soon and very soon

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Mike Frank the director of the Notre Dame Football website Irish Eyes has released a free video of Coach Weis answering questions after Day 2 of Spring Practice. Frank's site is considered to be the authority on Irish Football, much better than anything you could get over at Blue and Gold Illustrated, as far as I'm concered.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

From the people who brought you appeasement and the rise of Adolf Hitler:

Poll: Europeans do not see Iran as nuclear threat

No Shit of the Day
1981 attack on Pope planned by Soviets

Quote of the Day
"Ann Coulter is logical, rational and an independent thinker. In essence, everything the left hates in their womenfolk." --John Altevogt, after Coulter's speech at the University of Kansas

The time has come to let Terri Schiavo die with dignity - and in peace.

The battle over her fate was mostly a noble one, and always a heart-rending one, but it has turned into a circus.

Nothing anyone can do will alter the outcome now. The arrests will make no difference; yesterday's high-profile arrival of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's stretch limousine will change nothing; Randall Terry's publicity-mongering is pointless.

The best of America - two sides fighting hard for their beliefs, using the law, not violence - is about to be overtaken by the worst of America; showboating, paranoia, lawlessness.
Enough. It's over. Let her die in peace.

Massive seal slaughter begins in Canada

Hard to believe our morally superior neighbors to the North engage in such behavior.

Ben Stein Opines on Terri Schiavo:

"When Terri Schiavo is with her Maker let's be clear what happened: she was executed by the culture of death judiciary, the same ones who say no baby has a right to live until he's out of the womb by a few days -- and you can bet that's going to change so that babies who are less than perfect will soon be sentenced to death, too.

She was executed, despite having committed no crime whatsoever, by thugs in black robes who would not know a law if it were on their breakfast plate. This is what we have come to. The unelected judiciary has simply taken over, like a gangster governmental branch, from the rest of the government, and it is a judiciary of death. And this is with a Republican, right to life president. When a Democrat wins again, as will surely happen, God help us."

The ACLU against the Minutemen and America

Chrenkoff has the latest Good News from Iraq, Volume 24. Excerpts:

*** A recent poll in Baghdad showed that almost 84 per cent of respondents were against implementing Sharia and instituting an Islamic government.

***The Christian Science Monitor has recently published a reasonably balanced profile of the situation in Iraq two years after liberation. You can read all about the security problems, slow pace of reconstruction, the frustration and nostalgia for the "good old day".

***Experts also note the terrorists' change of tone:
"It is an all-too-familiar ritual. Hours after an attack on an American convoy or an Iraqi police patrol, a brief statement begins appearing on Islamist Web sites claiming the attack was carried out by fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraq's most wanted man.

"But in the past two weeks, something has changed. Every day now, new messages appear on the Web offering encouragement to resistance fighters, and last week, al-Zarqawi's group started an Internet magazine, complete with photographs and 43 pages of text. Other Islamist groups are joining the effort, including one calling itself the Jihadist Information Brigade."The recent flurry of propaganda from Iraq has a distinctly defensive sound."

The violence here has not let up, but the relatively peaceful elections, and the new movements toward democracy in other Arab countries, appear to have had a dispiriting effect on the insurgents, terrorism analysts say." 'I think they feel they are losing the battle,' said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute, an American nonprofit group that monitors Islamist Web sites and news operations. 'They realize there will be a new government soon, and they seem very nervous about the future'."

Irish Spring Football Commences
The site we've all been waiting for:

Weis begins molding another championship QB? We can only hope.
And since The Backer seems to be on a semi-regular hiatus, here is some Related Stories:
South Bend Tribune: Quinn learning to be a Weis guy Spring Football Practice Photo Gallery Preview of Charlie Weis Era
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Irish will hit books to learn Weis way
ESPN: Weis: Players won't be judged on the past
Sports Illustrated: Weis not interested in Notre Dame's recent struggles

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Lebanon Pro-Syria PM to Quit...again

More good news.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Rice to be 'most traveled secretary of state in history'...

Two months into her new job, Secretary of State Rice has adopted a hyper pace of shuttle diplomacy that's likely to eventually airlift her into the million-mile club.

Though still not fully unpacked since her move to the State Department from the White House, Rice has already visited 16 countries and the Palestinian territories. By year's end, she plans to double the number of nations she'll visit.

Rice's globetrotting comes just as she continues to emerge as an international rock star in an administration that extols low-key public personas, but a White House source said that's okay with Bush, who will forever be grateful to Rice for schooling him on the ins and outs of foreign policy.

So far, Rice is a big hit with the American people, who gave her a 61% approval rating in a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll last week.

1. France 2. Britain3. Germany4. Poland5. Turkey6. Israel7. West Bank8. Italy9. Belgium10. Luxembourg11. Mexico12. Afghanistan13. India14. Pakistan15. Japan16. China17. South Korea
18. Chile
19. Bulgaria20. Canada21. Czech Republic22. Denmark23. Estonia24. Greece25. Hungary26. Iceland27. Latvia28. Lithuania29. Netherlands30. Norway31. Portugal32. Russia33. Romania34. Slovakia35. Slovenia36. Spain37. Ukraine
38. Some African destinations

Deconstructing Schwarzenegger

Politics as Bodybuilding, By David Broder Washington Post

Schwarzenegger Has His Head Examined: An intellectual biography of our governor, By By Kevin Starr LA Times:

In the novel "Moby Dick," Ishmael tells us that a whaling ship was his Harvard and his Yale. Schwarzenegger might say the same thing about Gold's Gym. Like so many notable Americans in fiction, fact and fusions thereof, Schwarzenegger is a product of self-invention, springing like F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby from a Platonic conception of himself.

GOP woos blacks, but faces struggle...Winning over more African-Americans promises to be more difficult in Michigan.

The Republican efforts have thrilled Myrah Kirkwood of Metamora near Flint, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last fall.

"It's about time. I think black folks are ready. We are just tired of being taken for granted and we are saying, 'We have a valuable vote and we are going to work it,' " says Kirkwood, 49, who chairs the Council for African-American Republican Leadership.

President George W. Bush is personally involved in the new GOP campaign, say administration officials.
"The first meeting that the president had in his second term was a meeting here in the White House with African-American pastors, community leaders and business leaders," says Alan Abney, White House spokesman.
The following day, he adds, the president sat down with the Congressional Black Caucus and "listened to their concerns and talked about his priorities in the second term."

One example of Bush's commitment, says Abney, is his appointment of several African-Americans to high positions in the administration. Bush has had more high-ranking minorities in his administration than any president in recent history.

Bush officials also point out that black homeownership in the country has increased to 49.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 and that for the first time in U.S. history, a majority of minorities own their own homes.

Friday, March 25, 2005

"I'll just set out with my cell phone and credit card and run up to the Napa Valley," he said. The credit card is to keep him stocked with food since running burns a lot of calories.

"One of the things I love to do is in the middle of the night order pizza. I'll give them my coordinates, where I'll be at a certain time, and they'll deliver a hot pizza."

In his book Karnazes describes in gripping detail the pain and exhaustion of running his first 100-mile race in a mountain range with an elevation change of 38,000 feet (11,580 m) -- equivalent to climbing up and down the Empire State Building 15 times.

"The first time I did it was really a journey into the unknown," he said. "I had no idea if I could withstand it."
Despite "pretty severe blisters, losing a toe nail as well as temporarily going blind," he made it.

Sharpton wants stations connected to violence punished...A worthy cause "Reverend", but you're about a decade too late.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Federalism Has a Right to Life, Too
IN their intervention in the Terri Schiavo matter, Republicans in Congress and President Bush have, in a few brief legislative clauses, embraced the kind of free-floating judicial activism, disregard for orderly procedure and contempt for the integrity of state processes that they quite rightly have denounced and sought to discipline for decades.

As a dedicated Conservative Federalist I can't help but be partial to the above mentioned statement, and article from the New York Times. Unfortunately coming from the Times it's a little harder to take seriously, but still they make the very succinct argument against a partisan judiciary. And of course I can't stand political hypocracy on either side of the aisle, and that is specifically why I'm calling Bush on this.

On the other hand, this is a very moral issue. As I've explained to a few people over the week via email, Bush got involved in this for the same reason he is getting involved in Social Security, because he thinks it's the right thing to do. Democrats (and some Republicans) just can't understand why he would get involved in such controversial issuses as a second-term president, what does he have to gain? Nothing. But this president isn't looking for a legacy. He's doing what he perceives to be the right thing. And as he said today he feels that the Schiavo case is a special circumstance for Executive intervention.

I'm really not really sure what's right here. I know what's morally right, and that is of course that every life is scared. I mean it's not like there's no one willing to take care of Terry. It's obvious her husband has moved on (new wife, 2 kids), but her parents aren't. I'm not sure, however, if the interference by both Executive and Legislative Branches of the government into a personal medical issue, or into a specific court case is a good thing for the American Republic. In fact, I think it sets a dangerous prescendent which will surely be cited in the future.

Because I love all things old school, and in honor of March Madness, I give you Michael Jordan circa 1982:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I don't recall a single protester calling for more democracy in the Middle East. Nobody protested Syria's occupation of Lebanon or the Damascus regime's program of assassinations and terror. Not a single earnest undergraduate demanded free elections in Iran. No one criticized that great human-rights advocate, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The protesters represented a forlorn hope that the new Middle East would fail. They found little sympathy among a population that had been promised an American defeat, only to find Washington winning again. There was more interest in the tale of the young British soldier who won a Victoria Cross in Iraq than there was in the demonstration.

Europeans are masters of instant amnesia. When they find themselves shamed by history, they simply move on. That's what they're doing now.

In France last week, there were more than 10 times as many strikers protesting a possible lengthening of the 35-hour work week than there were anti-war protesters.

Germans are far more concerned with unemployment levels last seen in the 1930s than they are with Iraq. And the Italian Left's brief moment of delight in the accidental shooting of a hot-dogging agent by American troops has already passed.

And the French government, terrified of being shut out of the new Middle East, is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with its cherished ally and old friend, the Bush administration.

C'est la vie.

I Love Environmentalists
EPA fails to mention Harvard study it funded, because conclusion was not what the EPA wanted to hear

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that Syria's president has agreed to present a firm timetable by early April for a full withdrawal of his country's troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon. I won't hold my breath either.

US-Mexican border as a terror risk

New intelligence indicates that the 1,400-mile boundry is becoming the main entry point for would-be terrorists into the US.

BUILD A WALL NOW!!!! Israel did it and it seems to work:

Not only that but it would stop the economies of California, Arizona and New Mexico of being bled of billions of dollars a year. Who is looking out for Americans???

National Geographic Confirms: Hogzilla was Real!!!

An update on a story from a few months ago:
Donning biohazard suits to exhume the behemoth's smelly remains, the experts estimated Hogzilla was probably only 7 1/2 to 8 feet long, and weighed about 800 pounds. The confirmation came in a documentary aired Sunday night on the National Geographic Channel; it will be rebroadcast Wednesday and Saturday.

"He was an impressive beast. He was definitely a freak of nature," said documentary producer Nancy Donnelly. She said Hogzilla's tusks — one measuring nearly 18 inches and the other nearly 16 inches — set a new Safari Club International North American free-range record.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

RIP George Kennan...Requiem for a foreign policy giant.

The Sources of Soviet Conduct - 1947
Russian Revolution at Fifty Years - 1967
Morality and Foreign Policy - 1985
Containment: 40 Years Later - 1987
On American Principles - 1995
• Obits: New York Times Wash Post

Don't tell anyone...but, Winning Iraq war made us safer

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Quote of the Day
"It sure does seem to me that in certain segments of our society, terrorists and animals and trees are given more consideration than a woman who is alive." - Rush Limbaugh

Friday, March 18, 2005

Liberal Judge, Husband agree to Kill Terry Schiavo by Starvation
The state of Florida is scheduled to begin its court-ordered torture-murder of Terri Schiavo, whose only crime is that she is an inconvenience.

She’d be better off if she were a terrorist. Civil-liberties activists characteristically set on hysteria auto-pilot the moment an al Qaeda terrorist is rumored to have been sent to bed without supper by Don Rumsfeld or Al Gonzales (something that would, of course, be rank rumor since, if you kill or try to kill enough Americans, you can be certain our government will get you three halal squares a day).

Not so Terri Schiavo. She will be starved and dehydrated. Until she is dead. By court order.

Politicians rush to write laws to run your life

A leftist judge in Spain orders the arrest of a pathetic, near-senile Gen. Augusto Pinochet eight years after he's left office, and becomes a human rights hero -- a classic example of the left morally grandstanding in the name of victims of dictatorships long gone. Yet for the victims of contemporary monsters still actively killing and oppressing -- Khomeini and his successors, the Assads of Syria and, until yesterday, Hussein and his sons -- nothing. No sympathy. No action. Indeed, virulent hostility to America's courageous and dangerous attempt at rescue.

The international left's concern for human rights turns out to be nothing more than a useful weapon for its anti-Americanism. Jeane Kirkpatrick pointed out this selective concern for the victims of U.S. allies (such as Chile) 25 years ago. After the Cold War, the hypocrisy continues. For which Arab people do European hearts burn? The Palestinians. Why? Because that permits the vilification of Israel -- an outpost of Western democracy and, even worse, a staunch U.S. ally. Championing suffering Iraqis, Syrians and Lebanese offers no such satisfaction. Hence, silence.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

And you thought there was partisanship in the US.


Get the roids out BUD! Before baseball becomes any more of a disgrace.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

FINALLY...Senate votes to open arctic refuge to oil drilling

What is ANWAR??? Check it out. Supporters of Drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) range from people sick of America being held hostage by the Saudi oil-cartel in the Middle East, to native Alaskans who have used all the natural resources of the land for centuries and who naturally see the inherent good in creating opportunuties such as a tax base for the local government, jobs, funding for water and sewer systems and schools.

1. Only 8% of ANWR Would Be Considered for Exploration Only the 1.5 million acre or 8% on the northern coast of ANWR is being considered for development. The remaining 17.5 million acres or 92% of ANWR will remain permanently closed to any kind of development. If oil is discovered, less than 2000 acres of the over 1.5 million acres of the Coastal Plain would be affected. That¹s less than half of one percent of ANWR that would be affected by production activity.

2. Revenues to the State and Federal Treasury Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties and taxes. Estimates on bonus bids for ANWR by the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Interior for the first 5 years after Congressional approval are 4.2 billion dollars.

3. Jobs To Be Created Between 250,000 and 735,000 ANWR jobs are estimated to be created by development of the Coastal Plain.

4. Economic Impact Between 1977 and 2004, North Slope oil field development and production activity contributed over $50 billion to the nations economy, directly impacting each state in the union.

5. America's Best Chance for a Major Discovery The Coastal Plain of ANWR is America's best possibility for the discovery of another giant "Prudhoe Bay-sized" oil and gas discovery in North America. U.S. Department of Interior estimates range from 9 to 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

6. North Slope Production in Decline The North Slope oil fields currently provide the U.S. with nearly 16% of it's domestic production and since 1988 this production has been on the decline. Peak production was reached in 1980 of two million barrels a day, but has been declining to a current level of 943,000 barrels a day.
7. Imported Oil Too Costly In 2004 the US imported an average of 58% of its oil and during certain months up to 64%. That equates to over $150 billion in oil imports and over $170 billion including refined petroleum products. That¹s $19.9 million dollars an hour! Including defence costs the number would be nearly a trillion dollars.

8. No Negative Impact on Animals Oil and gas development and wildlife are successfully coexisting in Alaska 's arctic. For example, the Central Arctic Caribou Herd (CACH) which migrates through Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3000 animals to its current level of 32,000 animals. The arctic oil fields have very healthy brown bear, fox and bird populations equal to their surrounding areas.

9. Arctic Technology Advanced technology has greatly reduced the 'footprint" of arctic oil development. If Prudhoe Bay were built today, the footprint would be 1,526 acres, 64% smaller.

10. Alaskans Support More than 75% of Alaskans favor exploration and production in ANWR. The Inupiat Eskimos who live in and near ANWR support onshore oil development on the Coastal Plain.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

You're Screwed, California

"Whatever you decide, some judge will overturn it...

You know, every time I go to California to make a speech, always in the Q&A session people ask, "Rush, what are we going to do out here?" and I say, "You're screwed. At least I get to leave and go home tonight. You leave and go home and you're still here."

I mean, these people in California, it doesn't matter what they do, some judge is going to come along and tell them that what they're doing is unconstitutional, be it Prop 187, be it Proposition X, be it this law defining marriage as that between a man and a woman, some judge is going to come along and tell the voters of California you don't know what you're doing.

The Domers Will Appreciate It

Q: How are God and Father Hesburgh different?

A: God is everywhere; Father Hesburgh is everywhere but Notre Dame.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Real Feminist of the Day
Woman racer upsets testosterone-driven Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) - When behind the wheel, Iranian women have to put up with all sorts of verbal abuse from the testosterone-charged types that dominate the Islamic republic's highways -- such as being told to tend to a washing machine rather than a car.

But Iran's women drivers, most of whom are clearly ill at ease navigating the anarchic road network, now have a national idol: a young woman nicknamed "Little Schumacher".

Laleh Seddigh, 28, is fast emerging as one of Iran's foremost race car drivers, leaving the best of the men racers behind in her saloon car.

"Resistance from men does not bother me," Seddigh told AFP at a recent track race event held at Tehran's Azadi stadium. "Once I get on the track I like to use my technical skills, take control and dominate the other drivers."

Cedar Revolution
Keeping it alive and responding to the Democratic opposition's pleas, the people of Lebanon were back on the streets of Beirut today, I think the picture speaks for itself. Keep the pressure on Syria, Mr. President.

"I don't think US should be the leader of the world"
That's the quote from the Washington Post Managing Editor Philip Bennett

And the mainstream media wonders why they have been replaced by Foxnews and Blogs. Well, it isn't because, as a lot of my liberal friends hypothesize, because they're pro-Republican, it's because they're pro-AMERICAN.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

And one more MUST READ from noted Muslim Moderate Fouad Ajami: A sudden, powerful stirring


I can't believe it either. I came close to posting a New York Times Editorial on the site about a week ago but decided it's backhanded cracks at Bush were enough to not post it. But today Thomas Friedman has written a great piece about the hypocritical nature of European Foreign Policy and it's just so good I had to put it up. Anyone who knows me well know there are 2 things I hate in life, USC and double-standards. Friedman calls out Europe for relying on an American military deterrence and for destabilize Asia by their hypocritical arms sales to China:

If Europe wants to go pacifist, that's fine. But there is nothing worse than a pacifist that sells arms - especially in a way that increases the burden on its U.S. ally and protector.

Also today, the Chicago Tribune Admits...Uh...Could Bush Be Right?

In January, setting the tone of his second term, Bush had told reporters: "I believe democracy can take hold in parts of the world that have been condemned to tyranny. And I believe when democracies take hold, it leads to peace."

The response in Der Spiegel: "Bush's idea of a Middle Eastern democracy imported at the tip of a bayonet is, for [German liberals], the hysterical offspring of the American neo-cons. Even German conservatives find the idea that Arabic countries could transform themselves into enlightened democracies somewhat absurd. ... Europeans today--just like the Europeans of 1987--cannot imagine that the world might change. ... We Europeans always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow."

And, a piece from the Financial Times, Winds of change in the Middle East

And finally, a much needed piece, with temperance from Time on realizing when history is changing. God knows the strives Democracy has made in the Muslim world since 9-11 has been amazing and the direct result of the vision and faith in democracy of President Bush. But there is much work to be done and more problems lay ahead, but we, both liberals and conservatives, should be working to meet the challeneges we will face together we all know the power that unleashing the human spirit can have.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Friday, March 04, 2005

Cedar Revolution Update

Who's who in Syria's leadership

Syria expected to withdraw some of its troops

Saudis Tell Syria To Leave Lebanon: Pressure Is Building Among Arab Nations

With a little help from the Zionists?
Could it be? The Lebanon Opposition has asked Israel to encourage the United States to pressure Syria into withdrawing its troops from Lebanon.

Lebanese figures contacted Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's advisor, Uri Lubrani, among other officials in Jerusalem, and indicated they were determined to keep struggling against the Syrian presence in Lebanon but need American support.

And, as I predicted, Assad and the terrorists are looking for help anywhere they can get it, they've already allegedly formed an alliance to combat American influence in the region (although I've also read that the translation was grossly innacturate, not that it matters because Syria and Iran are both the 2 biggest state-sponsors of terrorism and fighting the same fight anyway), and now Syria is turning to Russia for more support, even though Russia generally agrees to the principle of ending the Syrian Occupation if only for the reason that it might take a little American/Israeli pressure of their negotiating to sell advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Damascus, as well as nuclear fuel to Iran.

The LA Times stumps for the bloody, murderous, communist, baby-killing regime in North Korea. Shameless and immoral. Cancel your subscription if you haven't already mom and dad, order the OC Register or something.

What have the Americans ever done for us?

“All right, all right. But apart from liberating 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, undermining dictatorships throughout the Arab world, spreading freedom and self-determination in the broader Middle East and moving the Palestinians and the Israelis towards a real chance of ending their centuries-long war, what have the Americans ever done for us?”

Sandstorm Off Egypt

dense plume of tan dust blows out of the Great Sand Sea of northeastern Libya and northwestern Egypt in this true-color Aqua MODIS image from February 28, 2005. The plume extends out into the Mediterranean Sea, hiding much of the coastline and casting a thin veil over the deeply blue water. East of the dust plume is the lotus-shaped Nile River Delta - a fan of lush green marking one of Egypt's most fertile and populous regions. It is in this delta that the majority of Egypt's large cities, both modern and ancient, are located. Just off the Delta's coast is a delicate blue-green halo of sediment, while to the west is a more intense bright blue halo that could be the result of tiny marine organisms (like phytoplankton and algae). The Full size image is here.

HAPPY (belated)125th BIRTHDAY!!!

Maria Olivia da Silva, 125, poses for a portrait at her home in Astorga, in the Brazilian state of Parana, on Feb. 10, 2005. She was born on Feb. 28, 1880.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

And the Oscar Goes to...

I couldn't resist putting a picture of my boy Drew holding Hilliary Swank's Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, won just a few days ago. The story goes Drew interns at her pr firm and she "is really nice so she let me hold it. hurrah. "

I thought it was pretty cool.

Lebanon Round-Up

A Tyrant Cornered...Washington Post Editoral

Syria and its friends buckle under pressure...The Economist

The Cedar Revolution Can the French and the Anglo-Saxons walk the road to Damascus together?

What the US Gains from a Free and Independent Lebanon

Syria’s Weak Spot: Hitting Damascus where it hurts

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

"No to terrorism!" "No to Baathism and Wahhabism!"

It's amazing what happens when you give people a little freedom, they really catch on fast don't they?

Lebanon faces a critical week...the opposition is gearing up for a showdown with key allies of Syria, including the president and the heads of the intelligence services.

Police thwart terror attack in's ironic because Stella was bitching today about how it took her 20 minutes to drive from the University to the gym (roughly a 10-15 minute walk) today because there was a military check point and they were searching every car. Looks like they found the guy though, a member of Fatah trying to infiltrate into the city.

Howard Dean Quote of the Day
"I want to reach out to people who are worried about values. We are going to embrace pro-life Democrats because pro-life Democrats care about kids after they're born, not just before they're born."

WHOOPS! Was that a slip or what? And coming from a DOCTOR nonetheless. I'm sure NOW and Planned Parenthood will get right on that.

Here's a very interesting interview with Victor Davis Hanson, conducted by Arthur Chrenkoff.

You are a life-long Democrat, a classicist and an old-style farmer skeptical of big business, yet after September 11 you’re finding yourself on the same side of the fence as Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice. Do you see a major political realignment taking place in American politics?

Yes, I do. Democrats are isolationists now.

In matters of the Middle East, a Mubarak or Saudi Royal family are the “other” and deserve the multi-cultural pass of not being judged, since they are just “different” rather than atrocious.

Those who worked in the trenches for George Bush were mostly volunteers and grass roots; those for Kerry paid, and often from monies from the likes of a George Soros.

When I see a Teresa Heinz Kerry or George Soros, or the Hollywood elite, or the pampered professoriate, I see out-of-touch utopians who lecture others to do what they never would. Sort of the Kerry SUV syndrome or the big mansions of a Barbra Streisand lecturing on conservation.

And in the media, by any fair historical measure, the blogs, call-in radio, and cable news, are far more the vox populi than Dan Rather, Bill Moyers, the New York Times, NPR, CNN, and the CBS—the old reformers, who are now dull, timid, arrogant, huffing and puffing about “standards” and “being degreed” as they do some questionable things.

Credit where Credit is Due
Yesterday was nearly a historic day in the year and a half that I have been writing this blog, it was almost the first time a New York Times editorial was blogged on my site. I decided not to publish the piece on here after all because of the slap on the back/slap in the face nature of the editorial, and because I the Times never really did give the President any credit for his revolutionary vision of democratizing the Middle East (they rather gave credit to the Bush Administration).

At any rate, I'm glad I didn't put the piece up because a response to the New York Times editorial found in today's New York Post totally dismisses the Times piece and correctly bitch-slaps them back their proverbially defeatist, pusillanimous and elitist face. Enjoy!

The Christian Science Monitor has a nice piece about Bush here, and even the Guardian is facing the fact that liberals need "to face up to the fact that the Iraq invasion has intensified pressure for democracy in the Middle East"

Finally, the President took my advice and called out Syria today to get out of Lebanon. More W! And louder!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Where have you gone Ron Powlus? Back to Notre Dame!

Former Irish QB named new director of personnel development for the Notre Dame football program. I know not a lot of people liked the poor guy when he was ND's QB, despite breaking all of Notre Dame's passing records the man never won a national championship, or a Heisman Trophy (let alone 2), but that guy gave everything he could for 4 years with the Irish, I have no doubt he will give nothing less in his new role. Go Irish!

Condi Rice Confirms: Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing last weekend planned from Syria

You won't read it in any major newspaper but...A dramatic thinning of Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last year was the result of intense upper-level winds and an extra dose of space weather, scientists said Tuesday, NOT of fossil fuels or gas emissions from American SUV's!

Syria's President Bashar Assad talks with TIME Columnist Joe Klein about his plans to withdraw the Syrian army from Lebanon in a matter of months

Tuesday, Mar. 01, 2005

TIME: Can you tell me when you will you be out of Lebanon?

ASSAD: Out completely?

TIME: Yes.

ASSAD: Actually, our discussion should be with Terji Roed-Larsen, United Nations envoy, who is coming back in March. It [withdrawal] should be very soon and maybe in the next few months. Not after that. I can't give you a technical answer. The point is the next few months.

TIME: Could you give me a timetable?

ASSAD: It's a technical issue, not political. I could not say we could do it in two months because I have not had the meeting with the army people. They may say it will take six months. You need to prepare when you bring your army back to your country. You need to prepare where you will put the troops.
There are two factors. The first is security in Lebanon. The security in Lebanon is much better than before. They have an army, they have a state, they have institutions. The second thing, which is related to Syria, is that after withdrawing we have to protect our border. We need to talk about our borders, because when Israel invaded in 1982, they reached that point. It was very close to Damascus. So we will need [fortifications for the troops] along the border with Lebanon.

President Assad also discussed relations with the U.S., the Iraqi insurgency, the presence of Palestinian groups in Syria and the prospect of internal reform in his country. Read more about the interview in the upcoming issue of TIME and on

What is this a homework assignment?

Former President of Lebanon Amin Gemayel is interviewed in Time Magazine, the full interview can be found here, some notable excerpts are below:

TIME: Can the opposition politicians now stick together?

Amin Gemayel: The parties until recent years were fighting each other. Now they decided to unite, to join their efforts to liberate the country. They have come from opposite trenches to call for the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon. This would have been unbelievable just a few months ago. There is a personal and national interest of every leader to remain committed and to go all the way, until Lebanon regains its freedom and sovereignty. It is an opportunity for the country and nobody can afford not to work for the cause of liberation. Otherwise they will be badly judged by history. Another important change is that in the past, the U.S. and France accepted the Syrian presence in Lebanon. There is a change after September 11 and after the Iraqi war. This encouraged the Lebanese leaders to raise their voices of resentment toward Syria. It is a liberation from many taboos. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 (calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon) is a dramatic shift in the international approach to the Lebanese crisis.

TIME: If Syria leaves Lebanon, could there be another civil war?

Amin Gemayel: Between who and who? All the parties are in the same room around one table discussing openly the future of a democratic and free country. Hizballah is the last party in Lebanon to be military equipped. But it hasn't any interest in starting another civil war. It would become isolated in Lebanon and abroad and lose everything they won in the resistance against Israel. It would be political suicide for Hizballah to encourage a civil war. (Hizballah leader) Hassan Nasrallah on the day of the assassination called for a dialogue for the historic reconciliation.

Change in the Air

Minds Are Changing...Michael Barone, Newsweek

The Arab Street, A vanquished cliché...Christopher Hitchens, Slate

and how could we forget Mark Steyn? The Arabs' Berlin Wall has crumbled:

Hosni Mubarak has no desire to take part in campaign debates with Hosno Name-Recognition. Boy Assad has no desire to hand over his co-Baathists to the Great Satan's puppets in Baghdad.

But none of them has much of a choice. In the space of a month, the Iraq election has become the prism through which all other events in the region are seen.

Assad's regime knocks off a troublemaker in Lebanon. Big deal. They've done it a gazillion times. But this time the streets are full of demonstrators demanding an end to Syrian occupation.

A suicide bomber kills four Jews. So what's new? But this time the Palestinians decline to celebrate. And some even question whether being a delivery system for plastic explosives is really all life has to offer, even on the West Bank.

Mubarak announces the arrest of an opposition leader. Like, who cares? The jails are full of 'em. But this time Condi Rice cancels her visit and the Egyptian government notices that its annual cheque from Washington is a month late.

Three years ago, those of us in favour of destabilising the Middle East didn't have to be far-sighted geniuses: it was a win/win proposition. As Sam Goldwyn said, I'm sick of the old clichés, bring me some new clichés. The old clichés - Pan-Arabism, Baathism, Islamism, Arafatism - brought us the sewer that led to September 11. The new clichés could hardly be worse. Even if the old thug-for-life had merely been replaced by a new thug-for-life, the latter would come to power in the wake of the cautionary tale of the former.

But some of us - notably US deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz - thought things would go a lot better than that. Wolfowitz was right, and so was Bush, and the Left, who were wrong about the Berlin Wall, were wrong again, the only difference being that this time they were joined in the dunce's corner of history by far too many British Tories. No surprise there. The EU's political establishment doesn't trust its own people, so why would they trust anybody else's? Bush trusts the American people, and he's happy to extend the same courtesy to the Iraqi people, the Syrian people, the Iranian people, etc.

Quote of the Day
"That is going to be good for the election, because I think women are more sensible voters than men." -- Prince Saud, Saudi foreign minister telling Newsweek that women would be voting in the next Saudi election.