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Monthly Archives: February 2004


February 27th, 2004 - 9:28 am

Sick as a dog yesterday, but at least my broadband is in good shape.

Going to rest up today and play some catch up.

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February 25th, 2004 - 2:14 pm

My internet connection is giving me fits today. More later after a service call.

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February 25th, 2004 - 9:35 am

Late start today, obviously.

Back shortly.

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Independece Day II

February 25th, 2004 - 7:48 am

Here’s a bit of a follow-up to a debunked story about a “secret Pentagon report” outlining a global warming doomsday scenario (second item in John McCaslin’s column today; the first one is also very interesting).

Check out this tidbit:

“As with past national security assessments, the Department of Defense was presented with a worst-case scenario, not the likely future,” he says. “The Pentagon naturally believes it has to research any possible threat

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And Now For Something Completely Different

February 25th, 2004 - 5:49 am

Want to feel old this morning?

Van Halen’s “Jump” was the #1 song in the country twenty years ago this week.

Might as well jump, indeed…

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(Not) The Last Straw

February 24th, 2004 - 9:20 pm

Let’s be clear: Disappointed (but hardly shocked) as I am by President Bush’s speech today, I’ll still be voting for him come November. Unless, that is, by some miracle the Democrats nominate someone I could trust with sharp things.

Of course, the list of remaining Democratic contenders with that requisite has dwindled to zero. And the starting number was one. Buh-bye, Joe Lieberman.

I voted for Bush in 2000 for the simple — and sole — reason that he wasn’t Al Gore. All that changed a few days after 9/11, when he stood on that pile of wreckage, loudspeaker in hand, arm around a rescue worker, and said, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

In that one moment, I became proud of my vote for George W. Bush, and I looked forward to voting with pride for his reelection.

Now, when I pull the lever for him next fall, I’ll do it the way proper Victorian women were supposed to approach sex — “Close your eyes and think of England.”

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More Response II

February 24th, 2004 - 4:36 pm

Sean Kirby: “Whatever hope I had for the man is lost.”

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February 24th, 2004 - 4:16 pm

Today of all days, this November, 2002 “Open Letter to the Republican Party” needs to be re-read.

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Future Backlash

February 24th, 2004 - 4:01 pm

Michael, the Discount Blogger, notes the President Bush is setting himself up for a fall in the culture wars.

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More Response

February 24th, 2004 - 3:35 pm

The President needs a fact-checker, according to Walter in Denver.

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It’s the War, Stupid

February 24th, 2004 - 3:33 pm

Alex Knapp thinks the President needs to get his priorities in order.

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From the Right Wing of the Left Coast

February 24th, 2004 - 3:06 pm

You’ll never meet a girl more hawkish, more married, or more Republican than the blogosphere’s very own Asparagirl.

Bush just lost her vote today.

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February 24th, 2004 - 3:00 pm

Steven Taylor is pretty sure a Constitutional amendment won’t get out of Congress.

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February 24th, 2004 - 2:54 pm

Bush’s speech today pushed at least one fence-sitter over to the side in favor of gay mariage.

More will follow.

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The Last Straw?

February 24th, 2004 - 2:37 pm

Andrew Sullivan gets a lot more mail than I do — and his is worth reading today.

Start at the top and scroll on down.

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Never Underestimate the Power of Google

February 24th, 2004 - 2:04 pm


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The Smartest Bomb

February 24th, 2004 - 1:31 pm

Ralph Peters:

Does anyone imagine that the terrorists are winning hearts and minds?

Iraq remains a brutally dangerous place, a country that will struggle for years with its disastrous past. Progress will be imperfect. Success will be inconsistent. Disappointments will intoxicate the media. But, when all is said and done, Iraq is now the only major country in the Middle East with hope for a better future.

Our soldiers created that hope.

Far from the crude babykiller of campus legend, the American soldier has proved that he is as humane as he is competent, as creative as he is valorous, and as optimistic as the best traditions of his – or her – country. Our troops have tracked down war criminals, turned the tables on ambushers, faced countless roadside bombs – and built schools, created jobs, picked up garbage and set an example that even those Iraqis anxious for us to leave will not forget.

The American soldier has an immeasurably greater impact than American bombs.

Read the whole thing already.

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Chopping Block

February 24th, 2004 - 12:19 pm

The Army’s Commanche helicopter died yesterday. Could the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 JSF be next? From StrategyPage:

If the air force decides it needs a lot of UCAVs in a hurry, Congress will probably not put up with buying expensive F-22s and F-35s (which only cost about $40 million each) as well. So the air force is looking into the possibility of cutting or canceling F-22 and F-35 production, and upgrading current aircraft (F-15s, F-16s and A-10s) to hold the fort until the UCAVs are available in quantity. The huge development costs for the F-22 and F-35 won’t be wasted. Those technologies can be applied to UCAVs, which can be built cheaper (at least 20 percent cheaper) because these aircraft don’t have to carry a pilot. That means F-22 class UCAVs could be built for under $100-150 million each. The F-22 UCAV would also be a more capable aircraft, being able to perform maneuvers a human pilot could not survive.

It’s hard to kill a program as big as either of these two new warplanes, and you can bet the F-22 ($250 million each) would be killed off before the cheap-in-comparison JSF (at a mere $40 million a copy).

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February 24th, 2004 - 11:47 am

The Christian Science Monitor has a roundup of all the Osama Surrounded stories.

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And So It Ends

February 24th, 2004 - 11:44 am

Vladimir Putin’s personal autocracy is now complete:

In a bold step that removed a last major holdover from the days of Boris Yeltsin, President Vladimir Putin dismissed his prime minister and all other Cabinet ministers Tuesday, saying he reshuffled the government in preparation for next month’s presidential vote.

Putin said the ouster of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov was designed to put his next government in place in advance of the March 14 balloting.

With virtually no political opposition, Putin was widely expected win a second term, and his comments Tuesday showed his confidence.

Next month’s balloting will be less of an election than a coronation.

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50 Things Guys Call Breasts

February 24th, 2004 - 10:52 am

Mosquito bites
Blouse bunnies
Your eyes (as in,

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February 24th, 2004 - 2:07 am

Throughout recorded history, every few hundred years or so something evil sweeps out of Central Asia and threatens the civilized world.

The attacks of 9/11 were just the most recent.

Winds of Change rounds up everything going on in this most threatening of regions.

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15 Minutes Well Spent

February 24th, 2004 - 1:00 am

So I’m doing what I usually do late at night — scanning the headlines at GoogleNews, looking for hype at Druge, skimming the op-ed pieces at the major dailies, and clicking through my blogroll for anything of interest.

I hit Matt Welch’s site for the first time in a couple weeks. Next thing I knew, I’d scrolled down to the bottom of the page — and 15 minutes had gone away somewhere.

Do yourself a favor and do the same.

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Required Viewing

February 24th, 2004 - 12:37 am

Tasty Manatees has a short video you need to watch.

Yes, Tasty Manatees.

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Required Reading

February 24th, 2004 - 12:33 am

Michael Totten — read his latest now.

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February 24th, 2004 - 12:16 am

OpinionJournal says the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for Ralph Nader. Read:

Ralph and Ready

It’s also amusing to see liberals suddenly appalled by the Nader phenomenon they have done so much to create. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Mr. Nader railed as ever against “corporate” interests, a line he began 39 years ago when he launched his first media campaign against the Chevrolet Corvair.

Mr. Nader is best understood as the inventor of today’s nexus of liberal politics and trial-lawyer opportunism. His network of organizations have long been suspected of taking trial-lawyer cash, but it is impossible to tell because Mr. Nader refuses to disclose their financial backers. Yet just like Senators Kerry and Edwards he denounces the influence of sinister “special interests.” It’s a little ungrateful for Mr. Edwards to now upbraid the man who did so much to make the Senator’s own fortune and political career possible.

They make a good point, but it’s a little obscured by Nader’s bedroom eyes in OJ’s portrait of him.

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“We are a nation at war”

February 24th, 2004 - 12:09 am

Blackfive lays it out in terms almost anyone can understand.

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Now Show Me Yours

February 23rd, 2004 - 4:35 pm

Useless but fun. John Scalzi suggests taking your entire MP3 collection, loading it up in your jukebox software, hitting shuffle

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Middle Digit

February 23rd, 2004 - 3:57 pm

Gary Farber has two choice words for Ralph Nader.

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You’ll Like Him When He’s Angry

February 23rd, 2004 - 3:54 pm

From Reuters:

The United States is preparing a detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to house tens of thousands of refugees who may flee unrest in Haiti, officials in humanitarian organizations said on Wednesday.

One official said the State Department had briefed a number of non-governmental organizations on its plans to accommodate as many as 50,000 refugees in the detention facility until they could be sent back to Haiti.

The facility would not be in the same place as the prison camp being operated by the U.S. military for detainees captured in Afghanistan and being treated as enemy combatants in the “war on terrorism.”

Reuters just couldn’t, it seems, bring itself to protest against the use of such an inhumane facility to house refugees. But please note that they’re still using scare quotes around the phrase “war on terrorism.”

As a funnier man than me often says, “I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but…”

Jebus farging cripes already. Let’s look at the last 29 months:

We were hit by four attacks, hours apart, on two cities, killing over 3,000 Americans.

In response, we toppled the government of Afghanistan, and still have 10,000 soldiers there patrolling for bad guys.

We’ve pressured foreign governments from Islamabad, to Riyadh, to Damascus.

We’ve lobbed UAV-launched Hellfire missiles at a carload of terrorists in Yemen.

We invaded, occupied, and are helping completely restructure Iraq.

We’ve strengthened old military alliances, all but discarded others, and forged all-new ones.

We’ve staked out offensive bases throughout Central Asia.

Our defense budget, troop pay, number of soldiers in uniform, weapons procurement, and National Guard deployments are all way, way up.

So which goddamn part of the phrase “war on terrorism” needs quotes around it?

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