Bald Eagle Picture


11:48 PM
PunchtheBag has inspired me to start a new feature on TAM: Paleo Watch. I will occasionally point out a strange comment from the paleo-libertarian/anarchist crowd. The inaugural PW features Burt Blumert, president of the Center for Libertarian Studies. While promoting an upcoming gold conference, he wrote, "When we planned the conference, we never thought about the insanity of Iraq, this craziness, this hurtling train of destruction" (emphasis mine). To Blumert, there's no possible reasonable basis to support attacking Iraq to preserve the U.S. and the West. People like Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, Brink Lindsey (a scholar for the libertarian Cato Institute), Stephen Den Beste, and myself are irrational loons or neoconservatives desiring warfare to increase government and somehow grant us power over other people. (Paleos like to follow in the footsteps of their patron saint, Murray Rothbard, who near the end of his life worried excessively about the Trilateral Commission and anything related to David Rockefeller.)

A rational case for invading Iraq can and has been made my many writers. My reasoning is based on liberating Iraq now because it's inevitable and the total loss of life would be minimized because the U.S. wouldn't be going to war after a nuclear attack. Now, it's perfectly valid for war opponents to go after my assumptions and reasoning, but I'm pretty confident a reasonable person would declare my argument to be rational. No reasonable person would call me insane.

"Gold, Liberty, and War"

Sean Hackbarth |


11:14 PM
In Andrew Marr's analysis of Tony Blair's political trouble with an Iraqi war, he ends with

One thing was absolutely clear from his press conference here.

If it comes to a choice between endless negotiation and conflict - what they used to call jaw-jaw or war-war - then you'd better believe it, it's going to be the second.

Something pretty substantial and serious is going to happen this winter.

Does this mean Blair may be abandoned by the Labour Party or is war imminent?

"Blair's New Iraq Strategy"

Sean Hackbarth |

10:59 PM
A coalition against Iraq is starting to form. Kuwait doesn't consider the Gulf War I to be over and will support the U.S. Then Tony Blair is willing to pay a "blood price" in the special relationship between the U.S. and U.K.

"Kuwait Breaks Ranks on Saddam" [via C-Log]

"Britain Will Pay 'Blood Price' - Blair"

Sean Hackbarth |

10:32 PM
While covering a little too much inside baseball stuff in D.C., this story on Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley over digital copying is well worth the read.

"Digital Divide"

Sean Hackbarth |

10:05 PM
A banner reading "Guns save lives" will fly over tomorrow's Wisconsin/West Virginia football game.

"Mountaineer May Carry His Black Powder Rifle"

Sean Hackbarth |

9:22 PM
Daypop has been down for a few days, but Dan's in Italy and can't fix it until he gets home. Bummer.

Sean Hackbarth |

9:10 PM
PunchtheBag (scroll down to September 3) offers a challenge to paleolibertarians and ararchists (i.e. the Anarchy Lew crowd):

How are you going to "Pepsi and McDonald-ize" your movement for maximum mass appeal? I?m not saying that you have to go politically correct but you might think twice before producing a short that shows neoconfederates, Hans Hoppe, and pictures of 19th century guys and gals.

If you go too edgy, then people say, "What the hell was that?" You want to make them at least think for a few minutes (or maybe just a minute) after it?s over. Plus you have the added burden of trying to sell "anarchy." Most average folk gravitate towards safety and security. Don?t blame the public education system for that, it?s just human nature. How do you turn that perception around?

If all you do is flash a picture of the Capitol in Washington with a middle finger pointing at the dome, you?re not going to get much of a reaction. All you?re doing in that case is saying "ha ha ha look at us" and then you dance and prance and congratulate each other. But you?re just preaching to the choir. You haven?t made the sale, instead you?ve sprayed graffiti under a bridge.

I?m sure some of you creative types might jump at the challenge of producing at least a storyboard that you could upload to your websites for the rest of us to take a gander.

Let?s see how you persuade the great-unwashed using imagery or do you just want to be an isolated, stale country club?

Punch combines humor and seriousness into a potent concoction.

Sean Hackbarth |

9:02 PM
Admitted libertarian Ralph Reiland spanks Anarchy Lew on Gulf War II:

On most matters, I'm on the same page as Rockwell. I?m enough of a libertarian to agree that we're over-taxed, over-manipulated, over-sued and over-regulated, and enough of a libertarian, in fact, to have been published a dozen or so times by Rockwell's Mises Institute. But on this one, I've got to break rank.

Let?s start at the bottom and work our way up. First, it?s my bet that Taliban John won't be killed in a gun battle with Dick Cheney. Second, after we won, did the U.S. "war machine" turn the Japanese, Germans or Russians into hostages? Third, after decades of holding our fire while under attack, how much "peace" did we get on September 11? Fourth, it?s not about whether they "like us"; it?s about people who want to kill us. Fifth, Iraq was impoverished by Iraq's policies. And sixth, the business at hand is to stop the killing, to stop a nutcase from delivering a suitcase nuke to Manhattan.

"A War of Words" [via PunchtheBag]

Sean Hackbarth |

12:02 AM
Thomas Sowell notes that years of affirmative action has actually cost people their lives. Poorly educated black doctors allowed to graduate from medical school because of racial preference lead to patient's deaths. Lowing standards doesn't have to be done. In Sowell's experience "black students would meet higher standards if you refused to lower the standards for them." In the words of Frederick Douglas, "Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!" Guilty white (not necessarily Southern boy) liberals have already done enough.

"'Friends' of Blacks"

Sean Hackbarth |


11:53 PM
Patricia Owen got Borked by Senate Democrats. Orrin Judd now declares the party of the donkey (I know, I'm being nice) the "Party of Death."

But today the Democrats reached a new low as they rejected the appointment of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owens to a seat on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for just one reason: she is insufficiently pro-abortion. Democrats are now so captive to the extremist pro-abortion forces that any limitation whatsoever on the killing of a fetus is unacceptable to them. Democrats voted against Ms Owens because of one single court case in which it was her opinion that a minor did not have an absolute right to abort her child. Period. End of story.

Having reached a point in our politics where the attempt to limit abortion in any way shape or form makes a persion unfit for the bench in the eyes of every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, it is sad but true that the Democrats have become the party of death.

Sean Hackbarth |

10:46 PM
Funny stuff from ScrappleFace:

CBS News anchorman Dan Rather hijacked a Boeing 757 over the weekend and flew it to an undisclosed location in "the Dakotas". The hijacking was part of an "up close and personal" investigative piece about flaws in the transportation security system. No one was harmed in the incident.

"CBS Hijacks Jetliner to Prove Security Flaws"

Sean Hackbarth |

7:02 PM
The Senate voted to let pilots bring guns on planes after the White House dropped their opposition. However, officials want to implement a training program that would cost $900 million to start and $250 million per year afterward. Unfortunately, they also say the money for training isn't available. Why would it cost $900 million to train pilots? Many pilots have military backgrounds and have experience with guns. This bogus number sounds like a way for the Transportation Department to not oppose armed pilots but prevent them from actually being armed.

"Senate Approves Plan to Arm Commercial Pilots"

Sean Hackbarth |

6:53 PM
Tonight the NFL season starts. So, it's time for my NFL predictions. First the Packers: they came off an outstanding season, surprising many (including me). While going 12-4, they didn't win enough to claim home field advantage. That turned out to be key because the Pack had to play the NFC championship game against the Rams in St. Louis.

On offense, Brett Favre comes off a 32 TD, 3921 yard 2001 season. Fine numbers, but the story was the emergence of Ahman Green as a dominant running back. Green almost had 2000 combined rushing and receiving yards along with 11 TDs. The biggest question on offense is the wide receivers. Terry Glenn is suppose to be the saviour and Favre's favorite target, but he only played one pre-season game due to injury. Antonio Freeman is now with Philadelphia because of salary cap reasons, and Corey Bradford and Bill Schroeder left in free agency. In there stead are first-round pick Javon Walker, who has shown glimpses of big-play talent, Donald Driver, who must be more consistent, and Robert Ferguson, who is big but has impressed little.

The surprise in this year's team may be their defense. During the pre-season, the first-team defense gave up 20 points. While they lost safety LeRoy Butler to retirement, Darrin Sharper--arguably the best safety in football--comes back with pass rushing phenom Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Hardy Nickerson brings veteran leadership.

So, how will the Packers do? They were 12-4 last year, and they're better this year. I predict 12-4 with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. As for the Super Bowl, the Packers will meet and beat--drum roll please--Miami.

Now, are you ready for some football?!?

"Rams are the Best, but Packers will be Super"

Sean Hackbarth |

3:21 PM
Is it a coincidence that someone broke into the Deseret Chemical Depot and someone tried to kill Afghan president Karzai on the same day?

"Intruder Warning Sounds at Utah Munitions Compound"

"Karzai Survives Attempt on Life"

Sean Hackbarth |

1:18 AM
I saw the conversation between Phil Donahue and MSNBC editor-in-chief Jerry Nachman where Phil wondered about how long his show would last given the abysmal ratings. I was astounded that such insider shop talk was being aired. The candor was refreshing.

What piqued my curiosity is Nachman wanting to give Donahue's show up to two years. "You don't think we get two years? Do we get a year?" Nachman's the editor-in-chief of the network, yet it doesn't sound like he has much say in the survival of a show. Is Nachman only in charge of news production? What's the extent of his role at MSNBC besides his interesting talk show? And if his role is limited, what's with the title "editor-in-chief?"

"Donahue Says His Show is on Thin Ice" [via Right Wing News]

Sean Hackbarth |


11:13 PM
Rob Dreher went on an ugly-church rampage. Many of the ones he posted took the theme of flying saucer/silo/cylinder. There's St. Patrick in Armonk, NY; St. Hilary's in Fort Myers, FL; and St. Mary's in Rockledge, FL. These churches harken back to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous (infamous?) Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, WI. Compared to the others, Wright's is most distinctive. The blue dome, stained glass, and hut-like edge set it apart from being just a circular mold of concrete.

It seems to me that the popularity of the circular church rests in a rejection of hierarchy and an embracing of egalitarianism. In your standard church, the minister presides at the altar before the congregation. At the front of the church is the cross. There's an order there: God, then the minister, then the congregation. With a church in the round, such layers are flattened. The altar is in the center surrounded by the congregation. The minister moves in and out performing the service yet keeping his place among the people. While not radical in its design, the renovated St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Milwaukee, WI incorporates the circular, egalitarian theme by moving the altar and bishop's chair into the congregation. (Here's a picture of the cathedral in 1942 in its traditional arrangement. Also, note the ornateness of the cathedral before a 1935 fire.)

Last year, the controversial cathedral's renovation was questioned by the Vatican who wrote to the then Archbishop Rembert Weakland, "[The design] fails to respect the hierarchical structure of the Church of God that the Cathedral by its scheme is to reflect."

[On an aside: Despite its gaudiness, the copper covered St. Boniface in Mequon, WI still retains the traditional church seating arrangement.]

Circular churches are perfect for those denominations where self-improvement and self-esteem replace rigorous theology. For churches that try to maintain a more traditional (dare say conservative?) theology, round, egalitarian worship spaces are an anathema.

As for me, my preference in a church can be summed up as "height and light." I love grand structures that are larger than life. Their bigness shows a seriousness to worship. After one brief look at Notre Dame in Paris you know it's an important building devoted to the transcendent. Churches also need to use light to express the beauty of God. Gorgeous stained glass can not only tell a biblical story, but it can awe you in the magnificent way it was done. Santiago Calatrava's Cathedral of Christ the Light has the potential to use light in such a way as to bring church-goers closer to God (the auditorium-style interior leaves much to be desired). Ultimately, that's the purpose of churches. They're houses of God. Missions like community center and concert hall should be secondary.

Sean Hackbarth |

6:47 PM
Ladies and gentleman, your 2002 Green Bay Packers. Later this week, I'll offer my NFL predictions. Last year, the only prediction I got right was St. Louis in the Super Bowl. I must do better.

Sean Hackbarth |

5:45 PM
The West Virginia football team is coming to Madison this weekend to face the Wisconsin Badgers. Madison was welcoming of the players, coaches, trainers, equipment, and fans. They were welcoming of anyone and everything connected to Mountineer football except the musket of West Virginia's mascot. UW associate athletic director Jamie Pollard tried to justify the decision when he told a reporter, "They asked if they could bring in a musket and shoot it off in the stadium. And there is a UW System policy that prohibits weapons on the campus."

Wisconsin is the first school to ban the musket from a sporting event in the 65-year history of the WV mascot.

Common sense prevailed this afternoon. UW athletic director, Pat Richter got a reversal of the decision from the chancellor

So, even before kick-off, West Virginia has already scored over Wisconsin.

"Mascot Can Shoot Musket at Wis. Game"

"UW Takes Issue with Mountaineer's Musket"

Sean Hackbarth |


4:23 PM
The post-Cold War U.S. thought so little of air attacks that the Northeast Air Defense Sector only had four armed fighters available on Sep. 11.

"U.S. Mulled Ramming Jets In 9/11 Huddle"

Sean Hackbarth |

12:29 AM
Last night, Joe Queenan was on Book TV (He'll be on again at 4:30 am EDT. Set your Tivos.), and I don't remember ever laughing that hard at something on C-SPAN. He made a valiant effort reading passages from his book Balsamic Dreams and answering questions, but he always ended up going off on some hilarious tangent. His endless thumping of Jimmy Carter was priceless. According to Queenan, Carter was the third worst President ever, but he couldn't think of the two in front of him. After watching him, Queenan may have vaulted above P. J. O'Rourke and Chris Buckley as the funniest writers in America.

Sean Hackbarth |


11:28 PM
Rudy Gulliani on what to do with Ground Zero:

If it were up to me, I'd devote the entire 16 acres to the memorial. A soaring structure should dominate the site, taking its place along New York City's wonderful skyline. It should be visible for miles to demonstrate the spirit of those who gave their lives to defend freedom. There should be a museum and a library. Those who visit should be able to relive the experience in a way that does justice to the enormity of the events. The memorial should echo the goals of the city's Museum of Jewish Heritage, which sits a stone's throw away. The purpose of that museum is to demonstrate the horror of the Holocaust as well as celebrate the survival and strength of the Jewish people. Done correctly, the memorial at ground zero will commemorate the horror and the heroism of Sept. 11.

A "soaring structure" "visible for miles" demonstrating the soaring spirit of the American Ideal is crucial to make any memorial transcend the memories of those who were living at the time. But making the entire 16 acre area off limits to anything but a memorial may be too much. Pearl Harbor is also a site of American calamity. Thousands died there in a brutal sneak attack, yet the entire base and bay isn't reserved as a memorial. Battleship Row wasn't shut down to memorialize the sailors who died in those waters. The area was kept active in its mission to win World War II. Space for commerce, living, learning, and entertainment wouldn't necessarily devalue the memory of September 11. One could argue that returning a portion of Ground Zero to its previous state would honor the lives of those who lived and worked there.

"Getting It Right at Ground Zero" [via Drudge]

Sean Hackbarth |

12:34 AM
Another reason to ignore the Johannesburg: you don't have to bother with goofs hating flush toilets; and you don't have to put up with ignorant fools calling capitalism "sinister."

Ex-Greenpeace member, Patrick Moore nailed it on the head when he told, "The environmentalists try to inject guilt into people for consuming, as if consuming by itself causes destruction to the environment. There is no truth to that. You have the wealthiest countries on earth with the best-looked-after environment." And the wealthiest countries have flush toilets.

"Introduction of the Flush Toilet Deplored at Earth Summit"

"Capitalism's Allure called 'Sinister' By Environmentalist"

Sean Hackbarth |

When I'm not pondering the fate of the universe, I'm reading, writing, or selling books. Here you'll find comments on politics, culture, books, and music. Not necessarily in that order.


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