Monday, September 29, 2003
THE PLAME/WILSON AFFAIR
Now that the story of the blown cover of Valerie Plame, wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, has been getting major airplay in the mainstream media (examples here and here) a widespread blogospheric eruption on the topic has broken out, in contrast to its formerly limited coverage by a few bloggers such as CalPundit. InstaPundit offers the best roundup of big blog coverage of the issue.
This topic is of particular interest to me because Wilson came to my campus twice to give Iraq-related speeches earlier this year, of which I wrote general summaries here and here. Although much of what I heard from Wilson does bolster his credibility, I do not consider it to be as impeccable as Donald Sensing appears to. Several aspects of his first presentation were suggestive of strong partisan tendencies:
It's significant to note that the majority of this came out during the following day's much more informal question-and-answer session, where Wilson dropped the public speaking persona of the previous night and was much more open, giving what I would consider to be a much clearer glimpse of the "real Wilson". Moreover, on his second visit to campus (a few months later) the spirit of his speech was much closer to that of the Q-and-A session than to that of the first speech, losing much of the judicious and evenhanded tone that tended to characterize the earlier one.
My purpose here is not to paint Wilson as some sort of extremist ideologue bent on a vendetta -- he clearly is not. However, I am suggesting that skepticism is warranted regarding the complete purity of his motives. He had an obvious bias against the Bush Administration before this event, and while that animosity is clearly not the sole motive here, it inevitably colors his reaction and should be kept in mind as the story unfolds in the days ahead.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
Inspired by Madonna's new self-appointed task of inculcating good values into our nation's children through literature, such moral luminaries as the Marquis de Sade, Hannibal Lector, and Jack Kevorkian have penned their own children's books!
Friday, September 26, 2003
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg?
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."
--- Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan R. Jessup, A Few Good Men
SLAVERY IN THE 21st CENTURY
Winds of Change offers some links and thoughts on the barely-acknowledged evil of present-day slavery.
WHEN GMO VEGGIES GO BAD
The nightmarish spawn of an evil agro-corp trounces some hapless hippies!
CONSPIRACY THEORIES, 1941 & 2001
Front Page has an article exploring the similarities between anti-Bush conspiracy theories and those involving Franklin Roosevelt:
There's nothing new under the conspiratorial sun.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
SCANDINAVIANS BECOMING CAPITALIST ROADERS?
The American Enterprise has an interesting article on Scandinavia's Surprising Turn From Socialism.
NEW BLOGS FROM ADAM & JONAH
Some new forays into the Blogosphere: Genesis X by some really old guy named Adam, and InstaProphet by Jonah son of Amittai.
(The Curt Jester has been on quite a creative roll lately!)
VARENIUS UNSEATS DUKAKIS!
Returning from my vacation on a flight from Boston to Denver, whom should I run into but Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and 1988 presidential candidate, and his wife Kitty! And man oh man, is Kitty ever pissed! Why? Well, the stewardess did a little seat rearranging, and it turns out that Varenius and his friend are now occupying the Dukakis' former seats. While things are being straightened out, Kitty stands fuming, clearly thinking, "How dare they do this! Don't they know who we are??" Meanwhile, Michael stands by her side, patting her shoulder in a "There, there, honey, things will be all right" gesture.
Varenius, quite naturally, sits back snickering over this display of self-important elitism by supposed liberals.
Monday, September 08, 2003
Friday, September 05, 2003
THE LAST PROPHET
Ian Hunter takes a look at the increasingly forgotten anti-Communist hero Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
MICHAEL MOORE, CON ARTIST
Speaking of propaganda, here's a great site outlining the falsehoods and distortions in Michael Moore's film Bowling for Columbine.
MODERN EDUCATION & PROPAGANDA
Cella's Review has an extended essay on the question of whether modern education makes one more susceptible to propaganda. An excerpt:
O'SCANNLAIN ON THE "LIVING CONSTITUTION"
Judge Diarmiud F. O'Scannlain of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gives his thoughts on reinterpreting the Constitution via judicial fiat.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
WEIRDO ROOMMATE CONSPIRACY THEORY NO. 1
"Bush and Bin Laden Have a Joint Bank Account"
As I mentioned in my previous entry, I am currently blessed with a conspiracy theorist for a roommate. He's a nice guy--I certainly can't say otherwise--but he ascribes to some of the screwiest crackpot ideas I've ever encountered. Even though I have no illusions about the likelihood of my changing his mind, I have been doing some limited research here and there into his claims, if for no other reason than to confirm that my bullshit sensor is calibrated correctly. I will be occasionally posting my findings here for your amusement and information. Here's the first one:
Claim: President George Bush and Osama bin Laden have a joint bank account, created some time before 9/11.
Answer: The source of this was a little difficult to track down. I suspect the claim's been altered and simplified as it's been passed around. The closest match I was able to find was in an article originally appearing in The Economist and now archived on various websites such as this one. The article is is a review of a book on the Carlyle Group, a sometimes-questionable international investment firm. While the reviewer seems to take a somewhat skeptical view of conspiratorial claims about the Group, he explores the factors that could lead to such claims. The following paragraph is what tipped me off to the likely connection to WRCT #1:
Not exactly what WRCT #1 claims, but it does include some basic building blocks that could lead to it: a Bush and a bin Laden connected in a financial structure. Pass that around through some credulous and intellectually careless hands and you can easily get WRCT #1.
Spirited Back to Saudi?
I was a little dismayed to find this article portraying as fact the following bogus claim that has been helping to fuel some of these conspiracy theories:
This is a false rumor, originally put out by none other than His Enormity Michael Moore! You can get the true story behind it here.
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
DISMANTLING THE DA VINCI CODE
Sandra Miesel, a comments box regular over at Mark Shea's blog, has put together a thorough refutation of the claims in the esoteric conspiracy novel The Da Vinci Code. (It's the typical "true feminine-worshipping Gnostic teachings of Jesus suppressed by evil Vatican but kept alive by Templars/Masons/etc." type of thing.) The notions she discusses are all too familiar to me since my current roommate is just wild about all this sort of nonsense, be it religious or political... It certainly keeps things interesting around my apartment!
THE U.N. THREAT TO POST-WAR IRAQ, PART 4
Continuing a theme here at Anti-Socialist Tendencies from last Spring, the peerless Mark Steyn explains why, in light of the Canal Hotel bombing, the U.N. should not take on a bigger role in Iraq: Leave It to America. Here's an absolutely priceless quote:
Not so different from today's Left!