17 Apr, 06 > 23 Apr, 06
10 Apr, 06 > 16 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
27 Mar, 06 > 2 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
6 Mar, 06 > 12 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
2 Jan, 06 > 8 Jan, 06
26 Dec, 05 > 1 Jan, 06
19 Dec, 05 > 25 Dec, 05
12 Dec, 05 > 18 Dec, 05
5 Dec, 05 > 11 Dec, 05
28 Nov, 05 > 4 Dec, 05
21 Nov, 05 > 27 Nov, 05
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
7 Nov, 05 > 13 Nov, 05
31 Oct, 05 > 6 Nov, 05
24 Oct, 05 > 30 Oct, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
10 Oct, 05 > 16 Oct, 05
3 Oct, 05 > 9 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
19 Sep, 05 > 25 Sep, 05
12 Sep, 05 > 18 Sep, 05
5 Sep, 05 > 11 Sep, 05
29 Aug, 05 > 4 Sep, 05
22 Aug, 05 > 28 Aug, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
1 Aug, 05 > 7 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
18 Jul, 05 > 24 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
27 Jun, 05 > 3 Jul, 05
20 Jun, 05 > 26 Jun, 05
13 Jun, 05 > 19 Jun, 05
6 Jun, 05 > 12 Jun, 05
30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
23 May, 05 > 29 May, 05
16 May, 05 > 22 May, 05
9 May, 05 > 15 May, 05
2 May, 05 > 8 May, 05
25 Apr, 05 > 1 May, 05
18 Apr, 05 > 24 Apr, 05
11 Apr, 05 > 17 Apr, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
28 Mar, 05 > 3 Apr, 05
21 Mar, 05 > 27 Mar, 05
14 Mar, 05 > 20 Mar, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
21 Feb, 05 > 27 Feb, 05
14 Feb, 05 > 20 Feb, 05
7 Feb, 05 > 13 Feb, 05
31 Jan, 05 > 6 Feb, 05
24 Jan, 05 > 30 Jan, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
10 Jan, 05 > 16 Jan, 05
3 Jan, 05 > 9 Jan, 05
27 Dec, 04 > 2 Jan, 05
20 Dec, 04 > 26 Dec, 04
13 Dec, 04 > 19 Dec, 04
6 Dec, 04 > 12 Dec, 04
29 Nov, 04 > 5 Dec, 04
22 Nov, 04 > 28 Nov, 04
15 Nov, 04 > 21 Nov, 04
8 Nov, 04 > 14 Nov, 04
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
25 Oct, 04 > 31 Oct, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04
27 Sep, 04 > 3 Oct, 04
20 Sep, 04 > 26 Sep, 04
13 Sep, 04 > 19 Sep, 04
6 Sep, 04 > 12 Sep, 04
30 Aug, 04 > 5 Sep, 04
23 Aug, 04 > 29 Aug, 04
16 Aug, 04 > 22 Aug, 04
9 Aug, 04 > 15 Aug, 04
2 Aug, 04 > 8 Aug, 04
26 Jul, 04 > 1 Aug, 04
19 Jul, 04 > 25 Jul, 04
12 Jul, 04 > 18 Jul, 04
5 Jul, 04 > 11 Jul, 04
28 Jun, 04 > 4 Jul, 04
21 Jun, 04 > 27 Jun, 04
14 Jun, 04 > 20 Jun, 04
7 Jun, 04 > 13 Jun, 04
31 May, 04 > 6 Jun, 04
24 May, 04 > 30 May, 04
17 May, 04 > 23 May, 04
10 May, 04 > 16 May, 04
3 May, 04 > 9 May, 04
26 Apr, 04 > 2 May, 04
19 Apr, 04 > 25 Apr, 04
12 Apr, 04 > 18 Apr, 04
5 Apr, 04 > 11 Apr, 04
29 Mar, 04 > 4 Apr, 04
22 Mar, 04 > 28 Mar, 04
15 Mar, 04 > 21 Mar, 04
8 Mar, 04 > 14 Mar, 04
1 Mar, 04 > 7 Mar, 04
23 Feb, 04 > 29 Feb, 04
16 Feb, 04 > 22 Feb, 04
9 Feb, 04 > 15 Feb, 04
2 Feb, 04 > 8 Feb, 04
26 Jan, 04 > 1 Feb, 04
19 Jan, 04 > 25 Jan, 04
12 Jan, 04 > 18 Jan, 04
5 Jan, 04 > 11 Jan, 04
29 Dec, 03 > 4 Jan, 04
22 Dec, 03 > 28 Dec, 03
15 Dec, 03 > 21 Dec, 03
8 Dec, 03 > 14 Dec, 03
1 Dec, 03 > 7 Dec, 03
24 Nov, 03 > 30 Nov, 03
17 Nov, 03 > 23 Nov, 03
10 Nov, 03 > 16 Nov, 03
27 Oct, 03 > 2 Nov, 03
20 Oct, 03 > 26 Oct, 03
13 Oct, 03 > 19 Oct, 03
6 Oct, 03 > 12 Oct, 03
29 Sep, 03 > 5 Oct, 03
22 Sep, 03 > 28 Sep, 03
15 Sep, 03 > 21 Sep, 03
8 Sep, 03 > 14 Sep, 03
1 Sep, 03 > 7 Sep, 03
25 Aug, 03 > 31 Aug, 03
18 Aug, 03 > 24 Aug, 03
11 Aug, 03 > 17 Aug, 03
4 Aug, 03 > 10 Aug, 03
28 Jul, 03 > 3 Aug, 03
21 Jul, 03 > 27 Jul, 03
14 Jul, 03 > 20 Jul, 03
7 Jul, 03 > 13 Jul, 03
30 Jun, 03 > 6 Jul, 03
23 Jun, 03 > 29 Jun, 03
16 Jun, 03 > 22 Jun, 03
9 Jun, 03 > 15 Jun, 03
2 Jun, 03 > 8 Jun, 03
26 May, 03 > 1 Jun, 03
19 May, 03 > 25 May, 03
12 May, 03 > 18 May, 03
5 May, 03 > 11 May, 03
28 Apr, 03 > 4 May, 03
21 Apr, 03 > 27 Apr, 03
Better Living through Science
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Loyal Opposition
The Left Coaster
Deep Blade
Moonbattery Park
Sunday, 25 September 2005
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: "Gear" by Naked Raygun
I am extremely pleased to tell you that the Israeli Defense Forces have exterminated a true piece of shit:

An IAF Apache helicopter flying over Gaza fired a missile and struck a vehicle traveling on the coastal road and carrying the Palestinian terrorists. According to witnesses, one of the victims was decapitated and one was wearing military fatigues.

Military sources said the targeted terrorist was Sheikh Muhammad Khalil, a senior commander of Islamic Jihad in the southern Gaza Strip who was responsible for planning a slew of attacks on Israelis including the murder of Tali Hatuel, who was pregnant, and her four young daughters on the Kissufim road in Gush Katif. He was also behind the attack on the Morag outpost that killed three soldiers and the detonation of an IDF armored vehicle that killed five.

Khalil's bodyguard was also killed in the attack.
Don't remember the story of the Hatuel family? Let me refresh your memory:

An Israeli woman in her eighth month of pregnancy and her four daughters were killed this afternoon [2 May 2004] when two terrorists opened fire at Israeli cars traveling on the Kissufim-Gush Katif road in the Gaza Strip. Soldiers shot the terrorists dead, but only after an explosive device at the scene detonated, wounding three soldiers, two of them with moderate-to-serious injuries.

The victims of the attack were identified as Tali Hatuel, 34, and her daughters Hila (11), Hadar (9), Roni (7) and Merav (2). Tali's husband was not in the car at the time of the attack, ynet reported. The Hatuels lived on the Gush Katif settlement of Katif.
I hope you remember their story. I certainly do. It made me ill:

It was also learned that the terrorists not only murdered the 34-year-old mother of four who was eight months pregnant along with her children, but then ran up to the vehicle and took a video of the results of their actions, filming the young victims as they bled to death.
If I can find any, I will be happy to post photos here of Khalil's shredded carcass.

Good work, General Sharon.

(Hat tip to Charles Johnson and his commenter zulubaby.)

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:17 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Saturday, 24 September 2005
Michelle Malkin took a walk ---and her camera--- through the anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. today. The picture you see here is one of hers. I hope she doesn't mind my borrowing it, but it's got to be the funniest prop ever brought to an anti-war rally.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:41 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
I See Better Turnouts When I Go to the Bathroom
Now Playing: "Sugar Mountain" by Neil Young
I'm watching these wankers at the anti-war rally in D.C. on C-SPAN ---and I'm laughing. On and immediately around the stage? About fifty people. And that's being very generous.

You know why there is no anti-war movement? You know why these burnt-out hippies can't persuade America that this is Viet Nam all over again?

Because the men and women who fight for our country are our best and bravest and they fight of their own volition. This isn't Lyndon Johnson clearing out the ghettoes and barrios of his Great Society, you know. These kids who show up to the protests in their bandanas and Che Guevara T-shirts are not only in no danger of any draft, but the United States military probably wouldn't take them, anyway. Better men and women than they could ever hope to be have taken on the responsibility of fighting in our name ---and these bums want to undermine that because it's fashionable?

The War for Iraq is a complicated and ambitious undertaking that hasn't yet yielded what it can. Is the American public down on it right now? Yep. But that's bound to change. Our fighting forces are making a difference in a crucial part of the world. These protesters don't understand that. They just want to re-enact some glorious anti-war past that they've seen in documentaries. It's truly pathetic.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:02 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (7) | Permalink
Friday, 23 September 2005
Escher and Nagel
I found the picture you see here at, via this post at Galley Slaves, a cool blog I forgot to keep reading when it first came out late last or early this year.

It's a rip on those framed motivational prints you sometimes see in the offices of people with no taste and/or a liking for the high art of Escher and Nagel.

Actually, I adore M.C. Escher, but I don't usually take the opportunity to share an inside joke with one of the audience.

Go check out the rest of 'em. They're full of snarky goodness.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005 9:53 PM CDT
The Station That Cried Wolf Blitzer
I'm not too sure about KXAN's recent Hurricane Rita coverage. I know that it's going to be monstrous for our fellow citizens down near Port Arthur and Beaumont (and, needless to say, New Orleans), but that's not the point. It looks like KXAN is trying CNN's Situation Room as some sort of model ---and it's sort of lame: a four-way split-screen, reading viewers' e-mail to each other, lots of live reports from dangerous and/or busy places, etc.

It's synthetically manic ---and a little too flash for a local affiliate.

Austin's certainly been feeling the effects of hurricane disasters for coming up on a month now, but local TV needs to step back and take a deep breath. We got lucky; the poor bastards down on the coast are still up against it.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:32 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Note to Hippies: Don't Come off Like Hippies
Now Playing: "Ventilator Blues" by the Rolling Stones
Professor Reynolds directs our attention to this cute post by EMRosa over at the Daily Kos about tomorrow's big anti-war rally in D.C. and elsewhere ---and what one should and should not to do.

Don't wear black bandanas or gas masks:

Want the police to target you? Wear a black bandana over your face. Wear a gas mask. I know, I know, it's the cool anarcho thing to do, but it's also very foolish. If you feel you might need them later (for whatever reasons...), put them in your bag where you'll have easy access to them.
I don't know who this Rosa cat is, but he's a real drag, man. What about the spontaneity of the moment? What about keeping it real? Maybe that's what he means with the elipses...Hmmm....

Do be creative:

I don't know about you, but I'm sick of doing the same thing over and over again with little to show for it but a frustrated mind. We have to protest in a way that's intriguing, news making. Block the street, do guerilla theater, dose your self in gasoline and go out for ice cream. Whatever. Just don't do the same thing when it doesn't work. Think.
What's this about the gasoline? Is that code for huffing? Yeah, I know. I'm just joking.

But in looking over these lists of do's and don'ts, it seems like the whole thing is just a big waste of time. Nobody cares what a bunch of goddamned hippies have to say about the War for Iraq ---and that will be especially true tomorrow morning when everybody's going to be watching the situation on the Gulf Coast between Texas and Louisiana.

If you had any taste, you morons, you'd stand down tomorrow and have a care for the disaster that's coming to our own shores.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:10 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005 8:18 PM CDT
Thursday, 22 September 2005
My Frenzy's Been Whipped
Now Playing: "Making Time" by the Creation
Gee. What a difference a day makes. That is all.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:21 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 21 September 2005
Anxiety by the Gallon
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: "Galveston" by Glen Campbell
There's a lot of anxiety right now in this town. The gas station nearest my house went from selling regular unleaded this afternoon just before six at $2.55 a gallon. A couple of hours later when I went to go grab some, it had shot up to $2.69. So, after yelling "Fucking thieves!" several times to myself and anyone else who might be near me, I cruised on down the road until I ran across some for $2.59. I know it's only a dime's difference, literally, but goddamn! People are going to use Rita for all sorts of excuses, legitimate or not. I am not looking forward to this. And I also realize that the next time I buy gas, it's going to be $3.00 or more.

My biggest concern right now is my new house and all of my belongings. For whatever reason, I am my family's repository of mementos such as photos, letters, and other keepsakes. I am also obsessively my own biggest fan ---and I try to keep everything I've ever written of any importance. So I am sitting on top of a big pile of potential heartbreak and I am worrying about my situation. I live in a flood plain and, even though I am probably 200 miles from the coast of Texas, I know very well that Rita could unleash one of the biggest rainstorms of my life right on top of me.

I'll keep you posted. If I can.

Oh, and one more thing. It's something I almost never do, but I'll breach the Wall of the Personal Proper Noun tonight because it's insistently on my mind: One of my bestest and oldest friends lives (or used to live) in Galveston, Texas. I haven't talked to the man in many years, but he was a huge influence on me as a young man and if he ever Googles his name up, I want him to find it here: James Bartholomew Gately, Jr. That's Jim. Jim, I'm thinking of you tonight and I hope all of your family is safe and sound. I hope you know that there is some part of my personality that owes itself to your benevolent eccentricites and I want you to know that you will be in my thoughts these next several days.

Take care.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:11 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Tuesday, 20 September 2005
"Federalize It!"
In Newsweek's recent big story, subtly titled "How Bush Blew It," is the account of President Bush, Louisiana Governor Blanco, and New Orleans mayor Nagin on board Air Force One, fumbling through their options.

According to Sen. David Vitter, a Republican ally of Bush's, the meeting came to a head when Mayor Nagin blew up during a fraught discussion of "who's in charge?" Nagin slammed his hand down on the table and told Bush, "We just need to cut through this and do what it takes to have a more-controlled command structure. If that means federalizing it, let's do it."

A debate over "federalizing" the National Guard had been rattling in Washington for the previous three days. Normally, the Guard is under the control of the state governor, but the Feds can take over—if the governor asks them to. Nagin suggested that Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the Pentagon's on-scene commander, be put in charge. According to Senator Vitter, Bush turned to Governor Blanco and said, "Well, what do you think of that, Governor?" Blanco told Bush, "I'd rather talk to you about that privately." To which Nagin responded, "Well, why don't you do that now?"

The meeting broke up. Bush and Blanco disappeared to talk. More than a week later, there was still no agreement. Blanco didn't want to give up her authority, and Bush didn't press.
Kathleen Blanco is a human tuber ---a fucking clown plucked out of something's ass and plopped down in front of a desk. You can be sure that it's the same kind of people who spent a week sitting on the roof of their flooded houses, starving and dehydrating, or burning in the hell of the New Orleans Convention Center that elected that idiot governor.

I hope Item Number One when they get back home is to recall her sorry ass.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:34 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Free Tibet
with the purchase of an entree of equal or lesser value.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:11 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Rod Dreher Loses His Cool...and I'm Liking It
Now Playing: "Turn to Stone" by the Electric Light Orchestra
Over at The Corner, Rod Dreher pops up with a very angry reaction to President Bush's cronyism. Get it:

Moreover, I'm absolutely with Michelle Malkin on this outrageous Bush cronyism regarding the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief over at the Department of Homeland Security. I find it impossible to believe that this administration or their GOP Congressional enablers care about enforcing the immigration laws of this country. And I find it impossible to believe that this doesn't matter. A lot.
I think we have entered the phase where illegal immigration into the United States has become an irreversible kind of balkanization of this society and culture. And one of the few facts I am certain of is that neither conservatives nor liberals give a good goddamn about it. That is to say, wealthy assholes who live behind gated walls and contemptible failures who have no love of their own country, anyway, are perfectly fine with whoever the hell wants to come here and squat.

What motivates these vultures perched at either end of the spectrum? Avarice. Self-loathing. The indifference to our promise as a civilization, daily eroded by those who do not know anything about our history or about their own responsibilities within this grand scheme.

Get yours while the gettin's good, motherfuckers! Press one for English. Press two for what the fuck were we thinking?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:59 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 19 September 2005
Doubting Daou
Now Playing: theme from ABC's Monday Night Football
Peter Daou, who was some sort of blogging consultant to the Kerry-Edwards campaign, has written an interesting piece questioning the influence of bloggers on the political scene. His idea is that there's a triangle of "netroots," media, and the political establishment ---and that bloggers may or may not be driving the issues.

One of his most curious observations, I thought, was the following:

The power of the triangle has been demonstrated again and again: Josh Marshall and social security, Steve Clemons and the Bolton nomination (the recess appointment was emblematic of Bolton’s defeat, not his victory), rightwing bloggers and Eason Jordan, rightwing bloggers and Dick Durbin, progressive bloggers and Jeff Gannon, and so on.
I know who Marshall is, but I don't recall ever hearing of Steve Clemons ---nor do I know what either of them did to influence Social Security or John Bolton's nomination. Any hints? If this Clemons guy succeeded in derailing Bolton, I'm not aware of it.

But I do know about the other examples Daou throws up ---and they are telling.

Eason Jordan? While in the sacred confines of a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last February, this now former head of CNN accused the American military of murdering journalists in Iraq. The charge was so outrageous that it even offended Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. Not that Frank is less offendable than others, but he is a Democrat.

Dick Durbin? The second highest ranking Democrat in the United States Senate said that our soldiers at Guantanamo Bay were no different from Nazi concentration camp guards or gulag-minders in the old Soviet Union. With both Jordan and Durbin, conservative bloggers ---or rightwing bloggers, if that's your term--- kept up the pressure and demanded that Big Media stop ignoring these treasonous statements and hold people accountable for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war. Good on them.

But then Daou pathetically points to a "success" of the Leftist blogosphere: the getting of James Guckert (a.k.a., Jeff Gannon), a gay Republican who apparently did not have the credentialed credibility that puckered old sphincter muscles like Helen Thomas or blow-dried turds like John Roberts bring to the White House Press Room. Gannon was exposed as a male prostitute and, as such, was some sort of security risk or embarrassment to the journalistic profession. Actually, I don't know where the outrage finally ended up, but it was a seismic shift in the History of American Journalism and the Very Notion of Truth. Don't you remember it?

Anyway, what I find most interesting in Daou's examples are the ones that are missing.

How about Trent Lott? He lost his Senate Majority Leader position because of the efforts of conservative bloggers in bringing his unfortunate remarks at Strom Thurmond's birthday celebration to the wider attention of the conservative-hating Big Media. Is there any comparable example of the Leftist blogosphere sacrificing one of their own to principle?

And how about the utter destruction of Dan Rather's career? That has to be the greatest example of the blogosphere's influence ---and yet Daou doesn't even mention it. How's that possible? Would it somehow not fit into his narrative?

Daou continues:

In each of these cases, and to varying degrees, bloggers, the media, and senior elected officials played a role in pushing a story and influencing public perceptions. To understand what happens when the online community is on its own, look no further than electronic voting. The progressive netroots has been hammering away at this for years, but the media and the political establishment is largely mute. Traction = Zero. The conventional wisdom puts it squarely in the realm of conspiracy theories.
Daou's position on electronic voting is the same as mine, but he ignores the example of Rathergate. That scandal was wholly the work of a handful of bloggers. (In fact, it began with an anonymous post at the old online bulletin board I very distinctly remember how useless the evening news was in those days in covering such a major media meltdown ---and how they were absolutely chasing the bloggers' tails in sealing Rather's fate.

I think what's driven Daou to this point is his understanding ---notwithstanding all the blustery rhetoric of his coreligionists--- that no one on the Left has yet achieved the level of influence already demonstrated on the Right side of the blogosphere. There's nothing comparable on their side to Rathergate or Jordangate or even the evidence that came out against John Kerry's dishonest claims from his time in Viet Nam.

Maybe the Plame thing will work out for them in the end, but it's going to take a lot more than fluffing Keith Olbermann or Wolf Blitzer to get them there.

UPDATE: Say, Tom! Thanks for the Minutelanche!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:58 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (8) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 25 September 2005 2:22 PM CDT
Not Counting the Bodies in the Fatherland
Bill Dawson has some very interesting observations about German and Austrian opinion on the "third world" conditions that Katrina exposed in the American South ---and their seeming lack of attention to a far deadlier disaster that befell France just two summers ago.

The outrageous coverage of Hurricane Katrina here in Austria and Germany has included many references to “third world” similarities. See, for example, Ray’s blog posting concerning Stern magazine’s editorial, “Somalia in America’s South.” The sneering arrogance, the gruesome Schadenfreude and the completely over the top moralizing reminded me of something that occurred two years ago in the United States, which also elicited “third world” references.

You will recall that on August 14, 2003, an enormous power failure occurred across a huge chunk of the United States and parts of Canada. On September 5, 2003, I made the following blog entry here:
Be sure to check out Dawson's original post for lots of details, but don't forget what was happening at about the same time as our own blackout on 14 August 2003. He notes:

On 11. August, Le Figaro first reported that "the heat wave is killing people" in France.

On 14. August, according to the Washington Post, French government officials reported that at least 3,000 people had died from the heat wave.

By the 21st, the Post reported
[link broken] that the French government had acknowledged that up to 10,000 people may have died.

On 29. August, this CNN report indicated that the toll was actually over 11,000.

Wouldn't you say that 11,000 deaths from heat in a modern and industrialized country such as France could also be compared to the "Third World"?
Dawson goes on to write that in the pages of the same German-language magazines where the cynics of Old Europe clucked at the plight of our poor urban blacks, practically nothing was written about the 2003 heat wave that killed so many in France. From the summary of a major European Commission-funded organization tasked with monitoring disease in Europe comes the following item (never mind the weird acronyms; the numbers are in boldface):

The analysis of death certificates given by the departmental health offices allowed InVS to produce a first estimate on 28 August of 11,435 excess deaths (excess of 55%) between 1 and 15 August 2003 [2]. On 25 September, INSERM estimated the cumulative excess deaths between 1 and 20 August at 14,800 (excess of 60%) [1].The impact was greater for women (70% increase in excess total mortality) than for men (40% increase in excess mortality)(1). This was the case even for same age groups. Excess mortality reached 20% in the 45-74 year age group, 70% in the 75-94 year age group and 20% in people aged 94 years and over [1].

INSERM also showed that during the last third of the month of August and the month of September the mortality had reached the usual level [3]. October and November 2003 showed the usual death rates in every region.
Where was the krauts' ire then? Where were the insinuations of savagery as fellow Europeans perished while French politicians got their tans down on the coast?

But since body counts are eminently political, let us look also at the heat wave of 1995, in which Bill Clinton did nothing while a thousand people died in the city of Chicago.

A thousand people? That's more than all the Katrina-related deaths counted so far.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:38 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005 7:46 PM CDT
"The Katrina Administration"
Now Playing: "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles
John Kerry sent Kathryn Jean Lopez at the NRO advance word of and a link to a speech he was to give at Brown University today in which he calls Bush's White House the "Katrina Administration."

Okay. Bush deserves some criticism for his and his government's response to Katrina. They were too slow to respond and seemingly too indifferent to the gravity of what was happening. The whole country was embarrassed at Michael Brown's cluelessness and the amateurish way in which his agency first addressed the disaster.

But nowhere in his little speech does Kerry fault anybody but those in the Bush Administration. Which means that his condemnations are worthless. Which means that he's either clueless himself about what actually happened in New Orleans or he's a willful partisan who refuses to assess blame where most other Americans have so unambiguously placed it already.

Because in our society and under our system of government, we first turn to our local and state governments. That's how it works with federalism. We have local leaders from whom we expect responsible action and sensible information.

And when we are disserved by those local and state authorities ---people who presumably understand their own regions' interests and concerns best--- it is important that we hold those people responsible right along with those in our Federal government.

And we must not, like John Kerry, pretend to be unaware of the incompetence of our local leaders just because they belong to the same party as us.

To do so is to deserve the disrespect that comes to the intellectually dishonest.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:11 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
No Reading of the "Bans" for Duncan and Me
Mood:  loud
I sure wish Duncan Black would stop kicking me out of Eschaton. He knows how much I enjoy going there to argue with his regulars ---and a good argument is what that place needs. Without a little irritation, how can you expect any pearls to throw before the swine, Duncan? Come on! Get serious! That place is a circle-jerk.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:58 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Commutation for the Posse Comitatus Act?
According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor, President Bush may be looking to amend the Posse Comitatus Act.

WASHINGTON – As Washington picks through the lessons learned from hurricane Katrina, there is a growing conviction that the only organization with the skills, expertise, and resources needed to respond quickly to a catastrophe of such magnitude is the American military.

President Bush suggested a larger disaster relief role for the armed forces in his national address last week, and Congress has indicated it will take up the issue this autumn. Though the topic has emerged at other troubled times - most recently 9/11 - Congress has always avoided amending Posse Comitatus, the law that has kept active-duty soldiers out of civilian law-enforcement affairs since Reconstruction.

Anger over the scenes of chaos in New Orleans in the days after the hurricane, however, seems to have shifted the political landscape. It is an issue of profound importance both to the Pentagon and to the country at large, raising questions about the boundaries between the armed forces and American society - as well as the military's ability to press the war on terror abroad if it receives a new homeland mission.

"There's a strong historical precedent against doing this," says Michael O'Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution here. "But now we've got a real reason."
The vast majority of Americans, I would guess, do not have the institutional or historical awareness to understand why we do not let our soldiers act as our police, so if there's any resistance to relaxing this act, it's going to come from the usual suspects: the far Left and the far Right.

The far Right (e.g., the militia types) would oppose an end to the Posse Comitatus Act because that's their greatest fear ---at least hypothetically: a police state with all the bells and whistles that the greatest military on Earth can bring to bear.

The far Left, however, would oppose any such move just because it's something that Bush is in favor of. That is, the Left has only a partisan reason against deploying troops in a disaster area. They wouldn't oppose it if there was some civil right in danger, but if it's simply a matter of protecting whitey's electronics store from [hungry] citizens, then to hell with it. Fascist!

When our military did start moving into New Orleans, order was restored very quickly and efficiently. Our best and bravest always demonstrate their value. They could have come in sooner when it was apparent that too many of the local police in New Orleans were worthless cowards, but this President wasn't going to violate Posse Comitatus.

But for all those who wanted a stronger and quicker Federal involvement in the aftermath of Katrina, there really can't be any question: the United States military are the most logistically and operationally prepared men and women in the world. When they shoot, they score. I don't fear our people in uniform to know what to do and how to do it. I trust and respect them absolutely. If putting them on the ground in a disaster area is the best way to enforce the will of the people and to execute the plans of the Commander-in-Chief and the lesser executives, then let's do it.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:00 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 18 September 2005
Phoning It In
Now Playing: Too lazy to do all the hyperlinks in that first graf quote. Go there yourself and check 'em out.
Michael Barone, whom everybody likes and respects, reports that the turnout in New York City's Democratic primary was not everything it could have been:

Total number of votes cast in the Democratic primary for mayor: 456,263. Pretty pathetic. For Manhattan borough president: 147,650, or 32 percent of the total for mayor. By comparison, the mayoral Democratic primary in 2001, two weeks after September 11, had a turnout of 785,365, and the 2001 runoff, four weeks later, had a turnout of 790,089. The 2005 Democratic turnout was down about 42 percent. Wow! This is out of 2,639,845 registered Democrats. In other words, about 30 percent of registered Democrats voted for mayor in the 2001 primary and runoff, while only 17 percent of registered Democrats voted for mayor this time.
Doesn't sound like the [progressives] are making the kind of effort that you'd want to tell the grandkids about.

Is there any national significance to these numbers? Not much but maybe this. The kind of angry left-wing politics promoted by the Daily Kos and Howard Dean seems to dominate the Democrats' political dialogue. But when real things are at stake–like the value of your Manhattan co-op–a lot of Democratic voters know better. In Iowa and New Hampshire, they hurriedly dumped Dean for Kerry in 2004, and this year they simply have no interest at all in ousting Bloomberg for a left-wing Democrat.
My friends over at Eschaton say that I'm a fool to believe that most Americans are conservative, but in America's largest city ---in the very heart of liberal sentiment and Big Media propaganda--- they just can't seem to get it up for the progressive agenda. What a shame that our two-party system is being betrayed by partisans unworthy of the name.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Cones of Uncertainty
Get a load of what's going on in dhimmified Great Britain:

ICE creams are being withdrawn from Burger King — because a design on the lid looks like the word Allah.

The fast food chain has had dozens of complaints about the coloured symbol - meant to be a spinning whirl - on its range of BK Cones.
Ha, ha.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:16 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
The Worst Impression of Jesse Jackson I've Heard This Whole Weekend
Now Playing: "House at Pooh Corner" by Loggins and Messina
Ralph Neas, president of the ironically-named People for the American Way, was telling reporters this past week that he's opposed to John Roberts' elevation to Chief Justice of the United States. In doing so, he trotted out his best impression of Jesse Jackson. Neas has

got a one-liner that he's working about Roberts, who in his introductory remarks on Monday likened the role of a judge to that of an umpire.

"He's spent his time talking about baseball, now he's playing dodgeball," Neas says, venting his frustration about the nominee.
What genius.

The anti-Bush Left has made no worthwhile case against Roberts. None. Their only argument seems to be that Roberts is a conservative. Well, guess what, ladies. Most of America is, too.

Or did you take some other lesson away from the past decade of electoral losses?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:39 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Inside the Posterior Passages
Thanks to Mr. Johnson, have a look at this Christopher Hitchens piece in the Telegraph:

Obviously I am suspect as a juror in my own cause, but put yourself the following hypothetical case. Mr A challenges Mr B, saying that he appears on the available evidence to be a handmaiden to dictators and a recipient of their hospitality. Mr B replies that Mr A is a piece of ordure, or some other unmentionable substance. The riposte is hailed as a tremendous piece of repartee, as well as a full and complete answer to the challenge. Perhaps my own professional journalistic colleagues do not wish to seem to favour one of their own, but I have always had difficulty in seeing the pith or brilliance of this.

In point of fact, having quoted Mr Galloway's recent speech in Damascus ("The Syrian people are fortunate in having Bashar al-Assad as their leader") and having further pointed out that Mr Assad decided not to show his face in New York last week, as the UN investigation into the murder of Rafik Hariri rolled up more and more Syrian agents, I was given a full answer by being told that I had metamorphosed back from a butterfly into a slug, with a consequent trail of slime in my wake. I did not have the lepidopteral presence of mind to point out, at that moment, that butterflies pupate from sturdy and furry caterpillars.

I reiterated my point that the Syrian people have no say in their own good fortune, since they inherit a Dauphin from an absolute monarch. That did me no good at all in some circles. What I should have done, I now realise, is to say that George Galloway knows all about slime because he's so far inside the posterior passage of a murderous dictator that one can barely glimpse his Gucci buckles.
You gotta a love a man who can call another man a cornholer with such class.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:55 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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