Saturday, June 22, 2002

Does Laura Bush exercise 30 minutes per day?

Important provisions of Homeland Security Bill:

1) Exempts workers from Whistleblower Protection Act.

2) Exempts agency from FOIA.

where is the outrage?

Hell, as long as they lock up Orrin Hatch.
From El Pais:

Un encuentro de cuartos de final de un Mundial lo dirige un trío arbitral de países del extrarradio futbolístico, que sólo están en el campeonato por la "generosidad" de la FIFA, que acostumbra a pagar favores en los despachos con designaciones de este tipo. La consecuencia es una cadena de errores que condicionan un Mundial.


A match in the quarter finals of the World Cup is overseen by a trio of referees from countries in football's fringe who are only in the World Cup due to the "generosity" of FIFA, whose custom is to pay favors by giving out these assignments. The consequence is a chain of errors that shape a World Cup.

European teams, particularly Spain and Italy, are really embarassing themselves with their whining. Their sense of entitlement has been shattered and their response is beyond childish. The Spanish claims of 3 disallowed goals (somehow it grew from 2 to 3 overnight) is absolutely ridiculous - the plays were stopped before the shots were taken. Missed opportunities, not missed goals.

What a bunch of little crybabies, and the racist condescension some of their players and coaches, and especially their media, have displayed towards the Asian hosts, teams, as well as the other untraditional qualifiers, is an ignorant and pathetic expression of deeply ingrained European elitism.

NPR is rethinking its ridicuolous linking policy which I just violated by linking to the article.

There are easy ways to prevent deep linking. Use them if you're so concerned about it.
A little political reality:

In the next twenty years we're going to see a tremendous expansion in the Medicare program. Changing voting demographics almost make that a certainty. The only question is whether we start paying for it now or later.
Free Winona!

Jail Martha!

My T-Shirt idea of the week.

While it appears that Ms. Stewart is guilty as sin, her alleged crime is of much smaller magnitude than some other recent more notable white collar indiscretions..
Go South Korea!

And man that Spanish team is a bunch of cheatin' whiners.
Coming soon:

The results of my challenge for people to name mainstream liberalish gay/lesbian pundits who at least occasionally write on gay issues.


My review of Richard Goldstein's book, with links to some choice quotes in Blogistan support his main point.
James Carville's Restaurant is closing. And, Lloyd Grove and/or his copy editor doesn't understand the difference between 'affect' and 'effect.'

"I don't disagree with that," Carville told us yesterday, interrupting a Roman holiday with wife Matalin to phone in. "We basically had a very quality place. But it's a risky business. You know, we had the affects of September 11, like a lot of people. We feel bad for all the people who work there. But we enjoyed it, and we love the people who came there."

Since everyone, Left and Right, feels free to comment about Cornel West's academic career, I'd appreciate a similar scrutiny of every other Harvard faculty member's recent CV.

As a well-respected citizen of Blogistan once said:

Sure, you can criticize Israel without being antisemitic. But when you criticize Israel for things you ignore in others, it raises certain doubts.

The general point seems to apply here.

Tonight on Crossfire, even Bob Nofacts admitted that the White House believes Andy Card said what Suskind claimed he said in his recent Esquire article (sorry, it's late, too lazy to track down the link).
Nathan Newman nails the Faux-Federalist Supremos:

One more example of the conservatives on the Court wanting to preempt state law where they can weaken protections for workers and consumers. In a decision yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld by 5-4 the ability of state governments to regulate some HMOs, but the conservatives in the minority deplored the "disparate state laws" that would undermine the federal goal of "uniformity in this area."
...Let's be straight about it; the conservatives aren't against federalism. They are just against laws they don't like and use federalism selectively to bash local or federal laws as needed.

Could one of you Randroid zombies please explain to me how a retail (residential) spot market for electricity would work, precisely?

Thank you.
Ethel the Blog discovers that cats are sleeping with dogs over at Cato.
I normally consider Privateer to be a reasonable and informative, if incredibly opinionated, source on the I v. P situation. But this post, which includes this statement:

There's only one solution to the Israel/Palestine issue, and that's to push all undesirable Arabs within the borders of Israel out, into Jordan and Egypt. No Arabs means no terrorism [...]

makes me reconsider.

Though he qualifies with "undesirable" (whatever that means), the rest of the post makes it pretty clear that he's referring to all Arabs (or Muslims? Muslim Arabs? it's all a bit confused). Last I checked 15% of Israeli citizens were non-Jewish Arabs, and some of them (shock!) are actually members of the Knessett. Are they among the undesirables?

Anyway, I hope Privateer has just had a few too many post-finals drinky-poos or that he's just posted in (understandable) anger.

Paul Musgrave introduces the hammer to the head of the nail:

But Glenn seems to be slowing down. What's more, all the libertarian blogs are starting to sound like Milton Friedman rewrites of Maureen Dowd columns: Shrill, unfunny, and repetitive.

And, I agree with his conclusion: Brad DeLong is a very smart guy and he's had one or two more courses in economics than your average Blogistan Economic Analyst.

For all the Euro-phobes in Blogistan who love to bash our pals across the pond, I suggest you take a look at the Italian (post-game) and Spanish (pre-game) media coverage of their World Cup matches against South Korea.

The ridiculous termination of the South Korean player who was dismissed from the Italian team he played for because he scored the winning goal against Italy (as discussed by TAPPED ) is just the tip of the iceberg...

Friday, June 21, 2002

Robb Klutz claims, in my comments section, that anyone who sells more than two guns per month must register as a dealer. Could I get some information about where this little regulation shows up? If it is a state regulation it probably proves the point. If it is federal, then perhaps he has a point.
The Rittenhouse Review has a little fun with Lloyd Grove in response to his somewhat bizarre attempt to tarnish them for their quickly (and fully) retracted error. Without being too self-centered, I might suggest that this was just his roundabout way to attempt to take a swipe at me over this post. For the record, Grove didn't bother to contact me either although I'm still a little puzzled how my little hot dog stand is worth a mention simply for linking to someone else's website.

Hey, has anyone gotten their knock on the door from the FBI yet? Our pal Fulton keeps threatening to turn us all in. Hope you're all still out there.

Fulton's a real patriot.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

About to hit the road. Be back Friday or Saturday or so. If you didn't feel inclined to contribute to my holiday booze fund (perfectly understandable), perhaps you will feel inclinded to contribute to my post-vacation-I-am-broke-and-can't-afford-to-eat fund.

While I'm gone, please read from the the many fine Blogs off to the left.
It appears that Mossad agents posing as terrorist suicide bombers have done it again in Jersualem.*

Charles Pierce on Dennis Pluchinsky:

From CHARLES PIERCE: All right, so now watch it happen. Dennis Pluchinsky publishes this rank idiocy which, in a more reasonable age, would have been one of those authoritarian wet dreams that somebody tapes to a lamp post in Washington Square Park, and that would've been the end of it. Watch now, though. He will be on at least five of the evening windfests in the next several days, along with some poor punching bag from the ACLU who will be forced to argue that, no, this is not Argentina. He will then move on to the more "rational" Sunday shows, where Tim and Sam and George and Cokie will chew their honorarium-fattened cuds, and gravely announce that Mr. Pluchinsky's views are "perhaps understandable" given how "we" are all so afraid these days. (Tim and Cokie likely will trot out the kids again.) And, like magic, into the mainstream debate go views that have as much to do with this ostensible democracy as a discussion of aliens in New Mexico do with the study of quantum physics. And anyone who thinks that Mr. Pluchinsky's views came oozing out of this Administration by accident hasn't been paying close enough attention since January of 2001. And, yes, I guess by Dennis Pluchinsky's lights, I am a traitor. Any free man would be proud to be.

from Medianews Letters.
We fight an enemy which is cruel and heartless and relentless. You just need to know that. And even though we've made some progress -- and we have; as I said the other night, we and our friends have hauled in about 2,400 of them -- there's still a lot of them out there, which means this country is in for a long war. Particularly -- and it's necessary because we're defending freedom. That's what you've got to know.

Terrorism? or visa violations...

ah, what's the difference.
When California's energy "deregulation" was being planned, there were the following concerns:

First, the existing regulated monopoly utilities wanted to be given gobs of money to compensate them for their "stranded costs" (crap investments) in exchange for opening them up to competition. They were.

Second, economists who were involved with designing the program were concerned with the following two basic problems:

1) They were worried that competition would never develop -- that is, that a true competitive market would never come into being. Firms had to have incentives to enter the market, otherwise it would become a relatively unregulated monopoly/oligopoly, depending on your place on the grid.

2) They were worried about the possibilities of market manipulation.

In order to cope with concern 1), the economists involved recognized that in order to encourage entry into the market and develop any degree of actual competition they needed to somehow ensure that a spot market would exist. They figured that unless steps were taken in that direction, long term contracts between the existing energy producers who had a first mover advantage and their customers (specifically, the wholesale producers and retail providers as it turned out) would deter any entry by new firms. In order to get around this, they outlawed such long term contracts so as to force a spot market into existence.

This opened up the possibility for short run market manipulation. However, it was decided that opening up this possibility was a necessary measure to ensure the longer run development of a competitive energy market.

With hindsight, obviously, this was a bad move. But, contrary to the opinion of some on the Left who think it was an industry written bill (it was somewhat of course), or those on the Right who think it was bad government bungling (it was at some level that too, of course), the basic framework of the deregulation bill was designed by a well-known (and mainstream) economist.

Also with hindsight, one thing the deregulation Bill should have included was a provision for the establishment of temporary price caps in order to fend off the kind of market manipulation caused disaster we just faced. Of course, FERC should have done its job early on and used its power to do just that.

The main thing that went wrong, aside from some basic naivete, was the underestimation of the degree to which individual power plants in effect had local monopolies due to local market conditions and imperfections in the distribution grid, so that even in the absence of collusion individual plants and firms could threaten and cause shortages by temporarily reducing production. There was a lack of competition at the very local level, a situation that was largely overlooked.

As I say over and over, those who want to throw the blame on Wilson and his legislature are welcome to. One can also blame Davis, and even the Clinton administration, for failing to see the looming disaster. But, when the crisis erupted one regulatory body had both the power and the legal authority to impose price caps and solve the problem temporarily - FERC.

Most people in Blogistan who comment on these issues seem to have a Econ 101 view of the world. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. No one really disputes that the fact that the California dergulation plan was a bad one, so stop beating that dead horse. No one really disputes that fact that it wasn't "real deregulation", so you can stop beating that one as well.

What is disputed is this silly notion that the transition from regulated monopoly to unregulated perfectly competitive markets in this industry can happen overnight and that no transitional measures are necessary.

What is also disputed is the belief that the problem was the retail price regulation - as if there would ever be such a thing as a retail spot market - and the associated, and now very refuted, belief that market manipulation was not the problem.

And, the final thing that is/was disputed is the belief by some that price caps wouldn't have helped. The truth is that at the time the necessary and appropriate action was the imposition of (temporary) price caps on wholesale power trades.

American Crusade Trading Cards! DoublePlusGood!

I've linked to this before, but it always makes me laugh.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

I wonder if this was the kind of abuse of power civil libertarian Glenn Reynolds was talking about.

In the nine months since last year's terrorist attack on New York and Washington, government officials estimate that 1,100 people, mostly Middle Eastern-born men, have been arrested or detained. Independent observers, though, such as David Cole, professor of constitutional law at the Georgetown Law Center, suggest the number stands closer to 1,500 or 2,000.

The dragnet was intended to disrupt any other potential terrorist cells operating inside America. "The Department of Justice is waging a deliberate campaign of arrest and detention to protect American lives," Attorney General John Ashcroft announced last November. "We're removing suspected terrorists who violate the law from our streets to prevent further terrorist attack."

Yet only a single man, Zacarias Moussaoui, has been charged with being a Sept. 11 conspirator, and he was detained for immigration violations even before the dragnet began. In the meantime, hundreds have been deported for routine visa violations. The U.S. Justice Department, under court order, reported last week that 147 detainees remain in custody -- 74 on immigration-related charges and 73 on separate criminal charges.

"They essentially arrested people first and then investigated," complains Cole. "Virtually all of them were cleared of terrorist charges, which illustrates how little accurate intelligence the FBI had if it was willing to arrest a large number of people who were innocent of any links with terrorism."

Of course, some of us liberalcommieamericahaters said this months ago.

Remember the other day George Bush said we'd arrested 2400 terrorists?

Wonder if they can file lawsuits for that...

Maybe if Instapundit spent more time worrying about Grover Norquist...

The target of an anti-terrorist raid in the United States last week provided funds for an Islamic group with close ties to the Republican party and the White House.
The Safa trust, a Saudi-backed charity, has provided funds for a political group called the Islamic Institute, which was set up to mobilise support for the Republican party. It shares an office in Washington with the Republican activist Grover Norquist.

The institute, founded in 1999 to win influence in the Republican party, has helped to arrange meetings between senior Bush officials and Islamic leaders, according to the report in Newsweek magazine. Its s chairman, Khaled Saffuri, and Mr Norquist cooperated to arrange the meetings.

The trust gave $20,000 (£14,000) to the institute, which also received $20,000 from a board member of the Success Foundation, according to the report. The institute has also received money from abroad, including$200,000 from Qatar and $55,000 from Kuwait. The institute says that none of the money came with strings attached.

Mr Norquist, who is a member of the institute's board, said that it existed "to promote democracy and free markets. Any effort to imply guilt by association is incompetent McCarthyism".

Poor Grover.


okay, just a last minute plea for some additional funds for my mini-vacation..

thanks to those who did throw some into my tip jar.
Now Instapundit is arguing that Gloria Steinem has been inconsistent -- hated Taliban THEN, loves them NOW, via Bennett.

Actually, there is nothing inconsistent about signing a statement of support for the women of Afghanistan which calls for this:

Congress, the US Mission to the UN and other US policy-making entities must support:

1. The integration of this Declaration as a part of the process for a just, honorable and durable peace for the legitimate country of Afghanistan for eventual inclusion in the Constitution,
2. Pressure on Pakistan to end its military, political, and financial support which renders the Taliban militias possible,
3. The denial of recognition of the Taliban militias.

and this statement.

The worst Bennett could find is this:

We believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers.

Maybe you can argue Steinem is naive, but since she never called for military coercion before how is it inconsistent for her to be against it now?

UPDATE: Digby explains why I'm wrong:

Steinem's influence is so huge that her every utterance must be parsed in great detail so that we can predict how the political debate will be played on the world stage. As she is the premiere spokeswoman for the Mighty LeftistFeministPlayboybunny Fifth Column, it is incumbent upon us to expose the inconsistencies not only in her words but in overarching terms of her lack of moral clarity. How else will the nations of the world know how to interpret the Grand Leftist strategy and prepare to fight it to the last man, as they clearly must begin to do if we are to survive this left wing/Islamist conspiracy?

Some might be content to believe that signing a document calling for non-military action against the Taliban is not inconsistent with a later condemnation of military action generally. But that is old fashioned linear thinking.

One must read between the lines to understand that when Steinem was calling for protection and human rights for the women of Afghanistan under the Taliban, she was actually endorsing a full out invasion of the country. For Feminazi anti-family values she was clearly prepared to launch World War III. Nothing could be more obvious.

When it came to 3,000 dead Americans, however, it seems she's just brimming with love for her Islamic fundamentalist brothers in Afghanistan. To please the massive numbers of Leftist Americans who support the goals of al Qaeda, i.e. the destruction of the United States, she has done a complete 180 and is now a "pacifist" who claims she doesn't believe in any military intervention anywhere. My God. It's diabolical.

That's how these Leftist hypocrites do it. They tailor their arguments to whatever political consituency they need to favor on a given day, trusting that nobody will ever notice. It's our job to stay on top of this and expose them for the hypocritical megalomaniacs they really are.

I say thank you, thank you to all of those bloggers out there who are holding these dangerous power mad Leftists' feet to the fire on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. It may be our only hope.

Eschaton Quiz

Who said this?

But while I believe in prosecuting the current war against Islamist terrorists to the utmost, I feel absolutely sure that if the U.S. government is given power to act in ways for which it is unaccountable, it will act badly.

No fair "guessing" if you actually know.
Tom Tomorrow parses the "Not In Our Name" statement and is SHOCKED, just SHOCKED by how much these people hate America.
Once upon a time Instapundit posted this:

Sure, you can criticize Israel without being antisemitic. But when you criticize Israel for things you ignore in others, it raises certain doubts.

I agreed with it at the time, and still do, although that doesn't justify taking it to its illogical extreme as he seems enjoy doing all too often. In fact, if I generalized the statement like this:

Sure, you can criticze X without being <...>. But when you criticize X for things you ignore in others, it raises certain doubts.

and applied it to his weblog, imagine all of the conclusions I could draw.

Or anyone's.

MaxSpeaks on Instapundit, better than I could do it:

INSTAPUNDIT ON THE ISLAM-LOVING LEFT: "HOMINA HOMINA HOMINA . . . " Boy, that was fast. They don't call him InstaPundit for nothing. He responds to unnamed readers as follows:

" . . . some people dispute my assertion that there are lefties who like fundamentalist Islam. Well, there certainly seem to be a lot of people -- Chomsky, Kingsolver, Edward Said, etc., who miss no opportunity to criticize the United States' war against terror, while saying very little about the practices of our enemies."

Well, criticism of the US war against terror certainly seems to not be the same thing as "show[ing] an unaccountable affection for fundamentalist Islam." Are these weasel words or what? As IP's own example reflects, there is actual collaboration between fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity, so using this as a point of departure for attacking the left is positively Orwellian.

IP's other bit of evidence is the Taliban's support for the "Not In Our Name" statement by U.S. anti-war liberals. The Taliban's motives for citing the ad are not complicated. If you read the statement you will find exactly zero "affection for fundamentalist Islam." So the inescapable conclusion is that Instapundit has insta-lied.

Another good Signorile column.
Avedon Carol wonders why everyone calls him "General Ashcroft." This is incorrect, of course. He is Attorney General Ashcroft, with the general not referring to any rank-like designation.

The correct plural form is Attorneys General.
Brian Linse has his long-awaited post on the "gunshow loophole."

I was going to get around to posting on this eventually, but he basically makes the same point I would have made, only he isn't quite as lazy as me so he took the time to do more research to back it up.

It seems that, in the end, it depends on the meaning of the word "loophole." Instapundit and others have argued that there is no loophole, as federal law applies everywhere (duh), or that if there is a loophole it is simply an enforcement loophole - that the ATF is less likely to do their job at gun shows.

However, there is a Third Way in this, which is what I think Linse is getting at - that the law itself can make enforcement difficult if not impossible at gun shows. One can call it an issue of enforcement if you want, but it doesn't change the fact that would-be gun dealers can likely get away with doing things at gun shows that they couldn't do if they set up their own store. And, this isn't simply because the the ATF is choosing not to enforce the laws at gun shows, it's that the law makes it much more difficult to do so.

I also agree that this isn't necessarily the big deal that some gun control advocates make it out to be, but I also agree with Linse that this is one way for would-be terrorists to get arms without being tracked. But, important or not, the gun show "loophole" is not a myth, states can enact laws to "close" it, and it seems that some Clintonian parsing is required to argue otherwise.
It just came to my attention that Dennis Kucinich was one of the ones who voted to begin impeachment proceedings against Clinton.

Screw you, Dennis.
Hey you States' Rights fetishists, why don't you raise a little stink about this amendment to prevent states from going after firms that violate securities laws? (via TAPPED)
Go Cooter!

RICHMOND, Va.- Ben Jones, a former congressman who played grease monkey Cooter on TV's "The Dukes of Hazzard," is working in Virginia to jump start a political career that ran off the road 10 years ago in Georgia.

Go S. Korea!
Stick a fork in this idiot...

Looks like Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's opponent for the Maryland governor's race, Robert Ehrlich, needs to get whacked with a cluestick.

First he unsuccessfully (and publically) courts a Democrat..

Then he sends out this fundraising letter:..

"Dear Friend," the letter begins, "If you don't want to see another 'President Kennedy,' I need your immediate support."

It goes on to explain why "common-sense Americans" should donate to his campaign.

"If you and I fail to defeat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in this race, her next step will be to run for president against George W. Bush" in 2004, Ehrlich tells potential donors.

which is both ignorant and cruel, as explained here:

Matthew Crenson, a political science professor at the Johns Hopkins University, said the tone of Ehrlich's letter "takes my breath away."

Crenson said the letter breaks two political rules:

"You don't knock an assassinated president."

"You don't tout your opponent as a presidential candidate."

How many governor's races are we going to win this year?

Monday, June 17, 2002

So, let's sum up. We have a news story about the Bush administration cozying up with Islamic Fundamentalistish types used to pick on mythical fundamentalist-loving Lefties, as proven by Robert Fisk's comment that the Taliban built a road or two and Edward Said, a Christian Palestinian-American, throwing a rock towards Israel.

The thing is, I'm quite shocked you couldn't do better than that.

Josh Marshall is convinced that Deep Throat is Pat Buchanan.

Certainly one of the "fun" possibilities.
According to Bob Nofacts on CNN, the rumor is that Tom Ridge will replace Norm Mineta as Secretary of Transportation and Andy Card will become the new head of Fatherland Security, or whatever we're calling it this week.

Now who will poor Annie blame for the Bataan Death March through airport security..
Anyway, I still have yet to see one quote by a 'lefty' defending Islamic Fundamentalism.

Digby sez:

This argument is utter nonsense.

1. The "Not in our Name" petition, if it is real, does not indicate any solidarity with fundamentalist Islam. It is a general disagreement with American foreign policy.

2.) None other than Super Lefty George W. Bush has waxed romantically on many occasions about being a "good and loyal friend of Islam."

3.) The underlying premise of his post is completely fallacious. As with the Right's conflation of liberalism with John Walker Lindh's conversion to fundamentalist Islam, Reynolds has made a serious error in logic.

If a Liberal is defined by his belief in equality for women and minorities, universal suffrage, civil rights, religious pluralism etc then it is entirely illogical that they would support fundamentalist Islam with it's contrary belief system.

This does not mean, of course, that because they oppose everything Islamic theocracy stands for that they must automatically support military action against it.

There are other options for dealing with the threat of terrorism, and whether or not you believe those options are efficacious does not negate their existence nor does it mean that those who support those options must then be assumed to love fundamentalist Islam. That one has a tolerance for the overall religion itself is merely All American religious pluralism.

Finally, and most importantly, the post in question posits that because the Christian fundamentalists have joined with Islamic fundamentalists in taking a position to halt the expansion of rights for women, children and gays, the the Lefties will have to make a choice between their good Islamic friends their great Christian enemies. This is the heart of the argument and it is sophistry.

The basis of Liberal philosophy is the expansion of human rights. To believe that Lefties would hesitate for a moment to condemn this propsed UN action, no matter who is sponsoring it but particularly because of a specious claim of love and affection for Islamic theocracy, is well..stupid.

Let's be clear. Liberals believe in human rights. They do not support repression of women, children or gays. Thinking people will not confuse them with others who do support those things no matter how hard someone tries to create a confluence of illogical conclusions.

I say - Glenn gets a *bit* of a pass on Digby's argument because he said "lefty" and not liberal, but nonetheless.

“[marriage is] the deepest means for the liberation of homosexuals, providing them with the only avenue for sexual and emotional development that can integrate them as equal human beings and remove from them the hideous historic option of choosing between their joy and their dignity." - Andy Sullivan, Love Undetectable . [emphasis mine]

I guess Andy is admitting that he is not fully integrated as a human being.

Which has he chosen - joy or dignity?

Enquiring minds want to know..

Apparently the media is committing treason. Okay, arrest them all! It would probably give me good chuckle while I had a brief "told you so" moment, but shouldn't they arrest Tom Clancy first?

(via Altercation) who notes this guy works for the State Department.

Rittenhouse Review runs "What does your newspaper say about you?"

Yes, they are probably the last people to have seen it but it's always worth a re-read.
"Andrew" says that this article:

Artistes writers flay US war on terror

WASHINGTON-A group of leading American writers, actors and academics have signed a statement denouncing America's anti-terrorism war to advance a political agenda and an openly imperial policy towards the world.

"We call on all Americans to resist the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration," the statement said adding: "It is unjust, immoral and illegitimate. We choose to make common cause with the people of the world."

The statement called "Not In Our Name", says the government has "declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression". They also criticise the media for failing to challenge the direction the government has taken. They hoped the statement would be published by US media but the latter did not oblige.

They include the musicians Laurie Anderson and Mos Def, the actors Ossie Davis and Ed Asner, the writers Alice Walker, Russell Banks, Barbara Kingsolver and Grace Paley, and the playwrights Eve Ensler and Tony Kushner. Martin Luther King III, Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and Rabbi Michael Lerner have added their names, making this the widest ranging group of opponents of government policy since September 11.

It seeks to dispel impression in the world that there was no dissent in the US to the bombing of Afghanistan and the plans for a war against Iraq. The statement, said: "We are confronting a new openly imperial policy towards the world and a domestic policy that manufactures and manipulates fear to curtail rights."

Underscoring their own shock over horrific September 11 carnage which they mourned, they also recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City and, a generation ago, Vietnam. They said they join the anguished questioning of millions of Americans who asked why such a thing could happen.

"But the mourning had barely begun, when the highest leaders of the land unleashed a spirit of revenge. They put out a simplistic script of "good v evil" that was taken up by a pliant and intimidated media. They told us that asking why these terrible events had happened verged on treason. There was to be no debate. There were by definition no valid political or moral questions. The only possible answer was to be war abroad and repression at home. "

"In our name, the Bush administration, with near unanimity from Congress, not only attacked Afghanistan but arrogated to itself and its allies the right to rain down military force anywhere and anytime. The brutal repercussions have been felt from the Philippines to Palestine. The government now openly prepares to wage all-out war on Iraq - a country which has no connection to the horror of September 11. What kind of world will this become if the US government has a blank cheque to drop commandos, assassins, and bombs wherever it wants."

Pikser, a screenwriter who wrote Bulworth, a satire on American politics in which Warren Beatty played a politician who finally decided to speak his mind, said some people had been reluctant to add their names despite agreeing to it in principle, because they think it might jeopardise other things they're involved in." Mr Kissinger, one of the organisers of the first anti-Vietnam war marches on Washington in 1965, said he was receiving about 60 emails a day from people who wanted to add their name to the list.

"It's a shame that there's not a voice of opposition coming out of the United States," he said. The statement was viewed as an indication of a growing feeling that the administration is promoting its own agenda on the back of the attacks. Support for the president's policies remains high, however, and those who appear critical of them have been accused of lacking patriotism.

It was announced last week that Bill Maher, host of the television show Politically Incorrect, has not had his contract renewed by ABC. Maher was criticised for an exchange six days after September 11 in which he and a guest agreed that whatever else the hijackers were, they were not "cowardly."

Source: Pakistani Newspaper

demonstrates Lefty fondness for Fundamentalist Islam.

Glenn Reynolds agrees.


This is the kind of 15 degrees of guilt by association separation that David Horowitz would be proud of, unless I'm really missing something...

Why is the Home Depot refusing to do business with the federal government?

Once upon a time I'm sure the residents of the internet's premier forum for compassionate conservatives would have considered this to be a patriotic act of the highest order. But, now that the Tubesteak Messiah is out of office and the Black Helicopters have all gone away, I'm sure it is a much more complicated question for them- what is Home Depot's motive?

Are they objecting to some element of the government's foreign and domestic policy? Or, are they simply trying to avoid some pesky federal anti-discrimination regulations....

Whopper of the century, from Crazy Andy Sullivan:
I have never condemned other relationships.
Today's This Modern World is good.
Whenever I get accused of making unjustified cheap shots, I just click over to my good friend Instapundit's site to reaffirm the notion that such accusations are motivated by ideology, and not content.

For example, check out this post by him, which begins:


I wonder if Glenn could tell me who these lefties are.

Is Tom Clancy a liberal?

Don Feder thinks so, and Tapped agrees.

Both should read this post by Charles Murtaugh who debunks, somewhat, the idea that Hollywood "whitewashed" The Sum of All Fears .

It is true that Hollywood changed them from Mideasterners to European neo-fascists, but in the book the terrorists were atheists and communists (you know, godless commie bastards), and not Muslim Fundamentalists.

I thought us liberals liked godless commie bastards?

Was Opus Dei Member Robert Hanssen, who likely shared a pew with Tony Scalia and Louis Freeh (and perhaps Robert Novak), an enemy combatant?

Please check out Nick's story.
Is the anthrax sender an "enemy combatant"...?
Later this week I'll be going off for a long overdue couple days away with the wife. Since we're broke at the moment we really can't afford this, so now would be a really good time to give me all of your money make a small donation to the Atrios Romance Fund over on the left.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

All this talk about Islamists, or whatever we're calling them this week, is quite interesting. It is only important to label and identify this groups if we are trying to understand just why it is they hate us.

What an idea.

Demosthenes has some more on this.
Flashback to 1993.

(No link, it's from the March 13, 1993 Washington Post).

WASHINGTON -- When President Clinton's top aides moved into the White House in January, many of them had trouble getting their computers to work.

That's because during the night of Jan. 19 and into the next morning -- President Bush's last hours in office -- officials wiped out the computerized memory of the White House machines.

The hurried operation was made possible only by an agreement signed close to midnight by the archivist of the United States, Don W. Wilson. The ensuing controversy has added to allegations that the archives, beset for years bypolitical pressures and slim resources, is prone to mismanagement and ineptitude in its mission of preserving for the public the nation's documentary history.

It also has raised strong doubts about the efficacy of a15-year-old law that says a former president's records belong to the people.

Just what information was purged remains unknown, but it probably ranged from reports on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina to details about Bush's Iran-Contra pardons to evidence concerning the pre-election search of Clinton's passport files. In the warrens of the secretive National Security Council, only a month's worth of foreign cable traffic was retained to help enlighten the incoming administration.

One for the Ken Starr defenders.

In January 1998, Weiner was subpoenaed and testified before Ken Starr's Whitewater-Lewinsky Grand Jury about private home phone calls which he and his wife, Patricia Berg, made to friends expressing their opinion about the Linda Tripp tapes. Weiner and Berg called Starr's investigation of their private lives "Big Brother at its worst" and were interviewed or quoted on "Today", "Good Morning America", Montel Williams, even Jay Leno, as well as all three network news programs, and most papers across America.

And Julie Hyatt Steele was indicted for obstruction of justice for going on Larry King.

This non-lawyer thinks Lawrence Tribe is spot on with this one:

The debate over the treatment of these suspects has centered on whether they must be tried promptly or can be detained indefinitely on the president's mere say-so. This is a false choice. While the Bush administration certainly has the right to argue that these citizens are enemy combatants and thus may be imprisoned for the duration of the war, it also has the obligation to defend its position in federal court.

The case of Mr. Padilla, who is a suspect in a plan to detonate a radioactive bomb in the United States, rightly concerns many civil libertarians. All citizens have the right to know the reasons they are being held, and if no adequate reasons are forthcoming, to be promptly released. If they are charged with a crime, they have the constitutional right to a speedy trial. But demanding a trial in these circumstances, where someone like Mr. Padilla would almost surely be found guilty, carries a high cost for civil liberties: it would stretch the meaning of already elastic concepts like criminal conspiracy to the point of creating what would amount to thought crimes.


But the Bush administration is wrong when it claims that anyone, alien or citizen, may be detained indefinitely as an enemy combatant based on the president's unilateral judgment that the detainee was a participant in the enemy force that attacked the country Sept. 11.


In habeas corpus hearings in these cases, the need for confidentiality may prevent parts of the proceedings from being open to the press and public. And even in closed hearings, judges will sometimes have to make do with imperfect information. Still, the task seems manageable if we remember that the issue is neither the detainee's guilt nor the degree of danger the detainee poses. It is simply whether the detainee's status as an active member of an enemy force is supportable.

Official GAO White House vandalism report.
Go Senegal!
Nick Denton opens up his bloggallery. (via Aintnobaddude).

Mebbe I'll have to come out from behind my cloak of anonymity and share my beauty with the world..

William Rehnquist reminds us:

inter arma silent leges

And there was much rejoicing among some of my brownshirted readers.