The economy is purring along, the stock market hits new highs daily, and 95.6 per cent of Americans are employed. But if the Left attains power in the upcoming midterms, they will raise taxes, effectively ending the very favorable economic environment in which we find ourselves. This is just one example that helps makes clear that the midterm election is a choice between the common sense of the Republicans and the nonsense of the Democrats.
Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday extravaganza on Sunday came with a private Rolling Stones concert for the highest donors. And what an apt team Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger make! One is a flasher/harasser/rapist, and the other nails his best friend’s daughter on her 18th birthday (Mackenzie Phillips), admitting he’d been wanting to do so since she was 10. So far, though, only one has admitted his bisexuality. But these dainty little hands give us a clue as to the other’s:
All people, although created differently, deserve equal rights. To deny an individual with a disability these inalienable rights is to discriminate and to judge and, in my opinion, is not just. In “No Pity”, Joseph P. Shapiro argues that individuals with disabilities are entitled to civil rights. This would include the right to self-determination, or having the freedom to make decisions and set goals for oneself.
The province’s parliament has just approved Turkish as an official language, to join Albanian and Serbo-Croatian (the last one just a formality until the last of the Serbs are kicked out). Turkish had been declared official in Kosovo before, in 1974, but the UN ended that in 1999.
In an interview in the New York Times Magazine, Alec Baldwin says: “If I ever ran for anything, the thing I would like to be is governor of New York.” And by way of gubernatorial qualification, he adds: “I’m Tocqueville compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
I just spoke with a military intelligence source who confirmed that the Bajur airstrike (see Andy Cochran’s post on it) was conducted by a U.S. Predator, adding that helicopters were also involved. The strike occurred around dawn, as people in the camp were preparing for their morning prayers. My source is skeptical of speculation that Zawahiri may have been killed in the strike, saying that Zawahiri sightings are a dime a dozen. He says it’s possible that Matiur Rehman was killed, but is also skeptical of that.
Will — I have just the cover of “Like A Rolling Stone” for you. It’s by Drive-by Truckers and was included on the bonus disc of their most recent album, “A Blessing and a Curse.” It’s also available on a hard-to-find cover disc called “Highway 61 Revisited Revisited” put out by a British music mag whose name I don’t recall, sorry.
Some pundits say that Mitt Romney cannot win the Presidency in 2008 because he is Mormon. I believe that his victory in Massachusetts proves he can win anywhere. The only commonality between Mormons and Massachusetts is mutual disappointment that “Pistol” Pete Maravich was past his prime when playing for the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics. This makes me wonder why Romney ran for Governor of Massachusetts in the first place. I have four theories:
Even though Kim Jong Il is the true George Lucas lover among dictatorial world leaders, Hugo Chavez fancies global politics to be much like a ‘Star Wars’ film: George W. Bush is the dark emperor of the Evil Empire. Though they see themselves as valiant rebels against the empire, however, Hugo and his allies are more consumed by Darth Vader envy than Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi ever were.
Over at FirstThings.com, Richard John Neuhaus has an interesting gloss on Adam Garfinkle’s “Jewcentricity” piece (which I haven’t yet read [Oct.30 - well, now I’ve read it and it’s an interesting, well-presented point of view, but one in which G-d (and any spiritual reality) plays no role. While it is of mild curiosity to peer briefly through Garfinkle’s lens, it is hard for me to assimilate that kind of pov or to assign it any weight at all; it seems to me to render pointless the whole Jewish experience (both as Jews experience it and as other religions experience it). I recognize that this may place me in the minority of contemporary Jews, but it most assuredly places me among the majority of Jews who have lived the Jewish experience as well as among the majority of all adherents to any of the variations of the Abrahamic faiths. But back to Neuhaus]).
In an exclusive interview published Saturday night on JewishWorldReview.com, Cal Thomas grills the Secretary of State on her beliefs on the future of “peace” in Israel and the areas won in defensive wars. She comes off as utopian and rather naive. At one point Mr. Thomas asks her in regard to what motivates certain beliefs: “Do you think this or do you know this?” Rice responds: “Well, I think I know it.”
In an otherwise fairly forgettable World Series, the most lingering memory may be the arctic-like conditions endured by the players, and the media questioning whether the Series should be played at a warm-weather neutral site.
It seems axiomatic that when government is threatened, it creates more government. So it was that shortly after the September 11 attacks, Congress — under pressure to DO SOMETHING !!!— created the Transportation Security Administration. At the time, we were told that getting rid of the “miniumum wage” security guards then employed in most airports was essential to protecting the nation’s airways. And, without much real discussion or debate, the Congress and President saddled the taxpayer with another bloated and inefficient federal bureaucracy.
The November/December issue of Foreign Policy has a good article by Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Nahum Barnea on scoring the summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah. The article is a nice break from the sky-is-falling analysis provided by the various hawkish Israeli columnists who have the knives out for Olmert. Barnea’s conclusion: “The recent war revealed neither a vulnerable Jewish state nor a Lebanese militia carrying the hopes of the Arab world.”
You may have heard by now, but Andrew Sullivan got his lunch eaten by Hugh Hewitt on the radio today. Sullivan got caught in the usualy contradictions - i.e. how Sullivan could be opposed to judicial activism except when it comes to gay marriage, how he comes across as a tendentious fundamentalist in his attacks on fundamentalism, how he can be sure of anything if he says everything is in doubt, etc. - but the exchange that landed my jaw on the mat was this:
Earlier today on Hardball, Great White Hype Chris Mathews talked about how much he admired the ads being run by black candidate for the Maryland Senate, Michael Steele. The ads were great, blabbered Tower of Babel Mathews, because “they are very non-threatening. With a black man, you almost have to make him like a child.”
Senator Barack Obama’s assertion on ‘Meet the Press’ this past Sunday that he is seriously considering a presidential run in 2008 has only heightened what Time Magazine recently called “Obama mania.” Needless to say, the frenzy is especially intense among liberal Democrats, who greet the prospect of an Obama candidacy with the sort of orgasmic hysteria normally associated with teenage girls and scowling rock stars.
It’s pretty much the prime directive of the gospel: whenever you have done for the least of these, you have done it for me. I understand conerns about terrorists crossing our borders and detonating a bomb. We need more border enforcement, without question.
In a September 18 article for the Daily Standard, “Practice Makes Terror,” (blogged about here) I argued that the “rash of false alarms” following the August 10 revelation of a foiled transatlantic air terror plot may not have been entirely false. I argued that there may be casings and dry runs occurring — and that a number of incidents that were casings may not end up being remembered as such.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, a liberal has usefully repeated the cliche that President Bush’s big mistake “following 9/11 was his failure to ask Americans to sacrifice anything in fighting terrorism. Our troops and their families bear nearly the entire burden of this fight. Despite constantly reminding us of the looming threat of terrorism, Mr. Bush has failed to ask us to do anything to fight it, and we have complacently obliged.”
Novi Pazar, 23 Oct. (AKI) - Encouraged by Serbia’s breakaway southern province of Kosovo’s drive for independence, Muslims in the neighboring Sandzak region have taken steps towards regional autonomy. On the initiative of Sandzak mufti Muamer Zukorlic, five Sandzak Muslim political parties at the weekend signed a declaration demanding from Belgrade authorities to ’start a dialogue to solve the status of Bosniacs (Muslims) in Serbia and the status of Sandzak region.’
My most recent article for The Weekly Standard (co-authored with Bill Roggio of The Fourth Rail) details the alarming rise of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in Somalia. On June 5, the ICU won control of Mogadishu, and it has steadily made strategic gains throughout the country since then. The transitional federal government (TFG) is now hunkered down in the south-central Somali city of Baidoa. The situation in Baidoa has been precarious for some time, as the ICU has demonstrated its capacity to take the city. There are now signs that the ICU may be beginning its final push into Baidoa to crush the transitional government.
There’s nothing wrong with being dull. Seriously. Were it not for dull people, others might not shine as brightly. If every leftist had John Stewart’s wit, we wouldn’t have, well, John Stewart. For every Mel Gibson there are - thank God - a thousand David Broders. Watching cricket, we learn the valuable lesson that sometimes in life, nothing…ever…happens…
Abdul-Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President and now a hothead anti-Syrian exile, is telling Lebanese TV viewers that Bashar Assad’s regime is on the brink of collapse. That seems dubious. But the author of the linked Gulf News article attaches importance to the fact that Khaddam had just met with Saudi officials — i.e., that the House of Saud is furious at the House of Assad, presumably thanks to the latter’s treasonous (from an Arab point of view) sycophancy toward Tehran. Nice to see the Saudis on the same side as Israel on this issue, even if it didn’t help much in the Hezbollah war.