Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Numa-Numa Numen

One of the definitions of "numen" is "creative energy; genius". Gary Brolsma surrendered to it when he created a video of himself chair-dancing to a Romanian pop song and posted it on the internet. Two million downloads and counting later he's found that fame is fickle, even frightening. He strikes me as a bright, likeable guy with a gift for comedy, but he isn't enjoying his celebrity. He's found that the glaring spotlight can be frightening, even embarrassing.

I wish there were some way to let him know that he has more friends than scoffers out here in the world. Or maybe he's just sick that he didn't copyright the clip and sell it for 50 cents a download. Either way he deserves a spot on The Tonight Show or David Letterman.

I can sympathize with Gary. I have this conflict with myself and blogging. On one hand, I like to be heard and recognized, but I also fear making a gaffe that brands me forever as a fool. So I vacillate between posting my blog URL and keeping it to myself. Brolsma looks like a sweet young man with a natural gift for self-expression. He should realize that most of us are laughing with him, not at him.

Give Bush and Rumsfeld the Nobel Peace Prize

David Brooks makes the case. The idea of freedom, particularly that of democracy, is powerful, once you can convince people that it could really be possible for them. The Iraqi elections, which Bush's critics and even some of his friends were calling to be postponed just a few months ago, have turned out to be more powerful than anyone on the left ever wanted to believe. Bush's vision is being vindicated bigtime. Now, we need to stay the course. In all my life, neither the CIA plotting and brinksmanship nor the demonstrations and marches by "pacifists" have galvanized the world like this.

I've been taught the prophecy of Joel 2: 28-32 for as long as I can remember, with the assurance that it is in the process of fulfillment. The first two verses read (KJV) as follows:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
A lot of people who saw the purple fingers in Iraq are daring to dream a new dream, "Why not here?"

No more Ward!

The U of Colorado is thinking about offering Ward Churchill an early retirement. They should be suing him for fraud.

Churchill recognized long before Howard Dean that lefty liberals were suckers for hearing their own chants repeated back with an angry voice. You don't have to have any new ideas as long as you're righteously indignant in expounding their platitudes. It has made Churchill a tidy living, but the jig is up, and he should have seen it coming after 9/11, and toned down his rhetoric. It's the Emperor's New Clothes, all over.

The "Indian" Man

Instead of musical instruments, phonied American Indian Art;instead of a bunch of Iowa rubes, a gullible bunch of academics and students impressed by talking the talk. You've got trouble in Colorado. Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Churchill.

It would make a hilarious musical comedy, no? Churchill has been copying the work of others and selling it as Art. I wonder how much the Piltdown Man "fossils" would fetch on E-bay.

Which is worse?

The bias of this lead:
Ten of the 32 government drug advisers who last week endorsed continued marketing of the huge-selling pain pills Celebrex, Bextra and Vioxx have consulted in recent years for the drugs' makers, according to disclosures in medical journals and other public records.
. . . or the fact that they had done consulting for drug companies? Do we want these panels to be dominated by Ralph Nader associates? But they took money from these, . . . CORPORATIONS! EEK!

So what? Paul Krugman consulted for Enron. If that's all it takes to make you dishonest, what's he doing as a columnist on economics for the Times?

Should Vioxx be studied more? Yes.

Should it be summarily taken off the market? No. COX-2 inhibitors are medicines that prevent anti-inflammatory drugs from also being anti-stomach protecting secretions in the GI tract. I take several anti-inflammatories for rheumatoid arthritis, and because they can cause ulcers and GERD, a sort of chronic heartburn that damages the esophagous, I have to take a generic form of Prilosec. A few weeks ago, I forgot those caps for about a week, and I can vouch for the value of a drug like Vioxx. I take 1000 mg of naproxen every day, which can cause ulcers that have no symptoms until they nearly kill you.

Don't hate her because she's beautiful.

Robin Givhan's description of Condi Rice's clothing when she greeted the troops in Germany reads like a bodice-ripper romance novel, mostly about the boots with the stiletto heels. Where's James Bond when we have a Secretary of State worthy of him?

Givhan sounds like she would love to cover a sex scandal involving Rice, daydreaming about power and sex. I don't really buy this, but it's a lot better than all the cartoons a week or two ago depicting her as Bush's house slave, a parrot with Mammy lips, and all the worst minstrel-show stereotypes of blacks we've spent the past 50 years trying to get rid of. I hope there are millions of little black girls watching her and thinking of possibilities for themselves. She could be for them what Nichelle Nichols was for many young girls in the 1960s. I wish Americans of African descent would remember that George W. Bush made that possible. Maybe what Rice should represent, as well, is a reminder that blacks are not house n----rs for the Democrats.

Ann Althouse's take is not only better written than the piece she's commenting on, but much more mature. But you know, we never saw commentary like this about other black women with power.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Does the name "Daschle" ring any bells?

Republicans in the Senate are engaging is some brinksmanship in trying to persuade Democrats not to filibuster Bush's judicial nominations. Arlen Specter is wringing his hands, and Harry Reid, not one to back away from a game of "chicken" has responded that "if the Republicans made good on their threat and ruled filibusters out of order [the famous "nuclear option"], he would see to it that Senate business came to a halt."

Mr. Specter said Thursday that he took Mr. Reid at his word, saying, "If we come to the nuclear option, the Senate will be in turmoil and the Judiciary Committee will be in hell."
Hugh Hewitt calls Reid's threat "going Gingrich" referring to the former speaker's gambit of shutting down the government. (Gingrich lost decisively.) Chuck Schumer, as reckless as Gingrich, is beating his chest and sending his troops out to invite the nukes.

Hugh is now inviting blog submissions on the question: "Does the Senate GOP Go McClellan [more drilling and marching] or Grant [fight] if Harry Reid 'Goes Gingrich?'"

I say, go MacArthur, using the nuclear option, and then go Sherman, who was the the General who saved Lincoln's re-election by taking Atlanta and brought the Civil War to a quicker end by marching through Georgia and the Carolinas, destroying the South's ability to support further warfare. I doubt that the Democrats will find the going any easier than the Republicans did when they shut down the government.

The only real question is, if the Senate were gridlocked, would anybody notice? I think that Dem Senators would soon notice that the standoff was the only thing the press wanted to ask questions about, and the Republicans would love to answer. They need to put it simply, The Constitution says the President appoints justices with "the advice and consent of the Senate." The Democrats want it to read "60% of the Senate."

I doubt that Americans will flock to the side of those who don't even want these people to get a floor vote by the whole Senate.

The Republicans will have to give up the threat of filibusters in similar situations in the future. So be it. First, it's the proper interpretation of the Constitution, and second, what's there to lose for the party who nominated Souter. I say play it by Chicago Rules: "[T]hey pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send on of his to the morgue!" I don't know how many Democrats have to run in 2006, but Mark Dayton has already fled shrieking from the prospect, and I imagine there are a few others who aren't as safe as Schumer and Reid.

I don't understand why people think that it should be so easy to stymie action in the Senate, "the world's greatest deliberative body." If it wants to keep that title, these issues need to be decided, not by gaming the system, but by oratory, persuasion, justice, reason and democracy, not by threats and personal attacks like those used to defeat Robert Bork and to smear Clarence Thomas.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Score another one for Bush

TKS features this line in a quote from Walid Jumblatt, patriarch of Lebanon's Druze community "and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria's occupation":, "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world."

Oh, dear. That wasn't supposed to happen, was it? Al Jazeera and Al Arabia showed the voting and, I assume, the violence of the terrorists, and the Arab Street decided that if Iraqis could be brave, so could they.

Glass Houses

The liberal meda have gotten more than they expected by demanding a special counsel in the Valerie Plame affair. They sounded like a pack of slavering hounds in demanding that the DOJ find and punish the leaker, but they didn't want to participate. As Instapundit wrote, quoting Wilford Brimley's character in Absence of Malice: "Wonderful thing, a subpoenee."

Who I think I am

In response to Frank J. at IMAO I answer the quiz as follows:


1. Who the hell do you think you are?

I'm an American with the same rights guaranteed by the Constitution as the loony left.

2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass?

I'm an attorney. I worked at Burger King when I was in high school, where I was co-valedictorian in my class.

3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?

I wouldn't lower myself to that. I prefer blogging.

4. Do you even read newspapers?


5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?

I also watch MSNBC, and occasionally CNN. I always watch Brit Hume's program on the Fox News Channel. I quit watching CBS, NBC, and ABC news long ago because they cover the news only tangentially. I did watch The Newshour on PBS, until I found Brit Hume's show. I don't watch anything else on Fox because I don't like Hannity & Colmes or Bill O'Reilly, becaus I don't enjoy name calling and yelling, you ignorant moron.

6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh?

Yep. I listen to Hugh Hewitt whenever I can, and Michael Medved.

7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?

No, but I do get some emails from Ken Mehlman, which I seldom read. That's why I keep missing the meetings of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy.

8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?

Huh? We want the media to be honest and objective, which is what they claim to be, but aren't. If we silenced all the high-subnormals in the media on the left of the blogosphere, who would we have to make fun of? I'm rooting for Dan Rather to become the host of Face the Nation, and Eason Jordan to become a host on CNN's Crossfire.

I think that the media haven't been held accountable for some time, so it makes sense that there would be some scandals when people started talking back. Not long ago, CBS might have gotten away with using phony documents because there wouldn't have been any way for those who noticed to express themselves to a lot of others.

As for Eason Jordan, I don't think the "bloggers as lynch mob, vigilantes, or a pack of slavering hounds" meme makes any sense. First of all, most bloggers who criticized Jordan wanted to see the video which has never been released. Second, there is no recourse through law. How can you take the law into your own hands when there isn't one because of the First Amendment? Apparently, the framers intended that robust public debate and democracy would resolve issues far better than some government institution, and that is happening today because of bloggers.

9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?

No, I'm not "completely ignorant of other countries," and no, I don't have a current passport. I speak German and spent close to two years in Southern Germany.

10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?

See above.

11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk?

They won't take me because of age. I'm 56. Don't you believe in human rights?

12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face?

Yeah, I saw that movie, too. Have you? Has John Kerry or Hillary Clinton? I'm aware of the history of war, and I agree with General Sherman. Americans saved the world from Hitler and Tojo and empires ruled by both. Fighting the Vietnam in a quagmire, was our own choice, and a stupid one. We should have taken it to the North early on.

13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?

Catfish bait and baby diapers.

14. Once again, who the hell do you think you are?!

I'm most likely smarter than you, and I support my views with facts and logic, not namecalling, hatred and groupthink.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Liberservatives or Conertarians?

There's an interesting kerfuffle over what libertarians perceived as a brush off at the recent CPAC conference. It appears that libertarians are threatening to take their marbles and go elsewhere if religious conservatives continue to command more influence than they over the Republican Party.

Most conservatives have a lot of libertarian principles, but the things that seem to separate "social conservatives" from libertarian is that they believe that some government is needed. My belief is that the role of government is to create an environment for the society the people want, so long as that environment doesnt' include denying equal treatment on the basis of race, religion or sex, ("Gender" is a grammatical term, not a biological one.) but that there must be some attention paid to what measures will foster a healthy society. In those respects we have had too much liberty, in the form of millions of aborted fetuses and millions of people who can't control addictions. A healthy society produces good productive citizens. It doesn't tax one generation to support an older one. It doesn't encourage divorce, because good citizens are those who honor their obligations and accept responsibility. It can't force those things, but it can encourage institutions that help produce such citizens, such as public education, religions which teach principles consonant with such a society. It should understand that the economic freedom of people is the engine that makes them prosperous, but that those who don't work when they're able, don't eat. It doesn't eat its seed corn by oppressive taxes and wealth redistribution schemes.