January 30th, 2002 - 7:16 pm
Conspiracy Theory Department
The Associated Press reports that the kidnappers of reporter Daniel Pearl are now threatening to kill him tomorrow if their demands aren’t met. Could this be some sort of left wing plot to gain back some sympathy for the press?
Nope — Pearl works for the Wall Street Journal.
I know I shouldn’t joke about Mr. Pearl’s plight. But the whole situation is so awful that if I don’t joke, then I’m going to cry. A good American, a member in good standing of the Fourth Estate, doing his noble job — this man is taken captive by barbarians who think nothing of his life, or any individual life. While we, we who think so much of life that we make conditions nice, even for captured terrorists who plotted to kill our wives and children, we can do little or nothing to help Daniel Pearl.
Pearl’s job is to bring truth to his readers. The barbarian’s job is to plunge the world into darkness.
If we give in to the barbarian’s demands, then a thousand Americans will be held at gunpoint tomorrow. So we sit and we wait and we hope to develop enough intelligence to rescue Pearl before his captors decide he serves their plans better as a corpse.
I do not beleive in God. I do not pray. But my thoughts tonight are somewhere in Pakistan with Daniel Pearl.
January 30th, 2002 - 6:44 pm
OK, kids, I’ll beat this horse just one more time today, and then you’re off the hook.
First, I’d like to reiterate my thanks for the traffic explosion last week and especially in the last few days. I’m seeing lots of repeat customers, which tells me I might just be doing something right. And the emails have been fantastic. But…
VodkaPundit is only three weeks old, and I’m still feeling my way around. What is it you’d like to see more of? Less of? What am I not doing that I should? And to answer one reader’s suggestion — no, I will not post any naked pictures of the VodkaFiance. Not without first seeing some serious cash.
C’mon, you know you wanna, I’ll even make it easy. For a short time only, a real email link.
January 30th, 2002 - 4:09 pm
Can We Give Them Back Egypt, Too?
Read this Barbara Lerner piece from today’s National Review Online. It’s great support for the idea first promulgated (I think) by Glenn Reynolds to return all of Arabia back to the Turks.
Well-reasoned, and well-written with a you-are-there immediacy.
January 30th, 2002 - 3:50 pm
Maybe He Started Drinking Ealry Department
Kind thanks to Ain’t No Bad Dude for a swell mention. A good guy, even if he don’t like nobody. And funnier than me, that’s for sure. New Permalink in the usual place alongside the usual suspects.
January 30th, 2002 - 3:17 pm
We Like You, Jonah, We Just Don’t Trust You
More on why we don’t trust Mr. Goldberg, from the man himself:
I will take free money from just about anybody. I’ll take money from NARAL, PETA, the Libertarian party, the Communist party (I hear they share offices).
Jonah, if you can’t tell the difference between very limited Constitutional government — that’s small-L libertarian — and totalitarian thugocracy — that’s communism — then we’re going to have to send you to Remedial Punditry 101.
Some people’s kids just can’t be trusted.
UPDATE: But here’s why we will always like Jonah — he writes sentences like this: “Paul Krugman has been an arrogantly hysterical crapweasel.”
January 30th, 2002 - 3:13 pm
There Must Be Some Kind of Mistake Here Department
We just got a hit from Berkeley. That’s freakin’ Berkeley, kids. Or as we call it in Colorado, Boulder del Mar.
January 30th, 2002 - 3:06 pm
Just Found Another
Kesher showed me the way to Balloon Juice. More daily reading material, kids. Permalink left and down a ways.
January 30th, 2002 - 3:02 pm
One More Permalink
KesherTalk is well worth my time, and should be worth yours, too.
January 30th, 2002 - 1:49 pm
You Godfather Fans Will Understand, Part III
All of this really happening wouldn’t bother me, just so long as, when they make the movie version, the role of the Bush Twins isn’t played by Sophia Coppola.
January 30th, 2002 - 1:46 pm
You Godfather Fans Will Understand, Part II
If Fredo, er.. Neil Bush doesn’t clean up his act, maybe W should have Dick Cheney take Neil fishing at some undisclosed location. Well, not while Barbara is still alive.
January 30th, 2002 - 1:37 pm
You Godfather Fans Will Understand, Part I
I won’t bother linking to the story, since so many other bloggers already have. Oh, and I lost the link. But let’s just say that Neil has become the Bush family’s Fredo.
January 30th, 2002 - 1:22 pm
This, courtesy of Best of the Web:
“The world will not accept U.S. hegemony,” said Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi.
Kharrazi then added, “And we’re not going to accept gravity or this bad weather, either.”
Other reactions to the President’s speech, also thanks to Best:
Salim al-Qubaisi, a member of Iraq’s “parliament,” tells Reuters: “Little Bush’s accusation against Iraq is baseless. . . . Such threats do not scare us.”
“In fact, we dare you to cross this line. No, this line. Oops, we meant THIS line.”
And from a “straight” North Korean newspaper story:
“The U.S. loudmouthed ‘threat’ from the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] is sophism intended to justify its military presence in South Korea and persistently pursue the policy of aggression against the DPRK.”
We can only hope!
January 30th, 2002 - 12:45 pm
Finally, an Enron Joke
Paul Krugman, aka Two Face, can be best described as two Germans.
While taking money from Enron, he was Sergeant Shultz: “I know nussink! I see nussink!”
And now that the NYT has forced him to stop whoring, Krugman has become Colonel Klink: “Hogan! I know you’re up to somesink!”
UPDATE: Saying “finally, an Enron joke,” is a lot like saying, “At long last — Ebola!”
January 30th, 2002 - 12:22 pm
Holy Takedown, Batman!
Will Vehrs outdoes Sullivan in this vicious dissection of Paul “See No Evil Until After the Check Has Cleared” Krugman on today’s PunditWatch. What is most vicious is Verhs just calmly, plainly makes the case without a trace of rancor.
Wow. This is what blogging should be.
January 30th, 2002 - 11:16 am
Head over to Sarge Stryker’s for more stuff like this bit o’ peanut gallery commentary from last night:
After a brief camera shot of Tom Ridge:
January 30th, 2002 - 11:01 am
OK, OK — here’s something about the State of the Union Address. The war will continue and the tax cuts won’t be rescinded. So VodkaPundit declares it “a good speech.”
I’m sure I’ll have some serious remarks on the SOTUA later, but meantime, check out ReasonOnline‘s (generic link) round-up of SOTUA punditry here (direct link). In a short space, they give you most everything.
Andrew Sullivan linked me to the SOTUA Drinking Game. Click, print, and save it for next year.
January 30th, 2002 - 10:44 am
And So It Begins
Fortress Israel is one step closer to being… something. Maybe a big mistake. The Independent UK reports that PM Sharon has approved a plan to seal off Jerusalem in its entirety to outsiders, IE, Palestinians. Anyone who knows anything can tell you that if you defend everything everywhere at once, you defend nothing.
But what other choice do they have? Even if they kill Arafat and destroy the PA, the Israelis are still vulnerable. Everywhere. So until the Palestinians are ready for peace — and that’s at least a generation from now — the Israelis only have two real options, both unpalatable.
The first is the total expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank. That’s the uberrightwing option — the restoration of “Judea and Sumaria” to Israel proper. But the global outrage would be intolerable. Hell, even we couldn’t back a move like that, not even after 9/11. Israel would become a pariah state locked so far out of world commerce as to make 1989 South Africa look coddled. And the increasingly high tech Israeli economy just can’t afford that.
The second option is called “Retreat and build a wall.” Abandon the undefendable settlements, keep the strategic bits of the West Bank, and literally build a wall around the remainder. Far-fetched? Barely. It looks like they’re ready to do that for Jerusalem — which means they’re one disco-bombing away from walling off the rest.
And then Palestine can say goodbye to any hopes for peace (if they harbor any hopes of that), and also any hopes for anything other than grinding povery.
PS I’d be writing about the State of the Union speech today, but: A) everyone else is, and; B) that’s yesterday’s news, damnit!
January 30th, 2002 - 10:25 am
Kids, I thank you for the big increase in traffic over the last couple weeks as I get my bearings and learn what I’m doing here. But just a quick couple items.
First, this is a civilized blog. I’m rarely up before 9:30, and a decent respect for… well, just a bad pre-coffee attitude dictates I don’t post before 10 or 10:30am. And that’s Mountain Time. So mornings are a great time for you to catch up on yesterday’s posts, but new pickings will be lean at best before noontime..
Second, I’m still not quite sure what this blog is. Partly political humor, part warblog, part news and blog links, part geopolitics, part bellowing rant. So tell me — which part or parts do you like best? Do I lay off the jokes and do more analysis? Or the other way around? Are the rants too too too mean? Not enough links? Just a little direction here from you would be great — I live to please my readers.
Actually, I live to keep the VodkaFiance happy — but I’ve got to do something while she’s at work.
Send your, uh, suggestive emails to stephenagreen-at-earthlink.net. You’ll have to cut’n'paste and change the “-at-” to @, but you know why — posting a real email address will lead to lots of spam. And we don’t want that.
OK, I’m gonna get back to the grind so you can have a steaming pile of fresh postings shortly. Meantime, tell me what you’d like to see.
January 29th, 2002 - 4:11 pm
Also from Drudge, Fox News Channel dethrones CNN in 24-hour cycle ratings. Hell, even that annoying Fox & Friends morning show ate CNN’s breakfast.
That zipper sound you hear this time is AOL Time Warner honcho Steve Case dropping trou and bending over.
January 29th, 2002 - 4:06 pm
This header (sans story) from Drudge: “Ashcroft has benign skin lesions removed from ear… ” Doctors say strange “gray matter” from Ashcroft’s skull is a mystery, but removal did the AG “no apparent harm.”
January 29th, 2002 - 3:17 pm
Nick Gillespie, best known as The Guy Who Has Virginia Postrel’s Old Gig, has a fun, funny, and informative interview with Paul Cantor over on ReasonOnline. In case you’re out of the loop, Cantor is the author of Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization.
As Dave Barry would say, I swear I’m not making this up.
January 29th, 2002 - 3:11 pm
Still No Jokes. Need More Coffee
But until then, head on over to Sarge Stryker’s for a serious no-shit-I-was-there sea story. Good reading, even if you aren’t up on all the naval aviator slang. Check it out.
January 29th, 2002 - 2:09 pm
No Jokes Just Yet, Other Than The NYT Op-Ed Page
Yes, kids — today the NYT Op-Ed hits a perfect Idiocy Trifecta. First Krugman, then Kristof, and now Shibley Telhami. In a bit called “The Need for Prudence in the Persian Gulf,” Telhami writes: “…a reduction of American military forces in Saudi Arabia is politically inevitable. A drastic change like a complete withdrawal of forces is unlikely. But a force reduction is prudent as both nations assess their relations.”
The people in the Gulf needing to display some prudence are the three-timing, terrorist-funding, Quron-defiling House of Saud. How about we reduce their military presence and run the damn oil wells ourselves?
January 29th, 2002 - 1:57 pm
I Promise to Make Some Very Tasteless, Rather Funny Jokes After This Department
Also on the NYT op-ed page, Nicholas D. Kristof has it all backwards on the Gitmo flap. His header says, “The Bush administration owes it to the world
January 29th, 2002 - 1:39 pm
If you haven’t already, click on over to Best of the Web. I’d missed Paul Krugman’s latest idiocy this morning, mostly because I’d had some strong coffee very early, and so had gotten over my early-morning masochism. Anyway, scroll down today’s Best to read this:
“Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman has come completely unhinged: “I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.” This is the worst prediction we’ve heard since Sept. 12, when some guy said the previous day’s atrocities would be off the front pages by Thanksgiving.”
Paul… if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you do not enjoy a lovely Vodka & Valium cocktail before you sit down to write. OK?
Oh, and sorry, Mickey. But, really, everything else you do is just swell.
January 29th, 2002 - 1:20 pm
Random After Lunch Thought
If I want to get my picture up on Samizdata, do I have to show as much leg as Natalija? I mean, I just don’t have the knees for that short a skirt. And it’s gonna take at least three or four Mach 3 blades to hack through the foliage.
But wait… maybe if I use one of those hidden-camera shots of the VodkaFiance…
January 29th, 2002 - 11:58 am
Evidence There Might Be a God After All Department
If Satan, sometimes known in His earthly disguise as “Walt Disney Co.,” doesn’t win a giant lawsuit with a little family, then His Unholy Eminence stands to lose 25% of His gross annual revenues.
All of this over Winnie the Pooh.
You go, Pooh-bear!