Saturday, July 06, 2002

If, By Witty, You Mean Boring and Inane...

Found the link to George Michael's "Shoot the Dog" video (link via Damian Penny, via Norwegian Blogger). What can I say? It's a really, really, dumb song. If you watch it, note where Michael enters the oval office... that little bit of self-referential humor almost redeems the video. Hehehe...
Does Powell Have Hurt Feelings? Poor Baby...

The Telegraph has this story on Colin Powell's supposed anger with the civilian leaders of the pentagon. According to the article, Powell has, despite unhappiness related to his lack of influence in the oval office, decided to stay on as Secretary of State:

Colin Powell, the beleaguered Secretary of State, has delivered an angry riposte to the Pentagon hardliners responsible for his recent string of policy defeats - insisting to allies that he "won't let those bastards drive me out".

Despite his frustration at President Bush's tendency to side with Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, on issues ranging from the Middle East to the International Criminal Court, Gen Powell is making it clear that he does not intend to quit before the next presidential election.

"He won't resign because to do so would be tantamount to admitting defeat," said a senior Washington official. "He would only go earlier if he thought he had lost the president's confidence and there is no sign of that. He thinks it is better to carry on and have some influence from inside the administration than to leave and have none."


Now, I've tried to give Powell the benefit of the doubt, and I thought after Dubya's anti-Yassir speech, Foggy Bottom might shut the hell up and get with the program. However, if Powell is bitching to foreign governments about other members of the administration, he has no business representing the United States as our voice to the world.

The administration has made up its mind on Kyoto, opposition to Yassir "more kiddie bombers please" Arafat, and the ICC. Powell is Secretary of State. His job is to provide the president with information, and then act as our chief diplomat. He's given his advice. It's been rejected. Now his job is to convince other governments to accept our position, or at least to accept the reality of the situation.

I've still got some hope for Powell. I think he is, at his core, a good man, and that he actually believes the State Department's bumbling multilateralism is the right course to follow. But he's wrong. We're at war. Firm stands need to be taken by the chief executive, and once those decisions are made, the cabinet needs to close ranks behind those stands. I think Stephen Green got it right a while ago:
"…Powell would be the perfect king for a mythical land where all is well and peaceful. The people could admire his sagacity and strength from afar, and there would be no messy international problems to soil his reputation. His background and bearing would bring peoples of all colors and creeds together in harmony."
But as the esteemed Vodkapundit notes, that's not the world we live in. Powell is a good diplomat, but he needs to remember whose diplomatic goals he's supposed to be promoting. The president listened to Powell's recommendations, and rejected them. That's done. He can still give his advice to the president, and can privately disagree with decisions the administration makes, but he must not whine to foreign dignitaries about how he won't let "those bastards" drive him out. He has a job to do, and if he's not willing to fulfill that job by towing the party line, he needs to step down.

I don't know, maybe this is just more Rope-A-DopeTM designed to placate the Euroweenies.
Marching Towards Victory

I’m starting to think about getting my own domain, and switching over to Movable Type. So I have a couple of quick questions for my fellow blogtroopers out there who are using MT: did you have any trouble setting it up? Was importing old blogger posts too tough? Is there anything important you've learned I should know before commiting?
More Steyn

Mark Steyn’s latest column (link via Daily Pundit) is chock full of goodness. Everything from Independence Day, the silliness of the “Under God” decision, to the nature of limited government, he touches it all.
If Middle Earth was run by Euroweenies

Mike over at Coldfury.com brings us the sequel to Lord Of The Rings, after all of middle earth gives up war and accepts the wonderful justice of an International Criminal Court

Funny shit I tell you.
Alive and Kicking

Ok, after a day of misery following the debauchery of the 4th, I feel much better. Blogging can now recommence…

Friday, July 05, 2002

Uggg

Too much Gin last night, left me a miserable wreck. No posting of any value can be made today....

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Happy Goddamn 4th!

I'm going to a friends houseboat on Lake Union to watch the Fireworks and get my boozie on. Blogging will be suspended until the hangover subsides.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Quote Of The Day

"We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France."

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
1769-1852
The BBC: Britain's Colonoscopy Without The General Anesthetic

Over the past few days, the BBC has been hyping American "Attacks" on Afghan civilians. This is annoying, but you come to expect it from a left-leaning organization. Hell, CNN has practically jumped to the same conclusions. And there is a sizable anti-American contingent on the island, so some Guardian-esque slander against the good 'ol USA is almost to be expected.

But why does the BBC hate Britain?

This year's Last Night of the Proms will not include the traditional singing of Rule Britannia. According to this article from the Independent (found via Tim Blair),
The BBC has decided to bring down the curtain on the annual rendition of "Rule, Britannia" at the Last Night of the Proms. The change means there will be no solo singer this year to lead the audience through the seven jingoistic verses and choruses of the raucous Malcolm Sargent version. Instead they will have to make do with the original, instrumental version, which is part of Henry Wood's "Fantasia on British Sea Songs". Leonard Slatkin, the American chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, said they were only reflecting the public's own ambivalence towards the popular anthem.

"We have had a lot of letters saying that it is time to get rid of "Rule, Britannia", and I must admit I am not completely comfortable with playing it," he told the Radio Times today. " 'Rule, Britannia' does seem a little militaristic, and though it's wonderful to celebrate who you are and have faith in your country, I don't think we should exclude others. The Last Night of the Proms is an important occasion; in Japan they get up at 4am to watch it. Anyway, I'm not certain the sentiments of the words resonate in the way some people think they should. It does seem a little outdated."
Outdated my ass. It's a cool song.

The lyrics are certainly jingoistic, if by jingoism you mean not rolling over Petain-esquely for a nice butt reaming. I mean, read 'em for chrissakes! The whole damn world could use a little reminder on how Nelson, Wellington, and the men like them and under them, saved the world from Napoleonic tyranny. Or how Churchill fought the dark Nazi regime in WW II, and how Maggie Thatcher stood against the inhuman Communist regimes of the cold war. But, no, "I don't think we should exclude others."

Sometimes I worry about our British cousins (and the American conductors they hire)....

Friedman Makes Sense?

Vodkapundit links to a unnaturally sensible Thomas Friedman article, which reminds us all how backward the Arab world really is. One statistic of interest:
The U.N. Development Program, which published, along with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, a brutally honest Arab Human Development Report yesterday analyzing the three main reasons the Arab world is falling off the globe. (The G.D.P. of Spain is greater than that of all 22 Arab states combined.)
That’s Spain. The poor kid of the Europe Union. Arab nations have around 230 million people in them; Spain has around 40 million. According to these numbers, Spanish per capita wealth production is 115 times that of the combined Arab nations.

As an aside, the US GDP (per capita) is twice that of Spain, and our population is nearing 300 million…

Do things need to change for the Arabs? I think so.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Animated Goodness

I just saw The Iron Giant for the first time, and I must say, it was a pretty damn good watch, even for a kids cartoon. Nice animation, an interesting story, all kinds of adult level politics and philosophy under the surface...

Another Mojo recommendation.
Riddle Me This Batman

While my subscription to Foreign Affairs magazine brings me a year's worth of excellent analysis and opinion on current world events, it also puts me on all kinds of other magazine mailing lists. I got an add for the New Yorker today, which is, in and of itself, not that interesting.

What is interesting however, is where the add came from. Where might the billing center for the New Yorker be located?
...
Anyone?
...
Anyone?
...

If you guessed Bonne Iowa, you win a prize!

Also Sprache Den Beste

For drunken ranting and attempted smarty-pants humor regarding the International Criminal Court, you come see Mojo. For a well thought-out discussion of the United States government's refusal to work with the court, and our other "Unilateral" decisions as of late, go read Steven Den Beste.

Harness the power of his cold, hard, rational prose to vanquish all your enemies...
Errrrrr....

Europe seethes as defiant US goes its own way (Link via Daily Pundit).

I'd just like to take this opportunity to give a big "Fuck You" to Tony Blair's government ministers, who see the US administration as "very unhelpful" and "bloody-minded" when it comes to giving up our citizens to politically appointed International Tribunals. If you guys can't see how worthless the ICC is, then you deserve to rot with your fellow EUro-Socialist fucktard friends on the continent while we start building the CoDominion with the Russians.
Musician Lefty Death, and Other Lameness

George Michael, pop “musician,” has turned into a deep political thinker. An interview in the UK’s Mirror, a publication which bills itself as “Newspaper of the Year” and Michael as Britain’s “most gifted contemporary songwriter,” has an interview where Georgie where he explains his latest single, “Shoot the Dog.” The song is a satire on Tony Blair’s relationship with George Bush and the war on terrorism, with Blair portrayed as Bush’s Poodle. The song features such insightful lyrics as:
Nine nine nine gettin'' jiggy
People did you see that fire in the city?
It's like we''re fresh out of democratic,
Gotta get yourself a little
something semi-automatic yeah...
I did happen to see that fire actually, and I was a bit put off by it. However, what does the adjective democratic mean when used as a noun? As for arming yourself, Hurray!
The Ayatollah''s gettin'' bombed yeah,
See Sergeant Bilko having fun again,
Good puppy, good puppy
Rollin' on over for The Man....
When did we start bombing Iran, and why didn’t anybody tell me about it? I would’ve made popcorn…
I believe, I believe what the old man said
Though I know that there''s no lord above
I believe in me, I believe in you
And you know I believe in love
I believe in truth though I lie a lot
I feel the pain from the push and shove
No matter what you put me through
I''ll still believe in love
And I say
Now, I know that hot man-on-man action can be a little rough at times, but does it really leave you this incoherent. I mean, what the fuck are you singing about here Georgie? Sure, I’m taking chunks out of the lyrics, but read the whole thing. Even for insipid pop music, they’re awful. He’s just mad because America wouldn’t let him give handjobs to random men in a public restroom. Poor baby.

Michael’s hatred for the war on terrorism, however, brings me to my larger point: the seemingly inevitable turn of inconsequential has-been musicians and artists into rabid leftists. Why is it that musicians and artists, who so overwhelming espouse their beliefs in individualism, are such fervent Collectivists when it comes to politics? It’s been a general rule in my life that the higher number of body piercings a person has, the more they expect me to subsidize their dumb-asses.

Leftist activism is but the final step to irrelevancy for a performer. The more a person’s talent (or just their popularity) wanes, the less they produce, and the more it becomes solely of interest to their hardcore fans. Then the new music becomes a lowly trickle, and the only press the artist gets is when they espouse their loopy political beliefs for CNN. Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam was, with the ever-irritating Phil Donohue, Ralph Nader’s big media supporter. Krist Novoselic, Nirvana’s former bassist who hasn’t produced any music of worth since Kurt Kobain emptied a shotgun into his own face, is an avowed Lenninist (when the Washington State Libertarian Party had Novoselic giving a speech during their 2002 convention, I decided I would never, ever, become a big L libertarian).

These are just the examples I can think of off the top of my head. Aside from Ted Nugent, I’m hard-pressed to think of a name of a pop or rock star who wasn’t somewhere to the left of Che Guevara, and I’m not even talking about the greatest leftist wanker rock band of all time, Rage Against the Machine. What makes these brave soldiers against the oppresive fascist right-wingers attach themselves to an ideology which calls for the destruction of Individual freedoms they say they care so much about. Well, they are hypocrites, and, like our boy Georgie, seem to be historically illiterate.

But by stating their opposition to the government, or big business, they try to hold onto that youthful rebellion, and the accompanying hipness, that once propelled them to fame. They are destined to fail, as no one, and I mean no one, wants to hear a pudgy thirty eight year old multimillionaire sing about smoking pot and sticking it to the man.

**UPDATE**
Damian Penny has a similiar, if more concise and less drunken, article on Michael's "Political" song

Monday, July 01, 2002

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fu... Oh, Sorry, I Get Confused Sometimes

The UK Telegraph has this article on the EU's decision to emulate Tony Blair's spin tactics to influence voters in upcoming Euro referendums in Britain and Sweden:
The document, written in French and entitled An Information and Communication Strategy for the European Union, calls for a pre-emptive use of public relations to promote "the legitimacy, image, and role of the union".

"A true EU communication method cannot be limited to mere diffusion of information: it must give a sense to things and put the EU's actions and policies in perspective," it says.

"If factual, neutral information is necessary, it is not sufficient. Experience shows that information cannot remain neutral because of the constant distortion by the media, intermediaries and other multipliers of opinion."
That damn free media is always such a freakin' nuisance. Why can't people just vote the way we tell them. Boy, If we just had Castro's poll numbers, that'd be swell. Stupid Democracy...

But don't worry Britain, if Captain Euro is any indication, EU propaganda will be ineffective, and perhaps somewhat amusing.


Gore, Gore, Gore

Ok, am I the only person who thinks Al Gore made a big mistake in shaving off the old beard? Now, I know some people think beards are anathema to political campaigns, but it seems a good break with the man's previous, untrustworthy profile. It gave him a pleasant, almost fatherly appearence.

I certainly bought it more than his recent blathering that, if he had it to do over again, he would let it rip, ignoring advisors and pollsters (link via Vodkapundit). Yeah right, Al, I can see you as the ol' truthgiver.

I tell ya, between Gore and Daschle, I can't imagine the Dems winning anything aside from laughs. Maybe if he would've kept that beard...

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Hell No, We Won't Go!

Praise Jeebus! The US has held its ground on the International Criminal Court (see previous post below), and vetoed the Bosnian Peacekeeping Force (AP story via CNN). The US government fears the tribunal will be used to attack Americans for political reasons. And Europeans just don't get it:
Supporters say there are many safeguards to prevent such abuse, including a democratic process to elect a prosecutor and 18 judges. Each member country has one vote.
So It'll be just like the UN, only we won't have veto power. Yeah, that makes me real confident...
Unlike the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, also based in The Hague, the 1998 Rome Statute creating the international court states that prosecutors may only indict individuals not tried by their own governments.

Nations will have first say over where suspects go on trial, not the permanent court.

"We don't understand why the United States doesn't have more faith in its own justice system to punish those who violate international law," Jochems said.
And If we don't agree to all points of International law? Then I guess the blue-helmets come in gunning and carry away Jesse Helms (Yeah, I know the court won't have police of its own, but the visual is just too good). No thanks Jean-luc. I don't want CINCPAC getting hauled away for using land mines as a deterrent in Korea.

On the plus side:
Fearing U.S. soldiers and leaders could be indicted on political grounds, the U.S. Senate adopted legislation authorizing the President to use "all means necessary" to free U.S. citizens held by the court. It also enables the United States to penalize countries for cooperating with the court.
Sweet.


More Testing

Found via PejmanPundit: What Simpsons Character Are You?

What Simpsons Character Are You?

Take the quiz here!

Hmm.... donuts, beer, hatred of that damn Flanders, sounds about right to me!
I Hate the UN…

This article from the New York Times gives us a status report on UN Security Council debate on renewing the organization’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. The US is threatening to veto unless we get blanket immunity from prosecution in the vile International Criminal Court. The deadline for a vote is tonight at midnight.

The good news is that the administration looks like it’s gonna stand fast and refuse some kind of compromise, even if it means killing the Bosnian force. The bad news is that the British are siding with the French on this one…
Still Rockin' In The Free World

Colorfinger was Art Alexakis’ band before he started Everclear. Their web site has their only major album, as well as demos and live performances, available for download in mp3 format.

Being a bit of an Everclear fan myself, I went a little download crazy. Classic Alexakis, it’s some good stuff I tell ya.