Despite consistent Kremlin claims that Moscow isn’t trying to resurrect the Cold War, a landslide of Soviet-style actions over the last few weeks is doing a pretty darn good job of indicating the exact opposite.
Turns out that the Washington Post Writers Group, which syndicates Berkeley Breathed’s cartoon strip “Opus,” gave client newspapers advance notice of the “close to the edge” content in which Lola Granola decided to become an Islamic radical. This after the syndicate consulted with Islamic experts to rate the level of potential offensiveness. Then, one of the papers that decided not to run the strip — which, as seen on Salon.com, was quite funny — was the Post itself. More…
In this interesting analysis, Legal Times senior editor Douglas McCollam explains that Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick got caught in the legal version of an illegal shift – an act that is technically illegal, but rarely enforced, unexpectedly becomes the focus of a media feeding frenzy that inflames public opinion and compels aggressive prosecutorial action for a hitherto low-priority infraction hammer and tong.
Say what you want about the track record of Zbigniew Brzezinski; he is at least a serious man. Which is why it is odd to read this morning that he considers Barack Obama to have a better grasp of foreign affairs than Hillary Clinton. If you read the article, you will see that Obama’s appeal to him is more about an opportunity to press the reset button than it is about any set of policies (as Obama doesn’t have too many)–and that’s the giveaway. Sounds to me like Brzezinski isn’t offering a serious assessment. He’s just campaigning for a job. (I’m guessing he’s already tried to get on with Clinton and failed.)
Thunderstorms here in Northern Virginia tonight. I came home from the movies (”The Invasion”–it’s better than the reviews, but not much) to find a tree split by lightning. Half of the thing was across the driveway and had bounced off my wife’s car. My son (bless ‘im!) and I cleared the tree out here at 2:30 in the morning to keep the common drive clear (and to avoid neighbors complaining about access in the a.m., thus requiring me to get up earlier than I care to), then I sat down to file a claim. Over the Internet. With Geico. At 2:40 a.m. Now that, my friends, is convenience.
My mother’s study was a mystical place. Every bit of wall that didn’t have a window held shelves of books. Volumes of literature, collections of poetry, mythology, geography, fiction and non-fiction, French, German, English and Hebrew. In one corner, a shelf held the books she used when she taught a course called “Man and His Demons.”
Hilary Clinton inadvertantly revealed the reasoning - explicit in her case, but unconscious among her colleagues - behind the curious willingness of Democrats to support the President’s war powers in recent weeks. Mrs. Clinton told supporters in New Hampshire that, while terror is terrible in itself, it could be even worse: “… if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again, no matter how badly they have mishandled it, no matter how much more dangerous they have made the world.”
My friend and and former colleague S.T. Karnick has a good piece in NRO this week, in which he discusses the benefits either party would gain by nominating a governor—and the less-than-stellar track record, at least in the last couple decades, of senators in presidential elections.
In a valiant effort to keep up with new scary movies, I went to see “The Invasion,” a remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. The plot consists of the space shuttle breaking into a bizzillion pieces upon re-entry, scattering alien amoeba infected pieces everywhere including Washington, D.C., where Kidman’s ex-husband at the CDC starts acting even more funky than an ex usually acts. Hence starts the infections and chaos. Now, this could have just been a plain ol’ scary movie. But the film tries to make a bunch of psuedo-philosophical points by interspersing news briefs detailing the everyday chaos of war, terrorists, Kim Jong-Il, etc. Because, apparently, we need to seriously ask ourselves if the world would be more peaceful if we let body snatchers vomit green goo in our mouths and turn us into robotic zombies after an oozy overnight metamorphosis.
Who’s hot? Who’s not? Vladimir Putin doing his best Field & Stream cover sans shirt, setting the hearts of Russian women and gay men aflutter? Or Nicolas Sarkozy, who’s one gold medallion away from trading the khaki shorts for a Riviera thong and, er, had the muffintop love handles photoshopped from his rowboat-studmuffin pics? And why wasn’t this practice of stripping down to show presidential might happening when Boris Yeltsin was president??
“Harry Potter books are really, really cool. I really like them; they’re just so neat.” So, says, Susan Bowyer (age 44) as she sits next to me reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s a long train ride, but she doesn’t mind, because she’s searching for buried treasure. As we glide along the trails towards Pittsburgh, she periodically looks up from her book to make an observation.
Time magazine writer John Cloud introduces us to Annalisee Brasil, a 14-year old who lives in Longview, TX, and “has the looks of a South American model,” is a “gifted singer” and has an IQ “comfortably above 145, placing the girl in the top 0.1% of the population.” No public school was willing to do what it took to educate her - even though the solution would have cost nothing:
Investors don’t lend directly to homebuyers. They don’t walk down the street and issue mortgages to their neighbors. Between the borrower and the lender there stands a complex system of financial intermediaries. And right now there is a blockage somewhere in that system. The money is getting trapped, and the solution is to find that blockage and clear it.
It’s not sub-prime; that asset class just isn’t nearly large enough. It’s not the business cycle; profits are up substantially over the last quarter. It’s not the consumer economy; our personal income statements and balance sheets are up to the challenge of paying our bills. It’s not a cash drought; people are buying safe securities like Treasuries, which means they’re buying, which means they have money.
Elvira Arellano is back in Mexico, where she belongs. Her 8-year old son, Saul, a U.S. citizen by birth, will attend school in September, living under the care of Rev. Walter Coleman, who had given him and his mother “sanctuary” for the past year in the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago.
The people who now run the British Broadcasting System deserve some sort of deep sea diving award. They never manage to touch bottom. There’s always some new low toward which they plunge, some new shade of yellow they display to the world, some new move to disgrace their heritage of writers like George Orwell and T.S. Eliot who established the BBC’s reputation for honesty and scruple.
In October of 2005, I received formal notice that I was being sued for defamation by the Islamic Society of Boston. The ISB, with headquarters in Cambridge, was planning to build the largest Islamic center in the Northeast, on land that it had purchased from the Boston Redevelopment Authority for a substantial discount — despite numerous reports in the press about the links between ISB officials and militant Islamic groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as their preaching of anti-Semitism. I was part of a group – Citizens for Peace and Tolerance – that had attempted to get the city to reexamine its partnership with the ISB; my “defamation” consisted of making statements about the ISB for which there was a wealth of documentary evidence.
Today’s front page headline in the Los Angeles Times screamed out, “Vick To Plead Guilty” followed by the requisite op eds calling for his head. One Atlanta politico even suggested an “eye for an eye”. So what would that entail, kind sir? Greasing Vick up, placing him in a pen and letting him go three rounds with a pit bull?
If nobody read these columns, I’d look pretty dumb prating on about the hard work of writing them or about how pure my heart is as I type. That wouldn’t matter. Results matter, and writing stuff nobody reads is an exercise in self-delusion.That idea is a big pill of reality to swallow, however, so I wasn’t too surprised that the “Save Darfur” crowd spat it back up when I laughed at their stickers as ineffectual. “How dare you!” they said.
I’ve been trying to figure out who former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is trying to imitate in his presidential quest. It finally hit me. Bobby Kennedy. But just as former Colorado Senator Gary Hart couldn’t be JFK in 1984, it ain’t going to work.
Like most voters, The Stiletto has gotten debate-weary by now. The same warmed-over, scripted answers brought to the lectern over and over again, like a leftover tuna casserole that makes the roundtrip from the fridge to the microwave to the table over and over again.
Michael Vick will probably never play professional football again after his dogfighting scandal, and hopefully the outrage from this case of cruelty to animals will extend to other cases. I talk about why we should all be concerned about animal abuse in my Los Angeles Daily News column today:
Another Democrat back from Iraq (Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.), another Democrat forced to admit the “surge” is working. So what’s the obvious fallback position for the cut-and-run party come September’s progress report from Gen. Petraeus?