Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gaia's Stern Rebuke, Etc.

James Wolcott must be just giddy with delight. Thousands possibly dead, millions dislocated, billions worth of property destroyed. Yep. He got his wish . . . in spades.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is, in addition to being a sniveling little opportunistic puke, just plain wrong.

And the New York Times can't resist a cravenly cheap shot:
But this seems like the wrong moment to dwell on fault-finding, or even to point out that it took what may become the worst natural disaster in American history to pry President Bush out of his vacation. All the focus now must be on rescuing the survivors.
At least some things remain the same . . .

Kathleen Blanco

Will Blanco become a synonym for incompetent screw-up? This Governor, blubbering on television, appears to be in way over her head (no pun intended). Louisiana could really use some good old-fashioned leadership about now. It's not getting it. One can only wonder how Governor Long would have dealt with the chaos down there. Surely, he wouldn't be crying.

Disorderly Conduct

Michelle posts on the question of shooting the looters. As I said last night, they should be shot on sight. Even if the authorities are not yet ready to go that far, property owners appear to be more than prepared.

In times like these, one wonders just how we ever manage to keep order. I suppose, though, that it's a good thing for our society to get an occasional glimpse of the alternative to the social order that our nation has worked to preserve for over 200 years. Bear in mind that what is happening in New Orleans is exactly what would happen in a world where the World Bank/IMF-hating anarchists had their way. Either our modern anarchists believe absolute chaos is a preferred state of affairs or their view of human nature is removed from reality by several orders of magnitude. My view? It's Hobbes all the way down.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Well, Now . . .

You simply won't believe what those Krazy Kos Kids are saying tonight. Of all the shockingly stupid things I have seen over there, this is the most shockingly stupid. The premise of this particular diary: The City of New Orleans intentionally used the storm to cull its black population. No, I kid you not. (via Michelle)

You Gotta Be Kidding

Good grief. The day the United States of America needs disaster assistance (or eye surgery?) from a Tinpot Little South American Socialist Dictator is a very looooong way off.

Chavez Status


It looks like civil society has completely broken down in New Orleans. This just goes to show how close to the door the wolves remain, how easily the fabric of modern society can be rent.

The National Guard and New Orleans police need to get this situation under control so they can focus on saving lives and preserving whatever property still lingers. Looters must be shot on sight - the looters are behaving like animals and should be treated as such.

Here's the deal. Order must be restored. As matters now stand, New Orleans looks like Haiti. Stop the bleeding. Clean it up. Whatever it takes. No apologies.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Patwa Update



The storm bearing down on the Big Easy is, in a word, awesome. Some of my deeper roots extend to Bogalusa and we still have family in the Pontchartrain area. We're thinking about them today as well as everyone else threatened by Katrina, including my lawyer buddies at Adams & Reese. Good luck, down there.

Although I doubt many have forgotten, I will remind folks that not everyone is on the side of humanity in these circumstances. There are people like James Wolcott who will watch this gathering storm with hopes of great destruction and loss of life:
I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own.
Wolcott, of course, writes from New York -- one of our few remaining pristine natural spaces. Oh, and he writes for Vanity Fair.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Those Damn Nigerians

The story of the big time music producer fleeing malevolent Nigerian email scammers is almost too strange for words. Almost. But not quite. It doesn't ring true. I'll bet he was really fleeing a group of nefarious penile-enhancement specialists . . .


As happens more often than I would naturally expect, today I ran across a blog that, although written in English, is utterly inscrutable. There are some real nut-burgers out there -- far more than even I can casually dismiss. Yikes.

Windfall Property Taxes

I tend to agree with Alan Greenspan and others that, in many markets, home prices are radically over-inflated. As I said to my wife when we bought our home in Burke, Virginia three years ago, this will end . . . badly. My concern over a substantial drop in the Northern Virginia market (whether as a result of normal market activity or in combination with another terrorist stike in the D.C. area) was one of the reasons (though not the principal reason, which was quality of life) we re-located to York, PA. After only two-and-a-half years of ownership, we conveyed our Burke home for a nearly 60% gain.

If the market does breakdown in over-priced areas, affected homeowners would likely suffer a secondary hit in the form of rising tax rates. The issue is straightforward. In the event of a market breakdown, local communities would find themselves in narrowed fiscal straights insofar as property taxes tend to be assessed based on present market value. In other words, a 50% increase in market value normally results in a roughly equal increase in property tax. During the boom, most localities have received an enormous property tax windfall. Problem is, for the most part localities do not sock away windfall income for a rainy day. Rather, as with almost all tax revenues, once revenue is received, it is appropriated. Problematically, authorities then rely on that windfall income for budgeting purposes. In other words, one year's windfall becomes the next year's budgeting baseline.

What would happen if the market breaks down? Would your local authorities strive to make do without the enormous windfall they received during the housing boom (i.e., spend less as tax receipts shrink)? Or would your local authorities increase the tax rate to compensate for an "unexpected revenue shortfall"? If history is any guide, not only would homeowners suffer the sting of stagnant or falling values (and the myriad naturally-attendant difficulties), but also localities would insult that injury by increasing tax rates applicable to remaining value.

Vertigo, Anyone?

Although I've never been to the Grand Canyon (shameful for one who lived in the Denver-area for nearly eight years), this strikes me as a really cool idea (via Him):

The walkway, with a glass bottom and sides, will be supported by steel beams and will accommodate 120 people, though it is designed to hold 72 million pounds, said Sheri Yellowhawk, chief executive officer of the Grand Canyon Resort Corp., the tribal-owned company that is overseeing the project.

"You're basically looking 4,000 feet down. It's a whole new way to experience the Grand Canyon," Yellowhawk said.

Despite the monumental (no pun intended) over-engineering, one is still slighted tempted to ask that most Fark-ish of questions: What could possibly go wrong?
The project is still seeking an insurer, said architect David Jin[.]
Hmmm. Still cool, though. For other people, that is . . . I could barely walk across Royal Gorge without mine rising.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Miss Cleo Goes to Crawford

Is August over yet? Apparently not. Sadly, my prediction that "Mother Sheehan Mania" would die out a bit with Mother Sheehan's return to Crawford has proved a bit, well, wishful. But then I had no way of knowing that Mother Sheehan would stoop to channeling Casey :
I can just hear him saying “George Bush you are really an idiot. You didn’t know what you were doing when you killed me. You didn’t know what you were getting into.” And I’m sure Casey’s up there with Ken and all the others and they’re just going, “Wow, did these guys have moms? They didn’t know that this was going to happen when they killed us?”
Pathetic. Is August over yet? Can we please get some real news going? At the beginning, I sympathized with Mother Sheehan -- I didn't agree with her, but she had my sympathy. After nearly a month of full-bore foppery, she and her catered circus disgust me. It's one thing to disagree about the war. It's one thing to protest the war. It's another thing entirely to call the President a murderer who killed her son on behalf of the Joooooooos. feh. Is August over yet? I won't be posting about this twit again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Back to the Ditch

Blessed "Mother Sheehan" has announced her imminent return to the Crawford Ditch, where she will resume dishonoring her fallen son and his brave comrades. Ho-hum. I'm far more interested in what Krazy Kos has in store for the DLC. An anxious world waits . . .

He's Back . . .

Michael Graham will be back on the air, err, on the wires, as of next Monday, August 29 (via AtlasBlogged). As Michael explains on his website:
Starting this Monday, I'll be on every weekday at noon for a one-hour edition of a new radio show, "Michael Graham, Unleashed!" No liberal network execs, no advertisers, not even the FCC. You'll be able to listen live, or the show will be available for podcasting or downloading every hour, on the hour. And that includes INSIDE The beltway, too.

I'm very excited about, not just because they're fellow conservatives, but because they're on the cutting edge of the future of radio as the technology moves from an AM receiver to digital, satellite, wifi and even CELLULAR radio technology. has asked me to do this show, not because they necessarily agree with everything I say, but because they understand that free speech and open discourse are key elements in successful talk radio, not to mention successful democracies and thriving societies, too.

"Michael Graham, Unleashed," is going to be a very exciting experiment for me and I can't wait to get started. And yes--you will be able to call in live during the show. You can find out more about listening, calliing and downloading by going to
Further, according to Drudge (no story-specific link yet) it appears that KFI-AM in Los Angeles may have also extended an offer to Graham (KFI does have stream access). Regardless of where Michael winds up on a permanent basis, I'm glad he's closing in on a microphone. It'll be good to hear him again.

It's 10:34 am and WE ARE (with) Michael Graham.

Patwa on Chavez

Yesterday, the 700 Club, lead by Pat Robertson, gave the world a fresh glimpse of its well-maintained foreign affairs chops, outlining a shift in policy toward Venezuela. Breaking with the current policy of Marginal Curiosity, the 700 Club issued a formal Patwa calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. To the target of this newest Patwa, the 700 Club's record should be cause for grave concern. Active in the Southern Hemisphere since the early 50s, the 700 Club has issued Patwas responsible for coups in Chile and Bolivia, the capture of Manuel Noriega, and, most recently, the partial break-up of the Antarctic Ross Ice Shelf. Manifestly, the 700 Club means business.

Press coverage of the Chavez Patwa has been commensurate with the 700 Club's power and influence in international affairs. Almost immediately, the President of the United States was asked whether, from a layman's perspective, he believed the 700 Club's policy of assassination was warranted. Although the President distanced his administration from the new Patwa, he was quick to concede that there was little he could do.

We'll be keeping a close eye on things in Venezuela.



Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Treatment of PTSD

I won't pretend to know much about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by fighting men and women. Cassandra at Villianous Company (which is a truly outstanding blog on a daily basis), however, does know more than a few things about it, and believes that a new form of therapy shows extraordinary promise.

Speaking of the War

Over at Villianous Company, Cassandra lights into Clarence Page and doesn't let up until she has his . . . well, let's say Page winds up looking very small in the end and leave it at that. The post concludes:

How on earth does he think the America of today was created? By people who sat on their hands and never ventured anything? No - American history is full of bold risk-takers - full of pain and suffering and bad decisions and debacles and disasters and triumphs in equal measure. Full of Antietams where tens of thousands were slain in a single day - this is unimaginable to milquetoasts like Mr. Page - and yet, men rose up the next morning and pressed on. Full of routs like the disastrous Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. These are part of our glorious and, at times, miserable, history. But there has been one constant that has made this nation what it is today: no matter what obstacles stood in our way, we have pressed on.

How is it that we have suffered not a single bloody day like Antietam in the War on Terror - on the contrary, we have had nothing but military success - and yet men like Clarence Page are constantly whining that we are on the brink of disaster? How far we have fallen.

If we are defeated, it will be by our own weakness, our strength sapped from within by the cancer of our own self-hatred. We will be beaten by men like Clarence Page who do not recognize greatness, and would tear it down if they were capable of recognizing it.

Cassandra's brilliant path to this conclusion is blazed in the blood of contemporary heroes. And along the way, she provides irrefutable evidence of the perfidy of our so-called elite media. This is good. Bill-Quick-good. Run and see.

The Hitch v. Gorgeous George

This promises to be an interesting evening. From Ticket Central's website (which needs page-specific links):

Mason Hall, The Baruch Performing Arts Center
17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY

Performance Dates: 9/14/2005 - 9/14/2005
My hunch is that sparks shall fly.

Koz Kountdown

As happens from time to time, LGF has me in stitches. I'm laughing so hard that I'm sure to be late. Alas, no fruit cup for me . . . Thirteen days to go. Oooooh.

Sour French Grapes

They're at it again. France hasn't managed to field a legitimate Tour contender -- let alone a Tour champion -- since Fignon nearly 20 years ago. That Thomas Voekler garners as much camera time as he does while huffing and puffing at the back of the peloton is indicative of the poor state of French cycling. So, what do the French do when they can't win the race? Well, they dump on the winner, of course. That's the French style.

France's L'Equip now claims that it has tested backup urine samples that Lance Armstrong allegedly gave in 1999 and that several of the backup samples tested positive for EPO, a drug that increases red blood cells and hence oxygen carrying capacity. Here's a babblefish translation of the article (via Drudge).

Lance, of course, again denies the charges:
"I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs."
Outgoing Tour director (and ostensible friend) Jean Marie-LeBlanc piles on:

"I remain cautious and slightly circumspect but this is troubling and I feel disappointment inside me, like many sports lovers must do," Leblanc told French radio station RTL

Asked if he felt let down by Armstrong, Leblanc said. "Yes."

My take? It's more sour grapes. We've seen the French accuse Armstrong for seven years, and there's no reason to expect it won't continue. In the end, there will prove to be nothing in this. As Lance often says, the only thing he was ever "on" was his damn bike. And the French just can't accept that.

But don't believe me, take the Big Mig's word for it:

"They have been out to get [Armstrong] in France for a number of years," Indurain was quoted as saying on the website on Tuesday.

And they still are. Sniping at a champion's heels is a very poor substitute for winning (or contending, for that matter) but, in the end, it's all the French have when it comes to the Tour these days.

Tagged: Lance Armstrong

More on Michael Graham

This morning I received a "group response" from Chris Core, WMAL's veteran evening drive-time host. The complete text of Chris's note states:
this is a group response to all the michael graham e-mails i am getting. i like michael. he is a friend of mine. there is more to this story than has been made public, and should probably stay private as it is a touchy personnel issue, and not my business to share. nobody at wmal is happy we all had to go through this. i will continue to do the best job i can at six each tonight [sic]. i hope that you will listen. chris core.
Historically, I have had a great deal of respect for Chris -- he's proven over the years to be clear-thinking, independent-minded, well-spoken, and trustworthy. This note, however, is extraordinarily disappointing. I expected from Chris something other than a time-honored "there's-more-to-this-but-I-can't-tell-you" cop out. Better mind your manners, Chris. You may well be next. Although I won't be listening, I'm sure CAIR will be.

Also, I have news for Chris: saying that "nobody at WMAL is happy we had to go through this" evinces a fundamental misunderstanding of this situtation. It's far too early to speak in the past tense -- WMAL will be undergoing "this" for quite a while. As Michael said, he was fired for expressing views with which a great many of WMAL's listeners agree.
The listeners I spoke to said they felt betrayed by my suspension because the vast majority of them agree with me on the subject of Islam. By labeling my statements as unacceptable, these listeners felt that WMAL management was insulting them, too.
He's dead right. Firing Michael on the basis that his views are unacceptable is a direct attack on the views of many of the station's listeners. I doubt the listeners will quickly forgive the insult. My suspicion is that WMAL will grow to regret bowing before the greivance-mongering thugs at CAIR.

Lastly, in case anyone's interested, here's a link to a list of email contacts for WMAL's advertisers, which was posted in the comments over at Radio Equalizer (I am curious as to how it was obtained, but obtained it apparently was). If, like me, you are tuning out WMAL, it would seem appropriate to let the advertisers know that their advertising dollars will no longer reach you.

It's 11:06 am and WE ARE (still with) Michael Graham . . .

More: So this is what traffic looks like, huh? Thanks, Brian.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Michael Graham Fired

Charles posts what he characterizes as an email from Michael Graham in which Michael announces that ABC and WMAL have fired him. It is reproduced here:

The First Amendment and I have been evicted from ABC Radio in Washington, DC.

On July 25th, the Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded that I be “punished” for my on-air statements regarding Islam and its tragic connections to terrorism. Three days later, 630 WMAL and ABC Radio suspended me without pay for comments deemed “hate radio” by CAIR.

CAIR immediately announced that my punishment was insufficient and demanded I be fired. ABC Radio and 630 WMAL have now complied. I have now been fired for making the specific comments CAIR deemed “offensive,” and for refusing to retract those statements in a management-mandated, on-air apology. ABC Radio further demanded that I agree to perform what they described as “additional outreach efforts” to those people or groups who felt offended.

I refused. And for that refusal, I have been fired.

It appears that ABC Radio has caved to an organization that condemns talk radio hosts like me, but has never condemned Hamas, Hezbollah, and one that wouldn’t specifically condemn Al Qaeda for three months after 9/11.

As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show. As a conservative talk host whose job is to have an open, honest conversation each day with my listeners, I believe caving to this pressure is a disaster.

I for one cannnot apologize for the truth and I cannot agree to some community-service style “outreach effort” to appease the opponents of free speech.

—Michael Graham

Scandalous. Absolutely scandalous. What has prompted this headlong rush into Dhimmitude I don't know. I would have never expected this from WMAL. This is a sad day for D.C. radio, and a sad day for America. Lastly, I am compelled to note that Ward Churchill still has his job . . .

For the "Children"

Mark Steyn weighs in on the Moonbat strategy of characterizing our soldiers as children, juxtaposing that calumny with the Left's characterization of children as adults for, somewhat less honorable, purposes:
They're not children in Iraq; they're grown-ups who made their own decision to join the military. That seems to be difficult for the left to grasp. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing.

I get many e-mails from soldiers in Iraq, and they sound a lot more grown-up than most Ivy League professors and certainly than Maureen Dowd, who writes like she's auditioning for a minor supporting role in ''Sex And The City.''

The infantilization of the military promoted by the left is deeply insulting to America's warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd's purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that "of course" they "support our troops," because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.
Throughout the "Camp Casey" melodrama, we've seen a great many Gold Star adults behave like children. As long, though, as those "kids" continue, however reluctantly, to birth heroes such as Casey -- may God honor and rest the souls of he and his fallen comrades -- I suppose America will be just fine despite them.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Grant Books

I recently received Grant Books' new limited edition of the Stephen King/Peter Straub books The Talisman and Black House. If anyone is thinking about buying this set, I'll simply say it is perhaps the finest edition of modern fiction I have ever seen. The books are simply beautiful. And Grant has a deal whereby you can acquire this Limited Edition and the Artist Edition of the final Dark Tower volume for a relative song. Finally, Grant will soon be publishing a new edition of The Gunslinger, which will include the pre-Gunslinger DT-related story The Little Sisters of Eluria -- should be great.

Get Them Duke Boys

Today the Clampetts and the Dukes go head to head over at Don Surber's place. Although Don comes up with a draw, I must question a system that doesn't give Jesse a clear victory in the "Uncle" category. And, for my money, the Dukes take "Theme Song," too. Hell, it's a Dukes blowout in my book. Gyuh, gyuh, gyuh.

And don't miss Don's guest blogger Robert C. "Sheets" Byrd.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Ann Coulter on MoDo:
Maureen Dowd said, it's "inhumane" for Bush not "to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."

I'm not sure what "moral authority" is supposed to mean in that sentence, but if it has anything to do with Cindy Sheehan dictating America's foreign policy, then no, it is not "absolute." It's not even conditional, provisional, fleeting, theoretical or ephemeral.

The logical, intellectual and ethical shortcomings of such a statement are staggering. If one dead son means no one can win an argument with you, how about two dead sons? What if the person arguing with you is a mother who also lost a son in Iraq and she's pro-war? Do we decide the winner with a coin toss? Or do we see if there's a woman out there who lost two children in Iraq and see what she thinks about the war?

Dowd's "absolute" moral authority column demonstrates, once again, what can happen when liberals start tossing around terms they don't understand like "absolute" and "moral."
Priceless. Absolutely.

"Mother Sheehan" Sighting

A few days back, LGF linked to a silly, though contemptible, piece of Kos-kid strategery. It has been roundly parodied in the blogosphere and even snickered at from behind the golden EIB microphone. But today, Martin Walker at UPI goes with the "Mother Sheehan" angle:
There are heads of state who attract fewer TV crews than Mother Sheehan has routinely faced over the past week. . . . A conscience-troubled Texan decided to let Mother Sheehan squat on his land, right next door to the Secret Service post outside the president's ranch. . . .
Walker uses the silly "Mother Sheehan" formulation five times in total. Admittedly, it's hard to tell whether Walker is writing tongue-in-cheek. However, among other things, his 25+ year tenure with the Guardian would suggest he is not. And that's just pathetic.

Roberts Receives Crucial Rating

Two snaps and a circle . . . you betcha!

Michael Graham Update

It's now been nearly three weeks and Michael Graham still remains on suspension at 630 WMAL (that after Geoff Metcalf (before he too was disappeared) assured listeners that Graham would be back on Monday August 8). Looks like WMAL is in the running for dhimmi-of-the-year. Unbelievable. I very much miss Chris Core in the evenings, but, as promised, no listening for me until WMAL fixes this mess.

It's 1:56 pm and WE are (with) Michael Graham.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

MSNBC/Newsweek Link

For what purpose I don't know, but MSNBC/Newsweek has linked to the Chateau. I say I don't know the purpose beacaue the post has nothing to do with the subject of the Blog Roundup in which it is linked. I guess, though, you takes what you gets. There's a distinct possibility that "Islunatics" is the single most intemperate post I've written. You can be the judge of whether the outrage was justified.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Remember the Other Shoe?

Well, it just dropped. Big time. It's nice to link to a NYT story that, for once, actually advances the ball on a story. It used to be a great paper, and some echos linger:
A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the F.B.I. in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he had now decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly.

The officer, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, said military lawyers later blocked the team from sharing any of its information with the bureau.

Colonel Shaffer said in an interview on Monday night that the small, highly classified intelligence program, known as Able Danger, had identified the terrorist ringleader, Mohamed Atta, and three other future hijackers by name by mid-2000, and tried to arrange a meeting that summer with agents of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to share its information.

To Lt. Col. Shaffer I say two things: First, thank you for coming forward -- it probably took as many guts to do this as to stand in a firefight, if not more. Second, don't worry, a great big mess of us have got your back.

See the NutHouse's valuable Able Danger posts (this one, too) and Austin Bay weighs in arguing that "[i]t’s time for the President to make a statement about Able Danger, even something as simple as 'the lieutenant-colonel’s statements require further investigation.' Then, let’s investigate, with presidential authority." Check out the terrific Able Danger round up at the Strata-Sphere for the latest.

See also: State apparently warned Clinton to prevent bin Laden's Afghani adventure before it began (via Captain Ed).

The Captain also comments on another Mary Jo White memo that was buried by the 9-11 Commission, concluding that, far from fulfilling its responsibilities, the Commission was "a dangerous cover-your-ass effort by bureaucrats who made national security an almost impossible task for operational units." Unfortunately, the Captain is not speaking in hyperbole. Had White's cry from the wilderness been heeded, September 11, 2001 might have just been a beautiful -- and unremarkable -- fall-like morning. Instead, (and, no, Ms. Gorelick, we will not forget) the ridiculous Wall may wind up being directly responsible for the failure to prevent:


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Fatal Confusion

Fatal Confusion. Fatal Confusion? Fatal Confusion! This is how the New York Times describes recordings of the radio communications that ran between FDNY field units and dispatch on the morning of September 11, 2001. The Times' site contains audio snippets of significant moments including, among others, the first emergency calls and both collapses. The radio traffic immediately following the event sounds anything but confused. By the time the third alarm goes out, FDNY has a staging area in place and a plan of attack for the groups responding to the first two alarms. It takes FDNY all of about 60 seconds to conclude terrorism may be involved. In fact, the communications sound eerily nonplussed given the nature of the disaster -- a disaster unlike any in FDNY's broad experience. In short, the recordings reveal little or no confusion, let alone fatal confusion.

Here's the deal. FDNY's response didn't kill anyone. The fuel-laden passenger jets that a bunch of virgin-fancying Islunatics flew into the buildings? They killed many. Put another way, it was the attacks that were fatal, not FDNY's response. FDNY's response was, in a word, heroic. Period. You'd think either Ruth Fremson or her editors would appreciate the distinction.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The H-Bomb

Charles notes that, strangely, every single front page blog entry on the Huffington Post is about Cindy Sheehan (even Sheehan has a blog entry up). Sheehan, of course, is the Gold Star Mom who has made it her month's mission to badger the President. I feel very sorry for Ms. Sheehan. Not only has she lost a son, but she is being viciously used by the anit-war left. I suppose she has allowed it to happen, but it's still sad.

Sheehan isn't going to change any minds. She's just going to reinforce existing divisions over how we confront the threat posed by Islamism. Many, presumably Ms. Sheehan included, want to bring our troops home and instead shower funds on so called "first responders." You know, the guys who show up immediately after we get hit by the Islunatics. Many others, myself included, want to hunt the Islunatics down like pigs and kill them, while at the same time doing something -- anything -- to create some semblance of freedom, stability, and self-reliance in Islamic lands.

With regard to Iraq, we believe (no, really, we do) that a Middle East populated by free people would be a huge improvement over people governed by Dictators who like to draw attention away from their own miserable failings by blaming America. We believe that a free Iraq will be a terrific first step. Iraq is not an adventure, though many on the left like to call it that and, for all I know, may really believe it. That can only be because they either (1) don't believe it is possible for people they disagree with to nevertheless be acting in good faith, or (2) they are just plain dumb. Agree or not, Iraq is part of a broad and ambitious strategy to pull the Muslim world from the 14th century. If someone disagrees with that strategy, fine. Let's talk about why - not about oil, Daddy, WMD, My Pet Goat, containment, etc., ad nauseum.

In the end, Ms. Sheehan wants to see the President so she can denounce and demand an end to a war we simply are not fighting -- i.e., a war for oil, Daddy, WMD, etc., ad nauseum. And no matter how long Ms. Crawford sits in Crawford, the war that we are fighting will remain not only honorable, but also absolutely essential.


The Chateau is joining up with other Conservative Bloggers Who Support The Gay Judge Roberts. Judge Roberts will show the world how a black robe is worn. And, the fruity hat will really liven up oral argument:
Put the lime in the coconut and, by all means, tally me banana!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Remember Sandy Berger?

New information concerning the Clinton Adminstration's surprising familiarity with Atta and three other 9.11 hijackers might provide a clue as to the substance of documents Berger managed to spirit out of the National Archives and destroy. No question this information was hidden from the 9.11 Commission, which is now talking about re-opening their investigation. (Via LGF).

Looks like the beginning of a big story. Other reports at TimesOnline and Newsmax.

More: I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Despite Commission members' denials, it now appears that the 9.11 Commission knew all about Able Danger. The Commission paid it no attention because -- get this -- the information didn't jibe with conclusions the Comission was drawing. Got that? Draw conclusions first, then toss compelling evidence that doesn't fit. This is an outrage. So much for the 9.11 Report. Thank God for Weldon.

Dr. Sanity has an interesting timeline that flesh's out the Berger theory.


Today's Day by Day asks for some help (Day by Day daily appears at the bottom of this page). Click through to Chris's page, where you see the Clik4Cathy button. Lend a hand, if you will.

More: Don't miss today's Day-by-Day (scroll all the way down). 100,000+ hits in a single day -- not too shabby.

NARAL Stoops to Libel

NARAL's new attack ad is almost, but not quite, beneath contempt. The ad is, in a word, false, and, the way I see it, libelous. There is a very strong argument to be made that NARAL has acted here with actual malice, i.e., NARAL knows its assertions are false or, at the very least, has acted in reckless disregard of the truth. Consequently, it's quite possible that a libel action would satisfy the rigorous New York Times v. Sullivan standard for libel of a public figure. It's doubtful that Roberts will do anything and I'm sure that is exactly what NARAL is banking on. Too bad. NARAL should be called to the carpet on this one.

America can't afford advocacy groups whose ideology leads them to abandon the truth.

Michelle has more.

Light's On

Dark day, yesterday -- a very sad anniversary. My wife and I met at a Dead show -- the old Mecca in downtown Milwaukee. It was April of 1989, and another Spring Tour was rushing towards its conclusion. After the Milwaukee shows, the group I was with decided to skip Minnesota and head home to restock for the upcoming California shows. I made arrangements to meet a friend named Pete in North Caroline, where we would silk screen some more shirts and head west. Left with a few days before I needed to leave for N.C., I called a girl I had met in Milwaukee. She lived in New Jersey. I went to visit her for a weekend. It's more than 16 years later now, and that weekend isn't over yet.

That's just one reason why Garcia's important to me. There are others. Many of my closest friends are deadheads. There are many, many stories to tell. Of course I don't mean deadheads as in the earthy-crunchy, granola, Rainbow-family, hairy armpits, barefoot, peace chooglin', fight-the-man people that swirl at the periphery. But deadheads as in people who really, really enjoy the band's music. When the guys got their back into something, well, there are no words. You just had to be there. And we were. Often. Sadly, though, that opportunity ended 10 years ago yesterday.

Like yesterday, the lights here will go down on August 9 each year.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Monday, August 08, 2005

Milberg Weiss

Milberg Weiss is a big time plaintiff's class action firm. Milberg Weiss brings claims for any and all reasons. Milberg Weiss settles when the defendant realizes that a risky trial could bankrupt the industry. Generally, class members get coupons and Milberg Weiss gets millions. Milberg Weiss also apparently pays plaintiff's to sign on to its cockamamie cases. And now, it looks very much like some top dogs at Milberg Weiss are going to be indicted.

As Roscoe P. Coltrane might say, "Good news, good news."

Guewh, guewh, guewh . . .

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Waking Up

It looks like the Sceptered Isle is finally realizing that, thanks to its suicidal immigration policies, it now has a serious -- and downright dangerous -- problem on its hands. Today's Independent reports:
Intelligence chiefs are warning Tony Blair that Britain faces a full-blown Islamist insurgency, sustained by thousands of young Muslim men with military training now resident in this country. The grim possibility that the two London attacks were not simply a sporadic terror campaign is being discussed at the highest levels in Whitehall. . . . "There has been a debate on whether we are facing an insurgency or terrorism," said ["a well-connected"] source, "and the verdict is on the side of an insurgency."
By its very nature, European immigration policy is not nearly so geared to assimilation as is American policy. While the so-called melting pot has, of late, been of decreasing efficiency, America does not confront the same degree of danger that presently confronts the Brits. England's immigration policies have now produced circumstances in which there is a very real threat of internal civil strife of the sort normally found in third world nations and, of course, TPLACs. Things 'over there' could get very ugly, very quickly.

What's a TPLAC, you ask? Answer's in the comments.

Emboldened by Success

The grievance mongers at CAIR, still heady with the success of getting WMAL's Michael Graham suspended from the airwaves, have now targeted Geoff Metcalf for remarks made during his substitution for Graham on Friday, July 29.

CAIR is upset that Geoff told the truth. During discussion of the recently issued fatwa against terror Metcalf noted:
"And by the way, let me just add a sidebar here that's significant, and everybody forgets this, but according to the Quran, believers in Islam are not required to tell infidels, and that's us, the truth. So they apparently have permission to lie when it is appropriate."
I listened to Geoff's show. Let me say that I was unhappy with Geoff for the very cavilier (and slightly condescending) manner in which he shrugged off Graham's suspension as, and I'm paraphrasing here, "one of those things that happens in radio -- you take your medicine and then you forget about it and move on." Metcalf praised the fatwa (although he did, as we all do, wonder alound as to why it had taken so long), not even referring to the well-founded view that it was vacuous at best.

Will WMAL cave into CAIR again? I doubt it. I think WMAL has well learned its lesson. Its listeners were, shall we say, a wee bit peeved with the station in the wake of the Graham suspension.

Coker v. Foti

There has been an interesting lawsuit filed in state court in Shreveport, Louisiana -- Coker v. Foti -- which challenges the Master Settlement Agreement between the states and certain tobacco companies as a violation of the Compact Clause (via the Conspiracy). All I will say about this case is that I have been on the lookout for it since November 1998. Jonathan Rauch provides some background and superficial analysis over at the National Journal. Brandweek has another report.

I'll be keeping an eye on Coker as its get underway. Understand, though, that for reasons similar to those I've referred to before, this blog will be reporting just the facts. Insofar as the case will proceed against an almost barren legal landscape (in terms of the constitutional claim presented), it should prove quite interesting.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ordering the Asylum

Rightwingnuthouse poaches an idea, perfectly orders the loony left-o-sphere and provides non-stop belly laughs the entire way. For example:
I actually have a soft spot in my heart for the inmates at the Democratic Underground. Let’s face it; the internet just wouldn’t be the same without them. It’s become a matter of course for me that whenever I’ve got writer’s block, I visit the DU and, within 5 minutes, find something so outrageous, so far beyond the pale, that my dilemma regarding what to write about disappears in a flash. I wear their disapprobation like a badge of honor.

Perhaps one illustration of their complete disconnect from reality is in order. Following the tsunami tragedy last December, a comment thread at the site started to speculate that, in fact, secret US government tests in the ocean caused the giant waves. The comments got loonier and loonier as the DU’ers speculated that the earth itself was falling apart:

Since we know that the atmosphere has become contaminated by all the atomic testing, space stuff, electronic stuff, earth pollutants, etc., is it logical to wonder if: Perhaps the “bones” of our earth where this earthquake spawned have also been affected?

You just can’t make this stuff up.

The piece also neatly articulates the dilemma that Daily Kos has created for the Democratic Party. Although Kos cannot be ignored given its money-raising ability, the loopy conspiracy theories that are the drive the Kos machinery "give the party a patina of psychosis that leaves conservatives laughing and rational Democrats scratching their heads." A "patina of psychosis" -- I'll bet a dozen doughnuts that Moran smiled to himself as he wrote that line, thinking it was a very good turn of phrase. He was right.

Read the whole thing and learn the Reality Quotient of your favorite left-o-sphere asylum.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Let's Get on with It, Already

Over at Daily Pundit, there's a terrific piece on the seriousness (or lack thereof) of the Bush Administration's committment to fighting the GWoT in a manner calculated to win it, complete with refllection upon the unmitigated disaster that would result from any more, shall we say, nuanced approach. In part, Lestango's Too Much Truth persuasively argues:

The Right has been engaged in a mind-boggling act of self-deception, because its premise - that the administration intended to fight a global preemptive war against terror - is a fraud. How did rank-and-file Republicans keep believing Washington was committed to a preemptive war when even a WMD-free Iraq under Saddam would pose a grave danger? Didn’t the Right notice there were no WMD’s used to destroy the World Trade Center or smash a plane into the Pentagon? Or to strike at the Cole? Bomb the Khobar Towers? How did the Right reach a broad understanding that a nuclear armed Iran would be the greatest threat to our ability to fight terror, yet accept the Administration’s absolute inaction with nary a protest?

Back during the runup to the 2004 election, when Republicans were lashing out against every criticism of the Bush administration, a refusal to question the emperor's clothes was at least understandable. There was an election to win, and the Democrats would have misused any conservative disagreement with the Administration's policies, even though the Democrats themselves would have utterly failed in every part of the GWOT except attacking Afghanistan.

The election is long over. The Right will share culpability for the terror disease and any resulting catastrophe if it doesn't summon the energy and courage to recognize the facts.

The Right got a good chance this week to start on the road back to reality when the Administration finally declared the truth: the American people are not at war. For years the Administration claimed America was, but it lied. Lied. George Bush lied, and those around him lied. No, he didn't lie about WMD's. He lied that he would protect the nation and wage war against terror. This hurts real people - the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines lost 21 dead this week in Iraq because our president will not fight to win. It will hurt many more in the future.

The whole thing is, in the vernacular, a "must read." There is, without question, a war to fight. And that war is, without question, a war against Islamist terrorism -- an ideological Islam that is bent on ressurecting the discarded Islamic Caliphate, Ummah, or whatever Islamacists want to call the hell on earth they seek to create. Lestango's piece is a great place to start getting re-oriented with the true and essential nature of the war of our Age -- a war that civilized society is called on to fight . . . and win . . . in furious fashion. Let's get on with it, already.

Great Minds

The guys at Power Line are beginning to see Ann Coulter's recent anti-Roberts columns much the same way as I saw them at the outset. Where my suspicions were more tongue-in-cheek than serious, Power Line accuses Ann of fakery of a most emasculating variety. Ha.

Two Words . . .

Absolutely disgusting. The NYT should be ashamed of itself for prying into something as deeply personal as a couple's adoption records. Of course, has as been all too clear for all too long, the NYT has no shame -- none at all. Unfortunately, I can only cancel my subscription once . . .

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Church of the Human Spirit?

Some stray thoughts on the Establishment Clause: What would happen if an organization -- call it the Church of the Human Spirit -- was created to preach the view that humanity is its own maker and supreme unto itself. This organization, as I conceive it, would characterize itself as a Religion such that it would easily qualify for federal tax-exempt status. Any expression of the view that the actions of man are subject to being judged by a standard other than that established by man, that man owes a measure of faithfulness to anything other than himself, that man is created in an image other than his own is blasphemy. Any expression of fealty to a Supreme Being is sacreligious.

Sure, this sounds a bit like The Fountainhead and objectivism, but objectivism is a philospohy, not a religion. What if a proper religion were erected based on these tenets? More pointedly, what of Establishment Clause jurisprudence? In the face of such a religion, every decision prohibiting religious expression of a Christian, Jewish or what-have-you nature would be a de facto establishment of the Church of the Human Spirit, would it not? That such a Church could be founded, and the First Amendment turmoil that would be (or, at least, should be) caused by the existence of such a Church, strike me as pretty good evidence that our contemporary Establishment Clause jurisprudence cannot be right.

Away from the Green Zone

Tigerhawk reports that freelance journalist and erstwhile blogger Steven Vincent has been kidnapped and executed in Basra. We are lucky that Steven and others like him are brave enough to venture outside the Green Zone.

Poke around the Red Zone for a bit and read about the life that Steven was so recently living. One of his final posts recounted a somewhat comical episode -- the invasion of Um al-Rasas:

Down Basra way, the country most preoccupying the locals is not Amrika, but that brooding, seething, over-cleric'd Mordor to the east, Iran. Whether its supporting religious parties, smuggling oil and gas, sabotaging the energy infrastructure, orchestrating sectarian assassinations or other neighborly deeds, Basrawi detect the stealthy hand of Tehran in nearly every aspect of their lives. "We don't talk about this in public," a professor at Basra U. told me. "Get too explicit and you get 'disappeared.'"

Give such sensitivity to their ancient Persian adversary, its not surprising that many Basrans were peeved to read a few weeks ago former defense minister Hazim al-Shalan's contention that Iranian soldiers had occupied a small Iraqi island in the Shatt-al-Arab near Fao. Scandal! Dishonor! Shades of Quemu-Matsu! What's next, Ayatollahs promenading on the Corniche?

P1010197_1 No Iranians here..

So it was I recently found myself storming the beaches of Um al-Rasas Island, searching--hoping--for signs of Iranian infiltration. To my disappointment, I discovered nothing but ducks and weeds and bull rushes and dirt paths meandering off into yellowing papyrus reeds. Turns out, the car trip 40 kilos south of Basra and a boat ride halfway `cross the Shatt was little more than an op for some Ministry of Defense official to photo with a cadre of security guards and prove that Um al-Rasas remained free of the minions of Tehran.

There's much more.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More Byrd Droppings

No, this isn't a link to Lorie's somewhat inaptly named blog, but a link to -- drum-roll please -- the Carnival of the Hillbillies. Ever faithful to their West Virginia moorings, the Carnival takes its name from -- and updates us on the latest doings of -- the state's leading Kleagle.

Giant Teapot of Humiliation

LGF reports on the sad demise of the Giant Teapot of Humiliation. This would be utterly hilarious if the underlying issues weren't so deadly serious. The minions of Islam have taken the concept of "taking offense" to ludicrous -- and downright dangerous -- new heights. What's an infidel to do?

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Air America Debacle, Etc.

In a nutshell, it very much appears that Air America has been stealing from the poor (literally) to pay its wealthy on-air talent. Today's New York Sun digs into the sordid details.

For a round-up on all the latest, check out the Captain Ed and, as usual, Ms. Malkin.

On a wholly unrelated topic, today's Best of the Web has a wonderful campaign logo: "Cheney 2008 (Thomas 1920-2005)" This is, of course, a funny reference to Helen Thomas's pledge to kill herself the moment Cheney announces his presidential bid. Run, Dick, run . . . it'd be worth it! Turns out Helen's not so wild about having others do unto her that which she has made a career of doing unto others.