« November 2004 | Main | January 2005 »

December 31, 2004

Bush "undermines" the U.N. again

This time by daring to offer aid to the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami without acting through the United Nations. I guess that kind of unilateralism is bad too. Check out what Clare Short said:

"Only really the UN can do that job....It is the only body that has the moral authority."

"Moral authority," huh? Has Ms. Short been reading the papers? One wonders.

Maybe, just maybe, President Bush wanted to help those who need help directly, without further lining the pockets of Kojo Anan and a cadre of inept, sticky-fingered global bureaucrats.

December 30, 2004

This is encouraging...

...which is why I wonder if the pork daddies in Congress will allow it to happen. It wouldn't be the first time that proposed Pentagon cuts have been nixed by legislators eager to bring home the bacon to their districts. Still, if there's any hope of bringing discretionary spending under control, the military will have to do its part.

I'm glad Bush is finally making a push to rein in the budget, but if he wants to make it stick, he'll likely have to learn how to use the veto pen.

The Pentagon plans to retire one of the Navy's 12 aircraft carriers, buy fewer amphibious landing ships for the Marine Corps and delay the development of a costly Army combat system of high-tech arms as part of $60 billion in proposed cuts over the next six years, Congressional and military officials said Wednesday.

The proposed reductions, the details of which are still being fine-tuned and which would require Congressional approval, result from White House orders to all federal agencies to cut their spending requests for the 2006 fiscal year budgets, which will be submitted to lawmakers early next year.

Programming note

The spammers are in the midst of their biggest and most sustained broadside against this site yet. Most of this is going on behind the scenes, but if you're noticing poor response times, that's likely why.

The good news is that I've finally got a short-term workaround and (hopefully) a long-term solution. Immediately after New Year's, I plan to implement the fix as part of my server migration, and then things should be good as new. Better, even. Bear with me for a few more days....

A question

At the risk of sounding like a PC scold, am I the only person who finds the western media's emphasis on the the (relative) handful of Westerners who were affected by the tsunami to be a bit... distasteful? I'd expect a certain amount of that kind of slant, but it seems to me a bit excessive in this case. Maybe it's just me.

December 29, 2004


Words fail me. I will not insult the memory of those lost by even pretending that I have anything important or meaningful to say about this tragedy.

The U.S. government has pledged 35 million dollars in aid while the French have pledged 100,000 euros, and yet we are called "stingy." Ah well, that's the world we live in, and I should expect no less.

Still, those who think $35 million is inadequate in the face of this disaster are right. But the true goodness of America lies not with her government, but with the generosity of her people. The donations of well-meaning private citizens will surely dwarf the $35 million Bush promised.

I don't ask for contributions to this site. This blog costs me less money than I spend on beer each month. But if you're a regular reader here, and have ever considered hitting the non-existing tipjar, I'd encourage you instead to pick the charity of your choice, and make a contribution to a part of the world that could really use it right now.

Update: Command Post has a helpful roundup of how you can help.

December 23, 2004

Growing pains

As the numbers of posts, comments and readers for this site have grown over the year, performance has taken a noticeable hit. Many of you have complained about this, and it sucks for me too. It's one of the reasons I haven't been posting as much lately. Moreover, the spam attacks against the site's comments section have been increasing exponentially. Damn them!

I plan to begin the new year by moving Cynical Nation to a new host with a more robust database and an upgraded version of MovableType. With any luck, this will all go smoothly.

In the meantime, however, I'm leaving for a few days to spend Christmas in California. I feel I have no choice but to temporarily disable the comments feature until I get back. If I do not, by next week the site will be nothing but ads for Cialis and "hot teen asian suck sluts." While some of you would no doubt regard this as an improvement, this isn't really a commercial site. And if anybody's going to make a buck off it, it damn well oughtta be me!

Anyway, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I'll see you sometime around the end of the year.

All that's left of a landmark

It was a sad occasion, but kind of cool to watch at the same time. Yesterday they demolished Hoboken's landmark Clam Broth House, many months after a partial collapse of the building left engineers to conclude that it had to be torn down. Unfortunately most of the exciting bits were over by the time I had got my camera.

Fast-Cookin' Ali, a local merchant, remembers 35 years ago, when he and the Clam Broth House were the only options for grub in that part of town. Now, of course, there are a jillion bars and restaurants on every corner. It won't be the same, though, without this one.

December 21, 2004

Kos komes klean

Heh heh, nothing like a little alliteration on a Tuesday afternoon, huh?

I know a few (very few) Democrats who were pretty honest about John Kerry during the campaign. "Sure he sucks," they'd tell me. "He's an embarrassingly bad candidate, but I have no choice not to vote for him." I can respect that. Hell, it's basically exactly how I felt about Bush. But these Democrats were in the minority. The vast bulk of them would insist adamantly that Kerry really is a great candidate, and he does have principled positions, and everything you hear to the contrary is a vile right-wing lie, etc., etc. I was never sure whom they were trying to convince -- me or themselves. Call it the pragmatists versus the Kool-Aid drinkers.

Well these Kerry Kool-Aid drinkers must be feeling pretty blindsided by a fascinating post over at the home of the rabidly partisan lefty Kos. He seems to have set down the Kool-Aid and gone all pragmatic on us. The whole thing is worth a read, but here are a few sample quotes:

"I voted for the $87 billion, then I voted against it." That wasn't nuance. That was idiocy.

...with a primary campaign that consisted entirely of "I'm the most electable", Kerry entered the general without a core philosophy or articulated vision for the job.

A Kerry presidency would've been an unmitigated disaster...

No arguments here. But I read Kos all the time, and I've got to wonder -- how long has he felt this way?

I know, I know...

I hate it when people try to manipulate my heartstrings... especially when they succeed. If you can get through this tribute to our sodiers without tearing up a little, you're a better man than I am. (Hat tip Ace)

Don't look now...

...but Israel's winning its war against terror as well.

IDF: Significant decline in 2004 terror

The number of terror attacks and terror fatalities dropped significantly in 2004, when only six suicide bombings were carried out within Israel and eight in the territories, an IDF Intelligence Branch official informed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

According to the official, a total of 116 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets in 2004, with 55 of them killed in suicide attacks. A total of 73 civilians and 43 security personnel were killed.

The suicide attack fatality figure is a 60 percent decline compared with 2003. In addition, the number of attempted suicide bombings has declined by 50 percent. In the six suicide attacks in Israel, 51 were killed, and another four at the Erez checkpoint in the territories.

On a related note, this also seems encouraging.

Poll shows nearly 60% of Palestinians support Abu Mazen call to end Intifada militarization

In a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), results showed that over half of the participants support PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)'s call among Palestinians to put an end to the militarization of the Intifada.

It should be abundantly clear to everyone now that Arafat was never anything other than an obstacle to peace in the Mideast.

Of course that should have been clear to everyone years ago.

My favorite year

2004 was a crazy ol' year, and a lot happened, much of it good. I've tried to compile a list of my Top 20 Moments from 2004. This is a rough draft, of course, subject to revision. Let me know if you think I missed anything significant.

  1. John Kerry clinches Democratic nomination (okay, I know this doesn't sound particularly exciting, but trust me, it lays the groundwork for much of what follows.)
  2. Joe Wilson exposed as a liar and a fraud.
  3. CBS is exposed as corrupt, bitterly partisan, and untrustworthy.
  4. The U.N. and its leadership, through a series of scandals, are exposed as criminally corrupt and ineffective.
  5. The Swift Vets demonstrate that Republican interests can use 527s too! (And, thanks to Republican's superior business acumen, generate a much higher ROI than MoveOn and George Soros!)
  6. John Kerry's pathetically horrific midnight "rally" in Ohio after the GOP convention. It was around this point that I truly started to believe Bush would win.
  7. Martha Stewart goes to jail!
  8. Arafat goes to hell!
  9. Democracy takes hold in Afghanistan.
  10. John Howard's landslide re-election in Australia.
  11. "And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian...."
  12. Hmm, let's see, it seems like there was something else.... Oh yes, now I recall! FOUR MORE YEARS, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. Daschle receives his walking papers.
  14. Barbra Streisand's stunned silence for days after the election.
  15. Michael Moore's limp, pathetic "Hey, cheer up, guys! It could be worse!" message after the election.
  16. Paul Krugman's sudden decision to go on "sabbatical" to work on a "book."
  17. Ted Rall's nervous breakdown and subsequent temper tantrums.
  18. The look on Juan Williams' face as the results came in -- priceless.
  19. The laughably wrong prognostications of Kos, Hunter Thompson, and others.
  20. George Soros and MoveOn's utter and complete failure to accomplish... well, anything, really.
Yes friends, it was a very good year. I've got a 40-year-old bottle of bourbon stashed away somewhere. This month it may finally be time! :-)

December 20, 2004

Great speech on WOT

This was brought to my attention by a liberal sparring partner of mine whom I respect, even though we often disagree. It's a speech by theoretical physicist Haim Harari on the current state of the war against Islamist terror. It's a bit lengthy, but clearly and compellingly written. It's refreshingly free of both simple-minded jingoism and PC bullshit. There is no way I could summarize the piece and do it justice, so just read the whole thing. It's worth your time.

Now there's an idea!

Pity it took him four years to come up with it.

Bush Looking at Cutting Domestic Spending

The White House is telling federal agencies to expect lean budgets next year, with congressional aides and lobbyists saying President Bush appears ready to propose freezing or even slightly cutting overall domestic spending.

I hope it's true, but I'm not holding by breath. The only thing that gives me some hope is that as presidents move into their second terms, they inevitably begin to focus more and more on their legacy. I doubt that Bush wants to go down in history as the biggest spending Republican of all time.

Adventures in dog ownership

Zora, our black lab, will pick up almost any random object and chew on it if we don't watch her continuously. Mrs. Cynic, Zora and I all went to Mrs. Cynic's art studio this weekend to help set some things up.

Zora loved it there, as there was much to explore. The problem was, since it's a shared space, there are some pretty random objects lying about. I heard a commotion on the other side of the room and noticed Zora was thrashing her head from side to side, and there was something green and plastic in her mouth. I told her to drop it, and then realized she couldn't. It appeared to be stuck on her teeth or something. I reached down to try to remove whatever it was and she thrashed her head violently again, and my fingers came back bleeding. When I forced her to calm down and sit still, I saw that she had gotten hold of a fishing lure with two barbed treble hooks. One of the hooks had pierced the skin of her lip and was stuck there.

We had to calm her down because every time she would panic, she would thrash her head about, which we were afraid would just make things worse (by lodging the second hook in her mouth, for example.)

Zora was a real brave doggie, and never cried, but just sat with her head down and looked somewhat forlorn while we kept her calm. She needed to be soothed constantly to keep her from freaking out, and Mrs. Cynic and I took turns at this while the other would run about looking for wire cutters. Finally, we were unable to find any suitable tool to help us, so it looked like we were going to have to take her to the emergency vet a few blocks away.

The problem was, every time we turned loose of her she would start thrashing again! It seemed the only way to get her there safely was to carry her. I picked her up and started walking. She was fine for about 50 yards or so, and then she got spooked in my arms and started thrashing again. At this point, Mrs. Cynic reached over to calm her and the lure's other hook caught on her coat sleeve. One more wag of Zora's head and, before we knew what had happened, the lure was safely yanked from Zora's mouth and hanging on Mrs. Cynic's coat sleeve.

Zora was back to normal immediately, and wanted to jump and play, but the wife and I were still a little freaked out. "Welcome to the wonderful world of dog ownership," I told my wife (Zora is her first.) We can probably look forward to 10 or 12 years of this kind of excitement.

That afternoon, we rewarded her with a chicken pot pie dinner and some nice treats because she'd been so traumatized. Here's a picture of her later that evening, safe at home and back to normal.

It's Bush again

Time's "Person of the Year," that is. I don't know why I should care enough even to post this, but whatever. Given their criteria, the choice seems like a no-brainer. Then again, OBL was clearly the POTY in 2001, but political sensibilities kept him off the cover in favor of Rudy. In subsequent years, the honor has gone to "collective" recipients -- whistleblowers, or the American soldier. That's kind of a cop-out too, in my opinion.

The distinction is value-neutral, as it reflects the person who most impacted the news in the preceding year, either for good or ill. After reading the accompanying article, however, it's obvious that Bush has few fans among Time's editorial staff.

As we prepare to move into Bush's second term, however, I'm cautiously optimistic. I may be in a distinct minority here, but I feel better about Bush as president now than I did in 2000. I'm collecting my thoughts on the matter, and will expound on them in a post as we get closer to the inauguration.

Arnold wants GOP to shift left

I think I know what he means. If so, I agree with him. I think the Republican Party's coziness with the religious right costs it a lot of votes among people who would be otherwise predisposed to support their agenda. My only problem with Schwarzenegger's comments is that they were a bit too vague. "Move a little further left" can mean many different things. It's open to interpretation, but knowing Arnie, I hope he means we should remain fiscally conservative and militarily hawkish, but back off on "moral" issues. I couldn't agree more. Just be specific, Arnold. All the "star power" of the GOP (McCain and Guiliani) agree with you. You guys have influence. Don't be afraid to use it.

December 17, 2004

Who says that DU never criticizes a Democrat?

Here's a sampling:

I hope to know where Zell miller's grave is when he takes a dirt nap. I'll make sure to take a nice long piss on it.

zell, kill yourself, please

wish it were still the time where a traitor to one's Country or Party was tied to a pole, blindfolded, and a firing squad shot them dead.

Zell Miller we be "screwed" by the Devil when he gets to Hell!

Zell Miller is a drooling self-righteous narcissistic prick, and he deserves if not Thorazine, then at least tar & feathers. I hope he dies soon, and I am not sorry I said it.

My God, when is he going to either die or go the hell away?

If I stated how I truly felt about this devious, treacherous piece of shit, I would likely have my message deleted...[I doubt it -- BNJ]

In fact I hope he falls on the floor in full grand mal seizure, eyes rolling back in the head, spittle flying, tongue swallowing, the whole nine. What a feeble minded, mean-spirited, d*ckwad this guy is.

He, McCain, and the other traitors to a man who once called them friend will join Judas, Brutus, and Cassius in the Devil's antechamber, deep in the frozen bowels of the ninth circle of Hell.

Senator Miller has touched a nerve. Across how many degrees does guilt by association propagate for DU'ers? Two, at least! Next they unload on Paul Begala for once stating he was a "friend" of Zell's, although he disagreed with him politically.

Begala is a friend of Millers? Goodbye Belgala.

Begala is another worthless piece of shit.

Tough crowd. You know what always chills me most when I read a thread like this in DU? It's the number of messages that look like this:

Message removed by moderator.

One shudders to think what kind of post would trigger deletion by a board mod in that shrieking nuthouse.

Well said

And Merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Krauthammer.

The bottom line on Social Security reform

The emerging debate on Social Security privatization so far has centered on two issues: the actuarial problems with the existing system and comparative rates of return. These are important aspects, but I think it's important not to to lose sight of the true bottom line here, which is the following. Given a choice between

  1. contributing real money to a real account that I actually own, and
  2. being taxed in exchange for a promise by the government to tax, years hence, somebody else in order to pay me back

Then I'll take option 1 every time. Naturally, I'd prefer full-scale privatization, but 2% is better than zero.

Don't like it? Fine. Don't participate. I haven't seen a proposal yet for which participation wasn't voluntary, and I highly doubt such a mandatory reform bill could ever pass. But please don't stand in the way of those of us who work hard and want to take charge of our own retirement. "Pro-choice," you like to call yourselves? We'll see.

Another vacation interruption

Paul Krugman has resurfaced yet again, and this time, same as last, his purpose is to whine and wring his hands about a social security "privatization" plan that hasn't even been proposed yet. (You'll never get that book written at this rate, professor.)

Anyway, his big complaint this time? That commissions and management fees would eat up any real returns on investment. 20% is a figure he tosses out as "typical." Geez, you'd think an economist would have heard of no-load funds or ETFs, wouldn't you? Guess not.

I think Professor Krugman's critiques would carry a lot more weight if he were to ait until there was an actual plan to criticize. That way he'd come across as less of a knee-jerk lefty with a reflexive animus toward the private sector.

December 15, 2004

Look away, Jesusland

Well, it was fun while it lasted. The whole "Jesusland" meme was built on a very thin reed -- early exit poll reports that some 20% of voters listed moral issues as the biggest factor in their decision (and yes, these were the same exit polls that showed Kerry winning in a romp.)

But the myth persisted, as the left comforted themselves with the belief that Kerry lost because large segments of the country are bible-thumping morons for whom ignorant superstition trumps reason and logic. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but a recent Gallup poll could sound the death knell for this libelous fairy tale.

Asked what they consider the most important problem facing this country today the issue of values was tied for fourth place with unemployment/jobs, with only one in ten of the Gallup sample choosing it. Far ahead, with 23%, was the war in Iraq, followed by terrorism and the economy in general, both at 12%, only then followed by unemployment and values.

The modest vote for values is all the more surprising because it was broadly define to include a wide range of concerns including ethics, moral, religious/family decline, dishonesty, and lack of integrity.

This 10% total could also be compared to the 29% who named some aspect of the economy as the top issue, along with the 35% who mentioned Iraq or terrorism.

In other words, the big issues this year were the economy and the war.


Light blogging, justification and excuses

No, I don't have the post-election "malaise." Things have just been hellishly busy in my professional and personal life lately (that always happens together, doesn't it?) But anyway, I should begin to emerge from underneath Mount Crap pretty soon, in the next day or so, and things should get back to normal.

December 14, 2004

Linux less buggy than Windows

By a lot, at least according to a Stanford study reported in Wired. They found an average of 0.17 bugs per 1,000 lines of source code in the Linux kernel, compared to a typical rate of 20 to 30 found in commercial software. Wow.

December 11, 2004

Well that sucks

Bernard Kerik was one of the first Bush appointees in a long time that I was actually pumped about. If we must have a Department of Homeland Security, he seemed the ideal man to head it. Now he's withdrawn his name from consideration, ostensibly because of "nanny" problems. Call me cynical, but I have to wonder whether there's rather more to it than that.

December 10, 2004

Oil prices

All right, I'm not normally much for conspiracy theories, but take a look at this graph:

Not only is crude oil down substantially from its November high, but this chart is forming a classic, bearish "head-and-shoulders" pattern.

At first I was skeptical of the rumors I'd heard that George Soros was running up the price of oil in advance of the election. In fact, I'm still skeptical. But at least that conspiracy theory is a helluva lot more likely than the one the moonbats touted before the election -- that Bush's "buddies" in Saudi Arabia were going to keep the price of oil artificially low during the election.

Ah well, being a left-wing conspiracy nut means never having to say you're sorry. Or even wrong.

The intelligence "reform" bill

Whatever failures allowed 9/11 to happen, I rather doubt "lack of bureaucracy" was one of them. Just in case I'm wrong, however, this glaring deficiency has been addressed, so I'm sure we can all rest easy now.

Happy Kwanzaa.

The Little PC Drummer Boy

Baby Gesu
I am a poor boy too
Those are the lyrics to "The Little Drummer Boy," at least as sung by that castrato boys' choir ages ago. Why anyone would remake that song remains an open question, yet many do. I've noticed that the trend with these pointless covers these days has been to sing it thusly:
Little Baby
I am a poor boy too
Has anyone else noticed this?

I have two problems with this shameless revisionism. First, it doesn't rhyme. Second, it renders the entire song meaningless. Honestly, it was a flimsy enough narrative to begin with, but replace the baby Jesus with some anonymous infant and the whole song becomes senseless -- some stupid chap bangs on a cheap-ass drum for some random baby. Yeah, that'll put you in the holiday spirit.

Regular readers know I'm not a bible thumper, but I do honor the gods of tradition over the insatiable gods of political correctness. Does it bug you to sing about Jesus? Fine, not everyone's comfortable with that. If you want to record a Christmas song, just sing about Frosty or chestnuts or something. Why choose an overtly religious piece and gut its significance?

Ah well. I guess I shouldn't let it ruin my "holiday" spirit as I sit around the "holiday" tree writing "holiday" cards for my friends.

Happy freakin' Kwanzaa, everyone.

December 08, 2004

More on Krugman

The article posted previously by Barry highlights the problem I have with Krugman's columns in general. His economic analysis on the Social Security situation is, in my opinion anyway, pretty accurate. There is no immediate crisis and there won't likely be one for another 50 years. Perhaps not even then if interest rates continue to rise.

It's the interweaving of his partisan views that I find objectionable.

Like this:

"The report finds that extending the life of the trust fund into the 22nd century, with no change in benefits, would require additional revenues equal to only 0.54 percent of G.D.P. That's less than 3 percent of federal spending - less than we're currently spending in Iraq."

It may be less than we are currently spending in Iraq, but what we are spending in Iraq is not sustainable indefinitely anyway. So why the Iraq reference?

And how about this:

"...very little about the privatizers' position is honest. They come to bury Social Security, not to save it. They aren't sincerely concerned about the possibility that the system will someday fail; they're disturbed by the system's historic success."

He provides no factual basis for this conclusion. I guess we are supposed to believe that because his economic analysis is correct, that his political opinions are, by default, correct as well.

Sorry, Professor Krugman, but I'm not buying it.

Social Security thought experiment

Lots of you have 401k's, right? Typically you are given a menu of investment choices including highly-diversified mutual funds (either stock or bond focused), money markets, etc.

Let's do a thought experiment and imagine you were suddenly given a "new" investment option -- call if "Option X." It is described as a government IOU that promises an average rate of return of less than 2% a year.

How many of you would:

  1. Contribute to Option X at all?
  2. Contribute exclusively to Option X?
  3. Insist that Option X be the only allowable option for all retirees, and that all other choices must be removed from the menu?
  4. Shriek hysterically that anyone who doesn't agree with number 3 wants to "destroy" or "bury" your 401k?

Well if you're Paul Krugman, you'd obviously answer number 4.

But for the rest of you?

He interrupted his sabbatical for this?

Paul Krugman resurfaced yesterday just long enough to grace us with this shrill, hysterical hit piece on Social Security. In it, he is irresponsibly dismissive of the grave actuarial problems inherent in the system. Why? Because he's terrified that it might actually be a Republican who tackles the problem head-on, instead of Clinton, Gore or Kerry.

It's a shocking piece for a professional economist. No charts, no graphs, no calculations -- no real argument at all, really. Just a bunch of alarmist, empty rhetoric along the lines of "[T]he privatizers... come to bury Social Security, not to save it," and "For Social Security is a government program that works.... And that's why the right wants to destroy it."

Arguments to support these absurd assertions? Not to be found in this column, but he makes a vague promise to expound on these themes when he returns in January. Krugman wants us to believe it would "destroy" Social Security to allow us actually to own a small fraction of our accounts. He wants us to feel threatened by the prospect that we as participants might hold actual (God forbid!) honest money as opposed to a government IOU. Despicable.

But the thing that really bothers me about this column is how deliberate it is. Everyone has an off-day, and I could shrug this column off if Krugman had merely been feeling uninspired one day and, with a deadline looming, he scratched himself and said, "Hell, I guess I'll dash off an unsubstantiated hit piece on Bush's Social Security plan." But that's not what happened. He interrupted his vacation to pen this swill. Astonishing.

I know a rabbi who says, "It's never good to stay away for too long. If you do, your people will learn they can get along without you." Go back on vacation, professor. Don't hurry back. Finish your book. In fact, make it ten-volume set. I want the American people to learn once and for all that they don't need your alarmist, hyper-partisan, intellectually dishonest nonsense.

December 07, 2004

Update on Louisiana House races

I'm updating the story about the Louisiana House races because it's not widely reported in the regular media. The Democrats and Republicans swapped seats, so the net composition of the House is unchanged. Pretty much a wash, but even Terry McAuliffe will have a hard time spinning it as a Democratic victory since the Democratic winner, a fairly conservative candidate, won with the slimmest of leads.

December 06, 2004

New addition to the family

This is Zora. She came to us already named, so we're not sure whether she's named after Zora Neale Hurston or that chick from "Joe Millionaire." Anyway, Zora's a one-and-a-half-year-old Black Lab, who didn't quite make it all the way to graduation from Guiding Eyes for the Blind (it's a tough school.)

Anyway, we gave her a new home, and she's great, but we've all been adapting to the new living arrangements. That's the primary reason for the light blogging lately, but things should return to normalcy soon. :-)

December 03, 2004

Best one yet!

Fresh from my server logs!!!! If you google on "ruls how to drive in dominican republic," my site comes up both second and third!!!

And no, K, I have no idea why. :-)

Memo to Dylan fans

If you've been banned from Son of Nixon, please know that you have a home here. You may have been disappointed, as I was, at having to chose between America's Poet and one of the best bloggers blogging today, but alas, what can you do? Hey, conservatives love Dylan too.

And if you're not a Dylan fan? Be sure to check out SoN. He still rules, even if he banned us.

Memo to SonOfNixon:

You are right from your side
I am right from mine
We're both just one too many mornin's
And a thousand miles behind.

More server log madness!!

This is getting fun! Check it out. Google on "nazzi wannabes" and my site comes up NUMBER ONE! Yeah, baby!!

You have to spell "nazzi" that way, though. The search hit came from Lithuania (www.google.lt), but it works from plain ol' google.com too.

Tenet calls for control of the internet

Why is he still spewing this kind of nonsense? I mean, really? If I were him I would just be so damn grateful to have gotten off as easily as I did that I'd keep my mouth shut and just people would forget about me. With any luck, I'd be nothing more than a yellow Trivial Pursuit question in ten years' time.

"I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control."

That damn song...

...is stuck in my head now. It's embarrassing when you're riding in an elevator full of business suits and catch yourself unconsciously yet audibly singing: "America: Fuck Yeah!"

Why is it always the embarrassing ones that get stuck in your head? I'd always thought "Seasons in the Sun" was my own personal nadir, but now I'm not so sure.

December 02, 2004

Kerik to head homeland security

Sounds good to me. I hate to say it, but he's a bit more reassuring in this role than Tom Ridge.

More fun with server logs!

FWIW, this humble blog comes up third when you google on "has anyone ever died of a hangover." My heart goes out to the dude searching that one.

Best. Video. Ever.

All right, I know this has been linked all over the place already, but I just couldn't resist.

(Heh heh, "Popeye.")

Just when you thought it was finally over!

It appears the 2004 election is not over yet. (No, I'm not talking about Ohio's moronic recount.) Evidently there are two House seats still up for grabs in Louisiana that will be decided in a runoff Saturday. The White House has dispatched charismatic powerhouse Dick Cheney to help boost Republican candidates in both races.

Should the GOP win, expect this to remain an obscure story. Should the Dems win, expect plenty of crowing from Terry McAuliffe and the NYT OpEd pages about how "the tide is turning," and these races signal an "end to Republican hegemony."

One month later

Liberals warned that Bush would use his reelection to consolidate political power and aggressively push a far-right political agenda. Many saw it coming, but who knew it would happen with such alarming speed?

Bush went to work almost immediately, taking the insidious and surely unprecedented step of staffing his cabinet with people who actually agree with him.

If that's not enough to chill the marrow, consider some other developments from the first month since the election:

  • The radical-right Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to Massachusetts' gay marriage law. This is obviously an attempt to get the gay rights movement to lower its guard, at which point the Bushies will swoop in for the kill. Rove's fingerprints are all over this one.
  • The administration abandoned its push in the U.N. for a worldwide cloning ban. This can only be a tactical retreat, and surely signals the marshalling of anti-choice forces in order to launch an even larger assault on reproductive freedom.
  • The White House gave a tacit green light for liberal Republican Arlen Specter to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee, but don't be fooled! This is a victory for the extreme Right. Specter owes his senate seat to Bush, who campaigned for him against the wishes of his conservative base. This makes Specter a tool of the White House, compelled to do their sinister bidding. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Terrified yet? Well brace yourselves, because it's going to get a lot worse.

December 01, 2004

Annan must go

That's what Norm Coleman thinks anyway, and it's hard to argue with his basic premise.

By the way, I almost think the involvement of Annan's son Kojo is a bit of a distraction -- it turns the issue to whether the father should suffer for the sins of the son. Well of course not, but that's not the point. Forget about Kojo Annan for a moment. This is a monumentally huge scandal that reaches to the very top of the U.N. "Oil for Food" program, and it happened on Annan's watch. Where does the buck stop at Turtle Bay?