Tuesday, May 31, 2005


The Making of the News

A thoughtful, intriguing, and complete post from Iraq by Michael Yon. (hat tip: SMASH.)

He begins thus:
The media is an industry; but their business is not to report news. The industry needs a captive audience to beat the bottom line. The product is advertisement.

This is not a right or wrong. It's just a business concept for moving merchandise, and every profession or industry has one. Doctors, soldiers, preachers, lawyers, journalists: everyone needs to earn a living. Only a reclusive holy man might argue otherwise, but most holy men also expect alms.

Finding or generating news can be costly. A good businessperson buys cheap, sells high. These points are obvious, but less conspicuous is how the media squeezes news cheaply from Iraq.
At this point, a light began to dawn for me...

By all means, read the whole thing.


Monday, May 30, 2005


Happy Memorial Day


Thursday, May 26, 2005


"We do not take sides..."

Yes, I know, this has been all over the blogosphere. But Rick Adams has put it in better perspective:

Click here to see the original cover (in the original Japanese), along with more of Rick's translations. In particular, he quotes the magazine as follows:
However, we do not take sides, but only analyze the meaning of events from various viewpoints.
That's a "viewpoint", all right. (If I said that the editorial board of Newsweek was a collection of slimy bloodsucking parasites, no doubt that would be a "viewpoint" as well. However, I think mine has more validity than theirs.)
What have Americans lost due to the Bush administration in the last four years, and what will the world lose in the next four years? Verified facts, not opinions from any viewpoint, are laid forth in the special report in this issue.
"The ideal of freedom is dashed to the ground"... that's a "verified fact", according to Newsweek?

If I'd ever been inclined to buy Newsweek again, after their Koran-flushing debacle, I'm not now.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005


"Renounce Your Constitution Today!"

Michelle Malkin calls this "Beware of moonbats with matches". Personally, I'd rather call it "This Independence Day, show your support for America by doing what her mortal enemies do!"

(Admittedly, Michelle's line has more punch to it...)

This July 4th is Flag Burning Day!

[America-as-racist-colonialist-warmonger moonbattery omitted]

So on this Fourth of July we call on you to express your feelings on their “Independence Day” by burning a flag in a nationally coordinated action. Together we will show the elite that we are everywhere and that we completely reject the false principals
[sic] this holiday is based on.
Hmm. I have to wonder if there aren't more effective (and efficient) ways to "completely reject" the false principles they despise so much. For example, while the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantee important rights to every American, nowhere is it written that we're required to take advantage of those rights.

So, if you're offended by this country's Independence Day and what it stands for, I urge you to publicly renounce your protection under the Bill of Rights. If you like, pick just one or two amendments, and announce that they do not apply to you. Here, I'll make it easier for you:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Okay, granted, some of this is just too easy. The Second Amendment, for example -- "I hereby protest our racist, sexist government by renouncing the Second Amendment! I forever give up my right to bear arms, whether I'm part of a well-regulated militia or not!" Nah, that wouldn't work; I suspect anyone willing to burn an American flag has already taken that pledge anyway.

Ditto for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. I mean, just imagine: "I hereby protest our classist, fascist government by renouncing the Ninth Amendment! I don't care if my rights are enumerated in the Constitution or not; the government can go ahead and deny or disparage them!" Or, for that matter: "I hereby protest our ageist, homophobic government by renouncing the Tenth Amendment! The Federal Government can take away any of my state's rights that it wants!" Nah, that wouldn't work either, for the same reasons; flag-burners, I suspect, are mostly in favor of the government taking rights away anyhow.

(Hmm, maybe I'm on to something here. Maybe the reason some people disparage our precious rights so much, is because they're not interested in taking advantage of those rights anyway.)

The other Amendments, though, offer promise:

"I hereby protest our colonialist, warmongering government by renouncing the Eighth Amendment! You wanna give me excessive fines, excessive bail, or cruel and unusual punishment? Bring it on!"

Would anybody like to protest by renouncing their rights to trial by jury, avoidance of "double jeopardy", and a speedy trial? How about the right to cross-examine, or the right to counsel? How about the right not to testify against oneself, or the right to be compensated for eminent domain? Would anyone like to announce themselves open to unreasonable search & seizure, or to quartering of soldiers in their homes without their permission? Finally, who's interested in giving up their freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of assembly, or of the right to address grievances against the government?

Let's be blunt. Flag-burning is cheap and easy, especially if you have reason to expect that you won't be punished for doing it. And, given that it's easy, it is essentially meaningless; all it accomplishes is to annoy the people who pledged to serve that flag.

Oh, and it also blurs the line between the American flag-burner and the al-Qaeda flag-burner... and that line was too blurry anyway. Hmm, making yourself resemble America's enemies at a time of war -- not too bright, people.



Who's Targeting Whom?

Thanks to Instapundit, I saw this:
A public statement by Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley is reviving questions about the intentional targeting of journalists in Iraq by the U.S. armed forces.

At a May 13 meeting in St. Louis, Foley said: "Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted verbally or politically. They are also being targeted for real in places like Iraq. What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq."
Frankly, I find it grimly amusing to hear a journalist complain about "being targeted verbally or politically". Uh, isn't that what you and your colleagues do for a living, Ms. Foley?

As to the serious (but unsubstantiated) charge of the American military deliberately targeting journalists, in Iraq or elsewhere, here's one response:
At the Communications Workers of America, Candice Johnson said she could not provide any evidence for Foley's revival of the Eason Jordan charges. Linda Foley refused requests for an interview.

Retired Air Force General Thomas McInerney, a Fox News military consultant, was "frankly astonished."

"It may be legitimate to investigate whether there may or may not have been an incident in which U.S. troops have targeted journalists, but there is no question at this point that major media figures are targeting the men and women of the United States military in Iraq, repeatedly and with no evidence," he said.

By the way, care to guess what the headline of the article was? Right the first time: Newspaper union leader: U.S. military targets journalists. (Of course, the opposite headline would have been equally appropriate -- "Retired General: U.S. media targets the military". But that wouldn't have been quite as sensational, would it?)


Tuesday, May 24, 2005


De Beste of Den Beste

A quick housekeeping announcement -- I've changed the sidebar link for U.S.S. Clueless from Stephen Den Beste's main site to his "best of" list. (He's written an awful lot, and finding The Good Stuff amid it all can be difficult if you don't know what you're looking for.)

There's some great stuff in there. Try this, for example, on the nature of negotiation vis-a-vis what is "fair" or what is "right". On the way, Mr. Den Beste explores the deficiencies of the UN, the International Criminal Court, and the problems faced by a theoretical World Government -- and for dessert, he uses the Palestinian Authority as a classic example of justice vs. interests.

This is typical of Mr. Den Beste's essays, if you've never read them. He'll take on a large topic, explore it thoroughly, and discuss several other issues along the way -- often issues that don't seem at all relevant to the big picture, until he connects all the dots together. The results are thought-provoking and occasionally disturbing, but always fascinating.

Check 'em out, if you haven't done so already.

Truth in advertising: Den Beste's site was one I used to visit daily, and it was one of my first. I don't always agree with the guy, certainly, but I have a lot of respect for him... and I pray for his continued good health.


Monday, May 23, 2005


Why I Hate James Lileks

Because he can write ten times better than I can, that's why.
I plan to see Star Wars this week, because it’s the law.
See what I mean?



"To venture [today]into the Arab world ... is to travel into Bush Country"

Fouad Ajami, as usual, is not mincing words:
To venture into the Arab world, as I did recently over four weeks in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, is to travel into Bush Country. I was to encounter people from practically all Arab lands, to listen in on a great debate about the possibility of freedom and liberty. I met Lebanese giddy with the Cedar Revolution that liberated their country from the Syrian prison that had seemed an unalterable curse. They were under no illusions about the change that had come their way. They knew that this new history was the gift of an American president who had put the Syrian rulers on notice. The speed with which Syria quit Lebanon was astonishing, a race to the border to forestall an American strike that the regime could not discount. I met Syrians in the know who admitted that the fear of American power, and the example of American forces flushing Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole, now drive Syrian policy. They hang on George Bush's words in Damascus, I was told: the rulers wondering if Iraq was a crystal ball in which they could glimpse their future.
What's most amazing about all this, to me, is that Arabs are now saying these things openly. Arab societies have been closed societies for a long, long time, where one spoke one's mind at considerable risk. But in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Kuwait, and even in Syria and Saudi Arabia, Arabs are not afraid to say what they think -- and what they think is that President George W. Bush has given them a gift, and a golden opportunity.

These aren't "Republican talking points" anymore, folks. Middle Eastern Arabs have no reason to be impressed with pretty American speeches, not with local strongmen on hand to crack heads. What has made an impact on all these people is not rhetoric, but results. And they've seen results! They've seen the Arab world's most powerful and brutal dictator, hauled out of a spider hole by American troops; they've seen millions of Arabs in Iraq and Muslims in Afghanistan, voting to secure their own future in their own way.

My neighbors, with their "no more Bush" and "let's not elect him in 2004 either" bumper stickers, must one day realize that they were wrong. They can continue to claim, if they want, that the Iraq war was mercilessly brutal to Iraqi Arabs -- but the Iraqis themselves, and their fellow Arabs across the Middle East, do not agree.

More about the willingness to speak out openly:
Pick up the Arabic papers today: They are curiously, and suddenly, readable. They describe the objective world; they give voice to recognition that the world has bypassed the Arabs. The doors have been thrown wide open, and the truth of that world laid bare.

Grant Mr. Bush his due: The revolutionary message he brought forth was the simple belief that there was no Arab and Muslim "exceptionalism" to the appeal of liberty. For a people mired in historical pessimism, the message of this outsider was a powerful antidote to the culture of tyranny. Hitherto, no one had bothered to tell the Palestinians that they can't have terror and statehood at the same time, that the patronage of the world is contingent on a renunciation of old ways. This was the condition Mr. Bush attached to his support for the Palestinians.
Thanks to The Instapundit for the link -- and as he would say, read the whole thing.


Friday, May 20, 2005


Ten Things I've Never Done

Hmm, maybe I'm violating bloggiquette here -- this party seems to be invitation-only. But nobody I know has said so, outright... so I'm jumping in.

Neo-neocon has posted a list of ten things she's never done. (It's always fascinating to see what other people haven't done; some of them seem, well, ordinary, while others seem incredibly exotic. It's a window into other people's lives, and a reminder of just how different we can be from other people, even people we think are basically Just Like Us.)

Just like she said, before this past November I could have said "I've never voted for a Republican". No longer.

I've never:
  • killed anyone
  • initiated a pregnancy, deliberately or otherwise
  • eaten lobster or other arachnids (eww!)
  • broken any major bones
  • gotten seriously drunk or stoned
  • been arrested
  • jumped out of an airplane
  • danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight (I just like the sound of that...)
  • watched Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
  • visited Asia, or Africa, or South America, or Australia
Have you ever played the "I never" college drinking game? A group of youngsters, old enough that they ought to know better, sit in a circle, with plenty of alcoholic beverages available; everyone has a drink at hand, and refills as necessary. Each person, in turn, announces something they've never done... and everyone else in the circle is then obligated to take a drink, if they have done that something. (It is assumed that lying, overtly or by omission, is against the rules; if someone says "I've never had sex in the desert with a camel and a parrot", and it just so happens that you have, then you have to take a drink.)

Part of the fun, of course, is paying attention to who drinks, and seeing what amazing stuff your friends have been up to. Another part of the fun is that, as time goes on (and people get drunker and drunker), the announcements get more and more outlandish... but somehow, it's usually still hard to pick something that nobody has done. (Unless you hang out with extremely inexperienced friends, I guess.)

Anyway, in the interests of continuing the fun, here are some slightly out-of-the-ordinary things that I have done:
  • I've sent a friend to prison;
  • I've kept a friend out of prison;
  • I've fallen off a cliff;
  • I've totalled a car (yes, it was mine, and yes, it was my fault);
  • I've had sex in the shadow of a national Parliament building (always thought I should get a point off my Purity Test score for that one!);
  • I've read Dr. Seuss in Latin;
  • I've won regional awards for my singing (not, as my neighbors might claim, to reward me for not singing);
  • I've had surgery on my big toes and my vocal chords, in addition to the surgical removal of all my optional equipment;
  • I've ridden shotgun under radio silence, with a round chambered and the safety off;
  • I've run with scissors, written bad checks, and returned Blockbuster videotapes without rewinding them. (Cue Bugs Bunny voice: "Ain't I a stinker?")

Yeah, there are some fun stories behind some of those... and no, I'm not going to tell them here. Ask me sometime if you're curious.

- DiB


Thursday, May 19, 2005


Bill Whittle's Got A New One Out

For some of you, no more needs to be said. If Bill Whittle's work is new to you, on the other hand, boy, you have a treat waiting for you!

As with all of Bill's essays, it is flawed, awkward, shot through with annoying and distracting pop-culture references... and contains passages of such brilliance that you gasp in wonder and forget everything else.

Take your time, and read it all. (Part I here; Part II here.)

And if this whets your appetite for more, by all means, buy the book. (Or just read the essays online for free. Me, I did both; I find that I like to have extra copies of the book to hand out to people.)



A Spokesman for the Religion of Peace

Some things need little elaboration:

That's Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, broadcasting an ordinary Friday sermon on Palestinian state-run TV. According to MEMRI's transcript and translation of the sermon, he had several interesting things to say:
  • "Israel is a cancer spreading through the body of the Islamic nation, and [...] the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers."
  • "You will find that the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations."
  • "We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world - except for the Jews... Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew."
Friends, he means it -- and he's not the only one who says it. We must also assume that he has some influence over his audience... and his audience numbers in the millions. Please remember also that his core audience is the group expected to make peace with Israel.

Do Israelis deliver similar sermons, by the way? No, they do not. Israeli teachers tend to go the other way, bending over backwards to favorably portray Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular. Arabic is a required subject in Israeli grade schools; but it goes without saying that Palestinian schools do not teach Hebrew. I own an album that was distributed in 1988 to every soldier in the Israel Defense Forces; presumably, it contained music the IDF wanted its soldiers to hear... and not one song was a call to war or to violence. (Over half were songs of peace.) The examples go on and on.

Read the entire sermon; it isn't long. And remember this, next time Israeli Prime Minister Sharon complains about "incitement in the Palestinian media". This is what he's talking about; it's prevalent, and it's institutionalized. And the supposedly "moderate" Mohammed Abbas, Arafat's replacement, is doing nothing to stop it.

Hat tip: LGF. Check out Lileks as well; things like this make his blood run cold, and with good reason. As he says: "I can only imagine how I’d feel if the fellow making the speech lived on the other side of town." Indeed.

UPDATE: Bloggledygook addresses this issue, in deadly earnest, in a post that's mostly about Newsweek:
Here Rich has it correct. The president would do well to instruct his acolytes to quit the mush-mouthed talk of respect for Islam and instead make the unequivocal statement that the United States will honor Islam the very second Muslims do.
Damn straight.

UPDATE II: LGF continues to follow this topic (no surprise there):

From a report that aired on Al-Arabiya TV (one of the Arab world’s most popular satellite channels) on June 1, 2005, here’s a film clip that may turn your stomach—as children rehearse for a short life of murder and violence by playing martyrdom games.

Reporter: Abd Al-Sattar’s favorite game is “Jews and Arabs.”

Boy: The Arabs are in the street. The Jews stand over there and we shoot at them, and throw rocks and grenades at them.

Reporter: To win the game, the player must die.

Mind you, this boy is doing what he's been taught to do. From his teachers in school to the imam's sermons, and most likely including his own parents and older role models, the message is the same: your life is meaningless unless you forfeit it while killing Jews. And if you think this is grim, remember: it doesn't get any better from here.

All right, now, everyone who supports the idea of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state -- what do you suppose this boy will be when he grows up?


Wednesday, May 18, 2005



Yup, that's all I have to say. Ewww.



Newsweek et al

My legions of regular readers (both of you!) have been asking me: why haven't I commented on the Newsweek debacle?

Well, if you follow that link, you'll see that I have. Why haven't I written about it here? Frankly, a lot of people have been saying what I'd like to say, and saying it better than I could.

However, let me add this --

Selling information is a funny business. When you sell a car, you're not worried about the buyer taking the car home, copying it in his garage, and giving the copies away. But information, once it's sold, is out of the control of the seller. You can attempt to sue someone for publishing something they shouldn't have, but once it's out there, it's out there -- as irretrievable as an angry word, as Robert Heinlein once said.

This is more the case now than it's ever been before. An inflammatory picture or story, published on the Internet, is available to hundreds of millions of people immediately... and so a damaging story can cause far more damage than ever before. And we certainly know that sensational headlines travel farther and faster -- and are remembered longer -- than the retractions of them.

But what truly bothers me is the lack of consequences -- and the utter irresponsibility with which the press, in general, seems to be greeting this.

Let's be honest here. A story was published under criteria that, in retrospect, seem laughable at best -- only one source, and an anonymous source at that, who wasn't even a witness to the events he was describing! -- and a story that inflamed passions around the world, causing over a dozen deaths. Shouldn't someone take responsibility for that? And what form should that responsibility take? I'd love to see more discussion on this.

It's a difficult question. What do you do, once the barn door is open and the damage is done? I've heard and read the standard comments, ranging from "Michael Isikoff should be fired" to "Mark Whittaker should be fired" to "they should both be fired". Some more creative souls have suggested that the victims of "the Newsweek massacre" (Hugh Hewitt's term, I believe) be encouraged to sue... and Isikoff and Whittaker extradited to Afghanistan to stand trial there.

Personally, I'm in favor of fighting fire with fire. The Newsweek board should decide -- secretly! -- to publish one (1) totally unfounded story that makes American soldiers look good (and, for bonus points, makes former Guantanamo detainees look silly, which actually isn't that hard). Naturally, the story byline would have to credit Michael Isikoff... before he is fired.

If the story works, great -- it's good press for the United States, at a time when the United States could use some good press. (Don't worry, Newsweek -- your colleagues across America will waste no time debunking such a "good news" story.)

And if it doesn't work -- if the story is seen as a ploy, which of course it would be -- then it further reduces Newsweek's credibility, which seems fair to me. (They're clearly not credible; why should they look credible?)

It's a win-win situation, folks... assuming, of course, that Newsweek could ever bring themselves to write favorably about the U.S. military, even tongue-in-cheek while holding their collective noses. Personally, I doubt they can do it. But it'd be fun to watch them try.

UPDATE: Neo-neocon compares the Newsweek massacre with the blood libel. It's an apt comparison... and a chilling one. (Uncounted tens of thousands of Jews have died, some of them horribly, because of the completely unfounded rumor of the blood libel. Newsweek, do you have any idea what you just started?)

UPDATE II: A great thought from Dan Gillmore:
I'm starting to think that unnamed sources who lie like this should be outed. No, this is not a call for journalists to break their promises. But maybe we should tell people who demand anonymity that they will be outed if it turns out they lied. This would undoubtedly lead to fewer stories based on unnamed sources, but it might also lead to more honorable journalism.
What a great idea.

UPDATE III: BlackFive says: "I haven't read Newsweek since May 26th, 2003." Read his story and you'll understand why.

UPDATE IV: Mark Steyn, as usual, says it better (and snarkier) than most:
To date, reaction has divided along two lines. Newsweek has been hammered for being so flushed with anti-Bush anti-military fever that they breezily neglected the question of whether their story would generate a huge mound of corpses.

Which is true. On the other hand, there are those who point out it's hardly Newsweek's fault that some goofy foreigners are so bananas they'll riot and kill over one rumor of one disrespectful act to one copy of one book. Christians don't riot over ''Piss Christ'' and other provocations by incontinent ''artists.'' Jews take it in their stride when they're described as ''a virus resembling AIDS,'' which is what Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris said a week ago in his sermon on Palestinian state TV, funded by the European Union. Muslims can dish it out big-time, so why can't they take it, even the teensy-weensiest bit?

All of which is also true, but would be a better defense of Newsweek if the media hadn't spent the last 3-1/2 years bending over backwards to be super-sensitive to the, ah, touchiness of the Muslim world -- until the opportunity for a bit of lurid Bush-bashing proved too much to resist.




As seen on
The Daily Pundit:

And Frank Rich was downright enthusiastic [about charging for access to the online New York Times]. "If you believe, as I do, that basically there is going to come a time when people are not going to read print newspapers anymore, someone has to figure out a way to get income for news gathering," Rich told Salon. "Because who's going to pay for that bureau in Iraq?"

To which Bill responds:
Probably somebody like Saddam Hussein. You guys were all pretty much writing what he told you to write anyway, weren't you? Why should he get all that control for free?
That's telling 'em, Bill!!

(About time I added Bill Quick to my blogroll, anyway...)


Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Prof. Gaddis: The Past and Future of American Grand Strategy

It's a long speech, and worth every minute. Please go read it.

Briefly, it's the story of a history professor who, much to his surprise, found his scholarly criticism of the Bush administration taken very seriously indeed... by the Bush administration. He insisted that the invasion of Iraq involved some glaring errors -- and found the President agreeing with him, and assigning the Professor's work as required reading in the White House.

A few quick excerpts:
You’ve all been to movies that carry the disclaimer: “Contains material that some may find disturbing. This lecture may require such a warning.

So please be advised of the following: “This lecture will contain material that some may consider to be complimentary toward the Bush administration. It may, therefore, strike some listeners as unsettling, naïve, partisan, propagandistic, chauvinistic, muddle-headed, or paid for by Karl Rove.”
At the end of it, [Dr. Condoleezza Rice] casually asked: “Could you spare a few minutes for the President?” I allowed as how maybe I could, and so she took me into the Oval Office where the President and the Vice President were waiting. I expected, at best, a handshake and photo op. But the President said: “Sit down. Loved your book. Tell me more about Bismarck.”
So much for President Chimpy McHalliburton. (Indeed, Prof. Gaddis was astonished to discover that, not only did the President actually read scholarly books on his own, but that he read them before his own staff did.)

The Professor goes on to speak of President Bush's second inaugural address, which he was given the opportunity to influence, and the criticisms levelled at it.

As Harry Truman would have said, it's a crackjack. As Glenn Reynolds would say, read the whole thing.

(hat tip: Roger Simon.)


Wednesday, May 04, 2005



...which is Greek for "a bunch of things with no common thread to hold them together".

This, for example. How come nobody warned me?

Or this. (Gee, maybe I should blog more often... or at least make my posts longer.)

And then there's this. (Possibly a little unfair -- our soldiers look a bit the worse for wear sometimes too. But it's still funny.)

On a serious note, Goofy Gets Left Behind very nearly made me cry. What a wonderful story.

And there's a different sort of goofy on today's OpinionJournal:
One bulldozer guarded by seven jeeps and 30 [...] officers entered the Sudania area on the coast of northern Gaza on Monday morning to crush the three homes, which were being built by a major, a lieutenant-colonel and a colonel on public land they illegally seized. The operation encountered no resistance.
So what's so special about Palestinian homes being destroyed by bulldozers? They were Palestinian bulldozers.

As James Taranto cheerfully comments, where's Rachel Corrie when we need her?

UPDATE: Hey, if Taranto can do it, then so can I...


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