Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fake indignation

Claudia Rosset succintly nails the pathology behind the overblown offense taken to comments by the Pope:

"It’s a good rule of thumb that there is no one more easily offended than your average despot and surrounding acolytes. Tyranny by nature requires grand fictions, and when anyone dares point out that the emperor has no clothes, or the emperor is living it up while dressing his minions in suicide belts, or the emperor is murdering his own subjects and honing technologies and methods to blackmail, subjugate or kill anyone else in reach, then the emperor and his cohorts take huge offense. If you happen to live under their sway, they chuck you in prison. If you are outside the immediate reach of their secret police and terror squads, they do what they can to maneuver the debate onto their terms. They — who apologize for nothing — demand apologies."

UPDATE 9/19/06 12:40pm:

Mike Rappaport expands on the theme:

"As a promoter and beneficiary of modernity, I feel bad for those stuck in the middle ages. Not only are they led to do evil things, but it all seems very confusing for them. After all, they must mix modern claims of victimhood with medievil charges of blasphemy. It is hard to keep your stories straight, as the above quote ['anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence'] suggests.

It kind of reminds me of a weird movie I saw some years back. About ten peasants from Europe during the black death dug through a hole and came out in 20th century Australia. It was all very confusing for them. But no one thought of allowing them to get nuclear weapons."

UPDATE 9/19/06 12:55pm:

More good stuff from John Hinderacker:

"The Pope can perhaps be excused for thinking that Islam can be associated with violence. He probably took it personally when an Islamic terrorist group plotted to assassinate his predecessor. If the Vatican ever starts assassinating imams, then they'll really have something to protest."

Along the same lines, Ed Morrissey notes that the truth of the passage is self-evident:

"People use words to criticize Islam; Muslims use stones, fire, and eventually bombs to protest back. When was the last time Christians threw firebombs at a mosque to protest Muslim imams characterizing Christianity as polytheistic? When have we seen Jews firebomb mosques for Muslim leaders calling them the descendants of pigs and monkeys, a common insult from both religious and secular Muslims in the Middle East? Muslims have proven Benedict prophetic, and don't think for a moment that this wave of violence has peaked."

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One way protection

John Hawkins takes on the fatuous argument that we need to go well beyond Geneva Convention protections because it will protect our own captured soldiers:

Exactly what protections are our troops being provided by the Geneva Convention? No enemy we've ever fought or are fighting has abided by it. So, in real world terms, the Geneva Convention provides no protection for our troops whatsoever. If we completely withdrew from the Geneva Convention tomorrow, it would have no impact at all on how our troops are treated.

Granted, the Geneva Convention could be of use in the unlikely event that we were to get into a war with Belgium, Italy, Spain or some other Western European nation. However, isn't the argument we're hearing from Europeans and American liberals that we should treat the terrorists we've captured by the rules of the Geneva Convention (as a matter of fact, better than the rules require) despite the fact that they haven't signed onto the treaty? Since that's the case, why wouldn't the same rules apply to any signatories of the treaty that we fought with? Even if, theoretically, we were doing something as evil as kicking their captured soldiers into industrial paper shredders for fun, shouldn't they give our soldiers every benefit the Geneva Convention requires?

What's that, you say? If we don't do it for their soldiers, why should we expect them to treat our troops with respect? Great! Now why doesn't that apply to our troops and Al-Qaeda? If Al-Qaeda is torturing and murdering our troops, why should we treat their captured prisoners as well as, say, American soldiers that are thrown into the brig? Why should we treat some terrorist from Saudi Arabia who wants to kill American citizens like he's a uniformed soldier who follows the rules of war or worse yet, like he has the same constitutional rights as an American citizen?

We shouldn't!

If the Geneva Convention were actually being properly applied, it wouldn't apply to terrorists. If people, including irresponsible Supreme Court Justices, want to pretend that it actually does apply to terrorists, then the Geneva Convention has outlived its usefulness and should be abandoned.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Tonya Harding Award

Can't win the punting job? Stab the starter in his punting leg!

A disguised University of Northern Colorado reserve punter on the football team stabbed the team's first string punter in the thigh of his punting leg, officials say.

Mitch Cozad, a sophomore punter, has been suspended from UNC and arrested for investigation of second degree assault in the stabbing of Rafael Mendoza, said Evans police Lt. Gary Kessler.

"I think that would strike anybody as a weird way to get ahead," Kessler said.

Cozad allegedly ran up behind Mendoza in the parking lot of the Crescent Cove Apartments in Evans at 9:30 p.m. on Monday and stabbed Mendoza in the right thigh, Kessler said.

Witnesses saw the suspect, wearing a black hooded sweat shirt, jump into a black Dodge Charger and speed away, he said.

Mendoza, who did not recognize his attacker, was taken to the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley where he was treated and released, Kessler said.

Shortly after the stabbing, a black Charger pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store in Evans.

The clerk watched as the driver wearing a black hooded jacket, get out of the car and pull tape off of his license plates, Kessler said.

"That's what struck the clerk as quite odd," he said.

The clerk called police and gave them the license plate number of the suspicious vehicle, which turned out to be Cozad's car, Kessler said.

The police still didn't have enough information to arrest Cozad, he said.

But when detectives spoke with Cozad's friends and teammates Tuesday morning, he asked them to provide an alibi.

"He said if police ask, they should tell them that he was with them," Kessler said.

Police arrested Cozad, but he asked for an attorney and they could not interview him about the stabbing, he said.

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Story of the month

This came to me in e-mail, so no link for the narrative as a whole although there are some embedded:

If you want to find the upper ranges of broadmindedness, look to Snyder, OK, where the mayor and a city councilman have resigned rather than give in to local holy rollers outraged that chief of police Tod Ozmun's wife has appeared nude on these here internets.

Ozmun also threw in the towel, saying of his wife Doris (a plus-sized model on web stroke sites who latterly served two years on a drug offense), "My wife is 6-foot-3 and weighs 300 pounds... If there is somebody that thinks they can control her, have at it. I have tried for 11 years and haven't been able to." Chief Ozmun, who looks to be a bit of a scale challenger himself, called the frenzy over the pictures (more than 70 residents besieged city hall calling for his resignation) "ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous."

"I think this is wrong and I won't put up with it," said Mayor Dale Moore, who defended Ozmun's performance as chief. "I don't want to work in a community like this."

But the most stinging rebuke came from resigning councilman Clifford Barnard:

"The citizens' concerns that we were not enforcing religious and moral beliefs was very heartfelt and I don't want to be associated with their moral or religious beliefs because I've never read anywhere in the Good Book that the Lord wanted us to persecute those that did not hold the same morals or values."

Chubby chasers alert: If the photo above leaves you wanting more, and you're not disturbed by a little adult content, you can check out Doris' site here.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dept of Hypocrisy

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that the new season of Survivor that begins tonight uses race (black, white, Latin, Asian) for the initial division into tribes. As you would expect, this has caused a lot of self-righteous hand wringing, and as you would further expect much of it has been hilarious.

My favorite was this AP passage [emphasis mine]:

"The idea of having a battle of the races is preposterous," [New York] City Councilman John Liu said Thursday. "How could anybody be so desperate for ratings?" . . .

Liu, who is Asian-American, said he was launching a campaign urging CBS to pull the show because it could encourage racial division and promote negative typecasts. He and a coalition of officials, including the council's black, Latino and Asian caucus, planned to rally at City Hall on Friday.

So, let me get this straight. Liu plans to protest the grouping of individuals based on race by attending a rally as a member of an organization that...groups individuals based on race. Genius!

Perhaps afterward they can protest their own existence.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Great moments in math

Iowa QB Drew Tate:

"We were 7-5 last year. If you take away two plays, we'd be 10-2."

One of those plays must have been a doozy...

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

True greatness

In case you don't realize the magnitude of what you're seeing this year, Elias notes that after last night's dominant performance Ervin Santana leads the major leagues in wins (17), strikeouts (219) and EA (2.84) and only trails Roy Halladay by 2/3 of an inning for the lead in innings pitched. The last pitcher to lead the majors in all four of those categories in a single season was Sandy Koufax in 1966 (27 wins, 323 innings, 317 strikeouts and a 1.73 ERA).

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The last word

WaPo offers the (hopefully) last word on the Plame silliness. Has there ever been so much ink wasted over so little? The close sums up the whole sordid affair:

"Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously."

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Party like it's 1864

Gateway Pundit notices that the Democrats are employing the same strategy they did in 1864. We can all hope it works out for them as well as it did then.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Sad Labor Day note

The Crocodile Hunter is killed by a stringray in a fluke accident. R.I.P.