One of the cheapest but most enduring rhetorical moves is to deny that there's any downside to your advocated plan of action. Race-quota or race-preference advocates routinely argue that quotas help minorities get jobs they wouldn't have but for quotas, but simultaneously argue that quotas never result in a non-minority not
getting a job he otherwise would
Errrm, how could this possibly be the case? How can helping a minority get a job not also simultaneously hurt the chances of a non-minority from getting the same job?
In the war on terror, leftists, who are anti-war (or at least anti- Republican-led
war) claim that we can increase our security by doing nothing at all. There's no tradeoff, they claim, between pacifism and security; no tradeoff whatsoever between vigorous and sometimes intrusive internal security and protecting the nation against terrorism. Again and again, they claim that we can have, simultaneously, maximalist
civli-liberties and minimalist
police action while simultaneously enjoying maximum
That seems pretty dishonest to us. We can imagine an honest case being made for maximalist civil-liberites and minimalist police or military action, but we think that such an honest case would have to begin with the admission: More of us are going to lose our lives to terrorism due to this approach than would lose their lives under a different approach. But we think civil liberties and pacifism are more important that the marginal rate of additional deaths which will be suffered under this regime, and here's why.
Those of us on the right, however, are sometimes prone to the opposite impulse. We've read -- and we've thought and written,
ourselves -- that there is almost no tradeoff between killing bad guys and security, either. Killing bad guys, as efficiently and ruthlessly as possible, is always, under all circumstances, a good thing and only leads to increased security, because the bad guys get the message that you're serious.
That's probably more accurate that inaccurate, but we sort of doubt it's an iron-clad rule, always correct under all situations. Simply because we doubt there are many such iron-clad rules in life at all.
Which brings us around to Fallujah.
On the right, there is an impulse -- shared by us -- to say that the best way to deal with these bastards is just to go in there and kill every goddamned last one of them, damn the consequences, and damn the bleatings from Imam Sistani.
Maybe that's true. But it also may be true that by doing so, we would sacrifice the likelihood of success for another important priority, to wit, making Iraq into a somewhat-stable sort of place, the sort of place we can leave to govern itself, and then get the hell out of there.
It is almost too tempting to say that just blowing the living hell out of Fallujah would actually work to increase the stability and security out of Iraq. It's almost too tempting, because it promises us the possibility of doing both what we desperately want to do (kill the bastards) and the result we desperately want to achieve (a stable Iraq that we can leave without regret).
Again, it's possible that going in there and killing everyone is the right move. We don't know. But we also can't dismiss the possibility that doing so would actually lead to a bigger mess than we currently have, and which would then jeopardize the June 30 transfer-of-power date.
It's not that we trust Bush's judgment on this, or the judgment of the Marine commanders negotiating this deal. It's more that there are so many unknowns in the situation that it's difficult to say, with a straight face, that we know Option X is wrong and we know Option Y is right. We don't trust Bush so much as we have too little information upon which to vigorously contradict him.
We think it's important that we transfer power on June 30th.
We think, for one thing, we're sick of Americans dying in order to secure a decent future for these ingrate bastards.
We think, as we said below, that people will behave irresponsibly until they are given responsibility and are forced to confront the consequences of their irresponsibility.
We think our forces are now tied down in Iraq, which undermines the seriousness of threats we may wish to make against North Korea and Iran and Syria; one can't threaten a thug when one is already grappling with a different thug. We want to be done with these
thugs, if only to draw back our fist and let the other thugs know we're ready to hit again.
Some will say that letting the terrorists off the hook here undermines the "moral clarity" and absoluteness of the Bush Doctrine.
But the doctrine isn't absolute; no doctrine ever is. There are, of course, a lot of terrorists operating in Yemen, for example, but we're not invading to catch them. Instead, we're working with the Yemenis, pressuring their government and providing military assistance and covert operators, so that we can get, say, 30% of the total possible terrorist-fighting bang for only 1% of the terrorist-fighting buck. We could invade Yemen and catch 70% of the terrorists, but that would obviously entail a very steep price; we've decided, as a nation, it's better to reap a modestly-sized reward which is nevertheless outsized in comparison to our smallish investment.
Will there be terrorists who escape Fallujah do this deal? Of course there will be; probably quite a few. But in world in which resources are simply not infinite, it is sometimes a wise military decision to take a modest gain (reduced, but not eliminated, terrorism eminating from Fallujah) if one can incur a smaller cost (fewer troops actually fighting in Fallujah) doing so.
The Bush Doctrine isn't absolute, either, in Pakistan. Yes, we could
simply send 100,000 American troops into the Pakistani tribal areas, violating their sovereignty. We'd have a good (or better, at least) chance of killing Osama bin Ladin, but we would, of course, provoke an immediate coup d'etat
which places Pakistan's nuclear weapons in the hands of Islamist maniacs.
We always find it amusing to listen to cheap, moronic partisans like Oliver Willis scream that we should just invade Pakistan. Apparently the rule that "fighting terrorists only makes more terrorists" doesn't apply in the Pakistani tribal areas. And it's always funny that tough-talking liberals always claim they're all gung-ho willing to go to war against the bad guys... just in a different country than the one currently being discussed.
At any rate, Pakistan is once again an example of a situation in which the strong-form of the Bush Doctrine -- wipe the bad guys out, no matter what the consequences, and damn the torpedoes -- is shown to be inoperative. We don't want to radicalize Pakistan.
And neither do we want to radicalize Iraq.
We plan to transfer power on June 30th. After June 30th, many of these problems will be less our problem and more the problems of Iraqis themselves. It's out mission to create a stable and decent Iraq; it's not our mission to create for them a paradisical New Eden on the Euphrates.
This article is simulposted
at our new home at Munuvia, at www.ace.mu.nu.
Counterpoint: Surburban Sundries Shack disagrees.
If you disagree (and we imagine many of you do) you might find that SSS persuasive:
I do think, though, that one part of the Doctrine that is absolute is that we do what we say we're going to do. This is the first rule of parenting and it works in diplomacy, too. When you tell your kid that if he bounces the ball inside one more time you're going to take it away, you'd better snatch it the very next time it leaves his hand. If you don't, you've just taught your child that you can be had cheap. You have to stay on what Mr. Paul Anka would call your integrity kick. If you lose it, it's hell to get back.
Generally supporting the current actions, but for entirely different reasons, Belmont Club thinks the Marines have out-hudna'd the Arabs.
We allow that SSS could very well be right, and that we may be willing to give Bush too much benefit of the doubt for the sort of kneejerk, "My party wrong or right" partisanship that has so utterly deranged the left.
But we don't think that's it. We don't want to say we're wobbly on the war; or at least we don't want to admit that. We are, however, a little sick of our heroes fighting, bleeding, and dying on behalf of childish ingrates.
The Fallujah Deal: Selling Out Iraq's Future to Terrorists, And Why That's a Good Thing
So, we've done what Sistani and all the other "moderate" Iraqi clerics wanted: we negotiated a truce that essentially lets the terrorists continue terrorizing.
It's not necessarily all bad.
It's been angering us for some time that the Iraqis are engaging in an irresponsible-verging-on-childish politics for some time. One one hand, they do nothing but complain that their security is poor, and that they're being killed by Baathists and foreign fighters.
On the other hand, they rage against their American "occupiers" and demand piously that we not touch a hair on one of the precious heads of their murderous Muslim brethren.
These two demands are plainly irreconcilable. Their complaints are incoherent; we could not satisfy both demands simultaneously, no matter how hard we endeavored to do so, because the more one is satisfied, the less the other is. And that's unavoidable.
This is what makes their complaints irresponsible, incoherent, altogether worthless. And that's sort of what separates a critique
from a mere childish complaint.
A critique is a coherent criticism which offers a new suggested course of action. A mere complaint is a childish temper-tantrum of someone whining, "I don't like things the way they are, and I want you to make all of my troubles go away, but I will continue complaining no matter what course of action you choose."
We've got a whole essay about this phenemenon, and how universal it is -- the Democratic Party is currently past-masters of childish complaining -- but leave that aside for now. It's not necessary to make the instant point.
The Iraqis have thusfar been permitted to be irresponsible and utterly incoherent in their complaining because we have shielded them from the consequences of their own inconsistencies by simply ignoring them and doing what is, more than likely, the right thing. But that has earned us no goodwill; indeed, it only sets them complaining all the louder.
It's time, we think, to actually do some of the things the complaining Iraqis claim
they want us to do, and do them the favor -- it's a favor in the long-term -- of letting the suffer the consequences of their own childish tantrums. Perhaps they will soon learn the often brutal relationship between cause and effect, a relationship which has thusfar been obscured from their eyes by the presence of an all-purpose scapegoat, the "occupier" Crusader armies.
You want us to negotiate, Imam Sistani? Very well. Here's what happens in a negotiation, bub: We negotiate with the former killers and thugs who kept you down for forty years, and we grant them concessions and political power.
Political power that would otherwise reside in your hands; but hey, you wanted a negotiation, right? Well enjoy the fruits of your ingrate complaining. One of Saddam's generals is now in control of Fallujah; isn't negotiating grand?
At some point -- and usually this point is reached extremely early -- attempting to protect people from their own self-destructive stupidity becomes counter-productive. They don't thank you for your kindness, and indeed they only blame you for everything that goes wrong in their miserable lives.
That's one of the tenets of conservatism: Everyone has the right to be stupid. Everyone has the right to engage in self-destructive behavior. And it is wisest to allow people to do so, if their minds are so set, because you just can't dictate that people smarten up.
Either people will ultimately kill themselves or they will wise up right before doing so and learn a lesson, a lesson which a government or liberating army is incapable of instilling in them. They have to learn themselves.
There is only one tonic for such irresponsiblity: Give them the responsibility and let them learn to swim or else drown in their own juvenile incoherence. They will almost certainly make the wrong decisions at first, but hopefully they will learn.
The Iraqis will have to put up with these people, long after our troops have retreated into their bases and concern themselves chiefly with force-protection and border security.
If they want to keep these people around, fine (up to a point). When the Iraqis themselves have primary responsibility for their own internal security, they
can deal with the problem. There will be more bloodshed, of course, especially more blood shed from Iraqis loyal to the new government, but that is the consequence of "negotiating" with people who want to kill you.
If the Iraqis wish to die by the score learning that lesson, it's fine by us.
Rather they who volunteered for such mayhem than our American heroes who are doing the jobs of ingrates -- ingrates whose scapegoating and incoherence and cowardice in making even the most basic decisions about their own futures make them mere spectators in their own fates.
This article is simulposted
at our new home on Munuvia, at www.ace.mu.nu.
Justice David Souter, Jogging, Stumbles Over Kevin Spacey, Walking His Dog
It's an amazement to us that so many bachelors get rolled while engaging in perfectly innocent non-sexual behavior in city parks at night:
Supreme Court Justice David Souter was assaulted by several men while jogging in Washington Friday night, the court announced Saturday.
Souter suffered slight injuries and was taken to Washington Hospital, where he was treated and released.
And none of this is to say he deserved it, or we take pleasure in this, or anything like that.
It's just, you know, how many times can one go to the "I was jogging with my dog at 1:30 am in the park when I decided to give a transexual prostitute with sexy feet a ride home just because I'm a good samaritan" well?
The T (subway system) in Boston shuts down at like 1:00am. As a friend of ours remarked, that's prudish Boston instructing you that you should go to bed.
That may be prudish, but really, an awful lot of bad things seem to happen after the midnight hour.
Maybe it's time to start jogging/walking your dog/giving rides to transexual prostitutes when the sun is still shining.
Please Go Away, Rene
How does one respond to the simpering little twerp who viciously maligned Pat Tillman?
Protein Wisdom has "discovered" this twee twit's homepage and presents it for your enjoyment.
Republican Chicks Are Easy
Or at least it's easy to get them to link you. First Ann Coulter, now Cathy Seipp of the Independent Women's Forum, and the MoDo Watch Feature.
She's nice enough to quote us in her latest article.
But she didn't actually provide a link to the article in question. If anyone cares,
Be warned, it's more of a Professor of Comedy rant against tasteless puns and cutesey wordplay than a full-on anti-Dowd screed; Dowd is just mentioned at the highest-visibility practioner of the vile form of writing.
And it was all written in a single-draft rush while we were stoned out of our minds on the roasted adrenal glands of a fetal boar.
Polished, it is not. But if you get bored halfway through, skip down to the bottom for a good anti-Dowd rant.
Potty-Mouthed Cartoon Squirrel Rips Starbucks
Two Braincells was nice enough to link us in this post,
but the really funny thing here is "Neurotically Yours." Check it out.
Mario Cuomo Blames the Jews, But Our Supremely Objective Media Fails to Notice
Via Allah Pundit,
Liberal Lion Mario "Made Man" Cuomo waxes philosophical about the filthy, hidden hand of the Jews in world violence:
"You can't ever make serious progress against terrorism unless you deal with Israel. We are not dealing with Israel. We've backed away. We're afraid of the political consequences."
Pat Buchanan talking? No, in fact it was former New York governor Mario Cuomo. Furthermore, said Cuomo in an interview with the New Haven Register, the U.S. should tell Israel: "Up until now it was just you and the Palestinians killing one another -- now you are killing us. Now there are people out there who are taking Israel as the provocation to terrorize us all over the globe -- in the United States and elsewhere."
And Cuomo suggested that Israeli leaders be told that "you have a responsibility to all of us (and) we are going to be more assertive in dealing with you.... So let's sit down and talk."
Forty-eight hours after his words appeared in print, a backpedaling Cuomo called the Register to "clarify" his comments. "We have to be more assertive as to both sides, to force them together, not just the Israelis," he said, although he did not retract any of his earlier statements.
More surprising than the harsh tone of Cuomo's remarks was that no New York newspaper, or any media outlet, for that matter, reported them. Then again, given Cuomo's status as a Democratic Party hero -- and in light of the relatively positive press coverage he received during a 12-year tenure as governor that was long on rhetorical flourishes and short on tangible accomplishment -- the silence of New York's media lambs was to be expected.
Imagine, though, the din that would ensue were a former Republican elected official, particularly one perceived throughout his years in office as being unflinchingly pro-Israel -- Al D'Amato, say -- to characterize Israel as somehow bearing responsibility for terrorist attacks on Americans.
Just visualize the breathless teasers for the local evening newscasts: "Former senator slams Israel -- details at 11." Or how about "Influential Republican says it's time to get tough with Israel -- Marcia Kramer is here with the story."
The whole article is worth excerpting, but at some point "excerpting" crosses the line into simple plagiarism. Read the whole thing, as the man says.
There are two forms of liberal media bias: bias by commission and bias by omission. Of the two, the latter is far more important.
Bias by commission occurs when the media report a story in a slanted fashion.
Bias by omission occurs, most dramatically, when the media simply refuse to report a story whatsoever.
The media is constantly offering us what are claimed to be objective and neutral rules which, they imply, more or less dictate
that they report a story in a certain way, or don't report a story at all. Trouble is, the "rules" established for, say, giving anti-Jew remarks by a Republican the full-court press suddenly seem inoperative, and not quite "rules" at all, when a Democrat makes similar remarks.
"It's just our news-judgment," they explain.
Well, boys, it's one or the other. Either you have firm rules which allow you little latitude or else everything depends on highly-nuanced "context" and idiosyncratic "news-judgment" which may or may not include a political bias. You can't claim one and then the other as you see fit, a "rule" dictating breathless reporting that hurts Republicans, but a "delicate weave of interrelated considerations and subjective factors succeptible to numerous permutations based upon news-judgment" when you spike a story about Democrats.
Let's put aside the issue of whether or not what Mario Cuomo says is true or not. (It's not; but we just said put that aside, damnit!) What is inarguable is that these statements are newsworthy because they can hurt the Democrats' appeal with a key part of their coalition. That is NEWS. There is no way to avoid that.
Let's put aside whether the press agrees with Mario Cuomo or not (they do; but for crying out loud, we said put that aside!), but these remarks are politically incendiary.
But the press made a "news judgment" decision: Mario Cuomo is right, and the Democrats shouldn't be made to pay a political price for him simply speaking the "truth." Thus, the remarks are buried and get no reportage whatsoever.
Time and time again, our supremely-objective media just happens to
find its unbiased, nonpartisan "news judgment" taking it in the direction of protecting Democrats and actively undermining Republicans.
But there's no bias here.
They're just obeying objective "rules" regarding reportage.
Except when they're not.
Okay, we lied when we said there were two
kinds of bias. Actually, there's quite a few kinds, described here and illustrated with examples by MRC.
Thanks to RD Brewer.
IslamOnline: "Call For International Law to Incorporate Islamist Shari'a Law"
Wellllll... isn't that special.
CAIRO, April 30 (IslamOnline.net) -- World Muslim scholars meeting in Cairo urged incorporation of Sharia into the International Law to avoid eruption of more crises or other forms of injustice.
Injustice = Christians and Jews, and Buddhists and Hindus as well as non-lunatic Muslims, attempting to defend themselves from crazed Islamist terrorists.
"Some western researchers have found out that Islamic principles could be used to develop the International Law and incorporate its moral values into it," said Jaafar Abdel-Salam, the secretary general of the Islamic Universities Association.
We're sure "some" western researches have found that. "Some" western researchers -- the ones Islamists prefer -- have also found that the Holocaust never happened, and, alternatively, that it was a botched job.
He was speaking at the International Islamic Conference, held in Cairo from April 28 till May 1 under the title of "Tolerance in Islamic Civilization".
Addressing the sixteenth session of the Conference, Abdel-Salam, himself a professor of International Law, said the application of Sharia along with the International Law would help set up a world system "turning countries closer to each other".
Also known as "Bringing unwilling nations into the House of Islam."
"Islam, with its practices, is the best of international systems that could achieve peace," said Mohamed Dissouki, an International Law professor at Al-Azhar University, in the conference.
Obviously. Oh, boy.
Islam, on the other hand, deeply respects vows, treaties and agreements and warns against the serious consequences of their violation, Dissouki averred.
We're taking "averred" to mean "giggled like a little girl at the silly-shit ridiculousness of the statement."
Here's our considered response:
Go Fuck Yourselves Sideways.
Yr Humble Correspondents,
Ace of Spades HQ (Esq.)
Midwest Factories Surge in April
The boom in factory activity is attributed to increasing orders for "more cowbell":
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Midwest factories boomed in April, and at such a quick rate that manufacturers may even have to take on new workers to support the expansion, a report showed on Friday.
Even as factories hummed along at a rapid clip, consumer sentiment managed to deteriorate slightly in April.
Eh. Consumers. What do they know.
Yet factory managers must have sensed ample demand for new goods, since they ratcheted up production for a 12th straight month in, at an even faster pace than economists suspected.
"The reluctance to hire remains a problem, but companies will have to step up hiring anyway unless they want to risk losing customers," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial."
The NAPM-Chicago's jobs index rose to 50.9 from 49.2 in March, only the fifth time in about five years that the jobs component has been above 50.
"Every indicator is telling us that manufacturing is rebounding very strongly," said Key Mayland, chief economist at Clearview Economics.
Mayland suggested the jump in Midwest manufacturing activity could herald a strong reading on nationwide factory data on Monday and perhaps the beginning of a rebound in industrial employment.
If the election of 2000 was Florida, Florida, Florida, then 2004 is Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.
Florida and Ohio have swapped places electorally. In 2000, Ohio was a fairly reliable state for Bush, assuming no Democratic landslide, and Florida was a tricky swing state Bush needed to pick up in order to win.
With a popular Republican governor whose name just happens to be "Bush," a legislature dominated by Republicans, and an unemployment rate not only well below the national average but quite low by anyone's standard (4.8%), Florida looks to be fairly friendly territory for Bush, barring a Kerry surge and then landslide.
On the other hand, Ohio has weathered some of the worst factory layoffs in the nation, and looks pretty dicey at this point.
So increasing midwestern factory employment is crucial. With it, and therefore with Ohio back into Bush's column, Bush has a fairly easy election ahead of him -- it's hard for Democrats to win without Ohio or Florida.
But without Ohio, Bush's victory, if he has one at all, will be another nailbiter with a cobbled-together coalition of somewhat-unlikely states. Like 2000 again. Without Ohio, Bush will need to rely on picking up states like West Virginia and Nevada and New Mexico and even mighty Pennsylvania, which is doable but not something you'd want to bet your life on.
Expect Chris Matthews to continue "reporting" from Ohio, banging the drum of economic disaster and industrial malaise. He'll be there so often they'll start forwarding his mail to Columbus.
How the Flighty Have Fallen
The caption claims it's George Michael, but for some reason we keep thinking it's Buddy Hackett with a Shatnerweave. We believe that's his actual hair like we believe those were Riccardo Montalban's pecs in Wrath of Khan.
Is this really George Michael? Or did some one just dig up a primate's skull and do one one of those Nova
-style facial-reconstructions with modeling clay and a wig? "Well, based on the skull's pronounced canines and impacted molars, we can deduce it was an omnivore subsiting chiefly on roots and berries, and also that it probably performed bouncily-gay melodies on England's Top of the Pops.
...and now, via a Casey Kasem style long-distance dedication to George Michael...
Top Ten Signs You Should Probably Just Give it Up
10. London tabloids keep referring to you as "The Artist Formerly Known as George Michael"
9. You begin wondering how the dickens Elton John manages to keep that youthful, slender figure of his
8. You pull the old "Do you know who I am?" trick to get a table at Nobu, but are heartbroken when the maitre d' incorrectly identifies you as his high-school driver's ed teacher, "Mr. Gurks"
7. You've sunk so low you're now taking Margaret Cho's phone-calls; you spend all night with her gabbing about Will & Grace
and eating Haagen-Dasz
6. Your last record just went Triple Gypsum
5. You've begun saying all those things you once detested older singers for saying, like "the industry has changed" and "kids today don't know what good music is" and "when I move, I slice like a fucking hammer"
4. You now not only share a name with the host of George Michael's Sports Machine
, you also share his urologist
3. April 30, 1985: you cashed in on your success to sign a multimillion-dollar deal with Sony Records;
April 30, 2004: you cashed in a frequent-buyer's card at Subway, getting that free three-cheese hoagie you've had your eye on
2. You can't get arrested in Hollywood, not even in a men's bathroom
...and the Number One Sign You Should Probably Just Give It Up...
1. You're actually excited to get a call from VH-1's Behind the Music
, but your heart sinks when you find out they've just confused you with the guy from Tears for Fears
You Can't Handle the Truth as Related by Steven den Beste
That's why The Truth Is that Representative Charles Rangel is a fucking liar.
And that's just for starters.
den Beste is pissed off by the lies that pass for debate on the American left, in Europe, and in the terrorist-lairs of the Middle East, and he vents by offering up some cold hard truths that a lot of our fellow patriotic Americans and good European allies and Palestinian freedom fighters like to pretend aren't true at all.
The Ultimate Kerry Bumper-Sticker
...comes courtesy of (who else?) Hillary Rodham Clinton, by way of bubble-headed Brit Tina Brown, who just slays
us with the cute, "punny" title Taking the GOP Bait, Hook, Line, and Stinker.
Stinker? How does she do it?
At any rate, our hearts soared when we read this delectable quote from Hillary Clinton. What's the best part of the quote? The damning-with-no-praise-at-all for John Kerry, or the scary "Just do what you're told" message to the party faithful?
"You don't have to fall in love," Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly reproved a top Democratic fundraiser who was recently moaning about Kerry's lackluster performance as a candidate. "You just have to fall in line."
You don't have to fall in love. You just have to fall in line.
Best. Slogan. Ever.
The quote is almost too good to be true. We'd go so far as doubting it was actually said -- no one is that honest and pithy and creepy
off-the-cuff -- except that it is attributed to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Which tends to make it much more plausible.
Photoshoppers, start your photoshopping!
Where's Allah Pundit
when you need him? Probably arranging for more Heavenly Hookers for suicide bombers.
to Rosetta Stone for printing the article at The Perfect World
UPDATE! Allah answers the call.
Is the Siege of Falluja Also Saving Lives?
We were wondering about this. After all, while far too many of our heroic soldiers and Marines are dying this month (one is too many), we're not hearing about them being killed by roadside bombs or sneak rocket attacks or car-bombs. They're mostly dying in combat, which is hardly any comfort to their families, but it does seem that bringing the fight to Fallujah has arrested the terrorists in their lair.
a Washington Post report making this observation, at least obliquely:
In addition, based on the munitions and contraband uncovered by Marines during their initial foray into the city, U.S. military officials believe a large number of roadside bombs and car bombs detonated elsewhere in Iraq may have been manufactured in Fallujah.
A military intelligence officer noted this week that there have been no large car bombings in Baghdad since the Marines surrounded Fallujah in early April. "Fallujah is a place that is rife with terrorist leaders and bomb-makers who are responsible for attacks not just in Fallujah but across Iraq," the officer said.
Now, eight Marines were killed today in a car bombing,
and that's a large death toll for a single terrorist attack on our boys. But there does seem to be less of this
kind of attack going on.
The rest of the article is, as you might guess, gloom and doom. "Officials see no good options" for ending the sieges of Fallujah and Najaf is the sub-hed.
Ministry of Silly Links
This may be a joke that only six people get:
Sexual Acts, Don Mad Magazine Martin-Style.
Ga-shLOSH, ga-shLOSH, gu-SHLOCK...
Ga-shLOCK, ga-SHLOCK, ag-SHLITT!
We think we did that one once, long ago, before our knees gave out.
Clinton's Legacy: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Marc Rich, the fugitive financier pardoned out of the goodness of Bill Clinton's bleeding heart, just so happens to have applied for, and to have been granted, permission to join in the Oil-for-Palaces swindle.
A spokeshack for his company denies that any actual trading was done; he claims that he merely applied to participate, as did many other outfits. But then he immediately walks back that denial, saying, " "Every oil company which wasn't trading applied for an authorization to trade, but I can't tell you how much we did, or whether we did anything."
Can't tell? Or won't tell?
FAQ: What is the Deal With the Cowbell?
We noticed that, over at the really terrific site The Perfect World
, some people are just perplexed by our cowbell .gif.
This is a wonderment to us. We cannot imagine that anyone, anywhere does not yet know of the magic of the cowbell.
If you want an explanation, here are two.
This is the video of the famous SNL cowbell sketch.
If that goes down, due to our scary-enormous Ace-o-Lanch effect, then you can content yourselves with transcript/description/ovation to the most awesome sketch ever involving 1) Will Farrell 2) Christopher Walken and 3) a cowbell.
The video was found on The Cowbell Chronicles blog.
RDBrewer gets a double hat-tip.
The quality of the video is pretty darn good.
Really Tangential Update: The theme to Simon & Simon just wouldn't be the same without all that kickin' cowbell.
Too Hot for the Comments! Moonbat One throws us this Cowbell-friendly site, which improves popular songs by adding a clanking cowbell.
Now, it is undeniable that they've improved Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle
by adding cowbell. But they didn't add enough
cowbell. Boys, trust me, you're gonna want that cowbell.
Dubious UNSCAM Contracts "Mysteriously Vanish" When Requested for Review
We haven't commented on UNSCAM, because we had nothing much to add to the good work being done in the blogosphere and the right-wing press, if nowhere else.
But now the GAO says that eighty percent of Saddam's contracts have just -- poof! -- vanished, "crippling" their efforts to investigate fraud.
All we can say is that the general excuse for press non-coverage of this sordid scam was that the scandal "didn't involve Americans" and "wasn't sexy enough for the news, TV or
Well, boys, now you've got all of the relevant evidence simply "disappearing." Does that sex it up for you enough? Or do we need a fat brunette on her knees?
We don't think the press will cover this any more than it's doing now. When the press says something isn't "sexy" enough for the full-court press, what they generally mean is "it can't be used as a club against Bush and/or the Religious Right."
If 6.2 billion trees are embezzled in a forest, but the press can't link them to Bush, do they make a noise? Apparently not.
Thanks to Instapundit,
who has more commentary.
Economy Grows 4.2% in First Quarter
Three straight quarters of above-4% growth. How about a full year?
The reports spin this as disappointing news, which frankly baffles us. Yes, in the past few weeks, there had been elevated expectations of 5% growth. But 4.2% is very strong, especially when it's not merely a one-quarter aberration, but rather the rate we just keep seeing over and over.
Furthermore, the GDP has been adjusted upwards lately. 5% is still possible.
And So It Begins: "Chickenhawk"
It was inevitable: decrepit Senator Frank Lautenberg has put the Democrats' long-anticipated plan of attack into action by "questioning the patriotism" of Cheney and Bush.
We always knew this was coming, of course. The Democrats are bad on the issues, so they have to pretend that the biographical detail John Kerry's four months in Vietnam constitutes a coherent and effective national security.
So the party that has been whining about largely-phatasmal "attacks on our patriotism" now uses those imaginary attacks as a pretext for attacking the patriotism of their opponents.
Fine, fine, fine. This election was always going to be nasty; let us not whine about it.
But let us all -- and this includes our supremely-objective media -- acknowledge that both sides are willing to "attack the patriotism" of the other in this nastiest-of-all elections. Let us not have our liberal, priggish media attempting to portray Republicans as the bad guys in their little newsprint morality plays.
Both sides are angy; both sides want to play dirty. The election is indisputably important.
So: fine. Let us play dirty. But let us have an end to the cocksucker whining by the media when the Republicans play dirty in kind.
For our own part, we are perfectly willing to give up on the childish, effeminate shrieking that they started it fir-irst...
That gets at the cherished "victim" designation so prized by the Left. We could care less at who started it fir-irst.
If the Democrats want to go down this road, fine, let's go down this road. But enough of the sissy shrieking about the other side not "playing nice."
Honor Pat Tillman By Changing the Team's Name
Fine? Why Fine?
(we don't get that name either) picks up on a great suggestion from Black Five:
Why not honor Pat Tillman, and the US Armed Forces, and simultaneously give the team a majorly cool make-over by renaming it the Arizona Rangers?
Unless we're wrong, Arizona had Rangers, just like Texas, so the name works on muliple levels.
Who'd you rather root for? The Arizona Cardinals (does Arizona even have
birds?) or the Arizona Rangers?
Plus, it's an excuse to change the team's colors to black and dark gray, which is where we're heading any way.
That Cheney Speech
Cheney delivered an important foreign policy speech -- which just happened to also be an attack on John Kerry's "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella" foreign-policy stylings.
We always love it when Cheney says stuff like this:
When Senator Kerry speaks about the direction of the war on terror, he often returns to a single theme -- the need for international cooperation. He has vowed to usher in a golden age of American diplomacy. He is fond of mentioning that some countries did not support America's actions in Iraq. Yet to the many nations that have joined our coalition, Senator Kerry offers only condescension. More than 30 nations have contributed and sacrificed for the freedom of the Iraqi people, including Great Britain, Australia, Italy, Poland, South Korea, and Japan. Senator Kerry calls these countries, quote, "window dressing." They are, in his words, "a coalition of the coerced and the bribed."
I am aware of no other instance in which a presumptive nominee for President of the United States has spoken with such disdain of active, fighting allies of the United States in a time of war. Senator Kerry's contempt for our good allies is ungrateful to nations that have withstood danger, hardship, and insult for standing with America in the cause of freedom.
Marcland has the speech and commentary.
Indymedia: Not Quite the "Fringe" the Democrats Claim It to Be
This is an excellent Ben Shapiro article linked by Nick Kronos on The Perfect World.
The first half is stuff you've almost certainly read if you read blogs at all. It recounts the Hateful Left's vicious attacks on fallen hero Pat Tillman.
But it's the second half that's really interesting. Because, as much as the "reasonable left" would like to pretend that these people aren't a part of their movement, it turns out that the "reasonable left" keeps funding Indymedia with grant-money:
Yet the American left has neglected to excise the Indymedia cancer from its support base. In 2002, the left-leaning Ford Foundation gave Indymedia $50,000. The Tides Foundation has donated $376,000 to Indymedia, according to Frontpagemag.com. Two of the biggest donors to the Tides Foundation? George Soros, who has given over $15 million to Democratic causes during this election cycle, and Teresa Heinz Kerry. Ralph Nader is one of Indymedia's biggest supporters; his group, Public Citizen, is listed as on Indymedia.org as an "ally."
The Indymedia list of allies is impressive as well. It lists groups like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Adbusters, ZNet, the Institute for Public Accuracy, and Corporate Watch.
It's funny, isn't it? When confronted with this vicious hate in the general media, these people will claim that Indymedia is merely a "fringe" group with no influence on policy.
And yet these same people list Indymedia as an "ally."
Well? Which is it, guys? Fringe-group to which you have no connection, and wish to "condemn in the strongest possible terms," or a trusted ally?
It seems that Indymedia's relationship with the "reasonable left" is very similar to Al Qaeda's relationship to Islam generally. For general public consumption, there are lots of pious pronouncements about fringe elements which are to be condemned, but then, for a different audience, when only the faithful are listening, an entirely different message altogether.
Ministry of Silly Links
The Subservient Chicken
is a man in frightening chicken-outfit who will obey your typed commands.
Is this funny, scary, or just a waste of valuable time?
Maybe all three.
On Ebay, "Rick and Tammy" want to sell you their prized collection of wax-statue country-music stars.
And the creepy theme continues. Ever thought, "Gee, I'd really like to make an anatomically-correct cake displaying the grisly internal organs of a human being?"
Well, this guy did more than just say that. He actually did it.
This may not be work-safe, depending on your co-workers feel about pastries in the shape of a glistening pancreas.
Not really creepy, but profane, is this guide to curse-words in all the world's languages.
is Slovenian for "Nine devils!," which seems like a sort of a cool curse.
Thanks to The Perfect World,
which really is an excellent site for just about any sort of discussion you could possibly hope to have.
Two Towers; Two Letters; Two Americas
From Little Green Footballs, Pearl 2001:
Sept 11, 11:30 am
Sophie et al,
...I was riding in a cab down Broadway at 8:45 when the first plane flew over. I couldn't believe it, I heard the engines and looked up, it was just above the buildings, a small jet I thought, and a moment later, a boom. Tons of beautiful white paper drifted down on Manhattan. Our Democratic primary is today and my first thought was that a candidate had dropped political leaflets.
I directed the cab a few blocks further and saw an amazing sight, a beautiful day and the North Tower on fire. I got out of the cab and watched as one person after another jumped to their deaths 90 stories up as the flames hit them. Behind me was the cavalry, a river of sirens and lights careening down the avenues -- ambulances, Harleys, ladder trucks, black & whites-- weaving through traffic, all throttle and brake, honking, cursing, firemen craning their heads out the windows to look upwards, gaping at the damage, radio to the ear. It was the last thing they would never remember.
I turned away and was staring at the South Tower when the second plane hit. The concussion took my courage. It was an explosion beyond description, I felt that it was 1945 and I was in Berlin, or maybe Pearl Harbor in '41.
I could feel the heat three hundred yards away; everything on four or five floors, people and office equipment, came raining down on the crowd. We all ran north while it fell and got away before it hit because it was high up. As I glanced back I saw the contents of the floors on fire, people killed without a second to consider their lives....
A different sort of letter, courtesy of Alarming News:
But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where -- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order -- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge, but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal.
You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.
-- from Osama bin Ladin's Fatwa
against the West
And no, we're really not trying to pin 9-11 on Clinton. Clinton was guilty of many things -- a neglectful, Panglossian procrastinating style of foreign policy high among them -- but one can't say Clinton "caused" 9-11. Clinton was America's leader, the man America installed as CINC. To the extent Clinton is to blame, we're all to blame.
But it is worth remembering that Clinton "solved" the Al Qaeda problem by lobbing cosmetic cruise missiles at camels. That didn't actually solve the problem, but it did solve the political problem
-- it reassured the nation that we were "doing something" about terrorism.
We weren't really, of course. But in terms of politics, those ineffectual missiles "solved" Clinton's problem.
What is galling to us is that it seems many Americans want to go back to precisely that sort of "solution" -- the phony "solution" of merely getting a problem off the front-pages of newspapers while doing absolutely nothing to actually solve it, and indeed making it worse by encouraging it to fester and metastasize.
The hatred is directed at the perpetrators of these horrific crimes.
But there's another feeling, too. It's not hatred, but it is nearly as intense an emotion, because it's directed not at some barely-glimpsed lunatic cultist in the faraway Kush, but towards people we talk to everyday.
It's a feeling of frustration and disgust.
Frustration and disgust at those who see 9-11 as merely a tricky political problem to be "gotten around" in order to deal with the real
problems in America -- making sure no 14 year old ever need ask a parent permission to abort a child, making sure teachers have all the chalk and crayons they claim they have to buy out of pocket.
John Edwards was right. There are indeed Two Americas, but not the two Americas he bloviated about to such ringing media claim.
America is divided into two camps.
Those who want to deal with the actual problem confronting us, and those who merely want to deal with the political problem
that arises from that actual problem.
Specter Wins By 2%
Good Grief, we really had a shot. And we came up short.
We hate to be all "every vote counts" n' stuff -- that kind of pious civic-minded whininess is soooo
MoveOn.org -- but honestly, all of them do.
If there are any Pennsylvania conservatives that sat this election out in favor of just sitting around and complaining, maybe it's time to make sure you're registered for November.
Leaving for the Undying Lands...
Pixy at Mu.nu was nice enough to invite us over to Munuvia (after Miss Apropos
was nice enough to bring us to Pixy's attention).
We're in the process of getting the website over there in-shape for the formal move. If Blogspot goes down in the next couple of days -- and what are the odds of that? No more than one in three -- we'll just start posting over there sooner than we'd anticipated.
The addresses are/will be either www.ace.mu.nu
or, if you're used to that "-o-," www.ace-o-spades.mu.nu.
Rude Oversight Corrected: Ilyka Damen
also helped get us aboard the Munuvia train. Thanks, Ilyka!
Who Keeps the Metric System Down? Jews Do
More from that tiny minority of Muslim extremists we hear so much about:
Leading Egyptian Journalist: The Jews are Behind Every Disaster or Terrorist Act
In an article in the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya titled 'The Secret Israeli Weapon,' deputy editor Abd Al-Wahhab 'Adas accused the Jews of perpetrating all terrorism throughout the world, including the Madrid bombings. The following are excerpts from the article: 
'The Zionist Jews are Behind All the Violent and Terror Operations that have Occurred Everywhere In the World'
"If you want to know the real perpetrator of every disaster or every act of terrorism, look for the Zionist Jews. They are behind all the violent and terror operations that have occurred everywhere in the world. [They do this] first of all in order to slap [the label of the attacks] on the Arabs and Muslims, and second to harm them, distort their image, and represent them to the world as terrorists who endanger innocents. What is even more dangerous is that after every terror operation they perpetrate, they leave a sign, clue, or traces meant to show that the perpetrators are Arab Muslims.
"Their most recent operation was the bombings in Spain. Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes said a videocassette in Arabic was found near one of the Madrid mosques, and in it the military spokesman of the Al-Qa'ida organization took responsibility for these attacks....
"It is obvious that the Jews are the ones who placed these things, in order to prove to the entire world that the Arabs and Muslims are behind the bombings.,,,
"It is the Jews, with their hidden filthy hands, who play their part with expertise in order to harm the Arabs and Muslims and to intensify hatred towards them....
And there's more. So, so much more.
Has anyone ever noticed that the precise same Muslims who claim that the "hidden, filthy hands of Jews" are responsible for 9-11 are the precise same Muslims who praise Osama bin Ladin for blowing up the WTC?
Can both of these things be true simultaneously?
This is a sick, sick cult of liars and maniacs and cowards and killers.
Fox Smash: Beats CNN & MSNBC Combined
Sure, that's a little misleading.
Saying that FoxNews beats CNN and MSNBC
combined is like saying that CBS beats ABC and Ace of Spades HQ
Or that Wonkette is more obsessed with anal sex than the hillbillies from Deliverance and Pat Boone
Link should be fixed now.
Jordanian Al Qaeda Chem-Bomb Plotter Confesses to Being Trained in Iraq Before the War
Yes, yes, we're going siren-crazy lately, but we think you'll have to admit this is HUGE:
At least one of the al Qaida plotters arrested in Jordan earlier this month as part of a weapons of mass destruction plot that Jordanian officials say could have killed 80,000 people revealed on Monday that he was trained in Iraq before the U.S. invaded in March 2003.
In a confession broadcast on Jordanian television, the unnamed WMD conspirator revealed, "In Iraq, I started training in explosives and poisons. I gave my complete obedience to [Abu Musab al] Zarqawi," the al Qaeda WMD specialist whose base of operations was in Iraq.
Excerpts from the WMD conspirator's confession broadcast by ABC's "Nightline" late Monday show that the WMD plot was planned and trained for in Iraq more than a year before the U.S. invasion.
"After the fall of Afghanistan," the WMD plotter said, "I met Zarqawi again in Iraq." U.S. forces vanquished the Taliban government in Kabul in Dec. 2001 - 15 months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
"Some of the details appear to be fairly significant in terms of the planning," reported "Nightline's" Chris Bury. "$170,000, a lot of meetings, getting instructions from people in Iraq, people inside Syria."
"This doesn't appear to be a mom and pop operation," he added.
Let us mention the necessary caveats: The pro-war right has prematurely claimed vindication on stories that didn't pan out. Remember those "secret Iraqi documents" claiming a direct meeting between Saddam and bin Ladin?
And sure, anyone being interrorgated -- especially in a non-Western country -- can be induced to confess to anything, given enough... incentives.
Still: if this checks out, this absolutely vindicates the pro-war right, and rubbishes the constant bleating of "no connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda" of the anti-war, pro-appeasement left.
Note that there's a video link on the ABCNews page -- on the right sidebar, near-ish the top -- but that it requires an annoying registration.
Update! Here's a print report from IMRA,
including a transcript of the Jordanian TV news report which incorporated the terrorist's confession.
We Rattle Our Cyber-Cup, Begging for Etherchange
Yeah, yeah, we feel almost as bad about it as you do. But what the heck. Everyone else seems to have a tipjar; why not us? The reclusive, anonymous billionaire benefactor we know only as "Mr. Tranh" pays us well to wreak havok on liberals, but even the generosity of anonymous billionaire benefactors has its limits.
We decided to put up the PayPal donation button because, well, we figure we deserve it more than Oliver Willis. The mathematics of it make it too tempting: assuming conservatively we have 2000 or so regular visitors, that would mean that if each of those visitors tossed us $5.00 -- and really, what can you do with $5.00? as Steve Martin observed, you might as well just throw it in the street -- that would mean we'd get a nice tidy $10,000 for our efforts. More than enough to support our smack habit, at least for a month.
But why assume $5.00 donations? If our regular visitors instead donated $10.00 each, that would net us $20,000. Pretty nice coin for screwing around on the computer.
But let's think even bigger. If each of our visitors donated $50,000
apiece -- and let's face it, a lot of you have at least that much equity in your homes, just sitting there not doing any good for anybody
-- that would mean we'd be on the receiving end of one hundred million dollars, cash.
Not too shabby!
At any rate, the tipjar's there, and we'd certainly appreciate any loose change you want to toss in our direction.
Qaddafi: Still Batshit Crazy
Given Qaddafi's apparent change of heart, it's tempting to deem him some sort of visionary humanist.
But this rambling speech, in which he pleads with Western leaders not to "make him" return to terrorism,
would seem to indicate he's still a lunatic. He's just a lunatic who has, with typical lunatic zeal, struck upon a new obsession.
That obsession could quickly be discarded in favor of a new one -- or, in Qaddafi's case, the old obsessions of terror-bombing jets, training terrorists, and developing WMD's.
Blasts Heard in Damascus
Said to be near the Iranian Embassy.
Police now reported to have the situation under control.
Is Arlen Specter All Done...?
The Philadelphia Inquirer (reg. req'd) says that turnout is very light in the Philadelphia area.
Which would seem to mean that the election is going to be determined by the most-animated -- that is, most conservative -- voters, and that the liberal and moderate Democrats in the Philly area just aren't coming to his rescue.
And if you're a Pennsylvania Republican-- why are you reading this instead of voting?
This isn't really new news, but SurveyUSA
had the contest all tied up at 48% each in three-day tracking polling as of last night.
Not only that, but they say that Toomey has gotten stronger each day, and that a two-day track of only Saturday and Sunday puts Toomey up by 2.
The poll, however, has a rather large MoE (4.6%). And the two-day track would have an even bigger MoE.
Other polls have put the race close, but with Specter ahead by 3-5 points.
"Rest in Peace, Sucker"
The very, very patriotic left "eulogizes" our fallen heroes on Iraq, in their typical very, very patriotic fashion.
Consumer Confidence Surges; Earnings "Great"; Stocks Up
For some time, we've seen confidence climb, only to be knocked back down after a disappointing jobs report. Confidence would climb, heralding a quickening recovery; but then the jobs report would undermine that confidence, delaying a full-scale boom.
But finally both jobs and confidence seem to be in good sync, and they might finally begin reinforcing each other:
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- U.S. stocks were solidly higher at midday Tuesday, boosted by bullish news on consumer confidence and home sales as well as another dose of good earnings numbers.
"On the fundamental side, it's a pretty positive backdrop here," said Joe Liro, equity strategist at Stone & McCarthy. "We have a solid economy, a Fed that still shows signs of being relatively patient ... and you've got just absolutely great earnings numbers."
The Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index improved to 92.9 in April from 88.5 in March while the number of Americans who said jobs were hard to get fell to its lowest level since November 2002. Wall Street economists expected the index to remain steady at about 88.7, according to a survey conducted by. See Economic Report.
News on existing home sales was also good with the National Association of Realtors reporting that sales rose 5.7 percent in March to 6.48 million units, well ahead of economists' forecasts for a 1 percent rise to 6.18 million units.
"Today, for some reason, the fact that we got strong economic numbers didn't seem to rattle investors about the prospects of higher rates," Liro said.
Intelligence Officers Eye Blogs
And we thought we were just jacking around on a computer:
People in black trench coats might soon be chasing blogs.
Blogs, short for Web logs, are personal online journals. Individuals post them on Web sites to report or comment on news especially, but also on their personal lives or most any subject.
Some blogs are whimsical and deal with "soft" subjects. Others, though, are cutting edge in delivering information and opinion.
As a result, some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what's reported in some blogs is questionable.
RE: INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE
EYES ONLY AA-ZEPHYR-BRAVO
Recent collection activities in the Etherzone have determined the following:
DATUM: Wonkette may or may not be up for a little rear-guard action. Evolving intelligence indicates that, at the very least, she might be game for a little "exploring."
DATUM: Andrew Sullivan loves beagles, hates cars.
DATUM: With a high degree of confidence, we can say that McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwiches ("fishandwiches," in spycraft jargon) constitute a sworn enemy of Oliver Willis, and he seems bent on eradicating them from the face of the earth, one "enemy" at a time.
DATUM: Instapundit may or may not have some sort of psychosexual dysfunction involving cats.
DATUM: Review of recent Drudge Report "chatter" indicates the following:
1) There are earthquakes and/or floods somewhere in the world.
2) There is a growing trend towards "FREAK" occurances, such as turtles born with three tails.
3) The world seems to be controlled by a consortium known by the enigmatic code-phrase ABCNNMSNMBCBSNYTWSJWPAOL-TIMEWARNER.
4) At the Walt Disney Corporation, someone you don't care about is being forced out of office by someone you never heard of.
We should review these events with some urgency, since almost all of them seem to be "DEVELOPING HARD..."
New Details: Mega Chem Attack Thwarted in Jordan
Right now, CNN just has a headline promising "details soon."
Geeze, it's awfully funny that Jordan, right there on the Iraqi border, keeps having to contend with these chemical-weapons terrorist attacks.
One might even begin to wonder where the chem weapons came from.
At least, one might wonder that, if one weren't working for CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, etc.
Update: Jordan airs terrorists' confessions.
Our field agents tell us we blew this story, and that story referenced is actually just an update of the previous thwarted-chem-attack story, not a new one. Our apologies.
Our Supremely-Objective Media: Gosh-Darnit, We're Just Not Left-Wing Enough
It's a standard, dopey question that's asked all the time on job interviews: What, would you say, is your greatest flaw?
And the question never gets answered honestly. Because, of course, people don't want to talk about their actual flaws; in fact, most people don't even examine themselves honestly enough to even know
what their greatest flaws might be.
Hence, the standard answer -- at least our
standard answer -- to this question has always been, "Well, our greatest flaw is that sometimes we get too
concerned about getting things precisely right
and perfectly correct.
Our greatest flaw, you see, is that oftentimes, we just care too damn much
about presenting the highest quality work possible.
Bill Rancik, the winner of The Apprentice
show, used our go-to answer in his job interview. We guess we'll have to come up with a new answer.
But we certainly won't be telling any future would-be employers the real
answer. Whatever new answer we decide upon, you can bet it will be along the lines of "Sometimes we think we're just a little bit too much
the self-starting team-playing gung-ho superworkers." We certainly won't be saying what our flaws actually might be.
We sort of doubt an employer would react well to the truth: "Our greatest flaw? Hmmm, let's think about that; there's so many to choose from. For one, we're absolute past-masters at procrastination, and we can assure you that we won't start really working on am important project until there is less-than-adequate time to do a good job at it. For another, we're not terribly enthused about this whole 'work'
concept in the first place, and we'll probably spend most of the workday fucking around on the Internet and using your phone-lines to make long-distance calls to ex-girlfriends. What else, what else, what else...? Oh yeah: We really like our 'me-time,' and you can count on us taking off as many days as humanly possible. If we game the system right, we figure maybe we can actually show up for work, at most, 40% of the time, assuming we can convince Personnel that an 'incurable need to lambada
' constitutes a legitimate medical condition."
Well! There's an honest answer. But we think we'll stick to, "We're just too detail-oriented for our own good."
All of this preamble is by way of introducing a simple idea: When the media is asked if it displays any bias of any sort, what sort of bias do you think it's most willing, nay eager
, to admit?
Its real bias-- that it is hopelessly left-leaning?
Or does the media prefer to give the "We're just too detail-oriented" dishonest answer of, "If anything, we think we're too right-leaning
and we don't pay enough attention to the 'voices of the left'"?
Consider this recent article from the New York Observer.
It seems the author, as well as known leftists Terry Moran and Helen Thomas, think that the press badly erred in the April 13 Bush news conference. Were they a bit too eager to score partisan points in service of John Kerry's campaign? Were they too insistent on re-asking the same left-leaning questions? Did they too obviously show their disgust with Bush and the entire idea of fighting a war to defend America?
Oh, no. No no no. The greatest flaw they displayed in that Q&A, it seems, was that they were too polite
to Bush. Too respectful. Too deferential. Too, giggle, Republican-friendly.
Not snide enough,
We've seen dozens of media examinations of its possible biases. We've seen entire Nightline episodes examining whether or not embedding journalists with soldiers made those journalists "too supportive" of the war, or made they identify "too closely" with the war effort.
We've seen hour-long discussion panels about whether or not the press is too "anti-black" when it reports on crime and the like.
We've seen the media flagellate itself for not fully appreciating the "women's perspective."
We think we see a pattern here.
In all of these cases, the press is examining its potential bias. What sort of bias? Well, the press is questioning whether or not it's too gosh-darn right-wing.
The press is always
willing to examine the possibility that it's not being left-wing or "progressive" enough when it reports on the issues.
But what about the elephant, ahem, in the room? Can anyone recall a full-hour Nightline examining the subject of liberal
Why is that, do you imagine? Why is it that the press is perfectly willing to concede political bias, so long as the bias they're admitting is that they're too right-wing for their own good?
Could it possibly be that the press actually wants license to slant things even more left-wing than it already does, and that these sorts of "don't throw me in that briar patch" self-adjudicated show-trials provide a useful pretext for doing so?
And could it be yet another case of someone, asked about his greatest flaws, actually offering up "self-criticisms" which actually aren't criticisms at all in order to avoid mentioning his actual flaws?
The very fact that this is the only
sort of bias the media is unwilling to discuss would seem to be proof that it's the only
bias it ought to be discussing at all.
New Homes Sales Surge
Sales of new homes surged by 8.9 percent in March, the largest monthly increase in nine months....
We were overusing the Drudge Siren. The siren, we figure, ought to be used for very important breaking negative-ish news. Not for great news which isn't really full of immediacy.
But it just so happens that RD Brewer tossed us this awesome "Gotta Have More Cowbell" gif. So, beginning immediately, news which is important but not negative will get the "Gotta Have More Cowbell" siren.
Just a Question About Kerry's Medals and Military Records...
Does anyone know if one can request replacements for "lost" medals?
And would anyone know if such a request would be found in Kerry's records?
Just wondering if the two controversies are actually related.
Maybe one of our super-duper news-sleuths in the supremely objective media could get around to asking Kerry those questions. Just to get him nice and on record on the point.
Our intrepid newsjacking field correspondents tell us that duplicates are readily available from the military, but that it's easy enough to buy old medals from Army-Navy stores. Which would seem to be the way to do it, if one wanted to avoid a paper record of having thrown his medals away in the first place.
So, probably no connection at all between the military records and missing medals stories.
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