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6.26.2004

By the Sword 

OK, my jag is fencing. I've loved it ever since I first picked up a blade and it's something that, try as I might, I can't give up.

This Olympics we have an outstanding chance for a medal -- the first time since Peter Westbrook's bid back in the 80's. And it's in a fairly new weapon: Women's Sabre! It looks as if Mariel Zagunis -- only 19 -- from Oregon and her other teammates, Sada Jacobsen (ranked #1 in the world) and Emily Jacobsen (ranked 8th) will make an outstanding offering and a great chance for medals in Athens. While our men's teams fared pretty well in qualifications, individually it hasn't been such a pretty picture. Frankly, our women are tearing up the field, with Kamara James from Jamaica, NY qualifying for Women's Epee individual competition.

No doubt -- we have the strongest team in decades. It is to be hoped that we will attract the attention of NBC and actually get some airtime this round.
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Olympic Security 

Of interest:

Athens Puts Games Security Ahead of NATO

While it is somewhat comforting to know that the Greek government is doing all it can to avoid a repeat of Munich, I have to admit I fear it will not be enough. Security cameras and other gear that were supposed to be installed at the Village remain uninstalled and there is conjecture that such things will have to be scaled back as construction is so far behind schedule. Negative press about having the Games in Athens has been overwhelming, and it has affected other pretty basic elements of the event as well.

We in the US have the potential to do very well at the Games this year and it discomfits me to have to put our athletes in jeopardy. But I know how hard it is when one gets the word that we will not participate in the Games; it's not an easy road to get there by any means and when one faces the reality that the next chance comes in another four years...hey, a lot can happen in that time and opportunities can be lost quickly.

God be with our athletes and keep them safe from harm.
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Living in the past 

Bush's reception in Ireland is reported to be almost hostile....

Antiwar protests expected to cloud U.S.-EU summit

ENNIS, Ireland President George W. Bush was set to arrive at the heavily guarded Dromoland Castle in County Clare on Friday night as the authorities braced for what were expected to be large demonstrations across Ireland against the U.S. occupation of Iraq....Widespread opposition to the Iraq war and revulsion at the Abu Ghraib prison scandal have turned a large portion of Irish popular opinion against him.

...But the centrist Irish Independent said in an editorial Friday that while Bush's trip would be the equivalent for the protesters of "a visit from the Devil Incarnate," the demonstrations "seem a bit out of touch."

The newspaper added that with the planned transfer of power from the United States to the Iraqis on June 30, Ireland was "now tantalizingly close to the big step that the Americans have been promising all along."

..."There is no point in us continuing to focus on the passionate argument about intervention," Christopher Patten, the European Union's commissioner for external relations, told White House reporters staying in Ennis, a town about 10 kilometers, or six miles, from Dromoland Castle. "We have a shared interest in trying to ensure that the new Iraq is able to be open, pluralistic, democratic and, pray God, stable as well, despite the present exceptionally difficult security situation.".

To read the whole thing, see Bush Faces a Hostile Reception in Ireland, by Elizabeth Bushmiller for the NYT, as reported in the International Herald Tribune.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Patten's got the right idea: put aside the question of whether or not we should have gone to Iraq, that's water under the bridge, and let's get on with helping these people enjoy the freedom they deserve. That means not dropping them on their collective ass again like we did 12 years ago. It also means that in order to do this right, we have to follow Ghandi's admonition not to turn people into beggars; don't just give handouts. Let people earn what they want.

Keep the faith. This whole debacle is not automatic and shouldn't be. It will take years, and sometimes it's not going to take a direction we're always comfortable with. But so be it. I know it sounds awfully colonial, but a certain amount of that will have to take place if Iraq is going to have a stable government. There's a whole generation of Iraqis out there who haven't a clue what freedom really means. They've never experienced it in their lifetimes but it is to be hoped that they can listen to those for whom freedom has been a part of life.
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Living in the past 

Bush's reception in Ireland is reported to be almost hostile....

Antiwar protests expected to cloud U.S.-EU summit

ENNIS, Ireland President George W. Bush was set to arrive at the heavily guarded Dromoland Castle in County Clare on Friday night as the authorities braced for what were expected to be large demonstrations across Ireland against the U.S. occupation of Iraq....Widespread opposition to the Iraq war and revulsion at the Abu Ghraib prison scandal have turned a large portion of Irish popular opinion against him.

...But the centrist Irish Independent said in an editorial Friday that while Bush's trip would be the equivalent for the protesters of "a visit from the Devil Incarnate," the demonstrations "seem a bit out of touch."

The newspaper added that with the planned transfer of power from the United States to the Iraqis on June 30, Ireland was "now tantalizingly close to the big step that the Americans have been promising all along."

..."There is no point in us continuing to focus on the passionate argument about intervention," Christopher Patten, the European Union's commissioner for external relations, told White House reporters staying in Ennis, a town about 10 kilometers, or six miles, from Dromoland Castle. "We have a shared interest in trying to ensure that the new Iraq is able to be open, pluralistic, democratic and, pray God, stable as well, despite the present exceptionally difficult security situation.".

To read the whole thing, see Bush Faces a Hostile Reception in Ireland, by Elizabeth Bushmiller for the NYT, as reported in the International Herald Tribune.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Patten's got the right idea: put aside the question of whether or not we should have gone to Iraq, that's water under the bridge, and let's get on with helping these people enjoy the freedom they deserve. That means not dropping them on their collective ass again like we did 12 years ago. It also means that in order to do this right, we have to follow Ghandi's admonition not to turn people into beggars; don't just give handouts. Let people earn what they want.

Keep the faith. This whole debacle is not automatic and shouldn't be. It will take years, and sometimes it's not going to take a direction we're always comfortable with. But so be it. I know it sounds awfully colonial, but a certain amount of that will have to take place if Iraq is going to have a stable government. There's a whole generation of Iraqis out there who haven't a clue what freedom really means. They've never experienced it in their lifetimes but it is to be hoped that they can listen to those for whom freedom has been a part of life.
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The Death of Logic 

Frighteningly typical.....

Quote of the Day II
"One of the reasons he [Kenneth Starr] got away with it is because people like you only ask me the questions. You gave him a complete free ride. Any abuse they wanted to do. They indicted all these little people from Arkansas, what did you care about them, they're not famous, who cares that their life was trampled. Who cares that their children are humiliated. Nobody in your line of work cared a rip about that at the time. Why, because he was helping their story. And that's why people like you always help the far-right, because you like to hurt people, and you like to talk about how bad people are and all their personal failings" -- Bill Clinton losing his cool in a BBC interview to be broadcast Tuesday night (available on the Web at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/default.stm).


From John Fund's Political Diary, June 22, 2004. Emphasis mine.

If there was any doubt in my mind about where the Democratic Party was coming from, it has now been removed. Then again, I suppose it all depends on what my definition of "is" is...

And yes, I indeed tar the whole Democratic Party with the same brush as I do Bill, the King of Nuance. Why? Because it is obvious that the Clintons still control the left side of the aisle. It hasn't ceased since BC left office. The same style of argument continues to appear, over and over again, like a scratched record; their candidates continue to use it, even when they appear not so sure it will work. And it's not because they came up with the ideas themselves. Watch carefully: the embarassment when their fallacies are uttered is plain. But these are people who feel they have no choice.

Wonder howcome that is....


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5.23.2004

Hegemony, indeed 

For those of you who don't read the Policy Review, you don't know what you're missing.

This latest issue has part two of an excellent series by John van Oudenaren on the differences between power and purpose: Unipolar versus Unilateral. The first installation of this series came a little over a year ago, with his paper on the definition of multilateralism.

RTWT.
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5.19.2004

Crappy Siphon Job 

Guy tries to steal diesel fuel from unsuspecting RV'ers but with disastrous results.

I know it's probably cruel, but.....


MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
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Four arrested in Nick Berg beheading.... 

........except for the one that counts.

Keep truckin', guys.

(ViaWorldNetDaily)
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A call for the end of Moral Equivalence 

Garry Kasparov writes today in the WSJ OpinionJournal:

It is not only Al Jazeera talking about "insurgents" in Iraq, it is CNN. Many in Europe and even some in the U.S. are trying to differentiate "legitimate" terrorism from "bad" terrorism. Those who intentionally kill innocent civilians are terrorists, as are their sponsors. No political agenda should be allowed to advance through terrorist activity. We need to identify our enemy, not play with words.


RTWT.
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5.18.2004

Glurge Alert/1999 redux 

Oh, gawd, it's back.

This evening, I opened my mailbox to find a message in there from a dear friend who had found this yecch in his box and asked what I thought (Re: MAY 19 NOT PURCHASE GAS...). So here we go again.

Y'all, see Snopes. Here's the money, and it sums it all up for me:

An event like a "gas out" can sometimes do some good by calling attention to a cause and sending a message. In this case, though, the only message being sent is: "We consumers are so desperate for gasoline that we can't even do without it for a few days to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with its cost." What supplier is going to respond to a message like that by lowering its prices?




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5.12.2004

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack... 

At least for a bit. Sorry R/L got in the way, but that's the breaks. Thanks for being patient :)
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I'm baaaaaaaaaaack... 

At least for a bit. Sorry R/L got in the way, but that's the breaks. Thanks for being patient :)
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The Great Divorce 

.....has yet to happen, and so much the worse for the Democrats. It's not just those of us on this side of The Pond that notice, either:

It needs to be said that it did not have to be this way. The Democratic Party has behaved shamefully ever since their defeat in the 2002 midterms, and instead of offering constructive but supportive criticism of the war effort have engaged in shrill, opportunistic defeatism. Had the Democrats endorsed the war sincerely, this election would be less important than it is, however to do that would require the Democrats first, to drive out the angry left - something they are as yet unwilling to do. I'm the first to admit that I wanted Al Gore to win in 2000, yet now I can't conceive of the course of events that would lead me not to cheer for Bush. I am quite confident that he will be comfortably re-elected this fall, but I also think that this election will have long shadow. They don't realise it yet, but for many people September 11th and the subsequent war are such a focal point in their lives that their impression of the Democrats for a long time to come has been tainted.



From The Edge of England's Sword....what a great blog. Thank you, Iain Murray....
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4.13.2004

The Lessons of Corporate America 

The scary thing is, these are the improvements.............the lessons supposedly learned from the corporate business model.

It ain't jus' guvmint, massah.....
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4.06.2004

This is just cool 

My Inner Hero - Paladin!



I'm a Paladin!


I strive to help others, and to bring truth and harmony to the world however I can. Whether times are good or bad, you can always count on me. I'm a shoulder to cry on, a champion for the helpless, and an all around nice person.



How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.
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