April 30, 2004
Over a hundred Jewish graves have been defaced in France and Russia. The photos really need to be seen.
Via Ken Wheaton.
A great editorial in a German newspaper actually believes Bush is neither stupid nor evil.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
Tina Brown. Wow. She had her own magazine, huh? Yeah. Wow. Her latest article is something really out of this world.
She starts it off with a waiter interrupting her dinner with 12 ‘power players’ in New York by telling them that he is, gasp, voting for Bush. Like a amateur hunter encountering a bear, Brown and Co. were speechless.
She writes ‘Or perhaps he just thought it might be helpful for the guests to hear from one of the Ordinary Americans whose unhappiness with the status quo they are in the habit of earnestly invoking.’ Can you hear her sneer as she writes ‘ordinary Americans’? She continues: ‘All eyes turned to him. “It might seem odd that a savvy New Yorker like me is voting for a guy in a cowboy hat,” he went on, as he recklessly doled out ice cream to a network anchor, “but what we want is stability. This Kerry guy — he’s all over the place.” Huh? Stability? What about all the mayhem in Iraq? His intervention immediately brought the table back from a troubled analysis of American options in Iraq to how the medals debacle is affecting perceptions of Kerry. It was as if the waiter was a plant from the Bush campaign, diverting attention at a critical moment, just as he was supposed to.’
Medals? Who said anything about medals? The waiter said that Kerry is all over the place. Do the intellegentsia just choose the easiest issue to rebut and go with it? Why not talk about Kerry’s multiple positions on Iraq? His flip-flop-and flip again on the Patriot Act. It’s not the medals story that is affecting perceptions of Kerry, it is the perception of Kerry that is driving the medals story. Brown then laments the absence of a Karl Rove-type in Kerry’s campaign. She longs for the return of Dick Morris. Nothing against Morris, he is an amazing campaign strategist, but in my humble not-quite-a-political-campaign-master-yet opinion Kerry should maybe identify and run on some issues. For a blow by blow of how liberals just don’t get it, keep reading Tina Brown as the election nears.
UPDATE: Wonkette on Tina’s retardo article.
Lileks bleats his little heart out today. A great read, as always. An excerpt:
Anyway: at the college paper we lived in a warm capacious womb, dogpaddling in the amniotic fluid of our unexamined assumptions, writing sentences as bad as this one and thinking ourselves quite clever. These things we knew: Soviet influence in Central America could be blunted by a complete withdrawl of American support; Ronald Reagan was indifferent to the possibility of nuclear war; Europeans were wise rational Vulcans to our crass carnivorous Earthlings, except for isolated throwback horrors like Margaret Thatcher. All new weapons systems were boondoggles that wouldn’t work and would never be needed, and served as penis substitutes for Jack D. Ripper-type generals who probably went home and poured lighter fluid on toy soldiers, lit them with a Zippo and cackled maniacally. A nuclear freeze was the first step to a safer world, because if everyone had 10,237 ICBMs instead of 10,238 we might be less inclined to use them. The Soviets were our enemy only because we thought they were, which forced them to act like our enemy. Soldiers were brainwashed killbots or gung-ho rapist killbots who signed up only because Reagan had personally shuttered the doors of the local steel mill, depriving them of jobs. Of all wars in human history, Vietnam was the most typical. Higher taxes on the rich resulted in fewer poor people. The inexplicable mulishness of big business was the only thing that held back widespread adoption of solar power.
If you’re into this sort of thing, you can watch the new Jay Z video, ‘99 Problems’, here. I’ve been hearing about it all over the place, from the Vincent Gallo email list I’m on (yeah, that’s right, I’m on a Vincent Gallo list) because my love Vincent has a brief cameo, to my rap-listening brother who told me I haaaaad to see it, so finally got a chance to check it out. It’s an ok video, some interesting shots of Brooklyn. If you don’t like rap, don’t bother clicking on. I think Jay Z generally, and this song in particular, is an acquired taste.
April 29, 2004
Also from BOTW:
No Nuance Is Good News
The Washington Times’ Tony Blankley has an astute observation on American political rhetoric and John Kerry’s difficulties:
His friends say he is just instinctively nuanced in his thinking. . . . According to Webster’s Dictionary, the etymology of nuance is from the middle French (Hmm!) word nuer: to make shades of color; from nue: clouds, akin to the Greek; nythos: dark. That would seem to be Mr. Kerry’s problem. He thinks and talks in shades that create clouds and darkness around him. No one knows what he is saying, and thus what he is thinking. This makes things rather awkward for an American politician.
The rhetoric of American politics is binary, not gradational: Give me liberty or give me death; our nation cannot exist half slave and half free; are you pro life or pro choice; are you for or against capital punishment; pro or anti-war; for or against tax cuts. . . .
Seeing seven sides to an issue is useful in the study of metaphysics. But men of action–and world events always have required American presidents to be men of action–must be capable of decisive action. A candidate for president who is incapable of clearly expressing a single principle or goal he will fight for is inevitably going to be an ineffective candidate. And if he can’t even decide what to say with clarity, he is unlikely to be able to act as president under the crushing pressure of world events.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “in one 24-hour period,” Kerry “invoked his service” in Vietnam:
To fend off attacks by his Republican rivals;
As evidence he will fight to expand healthcare;
As evidence he understands the complicated landscape in Iraq;
To explain his love of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
That last one calls for an explanation: “His passion for PB&Js, Kerry told his companions, dated back to Vietnam, where he not only ate them frequently but traded them for other commodities.”
There are going to be Bush parties happening all over the country tonight. Find one near you by visiting the Bush campaign website (which is, by the way, a really amazing site by campaign website standards). I’m going to try to make it to a few of them, but I’ll be starting out at the one held by the NY Young Republican Club (there are two in NYC, this is the state affiliated one) at the Bar Room, 986 2nd Avenue, btwn 52nd and 53rd Streets. I’ll be getting there around 8:30 in case you’re wondering.
“I kept running into celebrities out in Vegas. I saw Tony LaRussa. Then I saw Dr. J. I saw Vince Carter at a mall. He was the only one who wasn’t cool, wouldn’t let me take his picture or get an autograph. But that’s ok, I got him back. I was walking through the mall making sure all the kids knew Vince Carter was there and encouraging them to go talk to him.”
Canada embraces Sharia Law. I mean, you’ve got to be open-minded, maaaaaan.
Via Andrew Sullivan.
I didn’t realize that poker had become so hip, especially, reports the NY Times, with the women. Somehow, though, I’m always the only chick playing.
April 28, 2004
The Spoons Experience has a great chart explaining why the media just doesn’t care that the UN Oil for Food program turned into oil for palaces for Saddam and cash for many connected UN officials. As my friend Pheeleepok says: “the greatest tragedy here is that Kofi is ‘looking into it’”
If I were James Taranto, the headline of this post would be ‘The Road to Damascus’. Anti-Com reports that: ‘Syrian President Bashar al-Asad has backed armed resistance operations against the US occupation forces in Iraq.’