Archive for July, 2005

July 26, 2005

SUNDAY, I complained about a lack of media coverage of Egyptian anti-terrorist protests. Not everyone ignored them, though: Here’s a story from NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday. And here’s a story from today’s Guardian on Karim Elsahy’s Cairo antiterror protest.

Karim notes a followup protest planned for Friday — plenty of time for Big Media folks to send reporters and cameras!

There’s also a link to a charity for the victims of the Sharm El Sheikh bombing.

July 26, 2005

A BLOG solves a murder? (Thanks to Eric Muller for the tip.)

July 26, 2005

BRANNON DENNING:

I came up with a few questions that I’d like to see asked during Roberts’s confirmation hearings.

* To what extent and under what conditions, if any, should the Supreme Court look to foreign law for guidance in interpreting the U.S. Constitution?

* What role should stare decisis play in constitutional adjudication?

* To what extent can the President make foreign policy independently of Congress, and can the President’s foreign policy—not otherwise undertaken pursuant to congressional authorization or embodied in a treaty or executive agreement—preempt state and local laws that express a different policy?

Are there any cutting edge issues that you’d like to see brought up at the confirmation hearings? Am I being too tough on Senator Schumer?

I’d like to know what Roberts thinks of penumbral reasoning as a methodology.

July 26, 2005

MICKEY KAUS: “Is Hillary Clinton ever electric? I deny it.”

He’s not buying her move to the center, either.

July 26, 2005

IRAQI BLOGGER OMAR looks at the latest draft of the proposed Iraqi constitution and is unimpressed. He’s posted some translations with commentary.

July 26, 2005

MORE FROM MOSUL: Michael Yon has posted another report, with photos, about how the Iraqi police are doing. Excerpt:

The enemy in Iraq does not appear to be weakening; if anything, they are becoming smarter, more complicated and deadlier. But this does not mean they are winning; to imply that getting smarter and deadlier equates to winning, is fallacious. Most accounts of the situation in Iraq focus on enemy “successes” (if success is re-defined as annihiliation of civility), while redacting the increasing viability and strength of the Iraqi government, which clearly is outpacing the insurgency.

The Mosul police are now strong enough to launch successful undercover operations, and have been fanning out across Mosul and surrounding villages, snooping and listening for snippets. On July 15th, police working undercover in a village Northwest of Mosul heard a group of villagers talking about a weapons cache, but the location was not mentioned. Iraqi forces locked down the village, searched and found a weapons depot from Syria into Mosul. Iraqi police also found and rescued the 28 year-old woman I mentioned briefly in the last dispatch. She was the wife of a Mosul journalist, and had been kidnapped and held for ransom by members of a beheading cell. After the village search, police hauled four men to a Mosul station for interrogation, and alerted the Americans.

Read the whole thing.

July 26, 2005

TECH BLEG: If I have an audio CD-R of unknown provenance, can I extract information about the machine that burned it that might help me track it down? If the music was downloaded from an Internet site, will any useful information survive? Where would I go to find out more about that?

July 26, 2005

VERIZON EVDO UPDATE: I’m getting “Broadband Access” in Knoxville now — two different places, both at about 350kbps according to the CNET bandwidth tester. I’ve heard reports of the broadband coming and going in this area over the past few weeks; I hope they’ll roll it out for good soon.

July 26, 2005

GRAND ROUNDS IS UP, for all your healthcare and medical-blogging needs.

July 26, 2005

I’M READING JESSE WALKER’S Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America. Very interesting stuff. I suppose there’s an argument that podcasting and satellite radio are making this less important than it used to be, but I think that neglects the geographic / local aspects of broadcast radio. It’s not obsolete, just different.

July 26, 2005

JAMES OBERG:

At first glance, NASA’s decision to possibly launch even if a sensor glitch reappears suggests that the space agency was wrong two weeks ago to postpone the launch. However, the two decisions actually are very different, and indicate how much NASA’s safety culture has improved.

And in other space news:

The House Friday overwhelmingly endorsed President Bush’s vision to send man back to the moon and eventually on to Mars as it passed a bill to set NASA policy for the next two years.

The bill passed 383-15 after a collegial debate in which lawmakers stressed their commitment to not just Bush’s ambitious space exploration plans but also to traditional NASA programs such as science and aeronautics.

Good.

July 26, 2005

QUITE SOME TIME AGO, Mickey Kaus wrote:

Keep this between us, but would a violent-but-short Shiite vs. Sunni civil war (in which the U.S. was not involved) be the worst thing that could happen? Just askin’! It might be the essential predicate to a rough ethnic and religious balance of power. Or it might produce a stable, de facto partition.

Well, it might not be the worst thing that could happen (from our perspective), but it would be very bad. However, from the Sunnis’ perspective, it would be the worst thing that could happen, since they are growing increasingly unpopular as sponsors of / collaborators with terror attacks through Iraq — and nobody liked them that much anyway. They’re also growing militarily and economically weaker. Al Qaeda types like Zarqawi think that a massacre of Sunnis would galvanize the rest of the Arab (or at least Sunni) world, but that’s got to look less likely as time passes and as Al Qaeda gets less popular inside and outside Iraq.

As WestHawk observes: “A full-blown sectarian civil war in Iraq would be bad for all, but it would be positively lethal for the Sunni position in Iraq. At the limit, they would be ethnically cleansed from the country. . . . It would be ugly to watch and bad for America’s reputation, but few could say, in this scenario, that the Sunnis had not brought it on themselves.” The Sunnis, I suspect, realize this, and old Ba’athist fantasies of omnipotence seem to be fading (Chemical Ali is said to be singing like a canary, along with several other Saddam cronies). If this is true, we’ll see plenty of traditional brinksmanship but the Sunnis will always wind up making a deal, because the consequences of not making a deal will be too horrific. What’s more, if they’re smart, they’ll recognize that holding out too long makes for a worse deal, as their position declines.

That’s how it looks to me, anyway. Am I right? I don’t know. I’m no Juan Cole or anything, but I could still be wrong.

July 26, 2005

MERYL YOURISH says that Condi Rice is “absolutely made in the Powell mode” when it comes to the Palestinians. That’s not meant as a compliment.

July 26, 2005

“I’LL NEVER MAKE AN ISSUE of my opponent’s Mormonism. That would be wrong.

“What, you didn’t know he was a Mormon? He is. I wondered why you didn’t ask about his Mormon faith and its possible impact on the election. Only one wife though, as far as I know — but then you can never be too sure with those Mormons,, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Just kidding, everyone knows that Mormons have given that up. Most of them, anyway. Sadly, some people are still prejudiced against those Mormons and their polygamous ways. But I’ll never make an issue of Mormonism, because that would be wrong. Forget I even brought the whole Mormonism thing up. The Mormonism is a nonissue, after all. Who cares whether someone is a Mormon in this day and age? Not me. And I suspect that no more than a possibly winning margin tiny percentage of voters would be prejudiced enough against Mormons to vote based on something as silly as someone being a Mormon. This is the 21st Century, after all, where things like someone being a Mormon just shouldn’t matter.”

July 26, 2005

THIS WEEK’S COTILLION is posted, with a film noir theme.

Also check out the latest Carnivals of Revolutions, Music, the NBA, and RINOs.

July 26, 2005

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-WIT PRIGS: A sad story, really, but with moments of comic relief.

July 26, 2005

GATEWAY PUNDIT has roundups on Dagestan, where Islamic terror attacks abound, and from the Phillipines, where Gloria Arroyo faces impeachment.

July 26, 2005

THEO VAN GOGH’S KILLER gets life without parole.

July 25, 2005

HEH. “Let’s not even consider why the cow’s lipstick is smeared.”

July 25, 2005

MORE BAD NEWS FROM AFRICA. I think it’s time for the Liber8 concert.

July 25, 2005

ADVISE AND CONSENT: Over at Legal Affairs, Brannon Denning and Erwin Chemerinsky are debating judicial confirmations, and in particular (at the moment at least) what sorts of questions Senators should ask, and what sorts nominees should, and shouldn’t, answer.

UPDATE: I should also link the latest Blawg Review, a carnival of lawbloggers.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tony Mauro looks at Roberts’ likely impact on the other Justices if he joins the court. Mauro thinks his measured rhetoric and lack of stridency will enhance his impact. Indeed.

July 25, 2005

CATHY SEIPP says we’re living in Gladys Kravitz nation:

But is it really a harmless situation that now anyone with Internet access can find out, for free, your age; for a few dollars, your address; and for just a few dollars more, a complete background check? Beyond issues raised by the ChoicePoint scandal, the MasterCard fiasco, and general identity theft, why is complete public access to the particular location of exactly where you live perfectly legal? . . . There’s no point anymore, for instance, to defense attorney arguments that Megan’s Law is invasive because it allows worried citizens to find out the addresses of sex offenders. Sex offenders can now find out where worried citizens live and they don’t need any special law to do it.

She’s not very happy with this state of affairs.

July 25, 2005

HEH:

Two years ago—and again a few days ago—Glenn Reynolds took a lot of abuse for calling the Plame Affair “‘too complicated’ for me to feel I really understand it”. More recently, Duncan “Atrios” Black took rather less abuse (none) for expressing confusion about the matter.

That’s the price I pay for being ahead of the curve!

UPDATE: Some people are less shy.

July 25, 2005

EDWARD JAY EPSTEIN says it’s a Hollywood death spiral.

Maybe if their movies were good. . . .

July 25, 2005

SISSY WILLIS: There may be hope for Western Civilization yet.

As one of my anthropology professors noted, cultures learn. Even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain.

July 25, 2005

PATRICK RUFFINI is running a straw poll on 2008 Republican Presidential candidates. If you’ve got someone in mind, drop by and vote.

July 25, 2005

THIS WEEK’S CARNIVAL OF PERSONAL FINANCE is up!

July 25, 2005

ROBERTS AND THE COMMERCE CLAUSE: Supposedly, the Democratic questioning of Roberts is going to focus mainly on his views of the Commerce Clause. That would interest me, since I’d like to know those myself, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent retreat from its holdings in Lopez and Morrison that — until this term — suggested it was taking the notion of constitutional limits on the commerce power.

Here’s a paper I wrote for the Cato Institute back before the Lopez decision, spelling out why this is important. And here’s an article I wrote for the Vanderbilt Law Review (with the catchy title “Is Democracy Like Sex?”) that spells out the important ways that federalism and limited government help to prevent the onset of what Jonathan Rauch calls “Demosclerosis.”

Lower courts were never very enthusiastic about implementing Lopez and Morrison, though. Brannon Denning and I looked at how those decisions fared in two articles surveying their reception in the Courts of Appeals and District Courts. The subtitle in this one, from the Wisconsin Law Review, tells the story: “What if the Supreme Court Held a Constitutional Revolution and Nobody Came?” This later installment noted that things were beginning to turn around, but that seems less likely to continue, post-Raich, unless Bush appoints people who are serious about enumerated powers and limited government, which — given that Bush himself doesn’t seem terribly serious that way — seems doubtful.

Denning, by the way, is coauthor (with Boris Bittker) of a Commerce Clause treatise, Bittker on the Regulation of Interstate and Foreign Commerce, that’s must-reading for true Commerce Clause junkies.

July 25, 2005

SCOTT BURGESS’S DAILY ABLUTION has achieved fame in Britain by putting The Guardian in an embarrassing spot. Burgess has comments regarding the Guardian’s over-the-top response on his blog, here.

Really, The Guardian has done itself far more harm than Burgess did.

July 25, 2005

ROBIN GIVHAN of the Washington Post has inspired James Lileks to write about fashion. ” I’ll tell you this: when it comes to dressing the kids, it’s quite possible they look at parents who get on airplanes in flip-flops with 12-year old daughters who have the word JUICY spelled out on their behinds, and they actually do think they’re better than those parents.”

July 25, 2005

ARE YOU NOW, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN, a member of the Federalist Society?

July 25, 2005

LAST NIGHT I FINISHED Peter Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star, which was recommended by many readers. I thought it was pretty good: It’s got AIs, wormholes, interesting aliens, conspiracies, rejuvenation politics, and more all mixed together with interesting characters and events. My main complaint is that Hamilton’s future looks too much like the present, given all the exotic technologies that he sweeps into the mix, but that’s the difference between science fiction and prognostication.

Anyway, I liked it enough that I immediately preordered the sequel, which is probably the best indication. What’s sad is how long it took me to finish the book — a measure of just how busy I am with writing, instead of reading for pleasure, alas.

Hey, it’s not like I have a real life or anything! Just a book with a November deadline.

July 25, 2005

TREY JACKSON HAS BEEN LOOKING AT IDENTITY THEFT and reports that there’s a whole lot more of it than most people realize. “24% of Americans over 18 have been exposed to ID theft in the last 100 days.”

July 25, 2005

THIS WEEK’S CARNIVAL OF LIBERTY is up!

July 25, 2005

MICHAEL BARONE:

Some time ago I took a look at the statistics in the annual Harvard Law Review issue on the Supreme Court, and found that each time there was an increase in the number of Supreme Court law clerks there was also a step increase in the number of separate concurring and dissenting opinions. . . .

My radical proposal, which I am sure will never be adopted, is: reduce the number of Supreme Court law clerks to one or two. My expected result, were this ever to be done: many fewer separate opinions and clearer, more straightforward opinions that intelligent citizens could easily read in full.

He’s probably right.

July 25, 2005

ANN ALTHOUSE: “Are we so starved for a scandal that we’re biting at anything?”

Well, that question does come just above a post about “Plaidgate.”

July 25, 2005

ONLY IF IT HAD FREE WI-FI, TOO: None of that T-Mobile stuff.

July 25, 2005

BRUCE SCHNEIER writes on security and profiling. As with all of his stuff, it’s worth reading. (Via Rebecca Blood).

July 25, 2005

EGYPTIAN ANTITERROR PROTESTS are getting attention in the Arab world, even though they’re being pretty much ignored by Western media. More thoughts on that phenomenon over at GlennReynolds.com.

July 25, 2005

YES, THAT’S A BLOGAD FOR Contra Café over on the right. But they didn’t buy it in response to my post — I gave ‘em a freebie after seeing the folks at antiwar.com go crazy over my earlier mention of them. I should’ve held out for a free t-shirt, at least.

Yes, I realize that I’m not properly monetizing InstaPundit. But it’s fun!

UPDATE: Reader Stephen Schwartz emails:

Pretty interesting how Dennis Raimondo, allegedly the only real conservative in America, has suddenly signed on to recycling idiotic propaganda against the contras — quoting old and thoroughly discredited Sandinista crap.

Someone needs to point out to him that the “terrorists” won the election in Nicaragua in 1990 and have never held power since.

Dennis being a person who only knows other countries via his computer, it wouldn’t be of interest to him to read the serious literature about Nicaragua and the outcome of Sandinista rule there. For example, this:

Link

I detect a parallel here.

The American radical left took to referring to the anti-Soviet Afghans as “Afghan contras,” and then called the Kosovars “Albanian contras,” since both groups had the bad taste to join the original Nicaraguan contras in refusing domination by atheist totalitarians. So now, according to Dennis “The Jews Did It, Everywhere” Raimondo, the Iraqi Shias are also “contras.”

Some of us in San Francisco always believed that Dennis, like is associate Bill White, was a radical leftist posing as a conservative to get an audience. Now more than ever, that seems logical. I guess next Dennis will accuse Reagan of being a terrorist.

Yeah, the refrain’s a familiar one, since it’s always the same: Our guys are the bad guys, the only atrocities are by our guys, the murderous thugs our guys oppose are actually pure-minded agrarian reformers, and the U.S. is wrong and should get out. That’s the story from these guys every single time. I can’t pretend to take it seriously any more — and, of course, I never took Raimondo seriously. Nor do many others.

July 24, 2005

MARK STEYN WONDERS IF IT’S THE DEATH OF MULTICULTURALISM: It’s not dead yet, but it was coughing up blood last night . . . .

And yes, that’s two Monty Python references in one.

July 24, 2005

THE NEW YORK TIMES is getting pounded by readers for the liberties taken with Phil Carter’s oped, made worse by the rather unpersuasive explanation offered by the Public Editor.

UPDATE: “Whose side are you on?” An exercise in contrast.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mediacrity has more on the Times’ pounding.

July 24, 2005

HEH.

July 24, 2005

CARNIVAL-O-RAMA: The Carnival of the Capitalists is up. So is the Carnival of Cars. And so is this week’s especially long and interesting Carnival of Cordite!

UPDATE: Oh, and there’s the Carnival of New Jersey bloggers, and the latest Hillbilly Carnival, too!

July 24, 2005

BJORN STAERK: “So in the interest of cross-Atlantic understanding, I thought I’d give a view into what happens when Islam and terrorism is discussed openly among Norwegians. It might surprise you. ”

UPDATE: Tigerhawk writes on Al Qaeda’s philosophical roots.

July 24, 2005

A STRONG ANTITERROR SPEECH from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

Every time terrorists strike anywhere all of us who believe in democracy and the rule of law must stand together and affirm our firm commitment to fight this scourge resolutely and unitedly. I sincerely hope that all of those who cherish and value open and free societies will join hands in the war against terrorism wherever it is fought. I wish the people of London well. I pray that their lives will soon return to normal and they can resume their celebrations for having been chosen the venue for the 2012 Olympics.

And, like Blair and Howard the other day, he sounds as if he’s read Jim Bennett’s book:

Today, with the balance and perspective offered by the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, it is possible for an Indian Prime Minister to assert that India’s experience with Britain had its beneficial consequences too. Our notions of the rule of law, of a Constitutional government, of a free press, of a professional civil service, of modern universities and research laboratories have all been fashioned in the crucible where an age old civilisation met the dominant Empire of the day. . . .

It used to be said that the sun never sets on the British Empire. I am afraid we were partly responsible for sending that adage out of fashion!

But, if there is one phenomenon on which the sun cannot set, it is the world of the English speaking people, in which the people of Indian origin are the single largest component.

Of all the legacies of the Raj, none is more important than the English language and the modern school system. That is, if you leave out cricket!

As The Economist recently noted, India is moving much closer to the United States these days — and vice versa. I guess they’ve all read Jim Bennett’s book.

July 24, 2005

JEFF GOLDSTEIN has thoughts on why rhetoric matters. He expands further in this comment: “I am not blaming ‘the Left’ en masse. But I am blaming those who are actively out to make political hay out of whatever the latest manufactured, ginned up outrage. And I think it’s time we started to forcefully push back against a political and media culture that is at least tangentially responsible for creating terrorists and their sympathizers based on false premises.”

July 24, 2005

EGYPTIANS AND TOURISTS PROTEST TERRORISM at Sharm El Sheikh. Gateway Pundit has a report, with photos.

Karim Elsahy reports that the Cairo antiterror protest went well, too, and says he’ll have photos soon.

UPDATE: Here they are.

And check out Karim’s new organization Pray4Peace.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A much longer report on the Cairo protest here.

July 24, 2005

AT HIS NEWLY-REDESIGNED BLOG (finally!) Hugh Hewitt delivers a righteous Fisking to Rep. Tom Tancredo’s latest “nuking Mecca” piece.

UPDATE: Speaking of long-needed blog Extreme Makeovers, check out Jeff Jarvis’s new digs.

July 24, 2005

ORIANA, NOT ARIANNA: Indeed.

July 24, 2005

BELLICOSE WOMEN IN IRAQ: But I think it may be an example of spreading American culture . . . :

Pickup? Check. Gun? Check. Babe? Triple-check.

Heh. No wonder the French hate this.

UPDATE: Hey, maybe this is a trend!

July 24, 2005

JOE GANDELMAN: “No where can you see the dilemmas facing government officials and security officials in the ongoing war against terror clearer than in London where police have apologized for the tragic killing an innocent Brazilian man suspected of being a suicide bomber — but underlined the fact that suspected suicide bombers will be shot in the head.”

He rounds up quite a few other posts on the same subject.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse sees a silver lining:

Is it not true that yesterday’s sad mistake has already solved the problem it represents? In fact, a further good has been created: as ordinary persons change their behavior and drop the bulky clothing and unnecessary running, the real terrorists will stand out more. Indeed, if anyone ever behaves like Jean Charles de Menezes again, the presumption that he is a terrorist will be so overwhelmingly strong that the police really must kill him.

Actually, in light of the bizarre behavior in this episode several readers speculate that this was a case of “suicide by cop.” I have no idea.

July 24, 2005

MEG KREIKEMEIER writes in the Chicago Tribune: “One of the outcomes of the 2004 election was a change in Democrats’ rhetoric about Republicans. . . . For so long, Democrats have criticized Republicans as the party of the rich, and they still do when discussing tax cuts, budget deficits and Social Security. However, Republicans have now become the party of dishonest slackers who don’t contribute to the federal government and yet make demands of it.”

UPDATE: Reader Barry Johnson emails:

She effectively outlines facts about government revenues to completely discredit Larry O’Donnell’s theory that blue states may secede because they are subsidizing red states.

But the other side of the equation is the government’s spending patterns. Since Social Security is the highest federal expenditure, and Medicare is the third largest, it only makes sense that the feds spend more where there are more retirees. Can the red states help it if the Americans who have enjoyed our country the longest choose to retire in Florida, Arizona, and other red states?

It’s true that not that many people retire to Massachusetts.

July 24, 2005

TIM LAMBERT CONTINUES his Javert-like pursuit of John Lott.

UPDATE: Some find it titillating. It takes all kinds, I guess.

July 24, 2005

I’VE PUBLISHED EMAILS FROM 1ST LT DAVID LUCAS before, but now he’s got an oped in the News-Sentinel that’s worth reading. Excerpt:

“Let’s support our troops. Bring them home.” Please don’t ever say those words again. Nothing is so disheartening to our troops who are in harm’s way than to hear our own citizens say things like that.

I know that the war my men and I fought is a totally different war than the one I see being reported by almost the entire media. There are a few exceptions to this, but they are generally overwhelmed by the massive anti-war/anti-Bush crowd. . . .

I will wrap this up by saying that you are entitled to your beliefs, and you should believe in whatever you want, but don’t pretend to know what you are talking about just because you have watched 30 minutes of CNN the night before. Go and talk to the people who have been there — not the people who make assumptions from a TV studio — and then form your opinion based on facts.

Don’t pretend to support troops by trying to undercut their efforts at the same time. Just go to bed at night and pray for their safety and thank God that they are there to protect you and your family, no matter your beliefs.

Read the whole thing. And here’s a report on Lucas’s Bronze Star.

UPDATE: Of course, some people don’t even pretend to support the troops:

Not even 24-hours after Private First Class Tim Hines’s wife and family said goodbye at his funeral, American flags that had adorned their Fairfield yard were piled beneath a car and burned. . . .

As firefighters brought the fire under control they discovered a pile of around 20 American flags underneath the car.

Neighbors say Hines’ wife’s family had flags line their front yard and on the porch.

Those were taken as well as flags in neighboring yards.

Not nice at all.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here.

July 24, 2005

THE NEW YORK TIMES reports on Knoxville’s Suttree Stagger, an event combining literature and alcohol, both in prodigious quantities.

July 24, 2005

IN THE VERDICT, PAUL NEWMAN VISITED FUNERALS to hand out his business card and try to boost his flagging career. Apparently, he’s not the only one to try this approach: “The family of a Marine who was killed in Iraq is furious with Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for showing up uninvited at his funeral this week, handing out her business card and then saying ‘our government’ is against the war.”

UPDATE: More here: “Cruella DeVille is alive and well and the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.”

July 24, 2005

I’M OBVIOUSLY UNDERVALUING MYSELF:

Last week Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. agreed to pay $580 million for Intermix Media, owner of the popular community website Myspace.com which had 17.7 million visitors in June. The announcement came just days after News Corp. formed its Fox Interactive Media unit.

Hmm. InstaPundit had about a quarter that many visitors (and June isn’t even that great a month.) Does that make it worth $145 million?

All offers in that range will be seriously considered.

July 23, 2005

KARIM ELSAHY is trying to organize an antiterror protest in Cairo. If you’re there, send me some pics.

July 23, 2005

verdicts1.jpg

verdictsdoug.jpgWENT TO CHILHOWEE PARK to see Doug Weinstein’s band “The Verdicts” (yes, there are a lot of lawyers in it) play at the Gazebo. They did a bunch of excellent Steely Dan and Eric Clapton covers (the auto-show crowd liked the latter better than the former, but both were good) and managed to stay unwilted despite the near-100-degree heat.

Young lovers were meeting, and a good time was had by all. Alas, the Insta-Wife and Insta-Daughter came along under false pretenses — we somehow had the idea that the auto show involved new cars rather than beautifully maintained old ones, and they wanted to check out potential replacements for the aging Passat wagon. (The Nissan Murano and Honda Odyssey are favored contenders at the moment).

Since the Passat is paid for, and I like it, I’m perfectly happy to put that decision off for a while, so I guess I’m happy that they wound up looking at ’59 Corvettes instead.

July 23, 2005

AN ANTI-TERROR RALLY BY MUSLIMS in Antelope Valley, California.

You know, if these people had blown something up, they’d be getting more press. Which suggests that if the press wants to help eliminate terrorism, it should adjust its priorities.

UPDATE: Here’s a report of an antiterror protest in Iraq, too. The same point applies.

ANOTHER UPDATE: There’s more anti-terror protest action in Denmark.

July 23, 2005

WAKE UP WITH FREEDOM FIGHTERS! That’s the slogan of Contra Café, made from coffee grown by former anti-Sandinista guerrillas. Story here. (“Retailing for $10 a pound on its website www.contracafe.com, the company pays the farmers $1.50 a pound — more than market rates and more than what’s known as fair-trade, or socially responsible, prices.”)

I wonder if their t-shirts will start competing with Ché shirts on college campuses?

UPDATE: Reader Austin Pauls emails:

If Contra shirts start competing with Ché shirts on campus (not likely, but I might still buy one), at least those who wear the Contra shirts will know what they’re representing. 85% of kids that wear Ché shirts don’t know who he was, only that wearing that shirt symbolizes that they are “rebellious”.

He has more on his blog.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here.

July 23, 2005

SPACE BLOGS GET RESULTS!

July 23, 2005

I’VE BEEN ASKED TO REVIEW Richard Davis’ rather timely book, Electing Justice: Fixing The Supreme Court Nomination Process. I don’t want to give anything away, but I think it’s a measure of how messy things have gotten that a proposal to elect Supreme Court justices seems plausible now.

July 23, 2005

EGYPTIAN BLOGGER BIG PHARAOH has more on the terrorist bombings in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Meanwhile, Robert Mayer emails:

Just an observation. Most bombings, even going back to 9/11, seem targeted directly at tourism. Especially in the Middle East, though. Tourism is one of the easiest industries for a country to develop, and development leads to outside influence, liberalization, and reform. It looks like the terrorists are heading off capitalism right where it’s taking off.

Yes. It’s part of their overall plan to keep their own people poor and ignorant.

UPDATE: Sean Fitzpatrick auditions for a job with the BBC:

I didn’t know Egypt had troops in Iraq. Otherwise, why would the terrorists target them?

Heh. Why, indeed?

ANOTHER UPDATE: John Pilger’s sentiments are predictable.

MORE: Here’s an analysis by Dan Darling that’s worth reading.

And Austin Bay asks: “When will George Galloway and Teddy Kennedy admit Al Qaeda is at war with Arabs and Muslims as well as ‘the West?’”

STILL MORE: Don’t miss Noah Shachtman’s bomb-blogging from Iraq: “[T]he networks aren’t very good at conveying the subtle shades of danger in a place like this. Either they lead, big, with a new act of carnage – or they bury the news from here at the end of the broadcast. That leaves the impression that all of Iraq is in flames, all of the time. Which is just plain wrong.”

And there’s more Egyptian blogging here. And scroll up from that post for updates.

July 22, 2005

WELL, THE TERRORISTS MOSTLY KILL ARABS AND MUSLIMS: Big bomb attacks in Egypt, killing 43 by current count. It’s likely that number will rise. Gateway Pundit, who did not have dental surgery today, is rounding things up.

I predict that this will only encourage the loss of patience with Islamist radicalism that is already sweeping the world. That’s the problem for terrorists: If they try to terrorize, they make people mad. If they don’t, then, well, they’re not really terrorists.

July 22, 2005

THERE’S A NEW DRAFT OF THE IRAQI BILL OF RIGHTS, somewhat improved from the last one. Publius has the scoop, and notes that the drafting process is ongoing.

UPDATE: Dave Price thinks this deserves more attention.

July 22, 2005

JOSEPH BRAUDE writes on the importance of pluralism as a means of defeating terror.

There’s something to this notion, of course, but there’s also a big difference between pluralism and multiculturalism, of the sort practiced in England. Perry de Havilland has a post that makes clear what the difference is. Excerpt:

If what we are trying to defend is a pluralistic tolerant society, then we have to make sure that the message is not just “throw the wogs out!” but rather “You are welcome here if you are willing to assimilate to a sufficient degree.”

But how does one define what that ‘degree’ is exactly? I am not talking a Norman Tebbit style “cricket test” but rather a willingness to tolerate ‘otherness’. We do not need Muslims to approve of alcohol or women in short skirts or figurative art or bells or pork or pornography or homosexuality or (particularly) apostasy. We have no right to demand that at all and obviously not all Anglicans approve of some of those things, so why require that Muslims must? No, what we do have the right to demand (and that is not too strong a word) is that they tolerate those things, which is to say they will not countenance the use of force to oppose those things even though they disapprove of them. In fact it is not just Muslims from whom we must demand such tolerance.

If we can get them to agree to tolerate those things, then it does not matter if Muslim women wear burquas because as long as they are not subject to force, a woman may elect to say “Sod this for a game of soldiers!” and cast off that symbol of misogynistic repression… and if she does not do so, well that is her choice then… but she must have a choice. They do not have to look like us (I do not hear calls for Chinatown to be razed to the ground), they do not have to share our religion(s), or lack thereof, but they do have to tolerate our varied ways and if by their actions or words they show they do not, we have every right to regard them as our enemies and take action to defend ourselves.

For decades the supporters of multiculturalism have used tax money and government regulations to actively discourage assimilation of immigrants into the broader society, preferring to see communities develop which favour ‘identity politics’ better suited and more amenable to their own collectivist world views. And now we are paying the price for that. We will not be able to defend ourselves physically or preserve our liberal society unless we stop tolerating intolerance, and that includes not just fundamentalist Islam but also the anti-western bigotry of the multiculturalists.

Indeed. And read this, too.

July 22, 2005

MICKEY KAUS DELIVERS SOME DIRT on John Roberts: “Supreme Court nominee John Roberts appears to drive a Chrysler PT Cruiser. This may be the scariest thing I’ve heard about him. … An ugly, immature attempt at returning to an earlier era! Is that what the Constitution will look like after Roberts is through with it?”

July 22, 2005

SOME INTERESTING SENATE TESTIMONY BY DONALD TRUMP on the United Nations’ inability to manage a construction project. Follow the link for a transcript and an audio file.

UPDATE: Background here.

July 22, 2005

LAST ROUND OF DENTAL SURGERY was this afternoon; hence the interruption in blogging. If that guy in Rockwood hadn’t pulled out in front of us years ago, I wouldn’t have had to go through this.

July 22, 2005

WAR-POSTURING PRODUCES BLOWBACK:

Soldiers from Massachusetts and Hawaii who work at the U.S. military detention facility at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, gave visiting home-state senators a piece of their mind last week.

Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, met with several soldiers during a visit led by Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican.

Pentagon officials said soldiers criticized the harsh comments made recently by Senate Democrats.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, last month invoked widespread military outrage when he compared Guantanamo to the prison labor systems used by communist tyrant Josef Stalin, Cambodia’s Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler.

“They got stiff reactions from those home-state soldiers,” one official told us. “The troops down there expressed their disdain for that kind of commentary, especially comparisons to the gulag.”

Maybe some of these soldiers will campaign against them, when they get out. (Via Hubpolitics).

UPDATE: The momentum builds.

And Austin Bay says we need to hear more on this story.

July 22, 2005

I FORGET WHICH MULLAH IT WAS who opined that women’s hair gives off dangerous, mind-altering rays if left uncovered — but I couldn’t help but think of that when I read this idiotic claim that porn produces “erototoxins” in the brain. Or perhaps I should call it an idiotarian claim.

Bah, humbug. I say: Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy!

July 22, 2005

GAYPATRIOT NOTES that terrorists are openly targeting gays and wonders if the lack of reaction stems from prejudice.

July 22, 2005

AUSTIN BAY looks at the Iraqi Army’s progress.

Also, his cover story in The Weekly Standard is now online.

July 22, 2005

THIS WEEK’S CARNIVAL OF THE RECIPES is up!

July 22, 2005

CONDI IN THE SAHARA: Gateway Pundit has a roundup with pics and video.

July 22, 2005

IN THE MAIL: James Hirsen’s Hollywood Nation : Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution. It’s another book that the Insta-Wife stole on its arrival, but she reports that Hirsen has a wicked sense of humor.

July 22, 2005

TRYING AGAIN?

The man shot dead by police at a South London Tube station this morning is believed to be one of the bombers who escaped after yesterday’s failed quadruple attack across London, police sources have told The Times.

Specialist armed police shot the man five times after he vaulted a security barrier at Stockwell station and attempted to board a stationary Tube train.

Lots more here.

July 22, 2005

FREDERICK TURNER writes on Darwin among the believers.

UPDATE: Rand Simberg responds.

July 22, 2005

ETHNIC CLEANSING IN THAILAND:

The Islamic militants are trying to do some ethnic, and religious, cleansing in the Moslem south. The three southern provinces have a population of some 1.8 million, and only 360,000 of those are Buddhists (the religion of the majority of Thais, who are ethnically different from the Moslems, who are Malays). The terror campaign is having some success, as some ten percent of the southern Buddhists have left the south in the past six months. But many of the remaining Buddhists are arming and preparing to defend themselves, and stay in the south.

Somebody send them some guns.

July 21, 2005

TOM MAGUIRE IS STEAMING. He says there’s a press coverup in the Plame affair.

July 21, 2005

CISCO AND CHINA: Rebecca MacKinnon is still on the case. “The fact that Cisco clearly has no qualms about doing business with the Chinese Public Security Bureau is odious.”

July 21, 2005

MICHAEL BARONE PREDICTS: “Justice Roberts will do much to redefine what is the mainstream in American constitutional law.”

UPDATE: Things that everyone knows are sometimes wrong — Roberts apparently is not a member of the Federalist Society.

July 21, 2005

PRIVATIZING SPACE: The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting survey:

At a time when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) struggles to return its aging shuttle fleet to service and realign itself to implement President Bush’s blueprint for sending astronauts to the moon and beyond, several companies and interest groups are pursuing their own vision for putting humans into space more cheaply. “If we drive down the cost of transportation in space, we can do great things,” Mr. Musk insists.

The goal: to loft people and cargo at one-tenth the current cost. Building reusable rockets is only the first step. Industry sources say NASA, too, will have to buy services and hardware – at lower cost – from a broader cast of aerospace characters than the traditional players. And while taking the lead in high-risk human exploration of space, the government also needs to build an infrastructure in orbit – such as the space station – from which private companies could launch missions and conduct research.

“This is an optimistic vision,” acknowledges George Whitesides, executive director of the National Space Society in Washington, D.C. “But when you look at manned spaceflight at a broader level beyond the president’s space-exploration vision, that’s when it really gets exciting.”

Indeed. (Via Rand Simberg). I just got the latest issue of the Chicago Journal of International Law (not online yet, alas) which has a symposium on space law including a small contribution of mine. There’s a lot of very interesting stuff on space tourism and property rights.

July 21, 2005

THE FREE KOREA BLOG has lots of stuff on the Freedom House briefing session on North Korea. Just keep scrolling, or go here and work your way back.

July 21, 2005

THE HOUSE VOTED TO oppose withdrawal from Iraq and support operations at Guantanamo. I’m sure that will be the lead story on tonight’s news.

July 21, 2005

IT’S ALL ROBERTS ALL THE TIME at Ann Althouse’s place. Just keep scrolling.

July 21, 2005

THE ECONOMY SEEMS PRETTY GOOD TO ME, but CBS has been saying otherwise.

Well, the economy isn’t very good for CBS.

July 21, 2005

TOM MAGUIRE looks at the emerging case against Karl Rove. But the most amusing bit is the dual Google Ads flanking his post.

UPDATE: Some thoughts on anonymous sources from Walter Pincus.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ed Morrissey is playing guess the author.

July 21, 2005

ORIN KERR: “It looks like there probably won’t be a brutal confirmation battle over John Roberts, even though Roberts is generally understood to be conservative, and Roberts’ credentials and qualifications are a part of his appeal.”

He could be right, especially as Cass Sunstein is praising Roberts, which would seem to be an indicator.

July 21, 2005

HERE’S A TRANSCRIPT of JOHN HOWARD’S DEVASTATING RESPONSE to dumb press questions about Iraq.

UPDATE: And this photo essay on Al Qaeda actions before the Iraq invasion makes Howard’s point rather graphically.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Trey Jackson has the John Howard video.

MORE: Reader Solon Brochado emails:

If someone hadn’t asked that question, you wouldn’t have prime-minister’s Howard great answer to quote (or link to), after all.

Now, I’m not trying to say that was the case. I’m sure that a great part of the press believes in that notion or, at least, think the terrorists’ acts are somehow justifiable, albeit wrong.

Nonetheless, I believe the question had to be asked. Any journalist knows what Howard’s or Blair’s answer to that will be. Still, it doesn’t matter whether you agree or not with their opinions, you’re a reporter and you have to report. And since that is a rather widespread opinion throughout the world, you MUST get Blair’s and Howard’s answer to it.

The tone-of-voice has to be taken into account, and it was, um, obnoxious.

If I were a reporter at that press conference, I would have asked: “Do you think the press’s sensationalization of the attacks, and rationalization of terrorists’ motives, is causing innocent people to be killed and put at risk?” My tone of voice I leave to your imagination, but it seems to me to be a far more reasonable question, and one that the rest of the world needs to hear at least as much.

STILL MORE: Wagner James Au emails:

Seems to me that the real issue isn’t whether the reporter asked a stupid question– he actually asks Howard if an Australian survivor of the 7/7 attack blaming the war in Iraq means we’re losing “the progranda war against terrorism”, which is a much more nuanced question than what the NRO Corner depicts (big surprise there)– the real issue is how Howard’s *response* is reported by the press, tomorrow. If at all. The mainstream media consistently promotes the uninformed narrative that coalition presence in Iraq is enflaming extremist Muslims into becoming terrorists– leaving unexplained the fact that terrorists in Iraq target Shiite Muslims far more than coalition troops (or for that matter, bomb London underground stops frequented by British Muslims.) Howard is puncturing that simplistic narrative with a frontal attack, and the press doesn’t like to be embarrassed. Look to see how many lead papers give prominent coverage to Howard’s statement. I’m guessing none to few do.

Good guess. But the question I originally referenced was asked of Tony Blair by another reporter — a woman, but I don’t know from what news service.

YET MORE: Richard McEnroe answers Au’s question with this report:

Of course, if you were in LA, you never saw it, because the minute Howard uttered the word “terrorism,” the video feed was cut. Was that the Beeb in England or Tribune in the US, I wonder?

Beats me, but it’s not surprising either way.

July 21, 2005

THERE’S AN INSTAPUNDIT PROFILE in Hotline’s Blogometer. You’ll have to scroll down, as they haven’t gotten around to adding individual permalinks yet.

July 21, 2005

MIKE KREMPASKY: “Why does the Columbia Journalism Review hate bloggers so? Why would a site whose mission is’to promote better journalism’ twist a story to the point of falsehood, just to take a slap at poor self-published pundits?”

July 21, 2005

IN THE MAIL: Down Range : Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism, by Dick Couch. Looks pretty interesting, though I imagine that lots of the interesting stuff about special operations and the war won’t come out for decades.

July 21, 2005

SKY NEWS is reporting that the bus bomb is identical to designs used in the 7/7 attacks.

July 21, 2005

MULTI-FAITH ANTITERROR PROTESTS in Pakistan, Germany, and Australia. Gateway Pundit has a roundup and pictures.

July 21, 2005

I’M WATCHING TONY BLAIR AND JOHN HOWARD right now, talking about the London attacks and the war — Howard’s particularly good at noting that this is a war, not a series of isolated incidents — and their frequent invocation of anglosphere solidarity is almost a commercial for Jim Bennett’s book. I wonder if they’ve read it? They’re certainly living it.

UPDATE: Some idiot correspondent asked Blair if the attacks were his fault because of the Iraq war. And others are taking an equally negative line — one asks if the propaganda war against terror is being lost.

No — but if so, it’s because of people in the media like these. John Howard’s too polite to tell them to read Norm Geras, but he put them in their place with logic, noting that Bin Laden was unhappy about the liberation of East Timor and declared war on that basis long before the Iraq invasion.

Translation: You’re idiots, cowards, and political hacks. Yes! The preening, point-scoring irresponsibility of the press, which is if anything worse in Britain than in America, is one of the most striking things about this war, and it will be decades before it recovers. If it does.

July 21, 2005

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER proclaims the vindication of the neocons.

July 21, 2005

AUSTIN BAY looks at the manhandling of U.S. officials and reporters accompanying Condi Rice in Sudan today, and asks “where’s the outrage” compared to reports that a Koran may have been mishandled.

I think we should bring the hammer down. Condi should announce that we’re sending guns, bombs and trainers to the Darfur rebels — and that should just be the start.