An Army of Davids (with Tivo)
How TV networks are scrambling to deal with changes imposed by new technologies, such as internet and DVRs. How do you get people to watch your commercials when they can choose to skip them?
Strutting and fretting in an insane world.
How TV networks are scrambling to deal with changes imposed by new technologies, such as internet and DVRs. How do you get people to watch your commercials when they can choose to skip them?
to say that NOAA is violating the Constitution.
Kate Martin, director, Center for National Security Studies is quoted in the WSJ as follows:
"Compiling a data-base of the phone calls of millions of Americans is not likely to find actual terrorists, but is a dangerous threat to the privacy and associational rights of Americans.How so, unless you assume the NSA is violating the law? But how do we know they aren't?
If he's out there, we need him now. Why isn't he locking up the press and all liberal bloggers? Why isn't Voice of America rectifying and popping Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and Secret CIA Prisons in Eastern Europe down the memory hole? I don't get it. We've been promised Big Brother! Where is he?
You'd think that the idiocy such a policy would be obvious, but you'd be wrong. I must admit the weird polls being put out have me really concerned. The latest one, from Newsweek sounds like an emergency push poll to counteract the one a few days ago by the Washington Post which indicated widespread support for the program.
Apparently it goes backwards. Don't ask me to explain it.
Maybe including intelligence operations against the U.S. But, of course, our media are providing the propaganda.
Can't go to the Prom if your date fails a criminal background check. Oh, the humanity!
Wow! There's really a worse place to live than the United States!
Daniel Henninger writes that the CIA lacks the seriousness and determination of the Cold War era. It really is as if these people want us to lose this war.
Truthout reports that Karl Rove has advised the President that he'll be indicted in the Plame investigation and will tender his resignation. If true, this will be a bombshell.
I imagine this profile of John Kerry is meant to be ennobling and hopeful, but to me it seems just an illustration of the quote from Estes Kefauver repeated famoulsy by Mo Udall, "Presidential ambition is a disease which can only be cured by embalming fluid. I keep wondering why someone would lust after such a thankless and frustrating job, which is so largely because of the irresponsible legislation which created entitlement programs and a vast bureaucracy manned by people protected by the Civil Service System.
Via LGF who got it from Allahpundit who linked to this reprint in the Persian Journal of a report by Stephen Fitzpatrick of The Australian, about Ahmadinejad's appearance in Jakarta:
The leader of one of the world’s least-understood regimes was enthusiastically welcomed yesterday by throngs of students and academics at the two universities in Jakarta most likely to influence the thinking of Indonesia’s ruling class.So the students and academics think their leaders ought to be following one of the world's least-understood regimes? The great, little man was flashing either the V-for-Victory or two fingered peace signs, neither of which bodes well for the future.
I wish I could read faster. There are so many books out there.
It's the story of Abraham and Isaac without the last-minute reprieve: those who hate are all too ready to martyr the innocent in order to procure their own advantage, and the innocent themselves are all too eager to be martyred. To West, in 1941, "the whole world is a vast Kossovo, an abominable blood-logged plain." Unfortunately, little has happened since then to prove her wrong. --Mary ParkSuch are the wages of hate and fear, especially if we ignore the lessons of the past.
Eugene Volokh has some provocative quotes from Rebecca West, reminding me again that WWI was to the Brits as Vietnam has been to Americans.
Thus England ... put itself in a position of insecurity unique in history by raising a generation of young men to whom the idea of defending their nation was repugnant not so much by reason of the danger involved (though indeed they were now often instructed in fear as in other times boys had been instructed in courage) as because they could not believe it would in any circumstances be necessary.The gathering storm today is in Iran, but our country has been so propagandized about the Iraq war being a failure, that we may not respond until something really horrific occurs.
How to eliminate poverty and improve the American race? Keep the poor from reproducing through abortion and the morning-after pill! (See cover letter beginning on pg. 60)
There have been 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery...and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario. We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don't have a lot of time left. . . .Shades of white supremacy!
The biblical exhortation to "be fruitful and multiply" was directed toward a small tribe, surrounded by enemies. We are long past that. Our survival depends upon our developing a population where everyone contributes. We don't need more cannon fodder. We don't need more parishioners. We don't need more cheap labor. We don't need more poor babies.
63% of Americans said "they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism". Of course, this is still a fresh issue for most people. It sounds like the people have a longer attention span than the press and the Democrat leadership. Give the media time, and they'll have two-thirds as paranoid as themselves.
Ever since its secret domestic wiretapping program was exposed, the Bush administration has depicted it as a narrow examination of calls made by and to terrorism suspects. But its refusal to provide any details about the extent of the spying has raised doubts. Now there is more reason than ever to be worried--and angry--about how wide the government's web has been reaching.When you have such fools in control of major national newspapers who can't be bothered to question whether they should report classified information, i.e. violate the law, and then portray the information dishonestly and inaccurately, they damage the First Amendment. The whole point of Freedom of the Press is to protect robust public debate, primarily over poltical issues. Liberal judges and j-schools have added the baloney about the press being a watchdog on government, but who is the watchdog on the press when it's viewpoint is so dominated by such narrow band of the political spectrum.
Patrick Kennedy, pathetic drunk and addict or party animal? Probably a pathetic party animal, given a sinecure by the voters of Rhode Island.
Mediacracy? Mediarchy? I'm wondering for future reference.
What a bunch of wimps!
That's Patrick Fitzgerald's statement to the court in the Libby prosecution. Astonishing.
James Lileks on the Hugh Hewitt Show:
They [the critics of the NSA] want us to connect the dots, but not to collect the dots.
Steven den Beste is heard once again, as cogent as ever:
I keep running into this from lefties. They criticize others (us), and if in turn they're criticized suddenly they squeal about "censorship!" and "McCarthyism!" Their freedom of speech demands that we not say anything in our own defense, let alone actually point out their problems.
And so it is here. Howard Fineman is deathly afraid that the Republicans will point out what the Democrats actually stand for. How dare those scheming Republicans actually defend themselves!
Yesterday, Best of the Web noted this report of an atrocity in Tal Afar, which then veered off into an attack on George W. Bush, implying that the incident somehow disproved Bush's citing that city as an example of progress in the war.
John Hinderaker examines the Big Brother fear:
I did a quick calculation: assuming that there are 200 million adult Americans, each of whom places or receives ten phone calls a day (a conservative estimate, I think), it would require a small army of 35,000 full-time NSA employees to pay a total of one second of attention to each call. In other words, lighten up: the NSA obviously isn't tracking your phone calls with your friends and relatives.
Every time I see one of these blockbuster hype stories, it reminds me of the avowed role of the media as they explain it. Liberals eat this stuff up, as if the government has nothing better to do than sit around listening to random telephone conversations. I think it's part of their general belief that they're more interesting than they are.
This time in the Des Moines Register. I think the "cult" label comes from some protestant ministers who fear the idea of a lay clergy.
1. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.That was the rap on Mormons in the 19th century, but if it were a cult of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young, it wouldn't have survived and prospered. The only unconventional thing about Mormons today, not including apostate polygamist groups, is their abstinence from coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol. It that really a good reason to turn down a brilliant, successful and effective executive and leader as a candidate? The LDS church is thought to be authoritarian, but one of its scriptures explains that authority is not to be exercised except with "persuasion, long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge." The belief that the church would try to give orders to a member politician shows an unfamiliarity with the church I've known all my life.
One of Tim Blair's readers roundly fisks the NYTimes defense of Zarqawi's military prowess.
If this poll is accurate, I'd be moving away from New York, Washington, L.A., New Orleans and San Francisco. They seem to be the biggest terrorist targets we have. Maybe Israelis will have more steel.
another nominally neutral, liberal organization comes out of the closet as a nakedly partisan organization.
Howard Dean is still not ready for prime time.
How do you come up with a positive description of a party whose policy for the past decade has been obstruction? While the economy grows like crazy, your main economic proposals are to raise the minimum wage and repeal the Bush tax cuts. Your leaders look forward to hearings to investigate the last 6 years. And this is called "progressive."
The headline whoops Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet. But if you read down to the final two paragraphs, you get some perspective. After wading through all the bad news for Bush, you also get this nugget: "Still, 55 percent said they believed the effort in Iraq was somewhat or very likely to succeed."
Mickey Kaus offers Big Media some advice about blogging:
"Testing," ... "development"? Wow. People actually do those things! And criticize others for not doing them! Sounds like creeping professionalism to me. ... Of the two modes of product launching--(1) Rational, systematic testing and development, with dry runs and mock issues before anything becomes public, or (2) Just start doing it and fix anything that sucks--I've always found that (2) is not only more fun, it's vastly more efficient. Dry runs are soul-killers. Nobody really puts their heart into a mock issue, and there's no substitute for feedback from actual readers.It seems to me that what the framers had in mind for Freedom of the Press was a lot more like the Blogosphere than the opinion monopoly and political correct desert that the MSM has given us. The people running The Media today are their own worst censors. They can't even grasp the concept that there are other intelligent views out here. How're they going to present any. Hiring Will, Krauthammer and Brooks is all very fine, but it won't take the place of having reporters who ask the questions you don't learn in J-school. Big Business and Blogs just haven't managed to mesh, probably because there's a huge cadre of PR consultants and other "professionals" in the way.
Sounds like 1984 for Muslims. (Via Hugh Hewitt) The Christian Science Monitor explains what the Caliphate means and why Islamists think they need to restore it. One of them says, "[President] Bush says that we want to enslave people and oppress their freedom of speech, but we want to free all people from being slaves of men and make them slaves of Allah."
Howard Fineman previews the Republican strategy for this fall. Hugh Hewitt already identified the point: Whatever the issue, the Democrats aren't the answer.
The more I hear about Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush, the more it reminds me this letter in the Book of Mormon. What's more astonishing is that some Americans describe it as a peace proposal.
My guess is that the Indian's will do the math and the U.S. will write the checks.
Amir Taheri polks holes in the myth of JFK's "sophisticated" diplomacy and reminds us how well Jimmy Carter's diplomacy with the Islamic Revolution worked:
the Carter administration did "engage" with the mullahs without artificial deadlines, saber rattling and name-calling. The results for the U.S. were disastrous.And we know how well that worked out.
In 1979, soon after the mullahs seized power, Mr. Carter sent Ayatollah Khomeini a warm congratulatory letter. Mr. Carter's man at the U.N., a certain Andrew Young, praised Khomeini as "a 20th-century saint." Mr. Carter also tapped his closest legal advisor, the late Lloyd Cutler, as U.S. ambassador to the mullarchy.
Mr. Clinton did not reveal that in 1999 he offered the mullahs "a grand bargain" under which the Islamic Republic would be recognized as the "regional power" in exchange for lip service to U.S. "interests in the Middle East." As advance payment for the "bargain" Mr. Clinton apologized for "all the wrongs that my country and culture have done" to Iran, whatever that was supposed to mean.The calls in the media for Bush to "engage" the Iranians come quite close to the definition of insanity attributed to both Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein (What? Not Stephen Hawking? -- ed.)
Imagine what Richard Cohen's mail would have been like if he were a Republican! Where has he been for the past 5 years? Oh . . . yeah. He's been part of the mob.
More proof that government designations don't really "protect" wilderness. Delicate Arches in Arches National Park is almost a trademark for Southern Utah. It's on some of our license plates. A few years ago a photographer started a fire around the base for a photograph, without thinking what that could do to the sandstone being heated up. Now some jerk has "free climbed" it.
This time from Bobby Inman, former director of NSA. Of course, how this proves that they are beyond the president's inherent powers isn't quite clear.
Al Qaeda documents indicate that they're losing in Iraq.
Andrew Sullivan has come up with a new label for people who don't think God approves of sodomy. He calls them "Christianists," which he defines as "those who see Christianity as compatible with only one political party, the Republicans, and believe that their religious doctrines should determine public policy for everyone." I suppose he'd classify me as a Christianist because I oppose using the power of government to validate his lifestyle by changing the definition of marriage. I'm not sure that it's my burden to defend the status quo, however. This language, "their religious doctrines should determine public policy for everyone," is just an attempt to put arguments he doesn't like out of bounds, so that only his views are allowed legitimacy in the debate. Why do we outlaw murder? Is it because of the commandment given through Moses? I imagine that to a lot of people that is what they'd answer. Others would say that is violates the rights of other individuals. I'd say it interferes with a healthy society, which is one where people live together and receive advantages of trade, social interaction, family support and specialization and accomplishments through joint efforts which none of us could bring about on our own. What we give in return is an agreement not to interfere with the reasonable expectations of others from society. That's why we have breach of the peace laws, and the concept of public nuisance.
``accurately'' portraying ``the sexual diversity of our society.'' More controversially, it could require that students hear history lessons on ``the contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America.''Now, I've never seen a public school textbook that belittles or denigrates gays and lesbians, but I'm aware of the tendency of school kids to call each other "gay." My sister-in-law reports that her son who is 7 or 8 objected to wearing a purple shirt to school because it was "gay." He didn't know what that meant, exactly, other than that it carried some opprobrium. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the third grade curriculum explained it all and inculcated admiration for gays and lesbians instead? Nothing like making the curriculum even more irrelevant to real life. Sorry, I just can't picture the middle school crowd giving up their favorite jeering term to accommodate poltical correctness.
North Lehi is infested with Meadow Voles! There must be a Monty Python sketch in that.
18 page letter, eighteen letters in "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." You decide.
Michael Hayden looks like a guy who can handle himself in a fight. If what Bush says about him is true, this could be another case of the Democrats making themselves look foolish before a nominee. That's Hugh Hewitt's take, too. Those who want to fight over the NSA wiretaps have been listening to the Washington Post and NYTimes too much.
I have mixed feelings about suing the Catholic Church over old child abuse claims. On one hand, I think the church brought this on itself by covering up the problem for so long and by its doctrine of celibacy, which is not scriptural. One the other hand, I really dislike the fact that lawyers collect a third to a half of all the damages. This has got to be addressed, but won't be as long as politicians get donations from trial lawyers. A few years ago the LDS church was sued in Oregon or Washington over an old man who molested a kid. The molester had no connection to the church beyond being a member and the kid's mother had allowed him to stay in her home knowing the guy's history as a sex offender.
I'm sorry. I just don't trust attempts to solve the problems we've created by abandoning values with more new fixes. I think that the source of most of our social problems is due to the decline of the idea of commitment in marriage and the idea that a woman can't be fulfilled without a career. Some want careers, and who am I to begrudge them, but it shouldn't be mandatory.
I just read Max Boot's column about how the inflated oil prices are enriching dictators and autocrats around the world. His solution strikes me as reasonable:
The most important step would be to increase the federal gasoline tax, currently a paltry 18.4 cents a gallon. Congress should enact a sliding-scale tax that rises as oil prices fall and vice versa. That would shape demand, which would in turn shape prices. The goal would be to create a "floor" at, say, $50 a barrel, which would avert the kind of precipitous price collapse that in the past has eviscerated investment in alternative energy sources and kept low-cost oil producers such as the Saudis and Russians in the driver's seat.Maybe a sliding scale tariff on imported oil with the revenues devoted to funding development of oil shale and other promising alternative fuels like biodiesel, etc. I'm not enough of an economist to see the flaws in it, however. I'm not sure I trust the bureaucracy and the companies to use the money wisely either. I just hate to think how much evil we've spawned in the world by buying oil from these creeps. They'll get along just fine without our 25%, but I'd sure feel better.
I stumbled across this nice little puff piece at the Washington Post's website today. On an impulse, I ran a search for "Atwar Bahjat," the Iraqi TV reporter who was tortured and murdered by "insurgents." No results.
Joe Biden has a cunning plan for victory in Iraq. He also avers that "Everything I'm proposing is already in Iraq's constitution." He goes on to explain how he would organize things in Iraq, as if we had the power to dictate to the Iraqis. We have been careful and gone to great lengths to let them decide for themselves about the details of their democracy.
My plan would guarantee the Sunnis a proportionate share of oil revenue. It would tie economic aid to the protection of minorities' and women's rights. It would require a regional non-aggression pact. And it would allow us to responsibly withdraw most U.S. forces from Iraq by 2008 — enough time for a settlement to take hold.Funny, that sounds like partition to me and a prescription for civil war. What we're doing is aimed at forcing them to engage in politics and work out the tough questions and see for themselves why they must control these militias. The Iraqis must do that, not us. Biden's plan sounds like papering over the sectarian tensions so that we can pull out, as in Vietnam, knowing that when things go South, the Congress will never authorize going back.
What I'm proposing is not partition; in fact, it might be the only way to prevent partition. Violence between the Shiites and Sunnis has surpassed the insurgency as the main security threat. Ethnic militias increasingly are the law in Iraq. They have infiltrated the official security forces. Sectarian cleansing has begun in mixed areas, where tens of thousands of Iraqis have been fleeing their homes in recent weeks.
The only way to hold Iraq together and create conditions for our troops to responsibly withdraw is to give Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds room to breathe in their own regions.
At least that what I thought when I saw this picture.
John Yewell illustrates why Republicans need to band together and defend the President. As I've said before, running as if the polls are justified is crazy. His enemies are making idiotic claims and they need to point it out and keep doing so. They can't distance themselves from Bush. They've got to get out and make the case for him and his policies. He biggest offenses in the eyes of conservatives, after all, is signing the bills they passed. The war in Iraq is not a failure and they should defend it and rally the support of the people for it. They don't have any chance at all if they accept the MSM's depiction of it.
Boy, if I were asked to represent Jesus Christ, these days, I'd want a b-i-i-i-i-g retainer. I once had to defend a guy charged with possession of half a coffee can full of marijuans. At presentment, he was asked if he had an attorney and replied, "I need no attorney! God is my attorney!" I got appointed anyway. I thought about having new cards printed.
It's a nice idea. I can see Bruce Willis and a few others signing up, but who would put up the money? Mel Gibson?
Mark Steyn agrees with Moussaoui that America lost:
Not just because he'll be living a long life at taxpayers' expense. He'd have had a good stretch of that even if he'd been "sentenced to death," which in America means you now spend more years sitting on Death Row exhausting your appeals than the average "life" sentence in Europe. America "lost" for a more basic reason: turning a war into a court case and upgrading the enemy to a defendant ensures you pretty much lose however it turns out. And the notion, peddled by some sappy member of the ghastly 9/11 Commission on one of the cable yakfests last week, that jihadists around the world are marveling at the fairness of the U.S. justice system, is preposterous. The leisurely legal process Moussaoui enjoyed lasted longer than America's participation in the Second World War. Around the world, everybody's enjoying a grand old laugh at the U.S. justice system.Well, not in Europe. They're probably thinking justice was done. But throughout the Muslim world, al Qaeda certainly looks like it picked the right patsy.
"A Paris court fined the terrorist known as 'Carlos the Jackal' more than $6,000 Tuesday for saying in a French television interview that terror attacks sometimes were 'necessary.' The 56-year-old Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was convicted of defending terrorism. The court did not convict him for expressing pleasure that 'the Great Satan' -- the United States -- suffered the Sept. 11 attacks, saying those comments were his personal reaction."
That's right, folks. The French state brought a successful hate-speech prosecution against Carlos the Jackal, albeit not as successful as they wanted:
"Prosecutors asked for a fine four times larger than the $6,110 penalty imposed. But the judges said they did not see the need for a higher fine because Ramirez's comments referred to the past and aimed to justify his own actions. Ramirez, dressed in a red shirt and blue blazer, kissed the hand of his partner and lawyer, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, during the judgment."
The Washington Post:
Mitt Romney : Probably the brightest and most talented candidate in the GOP field, boosted by recent passage of universal health care in Massachusetts. Mormon faith could be an asset in that it offers a network of potential supporters and donors, and a liability in that some conservative religious leaders either don't consider Mormons "true Christians," or regard the fastest-growing religion in small-town America as a threat.I wonder how many people consider Bill or Hillary Clinton true Christians?
Will the American media cover the murder of Atwar Bahjat, an Iraqi television reporter for Al Arabiya, as broadly as they did the taking of Jill Carroll. Explain to me, please, why we should flee before such cowards and bullies as those who sawed of a pious Muslim woman on video.