Friday, January 28, 2005

The transformation of Hillary Clinton; ambition makes the most of itself

Gerard Baker asks: "How far will the liberal New York senator go in her quest to become America’s first female president?" How about this? Baker predicts -- tongue deeply in cheek -- that the September 16, 2006 edition of the Washington Post will carry a prominent piece in which Sen. Clinton urges "a chastened Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, to stop 'pussyfooting around' and get on with the long-deferred invasion of Iran." Baker has sketched a sardonic rise for the junior senator from New York but even he may be timid considering her grand designs as of late.

How far across the Rubicon will she traverse and triangulate? My answer: By 2007 she will be to the right of Barry Goldwater. The press will love the story and nuclear throw-weight will become acceptable again now that it's Hillary's testerone we'll be talking about.

This past week, in voting to confirm Condi Rice as Secretary of State, Sen. Clinton was sending a message to the right and left. I say caveat emptor for everyone on both sides of the aisle. Ambition is a terrible midwife and principles ought to matter for something along the way to higher office. What have been Sen. Clinton's guiding principles save for power?

It is yet another amusing Clinton show. Let the Kennedys and the Kerrys make asses out of themselves pinning their anti-war protestations on the back of a decent public servant. Hillary has other ideas. Charles Krauthammer explains.

While fake empathy, well-acted, has been a Clinton trait, sincerity has yet to weave itself into the Clinton character.

William Shawcross, honest liberal, sticks up for the Iraqi Election Process!

The self-absorbed high and mighty Eurocrats are absent as the Iraqis vote. History has not looked favorably upon the wafflers and appeasers on the Continent, and the high and mightly roll right into another chapter of indifference to democratic aspirations! As Bosnia festered they did little; until American air strikes. Contend to play cute with Saddam the Europeans looked the other way as Kurds and Shia were murdered. As brave Iraqis make their way to the polls, to ratify the democratic franchise where are the high minded Europeans? William Shawcross asks some decent questions. Money quote below:

Tony Blair said in Baghdad in December: "On the one side you have people who desperately want to make the democratic process work, and want the same type of
democratic freedoms other parts of the world enjoy, and on the other side people who are killing and intimidating and trying to destroy a better future for Iraq. Our response should be to stand alongside the democrats."

Blair is absolutely right. It is shocking that so few democratic governments support the Iraqi people. Where are French and German and Spanish protests against the terror being inflicted on voters in Iraq? And it is shocking that around the world there is not wider admiration of, assistance to and moral support (and more) for the Iraqi people. The choice is clear: movement towards democracy in Iraq or a new nihilism akin to fascism - Islamist fascism.

Yes where are the French and Germans?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Chasing Donovan is worth 6.5 points; Bet on this: Belichick will break down the film!

Yes! The New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl. What a classy outfit.

The consensus spread just minutes after Brady took the final knee is here. If you plan to bet discount the wayward speculations of Dan Marion, Shannon Sharp and Terry Bradshaw. They picked the Steelers from their pre-game perches.

Here's a game summary from AP.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Krauthammer lets CBS have it

Charles Krauthammer exposes Mary Mapes's twisted news judgement:

Did Mapes and Rather devote a fraction of the resources they gave this story to a real scandal, such as the oil-for-food scandal at the United Nations, or contrary partisan political charges, such as those brought by the Swift boat vets against John Kerry? On the United Nations, no interest. On Kerry, what CBS did do was ad hominem investigative stories on the Swift boat veterans themselves, rather than an examination of the charges. Do you perceive a direction to these inclinations?

Shades of Rosie O'Donnell indeed!

Michael Moore, the face of the Democratic Party, likes guns for his body guard but not for everyone else.

Paging Carl Rowan!


Update Instapundit reports that Moorewatch has correction information about Michael Moore's "body guard." The body guard in question is not Michael Moore's full time body guard. According to the agency used by Moore, Patrick Burk the person in question is "A bodyguard who was once assigned to protect Michael Moore...� . Still why the use of armed guards for Moore? Moorwatch says the hypocrisy charge still stands.

As for the issue that we raised, the hypocrisy of my opinion it still stands. It goes back to the first time we heard that Moore was hiring armed guards. He considers his own safety paramount, and feels that a weapon can protect him, but he doesn’t want the average American to have that same protection. The argument that can be made is “Well you can hire a bodyguard.� No, most of America can’t hire someone to watch over them 24 hours a day. It flies in the face of reason and logic to expect such a thing. We’re each responsible for our own personal safety. Since we
cannot afford to hire armed guards...we arm ourselves. That is the very
essence of the Second Amendment.

Monday, January 17, 2005

David Von Drehle of the Washington Post hits the road to find Red State America

The Red State- Blue State divide is a terrible generalization that the Mainstream Media can't escape. Right and Left coasters appear to have contempt for the majority of voters who pulled the lever for Bush. Conservative voters don't seem to have a better handle on what the "elitists" really believe. Dare I borrow from Kerry and ask for a little nuance in our self-critical analysis of the Great Divide?

David Von Drehle, the intrepid Washington Post writer, opens up the Red Sea for all of us to view.

This piece is must reading!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Massachusetts exodus! Of course it has nothing to do with taxes!

The Boston Business Journal online says that the Massachusetts exodus is very real judging by a new report out today:

United Van Lines said its annual analysis of movement within the United States shows that 55.5 percent of all moves involved someone leaving the Bay State. That puts the Commonwealth in the "high outbound" category, which is dominated by other Northern states, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana

This is so serious that the Globe's Joan Vennochi asks: "
What's the matter with Massachusetts? "

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Archbishop Desmond Tutu lacks perspective

Obviously Archbishop Tutu thinks his opinions on public affairs ought to go without comment. And if you disagree he gets flashbacks to the bad old apartheid days. Disagree with his holiness as some of his students did and you come very close to being a racist. That's the way "vilification" worked in South Africa. Here's a quote from the Newsweek interview

You said George Bush should admit that he made a mistake. Were you surprised at his re-election?

[Laughs] I still can't believe that it really could have happened. Just look at the facts on the table: He’d gone into a war having misled people—whether deliberately or not—about why he went to war. You would think that would have knocked him out [of the race.] It didn’t. Look at the number of American soldiers who have died since he claimed that the war had ended. And yet it seems this doesn't make most Americans worry too much. I was teaching in Jacksonville, Fla., [during the election campaign] and I was shocked, because I had naively believed all these many years that Americans genuinely believed in freedom of speech. [But I] discovered there that when you made an utterance that was remotely contrary to what the White House was saying, then they attacked you. For a South African the déjà vu was frightening. They behaved exactly the same way that sed to happen here [during apartheid]—vilifying those who are putting forward a slightly different view.

The archbishop is overly sensitive. You fight speech you don't like with more speech not pronoucements. I thought he would know better. And by the way speaking of vilifcation did the good bishop take a look at the bile tossed at Bush this past election?

First Antony Flew now other skeptics; scientists taking leaps of faith

The New York Times has a very fascinating question of several prominent scientists recently. The newspaper asked the following question: "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" Naturally the responses gravitated around the question of religious faith and the existence of God. Most of the answers were insigthful revealing a diversity of opinion among the men and women of the test tube. The neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University and author of "A Primate's Memoir" gives a tough but reasonable answer that in my mind agitates the existential angst of human life

Mine would be a fairly simple, straightforward case of an unjustifiable belief, namely that there is no god(s) or such a thing as a soul (whatever the religiously inclined of the right persuasion mean by that word). ...I'm taken with religious folks who argue that you not only can, but should believe without requiring proof. Mine is to not believe without requiring proof. Mind you, it would be perfectly fine with me if there were a proof that there is no god. Some might view this as a potential public health problem, given the number of people who would then run damagingly amok. But it's obvious that there's no shortage of folks running amok thanks to their belief. So that wouldn't be a problem and, all things considered, such a proof would be a relief - many physicists, especially astrophysicists, seem weirdly willing to go on about their communing with god about the Big Bang, but in my world of biologists, the god concept gets mighty infuriating when you spend your time thinking about, say, untreatably aggressive childhood leukemia.

Liberty Corner has additional comments on the "Limits of Science."

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Trusting the U.N. with tsunami relief

There is much hand-wringing indeed from Old Europe and the internationalists on the proper U.S. response to the disaster in Asia. Tidal waves are rare but what is not rare is the incessant U.S. bashing.

Former British International Development Secretary Clare Short criticized the US for going on its own and bypassing the U.N. consensus whatever that might be. “I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,�
she reportedly says.

The Belmont Club asks wisely whether we should trust the U.N. with the relief efforts now underway in the Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, India and elsewhere. The U.N. track record is less the promising, the matter of Rwanda and all. The fatal conceit is in fact very fatal:

Only an international political class secure in its own invincibility could have thrown such scraps as the UN provides to the people of the Third World and demanded such peremptory obedience of the US, as if it were exempt from the laws of physics; men too precious to perish by fire or water. Only an international political class secure in its own invincibility could have thrown such scraps as the UN provides to the people of the Third World and demanded such peremptory obedience of the US, as if it were exempt from the laws of physics; men too precious to perish by fire or water.

It is said that U.S. Marines have arrived to help distribute supplies. Meanwhile the U.N. and its boosters are content in calling the U.S. stingy.