[star]The American Mind[star]

January 31, 2003

High school basketball superstar LeBron

High school basketball superstar LeBron James was suspended for accepting sports jerseys, a violation of Ohio high school sports rules. Whether the rule is stupid or not, James isn't the victim. He's a person expected to be the NBA's number one draft pick this summer. Both Nike and Adidas are luring him with a huge endorsment deal just to wear their shoes. James better not claim ignorance (he has a 3.5 grade point average) for not knowing high school sports rules. Someone who's playing Nike and Adidas off one another is savy enough to know what to do to keep his athletic eligibility.

By taking the jerseys and sacrificing his eligibility, James let his teammates down. This season the St. Vincent-St. Mary team has traveled across the country and played before thousands of people. Most were there to see James, but his teammates had some of his lime light shine on them too. Now, who will want to see a LeBron James-less St. Vincent-St. Mary?

Then there's the playoffs. I don't know how good the other players on St. Vincent-St. Mary are, but that team is certainly better with James. If I were one of James' teammates, I'd think it was pretty selfish of him to take those jerseys.

If I were an NBA general manager, James' behavior would make me wary of taking him for my team. Last time I heard basketball was still a team sport. How much of a team player is LeBron James?

"HS Star Ineligible Because of Gifts"
ESPN's Kevin Frazier considers it a "petty matter."

"No pain for LeBron, no gain for Ohio"
Sportsline.com's Dan Wetzel calls it "the end of the charade," and makes this great point:

If James could hit a forehand instead of a free throw, he would have long ago been rich. But he wasn't. Instead, he had to stay an amateur until his high school class graduated. That's the system. Even if he was bigger than the system.

It made no more sense than if at age 16 Britney Spears was prohibited from signing a record deal and instead was told to spend the next two years singing in the Kentwood (La.) High School choir. For free. According to her label, Jive Records, Spears sold 19 million albums by the time she would have graduated from high school.

"It's just an odd situation," James told me during his junior year as he mulled that scenario over. "I never thought of it that way. Man, that's just odd."

"This Ending Inevitable for Kid Who Was Pro Long Ago"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

Kevin Holtsberry is tracking his

Kevin Holtsberry is tracking his 2003 book list. I'm tempted to do the same. (Currently reading Bernard Lewis' Islam and the West.) It would be a separate page so I wouldn't bore the hell out of you. No snoozing at my weblog, that could be TAM's motto.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

I might be escaping Wisconsin

I might be escaping Wisconsin winter (last night was this year's first serious snowfall) and checking out a little baseball in Arizona.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

Another Sean has had problems

Another Sean has had problems with MT. Don't worry guys, no firearms or bricks in my vicinity. Whether it's real or not, I feel for the guy. Here's my favorite quote:

If they had better instruction manuals I would've got their software working weeks ago. But their manuals are a disaster, and I was just trying to publicise that.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2003

Lance Armstrong stood up to

Lance Armstrong stood up to cancer and won. Would anyone expect him to back down from going after a fifth straight Tour de France just because of a war?

"War Won't Stop Me Riding in Tour Says Armstrong" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

HUMOR: ScrappleFace reports that Janet

HUMOR: ScrappleFace reports that Janet Reno is egging on President Bush to attack Iraq and "Set the place on fire." Obviously a Waco flashback.

"Recalling Waco, Reno Slams Bush for Stalling"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

Why I ever bothered with

Why I ever bothered with Movable Type, I don't know. Installing it was a little tricky, but I understood that since it was the first time I really played around with perl scripts.

Now, I have this really nice design all ready and waiting (thanks, Joni). You'd love it, and I'd love to show you. All that's left is to import my old posts. Based on the manual, it appears to be a simple thing to do--WRONG! After following the instructions to the letter (including using the MT import template laid out in glorious code), you'd think all the old entries would be installed into MT nicely--WRONG! I had two years of posts, but each of them contained nothing. That took up two days of screaming at MT through my monitor. Thanks to Joni (again), I have an import file I can use. What she did, I have no idea.

The "Power Editing" feature is powerless. There's no way I can find to quickly select 1800+ entries and switch them to "publish" status. Clicking a little check box 1800 times is not something I'm going to do.

And heaven forbid MT provide an error message so I know something went wrong when I tried to import a 1.2 mb file.

Then there's this problem I have with my database (mysql) numbering. Since I've imported 1800+ entries a few times, even if I deleted my weblog and stared a new one, the first entry is in the 5000s. Why MT can't reset the number is just plain dumb.

This is starting to interfere with my posting. The last few times I've gone online, I've tried to do some MT work with little success. Then I get ticked off, scream, and find something better to do.

If MT is the wave of the weblogging future, I may return to hand coding. Even with Blogger's periodic problems, so far it's much easier to use than MT. An MT fan right now, I'm not.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

Germany has a problem with

Germany has a problem with potato guns. A munitions expert said, "What started out as an extreme form of paintball has become deadly dangerous."


No one tell al-Qaeda about the lethal potential for these Kartoffelkanone.

With a range of 200 metres they could split a man's head at 15 metres and penetrate a wooden wall at 90 metres.

"Safety Chiefs Target German Craze for 'Bazooka' Spud Guns"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

This letter by eight European

This letter by eight European nations tosses any claims of U.S. unilateralism right out the window. Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K., Hungary, Poland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic have united with the U.S. in oppostion to Saddam and Islamist terrorism.

The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security. This danger has been explicitly recognized by the U.N. All of us are bound by Security Council Resolution 1441, which was adopted unanimously. We Europeans have since reiterated our backing for Resolution 1441, our wish to pursue the U.N. route, and our support for the Security Council at the Prague NATO Summit and the Copenhagen European Council.

In doing so, we sent a clear, firm and unequivocal message that we would rid the world of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. We must remain united in insisting that his regime be disarmed. The solidarity, cohesion and determination of the international community are our best hope of achieving this peacefully. Our strength lies in unity.

The combination of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism is a threat of incalculable consequences. It is one at which all of us should feel concerned. Resolution 1441 is Saddam Hussein's last chance to disarm using peaceful means. The opportunity to avoid greater confrontation rests with him. Sadly this week the U.N. weapons inspectors have confirmed that his long-established pattern of deception, denial and noncompliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions is continuing.

France, Germany, and Russia are all now isolated. France and Germany risk the political crack up of the E.U. while Russia risks not being further integrated with Europe. Along with Australia, the Allied forces are coming together. "Free people will set the course of history."

"United We Stand"

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

January 29, 2003

Who had the bright idea

Who had the bright idea to name a non-porn movie The Banger Sisters?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

The line I took away

The line I took away from last night's State of the Union speech was this: "Free people will set the course of history." Last century, the free people of the United States fought against fascism and communism and won. Now, we deal with Islamists hell-bent on terrorizing Western Civilization to compensate for the failures of their own civilization. But if President Bush has any say (and that's a lot) it won't happen. "Whatever the duration of this struggle," Bush told the world, "and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men."

Saddam may not have masterminded or significantly aided in the September 11 attacks, but President Bush clearly linked the magnified threat Saddam brought to terrorism:

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes.

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

A chilling part of the speech was the listing of Saddam's horrible treatment of Iraqis:

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.

Bush added a whole new moral dimension for going to war. It's in the same vein as when Bush attacked the Taliban for their horrible treatment of women. A liberated Iraq would bring the end to these abuses. They would be a free people with the ability to finally choose their own path. That kind of example would send positive shockwaves through the rest of the Islamic world.

It's interesting that Bush mentioned a bunch of human rights abuses, yet in their new report, the worse crime mentioned by Human Rights Watch was Iraq's "Arabization" policy where non-Arabs are replaced with Arabs in certain areas. The only mention of torture is a brief sentence in the report's introduction to the Iraq section. President Bush wants to publicize Saddam's atrocities more than HRW. Compassionate conservatism on the international front?

On the domestic front, other than the tax cuts there was very little in domestic conservative policy. If not for the war, the Right would be pounding the crap out of Bush for his proposals (subsidized hydrogen car development?). I didn't think compassionate conservatism was a synonym for big government conservatism, but on the domestic front that's what it is.

Under the Bush administration, the attack on Big Government is over. Stephen Goldsmith writes in the Wall Street Journal, "[C]ompassionate conservatism takes us back to the future by acknowledging the huge growth of the state while articulating a better way for government to help those whom prosperity has left behind." No longer should Republicans spout out about how the feds have no role in local education, how property rights are ignored when a government worker declares an area to be a wetland, or how the feds distort agriculture markets with a cacophony of subisides and quotas. The irony is that a Democrat, Bill Clinton declared the era of Big Government to be over, while a Republican accepts the huge growth of the federal government over the past 70 years.

What Goldsmith attempts with his article is to redefine conservatism. I'm sure malice isn't intended, but accepting the massive intrusion of the federal government into private lives changes the very meaning of conservatism. That's not the conservatism of William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan. It appears Bush is not only trying to create a long-term Republican political majority, but through Goldsmith, he's trying to make the big government wing the dominant conservative strain. Is that John McCain smiling in the background?

But quarrels over domestic policy have to be put aside while the nation is threatened--at least for now. One day, limited government conservatives will remind President Bush that he was correct that "Free people will set the course of history."

"State of the Union Address by President George W. Bush"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

mtpoltics shows that when confronted

mtpoltics shows that when confronted with humanity, it's hard not to be pro-life.

"The Meaning of Life"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2003

In a report, the Institute

In a report, the Institute of Directors, a British business group, guessed that a short war with Iraq would relieve world uncertainty, lower oil prices, and put the U.S. economy on a healthy 2.9% growth rate this year. I'll bring up Rich Galen's point again. If uncertainty is holding back the world economy, then why are many leaders asking for a go-slow approach with Iraq? That only continues the uncertainty with no sign of its end.

"Short War Would Benefit Economy, Report Says"

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

Christopher Reeve can say all

Christopher Reeve can say all he wants that stem cell research should continue on all fronts--using both adult and embryonic stem cells. In Australia, he made the case that embryonic stem cell research was showing promise. What Reeve failed to address was the ethical problem with creating human embryoes just to kill them for their stem cells. Superman may say, "I believe very strongly in care today, cure tomorrow." I believe in protecting human life from conception to natural death.

"Christopher Reeve Pushes 'Therapeutic' Cloning"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2003

To the war critics out

To the war critics out there, here's Fareed Zakaria's article describing the possible benefits of an Iraqi regime change.

"Looking on the Bright Side" [via Andrew Sullivan]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

Sen. Clinton criticized President Bush's

Sen. Clinton criticized President Bush's homeland security efforts, calling them a "myth." She then had the audacity to tell her audience,

"The truth is we are not prepared, we are not supporting our first responders, and our approach to securing our nation is haphazard at best. Somewhere along the line, we lost our edge. We let our guard down."

Instead of blasting the Bush administration, Clinton should look at the actions (or lack of) by her husband. Who launched a bunch of cruise missiles at a terrorist camp hoping Osama bin Laden would be there? Who talked tough to Saddam about ABC weapons only to back down? Who had a aspirin factory in the Sudan blown up just to divert the public's attention from his own scandals? Since Sen. Clinton wanted to turn the first lady into a policy position, maybe she should take some of the blame too.

As for her Provide for the Common Defense Act, it amounts to increased federal spending and greater federal control of local law enforcement. There's nothing innovative like encouraging states to pass concealed carry laws to make citizens the first line of homeland security.

Shouldn't President Bush get some credit for there not being a repeat of September 11? He would certainly deserve blame if one happened. Sure, we see the visible war in Afghanistan and soon in Iraq, but we haven't seen the covert operations, the dismantling of terrorist financial networks, and the assassination of terrorists--the Yemeni Predator hit notwithstanding. Much of the Islamist War is fought in the shadows. The only effect we can see is the lack of attacks.

"Hillary Faults Bush On Security"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

The U.S. may use nukes

The U.S. may use nukes in a war with Iraq. It's good no one's taken that option off the table. War critics will look to this as more proof that President Bush is a maniac, but it's good strategy. Chances are slim we would use them, but if the enemy thinks there's a possibility the U.S. would use nukes they're less inclined to use their own nasty weapons. And it comes to my mind that using nuclear weapons actually won a war.

"Administration Won't Bar Use of Nuclear Weapons"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

I choose Freidrich over Salma

I choose Freidrich over Salma too. It just proves I'm an econ geek, but I know which one I'd rather see in a swimsuit.

"The Salma Hayek versus Friedrich Hayek Scorecard" [via Volokh Conspiracy]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

France, Germany, Russia, China, and

France, Germany, Russia, China, and Kofi Annan want inspectors to continue inspecting when they all know Iraq is hindering their efforts. All sides of the war argument agree that Iraq isn't serious about disarming. So, what should be done? In last year's resolution, the Security Council said there would be serious consequences if Iraq didn't disarm. Are France et al. going to back their resolution with some teeth, or will they allow the U.N. to lose any credibility?

"Chief Inspectors Brief U.N. Council"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

For all you Milwaukee-area talk

For all you Milwaukee-area talk radio listeners, next Friday, Mark Belling will be filling in for Rush Limbaugh.

"Belling Heads to New York to Fill in for Limbaugh for a Day"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:29 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2003

Tampa won the Super Bowl.

Tampa won the Super Bowl. From watching the game (I gave up after Oakland's first series of the second half) and looking at the final score, they certainly were the better team. Their defense completely shut down the vaunted Rich Gannon passing machine. All those three-and-outs forced the Oakland Raiders defense to stay on the field for long stretches. That's not to take anything away from the Bucs' offense. They made few mistakes and took advantage of a veteran (old) and weary defense. It's scary what Tampa could do next year when the players really get comfortable with John Gruden's offensive scheme.

I'm bummed for the Tampa victory. They were the better team, but I didn't want egos like Warren "Heat Seeker" Sapp and Keshawn Johnson to get a Super Bowl ring. Oh, well. Bring TB up to GB in the cold and they'll still play like the sherbert-colored team the rest of the NFL used to beat up on.



Since the game was decided by halftime, you would think something could be said for the Super Bowl commericals. Too bad, they were all totally forgettable. The Gatorade one where Michael Jordan was playing himself was mildly interesting, but one of the Jordans looked like he was straight out of NBA Live. The Budweiser Zebra commercial was alright until the humans talked. The FedEx Castaway commercial did get me to laugh out loud, but I don't need to see it again. I was excited for the trailers for Daredevil, Hulk, Terminator 3, and the Matrix movies. It's not that the commercials were spectacular. Rather, I can't wait to watch some highly action-packed movies. The commercial that really piqued my interest was the promo for the Alias episode following the game, but that was only because I was drooling at Jennifer Garner only in a bra and panties. (I did watch the episode, so the ad worked.) This year's Super Sunday ended up being a dud.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2003

The Brothers Judd: consumers of

The Brothers Judd: consumers of vast quantities of literature and Billy Corgan fans. Who would have thunk?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

Fredrick Norman links to a

Fredrick Norman links to a letter signed by a number of economists and policy wonks backing President Bush's tax plan. The signers don't claim that restraining federal spending, pushing up previous tax reductions, and ending the dividend tax will immediately jump start the economy. In general, these thinkers want to end government polices that harm the economy. Bush's plan "will help achieve this objective."

On a side note: Looking through the list, I one of the signees was Guido Hülsmann, a Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. I'm pleased to know that not everyone associated with Anarchy Lew Rockwell opposes Republican/conservative proposals just because they don't go far enough.

"An Open Letter to Congress"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

The Guardian is reporting that

The Guardian is reporting that war is imminent. President Bush will make that clear in next week's State of the Union speech.

Advantage: Den Beste.

"The Message from the Bush Camp: 'It's War within Weeks'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

A few days ago, Glenn

A few days ago, Glenn Reynolds commented on Roe v. Wade and limited government. By using the actual text of the constitution, he argued that Congress couldn't ban abortion. Some things aren't "necessarily fit subjects for federal regulation."

What Reynolds hasn't done is decide if Roe should be overturned. My guess is he would approve of that and let state legislatures decide the abortion question.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2003

Forget France and Germany who

Forget France and Germany who have sacrificed NATO for Saddam. Forget the U.N. where many members would like the weapons inspectors to give Iraq an eternity for it to prove they've disarmed. Forget anti-war protestors who hate Saddam's tyrannical regime but hate American power more (and allied themselves with the Communist International A.N.S.W.E.R.). As Condi Rice makes clear, Iraq's failure to disclose their ABC weapons in that 12,000 page pile of camel's dung amounts to a material breach.

President Bush has tried his best to get international support for liberating Iraq. Critics should stop with the cries of "unilateralism." It's hard to be a multilateralist if no one is willing to join you. But in this case the U.S. has the support of the U.K., Australia, Kuwait, Qatar, and other nations. To claim the U.S. is going into Iraq as a posse of one is intellectually dishonest--but that's never stop his critics.

France and Germany can crow all they want about how "old Europe" (Don Rumsfeld's phrase) will bounce back with time (admitting they're not as important on the world stage as they think they are), the U.S. will liberate Iraq. Based on troop movements, Steven Den Beste predicts war will begin 2.01 or 1.31.

Now is the time to ignore the critics. They've had plenty of time to make the best case for not liberating Iraq. They've failed to convince me, and more importantly, they've failed to convince the American public. Let's get this war started and done with so everyone can move on to the important task of bringing the Arab world into the 21th Century.

"Why We Know Iraq Is Lying"

UPDATE: Rich Galen questions why business leaders aren't pushing for war.

If the "uncertainty" is the problem, then, what is the advantage of having the United Nations Security Council vote to give the inspectors another three months - or another three decades?

There are only two ways to remove the "uncertainty:" One is to remove Saddam by force, by exile or by some other means. With Saddam out of there, the threat is removed and the business of business can continue unabated.

"I Don't Understand"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

I want Shania Twain to

I want Shania Twain to be the starting quarterback of my fantasy football team.

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

January 22, 2003

Today marked the 30 anniversary

Today marked the 30 anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion and made abortion a federal issue. Over 40 million children have been sacrificed just so no woman has to endure a "back alley" abortion or self-mutilation. I'm pretty sure that in the pre-Roe days 1.3 million women didn't die every year because they risked their very lives to rip a helpless, innocent live from their bodies. So 40 million children who never had a chance to ride a bike, to read any Harry Potter books, to go to college, to build the next techno wonder, or to raise children of their own had to be sacrificed so women and guilty men didn't have to think about dealing with the consequences of their actions.

Abortion backers and "moderates" will abstract away the human qualities of the fetus or zygote. "It's just a clump of cells, not a human," they say. It's human nature to be concerned more about the visible women in the septic-abortion ward of a hospital than the invisible child in the womb. It takes a certain amount of abstraction to kill another person. Timothy McVeigh was called a "monster" when he was put to death for the Oklahoma City bombing. In World War II, Allied troops weren't killing Germans or the Japanese. They were killing "Krauts" and "Japs." Abstracting people from their full humanity eases the psychological burden on the killer.

What technology has done is allow women to better see the full humanity of the unborn. Sonograms are passed around as first pictures by parents. Actually seeing the human features of one's child should certainly dissuade a women from kill him.

Granted abortion rates have fallen. That's good. But a culture that accepts the killing of the unborn is not a healthy culture. In the past few years, people have killed their children soon after birth. The sentencing of those convicted no where approached the sentence they would have received if they would have killed a 4-year-old, a 20-year-old, or a 60-year-old.

Last week, a 17-year-old man was arrested for dumping his newborn in portable toilet to drown. Even though he was described as "a good kid, he's a straight-A student," Gabriel Estrada didn't want the child thus the baby deserved to die.

Abortion has abstracted the unborn from a developing human into a materialistic choice. As a result of irresponsible sex (sure, it may have been fun) pregnancy occurs. If the pregnancy comes at a bad time because of a whole host of reasons, then the child becomes a burden, a parasite, a "clump of cells." But if the time is right, the child becomes a welcomed part of a family. Because of abortion's choice one's humanity isn't determined objectively by the nature of the individual, but by the subjective determination of the parents. Humanity becomes a social construct malleable beyond the first nine months of a child's life. Our culture is moving toward accepting suicide as a way to end physical or psychological pain. The death penalty is favored as state-sanctioned vengeance. Media gets more and more violent. We're even at the point where Stanford University wants to make embryos so they can be harvested for their stem cells. What we have is the Culture of Death.

The Declaration of Independence noted that we were endowed with the rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Roe v. Wade goes way beyond women's rights and a category of medical procedures (to use the term very loosely). It goes to the heart of the difference between humanity and barbarism.

"30 Years After Roe v. Wade, New Trends but the Old Debate"

"How Many Ghosts?" [via Brothers Judd]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

A judge correctly threw out

A judge correctly threw out a lawsuit against McDonald's claiming the company was responsible for obesity in two children. In his ruling, Judge Robert Sweet wrote,

Where should the line be drawn between an individual's own responsibility to take care of herself and society's responsibility to ensure others shield her? The complaint fails to allege the McDonald's products consumed by the plaintiffs were dangerous in any way other than that which was open and obvious to a reasonable consumer.

"McDonald's Obesity Suit Tossed"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

HUMOR: Here's one way to

HUMOR: Here's one way to deal with the French. Just imagine the war films Hollywood will make from this invasion.

"Iraq Invasion to Start on Normandy Beaches"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

Thomas Friedman tries to convince

Thomas Friedman tries to convince liberals that removing Saddam is a good thing. A liberated Iraq could be a beacon on hope for the rest of the Arab world.

It is not unreasonable to believe that if the U.S. removed Saddam and helped Iraqis build not an overnight democracy but a more accountable, progressive and democratizing regime, it would have a positive, transforming effect on the entire Arab world ? a region desperately in need of a progressive model that works.

"Thinking About Iraq (I)"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

In his first of four

In his first of four policy speeches testing out the waters of a Presidential bid, Gary Hart spoke out against war with Iraq. He also called for a new security "tool box" that included trade and aid programs.

Hart's a Democrat opposed to war with Iraq and in favor of wasteful foreign aid programs. People who thought he might go to the right of President Bush on the Islamist War must be disappointed.

"Hart Says He Opposes Iraq War"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

A few days ago, I

A few days ago, I posted an NY Times article on a problem with Bush's plan to end the dividend tax. Today, Floyd Norris follows up. Government officials have altered the proposal so investors will be sure their dividends are tax free.

"Tax Plan Revised to Clarify Status of Dividends"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

War hasn't even broken out

War hasn't even broken out yet and already the French have surrendered. This from Rich Galen:

Also in today's news here, the AP's Barry Schweid is reporting that, the French Foreign Minister, speaking at the United Nations, "hinted that it might veto any resolution authorizing" military action against Iraq.

The French government has, therefore, all but surrendered to Iraq in advance of any fighting, thus doing away with that pesky business of actually pick up rifles only to have to lay them down again and get them dirty.

Well, I can certainly understand this entrepreuer's feelings.

"Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2003

ESPN put together a list

ESPN put together a list of the ultimate franchises. They ranked all the major sports teams by how much money fans put into their teams and how successful those teams are.

The best franchise in all of major league sports:

The Green Bay Packers.

By combining an unbridled fan obsession with an ownership structure that keeps it close to the community, the Packers show they are America's team. It also doesn't hurt to have Brett Favre as your starting QB.

As for other teams of note, the Chicago Bears are ranked #95 and the lowly Minnesota Vikings are at #102.

"Packers: The Best Franchise in Sports"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

Australian scientists used adult stem

Australian scientists used adult stem cells to replace brain cells in mice. The research could lead to a treatment for multiple sclerosis and without the ethical problems of using embryonic stem cells.

"Researchers Make MS Breakthrough Using Adult Stem Cells "

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

Al Sharpton and Rep. Charles

Al Sharpton and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) are in a conumdrum. USA Today reports blacks are underrepresented in military combat roles. Blacks make up 10.6% of infantrymen while making up 12% of the population. These are the troops that will most likely die in a war with Iraq.

What do Sharpton and Rangel do? Either they demand a front line that more closely resembles America, and resulting in more black deaths; or they can stay quiet and ignore the issue making it appear it doesn't really matter (which it really doesn't).

"Front-Line Troops Disproportionately White, not Black"

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

What the University of Michigan

What the University of Michigan Supreme Court case did was bring the issue of affirmative action to the fore. How important should race be in deciding who gets into college or law school? Is "diversity" so important for higher education that schools should give underrepresented groups bonuses?

Harry Jaffa questions the concept of "diversity" itself. He grants that diversity may have benefits:

Diversity in the service of freedom might be a very good thing.

But he wonders if we are willing to live in a society where aptitude isn't the sole determinant:

Ask yourself: if you or a loved one is to undergo brain or heart surgery, does it matter whether the surgeons who will operate had been selected for medical school for any other reason than their aptitude for medicine and surgery? Even if there were no quotas, should race have been "taken into consideration" in their selection? Consider the hairline life and death decisions that surgeons make all the time. Does not every consideration, however slight, apart from aptitude, dilute the qualifications of surgeons for surgery?

Jaffa points out that diversity today means racial preference. From my college years, I can tell you he's correct. Time and again I questioned those demanding more diversity what they meant. I expounded on a meaning of diversity that moved beyond skin color. I argued that if real diversity was desired then we should promote diversity of ideas. What's the point of student body that mirrored the make-up of the community if they were all taught the same statist/liberal/postmodern stuff? Where was the push for more conservative/libertarian professors? Why were diversity advocates so obsessed with race?

It was like I was talking to a brick wall. Diversity supports never answered my questions because it questioned the very core of their beliefs. How could I oppose seeing more blacks at the University of Minnesota Duluth? I didn't. I opposed a system where blacks and other minority groups got preferences only to self-segregate themselves in their student-supported Black Students Association and diversity classes.

To paraphrase Jaffa, in the abstract, diversity is meaningless. In practice, it doesn't break down racial barriers, it promotes them.

"Is Diversity Good?"

UPDATE: Rich Lowry points out that an economic study showed there was no "evidence of the positive (or negative) effects" for having a diverse campus. A study from a diversity defender even claimed diversity promoted political liberalism.

"The Diversity Lie on Campus" [via C-Log]

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

January 20, 2003

We're going to war with

We're going to war with or without the U.N. President Bush has never stated that he needed the U.N.'s approval. In fact, Bush called on the U.N. to act or relegate itself to irrelevance. Now, Colin Powell restated Bush's view. He told the Security Council, "If Iraq is not disarming, the United Nations cannot turn away from its responsibilities." If the U.N. wants to retain any morsel of credibilty in dealing with thugs intent on building ABC weapons to blackmail the rest of the world, then they must not let Saddam dink around. Heck, Iraq's Arab neighbors seem to be getting the hint and are looking for ways for Saddam to leave.

With last November's resolution, the U.N. made clear Saddam had to disarm. If they fail, they empower rogue states and demonstrate their ineptitude.

"Powell Urges U.N. to Stand Up to Saddam"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2003

Today is National Sanctity of

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Let's remember that the fight for life is always real. I ask all of you to dedicate your lives to the preservation and defense of human life in all its forms--from the unborn to the invalid to the elderly. Fighting the Culture of Death requires our steadfast vigilance or we will succumb to nihilism.

"National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2003"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

How can I not link

How can I not link to Book Geek?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2003

Floyd Norris points out that

Floyd Norris points out that there is a problem with President Bush's proposal to end the taxation of dividends.

Those are some of the consequences--intended and otherwise--that arise from the Bush administration's proposal to end the taxation of dividends that are paid from profits on which taxes were already paid by the company. But dividends would remain taxable if the company had not paid federal taxes the previous year, and would be partly taxable if it had not paid enough federal taxes to offset all its dividends.

Unfortunately, companies will not file tax returns until many months after they pay the dividends. So some companies could declare in good faith that a dividend would be tax free, only to figure out months later that they were wrong.

What this means is that the gory details of the plan have to be worked out before implementation. I'm sure this will be addressed by the flood of tax lawyers, policy wonks, accountants, economists, lobbyists, and politicians as the bill goes through Congress.

Norris is correct that one effect of the plan would be more companies will offer dividends. But, as Norris writes, "a way needs to be found to make the tax treatment certain when dividends are declared, or at least to make it possible for companies to be sure if they wish to be."

"Is a Dividend Taxable? Investors Can't Tell"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2003

Wisconsin Right to Life started

Wisconsin Right to Life started a petition drive to ban human cloning. They oppose cloning "for any reason." It doesn't matter if it's for reproduction or to get stem cells. Sorry to say, I can't sign it. I don't oppose reproductive cloning, but I oppose creating embryoes just to use them as tiny stem cell factories. The first use of cloning still respects the dignity of the individual, while the other dehumanizes the unborn.

"Anti-Cloning Petition Drive Launched in Wisconsin"

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

In a history debate would

In a history debate would you side with a carpenter or a historian? In this case, black carpenter John Barnard claims the first Africans who came to Virginia in 1619 were indentured servants treated like European indentured servants. Barnard wants Virginia to sell a license plate that reads "First Africans 1619."

Professor Margaret Washington of Cornell University disagrees with Barnard's history. She told CNSNews.com:

They were from Portugal. The Dutch had them, and the Dutch were going to take them somewhere to be enslaved ... they were already slaves. The difference was, in Jamestown, the institution [of slavery] had not formally developed, and they didn't have anything in their statutes for that status.

I'm siding with the professor here. It would be pretty tasteless for Virginia to sell this kind of license plate.

"State Promoting License Plate Offensive To Many Blacks"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

The Cato Institute notes that

The Cato Institute notes that the U.S. is second highest in the OECD in taxing dividends.

"Dividend Taxation: U.S. Has the Second Highest Rate"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2003

Lynn doesn't believe in the

Lynn doesn't believe in the death penalty because "death is too easy for them." She would "want [nothing] more than to see [Osama bin Laden] suffer what would be for him the unbearable humiliation of being imprisoned in America for the rest of his life." She then realizes that a living bin Laden would be an magnet for his followers to kill in his name. In this case, killing bin Laden would be the right thing because it would save lives.

My view is that unless state killing protects the rights of others, it is wrong. Just war and killing in self-defense I can accept. Killing a person when the alternative of life in prison is adequate is wrong. Remember, we are all endowed by our Creator with life.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

President Bush's plan to end

President Bush's plan to end the dividend tax may have encouraged Microsoft to give up some of its $40 billion in cash and share it with its owners. The $0.16 a share dividend is only a drop in the bucket for a company expected to have $85 billion in cash by 2005, but MS CFO John Connors calls it a "starter dividend." The future is bright for an increased dividend so MS stock is starting to become really tempting.

Oh, by the way, Bill Gates will earn almost $100 million a year in dividend payments.

"Microsoft Sets Dividend, Splits Stock"

"Gates' Dividend Payout: $100 Million"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

Rod Dreher defends Gov. Ryan's

Rod Dreher defends Gov. Ryan's death row commutings. He shows the serious problems with the system, but still accepts the idea that the State has the right to kill. His conclusion is life in supermax prisons for the guilty, so in practice he opposes the death penalty. Welcome, Rod to the Conservatives Against the Death Penalty (CADP). No, it's not an elegant name, but it fits a lonely group like Rod and I.

"Gov. Ryan Did the Right Thing"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

The NY Times has a

The NY Times has a nice article on Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit). It's a brief look at a day in the life of the world's most popular weblogger. One thing Reynolds and I have in common is our love of reading encyclopedias as kids. It sounds geeky, it probably is, but the World Books were the best thing I found on the shelves at St. Peter's Lutheran School.

"With Incessant Postings, a Pundit Stirs the Pot"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

Russell Roberts notes that ending

Russell Roberts notes that ending the dividend tax was an idea of Jimmy Carter. Since everybody loves Jimmy (especially people in Oslo), critics should give President Bush a little slack. Roberts concludes by stating what ending the tax will do.

Getting rid of the taxation of dividends will make some rich people richer. But it will also make the rest of us richer too. Not just those of us who happen to invest in dividend paying stocks. The real gain will [be] an increase in investment that will raise our wages and our standard of living.

For an entertaining and sentimental look at free market economics, check out Roberts' The Invisible Heart.

"Cut Taxes, Help the Rich. (And the rest of us too)"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

In the end good sense

In the end good sense prevailed in the Racine Rave case. The city ditched the fines and agreed to concessions which should prevent this police excess from happening again.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2003

Can someone ask Jesse Jackson

Can someone ask Jesse Jackson how he can square his statement that the Bush administration as having the "most closed-door civil rights policy in 50 years" with the fact that two of his most trusted advisors, Colin Powell and Condi Rice, are black? Those two are the most powerful blacks in U.S. history. Blacks have certainly risen higher in the Bush administration than the Clinton (aka "The First Black President").

"Bush Opposes College on Race in Supreme Court Case"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

Here's a sign the Culture

Here's a sign the Culture of Death is slowly sinking its claws deeper into our society. Mifeprex, AKA RU-486, AKA the abortion pill, is marketed by Danco Laboratories as "The Early Option Pill." What euphemism! According to the pill's website, TEOP is "what women have wanted for years: a safe and effective way to end pregnancy - taken orally, without surgery - early on." Oh, yes, this is just what women needed, an easy, heartless way to kill their unborn child without dealing with the father or accepting the humanity of the child.

It's very sad we live in a culture that accepts the wanton killing of the unborn. It's engraved onto our constitutional law. Then there's the irony of doctors claiming to uphold the Hippocratic Oath doling out prescriptions of the Death Pill.

"RU-486, Similar Pills Accounted for 6 Percent of U.S. Abortions, Study Finds" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

True evil resides in North

True evil resides in North Korea. At prison camps (some as large or larger than Washington, D.C.) familes are worked to death, the unborn are aborted, and prisoners become test subjects for chemical and biological weapons.

"Death, Terror in N. Korea Gulag" [via InstaPundit]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Just because I work in

Just because I work in a bookstore doesn't mean I'm privy to secret book information. I had to read about the latest Harry Potter book on CNN.com. J.K. Rowling's fifth book, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix will be released June 21. Expect bookstores open late to give readers their first chance to wade through all 768 pages (30% more words than the lengthy Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Also expect me to be on vacation somewhere far away from bookstores around that date.

"New Potter Book Goes Public June 21"

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

Daniel Drezner writes on the

Daniel Drezner writes on the opinion of Barnett Rubin ("leading Afghan expert and late 2001's must-have commentator" in Drezner's words). Rubin is realistically optimistic about post-war Afghanistan. Although their present situation is nothing close to a Western-style democratic republic it's much better than what Afghans had the previous few decades.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

2002 in Milwaukee was certainly

2002 in Milwaukee was certainly a year for political downfalls. Mayor John Norquist settled a sexual harassment suit and declined to run for re-election. The Milwaukee County government was racked with recall elections and the resignation of County Executive Tom Ament over a pension plan. Then, last fall, Alderman Rosa Cameron plead guilty to misusing federal funds. In an area where political scandal is rare, 2003 should have been safe for politicians. But with yesterday's indictment of Alderman Paul Henningsen for extortion and misusing campaign funds, scandal isn't using the calendar as a barrier.

"Henningsen Indicted on 5 Federal Counts"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

Here's a fine explication of

Here's a fine explication of why anti-war libertarians are wrong. Alan Forrester fisks Prof. Walter Block of the Anarchy Lew gang. Here's one great line from Forrester's fisking:

How exactly one is supposed to derive all political wisdom from a single catchphrase rather than look at real problems and try to figure out how one could deal with them in away that is conducive to problem-solving I'm not sure.

When the paleo-libertarians move away from their fine work defending free markets, they sink into anti-American isolationism and Confederate idolotry.

"Libertarianism is Not About Nonaggression, it is About Liberty"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2003

Media giants don't control culture,

Media giants don't control culture, consumers do, at least that's what Tyler Cohen argues.

"Myth of the Media Giants" [via David Card]

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

Peggy Noonan examines the Democratic

Peggy Noonan examines the Democratic Presidential challengers. Her remarks are critical yet endearing. She also says the Democratics zeitgeist is to wait for "history to turn on a dime" like it did in 1992 with Bush I.

"That Seven-D's Show"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:07 AM | Comments (0)

Sen. Tom Dacshel (D-SD) is

Sen. Tom Dacshel (D-SD) is out of witty things to say in opposition to President Bush's tax plan. On This Week he said, "This is a stimulus for the rich and a sedative for the rest." Tom, at least mention wealthy Americans four or five hundred times. Or mention how Bush's plan won't help "regular" people--wait Sen. John Edwards already took that one. Here's a little hint, Tom. Zero sum economic thinking won't help get the economy chugging away. After digesting that one, take the advice of the Wall Street Journal editorial board and have the Democrats actually be for something.

"White House Downplays Tax Plan Opposition"

"Daschle's Election Lesson"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

Ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill finally

Ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill finally spoke out publically since his firing. On the culture of our nation's capital, O'Neill said,

It's all about sound bites, deluding the people, pandering to the lowest common denominator. I didn't adjust [in Washington] and I'm not going to start now.

On the government being able to jump-start the economy and generate jobs:

The notion that government can actually do something about that in the short term is ridiculous.

On replacing Social Security with personal accounts:

I believe that we need to have a system that guarantees that people are going to have wealth when they retire that can sustain them through their non-working years. And the way to do that is to have mandatory savings.

On the number one economic issue, President Bush's tax plan, O'Neill opposes it. He would rather have that money put into Social Security.

"Paul O'Neill on the Bush Tax Cut: 'I Would not Have Done it'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:19 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2003

The AP summed up the

The AP summed up the Serena Williams match perfectly:

Serena Williams' bid for her fourth straight Grand Slam title is alive--barely.

I watched most of it. Emilie Loit was loose and making the shots she was capable of. She couldn't out muscle Serena--few women can. She just made precise shots and took a few chances. Serena looked tight and made too many errors. She ended up winning, but she's vulnerable.

"Serena Williams Prevails in Australia"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

I'm looking for a little

I'm looking for a little Movable Type help. The default template will not cut it. TAM has to look snazzy. I've been going through the MT manual, but going through the list of template tags is making my eyes glaze over.

What I'm looking for as a solution is a selection of pre-made templates specific to MT where I could do a little tweaking here and there to make it perfect for TAM. Blogskins has lots of templates for Blogger-powered weblogs. They also claim to have MT templates, but I've tried some and they contain Blogger tags.

Any help would be appreciated.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

Enter Stage Right has just

Enter Stage Right has just published a brilliant analysis of the economy and a defense of President Bush's economic plan. E-mail this to everyone in your address book--especially to a certain law professor in Tennessee (*hint* *hint*). Print this out and hand it to your boss and co-workers. Give a copy to your kid to bring to Show and Tell!

The writer reminds me of someone. Who could it be? Well...it's me. With enough self-discipline, I hope to make publishing articles in other places a common occurrence. Weblogging is great, but it's about time I started stretching myself.

"Bush Looks to Individuals to Grow Economy"


If my article isn't tempting enough for you, check out ESR just to look at the lovely Michelle Malkin. I dare say she might be prettier than Ann Colter.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:28 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2003

Jon Last is right that

Jon Last is right that The Two Towers won't win the Oscar for Best Picture--and it should--but before dissing Chicago, The Hours, and The Pianist he really should see them. That won't happen because Last is already boycotting them. I'm mildly interested in The Hours. That's probably because of the literary angle. William Grim had great things to say about The Pianist. He thought it was better than Schindler's List. High praise indeed. I will completely ignore Chicago. It's a musical, and the thought of dialogue suddenly interrupted with song and dance gives me the shakes. Maybe it was that one Easter where I was forced to endure The Sound of Music by a girlfriend.

"A Pre-Pre-Oscar Malaise"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

I'm cleaning out the bookmarks.

I'm cleaning out the bookmarks. Slightly dated stuff, but my opinion is what you're looking for.

My best guess as to why conservatives vote on online polls more is they (we) think of them as a punch in the gut to the Vast Left Wing Media. The story may be perceived to be slanted to the left, but conservatives resist and vote the Right way.

"Online Political Polls Skew Conservative - Study"


Forcing Microsoft to include Java in Windows is an awful precedent. Windows is Microsoft's, not Sun's. Balmer, Gates, and the Redmond gang should decide what code goes into the operating system. It's not like I couldn't go to Sun's website and download a Java virtual machine if I wanted to. (Interestingly, Java isn't even in the top ten of top downloads at the Sun website.) Seeing as Sun had to restort to having a judge wedge Java into Windows, the market isn't crying out for Java.

How about this idea? The NY Times should be required to publish an article everyday from the staff of National Review. Conservative ideas are being squelched due to the Times editorial page's lack of intellectual diversity.

"MS Java Ruling Sets IT Precedent"


The Guggenheim Foundation dropped plans to build a Frank Gehry-designed museum. Why anyone takes Gehry seriously, I don't know. His most well-known building is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. It's not much to look at. It lacks grace, has some sweeping lines, but ends up looking like a tin foil Lego creation.

"Goodbye to Frank Gehry's Bad Joke"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2003

Brock Yates has little faith

Brock Yates has little faith in future cars powered by fuel cells.

Perhaps the economy of scale will produce a potential, affordable fuel-cell by 2020. So, too, may science cure cancer and the common cold, develop cold fusion and an efficient, quiet, super-sonic transport, atomic energy, perpetual motion, monorails, and cheap desalinization. But my bet is, the Honda FCX theatrics notwithstanding, the automobile fuel cell will be a member of that bevy of broken dreams for decades to come, if not forever.

Yates notes a major problem with the Honda FCX being an environmentally-friendly vehicle: lots of electricity is needed to make hydrogen for the car. That could come from nuclear power, but greens wouldn't like that. How about solar power? Sure, but in California it costs $40,000 just to fuel up a FCX.

"Hocus Pocus" [via Right Wing News]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

Courtesy of Progressive Racine (good

Courtesy of Progressive Racine (good luck in your alderman race, Pete), Racine prosecutors and the ACLU are in discussions on settling a few hundred cases from last year's busted rave party.

"Court Dates for Ravers Canceled"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has their story covering the car crash. Lauria Lynch-German fills in how the driver, Lawrence F. Spittel Jr., stole a car and caused a chase by police. As for the rest, it matches my account except Lynch-German doesn't mention if the car caught fire. No mention is made of how Spittel died. Was it because of the crash or fire?

I have one big regret from reporting on the car crash: I wish I had kept my digital camera charged up. I haven't had great luck taking outdoor night pictures, but if it would have worked, it would have really topped the AP and Journal Sentinel.

I wonder if our communications infrastructure could handle mass amateur reporting. When the World Trade Center was attacked, land-based and mobile phones systems were clogged with traffic or damaged in the attack. If enough people with PDA/cell phone/notebook/digital camera devices were all trying to get pictures and raw news coverage to the world at the same time, would that clog communications lines even more? In a case like that, big media with the ability to send reports to the world via satellite might have an edge.

"Man, 39, Dies After Car Chase"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

Today, Illinois Gov. George Ryan

Today, Illinois Gov. George Ryan gave the death penalty a big smack in the face. He declared his state's execution process "arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral." He then commuted all Illinois death row inmates' sentences to life in prison.

For the most part, I'm pleased. The state shouldn't be in the business of deciding life and death. It has a duty to punish criminals and keep them away from society, but doesn't mean it has to engage in revenge for victims' friends and family.

However, Ryan's reasoning is based on what he calls "arbitrary," full of error, and possibly racist. Would Ryan approve of the death penalty if it was adjudicated fairly? Even under perfect conditions, I would still oppose the death penalty.

"Gov. Ryan Clears Illinois' Death Row"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

Cory Doctorow is a first-time

Cory Doctorow is a first-time novelist. Since first-time novelist have trouble getting attention, he's taking advantage of his Internet lust by giving his book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom away for free. He must figure that by getting his book in front of enough eyeballs there will be a market for future books. Maybe people who read the book via download will buy a dead tree copy for a friend. Or more likely, future novels will only be available as a bound book. Who knows? That's why it's called an experiment. Unlike Napster and the the music trading scene, I have no problems with what Cory is doing. He's the author, it's his book, and he can do what he wants with it. Good luck to Cory. I downloaded my copy and will dig into it after I finish David Frum's The Right Man. And that's after I finish Dinesh D'Souza's The Virture of Prosperity. My book pile just grows and grows and grows and....

UPDATE: Uncle Bill points out that John Scalzi has let the world download a couple of his novels. Old Man's War was just picked up by a publisher and isn't available, but Agent to the Stars is available for everyone's reading pleasure.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

From the How Fitting Department:

From the How Fitting Department:
The typeface the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uses in its dead tree edition is called Nimrod.

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

January 10, 2003

So, my coverage of the

So, my coverage of the car crash beat the AP by almost six hours. The wire story may have been more succinct, but I didn't miss any basic facts of the story. The only thing I didn't know was the car was stolen.

With this comparison between professional and amateur reporting, I have plenty of confidence that an "average Joe" reporter can detail events nearly as well as a pro.

"Man Dies After Stolen Car Crashes into Home During Chase"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:27 PM | Comments (1)

Here's a little bit of

Here's a little bit of real reporting almost live from the scene. This should beat the Wisconsin AP Wire. Don't worry about the local streets and highways; it's only important to readers aware of the SE Wisconsin area. I was driving west on Hwy 33 a few miles out of West Bend. I noticed in my rear-view mirror the flashing red and blue lights of a police care. "Damn!" I said to myself. I wonder what law I broke. As I was about to pull over to the shoulder of the road, the headlights on a car behind me came way too close for comfort. I really got over to the side of the road and let the car pass me. It was going pretty fast and I then knew the police weren't after me. A chase was on. Within a minute four police cars passed me in hot pursuit. Now, this isn't California where high speed chases happen regularly and are spectator sports. This is rural Wisconsin at 11:00 at night.

I figured my minor bit of excitement was over, but I also knew that if the chase continued for very long at that speed someone was going to get hurt. A few minutes later as I drove into Allenton, I saw police cars by a white house with a small hill. The "chasee" didn't make a small curve, went up the small hill, flew into a duplex, slammed into a wall, and then crashed into a garage.

Fearing the impacted car set the house on fire, police broke into the building. Firemen soon came on the scene and helped an elderly woman out of the house through a second-floor window. When the car hit the house, it took out a stairwell.

Highway 33 was closed down while fireman went through the house checking for fire. Other than the the car, nothing appeared to be on fire. Police needed only fire extinguisher to handle the car.

The crash occurred only a few thousand feet from my home. I got within a few hundred feet of the car. I could only see a mangled white car with its front portion bent up at a ninety-degree angle. As for survivors, I don't know. The Jaws of Life weren't called in, and police and firemen weren't rushing around the car attempting to get anyone out. But I didn't see anyone from the county coroner's office either. From the looks of the wreckage, no one survived. The passenger compartment was crushed, but I didn't see any body taken away or anyone arrested, nor did I hear of any deaths.

I'll keep you updated.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:36 AM | Comments (0)

The Ottawa Senators have become

The Ottawa Senators have become only the third team in 29 years to file for bankruptcy. A large debt and the declining Canadian dollar are both factors in the team's financial woes.

"Senators File for Bankruptcy from Creditors"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2003

Jonathan Karl reveiws David Frum's

Jonathan Karl reveiws David Frum's The Right Man. While Frum's description of the events surrounding the September 11 attacks is full of "wit and style, and with an eye for detail," Karl thinks Frum's analysis for President Bush's transformation into a war President is lacking.

"Exceeding Expectations"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2003

Max Boot advocates spending a

Max Boot advocates spending a lot more on the military ($100 billion more per year). He writes that President Bush is taking the diplomatic route with North Korea because we have most of our forces tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan. Part of Bush's approach with North Korea is the lack of available military muscle, but don't forget South Korea isn't real fond of a war with their Communist brothers. Seoul would be severely hit with U.S. military estimates of 1 million South Korean casualites.

"Korean Crisis Reveals U.S. War Flaws" [via Right Wing News]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

Ron Marr with a funny

Ron Marr with a funny defense of KFC:

Because of this insidious boycott against the legacy of the Colonel, I plan on eating at KFC as often as possible. They offer a dandy buffet for about seven bucks. It features not only all the batter-fried chicken skin you can swallow, but also their famous mashed taters, gravy and a host of other Epicurean delights. PETA's rationale that KFC's "crude and ineffective electric stunning and throat-slitting of chickens" is inhumane will only lead me to order more Extra Crispy.

Frankly, that electric stunning bit strikes me as an awful lot of unnecessary work. When I was a kid we would just slap Henny Penny on a stump and whack her head off with a hatchet. It's fairly interesting work, as the decapitated fowl nearly always makes a mad, spurting, flapping dash of 30 or 40 feet before succumbing to the noggin-ectomy procedure. Nature is a teacher, and the lesson learned from acephalous poultry is that you really don't need a brain to run around like a dang-fool idiot making a spectacle of yourself.

I'm certain the PETA people can relate.

I'm hungry, and I don't mean salad.

"Do Vegetarians Taste Like Chicken?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

Science fiction writer William Gibson

Science fiction writer William Gibson just started writing a weblog. Who's next? Stephen King? J.K. Rowling? J.D. Salinger? (What is that hermit doing anyway?)

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

Bill Maher's back with Real

Bill Maher's back with Real Time. It sounds like another attempt to have celebrities talk about politics. Like Politically Incorrect it will be entertaining for about three weeks, at least until Alec Baldwin talks about stoning more Republicans. The show will be on HBO, so I won't have to bother TiVo-ing it.

"Bill Maher Returns to TV With HBO Show"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

A thought popped into my

A thought popped into my head after reading this paragraph about publishing interviews on the Web:

Readers aren't the only ones who benefit from this type of transparency, says Jonathan Dube, publisher of CyberJournalist.net. Dube considers the U.S. Department of Defense's Web site (defenselink.mil) a "journalist's gold mine" of speeches, briefings--and transcripts of every media interview given by top DoD officials. The site is a prime venue for what he calls interview voyeurism--journalists can not only spy on the techniques of their colleagues, but pluck quotes for their own stories since the interviews are public record.

I get the Defense Department interviews e-mailed to me almost daily. I mostly use it to find bits of insight from Donald Rumsfeld.

The thought that popped into my head was this: is it possible to cover the Pentagon without being there? Sure, you wouldn't be able to get those unnamed sources the big newspapers and networks do, but you could do basic coverage of press conferences and events.

"Every Last Word" [via InstaPundit]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

A Danish committee declared Bjorn

A Danish committee declared Bjorn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist to be scientifically dishonest. However, because they didn't claim Lomborg intentionally mislead readers and noted no specific problems with the book, they only condemned the book and not the political science professor himself. Lomborg responded:

You can't say I'm scientifically dishonest or in breach of good scientific conduct unless you point the finger and say this is the smoking gun. It's like saying you committed murder but we won't tell you who you killed. It's impossible for me to defend myself.

"Environment and Science: Danes Rebuke a 'Skeptic'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

Alfred A. Knopf stopped printing

Alfred A. Knopf stopped printing Michael Bellesiles' fraudulant book, Arming America. It's the first book taken down by the Internet--especially the blogosphere.

"Publisher Stops History Book Publication" [via The Corner]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2003

If you were someone who

If you were someone who knew little about movies, but a lot about technology companies, would you get the wrong impression when you discovered Apple had a web page titled "Kill Bill"? I knew Steve Jobs had his run-ins with Bill Gates, but this is ridiculous. [via Daypop]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

So far, I've gotten no

So far, I've gotten no ripping over the worst post-season loss in Green Bay Packers' history. I'll assume my football-inclined readers (especially those in Minnesota) are just too busy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

St. Cloud State College Republican

St. Cloud State College Republican got an apology from a university vice president over the CRs pro-Israel display. What's still up in the air is any disciplinary action again a professor who allegedly assaulted a student.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

Packers fans: Don't fret, we

Packers fans: Don't fret, we still have Brett!

Brett Favre isn't retiring. I knew he wouldn't. He can still play at an extremely high level; with the right personnel decisions (bye bye Terry Glenn) they can't compete for the Super Bowl next year; and he's too loyal to the team. Brett retiring now would create salary cap havoc for the Packers and leave them without a replacement at QB.

I'll let Brett have the final word:

I never once came out and talked about retirement. I can't even remember when the question was asked first. My response then was, 'This is 12 years, at some point it's going to happen. I'm closer to retirement than I was five years ago.' And from that statement it just took off.

I feel like the last two years I've played as good a football as I've played my 11 years here. I've always said my formula for returning is how I play, the injuries that so far I've been able to overcome ... or if it gets to a point where a business decision (is made) from the Packers' standpoint ...

If any of those things occur, then my decision, or the Packers' decision, will be made clear. But right now, I'm playing great. This team has a chance (to win the Super Bowl) and I'm having fun. So that's how I'm going to leave it.

"No Surprise: Favre Will Return In 2003"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

The new year brings Washington

The new year brings Washington back to work. Tomorrow, President Bush will announce his tax-cutting plan in Chicago. Then the new Congress will have to finish passing appropriation bills that didn't get done last year. With the Islamist War and national security requiring plenty of money, other federal programs will *gasp* "have to make do with the same as or less than they had in previous years." Government workers and big-spending liberals will scream, but "regular people" (hello, Sen. Edwards) like me yawn. Domestic spending grew 40% during Bill Clinton's second term, and it sure didn't shrink with President Bush. Washington Post reports that

Spending on the Federal Aviation Administration, air safety, Amtrak subsidies, the Coast Guard and other annually funded transportation programs grew by more than 50 percent between 1997 and today, for example. But it would grow by only 7.3 percent between now and 2007.

Oh, the horror! Washington has lots and lots of money--much of it wasted on inefficient or unconstitutional programs (we're still paying for Amtrak). Maybe we should have wars more often if it could keep Washington's spending in check.

"Lid Put on Domestic Spending"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

The Clonaid baby is a

The Clonaid baby is a hoax. At least that's what it looks like. The baby's parents haven't let a research team get DNA samples so the team has stopped their work.

"Overseer of DNA Clone Tests Suspends Effort"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

New York City gets the

New York City gets the 2004 GOP convention. Despite Mayor Mike Bloomberg turning into a RINO (Republican In Name Only), Karl Rove wants the public to remember what President Bush did in fighting the war on terrorism. That's why the convention will be within a few miles of Ground Zero. If the Islamist War is being won, Saddam is gone, and terrorists won't attack the West for fear of retribution, then President Bush is a shoe-in for re-election. But if it's 2004, Saddam's still in power, North Korea has nukes, and the U.S. suffers another massive terrorist attack, then having the convention in NYC could be Rove's nightmare.

Having the GOP convention where the Islamist War began was too much symbolism for Tampa, FL to compete with. But look for the 2008 convention to head to Florida. Jeb Bush might still be governor looking to replace his brother as President, and with continuing immigration and emmigration Florida may be toss-up state.

"Republicans Pick New York City for 2004 Convention"

"Republicans Choose New York for '04 National Convention"

"GOP Chooses New York over Tampa for 2004 Convention"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

President Bush will call for

President Bush will call for the end of taxing dividends. One official told Time, "If it is wrong to tax dividends, it's still wrong if you only tax 50% of them." It's wrong to tax dividends because that income was already taxed on the corporate level. It's bold, and it will enrage Democrats who spent all weekend bashing Bush's economic plan before they've seen it.

"Bush's Tax Surprise" [via Drudge]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:58 AM | Comments (0)

Peggy Noonan wonders why we

Peggy Noonan wonders why we love President Bush:

Mr. Bush doesn't bring his dramas and mess with him. He doesn't bring a sack of dysfunction on his back when he enters a room. He keeps his woes, his emotions, his private life to himself. An example of what I'm getting at. He recently fired his Treasury secretary and his chief economic adviser. He wasn't happy with them; he wanted someone else; they didn't leave; he fired them. Boom. Next. If he feels personal bitterness, anger, or arrogance toward them, we don't know.

This is wonderful. If it had been LBJ or Richard Nixon firing Paul O'Neill, we'd all still be talking about the personal elements in the marriage gone bad. Or we'd be talking about whether "the boss is in love" with someone else, as Nixon's old hands used to say when Nixon became enthralled with the thinking of someone. Sometimes he fell in love with this intellectual, sometimes he soured on that adviser. He fell in love with Pat Moynihan, and John Connally. And then the love died. It was a regular "Peyton Place" in that White House. And Bill Clinton's White House was, it hardly needs be said, another hothouse, though of a different kind.

But with Mr. Bush things aren't a big emotional drama. He seems stable. This is a relief. You get the impression he's like what he of course was, a businessman. When things work, good; when they don't, change. It's not personal. It doesn't have to be messy. It's not Shakespearean.

Which is good. The world is quite dramatic enough. It's good especially at this time to be led not by the emotionally labile but the grounded and sturdy. They can see Mr. Bush is grounded. They're glad.

She sums her thought up:

Because he's not complicated and perhaps not even especially interesting as a person. We just love that.

I don't think President Bush would be insulted with Noonan's answer. You know Bill Clinton would be.

"Human, but Not to a Fault"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:28 AM | Comments (0)

Movable Type is installed. Now,

Movable Type is installed. Now, begins the playing. I'll be digging into how to operate this monster, get templates put together so TAM looks gorgeous, and import Blogger Pro entries. I have a feeling that once I go MT, I'll never go back. I'll have something else to do today on my day off.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:41 AM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2003

Want to know where the

Want to know where the Culture of Death could lead America?

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IT in all the Raelian cloning news, but Channel 4 of British television began the New Year with a broadcast about a Chinese performance artist who eats a baby's corpse. Described by executives of Channel 4 as a "thought-provoking film about extreme art in China," the documentary features a man named Zhu Yu, who displays photographs in which he washes a stillborn child in a sink and then consumes it. Just for luck, the program, called "Beijing Swings," also features a man drinking the wine used to preserve an amputated penis and follows hard upon Channel 4's showing last month of a live-action autopsy. Insisting he could not "find any law which prevents us from eating people," Zhu Yu suggests, "I took advantage of the space between morality and the law and based my work on it."

Then there's this horrific ditty:

A few years ago, the London Daily Telegraph reported that "doctors at the state-run Shenzhen Health Centre for Women and Children hand out bottles of thumb-sized aborted babies to be made into meat cakes or soup with pork and ginger. Zou Qin, a doctor at the Luo Hu Clinic in Shenzhen, said the fetuses were 'nutritious' and that she had eaten one hundred herself in the last six months. 'We don't carry out abortions just to eat fetuses,' said Qin. '[But they would be] wasted if not eaten.'"

J. Bottum then connects this to legalized abortion:

Once upon a time, we built hedge after hedge of protection around the deep things about life and death a culture must maintain. The hedges themselves are not all that important, but when they fall they weaken our defenses--however much those people who knock them down insist they are only clearing away a single hedge.

"Eating Babies"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

Mike Sherman can claim all

Mike Sherman can claim all he wants about an official telling him he couldn't challenge the muffed punt. He still should have called for an instant replay review. The worst that could have happened was the officials would have denied him his request. If he would have challeneged the call, the Pack might have gotten the ball back with an opportunity to get some momentum. Sherman made a ball call. It's a simple as that.

Now, WTMJ radio in Milwaukee is reporting on a rumor that Brett Favre will announce his retirement tomorrow. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't agree. A press conference is scheduled, but the Packers usually have press conferences on every Monday of the season. This either could be just an review of the season or the biggest sports story in Wisconsin since the Packers last won the Super Bowl.

"Sherman, Officials Disagree"

"Favre's Return Expected"

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

January 04, 2003

Home playoff perfection is no

Home playoff perfection is no more for the Green Bay Packers. Since NFL playoffs began in 1933, the Pack never lost at home. That's 70 years of post-season domination.

The Atlanta Falcons came into Lambeau Field unshaken by the mystique and aura of Green Bay and kicked the snot out of the Packers. From the start, the Packers were on their heels reacting to Atlanta QB, Michael Vick or getting rolled over by T. J. Duckett.

Part of the loss is due to bunches of injuries finally catching up to the Packers. Losing lots of starters will hurt. Defensive lineman Joe Johnson and safety Darren Sharper weren't there. Gilbert Brown got hurt during the game. WR Terry Glenn got a concussion. Then there's the patch-work offensive line that somehow protected Brett Favre much of the season. If you don't have starters playing where they're suppose to, playing your best is difficult.

Part of the loss has to be placed on very poor coaching. Mike Sherman said his coaches told him not to challenge the punt return when it clearly hit a Falcon. The play calling was awful down on the goal line. When going on fourth down with a patch-work offensive line, the proper play isn't a mis-direction run. Let Favre make some magic.

But that's not the Packers biggest problem. Great teams have great players who make great plays. The Packers don't have enough great players. Linebacker Hardy Nickerson was a bust. Glenn was adequate if he felt healthy enough and was willing to take a hit. Favre's getting older. How many years he has left, only Brett knows. Finding good talent is Mike Sherman's biggest challenge over the off-season. His record shows he can coach. Let's see how good he is wearing his general manager's hat.

"Falcons Rout Packers 27-7 in NFC Playoff"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

President Bush wants more federal

President Bush wants more federal money to educate poor kids. The problem with education isn't lack of funds. If that were the case, Washington, D.C. would have the best students in America. More money isn't good policy and it doesn't ease Democrats' complaints. In a statement, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) said, "The president's proposal may provide the money to test our children, but not enough to teach them."

"Bush to Seek $1B More to Educate Poor"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

Glenn Reynolds issued a wise

Glenn Reynolds issued a wise warning against attacking Sen. John Edwards for being an ex-trial lawyer:

Yes, there are a lot of people in conservative circles with a visceral dislike of trial lawyers. And it's shared by some voters. But it's not shared by all that many, and if you only read conservative publications it's easy to forget that. Think of trial lawyers as like constituent-service from an incumbent. Most voters know somebody who was helped by one. That establishes a certain reservoir of gratitude.

To counter Edwards it's best to show off his inexperience and his liberal voting record. As I've pointed out his voting record is more liberal than Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI).

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

January 03, 2003

Congratulations Buckeyes! It was an

Congratulations Buckeyes! It was an outstanding game filled with big plays and lots of heart.

Mike provides some needed advice:

By the way... someone please tell Buckeye fans not to flip, burn, or otherwise destroy anything in Columbus tonight.

A flaming Ohio capital was also the first thing I thought of after the win.

Ohio State 31 Miami 24

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2003

I'm not a huge fan

I'm not a huge fan of Ann Coulter. Sure, she's really pretty to look at, and she can shred anyone cable tv opponent to pieces; but her columns a just over-the-top. Via Slate's Tim Noah, here's the catalog entry for her new book coming out this summer:

In a stunning follow-up to Slander, leading conservative pundit Ann Coulter contends that liberals have been wrong on every major domestic and foreign policy issue, from the fight against communism at home and abroad, the Nixon and Clinton presidencies, and the struggle with the Soviet empire, right up to today's war on ism. "Liberals have a preternatural gift for always striking a position on the side of treason," says Coulter. "Everyone says liberals love America, too. No, they don't."

Liberals have never been right on any domestic or foreign policy issue? Come on. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

"Conservative Self-Parody Watch" [via MediaNews]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

Andrew had this to say

Andrew had this to say about Sen. John Edwards:

Still, I like his politics - they seem sanely to the right of, say, Al Gore. And he has a touch of the Tony Blair about him: the slick yet somehow earnest combination. Hard to pull off.

Edwards has already fooled Sullivan. As I pointed out, Edwards has a more liberal voting record than Sen. Russ Feingold.

But if you look at Prof. Keith Poole's analysis [via fraterslibertas.com] Edwards voted less liberal than Sens. Feingold, Clinton, Kerry, and Daschle. Sullivan might have a point.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

Thanks go to The Advocate

Thanks go to The Advocate for confirming my hunch about Herb Ritts. He was HIV positive.

"Photographer Herb Ritts's death came after years of battling HIV" [via Andrew Sullivan]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

Here's a story where stems

Here's a story where stems cells can be medically effective and morally sound. Doctors used stem cells from bone marrow to help heart attack victims. Embryoes aren't the only source for stem cells.

"Stem Cells Offer Hope to Heart Attack Victims"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

Charlie Sykes compares good art

Charlie Sykes compares good art (the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum) with bad (the orange DiSuvero [look in the upper left-hand corner] in front of the Calatrava).

"Why Does It Have to Be so Ugly?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

Thomas Hibbs notices some trends

Thomas Hibbs notices some trends from 2002's movies. Families are shown in positive lights, and the battles of good versus evil are more nuanced than they first appear.

"The Year on Screen"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:21 PM | Comments (0)

John Hood offers some advice

John Hood offers some advice for Democrats running for President:

Take John Edwards seriously. Don't think you can beat him on his personality or his trial-lawyer past. Your party has been fully Clintonized, and many of its activists and voters are now primed to value youth, energy, and charm above anything else. Don't try to contrast your hard-luck life with his. (Edwards's son Wade was killed in a traffic accident some years ago, and he and his wife commendably sought to honor him with charitable works around Raleigh.) Do challenge him on the issues, where Edwards does indeed appear shallow and inexperienced.

And above all, try to be a "regular guy" yourself. If Johnny Edwards can do it, so can you.

"Just a Regular Guy"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) announced

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) announced he just created a Presidential exploratory committee (i.e. he's running for President). During his 10-minute announcement, he mentioned "regular folk" or "regular people" five times. He just started his Presidential run and already he has AlGore-like "lockbox" ammunition suitable for SNL. How a man who's amassed a multi-million dollar fortune can say he'll be a "champion" for "regular folk," I don't know.

What the GOP must not do is take Edwards lightly. In 1998, he pulled off an impressive upset by knocking off Lauch Faircloth. For those who think it will be easy to paint Edwards as a toady for his fellow trial lawyers, there's this passage from a Washington Post article in 2001 [via InstaPundit]:

John Edwards was the most successful trial lawyer in North Carolina. A millionaire many times over, he ranked among the best personal injury and medical malpractice litigators in the nation. He took on wrongdoers and made them pay. Wade's mother, Elizabeth, was a lawyer, too.

So if there were people to blame for this, somebody to sue, certainly they would hold them accountable. But Wade's parents didn't try to do that.

You can't sue the wind. Sometimes you just have to let it carry you in another direction.

Wade was John Edwards' son who died in a car accident.

While it would be delicate to nail him on the trial lawyer angle, it would be easier to label Edwards a liberal Democrat. Americans for Democratic Action [PDF file] gave him a 95% favorable voting record. The American Conservative Union gave Edwards a 16 out of 100 rating for 2001. In comparison, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, one of the Senate's most liberal members, got a 20 from the ACU. CNN's Candy Crowley, today, asked Edwards where he fit on the political spectrum. Edwards answered that he was a mainstream North Carolinian--one who almost always voted the opposite of NC's other Senator, Jesse Helms.

"Edwards Announces White House Run"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

Who will be kind enough

Who will be kind enough to nominate TAM for a Bloggie?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:11 AM | Comments (0)

Andrew Sullivan asks this question:

Andrew Sullivan asks this question:

So the question is: was the openly gay Ritt's pneumonia a freak and dangerous strain that is newsworthy in its own right (like Jim Henson's) or was it HIV-related? And do newspapers have some responsibility to tell us which? It seems to me that when an openly gay guy dies at 50 of pneumonia, any decent editor would ask a simple follow-up. Or are they still colluding in the shame that some still attach to an HIV diagnosis?

Ever since I heard Ritts died, I've assumed it was from AIDS. Unfortunately, the media is doing little to inform us.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

Just about all of Lake

Just about all of Lake Superior State University's choices for banished words are fine with me. "Extreme" anything deserves a slap to head. But banishing "Frozen Tundra" is WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!. The people who suggest this banishing have no appreciation for the history of football and its most hallowed team, the Green Bay Packers. Granted, Frozen Tundra is redundant, but its mention brings up thoughts of cold weather, snow, Vince Lombardi, championship football. No, there's too much history, too much myth to abandon those words.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

Germany will soon be on

Germany will soon be on the U.N. Security Council. Gerhard Schröder's opposition to an Iraqi war gave him a narrow victory, but he's backing down on total opposition:

We Germans know from our own experience that dictators sometimes can only be stopped with force.

If Germany decides to use the Security Council to block President Bush's efforts at removing Saddam, the U.S. might just ignore that body. Anti-American political posturing would provide ample cover from the "unilateralist" label (like that really matters anyway).

"Change in UN May hit Bush's Plans"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:37 AM | Comments (0)

Larry Kudlow predicts a higher

Larry Kudlow predicts a higher stock market this year. With all the pessimism I'm hearing, he's probably right. What will have to happen are good corporate profits and the toppling of Saddam.

"New Year Cheer"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)

I failed in my first

I failed in my first attempt at a Moveable Type installation. There's no recognition of my mysql database. I'll try later today to see if it's been activated by my web host. If that doesn't work, I might just fork over $20 and let the MT dudes handle it, but I want to do this myself. I'll give myself plenty of geek points if I can pull this off.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2003

I hope everyone had a

I hope everyone had a fun New Years. I stayed home, ate pizza, drank wine, and watched the Milwaukee Bucks get clobbered by the Houston Rockets.

I'm still having problems with my GameCube. Now, all my games are not being read. It must be a hardware issue. If so, then I'll have to take it someplace for repair, but I might be able to snag a deal off eBay and get a new system for the same price as fixing it.

So, I could work on Jason Goodwin's intriguing Greenback or finally install Moveable Type. Well, wish me luck with the latter.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)