gay naked man or woman burning the flag. I get choked up with pride."
- Janeane Garofalo, as recently quoted

You know what makes my heart heavy, Janeane? That an irate mob of the families of veterans can't beat you into an incoherent pulp. You like burning the flag? Head for Baghdad. Please?

"The best part of my education is the friends I have made, the racial and ethnic minorities."
Kathleen Hadden, University of Michigan grad student and girlfriend of Gratz v. Bollinger plaintiff David Hamacher

"Yeah, all of my best friends are black!" Hmmm...no overwrought liberal guilt or using of minorities as a political tool here, honest! And, for that matter, what is this woman learning at grad school if her education centers around meeting friends?

Ending a Blog-Free Weekend

Wow, I haven't even looked at a blog since Thursday....

Got to finally meet Josh Mercer at the Leadership Institute this weekend. Josh works at LI and runs Campus Nonsense as well as his own blog. Anyone into pithy conservative commentary (gee, no one that reads my blog is interesting in anything like that, right?) and healthy doses of nasty anti-Frenchness should go immediately.

In other news, LI is gathering up a crowd for "French Embassy Protest: The Sequel" on Wednesday! Heh heh heh.... Any DC area conservative students that want to come and observe lesser lif--I mean, the French-- in their natural habitat should come on down. Details to follow.

UPDATE: I just noticed that, as usual, Josh is highly deficient with the links (see sidebar comments), as he doesn't have mine up at his blog. Mercer, you bastard. To everyone who reads this, my fake egotistical ire is now in full swing, and I reccomend that no one visit Josh's blog.


Dog Pile!

It's been a bad day for Molly Ivins. Her column from this morning, in which she tries to defend the French (Texans defending the French???), is being tossed around the blogosphere as if it were Robert Fisk's latest.

The American Scene calls it the Worst Column Ever Written. Glenn Reynolds admits that may be pushing it, but still says the French are screwed if it's Molly Ivins coming to their rescue. Jonah Goldberg shows off an interesting, somewhat unfriendly email. His Imperial Majesty lays in with the normal fare, and adds a scarily large list of links from bloggers tearing Ivins' piece to shreds.

I won't go into a spiel on this, as this is a well-worn path by now and my beef with a blantant historical screwup of hers has been covered. However, I will mention my glee at an attempted sarcastic line of hers that backfires completely.

George Will saw fit to include in his latest Newsweek column this joke: "How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? No one knows, it's never been tried."
That was certainly amusing.

You're damned right it is! I gotta remember that one.

Education, or Lack Thereof

Russel Henderson has some thoughts on the rise of Worthless Majors (read: Women's Studies, etc.) both in general and at UVM. As usual, it's worth a look.

CNN carries some amusing news this morning.

School officials ordered a 16-year-old student to either take off a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "International Terrorist" and a picture of President Bush and or go home, saying they worried it would inflame passions at the school where a majority of students are Arab-American

I do really hope that was in fact a legitimate concern. On the other hand, we find out a bit further down that our friend was writing a "compare-contrast essay on Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein." Suddenly, my internal monologue screams, "Eat it, hippie!"


Hitting Below the Belt

I'm a huge fan of WSJ's OpinionJournal. Normally, their Best of the Web feature has great news stories with just the right tone of sarcastic humor. Of course, nobody's perfect, evidence of which came in today's edition:

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that a court in Hamburg, Germany, has convicted Sept. 11 co-conspirator Mounir El Motassadeq of 3,066 counts of accessory to murder. The Germans through the book at him--only it was a slender paperback. Motassadeq, 28, got the maximum sentence of 15 years--less than two days per victim. Even if he serves out his term, he'll be a free man at 43. His victims will still be dead. We suppose the Germans have to treat accessory to murder as a minor crime, else the whole country would have gone to prison in 1945.

I understand the sentiment that fuels that story, but that last crack is just dirty pool. Calling the entire nation of Germany willing accomplices to genocide is something slightly less than the truth. Never mind that the German school system already beats seemingly compulsory, personal guilt for the Holocaust into Gymnasium students across the country.

Guys, sarcastic jokes and witty shots at liberals are one thing. That, however, was just ugly, unadulterated, purposeless slander, and to say it was beyond the pale is a gross understatement. Unlike most of your usually classic humor, that particular comment proved no point relevant to the story and had no purpose other than making a thoroughly nasty jab. Serious thought should be given to a retraction; at the very least, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Bunny Pictures and Good Links

This week's Carnival of the Vanities is up at The People's Republic of Seabrook. Plus bunny pictures. Unfortunately, the International Zionist Conspiracy failed to get me in this week, but hope springs eternal.

The New York Times is carrying the news that some legislators are being blindsided by McCain-Feingold provisions that they hadn't taken the time to read last year, as commented on by Glenn Reynolds and Jacob Sullum.

"I didn't realize what all was in it," Mr. Matsui said. "We have cautioned members: `You have to really understand this law. And if you have any ambiguity, err on the side of caution.' "

Read the whole thing and chuckle at what happens as Congress realizes what it just did to itself.

Hey, we warned you guys. Makes no sense, we said. Unconstitutional, we said. But nooooo.... Heh. Eat it.


Mindless Frivolity, Part II

Just go here. I can't comment. I can't stop laughing.

I'm all verklempt!
More on Service

Over the past few days, I've had a lot of opportunity to think about the now stale debate on whether or not supporting war means one should have to go to war. For a while, I was willing to admit that arguing the "No" position was tough. I was willing to admit that it seemed nearly impossible to justify not going, or using the ROTC/OCS option, to someone who had their argumentative skills together. I was even beginning to feel fairly cowardly myself.

But I've had an epiphany.

I saw it while arguing this point yet again tonight, and noticing a certain gleam in my opponent's eye when he said I wasn't willing to back up my beliefs with actions. For the people who scream "Why don't you go and fight?," the issue isn't about people honestly sticking up for their beliefs. It also isn't about learning the horrors of war firsthand, or doing what you'd ask someone else to do, or about changing minds in order to support the anti-war movement and stop the deaths of Americans and Iraqis. Nope, nothing as logical as that. It's about finding a backhanded, sophisticated way to call someone a pussy. It's about trying to make someone who doesn't agree with them seem to share their level of spineless, opportunistic cowardice. It's about the chance to chuckle with friends and make snide remarks about "those hypocritical wimps." This, and nothing more.

So what's my response? Fuck you. You and your pack of mindless and spineless hippie drones will never, ever hope to understand the degree to which I love, and respect, and am dedicated to this country. Your illogical arguments won't change that, or the fact that myself and thousands of other cadets and midshipman will be risking our lives for your freedom in whatever battle is to be fought when we graduate. You can scream that slogan - the one you heard the guy with the "Bush is Hitler" sign using a while back - at pro-war demonstrators for years on end, but, unlike you, they are aware of the realities of the world. They are also fiercely dedicated to and supportive of those servicemen whose commitment and jobs you seem to think are laughable enough to be used merely as part of an argument, a rebuttal point to be offered up against those who don't agree with you.

To those in the "go now" crowd: you are despicable. You are nothing more than weaklings trying to be playground bullies, waving around an argument based on humilation without the logic or strength to force people into believing it.

So again, fuck you. And shut up while you're at it.
Iraq Crisis Solved!

Despite long-standing American objection, President Bush today allowed a larger group of weapons inspectors (pictured here arriving in the region) to start work on searching for Iraqi WMDs. The inspection team, currently numbering about 100,000 and being augmented daily, is eager to begin its duties and is expected to arrive in Baghdad in a matter of hours when called upon.

"We're confident that once these inspectors complete their tasks, Saddam Hussein will no longer pose a threat to the world," Bush said.


Reaching New Lows

It should be no surprise that I'm not a huge fan of peace blogs, essentially because I think anyone who can't recognize the sad necessity to use force in this situation is a twit. However, I have to say that the peace types have their fair share of people that make very well-argued and cogent cases for their side; I think they're wrong, but I can respect what they're saying.

With that in mind, I can only pray, for the sake of all humanity, that this guy's peace blog is one massive joke. The fact that the title is "Peace In Our Time" should be more than enough to tell you just what a genius this guy is. But oh, no...it gets worse...


I have been informed that the name of my new blog, "Peace in our time" (a sentiment I'm sure no one could disagree with unless they're from an oil company or the right wing media), supposedly has a tarnished past.
Apparently it was a phrase used by the president of England (or as it's properly known, The United Kingdom of England), Wilt Chamberlain, when he came back from negotiating peace with Adolf Hitler (and I don't care what anybody says, even though I met some very nice skinheads at the march on Saturday, Hitler was a bad guy, even worse than Chimpboy Bush! Though he didn't have the nukes that Chimpboy Bush likes to play with when Cheney lets him out of his cage!)

We can do the work of organizing for the people of Iraq! I propose that on February 20th at 6 pm Bagdad time, the Iroquois [he seems to think Iroquois is a name for Iraqis] stage a nationwide public demonstration indicating whether they want an invasion or not. If enough of my fellow bloggers pick up this call for solidarity (especially if Instapundit tells that Iraqi blogger he posts stuff from), I'm sure we can get the word out and the people of Iraq can make their will known (we certainly know that Saddam's people will be counting the crowds carefully).

And there's more. Oh, so much more.

This has to be a joke. Has to be. I refuse to believe that anyone could be this blatantly, idiotically, proudly ignorant in the first place, never mind getting a link from Glenn Reynolds. On this one, I'll give the peace bloggers a pass: no one on Earth should have to claim this one.

Mindless Frivolity

Only one thing to do on a snowy day with classes cancelled for tomorrow: find egregious wastes of time on the Internet! For anyone in SFS or generally looking for a way to fulfill their evil fantasies for the world geopolitical scene, check out NationStates.net. You can fashion a country of your own to any set of political beliefs you like, and then mold and shape it along through policy decisions...heh heh. Future evil dictators and Presidential wannabes of the world, your time is here!

For any Georgetowners out there who want to join in on the fun, there is a region called The Hilltop, which I'll admit is basically set up to facilitate declaring war on other countries run by people we know.
Deja Vu

WARNING: Non political personal reflection ahead (watching snowfall swirl around at night does this to me). Skip at leisure.

Tomorrow I'm going to wake up and, for the second time a little over a year, write my application to Yale. I have knots in my stomach already. My chances of getting in, as ludicrously slim as they are normally, are going to be close to zero because of last semester's grades; I can't help but shake the feeling that I'm just setting a precendent that's going to carry over to whenever I end up applying there for law school.

I have a Yale hat that I wear nearly everywhere. It's thick, comfortable, and my only headgear option since Sarah forgot her/my Andover hat at home over Thanksgiving. My friends hate it. It sparks all sorts of uncomfortable conversations at parties ("What's the Y?" "Oh." "Wait, you're transferring?"), when college applications are about the least thing anyone should be talking about. "So why are you transferring?" someone will ask. I'll shrug. "I don't know, really (Because when I thought of "college" when I was young, before I had ever seen Yale, it ended up being Yale that looked and felt exactly like that thought. Because of The Game, residential colleges, Mory's, Cross Campus, Yorkside's, shopping period, the gargantuan bookstore, and a million other things that I've seen and loved whenever I've been there.)"

I have no illusions about where I'll be next year. But I'm doing this anyway, and it frightens the shit out me, because it seems like a no-win situation in my darker moments. If I get in, I will be dumping what little I have here for an even bleaker social existence. If not, I'll be all the more bitter about my own failures come next year. But we'll see what things look like in the morning.
Truth from Down Under

From the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler comes word that Tim Blair is calling it what it is:

IF SOMEONE who supports war but doesn't fight is a chickenhawk, what do you call someone who supports human shields but doesn't join them in Baghdad? Noam Chomsky is chickenshit.

Exactly what I've been trying to say.


Some New Graphics

Thanks to Kiki at Just a Girl in the World, who made up a couple of small banners in honor of the anti-appeasement effort. Download and spread the word!


There is seemingly a new facet to the argument over whether or not war supporters should be fighting, as so many anti-war protesters have claimed. Now, thanks to the efforts of Guy Cabot, there's a new question: are members of ROTC guilty of dodging the war? According to him, yes.

There's no small measure of hypocrisy involved here. The anti-war crowd that demands "Why don't you go fight?" does nothing more than hold protest marches and editorialize in the same way as the people they mock. And yet, the infamous "human shields" have proven that the anti-war crowd does indeed have a way to stake their lives on their beliefs (I may question the brains of these people, but their balls I refuse to call into question, for I have no doubt that the life of the average human shield will be in far greater danger than that of the American serviceman when the war starts). But how many average protesters would be willing to instantly walk out on their studies, jobs, families, and other products of their entire life's effort to travel to Baghdad and stand in front a building? Not many, and rightfully so.

If this argument suffices for those against the war, it suffices for those for it. College students, fresh out of high school years spent working and preparing to get to where they are now, should be rightfully reluctant to simply walk out on their hard-earned positions saying, "I can always pick it up in four years"; most people under most circumstances would feel the same way. For those who have joined ROTC or participate in programs like the Marine Corps' Platoon Leaders' Course, this preferred option is a way of balancing these desires, a method by which to enjoy what they earned through four years of hard work and still act on their desires to become officers and serve the nation.

Demanding immediate service is also logistically unrealistic. If I quit school and enlisted on Tuesday, it would be months before I saw anything other than the inside of a series of bases where my training was conducted, by which time it seems safe to presume that the war in Iraq would be over. And then, even though, as some would argue, I would still be contributing to the manpower of the armed services and doing my part, why is that more meaningful that what I would have been doing as an officer three years later? Simply put, it isn't. The prospect of leaping to enlist makes sense only to the people who try and belittle the courage of those who support the war.

For that matter, though I can see the argument in this regard, I find the ridicule of civilian war supporters just as ludicrous. People who support the war (hopefully) are expressing their reasoned judgement on the facts of the case, not making a statement of life intentions. Who is anyone else to demand preconditions as to the sincerity of their convictions or what they have to do to prove them? In any case, if I am indeed called to combat someday, I am ecstatic at the prospect that there will be a group of civilians dedicating to supporting what I do.

I will not be picking up a rifle any time in the next year and going to fight in the sands of Iraq, but my commitment to this country is no less sound for it. Those who would doubt the cadets and midshipmen waiting their turn to become officers are purposefully blinding themselves to the truth; they are people willing to serve, not people looking for a way out, and those who support them are guilty of no more than accurate self-knowledge and a willingness to voice their beliefs.

Odds and Ends For a Late Night

Well, the Instalanche has finally slowed to something of an Instatrickle. It was tons of fun while it lasted, and hopefully I'll see another one someday. Thanks to everyone who clicked aboard, and I hope some of you stay on for the long(er) run.

I said I was going to post on today's antiwar protests. I lied. Every other blogger in the world has at least a cursory summary, so check them out for the quality goods. As for me, I can't imagine that I have anything original to add by now. Plus, my protest tolerance is used up for the week.

That's about it. Otherwise, just go read about Bill Clinton getting his ass kicked to kingdom come at IMAO and go to sleep.



I will spend the rest of my life trying to become Bill Whittle. I don't think I should be surprised by now, but his latest essay, Courage is nothing short of amazing. It is a must for anyone who's ever dreamed of strapping into a airplane or read The Right Stuff. It is a must for anyone who wants to truly understand what happened aboard Columbia, independent of the mechanical aspect. Actually, it's a must for everyone.

Once again, thank you, Bill Whittle. Keep them coming.
Awright, Hate Mail!

Yesssssssssssssssssss!!!! I know I'm officially getting decent traffic when the hate mail starts flowing in. I got my very first generally incoherent screed this morning. Heh heh. Time for a fisking.

Loved the signs, particularly the one that bleated "1918, 1944, You're Welcome"...

Not my sign, but thanks! On the other hand, the man says "bleated"...trouble is afoot.

(However, a more accurate sign would have read: "1914, 1940, We're Not Ready to Join the Coalition of the Willing Just Yet, So Give Us Some Time, Okay?")

Time until what?? Until the Iraqi Army rolls through Paris, blitzkreig style? Historically, this seems to be the best and easiest way to grab French attention.

Here's an idea, rather than waste time standing out in the cold, why not attend a history class?

..."because you're clearly such an ignorant right-wing moron." OK, let's do a little history review of your sign.

In 1914, Germany smacked its way to within a stone's throw of Paris in the time it takes to eat a stack of crepes.

1n 1940, the Wehrmacht turned France in Bundesland Frankreich in about the same time...at least the half that wasn't busy surgically attaching its lips to Hitler's ass and shelling Patton's troops at Casablanca.

In other words, "We're Not Ready to Join the Coalition of the Willing Just Yet, So Give Us Some Time, Okay?" really seems to mean, "The Threat Of Our Nation's Existence Hasn't Been Sufficiently Challenged Yet, So Screw You Guys Until We Desperately Need Your Assistance."

Good advice on that history class.

On the other hand, getting the apostrophe in 'you're' was a small and blessed victory.

Only if you can't speak or write proper English. Like most of the hippie protesters I've run across. I have no problems in that regard.

Oh and memo to you and the kids? You don't have to boycott French fries because they didn't invent them.

Oh, thank the Lord, I can go to McDonald's again! Come to think of it, what a great way to piss off the French even further. I'm going now.

Mmmm...Royale with Cheese....

Hear Them Roar

The New York Times, taking a respite from fawning over today's anti-war protests (more on that later), has an interesting slide show of female servicemen. Some of the pictures were taken in the middle of Basic, others show pilots in full flight gear. I couldn't find a direct link to the slideshow, but a collection of quotes and information from the pictured women is highly interesting.

Donna Braveboy, a drill sergeant [note: Sgt. Braveboy, USMC, is properly referred to as a Drill Instructor], views her job as a mission. ''When I meet recruits, I think about what's going on in the world today,'' she says. ''I'm basically training them to be war dogs. That's the state that we are in right now. They need to have that mind-set and understand what they're getting into.''

No comment necessary.
Kickin' 'Em While They're Down

I'm going to try and move away from the French theme soon, but until then, Siflay Hraka is offering the following bit of pure bumper sticker genius on his blog:

Three bucks? Hell, yeah.

Dear. Lord.

Notice a slight difference?


After Action Report: Adventures At the Cheese Factory

Well, we provided white flags, but inexplicably, no one from the Embassy came out to claim them.

This may have been one of the more heartening things I've done in a while. It's a welcome change of pace to see conservatives waving signs at passing cars and chanting and singing, etc. etc. Though, admittedly, while it was surreal and amusing to see a bullhorn out on our side, horrendously off-key renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" aren't the best thing to carry a protest. This may be why we don't do bullhorns.

Anyway, it was a fairly straight-forward protest: about fifty or so College Republicans and other conservative types standing across the road from the Embassy waving a collection of signs. It was figured out fairly early on that screaming at the building across the street wasn't doing much, so we moved to getting honks from passersby, which went fairly well. Response was good, except for occasional assholes who screamed unintelligible insults as they sped away (one guy yelled "Hey, what branch of the service are you in?" The Navy, you worthless bastard. Here's a question for you: "When are you taking a turn as a human shield?"). There were also healthy rounds of "Shame on You!" whenever a car exited the Embassy heading home

Of course, the inevitable, pungent train of hippies eventually showed up, sparking some of the better chants on the day. "1, 2, 3, 4, We Don't Want Your Bloody War!" from them; "5, 6, 7, 8, Smoke Your Hash and Go Away!" from us. There was a priceless moment when the Secret Service guys started asking the counter-protesters where their permit was, but unfortunately they got to stick around. "It's just like ten of them," the cops said.

(All photos are courtesy of FreeRepublic.com, one of whose members stopped us on the way back from the protest to take a photo. I'm guessing all of these were taken by her, and her username appears to be tgslTakoma. Sincere thanks!.)

Chuck, Dave, and myself...woohoo! This is on our way back, so I'm assuming all other pictures were taken after we left. Still, they give the general idea of what went on.

As I said, it wasn't a huge crowd, but I maintain that getting fifty conservatives out to protest anything, never mind in freezing weather on a class day, is a feat in and of itself.

Heh heh...damn straight.

Yeah, but Daisy Cutters do it better. Time to turn it over to them.

My absolute favorite sign on the day!

This was also very heartening. This lady came right as I was taking off, looked around, and said "It's good to see some Americans!" Cheers. Warm fuzzy feelings all around.

But, of course, there were hippies....

and hippies (Dedicated to peace? Yeah, as long as it's New York that dissapears in a nuclear fireball instead of Paris.)...

and hippies. Poor hygiene and low-grade intelligence and all. This crowd was basically the usual suspects from the Campus Green/Solidarity Committee/peacenik/pro-pot/idiot/extreme leftist mishmash that showed up at the ANSWER protest. And they showed up here, again, for no particular reason except perhaps for a show of terrorist solidarity on behalf of Earth First! and the ELF (as Glenn Reynolds and yours truly might suggest). Never mind that nearly all French power comes from hated nuclear reactors. Never mind that Jaques Chirac is a center-right politician. Never mind that Charles de Gaulle is currently puttering its merry, insignificant way to the Gulf. Screw all that. "Hey, I found a convenient pretext to hate America!" one of them undoubtedly yelled, "Let's hurry up!"

Then, later, shaking his head and holding a No Iraq War sign: "These hate-filled rightist sheep. Why can't they think for themselves?"
Second guy holding No Iraq War sign: "Dude, I totally agree."
Third guy holding No Iraq War sign: "Oh, yeah, me too."
Fourth guy holding No Iraq War sign and a joint: "Man, you're always right...wait, did I just say something?"
(Joke made with apologies to Dave Benjamin)

So, yes, a good day on the whole. It was nothing earth-shattering, but we got the point across and had a blast doing it. I'll add details if the my muse strikes.

UPDATE: Media coverage! The Hoya gets extra-special kudos for an Instalink and for mentioning my "What Would Chamberlain Do?" sign.


Sizing Up the Competition

Steven den Beste writes one of his patented essays that seems to explain the universe in 2,000 words. This time, he takes on Daily KOS' nasty prognostications for the war on Iraq. One passage in particular caught my eye:

If your goal is to cause the greatest number of casualties, the best time to use chemical weapons is preemptively before the attack begins, while the troops are still concentrated in bivouac and not wearing chemical-defense suits. The nightmare scenario for me is something like the SCUD which hit the American barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1991. It was a lucky shot, but that kind of thing happens. A similar SCUD, carrying nerve gas instead, could be fired against rear areas in Kuwait before the war or after combat begins, hitting troops which are concentrated and which are not prepared.

Which is why we need to go. Now. And why we should've gone in November. I can't remember the exact phrasing of the old Clausewitzian adage, but it goes something like "The more time you give your enemy to prepare, the more costly the attack will be." Let's not learn this lesson the hard way.

For those who read the article, the term REMF, for those not in the know, is an acronym for Rear Echelon Mother F---er, i.e. the guys in the rear with the gear who salute a lot and wear nattily pressed uniforms in a combat zone, the Chairborne Brigades. Otherwise known as "The Air Force".
Students Prepare For Protest, Inevitable Surrender

A reminder to all DC area Republicans/conservatives:

Greetings compatriots --
The American University College Republicans, in cooperation with the CRNC, are staging a protest at the French Embassy in Washington, DC, for their foreign policy of appeasement, and their resistance to the call of our President to enforce 12 years of UN resolutions requiring the disarmament of Saddam's regime in Iraq.
Stand with us
--Thursday, February 13th,
--Time: 4 to 6 p.m.
--French embassy, 4101 Reservoir Road N.W, near Georgetown U.
Republican students from around the United States will converge on French Embassies and Consulates. We are asking you, our friends and allies, to join in our efforts and demonstrate President Bush's call for Peace through Strength!

Good times will be had by all. A note to attending students: embassy workers attempting to surrender are to be reminded that, despite long-standing French custom, capitulation usually takes place after a war breaks out. If workers are insistent, they are to be directed to the German Embassy farther down the road, where personnel should be well accustomed to dealing with Frenchmen waving white flags.

For a little pre-protest humor, peruse this synopsis of French Military History for a good laugh!

UPDATE: Awwwwwww, FUCK! Someone beat us to the imminent conquest of France. Friggin' Boy Scouts....

AFTER-ACTION REPORT: Woohoo! Things went smashingly. Plenty of cars leaving the embassy to taunt. Plenty of honks from passersby. The Secret Service! Anyway, more plus pictures later.
Cheating Death On All Fronts

Despite abouding paranoia, there was a notable lack of mass death and/or sudden blinding flashes of light from downtown, so I'm still alive.

Speaking of paranoia, whoever is continually searching on Google for "Shadi Hamid": guys, at least let me know what evilness is in the works, I need to figure out whether or not to start packing up my room.

In other news, the latest Carnival of the Vanities is up, so get check out all of this week's best bloggery. Anything from IMAO comes highly reccomended.


Best. Blog Entry. Ever.

Heh heh... hehhehheh... hehehehehheeheeheehee*evil cackle*BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Grab the Windex for your monitor, it's another Don and Condi press conference. God, I love these things.

Speaking of Bad News

Glenn Reynolds is silent on North Korea, but his news isn't much better:

RUMOR-MONGERING: A former student reports that hospitals and other facilities in the DC area were told last night that terror alerts will be moved to Code Red later today in fear of a bio, chem, or radiological attack. Can't find any confirmation on that, so make of it what you will. There's certainly plenty of evidence that the authorities are worried about this scenario.

Oh, that's reassuring.
Back to Korea

Both the New York Times and CNN.com are reporting that the IAEA has remanded the North Korea issue to the Security Council after finding it in violation of existing accords. Some quick thoughts.
1. We know, already.
2. This is extraordinarily bad timing. On purpose? At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I go with yes. With the wave of recent commentary suggesting that the end of the UNSC as a meaningful body is in sight, you'd have to guess that at least France is very cognizant about the potential for sinking what's left of its own international influence. Standing tough on North Korea in the Security Council would give the weasels a great platform to accuse the U.S. of ignoring The Real Threat in the interest of a vendetta. Not that they haven't been doing that already. But UNSC action would give that claim legitimacy and make it seem like the Council still has some backbone.
3. I'd like to see the U.S. start using a certain phrase if France/Russia/China start calling for immediate action on North Korea: "Don't rush to war." Point out the danger of the North's nuclear weapons. Demonstrate how U.S. forces in Korea are basically a speed bump. And then, in the interest of avoiding senseless violence and death for a narrow agenda (is this all starting to sound familiar?), have Colin Powell stand up and demand that the Council stop forcing a needless war upon the situation. Heh heh. "We got her number. How'd'ya like them apples?"

More on this later, undoubtedly.

UPDATE: Still no substantive news stories. Not even from the blogosphere. In fact, it's been a half-hour and Glenn Reynolds hasn't said a damned thing. That's it, something's seriously gone wrong with the world...

UPDATE II: CNN now has a brief story. This from Javier Solana: "I don't think this is the moment to do sanctions and I do think the sanctions may contribute to the opposite that we want to obtain, which is defusing of the crisis." Sounds about right to me.
Oy, Vey

Well, the fun's over. Somehow I can tell someone is highly pissed about the Shadi Hamid fisking, so it's officially gone from the annals of this website, folks. Seeing as I'd prefer not to have some commentary blown way out of proportion, said commentary no longer exists.

For all my concerned friends and family: yeah, you were right. Screw you guys, anyway.

UPDATE: It seems that Google hates me and is keeping a version online despite the fact that I deleted the original post. That I honestly can't do anything about.


101 Ways To Screw the French

Well, maybe just two.

Glenn Reynolds carries an interesting tale of the "American street" and how it's currently feeling about the French. A hint: it ain't happy. This is the most succinct and amusing case for a boycott of Franco-German merde (or would it be Scheisse?) that I've been thinking is a good idea for a while.

And, we've got something for the more artisically inclined:

Respected Collegiate Bloggers,

As a conservative academic (seriously, a few of us exist), I like to peruse your blogs every so often. Now I would like a bit of help in a little campaign that I am organizing on short notice.

Leftists often speak of "diversity." They love to celebrate it; they give you 20 bonus points for it. Well, not is all well in DiversityLand. Go to www.poetsagainstthewar.org and notice that they are only accepting anti-war poetry! Well, in order to support the cause of diversity, I am urging people far and wide to submit "pro-war" poems to them. Hurry, we only have two days.

Also, remind them of their commitment to diversity in your poems. Moreover, it might be worth it to remind them that we are writing "anti-war" poetry since leaving Hussein in power is likely to lead to more wars than the one aimed at ousting him.

Limericks for Liberty! Lee over at Right-Thinking jacked my haiku idea (I thought mine was better, but then again I wrote it at two in the morning in between chapters of Road to the White House 2000, so I could be wrong), but he promised earlier to post good poems. Check it out and see what's there.

Hmmm..... I seem to be very popular on Georgetown servers today...and one of the referral sites is a Google search for the term "shadi hamid."


I will say two things:
1. If those hits are from MSA/YALA types, here's a disclaimer: I'm not a racist. Really. I just think Shadi's a prick. I have no doubt there's one or two of you out there who are with me on this one.
2. To my friends: if you were indeed right about that post, I'll owe all of you something. At least after the trial's over.
More Proof That God Doesn't Exist

Yep. THAT was on campus today. An overheard comment on the substance of the speech: "He just bitched about the tax cuts."

Shocking, I say.

Somehow it doesn't surprise that Glick and Slick are in the same picture, but Kristina?? What the hell are you doing there?
Staggering Out from the Ruins

The Worst 24 Hours In Human History are more or less over, so it seems as if I can take a breather from the study/class marathon and add a quick blog entry.

I've gotten some interesting responses to my Shadi Hamid fisking, most of which range somewhere around "You'd better watch it before you get sued" from concerned friends. For those who want a tamer response, I highly recommend this opinion piece in today's Hoya from Dave Benjamin, the communications director of the Georgetown College Republicans.

I used to raise my hand at the mere sight of revisionist history teaching on our campus, but I’m growing tired of the mockery and I-get-the-last-word-it’s-my-show responses. The most common response I’ve gotten is one of sympathy. People feel bad for me because, apparently, I’ve been brainwashed by an evil establishment, or conspiracy, or something — whatever it is, it’s evil. I couldn’t help but shake my head as a young man, one of 10,000 carrying a “no blood for oil” sign, told me to think for myself.

Well done, Dave.



This is official notice that regular blogging will be on hiatus for at least the next couple of days, if not the week (if anyone actually cares). Between struggling through Schleiermacher, papers, a Government midterm, editing weekend, plotting my latest project (details to follow), and trying to make what's going be a nasty social decision, keeping up with the news around the blogosphere is just not going to happen.

Until a bit later, folks....


How To Tell You Go to Georgetown

The Scene: Leavey Center, outside of Uncommon Grounds, 4:30 pm. Our young hero, reading about the network evening news focus on horse race stories in coverage of presidential nominating campaigns (it's fun for the whole family!), overhears a conversation.

GUY: Wait, so what's the precedent?
GIRL: I think it was in Kelly, but they were saying you can't assign damages when --
GUY: I thought that was in U.S. v....
I look over, see a book titled Civil Procedure on the table, and spot what is clearly a case outline on a laptop screen.
MY INTERNAL MONOLOUGE: Mmmmm...law school....

Yep, I'm pathetic.


It's Amazing What You Can Learn When You've Got Insomnia...

If there's one advantage to living with a community bathroom, it's that there's always going to be some random pile of newspapers and magazines strewn on the stall floors to pick when nature calls. An intact issue of last week's Time (the one with the profile of the Cal Patriot) yielded this little fact on a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association:

By tracking 311 pairs of Australian twins (both fraternal and identical) in which one twin used marijuana before age 17 and the other did not, researchers have been able to show that early pot users are as much as five time more likely to use or abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, sedatives, or alcohol.

"But everyone knows marijuana isn't a gateway drug! It's [puff, puff] a proven fa--"


Shut up, hippie. Score one for the good guys.


Some Free Publicity

"I have the twin Gods Alcohol and Caffeine in my system. I cannot fail."

This is one of Chris Boucher's very favorite sayings; this is his weblog. It's brand-new, but it should undoubtedly prove to be entertaining and quirky, just like the man himself. Making films here at Bill Clinton Wannabe University, the Official Safety School of Ivy League Rejects (eat it, UVa), is not an easy task, but Chris does it somehow and has the amusing stories and happily bitchy screed to go along with it. Check it out for a good time.
Yet Another Reason to Watch HBO

I knew there was a reason why I love Dennis Miller's show. In a recent "Tonight Show" appearance, Miller had this to say:

""I know you say that in this town and everyone like goes crazy, but how long do we wait with these morons? . . . I don't need to see any smoking guns except the one that just killed Saddam Hussein quite frankly."

This proves that Dennis, once again displaying his marked advantage in intelligence over everyone else in Hollywood (and California for that matter, but I digress...), is two blatantly obvious steps ahead of the pro-Saddam crowd. First, he know that guns don't smoke until fired, at New York or Washington or Tel Aviv in this case, and second, where the real root of the problem lies.

Which brings me to my next point: actors are idiots.
Laying the Smack Down

The Cal Patriot has a hell of a web update dealing with Congressman (yes, I wrote that right; it's a title, NOT a description) Barbara Lee.

When Barbara Lee was the sole member of Congress to vote against the War Powers Act of September 14th, she was a traitor.

She turned away from her country when it needed her most. It's an act we at the California Patriot will never forget.

Nor should they. The rest of the article, as usual, is a well-written and interesting read.


Fun with Nazis

There's some real fun to be had today. Glenn Reynolds and the Volokh Conspiracy have been getting some attention from Stormfront, a White Nationalist (read: Nazi) message board site. For just a taste of the action, go to Instapundit and follow the appropriate links.

Anyway, I was checking out this particular thread, which is all about someone's apparent distress at a lack of Nazi blog activity (this really needs to be checked out to be fully appreciated). At first, I was just there because of morbid curiousity, but then....

First of all, hilariously, the mastermind behind this whole deal gives a description of what he wants this blog to be.

What I have in mind is something more "respectable", i.e. no cursing, no racial slurs, excellent spelling/grammar, etc., but with the same pro-white and anti-Jew message. Something that "mainstream" readers would be more likely to look at and take seriously.

OK, I hate to break it to you, guys, but finding college students who are Republicans is hard enough. I don't really think a really articulate version of "We need to gas these fucking Jews before they destroy our race even more!" is going to get much credence in educated circles, no matter how many big words you use. I will say, though, that his want for excellent spelling and grammar is admirable, it seems as though the people on that board need it. And then there's this...

The key here is we have a WN who is for (Say envireonmental something or other) and a WN who is agianst it.

Which would destory a lot of stereotypes that all WN's are the same. And, make for some very interesting reading.

Ummm...what? If I'm getting this straight, can you even imagine the resulting conversations? "Well, yeah, Tim does want to firebomb Temple Beth El, but that's a side issue. The important thing is that we're both for mandatory mileage standards for SUVs!" Look, guys, you're White Nationalist (and I shudder to think what kind of "industrial waste products" an environmental Nazi would be talking about). That's your issue. End of story. You want to save puppies and work for a balanced budget? That's great. Stay away from me, anyway.

From the Department of Irrelevancy

Steven Den Beste reports that the French are sending Charles de Gaulle (the aircraft carrier, not the corpse, though it's not immediately apparent which would be more effective in combat) to the Gulf in order to make nice when Colin Powell pitches his case later today.

Well. Great. Now Iraq's really afraid. I seem to remember from the last issue of Combat Aircraft that this marvel of engineering is lucky to be operational during any three consecutive days. Compare this to USS Constellation, over forty, yet already on-scene and prepping for sustained combat ops. Any ship with the problems that de Gaulle has is probably going to be a monumental pain in the ass rather than a help.

Screw 'em. Tell the frogs to turn the ship around and save us the hassle.


Thoughts on the WTC

The semifinalists are up for the WTC rebuilding competition, and something close to my worst fears have been realized.

It seems like the choosing process went overboard focusing on the memorial; both plans were chosen because they concentrated on a memorial rather than office space, but neither comes even close to being an adequate replacement for the towers. The Libeskind design is interesting in a funky way (I remember being impressed with it off the bat), but when it comes down to it, it's nothing but a needle. The top of the tower seems barely visible in the distance shots. The THINK design is, point of fact, simply garish. The framework is reminiscent of the old WTC, but in a painful way that just seems to make me miss what used to be there. That, and it looks like whatever is going to be inserted in them will just be outlandish. Neither has that sense of imposing majesty of the twin towers, and neither seems to be much of a functional or emotional replacement.

I was really, really rooting for a plain and simple rebuild. Barring that, I was very enthused about the Foster plan, which was just the right combination of old influences, a new design, and the willingness to build a big ass-kicking monstrosity of a building. I'm still hoping for a comeback, but until then it seems like the selection committee failed in its mission.

I would urge everyone to check out this short webpage with a reminder.

I want you to close your eyes and picture in your mind the soldier at Valley Forge, as he holds his musket in his bloody hands.

He stands barefoot in the snow, starved from lack of food, wounded from months of battle and emotionally scarred from the eternity away from his family surrounded by nothing but death and carnage of war.

He stands tough, with fire in his eyes and victory on his breath. He looks at us now in anger and disgust and tells us this...

What he tells us is brief, and perhaps a tad too harsh, but it is a good reminder of where our freedom originates in times like these.

Esherick Bitterness, Continued

Syracuse 88, Georgetown 80. Once more, in the words of Mike Glick, the Hoyas manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory thanks to the "skills" of college basketball's answer to whomever happens to be coaching the New York Rangers at any given moment. Are we pissed?

Oh, yeah, you bet we're pissed.



And the federal spending gravy train keeps on rollin'....

I certainly agree with Bush; NASA needs more funding. "Faster, better, cheaper" is a nice philosophy when you're talking about flying Erector sets heading for Mars, but it hardly seems like a good foundation on which to build a manned program. With that out of the way, though, where are we magically plucking half a billion more from to fund this? Let's figure that out before we start spending even beyond the egregious levels we heard about in the State of the Union.

This whole debate is starting to sound a lot like last night's fraternity meeting:
"Why should we subsidize that?"
"We've got the money...."
"Well, we keep saying we've got money for this, we've got money for that...it's all got to come from somewhere."
"What happened to the budget?"


More on Columbia

Dan Hanson, in a moment of pure genius, wrote what he thought President Bush should've said earlier today.

And we will honor these seven brave people by creating a small memorial to them, and the hands of a NASA astronaut will place that memorial on the surface of Mars. This is the way that Americans honor their brave pioneers - by carrying their pioneering spirit forward. God bless every one of those seven. They will not be forgotten.

I couldn't agree more.

Glenn Reynolds, as usual, has an excellent collection of links of the subject, which I think cover the gamut fairly well that anyone interested in the subject should check out.
Misguided Rage

For a while today, I was extremely pissed off.

I was mad at reporters who kept focusing on the "human side" of the seven Columbia astronauts as if they weren't people in the first place, but merely those smart guys that occasionally flew up into space and gave them some headlines. I was furious at their surprised tones of voice as they seemd to suddenly discover that, yes, these people were in fact amazingly talented human beings with stories of their own.

I was pissed at the one moron on FOXNews who claimed, concerning the safe return of astronauts, that "it isn't something to be taken for granted, and I'm sure we never will." Yes, you will. Your colleagues forgot after the Apollo 1 fire. You forgot after Challenger. And now that the shocking risks of space travel have one again been illustrated to us in such a tragic way, your concern for the lives of those seven is nothing more one voice in the "Look how empathetic I am" bandwagon on national TV. I sincerely hope it takes you more than a year to forget this lesson and the people that had to learn it, but I have no faith in that matter.

I was especially mad at the President for his horrific memorial speech. He praised the exploratory spirit of our country, spoke grand words about the need to continue our quest of discovery and flights into space, and proceeded to thoroughly drop the ball. His speech, laden with the Biblical words of praise and numerous unfailingly religious attempts at resassurance that make me so afraid of his presidency at times, made no mention of Mars. It failed to include perhaps the final great quest of space exploration available to man while praising the spirit that would make it possible. It was a thoroughly hypocritical and unsatisfying effort.

For those people, I'm still not happy with them. But none of this, not a word, even holds a candle to this. Unbelievable.

FUCK YOU, Iraqi government, for using tragic deaths in the interest of a psychotic political agenda. And fuck you to the extremist assholes who honestly think that their loving God punished seven brave and dedicated individuals for doing more good in 16 days than they could ever hope to do in fifty lifetimes of mindless violence and hatred. Now, more than ever, I'm glad we're coming for you. Don't even bother to duck. It's going to be painful either way.
Live from CPAC: Part II

It seems that media bias fever is everywhere. I missed this morning's Sam Donaldson-Bob Novak debate, but just got the chance to see Jonah Goldberg and Jonathan Chait in action.

Contrary to popular belief, conservative media is in trouble. I say that with added emphasis for the reason that, as the moderator put it, everyone these days seems to think that there's going to be "a fundamental sea change" within the big media. I'm not so sure that's a good idea. For one thing, no matter what cheering halls of conservatives want to say about FOXNews, it's NOT a good channel; there is still a marked difference in terms of quality of reporting and the credibility of the organization. I know that I conciously turn on CNN every time I need the news, and avoid FOXNews like the plague. But more importantly, people seem to be losing sight of the fact conservative bias, however much we may prefer it, isn't objectively better than what we get from liberals. The search should be for truth, plain and simple.

I shudder to think of Jonah Goldberg on a mainstream television show. He is simply too intelligent for that. The same goes for Johnathan Chait, who is exactly the type of intelligent opposition that every political movement needs. Seeing those two on stage, exchanging words in a civilized and principled manner was really a heartening experience. Less so was the third panelist, some idiotic woman named Blanquita Collum (spelling could be way off), whose sole role was as a cheerleader injecting essentially meaningless statements into the debate to spark applause after each time Chait spoke. Think about this woman in the big media, I think you've got a good picture of what FOXNews is basically around for. That's not good journalism, it's not good press for conservatives, and it's not good for the general education of the people as a whole.
No Comment

I woke up very late, about three hours past the point when I was supposed to go to CPAC, and found this: Columbia shuttle breaks up over Texas.

I can't offer any worthwhile comment to that. I'm simply stunned. I'm not old enough to remember the Challenger disaster in any meaningful form, and sadly, I don't think this will resonate like Challenger did, especially after Sept. 11th. That's a shame. Columbia's crew went into space with exactly the same dangers and exactly the same dedication and purpose of mind. They will be missed no less. And, sickeningly, I have no doubt that various Arab newspapers are going to point to the death of Col. Ilan Ramon and crow "That's exactly what that Zionist swine deserved!" as they editorialize about the vainglorious American space program and the fools that invited an Israeli to take part in it.

I hope, like Tacitus does, that there will be a renewed push to Mars following this tragedy. NASA has been stuck in the endless low earth orbit cycle now for twenty years. Yes, the space station is nice, and yes, everyone loves the space shuttle, but damnit, people fell in love (including me) with the space program because it was a bunch of guys with cast-iron balls riding rockets into space simply because no one had done it before. The allure of space will always be in pure adventurism, the spirit of discovery, rather than science experiments in zero-G. It seems as if it's high time to get back to basics.

I'm hoping that when I do make it to CPAC, someone will have taken notice. Columbia's crew will be missed. They are heroes, in the sense that the dangers of what they did didn't diminish simply because of lack of public attention. Godspeed to them and the crew that follows them, and here's a fervent hope that it won't be long before they do.

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