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Monthly Archives: May 2002

Required Reading, Open Letter Style

May 31st, 2002 - 2:33 pm

Dipnut (AKA Isntapundit) has a way of sliding really sharp essays in under the radar. So don’t miss his latest — a plea to the President.

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Damn Fine Stuff

May 31st, 2002 - 11:11 am

Pejman gets the best and final say about the end of the WTC clean-up.

Then again, I always was a sucker for Churchill. Read it.

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May 31st, 2002 - 11:08 am

Bill Quick’s new template is up and running — making DailyPundit the best looking blog around. I probably don’t need to tell you who did the design work.

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And I Thought He Was Jewish

May 31st, 2002 - 11:02 am

Sarge has lifted the “shroud of secrecy” to reveal the man behind the mask.

The shroud was OK — just try to avoid the Cone of Silence, Paul.

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Oh, That’ll Help

May 31st, 2002 - 10:57 am

You know what the real problem is with all those molesting priests? That’s right, the media.

The rot goes deep.

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Good News, Really

May 31st, 2002 - 10:53 am

What is the barbarian fascination with airplanes?

Bill Gertz reports that terrorists have smuggled Russian SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles into the US. So now they want to shoot us down. Lovely.

The SA-7 is the Soviet/Russian version of the Stinger. It’s portable and shoulder launched — and therefore not much threat to a civilian jet.

The range of the thing is only three miles, but — and this is the first key — it’s only good to an altitude of about 13,500 feet. In other words, a terrorist is going to have to hit a plane either immediately after take-off or immediately before landing. And it’s certainly easier for us to secure the area around our airports than it is to secure every last air route.

The second key is the size of the warhead — or lack thereof. Man-portable rockets have a very small warhead. They’re good at shooting down helicopters, which have only one rotary wing to keep them aloft, or small fighters, which are little more than unstable flying fuel tanks. Shrapnel goes in, fuel goes out, fire ensues, plane goes down.

But it’s not that simple to take down a 737.

Civilian planes not only fly more slowly, they also fly with more stability. An F-16 can turn on a dime, mostly because its airframe is inherently unstable. Think Newton and you’ll understand why. A Boeing civilian jet steers like a house; it even takes forever and a day just to change altitude. Its design is inherently stable, so it takes more effort to move the thing.

So, let’s pretend an SA-7 hits on of a 747′s four engines. There’s a small fire, fuel loss, and a loss of power. But wait, the plane is only at 8,000 feet, and even with a missing engine, that’s not going to change any time soon. The pilot will, in all probability, still have plenty of time to turn the beast around and get it landed.

Now, perhaps several terrorists with several missiles could all take aim at a single aircraft. They sure could, and the results would probably be quite deadly. But now there’s a large, well-planned, and organized conspiracy. And those are a lot easier to detect than a single man with a missile in the back of his Town & Country.

If this is the sort of desperation plan the barbarians are reduced to, then we’re already winning.

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Seventeen Different Kinds of Wrong

May 31st, 2002 - 12:22 am

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Read the Whole Thing Anyway

May 31st, 2002 - 12:19 am

Official Saudi organ (heh, heh,

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Did Anyone Take That Bet Last Week?

May 31st, 2002 - 12:17 am

I must owe somebody a hundred bucks

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May 31st, 2002 - 12:16 am

John Hawkins of Right Wing News has ranked his favorite political bloggers.

VodkaPundit is honored to have made the top ten cut, but does John realize this site isn

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Short Plug

May 31st, 2002 - 12:14 am

If you

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The Velvet Hammer

May 31st, 2002 - 12:13 am

Pat me on the back for welcoming Russia into the West before Krauthammer did. Then pat Krauthammer on the back for doing it with for more skill, understanding, and grace than this site could ever muster.

The Russians are not angry. They are simply hurt. And they were quite humiliated when we were preparing to unilaterally cut our nukes without even asking them for a quid pro quo. In the end, we acceded to Russia’s paradoxical request and allowed it to give us that quid pro quo. Hence the Moscow treaty just signed by Presidents Bush and Putin.

It was a wise concession to Russian sensibilities. The agreement was three pages, shorter than your average high school term paper. It cost us nothing. And it gave Putin a magnificent signing ceremony and a place at the table. Even better, Putin and Bush then traveled to Italy and signed an agreement creating a strong Russia-NATO Council — another milestone in easing Russia into the sphere of the West.

Of course, why bother with excerpts when you

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Ku Klux Klogic

May 31st, 2002 - 12:08 am


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Friday Recipe

May 31st, 2002 - 12:01 am

Harry Potter proved immensely enjoyable, and that has nothing to do with the second bottle of wine we drank while watching it and eating dinner.

Which leads me (food and wine going together) to a new feature we’ll call the Friday Recipe. Here I drop out of VP Mode, and will share with you something Melissa or I cooked during the week.

Now that the weather is nice, try this on your grill.

Take two tenderloins, cut thick. Two inches — or more — would be perfect.

Slather them on both sides with Worcestershire, Lawry

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La Triviata

May 30th, 2002 - 5:55 pm

The good Doctor Weevil teaches us how to puke in Latin.

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If you haven’t read the new Hitch, what are you waiting for?

Way back in ’93, I think, Comedy Central was plugging the hell out of a new show they were (for once back then) producing themselves. It was to run after primetime, in the slot later taken (if I remember correctly) by Bill Maher. I can’t remember the name of the program, but it was advertised as a searing, weekly look at television news, and the media in general.

The host? Christopher Hitchens.

This Hitchens guy, who I knew from a couple of articles and some Crossfire appearances, was a likeable liberal asshole, dependably wrong on the issue of the day.

So of course I watched the damn thing. Now, it might have run 30 minutes or an hour — I don’t recall and it doesn’t matter. However it long was, I sat there transfixed. Hitch sat in a comfy chair, smoking a cigarette, running news video clips over his shoulder, and talked. Did I agree? It didn’t matter. There was actual gray matter being beamed through the airwaves. Real intelligence and, my favorite, caustic wit.

I had no idea television could be like that. Or to be more exact, I never thought any television network would be daring enough to broadcast something so iconoclastic.

It lasted one episode.

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Ticking Bomb NOT Provided by Timex

May 30th, 2002 - 4:06 pm

Sol Ezekial has a follow-up on the suicide bomber who changed her mind earlier this week. Turns out, she grew a conscience.

And just in time, too. Read Sol’s post.

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Brothels Get Better Representation

May 30th, 2002 - 3:53 pm

Link via Drudge.

The Los Angeles archdiocese of the Catholic Church is determined to punish past pedophilic priests, prevent future cases from happening, and above all, provide help and comfort to those who have suffered for so long.

How will they accomplish all this, you ask? Simple: They’ve hired a PR firm.

Yes, when I think “help the children,” I think of the regal LA offices of Sitrick & Co., one of the nation’s premiere public relations partnerships. These are the same fine people who softpeddled Ford’s Firestone tire deathtraps and hustled Oscar voters to make sure that “A Beautiful Mind” won the race.

When I want to make sure that bad men serve hard time, I want to hire people who are “specialists in non-conventional but effective strategies,” for “Litigation Support, Restructuring, [and the] Entertainment Industry.”

If you’re looking for a way to keep scoundrels out of business, look to the people who present nice public images for questionable Hollywood plastic surgeons.

When it’s time to present a face of pennance to the world, and ask for forgiveness, who ya gonna call? That’s right, “Call Los Angeles flack Michael Sitrick. He’ll turn the tables on the newshounds.”

After this, I hope even my most diehard Catholic readers — the ones who were so deeply offended by my bit of satire Tuesday — will admit that there is something seriously wrong in today’s Church.

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Too Busy Tapping to Sing?

May 30th, 2002 - 3:31 pm

The TweedlesThese two men will get extra leniency deciding into which showers to install secret cameras. They’ll be able to monitor keystrokes with abandon and wiretap your church.

Now I’m scared.

NOTE: In the movie version of the war, Robert Mueller and John Ashcroft will be played by Sam Waterston and Dennis Hopper.

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One Wafer Thin Bit of Seriousness

May 30th, 2002 - 1:45 pm

ATTENTION, citizens and residents of India and Pakistan. The United States, Britain, and most every other half-decent nation, is sending a steady stream of diplomats and functionaries to your capitals. The idea is that so long as we can keep your governments talking to us, they won’t be talking to their soldiers.

Should you hear on CNN that either New Dehli or Islamabad has refused to see any of them, I suggest getting out of the city and heading for the countryside; war is near.

No, I’m not kidding.

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It Could Use a Little Salt

May 30th, 2002 - 12:55 pm

If you want something serious today, Doug Turnbull has one of his always-excellent essays posted hot and fresh for your reading pleasure.

Doug argues that there is long-term hope for Islam to reform itself into something much more mellow. The problem, however, lies in the short term.

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If You Knew Dana Like I Knew Dana

May 30th, 2002 - 12:38 pm

More multimedia from VP! OK, it’s just a sound clip, but you’re guaranteed to laugh out loud.

PERSONAL MESSAGE: Dana, I know you’re too busy producing The Simpsons and all, Mr. Hot Shot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tour in the off-season. Hell, just tour to a little bar across the street from here, and I’ll buy the booze. You can tell your little jokes, then we’ll all laugh as you get shot down hitting on the cute little bartender, Allie.

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Colonel, Dude, You Are So Baked

May 30th, 2002 - 12:28 pm

StrategyPage looks at Pentagon plans to render enemy forces stoned, blind, and naked.

Which pretty much sums up my three major activities in the Hudson dorm at Mizzou in 1988.

Seriously, it’s an interesting little article. Although after fifty years of looking at how to use drugs to incapacitate enemy troops, it’s doubtful much will come of this.

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Rim. . . Shot

May 30th, 2002 - 12:07 pm

Bill Quick reports that “Mark Steyn wants us to

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The esteemed Captain Spaulding wonders what, now that he has his own chapel, a sermon by Bob Hope might sound like:

Hi, this is Bob “I don’t wanna go to hell” Hope here. How ’bout that Jesus, boy? Ain’t that cat something else? I don’t know if that water into wine trick was a good idea. Now Dean Martin follows him everywhere. That Jesus is wild. How ’bout his golf game? I don’t want to say Jesus is a lousy golfer but the only hole in one he sees is his stigmata.

Now if only the good Captain could do something for Dana Gould‘s touring career. What happened to that guy?

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Late Night Shopping

May 30th, 2002 - 12:49 am

Brandy and Amazon do not mix. How many times am I going to have to hunt for The Hunger on DVD before I realize the world is just not yet ready for that much coolness?

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Disarming Argument

May 30th, 2002 - 12:24 am

George Will comes out against arming airline pilots to deter terrorists. Here

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Asking for a Little Help Here

May 30th, 2002 - 12:22 am

Salman Rushdie on the prospects for nuclear war

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Must-Read Screed

May 30th, 2002 - 12:20 am

Lileks refracts Seuss through the postmodern lens of non-phallocentric ad hoc trans-reductionism, with a side order of neocolonial imperialistic Objectivist hermeneutics.

Or something.

All I know is, you simply must read it, and right the hell now already.

If you

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May 30th, 2002 - 12:18 am

This just hurts.

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