June 29, 2006

No Flight Into Egypt

Egypt in particular worries that Gaza refugees might flood across its border if the Israelis increase their offensive in Gaza.
In fact, when Palestinians blasted a hole in the fence, they lined up security officers to prevent Gazans from crossing over.

These are people who certainly have legitimate reasons to flee, speak the same language, practice the same religion, and are part of the great cause that occupies so much bandwidth in Egyptian media. And they worry that Gazans will flood across the border!

Children: compare and contrast Egypt's border control involving its fellow Arabs, with America's border policy. 500 words. No time limit. Open book. Ready, go!

June 27, 2006

My New Pastime

I love trolling for Bolsheviks.

It's almost as much fun as picking your feet in Poughkeepsie.

The Sherman Statement

Anent the previous post,
Sherman started reading his long, technical speech. But before he sat down, the General suddenly said, ‘Cadets of the graduating class’ – the students arose and saluted – and then changed it to ‘Boys,’ making this statement: ‘I’ve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It’s entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here.

‘Suppress it! You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is hell!’ The reporters had missed the biggest story of the day. Brown, seated alongside Sherman, wrote down the speech verbatim."
Source here.

The other Sherman statement was, "If nominated, I will not campaign. If elected, I will not serve."

Pvt. Menchaca Comes Home

Both were tortured and at least one was beheaded. Their mutilated bodies were booby-trapped.

May they rest in peace. May their families find peace. I have only an inkling of the pain and sorrow they must feel.

A Rocky Mountain News story on the work of the Marines whose duty is to notify the families of the fallen is here.

HT: Michelle.

What It Might Take to Win

Almost anyone can go on about Pat Buchanan. He's hard to love.

He is also, however, a smart guy and unlike many of the left-wing critics of the Administration, cares about this country. A war critic, he's not a defeatist.

In this piece, Buchanan wonders whether the leaked troop reduction plan is a cover for defeat, and recognizes that whether or not starting the war was wise, a defeat, disguised or otherwise, would have doleful consequences for the country:
It needs to be stated coldly. The Casey plan, for a drawdown of over half of all U.S. combat brigades in Iraq in 18 months, risks an insurgent triumph, chaos and civil war, ethnic cleansing and a Baghdad that is turned into a hellish no man's land.

A decision not to ramp up U.S. military forces in Afghanistan risks defeat there, as well. For no NATO force we send can match U.S. forces in combat effectiveness, and the Taliban resistance has grown to present levels -- the most impressive in five years -- in the teeth of attacks by U.S. forces now giving way to Europeans.

A U.S. defeat in either country would result in a bloodbath for those who sided with the Americans. It happened in Vietnam and Cambodia. If we lose these wars, it will happen in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Perhaps the above is too pessimistic. But if Americans, with the finest fighting forces on earth, have not been able to defeat the Iraqi insurgency, what makes us believe Iraqis trained by Americans will succeed where we failed? And if the Taliban, after five years of U.S. air strikes and Special Forces search-and-destroy missions, are stronger than ever, who thinks that NATO units that have never seen combat can take them down? President Bush needs to face the truth, and tell us the truth.

We may be at a crossroads in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he has three choices: Ratchet up the U.S. troop investment to stave off defeat. Endure in what appears to be another "no-win war." Cut America's losses and get out, risking strategic disaster.

The Democratic Party, having voted to begin redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq, has taken its stand: end U.S. involvement, now or soon. If Bush, too, has decided to depart, America had best prepare for the strategic consequences abroad and the political consequences at home of another lost war for the United States.
Buchanan's assessment may be a tad grim--much of Iraq is under control, and the Taliban are not at the gates of Kabul--but he's right that in spite of losses, each one of which is painful, we've tried to fight both wars on the cheap while at home folks hit the malls in their SUVs and millions excitedly watch "American Idol," while the élites hit Starbucks in their Priuses.

Depending on whom one believes, our deployments and sacrifices may not be enough for victory, and defeat would have a terrible price.

Most war opponents won't grapple with the disastrous consequences of a defeat (one Pat doesn't mention--the Iraqi equivalent of the Vietnamese "boat people). They hate Bush more than they worry about the country. Pat's no Bush-lover, but he does worry about this country. His fears aren't baseless.

A Plague on Both Their Whited Sepulchers?

I like Colorado columnist Paul Campos. He's not predictable, and he doesn't parrot a party line.

In this column, he points to the differences between the major parties' elites and their bases:
What the Republican elites really care about is making sure that as much money as possible flows into their bank accounts. To placate their base, they're willing to make sympathetic noises about issues like abortion and gay marriage, but when push comes to shove they either don't care very much about those issues, or, in many cases, they themselves hold liberal views on such matters.

Conversely, what the Democratic elites really care about are cultural issues. They may cluck their tongues about the destruction of another labor union, but what they're actually willing to fight for are things like liberal abortion laws and gay marriage. And, truth be told, they don't find big tax cuts for the rich that distasteful, for reasons that are obvious when one considers that they come from the same economic class as their Republican counterparts.

Hence we'll soon be a nation in which the rich gay married couples will pay no estate taxes.
A while ago there was a bit of a splash about a book called What's the Matter With Kansas, whose thesis was that the GOP had convinced ordinary people in Kansas (and presumably elsewhere) to vote against their own true (read: economic) interests, Whether economic interests are always the "true" ones is not obvious to me, but that was the author's thesis.

For Campos, our politics is distorted by disconnects betwee élite and base in both major parties. The GOP preaches a cultural crusade but is only going through the motions, while the gut issues for the Democratic activists don't have to do with economic inequality or insecurity, but the flip side of the culture wars.

An interesting piece.

June 25, 2006

Is Facing Facts Racism?

In a previous post, I commented on the big play MSM gives to allegations of white-on-black crime, and the near-complete omission of racial information in crime stories where the perp is black, even though black-on-white and black-on-black crime are by far more common. (This sets aside the Tawana Brawley type incident, now apparently repeated in the case of the Duke lacrosse players, where the white-on-black crime is fabricated).

I made a snarky comment on the blog of one Marc Cooper, who is critical of Stalinism and half-baked conspiracy theories and is fairly thoughtful. Apparently another reader was moved to check out this blog and my professional site, came upon the "Sin of Omission" post and reached the following conclusion:
You're an ass and a racist one at that. The very idea that you would use the case of a homeless, emotionally disturbed man to make the case of your self-proclaimed belief of the "prevalence of violent crime in that racial group"” is beneath contempt.
To which I replied as follows:
It'’s off Marc'’s topic, but I didn'’t start it here.

"“The prevalence of imprisonment in 2001 was higher for
black males (16.6%) and Hispanic males (7.7%) than for white males (2.6%)
– black females (1.7%) and Hispanic females (0.7%) than white females (0.3%)

* * * *

“Lifetime chances of a person going to prison are higher for
– men (11.3%) than for women (1.8%)
– blacks (18.6%) and Hispanics (10%) than for whites (3.4%)

“Based on current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 32% of black males will enter State or Federal prison during their lifetime, compared to 17% of Hispanic males and 5.9% of white males.

Source: Department of Justice statistics.

I didn'’t make these pretty horrendous facts up. Whatever the explanation (culture, genetics, poverty, child abuse, drugs, selective enforcement, all of the above--–take your pick), as a society we ought to think about it. Then we might be able to do something about it.

In the mainstream press, though, it'’s largely a taboo subject, while the relatively rarer (and sometimes fabricated) white-on-black incidents get major play.
This reply elicited the following riposte:
Whatever the explanation (culture, genetics, poverty, child abuse, drugs, selective enforcement, all of the above--–take your pick), as a society we ought to think about it. Then we might be able to do something about it.

You'’re backpedaling here, but you're still a racist ass. The example you used was irrelevant and your implication is that blacks are more likely to commit violent crimes than whites.

I find it amazing that an attorney no less would be using the rates of incarceration for this argument instead of rates of conviction, guilty pleas, etc.

One need only look at the different penalties for crack cocaine possession and dealing versus cocaine possession and to consider the mandatory sentencing guidelines which removed discretion from judges to get anotheBAHclue.

I have a BA from a state school and you have a PhD in anthropology from Columbia amd JD from UCLA Law School and you couldn'’t consider anything other than race until you got called on your reactionary nonsense.

Pathetic - in a word.
I don't want to clutter up the comments on Cooper's Chomsky post with off-topic flame wars, but here's Exhibit A for a phenomenon that is all too common in left-wing responses to the right--the response to an unwelcome fact or argument is an accusation of bad intent ("racist") or bad character ("ass"). First, my original comment on Cooper's Chomsky post had nothing to do with the "Sin of Omission" post or with race. Hence, Randy Paul, the soccer fan who flamed me, dragged in a post from this blog on a totally different topic to call me a "racist," and thereby, presumably, negate my comments on Cooper's Chomsky post, which included Cooper's references to the descent into tinfoil hat moonbattery at Pacifica's LA station, KPFK.

So, Randy Paul dragged in the "racist" charge to discredit my character rather than to respond to what I had to say. "Ass" just means he doesn't like me. I can live with that.

In his second response, to my brief statistical note and my point that we should face facts in order to deal with them, rather than hurl invective and those who present them, RP adds a bit of content to his invective.

First, he points out that the perpetrator of the crime turned out to be deranged and homeless. He argues that my example was therefore ill-chosen.

However, the bulk of the "Omission" post referred to the article published before the arrest, when identifying information about the suspect might have been useful. Second, the point was not that race explained this particular crime, but that the press hypes alleged white-on-black offenses and doesn't even provide the facts about race when blacks offend against white, whether allegedly or demonstrably.

Second, RP questions my choice of statistics (incarceration rates) as opposed to "rates of conviction" and "guilty pleas." I did a quick and dirty Google search to confirm what I had read from many sources, and came up with the DOJ incarceration rate. Does RP think the results would be materially different if some other statistic were used? Perhaps blacks are sentenced to prison more than whites convicted of the same offenses. Perhaps they plead guilty more often than whites because they don't get decent legal representation as often as whites. I doubt different statistics would change the picture of much higher crime rates among blacks. But show me.

Third, RP points to harsher sentences for crack cocaine possession than for powder cocaine, presumably as an example of a law that is unfair and distorts these statistics. This point is reasonable, as is the counter-argument that crack is more dangerous and therefore merits higher penalties. (This is not the place to go into the "war on drugs").

Fourth, RP goes into an ad hominem excursus on my degrees and suggest that I see only race. I never claimed special credentials. And I never suggested a "race only" analysis of crime. I was commenting on a media phenomenon--inconsistent coverage of the racial aspect of crime.

"Racism" is a charged word. It has several meanings:

  1. Advocacy of discrimination or racial separation as public policy.

  2. Practicing racial discrimination in private life and business.

  3. The idea that there are differences in behavior and ability associated with membership in racial groups, especially if the association is claimed to be hereditary (so-called "scientific racism").

I plead not guilty to the first two. I am certainly less guilty of the second type of racism than those who would grant preferences to favored minorities in university admissions and hiring.

The third meaning of the term "racism" relates to claims that are subject to testing against evidence. Examples: Africans from certain parts of Kenya are statistically far more likely to be world-class long-distance runners than anyone else. On average, East Asians have higher IQ scores than Whites. US incarceration rates (and probably crime rates) among blacks are higher than among whites--to a shocking degree. The role of nature vs. nurture in these matters is not definitively known, but both probably play a part. These issues merit discussion, and there's nothing inherently wrong with taking the risk of defying political correctness in order to discuss them.

The skittishness of some about these issues is partly based on the fear that any confirmation of statistical differences in ability or behavior between races would be used to justify a revival of discriminatory laws and practices. This fear is reasonable, but is not a sufficient reason to condemn those who discuss the evidence. "Racism" in this sense should not be a term of invective. Its validity in any particular case depends on evidence.

There are facts about inequalities in wealth, education, health care. Some discuss these to offer explanations or to propose solutions. Others manipulate them to advocate totalitarian revolution. Should we denounce everyone who discusses facts about inequality as a Stalinist?

Truth, as they say, is an absolute defense.

Helmet Liners and The Kindness of Strangers

My cousin, more Upper West Side liberal than neocon, but whose son is a newly-commissioned 2d Lieutenant, points me to Operation Helmet's website, where donations are collected to provide retrofits to increase the efficacy of helmets in protecting our soldiers and Marines.

It's a worthy cause, but given what our feckless legislators do spend our money on, you'd think they'd appropriate ten million bucks to retrofit existing helmets and Bush and Rummy would demand that the equipment be procured and delivered post-haste.

Apparently not.

Our soldiers should not have to rely on the kindness of strangers for their safety.

June 24, 2006

The Gray Lady Turns Another Trick

You don't have to love George Bush to understand that there are organized groups in the world that seek to kill our people and destroy our institutions. They destroyed thousands not very far from the New York Times building.

Nevertheless, so deranged are the folks at the Gray Lady with their hatred of George Bush that they have repeatedly endangered anti-terrorism efforts by thoughtless, nay, preening disclosure of important facts. The latest, apparently, are classified estimates regarding future troop levels.

Disclosure of military secrets in time of war is not investigative journalism. It's aiding the enemy.


More anti-Gray-Lady photoshopping here.

UPDATE: Captain Ed cautions that unlike the NSA and banking stories, the troop level reduction story may be a plant.

A good point. But it's still an anonymously sourced story based on classified information, or disinformation. And given the Times's track record, Cap'n Ed's speculation doesn't dissuade me from the view that it's another example of at best indifference and at worst hostility to US national security.

In short, they're still a bunch of arrogant hypocrites.

UPDATE II: Austin Bay analyzes the Times's motives and the likely consequences of the disclosure of the bank transaction-tracing story.

UPDATE III: Here's Times Editor Bill Keller's namby-pamby respnse to his critics.

June 22, 2006

Who Sleeps With Cats?

Mrs. Katz, and every now un den, Pepe the Chihuahua.

Courtesy of Cassandra at TigerHawk.

Wonkery to the Rescue of the Unhinged?

HingeDavid Broder, a WaPo columnist, recognizes the inefficacy of the Democratic blogosphere's approach to politics:
But the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought. The candidates who have been adopted as heroes by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the convention's leader, and his fellow bloggers have mainly imploded in the heat of battle -- as was the ca se with Howard Dean in 2004 -- or come up short, as happened to the Democratic challengers in special House elections in Ohio and California.
He doesn't offer much respect to the Dems' Congressional leadership, either:
I do not include the Democratic congressional leadership in the hopeful camp. The new legislative "agenda" that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Co. trotted out last week was as meager as it was unimaginative.
No, his lonely eyes turn to sundry think tanks, where policy wonks trained in "social science" churn out new ideas.

Referring to two new publications, he pretty much dismisses The Democratic Strategist , at least the first issue, although it's a "welcome addition," but is a bit more sanguine about something called Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.

In the latter, he mentions two ideas, one being the inequity of employer tax deductions for health insurance premiums, and the other a piece by Jedidiah Purdy, as follows:
The lead article, by Jedediah Purdy of Duke Law School, explores the demographic trends around the world. It discusses the implications of population decline in Europe and Japan and how the abortion-influenced gender imbalances in China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan result in a "surplus" of millions of single men in those fragile democracies or authoritarian states.

Purdy ends by suggesting a long-term bargain between Europe and Asia, or maybe between the United States and India, in which the advanced nations pump development money in now, in return for future help in financing their retirees' pensions.
Cash now for more cash later? It's called "investment." Logs

Setting aside the fact that Pat Buchanan was writing about the demographic crisis in Europe and Japan years ago, Broder's antidote for the folly of the deranged left is pure bathos.

Some time soon, I'll comment on the logs, nay the whole sawmill, in the eye of the GOP.

The 10 Worst Americans

According to a poll of conservative bloggers:
10) Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (18)
10) Jesse Jackson (18)
9) George Soros (19)
7) Nancy Pelosi (22)
7) John Murtha (22)
5) John Kerry (23)
5) Al Gore (23)
4) Cindy Sheehan (26)
3) Hillary Clinton (27)
2) Ted Kennedy (28)
1) Michael Moore (36)
The whole list here.

A snarky project, perhaps, but a riposte to a forthcoming book by Keith Olbermann.

To me, the list is too heavily weighted to politics and the mote in the other guy's eye. I think Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan, for example, have had their 15 minutes. But it's interesting in a strange snarky way.

HT: Hewitt.

June 21, 2006

Apostasy and Anathema

I've not commented on the debates in the mainline Protestant churches, using the phrase, "I don't have a dog in that fight."

But skeptic though I am, I've been reading up on Orthodox Christianity and dipping into the church fathers, and frankly, watching the antics of the Episcopalians, 'tis a puzzlement. In boarding school we had compulsory chapel 5 times a week, and I liked it, especially the hymns, which came from the Episcopal hymnal, although the rest of the services were more Congregationalist. We also had to read the whole Bible in a class that was less than illuminating because not well taught.

What I don't get is theologically liberal Christianity. The sources of authority are Scripture (only scripture, if you're Protestant of most varieties) and Tradition. The Catholics also look to Papal authority and the Orthodox toward the personal experience, within the Church, of theosis, or movement toward the divine.

If you accept a substantial part of any of the foregoing, fair enough. You are at least a semi-orthodox Christian, at least by aspiration. If you don't accept the Scripture as inspired in some sense, don't revere the Tradition, and take yourself alone as Authority, why pretend to be even semi-orthodox? You are apostate--a follower of a different religion. Whatever it may call itself, it's not Christianity.

Why deny it? To hang on to the buildings? Because the songs are nice? To preserve a tribal identity, like Reconstructionist Jews, who pray to a God they don't believe exists? Because it's stylish to wear vestments? To rationalize conduct that Scripture, Tradition, and Authority all condemn?

There are people who call Jesus their Mother, and ordain lesbian priestesses and alcoholic practicing homosexual bishops. To an outsider such as I, these carryings-on seem bizarre, flying in the face of Scripture and 2,000 years of Church tradition.

The Church fathers in their sermons and codices sought to define their faith as against heretics, and in Councils ended up declaring ideas that contradicted scripture and tradition to be anathema. This process went on for hundreds of years, so not much can be said about this particualr slice of time in the life of the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches.

However, to this outsider it seems that much of mainstream American Protestantism is apostate from any variety of orthodox Christianity, and to the followers of Scripture, Tradition and Authority, its ideas and practices will ultimately be anathema.

Where this all will leave American culture and society is unclear. Perhaps we will become secular, like Europe. Perhaps the more traditional denominations will grow in power. Perhaps the disintegration of Protestantism will lead to the conclusion that Tradition and Authority are required to preserve the faith, to the advantage of the Catholic and the Orthodox churches.

It surely will be interesting to watch.

June 14, 2006

The Usual Sin of Omission

subway station
The New York Times published a story about a tourist who was stabbed in a Harlem subway car. The story goes on and on, but obscures what appears to be the case--the attacker was black and the victim was white. The danger of being white in a Harlem subway car is nothing new. When I was a freshman at Columbia in 1959, one of the first things we were told was to make sure, at the 96th street subway station, we did not get on the subway line that went through Harlem.

Contrast the media feeding frenzy (and the University administraton's hand-wringing and rush to judgment) about the collapsing case of the three Duke lacrosse players who were charged with raping a black stripper, a case that is now collapsing, or the coverage and self-congratulation at the recent conviction of a white young man who beat a black would-be car thief in Howard Beach with a baseball bat. The true "no go" areas, based on race, are black areas much more than white ones.

When a white person is charged with attacking a black person, that's news and the hand-wringing about racism begins. When the far more common case of blacks attacking whites arises, the papers won't even disclose the relevant racial facts. And then our media conglomerates glorify the culture of black thuggery on MTV and elsewhere.

Although there is a huge percentage of black young men in or just out of prison, the media can't bring themselves to discuss openly the prevalence of violent crime in that racial group.

Oh, and by the way: lately most terrorists are (shhh. . . .) Muslims.

UPDATE, June 15, 2006--The Times today published another article with multiple authors, and did not mention anyone's race, but published a picture of the alleged perpetrator (black) and the victim's parents, who appear to be partly Asian, although you can't be certain. The basic point is the same--white on black crime, real or imagined, gets a big play and generates breast-beating of all kinds. The MSM pretty much ignore much more common black on black and black on white crime, and bury racial information.

In the past, of course, there were plenty of lynchings, droit de seigneur sex (a la Strom Thurmond) by white men with black women, and even burned out black communities (e.g., in Tulsa). That stuff has gotten progressively rarer since Selma and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

So new white on black offenses, real or phonied up, become grist for black race hustlers and their white abettors.

June 7, 2006

California Primary Results

Well, the votes are in.

The Democrats opted for an open lefty (more taxes, licenses for illegals) against the centrist Terminator. I think they lose. People may not be overwhelmed by Arnold's performance, but they like him. Angelides is pretty far to the left and will run a combative campaign.

The Meathead (Rob Reiner) lost his initiative to statify and stultify early childhood education, and library bonds got lost in the shuffle. Reiner lost big time. I think the tide is turning against initiatives, except maybe ones to punish criminals.

Billbray won a fairly close House race in a heavily GOP district. Good for the GOP that he won; alarming that the margin was as close as it was, and the amount of resources that had to be spent to save one of the safest seats in the state. Probably the challenger's taped and widely replayed remark implying that illegal immigrants should go ahead and vote made the difference. That's why candidates have consultants who try to keep them "on message" and keep their feet out of the mouth.

Orange County's weird Sheriff, Mike Carona, a nice guy with abysmal judgment, squeaked in. He would have lost a runoff. If he can keep it zipped and avoid appointing swine as his deputies, he'll be ok.

The OC voters also approved an initiative to ban eminent domain to benefit private parties. The effect is limited, because most redevelopment districts are in cities, which won't be affected.

The Republic hobbles on.

June 4, 2006

Did Bush Steal the 2004 Election?

Until recently, the belief that the Republicans cheated their way to victory in the 2004 Presidential was confined to Pacifica Radio and other lefties in the ooby-dooby zone.

Now the Rolling Stone has published a piece by Robert Kennedy Jr. retailing the same accusations, a piece that has apparently impressed some, such as the Good Inger.

The charges have also been debunked by such an unlikely source as NPR:
There also was a session called, "Who Really Won the Election 2004?" This was an opportunity for the cyber-active bloggers who think the Ohio vote was somehow fraudulent to present their best case. They didn't. Their presentations were confusing, if not incoherent to this listener, and they all seemed to boil down to one complaint: namely, that the vote totals didn't match the exit polls. The problem with that argument is that if you can give good reasons why the exit polls were wrong in Ohio (and there are many), their entire complaint disappears.

I have to say, though, that I did see the respondent in that panel, who gave a thoughtful and coherent critique of the vote-fraud proponents, chatting for hours one evening with one of the presenters. It's the good thing about a conference like this, even when it rains.
Salon also delivered a thorough Fisking to these charges. (HT: TigerHawk.)

The Salon piece is pretty fierce:
If you do read Kennedy's article, be prepared to machete your way through numerous errors of interpretation and his deliberate omission of key bits of data. The first salient omission comes in paragraph 5, when Kennedy writes, "In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots." To back up that assertion, Kennedy cites "Democracy at Risk," the report the Democrats released last June.

That report does indeed point out that many people -- 26 percent -- who first registered in 2004 did not find their names on the voter rolls at polling places. What Kennedy doesn't say, though, is that the same study found no significant difference in the share of Kerry voters and Bush voters who came to the polls and didn't find their names listed. The Democrats' report says that 4.2 percent of Kerry voters were forced to cast a "provisional" ballot and that 4.1 percent of Bush voters were made to do the same -- a stat that lowers the heat on Kennedy's claim of "astounding" partisanship.

Such techniques are evident throughout Kennedy's article. He presents a barrage of seemingly important, apparently damning data to show that Kerry won the race. It's only when you dig into his claims that you see what thin ice he's on.
No one is under an obligation to love W., or support his policies. My decision to vote for him was motivated by my contempt for that stick-up-his-ass French-looking Senator from Massachusetts and the left wing of his party. Better 100 James Dobsons than one Dennis Kucinich!

But "if you shoot at a King, you must kill him," as Emerson said. If one is going to attack the President in a time of war, not for mistaken policies or his annoying lateral S pronounciation, but on the grounds he cheated his way into power, better get your ducks in a row first.

Let us assume for a moment that Bobby Kennedy was a great man. If so, Robert Jr. proves that "regression toward the mean" applies to political leadership as to stature, test-taking, and baseball.

Will There Always Be an England?

Union Jack
According to this story, various institutions in Britain are refusing to fly Union Jack because some Muslim extremists are objecting:
But the Islamic protest forced some corporations, such as cable companies NTL, Heathrow airport in London, and even the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Agency to ban the flag in every form due to fears from reactions of Muslims.

The Sun tabloid newspaper has in recent days launched a campaign to bring back the flag, and has published a blacklist of companies preventing their workers from expressing their patriotism at work.

The Sun said that a large pub network has banned drinkers from entering with symbols of the national team.

The hero of the day is a two year-old toddler, who was thrown out with his parents from Leicester, because he wore the England team's uniform.
The British lately have not been such flag-wavers as our queenless immigrant nation. Perhaps these events will encourage them.

I do not want to believe that the land of Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill will sink into dhimmitude without a fight.

HT: TigerHawk.

More Weird Prehistory

Scientists have found signs of a prehistoric crater in Antarctica, relics of a colossal collision that wiped out most life on earth, so they say, and made way for the dinosaurs.
Ohio State University scientists who found the crater said the massive Antarctic crater could explain the global extinction in the Permian-Triassic period when all animal life on Earth died out, clearing the way for the dinosaurs.

The massive impact probably broke up the ancient continent of Gondwanaland, pushing Australia out on its long drift north to its current position. The landmass that became India shot off first, while Africa and South America broke off later.

"This Wilkes Land impact is much bigger than the impact that killed the dinosaurs, and probably would have caused catastrophic damage at the time," said Ralph von Frese, professor of geological sciences at Ohio State University.
As with the Israeli cave crustaceans, I love this stuff.

Study your science, kids. Then you won't have to practice law or write press releases.