March 28, 2005

Another Case of "Fake, but Accurate"?

Powerline has been featuring frequent updates as it blasts through the BS on this "GOP Talking-Points Memo" controversy.

That blog's John Hinderaker - the force behind the fisking - is featured today in the "Daily Standard" edition of the Weekly Standard Online providing an excellent rundown of the issues surrounding its lack of authenticity as well as its possible source - and asks the question: "Where is the MSM on this?"

"There is little danger that anyone will forget the "infamous" memo any time soon; the mainstream media will make sure of that. So far, mainstream news sources have not even acknowledged that the source of the memo is in doubt, let alone set forth the compelling arguments suggesting that, in fact, it might be a political dirty trick. This is a case where the truth, as the old saying goes, is still lacing up its shoes."
We need a blogswarm and we need it now.

UPDATE: Fred Barnes writes a companion piece on the story, also in the "Daily Standard", that's worth reading

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We're Right Because We're Smarter Than You...

Pat Sajak excoriates the attitude that Liberals take when attempting to advance their side of the argument:

"The moral superiority they bring to the table allows them to alter the playing field and the rules in their favor. They can say and do things the other side can’t because, after all, they have the greater good on their side. If a Conservative -- one of the bad guys -- complains about the content of music, films or television shows aimed at children, he is being a prude who wants to tell other people what to read or listen to or watch; he is a censor determined to legislate morality. If, however, a Liberal complains about speech and, in fact, supports laws against certain kinds of speech, it is right and good because we must be protected from this “hate speech” or “politically incorrect” speech. (Of course, they…"being the good guys"…will decide exactly what that is.)...

...When Liberals want to legislate what you’re allowed to drive or what you should eat or how much support you can give to a political candidate or what you can or can’t say, they are doing it for altruistic reasons. The excesses of the Left are to be excused because these folks operate from the higher moral ground and the benefit of the greater wisdom and intelligence gained from that perspective."

I find that it's this "smarter-than-thou" orientation that allows Liberals to feel free to shout down anyone who dares challenge their talking-points. And if the offender persists, name-calling and ad hominem personal attacks are usually the next weapon in their arsenal.

I remember a book by James Carville that came a while back titled We're Right, They're Wrong which I originally took as political satire, but the fact is that this little mantra is pretty much a common strand of political DNA among Liberal Democrats. They're right not on the facts, but because they're so much "smarter" than the rest of us.

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Sanity Returning...

I'm coming back from the edge of instability. I sit here looking out my window and see the rain wash away what should be the last remnants of snow. The water is cleansing the muddy ground of the final traces of winter and the temperature is inching back up to the low fifties.

Seven days 'til opening day. This has been a long and cruel season. At last it's ending. I think if it snowed again I'd crawl into bed, stuck in a fetal position.

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March 27, 2005

My last words on Terri...

Unless some miracle happens, Terri Shiavo will die soon. Legal scholars will say the judicial system adhered to the law and liberals who see this as a "defeat" for Bush or the GOP Congress will be gleeful inside while trying to mask their elation on the outside. I actually wonder if some of these ghouls will actually express their satisfaction at the result.

In any case, this was a tragedy, one that didn't necessarily have to happen.

Now the "husband" is in the process of putting the final screws to the Shindler family and seeking to ensure that, when Terri dies, her body is cremated. One has to wonder whether or not she - reportedly a devout Roman Catholic - would really want her remains to be disposed of in this manner. However, we only have Michael Schiavo's word for it.

Oh, and of course if her body is cremated than any chance for an evaluation of her medical state at the time of death (and any evidence of possible physical abuse) would be lost forever.

Part of me wishes that, upon Terri's death, the Florida States Attorney swears out a warrant for Michael Shiavo's arrest on the charge of first degree murder and that the trial that followed would lead to - at best - a conviction that would put him in prison for the rest of his life or - at worst - financial ruin for the douche bag.

Yes, that would be a satisfying result. But it wouldn't really change anything. Michael Schiavo's actions are between him and God and one day he will have all eternity to spend trying to justify them.

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More Book Recommendations

I like to keep my Book List to a manageable size. However, being an avid reader I’ve listed a number of other books that I would recommend. They are listed here by category and from time to time I will move titles from the main list to here.

Politics:

  • "The Rise of Southern Republicans" by Earle Black and Merle Black
  • "Witness" by Whittaker Chambers
  • "Useful Idiots" by Mona Charon
  • "Treason" by Ann Coulter
  • "Scandal" by Ann Coulter
  • "Let Freedom Ring" by Sean Hannity
  • "The Art of Political War" by David Horowitz
  • "All’s Fair" by Mary Matalin and James Carville
  • "The Right Nation: Conservative Power In America" by John Micklethwait & Adrian Wooldridge
  • "Power Plays" by Dick Morris
  • "What I Saw At The Revolution" by Peggy Noonan"
  • "Unfit For Command" by John O’Neill
  • "The Final Days" by Barbara Olsen
  • "Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms" by Ed Rollins
  • "Statecraft" by Margaret Thatcher
Culture:


  • "The Death of Outrage" by William J. Bennett
  • "The Broken Hearth" by William J. Bennett
  • "Bias" by Bernard Goldberg
  • "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" by Peggy Noonan
  • "Race and Culture" by Thomas Sowell
Economics:

  • "Free To Choose" by Milton and Rose Friedman
  • "Capitalism and Freedom" by Milton and Rose Friedman
  • "The Road To Serfdom" by Friedrich Hayek
  • "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell
The Internet:
  • "Blog" by Hugh Hewitt
Conservative Philosophy:
  • "The Conservative Mind" by Russell Kirk
  • "The Portable Conservative Reader" by Russell Kirk
  • "A Conflict of Visions" by Thomas Sowell
  • "The Vision of the Anointed" by Thomas Sowell
Neoconservative Writings:


  • "Destructive Generation" by Peter Collier and David Horowitz
  • "What’s So Great About America" by Dinesh D’Souza
  • "The Neoconservative Vision" by Mark Gerson
  • "Radical Son" by David Horowitz
  • "Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes" by David Horowitz
  • "The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's Changed America" by Roger Kimball
  • "My Love Affair With America" by Norman Podhoretz
  • "How I Accidentally Joined The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace) by Harry Stein
Feminism:

  • "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Sommers
  • "Who Stole Feminism" by Christina Hoff Sommers
Ronald Reagan:

  • "Ronald Reagan: An America Hero" (forward by William F. Buckley)
  • "Ronald Reagan: How An Ordinary Man Became An Extraordinary Leader by Dinesh D’Souza
  • "When Character Was King" by Peggy Noonan
  • "Reagan In His Own Hand" by Ronald Reagan, edited by Annelise Anderson & Martin Anderson
  • "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life" by Peter Robinson
Other Biography:


  • "All The Best" by George Bush
  • "A Charge To Keep" by George W. Bush
  • "First Son" by Bill Minutaglio

Tolkien:
There are countless works by and about the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, but the following are works that I have read and definitely recommend for those interested:

The Works:

  • The Hobbit
  • The Lord of the Rings
    - The Fellowship of the Ring
    - The Two Towers
    - The Return of the King
  • The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Pre-History)
  • Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle Earth (Previously unpublished details of the History of Men and other stories of Middle Earth)

The "Making of" Books (edited by Christopher Tolkien):

  • The History of Middle-Earth: Part VI - The Return of The Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part I)
  • The History of Middle-Earth: Part VII - The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part II)
  • The History of Middle-Earth: Part VIII - The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings,Part III)
  • The History of Middle-Earth: Part IX - Sauron Defeated (The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part IV)

Biographies:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien, A Biography by Humphrey Carter
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey
  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien by J.R.R. Tolkien

Literary Criticism:

  • The People’s Guide To J.R.R. Tolkien - TheOneRing.net Staff
  • More People’s Guide To J.R.R. Tolkien - TheOneRing.net Staff
  • The Road to Middle-Earth by Tom Shippey

Other:

  • The Maps of Middle-Earth by Brian Sibley
  • The Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler (a Tolkien Encyclopedia)
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad (best cartographic collection of Tolkien’s word - bar none)

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Happy Easter!

An extremely light blogging day today. I suspect for a lot of folks it'll be a light blog reading day as well.

Hope everyone's day goes well. My own Easter traditions already started with the boys already hyped-up on chocolate bunnies and other candy. Later today I'll be heading down to my folk's house where I will be bombarding my digestive system with Heinekens (my fathers beer of choice, though not mine), hard-boiled eggs, my mother's lasagna and my sister-in-law's famous NY style cheesecake.

By this evening I should be a walking WMD and very well may be banished to the family room couch to avoid killing anyone in their sleep.

Remember to say a prayer for Terri Shiavo and her family and remember the importance of the loved ones we surround ourselves with today.

Peace (through strength).

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March 26, 2005

Diane Lane Photo of the Week

Diane Lane Photo of the Week - Baby's In Black

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The Future?

Via: Cox & Forkum

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Aniston and Pitt officially split...

Alright, I admit I could give two sh*ts that this Hollywood marriage is over. But I had to share this quote from the article:

"Pitt, 41, and Aniston, 36, began dating in 1998 after being set up on a blind date."
I dunno that just strikes me as so stupid it's funny. I mean, how is it possible to have a "blind date" between two overexposed celebrities?

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March 25, 2005

F-ing around with the Blogroll again...

Hokay. As I've said in the past the blogroll is a work in progress. BTW: a reciprocal link is a permanent link on this blogroll, but that's not why I add a blog in the first place. I add blogs because - well - I like reading them. But my policy is that any blog that links me, stays on the blogroll.

Anyway. The new ones:

To the "Right-Thinking Blogs" I've added:

Two New "New Englandahs":

I've also made some moves and created a new category.

Neil Boortz's Site has been moved to Radio Personalities because...he's a radio personality.

The Spoons Experience has graduated to "The Pajamahedeen" because, while my normal threshold for that group is 1 million unique hits, he's past 950,000 and that's close enough for horse-shoes.

The Political Teen and Red, White & Blue Hens get their own category. I've decided to put the young-ins (high school and college students) under "The Kids are Al-RIGHT", along with new blogs Student Con, Young Conservative and Young Pundit.

And last but certainly not least, I've added a "daily Drudge alternative" to the News/Info Sites: The Roth Report which is updated frequently and also features Blog entries (including a recent one from yours truly). This one is giving Matt a run for his money.

That's all for now. Damn, this is a bitch.

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War Protesters V. Protest Warriors...

Beautiful Atrocities has a great round-up of the various lame protests this past week commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. You can bookmark the link and peruse them at your leisure.

But one of the links is a must-see from KeathMilligan.com that has a video showing the personality clashes between the moonbats and the anti-protester guys at ProtestWarrior.com. About half-way through, one gal really loses her composure and jumps ugly with a guy at Protest Warrior who is calmly trying to talk to her. It's pretty funny.

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Liberal Hysteria over Schiavo case...


Debra Saunders examines the apoplexy being demonstrated by the Left over the Terri Shiavo situation in her column "Why Terri Must Die" over at RealClearPolitics, beating down Liberal claims with facts.

And Kellipundit posts a quote from Thomas Sowell about the case.

"Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion. Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals' last refuge."

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Some GOOD news in the midst...

I expect that a good chunk of the blogosphere will be pretty morose today, as it should be.

However, to pass along some positive news I refer to two stories in Iraq:

  • Libertarian Leanings links to an account of some Iraqi citizens who demonstrated pretty convincingly that they will not be intimidated, and
  • This bit of news, brought to you by Dog Snot Diaries, tells about our military has turned 85 piece-of-shit terrorists into brand-spanking-new martyrs.

And on a side note: BMEWS shares a damn good joke at the expense of the French.

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March 24, 2005

Vermont Farmer imprisoned for starving cows...

You just can't make this up. NRO's The Corner links to this news story about a man put behind bars for neglecting to give food or water to his livestock.

"We think some jail time is appropriate," said [State's Attorney Tom] Kelly in an October interview. "The cows suffered tremendously."
Yes, common sense would make you think so.

So animals suffer and die, and someone goes to jail. But the same thing happens to a human being and her husband inherits over $1 million. But of course this man's actions are actually punishable by law:

"DeNeergaard, first charged in March 2003, allegedly neglected to feed or water his herd of 75 cows. Numerous investigations by Vermont State Police and the Agency of Agriculture revealed squalid conditions in the Cabot barn, and a preliminary report by a veterinarian said at least 11 cows found dead on the farm had starved to death.

Police became involved in November when Cabot Constable Jeffrey Haggert observed dead animals outside the barn and notified authorities. State police and agriculture officials who investigated DeNeergaard on Dec. 4 found dead cows in the barn and said in an affidavit that food and water were not available to the remaining cows.

The irony is truly appalling.

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Maureen Dowd needs a Valium...

Her Op-Ed this a.m. opens with the sentence "My God, we really are a theocracy." Ms. Dowd then continues to cynically rant at the recent act of Congress designed to give Terri Schiavo's family one more chance to keep their daughter from starving to death. She seizes upon a quote from one of the five GOP Congressmen who voted against it, Christopher Shays (a local guy for me): "This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy. There are going to be repercussions from this vote."

A party of theocracy? Okay, why is it then when the government steps in to try and save the life of an innocent disabled woman, we're a theocracy but when extraordinary measures are pursued (often to the last minute) to prevent the execution of a serial killer this is considered an act of mercy by the more compassionate members of our society?

Dowd and her alliance of death advocates can't understand that the level of support Terri is receiving in this country is driven by compassion, not an agenda pushed by religious groups. Are there Conservative and religious groups supporting the current efforts of the Congress? Of course. Why? Because the issue goes to the very core of their belief in the value of and respect for life. But that's not the point.

I myself am not an especially religious person. The fact that I believe what Michael Schiavo and the State of Florida is doing to her is wrong has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with what my gut tells me as a human being.

And I personally find this passage offensive:

The scene on Capitol Hill this past week has been almost as absurdly macabre as the movie "Weekend at Bernie's," with Tom DeLay and Bill Frist propping up between them this poor woman in a vegetative state to indulge their own political agendas.
Apparently Ms. Dowd (the nation's oldest snarky school girl) sees so little gravity in this situation that she can make such a patently tasteless remark. I guess to her it is impossible to view these events in any way other than through the prism of politics.

She doesn't get it. And her panties are all in a twist because she thinks that if - by some miracle - Terri Schiavo survives this latest round that it somehow makes this country a worse and scarier place for her to live. As far as I'm concerned, Dowd's inability to reign in her irrational horror over genuine compassion is much scarier. Referring to recent comments by Rep. Tom Delay, she says:

"So it's not about her crisis at all. It's about his crisis."
Um, whose having a crisis here? Get this woman a tranquilizer.

UPDATE: 12:04pm
Site Meter is reporting I just got a hit from the domain NYTimes.com as the result of a Technorati search. Is that you Maureen?

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The Fisking of the "Talking Points Memo"...

From Michelle Malkin. She does a nice job summarizing John Hinderaker of Powerline's dismantling of yet another fake memo, released by ABC - who apparently learned nothing from Rathergate. Would be pretty funny if CBS runs with this.

Also from Malkin, a review of the Minnesota School Shooter's Yahoo! profile reveals some pretty disturbing shit about this sick little F-er.

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What Motivates the Tube-Pullers?

Those in the country who have lately been derided for supporting life in Florida are accused have harboring some right-wing agenda. We grit our teeth and deal with it because it's not worth the argument. The bottom line is that what makes so many people emotionally attached to this case is a reverence and respect for innocent life.

Peggy Noonan analyzes what drives the passion of those folks that are so determined to see someone die.

Everyone who has written in defense of Mrs. Schiavo's right to live has received e-mail blasts full of attacks that appear to have been dictated by the unstable and typed by the unhinged. On Democratic Underground they crowed about having "kicked the sh-- out of the fascists." On Tuesday James Carville's face was swept with a sneer so convulsive you could see his gums as he damned the Republicans trying to help Mrs. Schiavo. It would have seemed demonic if he weren't a buffoon.

Why are they so committed to this woman's death?

They seem to have fallen half in love with death.

What does Terri Schiavo's life symbolize to them? What does the idea that she might continue to live suggest to them?

In an attempt to grasp how the minds of some of these people work, Noonan ponders the following:

I do not understand why people who want to save the whales (so do I) find campaigns to save humans so much less arresting. I do not understand their lack of passion. But the save-the-whales people are somehow rarely the Stop stop-abortion-please people.

The PETA people, who say they are committed to ending cruelty to animals, seem disinterested in the fact of late-term abortion, which is a cruel procedure performed on a human.

I do not understand why the don't-drill-in-Alaska-and-destroy-its-prime-beauty people do not join forces with the don't-end-a-life-that-holds-within-it-beauty people.

I do not understand why those who want a freeze on all death penalty cases in order to review each of them in light of DNA testing--an act of justice and compassion toward those who have been found guilty of crimes in a court of law--are uninterested in giving every last chance and every last test to a woman whom no
one has ever accused of anything.

For our children, raised in a time where abortion and euthanasia is celebrated and kids can casually walk up to schoolmates, smile and pull the trigger, the value of life seems to be constantly defined downward and seeing these events play out on television will likely only reinforce this process. Noonan considers the possible path this can take.
Once you "know" that--that human life is not so special after all--then everything is possible, and none of it is good. When a society comes to believe that human life is not inherently worth living, it is a slippery slope to the gas chamber. You wind up on a low road that twists past Columbine and leads toward Auschwitz. Today that road runs through Pinellas Park, Fla.
I share her inability to understand these folks as well. As with any of her writing, the column should be read in its entirety.

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March 23, 2005

A couple of thoughts on Terri...

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the situation, with a hope that however this goes there can be some good that can result as it relates to how we can handle such situations in the future:

For Congress and the president to then step in and try to override that by shifting the venue to a federal court was a legal travesty, a flagrant violation of federalism and the separation of powers. The federal judge who refused to reverse the Florida court was certainly true to the law. But the law, while scrupulous, has been merciless, and its conclusion very troubling morally. We ended up having to choose between a legal travesty on the one hand and human tragedy on the other.

There is no good outcome to this case. Except perhaps if Florida and the other states were to amend their laws and resolve conflicts among loved ones differently -- by granting authority not necessarily to the spouse but to whatever first-degree relative (even if in the minority) chooses life and is committed to support it. Call it Terri's law. It would help prevent our having to choose in the future between travesty and tragedy.

And on a related note, Grouchy Old Cripple shares his feelings about the matter and, while he and I disagree on many points, his assessment of the hypocrisy shown by Liberals who have been so adamant that Terri die is dead on:
The same people who are for starving Terri to death are the same people who think sucking out the brains of a half delivered baby is just fine. They also think that killing convicted murderers is wrong. These people are known as liberals and look down upon us stupid rubes in the red states. These are also the people who thought it was right that Elian Gonzales should be returned to his father and thought nothing about the Clinton administration sending in storm troopers to make this happen. The Clinton administration also fried to a crisp the Branch Davidians. But to these people, it is John Ashcroft who is the Nazi. Has he fried any religious wackos or sent in storm troopers to kick in doors and frighten the crap out of a little boy?
In the meantime, while we try to hold out hope, all we can do now is pray.

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DNC Chair Dean continues Southern “Revival” Tour…

Howard Dean, currently touring Southern States in an attempt to win over the hearts and minds of that region’s Democrat voters, recently hit a snag at his stop in Tennessee. Seems that the State’s Democrat Governor was oddly unable to make time to meet with the Chairman. As Ankle-Biting Pundits reports from a story at Knoxnews.com:

Dean said he and Bredesen have met several times and he considers the governor "a good friend." The two men will not see each other during the current trip, with Dean explaining the governor would be "in Memphis."
I suppose that means that Bredesen was too busy rearranging his sock drawer.

At a speech delivered at Vanderbilt University last night, Dean conducted his usual fire-brand oratory. Quoting scripture twice, Dean was reported by the Tennessean as having said:

"Jesus' directive to ''love thy neighbor'' didn't mean one could choose which ones to love. He then remarked that Republicans never brought up the scriptural verse saying it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."
HoKay! More like it would be easier for winged monkeys to fly out of my butt than for a Northeastern Liberal Kook to increase his popularity in Red-State America.

But Dean also encouraged those disconnected with politics to get involved:

''It's not about Republicans and Democrats, but about democracy that works,'' he said. ''I'd rather see someone go to work for a Republican campaign than sit on their butt.''
He may be onto something being as the South has gone more and more Republican each election cycle over the last twenty-someodd years. Thank you Dems for electing this guy as your leader. It just keeps paying dividends.

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Memorable Movie Quote of the Day...

"What the hell's wrong with being stupid once in awhile? Does everything you do always have to be sensible? Haven't you ever thrown waterballoons off a roof? When you were a little kid didn't you ever sprinkle soap flakes on the living room floor 'cause you wanted to make it snow in July? Didn't you ever get really shitfaced and maybe make a complete fool of yourself and still have an excellent time?"
- Walter "Gib" Gibson (The Sure Thing - 1985)

I saw this movie for the first time 20 years ago today. Don't ask me how I know this. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you have, hope it brings back fond memories.

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