A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Because some things bear repeating. . .

". . .Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

Because we're acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future.

Let me close by addressing one other issue. Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down.

But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America's vital interests, we will do so.

In the century we're leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we'll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.

Tonight, the United States is doing just that. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families. And may God bless America."

President William J. Clinton
Wednesday, December 16, 1998

It's a Kentucky thing. . .

. . .you wouldn't understand, unless perhaps you're from North Carolina, or maybe Indiana. Time stands even more still than normal in the Bluegrass State state today as the Kentucky Wildcats take on the Louisville Cardinals in an intrastate basketball rivalry that will likely result in spilled blood and loose teeth in more than one sports bar. If you're from North Carolina, this is the equivalent of the Blue Devils vs. the Tarheels, with bragging rights and first-born children on the line. If you're from Indiana -- well, first you have to pretend you still have Bobby Knight -- but, imagine the Hoosiers vs. the Boilermakers with chainsaws.

My prediction?

UPDATE: Final: Kentucky 60, Louisville 58 in overtime.
Great game, all the way around, and Kentucky showed a lot of heart.

A heartwarming slideshow. . .

. . .of our military personnel was passed along to me by The Anchoress, which I think readers will enjoy. It took a few minutes to load on my DSL connection, but it was well worth the wait, so be patient.

If it doesn't give you goosebumps or cause your eyes to well up, you should not have children.

Hat-tip, The Anchoress.

Prison life. . .

. . .must be getting to Tariq Aziz, as he is beginning to take on the appearance of a Jewish Vaudevillian spending his final showbiz days on Match Game '78. Also, according to Lisa Meyers (who gets my nomination the bravest soul in the national media for having the grit to report on the Juanita Broaddrick rape accusation), he's become a bit of a tattle-tale in captivity, providing names of high-level international figures involved in the UN Oil-for-Food scandal.

You have to wonder if Marc Rich and Scott Ritter are experiencing some dyspepsia right about now.

How a couple of stand-up guys. . .

. . .ever managed to get elected to the Senate, I'll never know. But, I'm proud to call one of them, Mitch McConnell, my own. He, along with Majority Leader Bill Frist have disproven the Beltway maxim about friends and dogs in Washington, at least where Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is concerned. So, it appears that people standing vigil in the "Rummy death watch" might want to pack a toothbrush and a change of underwear. I just don't see him going anywhere anytime soon, despite all the sniping from the periphery. It must irk Senator McCain and John Warner to no end to see Rumsfeld getting support from the Senate Republican leadership, but the truth of the matter is, the GOP has seldom done wrong when it has ignored the advice and counsel of John McCain. As for Warner, he normally strikes me as an "OK" sort, though often befuddled.

I'd say the pattern will hold true for the foreseeable future.

Friday, December 17, 2004

My local paper. . .

. . .not only requires registration before accessing its online content, it requires payment. I think this is a shame. There have been some pretty interesting local stories lately, but they've only been covered on the web by the local NBC affiliate, (also owned by the Paxton Media Group), whose website coverage has been woefully inadequate.

Perhaps my readers should contact Mr. Paxton and browbeat him until he either provides decent, freely accessible content -- or offers me a writing job.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the contact info page, just to save readers the trouble of tracking it down.

The Anchoress. . .

. . .has updated with a double-take-inducing, provocative entry on sexual politics. This piece is not for the squeamish, so consider yourself forewarned. But, it's well-written and pointed, and that's what I look for. So, if you appreciate good, solid writing for what it is, and don't mind intimate anatomical references too much, consider this one a must-read.

"All I know is this: I do not want to watch a plus-sized (or anorexic) politically correct lesbian (or non-lesbian) of any color, persuasion, ethnicity (or lack thereof) carry on to me about 'lesbian-good-rape' or first periods, or those ol' debbil mens! I do not want to repeat an experience of my liberal days, where I get to listen to some idiot woman in the row behind me suddenly stand up and exclaim, 'Oh, my Gawd! I'm thirty-five years old, and I've never seen my cervix!'"

A new letter from Cooter. . .

. . .has been added to Tino's website, and it's a great analysis of the situation in which the DNC finds itself in the eyes of red state denizens with the Democrats' cozy, but growingly contentious relationship with MoveOn.org.

I imagine the few moderate Democrats that still exist today feel as though they've woken up in a bed of asps, and will be more receptive to overtures from the GOP in the next few months. The involvement of Michael Moore and Ariana Huffington in party politics will provide no small amount of discomfiture among middle-America Dems. And, Mark Racicot being the undeniably effective chairman that he is, I can't imagine he'd let this unease go unexploited -- particularly if off-year elections show a continuing electoral trend against the DNC.

Unless it finally dawns on the Democrats that you can't win elections in America by running against America, the GOP is heading into a gilded age. Here's hoping we aren't undone by complacency.

The longest laundry day. . .

. . .in history has just concluded. I should be able to blog for the next few days without too much interruption. However, over the next two weeks, I'll be undertaking the wondrous task of moving. Fortunately, though, this move is purely voluntary, and not the result of numerous noise complaints, or financial catastrophe.

I got a deal that I can't pass up on a place that's much better than the one I'm currently renting. Neither is a castle, by any stretch, but the place I'll be moving into comes with the prospect of ownership, with the same monthly payment that I'm making for rent at this point. And, it has the added bonus of relatively appealing surroundings, unlike where I live now, which faces the abandoned home of the landlord's long-deceased mother, which the landlord is unable to bring herself to have leveled.

So, by the first of next month, I will be blogging from a new cabana -- one more step toward being back on my own two feet, and a great way to start out the New Year. It ain't much, but it'll be mine. And it's a milestone in my life that not a lot of people wouldn't have thought I'd ever reach just a few short years ago.


UPDATE: Also, as a consequence of my moving, laundry day will henceforth be held in-house, rather than lugging all my dirty clothes over to my parents' home every ten days, or so, allowing blogging and other activities to continue unabated.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Laundry day. . .

. . .looms large, as well as some household cleaning and chores -- all to be done prior to having a friend over to watch a movie this evening. Blogging will be light until late tonight, at least.

A CabanaBoy/blondie production.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Another injection of fairness. . .

. . .into the debate over SecDef Donald Rumsfeld's performance comes from Times of London, as David Hart lays out some grossly overlooked facts.

I've been puzzled at how so many people have come to the conclusion that Secretary Rumsfeld has failed so miserably. When you view the whole matter from its rightful perspective, you come to understand just how amazingly our military has performed under his tenure. You may criticize him for not sending enough troops at the outset, and you may even criticize him for sticking to the current model. I think fair arguments can be made in that regard, whether or not I accept them.

But, to accuse Rumsfeld of being a failure as Defense Secretary is to engage in the sort of overblown, hypercritical rhetoric that would garner your average columnist a Derbyshire Award from a rested, but gassy, Andrew Sullivan.

It's not that concern for the lives and wellbeing of our troops is unwarranted, and I don't doubt for a nanosecond that Andrew and most other critics are sincere in raising those concerns. But, what has been grossly lacking in all these criticisms is the recognition of the fact that Donald Rumsfeld has taken on the task of completely transforming the world's largest, most bureaucratically bloated military while using it to successfully remove two of the most wicked regimes ever to blight the face of the planet.

"Together with what is probably a uniquely brilliant group of political appointees, Rumsfeld decided that the Taleban had to be unhorsed so that al-Qaeda would be denied its base. But he knew that would be insufficient. Too many Middle Eastern countries provided terrorist havens. Courageously, he and President Bush came to the necessary conclusion. A significant Middle Eastern government with terrorist connections needed to be removed so that all governments in the area would be deterred from aiding terrorists."

Throwing Rumsfeld the occasional bone for what he accomplished in Afghanistan doesn't come close to doing him justice.

The haunting echoes. . .

. . .of Pardongate are stirring in the blogosphere as Mickey Kaus rattles chains in the attic of the Clinton library. He makes some very apt observations, and asks a question that is as pointed as it is illustrative as we witness the political flaying Bernard Kerik.

"But if reporters had been more irresponsible in reporting on Clinton's personal life--and less cowed by the Stephanopouloses and Carvilles--actual voters would have had this highly relevant information in real time when they made their decision in 1992. ... P.S.: Do Democrats really want to elect the woman who let all this happen under her nose? Just asking! ..."

Indeed, just how is it that the President and Rudy Giuliani can be held culpable for Bernard Kerik's dalliances while Bill Clinton is given a pass that would make the security guys at the Playboy mansion envious? And, if this is going to tar the President and Hizzoner for merely not knowing, just how can Hillary Clinton be seriously considered for the highest office in the nation?

It's about damn time someone started asking these questions, and I most heartily tip my hat to Kausfiles for doing it.


UPDATE: An equally hella-hat-tip to Lucianne.com, where I found this particular Kausfile.

Monday, December 13, 2004

 Posted by Hello
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

All comments. . .

. . .were lost when I switched the commenting over to Haloscan. Sorry if I missed your message. But, I'm sure readers will like the new comments system better. I know I will.

Hair theme day?

Witness above the adolescent CabanaBoy, filled with vigor and beaming with pride at his official Judas Priest concert t-shirt from the "Defenders of the Faith World Tour", 1985.

Ah, high school days -- before the mullet had a name.

For more 80's hairstyles, check out blonde sagacity, which inspired me to finally reveal the shame that was my Reagan Era fashion sense.

Pardon me. . .

. . .but, doesn't it raise at least a few eyebrows that, after having his ex-wife donate over $70,000 to Hillary Clinton's senate campaign, and $450,000 to Bill Clinton's library fund, Marc Rich is now hip-deep in the UN Oil-for-Food scandal? Is it not at least as important as who Bernie Kerik slept with?

On one hand, you have a man nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security who is forced to back out when it comes to light that he failed to pay Social Security taxes on behalf of a nanny whose legal status in the US was questionable. Also, there's apparently some titillating news regarding his family life, to which we'll undoubtedly be treated until something more sensational comes along.

On the other hand, we have a sitting senator and former first lady to a president who both benefitted from cash donations given to them by the wife of a man who was seeking a pardon as a result of his conviction for money laundering -- a conviction for which he not only never served time, but chose to flee US jursidiction in order to avoid doing so.

Is it not telling that the pardon was granted in stealth mode, circumventing every conventional means of review generally given to such pardon considerations? Is it not telling that this pardon was granted to a person whose legal status in the US was far more in question than that of Kerik's nanny?

I previously had hoped that the media would go easy on the sordid details of Kerik's life, but now I'm glad to see the gloves coming off. Because now, unlike in 2001, the blogosphere is in full glory. And there are a lot of people with the tools, skills, and determination to see to it that the truth of the Marc Rich pardon, and the details of his dealings thereafter, will be placed before the public.

Anybody taking odds on Clinton '08?

You Are a Religious Republican

You make up the conservative, Christian, dedicated core of the Republican Party.

You believe it's important for religious people to stand up for their beliefs in politics.

And for you, this means voting your conscience - which almost always means voting Republican.

Your pet causes include the sanctity of life, school vouchers, and prayer in school

OK, so I took this test out of curiosity. It turns out that I'm a lot more religious than I ever knew. Granted, I do believe in the sanctity of life, school vouchers, and prayer in schools. But, to be honest, I've spent about as much time in churches in my life as Michael Moore will spend on camera at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Hat tip, ALa -- blonde sagacity.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A fairness injection. . .

. . .always helps in cases where someone is being pilloried, as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld can no doubt attest these days. Sure, Sec. Rumsfeld handled the question about as poorly as it could have been handled. But, given the facts as spelled out by Georgia Senator-elect Johnny Isakson, the problem isn't nearly as pronounced as some in the media would have us believe.

"August of last year, the insurgents changed in their tactics. We were producing 15 armored vehicles a month. We're now producing 450 a month," Isakson said.

He said the military no longer asks guardsmen to bring their own vehicles to the fight because they are not well-equipped. When Georgia's 48th goes to Iraq in May, they will be using vehicles that are currently undergoing the $1.2 billion program of armoring.

"Now, one day late and one soldier lost is too much and too short but I think the Pentagon is on track and it's not a resource problem," Isakson said.

A CabanaBoy/blondie production.

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Rare indeed is the writer. . .

. . .who can hold my interest from beginning to end in a theater review. Well, that rarity is Mark Steyn, and he does it in a review of not one, but two productions in juxtaposition.

"If Twelve Angry Men is a civics lesson, Nine Parts of Desire is a lesson in a country without civics. In Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, there are no citizens, and thus no obligations of citizenship, and certainly no rights. You exist only at the pleasure of your rulers. One woman, Layal, paints a watercolor of a dead friend, who made the mistake of telling another that she’d been raped by Saddam’s son Uday. “They stripped her, covered her in honey and watched his Dobermans eat her,” Layal explains."

Mark has a gift (to name one) that allows him to flawlessly distill the differences between red and blue America, and apply the elements to a seemingly limitless array of cultural phenomena.

Hat tip, Tino for the heads-up.

Another link has been added. . .

. . .to the Ldotter blogroll with Moogman's cleverly named, spanking new blog, Impacted Wisdom Truth. Checking it out, I discover that Moogman is in the aerospace industry. This came as a surprise to me, as I'd always assumed he was in the music industry, on account of his handle, and all.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Moogman! Glad to give you your first link.

A new addition. . .

. . .has just been added to the non-Ldotter blogroll. A one-time Ldotter from Lucianne.com's infancy has a great, well written site that, while not "technically" a blog, certainly qualifies for a listing here. And, if it was blogish enough to be listed in one of Lucianne's BlogTruth's of the day, Conversations with Trentino is certainly blogish enough for my blogroll.

Do check it out. Tino is a very sharp, longtime Ldot acquaintence of mine -- one of many with whom I regretfully don't keep in touch as much as I should.

Way back when. . .

. . ."Ball Peen" Bill Maher still had his show on ABC, he pointed with pride to his refusal to make jokes about Michael Jackson's alleged child molestation, citing that the charges had never been proved. Consequently, I was struck by the whiplash-inducing cognitive dissonance he often exhibited in calling the President a "cokehead", despite the fact that, not only was there no proof that the President ever used cocaine, but there wasn't even a single person willing to step forward and claim to have witnessed him doing so.

So, given the mounting evidence that Jackson's sexual proclivities trend toward the abominable, I can't help feeling a rush of Henicanesque bravado. Witness as I giddily prance about the blogosphere and, in a sing-song voice, make sure that everyone knows that I was right all along. Michael Jackson's a sicko, and I knew it. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it.

Ha! In your face, Maher.

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