October 24, 2003
October 23, 2003
“As the echo of the war drums fades away and the angry masses calling for blood slowly disperse, we as a nation must now confront the truth.”
-John Cougar Mellencamp trying to revive a dead career by having the hippest of opinions.
“We were hoping to break through the noisy drums of war on cable and become a responsible platform for dissenters as well as Administration supporters.”
-Phil Donahue on what he was hoping to accomplish with his failed show.
“The bellicose warmongers in the White House have been banging the drums of war for months.”
-From the Democratic Underground’s open letter to Charlie Daniels (because celebrities aren’t allowed to be pro-war, ya know).
“Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.”
-Barbara Streisand quoting what she thought was Shakespeare.
“Today, as the drums of war again beat louder and louder, the voices of those who oppose the war are drowned out by those voices that support the expedient way.”
“The United States had failed to destroy Osama bin Laden and dismantle the network of Al Qaeda because President Bush spent the fall campaign “beating the drums of war against Saddam Hussein” instead of prosecuting the war on terror.”
I’m sure there are many others who have used the same corny, unoriginal phrase. This is but a small intellectually lazy sample.
There’s only one thing worse than a Democrat senator, and that’s a Republican senator who consistently votes with the other side. What’s the point of the (R) next to the name if none of the Republican ideals are adhered to? With this in mind, I direct any readers in Pennsylvania to the burgeoning movement to replace Arlen Specter with Pat Toomey. A meetup is growing and needs your presence and support to flourish. Specter has been a Republican embarrassment for too long. It’s time for him to go.
….that thinks there is anything Israel can do when dealing with people like this:
Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians support continuation of the jihad against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created
October 22, 2003
More from Jonah Goldberg:
Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is to beat the tar out of a bad guy — even if that bad guy was “innocent” of the specific offense that ticked you off. If a crackhead robs your house, there’s no reason in the world you should feel bad about shutting down all of the crackhouses in your neighborhood. If a rat bites your baby, would you tell your wife “Well, honey, I know there’s a whole rat’s nest out in the backyard, but there’s no way I can identify the specific rat that bit the baby. So, there’s nothing I can do.”
I doubt Saddam had anything to do with planning 9/11 and frankly I don’t give a damn. The lesson of the 3,000 dead was that we’re going to take our responsibilities seriously again. And that means cleaning up unfinished business and telling the rest of the world we are serious. Nobody — nobody — has made a remotely persuasive case for why it would have been good to keep Saddam in power. Nobody dares make the case that Saddam and his regime didn’t deserve everything they got — because that would be like arguing you shouldn’t fix the shot brakes on your car because your last accident was the result of bald tires.
No, the opposition never said it was wrong for Saddam to go. Rather, they rejected the notion that America should actually have its way. More than anything else, this desire to thwart America explains the motives of the U.N., the French, the Left, and pretty much everyone else except for the Arab leaders. The Arabs have something even bigger at stake should America succeed in transforming Iraq into a prosperous democracy — their own corrupt kleptocratic torture states might be next.
Regardless, the gripes we hear today are the predictable complaints of people who grew pretty comfortable in the shadow of a sleeping giant. The giant was rudely awoken. And if the resultant harsh light of day is unpleasant or inconvenient to you, too frick’n bad. The United States is taking care of business and we’ve got nothing to apologize for.
…..but you’re stretching the imagination if you think he’s both. From Jonah Goldberg:
The legitimately surprising and disturbing failure to find weapons-of-mass-destruction in Iraq is now seen as the ultimate proof that George Bush “lied” even though it is virtually impossible to make that argument logically.
For that to be the case, Bush would have had to have known that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction. That is the charge, right? That he lied about Saddam having WMDs. Okay, so if Bush knew that Saddam didn’t have those weapons, he would have known something which the CIA, the United Nations, the British, the French, the Germans, the Saudis, the Israelis, the Pentagon, scores of Iraqi exiles were convinced was not true. Moreover, he would have to have known that Saddam Hussein was willing to forgo $100 billion in oil revenues to conceal the fact that he didn’t have WMDs. But forget about that. Anyway, so Bush knew there were no WMDs, but at the same time he pretended otherwise. He convinced his entire Cabinet, Congress, Tony Blair, and most Americans that Saddam had WMDs and that he himself was convinced of this even though he knew otherwise. (Presumably, he even went back in time — like Peter Potamus the Hurricane Hippo — and convinced Bill Clinton and his entire national-security staff and the Democratic leadership of Congress that Saddam had WMDs.)
Now that’s pretty impressive stuff for a guy every “intelligent” liberal considers to be an unequivocal moron.
I could never really get into his music and was never a big fan of Elliott Smith, but it is sad that his life ended like this- in an apparent suicide. I saw him perform only once, at the rainy Field Day festival, and wasn’t particularly shaken by him. Later on, while watching Radiohead play, Peter recognized Smith and went over and said hello. Smith seemed in a daze, really sulky looking. It’s a tragedy how many musicians end their lives. I wonder if they buy into the darkness of their music a little too much. I wonder if they believe that that’s what makes them interesting.
Update: Peter has a much better write-up on Elliott Smith than I ever could (since he had been a fan) over here.
Reading Salam lately, I am reminded of why I fell in love with his writing. It’s so down to earth and funny. Even when I’m disagreeing with him, I enjoy reading his words.
He has two posts currently that made me giggle. This one about Baghdad’s Jews and how Al Jazeera is now able to make people sick in English speaking countries as well. And this one about how Salam’s cousin thinks George W. Bush is satan and Salam’s tuna salad is the worst.
As you may have read – not in newspapers, heaven forfend – a large portion of the blogworld has been crippled by attacks on the company that hosted a pro-Israel website, and the attacks are coming from servers that host Al Qaeda groups. This makes me uneasy; there’s something else going on here, I think. It’s like hearing reports from Alaska radar stations of peculiar blips on the screen. Someone’s testing something.
What do we call these guys? Script Qiddies? Haqers? How about: Jew-Hating Gynophobic Devil Pawns, or JHGDPs for short? (Pronounced: Je-hig-dip.)
I’ve no reason to say this, but: my antennae are twitching. I have this feeling that 2004 is going to feel a lot like 1968. But it’s just a feeling.
October 21, 2003
A girl in my class, who is a visiting student from South Korea, tells me that people in her country are not at all worried about North Korea and that she was really surprised at how our media makes such a big deal about it.
What do y’all make of that?
October 20, 2003
There are two meetups this week.
Tuesday, October 21st, there is a Young Republicans Meetup. I will be attending the one in New York. Come join us at Bowlmor Lanes at 110 University Place at 7pm. Please RSVP on the meetup.com site so we know how many people to expect.
Thursday, October 23rd, there is a Republican Party Meetup. The one in New York will be held at the Auction House Bar on East 89th street between First and Second Avenues. I will be in Philadelphia and so will be attending a make-shift meetup (not enough people voted for a venue so it was cancelled but we’re still going to try to hold one-I’ll have information on where and when shortly) there.
Update: I’m not leaving for Philadelphia until Saturday so will be at the meetup in New York.
Remember all that racism hoopla I got into when I was going to Kentucky to work on the governor’s race? Well, after all that, I’ve been reassigned to work on the exciting mayoral race in Philadelphia. Any readers from the Philadelphia area? I’m looking to get some background on Philadelphia and any information on the race (outside of the scandal with the current mayor which seems to be at the forefront of every story about the race).
It’s funny, that I’m no longer going to the ‘racist’ south, instead going to a city that has experienced much racial tension and is currently divided in its support for the incumbent, scandal-ridden mayor according to race. But hey, it’s in the north, that means they are enlightened and racism-free, right?
Dean Esmay has a really interesting post on his site about Leni Riefenstahl, a dancer, actress, cinematographer, film director and Nazi supporter. Dean asks if one’s art can be separated (and celebrated) apart from the artist.
Personally, I find it hard to reconcile someone’s politics with their art, in particular when someone makes their politics so obvious and at the forefront of their personality. I can’t watch a Susan Sarandon movie about the death penalty (she has two that I can think of off the top of my head) without thinking of her motives and I certainly can’t listen to preachy Radiohead music telling people to ‘wake up’. We’re awake, Thom, we just don’t share your one-dimensional opinions. On the other hand, another example that Dean provides, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are two of my favorite artists. I’ve seen their exhibits several times. The time I saw it in Paris, I didn’t want to leave after already having spent most of the day there staring at their work. I know they were Stalinists and supporters of everything I despise, but I saw their work long before I knew that about them and it really appealed to me. I wonder why I can shut off my politics for them and not for others. I wonder if it is because I first saw their art as a teen who had trouble connecting with pictures (I liked words better, by far) and theirs were the first pictures that got through to me. I’d like to say that after learning their communist ways I started to dislike them but I still see their art as so incredible.
This whole art/artist concept is interesting to me especially because, in addition to all the non-fiction writing I do, I also like to write creatively. I’m currently working on a fiction book. I look for my own biases in my characters. The main female character is headstrong and extremely independent with her own ideas on what her life should be like. Other than these characteristics, I have little in common with her. I wonder if I’m just missing the part where she is a raging Republican or if I truly am not writing from the political side of myself (there are other sides, believe it or not).
Do you find it hard to like the art of someone whose politics you can not stand? Does it affect you at all? What about in the situations Dean describes?
October 19, 2003
I’m not a protester, rally-attender but this is a special situation. Banafsheh, who many of you may remember from the ANSWER/Iran post on September 10th (the archive link is broken, click here and scroll down), will be speaking, about the promotion of democracy in Iran, that day, along with her husband Elio and another friend of mine, Niger Innis. I had the pleasure of meeting Banafsheh and Elio recently and they are truly brillant and inspiring. Banafsheh is incredibly knowledgeable and energetic, the cause of democracy in Iran is a very close one to her, and she has an encyclopedic knowledge of the situation there. If you live in DC or can make it down for the day, please try to attend.
I thought it was sad that Rush couldn’t say what he was thinking and I think it is equally sad that Gregg Easterbrook has been fired over his opinions. He has since issued an apology that many think is really over the top. At least Rush stood his ground and didn’t apoligize for what, I think, are fairly innocent comments.
I don’t have anything to say about the scandal that hasn’t already been said but I felt I should mention it, lest people think I am silent on it since Easterbrook is a lefty and the group he maligned are Jews. I agree with National Review’s The Corner (scroll up for several posts on the subject) that the ADL goes too far sometimes and that I don’t think Easterbrook meant anything malicious in his comments.
Just a note, I don’t think ESPN did anything wrong in firing them, a private company can do whatever is pleases, just that their offenses didn’t warrant such an action, in my ever humble opinion.
October 18, 2003
The Congressional Black Caucus aka The Congressional Black Democratic Caucus is opposing the nomination of a black female judge. Is there a more pointless group?
No really, never. Not even in 1946:
“We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease.”
Gosh, that sounds awfully familiar. Follow the link, Jessica’s Well has found two articles from Life Magazine from 1946 that sound like they were written last month.
The lieutenant comes out with his conclusion: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” You hear these two phrases again and again in about every bull session on the shop. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “Don’t think I’m sticking up for the Germans, but….”
The troops returning home are worried. “We’ve lost the peace,” men tell you. “We can’t make it stick.”
A tour of the beaten-up cities of Europe six months after victory is a mighty sobering experience for anyone. Europeans. Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word “liberation.” Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting.
You try to explain to these Europeans that they expected too much. They answer that they had a right to, that after the last was America was the hope of the world. They talk about the Hoover relief, the work of the Quakers, the speeches of Woodrow Wilson. They don’t blame us for the fading of that hope. But they blame us now.
Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdy-ism of American troops, of out misunderstanding of European conditions. They say that the theft and sale of Army supplies by our troops is the basis of their black market. They blame us for the corruption and disorganization of UNRRA. They blame us for the fumbling timidity of our negotiations with the Soviet Union. They tell us that our mechanical de-nazification policy in Germany is producing results opposite to those we planned. “Have you no statesmen in America?” they ask.
No, we’ve just got cowboys. And we’re alright with that.
Via Confessions of a San Francisco Republican.