[star]The American Mind[star]

February 28, 2002

On the Google-weblogs union: ...weblogs

On the Google-weblogs union:


...weblogs are the voters in this political system. In other words, weblogs don't get elected by Google... but the sites they voted for do.

So even if you never visit a blog, you're being influenced by them. The collective votes of the weblog community are determing what sites you see on Google, the world's largest search engine.

You'll also learn about the not-so-subtle art of "Google bombing."

"Google [Loves] Blogs" [via blogdex]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:54 PM | Comments (0)

John Madden runs off to

John Madden runs off to "Monday Night Football." In his place, Fox will move baseball broadcaster Joe Buck up as their number one football announcer. Wrong! The trio of Dick Stockton, Troy Aikman (if he doesn't go and try getting another concussion playing), and Moose Johnston is the best play-by-play team Fox has. Stockton is solid as the typical announcer type, while Aikman and Johnston (both a little stiff but working into it) bring tactical insite to viewers. By pushing Joe Buck, Fox must think they have a future Bob Costas who can cover any sport.

"Madden to Join 'Monday Night Football'

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:23 PM | Comments (1)

Research from an unreleased U.S.

Research from an unreleased U.S. government study claims nuclear fallout from above-ground tests caused thousands of cancers. The study doesn't say particular individuals got cancer from fallout. Instead, based on computer simulations, it paints a picture of where fallout may have been concentrated. The USA Today story doesn't say if any tests of soil, air, or water were conducted to support the simulations. My guess is they weren't, and this analysis is completely based on CPU cycles and whiz-bang programming. This looks an awful lot like global warming hysteria, but at least climate scientists are taking daily weather readings. I'm pretty sure they're aren't Geiger counters scattered across the country. This fallout study will only breed unproven fear. Just wait until the first lawsuit against the U.S. government from some eager lawyer briefly reading this story.

"Fallout Likely Caused 15,000 Deaths"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2002

Throughout their career, U2 always

Throughout their career, U2 always has held to Christian belief. Terry Mattingly writes,

U2 is attacking, in word and deed, the modern church's retreat from art and popular culture.

"Mock the Devil"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

Central Asia could become

Central Asia could become the next Beirut. That's what Pat Buchanan fears about U.S. involvement in the area. Today, Buchanan was in the Milwaukee area promoting his book The Death of the West and stopped into the store I work at for a brief book signing. Despite his harsh rhetoric toward the Left and conservatives who, he claims, care more about economics than national sovereignty and Western culture, Pat is an affable man. He was pleasant to every customer and bookseller he spoke with. The short discussions stretched from Afghanistan to The West Wing (unlike the show, none of the offices are lined with windows) to Shakespeare.

His wife, Shelly, is also very charming. We chatted about London and the weather.

Did he win me over to his arguments? No, but I will read his latest tome, and give him a fair hearing. Like it or not, Buchanan echoes the feelings of many Americans. His ideas shouldn't be ignored for that reason alone.

On John McLaughlin:
"I gave him his job in the White House."

On Eleanor Clift:
"She's like the little sister you just love to tease."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:46 PM | Comments (1)

Off-shore wind farms offer less

Off-shore wind farms offer less local resistance. From watching the failed attempt to build a wind farm in my area, I can see avoiding backward-looking busybodies does have its benefits.

"Blowing Out to Sea" [via Just One Thing]

"Wind Farm too Small for Fight, Firm Says"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2002

The U.S. has ended its

The U.S. has ended its policy of not using nukes on non-nuclear states. This asinine policy was erected way back in the Carter administration. Any weapon in the U.S. arsenal must available. Superior force and powerful retaliation can be deterrents from future attack.

I can already hear the screams from anti-American Europeans. It only takes a mild word flub from President Bush to get the scribblers at The Guardian all worked up. They're going to have fun with this story.

"U.S. Drops Pledge on Nukes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

Some may think Sen. Paul

Some may think Sen. Paul Wellstone's (D-MN) announcement that he has MS is just like The West Wing. It's not even close. Wellstone only learned about his condition a month ago and has quickly told the world. President Bartlett knew he had the disease for years and (along with his doctor wife) deceived the public. One (real) man was honest about his condition, while another (fictional) man thought politically instead of ethically. Patrick thinks Aaron "Mr. Mushroom" Sorkin "misjudged political reality--again," but there's little comparison.

"Sen. Wellstone Diagnosed With MS"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:20 AM | Comments (0)

Paul Tully echoes the same

Paul Tully echoes the same concern I have for "designer children."


We condemn the HFEA's sanctioning of the destruction of any number of embryos simply because they do not happen to be a good tissue match for the young boy.

"Floodgates Open After Britain's 'Designer Baby' Decision"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:53 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2002

Last night, Condolezza Rice received

Last night, Condolezza Rice received the NAACP President?s Award. I was shocked, but pleased, when it was announced. Maybe this is a sign of political sophistication. Maybe the NAACP finally realizes that Black Americans aren't monolithically liberal (even though they vote Democrat).

"Bush Advisor Gets NAACP Award"

"National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice To Receive The Presidents Award"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:31 PM | Comments (4)

Despite all the calls for

Despite all the calls for new regulations and new oversight boards, the market seems to be finding a way to prevent future Enrons. Anytime there's a hint of an accounting irregularity, the stock market hammers the stock. Disney has said they won't allow accounting firms to perform audit and consulting, and the accounting industry looks to put some teeth into their self-reglulation. Let the politicians preen and pose for the cameras, but they should be very careful when trying to craft a one-size-fits-all fix to accounting practices.

"Accounting's Role in Enron Crash Erases Years of Trust"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2002

Alexandra Pelosi put together a

Alexandra Pelosi put together a George W. Bush campaign documentary. Matt Labash liked it, but will it be as interesting as The War Room?

"George W. Bush, Movie Star" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:53 PM | Comments (0)

Tom Jacobs points out that

Tom Jacobs points out that financial utopia won't come about even after months of Congressional hearings and legislative debate.


There's no way that criminal law, government regulation, or auditor independence will ever ensure a just and fair society or a squeaky-clean stock market. Any tax expert, investment banker, ambitious exec or teenager will, given enough time, find loopholes in any rules big enough to drive an SUV through. Things work pretty well, though. We plug the biggest holes in the ship, and watch and wait while the rats gnaw other ones.

There will always be rats. Given enough motivation, any one of us can become a rat. I learned this as a teen, when my second stock investment turned sour and my then best friend's father went to jail.


"Enron Too Shall Pass"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

Zain Hashmi has a rare

Zain Hashmi has a rare genetic disease that requires a bone marrow transplant. His parents want to conceive a sibling to get stem cells for Zain. The family got permission from British authorities to use genetic testing to pick out an embryo that's disease free.

British pro-life groups are upset. Peter Garrett asks, "Should we allow a child to be manufactured in order to serve the medical needs of an older brother? Life's answer is an emphatic 'no.'"

I'm pro-life and don't see any problem with conceiving a sibling to save another. My problem is with the embryos that will have the disease. They'll just be tossed away. They're human life as much as Zain Hashmi. They may not look like you or me, but that doesn't mean they have a lesser right to life. To disgard them as so much medical waste is abhorrent.

"Pro-Life Groups Outraged By Designer Baby Ruling"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World

Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History reminds me of a James Burke television show. There are just so many historic links to salt. It really shouldn't be a surprise, since the compound is vital for human health.

"Salt: A History of Sodium Chloride"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

Richard Brookhiser has come out

Richard Brookhiser has come out with another book on a Founding Father. This time it's John Adams. John, along with his descendents John Quincy, Charles Francis, and Henry make up what Brookhiser calls "America's First Dynasty." Jeff Shesol's review notes that unlike his previous subjects (George Washington and Alexander Hamilton), Brookhiser is "ambivalent" toward his subjects.

"America's First Dynasty: Adams Family Value"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2002

ANWR: pristine ecosystem or acres

ANWR: pristine ecosystem or acres of swamp water? [via The Corner]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:40 AM | Comments (0)

I don't believe Rev. David

I don't believe Rev. David Benke crossed the ecumenical line when he delivered a prayer at a 9.11 memorial service in Yankee Stadium last fall. What the disagreement within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (I'm a member) says is that the denomination does care about absolute truth.

"Losing Lutherans"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)

The U.S. women couldn't get

The U.S. women couldn't get past Canada for the bronze medal in curling. Nevertheless, America's fascination with the sport continues. If you have no idea what those people are doing sliding rocks on the ice while sweeping, the U.S. Curling Association's web site can help you out.

The curling club near work is holding an open house this weekend. I'm tempted.

The Basics of Curling [via Mullings]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:07 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2002

To be fair (I'd also

To be fair (I'd also say I'm balanced, but I'm not), I noticed this bit of bias in a Washington Times story on Clinton administration favors to Enron. Patrice Hill writes:


As congressional committees dig for evidence to tie Enron and Mr. Lay to the Bush administration, evidence of Mr. Lay's links to the Clinton administration are ample and well-documented.

Not only is it a jab at the Clinton administration, it's also a shot at reporters who desire any kind of smoking gun linking President Bush to Enron while ignoring the obvious largess received from the previous President.

I'm not upset with the story because people know the Washington Times is a conservative newspaper. They don't claim the lofty mantle of "objectivity" like the Grey Lady.

"Clinton Helped Enron Finance Projects Abroad"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

Rumsfeld shouldn't be afraid to

Rumsfeld shouldn't be afraid to lie and deceive to achieve American war aims. War is ugly and messy. This war on terrorism is especially so because of the shadowy nature of the enemy. This war won't be a set of simple acts of aggression. This will entail hiring nasty people to root out even nastier people. People will mislead; they will be tortured for information. Deals will be made with evil people for the sole purpose of victory. The U.S. was allies with the Soviet Union in World War II. Hitler was the more pressing enemy then. Does anyone regret joining Stalin?

What must be looked at is the big picture. By doing things like lying, assination, bribery, and a host of other nasty things, will the U.S. be protected? The goal must be victory. You can talk about being the world's White Knight, but if your enemy cheats and you don't, you're dead. The world is a dangerous place, and serious leaders sometimes have to do things that appear at first glance to be immoral.

"Military Won't Lie, to Use 'Tactical Deception"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

A smile always comes to

A smile always comes to my face (followed by anger) when I see such blatant hypocracy from liberals. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's security guards carry MP5 submachine guns. These weapons, used only by law enforcement, may have been illegally imported into the U.S. What's hypocritical is Annan is the same man who last year said, "There is no single tool of conflict so widespread, so easily available and so difficult to restrict as small arms." It's all right for Annan to feel safe with well-armed guards, but average blokes can be damned.

"Assault Rifles for Annan Guards Investigated"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

American military unilateralism is inevitable

American military unilateralism is inevitable because European forces can't keep up. Rosemary Righter writes,


To fight alongside the US in the future, its allies must be able to deploy globally, strike rapidly in response to live intelligence, hit hard against buried targets and be able in all weather to hit targets. Unless the Europeans, and that includes Britain, can make themselves once again militarily indispensable to the US, Nato will dwindle to being a sort of nightwatchman for Europe.

Brussels can gripe all they want about the US's cowboy foreign policy. Their complaints are rooted in a deep inferiority complex.

"The Insanity of Europe's Farewell to Arms" [via The Corner]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

Besides linking to TAM, one

Besides linking to TAM, one thing that's great about The Blue Button is it uses the term "pinko." I tried to revive the term during my battles with socialist leaning College Democrats, but even some of my College Republican friends thought I was going overboard.

Another thing is it's emphatic on the real cause of money in politics: excessive government interference. I'm pretty sure if the feds only did what was constitutional, then there would be a lot less money going into Washington.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2002

The French ice dancing gold

The French ice dancing gold medals are tainted. The accusation is that French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne traded her vote in pairs figure skating so the French team of Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat could win in ice dancing. What happened? The French won. Did they win because they performed better than anyone else, or because the fix was in? Ice dancing has a history of crooked judges so I'm leaning toward the latter. I can't say anything about the French duo's performance, because I can't stand looking at Fabio-like Peizerat.

"Ice Dancing Gold Goes to French After Emotional Performance"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

For supporting men who mean

For supporting men who mean to destroy a system where human rights are respected, I consider William Goodman, director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, to be a fifth columnist. Intentionally or not, Goodman is helping the enemy. He may think he's defending three men's legal rights, but if he's successful, he's slitting (figuratively and possibly literally) his own throat. The prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay want to see the U.S. destroyed. They believe in an ideology that doesn't allow dissent, religious pluralism, or freedom; and considers attacks on innocent civilians to be a just method of warfare. Their human rights need to be respected (I've seen no report that they haven't been), but they must also be acknowledged as the evil people they are.

"Guantanamo Detainees Sue Bush, Rumsfeld, Military Commanders" [via Musings]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

If you read the NY

If you read the NY Times story on their web site on companies incorporating in Bermuda for tax reasons you would have missed blatant bias on the part of the "objective" grey lady. Beneath the headline "U.S. Corporations are Using Bermuda to Slash Tax Bills" is the smaller headline reading "Profits over Patriotism." That phrase is from a Rep. Charlie Rangle (D-NY) quote, but no quotes were put around the headline. It makes it seem that "Profits over Patriotism" is a statement of fact when it's really just the opinion of a liberal member of Congress. For the most part, David Cay Johnston's story is pretty balanced. He quotes Rangle, but he also quotes a University of Chicago tax professor who sees such corporate maneuvers as a signal that we should seriously question our corporate tax structure. But how could an editor slap such a slanted headline onto the story?

"U.S. Companies File in Bermuda to Slash Tax Bills"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:01 AM | Comments (0)

Can someone please tell Mr.

Can someone please tell Mr. Derbyshire that his supposed "bloggings" aren't. Sure, they're short, random blurbs on things that strike his fancy, but where are the links? The point of blogging is to find interesting things on the Internet for your readers. It's a way to sift through the mountains of new content created daily. Derbyshire only has links to his own past "blogs." He's got to check out NRO' The Corner to see how it's done. If he wants to write comments on whatever, fine. He just shouldn't call it blogging.

"February Bloggings"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2002

The U.S. Men's Hockey team

The U.S. Men's Hockey team is in great position for the medal round. A win over Belarus (the U.S. was leading through two periods) would give them the top seed.

Even after 4 years of watching college hockey at the University of Minnesota Duluth, I still feel like a novice hockey fan. So, it may not mean much for me to say that I've seen some of the best hockey of my life at these Olympics. And I'm not even talking about the Americans. From the Russians, to the Czechs, to the surprising Swedes, I've seen fast skating, accurate passing, physical play, and lots of heart. The Olympic spirit is alive and well in Men's hockey. Great players from around the world are playing their hearts out for a world-wide audience. Bravo!

"U.S. Can Lock up Top Seed with Win"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2002

Modulate is the first of

Modulate is the first of three albums coming out from Bob Mould. These will be his first releases since his The Last Dog and Pony Show three years ago. Modulate is incorporating electronic sounds to his edgy power pop flavor. In between albums, Mould lived a childhood dream by working for World Championship Wrestling.

Modulate comes out 3.12.02.

"Lord of the Ring"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

TiVo is not only a

TiVo is not only a great product for television viewers, but it also provides aggregated viewing data. TiVo analyzed how users watched the Super Bowl.

"TiVo Gauges Super Bowl Viewing Habits of its Subscribers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2002

Sale and Pelletier will get

Sale and Pelletier will get their deserved gold medals after French skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne was suspended.

"Canadian Figure Skaters Get Gold, Russians Furious"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

Charles Krauthammer points out that

Charles Krauthammer points out that the free market has already punished potential Enron IIs. In Krauthammer's words, "investors punished any company suspected of opaque accounting." Accounting firms are also reforming themselves by better separating their consulting operations from auditing. Any legislation to prevent future Enron's will only following the market's loud voice.

"Enron is no Excuse"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2002

A surprise at the Olympics

A surprise at the Olympics is the cult status of curling. This is the second time the sport has medal status, and NBC/CNBC/MSNBC will offer 120 hours of coverage. I admit that I'm fascinated by the strategy and skill involved. Stone (the thing they slide across the ice) placement is key, and you have to think many moves ahead or your opponent will jump on you. I actually had a curling lesson once when I was going to school in Duluth, MN. Just keeping the stone on a straight line was tough. The American teams aren't doing so hot, but I'll still be watching.

I wonder if there's ever been any accusations blood doping? I'm also pretty sure curling officials never awarded a gold medal for a silver medal performance.

"Throwing Stones"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier may be the most famous silver medalists around, but they may end up with gold around their necks. The Russian team of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze shouldn't be faulted for being awarded gold medals. Fault for that lies with corrupt skating judges.

While the International Skating Union governs figure skating, it's the International Olympic Committee that's getting all the angry e-mail. Send your thoughts to this ISU address.

"Two Golds Difficult, but not Impossible"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

David Kipen writes, For e-

David Kipen writes,


For e- books, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be the Killer App of All Time.

"Is J.K. Rowling Propping up the Book Biz?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:51 PM | Comments (0)

If U.S. airline travel gets

If U.S. airline travel gets any worse, Norman Mineta may be taken to a secret location a la Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Afghan Pilgrims Kill Transport Minister-TV" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

If there was some actual

If there was some actual thought from campaign finance advocates instead of knee-jerk "ban the dirty money" rhetoric, then maybe they would see that the reason many give contributions is because government has such vast authority over the economy. Walter Williams puts it simply:


If Congress did only what it's constitutionally authorized to do, influence-peddling would be a non-issue because Congress wouldn't have the power to grant favors.

Limiting Congress' power won't happen because then politicians wouldn't have the pleasure that power offers. Sen. John McCain is on the Commerce Committee. His "reform" bill would limit how much people can give to political parties and when people can publiclly critcize their leaders. He isn't pushing for far-reaching deregulation that would lower the incentive for people and companies to give contributions for their own economic gain. By actually reducing government's power, McCain would lose his label of media darling. By focusing on a symptom instead of a root cause, individual free speech rights will be tossed aside all for the vaunted principle of "good government."

Mike has a fine extended refutation of Shays-Meehan.

"Campaign Finance Reform: Wrong Target"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

The Toronto Globe and Mail

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that both the pairs figure skating and the ice dancing winners were predetermined. Some of these events should be banned from the Olympics until the sport can get its act together.

One other thing: no matter what the results of the upcoming ice dancing competition are, a cloud will hang over the medalists. No matter how well they perform, everyone will wonder if the fix was in. That's a shame for those athletes who worked so hard to reach the pinnacle of their sport.

"Pairs Finish was Predetermined" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

John Fund analyzes campaign finance

John Fund analyzes campaign finance reform and comes to this conclusion:


If Shays-Meehan becomes law, its supporters will tell their constituents they have reduced the influence of special interests in politics. But what they will really have done is increase their own influence over electoral outcomes. Some citizens may like the idea of "quieter" elections, with fewer outside groups running obnoxious ads, not as much money spent. But they should understand that it will come at a price. In most districts and states, voters won't be given a real choice at the polls. They will merely be ratifying the continued tenure of career politicians for whom the quest for campaign finance reform has become convenient political cover for entrenchment in office.

"Reform School"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2002

I will always remember Waylon

I will always remember Waylon Jennings as the voice from The Dukes of Hazzard and his work with The Highwaymen. His was a distictive voice that will be missed. Godspeed, Waylon.

"Country Great Waylon Jennings Dies"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:20 PM | Comments (2)

The Enron Effect hits Krispy

The Enron Effect hits Krispy Kreme. Don't worry about accounting irregularities that have scared the heck out of investors. Instead, the company will finance their new plant without using a synthetic lease that would have kept it off their balance sheet.

This story proves that the hottest area of business journalism is looking at esoteric accounting methods. This stuff definitely isn't the LIFO and FIFO picked up in Accounting 101.

"Krispy Kreme Reverses Accounting Plans"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2002

Quote of the day goes

Quote of the day goes to silver medalist, Jamie Sale.


Asked whether the cold war was still going on when it comes to figure skating, Sale replied, "It's always going on. That's the way skating works."

"The Cold War Goes on"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

Free publicity for Joe Boxer.

Free publicity for Joe Boxer.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

You would think that putting

You would think that putting on the best performance would win you a gold medal. That seems like the Olympic spirit. But reality is much more cruel in Salt Lake City. Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were robbed of a gold medal that was won by Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze. ESPN.com reports that French and Russians judges were in cahoots to rig the results.

The bribery and influence pedaling surrounding Salt Lake City in winning the winter games showed that corruption plagued the highest levels of the IOC. What this black mark on figure skating shows is that corruption is deeper than anyone thought. Athletes work too hard to have their outcomes determined by bartering by petty judges. Figure skating isn't like speed skating or downhill skiing. There is no stop watch to figure out the winner in pairs figure skating. Human beings must determine who puts on the best performance. Subjectivity can never be removed. What can be removed are judges who put politics before a sport's integrity.

"Sources Say Russian and French Judges Made Deal"

"Canada Wants Figure Skating Probe"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2002

Preliminary AP reporting suggests only

Preliminary AP reporting suggests only 500-600 civilian casualties in Afghanistan. That's a far cry from the thousands claimed by anti-war Leftists.

"Review: Afghan Civilian Deaths Lower" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

Drug legalization advocate, Kevin Zeese

Drug legalization advocate, Kevin Zeese points out that drug use doesn't fund terrorism. Illegal drug use funds terrorism.


Millions of Americans spend billions of dollars on Ritalin for youth, Prozac and Viagra for adults, and caffeine, nicotine or alcohol, but none of these drug dollars fuel terrorism. Thus, it is not the drugs but the illegality of the drugs that creates profits for terror - profits that also fuel organized crime, corruption and violence around the globe.

"Drug Terror Link Shows Sloppy Thinking of Drug War Advocates"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2002

The Weekly Standard's blog parody

The Weekly Standard's blog parody is closer to reality than any of us really want to admit. [via InstaPundit]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

Libraries are taking a cue

Libraries are taking a cue from bookstores. Just last week a group of Milwaukee librarians met with staff at the store I work at to learn how they could take things done in a Barnes and Noble and use them in public libraries.

"Carrollton Libraries Shed Bookish Image" [via Virginia Postrel]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:23 AM | Comments (0)

Artificial wombs open up a

Artificial wombs open up a host of interesting what-if scenerios. What troubles me is the wanton use of human embryos in the research. At Cornell University, Dr. Hung-Ching Liu allowed embryos to live for six days in an artificial womb. Then the embryos were destroyed. The doctor who took an oath to protect human life, snuffed some out in the name of science. Virginia Postrel, Ronald Bailey, and their ilk would just say I have an irrational fetish for blastocysts. I believe that a human embryo deserves the same rights as any other person. I also believe that the denial of such rights devalues all human life.

"Men Redundant? Now We Don't Need Women Either" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2002

Reporters at the Milwaukee Journal

Reporters at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have their e-mail filtered for explicit content. It may stop a lot of annoying spam, but it also blocks messages containing useful information.

"Make the World Go Away" (scroll down to second story)

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

Bill O'Reilly bought the spin

Bill O'Reilly bought the spin from the anti-drug ads during the Super Bowl. This is from a man who claims to live in a No Spin Zone. O'Reilly bought the line that American drug users are funding the terrorist groups out to destroy the U.S. That isn't true. Sure, the Taliban used grew poppies to sell as heroin, but most of those drugs never make it to the U.S. Most illegal drug users smoke marijuana, and I've seen no evidence that Osama bin Laden was funding his jihad from selling weed.

O'Reilly also doesn't realize that the Drug War is a reason why drug are more expensive than they would be if legalized. If the prices weren't so high, there wouldn't be as much money going to bad people.

O'Reilly is saddened that so many people waste away their lives by taking drugs. I am too. I don't condone drug use just like I don't condone excessive alcohol use. What I do condone is a failed effort by government to lessen people's appetite for drugs at the same time distorting foreign policy and homeland defense.

"Buy Dope, Fund Terror"

"Terror Tactic"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

Basketball is the most international

Basketball is the most international of American professional sports (soccer's the most international, period). With lower ratings in the United States, it's no surprise that the NBA looks to outside the 50 states for growth. What is surprising is possible NBA expansion in Europe within the next eight years. Commissioner David Stern said that only preliminary discussion is taking place about what kind of expansion would happen. If economic conditions warrant, new NBA European teams would be the most lucrative. Owners would see big revenue growth from expansion fees and increased merchandise sales, and players would continue to see salaries rise at tremendous rates. On the downside, it would make for a hellacious road trip for the Lakers to head off to Berlin or Paris.

"Stern: NBA Could Expand to Europe by End of Decade"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2002

I'm pulling for Rep. John

I'm pulling for Rep. John Sununu to beat Sen. Bob Smith for the Republican nomination for New Hampshire's Senate seat. Both Smith and Sununu have good chances at beating Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Smith is the same man who failed in his independent run for the Presidency, called his party "hypocritical," and came crawling back back to them from the political wilderness (Did the party suddenly change?).

The purpose of a political party is to elected their candidates to public office. A substantial amount of party loyalty is needed to have any sense of coherence. Bob Smith may be a nice, but politically tone deaf man, but that doesn't mean he should get a free pass to the Republican nomination.

"Race to Watch: Shaheen vs Smith in NH"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2002

It's bad enough that Milwaukee

It's bad enough that Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament almost got away with lining his pockets with $2 million in pension money. When he was caught, he didn't have the decency to resign. Now, he's released his lawyers to stop a recall petition. Recall organizers say they have 85,000 signatures--73,000 are needed to force a recall election. Ament's lawyers claim that because one form wasn't filled out, all the signatures are invalid. Has Tom Ament no shame? Is he so lacking in self-worth that he feels the need to hold on to his job at all costs? All he has done is driven the county government he claims to serve deeper into crisis.

"Ament Sues to Thwart Recall"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

Yesterday was Ronald Reagan's 91st

Yesterday was Ronald Reagan's 91st birthday. Peggy Noonan talks about him for NRO.

"On Reagan?s 91st"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)

Andrew Sullivan's new book club

Andrew Sullivan's new book club (less introspective and more global than Oprah's) has pushed Robert Kaplan's Warrior Politics up to #20 on Amazon.com's bestseller list. Oh, the power of weblogs!

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2002

If the IOC thinks they'll

If the IOC thinks they'll be able to quell American patriotism during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, then they don't understand Americans. Like it or not, Salt Lake will be covered in red, white, and blue. There will be chants of "USA, USA" echoing at every event site. Love of country is deeply imbeded in the American Mind. The 9.11 attacks brought out heroes and made us realize that the values we hold are seen as threats to others. Our response to the attacks shows the world that we won't back down to threats on our freedom. Flying the flag, cheering our athletes, and chanting "USA" tells the world that we are a proud nation that will not fall.

Many may call that American arrogance, but I call it American pride. We have plenty to be proud of and we should feel no shame in letting the world know about our national confidence. The USA is a great and good nation. The petty jealousies of weasely Europeans shouldn't stop us from showing off that fact.

"Olympic Committee To Allow Americans to Use WTC Flag"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2002

Critics have at it over

Critics have at it over those government anti-drug ads during the Super Bowl.

"White House Anti-Drug Ads 'Super Bowloney' Say Critics"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) opposes

Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) opposes President Bush's USA Freedom Corps, calling it "obnoxious."

"Armey Opposition to Freedom Corps Not Threatening, Bush Says"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2002

After reading Matt Labash's report

After reading Matt Labash's report from Camp X-Ray, I have little sympathy for the detainees. As for the reporters...

"Guantanamo's Unhappy Campers"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

Yasir Arafat stakes his claim

Yasir Arafat stakes his claim to wanting peace. In his NY Times op-ed, he writes, he wants "a warm peace between two equals enjoying mutually beneficial economic and social cooperation." One problem with Arafat's vision is that democratic Israel isn't "equal" to authoritarian Palestine. Arafat is the political power. He isn't challenged because there isn't a real political opposition. Israel uses force to defend its people. Palestine uses force as a political tool to force Israel to capitulate. Israel (with all its socialist tendencies) is a growing free-market economy. Palestine is an economic quagmire. Arafat may want the world to view Israel and Palestine as morally equivalent, but the facts speak for themselves.

What I noticed the most about Arafat's piece is no mention of the arms ship. He doesn't explain who was behind the shipment of 50 tons of weapons, where they were headed, and if he was cracking down on those behind it. That ship is serious business. To Israel it looks like the Palestinians want to arm themselves for a wide-ranging war. Nothing about that ship speaks to a Palestinian vision of peace.

"The Palestinian Vision of Peace"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

The New England Patriots win

The New England Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI. (Can't we just start using Arabic numerals? Consider it reaching out to the Islamic world.) Few thought they could win--including me, but not NR's John Miller. I was right on how the Pats could win: they controlled the ball and scored on Rams' turnovers. The Rams' problem was they didn't run Marshall Faulk enough. A stronger running game could have eased the pressure on Kurt Warner. It was a fun watching New England quarterback, Tom Brady right himself into football history with that game-winning drive, and I can't be upset that a team called the "Patriots" won the whole thing. Kudos to New England.

"This Story is One for the History Books"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

NRO's Ramesh Ponnuru asks, "Was

NRO's Ramesh Ponnuru asks, "Was I the only one who was appalled by the drug-war ads during the Super Bowl?" No, I was also shocked that the drug czar would blame American drug users for helping terrorists. The reason terrorists can fund their evil acts on drug money is because prohibition artificially raises drug prices. If the government was really serious about lowering drug prices, they would consider legalization.

Also, when looking through terrorists' finances, we will discover many legal sources of their money. There may be plenty of plain, regular widget factories that fund terrorists. Will the feds make commericals trying to make widget buyers feel guilty for financing terrorists?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2002

Ron Cuzner, newly retired Milwaukee

Ron Cuzner, newly retired Milwaukee jazz DJ on why he won't do his show on public radio:


It's my opinion that jazz is too vibrant a music to be subsidized.

I guess I'm not the only one who thinks the musical interludes in between stories on NPR's All Things Considered are rather lame.

"Cuzner's 'Dark Side' Retires into the Night"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:55 AM | Comments (3)

Kurt Warner may have found

Kurt Warner may have found the Lord, but that's not why his St. Louis Rams will beat the New England Patriots. No, the Rams will win because they're better on both sides of the football. The offense isn't nicknamed "The Greatest Show on Earth" for nothing. With weapons like Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Marshall Faulk, they can score on any play anywhere on the field. The Philadelphia Eagles held them down for a while, but still gave up 29 points. The Patriots' defense isn't as good as the Eagles.

For the Patriots to win, they'll have to control the ball by pounding Antowain Smith and take advantage of any Rams' turnovers. That strategy will keep the Rams' offense off the field, and keep the score close where special teams or a defensive score could tip the balance. It won't happen, but that's what the Pats have to do.

St. Louis is the best team in the NFL. They'll prove it today in New Orleans, but it won't be the blowout oddsmakers think. Let me pick some numbers: 27-17 St. Louis.

"Warner Has Faith in a Higher Authority"

"Patriots' Dream Run Ends Here"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2002

Maybe after $25 billion in

Maybe after $25 billion in subsidies over 30 years, Amtrak should close unprofitable lines and figure out how to actually make money. Even better, maybe Amtrak will die and new, more market-sensitive companies will rise from the ashes. What Amtrak's threat looks like is a attempt at blackmail.

"Amtrak Threatens to End Service"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2002

Mike's back with a rather

Mike's back with a rather loud redesign.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

It's been put off for

It's been put off for a few days due to other pressing needs (I don't feel bad since Peggy Noonan's article on the speech appeared yesterday), but here's some reaction to President Bush's State of the Union Address:

Bush singled out a number of terrorist groups and states, but he didn't mention the Palestinian Authority. No mention was made of the arms ship captured by the Israelis a few weeks ago. Maybe Bush thinks with Arafat hold up in his compound that no additional pressure is needed.

I saw no surprises on the war front. The nation is united, and the war is far from over.

On the domestic front, Bush is putting the onus on Sen. Daschel to move through fast-track trade authority and the House of Representatives' energy bill that would increase domestic oil production. Bush also wants an economic stimulus package that focuses on moving up the tax cuts from last year's law, although he incorrectly puts the reasons in Keynesian terms (the public needs a tax cut to boost spending).

I read the text instead of watching Bush deliver the speech, but I did detect that it was Bush's voice. It wasn't highfalutin but honest. "The speech was fact-filled, dense and not airy," in Peggy Noonan's words. He acknowleges his faith and isn't afraid to point out obvious truths like "evil is real."

"Plainspoken Eloquence"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)