July 29, 2003
Lileks For Surgeon General
You know what I miss? Smoking when you have a cold. For some reason they just tasted better. -- James Lileks, The Bleat, 7/29/03
July 25, 2003
I just love family photos.
July 23, 2003
The Bloody Broadcasting Corp. filed a report in October of 1998 about Uday Hussein's sham academic pursuits. Somehow the BBC managed to write this conclusion with a straight face:
[Uday] himself was subject to an assassination attempt, which left him paralysed from the waist down and, by some accounts, impotent.
He is out of his wheelchair now, but perhaps that experience is what encouraged Saddam Hussein's heir apparent to pursue a more cerebral existence.
And the pursuit was successful: Uday's cerebral cortex is on a villa floor in Mosul.
The Doctor Is Out
In his 1998 doctoral dissertation entitled The World After the Cold War, Dr. Uday Hussein predicted that the United States would collapse as major power by 2015.
What Dr. Hussein failed to predict was that he would collapse 12 years beforehand.
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
The 101st Airborne, Army Special Forces and the Air Force, that's who.
July 22, 2003
Of Cheese and Lesbians
Only Mark Steyn could successfully combine these two topics into one column. Read it here and brace yourself for the moan-inducing pun in the last sentence.
July 21, 2003
The "Toast of Sandwich"
Move over, Francis Ouimet. Here's the Times of London's take on the new British Open champion.
July 18, 2003
Fighting For "The Light of Liberty"
Early in the debate over Iraq's non-compliance with UN resolutions, I believed British PM Tony Blair was just an English Bill Clinton: all style, no substance and a UNphile determined to subjugate his nation's best interests to rules promulgated by hollow, corrupt international organizations.
Either I was wrong about Tony Blair or he chose to answer the call of history. (If you don't mind, I'll assume it's the latter.)
Lincoln claimed he did not control events; rather, he confessed, events controlled him. The same can be said of Blair. The post 9/11 world presented Tony Blair with a choice: lead or get out of the way. After expending months of effort aimed at consensus-building, Blair decided that kowtowing to the UN bureaucracy at the expense of his nation's security was wrong and dangerous. Instead Tony Blair joined the United States in defending western civilization against terrorist nations. He chose to lead.
To express America's gratitude for Britain's friendship, Congress honored Blair with the Congressional Gold Medal. The prime minister accepted the honor before a joint session of Congress yesterday during which he eloquently explained the challenges America and Britain face in the war on terrorism. The speech is a keeper.
The prime minister opened with these selfless remarks:
Thank you most sincerely for voting to award me the Congressional Gold Medal. But you, like me, know who the real heroes are: those brave servicemen and women, yours and ours, who fought the war, and risk their lives still.
Our tribute to them should be measured in this way: by showing them and their families that they did not strive or die in vain but that through their sacrifice, future generations can live in greater peace, prosperity and hope.
And his conclusion soared:
What you can bequeath to this anxious world is the light of liberty.
That is what this struggle against terrorist groups or states is about.
We're not fighting for domination.
We're not fighting for an American world, though we want a world in which America is at ease.
We're not fighting for Christianity but against religious fanaticism of all kinds.
This is not a war of civilisations because each civilisation has a unique capacity to enrich the stock of human heritage.
We are fighting for the inalienable right of human kind, black or white, Christian or not, left, right or merely indifferent, to be free.
Free to raise a family in love and hope.
Free to earn a living and be rewarded by your own efforts.
Free not to bend your knee to any man in fear.
Free to be you so long as being you does not impair the freedom of others.
That's what we're fighting for. And that's a battle worth fighting.
I know it's hard on America. And in some small corner of this vast country in Nevada or Idaho, these places I've never been but always wanted to go, there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you the political leaders of this nation: why me? Why us? Why America?
And the only answer is: because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time and the task is yours to do.
And our job, my nation that watched you grow, that you've fought alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous pride in our alliance and great affection in our common bond, our job is to be there with you.
You're not going to be alone.
We'll be with you in this fight for liberty.
And if our spirit is right, and our courage firm, the world will be with us.
This speech is a masterpiece of political persuasion and worth reading in its entirety.
July 17, 2003
Hittin' The Fan
The "ruling" by the Nevada Supreme Court nullifying a portion of the state constitution -- an amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes -- is criminal. It's raw judicial tryanny.
And now the shit is hittin' the fan. (To paraphrase George Carlin, what else would you expect to hit the fan in a state where the big game is craps?)
John Fund reports on the fallout:
The decision was so outrageous that on Monday a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Legislature from passing a proposed $1 billion tax increase until a special panel of federal judges heard arguments in the case yesterday. Moves to recall the state Supreme Court justices involved--modeled after the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis in California--have begun in earnest.
And, according to Fund, the splatter from the fan could reach all the way to Washington: come November 2004, pissed-off Nevada voters may direct some of their anger at Senator Harry Reid.
July 16, 2003
Nevada's Constitution Ruled Unconstitutional
Think I'm kidding? Read this account of Nevada's blackrobed outlaws.
Tax-Free In NYC
Turns out that New York's Democrat-in-Republican-drag mayor isn't taxing everything. Yet.
July 13, 2003
Be warned. The next time you're browsing at a bookstore, Joseph Epstein may have you under surveillance.
"Peace Through Strength"
As president, Ronald Reagan used the United States Navy as a platform to rapidly project American power around the globe. Whether the mission was teaching Muammar Qadhafi some manners, intercepting the Achille Lauro hijackers, rescuing American students in Grenada, tapping underwater Soviet phone cables or shadowing the Soviet navy, the U.S. Navy was the centerpiece of Reagan's defense policy. By 1989 Reagan presided over a massive fleet of 600 vessels.
So it's fitting that the fleet's newest and most advanced Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier honors the commander-in-chief who transformed the U.S. Navy into an unmatched rapid-reaction force global in reach. The USS Ronald Reagan--the first naval vessel in American history named for a living president--was commissioned yesterday at a ceremony attended by Nancy Reagan. Vice President Cheney led the ceremony:
Today we send forth a great American ship bearing a great American name . . . Something tells me any potential adversary of the United States will take note when word arrives that the USS Ronald Reagan has been sighted off shore . . . He came to the presidency with a clear understanding of the tools our Navy would need to protect the American people.
And the Reagan offers a lot of protection: a crew of 6,000, a top speed of over 30 knots, a 4 1/2 acre flight deck, 1,100 feet in length, 20 stories high (and that's above the waterline!) and two nuclear reactors that require refueling once every 20 years.
The carrier's motto, aptly, is the same as the Reagan Administration's defense philosophy: "Peace Through Strength".
The Gipper would be proud.
July 10, 2003
Pirate Attacks Giant Sausage
(Betcha that's a headline you've never seen before.)
It's not everyday that a woman dressed as an Italian sausage is attacked by a bat-wielding major league baseball player but it happened last night in Milwaukee during a Brewers-Pirates game. During the 7th inning stretch, four home team mascots costumed as various meats raced around the diamond. (What else would you expect from a town that gets drunk every night?)
As the mascots waddled past the visitors' dugout, Pirates first baseman Randall Simon unsheathed his Louisville Slugger and whacked the Italian sausage in the back of its foamy noggin. The sausage hit the ground like a ton of...well...sausage. A pile-up ensued as the giant hot dog tripped over his spicy Italian cousin. Both mascots quickly recovered, got up, brushed off their buns and continued the race.
As for Simple Simon, police arrested him after the game. ESPN reports that prosecutors declined to charge Simon with battery but did fine him for disorderly conduct. The woman in the sausage costume, Mandy Block, said the entire episode was "kinda funny" and "ridiculous".
Judging from the video, Simon meant no harm. Even though it was a stupid thing to do, the result was hilarious and, as an Atkins devotee, made my mouth water.
July 07, 2003
Last week former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher buried her husband. A few days later, in a Sunday Times of London interview (via Drudge), Hillary Clinton claims that she's inspired by Margaret Thatcher.
Memo to Bill: move and change your name--fast!
July 04, 2003
In Congress, July 4, 1776
These are the brave men who, 227 years ago today, staked "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" on asserting America's independence:
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
July 03, 2003
America & The Napier Family
William McGurn, the Wall Street Journal's chief editorial writer, marks Independence Day with "a tale of Sept. 11, British expats and American virtue." The story he tells movingly illustrates how the bond between Great Britain and its former colony deepened in the aftermath of the September Attacks.
Be sure to read it.
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