"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Who'd have guessed that all of the writing, editing, fact-checking, printing and so on would happen to be completed a couple of weeks before a national election. But things have a way of working out for Bob Woodward. Michael Ledeen explains why you don't hear much from serious people about Bob anymore:
There doesn't seem to be much interest in Woodward's book here [at National Review], and for good reason. Anyone who thinks he knows what other people are thinking, especially in situations he didn't witness—which is after all what most all Woodward books are all about—is not to be taken seriously. I haven't read a Woodward book since I reviewed his thing on Casey, which famously contained an account of a sort of conversation he claimed he had with the stroke-stricken director of central intelligence in the hospital. Woodward was scheduled to go on Nightline, and earlier that day Ted Koppel called me and asked what I would ask Woodward. "Ask him to describe the room," I said. "You know, what was Casey wearing? Were there lots of flowers? What color were his pajamas, that sort of thing..." And Koppel did. And Woodward froze, deer-in-the-headlights. Then he said he couldn't discuss it because it would "reveal sources."

He couldn't discuss it because he wasn't there. He was the source himself.

I'm not going to read this one either.
It must be a crushing distraction for Woodward to have the inner lives of everyone around him constantly crowding out his own thoughts and feelings. There are, however, ways of dealing with such problems.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Thursday, September 28, 2006

'Affordable In-Home LASIK Surgery You Can Do Yourself!'

These guys have to be joking, right? I mean, right?

p.s. Don't blink!

H/T: Amity High

This is a Tasty Burger

Eventually, you'll want to turn the volume on your speakers all the way up, and hit the appropriate button. But for now, turn them way, way down, and take a test drive.

Have fun with the Samuel L. Jackson Sound Board.

A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Before Hugh Laurie was House, M.D., he was half of the British comedy team of Fry & Laurie. Between 1989 and 1995, the BBC broadcast 26 episodes of “A Bit of Fry & Laurie." The shows are just becoming available on DVD in the United States this year.

You either like British comedy, or you don’t. I do. At the vet:

And Hugh's First Kiss:

Hat tip to Our Swarthmore Sister.

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Rolling Stone recently informed us what the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" are.

Of course, in a culture with the historical memory of a fruit fly, Rolling Stone meant "rock songs" and not, for instance, ancient ballads like "Greensleeves" or ancient hymns like "Adeste Fidelis" which predate immortal works like "Muskrat Love" by some time. Rock culture is preternaturally concerned with the Now and therefore sees the '60s as Pleistocene antiquity before which all the ages were formless and void.

I like Rock as much as the next guy. But let's face it: Rock specializes in the Big, the Loud, the Grotesquely Dionysian, and the Strongly Felt, not the Small, Nuanced, Proportional, or Considered. Consequently, in the world of Rock, a ballad is often thought to be Deep, when it is really just Not Blaring. It's a sort of Pavlovian acoustic response that conflates mere noise reduction with contemplation.

That is why, I'm convinced, a song as stupid as "Imagine" by John Lennon can still be regarded by millions as both profound and moving to the degree that it is the Number Three Greatest Song Ever according to Rolling Stone. You can see imbeciles swaying to this tune, eyes closed in beatific bliss, at everything from school assemblies to soccer matches to September 11 commemorations.

Oh my. Much MORE. Via relapsed catholic.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Seems Right to Me

Savage Chickens.

A Real Potboiler

As everyone on earth knows by now, the Hugo Chavez primal scream at the United Nations has driven Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance," to the top of Amazon's best-seller list.

I've actually read Professor Chomsky's work from time to time. Accordingly, I couldn't help but be amused anticipating the dismay with which most Amazon customers would greet the experience when first they looked upon his written word. I find that I am not alone:
But Alan M. Dershowitz, the lawyer and Harvard Law School professor, said he doubted whether many of the current buyers would ever actually read the book.

“I don’t know anybody who’s ever read a Chomsky book,” said Mr. Dershowitz, who said he first met Mr. Chomsky in 1948 at a Hebrew-speaking Zionist camp in the Pocono Mountains where Mr. Dershowitz was a camper and Mr. Chomsky was a counselor.

“You buy them, you put them in your pockets, you put them out on your coffee table,” said Mr. Dershowitz, a longtime critic of Mr. Chomsky. The people who are buying “Hegemony” now, he added, “I promise you they are not going to get to the end of the book.”

He continued: “He does not write page turners, he writes page stoppers. There are a lot of bent pages in Noam Chomsky’s books, and they are usually at about Page 16.”
That's from Sunday's New York Times article, which breathlessly quotes:
“It doesn’t normally happen that you get someone of the stature of Mr. Chávez holding up a book at a speech at the U.N.,” said Jay Hyde, a manager at Borders Group in Ann Arbor, Mich.
True enough, although we suspect that we have a different understanding of Mr. Chavez' "stature" than either Mr. Hyde or the New York Times.

Spotted by the lidless eye of PowerLine.

Everyone's Jewish

Charles Krauthammer opines this morning:
Krauthammer's Law: Everyone is Jewish until proven otherwise. I've had a fairly good run with this one. First, it turns out that John Kerry -- windsurfing, French-speaking, Beacon Hill aristocrat -- had two Jewish grandparents. Then Hillary Clinton -- methodical Methodist -- unearths a Jewish stepgrandfather in time for her run as New York senator.

A less jaunty case was that of Madeleine Albright, three of whose Czech grandparents had perished in the Holocaust and who most improbably contended that she had no idea they were Jewish.


For all its tongue-in-cheek irony, Krauthammer's Law works because when I say "everyone," I don't mean everyone you know personally. Depending on the history and ethnicity of your neighborhood and social circles, there may be no one you know who is Jewish. But if "everyone" means anyone that you've heard of in public life, the law works for two reasons. Ever since the Jews were allowed out of the ghetto and into European society at the dawning of the Enlightenment, they have peopled the arts and sciences, politics, and history in astonishing disproportion to their numbers.

There are 13 million Jews in the world, one-fifth of 1 percent of the world's population. Yet 20 percent of Nobel Prize winners are Jewish, a staggering hundredfold surplus of renown and genius. This is similarly true for a myriad of other "everyones" -- the household names in music, literature, mathematics, physics, finance, industry, design, comedy, film and, as the doors opened, even politics.

But it is not just Jewish excellence at work here. There is a dark side to these past centuries of Jewish emancipation and achievement -- an unrelenting history of persecution. The result is the other more somber and poignant reason for the Jewishness of public figures being discovered late and with surprise: concealment.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

For Has She Not Stood, Since The Time of the Flood / On the Banks of the Old Raritan?

Congratulations are in order to the Scarlet Knights (4-0), who with a 56-7 win over Howard emerged today at #23 in both the AP and Coaches' Polls. They have not been in the top 25 since 1976. Thirty years ago. Our nation's bicentennial. Within a year of Gentleman Farmer arriving in D.C. with a full head of hair.

Think about it.

On the other coast, your humble correspondent's alma mater continues its run at perfection (0-4) after losing 36-10 at home to Washington State. Coverage from the SF Chronicle's Michelle Smith here. Incidentally, Michelle Smith, who also covers the 49ers and Stanford women's hoops, is a former 'journalistic' colleague of yours truly, if 'journalism' consists of sharing runny scrambled eggs in a Spokane hotel before a game in Pullman attended by 700 people.

[UPDATE by the Gentleman Farmer: You may wish to go HERE for the official words to the Rutgers alma mater, including offical glee club sound files. I must confess, however, that my favorite song is "Nobody Ever Died for Dear Old Rutgers, the second verse of which goes:

Nobody ever died for dear old Rutgers,
Giving away your life would be extreme
When the coach says smash the Princeton line,
His reasoning is fine,
But it's no good for your spine,
So nobody ever died for dear old Rutgers
But there's a lot of valor on the team
You can get a little black and blue, but
Nobody ever died for Rutgers U.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I Know I Feel Better . . . . .

. . . . . after reading THIS.

Who Knew?

Dear Son:

Forget about football, basketball or baseball. Take up golf, young man. It's less physically punishing, you can continue to play well into old age, and it appears to have other benefits as well (which also last well into old age).

More HERE.

A Really Big Screen

Everyone has already accepted the idea of Iranian nukes. I think it’s been factored into our subconscious calculations, where they lie as great red glowing things whose threat is somehow still abstract. They won’t use them. They just want them. The way we all want a big-screen TV, and would keep it in the box once we bought it.


NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan said that after the September 11 attacks the United States threatened to bomb his country if it did not cooperate with America's campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Musharraf, in an interview with CBS news magazine show "60 Minutes" that will air on Sunday, said the threat came from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and was given to Musharraf's intelligence director.

"The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age,"' Musharraf said. "I think it was a very rude remark."

Yes, indeed. He is a very rude man. Very rude.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Evil Incarnate

Can it be bad to sell generic drugs for just $4 for a full month's supply? That depends on who's doing the selling.

Wal-Mart has announced just such a program, to begin Friday at 65 stores in Tampa Bay. The plan is to expand to the entire state of Florida in January. According to AP:
Critics said the plan was a cover for Wal-Mart's failure to provide its employees adequate health care. They contend that the company's benefits are too stingy, forcing taxpayers to absorb more of the cost as the workers lacking coverage turn to state-funded health care programs.
Maybe Wal-Mart could offer its employees a deal permitting them to buy a one-month supply of any generic prescription drug for only $4.

We couldn't help but notice that the story (written by an "AP Business Writer") includes the odd information that a company spokesman "wouldn't be specific about why Florida and specifically the Tampa Bay area was chosen for the rollout of the initiative . . . ." Wow. We can't imagine any connection between cheap prescription drugs and Florida. In other mysterious Wal-Mart marketing news, the company has decided to heavily discount snow blowers in all of its Buffalo area stores.

And notice that "critics" are cited as calling for "adequate" health care. Other critics have complained that the Federal Government has utterly failed to provide adequate jelly doughnuts for its employees, often limiting them to the boxed, store-bought kind with that nasty powdered sugar. Some critics have even demanded that the ultimate -- Dunkin' Donuts Bavarian Cremes -- be provided weekly.


In 1938 Winston Churchill warned the House of Commons:
You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.
Michael Novak thinks It's 1938 All Over Again:
As I see it, the congressional election of 2006 is about one, and only one, issue: It is a vote for victory, or for defeat. There is no middle ground.

More Islamic Legal News

Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code states:
1. Public denigration of Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and three years.

2. Public denigration of the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the judicial institutions of the State, the military or security structures shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and two years.

3. In cases where denigration of Turkishness is committed by a Turkish citizen in another country the punishment shall be increased by one third.

4. Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.
Amnesty International points out that the distinction between "criticism" and "denigration" attempted in paragraph 4 is "highly problematic." You think?

But surely, you say, in modern, Westernized, progressive Turkey -- the Turkey that claims it wants to become part of the European Union -- what we have here is an obsolete relic of bygone days, akin to the odd unrepealed miscegenation statute still theoretically on the books in one or another American State.

You'd be wrong. The Guardian reports:
A prize-winning novelist goes on trial tomorrow accused of belittling Turkishness in the latest and strangest of a string of cases spotlighting the country's stuttering reform process.

Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul has been at the top of Turkish bestseller lists since its publication in March, winning critical praise for its portrait of the friendship between two girls, an Armenian-American and a Turk.

But its treatment of the mass murder of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 has attracted the attention of Kemal Kerincsiz, the nationalist lawyer behind last December's trial of Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-known author.

In Shafak's case, he has surpassed himself, hauling her to court for comments made by characters in her novel. Sitting in his cramped Istanbul office, Mr Kerincsiz does not take long to find one of the offending passages.

"I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives at the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915," he reads, quoting Dikran Stamboulian, a minor Armenian character. "There's plenty more where this came from," he says.

The prospect of being tried for the figments of her imagination strikes Shafak as grotesque. She has, though, no doubts about the seriousness of her situation. She could face three years in jail.

"My accusers will do everything they can to keep this case going," she says. "It's going to be long and tedious."
We suppose the lesson from these stories is that it's bad to live in an Islamic country, and it's worse to be a woman in an Islamic country, but being a smart woman in an Islamic country is a capital offense.

Chirping Crickets

The Australian relays a report from a Pakistani newspaper:
The News International said a mother and daughter in a rural area had been abducted and gang-raped for 12 days because the daughter continued her schooling in defiance of villagers in her home near Multan.

The newspaper said the daughter had recently attained a masters degree in education at the Bahauddin Zahariya University. Precise details of what happened are sketchy, but it appears that the girl's father was also attacked by the assailants and that police took 12 days to act and save the women.

Reports of the rape claimed involvement by "a minister of state" but did not name him.

The case recalls that of Mukhtaran Mai, a woman who was imprisoned after she was raped in June 2002. She was freed only after intervention by the Pakistan Supreme Court.

Her case caused a global outcry at the time and highlighted the injustice of Pakistan's Islamic Hudood Ordinances, which criminalise all sex outside marriage.

Under the ordinances, unless the complainant in a rape case produces four male witnesses to support her claims, she will herself face punishment.
We will keep you informed when we learn of outraged citizens pouring into the streets throughout the Muslim world to condemn these crimes, and the apparent official nonchalance with respect to them.

When CAIR, prominent Palestinians, or the Turkish Religious Affairs director issue statements calling for a prompt investigation and arrest of the perpetrators, and amendment of such barbaric statutes, we'll let you know. Indeed: If any Muslim stands up and says "That's not us," we'll pass it on.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

UN News

Seeking to bring meaning to a meaningless consumption of perfectly good oxygen, GOP Vixen is providing fashion commentary on the various heads of state addressing the General Assembly this week.

Our favorite (so far) is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Would it kill the guy to ever not dress like a "talent agent" trying to lure waitresses at Bob's Big Boy into a lucrative "modeling" career?"

Beyond Parody

One of these is real:
Judging by his extremist positions against abortion and gay marriage, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Pope is a hatemonger as well. Quoting from an ancient text, the leader of the most barbaric religion in the history of the world accused Islam of being "evil", and "inhuman". Once again, Catholics have demonstrated that they just can't get out of the Dark Ages.
While the other is a joke:
Ratzinger is not stupid. Including the reference to the passage that has incited Muslim anger was no accident. It was a calculated, intentional strategy designed to help George Bush and the Republicans in the 2006 elections, just like the Catholic church systematically helped Bush and the Republicans in the 2004 elections, through Cardinals and Bishops who attacked Kerry.


By firing up an angry Muslim response, a predictable response after the cartoon episode earlier in the year, the Pontiff in red has created a media situation that makes nervous soccer Moms and quick to ignite Christian nationalists rev up their fear, their xenophobia and... their loyalty to the Republicans-- who not too deeply beneath the surface-- are racist, anti-Muslim, anti non-Christian.

Improved Pig Races

Our friend The Oldtimer writes from the wilds of Spokane to share a story from that city's Spokesman-Review.

[Leave it to The OT to read the Spokesman-Review. No Post-Intelligencer, Times-Democrat, or even a Courant. Nope: The Spokane Spokesman-Review. But I digress.]

It is the season of county fairs, and if one were to perform a Google news search for "improved pig races," one would be able to click through to the story (past the pay-to-play firewall), where the Spokane Spokesman-Review observes:
Sunny skies and good musical acts helped push attendance at this year's Spokane Interstate Fair above 200,000 for the first time since 2003, a 13 percent increase over last year's total.


A new logging show, as well as improved pig races and some rearrangement of exhibits also helped to bring in more visitors . . . .
We have no doubt that rearranged exhibits just might tweak attendance. Logging shows would draw a certain demographic. Which leaves us with the vaguely disquieting feeling that many of those extra 24,000 visitors came for the "improved pig races."

The Spokane Spokesman-Review (we do love saying that) includes no explanation, perhaps protecting trade secrets from those bastard outsiders from Yakima. This void leaves The Oldtimer to speculate:
I don't know whether Washington allows parimutuel betting on pig races. If it does, that might explain why improved pig races boosted fair attendance. On the other hand, since this is a fair, the reference might actually be to some sort of weird genetic efforts create a pig master race.
Yes. Yes, indeed: Parimutuel wagering; a pig master race. It's all very clear now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pop Quiz

If gasoline prices were high and rising, who would you blame? Why, George Bush, of course, as CBS reported in May 2004:
Mr. Bush devoted a portion of his weekly radio address Saturday to responding to the criticism that his administration is not doing enough to curb gasoline prices.
If gasoline prices fell, and continued to fall, that would be bad news for whom? Why, George Bush, of course:
A hefty 42% of Americans polled over the weekend said they think fuel prices are being manipulated by the Bush administration to help Republicans in an election year.
The President must stay up nights thinking of clever new ways to do bad things.

Via NRO.

Dumb as a Box of Rocks

Dozens of Unicoi County [Tennessee] High School Parents are reeling with the news that graphic pictures of their daughters may have been posted on the internet, and the teenagers may not have even known it.

I'm a little confused about that sentence, since the story makes clear that these girls don't really have "parents" as that word is normally understood: What actually happened is that the girls themselves posted the pictures on the internet, some guy at their school found them and then re-posted them as a collection.

The Unicoi County Sheriff's Office has charged an 18-year-old male with "unlawful photographing in violation of privacy." Authorities say that means he posted graphic photos of at least 20 high school-aged girls on the internet.

It's unclear what that could possibly mean: Are they alleging a copyright violation? Since the pictures were published by the girls to begin with, what exactly did this poor dunce do that was a criminal violation? If a young woman leaves her shades open, is it a criminal offense to look? To point and yell, "Good Lord! Look at that!"

Sheriff Harris says the suspect compiled the photos from various websites without the girls permission.

Aha. A clear copyright violation.

The sheriff thinks the girls did not realize where the pictures would end up. "A lot of girls simply sent these photos thinking it was secure site, or that only a friend would see this.

Well, sure, but that happened after these poor victims had "graphic" pictures taken in the first place.

Rocks. Dumb as a box of rocks.

Full story HERE.

September 19, 2006

The perenially silly Eugene Robinson begins his column in today's Washington Post thusly:
I wish I could turn to cheerier matters, but I just can't get past this torture issue -- the fact that George W. Bush, the president of the United States of America, persists in demanding that Congress give him the right to torture anyone he considers a "high-value" terrorist suspect. The president of the United States. Interrogation by torture. This just can't be happening.
Aside from refusing utterly to treat a serious topic seriously, Mr. Robinson fails to acknowledge that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Accordingly, his column ought to have started out:
Arrr, i wish Me could turn t' cheerier matters, but Me just can't get past this hang from the yardarm issue -- the fact that George W. Bush, the president o' the United States o' America, persists in demandin' that Congress gi'e the right t' sink t'Davy Jone's locker anyone considers a "high-'alue" terrorist suspect. The president o' the United States. Interrogation by keelhaul at noon. This just can't be happenin'.

Ye'll ne'er get me buried booty!
That at least sounds serious, compared to the original.

As we did last year, we urge you to don your pirate regalia, put on your black eye patch, and swagger about. Parrot optional; answering the telephone "Ahoy!" mandatory. Tips HERE and HERE, free pirate translator HERE.

[Editor's Note: GF has assured the management and staff that the relevance of the photograph accompanying this post will be obvious to regular G&S readers. He thus expresses his confidence in the high level of cultural literacy -- not to say degeneracy -- of our readership.]

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Goat Ate My Homework

Hired Hand reports: Best. Excuse. Ever.

And we're inclined to agree.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

We Shall Never Surrender

Friday, September 15, 2006

We Are Speechless

And I STILL Can't Understand What She's Saying

Associated Press reports: "Ester Strogen, 82, of Canton, first leased two black rotary phones — the kind whose round dial is moved manually with your finger — in the 1960s."

You know where this story is going, don't you?

Truth be told, I've got one of those phones myself, and it works just fine, thank you very much. And besides: Have you ever tried to whack a teenaged boy with a cell phone? I thought so.

When #1 Son was in elementary school -- maybe in the early 1990s -- one of his friends was over at the house, and I told him he'd best call his mom and tell her he was there and what was up. About 10 minutes later he came back and explained that he couldn't make the phone work. It took me a while to figure out that he'd actually never seen one with a dial on it.

Then there's those of us who remember when the number wasn't "325", it was "FArmingdale 5." And, YES, we had a party line when I was a kid. No, really.

You just can't beat bakelite. Those are the phones that the roaches are going to be using to call each other after we've killed each other off.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No Bunting

Bunting, as we have mentioned in this space previously, is paradoxically both an essential and a loathsome part of adult kickball. Those who bunt to exploit the your-infielders-are-too-close rule, especially dudes (in an act known as "man-bunting"), are bastards.

In our fall season, I've had to face the bulk of the opposition's bunts as our starting third baseman. I have to say, I've performed admirably, as we remain undefeated on the year. We haven't lost in our last 14 games, and our regular season record is now 6-0-1 following a tie last night (yes, there are ties in kickball. Apparently.). We look to head into the playoffs with an identical record to our bunt-obsessed nemeses, the ones we made forfeit in last season's championship game. God, I hate those guys.

Anyway, this morning I was procrastinating at work, reading the latest WAKA Power Poll, and managed to link my way through to this:

From the Arizona "Fire" division of WAKA Kickball come the

No Bunting Ten Commandments

I. Thou shalt keep the ‘kick’ in kickball

II. Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image of a kickball player who bunts, a player of foursquare or likewise a player of tiddlywinks. Thou art a kickball player and a person therewith. Speaketh not in tones of political correctness, but, rather, let thy voice be forthright. Let thy communication be “Kick it!” or “Bunting is for pussies!” and speaketh not the lukewarm utterances of the bunting class.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of thy coach in vain. Thou shalt obey him, and put his playing plan forth onto the field even in thy last innings.

IV. Remember the kickball day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou drink, and do all thy drunkenness in preparation for Thursday: But the kickball day is for thy team, and thou shalt not cause thy team to be mocked by bunting but only by thy drunkenness and stupor.

V. Honour thy practice flip-cup sessions that thy days may be long upon the beers which thy kickball team giveth thee.

VI. Thou shalt not bunt. Behold, bunting is an abomination unto me, and maketh thy opponent’s head like unto spoiled fruit. This is not meet in mine eyes.

VII. Thou shalt not commit kickball whoredom, for, behold, whoring is an abomination unto me. Thou shalt retain thy love for kicking, not bunting, and not be given unto kickball whoredom like unto those of the bunting.

VIII. Thou shalt not pitch to bunters.

IX. Thou shalt not listen to referees that side with the bunting. When they asketh thee if thou hast sinned, thy answer shall be, “No, sir, for I do not bunt.”

X. Thou shalt not covet the victories of the bunting, for they are hardly victories at all, but only in a way that a losing match of tetherball is a victory for the ball.


FYI, our team is sending a travel squad down to Anaheim in October for the Western regional, 2 weeks after the divisional playoff (on my birthday). We'll keep you posted.

Why I Hate the ACLU

In a comment to a post yesterday, I suggested that it might be wise if the United States were to adopt the airline passenger screening techniques used by Israeli security and El Al.

It seems that the Transportation Security Agency got there before me, as did the ACLU. The first is working on a pilot program to do just that, while the latter is "raising questions," and wondering if this could "lead to stereotyping or racial profiling."

I think it might be best first to ask if the program could lead to detaining terrorists.

Here's the story from Newsday. Here's more from Time.

You Think?

CNN's headline:

Former teacher: Sex with pupil 'really bad choice'

She goes on to explain:
Lafave said she has a difficult time thinking of herself as a sexual predator, as she is now classified under Florida law.

"I was a kindhearted person who loved children, who would never, you know, do anything to break the law," she said. "I was a good person. And then, now everything has just changed. So it's just really hard for me to accept that."
Goodness me: that's a paragraph with lies and bullshit packed to neutronium-like density.

There's a lesson here, and it's this: You should never have sex with someone who's materially dumber than you are. If that lesson had been applied, the 14-year-old kid would have refused to have anything to do with her.

[Editor's note: While we were perusing this story on the CNN website, the affinity ads along the right-hand border invited us to "Find your graduating class" at classmates.com.]

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kennedy Slams Zawahiri for Politicizing 9/11

By Scott Ott, Editor-in-Chief, ScrappleFace.com
News Fairly Unbalanced.
We Report. You Decipher.

(2006-09-12) — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-MA, today harshly criticized al Qaeda deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri for using this week’s commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks to release a video aimed at garnering support for the increasingly-unpopular war in Iraq.

The Massachusetts senator rejected Mr. Zawahiri’s attempt to link Iraq with the global terrorism battle, and called the speech video, aired on CNN, “cynically political.”

“The notion,” he said, “that there is somehow some connection between what happens in Baghdad and Boston, or even in Beirut is nothing but rhetoric meant to keep people afraid so that Zawahiri and bin Laden can maintain their grip on power.”

Sen. Kennedy also faulted Mr. Zawahiri for “violating the wall between church and state” by including the name of Allah in his pronouncements, and leaving the impression that “anyone who doesn’t believe like us is wrong.”

“The intolerance and arrogance of the man make me embarrassed to call myself an Earthling,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Zawahiri is almost as bad as President Bush.”

Link HERE.

Coolest Picture from Kyrgyzstan You'll See Today

Click to enlarge.

Copyright: Jonathan Wilson, via TrekEarth.

If it doesn't walk like a duck . . .

What do you call troops that are not trained for combat, not equipped for combat, under orders not to deploy to any theater where there might actually be combat?


Via NRO.

Deja vu in Jersey

We're pretty sure that this isn't the story line the Democrats were hoping for, but it's a familiar one:
A powerful clue that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez might ultimately be forced to withdraw from his bid for a full term in New Jersey emerged last Friday, when he addressed the question head-on just hours after the world learned that he is the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

“The answer is no,” he said.
Last time, you'll recall, the Democrats managed to get Bottom-feeder Bob Torricelli’s name off the ballot (despite the fact that he'd won their primary), and replaced by Frank Lautenberg, a fellow with the gravitas of your average helium balloon.

In this election cycle, though, our friends in the world's oldest political party have been particularly adamant about the sanctity of primary elections, and ballot positions for official candidates. See their views on Tom DeLay and Joe Lieberman.

But what do you want to bet that the execrable Jon Corzine, New Jersey's Governor and Democratic capo di tutti capi, and the unctuous Chuck Schumer, chief money shoveler for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, will find that this situation is somehow different from those.

This whole "culture of corruption" thing is working out nicely, don't you think?

Once is happenstance . . . .

Kathy Shaidle today points to yet another point/counterpoint in the Detroit Free Press. On 9-11, the Freep predictably published an article titled "Stares, whispers take toll on metro Muslims: They tire of defending religion, ethnicity." Today the letters column of that paper includes what Kathy calls "the uncommon sense of ordinary folks."

This is a recurring theme. Obviously all Muslims are not terrorists, but it most certainly seems that all terrorists are Muslims. One of the Freep's correspondents notes that Tim McVeigh was not a Muslim, and his attack has not led to generalized suspicion falling on white men. We can only observe, for what we know will not be the last time, that Mr. McVeigh did not detonate his truck bomb while shouting, "God is Great, and Jonathan Edwards is his Prophet." Nor did Unitarians dance in the street upon hearing of his blow against the Great Satan. Neither have Methodists notably insisted that the Zionists did it.

National Public Radio aired one story on 9-11 about a mosque somewhere here in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. The story claimed that "many members" of the mosque had experienced "backlash" since September 11. And NPR had the goods. One high school boy, they explained, "an ice hockey player, was called a terrorist by an opposing player during an ice hockey game." That's it. I'm waiting for the NPR story explaining breathlessly that other ice hockey players were being targeted and oppressed by opposing players because they had attractive sisters.

The truth of the matter is that regular people know what to do: Aggressively pursue terrorists as close to their home, and as far from ours, as they may be found; oppose or destroy governments that harbor them; concentrate security resources on those most likely to be dangerous; intercept the communications of suspected terrorists; interrogate terrorists in whatever fashion is most likely to yield reliable information.

As to the identity of our enemy, I am content to rely upon the analysis of the eminent philosopher, Auric Goldfinger:

"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action, Mr. Bond."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Take the Pledge!

Glib & Superficial wishes officially to announce that all of us here have sworn that we will not marry Angelina Jolie until "everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."

We thus add our names to a growing list that includes Jeremy Lott and Brad Pitt.

Nationally renowned marriage expert Warren Jeffs has so far refused to take the pledge, but has also not ruled it out. We are more optimistic about signing up matrimonial innovator Sharon Tendler.

Take the pledge.

Big News of the Week

Of course, the truly big news of the week is that Rutgers is 2-0, and getting some votes in the coaches poll.

The good news is that Louisville has to come to Piscataway. The bad news is that we have to go to Morgantown.

Next Year in Tehran

I particularly liked this part of the President's speech:
America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over. So do I. But the war is not over -- and it will not be over until either we or the extremists emerge victorious. If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. We are in a war that will set the course for this new century -- and determine the destiny of millions across the world.
One hopes this was quickly translated into French and Farsi. Hell, we ought to drop leaflets over Paris and Tehran so they get the message.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001, enemies of the United States killed 2,973 Americans.

A pin prick. An insignificant blow to the most powerful nation in the history of the world. During the same year, 42,116 people died in automobile crashes in the United States.

To date, the war in Iraq has resulted in 2,662 combat deaths, including 2,119 killed in action, according to the latest figures from the Department of Defense. Battle deaths in World War I were more than 53,000; in World War II more than 290,000. In the Battle of the Bulge alone (December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945) the Americans and British suffered nearly 81,000 casualties, including more than 10,000 killed in action.

Thus, in both the attacks of September 11, and their aftermath in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has suffered little. The situation not only could be much worse, but it seems almost inevitable that it will become very much worse, perhaps very soon.

Graham Allison, of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, author of "Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe," wrote in the January/February, 2004, issue of Foreign Affairs magazine:
A few numbers starkly illustrate the scale of the problem the United States now faces in trying to control the spread of nuclear weapons materials. Just eight countries -- China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States -- are known to have nuclear weapons. In addition, the CIA estimates that North Korea has enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons. And two dozen additional states possess research reactors with enough highly enriched uranium (heu) to build at least one nuclear bomb on their own. According to best estimates, the global nuclear inventory includes more than 30,000 nuclear weapons, and enough heu and plutonium for 240,000 more.

Hundreds of these weapons are currently stored in conditions that leave them vulnerable to theft by determined criminals, who could then sell them to terrorists. Even more "nascent nukes" (the heu and plutonium that are the only critical ingredients for making nuclear bombs) are at risk. Almost every month, someone somewhere is apprehended trying to smuggle or steal nuclear materials or weapons.


In making his case against Saddam Hussein, President Bush argued, "If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of uranium a little bigger than a softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year." What the president failed to mention is that with the same quantity of heu, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, or Hamas could do the same. Once built, nuclear weapons could be smuggled across U.S. borders with little difficulty. Of the seven million cargo containers that will arrive at U.S. ports this year, for example, only two percent will be opened for inspection. And once on U.S. soil, those weapons would likely be used. Prior to September 11, 2001, many experts argued that terrorists were unlikely to kill large numbers of people, because they sought not to maximize victims but to win publicity and sympathy for their causes. After the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, however, few would disagree with President Bush's warning that if al Qaeda gets nuclear weapons, it will use them against the United States "in a heartbeat." Indeed, Osama bin Laden's press spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, has announced that the group aspires "to kill 4 million Americans, including 1 million children," in response to casualties supposedly inflicted on Muslims by the United States and Israel.
As you read this, a very ordinary man is driving a nondescript van through downtown San Francisco, planning to park the truck, and detonate his cargo, somewhere near Telegraph Hill. Or perhaps, more sensitive to American history, he's cruising near the Concord Common in Massachusetts. Or yet again, considering the complacency of those living far from famous or historic or political targets, the truck may be parked in Boise, set to entirely obliterate that pleasant city.

We need not speculate on the effects of the detonation of a nuclear bomb at street level in a major American city. The Defense Department, Congressional experts, universities, and think tanks have long been in the business of studying such things. For example, "The Effects of Nuclear War," by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (May, 1979), set out a description of what would be expected from a one-megaton bomb set off at ground level in Detroit. Assuming such a blast took place at night (rather than in the middle of a busy work day) it was estimated that out of a 1977 population of about 1.3 million persons within 75 miles of the site of the explosion, about 220,000 would die outright, with an additional 420,000 injuries. Obviously, an explosion during the work day, or in a much larger city, or one with much greater population density (such as New York), would greatly increase these figures. Thus, terrorists could inflict in the blink of an eye casualties equivalent to those suffered over four years of war after December 7, 1941.

I have recently wondered about the reaction of the United States to such an event. Not necessarily the reaction of the nation as a whole, or of the Government as such, but instead the reaction of individuals, and specific leaders.

It is important to consider what you would be willing to do. I don't mean "you" as some statistical representation of a typical American. Nor do I mean to have you wonder what others, many others, or even most others might do, let alone what you believe they should do. I mean you, very personally and specifically. What would you do?

Would you enlist in the Army?
Would you encourage your sons to enlist?
Would you be willing to pay 1/3 more in income taxes to support a global war?
Would you be willing to go without electric power two days a week to conserve, and support military production?
Would you vote for Congressmen who would enact legislation to impose rationing of food, gasoline, and clothing?

Just as important, consider carefully the reactions of our leaders. A great many people have put themselves forward, or been called, to positions of leadership in the United States. It is right that we turn to them for wisdom and guidance. If you object for some reason to my list, please substitute your own. Consider how you would expect any of these leaders to react:

Harry Reid, Leader of the Democratic Party in the United States Senate;
John Kerry, Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate;
John L. Hennessy, 10th President of Stanford University;
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., Publisher, The New York Times;
Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA);
John Murtha, Congressman from Pennsylvania's 12th District;
Ibrahim Hooper, Council on American-Islamic Relations;
Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State.

I am put in mind of the young couple whose home was broken into. They were both beaten before she was brutally raped. Both survived the attack. Afterwards, the husband said, "There was nothing I could do. He had a gun."

And so he does.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's in the Koran - Reprise

They're All Religious Fanatics, After All

"That's why there's a global terrorist movement of Christians committing violent acts and justifying them by quoting the Book of Joshua."

From Jihad Watch.

The Lion of Panjshir

Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated on September 9, 2001, by two al-Qaeda agents posing as Belgian journalists. If you do not know who Massoud was, or why Osama bin Laden believed (rightly) that it was vital that he be killed before al-Qaeda's blow fell upon the United States two days later, then you should find out. In the meantime, you should remain quiet when others discuss the war in Iraq, or the War on Terror, as you are not entitled to an opinion. Please refrain also from voting in any federal election, as you are not qualified to do so.

But for goodness sake don't worry. While you and your friends are discussing the relative merits of Lindsay Lohan's most recent plastic surgery, al-Queda and its allies around the world are carefully, methodically, relentlessly, and competently planning to kill you, to kill your children, and to kill your parents.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Look First

Look carefully. Decide what it is that you're looking at.

Then go HERE, because you're not looking at what you think you're looking at.

Friday, September 08, 2006

At Last

Amidst the polite European-style debate over whether it would be a good idea for psychotic murderers to have both atomic weapons and medium-range missiles to deliver them, we finally have a voice of clarity, addressing the truly important.

Taking time out from Manolo's Shoe Blog, The Manolo speaks:
Manolo says, one of the Manolo's many internet friends has asked the Manolo to comment upon the clothing of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the koo-koo-nutty president of Iran.

Normally, the Manolo he does not care to think too much about the sartorial choices of such ridiculous and dangerous peoples, preferring in the stead to devote his precious thinking time to weightier matters, such as whether or not the loathsome Jeffrey will be one of the Project Runway final three, or if the Hasselhoff will ever again find the true love with the career chick of his dreams.

But, the Manolo he is nothing if not obliging to his internet friends, and so he will make the brief remarks.

Briefly and remarkably, the President of the Iran wears the same khaki windbreaker, wrinkled trousers, cheap oxford shirts, scruffy beard and wild eyes favored by the aging high school chemistry teachers everywhere.

Yes, in his youth he was the firebrand who would shake the very foundations of the society, but today he is content to expound upon his paranoid conspiracy theories while exercising his petty autocratic powers over the dull kids who sit in the back of the class.

In the word, he has tenure.

"Umm, Mr. Ahmadinejad, it's time for recess."

"Shut up and sit down, Chad, we're not done discussing how the international Zionist cabal is controlling the lunch room."

The Manolo has nothing more to say about the clothes of the Ahmadinejad, other than that they are bad, terribly bad, even when judged against the already lamentably low standards set by the current crop of tyrants, despots, and dictators-to-be.
More HERE.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

September 7, 1976

I graduated from law school in May, turned 25 in June, and took the bar examination (New Jersey -- a real one) on July 28 and 29. On September 7, 1976, your humble and obedient servant reported as instructed at 9:00 a.m. to the headquarters building of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to begin work as a trial attorney.

With the exception of a short gap of less than two years, I've been here ever since.

Calendar 1977 was my first year of full-time employment. The Government of the United States of America paid me gross income of $18,244.80. I paid federal income tax of $2,700, District of Columbia income tax was $990.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What Would Joe Friday Do?

"He is facing six misdemeanor charges that include injuring vegetation without permission. Each count could bring jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

"'Trimming and landscaping isn't done without authorization from government agencies,' said Frank Mateljan of the city attorney's office."

It raises all sorts of possibilities: Conspiracy to injure vegetation; Attempted injuring of vegetation; injuring vegetation with special circumstances (a hate crime); fraudulent injuring of vegetation; injuring of vegetation by trick. The law in its majesty.

Story HERE. H/T to NRO.

Now What?

The Hired Hand contemplates his next step.
"Where the Hell did all these trees come from?
I don't remember so many rocks, either. Dang!
Are you sure the 101 is over there?"

Whatta they got that I ain't got?

It was an accident. We just turned on the tube and there she was: Katie Couric, in all her fog-lensed, soft-focused plucky perky-ness. After delivering an alarmingly news-free news broadcast, Katie saved the best fuzzy for last, with a plea that the audience send in suggestions for a signature "sign-off."

As all the universe knows, Walter Cronkite ended his nightly news reading with "And that's the way it is," while Dan "Fake But Accurate" Rather intoned "Courage."

Cronkite may be excused. What was he supposed to say? His stock in trade, like so many of his generation (one still greatly influenced by radio) was a deep, pompous voice, and an ability to read precisely and speak slowly. He could have said, "And that's the way it might be, since we've had to make dozens of editorial decisions as to what to show you, what not to show you, and who we let you listen to. Good luck understanding squat." But that would only have helped ratings for a few days.

Dan Rather, on the other hand, had a point. It took courage day after day to recycle liberal Democrat conventional wisdom. And one never knew when he would launch into one of his self-conscious, pseudo-folksy malapropisms: "Jenna Bush is hotter than the southern side of a north-bound Lenten pancake left too long on a Texas griddle at a Baptist prayer breakfast." Never a fellow we misunderestimated.

Dan always reminded me of Alex Trebek, the fellow who makes his living sadly shaking his head and patiently pursing his lips at the ignorance of the contestant who doesn't know what's written down in plain English on the card in Alex's hand. "Oh, no, Jack, most people would have known that the monk Theodore of Tarsus was appointed to the archbishopric of Canterbury in 668, not 669. I'm so sorry!" Dan simply had no clue, having come to fame by being rude to the President of the United States, while the Washington Post was trying to figure out what the heck was actually going on. But in Dan's world, if it said so in black and white on the script in front of him, then it was good enough for him.

Couric would do best to just chuck it and admit that it's all a pretentious sham:
And that's what all my friends think and are talking about here in Manhattan. Be sure to stay tuned for The Amazing Race. You won't want to miss tonight's episode, where the short, thin black guy has to carry the fat stupid white girl across the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Scott Ott, however, has taken Katie at her word, and has provided the following list of the top-ten sign-off suggestions:
10. “Well, there’s 22 minutes of your life you can never get back.”
9. “News pH balanced. We report. You admire.”
8. “I hope to see you tomorrow night, because all I see tonight is the TelePromTer.”
7. “I’m Katie Couric, and that’s the way it is at the DNC.”
6. “That’s the news and I mean it. Does anybody want a peanut?”
5. “I’m Katie Couric and this is one sweet gig!”
4. “If you stand up for a few minutes now, you won’t get so many sofa sores.”
3. “Now you know what to think. But you don’t really have to.”
2. “Why read the news online when I get paid millions to do it for you?”
1. “What makes a muskrat guard its musk?”

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Khatami Not Welcome in Massachusetts

Mitt Romney has released the following statement:
Governor Mitt Romney today ordered all Massachusetts state government agencies to decline support, if asked, for former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami’s September 10 visit to the Boston area, where he is scheduled to speak at Harvard University.

“State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel,” said Romney.

Romney’s action means that Khatami will be denied an official police escort and other VIP treatment when he is in town. The federal government provides security through the U.S. State Department.

Romney criticized Harvard for honoring Khatami by inviting him to speak, calling it “a disgrace to the memory of all Americans who have lost their lives at the hands of extremists, especially on the eve of the five-year anniversary of 9/11.”

Said Romney: “The U.S. State Department listed Khatami’s Iran as the number one state sponsor of terrorism. Within his own country, Khatami oversaw the torture and murder of dissidents who spoke out for freedom and democracy. For him to lecture Americans about tolerance and violence is propaganda, pure and simple.”

Romney cited a litany of hateful actions by Khatami, including his support for violent jihadist activities:

During the period of time he was in office, from 1997 to 2005, Khatami presided over Iran’s secret nuclear program. Currently, the Iranian Government under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is snubbing the international community’s request to cease nuclear weapons production.

In the recent conflict along the Israel-Lebanon border, Khatami described the terrorist group Hezbollah as a “shining sun that illuminates and warms the hearts of all Muslims and supporters of freedom in the world.”

Khatami has endorsed Ahmadinejad’s call for the annihilation of Israel.

During Khatami’s presidency, Iran refused to hand over the Iranian intelligence officials who were responsible for the attack on the Khobar Towers that killed 19 U.S. military personnel.

In his own country, Khatami oversaw the torture and murder of Iranian students, journalists, and others who spoke out for freedom and democracy. Khatami relaxed freedom of speech laws giving democracy reformers a false sense of security only to engage in one of the largest crackdowns in the country’s history.

In Khatami’s Iran, there was no religious tolerance. According to the U.S. Office of International Religious Freedom, Iran was one of the worst offenders of religious persecutions. Minorities, such as Evangelicals, Jews, Catholics and others, have suffered.

“Khatami pretends to be a moderate, but he is not. My hope is that the United States will find and work with real voices of moderation inside Iran. But we will never make progress in the region if we deal with wolves in sheep’s clothing,” said Romney.
Good for him.

While we can't possibly expect more from Harvard, would it have been too much to ask for the Episcopal Church to have shown such clear thinking?

Governor Romney's presidential stock just rose considerably. And please don't tell me that it's nothing more than cost-free grandstanding. Romney has made clear that he thinks there's not a dime's worth of difference between Khatami and Mohammed Atta. What do Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi think? What, for that matter, does Lincoln Chafee think? How about Ned Lamont? Come to think of it, Massachusetts has two United States Senators. What do they think?

We could do with a good deal more of this sort of grandstanding.

Sexual Harassment Training is Next Week

Savage Chickens.

They Use Forks, Don't They?

If you're looking for truly funny political, cultural or religious reporting, it's hard to beat The Guardian, and its online version, Guardian Unlimited. Of course, they don't mean to be funny, but they nonetheless succeed more often than Stephen Colbert, and he's trying. We think.

Back in June, one of their reporters was called to missionary work among the savages of darkest North Carolina, and lived to tell about his encounter with a primitive tribe of Southern Baptists, in Brouhaha in the Bible Belt:
Being in a room with 11,000 Americans who all believe in the inerrancy of the Bible is a curiously scary experience. That's the Southern Baptists, the fundamentalist denomination whose 16 million members in the US make it the second largest Christian group (after the Catholics) in America. Large, overweight, overwhelmingly white and middle class, their eyes and teeth gleam at you as you pass by. "Hi!" they ejaculate in a friendly fashion, and "God bless!" as they recede from view.
Where else might one find a lede referring to the race, BMI, and economic class of the subject of a newspaper article? Please note that clear eyes and healthy teeth seem also to be a negative. And being friendly is a clear sign of somethingorother, we'renotsurewhat, butitmustbebad.

It's taken some time, but the Midwest Conservative Journal has fisked the article, in a performance that includes this gem:
Fundamentalist - (1) A person who believes that the Bible means what it says. (2) A person whose view of the Scriptures is more rigorous than yours is. (3) A person who thinks that, absent clouds, lightning, fire and the voice of God at Mount Sinai, the Bible shouldn't be rewritten just to make some group feel better about itself. Under these definitions, Benedict XVI is a fundamentalist . . . .
The meeting into which The Guardian's reporter ventured was in Greensboro, North Carolina. Having found there what he took to be "fundamentalists," it's a shame he didn't have a knowledgable native guide to direct him a mere 190 miles to the southwest, where he could have found the real thing, in their native habitat. Alarmed by garden variety Southern Baptists, Heaven only knows what he'd have written about the truly militant wing.

Hat tip to relapsed catholic.

Close Enough

"Let me explain the government to you. There’s God, then there’s the president and then there’s my father.”

— Jack Roberts, 6-year-old son of Chief Justice John Roberts, overheard speaking to one of his young peers on the last day of summer camp.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm sorry. I really am. But I love this.

". . . the kind of red lipstick that naughty night vixens use to scrawl threatening messages on the mirrors of their more stingy customers."

The Age of Miracles

Guess who:
[I]t now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
Answer HERE.

[UPDATE] It is always flattering when those whose web sites get thousands of hits per hour decide to agree with us, make the same observation, and indeed select precisely the same quotation. But we wish to make unmistakably clear that we were here first, ahead of these guys, ahead of those guys, and WAY ahead of this guy. We also suggest that we are the only one in the bunch who read this in its dead-tree version. Thank you for your attention.