September 12, 2006

Essentially Perfect

Every once in a while, a blog post comes along where you just have to say "yup" and move along. It's just so well reasoned, so well written, that there's nothing to add.


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August 8, 2006

Levels of Organizational Power as Applied to the Israel/Hizb'allah Conflict

I just wanted to point out this insightful post by Dan at tdaxp. I missed it while I was out of town. Dan looks at the levels on which both Israel and Hizb'allah functions, and applies the power difference to strategy, demolishing in terms of Core/Gap theory many of the arguments commonly used against Israel lately. It's a really interesting read, and I'll have to think about this before I respond.

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June 30, 2006

Common Sense

I am a big fan of FoxNews' Neil Cavuto, especially his Common Sense editorials. Here's one I believe is worth checking out. To the right of the transcript is a link to the video of the segment. Check it out for Cavuto's take on America's standards vs. those of the enemy we face.

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June 10, 2006

Zarqawi Opens Up

Protein wisdom scores a fantastic, must-read interview with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

(hat tip: Instapundit)

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February 21, 2006

Captain Subtext on Dubai Ports World

There has been so much heat and so little light on the subject of Dubai Ports World acquiring P&O — resulting in a government-owned company from the UAE (a [Persian] Gulf monarchy friendly, for some time now at least, to American interests) taking over the operation of some major US ports from a private British company, rather than giving control of those same ports to a government-owned company from Singapore (a SE Asian right-wing dictatorship friendly, for some time now at least, to American interests) — that it is clearly time for Captain Subtext to fire up his Helmet of Truth Detection.

Glenn Reynolds: I would like to point out an issue that I don't have time to discuss. And I have developed a truly novel idea about this issue, which the margins of this blog are too small to contain.

Chuck Schumer and Congressional Democrats: Here's an issue on which I can cheaply score points on national security and with the anti-Arab fringe, while digging into my political opponent without actually appearing partisan or racist. Score!

Bill Frist and Congressional Republicans: Maybe if I play up this issue, I can score some points with centrists and distract everyone from the fact that I'm a terribly ineffective Senate Majority Leader.

George Bush:

I do want to talk about this port issue. A foreign company manages some of our ports. They've entered into a transaction with another foreign company to manage our ports. This is a process that has been extensively reviewed, particularly from the point of view as to whether or not I can say to the American people, this project will not jeopardize our security. It's been looked at by those who have been charged with the security of our country. And I believe the deal should go forward. This company operates all around the world. I have the list somewhere. We can get you the list. They're in Germany and elsewhere -- Australia.*

They -- in working with our folks, they've agreed to make sure that their coordination with our security folks is good and solid. I really don't understand why it's okay for a British company to operate our ports, but not a company from the Middle East, when our experts are convinced that port security is not an issue; that having worked with this company, they're convinced that these -- they'll work with those who are in charge of the U.S. government's responsibility for securing the ports, they'll work hand in glove. I want to remind people that when we first put out the Container Security Initiative, the CSI, which was a new way to secure our ports, UAE was one of the first countries to sign up.

In other words, we're receiving goods from ports out of the UAE, as well as where this company operates. And so I, after careful review of our government, I believe the government ought to go forward. And I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British [sic] company. I'm trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to people of the world, we'll treat you fairly. And after careful scrutiny, we believe this deal is a legitimate deal that will not jeopardize the security of the country, and at the same time, send that signal that we're willing to treat people fairly.

ThinkProgress: Everything is a security, and thus necessarily military, issue on which the Pentagon should be consulted, so long as it hurts a Republican if we say so.

The Nation: The real problem is corporations. What? You don't see it!? Come on people! Some assholes have the temerity to pool their funds to "invest" in "making money"! How are you not getting this?!

Governors Pataki and Ehrlich: We have utterly forgotten Gibbons v. Ogden, which ironically involved New York.

Markos Zuniga: [low, gleeful chuckling interspersed with the occasional cackle as Kos realizes he's to the right of Bush on this issue]

Dave Schuler: Have you all lost your minds!? Have any of you actually bothered to step back from demagoguing the issue long enough to look at actual facts? Apparently not.

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February 10, 2006

Pretending at Courage

Winds of Change has a very thought-provoking post on art and risk.

UPDATE: From the comments, along with some additional clarifying thoughts, comes this, which I post in the hope that someone, somewhere will be offended.

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January 19, 2006


Dave Schuler has a list of things he doesn't care about, and why. I agree with every word except for the bit about health care costs. (The problem isn't the insurance companies, but that insurance is not paid for by the insured, by and large. My health insurance is relatively cheap, but that's because I have to completely pay for it myself, so I get what I need and no more. If that were the case by and large, we would likely have a rational and affordable health care system.)

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January 5, 2006

Fear and Perspective

Here is an interesting talk from Michael Crichton, about fear, perspective and complexity.

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November 24, 2005

Yes, That's it Exactly II

Sometimes, someone says something so perfectly it cannot be improved.

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November 15, 2005

Important Reading on the War

Joe Katzman compiles some of the most important speculation and analysis on the war. The three highlighted posts are particularly good reads.

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November 2, 2005

Self-Loathing, Domination, Multiculturalism and Hatred

Theodore Dalrymple, a psychiatrist working in an inner-city area in Britain, looks at the nature of Western-bred Muslim suicide bombers. This is an absolute must-read.

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October 16, 2005

Leading by Example

Fran Porretto from time to time writes about writing, and his latest such piece, about adjectives and similes and related aspects of writing style, contains such a gem I want to share:

The really maddening cases are those writers who, seized by an ineffable ambivalence about the entire, controversy-strewn topic, ping-pong between the two opposed poles. In perusing these, the reader finds himself at times swimming lugubriously through a chow-mein sea, strewn, as though by some malevolent god from the depths of Lovecraft's unrecorded nightmares, with every conceivable kind of adjective, adverb, participial, gerundive, and ablative absolute known to the logophilic hordes. Sentences of a complexity that would have choked William Faulkner, involute as the general theory of relativity and twice as opaque, festooned with terms of that obfuscatory anfractuosity that characterizes the inferior mind struggling to pass itself off as a temple of erudition, wrap themselves around the reader's forebrain in braids of simulated profundity seldom properly equipped with the appropriate punctuation marks which after all are supports to both reading rhythm and comprehension and really shouldn't be dispensed with no matter what the effect the writer is striving to create. Then will come a paragraph break.

After the break, the writer is gripped by the other pole of the obsession. His sentences are all simple declaratives. His writing becomes as terse as a first-grader's primer. No commas are required. Your Curmudgeon's read a lot of stories like that.

The great crescendo of the first paragraph, with its sudden full stop, and the timid, mousy companion of the second paragraph, make this a perfect example of how not to write. The post concludes with a wonderful observation, too:
  1. In fiction, there are no absolute rules.
  2. Rule 1 is not binding.

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September 28, 2005

Planet Moron

Planet Moron is on a roll recently.

There's the post on disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina, which observes, among other things:

Member companies of the American Forest and Paper Association are also lining up for federal dollars. Why are losses by private interests the obligation of taxpayers nationwide? Because we all know that when that single mom in Oregon comes home from her second job to tuck her children in at night, the foremost concern on her mind is "what can I do to help the timber industry?"

There's the post on Bill Frist's troubles that notes how the trust was more "nearsighted" than "blind".

There's the post on the Communist (sorry, I believe the correct media term is "anti-war") rally in DC recently, which notes:

Over 100,000 people came to Washington DC this past Saturday to attend a protest against the Iraq war. Imagine their surprise when there wasn't one. In its place was a demonstration about worker's rights and global warming and racism and Palestinian rights and hanging chads and Halliburton and New Orleans and every now and then a brief something about a war, possibly Arab in nature.


The socialist movement is typically populated by young men who think that if they wear a Che Guevara T-Shirt it might get them in bed with that cute liberal arts chick they met in the student union while waiting for White Stripes tickets, you know, the one with 42 different black tops in her closet. Fewer in number are the bitter old guys with gray hair and pony tails who still hold a serious grudge against Mikhail Gorbachev.

In addition to ANSWER and the Workers World Party (and many others), was the "Party for Socialism and Liberation" which had tables full of glossy magazines for purchase. Presumably they had to put up money to have these made in the hopes that they could then sell them to willing buyers in arms-length transactions so as to recoup their original investment with perhaps a little extra left over that could then be reinvested in additional inventory or fixed assets so as to further their venture. If only there were an economic system of some kind based on this basic principle of property rights and invested capital. But I digress.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

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September 23, 2005

Emergent Disease

OK, this is just cool. Apparently, a virus — in the disease sense — has unexpectedly broken out in the Worlds of Warcraft MMORPG. (hat tip:tdaxp) What a great demonstration of disease transmission and unintended consequences.

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August 16, 2005


I am continuously searching for center-left blogs to read. I like to read people that are sane, whether or not I tend to agree with them, and dislike reading people who are rampant partisans or simply insane, again whether or not I agree with them. I know quite a few libertarian and center-right blogs, but finding sane lefty blogs is a chore indeed (perhaps because of Jane's Law). Here is a short summary of the last few posts from Pennywit, which I have come to really enjoy over the last few weeks.

A comparison of the UN to a horse with a broken leg (needs to be put down) and Kofi Annan as Secretary General Clouseau. Yes, it's about the oil for food scandal and the UN's "investigations" into the matter.

An examination of the effect of incentives, in this case, tax holidays.

An interesting anomaly in the NL. I'm a sucker for baseball factoids, and this is a really odd one.

A sensible point about no-fly lists. The obvious conclusion is not mentioned though: the reason that babies and grandmothers get stopped for having names similar to people on the no-fly list is that stopping people based on common sense is profiling, and that gets the ACLU and CAIR and other brainless groups up in arms. (Note: I think the ACLU could be the most useful group in America, if it simply had a smidgen of brains. Even the most hardened criminal needs to be treated with the full array of rights available to citizens, because government makes mistakes, and allowing people we "know" are guilty to be railroaded is the fast track to a government of men, not of laws. But as it is, the ACLU is just too dumb to be taken seriously.)

A suggestion that the GOP buy Howard Dean all the air time he wants. Stephanie notes emphatically that she would give money to that campaign.

Good stuff. Really good stuff.

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August 10, 2005

The Psychology of Suicide Terrorism

Glittering Eye has a great pointer two two articles by a British psychotherapist, describing the necessary attributes of cultures producing and consuming suicide bombers. It is really, really a fascinating look at the problem from an unexpected point of view, and well worth reading both linked articles in Dave's post.

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July 24, 2005


Lee Harris has a masterful reflection on tradition, ethics, and cultural survival. I cannot excerpt it sufficiently to do it justice, so put aside some time and go read it. (hat tip: Steph)

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July 10, 2005


Pat Sajak (yes, the game show host) has a wonderful column on optimism and hope.

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July 1, 2005

The Soviet Bear

"The Bear Went Over The Mountain" by Lester W. Grau is a book I have just read. It is a gold mine on soo many levels. If you want a perfect case study in how not fight Islamofascists. It is also a good book on a clinical tactical analysis of how the Soviet war machine would have stacked up against Western armies. I am reading "Afghan Guerrilla Warfare" by Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester W. Grau. It is a perfect case study in how not to let the Jihadis win. Oh, I could go on for hours, but I need to help the DW clean. I would love to discuss specifics if anyone is interested.

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June 18, 2005

Two Posts From the Dignified Rant

Brian Dunn has two excellent posts up, one on our center of gravity and another discussing troop levels in Iraq. Brian is one of the most underrated bloggers out there in terms of his ability to analyze the war, and these posts certainly deserve some time and consideration.

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June 17, 2005

Liberalism and Gnosticism

The doctor is in has a great comparison between contemporary liberalism and Gnosticism. Worth reading.

And if you don't believe the Left is thinking magically, think again. As a Wiccan, I recognize sympathetic magic when I see it.

UPDATE: Here is a great take on the events described in the above article.

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June 15, 2005

In the Middle? That's Where the Magic Happens

During the dot-com boom, those of us who had been in the IT industry more than six weeks had a fun shorthand to mock empty startups and the venture capitalists that gave them massive amounts of money on speculation:

1. [company's idea]
2. ???
3. profit!

You see, it's in the middle that the magic happens. Now, keeping that in mind, go read James Lileks' fantastic takedown of an idiot who is trying to get the pledge of allegiance - and really, just about everything else - banned.

What's funny is that the guy has some points that could be seriously argued. I certainly think that the government should under no circumstances be allowed to educate our children (and they don't educate mine). But this idiot isn't making an argument for such a policy; he's just spouting invective and ad hominem. Why is it that so many of the loonies describe themselves as "libertarian"?

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June 12, 2005

Being a Hero

David Blue, at Winds of Change, has a must read (seriously) essay on heroism. I think that the essence of heroism, which David touches on but does not go into great detail about, is the ability to shut down every other response, no matter how primal, in your brain and just do what's right. The people who start trying to weigh the situation in the balance beyond basic situational awareness are not the ones who end up heros, but the ones who describe the heroic feat to the ones who come to the scene of the event after it's too late to intervene. In other words, heroism is a primitive, primal response of "NO!!!!" and then following up before your mind can engage to tell you how stupid it is to jump into a river with a newly-crashed passenger jet, or to run out into enemy fire to pull away a comrade, or to save a boy being mauled by a large, vicious dog.

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May 26, 2005

Who Help Themselves

Wired has a fantastic summary of what to do in an evacuation, and why.

We know that US borders are porous, that major targets are largely undefended, and that the multicolor threat alert scheme known affectionately as "the rainbow of doom" is a national joke. Anybody who has been paying attention probably suspects that if we rely on orders from above to protect us, we'll be in terrible shape. But in a networked era, we have increasing opportunities to help ourselves. This is the real source of homeland security: not authoritarian schemes of surveillance and punishment, but multichannel networks of advice, information, and mutual aid.

It's short, and the whole thing is worth reading.

(hat tip: Glenn Reynolds)

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May 19, 2005


Bill Whittle has a new essay: Sanctuary. Do I really need to tell you to go read it?

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August 11, 2003

It is Easier to be Evil

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Sean LaFreniere had a dream, and it's a dream with meaning, and the meaning is important.

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August 10, 2003

Michael Totten

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

One of the amazing things about the blogosphere is how much great commentary and analysis one can get, and from how many angles. Michael J Totten's site is one of my favorites. If you don't already read his blog, you should start now. Here are a few of his recent posts that are really worth reading.

Blaming America First takes on - and takes down - an article by Jessica Stern in the NY Times. Stern's premise is that the US is responsible for everything, and Totten's response is a wonderful example of logical thinking, and a basis for much better analysis than the Times itself seems to be able to generate these days.

Right-Wing Terror Apologism similarly (but more concisely) takes on the frequently over-the-top Emperor Misha for slapping at the UN in the wake of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq.

Unhinged in Paris looks at how Europeans are blaming the US for the European heat wave.

Target: UN, about the bombing of the UN headquarters, is most notable for the comments on the post. The ability to spark this kind of discussion is, for me, one of the great attractions of Totten's blog.

Go, read.

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A Nice Fisking

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Ryan at Tasty Manatees is taking apart a recent opinion piece by Madeleine Albright.

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July 24, 2003

What She Said

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

I agree with everything Megan said here.

UPDATE: Gak! Not looking at the bylines closely enough on a group blog (even a group of two) can cause one - well, me in this case - to misattribute authorship. I meant to say, "I agree with everything Mindles said here." Mea culpa maxima.

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July 18, 2003

Perfect Example of Fisking

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Tim Blair provides a most excellent example of the art of the fisk:

What is actually required is a redistribution of fertile land, of incomes and of economic power, rather than access to genetic products.
Hey, it's working in Zimbabwe.

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July 12, 2003

Carnival of the Vanities #43

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Welcome to Carnival of the Vanities #43, a place to find posts you would otherwise have missed. Upcoming stops can be found here, with next week's Carnival being hosted by DaGoddess, starting on July 23. Her announcement is here.

This week, we showcase 47 blogs. These are in no particular order.

Kevin Murphy, of funmurphys the blog: The Perception of Racism
Kevin looks at how equal rates of racist acts among differently-sized populations can lead to radically different apparent rates of racism.

Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge, of Sasha and Andrew's Roundtable: Monty Python to the rescue
Andrew watches too much TV - but it's good TV.

Stephanie Medcalf, of One-Sixteenth: Texas passes philosophical exemption for vaccinations
Stephanie looks at Texas' new philosophical exemption to vaccination from an individual-rights perspective.

Pril, of Nth of Pril: Dads
Pril writes about her dad, with a little bitterness and a lot of love.

Bussorah, of Wicked Thoughts: Those Lovely Liberians
Is there anyone in Liberia worth saving?

John Ray, of Dissecting Leftism: Reparations
John Ray notes that his (white) ancestors were brought to a new country on a ship in chains to do forced labor. Should he get reparations, too?

Phil Ingram, of The Flying Chair has four posts about life in Hong Kong
Spot Regina
Population 1, Government 0
Bruce Lee - The Museum that is Yet to Be
Strange News: Apparently Elephants do Forget

Nathan Alexander, of Brain Fertilizer: Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
And there are assault weapons, too. But so what?

Norbizness, of Happy Furry Puppy Story Time: A Primer on Patriotism for Unpatriotic Bastards
"My idea of patriotism is to love the potential of America enough to constantly be bitterly disappointed in its activities, its lunkheaded denizens with the historical memory of a fruit fly, and its mutant, corrosive pop culture that spreads over the globe like a flesh-eating bacteria."

Eva, of Easternblog: Bob's Escape
A very fun tale of Belze Bob's (the rubber Devil Duck) trip to Ottowa. Mooooooooose.

Precision Blogging is a relatively new blog, with an unusual format: just one small post each day.

Chan Eddy, of Weekend Pundit: A Modest Proposal
An, um, interesting proposal for a change to how our Representatives and President are chosen. Wouldn't it be simpler and truer to our Constitutional ideals to just repeal amendments 16 (to reimpose fiscal responsibility on the government) and 17 (to return power to the States where it belongs), and to add a provision such that no House district can consist of more than 150000 people?

Harvey Olson, of Bad Money: What I'd Miss the Most
The picture she hates that I love so much, and why it makes me glad she married me.

Tiger, of Tiger: Raggin' & Rantin': My day, or the good, the bad and the ugly
Reasons to go to the dentist fairly regularly, here presented as a cautionary tale.

Aubrey Turner, of RFID Tags
Aubrey expresses privacy concerns about the use of RFID tags in consumer products.

Val Prieto, of Babalu Blog: Revolutionary Oil Lamps
How do you get thrown in jail in Cuba? Make ordinary oil lamps.

Alex Gray, of _a_l_e_x__g_r_a_y_: Technical Certification - What a Load of Crap
Why technical certifications are a racket. (And speaking as an IT guy, he's right.)

Chad, of yang: Hope
A very human story, with a moral or two. Worth reading. "What I hope I can impart to you with the story of my travels is that America is not merely a place or a collection of places or people. Some would characterize it as an idea, but I think that this is also not entirely accurate. I think America is a collective hope, and that both the soldiers of Fort Lewis and the students of Evergreen [College] are necessary parts of that hope."

Ibyx, of I Know This is Probably Bad for Me: Take Action on Behalf of America's Neediest Children
An impassioned and emotional call for action to save Head Start.

Peter P., of The World According to Pete: NEW SLANG...FOR THE NOT SO HIP
A list of suggestions for new slang terms.

James, of Parkway Rest Stop: The Great One
A paean to Jackie Gleason.

Sean Hackbarth, of The American Mind: Conserving Marriage
A conservative view of the the societal advisability of allowing non-traditional marriages.

Jerome du Bois, of The Tears of Things: Godisms
A kind of mandala on the nature of god. This has the kind of look and feel of a labyrinth, so (as you might guess from the name of my blog and domain, and the artwork therein), this has a particular appeal to me, personally.

Madeleine Begun Kane, of MadKane: Bush Says the Words
A funny parody of I Write the Songs, bashing a bit on President Bush over the controversy with Iraq's possible attempted purchase of yellowcake uranium from Niger.

Meryl Yourish, of Fish or boobs
A post about, uh, wood.

Internet Ronin, of Internet Ronin: College Summer Reading Programs
Internet Ronin suggests that people make too much of the pre-entry summer reading assigned by colleges, along with the excellent point that "If all it takes to convert students to radical thought is to ask them to read a book, democratic capitalism is in very serious trouble and will die out before I do."

Solonor, of Solonor's Ink Well: Telly...
It's amazing what you can sometimes hear yourself say in the middle of a meeting.

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, of Taking Children Seriously: Choosing Creativity - by Kolya Wolf
An article expressing why it is important to allow children to learn without coercion, and comparing children's natural learning with the scientific method.

Setting the World to Rights: Slavery
Did President Bush's comments in Africa on the evil of the American slave trade perpetuate the calumny that slavery was a mostly Western Institution?

The Yeti, of Tales from a Yeti Suit: I am the Greatest
Funny story of a night out, and maitai torture.

Adam H, of A Single Guy in the South: The Great BBQ War and The Great BBQ War Goes On
Crazy Adam H thinks real BBQ is made from pigs. Sadly, his deluded commenters largely seem to agree. Next time you're in the DFW area Adam, look me up, and we'll get some real BBQ. We Texans are kind to foreigners, so you can get cooked pig there, if you're from Tennessee or somewhere like that.

Pietro, of The SmarterCop: A Grave Situation in Florida
Pietro blogs about the potential consequences of throwing out Florida's parental consent law for minors wanting an abortion. While I'm not certain that I entirely agree with him on the consequences, or at least their probability, I do think it's interesting that "here kids can't even get their ears pierced without parental consent and the court is saying they can let a doctor perform invasive surgery without a whisper to their parents."

Kikuchyu, of Kikuchyu News: Recursive Reporting
Weblogs reporting on the media reporting on weblogs...

Christopher Genovese, of Signal + Noise: Essential Merit
Are you good enough? Even if that Nobel Prize hasn't come your way, don't be too quick to judge. Here's why.

Pieter Dorsman, of PeakTalk: Manipulating Surface Level Emotions
Pieter critically examines Canadian opinion surveys about attitudes towards the US, and how they serve their Leftist exponents.

Kevin Aylward, of WizBangBlog: More Thoughts on the Link Cosmos
Kevin has done a real service to bloggers by posting instructions on how to add the Link Cosmos (from Technorati to each post blogged. (In fact, you'll see that posts here have that feature, now.) The "More Thoughts" post makes an eminently reasonable suggestion that high-traffic, commentless sites should include this as a service to their readers.

Da Goddess, of Da Goddess: Oooh! That Woman!
This post had me laughing out loud. My wife has a tendency to get ravaged this way, too...

TimeKeeper, of Horologium: Fun With Lefty Activists
TimeKeeper takes aim at PETA activists, with a question about the hypocrisy of their fundamental beliefs.

The Raving Atheist, of The Raving Atheist: Authority
The Raving Atheist is dismissive of appeals to religious authority as a basis of arguing the rightness of opinions (in the case cited, about the Law of Moses).

Kevin Baker, of Smallest Minority: "A Mistake Free People Get to Make Only Once"
Kevin discusses the actual purpose of the second amendment, and why it is still relevant (and worth the costs) today.

Joe Dougherty, of Attaboy: Next: Chippendale by Night, Minister by Day
Joe looks at the minor bruhaha over SpikeTV's Stripperella, and wonders if it's not just a stunt to get people to watch.

Eric Lindholm, of VikingPundit: Victims of their own Success
Eric discusses how non-profits can lose their way when they carry the argument, and focuses on the NAACP as an example (he gives others as well).

Greyhawk, of The Mudville Gazette: Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy?
Part of an epic series of posts touring the walls that American soldiers guard, viewed from the dirt. Not what you'll see in a newspaper. Read the whole series, starting here.

Sharon, of Brazos Cantina: Hurricane/Tropical Storm Claudette
Notes on Sharon's feelings about Claudette, and links that caught her attention this week.

Dean Esmay, of Dean's World: Random Linguistic Observations
Languages evolve. Grammarians need to relax.

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June 23, 2003

The Noble Pundit

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

The Noble Pundit is former stockbroker Chris Noble's blog. There is so much excellent content on The Noble Pundit that it's hard to know where to start. To make things easy on myself, I'm only going to post excerpts of items posted between Monday June 2 and today, with the exception of the investing series.

The investing series has 8 parts (so far), covering Fundamental Analysis (picking good investment choices), an addendum to the Fundamental Analysis post, Technical Analysis (deciding when to enter or exit a position), Options, The Economy and the Market, Market Mechanics, Mutual Funds, Asset Allocation, and Bonds. These eight posts have clarified a few concepts I was unclear on, and have simplified my understanding of some other points. I cannot recommend enough that you read the whole series.

Post since Monday include (and this is not an exhaustive list):

Aww. The Palestinians Are Disappointed, which discusses Palestinian reactions to the recent "roadmap" summit.

Something Postive & French???, which provides a link to this Sabine Herold editorial on freedom as a human - rather than a specifically Western - concept. (It's short, but worth reading, and has some real gems in it.)

Media Arrogance Or Military Failure? looks at journalistic navel gazing about the incident during the recent war where a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

Oh, I Feel Much Safer Now looks at Russian involvement in the Iranian nuclear program, and includes this gem: "Giving Tehran a nuclear capability is like giving a drug addict free access to the police evidence rooms. Pretty soon all his friends will be there, everything will be gone and the neighborhood will be a more dangerous place.

Two People In Two States? looks for the source of the Palestinian fantasy that Israel is the source of all Palestinian problems, while the Palestinians themselves are pure and noble. (HINT: It's the guy that tells kids to blow themselves up.)

OK, I haven't even finished through yesterday yet. Go, read.

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June 15, 2003


Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

I found Courtney's eponymous blog though IMAO. And what a find it was! I only read Courtney's blog every two or three days, at which point I have to spend a lot of time catching up, because pretty much everything she writes is worth reading. Here's a sample of recent entries:

my night out on the left discusses an evening with a friend, and some of his friends, and the ensuing conversations.

negative democrats is a short post about the Democrats running against Bush, instead of for some princple or policy. Best quote: "The Left's only attempts at debate and pressure sound more like a socialist bash-fest. 'Tax the rich, repeal tax cuts! Bush is a liar!" Idiots.' (And she's right: we need a serious opposition party to keep Bush from going too far right, and the Democrats aren't it.)

france's new joan of arc is about Sabine Harold, a young French conservative who's been getting some attention lately.

for some, the u.s. is always wrong points out the hypocrisy of those who called for the US to not intervene in Iraq, to now intervene in the Congo. Money quote: "I don't get it. Why were there so many anti-war protests against us going to Iraq? Even if these people didn't believe that we were going for the reasons Bush laid out, why didn't they just concede that at least the humanitarian situation would improve? This, more than anything else, shows that these NGOs and humanitarian activists are politically motivated and reflexively anti-Bush."

And there's a whole lot more. Go read.

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June 12, 2003


Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

I don't remember where I first found out about Mark Safranski's Zenpundit, but it has become a daily read for me. Zenpundit has been around since February 2003 - or at least that's how far back the archives go - and has an incredible signal-to-noise ratio. While Zenpundit is, like most blogs, hard to pigeonhole, the focus is generally on current event, politics and foreign policy. Zenpundit features lots of quotation, excerpts and linking, and periodic analysis.

Being on Blogspot, Zenpundit's archives are not-unexpectedly broken. Recent posts of interest include:

A BRILLIANT ESSAY ON THE U.S. AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY, which reproduces an Eric Bergerud essay from the H-DIPLO Listserv. The quoted essay includes this particularly-excellent observation, among too many to excerpt fairly:

Now, if one views the U.S. as in a war, the
government's response is understandable, even laudable. If the struggle
against terror is viewed as an exercise in normal diplomacy then America,
not bin Laden (or Kim Jong Il) is the threat to world peace.

A WORD FROM MR. BLIX, which excerpts a Financial Times article on the latest report from UNMOVIC, analyzing data from just before the start of the recent war.

LIBERALS AND IRAQ addresses two particular themes from the Leftists lately: a) The Bush administration " lied " about Iraqi WMD, and, b) The occupation of Iraq has been an utter disaster. Excerpt:

Point A relies on studiously ignoring the history of Iraq since 1990, especially the policies of the Clinton administration and the contents of UNSCOM reports and the sacrifices made by Saddam ( $ 180 billion dollars) in order not to comply with inspections. Basically, critics repeatedly do not address these points or will say that Saddam had weapons in 1998 but not 2003, skipping over the origin of this amazing insight into Iraqi governmental operations - like when and where exactly these items were destroyed or the larger question of why Saddam would kick out the inspectors and then, secretly, dismantle his weapons. They rely on the mysterious absence of large WMD stockpiles to argue they did not exist - though logically you could make the exact same argument about Saddam with an equal amount of validity.

Two links to invaluable resources: the Founders' Constitution and an in-depth site from the Library of Congress on the Federalist Papers.

The above list of posts only covers the weekend, from Friday May 30 to Monday June 2.

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June 11, 2003

Winds of Change

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Winds of Change is a group blog, headed up by Joe Katzman. There are three excellent features which make this blog worthy of note: the writing quality and opinion diversity of the contributors, the writing quality and opinion diversity of the commentors, and the focus on events through series of posts by different authors and through recurrent features such as "Winds of War". Here, then, is a sample of recent posts:

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: CONFLICT DIAMONDS - Armed Liberal points out a major and too-little-discussed engine feeding the violence in Africa, and suggests something we can do about it.

RANDINHO'S LATIN AMERICA BRIEFING: 2003-06-10 - Randy Paul glosses Central and South American politics over the last week.

BACK IN THE USSR? THE NEW E.U. - Joe Katzman discusses the anti-democratic and anti-liberal foundations of the emerging E.U. This post is also an excellent example of the quality of people who post comments to Winds of Change.

MORE ACADEMIC SELF-DESTRUCTION - Trent Talenko discusses the response of academics to the firing of Sami al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor under indictment for terrorist activities.

THE DEATH OF FRANCE? - Trent Telenko looks at the failure of France to integrate immigrants, and what that means for France in the Future.

VENEMOUS KATE'S WINDS OF WAR: 2003-06-09 - Venemous Kate glosses the war on terror.

All of this, and I haven't even finished going back through yesterday. Go read.

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May 23, 2003

Misdirection, or Just a Hyperlink?

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Either way, go read about Magic.

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May 22, 2003

SARS, or Piracy - Whatever

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Bigwig goes overboard with SARS, pirates and China. No, really!

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April 29, 2003

The Souls of Black Folk

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The Wall Street Journal has a great piece by Shelby Steele. Go, read. It's really good.

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April 28, 2003

Discipline, Courage, Humility, Humanity, Morality, and...

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March 12, 2003

To Give All Rather Than Give Up

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