Must reading

December 31, 2008

Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy on the Left’s agenda and the ludicrous charges of a "disproportionate response" on the part of Israel: It’s not international law if you never agreed to it in the first place.


30-minute dead dogs

December 31, 2008

Rachel Ray is trying to kill your dog.

Perhaps someone at Ray Global HQ should try doing a little research… Waiting

(hat tip: Instapundit)


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Now I know newspapers are in trouble

December 31, 2008

The Village Voice has laid off Nat Hentoff. A fantastic writer about jazz* and politics, he’s one of the few Lefty columnists I’ve respected, even when I’ve hotly disagreed with him. Sad

*(In an age of MP3s, when listeners care only about the sound, but not the artist or the context, Hentoff’s liner notes should be required reading. They’re a musical education all by themselves.)


Not a jester, not a fool

December 31, 2008

John Kass tips his hat to Gov. Blagojevich (D-Capone) for outmaneuvering his own party:

Since he was federally charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama‘s Senate seat to the highest bidder, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been wrongly caricatured as some kind of hapless jester prancing on the edge of madness.

Jesters hold rattles with a likeness of their heads on the end of a stick, and they hop off into a corner, prattling to themselves. That’s what jesters do.

Jesters don’t pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Democrat in the U.S. Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging.

To borrow Internet argot, Blago just pwned the federal and state Democrats. Loser

UPDATE: This really calls for a picture, and what could be more fitting than this:

Cagney grapefruit

UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey thinks Blago’s revenge leaves the Democrats facing a catastrophe.


Comedy gold

December 30, 2008

Harry Reid may not be able to block Governor Blagojevich’s (D-Capone) appointment of former Illinois Attorney-General Roland Burris to fill PEBO’s Senate seat.

It’s a New Year’s laugh riot! Rolling on the floor

LINKS: Sister Toldjah; Hot Air has entertaining video.


No way! Bush reads books?

December 30, 2008

Washington Post columnist and liberal elitist Richard Cohen is shocked, shocked to discover that President Bush is an avid reader.

Don’t you just hate it when reality ruins a perfectly good prejudice?  Doh


Down with Zionist Oceanspray!!

December 30, 2008

From an anti-Israeli demonstration in New York. Proof that Islamists am brainy people, who done got edukashun:


You know, I always thought cranberry juice was a plot…. Raised Eyebrow

(hat tip: Pax Parabellum)

LINKS: More photos at Atlas Shrugs


The massacre of the innocents

December 30, 2008

Two days ago in Afghanistan, a brave mujahideen died fighting for God and his Prophet. This holy warrior blew himself up –slaying and being slain for the promise of Paradise— to kill Allah's enemies: schoolchildren. (More here and here.)

Yet another proud moment for the Religion of Peace.

There's not much one can say about this atrocity; the horror of it speaks for itself. It does, however, serve as one answer to an old question: why we fight. Michael Ledeen shares a letter he received from a soldier in Afghanistan, one who has questioned whether the mission there is truly worthwhile, something any thoughtful person asks himself at one time or another. The massacre in Khost of a group of children who just wanted to learn to read gave him his answer:

…in the last ten months we have stopped seventeen suicide bombers. Either killed or captured before they could reach their targets. These suicide bombers have come from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Dubai, Chechnya and Germany. These were terrorists that were going to find a target. Somewhere. They chose Afghanistan…I can’t estimate how many children have been saved by us being here, but I can say without a doubt that it is at least one. And in that I have my answer. I am a Father and a Husband. I am a Son and I am a Brother. I know I am loved and I know the sadness it would bring if I were lost. But I am also a Soldier. I have sworn to protect those who cannot protect themselves and I will uphold this oath. Today it was the children in Khost Province, Afghanistan. Last week, Mumbai. Five years ago, London. Seven years ago, New York, Arlington and Pennsylvania. My answers are simple: we do make a difference, blood and treasure has been well spent, the darkest shadows of America can’t compare to the evil that lurks in this world, this is not a war of vengeance, this is a war of good and evil, their hatred is bred and taught, America is not the cause and terror will follow us no matter where we are.

A Realist would say that, beyond punishing al Qaeda, what happened in Afghanistan or Iraq doesn't affect our interests, that, in James Baker's words, "we don't have a dog in that fight." But he's wrong, both on a practical and an ideological level.

Practical, because, in this age of weapons of mass destruction –and of jet liners turned into WMDs– we cannot wait for people seeking Paradise over our corpses to come to us. We must go after them and fight them over there. George Bush had this one-hundred percent right.

Ideological, because Americans cannot be true to themselves and the universal principles of human dignity and individual worth on which the country was founded, and yet stand by and do nothing. In an age when another ideology, this time under the cloak of religion,  demands slavery and submission, when it justifies mass murder and calls it an act of devotion, we have to fight.

That's not to say that we must launch a global armed crusade to free everyone. But we have to be clear who we are and what we stand for –  and against. And we should bend all our power -economic, political, diplomatic, and, at times, military- toward the long-term goal of spreading liberty and the creation of free societies in place of those based on fear.

As the writer above said, this is a war of good and evil. If we don't stand up to evil, who will?

Damned if they do, dead if they don’t

December 29, 2008

Ralph Peters on the Israeli assault on Hamas:

What might Israel have done better? It’s essential to take out the top terrorist leaders. But Israel’s government remains reluctant to target the cowardly Hamas leaders hiding in Damascus – or even the top terrorists remaining in Gaza.

For terrorist bosses, the rank-and-file are disposable and replaceable. You can’t just kill the gunmen. You have to kill the names.

We may sympathize with the average Palestinian family, exploited by generations of corrupt leaders and now caught in yet another round of violence. But let us never forget that Israel hasn’t fired thousands of blind rockets into Palestinian cities, that Israeli suicide bombers don’t attack Arab restaurants and bus stops, and that Israel seeks to avoid harming civilians – while Hamas seeks to kill as many civilians as possible.

In a world where there are no good answers, Israel just answered as best it could. The world’s response? "How dare Jews defend themselves."

Humanity doesn’t progress. It just changes clothes.

Ralph doesn’t mince words. Read the whole thing.


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Sarah Palin, Man of the Year?

December 29, 2008

She’s one Canadian’s choice.

"For a politician of real accomplishment and promise, who has somehow managed, for the first time since Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, to cut through the verbiage and posturing of an election campaign, and look an electorate in the eye; a politician whose policy instincts are sound, whose wits are sharp, and whose moral vision is unclouded — who drives all the right people crazy, across party lines."

UPDATE: So does Gerard Vanderleun. (h/t Fausta)

Quote of the day

December 29, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson again, this time on Kennedy vs. Palin, a media morality tale:

But, no, the real embarrassment proves to be the media itself that apparently can’t see this weird unfolding self-incriminating morality tale: It is not just that Palin is conservative, Kennedy politically-correct (e.g., pro-abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc), or Palin a newcomer to public attention, Kennedy a celebrity since childhood. Rather it is the aristocratic value system of most NY-DC journalists themselves who apparently still assume that old money, status, and an Ivy-League pedigree are reliable barometers of talent and sobriety, suggesting that the upper-East Side Kennedy’s public ineptness is an aberration, a bad day, a minor distraction, while Palin’s charisma and ease are superficial and a natural reflection of her Idaho sports journalism degree.

A few generations ago, Democrats would have opposed Palin but appreciated her blue-collar story, and applauded a working mom who out-politicked entrenched and richer male elites. But now the new aristocratic liberalism has adopted the values of the old silk-stocking Republicans of the 1950s—and so zombie-like worship rather than question entitlement.


I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords

December 29, 2008

A Russian academic predicts the breakup of the United States by 2010, with China getting the West Coast. Surprise, surprise, he gives Alaska back to Russia.

Would that be before or after China grabs Siberia from Russia?

LINKS: Fausta has more.

(hat tip: reader Scamper)


I still think Saltsman’s stunt was stupid

December 29, 2008

But Michelle is right to call foul on hypocritical, self-righteous outrage from the Left.


More rats jumping ship

December 29, 2008

Another high-ranking Iranian official defects. There are interesting implications for Iranian-Turkish relations:

Iran will have to tread a fine line in this case. Relations with Turkey are very important for Tehran, both economically and politically. With Tehran becoming isolated, any damage caused in Tehran-Ankara relations will be to the benefit of the U.S. and Israel. On the other hand, Turkish authorities seem to be playing host to defectors from Iran, thus making the country a top destination for whoever wants to escape and to cause damage to Iran’s military apparatus.

And the Turkish military is historically very friendly to the Great Satan, the United States. Read the whole thing: it’s an enlightening look into the game of espionage in this new Cold War.


Quote of the day

December 28, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson on the media and Obama:

I say used to be the news media, since when they report good news about the Divine Obama we have no idea whether it’s encomium or fact; and if they are ever slightly negative, we don’t know whether the complaint derives from His real error or merely that they are stung by past criticism and ostensibly trying to be periodically balanced. In short, the age of Murrow is over—and the divine era of Augustus with his Livy and Dio is upon us.

–From Life At New Animal Farm Won’t Be All That Bad

Our very own Wordle

December 28, 2008

I have no idea what use this serves, but I created a neat word cloud of this blog at Wordle:

PS wordle

Hey, I like it. Big Grin

(via Fausta)


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Green guns

December 28, 2008

Inspired by this post at Exurban League, I did some googling on Mossberg firearms and eventually found myself at the page for the Maverick 88 shotgun (security model), where I read this:

All Maverick barrels and choke tubes are capable of firing lead, steel or other non-toxic loads.

Well, thank God for that! I'd hate to think my ammunition might poison the guy I was blasting! Whew

Sweet-looking shotgun, though…

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Dear Hamas

December 27, 2008

Shut up. You’ve been asking for it.

In the heaviest military strike against the Gaza Strip since the 1967 Six Day War, the Israel Air Force bombed over 170 targets on Saturday, killing more than 230 Palestinians, as Israel launched "Operation Cast Lead," aimed at putting a stop to Hamas rocket attacks against the South.

In two waves, over 100 fighter jets and attack helicopters dropped dozens of smart bombs and hundreds of tons of explosives on Hamas training camps, headquarters, weapons storehouses, underground missile silos and command-and-control centers scattered throughout the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has been violating the so-called ceasefire daily since it was first announced, just as they have violated every ceasefire they’ve ever agreed to. The Israelis have had to put up with thousands of rocket attacks against their people, even after withdrawing from Gaza. Contrary to the kneejerk anti-Semitic reaction of the international community, the Israelis until now have shown tremendous restraint in the face of years of attacks. Ask yourself, would you expect the US government to hold back if rockets were fired daily from Mexico against San Diego or Brownsville?

The time for restraint is over, if there ever was such a time. Hamas is dedicated to one thing only: the destruction of Israel, the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from the region, and the imposition of Islamic rule over its ruins.

Israel shouldn’t stop until Hamas itself is destroyed.

LINKS: More at Hot Air, Power Line, LGF, Ace.

UPDATE: I don’t think the Israelis intend to repeat the mistakes of their war with Hizbullah in 2006:

The policy of restraint, officials add, is over.


Raspberries for a dynasty

December 27, 2008

The Boston Herald’s Howie Carr has had it up to here with Caroline Kennedy and her carriage ride to a Senate seat:

Forget the Profiles in Courage award. For this interview yesterday Caroline Kennedy deserves the Profiles in Chutzpah Award.

See, JFK’s only surviving child wants Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate, although she has absolutely no qualifications for the position other than her last name, which by the way used to be Schlossberg until last summer.

Now all these dreadful, sweaty Albany and D.C. parvenus who actually had to run for political office are complaining about Ms. Kennedy’s ever-so-Kennedy-esque attempt to cut in line ahead of them. So Caroline grants – or should I say, grahhhhnts – an interview to the Associated Press, and she has the audacity to play the victim card. To get the Senate seat, she says, “I have to work twice as hard as anybody else.”

Huh? You’ve never worked a day in your life, honey. Your pampered-poodle existence makes Uncle Teddy look like a working-class hero. Poor Uncle Teddy is worth a mere $103.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Caroline’s gotta be good for at least three times that.

“I am an unconventional choice.”

No, Caroline, you are about as conventional as it gets. You’re operating under the oldest rule in the book, the golden rule. He (or she) who has the gold, rules.

It gets better, so read the whole thing. Feeling beat up

A lot of people Right and Left have been grousing about dynasties lately: "Not another Bush/Clinton/Kennedy," we hear. But there’s a fundamental difference, here. The Bushes and Clintons, though they represent political families, still submit themselves to the judgment of the people on election day. They have to get out and campaign. If Jeb Bush, for example, runs for the Senate from Florida, he at least has already run races for state office before that. He would in no way be benefiting from being the son of one president and the brother of another. (Far from it, given Dubya’s standing in the polls.) And he would still have to win an election to go to Washington.

Even Hillary, who carpetbagged her way to her Senate seat in 2000, got out on the trail to run for president. While she could be accused with some justice of trying to get into the White House based on her husband’s record, she still campaigned hard in 2008 and submitted to the will of the voter.

And earlier "dynasties," such as the Adams, Harrisons, or Roosevelts, still had to earn their way into office.

Not so with Princess Caroline. Here’s a case of someone with no qualifications to speak of (certainly far fewer than Sarah Palin) essentially trading on her name and parentage and expecting to be given the office out of gratitude for her sense of noblesse oblige. That is "dynastic" and "aristocratic." It is also antithetical to the very ideas on which this Republic was founded.

That Caroline Kennedy doesn’t understand this or doesn’t care is reason enough for Governor Paterson not to appoint her.

(hat tip: Ace)


The Grinch speaks

December 27, 2008

The Spirit of Christmas Grouchy breaks his silence to ask a snarky, yet fitting, question:

…can anyone tell me why is it okay for Barack Obama to spend Christmas during the worst economic downturn in decades in the course of which thousands of Americans face losing their homes in Hawaii in a 9 million dollar house body surfing and playing golf when it is not okay for the leader of the free world who has been presiding over two wars for several years to clear brush at the rather modest ranch he owns in Texas during hurricane season?

That's simple: find out what letter comes after their name, "D" or "R," and you have your answer. The media covered for Barack Obama throughout the election, and now they're busy mantling him with the aura of a new Camelot. Thus, whatever he does should bring a smile to our faces and give us Hope for a better tomorrow, while anything that wretch from Texas does is stupid/out of touch/evil/take your pick. And, speaking of Camelot, and if you want another example, compare the media's treatment of Sarah Palin and Caroline Kennedy. (And more here.)

But there's no media bias. Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along. Rolling Eyes

(hat tip: Tigerhawk)