Michael Totten is back from Libya, and has the pictures to prove it.
I get too busy and too involved in other things to blog, and look what I miss:
Just in case anyone actually thought that all of those people waving flags on the streets of Kiev represent authentic Ukrainian sentiments, the London Guardian informed its readers otherwise last week. In an article titled “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” the newspaper described the events of the past 10 days as “an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing.” In a separate article, the same paper described the whole episode as a “postmodern coup d’etat” and a “CIA-sponsored third world uprising of cold war days, adapted to post-Soviet conditions.”
I’ve been out of the loop for a while, so tell me – is this old news already? Outrageous, regardless.
Hopes for early mass protests in the streets of Ottawa on the eve of Tuesday’s visit by US President George W. Bush fizzled out, as journalists outnumbered demonstrators.
The first demonstration — of Palestinians and sympathisers of the Palestinian cause opposed to Washington’s support of Israel — attracted less than 40 demonstrators.
According to a quick head count by journalists, the protest attracted 39 demonstrators, 42 journalists and television crew members and three police officers.
A second, ostensibly larger, demonstration scheduled for the midst of the evening rush hour — was called by a group calling itself Students Against Bush.
Nobody turned up.
Back in business on December 1.
Since Martini Boy is still incommunicado, I might as well post today’s menu. The wife is working today (hospitals don’t close), so I’m playing grandma in the kitchen. Y’all will notice that this is a decidedly Southern Thanksgiving:
(Sorry, but it’s really fun to say that in public.)
The Pajamahadeen are triumphant–Dan Rather is out.
UPDATE: A number of readers, and much of the blogosphere, apparently considers Rather’s departure from the CBS Evening News, but not from CBS entirely, to be less than a triumph for Rather’s critics.
I scoff. I scoff.
This is a humiliating comedown for Rather. Yes, it’s a half-step. It’s CBS trying to finesse its way out from under a disgraceful fraud committed by the network’s most high-profile employee, but it is still a major, major defeat for CBS, and a crushing blow to Dan Rather. The CBS Evening News, even given plummeting ratings and a long slide in relevance, is still the crown jewel of CBS News. From its summit, Dan Rather has ruled the news division for a generation, effectively shaping a vast amount of the information that’s broadcast over the network.
He never–never–would have voluntarily given up that much power and prestige under pressure. No way in hell would Rather give his critics the satisfaction of seeing him removed from that chair if he had any prayer of holding on to it.
The “this is no big deal” spin is a lie. The king is dead, and the blogosphere killed him.
This week’s Auburn football column is up over at my site, covering the 11-0 Tigers’ 21-13 win over the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. I’ve also written a commentary on the BCS and the lack of a legitimate championship structure in college football; that one is being shopped around. I’ll post a link when it’s published.
For those who’ll ask, I have no idea what’s up with Steve, but I’m assuming his connection is still down. Sorry about the lack of blogging on my end in the meantime, but I’m pretty slammed with work, travel, football and family right now.
Yay Condi Rice. I want her to go to Saudi Arabia, and I want her first words upon getting off the plane to beComments Off
Is this thing working?
A week’s “vacation” went long, thanks to some technical issues over here. It looks like Indicted Cable may finally have it fixed.
CORRECTION: Problem not fixed – Adelphia has now left me without an effective internet connection for the best part of a week.
So then. The comments section to this post is dedicated to Real Life Horror Stories about Adelphia Cable. Have one? Click on the comments and vent youself silly.
And I’d like to ask a favor of my sister and fellow bloggers. Please link to this post with the words “Indicted Cable.”
One last thing. The folks at tech support have been nothing but wonderful. Problem is, their bosses won’t tell them what’s really going on. But they’ve tried to help, they really have.
UPDATE: It took seven tries to post the correction. Nine, when you include the two extra tries to get this update posted. Thanks, Adelphia!
Trolling through the recesses of the Blogosphere, you run into some pretty strange stuff. Take this yahoo, known as “Irate Savant.” He’s either the most simultaneously pompous and pathetic tool on the planet (he claims to be a misunderstood genius, but his job is antique store clerk), an utter loon, or a shameless con artist.
Any which way you choose, it’s pretty darn entertaining reading, but way out on the weird side. The comments are a real hoot; the Savant’s readers aren’t shy about pointing out his shortcomings. A strong tolerance for high-fallutin’ language is recommended…
My weekly Auburn football column is up, over at my own site. This one covers AU’s 24-6 beat-down of formerly #5 Georgia.
The Tigers are a perfect 10-0 for the year. I don’t know if this fact is at all related to my recent association with VodkaPundit, but I’m not taking any chances. Green, change my password before the Orange Bowl, and you’re a dead man.
The reader comments added to my post just below are a facinating read. Many of them are first-person accounts of time in Berlin, before and after the Wall. Most of the writers are American military veterans who were stationed in Germany during the Cold War.
One reader notes:
That is to be expected of course since the military has always been the easiest way to “see the world”, but I wonder just how many liberals had the chance to see this event up close and personal like we have?
In fact, with the exception of the Vietnam War period where the draft caught up everyone no matter what their political persuasion, I would guess that there are many more conservatives who have traveled the world than liberals, simply because more of them have served in the military.
I wonder if this is a factor that the media, disconnected as it is from the world of military families and the military in general, has missed. I grew up in a small town in south Alabama, but because of its proximity to a large Army base (Ft. Rucker), I’d say at least a third of my grade-school classmates had lived overseas at one point or another, most of them in Germany. My own parents were stationed in England before I was born; I have a brother who’s buried in the American cemetary at RAF Lakenheath.
Years later, when I went to work on Air Force bases, again in small Southern towns, most of the uniformed military folks I knew (including almost all of the enlisted troops) had lived in Japan, Korea, the Phillipines, Germany, Britain, or Italy, to say nothing of deployments to Saudi Arabia and/or Kuwait.
I have to wonder if the academic and media elitists who sneer at the “provincials” in the “red states” have any conception of those kinds of life experiences, much less the effects that they’ve had on veterans, their families, and their friends. The level of sneering directed South (or East, from the Left Coasters) over the last few days seems to indicate a considerable ignorance as to just how much international knowledge and experience the ‘red staters’ really have.
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of a very, very good day: the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Here’s a column I wrote on the ten year anniversary; happily, I see no need to update it today. A sample:
What was it like back then, just those few years ago? It was an astonishing time to be alive. After the horror of Tiananmen Square, just another bloody repeat of Budapest in 1956 or Prague in 1968, the West resigned itself to more and more years of darkness hovering over half of the world. When the Chinese tanks rolled over Chinese children, we doubted whether any of us would ever see a world without Communist dictatorships in every time zone.
And then the Poles said, “There is no liberty without Solidarity!” And the Hungarians cried out, “No more will we be slaves!” And the Germans roared, “Wir sind ein Volk!”–”We are one nation!” And the Czechs and Slovaks sang, “Now’s the time!” And the rest of us watched in wonder as a new world was born.
Asked if the world would support a US bombing campaign against Iran, [UK Foreign Secretary] Straw said: “Not only is that inconceivable, but I think the prospect of it (US military action) happening is inconceivable.”
Get used to disappointment, Mr. Straw.
For the time being, I’ve been forced to disable HTML code in the comments section. Spammers have figured out how to defeat MT Blacklist, the only easy way I have to remove spam.
I’m working on a fix, but in the meantime. . . comments just won’t be as fun as they used to be.
UPDATE: Thanks to Web Goddess Stacy Tabb, the problem is solved. HTML is switched back on – for the time being. I’ll know more tomorrow. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Christmas shopping to do.
Way to go, Paul. I’ll expect my hush-money to arrive in every Monday’s mail…
UPDATE: I particularly like this because now I can call up a real-live judge, say, “What’s up, butt-munch?” and get away with it.
According to at least three sources, one inside the Kerry campaign, and two outside of it, but with ties to senior Kerry advisers, some of the “early polling numbers” were in fact direct reports from Kerry campaign or Democratic Party operatives on the ground in such critical states as Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. According to a Washington lobbyist with knowledge of the numbers, the numbers were packaged together so as to appear to be exit poll results. They were then scrubbed through several sources to land in the lap of sympathetic bloggers who these operatives believed would put the numbers up with little question.
Some of the numbers claimed to be exit polling data that showed Kerry with a 8-1 voter ratio. As soon as the numbers hit the Internet, panic set in.
From VodkaPundit, posted the morning of election day, before any of the “exit numbers” were publicized:
Who’ll be the first to leak exit polling numbers from, say, Ohio or Pennsylvania?
More interestingly, who’ll be spun with phony exit polling intended to suppress or boost the vote in one state or another?
Who was the biggest loser of the 2004 election? It is easy to say Mr. Kerry: he was a poor candidate with a poor campaign. But I do think the biggest loser was the mainstream media, the famous MSM, the initials that became popular in this election cycle. Every time the big networks and big broadsheet national newspapers tried to pull off a bit of pro-liberal mischief–CBS and the fabricated Bush National Guard documents, the New York Times and bombgate, CBS’s “60 Minutes” attempting to coordinate the breaking of bombgate on the Sunday before the election–the yeomen of the blogosphere and AM radio and the Internet took them down. It was to me a great historical development in the history of politics in America. It was Agincourt. It was the yeomen of King Harry taking down the French aristocracy with new technology and rough guts. God bless the pajama-clad yeomen of America. Some day, when America is hit again, and lines go down, and media are hard to get, these bloggers and site runners and independent Internetters of all sorts will find a way to file, and get their word out, and it will be part of the saving of our country.
Taking the rest of the day off.
114 million Americans voted yesterday. 68% turnout. It was, as even many on the losing side admit, a good day for democracy.
Slightly more than half of the citizens of this country simply do not care about what those of us in the “reality-based community” say or believe about anything.
You know what? He might just have that one right. Because I gave up caring about what Alterman thinks a long time ago.
Mark Slover has a good question: “Has anybody seen Michael Moore?”
He’s usually so hard to miss, too.
UPDATE: Link to Mark’s place now fixed.
The fact that our northern neighbor is such a polite, peacable place is one reason this country is so free. Instead of having Huns on our border, we have a nice, quiet trade partner. Now this:
Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush won Tuesday’s election should not pack their bags just yet.
Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants — a wait that can take up to a year.
Dude, I am so ready to send the Marines up to open the Canadian border.
A few quick quotes:
“Senator Kerry waged a spirited campaign, and he and his supporters can be proud of their efforts.”
“America has spoken, and I’m humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens.”
“I will do my best to fulfill my duty as your president.”
“I’m proud to lead such an amazing country, and I’m proud to lead it forward.”
“Our servicemen and women will come home with the honor they have earned.”
“I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I need your support. And I will work to earn it.”
“When we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America.”
“Whatever the road that lies ahead, that road will take me home.”
“America goes forward with confidence and faith… and I am eager for the work ahead.”
About the best speech I’ve heard Bush give. Cheney’s was less impressive. In fact, it reminded me a bit of a winner’s version of Edwards’s lousy speech an hour ago. But that shouldn’t detract from Bush’s fine moment, just as Edwards could take anything away from Kerry’s grace.
Cheney is introducing Bush. Standard deadpan, business-as-usual tone from the Veep; jokes about delivering Wyoming for the ticket and flying to Hawaii. Notes the record turnout and “a broad, nationwide victory.” Mentions gaining seats in the House and Senate, and the record vote tally for Bush.
“We did more than campaign on a record. President Bush laid out a clear vision for the future, and the nation responded by giving him a mandate.” Strong stuff; a clear shot across the bow for the next congressional session.
(I can hear the complaints now–”How is this different from Edwards being political, huh?” It’s different because Bush and Cheney won, and now have the responsibility to govern. Edwards, thankfully, has no such responsibility–or ability, for that matter.)
Bush steps up. “The voters turned out in record numbers and delivered a historic victory.” Compliments Kerry for “a spirited campaign, he and his supporters can be proud of their efforts.” Offers best wishes to Kerry and his family. No mention of Edwards.
“With [this] trust comes the duty to serve all Americans.”
Bush thanks his family, starting with Laura. Big reaction. Ditto for praising they Cheneys. Thanks his campaign team and supporters. Standard stuff, but done well. “The architect–Karl Rove.” Another big reaction. Special emphasis on “get out the vote.” Bush clearly knows what got him here.
“Our military has brought justice to the enemy, and honor to America. Our nation has defended itself, and served the freedom of all mankind.” Makes Edwards’ cheap words about the mother of a dead soldier look all the more tawdry.
“With good allies at our side, we will fight this war on terror with every resource at our disposal… I’d like to speak to everyone who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger, I’ll need your support, and I’ll work hard to earn your trust.” Very nice.
Closes with “a word to the people of the state of Texas.” Good stuff if you like Texas (I do). “Whatever lies ahead, that road will take me home.”
“I see a great day coming for our country, and I am eager for the work ahead. God bless you, and God bless America.”
Straightforward stuff, the kind of short and more personal address that Bush excels at. Not a particularly memorable speech (there was only one Reagan in 1980), but done with class and clear gratitude.
(Joe Klein comes on NPR immediately after Bush, and promptly begins making a bitter, disappointed ass of himself. I change the station.)
Jon Baliles asks:
As Kerry has asked Bush in his phone call, with Tom Daschle out of the way in the Senate, with a battle in Fallujah looming and Iraqi elections imminent, and with our election OVER, will the MSM turn to showing a more favorable look at what is going right in Iraq?
Short answer: No.
You read it here first.