Those pesky frogs

I've been haranguing elsewhere about the whole Ivory Coast snafu, and am mainly posting this here at the moment to remind myself to look into it & comment more, later.

(Trying to wrap up a major piece of work here and get some other paperwork in the mail before the end of the day.)


Just wondering

Did anyone ever rant & rave, or whine and complain, that Clinton put too many people in his cabinet who agreed with him? On general principles or particular tactics? That he didn't include enough dissenting voices? Or anything remotely analogous?

I'm just getting around to watching my tape of Fox News Sunday from this morning, and it reminds me of my bewilderment over this whole topic of conversation. The assumption seems to be that if people aren't having knock-down drag-outs, they're either in perfect mindmeld uniformity of opinion, or one is totally subservient to the other's merest whims and dictats.

It's bizarre.

Strong but true

I'm supposed to be working, but since I got word on Thursday that I wasn't getting any adjustment to my position here -- which means not only that the people I knew were ticked off that I escaped their previous plot (a restructuring bait-and-switch that would have made my life a living hell, and not for any piddly 40-hour-work-week, either) but that the internal subdivision in which I'd found temporary respite doesn't mind sticking it to me, also.

Good thing I'm already looking for my next job.

Anyway, after Thursday's Gud Nooze, I found out on Friday (a day I'd previously hoped to take off, so I could, er, take off), that a significant deadline that had been shifted out to the second week of December had at some point been reshifted back to the Monday after Thanksgiving. No, no one thought to mention that to me. Meaning, if I'm to have any hope of getting out of this godforsaken town over the horriday, at all, then I'm working this Sunday. Today. Terrific.

I should write a book on this organization's suicide. "How to Gut Morale and Inspire Loathing".

I'm not exactly motivated to work, obviously, but all the less so since that whole sideshow (I care so little it's not exactly front and center in my life) is running alongside my personal life going to utter ruin over the last month -- long time coming, but not the kind of thing for which a person can really be braced. It profoundly sucks regardless.

Anyway, to put all that in perspective, here's a little commentary from the Iraq front of the warn terra:

"Here's an alternative headline the [NY] Times' staff might have considered: 'Showing Their Resolve, Rebels Terrorize Families, Target Children, Disembowel Women, Behead the Elderly.'"

Don't bother with the NYT article, but do follow the Times of London reality check link.



Okay, I'm trying (in my 'spare' time) to provide more content than links, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for a merciless fisking. Douglas Kern provides an elegant example, including but not limited to:

Gosh -- clarifying complicated ideas and then expecting your audience to handle sensitive news in light of those ideas. What will those crazy pajama-clad bloggers think of next?
Look, MSM: no one cares about what you think is "bad for democracy." Democracy got along just fine before you and will continue to flourish once you are gone. Don't worry about protecting democracy from us horse-brained masses. Tell the truth, give us balanced commentary for perspective, and you'll have done quite enough for democracy.
But if I don't deserve a medal, I deserve at least enough respect to be permitted to draw my own conclusions about some stupid polls. And if I'm not afforded that respect -- well, Mr. Engberg, you may find that when you hold the intelligence and judgment of the American people in contempt, the American people will return the favor.

As the saying goes, RTWT.


Maybe dreams really do come true

I heard on C-SPAN radio this morning that Howard Dean is gunning for Terry MacAuliffe's job. Can it be true? Man oh man oh man. Now let me say that, personally, I am not all that hot for the current Republican domestic agenda, so in reality I'd like to have a relatively sane opposition party (a) articulating some feasible alternatives and, regardless of that, (b) reining them in.

If that's not, however, the way the Dems are going to go, and there's ample evidence that they're seriously confused these days, a la Elizabeth Edwards' characterization of our recently re-elected President and his administration as a "reign of witches" whose "spells" can't last forever, etc., then oh please put Dean in charge of the national party!

Yeah, he'll bring that "youth vote" out to the polls, you betcha.

Or maybe I should be saying, please don' th'ow us in dat briar patch, massa.

Via Instapundit (TM:Heh), some even better ideas


Wot 'e said

"As for Bush, I’m glad he survived, if only because every anti-American on the planet was looking forward to dancing on his political grave like those nutso Palestinian women in the streets of Ramallah on 9/11. But I’m annoyed that it was this close."

ObReadTheWholeThing: The inimitable Mark Steyn.

On the record

I was wrong. I had too much faith in the integrity and judgment of others. It's a character flaw -- hasn't done me much good personally, and led me last week to expect too much also of large chunks of the American voting population. I thought there were more 9/12 voters out there; I thought we'd win walking away, instead of just winning handily overall and improving margins (increasing absolute margins where Bush won and decreasing relative margins where he didn't) in every state.

On the other hand, I think one thing I grossly overestimated was the decline of the old-timey, agenda-driven, hugely dishonest and manipulative mainstream media. To me, Rathergate was the dying gasp of a morally-corrupt, intellectually-vacant empire, collapsing from the weight of its own self-importance -- an opinion that was all superstructure, no content. They are not, shall we say, a reality-based club.

But I've been paying close attention. The fact is, for considerable swaths of the non-information-junky population, that egregious incident was practically a first shot across the bow, the first 'mistake' that they'd consciously noticed in the whole atrocity that this campaign season, this entire Iraq campaign, and more-or-less the whole Bush administration has risen above. It was a decidedly marginal thing to most people.

So I would say that the MSM got their 15% this year.

I hope they enjoyed it, because it's the last time that will happen. The Gutenberg press has been invented, the Bible has been translated into the vernacular, and more and more people will come to the realizations hundreds and thousands of us already have: those people don't know more than I do, they're not smarter than I am, and (if they're thinking at all) they're making judgments and insinuations that don't stand up to the light of day.

They'll keep banging the defeatist drum about Iraq, but we're winning, and now we have four years to brick in some meaningful foundations over there. Thank God. I hope we can also turn some personal attention back to Afghanistan, because they need more help than the crippled creature NATO has become seems capable of providing, too. No bribing/bartering with the madman running North Korea -- the continuation of six-way talks to keep him frustrated in his regional corner is an excellent side-effect of this affirmation of Bush's leadership. It would be wonderful if some of the Old Yurripeons would get on the stick, at least rhetorically, wrt Iran, instead of whining and undermining par for the pre-election course. I wouldn't say I'm hopeful, exactly, of seeing that change, but it would be a hopeful turn of events -- not for Bush particularly, nor even for America, but hopeful for the hard times ahead throughout the world in the ongoing struggle to break the hideous current "international community" that demonizes that very struggle while continuing to legitimate terrorism as an acceptable political strategy.

On to victory, insha'allah.


Another map

I just find these to be fun.


Staying very conservative, I get/predict Bush at 342.

Catching up

Lots of key stuff around to read and contemplate this morning...

Let's start off with a red-blooded rant to get the juices flowing:

Lacking anything resembling human shame, you were tossed out of the NYT and spent the next year whining about how it wasn't your fault. And to this day, you refuse to even look down at your blood-soaked claws.

Speaking of the Times et al., this is interesting:

With few exceptions (New York Post up 5.2%), our twenty most popular dailies are basically flatlining or losing readers (LAT down 5.6%, SF Chron down 8.5%!).

Note that the Post's increase is the largest listed, with the next two highest upticks at 3.8 (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and 2.8% (USA Today) -- every other increase (7 of the remaining 17) is in the 0.x percents. Every downward percentage (10) is more than 1.1 (average fall in circulation among the losers: 3.5%).

As I said to my newspaper-editor relative just this past weekend, it will be interesting when advertising revenues start reflecting the new realities. Shades of the RIAA's lumbering toward either extinction or radical metamorphosis? No more "nooze" "stars" with multi-million dollar contracts? Stay tuned ... to the 'net.

Speaking of the Post (which I admit I find myself reading *far* more often than the Times), I know it gets tiresome but this is absolutely a must-read:

"A clear path runs to 9/11 from the day of the raid on the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the seizure of American hostages.
[...] "What especially surprised Khomeini was that Cater[sic] and his aides, notably Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, rather than condemning the seizure and the treatment of the hostages as a barbarous act, appeared apologetic for unspecified mistakes supposedly committed by the United States and asked for forgiveness and magnanimity."

It goes on. Sticking with the serious, this is both sobering and blood-pressure-raising:

I think that those who advocate war for legitimate self-defense have a defensible position. I think that those who are dedicated pacifists are at least morally and logically consistent, even if I disagree with them strongly.

But I cannot recognize the position of Andrew Sullivan, and John Kerry, as legitimate or honorable. Their shared position is unserious, highly partisan, and morally obscene. Those who would urge the nation into a war, or vote the nation into war, without contemplating the possible difficulties and pain of the struggle are cowards-- and worse than cowards. A man who would send another man to his death for a cause he does not think is important is a villain. What else can one call it?

And finally (because I suppose I really do have to do some work here today), a note on the election processes (gee, is it election day? How did it sneak up on us like this??), which clearly demonstrates One. More. Time. how important it is that the shallow entitlement whiners* not only lose, but lose rilly rilly big:

Instead of offering a defense of our Constitution and our process, Kerry instead promised to roll over for European demands to change it all.

Insha'allah, they will lose, today, bigtime.

*/and don't get me started on the whole damn "international observers" grotesquerie, at all.