soon and very soon

Thursday, September 23, 2004

For better or worse, college football needs Fighting Irish to be powerful

Notre Dame is good for seven or eight wins this year -- right on schedule. Next season could bring a breakthrough with perhaps a double-figure total. Really. This is a young team that just needs seasoning and depth to become a factor. That will come with time -- and some better recruiting, which many analysts anticipate this year.

It may pain some to read this, but college football is better off when Notre Dame is good, if only to provide half (and perhaps more) of the country with a legitimate villain. Well, get ready America. Snidely Whiplash is dusting off his cape and twirling his mustache. It's almost time.

Murdoch on CBS News Scandal: Fox Would Have Been 'Crucified'
Touche Mister Murdoch, Touche

French PM fears Turkish "river of Islam" in EU
At least SOMEONE in Europe is making sense.

Pic of the Day
Would you let Bill Clinton do this to your daughter?

Allawi: "Thank You America"

Iraqi Interm Prime Minister Ayad Allawi thanked America for the sacrifices they have made to rid the Iraqi people and the world of Saddam Hussein, saying the United States is a safer country because of it. But I'm sure John Kerry knows better than him that this was the wrong war at the wrong time.

Updated: Oh, I'm sorry, apparently John Kerry does know what's going on Iraq better than the Iraqi Prime Minister, Kerry: Allawi's Take Unrealistic...

The U.N.? Who Cares?
Great article from the Wall Street Journal by military historian Victor Davis Hanson detailing the unfathomable corruption and lawlessness within the United Nations. Excerpts:

These are surreal times. Americans in Iraq are beheaded on videotape. Russian children are machine-gunned in their schools. The elderly in Israel continue to be blown apart on buses. No one--whether in Madrid, Istanbul, Riyadh, Bali, Tel Aviv or New York--is safe from the Islamic fascist, whose real enemy is modernism and Western-inspired freedom of the individual.

Urging democratic reforms in Palestine, as Mr. Bush also outlined, is antithetical to the very stuff of the U.N., an embarrassing reminder that nearly half of its resolutions in the past half-century have been aimed at punishing tiny democratic Israel at the behest of its larger,more populous--and dictatorial--Arab neighbors. The contemporary U.N., then, has become not only hypocritical, but also a bully that hectors Israel about the West Bank while it gives a pass to a nuclear, billion-person China after swallowing Tibet; wants nothing to do with the two present dangers to world peace, a nuclear North Korea and soon to follow theocratic Iran; and idles while thousands die in the Sudan.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Quote of the Day
"We must pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe. Only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it." --John F. Kennedy (sure doesn't sound like John F. Kerry)

****Terrorist Attack in my neighborhood****

At least 3 Israelis killed, three seriously injured, in blast by suicide bomber near soldiers’ hitching-hiking station at northern Jerusalem French Hill road junction, scene of many former attacks. Tuesday, Israeli troops combed through Ramallah for terrorist cell just north of Jerusalem.

Right now I've heard maybe 5-6 amulances make their way to Haddasa Hospital which neighbors my dorms, as well as hear helicopters circling over head. I have no details other than what I've read online. I didn't even know there was a bombing until a friend called to see if I was OK. I was in the vacinity of the attack yesterday afternoon at about the same time. Keeping you updated all afternoon from Jerusalem.

Updated: FoxNews reporting the bomber was a woman.

Updated: The two victims of Wednesday’s Palestinian bombing attack in N. Jerusalem’s French Hill junction were Israeli Border Police officers, Mamoya Tahayo, 20, from Rehovoth and Menashe Komemi, 19, from Moshav Aminadav near Jerusalem. Thirty-three Israelis were injured, one critically.

The suicide bomber, Zeinev Ali Issa, 19 from Askar camp in Nablus, spent last days in Ramallah, seat of Arafat’s Palestinian Authority, preparing for jointly sponsored Fatah-Hamas terrorist attack. She arrived veiled on foot, blew herself up when challenged by the Border Guard officers outside crowded hitch-hiking station.

Straight after attack, Israeli forces drove into central Ramallah’s al Manar Square in fresh sweep for Palestinian terror cells for second straight day.

Rising number of Palestinian female bombers, 8 of whom perpetrated terrorist attacks from all mainstream Palestinian organizations, 40 captured.

Peace Through Strength - Shalom, Awalli share common ground on fighting terrorism
Foreign Minister Shalom and Iraqi PM shake hands at UN

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Quote of the Day
Clifton Ryan, a defensive end for the spartans who had this interesting tidbit to say about the Notre Dame game:

"We beat Notre Dame in every aspect of the game except in turnovers and on the scoreboard," Ryan said. "We out-physicaled them and beat them up, up front."
(Thanks to my boy The Backa)

What planet is this guy living on, every story I read about the game said Notre Dame totally dominated State, despite playing poorly on special teams. Crackhead.

If history is any indication Bush's 57% to Kerry's 43% advantage in mask sales will mean victory for W. in November.

Daily Dose of Pithy Pundits:

Dukakis II: A sequel to a Democratic horror show, excerpt:

Lots of Democrats are having similar nightmares about 1988, when Mr. Dukakis, once ahead 17 points in the polls, lost by eight to George W. Bush's father.

Says one Democratic consultant: "I would have called you crazy if in 1989 you would have told me that a decade and a half later this party was going to nominate Dukakis's lieutenant governor--another aloof Massachusetts liberal who would overconfidently feel he would mop the floor with this clueless guy named Bush. But I fear I've seen this movie, and it's 'Groundhog Day.' "

How Europe became a 90-pound weakling, excerpt:

There’s a lot of moaning stateside about President George W. Bush’s jobless recovery. But the unemployment rate in America is 5.4 percent, or less than it was in 1996 when Bill Clinton was running for re-election. In Europe, the average unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent.

And lest you think that Europe’s military stinginess and high tax rates at least keep deficits down, most European countries are running substantially in the red. Both France and Germany have failed to meet European Union requirements — which they themselves wrote — to keep deficits under 3.0 percent of GDP. The U.S. deficit is 3.7 percent of GDP.

Victory or Surrender: John Kerry has apparently decided the war is unwinnable, and he's for getting out, excerpt:

Apart from a very few broad assertions, Kerry didn't offer evidence that we are in fact losing the war. Nor did he bother to explain a single thing he would do differently, now, on the ground in Iraq--because he's not interested in doing anything differently or better. He wants to get out. He didn't say, for example, that he would fight the counterinsurgency more aggressively, or that he would send in more troops, or that he would act more aggressively to bolster Iraqi civilian institutions. There is much in the way of constructive criticism that can be leveled at the Bush administration on these fronts--but Kerry didn't level it. He did promise to "add 40,000 new soldiers to our armed forces"--but, he hastened to add, "not to increase the number of soldiers in Iraq."

What the United States can learn from Israel's war against terrorism

This is a great piece from the New Republic about how Sharon has lead Israel to a seeming victory over Palestinian Terrorism (use the user name: "wearend", password: "goirish" up at the top of the page) which began four years ago this week. It's hard to believe such a thing would be remotely possible, especially if you listen to the reactionary left, or to academia, or to the media; I mean come on they say the same thing about the war President Bush is leading against a global terror infrastructure. The authors of the article are well respected academics and advocates of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Yossi Klein Halevi is a contributing editor at TNR and an associate fellow of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. Michael B. Oren is a senior fellow at The Shalem Center in Jerusalem and the author of Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which is considered the standard text for anyone really seeking an integral knowledge of the Six-Day War which forever changed regional power in the Middle East.

Israel's lessons make it even clearer to me that electing John Kerry would be dangerous for America. It was Nixon who established relations with China, not LBJ; it was Reagan who was able to negotiate arms agreements with the Soviet Union, not Carter; and it is George W. Bush who will be able to most effectively fight a war against terrorists and the states that sponsor them, not John F. Kerry (perhaps if he was more like the REAL JFK who wasn't afraid to defend Americans with the threat of warfare or even nuclear warfare, I would have a little more faith, unfortunately thanks to the Michael Moores, Teddy Kennedys and the Hollywood Crowd that have hijacked the Democratic Party, politicians like Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller have been totally castigated ostracized from the party. There are no JFK's, Scoop Jacksons or Cold War Hawks in the Democratic Party and that is why they will lose in November).

The only way there will ever be peace in the United States again is through strength. We cannot fight a "more compassionate war" as Kerry would wish and we cannot second guess the tough decisions we must make to defend a way of life and the most dignified and just system of rule ever devised by man. We need a president who is steadfast in what he believes, not someone who changes his position every other week when in reality we all know he is against it to begin with. The whole country knows that John Kerry is the most liberal member of the Senate, what is scary is that he won't admit it. He knows he can't get elected on that record because it isn't a record that the majority of Americans believe in. Furthermore, Kerry has no plan for Iraq or for waging a war against terrorists and the states that sponsor them, he refuses to answer any questions about such situations because he claims they're "hypothetical". Excuse me Senator, but EVERY issue is hypothetical when you're running for president.

These are the facts, and the majority of the American people want a leader now, not a sorry impersonation of Thurston Howell III who hasn't even given the public a reason to vote for him, other then the fact that he believes it is his birthright.

notable excerpts from the piece:

During those same six months, the Israeli army destroyed most of what remained of Hamas's organization in the West Bank and a substantial part of its infrastructure in Gaza. Just last week, Israeli gunships rocketed a Hamas training camp in Gaza, killing 15 operatives. Hamas leaders, who once routinely led rallies and gave interviews to the media, don't dare show their faces in public anymore. Even their names are kept secret. Hardly a night passes without the arrest of a wanted terrorist. Hamas's ranks have become so depleted that the organization is now recruiting teenagers: At the Gaza border, Israeli forces recently broke up a Hamas cell made up of 16-year-olds.

No country has been subjected to more relentless terrorism than Israel; nor has any country been subjected to greater scrutiny or vilification. Though the terrorist war was launched by the official Palestinian leadership--and polls have consistently shown a Palestinian majority in support of suicide attacks--Israel considers itself at war with only the perpetrators of terrorism, not with the Palestinian people. Israel has not resorted to the indiscriminate bombings, mass expulsions, blockades of food and fuel that modern states have frequently adopted in wartime. Despite intense fighting, no city in the West Bank or Gaza remotely resembles Dresden in 1945, Hanoi in 1972, or Grozny today. In contrast to Palestinian terrorists, whose goal is to kill the maximum number of Israeli civilians, Israeli soldiers have risked their lives to minimize civilian Palestinian casualties, searching out terrorists in house-to-house fighting rather than calling in artillery. According to the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, an Israeli think tank, over half of Palestinians killed in the last four years have been combatants, while nearly three-quarters of Israelis killed have been civilians. Yet another lesson Israel offers the world is that one can defeat terrorists without annihilating the society that hosts them. Though abuses against civilians have occurred--over 600 are now being investigated by the IDF and many more have obviously gone unreported--Israel proves that a war against terrorism can be fought while preserving basic democratic principles. Still, much of the world has branded Sharon a war criminal. In waging war against terrorists, then, especially those who enlist children and pregnant women, one must be prepared to endure some measure of international censure and isolation.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Another One Bites the Dust
Israeli missile
kills senior Hamas leader

Of course Hamas has promised to "teach the enemy (Israel) a painful lesson". The same lesson they promised after the killings of Yassin, and Rantisi. Promises surely would have been carried out had it not been for the undeniable success of Israel's separation wall.

PAC now open!
An online gallery of the University of Notre Dame's brand new Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts is avaliable here. From the outside I think the building looks a lot like O'Shag, some of the interior work is questionable, a bit heavy on the yellow for my taste and I'm not quite sure why the campus needs another organ, but it looks pretty sweet overall.

The Regis Philbin Studio Theatre

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Sophia Parlock, 3, cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters Thursday at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington

Hello friends and family I am back from an unexpected and unwanted break from the blogworld. I wish I could blame Hurricane Ivan, but the truth is I had to reinstall Windows XP on my machine and because it was a 4 day weekend, due to the Jewish New Year, have been unable to get the Hebrew University's internet access reinstalled on my computer. So hopefully after today I should be up and running.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Well i'm finally seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time tonight at the Jerusalem Cinemateque, where I'm a member. I've been waiting forever to see this on a big screen with the usual freaks who turn out but haven't had a chance to do it yet in LA or Hollywood, so I guess Jerusalem will work. There's enough wackos in this city as it is so I'm sure there's got to be a few that will turn out for the cult classic.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Memories, like the corner of my mind...

Drink your beer in a fast an efficient manner. For the love of the game...
(Courtsey of The Irish Trojan's Blog, now added to the blog roll)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Confusion over North Korea blast
The South Korean government is playing down suggestions that a massive explosion last week in North Korea was caused by a nuclear device.

More fruits of diplomacy, this time courtesy of South Korea, China and Russia.

The Falling Man

Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day. (Esquire)

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Will playing one quarter of football and beating Michigan save Ty Willingham's job? Might be too early to tell but it definitely earned him some more time. One thing is certain as far as I'm concerned, after beating the number 8 team in the country, there shouldn't be any excuses as to why Notre Dame can't win the rest of its games. The last time ND visted Michigan State they needed an Arnez Battle miracle catch and run to beat MSU with less than a minute left. Should be interesting next saturday in East Lansing.

Friday, September 10, 2004


Kerry, who admits he has nothing to hide, hasn't taken questions from his press corps in a month...I thought he was suppose to be the eloquent, intelligent candidate, guess that really doesn't go far when you don't have anything to say.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Iran Seen Using EU to Buy Time to Get Atomic Bomb...the fruit of multilateral European diplomacy

"The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a matter of time, with God's help. ...The Americans in both countries are between two fires, if they continue they bleed to death and if they withdrew they loose everything."
No silly it's not John Kerry or John Edwards, but if you were to take out "God" you might very well think it is.

Teaching Terrorism to Toddlers in the Territories

The future looks bright for these tykes, as a Palestinian militant of Hamas wires a makeshift explosive device in a narrow alleyway of the refugee camp of Jebaliya, outside Gaza City, Thursday Sept. 9, 2004.

Hating America...The World's Most Dangerous Ideas

And another piece from Foreign Policy mentioned in the above article by Zakarriya. While I don't agree with all of it, it does raise some original ideas which you might find interesting, print it out and read it at home this weekend if it's too long. Introduction:

Critics of U.S. global dominance should pause and consider the alternative. If the United States retreats from its hegemonic role, who would supplant it? Not Europe, not China, not the Muslim world—and certainly not the United Nations. Unfortunately, the alternative to a single superpower is not a multilateral utopia, but the anarchic nightmare of a new Dark Age.

Welcome to the City of Angels...where more than half the working-age population can't read a simple form like a bus pass or job application

Is anyone really surprised by this? This is what happens when you let liberals control immigration and education. Their "progressive" agenda of not making sure immigrants can communicate in the language spoken in the US as well as supporting the dead-end idea of bi-lingual education, means that not only immigrants, but their kids don't have a chance to succeed in America beyond picking strawberries or washing cars because they can't even speak english or fill out a job education!

If you support English being named the official language of the United States, click here.

Brunei's crown prince weds teenage bride

This clown even LOOKS like a pedofile.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Willingham already fired in the minds of fans

The best piece yet I've seen on the state of Notre Dame football. Surprisingly good journalism, very refreshing when you can get it. I think it's important to note that Irish fans and alumni aren't calling for Willingham's head because we're losing, although surely that's part of it. Rather I think it's the way in which we're losing, the fact we've gotten blown out by inexcusable margins, lost to mediocre opponents and consistently look unprepaired and unable to make coaching adjustments to what our opponents are doing.

My top 3:
1. John Gruden
2. Steve Spurrier
3. Norm Chow

10 years after Rams/Raiders abandon LA, City still feelin good
Good article from the local Long Beach rag, the Press Telegram, about LA resident's total lack of interest in another National Football League club returning to the City of Angels. Also quite an expose on how the NFL takes advantage of the football fans and of the general public, I'm sure there's a great muckraking story that could sell a lot of books here.

(Bo knows the fans don't want another team)

What is the main reasons fans don't want another professional sports team in LA? 3 reasons:

1. The public doesn't want to pay for a $400 million dollar stadium out of their own pocket!
2. The Lakers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels and Ducks all have intesnsely loyal fan bases and all are competeitive in each respective league.
3. LA gets the best NFL games! That was one reason why some fans here cheered the departure of the locals. For years, we were saddled with two subpar home teams the Rams went 23-57 their last five years in L.A. (1990-1994) and the Raiders made the playoffs just three times in their last nine years here whose road games were mandated to be shown here because of NFL TV rules, rules that also limited the number of network games we'd receive on Sundays.
There were dozens of instances in the early '90s when the weekend's most attractive and important games did not air here because of the home-team mandate. In 1994, L.A. had fewer NFL exposures than any market in the nation; a year later, NFL-free, our exposures increased 30 percent.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

"The Arabs and the Muslims Today Contribute Nothing to Civilization and Progress Except for Blood, Severed Heads, Scorched Bodies, and the Abduction and Murder of Children"

John Kerry said yesterday that Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." Translation: We would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power.

Not an unheard of point of view. Indeed, as President Bush pointed out today, it was Howard Dean's position during the primary season. On December 15, 2003, in a speech at the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles, Dean said that "the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer." Dean also said, "The difficulties and tragedies we have faced in Iraq show the administration launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help, and at the extraordinary cost, so far, of $166 billion."

But who challenged Dean immediately? John Kerry. On December 16, at Drake University in Iowa, Kerry asserted that "those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president."

Kerry was right then.( from the MAN of American Conservatism, Bill Cristol)

John Kerry upset he can't take gun to debate?

That's what it sounds like to me:

In West Virginia, Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, gave Kerry a rifle as a gift. Kerry, a self-described gun owner and hunter, quipped: ''I thank you for the gift, but I can't take it to the debate with me.''

What exactly is JFK implying here? That if he COULD take his rifle to the debate it would be more useful? So that he could kill the president? Kerry better clarify these remarks real fast. God knows if Bush said this he'd be called a cowboy, or more likely, Hitler. We'll see what the liberal media does with this, my guess: nothing.

The Muslim Cult of Death...
All civilized people must fight terror...
We can win--and we must ...
The Children of Beslan ...

Bush Will Bury Kerry...

Russia Joining the Fight!
They thought they were exempt from Islamist terrorism after 9-11, after the horrible precedent set by Spain after the Madrid attacks. Check out the picture below, thousands of Saint Petersburg residents hold posters reading "We won in 1945 and we'll win in 2004" and "Fight terrorism" march against terrorism in Palace Square. Quite a different relation then the Spaniards, don't you think? Like the Americans, Russians are not a people that can be pushed around at will and finally it seems some are ready to fight back.

Putin seems to be back in the saddle, apparently pulling his head out of the sand with Schroder and Chirac long enough to figure out that coddling the Islamo-fascist terrorists, or just ignoring them, is no longer an effective strategy.

So what did old Vlad have to say?

"Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?," the Guardian quoted Putin as saying sarcastically. "

You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?"

Putin said foreigners should have "no more questions about our policy in Chechnya"

2 pees in a pod
Not only do Saddam and Kerry both believe that Hussein should still be in power, but apparently they both share a love of popping off shotguns in the air.

Could it be love?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Kerry Slams American-lead Coalition
In the midst of another flip-flop on his Iraq plans - where he now says he wants troops home in 4 years (er, whatever happened to simply saying "as long as we are needed and not a day sooner or later"?) - Kerry disses coalition allies, as AP reports: He called the president's coalition of allies in Iraq "the phoniest thing I ever heard." (Courtsey of Patrick at Liberating Iraq)

I guess any coalition that doesn't include France and Germany isn't considered a coalition at all by the French-looking JFK. This guy is the biggest clown I've ever seen. Apparently his plan for "rebuilding shredded alliances" involves insulting every who are willing to help us fight terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fact is Kerry wouldn't be happy until American Foreign policy and national defense is being run by either the United Nations or by Paris.

Bush was steady and accurate in his response to Kerry's 'everything was wrong' statements:

"After voting for the war, but against funding it, after saying he would have voted for the war even knowing everything we know today, my opponent woke up this morning with new campaign advisers and yet another new position," ... "Suddenly he's against it again," Bush said. "No matter how many times Senator Kerry changes his mind, it was right for America and it's right for America now that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power."

Kerry can argue that his potential policies may differ from Bush's, but there's no way a majority of Americans will ever think Kerry is a better leader.

FINALLY...(at least it's better than the Muslim World's continual condoning of such acts)
Siege prompts self-criticism in Arab media...

"Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television wrote in his daily column published in the pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. It ran under the headline, "The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are Muslims!"

"Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been Muslims," he wrote. Muslims will be unable to cleanse their image unless "we admit the scandalous facts," rather than offer condemnations or justifications. "The picture is humiliating, painful and harsh for all of us," al-Rashed wrote.

No other word for it but slaughter

"Guerillas", said The New York Times. "Chechen separatists", ventured the BBC, eventually settling for "hostage-takers". "Insurgents", said The Guardian's Isabel Hilton, hyper-rational to a fault: "Today's hostage-taking," she explained, "is more savage, born of the spread of asymmetrical warfare that pits small, weak and irregular forces against powerful military machines. No insurgent lives long if he fights such overwhelming force directly . . . If insurgent bullets cannot penetrate military armour, it makes little sense to shoot in that direction. Soft targets – the unprotected, the innocent, the uninvolved – become targets because they are available."

And then there was Adam Nicolson in London's Daily Telegraph, who filed one of those ornately anguished columns full of elevated, overwritten allusions – each child was "a Pieta, the archetype of pity. Each is a Cordelia carried on at the end of Act V" – and yet in a thousand words he's too busy honing his limpid imagery to confront the fact that this foul deed had perpetrators, never mind the identity of those perpetrators.

Sorry, it won't do. I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about "asymmetrical warfare".

Dem de la Crème Today: The GOP is the party of the little guy.

Great piece from the Opinion Journal Online charts the interesting history of how "ethnics, rural residents, evangelicals, cops, construction workers, homemakers, military veterans--began moving into the Republican column." If the link requires you to register, just enter "" and it should let you in. Noteable experpts:

Once upon a time, America's distaste for elitism translated easily into a distrust for conservatism. But today, with country-club Republicans having been swept aside by Nascar Republicans, there is nothing undemocratic about American conservatism. Among elites, it is now liberalism that is the dominant creed.

It's not as if the Democrats have taken over the top of the socioeconomic ladder and the Republicans the bottom. Rather, Democrats dominate at the very upper and lowest rungs, while Republicans find their following in the middle.

You can see this when slicing the electorate by education as much as by income. At the bottom, school dropouts and unskilled workers are heavily Democratic, but so are grad students and professors on the other end of the educational spectrum. (College faculty groups are the very top financial contributors to John Kerry, according to Federal Election Commission data.) Meanwhile, high school graduates and individuals with bachelor's degrees (the middle) are predominantly Republican.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Cleric supports targeting children

Notre Dame played like the team of last year, not yesteryear, that bygone era when Irish tradition renewed itself every autumn. It only seems prehistoric.

Ken Burns could produce a documentary without any mention of the last decade except as a cautionary tale of prestige lost.

Like jazz and baseball, Notre Dame football just doesn't seem the same anymore.
An aura no longer surrounds the Irish, unless the startling absence of any sense of direction counts as an aura.

They still bring brand-name recognition and national attention to any team that makes them look like less than the heritage that precedes them, but that has become all too common.

Notre Dame football itself has become all too common, royalty stripped of everything but its ceremonial status.

Nostalgic fans pine for a time when rain falling on the coach did not symbolize the program's condition, but represented an opportunity to test his almighty power.

"Ara stop the rain," Irish faithful once chanted. They really believed he could.
Now they'd settle for somebody to stop the bleeding.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Three More Months: Finishing Strong
Bush Campaign rally

Kerry Campaign rally

"Kerry's showing he just can't take the heat "--MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Perhaps the best piece I've read yet this campaign season. Accurately and humorously showing the differences between both the two parties, and more importantly between their two candidates. Excerpts:

There was an old joke back in the Cold War:
Proud American to Russian guy: ''In my country every one of us has the right to criticize our president.''

Russian guy: ''Same here. In my country every one of us has the right to criticize your president.''

That seems to be the way John Kerry likes it. Americans should be free to call Bush a moron, a liar, a fraud, a deserter, an agent of the House of Saud, a mass murderer, a mass rapist (according to the speaker at a National Organization for Women rally last week) and the new Hitler (according to just about everyone). But how dare anyone be so impertinent as to insult John Kerry! No one has the right to insult Kerry, except possibly Teresa, and only on the day she gives him his allowance.

Several distinguished analysts have suggested that the best rationale for a Kerry presidency is that it would be a ''return to normalcy'' -- a quiet life after the epic pages of history George W. Bush has been writing these last three years. Even if a ''return to normalcy'' were an option, I doubt whether John Kerry would qualify. As we saw in those two Thursday speeches, Bush takes the war seriously but he doesn't take himself seriously -- self-deprecating jokes are obligatory these days, but try to imagine Kerry doing the equivalent of Bush's gags about mangled English and swaggering. The president is comfortable in his own skin, which is why he shrugs off the Hitler stuff. By contrast, Kerry doesn't take the war seriously because he's so busy taking himself seriously. If ''return to normalcy'' means four years of a grimly humorless, touchy, self-regarding Kerry presidency, I'll take the war.

New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks also has a good piece although you might have to register (for free) to be able to view it. Excerpt:

The fact is, it would be bizarre if a re-elected Bush didn't have a magnified domestic agenda. Periods of war are usually periods of domestic reform because war changes the scale of people's thinking. It injects a sense of urgency. You can see this evolution in the president's own thinking.

When he ran in 2000, it sometimes seemed that he was running for governor in chief. But now he is thinking like a president, and his domestic notions are growing to match his foreign policy ones.

Valery Andreyev, head of the local branch of the FSB intelligence service said 10 of the dead hostage-takers were from Arab countries.

It was thought that the rebels were all residents of the restive Republic of Chechnya or other parts of the Russian Caucasus.

Chechens in the past have been affiliated with the al Qaeda terror network, and an Arab connection in this incident further suggests a link between the Chechen rebel movement and international terrorists.

HAARETZ: Russia: Al-Qaida involved in school seizure; among dead, 200 children

CBS News: President Vladmir Putin's adviser on Chechnya, Aslanbek Aslakhanov, also said a number of the dead militants were Arab mercenaries.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Clinton in NY Hospital for Bypass Surgery...

That photo is from a speech given June 16 of this year, he looks sick even there.

Bearing Down

Where will she go? A major hurricane is heading for Florida. Hurricane Frances, one of the stronger storm systems of modern times, may cross the eastern coast of Florida sometime tomorrow. Hurricanes are huge swirling storms with cloud systems typically larger than a state. Tropical cyclones, called hurricanes in Earth's Western Hemisphere and typhoons in the Eastern Hemisphere, get their immense energy from warm evaporated ocean water. As this water vapor cools and condenses, it heats the air, lowers pressure and hence causes cooler air to come swooshing in. Winds can reach over 250 kilometers per hour and become very dangerous. Especially considering there are scores of piles of debris hanging around from the last hurricane, threatening to become deadly projectiles once Frances hits the coast.

One of my best friends and former roomate at Notre Dame, Casey Johnson lives and words in the greater Orlando area. He was fixing to evacuate Orlando and head north to South Carolina to some family property up there but the traffic was too much to put up with so he decided to hunker down in ole O-town. Hopefully this thing will lose some of its strength before making land-fall.

Despite not winning a national championship in over 15 years and having a a losing season last year, ESPN Sports Poll: Notre Dame Reigns As Most Popular Football Program Irish head list of fans' choice of college football's most popular teams. This must really piss off guys like Mike Tirico, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Stewart Mandel and the rest of the elitist, Notre Dame-hating, "we know everything and you don't know jack about college football" sports media.

In other news, there's a great article about Notre Dame fans and alumni in Utah by Jason Franchuk of Utah's Daily Herald. Definitely worth the read.

Bloody end to Russia school siege...

Details of the unplanned seize are still sketchy at this point but it appears that Russian troops began providing cover-fire for escaping hostages as the terrorists tried shooting the escaping hostages during an agreed meeting for medical personnel to remove 20 or so victims of the siege's first day.

I was able to watch some of the coverage on the BBC and it was really an awful scene. It was total chaos as women and children began running, half-naked, out of the school campus literally for their lives. And all the British reporters were doing, despite having no idea what was actually going on inside, was criticizing the Russian Special Ops for not being prepared to act and then bitching for trying to engage the terrorists and save the hostages after it appeared that things had come to a head.

Putin made it clear that the Russians were even willing to negotiate with the terrorists to ensure the lives of the kids, but after the hostage-takers lost control of the situation the blame immediately falls on the Russian military. What were they suppose to do? Let the terrorists shoot the kids who seized their only chance to escape? Ridiculous! Thoughts and prayers are with those hundreds of victims and their families.

Good news for America = Bad news for Democrats
144,000 Jobs Added in August; Unemployment Rate Dips to 5.4%

A very complementary article on Notre Dame fans and Alumni in Utah can be found here. A good read about Irish fans in Mormon country.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

**Terrorists Release 26 Hostages in Russia**

Putin: Children's safety paramount
Everything you need to be up-to-date on the latest involving the seizure of a Russian elementary school can be found in this link to notable excerpts:

  • **TIME correspondent Paul Quinn-Judge reported local residents are disputing one official count of at least 350 children taken hostage, saying the number is closer to 700.
    Residents are angry with local officials that they have not been able to confirm how many hostages are inside the school, and heckled one official during a news conference Thursday morning.

  • **The current hostage standoff follows a bloody week in Russia, in which a female suicide bomber Tuesday killed nine people outside a Moscow subway station and two airliners were downed by two suspected Chechen female suicide bombers on August 24, killing all 89 people aboard the planes.

  • **Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said the attacks mark a declaration of war.
    "It is a different kind of war, where you cannot see your enemy and where there is no front line, but nonetheless this is an entirely real threat," Ivanov told reporters. "Russia is not the only country that faces this new threat."

  • **In an interview with CNN sister network CNN Turk, Putin on Wednesday linked the country's recent terror attacks to Chechen rebels and al Qaeda. "Two civilian planes were crashed by terrorist gangs that had links to the al Qaeda," Putin said from the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. "Separatists in northern Caucasus are acting not in line with the Chechen people, but for their own filthy interests. They have links with international terrorism."

  • **The Kremlin press agency said U.S. President George Bush called Putin to offer any assistance that could help secure the release of the hostages.
    White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said the two leaders spoke for about five minutes and that
    Bush condemned the taking of hostages and the other recent terrorist acts in Russia.
    Buchan said
    the two leaders expressed "their mutual commitment to defeating global terrorism."

Newsweek also has a story about Chechnyan-al-Qaeda links. But why would al-Qaeda want to attack Russia? Russia isn't in Iraq. Oh right, I forgot, because theses are maniacal Islamo-terrorists who don't care what country your from, but rather will attack and murder in cold blood any party out to stop their vision of globalized Islam. Will Russia follow the example of Spain by by capitulating to the terrorists? Caprices which only emboldens the likes of Islamists from Chechnya to Iraq. While Putin has rightfully said the safety of the children is his first concern, make no mistake this is a guy who is just waiting to respond with force. I'm glad the United States has Russia as a partner in the War against Terror. Hopefully this will only make it clearer that the events taking place in Iraq now are very much in the national interest of our great Russian ally.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Congraduations to family friend and University of Notre Dame Law student Mike Stroud who proposed to his girlfriend Gina at Notre Dame's Lady of Lourdes Grotto. What a great way to start the school year. Go Irish!

Europe's Failed Diplomacy
Europe shows why you don't negotiate with terrorists. This little area is going to get hot fast, especially since I just read today that International atomic watchdog IAEA confirms Iran is preparing large amount of uranium to resume enrichment.Why does Iran want nuclear weapons? Ask defacto ruler Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani:

"If one day the world of Islam comes to possess the [nuclear] weapons currently in Israel's possession. On that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end."


Shaken by the latest barrage of attacks, Russia deployed extra troops to guard dozens of nuclear facilities.

"After the latest terrorist attacks security services decided to send more interior ministry troops to all nuclear sites across the country," a Russian Atomic Energy Agency spokesman said. He would not give any numbers of troops.

Armed gang seized at least 120 hostages at a Russian school near Chechnya

Tuesday, a female suicide bomber blew herself up in central Moscow in an attack that killed nine and injured 51.

On August 24 two passenger planes were blown up apparently by suicide bombers in attacks that killed 90 people.

Previous hostage-taking involving Chechen rebels have all ended with huge loss of life.

When Chechen rebels seized 700 hostages at a Moscow theater in 2002, 129 hostages and 41 guerrillas were killed when Russian troops stormed the building using poisonous gas.

In 1995, Chechen rebels took hundreds of hostages in a hospital in the southern Russian town of Budennovsk. More than 100 died during the assault and a botched Russian commando raid.