April 30, 2004
Allah has a Kerry daisy sighting. Forget the medals/ribbons business, I want to know the dirt on that nick-knack.
A Wicked Web
A Moroccan wanted for participating in last month's Madrid bombings has been indicted in Spain for helping in organizing the Sep. 11 attacks.
"Madrid Fugitive Charged over 9/11"
April 29, 2004
Unless some last few donations trickle in the Spirit of America fund drive just missed $50K by $318. Thank you everyone. Nothing to be ashamed of. You all helped make a difference.
"Spirit Of America - Final Results"
Sharpton Comes Alive
In what may be a surprising move to some political circles, Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) has issued an invitation to former Democratic Primary rival Rev. Al Sharpton to address this summer's Democratic National Convention in Boston.
At least one night won't be boring.
"The Sound You Hear"
al-Qaeda Snuffed in Jordan
If this wasn't real life, I say al-Qaeda ripped off the A-Team.
For months, the gang had been working on the plan. Hiding out in safe houses in the Jordanian capital, Amman, they bought cars and vans to carry the bombs, took over blacksmiths’ shops to build the battering rams and set to work manufacturing the 20 tons of chemical explosives they would need for the attack.
"How al-Qaeda Plotted to Kill 80,000 in Jordan"
Live from Camp Pendleton
Gerard Van der Leun writes of war, citizenship, patriotism, and how a bunch of webloggers and their readers helped with the war effort.
"Small Moves, the Spirit of America, and Doing What You Can"
My Final Offer
There's only a few hours left until the SOA campaign is over. I've had only one taker on any of my offers, so I think I'm not risking much so here goes:
For a $100 donation, you will get a dozen Krispy Kreme golden glazed goodies, PLUS I will don a Vikings or Bears item--even from the un-hated Lions, PLUS you will get a CD of a bunch of Howard the Duck "Dean Scream" remixes, PLUS I will praise the Democrat of your choice.
That isn't enough? Wait, there's more.
For a $100 donation to SOA you not only will get some great doughnuts, a 2004 campaign keepsake, and the giddy feeling of publicly embarassing me, you also will get me to drink a bottle of French wine, PLUS I will adorn my weblog with French stuff.
For other last minute offers, visit Wizbang.
April 28, 2004
Kerry's House of Ketchup #9
This is a time for giving. My favorite tax-and-spend liberal Senator is certainly giving out vibes that he's losing it. His Good Morning America appearance and post-interview whine show a candidate without confidence. Still, events can and will occur that will lift up his spirits and poll numbers. This will be a close race all the way until Election Day.
This past week, I've discovered a gut-churning fact from the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
If the Redskins lose or tie the game before the presidential election, the party in the White House gets ousted. A Redskins win is a win for the incumbent party, too. At least, that’s how it has played out in the past 18 presidential elections.
My Packers play the Redskins two days before Election Day. Who do I root for? Who does Oliver Willis root for? We may have to swap teams (but not candidates) for a week.
Now, on to the posts:
Join in the fun by linking to the House of Ketchup. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.
[Thanks go to the John F. Kerry Media Relations Center for Sen. Zoop's "voice."]
To Wisconsin Webloggers & Readers
This month's Milwaukee weblogger Meetup fell through. Next month's is scheduled for 05.19 at a place still to be determined. There's no rule saying you have to have a weblog to attend so I'm opening it up to area webloggers and weblog readers. We can gather to talk politics, sports, tech, pop culture, or (Wisconsin's favorite subject) the weather. All you have to do is go to the Meetup website, sign up, pick a place to gather, then show up. That last part is sometimes the hardest.
What sound does a weblog bubble make when it pops? Because the word "blogging" made it into an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
"Blogging Officially Jumps The Shark"
One Last Push
We're getting near the end of this corner of the blogosphere's little version of public television begging season. Hooray for me! Someone finally thought with their stomach and took me up on my Krispy Kreme offer. And thank goodness no one has taken me up on my other ones.
In other VC news:
Please, be like Chicago and give early and give often. Let's help our men and women defending us, and let's help the Iraqis have a chance at liberty.
April 27, 2004
Bummer. It was close, but close only counts [fill in with your favorite cliche here]. The Corner reports that Specter won with 15,000 votes.
"Specter Ekes Out Win in Pa. Primary"
I hold my head in shame for I'm a part of the latest Bonfire of the Vanities hosted by On the Fritz.
Here's a message from Iraq.
[via Venomous Kate]
April 26, 2004
Missing the Point
The hoopla over a minor story like whether John Kerry threw medals or ribbons over a fence in 1971 misses a bigger point. Wasn't his action thoroughly despicable? Doing what he did is on par with burning an American flag, legal but reprehensible. The day before, Kerry had his chance to petition his government by speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He told of rapes, torture, and other war crimes. But being the center of American news wasn't enough for Kerry. He had to shock the public. By throwing medals and ribbons he thumbed his nose to the government he admirably defended. He also thumbed his nose to those people (including fellow veterans) who supported the government and felt Vietnam was a noble and necessary cause.
After Bill Clinton's two terms we know character is an important aspect for whoever wants the Presidency. Hyper-defensiveness on comments from 20 and 30 years ago is understandable. I might not be able to defend stuff I've written two years ago. The more important question surrounding Kerry and his Vietnam War protests is does he still support his statements and actions? If he could step into the way-back machine what would Kerry change? From what he told CNN, he wouldn't change a thing:
I'm not going to back down one inch on what I've fought for and what I've stood for all of these years.
Here we get to the crux. Kerry didn't support the war then, and doesn't regret anything he did to protest it. No regrets for calling soldiers war criminals. He doesn't regret calling the U.S. "paranoid" about "so-called communist monolith." If he wasn't serious about the threat of expansionistic communism then, how can we trust him to combat the relentless death cult of Islamism? After all, in January, Kerry said fighting terrorism was "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation."
UPDATE: Steven Taylor [via OTB] writes of Kerry's muddling of the medals issue: "The issue is that a candidate who is already perceived by many as a waffler, now appear incapable of setting forth a simple, clear statement on an event that ought to be quite easy to describe." Steven then goes on to write, "In short: if Kerry can't get this right, is it any wonder we are all unclear on his Iraq policy?"
It's more than muddled thinking and bad communication. With Kerry it's just coming to poor conclusions. For example, Kerry wants a greater role for the U.N. in Iraq. That won't happen until the country is better stabilized. Plus, with the stench coming from that institution because of its awful handling of the Oil-for-Food progam no reasonable person would trust it to build a free Iraq.
Emily reports on her experience at yesterday's pro-abortion march.
Then there's this sad comment on two letters expressing post-abortion regret:
While they regret their abortions, those who value sanity should not. When I read their letters all I can think is how lucky we are that these women did not have their babies. They are far too immature, delusional and self-pitying to be good mothers.
I guess 'tis better to kill the innocent than grant them any chance at a good life.
A Day with Gerard
If you're a writer, Gerard Van der Leun has an offer you can't refuse. He's donating an entire day's time to editing and critiquing your writing. He has 30+ years of experience in the word world working with authors including Harlan Ellison and Robert Fulghum. Gerard charges $200/hour for his time, so a whole day is quite a donation. The biddings already at the super bargin of $225. And remember, all the proceeds go to help our soldiers and the Iraqis build a free nation.
"Writers: One Day of Professional Editing to Highest Bidder"
Pulling out the Big Guns
Michele's display of
If you don't care about sports or have no desire to see my face here's another offer: for a $50 donation I will write something nice about the Democrat of your choice. It could be John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, *gasp* Bill Clinton, or *gasp* *gasp* Howard Dean. It's your choice. It won't be some smart-alec post about how great Ted Kennedy holds his liquor or Bill Clinton's ways with the ladies. I will write a serious, positive, intellectually honest essay that's respectful of the subject.
"Dedication #11: The Enemy, Suppuko, Red Sox"
I hope the Packers' first round pick Ahmad Carroll can play because he certainly has the mouth. He had this to say about last year's infamous fourth-and-26 play against the Eagles:
You know, we're not going to let that happen this year. We can't dwell on the past. It's a new day and it's a new year and that's my job to go out there and ... see if I can put my team in fourth-and-40 situation instead of fourth-and-26.
"NFL DRAFT: Secondary First"
April 25, 2004
Packers Draft: Day 2
The Packers have one pick left and still haven't taken anyone on offense. Mike Sherman better have a good explanation. Supposedly, this draft was loaded with wide receivers, yet the Pack found none to their liking.
Being an amateur economist, I understand the law of demand. People are willing to buy more of a good at a lower price than a higher one. Since no one has taken me up on my "Donate for Doughnuts" offer, I'm lowering the price. The first five to donate $15 or more to SOA will get a dozen golden, glazed goodies. Call it doing my best Wal-Mart impersonation. E-mail your proof of donating to sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com.
Moving Ammo Instead of Dresses
The Boston Globe has an interesting article on the military's logistics revolution and whether Iraq has shown us the limits civilian contracting and outsourcing.
"Supply and Command"
Beatallica is some of the funniest stuff I've heard in ages. This month, their self-title second album is available for your downloading pleasure.
Thinking with Your (Other) Head
It's safe to say Talking to Richard won't be getting a TAM Award next December.
"Talking To Richard by Gary Sherbell"
April 24, 2004
Packers Draft: Day 1
This year's NFL is suppose to be loaded with wide receivers. Since I'm not sold on their current batch of WRs I'm worried that Mike Sherman focused too much on defense. Two cornerbacks, a defensive tackle, and a punter were drafted by the Pack. No receivers or quarterbacks in that mix. That's not to denigrate first round pick Ahmad Carroll. I worry about his size (5'10" going against Randy Moss)He's a burner who made plenty of tackles in college. Guess we'll be stuck with Tim Couch or Doug Pederson backing up Favre next season.
"Packers Pick Cornerback in First Round"
"Top Pick Will be Put to Work"
"Packers Buck Trend"
It's Come Down to Stripping Already
Dean Esmay's wife, Rosemary, is pulling out the big guns (pun intended). A $10 donation will get you some skin. If I wasn't on a (soon-to-be) winning team, my Alexander Hamilton would be headed her way.
Oh, by the way, I'm still offering doughnuts. Boy, do I feel inadequate now.
Donate to Spirit of America.
UPDATE: I added the Krispy Kreme-style graphic. I wonder if Michele was inspired by my sweet offer?
UPDATE II: One Fine Jay has topped my offer. He's running an auction for web design services. While only offer 12 golden glazed goodies, he's giving up 6-9 hours of his time. Again, I feel inadequate.
What's wrong? Nobody like doughnuts? Have my readers all gone on low-carb diets? No one has taken me up on my Krispy Kreme offer. Even if you don't like the golden glazed goodies (Heretic!), please generously donate to Spirit of America. With your gift our troops win, liberated Iraqis win, and the Victory Coalition wins.
"Spirit Of America Challenge - Day Three Report Card"
April 23, 2004
Spitting on Tillman's Grave
With all the hard work I've been doing following the Dean and Kerry campaigns (stop snickering) Paleowatch has suffered dearly. That changed today when PunchtheBag led me to this LewRockwell.com Blog post that's mildly sympathetic to Pat Tillman's death. It's in response to this vile post almost cheering Tillman's death. The writer, Karen De Coster, stays on her vicious streak by claiming the ex-NFL player was practically brainwashed into becoming an Army Ranger. According to De Coster, who has the superpower of reading people's minds, anyone of some notariety who backs the war is just a "war-worshiper" who sells death:
Yes, he [Tillman] got up from his Lazy-Boy and put his life on the line, however, this just goes to show that the picture that has been painted, of military/war worshipping, has worked, and it has lured young men like Tillman into believing that, yes, war and military and conquest is a good and necesssary thing, and that fighting for The Regime is the right thing to do. As a reader reminded me, look at Tiger Woods, who just recently spent "spring camp" at a military base, playing soldier for a few days, posing beside military armaments and the like. Someone posted that on the LRC blog I believe? This is the image that is being conveyed. This is how a government sells a bloody, murderous war, not unlike the old, pre-media days, with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope hawking war bonds as the "patriotic" thing to do.
The more these paleos talk, the more they marginalize themselves. If De Coster does what she did the last time I got under her collar, expect some highly charged response and comments.
April 22, 2004
Looking Good II
Peggy Noonan adds to Fineman on why Bush still leads Kerry:
I think Mr. Bush is admired and liked after three years of war, terror, strife and recession because people have eyes.
Then on Kerry, Noonan writes:
So far he doesn't seem like a possible president. He seems somewhat shifty, somewhat cold, an operator. He has a good voice but he seems to use it most to slither out of this former statement or that erstwhile position. It's OK that he looks like a sad tree, but you can't look like a sad, hollow tree. And it looks a little hollow in there. As if Iraq is an issue Kerry feels he has to handle deftly, and not a brutal question we have to solve, together. As if homeland security is an issue, or civil defense, or preparedness. They're not issues. They're life and death. Mr. Kerry doesn't seem to know.
"People Have Eyes"
Here Are Some Bad Songs
No need for me to follow the "worst song" meme that Blender started. I put together a list last year that I still stand mostly stand by. One song I'd add would be William Hung's version of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight." I've never heard, never will (hopefully), but after seeing him doing "She Bangs" how could it be any good?
Donate for Doughnuts
What could get you pumped up to donate to Spirit of America? How about doughnuts? Not just any old fried sweets, but those golden, glazed goodies that are the crack cocaine of junk food. I'm talking about the original, hasn't been duplicated Krispy Kremes! The first five people to donate $25 or more to Spirit of America will get themselves a dozen doughnuts courtesy of TAM. Donate, then e-mail me (sean--at--theamericanmind--dot--com) proof of your good deed.
If you have any hesitation, just let your sweet tooth do the thinking.
"SOA Challenge - Day 2 Schedule Of Activities"
Howard Fineman comments on the Presidential horserace. Even with the strong resistence in Iraq and questions about President Bush's approaches to terrorism prevention and the war "the fact is that Kerry has lost ground — ground he has to make up if he hopes to win in November." Fineman then lists some reasons Bush is doing all right despite the current problems.
It'd be hard for anyone to win the Presidency when their claim to fame is being a long-time Senator. The last man to go straight from the Senate to the White House was John F. Kennedy, and he narrowly beat Richard Nixon in 1960. The problem running as a Senator is they're not perceived as leading. Instead, they're part of the messy, convoluted process of making law. It's not that voters don't appreciate Kerry's efforts in his years as Senator. It's just that many don't see the skills developed there as that applicable to a President. A Senator can't will a bill into law. That person has to guide it through committees, past special interests, and around that body's intricate rules. That's far different than an person in an executive branch ordering the police to investigate an incident or dispatching the national guard. Dealing with so many people with their own agendas and interests, a Senator seems more qualified to be ambassador to the U.N. or Secretary of State than commander-in-chief.
Lots to Do (Literally!)
Insert lots of jokes in the comments.
Ed Moltzen counters James Fallows' critique of the Iraq War.
The Coalition is Losing
But Spirit of America and Iraq is winning. Forget bringing back the draft to more equitably share the burden. You can bear more of the burden (who's paying to kill the bad guys and rebuild there?) by donating.
"Spirit Of America Challenge - Day One Report Card"
The weblogger MeetUp fell through, but the Republican one is still on. Here are the details:
What: National Republican Party Meetup Day
I can't guarantee I'll be there. I'm leaning toward it, but I'll have to see how my day goes tomorrow.
April 21, 2004
Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) will convene a hearing on the fraud that was the Iraq Oil-for-Food program. Before allowing the U.N. to do anything more in Iraq, that organization must be held accountable for perpetuating Saddam's regime. Friends of Saddam, a new weblog, is following this story.
"The Iraq Oil-for-Food Program: Starving for Accountability"
I just downloaded Motown 1's from iTunes. Oh, do I love "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Always have, always will. The album is loaded with other great songs. Get it. There's no way you'll be disappointed.
Duke University has pushed back their first classes of the day from 8:00 am to 8:30 am to give students more time to sleep. Who's to say the students won't just stay up an extra half hour making change pointless?
The hottest comic strip writer is a jackass who sits around his Beverly Hills penthouse apartment staring at the television to find inspiration for his next strip. When it finally hits him it's lame, inspid Bush-bashing. Aaron McGruder doesn't even draw "The Boondocks" anymore. Berkeley Breathed is still trying to regain his form (hint: get Bill the Cat and send him on a mission with Delta Force) so our only hope for serious laughter is "Dilbert" and "Mallard Fillmore."
One Good Ketchup Company
Stop picking on Heinz, Co. They make the best ketchup and neither Sen. Kerry or his wife run the company. Blast Kerry for his hypocritical "Benedict Arnolds" remarks, but don't complain to the company. They're one of the good guys by donating only to President Bush.
April 20, 2004
A Useful Government Service
I noticed I've done a lot of posting but none of any length and thought. Oh, well. It's just one of those days. Anyway, the Wisconsin Legislative Research Bureau has RSS feeds for their publications. Perfect for any Wisconsin resident intent on keeping a watchful eye on their goverment.
Milwaukee MeetUp Cancelled
Not enough people signed up for the weblogger MeetUp. Bummer. The next one is around 05.19. I'll be bugging TAM readers when the date gets closer.
Think of Opinon Duel (thank goodness, it doesn't have another "hip" one-word name) as Crossfire and Hannity & Colmes, but with a whole lot more intelligence and substance. Right now, The New Republic's Jonathon Chait and National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru are debating pre-Sept. 11 intelligence mistakes.
Don Boudreaux has an outstanding post on job loss and economic change. Here's just a portion:
50 years ago this month, Dr. Jonas Salk launched nationwide testing of his polio vaccine. Within an incredibly short time (and with help from the researches and refinements of Dr. Albert Sabin), polio was effectively wiped out as a health threat in America.
The rest is Bastiat-like.
"Polio Vaccination and Jobs"
Cam Edwards Live!
I'm finally watching Cam Edwards on NRA News. He's good, but how long can a guy keep talking about a single issue (guns and the 2nd. Amendment)? And how long can someone listen to a single issue show?
Don't Just Sit There...Give!
Here's the deal: the Marines want to get seven Iraqi television stations up and running so the populace can watch something other than al-Jazeera. The Spirit of America is collecting donations for equipment it will send to Iraq. It's now the mission of a few webloggers to fill SoA's coffers so we can help out the troops and the newly-liberated Iraqis. Won't you help out? It'll feel good.
"The Victory Coalition"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
d-42 has this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.
April 19, 2004
Kerry's House of Ketchup #8
Hey boys and girls, it's time for another adventure onto the campaign trail of a man who may or may not have committed war crimes in Vietnam. It's time for Kerry's House of Ketchup. And now we have the "voice" of the Senator himself gracing this fine periodical. There's more clever "ads" at the John F. Kerry Media Relations Center.
Join in the fun by linking to the House of Ketchup. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.
For the Econ Junkies in My Audience
The Knowledge Problem hosts this week's Carnival of the Capitalists.
But I want to be on the winning team.
"The Victory Coalition"
Scenes from Phoenix
April 18, 2004
Milwaukee-area webloggers have never joined in the Meetup phenomenon. Let's change that this Wednesday, at 7:00 at Pizza Shuttle (map). If enough people sign up (need two more) I'll be there with a smile on my face and a digital camera in hand (the latter shouldn't scare you off).
Quote of the Day
I think that Law & Order is kind of comfort food for the mind. It's also visual nicotine. It's very seductive. You get that same nice, comfortable roller-coaster ride whenever you tune in.--Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.
When will some dangerously obese sloth sue Wolf for television addiction?
"CBS, NBC Plan More Series Spinoffs"
A New Addition to the TAM Family
TAM now has more speed and power. The problems I've been having with my 3+ year-old WinME machine pushed me to get a new desktop. Last weekend, I got it. I haven't used my Sam's Club membership in a long time, but I paid for my membership fee with this Compaq running an Athalon XP 2.16GHz processor, a 160 GB hard drive, 512 MB of RAM, a CD-RW and DVD-ROM, plenty of USB 2.0 and Fire Wire ports, and a 17" LCD. All of this was just under $1000.
So, Santa, while I don't really need a new computer I still wouldn't mind if this was under the tree next Christmas. (I could have bought one of these today, but I didn't want to hand over $1600 to the Wal-Mart empire.
In this transition I've been downloading a core set of programs I use often. They're great tools for me, so I figured I'd give you a little peak behind the TAM curtain to show you how the TAM wizard gets this weblog to look so darn good:
This episode of The Screen Savers is now over. Patrick and Kevin, you can have your show back.
Get a Clue...Everyone!
Hey idiots! Respond to Jamie Gorelick's conflicts of interest in a more constructive way: ignore or denounce the Sept. 11 commissions tainted findings. Don't threaten her with violence or other forms of (dare I say) terrorism.
And Oliver, lose the knee-jerk partisanship. You're better than that.
"Brown Shirts In Our Midst"
April 17, 2004
As I type, the second edition of BloggerCon is taking place. The conference's weblog has links to audio and video feeds and IRC (see webcasts). There is also list of participants with links to their weblogs. Dave Winer and Jeff Jarvis are both posting from the event. This time around, I'm not there. I'll try to explain my reasons later. Instead of talking about weblogs, I'm going fishing.
UPDATE: Jeff Sandquist is posting live with pics.
It's great when a post inspires an entry on another weblog. Trackbacks are really helpful in finding new, interesting weblogs. However, it's a bit rude to trackback to a post but not link to it. So, it's now an official TAM policy that I will delete any trackbacks that don't link to TAM or a specific entry.
April 16, 2004
John Kerry has dove head first into the Howard Dean pool of wackiness. Power Line got wind of an ad on Salon claiming Haliburton invaded Iraq. Where's FactCheck.org when you need them?
Hayek's Spirit Takes Over Stephenson
When Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver came out last year geeks, webloggers, and sci-fi freaks were excited. Because of my connections I got a copy of the book a week before it was released. I got about half-way through (400+ pages) and quit. It's one of the rare occasions where I couldn't finish a book. If anything, I will myself to get to the end, just to say I finished it. With Quicksilver, so many lengthy sidebars, tangents, and details bored me so I moved on to something else.
I'm now a little bothered with not finishing Quicksilver because the next book in The Baroque Cycle, The Confusion has just been released. In this book, Stephenson gets into the economic history of 17th century Europe. He talks to Wired News about the economy back then in particular and economies in general:
Very generally, it has to do with the flow of metal around the world. That's important because money is a sort of medium for the exchange of information. When the price of cloth went up in Antwerp, it was because the system of international trade, in some fashion that's too complex for us to understand, was transmitting information about the supply/demand balance. Money makes that kind of information flow better. [Emphasis mine.]
Those thoughts are practically Hayekian. There's the idea of the economy as an undesigned order that transcends any individual mind. Then there's the idea of money as a highly efficent communications mechanism. (Hayek calls the role of prices a "system of telecommunications" in his essay "The Use of Knowledge in Society.")
Sadly, I'm not willing to re-start a 900+ page novel just to then jump into a 800+ page sequel when I'm getting all the Hayek I want in Bruce Caldwell's Hayek's Challenge.
"Clearing Up The Confusion"
April 15, 2004
To celebrate (accountants and those who get refunds) or dread (those who owe) April 15, here's Reason's Brian Doherty on the "tax honesty" movement.
""It’s So Simple, It’s Ridiculous"
Not really, but this is something I'd love to hear.
"Bush Admits Mistakes, Apologizes"
I thought the guy who got Barry Bonds' 660th home run ball was pretty lucky. The next day, the same strange man in a mask got Bonds' 661st home run ball. We now know that strange, lucky man was Oracle CEO and billionaire Larry Ellison.
"Just Waiting for the Sock of the Bay"
UPDATE: It looks like I'm wrong. Some guy named Larry Ellison snatched both Bonds' homers, but it's not THE Larry Ellison, the shogun of Oracle. After re-reading the NY Times story then the San Jose Mercury News story, I see no mention of Ellison being a billionaire. If the Mercury News, in the heart of Silicon Valley, didn't mention him as the head of Oracle, then it wasn't the billioniare Ellison. Me bad. Thank you Eye for pointing it out.
Sin of Commission
If Oliver wants to go after someone whoes lie has done serious damage he can look at Jamie Gorelick. With John Ashcroft's declassification of Gorelick's memo, and the discovery that she wasn't honest with her fellow commissioners The commission probably could have survived Richard Ben-Veniste's desire for scoring political points over discovering what went wrong. But commission critics will point to Gorelick and argue her mission was to make sure blame didn't rest on her ex-bosses in the Clinton administration. She won't resign and won't testify. This commission could have had lasting impact on how the U.S. defends herself. Now, it will be remembered as an opportunity lost.
"Gorelicks Her Wounds"
UPDATE: My congressman and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Jim Sensenbrenner has called for Gorelick to step aside.
"GOP Calls for Commissioner to Step Down"
P is for perpetual motion. As in the constant jabs and counter jabs between President Bush's critics and defenders. It's an election year so what else should we expect.
First, we have Oliver Willis still not understanding the difference between lying and being wrong. Bush wasn't even sure about the figure. He said, "By the way, they found, I think, 50 tons of mustard gas, I believe it was, in a turkey farm, only because he was willing to disclose where the mustard gas was. But that made the world safer" [emphasis mine]. In that situation, he should have just said that mustard gas was found. It was an error, not deception. Heck, there's a politician he likes who made a similar mistake, and I didn't jump on him for being a lying bastard.
Then we have the Heritage Foundation's Helle Dale's and James Phillips' response that pre-Sept. 11 intelligence agencies should have prevented the deadly attacks:
The point Dr. Rice hammered home is worth repeating here: Before September 11, there was no political will to reinvent the way intelligence was collected and shared between agencies within and without the United States. "The problem was that for a country that had not been attacked on its territory in a major way in almost 200 years," she said, "there were lots of structural impediments to those [changes].... Those changes should have been made over a long period of time."
"Setting the Record Straight: Condoleezza Rice and the 9/11 Commission"
April 14, 2004
The Blame Game
Weblogger, tv talking heads, print pundits, Bush basher, and Bush supporters can go on and on in a never ending circle as to who and in what administration dropped the ball and not took terrorism seriously. We have the Gorelick memo that established "a set of instructions that will clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued criminal investigation." This "wall" between counterintelligence and criminal investigation was only modestly lowered when John Ashcroft took over the Justice Department.
If the Sep. 11 commission didn't look like a partisan clay shooting club before, it certainly does now. Did Jamie Gorelick mention to anyone that she wrote that memo before accepting a spot on the commission? Did she think the memo would never surface, and did she take steps to hide its existence? In light of this new information, does she think she has enough distance from the inquiry to offer a useful, objective opinion?
At last night's press conference, a few reporters tried hard to get President Bush apologize for the Sep. 11th attacks. Bush didn't fall into their trap. The reporters were seeking a "gotcha" moment to paste across headlines and put at the beginning of all their new updates. Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report were just drooling for a cover showing Bush with his head down, looking somber and the words "I'm Sorry" in bold down the side. The dirty little secret (that isn't) about the news media is they're a form of entertainment. The all-news channels and the newspapers are fighting for the same attention as American Idol and Hellboy. A Presidential apology would have been big news and drawn lots of eyeballs. That's how the game works, and the reporters were just fulfilling their roles. Bush didn't give in because he knew that for the next seven months Kerry's campaign and the Democrats' 527s would pump out ads declaring "Bush Failed!" and use the President's own words.
To those who think President Bush should have "done something" to stop the attacks, go back to Sept. 10. The country wasn't on a war footing. The first WTC attack was years before. Out of sight, out of memory. There were occasional reports of U.S. planes taking out Iraqi positions to enforce the no-fly zone. The country was at peace and thought it was safe. That was the public's view and, not surprisingly, that extended upwards to our leaders. There was that wall between counterintelligence and criminal divisions, and I'm sure John Ashcroft was doing some things to break it down. However, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the number one priority for him, because the U.S. wasn't at war. Government only moves fast when there's a crisis. The Patriot Act got past so quickly (with most members of Congress not knowing what was all in it) because they had to "do something." That's also why we're stuck with the TSA.
This then begs the question: Should we have been at war? Looking back with unfair, 20-20 vision, the answer is an unequivocal yes. But that doesn't take into account the political constraints of the times.
"Ashcroft Strikes Back at Sept. 11 Critics"
"The Blame Game"
TAM's First Blogchild
Jeff MacMillan, one of TAM's most prolific commenters now has a weblog of his own. If you like his comments on TAM (as well as across the blogosphere) then check out American Optimist.
April 13, 2004
Post Press Conference
President Bush's resolve was unmistakable tonight. Critics will call it pig-headedness while supporters (like me) will call it standing firm. Here's Oliver Willis' rather obnoxious live-blogging, and Michele offers up some material from the Bush choir [via OTB].
I need football season to start soon so I find something reasonable on Oliver's weblog. At his rate, he'll be spewing something Kos-like by the GOP convention in NYC.
mtpolitics.net is back from its Lenten leave of absence. Things are up and running again. Everything appears to be normal, but if you look carefully you'll see that it's now powered by WordPress. With Kate also playing with WP are we seeing the next great migration in the blogosphere?
Why Ask Why?
Last week, I didn't get why Bob Dylan is selling underware. Neither does Slate's Seth Stevenson.
TAM's Been Yahoo-ed
I made it into Yahoo. Why I didn't do this years ago, I don't know.
Cam's New Job
Cam Edwards is now hosting NRAnews.com. It's that organization's big middle finger to McCain-Feingold. Great for him. Now, is one of the fringe benefits all the ammunition you can shoot?
TAM Denied Again
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel messed up. Reporter Nahal Toosi, former Iraq War embed, wrote a story on weblogs. She mentioned weblogs in Oregon, Vermont, Madison, even Larry Lessig at Stanford. No mention of any local weblogs. Not to toot my horn to loudly, but I know of a pretty prolific one *ahem* *ahem*. I can even point Ms. Toosi to a couple (the Steve half to be exact) other (the Owen half to be exact) ones if she thinks my opinion is a little biased. Heck, two talk radio hosts at a sister station to her employer have their own (only ok) weblogs. But since there isn't enough interest to have a MeetUp for Milwaukee webloggers, I can see why Ms. Toosi went with the college angle.
Anybody interested in doing some pro bono PR for TAM? The previous guy wasn't cutting it so I pulled a Donald Trump on him. Another question: Can you get unemployment for firing yourself?
"Post and Publish"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
April 12, 2004
Bill Hobbs, in his quest to find the economy's "missing" workers (they're hidden in plain sight) links to an op-ed that echoes much of Bill's thinking.
"Payroll Survey Misses 'The Evolution of ... Work'"
You know this will make the next House of Ketchup.
Kevin, if you really wanted a link, all you had to do was ask. You wife must just love you. She just has another kid and you're busy geeking out with anti-Kerry tech.
Glenn has a nice, evolved, new look to InstaPundit. Just one huge problem: still no TAM link on his blogroll. Enough about linking to his "BlogChildren." He should start respecting his "BlogElders." When it comes to weblogging, Glenn's still a youngin'.
At least I have a picture. [The shorter, good-looking guy on the right (figures) is me.]
April 11, 2004
Weird Al Yankovic is having an awful Easter. His parents were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Parents of 'Weird Al' Found Dead at Home"
April 10, 2004
Steven Taylor's latest Toast-o-meter is up.
Matthew Stinson has some good pics from the Great Wall of China.
"According To Legend..."
Is it a coincidence that MoveOn.org ran an anti-Bush ad contest that included some Bush-as-Hitler ads and one of the MoveOn.org guys hooked up with the Kerry campaign? Based on this web page, it might not be.
Relax, I know it's a joke. Kerry is too lathargic and uninspiring to ever be a megalomaniacal would-be world conqueror.
The "infamous" 08.06.01 memo [click below] has been released. The way Bush's critics made it sound, you'd think there was something in it about al-Qaeda sending planes into buildings. The closet item in there is a report that federal buildings in New York City were cased. Last time I checked, the WTC wasn't a federal building.
"Damning Evidence in Memo!!"
UPDATE: After reading the memo, Steve of Norway is a little peeved.
Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to America.”
After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted text] service.
An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told [deleted text] service at the same time that Bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.
The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden’s first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack.
Ressam says Bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation.
Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.
AI Qaeda members — including same who are U.S. citizens — have resided in and traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.
Two Al Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.
A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Laden cell in New Yorkwas recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Shaykh” ‘Umar’ Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance offederal buildings in New York.
The FBI is conducting approximately 70 investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May sayingthat a group or Bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.
Ten Sheets to the Wind
The Brewers won their first game at home this season by smacking the Astros 6-1. Ben Sheets pitched his best game as a pro by blazing a fastball in the upper-90s and striking out a career-high 10 batters.
"Sheets Looks Sharp"
Not Throwing the Bums Out
Matthew Yglesias suggests Sen. John Kerry use the lack of FBI/CIA accountability post-Sep. 11 to attack President Bush. While it wouldn't sway me to back Sen. Ketchup it would put some justifiable heat on the President. I have been wondering for a long time why George Tenet still has his job.
April 09, 2004
I think she did a really good job testifying today, especially when Ben-Veniste was not very professional to her. She didn't back down and answered all the questions.[Emphasis mine.]
What I'm most impressed about isn't D.J.'s interest in current events, it's that he can spell "Condoleeza."
Many Missed the Ball
Linda Chavez hits it on the head:
The truth is, no one -- not George W. Bush or Condoleezza Rice, and certainly not Bill Clinton or his advisers -- fully understood how grave a threat al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and other Islamist terrorists posed to America until September 11, 2001.
In her column she does a little time traveling to find out how serious the Clinton administration was at combatting al Qaeda.
"Was Terrorism Really a Top Priority?"
Blix Bites Back
If no WMD are ever found in Iraq, then blame for the war rests firmly on the lap Saddam Hussein. In a review of Hans Blix book Disarming Iraq Fareed Zakaria writes:
Later, in February 2003, as the United States made clear that time was running out, several countries proposed ways of testing Iraqi cooperation. One was that Saddam Hussein give a televised speech promising full cooperation with inspections so that everyone in the country heard it from the top. Another was a timeline for inspections with clear benchmarks. Almost every country got seriously interested in these proposals. But there was no response from Iraq. It was behavior like this that led Blix and many others to assume that the Iraqis were not coming clean because they had something to hide.
Zakaria then chides the Bush administration for not using diplomacy enough:
But if getting Iraq right was tough, getting the diplomacy right was much easier. Reading this book one is struck by how, at the end, the United States had become uninterested in diplomacy, viewing it as an obstacle. It seems clear that with a little effort Washington could have worked through international structures and institutions to achieve its goals in Iraq. Blix and ElBaradei were proving to be tough, honest taskmasters. Every country -- yes, even France -- was coming around to the view that the inspections needed to go on for only another month or two, that benchmarks could have been established, and if the Iraqis failed these tests the Security Council would authorize war. But in a fashion that is almost reminiscent of World War I, the Pentagon's military timetables drove American diplomacy. The weather had become more important than international legitimacy.
Zarkaria thinks diplomacy for just a little longer would have gotten more international backing. How could that be when France declared they wouldn't support any resolution that called for war? Like the Sep. 11 widows, this is a lot of "coulda', woulda'" Monday-morning quarterbacking.
"Disarming Iraq: Lack of Evidence"
The Widows' Tale
These Sept. 11 widows expected their leaders, normal human beings, to act in superhuman ways. Through all the chatter and constant threats against the U.S. somehow Condi, Tenet, Rumsfeld, and Bush should have immediately concluded that al Qaeda was behind the first plane hitting the WTC. They shouldn't have taken any time to evaluate the present situation. Instead, they should have instantly known it was a terrorist attack. Like much of the public, these women expect godlike efforts from their leaders but are enticed by the "average Joe" they can relate to when they step into the voting booth.
But even granting their demand for extraordinary prescience, what could anyone have done after the first plane hit? From my recollection, the attacks happened within an hour of each other. Planes in the air could have been warned that they might be hijacked, but by then the plane that hit the second tower was under terrorist control. Maybe the passengers could have fought back like Todd Beamer et al did over Pennsylvania. Maybe the pilots could have crashed their planes before hitting the second tower and the Pentagon. That's as much "coulda' shoulda'" as what the widows are throwing at the administration. These women are hurting and displaying their pain publically. Their expectations of perfection only infame partisan bickering. Their crusade is doing little to actually make America safer.
"A Lack Of Credibility"
UPDATE: Jay Solo has a good reply to the grandstanding by attendees at Condi's hearing.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
Help out ESR
Enter Stage Right has been in the conservative writing biz longer than the blogosphere explosion. For years, ESR has produced weekly editions featuring quality conservative writing (including me). Steve, the editor and publisher, is having some financial problems. Donate to ESR so it can continue letting the rest of the world know what's Right.
Kerry's House of Ketchup #7
It's awkward engaging in a bit of partisan frivolity while our boys and girls are risking their lives to bring peace, stability, and liberty to Iraq. Our troops aren't just fighting for Iraqi freedom, they protecting us as well. A stable, free Iraq will reduce the threats against the U.S. In a roundabout way, our soldiers are fighting to make sure we continue to have the ability to choose our leaders. Pray for them in this time of struggle. Now, on to the entries.
April 08, 2004
An American Legend
Saint Paul at fraterslibertas.com went off on women's college basketball in particular and women's college athletics in general. On one point, he's correct: women athletes shouldn't act as barbarian-like as men. But he disparraged the women's b-ball game too harshly. I rarely watch women's basketball, but I watched this year's Final Four with much enjoyment. These players were really good. The movement away from the ball was as good as the men's college game and far better than the NBA. The cuts to the basket were precise and effective even if they weren't as fast for Saint Paul's ("it actually appears as if they’re all playing under water") taste. Tennessee, LSU, UConn, and Minnesota hustled for the ball with so much passion. Big plays were made by real stars. Minnesota's Janel McCarville displayed soft hands and good footwork. Her teammate, Lindey Whalen was fearless going to the basket.
Then there was the uber-player; the woman among girls; the greatest women's college basketball player I've ever seen: Diana Taurasi. It's nearly an understatement to say she can do it all, because she did so much to make her team win. She handled the ball as well as any point guard even though she's a guard/forward. She drove to the basket and always had options available. If the defense caved in on her, she'd find the open woman under the basket for a easy score. If the passing lanes were filled she either kick it out to a three-point shooter or dribble it out herself. If Minnesota was dumb enough to put only one player on her, she'd make an amazing spin move and drain the fade-away.
Taurasi is the definition of clutch. If her team needed a basket to squelch the opponent's momentum, she'd dribble down the court and make a three-pointer with a hand in her face. On defense, she was also always in the right place at the right time to steal the ball or block a shot.
Then there's Taurasi's will to win. I can only compare that belief that losing isn't an option to Michael Jordan. A three-peat wasn't to be denied her. Diana was UConn coach Gene Auriemma's assistant coach on the court. At every opportunity, she encouraged her teammates and told them what they needed to do. Taurasi deserved to win those three national titles like few other athletes in American history. To not appreciate the amazing talent Diana Taurasi is unfortunate. But who am I to talk? I can't figure out the infatuation with Kurt Cobain.
[Added to OTB's Beltway Jam.]
O is for obdurate. As in those obsessed (another O word!) with outsourcing "evils" fail to understand the importance of the division of labor in a modern, productive society. I offer them Bastiat's "A Petition" for enlightenment.
"Outsourcing Sends Jobs Away, But Others Come In, Supporters Say"
[My first (and possibly only) addition to Kate's Letter of the Day.]
I don't get why Dylan is hawking underwear, but being a red-blooded male, I don't care.
[via Power Line]
This graphic shows the breakdown of where Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt and Mayor-elect Tom Barrett got their votes. The knee-jerk, convential wisdom is that Barrett, being white, has to reach out to black Pratt voters. Since Barrett is a liberal who has represented the city for years in Congress, this will come naturally for him. However, black Pratt supporters who voted for him primarily because he's black have to examine their preconceptions.
"Barrett Wants 'Heart-to-Heart' with Pratt"
"Pratt Boosted Black Turnout, but not Enough"
April 07, 2004
Listen to Free Culture
Lawrence Lessig's new book Free Culture was released under a Creative Commons license. If you don't want to buy the book or read the downloadable versions there's the home made audio book you can listen to.
Voters in California vetoed Wal-Mart's attempt to avoid the onerous zoning and environmental regulations that plagued the Golden State's economy. Wal-Mart critics will see this as a loss for Goliath and a victory for David. However, it really is a loss all-around. As Doug Bandow writes:
The objection to Wal-Mart is simple: It charges lower prices, drawing customers away from established businesses, hurting "the community." The problem is not really Wal-Mart, however. Rather, it is economy-minded customers who desire increased choice and lower prices. Thus, instead of barring Wal-Mart, honest critics should favor arresting anyone who shops at any discounter—even by mail. This is the logical, if nonsensical, consequence of the anti-Wal Mart worldview.
"Can 'Unbridled Capitalism' Be Tamed?"
"California's Chilly Welcome for Wal-Mart"
[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]
About a week into the life of Air America and according to Steve Verdon it isn't getting any better.
April 06, 2004
Tom Barrett has beaten Marvin Pratt. Milwaukee voters had the good sense of not electing a race-baiting, law-breaking Pratt and throwing the city into chaos.
UPDATE: The paranoid Pratt during his concession speech told his supporters, "They hung me." More racially-tinged language. No one hung Marvin, he hung himself. The tactless Pratt had no congratulations to Barrett.
UPDATE II: In Barrett's speech he thanked Pratt. "Marvin Pratt is a good man, and I respect him." Being a liberal, he couldn't stop himself from spewing the politically correct cliche that "Our diversity is our greatest strength." But he knows he has "work to do to unite this community.... We have to move forward together."
What will Pratt do now? There is an open congressional seat in Milwaukee. He could take the racial anger he generated in the Mayor's race and use that if he wants to. But all he flaws that were brought into the open would still be there. Additional campaigning might even bring more to light. It will be very interesting watching what Pratt does in the next few months.
My Focus this Election Night
It's Election Day in Wisconsin. There are plenty of local races and referenda, but the most notable races are in Milwaukee. Voters there will choose a mayor and county executive.
There are two things I'll be watching when the results start coming in:
"As Hard-Fought Race Ends, It's Decision Day"
"A Score of School Districts Look to Ease Budget Woes with Referenda Today"
Some of the best of the worst--the Bonfire of the Vanities that is--is over at Soundfury. Read 'em and weep.
In contrast, I will be watching the best of the best, Connecticut and Tennessee, battle for the women's national championship.
"UConn-Tennessee Still All About Dee"
Rush Endorses ScrappleFace
"ScrappleFace: EIB Quality"
A Deserving Award
Anne Applebaum won the General Non-Fiction Pulitzer for her outstanding book, Gulag. The book is full of pain and horror, but it's something all freedom-loving people need to read. This award is great timing for her. Gulag comes out in paperback 04.20.
April 05, 2004
This subject would normally be avoided on TAM, but it is the 10th anniversary of Cobain's suicide. It wasn't Cobain's idea to become the most beloved/talked about/overrated musician of my time. He probably would be grotesquely offended at hoopla made about him on MTV and in music magazines. Nirvana's Nevermind did give rock and roll a good, solid kick in the posterior. But to turn its release into a B.C/A.D. moment was a quick trip to la-la land. The songs on the album are good (not great, except for "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). They proved punk and alternative music could rock. However, if it wasn't Nirvana, it probably would have been Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, or some other band. That doesn't take away from what Cobain et. al. did. It just means that those on the "Kurt is god" train are riding with the shades down.
When I found out Cobain died, I wasn't surprised. Too many before him decided to go down the path of least resistence and succom to drugs, alcohol, suicide, or just hard living. I also knew then that his suicide would take him to musicial cult status. For some reason, a rocker's death, especially self-inflicted, turns them into a myth.
"He Can Really Rock Like a Magikist"
April 04, 2004
Laurence has the Carnival of the Cats. I'm holding back from making any derogatory comments. Just go get some catnip and enjoy.
P.S. The only reason I'm subjecting you to this is Laurence was nice enough to link to my Morris for Prez post.
April 03, 2004
Since Wisconsin is a football state that doesn't have big league hockey, news in that sport is hard to come by (Madison is the exception with their re-born Badgers). I just found out that my alma mater, the University of Minnesota Duluth (no hyphen) is in the Frozen Four. Even more satisfying is they beat their in-state rivals, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Golden Gophers to get there. And even more satisfying, the Bulldogs stopped the Gophers from going after their third-straight national title. I'd sing UMD's fight song if I could remember it. Instead, I'll hum the unofficial fight song, "In Heaven There is No Beer."
"Minnesota Loses Chance at Three-Peat with Loss to Duluth"
"UMD and Denver to Collide in NCAA Frozen Four Semifinals Thursday at Boston's FleetCenter"
Screw You, Kos
Jay Reding has an outstanding reply to Kos' spew.
"The Dead Of Fallujah"
UPDATE: Kos hasn't apologized. He didn't try to use the non-apology apology trick ("I'm sorry if I offended anyone"). He isn't even sorry he got caught. He was worried for a while. Not for upsetting lots of people or displaying a pretty ugly side of himself. Instead, he was worried all his advertisers would dump him with no one to replace them. In Kos' world, the Iraq War may only be about the oil for President Bush, but it's all about the Blogads for him.
ANOTHER UPDATE: The Kerry campaign had the decency to de-link Kos' webog from the campaign's. Now, I hope they have the decency to stop accepting the contributions he's bundling for Kerry. Read Matt Margolis' post on how tied in Kos is with the Democrats.
April 02, 2004
Kerry's House of Ketchup #6
I can taste the tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, the distilled vinegar, the high fructose corn syrup, the (ordinary, I guess) corn syrup, the salt, spice, onion powder, and natural flavoring (Aren't salt et. al. "natural?"). Oh, to have a hamburger or hot dog right now. Ketchup is more than just a yummy topping to meat products a french fries. It's also a "natural source of the antioxidant lycopene." But enough with the good things about ketchup. The only reason I care is because Sen. John Kerry wouldn't have the Boston house he put in hock to fund his then-slumping campaign if it wasn't for his wife, Theresa Heinz-Kerry. And Mrs. Heinz-Kerry would have her fortune without ketchup. With that it's time for the latest edition of Kerry's House of Ketchup.
Why I Don't Bother with Kos
UPDATE: Oliver Willis chastises Kos. Good.
Kevin's wife gave birth to a baby boy.
She Made It Up
The Badger State was in the spotlight because of a mission UW college student. Two days ago, Audrey Seiler was "found." She claimed she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Madison apartment. The morning, she changed her story and claimed she was kidnapped somewhere in Madison. A few hours later, the police department announced that there wasn't a suspect on the loose. The most important evidence is video of Seiler going into a store and buying items she said were used during her abduction.
As soon as she was discovered, I was suspicious. Something didn't feel right. First, she was found nearby the very hotel her family and search party. Second, when someone, anyone disappears for more than a day, I assume they're dead. It's rare that someone is missing for that long and is found alive. Third, we heard nothing about how she escaped. Was there a struggle? Did she hurt her abductor? Fourth, in February, Seidler claims she was knocked unconscious by an attacker. If it was the same man who kidnapped her, why didn't her take her the first time? Either Seidler is one very unlucky woman or something was fishy.
Something happened to her. It may or may not have been last February. Something in her head could have just gone haywire. I think she's more sick than demented. I don't think this was some elaborate April Fool's joke. I see it as a call for help. Questions need to be answered, but I hope Seidler isn't crucified by the media or public.
"No Abduction, no Suspect in Seiler Case, Police Say"
"Police Doubt College Student's Abduction Claim"
"Rockford Residents not Sure What to Make of Seiler's New Story"
UPDATE: I must mention that after examining Seidler's computer they found that someone used it to research Madison parks near her apartment as well as the five-day weather forcast. Also, the computer was used during the time she was considered missing. There is also the fact that the state employee who called 911 about Seidler saw her in previous days.
"Police Believe Missing Student Faked Her Abduction, Have Store Videos of Her Buying Rope and Duct Tape"
Since the Journal Sentinel is doing such a poor job reporting a story less than 100 miles from them (only an AP wire story is on their website), I'm relying on the Twin Cities' and Madison papers. St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Rubén Rosario has a great column on false claims of attacks and their effects.
"Happy Ending May Obscure Disturbing Reality"
April 01, 2004
I'll Pay for this Ad
Democrats misleading America on Iraqi WMD? Watch this?
Last year, loud-mouthed Canadians booed a pee-wee U.S. hockey team. This year, the country apologized in a very "cool" way.
"The Rest of the Story"
A Virgin No More
Jay had his first Krispy Kreme exprience, and it was good.
De Soto Honored
Hernando de Soto won the 2004 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. The award goes to an "individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom." De Soto realized the property rights are vital to economic development. In the Third World, squatters live on land but have no formal right to that beneath their feet. He wrote in his book The Other Path, "They have houses but not titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation." Even if common sense would dictate that they were the landowners due to not having a title, they cannot use the land as collateral to build a business or improve their homes. Economic progress is stagnant as a result. An innovative vision and entreprenurial spirit may be there, but the access to capital prevents them from taking on a greater economic role. If his most recent book, The Mystery of Capital, were written in the language of mainstream economists--mathematics--De Soto would be in line for the Nobel Prize. Nevertheless, he's deserving. His ideas, while appearing to be simple, common sense are powerful and could lift millions out of poverty.
"Property Rights Champion Hernando de Soto Wins Friedman Prize for Liberty"
UPDATE: NRO has a great interview with de Soto on the importance of well-defined property rights.
Predict the Death of Air America
Paul, part of the Wizbang guest gang, is running a contest where you can guess when Air America goes flat line. I'm guessing 02.02.2005.
Fall Down, Go Boom
In 1933 the Madison Capital-Times solemnly announced that the Wisconsin state capitol building lay in ruins following a series of mysterious explosions. The explosions were attributed to "large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers." Accompanying the article was a picture showing the capitol building collapsing. By modern standards the picture looks slightly phony, but readers in 1933 were fooled—and outraged. One reader wrote in declaring that the hoax "was not only tactless and void of humor, but also a hideous jest."