Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Monday, September 29, 2003

Oh the Arrogance
by Lee

And the French accuse us of being arrogant?  This is beyond the pale.

A group of French chefs and intellectuals have sent a petition to the Pope, asking him to reclassify the deadly sin of gluttony. 

They argue that the French word for the sin - gourmandise - has changed its meaning over the years and is now used to denote a gourmet, someone who truly appreciates good food and wine, rather than a glutton. 

The French are extremely protective of their language, even going so far as to officially sanction new French words to replace the English word in common usage.  In this case, however, we see an entirely new level of arrogance.  The French word for gluttony has taken on a new, less pejorative meaning.  Rather than alter the French word, they are petitioning the pope to “simply” negate a mortal sin, a decision which not only affects French Catholics but Catholics the world over.  But what difference is changing global church doctrine, when protecting the common use of a French word is at stake?

Posted by Lee on 09/29/03 at 12:47 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Fun With Bottles
by Lee

When I was five I was learning to draw, not make drug paraphernalia.

A five-year-old Territory girl shocked teachers when she showed her class how to make a bong out of a Coke bottle during a “show and tell” session.

The incident took place at a primary school in Darwin’s northern suburbs.

The revelation comes amid mounting concerns over drug use among Territory primary school students.

When I was in the 10th grade we were doing clay work in art class, and a kid made a bong.  The brilliant thing was he told the teacher it was a bird feeder, and she believed him, even though he carved a huge pot leaf in the side of it. 

Posted by Lee on 09/29/03 at 12:32 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Katie’s Turn
by Lee

Regular poster Katie bought a shirt from the Right-Thinking Crap Store and sent me a pic.

Posted by Lee on 09/29/03 at 12:06 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Responding To A Moore Fan
by Lee

I’ve written a rather lengthy reply to an email I received over at MOOREWATCH.  You should check it out.

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 11:51 PM in Michael Mooron  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Arnie vs. Dennis
by Lee

Some California Republican strategists are trying to draft Dennis Miller to run for the US Senate.

The comedian Dennis Miller is being talked about, apparently seriously, as a Republican candidate for a statewide post. Three Republican strategists interviewed in the past week have said they want to draft Miller into politics. One, a prominent Republican operative and Schwarzenegger aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that once the recall election is over, he plans to recruit Miller to challenge Barbara Boxer for her U.S. Senate seat next year.

“There’s a lot of us who’d like to see him campaign,” Rob Stutzman, a Republican consultant and Schwarzenegger spokesman, said this week, noting Miller’s appeal to younger voters. “Dennis Miller is at the cutting edge of biting political commentary.”

You won’t find a bigger Dennis Miller fan than me.  When I lived in Los Angeles I had a friend who worked for HBO, and he played on the same softball team as the gal who was in charge of the tickets for Miller’s show.  Consequently, any time I wanted to go to a taping it was a matter of a simple phone call, and I went to quite a few of them.  I even got to briefly meet him a couple of times after the taping, and he was always a gracious and funny guy.  However, with that in mind, I think this is a pretty dumb idea, and it shows just how desperate the GOP is in this state.

Schwarzenegger has been contemplating a run for governor for years; he’s made no bones about that fact.  He’s also been a Republican, proudly so, for as long as I can remember.  (Say what you want about Arnie’s conservative bona fides, but he has been a Republican for decades.) Miller, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the GOP, and has about as much political credibility as Arianna Huffington.  The fact that the CA GOP would actively try to draft someone who has been a Republican for all of six months shows that they have completely thrown in the towel when it comes to fielding real candidates. 

I think Dennis Miller would probably make a great senator, but that should be a decision he should make after a lot of contemplation, not because some dickhead at the state GOP thinks that his popularity can win an election.

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 10:18 PM in Cullyforneah  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Silencing Janeane
by Lee

In yet another sign of the silencing of dissent, former brilliant comedienne and current bitter, angry, left-wing asshat Janeane Garofalo will be guest-hosting Crossfire on CNN all next week.  Perhaps she’ll spend her time complaining about how she’s being kept off the air because of her political views.

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 09:24 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

T-Shirts for Kerry
by Lee

A couple of days ago John Hawkins had a post up at Right Wing News concerning some racist and offensive t-shirts that were sold at a convention of college Republicans.  A representative of the event remarked that they “didn’t monitor every single product of every single vendor.” John replied:

Excuse me, but if they’re selling their products at your convention you SHOULD BE monitoring every product, every single vendor is selling because it reflects on your organization. How much trouble is it to send a couple of guys around to check what the vendors are selling, especially given that this sort of thing has been an issue before? Having a shirt like this at a College Republican National Committee reflects badly on EVERYONE in the GOP even if it’s condemned after the fact.

John is dead-on in his commentary.  And, proving him right, John Kerry is using it as a fundraising issue, according to gay magazine The Advocate.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is appealing for donations in an E-mail accusing college Republicans of allowing the sale of racist and antigay T-shirts at a convention this summer. “I need you to join me in showing we reject the divisive politics some in the GOP are passing on to a new generation of Republicans,” Kerry wrote in the E-mail Thursday, also posted on his campaign Web site.

Now, this is nothing that is going to directly hurt the GOP in the election.  He’s sending it out to his core constituency, which would never vote GOP anyway.  But why, in the name of God, would the College Republicans make it easy for him?  With the tiniest bit of effort at self-policing these t-shirts would never (and should never) have been sold. 

John Kerry to College Republicans:  Thanks!

(Link via Chronwatch.)

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 09:01 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Whining About Arnie
by Lee

Check out this guy.  He’s a leftie blogger, and he’s scared shitless that Arnie is going to end up governor.  He’s horrified that a couple of conservative talk show hosts would dare to promote the pro-recall position, which he sees as yet another example of the evil corporate conservative media.  It’s quite funny, scroll down to read all his thoughts.

Update: And check out this scumbag.  He links to the type of story that is all too common in the reporting on Iraq, and comments that our soldiers are “Just corporate criminals, playing with tanks.”

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 06:46 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Four Stars
by Lee

Vincent Fiore sums up Wesley Clark in The Intellectual Conservative.

Wesley Clark was a good General, but only marginally so. He served his country adequately in times of war and peace, and is generally looked upon favorably by many in both political parties. On the battlefield, Clark could claim honor and got it. On the political battlefield, he shamelessly sullies himself by accusing a war time administration over its handling of Iraq, knowing full well that as a military man, he has seen and participated in far worse. This from the General who waged war from 15,000 feet over Bosnia, and counseled the Clinton White House against action in Rwanda, where mass genocide ensued.

As stated earlier, Clark has a steep learning curve in regard to domestic policy. At present, he is two steps below Arnold Schwarzenegger. If ranting about the loss of three million jobs, UN participation, and spending eighty-seven billion dollars on the war is “New,” than somebody had better inform the other nine Democrats, and the media, that the hate-laced rhetoric we’ve been hearing from them these past months has fallen on deaf ears. There’s a new Democrat in the race now. And the only difference from his contemporaries in the Democratic party is the four stars upon his shoulders, and nothing else.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 02:23 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

It’s All Arnie
by Lee

Arnie is looking strong in the latest polling.

Voters in the California recall election might be poised to kick Gov. Gray Davis out and vote Republican Arnold Schwarznegger in, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Sunday.

When asked how they they would vote on recalling Davis, 63 percent of probable voters said they would vote yes, compared with 35 percent who would vote no.

In a separate vote to choose a replacement for Davis, Schwarzenegger was the choice of 40 percent of respondents.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante was the choice for 25 percent of voters polled, Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock received 18 percent.

A few days ago I asked for help in deciding who to vote for.  I’ve decided to do the pragmatic thing and vote for Arnie.  McClintock is more my ideological counterpart, and I think he is more qualified than Arnie to be governor.  The simple fact, though, is that he can’t win.  I want Davis out, and I really don’t want to see BustaMEChA take his place.  So, a vote for Arnie it is.

If McClintock ever runs for statewide office—and I would love to see him run against Barbara Boxer—he’s got my vote, hands-down.

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 01:08 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Traitor in the White House?
by Lee

I don’t like this one bit.

At CIA Director George J. Tenet’s request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that an administration official leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, administration officials said yesterday.

The operative’s identity was published in July after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly challenged President Bush’s claim that Iraq had tried to buy “yellowcake” uranium ore from Africa, which can be used in nuclear weapons. Bush later backed away from the claim.

The intentional disclosure of a covert operative’s identity can violate federal law.

A senior administration official said two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. That was shortly after Wilson revealed in July that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson’s account eventually touched off a controversy over Bush’s use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

“Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,” the senior official said of the alleged leak.

If this turns out to be true it could bring down the Bush presidency.  There can be no equivocation here: if these people knowingly burned a CIA officer’s cover they need to be arrested immediately and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Anything less than full disclosure and cooperation on the part of the Bush administration is completely unacceptable.

Posted by Lee on 09/28/03 at 01:25 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Clark or Dean?
by Lee

I don’t know whether this is good news or bad news.

New Hampshire Democrat Larry Taylor was leaning toward supporting former Vermont governor Howard Dean for president until he turned out on a damp Friday night at New England College in Henniker, N.H., to see retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark. By the time Clark had finished his town hall meeting, Taylor was ready to change his allegiance.

“I think Clark can win,” Taylor said. “I don’t think Dean can win. I think Dean’s going to be pegged as too liberal. He doesn’t have the kind of military background and some of the strength that Clark seems to have.”

Whatever else Clark’s late entry into the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination has done, it has forced the issue of electability back to the top of the agenda for many Democratic and independent voters.

Short of “Dept. of Peace” Kucinich, “Racist Loudmouth” Sharpton, or “Disgraced Lunatic” Moseley-Braun, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have as a candidate than Dean.  Clark is a self-aggrandizing opportunist, but he’s a formidable candidate.  His foibles have been documented here and numerous other places, but are they enough to resonate with swing voters to get them away from Clark?  I don’t know.  Clark is slick, well-groomed, intelligent, with a generally impeccable military record.  Bush is (let’s be honest here) nowhere near as eloquent, and nowhere near as smooth an operator.  So while I think that a good case can be made against a Clark presidency, I don’t know if that case will be good enough to get swing voters over into the Bush camp.

Interesting days are ahead, my friends.

Posted by Lee on 09/27/03 at 11:52 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Meet the Poor
by Lee

According to the Census Bureau, the number of people living in poverty has increased over the past year.

Some 1.7 million people in the United States slid into poverty in 2002 and incomes slipped for the second year in a row with blacks particularly hard hit, the U.S. government said on Friday in a report sure to provide ammunition for Democrats in the upcoming presidential race.

The Census Bureau’s annual report showed the number of people living below the poverty line rose to 34.6 million last year, from 32.9 million in 2001, when the national economy first went into recession.

Overall, the percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty grew for a second year, rising to 12.1 percent from 11.7 percent in 2001. The poverty line was defined in 2002 as $18,244 for a family of four with two children.

As you can imagine the Democrats are making a big deal out of this news.  Joe Lieberman said, “That’s a national scandal, and as president I’ll reverse this dramatic slide down the ladder of opportunity.” However, all may not be as it seems. Investor’s Business Daily has an excellent article on other data that directly contradict the official report, which—surprise, surprise—the rest of the media have conveniently ignored.

Posted by Lee on 09/27/03 at 11:06 PM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Using the PATRIOT
by Lee

The New York Times has an interesting article today on non-terrorism investigations conducted under the aegis of the PATRIOT Act.

The Bush administration, which calls the USA Patriot Act perhaps its most essential tool in fighting terrorists, has begun using the law with increasing frequency in many criminal investigations that have little or no connection to terrorism.

The government is using its expanded authority under the far-reaching law to investigate suspected drug traffickers, white-collar criminals, blackmailers, child pornographers, money launderers, spies and even corrupt foreign leaders, federal officials said. . . .

For instance, the ability to secure nationwide warrants to obtain e-mail and electronic evidence “has proved invaluable in several sensitive nonterrorism investigations,” including the tracking of an unidentified fugitive and an investigation into a computer hacker who stole a company’s trade secrets, the report said.

Justice Department officials said the cases cited in the report represent only a small sampling of the many hundreds of nonterrorism cases pursued under the law.

The authorities have also used toughened penalties under the law to press charges against a lovesick 20-year-old woman from Orange County, Calif., who planted threatening notes aboard a Hawaii-bound cruise ship she was traveling on with her family in May. The woman, who said she made the threats to try to return home to her boyfriend, was sentenced this week to two years in federal prison because of a provision in the Patriot Act on the threat of terrorism against mass transportation systems.

And officials said they had used their expanded authority to track private Internet communications in order to investigate a major drug distributor, a four-time killer, an identity thief and a fugitive who fled on the eve of trial by using a fake passport.

I’m of two minds about this.  The PATRIOT Act was passed specifically to deal with the threat of terrorism, and I don’t like the idea of it being used for other purposes.  On the other hand, it’s hard for me to get worked up over the fact that it’s being used to prosecute drug kingpins, kiddie porn rings, and the like.  I think that time has shown that most of the hysterics over the act were overblown, and I don’t fault the Justice Department for using every tool in its arsenal to do its job.  Many of the provisions of the act expire in 2005, and I would support a thorough review of those provisions before any of them are extended.

Posted by Lee on 09/27/03 at 10:49 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Misty Watercolor Nazis
by Lee

Latvia is opening a cemetary for SS Officers.  No, I’m not kidding.

The ceremony to open the common cemetery of Latvian legionaries - Nazi SS veterans - is taking place in Latvia today. The solemn ceremony started at midday, local time, it was broadcast on the national television and radio. Former legionaries, their relatives and followers are to take part in the ceremony together with a lot of Latvian politicians and leaders of Latvia’s largest religious confessions.

So, why do Latvians feel the need to honor those who served Hitler in the SS?

It is impossible to justify the things which take place in Latvia today. In Latvia, SS veterans are referred to as the military men, who defended their fatherland from the Soviet invasion. That is why one has to honor and respect them. Such a reference is meant for people, whose minds have been fogged with chauvinism, or for silly people, who study history on Latvian text books.

Repelling the Soviets, fine.  But to look at just this one aspect of the SS, and to ignore the rest of its legacy, is utterly sickening.  Better to put up an SS museum, showing the totality of what the SS did, than to whitewash over their sordid past.

Posted by Lee on 09/27/03 at 11:27 AM in Europe and the UK  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink
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