December 31, 2003
‘In 2004, more dumb things will be said by more educated people about the trial of Saddam Hussein than all dumb things about all other major subjects combined.’
Instapundit has some words on the Palestinians.
Julian Sanchez notes something I’ve been talking about: isn’t it weird that Howard Dean has said that he is going to play up his religion in the South? Part of political strategy is that you don’t tell people what you’re going to do, because then it comes off as, well, fake. I know Dean thinks that his straight talking is a plus, but ultimately it shows that he really thinks Southerners are stupid. Would he say ‘I’m going to play up my signing the Civil Unions bill to the gay crowd’ or ‘I’m going to go out of my way to be nice to Sharpton and Moseley-Braun when I know black people are watching’?
The Democrats need a Reagan says Colby Cosh.
Vodkapundit confirms that 2003 did indeed happen.
The Anti-idiotarian Rottweiler does not taking baby killing lightly.
Rachel Lucas has a haiku about Hillary.
Rightwing News has an excellent list of the 10 Worst Quotes From The Democratic Underground For 2003. Classic.
Does someone living in Georgetown but working in Alexandria absolutely need a car? What is public transportation like between these two areas?
December 30, 2003
A few years ago, I went to a panel about Columbia University’s obscene sexual harassment policy. One of the panelists was this young, beautiful, brilliant guy who has hilarious and sharp. His name was Jaime Sneider. His introduction noted that he had written for a million different places, among them The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Reason and National Review, and most of these were when he wasn’t old enough to drink yet. Look up his name on google and you get about 300 hits. I dropped him an email about how much I enjoyed his talk and we began an email exchange. That summer he interned at National Review (his Condit-watch pieces had me giggling at my desk) I harassed him on Instant Messenger until he became my friend. He met me for lunch at my then-office at the top of the Chrysler Building. We talked about movies (a film buff, he writes the best reviews for the quirkiest movies) and I tried not to be such a fan. Tried.
Anyway, its years later and we are friends. He’s already done amazing things (I don’t want to say ‘for someone his age’ because he’s done amazing things for someone of any age), among them working as a speechwriter for California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon, and I expect he’ll continue to do so. He’s had a few sites which he promises to update, his own site, a site dedicated to tracking idiotic celebrity comments and a group blog that is, unfortunately, infrequently updated. I was just honored with reading a chapter of a book he is writing. I hardly ever make predictions, particularly in public, but I want to make one now: Jaime is someone to watch, he will do incredible things.
I know I’m a few years late on this, but, last night, Peter, Doug, Ari, Oschisms and I sat on my couch and watched ‘Journeys With George’, Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary about George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000.
I was in no rush to see the movie when it was playing, mostly because the reviews all mentioned how Bush appears to be a ‘frat boy’ and how much Pelosi despises her ex-subject. Pelosi is, unfortunately (and despite Oschism’s protests to the contrary), an ass. Every interview I’ve read with her (example here) has her tearing into Bush and generally acting like a jerk. It seems like she wanted to hate Bush, and is able to do so more successfully now that she isn’t around him all day, but that her film didn’t get that point across as well as she would’ve wished. The movie definitely tries to show Bush in a bad light but is ultimately unsuccessful. He comes off as so down to earth, funny, real, approachable, honest.
There was some degree of boozing going on while we watched the film so we didn’t really discuss if that was the consensus agreement. I would love to hear from the two Democrats and one Independent in the room, or others who have seen it, if they got a different impression of Bush off the movie. My thesis for this post is: anyone who sees this movie will find it impossible to hate George W. Bush, no matter how intense their current anger and hatred. Agree/Disgree?
December 29, 2003
My friend, and sometimes Spot On commenter, SMFA sent me an article a few weeks ago about Egyptian foreign minister going to Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem to worship and getting beat up by some Palestinians. Then, I didn’t hear about it again. Jay Nordlinger has more on this story:
A remarkable event occurred, of which we should all take note. In Jerusalem, the Egyptian foreign minister went to Al Aqsa mosque to worship. He was attacked by Palestinians . . . and had to be rescued by the Israeli police. There is so much in this story — so much that is illustrative — the mind reels.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher (no relation to Bill, as far as I know) stepped into the mosque with only his (Egyptian) bodyguards — of course, no Israeli protector could defile that place. Maher was then physically attacked by a mob accusing him of being a sell-out, an Arab Uncle Tom. (Understand that in much of the Middle East, an Uncle Tom is someone who doesn’t want to burn Israel to the ground right today.) The mob was too great for the Egyptian bodyguards alone. Israeli police, duly waiting outside, rushed into the mosque and extricated the terrified foreign minister (the photos tell it all). Then Mr. Maher was taken by an Israeli ambulance to an Israeli hospital for treatment. Prime Minister Sharon phoned with his concern and best wishes.
All of this, of course, is deeply humiliating to many Egyptians, and to many Arabs generally: that the foreign minister of the most important Arab state should have to be saved from savages by Israelis — by Jews. Naturally, the story was put out quickly that these weren’t Arabs who attacked Maher, but Jews! Then — when that proved too fanciful, even for the Middle East — it was put out that the Jews had provoked the attack on the foreign minister.
Nevertheless, most Arabs knew precisely what had occurred (we may safely assume), even if it was painful to admit.
This little episode provides so much to ponder — about intra-Arab relations, about international relations, and about the nature of Israel — it could last you for weeks.
‘If US aid to Iran comes as a surprise to anyone, then they don’t understand the US.’
From the Christmas issue of the Economist:
‘In Liberia, a UN scheme to disarm gunmen by paying them for their weapons was forced to halt, at least temporarily, when too many showed up and demanded cash for their weapons. Reports from neighbouring Sierra Leone suggested that guns were being smuggled into Liberia to take advantage of the scheme.’
And this is the all-knowing, ‘legitimate’ world body to whom Europe is clamoring for us to hand over Afghanistan and Iraq. The UN just doesn’t get the gangster mentality, despite the fact that so many of its members states have it. The 12 year old me would’ve been able to tell you that if you pay people for something, they’ll find a way to get more of it to sell to you. Maybe Brooklyn needs its own seat at the UN, because something I learned quite early in life is that demand will always breed supply and that, shockingly, people will do whatever it takes to meet that demand and make money. This is a great reason why I hate the fact that any of my tax dollars go to this inept, failure of an organization.
Instapundit links to Colby Cosh blogging about the continuing struggle journalists are having with Bush’s comment that he doesn’t read the newspaper. Colby Cosh wonders how many Fortune 500 CEOs read the newspaper and thinks the number isn’t over 200. Instapundit asks ‘I wonder how many read blogs?’
If you think about it, Bush has a human blog, so to speak. Blogs take the most interesting and important stories of the day and dissect them, provide a wide range of opinions on them, allow you read the stories for yourself and, usually, allow you to leave your own comments on said news. Bush has a team of people who provide him with news stories, then provide their opinion on these stories, he can read the stories himself and define his own opinion based on all these things. It helps that he has some of the most brilliant people in the world ‘blogging’ just for him.
December 28, 2003
I have frequently said that I am not an Ann Coulter fan. Her writing doesn’t appeal to me and I just don’t get as mad as she does. But, on tv, she is the best. I’ve chosen to watch her over Peggy Noonan, the high preistess of conservative writing, because Ann just rocks on the screen. I start being really thankful that she’s on the same side as I am. I guess I’m not the only one who thinks so. Scared much, liberals?
Via The Corner.
Lyrics from ‘Love Me’ by Eminem:
There’s a certain mystique when I speak,
that you notice that it’s sorta unique,
cause you know it’s me, my poetry’s deep,
and I’m still matic the way I flow to this beat,
you can’t sit still, it’s like tryin to smoke crack
and go to sleep, I’m strapped,
just knowing any minute I could snap,
I’m the equivalent of what would happen if Bush rapped,
I bully these rappers so bad lyrically,
it ain’t even funny, I ain’t even hungry,
it ain’t even money, you can’t pay me enough
for you to play me, it’s cockamamie.
December 27, 2003
Where are the same people who protest the PATRIOT Act not up in arms about stuff like this?
The county just south of my hometown will shortly be following New York’s example and instituting a smoking ban in all “bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, minicasinos, hotels and most other nontribal businesses in Pierce County,” effectively driving all smoking business to the non-taxed entities. Not only does this discriminate against small business in Washington state (tribal entities get all kinds of breaks around here), it actually lowers the county’s direct and indirect benefits from taxing tobacco, and by extension its ability to even enforce health regulations.
UPDATE: This is what I get for waiting until I’m home to post and not reading Kashei’s 5 o’clock entry. Nonetheless, enjoy the analysis. Sorry K!
After all the talk of George Bush “alienating our allies” and the outcry at US rejection of European control over its defenses, what will the friendship-minded Democratic presidential candidates say to this?
The earthquake, which Iranian agencies measured at 6.3 and American agencies at 6.7, rocked Bam, 610 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran, at 5:28 a.m. Friday.
Government spokesmen said that foreign aid workers would not need entry visas and that aid would be welcome from everywhere but Israel.
Look, I see the reasoning. Iran believes that Israel is a rogue nation. Wrong, but fair enough — Iran is itself a sovereign nation and has the right to make compromises for its own security. If it believes Israeli aid would bring with it greater threats, that’s its business, and the international community could object if it wanted to.
But right or wrong, Iran is snubbing the greatest power in its region — for free, no-strings-attached emergency aid, nonetheless. Will those who whine that President Bush’s decision to maintain sovereignty over US foreign affairs be as upset about this same violation in principle by Iran?
No. Kerry, Dean, We’ll-Ask-You-First Wesley and the rest of the left will only praise this Irani decision (if it’s mentioned at all), because “diplomacy” is not and has never been the issue. The issue is ideology, and Israel being an ally of the US, the anti-Americans will see no problem with this dismissal of potential Israeli goodwill, just as they saw no reason not to give the most anti-American nation in history complete control over our international affairs.