Tuesday, October 31, 2006
October 31, 1517
On this day Dr. Martin Luther nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church his "Disputatio pro Declaratione Virtutis Indulgentiarum." He challanged all who might wish to do so to dispute his "95 Theses."
Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.Pope Leo X is supposed initially to have responded "Brother Martin is a man of fine genius, and this outbreak is a mere squabble of envious monks," but afterwards to have said, "It is a drunken German who wrote the Theses; when sober he will change his mind."
But Luther could do no other.
What the . . . . . !?
[UPDATE] If the embedded player won't work for you (no wonder Google bought YouTube), then try this LINK.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Every Day, in Every Way . . . .
ABC News reports:
The second dancer in the Duke rape case has said for the first time that the accuser told her to "go ahead, put marks on me" after the alleged attack.
Dancer Kim Roberts made the new allegation — which she has not shared with authorities — in an interview with Chris Cuomo that aired today on "Good Morning America."
Roberts' allegation comes after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's admission in court last week that he has not yet interviewed the accuser "about the facts of that night."
But They Look So Natural
If I had made this up, you'd complain that it was too ridiculous to be amusing. If I tried to summarize the truth, you'd complain that I was making it up.
So do yourself no favors at all, and check it out for yourself in last week's New York Times.
"We didn't play our best football of the season, that's for certain," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "But we made plays to win the football game, and that's what good teams do."
Let's see: Converted only 3 of 13 third downs; Only 237 total yards; Rice carries 22 times for a total of 79 yards, including one for 28 -- you do the math for the other 21.
Ito kicks a 51-yard field goal;
Defense returns a fumble and a blocked punt for touchdowns, but allows two UConn touchdowns;
And, oh yes, the offense scored one touchdown.
It was a packed house as the Scarlet Knights returned from a three-game road trip, to play at home in New Brunswick as a ranked team for the first time in 30 years. Every seat was filled with enthusiastic fans, and the sidelines were thick with Jersey fat-cats, big shot alums, and wide-eyed prospects. After UConn was penalized for several false-starts, one of the broadcasters observed: "It's been a long time since an opposing team had trouble hearing its signals at Rutgers Stadium."
And so it has.
The Star-Ledger: "Rutgers: Rate This Win a D"
The Asbury Park Press: "Rutgers Not Pretty, Just Perfect"
Rutgers Daily Targum: "No. 15 Knights Slip by Huskies to Stay Perfect"
Sunday, October 29, 2006
What's Wrong With This Ad?
What's wrong with this ad? According to BET, it's racist.
Chris Matthews, a mainstream Democrat if ever there was one, knows it's racist. Talking to White House press secretary Tony Snow, Matthews huffed and puffed in disbelief:
You don't think having a naked woman, cutey-pieing the guy, saying let's get together; you don't think that's, that's, okay, I'm not gonna ask you three times, I'm gonna ask you a second time: You really do believe, Tony Snow, that they're not playing on the white guy vote down there, to try to turn him off -- a working guy who would normally vote democrat -- turn him off to the democratic candidate because you got this black guy goin' after white women.(Of course, I'm not too sure how far we should trust the judgment of a fellow who doesn't know when he's looking at a naked woman, and when he's not.)
The Democratic National Committee says it's racist.
The Los Angeles Times says you can't miss the "race baiting," using the time-honored device of quoting mostly-unnamed "critics" of the ad.
CBS took this difficult bank shot, in which they permit various folks explain to you that the ad is racist, and then explain that it was produced by a "protégé of White House political guru Karl Rove . . . ." And you know what that means. [Actually, we don't know what that means. We think it means the ad is likely to be spot-on, and effectively call attention to the deficiencies of an opponent. But, to be fair, we think CBS means something else (which they don't explain, of course)]. Please note that while providing a platform for the claim of racism, CBS preserves its technical virginity by referring to the spot only as "controversial."
And, lest you miss the point, Katie Couric's own CBS web site, under cover of a story, "Who Made The Sleaziest Ad?" provides only one example of a "sleazy" spot. Yes, you correctly guessed which one:
The ad produced by the Republican National Committee against Harold Ford in Tennessee may be the sleaziest of the season. That’s hard to say definitively, because we’ve got more than a week to go and desperate candidates will do desperate things to get elected.Guess whether they explain exactly why it's sleazy? Right again!
So here's the deal: Tennessee Democratic Senatorial candidate Harold Ford, Jr. attended a Playboy sponsored post-game party following the 2005 Super Bowl. Is this a problem? If you want the church ladies to vote for you, you bet it is.
Moreover, being single, wealthy, scion of a powerful family, and without obvious major physical deformities, he has been known to hang out with women. Sometimes younger women, sometimes white women. Is this a problem? Maybe so.
It's not entirely clear to me what's "racist" about this commercial, at least in the usual sense the term is used. Would it have been racist if the scantily-clad young woman had been black, suggesting thereby some sort of race-based bunny segregation? As it is, the ad suggests that Junior has betimes been found in the company of women of dubious virtue: A campaign charge hallowed by time.
What's interesting to us is how far off the mark the experts are. The ever-dense Matthews thinks the problem is white racism. His reasoning would seem to be that there exists some class of voters who would happily vote for a black man for high office, but would recoil from such a candidate if they knew the fellow dated white girls. This seems far-fetched, identifying a demographic that must number in the tens.
What's afoot here is not the risk of driving off white voters scandalized by a black man and a white woman -- what's scary to the Ford campaign is the reaction of black voters to one of their own who might be perceived as thinking black girls aren't good enough for him. In America today we'll wager that there are far more black voters who will run cold on a black politician with a white wife or girlfriend (ask Clarence Thomas), than there are white voters burdened with racism so finely calibrated that it accepts a black candidate, unless he's seen with a white girl on his arm.
The Republicans thought they were producing a sarcastic ad emphasizing the same points everyone has always used when running against Junior. But they seem to have hit a nerve.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Insert Big Tuna Joke Here
*not Bill Parcells.
Absurd and Demeaning: The Uncovered Meat is the Problem
We refer, of course, to this:
NEW YORK, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University say most men are always thinking of sex.[UPDATE] While we are unwilling to identify the precise connection, we cannot help but think that this report from the Daily Mail is somehow related:
A study released Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists found 54 percent of men and 19 percent of women admit they think about sex every day -- or several times a day -- in a society where they are bombarded with subconscious erotic images.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota found sexy subliminal images competed for attention in the brain even when the images were not right before a subject's eyes and most people are not consciously aware of them, ABC News reported.
Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, [Australia's] most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.Exactly. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
In a Ramadam sermon in a Sydney mosque, Sheik al-Hilali suggested that a group of Muslim men recently jailed for many years for gang rapes were not entirely to blame.
There were women, he said, who 'sway suggestively' and wore make-up and immodest dress "and then you get a judge without mercy and gives you 65 years. But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he said, referring to the women victims.
Addressing 500 worshippers on the topic of adultery, Sheik al-Hilali added: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it..whose fault is it - the cats or the uncovered meat?
"The uncovered meat is the problem."
He went on: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (veil), no problem would have occurred."
Women, he said, were 'weapons' used by Satan to control men.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Mankind to be Wiped Out
Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has made an advertisement on behalf of political candidates who favor such research. There are those who think it's a tad over the top. It's available HERE. He's entitled to his opinion, of course, but to no particularly increased moral weight because of his misfortune.
Kathy Shaidle, the thinking man's Ann Coulter, asks:
What if there was a chance that experimenting on, say, Parkinson's patients might lead to a cure of something else...?Oh, my.
Yesterday, he had this to say:
Rutgers is 7-0. Let's play fantasy football for a minute. UConn next week at home: 8-0. Louisville on a Thursday night, Nov. 9, at home. Since we're fantasizing, give Rutgers the upset win over the Cardinals: 9-0. At Cincinnati (not a gimme) and Syracuse at home the next two weeks: 11-0. Then Dec. 2, at West Virginia. Follow me for a minute. Let's say Ohio State beats Michigan, and either Oregon, Cal or Notre Dame beat USC in November. Let's say West Virginia gets to the end of November 11-0. Imagine, as December dawns, there are three unbeaten, untied teams in college football: Ohio State, West Virginia and Rutgers. Rutgers and West Virginia could be -- could be -- playing in Morgantown for the right to play for the national championship.Well, sure it's unlikely! (The Knights can't beat West Virginia at Morgantown on the last day of the season, and will have to settle for the Rose Bowl.)
But it's not as if you can perform the same exercise for every team in college football.
For example, you can't write: "So, Stanford has #3 USC next week, but they're at home, so they should lose by no more than 4 touchdowns. After that, they're at Washington, then home against Oregon State. At that point, the Cardinal will be 0-11, and 0-8 in Pac 10 play, poised for Big Game, this year at Berkeley . . . ."
You see my point? More HERE.
Monday, October 23, 2006
HALF a billion dollars spent buying back hundreds of thousands of guns after the Port Arthur massacre had no effect on the homicide rate, says a study published in an influential British journal.We can expect that gun-control busybodies will respond that only restrictions far more broad, and more vigorously enforced, can bring about the elimination of gun violence. Perhaps NSA could initiate a telephone-intercept data mining program.
The report by two Australian academics, published in the British Journal of Criminology, said statistics gathered in the decade since Port Arthur showed gun deaths had been declining well before 1996 and the buyback of more than 600,000 mainly semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns had made no difference in the rate of decline.
Politicians had assumed tighter gun laws would cut off the supply of guns to would-be criminals and that homicide rates would fall as a result, the study said. But more than 90 per cent of firearms used to commit homicide were not registered, their users were not licensed and they had been unaffected by the firearms agreement.
Republicans Do It More Effectively
Over the past three decades, conservatives have been procreating more than liberals -- continuing to seed the future with their genes by filling bassinets coast to coast with tiny Future Republicans of America.
Take a randomly selected sample of 100 liberal adults and 100 conservative adults. According to an analysis of the 2004 General Social Survey -- a bible of data for social scientists -- the liberals would have had 147 kids, while the conservatives would have had 208. That's a fertility gap of 41 percent. Even adjusting for other variables like age and income, there is a gap of 19 percent.
So what does it mean that the birth rate in Salt Lake City far outstrips that of liberal San Francisco (where dogs supposedly outnumber children)?
"Liberals have got a big 'baby problem,' and it risks being the death of them," contends Arthur Brooks, professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Public Affairs. He reckons that unless something gives, Democratic politicians in the future may not have many babies to kiss.
"When secular-minded Americans decide to have few, or no, children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide," writes Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. "If 'Metros' don't start having more children, America's future is 'Retro.' "
We Love You, Al!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Knights Skin Panthers
Sophomore running back Ray Rice ran for a career high 229 yards, while fellow sophomore quarterback Mike Teel was 10/18 for 75 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Prior to this game, the Panther offensive line had allowed only five sacks of highly-touted quarterback Tyler Palko. Palko today found himself on his back staring at the gray Pittsburgh sky 5 times.
While Rice averaged 5.9 yards in 39 carries, his backfield partner Brian Leonard carried only 8 times, but gained 50 yards, breaking one for 27.
Next week, back home in New Brunswick, the Knights face a UConn team that was rated 105th against the run before giving up 263 yards on the ground yesterday on their way to a 37-11 drubbing by West Virginia. The Huskies may want to consider kidnapping Rice and Leonard before the game.
[p.s. And, speaking of winning the Big East championship, is it true that #6 Louisville led lowly Syracuse by only 7-6 at the half? Is that possible? Did the Cardinals really win by only two touchdowns? Sheesh. As I recall, Louisville plays Rutgers . . . hmmmm . . . . now where would that be? Ah yes: November 9, in Our House.]
Friday, October 20, 2006
These Oldies But Goodies Reminds Me Of You
But what one man can invent, another can steal. Not the product, but the sketchy sales pitch. The Original Ginsu Knife, apparently capable of cutting through darned near anything (1978):
All leading to one of the all-time best Saturday Night Live bits, Dan Aykroyd and the Bass-O-Matic. NPR has links to that video HERE.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
THIS Should End Well
Via Gates of Vienna.
The oldest hatred didn’t get that way without an ability to adapt. Jews are hated for what they are – so, at any moment in history, whatever they are is what they’re hated for. For centuries in Europe, they were hated for being rootless cosmopolitan types. Now there are no rootless European Jews to hate, so they’re hated for being an illegitimate Middle Eastern nation-state. If the Zionist Entity were destroyed and the survivors forced to become perpetual cruise-line stewards plying the Caribbean, they’d be hated for that, too. The only difference now is that Jew-hatred is resurgent despite the full knowledge of where it ended up 60 years ago. Today, Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad openly urge the destruction of the Jews, and moderate Muslim leaders sit silently alongside them, and European media commentators take the side of the genocide-inciters, and UN bigwigs insist we negotiate with them. In the 1930s, the willingness of Europe not to see the implied end-point in those German citizenship laws left a moral stain on that continent. Seventy years on, it’s not implied, and the moral stain on us will be worse.
We're so loud and incoherent
Boy, this oughta bug your parents
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Happy Birthday, Planned Parenthood
Truer words were never spoken.
It is unclear how we managed to miss this landmark. It was on October 16, 1916, that Margaret Sanger, the sainted founder of Planned Parenthood, opened her first "birth control" clinic in the Brownsville district of Brooklyn. Ms. Sanger, of course, harbored some rather odd social and political views. A confirmed racist and enthusiastic eugenicist, her ideas were indistinguishable from those of the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hitler. Ah yes, the dream of racial hygiene.
Sanger (a committed Socialist), entertained as part of her utopian dream a world free of abortion. In her 1920 book Woman and the New Race, in a chapter titled "The Goal," she wrote:
There will be no killing of babies in the womb by abortion, nor through neglect in foundling homes, nor will there be infanticide.If only. Contrary to her dream, The Planned Parenthood Federation has instead achieved its own utopian goal of making abortion safe: Safe from voters, safe for Planned Parenthood's contributors, safe for abortionists plying a profitable if grisly trade, safe for those unwilling to be inconvenienced, safe for those with bad timing, safe for those with other plans. It remains, of course, terminally unsafe for the children.
What Planned Parenthood is all about is no secret. One need only review their most recent annual report, available online HERE.
In 2004, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates conducted 255,015 "abortion procedures." This was a 4% increase over 2003. Given that there were slightly more than 4 million live births in the United States in 2004, that means that Planned Parenthood -- all by itself -- killed about 6% of the children who would otherwise have been born in the United States in 2004.
Of course, that’s not the whole picture: According to Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute, one quarter of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. We kill one in four of our children before they have the chance to even be born.
But is this what the organization is about? Well, one might compare that figure with another from the annual report. Planned Parenthood, during 2004, "referred out" 1,414 adoptions. That was a decline from 2003, when the figure was a whopping 1,774. You see, the organization with "parenthood" in its name does not itself do adoptions. It does abortions. And, it tells us, it does more than 180 abortions for every adoption it "refers out."
What does it mean that Planned Parenthood found adoption to be an option for less than one percent of the children it aborted in 2004?
Happy Birthday, Planned Parenthood.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Pyongyang, October 16 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun today devotes a signed article to the World Food Day. It says:No word on whether these increased efforts and vigorous undertakings include electricity, running water, latrines, steel farm implements, tractors, gasoline, irrigation, or extra-ideological education. The contribution to food production of atomic bombs was also not discussed.
It is one of the most important issues in ensuring the existence and development of humankind to settle the food problem worldwide. The FAO, therefore, set October 16, its anniversary, as World Food Day.
Various events taking place in various countries on this day help deepen the understanding of the importance of the food problem worldwide and raising the international concern for the issue of increasing the food production to eradicate poverty and hunger.
In order to boost the food production the DPRK is taking a variety of practical and effective measures including vigorous undertaking of gigantic nature-remaking projects such as land realignment and construction of waterways, strict abidance by the principle of the right crop in the right season and the right crop to the right soil in the agricultural production and a wide application of advanced agricultural technology and methods.
Increased efforts are being exerted for the settlement of the food problem worldwide on the occasion of the day.
Will. Not. End. Well.
Because She Can
Charles Dike, M.D., a forensic psychiatrist and clinical instructor in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, maintains that psychiatrists need to pay attention to pathological lying so they are able to inform the legal system about whether pathological liars should be held responsible for their behavior. He believes as well that it is time for psychiatrists to assess whether pathological lying "represents only a symptom of a pre-existing psychiatric disorder or is a coherent enough entity" to be included as a separate diagnosis in APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).From today's New York Times:
Defining the concept is a crucial step in analyzing the concept of pathological lying from a psychiatric viewpoint, and Dike described it as repeated lies told over a number of years for which an external reason is not easily discernable. These lies are often "woven into complex narratives," he pointed out. "In pathological lying, telling lies may often seem to be an end in itself . . . .the pathological liar may become a prisoner of his lies, [and] the desired personality of the pathological liar may overwhelm the actual one."
For more than a decade, one piece of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s informal biography has been that she was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mount Everest. The story was even recounted in Bill Clinton’s autobiography.Students of Clintonology will recognize that the senator has here attempted to explain away one impulsive self-aggrandizing lie with a second more coldly calculated falsehood. We leave it to afficionados the delicate task of determining which is the more morally reprehensible, and which the more blatant. With the first, she impulsively attempted to make a meeting with a truly heroic person instead congruent with her own view of the universe: all about Hilly. With the second, she has decided to cauterize an embarrassing and wholly unnecessary injury to her credibility by tossing her mother over the side: "I'm not a liar, but you should have heard my mom."
But yesterday, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said she was not named for Sir Edmund after all.
“It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add,” said Jennifer Hanley, a spokeswoman for the campaign.
In May 1953, Sir Edmund and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1995, shortly after meeting Sir Edmund, Mrs. Clinton said that her mother, Dorothy Rodham, had long told her she was named for the famous mountaineer.
“It had two l’s, which is how she thought she was supposed to spell Hillary,” Mrs. Clinton said at the time, after meeting Sir Edmund. “So when I was born, she called me Hillary, and she always told me it’s because of Sir Edmund Hillary.”
Even though Bill Clinton repeated the story in his 2004 autobiography, “My Life,” Hillary Clinton did not mention it in her own autobiography, “Living History,” which was published in 2003.
But one big hole has been poked in the story over the years, both in cyberspace and elsewhere: Sir Edmund became famous only after climbing Everest in 1953. Mrs. Clinton, as it happens, was born in 1947.
I guess you get the political leaders you deserve, but what did we do to deserve this?
Monday, October 16, 2006
When Prosecutors Behave Badly
Today's entry includes a summary of the story to date, and begins:
In light of last night’s 60 Minutes broadcast, it’s worth reviewing how a case virtually devoid of evidence, constructed upon a tissue of procedural irregularities, could have reached this stage.
"They empty the fridge, ruin furniture, and defecate all over."
National Feral Cat Day
Neither the 11 vultures nor the abandoned tires deterred cat advocate Mari Molina from stepping into the wooded lot beside a Palm Coast shopping center Friday morning.Is there a licensing exam for becoming a registered "feral cat advocate?" And that "aggressive animal sterilization" part gives me the creeps. When I was in college there was a young woman who screamed something rather like that in my direction.
Molina carried a water jug and canned food while she talked about learning to coexist with feral cats.
"They're part of the ecosystem," she said.
The lot of 30 to 40 felines is one of the most well-known cat colonies in Flagler County, Molina said, and on Thanksgiving people drop off turkeys. But overfeeding the cats is bad.
National Feral Cat Day on Monday marks the beginning of what Molina and other feral cat advocates hope will be a year filled with public education and aggressive animal sterilization.
If you read the article, you'll discover that it's not about rounding up and adopting or destroying wild cats, but instead it's all about rounding up, spaying or neutering such cats, and then releasing them back into the "wild." I'm pretty sure the folks involved mean your neighborhood.
Did I neglect to mention that PETA was involved? Oh. You understand better, now?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Knights Sink Navy
utgers Scarlet Knights shut out the Navy and improved to 6-0 with a 34-0 victory in Annapolis, ruining homecoming for the mids. A first-quarter injury to starting midshipman quarterback Brian Hampton took the sophomore starter out for the remainder of the game. Rutgers fearsome running backs -- Senior Brian Leonard and Sophomore Ray Rice -- combined for only 111 yards and no touchdowns, letting the rest of the team score for a change.
Most exquisite for this Rutgers alum was listening to the game on a Navy station. As Hampton left the game, they were doubtful that the "inexperienced sophomore" replacement could move the team. They seemed to forget that Rutgers' starting quarterback, Brian Teel, is himself only a sophomore. Teel finished the game with 216 yards through the air, and 3 touchdowns. The Navy announcers were unable to explain how the injury to Hampton accounted for this air assault, or for the two kicks blocked by Rutgers.
Even better was the fourth quarter whining when the Knights had the effrontery to go for another touchdown. "Running up the score," they cried, "Never a classy move. The Midshipmen are sure to remember this next year." Rutgers' coach Greg Schiano perhaps was recalling the 54-21 drubbing his team took two years ago at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
Next stop: A 5:45 kickoff next Saturday at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Panthers, in a game to be nationally televised on ESPN2.
More HERE and HERE.
Friday, October 13, 2006
The network, you will recall, was hailed as an alternative to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Reagan, and so on and so on. It didn't work.
Many reasons may be cited for the collapse: poor programming, an absence of serious business people in charge, and a poor model for signing up stations. We think that an anonymous reader over at National Review Online has hit the nail on the head. It's just good, old-fashioned competition:
Why should a liberal living in the Village who gets the New York Times, watches Katie Couric, and listens to NPR make the attempt at figuring out how to switch their radio to AM?
Hang the Bastard!
Imagine for a moment a public official of the highest order. He was a confidant of the vice president and the president. Entrusted with the most sensitive national defense information, he enjoyed full access to the gamut of our country’s deepest secrets. In short, he was as central as any member of the executive branch to the decisions on which hinged the security of nearly 300 million Americans.Oh, wait -- you mean he's NOT talking about Scooter Libby? To whom could he possibly be referring, then? This is too complicated for us, figure it out for yourself, HERE.
The times were tumultuous and critics abounded. Some of them accused the administration of rank incompetence, of gratuitously putting loyal public servants lives at risk. The administration circled the wagons, and our high public official became its point-man for rebutting the charges. He used his extraordinary public trust to gain access to relevant classified information.
In his ardor to protect his principals, he went overboard. He was, to put it mildly, recklessly irresponsible with intelligence. When they learned of his actions, others in government decided there was no alternative: However reluctantly, an investigation had to be opened. Investigators confronted the high public official. He was, of course, under no obligation to speak. The Fifth Amendment gave him that protection. But he calculated that the political risk of refusing to appear cooperative was too great. So he submitted to questioning … and lied, wantonly.
Quickly, evidence mounted. The high official had obstructed an official investigation — one that the press and Democrats had clamored for; one that cost the public millions. The potential jeopardy mounted, too. Under federal law, making false statements to investigators is a felony — each individual lie exposing the declarant to as much as five years in jail. Obstruction of justice is at least equally grave. And more serious still is the purloining and misusing of intelligence — each instance exposing an offender to up to ten years’ incarceration. Our high public official was easily staring at a possibility of spending the remainder of his professional prime in a federal penitentiary.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
We Have Some Questions
HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- A city prosecutor was charged with indecency after a security camera caught him walking around naked in a government building after business hours.Why hasn't the guard -- an obvious voyeur -- been charged?
Scott Blauvelt, 35, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of indecency. He was released from jail to await a hearing in the court where he usually works.
A guard monitoring a security camera spotted a nude man -- whom investigators identified as Blauvelt -- in a building that houses county offices the night of October 5, sheriff's Maj. Anthony Dwyer said. The night before, security video had captured Blauvelt naked in another area of the building, where city offices are located, Dwyer said.
Dwyer said investigators don't know why Blauvelt, who was alone, wasn't wearing clothes. He faces a month in jail and a $250 fine if convicted.
Blauvelt's lawyer, Michael Gmoser, said in a statement Tuesday that his client was seriously injured in a 2005 car accident, suffers from mental illness and is on medication for seizures.
"Scott Blauvelt is an American with a disability," he said.
If no one (except that creepy guard) saw Mr. Blauvelt, then how could his mere nakedness be "indecent?"
Now that you bring it up, what part of Mr. Blauvelt's nakedness was indecent? Does he have a particularly alarming patch of long, black hair on his back? Does his nakedness expose an especially well-developed set of man-breasts? Or what?
Exactly what "disability" does Mr. Blauvelt exhibit, aside from an inability to cover his ass while in the office, after hours or not?
We don't understand the reference to "seizures?" Are we to believe that Mr. Blauvelt suffered a seizure, in the course of which he tore off his clothes and meandered down the hallway?
What's with these names? Blauvelt? Gmoser? How do you even pronounce "Gmoser?"
Finally, we demand to know where the YouTube video is.
How Could They Tell?
So What Was That Big BOOM?
We know this because, well, the whole NoKo/bomb/psycho problem was fixed, way back in 1994, by Jimmy Carter. And we know that, in turn, because he says so.
Jimmy says it, I believe it, that settles it.
Why Real Capitalists Hate Banks
Why . . . is capitalism so reviled in Western Continental Europe? It may be that elements of capitalism are seen by some in Europe as morally wrong in the same way that birth control or nuclear power or sweatshops are seen by some as simply wrong in spite of the consequences of barring them. And it appears that the recent street protesters associate business with established wealth; in their minds, giving greater latitude to businesses would increase the privileges of old wealth. By an "entrepreneur" they appear to mean a rich owner of a bank or factory, while for Schumpeter and Knight it meant a newcomer, a parvenu who is an outsider. A tremendous confusion is created by associating "capitalism" with entrenched wealth and power. The textbook capitalism of Schumpeter and Hayek means opening up the economy to new industries, opening industries to start-up companies, and opening existing companies to new owners and new managers. It is inseparable from an adequate degree of competition. Monopolies like Microsoft are a deviation from the model.Available HERE.
Call the CDC!
What I find odd about both his ad, and the one posted yesterday (featuring Madeleine Albright changing the tire on a terrorist's limo) is that they express the views and feelings of what I suspect is an enormous majority of Americans. In favor of the Iraq war, or against it, happy with the President, or not, at least among that portion of the population not terminally ill with Bush Derangement Syndrome, there is much frustration with security measures that pretend that we don't have any idea who the enemy is, and with Government policies that play kissy-face with murderous psychotics like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-il, and that ignore the fact that the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for example, aren't on "our side" in any meaningful sense.
That being the case, one wonders why we won't be seeing these ads during the first commercial break on CSI.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Virus! Run For Your Life!
Here's the story, according to Drudge:
The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained an exclusive copy of a "scary" campaign advertisement created by Hollywood producer and director David Zucker that was intended to be used by GOP organizations in the closing weeks of the 2006 campaign.
However, the advertisement was deemed "too hot" by GOP strategists all across Washington, DC who have refused to use it!
In the ad, Zucker, producer of SCARY MOVIE 4, recreates former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's 2000 visit to North Korea. During the visit, Secretary Albright presented North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il with a basketball autographed by former NBA superstar Michael Jordan.
An actress playing Secretary Albright is shown presenting Kim Jong Il with the Michael Jordan basketball, painting the walls of Osama bin Laden's Afghanistan cave and turning a blind eye to suicide bombers. In one scene her skirt rips as she changes the tire of a Middle Eastern dictator's limousine.
One GOP strategist said "jaws dropped" when the ad was first viewed. "Nobody could believe Zucker thought any political organization could use this ad. It makes a point, but it's way over the top."
Zucker is the producer and director of comedies such as "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun." In 2004, Zucker, a longtime Democrat, embraced the Republican Party based on concerns he had about national security issues and voted for President George W. Bush.
As it happens, the intrepid editorial staff at Glib & Superficial has also acquired an exclusive copy of the "scary" campaign advertisement!
Are we cool, or what?
I love this sort of thing. It's always possible that this started out as a legitimate project. But we expect that after you've seen the video, you'll agree that no quantity of mind-altering substances could make anyone believe that this could run on any television or cable channel. The problem is not the content per se, but the blowback at any mainline Republican entity that pays to put it on air. But in today's wired-up world, not to worry! Just post it at YouTube, tip off Drudge, and you're in business. Shiny!
And so, without further ado, the super-secret, not authorized for public viewing, not approved by anyone with authority to do anything on behalf of anyone at all, Dave Zucker ad:
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Do Either of These Look Familiar, Doctor?
"The women registered under fake names," Michael Koenig, a surgeon in Cologne, told Bild newspaper. "After the operations, which lasted about an hour, they just ran away."
"Tanja" went out for "fresh air" after 8,000-euro ($10,000) surgery to enlarge her breasts. "She never came back and never paid," Koenig said. He now plans to demand payment in advance.
Bild published a five-column picture of Tanja's naked breasts. "It's probably the most unusual wanted poster police ever had," the newspaper wrote.
Is THIS story related? How about THIS one?
Friday, October 06, 2006
A's in '06
That would be amazing.
A's in '06, guys. And Frank Thomas for AL MVP.
Better Late Than Never
The most infuriating aspect of the Mark Foley fiasco is that we're still unclear on what exactly it is we're infuriated about. This was not pedophilia: The pages involved were all above the legal age of consent in Washington, D.C. It wasn't exactly pederasty either, given that we have no evidence (at least not yet) of any actual sexual contact between two live human beings. Sexual harassment? It doesn't appear that, at the time of the now-infamous instant messages, the pages were in Foley's employ. The best phrase I have been able to come up with for Foley's transgression is "virtual pederasty," with a large dose of extremely creepy and abusive behavior toward younger, vulnerable people whose trust he clearly betrayed....We wish we'd thought of that.
Oh, wait . . . .
Denis Boyles at National Review on foreign reportage: ". . . reading Foley’s instant messages in German does add a certain leather-clad piquancy."
Myrna Blyth, at National Review, commenting on the Republican Leadership: "Didn’t they ever wonder why a 52-year-old congressman needed a 16-year-old friend?"
Eugene Robinson, at the Washington Post, passes on pedophilia, walks by supervision and accountability, and tries a three-cushion shot: "The Republican Party has gone to such lengths to demonize homosexuality that it must pain the leadership to reveal that such a thing as a gay Republican congressman could even exist." Robinson must be double-jointed. We advise you not to try this at home.
Andy Borowitz reports that one of the people who might announce their candidacy to fill Foley's House seat is Michael Jackson.
Those thoughtful wits over at BlameBush! are really angry this time: Republicans Giving Sexual Deviancy a Bad Name.
Allahpundit articulates the best possible reason for a change at the top: "On behalf of myself and the Hot Air readership, I open this thread by calling upon Speaker Hastert to resign immediately and spare us from having to devote yet another day of coverage to this clammy, tedious crap."
Reflecting his current psychotic obsession, Kos trumpets: "So Lieberman thinks it's okay for congressmen to run around the House preying on teenage pages."
Kerry Howley, at Reason, observes: ". . . the Mark Foley pedophilia sex scandal lacks two things: pedophilia and sex."
Thursday, October 05, 2006
This Would Explain a Lot
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU OCT 5 2006 2:53:48 ET XXXXXI know, I know: But how often is Drudge actually wrong about stuff like this, and how often is he instead just ahead of the curve, with not quite all of the details right?
CLAIM: FILTHY FOLEY ONLINE MESSAGES WERE PAGE PRANK GONE AWRY
**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**
According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.
According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded an unwitting Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats.
The primary source, an ally of Edmund, adamantly proclaims that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund. Both are fearful that their political careers will be affected if they are publicly brought into the matter.
The news come on the heels that Edmund has hired former Timothy McVeigh attorney, Stephen Jones.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Rock. Paper. Scissors.
Meanwhile, law professor Orin Kerr suggests that it is far from clear that Congressman Foley has violated any laws, echoing the point that we've been trying to make.
In comments to one of our Foley posts, "Arlington" has exhaustively catalogued the Congressman's moral transgressions. That's all very well, and we could hardly agree more.
But those conclusions represent the application to these facts of a moral structure not shared by all. Indeed, a moral structure explicitly rejected by virtually every Democratic member of Congress. Moreover, an even broader range of folks would reject the notion that Christian theology -- let alone one version of Christian theology -- should be the basis for our criminal laws. That's a perfectly respectable political position, with much to recommend it.
That being said, however, we find ourselves having circled around only to arrive at our original jumping off point: What exactly does Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid, claim Foley did that was wrong? They need to tell us what that might have been, and then they need to explain why they think that thing was wrong.
Let's conduct a little thought experiment:
Imagine that imaginary Congressman Goodman is approached by a 16-year-old female page. The Congressman has never laid eyes on the young woman before. He has in fact never had any contact with any Congressional page, male or female. She has come to the Congressman because he was described as a person who might be expected to be sympathetic to her position. As she tearfully relates, she is pregnant with the child of her hometown boyfriend, also age 16. What oh what, she pleads, is she to do?
Congressman Goodman, a staunch supporter of abortion on demand, counsels that her life will be ruined should she bear this child. He recommends a friendly neighborhood abortion clinic, takes her there himself, and pays for her abortion as an act of kindness and charity.
This is a scandal. Congressman Goodman is a murderer. He had no business counseling this young woman in the first place, and less procuring the destruction of her child. He should resign from Congress in disgrace. He should be criminally prosecuted, and jailed for a term measured in decades. Here is a man who gratuitously volunteered to kill.
But that's just my opinion. It's not the law. And, according to any number of prominent American politicians, clergy, academics, and the like, nothing with even a hint of moral concern has transpired. At the very least, many would insist that -- whatever the moral aspects of these events -- they're not my business, and not the business of the law, criminal or otherwise.
And so we come once again to our original question: What exactly is it that Congressman Foley has done that is wrong -- let alone illegal?
Will Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid announce that, in their view, it is immoral for 16-year-olds to have sex (inasmuch as it's not illegal)? Will they trumpet the immorality of homosexuality? Will they work for state legislation raising the age of consent to 18? to 21?
We didn't think so.
[UPDATE]: Aside from some vague reference to “preying on ordinary young Americans” being “vile,” our friends at the New York Times seem similarly tongue-tied when it comes to identifying what’s wrong with anything Foley did. Heck, some of us have reached the point where 30-year-old women are “young Americans.” The Times is pretty clear on the point that something is wrong, and they’re sure it has something to do with Denny Hastert. See “Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.” If we can't rely on the New York Times for moral clarity, we've come to a pretty pass.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
We'll Wait for the T-Shirt
At a pivotal time in the abortion debate, Ms. magazine is releasing its fall issue next week with a cover story titled "We Had Abortions," accompanied by the names of thousands of women nationwide who signed a petition making that declaration.No word yet on whether the magazine plans a future issue setting out the names of the aborted children, accompanied by a cover story titled, "Our Mommies Killed Us."
The publication coincides with what the abortion-rights movement considers a watershed moment for its cause. Abortion access in many states is being curtailed, activists are uncertain about the stance of the U.S. Supreme Court, and South Dakotans vote Nov. 7 on a measure that would ban virtually all abortions in their state, even in cases of rape and incest.
"All this seems very dire," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms.
30 Days and Counting
When the series returns for season four, high school seems like a distant memory to the young graduates, who have been thrust into adulthood after the heartbreaking death of their beloved friend MARISSA (Mischa Barton).
Who heads to college to try to put the past behind them? Who stays in town because they can’t let the past go? Will VOLCHOK (Cam Gigandet) go free after causing the tragic accident that killed Marissa? Or will RYAN (Ben McKenzie) decide that the way to heal is through revenge?
It’s a battle for Ryan’s soul as the Cohens struggle to keep him focused on the future, fighting the forces that threaten to pull him back into his old life. SANDY (Peter Gallagher) returns to the Public Defender’s office, and he and KIRSTEN (Kelly Rowan) find themselves reaching out to another troubled teen, but this one is not a stranger. It’s KAITLIN COOPER (Willa Holland), the number-one troublemaker at The Harbor School, and too much to handle for her mother JULIE (Melinda Clarke), who’s off making some trouble of her own. The person most excited about leaving high school finds himself back there – as a teacher. And new cast member TAYLOR TOWNSEND (Autumn Reeser) finds herself with some unlikely new roommates – and family members.
As much as the arrival of Ryan has changed the lives of this community, so, too, has the loss of Marissa. This season hits the ground running with THE OC’s trademark mix of heart, humor, drama, action and romance. It’s a new day on THE OC . . . .
"Muslim Jeopardy" skit not funny, and we'll kill you if you don't stop, apologize, and grovel.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care, I'm still free,
You can't take the sky from me.
Take me out to the black.
Tell them I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land and boil the sea,
You can't take the sky from me.
There's no place I can be,
Since I found Serenity.
But you can't take the sky from me...
Explain It To Me
Oh MyWhile the post has predictably elicited hundreds of comments, it doesn't appear to us that any of them -- or any other post provided by Mr. Black, explains just exactly what it is that they think Congressman Foley did wrong.
It's a bit more than just "naughty emails."
[I]n another message, Foley, using the screen name Maf54, appears to describe having been together with the teen in San Diego.Maf54: I miss you lots since san diego.The messages also show the teen is, at times, uncomfortable with Foley's aggressive approach.
Teen: ya I cant wait til dc
Teen: did you pick a night for dinner
Maf54: not yet…but likely Friday
Teen: ok…ill plan for Friday then
Maf54: that will be funMaf54: I want to see you
Teen: Like I said not til feb…then we will go to dinner
Maf54: and then what happens
Teen: we eat…we drink…who knows…hang out…late into the night
Teen: I dunno
Maf54: dunno what
Teen: hmmm I have the feeling that you are fishing here…im not sure what I would be comfortable with…well see
The Congressman is not married, so hasn't been unfaithful to his wife. It appears that each of the young men who were the objects of his affection were over the age of consent (16 in the District of Columbia), so there's not question of statutory rape, or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Indeed, no one claims that he actually had sex with any of these nice young men.
Moreover, there is no charge that Foley himself was their supervisor or otherwise was directly responsible for their employment. Many of the emails and instant messages actually appear to have been exchanged after the young men had left their positions with the House.
So someone still has to tell me what Foley is supposed to have done wrong: He was attempting to seduce young men, over the age of consent, into having gay sex with him. Certainly the party of Barney Frank can't be outraged at the gay aspect. If so, I'd love to hear Nancy Pelosi explain her position to her constituents.
And it's hard to believe that they're really up in arms about the age difference: Teddy Kennedy is nearly a quarter-century older than his current wife. That's less than the age difference between Foley and his prospective loves, but if Black and the other Democrats are pinning the scandal aspect on that, then they'd better come up with some metric by which to show us how much of a difference is too much. If 22 years is OK, then is 30 out of line? Why?
Of course, Foley was obviously crude and clumsy. But if every fellow guilty of delivering a clumsy pickup line must resign in disgrace and live in fear of Congressional and criminal investigations, then the K Street bars are going to be pretty empty.
So we'll just sit here by the phone, hoping it will ring with some authoritative explanation as to why everyone should be outraged at a lonely gay man, looking for love.
No, really: Explain it to me.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
What's All the Brouhaha?
Now comes the charge that House leaders may have known something about Foley's escapades and reacted less forcefully than they might. Of course, in the tornado of partisan charges and counter-charges, it will be difficult to know who knew exactly what, when they knew it, and what they did or should have done.
Foley should do more than resign from Congress, he should do serious jail time. And if the Republican leadership actually knew what had gone on, there should be some more resignations.
All of this, however, is obvious. What is less obvious is why there is a problem here in the first place. Foley isn't married, gay sex is just as good as the other kind, and this "kid" was 16, after all, hardly some little tyke. Sixteen is the age of consent in most civilized countries, as well as in most states, and the District of Columbia.
Does anyone, for example, remember the unfortunately named Congressman Gerry Studds? In 1983, having admitted to sex with a 17-year-old page (more than Foley appears to have done), he not only refused to resign, but was reelected several times. Of course, Studds was a Democrat, from Massachusetts, and a self-proclaimed homosexual. That trifecta made him a gay activist rather than a sex criminal.
What's really troubling is that within 10 or 15 years, some future criminal pervert in Congressman Foley's shoes will, instead of resigning, be marrying his 16-year-old toy boy, and inviting his proud mother to the ceremony.