A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

While checking out Hugh Hewitt. . .

. . .I discovered a blogger group called the Cardinal Coalition, based in my home state of Kentucky. It's a great looking blog with some smart folks involved, and I'm all about home cooking, so I thought I'd link up to them, and add them to the non-Ldotter blogroll, assuming that none of the participants are Ldotters.

(If that's not the case, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to make the change.)

Great work and cheers, fellow Kentuckians!

The man in charge. . .

. . .takes charge when he sees the need. I find it revealing that the President would choose to come to the aid of one of the members of his security detail at the opening dinner for a summit of world leaders. Just think -- if things had gone differently on November 2, we could be reading a quote like, "F---, Marvin! Would you go and see what the hold-up is over there?"

UPDATE: OK, so it's not technically accurate, since Kerry wouldn't have taken office by now. But, hey, I think it's still a decent zinger.

Somebody finally got it right. . .

. . .with regard to Condoleezza Rice. Read this article, and then come to your own conclusions as to whether or not the liberal editorial cartoonists and morning radio show hosts are either uninformed or racist. Because, clearly, they have to be one or the other. . .and more probably both.

Just a couple of sample paragraphs:

"With the bombings came marauding groups of armed white vigilantes called 'nightriders' who drove through black neighbourhoods shooting and starting fires. John Rice and his neighbours guarded the streets at night with shotguns.

The memory of her father out on patrol lies behind Rice’s opposition to gun control today. Had those guns been registered, she argues, Bull Connor would have had a legal right to take them away, thereby removing one of the black community’s only means of defence. 'I have a sort of pure second amendment view of the right to bear arms,' she said in 2001."

Think I'll pass. . .

. . .this one along. If you don't laugh at this, you should find a way to make a career out of not laughing. . .maybe you could be Michael Moore's personal trainer, or something.

Another tip of the hat to Boing-Boing.

White on Rice. . .

. . .has a whole new meaning now, thanks to liberal editorial cartoonists and morning radio show hosts. Now, apparently, it constitutes a type of acceptable racism, as in, "White-on-Rice racism will henceforth be tolerated, since she's a Republican."

I certainly hope Dr. Rice uses her confirmation process to explain how America, while not perfect, is the only place on the planet where a black woman can achieve her degree of power and influence. I hope she reminds them that even though she continues, to this day, to be stereotyped and singled out for criticism because of her race, America is still the greatest country on this planet, and that it is a significant thing that she is being nominated in the first place.

If you tell a soul. . .

. . .I swear I'll deny it, but Andrew Sullivan is still one of my daily reads, as he continues to show flashes of utter brilliance -- like when he agrees with me.

It pains me to say it, and I know I'll be labeled a RINO by some in my party, and my camels might be cursed with fleas before it's over, but I have to sort of kind of agree with him on the whole DeLay issue.

While the substance of the charges may be as false and frivolous as the avalanche of ethics complaints David Bonior filed against Newt Gingrich, the fact of the matter is that, if DeLay ends up being indicted, it will have been done by a legal, Constitutional grand jury. And, the other fact to consider is that it will be covered pretty much the same way in which the Bonior-Gingrich War was covered by the press.

While the blogosphere has changed the way news coverage impacts matters before the public eye, I can't see the majority of right-leaning blogs rising up in righteous indignation in defense of the House Republicans on this matter. And, after all, we've just spent the past year excoriating the Democratic presidential nominee for his flip-floppery. To do this now, in this political atmosphere, seems like not only the wrong thing to do, but the politically counterproductive thing to do.

When the GOP made the requirement that House leadership positions couldn't be held by members under indictment, that's exactly what the GOP meant to do -- and in passing the rule, they knew the day would come when such a thing would happen to one of its leaders. Politicians are not babes in the woods. They know how easy it is to get an indictment. They also knew how likely it was that Democrats would use the rule to their political advantage, given the opportunity, and they agreed to the consequences.

Well, now the inevitable has occurred, and the bluff has been called. Republicans can choose to either be the party that sticks to its word, and plays by the rules, or we can choose to become the party we voted out of power in 1994 for the very same reasons.

Part of me is loathe to concede anything in this matter. There's a perfectly reasonable sounding voice in the back of my head that's telling me, "If you let them win thisone, it will only be the beginning of another avalanche. They will not cease until they've taken down every prominent Republican politician using nothing more than allegations could just as well be levelled at the proverbial ham sandwich."

But, should that begin to happen, I dare say the blogosphere would be much better prepared to defend against such a thing. It's much easier to defend individual politicians against frivolous charges than it is to defend a whole party against charges of poitical expediency -- especially when the evidence is so damning, as it will be in this case. It's right there in black and white to anyone who wants to call up the Congressional Record.

Whether or not Tom DeLay is the official House Majority Leader¹, he will still hold considerable influence by the simple fact of his seniority. He was undeniably influential in his roll as House Whip, which holds no real power, other than the satisfaction that one feels at the end of a successful day of wrangling cats.

So, go ahead. Ostracize me if you will. But, I have to side with Andrew Sullivan, John Podhoretz, and David Brooks (requires registration) on this one. I just don't have the energy to perform all the mental contortions it would take for me to defend the rules change. I have too much of my own sense of fairplay and consistency at stake with regard to rules changes being made in order to guarantee a favorable outcome.

1. Correction: Previously referred to Tom DeLay as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, instead of Majority Leader, as I apparently still think of him as the "Powerful Texas House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tom 'The Hammer' DeLay". Years of watching politics on TV will do that to a person.

Only in Jesusland. . .

. . .will you find something like this, from one of my favorite blogs for obscure and irreverent humor, protein wisdom.

What a tool. . .

. . .for bloggers I've found over at PrestoPundit! It's the new Google Scholar search engine. There have been several times when blogging, or battling the resident leftists at Lucianne.com when I would have loved this jewel.

A hat tip to both PrestoPudit and Google.

Friday, November 19, 2004

That is all. . .

. . .for the night. My desire to continue ablog is trumped by my commitment to attend a friend's birthday party.

But, now seems a good time to again thank Lucianne and Staff for all the material I've gleaned from them over the past couple of months. The hits are piling up, and many of them are due to traffic I've picked up from my posts over at Ldot.

So, as I par-tay my way through the night, I'll be sure to raise a glass in honor of Lucianne, Amy, Igor, Staff, and all the rest. That's a lot of drinks, but I'll stagger through it with aplomb.

It's the CabanaBoy way.

I did not have. . .

. . .any desire to bring all this up again, but it's been thrust upon us like Michael Moore's abdomen at a truck stop breakfast buffet. Seems Clinton is getting more and more defiant (or is it defensive) as his days in the White House fade into memory. I don't know if it's pure bitterness that's driving him at this point, or the creeping realization among Democrats that his tenure was ultimately disastrous for them.

An all-time favorite. . .

. . .SNL skit just came to mind as I was skimming some Google results: The Nude House Of Wacky People. It ranks up there with Will Ferrell's Neil Diamond send-up.

And, believe it or not, the word "nude" wasn't one of the search terms that made me think of it.

See you in the funnypapers. . .

. . .dirtbag.

The Washington Post has finally had its fill of Ted Rall -- and not a moment too soon. I guess it finally dawned on the Post that everybody in the country can now see their editorial comics, and not just folks in the Beltway, as it was back in the Dead Tree Era. Being in large part a clearinghouse for DNC talking points, I'm guessing it finally dawned on them that they can't be effective as long as people like Rall expose the disdain for America exhibited by so many liberals.

For some strange reason, Middle America isn't inclined to vote for people who view it as a vast preserve of drooling idiots. And, let's face it. . .if you're a liberal right now, that's exactly how you feel. I know. I remember how I felt when Bob Dole lost, though it didn't come as a shock, as Kerry's loss apparently came to many of his supporters. (I do wish conservatives were as good at convincing ourselves of certain victory, though.) But, I didn't let the fact that I lost drive me to loathe nearly half of my fellow Americans. I accepted the fact that my vision of America hadn't been articulated well enough for the average voter to agree with it, and examined my priorities as a conservative.

During the Clinton era, conservatives seemed to have some kind of paralysis that wouldn't allow them to put their best foot forward. A good deal of that was due to the set of leg irons that the Democratic spin machine had placed on mainstream conservatives that tied them to Timothy McVeigh and the "militia movement". The constant chorus of "extreme, right-wing, radical" coming out of the DNC blurred the line between mainstream conservatism and right-wing reactionism was effectively blurred in the public eye so that Rush Limbaugh had been equated with Hitler and Timothy McVeigh a footsoldier merely carrying out orders.

Yes, there were strains of conservatism that was utterly convinced that the Y2K scare was a Clinton administration ruse being used as a pretext to establishing martial law in the US, making the Clintons would-be dictators, staging the most beautifully engineered coup ever devised. And, yes, there are self-described conservatives out there who believe in the existence of a government weather control machine. The difference is that conservatives see their fringe elements as a source of embarrassment. Liberals elevate them to positions of prominence, and give them film awards.

They'll never cease. . .

. . .in their quest, but gun-grabbers were handed a loss by the Illinois Supreme Court today, when it dismissed two lawsuits aimed at holding manufacturers and merchants resposible for crimes committed with their products. While encouraging to pro-gun conservatives, the left sees this as the proverbial speedbump. So, as my friend says, "Don't relax. Reload!"

"The forces of safety are afoot in the land. I, for one, believe it is a conspiracy - a conspiracy of Safety Nazis shouting "Sieg Health" and seeking to trammel freedom, liberty, and large noisy parties. The Safety Nazis advocate gun control, vigorous exercise, and health foods. The result can only be a disarmed, exhausted, and half-starved population ready to acquiesce to dictatorship of some kind.

O'Rourke, P.J. (1987), Republican Party Reptile. The confessions, adventures, essays and other outrages of P.J. O'Rourke. London (Picador), 41-42"

P.J. O'Rourke quotes

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Excúseme. . .

. . .but, I thought this sort of thing didn't happen in Europe. What will our liberals do if it turns out that the people across the pond more closely fit their caricature of Red State America than red staters themselves? If liberal editorial cartoonists are in any way idicative, it won't bother them one whit.

UPDATE: John Sylvester, Wisconsin radio host, contributes to the healing of America's racial divide.

Well, you can kiss. . .

. . .someone only so many ways, and this article explores the way in which the President chose to kiss a couple of his nominees. I actually found it an enjoyable read -- a ribbing, but ultimately fair, examination of the President's proclivity to plant a peck on the cheeks of his long-time allies who happen to be women.

As for my take on the meaning -- anything that will inflame gender feminists shortly before the dedication of the Clinton library is OK by me. I love feminist apoplexy.

How does it feel. . .

. . .to be a complete unknown? A perfectly apt question for Independent.co.uk music critic, Andy Gill. Seems Mr. Gill has it in for the US to such a degree that he uses Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Rock 'n Roll Songs chart as an opportunity to point out yet another way in which America is the clumsy oaf of the international community.

"As might be expected of such a hip, liberal magazine (and such a multiracial art form) the chart has no discernible racial bias, with black artists well represented. But the Anglo-American bias is much more pronounced than it would be in a comparable chart compiled by a British magazine.

Jamaican music is shockingly under-represented with seven entries, four of them by Bob Marley. And the absence of Kraftwerk, one of the most important groups of the past 30 years, indicates the American perplexity about dance and electronic music.

As for real African music, Paul Simon's "Graceland" is 485, which speaks volumes about the insularity of even the most enlightened of American taste-makers."

Sorry, Andy. But, need I remind you that America's insularity with regard to electronica has more to do with the fact that -- well, it's largely crap. In fact, the only use I have for it as a form is to fine tune my surround speakers for 5-channel stereo.

You see, the problem with with electronica is that this is a pretty good approximation of it. And to be lectured by a nation whose most recent export to take the United States by storm is Spice Girls is to strain credulity.

A quick check of what's hot on the BBC's Top 40 pop charts is also revealing. It reveals that the UK's current tastes in music are just as America-heavy (and crap laden, might I add) as ours.

Rock 'n roll was born in the US. For all its supposed cultural derivativeness -- whether African, as many believe it to be, or Scottish, as Yale University Professor Willie Ruff proposes -- it is still an American artform, born and nurtured in the southeastern United States, along the Mississippi River Delta.

Not that I dislike British rock 'n roll -- "some of my favorite bands are British". Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time. And, for the record, I think the Rolling Stone chart all wet based on Led Zeppelin's position alone. Not only did Led Zeppelin fail to make the top twenty, but at #31 they appear with "Stairway To Heaven" -- which is great, but not their best song. But I digress. . .

For all the highbrow pretensions of British music fans, they're just as susceptible to producing crap as the US is. And, truth be told, Brits have as much of a taste for America's lamest music as Americans do, if your top 40 charts are to be believed.

So Bob Marley is the extent to which the American palate can appreciate Jamaican music. The truth is, most Americans associate Jamaica with Reggae, and in turn with Rastafarianism, and in turn again, marijuana. That puts it out of the American mainstream, for all practical purposes, and relegates the music to a subculture in the United States. And, it's inaccurate to portray this as the result of ethnocentrism, as it's been my experience that in the US, you're far more likely to find a reggae CD in a suburban white kid's collection than in a black person's. Of course, that's anecdotal, and perhaps a bit of a generalization, but I can only judge by experience -- which includes once being asked by a black friend, "Man, why do all you white dudes like reggae so much?" He was the DJ on the hip hop show at my college's radio station.

Thanks, Mr. Gill. But, the US is enduring enough bad music without the help of the Brits, who aren't much different in any case.

Just added. . .

. . .yet another long-time Ldotter's blog to the blogroll. Fai Mao's Sandbox belongs to veteran Lodtter Phil_hk, and is an interesting, well written blog from an Ameircan expatriate in Hong Kong and I heartily recommend it.

"Some of the articles I've read said they were tired of dealing with all the “Christians” and the context of the sentence clearly implied that they thought Christians were evil people. I'm not going to challenge their assumption. Not because I necessarily believe they are right but because I can say that unless you go someplace like Northern Europe it doesn't get any better. I am also assuming that if they think Christians are bad they will think that the Buddhist here in Hong Kong who burn phoney money to the gods of the underworld so that they can have good life the next time around are also rather depraved. Indeed, the good-land Buddhism as practiced here with it's evil spirits and thousands of gods to bribe so that your stay in purgatory between incarnations is shorter makes the Southern Baptist look good."

Welcome aboard, Phil. Glad to have you!

Memo to Matthews:

The not-so-bad guys in Fallujah have been kind enough to make another home movie documenting the fate of a missing aid worker whose remains were found Sunday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Attention all oppressed American liberals. . .

. . .longing to breathe free: try not to get too discouraged if you have to wait a while to get into Canada. If you do start to feel a little glum about your circumstances here in the good old US of A, just think of what you did for Elian Gonzales.

That should warm your hearts and lift your spirits nicely. Don't you feel better now?

No? Well, just think of all those people you protected from those nasty guns down in Waco.

You see? It hasn't been all that long ago that liberals ran the country and freedom was cherished. You really did some wonderful things when given the opportunity!

P/S: When you get up there, don't ask about the Eskimos. It's a touchy subject.

An invitation. . .

. . .to all despondent liberals out there, once you're through posting your pictures at sorryeverybody.com: This is just what you need to get your mind right. Enjoy.

Also, here's a great domain name that you just might be able to get for a song.

Yeah, yeah. . .I know. "Time for healing" and all that. So, here's another domain name you might get on the cheap.

After reading this. . .

. . .I'm left with a big question: What the hell happened to all those people who were willing to call the Swifties liars in defense of John Kerry's actions in Viet Nam, based on the fact that they weren't right there in the boat with him when he hauled ass outta there?

What happened to the benefit of the doubt? Does it only apply in times of peace, and is there some sort of grandfather clause? Or is it that, in the mind of the typical lefty, the fact that a Republican is in the White House automatically renders the whole operation a criminal enterprise -- and the Marine is thereby guilty by extension?

Sssshhhhweeeet. . .

. . .is the word that comes to mind when I read Peggy Noonan pieces, and this one is no exception. Like Peggy, I have Irish blood (though slightly dilluted), and that combined with her writing gifts endears her to me in a way that other writers don't. She's P.J. O'Rourke with a sensitive side and a good liver. Have a swig:

"And good advice for our country, isn't it? After all the Sturm und Drang of the past few weeks our country would benefit from an absence of sound. Next week we mark Thanksgiving. Today, in anticipation, and after our fractious election, we could declare National Settle Down Week. National Be Still Week. Or National Give It a Rest Week."

NOTE TO LIBERALS: Sturm und Drang is kind of like a "ruckus" -- not expensive stereo equipment.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Irvine

While looking around over at Lucianne.com, I just now found out about the passing of Reed Irvine. Here's a link to the original article. Mr. Irvine's contribution to the conservative movement can't be overstated. His hard work in exposing media bias provided the impetus, information, tools and inspiration for every conservative blogger in existence. Without the constant attention to media slavishness, stories like Rathergate might have gone unchallenged by conservatives resigned to whipping boy status.

Irvine kept us informed, curious and furious. Because of him, we are all now better able to watch the watchers. I can think of no greater contribution to the conservative cause.

You have only your chains to lose. . .

. . .if you live in the Mideast. And, those chains are most often golden ones, tethered to the sense of entitlement and security of slavemasters like Saddam Hussein and Yassir Arafat. For years, America has been the object of criticism for two things: supporting Israel, and turning a blind eye to the the actions of repressive Arab statists and Islamist theocracies.

Well, now that the US has removed two of the most horrific regimes ever to crush humanity under their heels, it's time America got some credit. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen as long as nations like France and Germany prop up these dictatorships and mullahcracies with their cash. Sure, the US hasn't always placed such a high priority on governmental legitimacy when doing business around the world. We've been associated with any number of bad actors on the global stage, and that does not redound to our credit. Perhaps we bargained away the moral high ground for the sake of our own fleeting security and economic interests in the past, and it will probably not be the last time.

But, now that the right thing is being done (and there is no argument that it is somehow "wrong" to remove regimes like those in Iraq and Afghanistan), there seems to be a new standard applied in deciding whether or not it should be. It seems the left has now adopted a stance very similar to that of those they oppose. That is, moral righteousness is not enough. It must be accompanied by the approval and assistance of nations who have actively supported and empowered the wrongdoers in exchange for lucrative oil and high finance contracts.

Call me crazy, but this strikes me as the international equivalent of requiring FBI agents to obtain the blessing of the mob before arresting a known associate.

Wolfgang von Skeptik. . .

. . .has several pieces worth reading today, as well as a link to the short film that resulted in the murder of Theo Van Gogh. Wolfie's own take on the film? Read:

"This film is simple poetry, profoundly moving, transcending even my prefatory skepticism, poignant as Deirdre's Song or some other equally tragic ancient Celtic lament that is also a call to arms. It should be shown to every soldier, every Marine, every sailor, every airman and airwoman in the U.S. military establishment. It should be shown to all our allies -- especially those, like the Geordies of The Black Watch, who come from traditions that yet embody memories of chivalry and the unequaled honor that grows from the righteous defense of Womanhood. For then this war would be, in the hearts of all those who fight in the name of Westernesse, a true Crusade -- a Holy Crusade to liberate all of that vast and tragic sisterhood who suffers enslavement by Islam. Then -- just as the Union soldiers did in the Civil War, we would truly bring the Jubilee -- the plantation-owner objections of the Islamic males be damned in an apocalypse of blood and fire."

'Nuff said.

Al Franken, Midwestern Farmboy. . .

. . .explains to us why the whole notion of the "elitist blue states" is absurd:

"The right-wing media pounds and pounds this stuff about elitist liberal blue states versus the down-to-earth red states. It's ridiculous. I'm from Minnesota. I grew up in suburbia, in a working-class neighborhood. So I think I have some feel for middle America. In reality, all the states are some shade of purple. There's plenty of very conservative Christians in Minnesota, and there's plenty of liberals in Texas. It's not as clear-cut as people like Sean Hannity make it seem when he holds up a map and says, 'See how much red there is?' A lot of those red spots are desert. And, as David Owen from the New Yorker said: Acreage don't vote; people vote."

I'll accept Al's claim to having a "feel for middle America" as soon as he accepts my claim to an understanding of war strategy, since my dad is a retired Navy CPO.

I just remembered. . .

. . .watching a C-SPAN discussion panel featuring political analysts from both sides of the aisle, one of whom was Charlie Cook, several months ago. At one point, Cook predicted that anyone who tried to make the election about cultural issues would be soundly trounced, and deservedly so. (I was unable to find a transcript, or link to any video, so you'll have to pester C-SPAN for the proof, if you're skeptical.)

But, it seems he's now having to chow down on that prediction, assuming he believes what he's saying:

"Democratic presidential nominees are no longer even remotely competitive in the South, in large part because of guns and racial politics. But they also are having serious problems in small-town and rural America in other regions. Democrats now form a secular party uncomfortable with the values and habits of heartland America: Outside major metropolitan areas, a prayer before a meal or the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before a meeting is commonplace. Most Democrats seem totally out of sync with that America."

I wish I could get paid an obscene amount of money to be less accurate than a meteorologist.

Feeling a little recharged. . .

. . .I should be updating later today, time and forgotten obligation constraints permitting.

Taking a couple of days. . .

. . .to R & R from the blog. Hope to resume by the end of the week, or sooner.


Monday, November 15, 2004

A kindred soul. . .

. . .at Boing-Boing looks back at the impact that Dungeons and Dragons had on his life, and how it helped to shape his imagination and creativity. As a fellow D & D nerd growing up, I have to agree. I can't help wondering how much the advances in modern video game technology over the past two decades have cheated today's kids out of with regard to imagination and fantasy. The images and sounds are all prepackaged and the storylines already mapped out.

With D & D, players developed characters that were essentially alter-egos through which they vicariously became all the things they wanted to be in the real, modern world. The confidence and daring that eludes the awkwardly different teenage boy is right there to be drawn from in a mystical world where a "roll of the dice" determines the outcome of every decision, much like in real life.

Among the group I played with, there was a very personal attachment to the characters we developed over the course of a campaign, as I'm sure was the case with every other group of players on the planet. We all knew each other's characters as well as we knew one another. We knew who the go-to guy was in every instance -- who was better at sorting out this dilemma, or that. We counted on one another to make sure that each of us still had a living character at the end of the adventure, even if it meant fudging the rules a little.

Even the very process of playing the game held a lot of meaning. When someone got a new "adventure module" to play, it was a call to draw up a fresh, new character sheet, neatly written and organized like a new set of clothes (or suit of armor, as it were). The sense of anticipation for what lay behind doors and around corners was much like what strikes a boy on his first day of high school. Who's the biggest jerk among the teachers? Is a senior really going to stuff me in a locker? And, who are these strange creatures with the curvy bodies?

But, in D & D, all these questions answered themselves by the end of the adventure -- which could be as short as a weekend, or months long, depending on who was grounded, and whose mom would put up with the racket. In the real world, those questions persist in one form or another for life, with moms being replaced by wives, seniors being replaced with bosses, and Dungeons and Dragons replaced with life itself.

Now, thanks to Boing-Boing, I'm tempted to carry a couple of percentile dice with me at all times to help me navigate this real-world labyrinth.

TheAnchoress. . .

. . .was kind enough to link to me today, after dealing with Blogger's temperamental side for a few hours. For her trouble, she gets a reciprocal link and this little tease in return:

"I've been reading various points of view at National Review Online, Hugh Hewitt, Captain Ed and Andrew Sullivan (among other blogs - it's a hot issue) and everyone has had the chance to express themselves clearly, everyone has been heard, and no one has been called 'disloyal' or 'a bad conservative'. No one has been told their views are 'idiotic', 'moronic', 'narrow' or 'STUPID.' It's precisely the sort of respectful dialogue one expects from 'tolerant', 'liberal-minded' people. Increasingly, in my experience, those people are found in the GOP."

I tend to agree, though I'll readily admit that the right has had its moments of that sort of behavior. The Trent Lott/Strom Thurmond debate got pretty contentious, as I recall. It would be nice to be able to believe that the days of intra-party contumely are forever behind us, but my instincts tell me otherwise.

Things will probably get much worse when the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process starts up. Between the James Dobson and Schwarzenegger wings of the party is a huge piece of ideological real estate, and the vast majority of the party lives on it, myself included.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Distrust and verify. . .

. . .first. But, Iran's agreement to suspend uranium enrichment is definitely a positive development. Iran's decision should be all the evidence needed by the American public to show that they made the right decision in re-electing President George W. Bush. Every nation on earth, including those of Olde Europe, was waiting to see if the atrocity of September 11, 2001 was enough of an event to stir America to action, and keep her on the course.

Well, the results are coming in. First, oil prices began dropping within 48 hours of the election being called in the President's favor. There was a slight, temporary uptick with news of unrest in Nigeria, but that seems to have abated.

Then, North Korea suddenly softened its stance on the six-nation multilateral netotiations regarding nuclear proliferation, adopting a "wait-and-see" attitude on the matter. While not exactly a huge shift, it indicates that America's message is getting across, and that Kim Jong Il realizes that North Korea's hostile, bellicose position hasn't been beneficial to its future.

Had John Kerry won the election, none of these things would be happening right now. All of these nations were waiting to see if Mogadishu was the benchmark for what America could tolerate in terms of loss with regard to asserting its military will.

Then again, had John Kerry been elected, I suppose we could have hoped for some productive summits. I just can't imagine why any of the rogue nations of the Axis of Evil would feel the need to make any concessions. After all, Kerry's main criticisms of the President's foreign policy centered on its "unilateralism" and supposed incompetence. And, the reason Iran and North Korea have been so unwilling to bend on their respective nuclear programs had nothing to do with the prospect of actually defeating the United States militarily. It had everything to do with holding out until the American people grew war-weary and frightened at the potential consequences of further military deployments.

With John Kerry in the White House, North Korea and Iran would both now have the upper hand. They could look across the negotiating table, and say, "Well, President Kerry. . .just what do you plan to do about it? We both know your people won't abide military action, and we're already sanctioned out the wazoo. What do we have to gain by agreeing to your demands?"

But, with President Bush in the White House, the world is back on notice.

Limited Edition Director's Cut¹

A CabanaBoy/blondie production.
 Posted by Hello

Special recognition to Ldotter Rumblehog for inspiration. (Reply #15)

1.) Denotes a collaboration between CabanaBoy and blondie that resulted in more than one final product.

This is how the blogosphere works. . .

. . .in practice: I'm sitting here chatting with fellow blogger blondie who passes along to me a link to a Powerline blog entry about Bill Maher's website. Powerline picked it of from James Taranto's Best of the Web Today.

So, here's a hat tip to Powerline, Taranto, and blondie, who pointed me to this page with just the headers from Maher's bulletin board -- which are plenty scary, and give some insight into the minds we're dealing with on the left these days.

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