Saturday, October 29, 2005

Religion & the MSM

When someone makes a remark that is less-than-flattering of Muslims, there is an immediate reaction from dozens of Muslim organizations, amplified by the MSM. Even when Muslims do something terrible, as happened on September 11, 2001 and many times before and thereafter (Daniel Pearl, Leon Klinghofer, the Russian schoolchildren, van Gogh, etc) the US media call for 'tolerance and understanding', and downplays the terrorist acts. There have been columns of newsprint agonizing over the post-9/11 'threatening' atmosphere toward Muslims in the United States and the Western world. However, it occurs to me that while we should definitely not encourage religious persecution, why aren't we worried about religious persecution when it is aimed at non-Muslims?

Case in point: Today the Sydney Morning Herald's online edition came out with a report that three Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia were beheaded in a brutal attack. Since beheadings have been for quite some time the favorite killing method of Muslims, and since the anti-Christian violence in the province of Sulawesi has been going on even after a cease-fire was negotiated in 2002, I wonder if this could be more of the same. Yet the US (and much of the rest of the Western world's) media, so obsessed with anti-Mulim acts here (many of which have turned out to be fakes perpetrated by Muslims themselves), have appeared to ignore this. Even the Sydney Morning Herald doesn't really explore the possibility that the attackers were Muslim, though the story itself leaves little doubt that they were. Nice brave Muslims, attacking innocent schoolgirls. Want to try that on one of our Marines, bullyboy? Of course not. The Marine might fight back- or more likely kill the S.O.B.

Hey MSM. There is a lot of anti-Christian persecution out there. In fact, most totalitarian states out there (China, Burma, North Korea, virtually any Muslim state) tend to be seriously opposed to Christianity.

Now I wonder why that is? It is interesting, since throughout history, Christianity has been a bottom-up religion. It has never been imposed on people by force. Constantine made it the official religion of the Roman Empire, but he didn't do it with an army- he merely acknowledged that it was now a mainstream religion. Even the Crusades were not an attempt to impose Christianity by force on Muslims. They were, if you will recall your history, called fby Pope Urban in 1095 on receipt of the news that Jerusalem had been brutally sacked and taken by the Muslims- just as so many other socieities had before them. In fact, it is Islam, not Christianity, that has a reputation of spreading by the edge of the sword. Ask the vanished cultures of North Africa. And today, the Sudan's Christians are being slowly and deliberately eliminated as quickly as possible, in the Darfur area, it appears.

So I ask the MSM. Could you possibly mention that once in a while? Otherwise, it might seem as though you didn't care about Christians being persecuted. Unless of course you really do enjoy seeing Christians persecuted and murdered? Just wondering...

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

UPDATE: I have been cruising the blogosphere, and I see that both Captain's Quarters and Michelle Malkin have noted this new Muslim atrocity as well- with suitable commentary.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Thoughts on the Left

I have been thinking about the Left's stubborn refusal to ally themselves wwith their own country in most conflicts, and their equally stubborn refusal to support war when the national interests off their country are engaged. They seemingly only support the use of troops in earthquakes, tsunamis or other disaster relief or possibly in areas where the national intersts of the United States are undoubtedly not in play- like Clinton's Kosovo operation.

I think I have finally figured it out. Lefties are basically cowards. They are very good at ankle-biting, but they are not very good at leading or actually putting their country's best interests ahead of their own. Why is this? I belive it may be because so many of them came of age believing that they were the end-all of existence, and if they put their country's interests first and admitted that there are some things worth fighting for, they might actually have to go do the fighting, which might actually bring the risk of death. And these Lefties are all much too important to die, don't you know?

The Left's sense of self-importance, coupled with their physical cowardice, is the reason the lies at the core of their anti-war, anti-American stance, in my opinion. Of course, they have never given much thought to what might happen if these folks they have spent the last fifty or a hundred years encouraging and covertly supporting actually win. What would the US be like today if we have lost the Cold War? What would this country be like if the Islamofascists (regrettably cheered on by most of the supposedly "modeate" Muslim world) win? Where would these Lefties be if their sweetheart Castro in Cuba was El Presidente here? Have they considered that? Have you?

Anti-War Patriots?

I observe that since more than 2000 US soldiers have now lost their lives in the ongoing campaign in Iraq, the anti-war Left led by the American Friends Service Committee (ever noticed how Lefties like naming their groups 'Committees'- reminds them of the good old days of the Bolshevik Committees of Three, I guess) saw the need to commemorate the 2000th death with a party, which duly occurred on October 26, 2005.

Never mind that more US Marines died in roughly 30 days at Iwo Jima (more than three times as many- 6821 to be exact, with over 20000 injured) than soldiers and Marines combined have died in almost four years in Iraq. On a side note, one does wonder how the mainstream media, with their fixation on casualties, would have covered the month-long campaign of Iwo Jima, had today's media been in existence back then. Thank goodness that the media during World War II was actually pro-American, not anti-American like their modern counterparts. But then understanding context would require knowledge of REAL history- something most Lefties are incapable of.

At least two conservative blogs, little green footballs and Michelle Malkin noted the unseemly glee on the part of the Left at this event. Needing to maintain their pretense of "support the troops, not the war" justification, the Leftie blogs in response protested that these commemorations would actually be very solemn events- no glee allowed.

Well, well. A photographer rightly took these Leftie protestations with a large grain of salt, and decided to check out the San Francisco and Berkeley events. His results are quite shocking, as he clearly shows the glee and happiness pervading both events. So it would seem that despite their hypocritical protests to the contrary, the Left was indeed pleased at the 2000th death in Iraq. He notes that the MSM, although corporeally present, was too busy taking pictures of candles, and taping protest singer wannabes to notice the unholy glee, happiness and the party atmosphere on the part of most of those present.

I ask myself, why are the Left so pleased that 2000 Americans have died trying to build a free society where none existed before? Could it be that they are actually AGAINST freedom? Could it be that they actually LIKE it when Americans with whom they disagree die? Could it be they actually WANT their own country to lose this war- even though our Muslim extremist enemies would have much less tolerance for their little agenda than any single one of their countrymen whom they so despise? Just asking....

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Michigan Anti-Patriotism

The state of Michigan has long been in the forefront of the anti-American movement. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), one of the major anti-American leftwing groups of the 1960s, was hatched at least partly on its campus. At this point, we should advise the reader that the SDS, along with other groups of that era, were heavily Communist in nature, who felt more loyalty towards the Soviet Union than toward the United States. As Todd Gitlin, one of the SDS' leaders, admitted in his book The Sixties, a great number of the SDS members were those young men and women who were brought up by covertly Communist parents, who weer trained in organization and who were hoping to spread Communist rule to the United States. Therefore, I consider the SDS a brand of fifth-element subversion, if not outright treason, considering at least some of their financing also came from the USSR.

Today, Michigan's anti-patriotic nature was once again bared for public display. the Florida TV station WFTV's website reports that a woman was actually fired for missing work the day after seeing her husband of 22 years off to Iraq. This despite telling her employers that she might not be able to make it in to work the day after seeing him off, and there being apparently no problem with that initially by her employer. However, instead of calling her to come in, the company sent her a note telling her to collect her belongings- she had been summarily terminated. This seems outrageous to me on the face of things. Is there no patriotism left in Michigan?

JKF once famously said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country." I doubt there are many Democrats or Leftists that still subscribe to that ideal. All in all, this is merely more evidence of the People's Republic of Michigan's lack of willingness to put Country ahead of Leftist Interests, I guess...

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Who's On Next?

I ingested the news of Harriet Miers' withdrawal from consideration as a Supreme Court justice reported here by Breitbart, with little regret. As much as I dislike the politics that forced her withdrawal, I also had serious reservations regarding her judicial qualifications.

I am not wedded to the idea that any Supreme Court nominee must be a judge, or even a lawyer. I think the past lawyerly actvism of our Supremes has gotten us into a very difficult situation, where we have justices looking outside the Constitution to justify their activist and unconstitutional decisions. However, Miers herself did not inspire much confidence on my part either- not just because of her lack of judicial experiecne, but becasue she is such an unknown. Stealth nominations have not worked out well for Republicans, and I would urge the President on his next nomination to go with someone who is a true conservative- a la the Ginsburg principle consistently utilized on the Left side of the aisle. Why are conservatives so afraid of what a bunch of ignorant and heavily biased media monkeys think? If presented well to the people, the media can do nothing more than snarl impotently- and last time I checked, conservatives outnumber liberals and lefties by a considerable percentage.

Mr. President, there are a number of well-qualified potential nominees out there- Eugene Volokh, Glenn Reynolds, Janice Brown, Michael Luttig, and others who momentarily escape my memory. Please select one of those, and let us begin removing the Court from its current status as Self-Appointed Arbiter of All Things to its traditional role of reserved originalism and strict constructionism. The Democrats and their rabid sponsors of the Left may not like it, but who has been winning elections- Republicans or Democrats? To the victor the spoils, I believe. You ran on a promise to fill any Court vacancies with strict contructionists. Fulfill that promise, Mr. President. Fulfill that promise!

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Happy Birthday, US Naval Airpower!

Brief post. Great significance. According to the Official Site of the US Navy, today is the eighty-fourth anniversary of the first successful launch of a seaplane using a compressed-air-powered catapult. This event occurred on October 26 in the year 1921. Exactly one year to the day later, Lieutenant Commander Godfrey de Chevalier made the first successful landing of a plane aboard a warship, landing safely aboard the USS Langley (CV1), while she was underway off Cape Henry, Virginia.

So why is this important? Well, because without naval airpower, we would have decidedly lost the Second World War and would proabbly be speaking either Russian or Japanese today. Or maybe we would be lucky and be speaking German. You liberal antiwar folks might want to think about that the next time before you mouth off one of your inane "War never solved anything" slogans.

I have a better slogan. Except for ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, war has never solved anything. The slogan is courtesy of the Protest Warriors. I highly recommend going to check out their site for more great pro-American signs, banners and news updates of their encounters with the ignorant Left.

Nude Nazi (Chinese) Girls in Hong Kong!

It seems that it is not all flowers and comradeship for the peace-loving Commies ruling in China. According to the Asian Sex Gazette, there has developed a recent craze for all things Nazi in the Land of the People's Republic.

Whereas our MSM Press and the Loony Left uses Nazi symbols and terms as derogatory references intended to shame Republicans (and which only serve to show their own unreality and hypocrisy- can anyone say Klan Kleagle Robert Byrd?), the Chinese apparently have decided that Nazification is a Good Thing!.

According to the ASG, Chinese in Hong Kong seem to see Nazis as very desireable beings to emulate- especially as their warlike vehicles were mostly made by Mercedes and Porsche- two brands in extreme demand amongst wealthy Chinese today as well, as is pointed out by the ASG report. However, the English-language media in Hong Kong, as ASG also points out, was apparently outraged by the publication. But so far no heads have rolled. On the other hand, this does say something about how differently Nazis are viewed in the East and the West, doesn't it?

In Japan, there are pornographic films frequently using Japanese Imperial soldiers and occasionally Nazis as the bad guys. These films usually involve many naked actresses being raped and killed- rarely with any retribution shown for the murderers. Now in China, we see that it seems to be OK to pose a nude Chinese hottie with Nazi regalia and a toy action figure made up to look like the German tank genius General Guderian.

Maybe the post-war re-education campaign needs to be re-visited? And I regret to say that our own Democratic Party might be well-advised to attend as well, seeing as how they appear to have a deep misunderstanding of the differences between Nazis and members of the Republican Party. And a lack of understanding regardin the power of rhetoric as well. Are you listening, Since the Left has little understanding or knowledge of history (other than their re-written version) I would remind these ignorant idiots that NAZI was short for National Socialist- and in their policies much more related to the Left than the Right. Oh, by the way, the Communists of whatever national origin are a brand of Socialists too. And who is responsible for most of the great massacres and genocides of the 20th Century? Hint: It isn't the Right. And certainly not the Republican Party, however much the Lefties wish it were. Just a thought....

Shashinshu Girls on the Web!

Well, when Walmart launched their blog, I thought I had seen everything in the blogosphere. However, thanks to an emailed tip from my good friend Mentok, I have now seen something even more entertaining. It appears that there is a blog entirely devoted to Japanese shashinshu girls!

To educate those unaware of this phenomenon, shashinshu girls are usually either young , attractive starlets beginning to break into the entertainment business, or established stars in need of more publicity!. They uncover themselves (though never entirely) for the weekly magazines and other less-reputable publications, and often publish photo books known as shashinshu (写真集), thus their designation as shashinshu girls.

The Cute Cosplay Angels blog appears to be a photoblog devoted entirely to these starlets, and is liberally covered with photographical evidence of these delectable young ladies in minimal attire. I have added it to my personal list of recommended blogs, though i would recommend caution before viewing. It is not precisely work- and girlfriend-safe, though entirely lacking in nudity. To paraphrase the great Joe Bob Briggs, "Much enjoyment, no breasts (except covered), shashinshu-girl-fu. Four stars. Joe Bob says check it out!"

Hat tip to Mentok, though he does not appear to have this on his blog as of yet.

10/27/05: 1044AM UPDATE: He does now...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Retief Revisited

I was reminded today about some of the classic Keith Laumer Retief of the CDT stories. To this reader's delight, at least some of them have been posted at Baen Books Online Library. And you can get at least one of the collections, Retief!, through

For those unfamiliar with the series, it follows the career of Jame Retief, a (mostly) junior member of the CDT (Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne), who is linguistically talented, physically gifted, intelligent, has little patience for fools, and rarely follows procedures to get the job done. For all these perceived faults, he does usually manage to succeed in whatever mission was asigned him, though his superiors do their best to deny him credit wherever possible (and in some cases promote those who do their best to work against their own Corps best interests).

As one of the reviewers noted, Retief took on PC (the dreaded Political Correctness) long before most people even realized it was a problem. Keith Laumer created one of the most memorable and believable heroes in the pantheon of science fiction. And he managed to do it with a nice mix of humor and adventure, maintaining his tone, something few other writers were able to master. Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Who's the Real Racist?

I find the media's depiction of various ethnic groups interesting. When a Cynthia MacKinney or a Louis Farrakhan spews their hate-filled utterances, the mainstream media says not a word about the repugnancy and racism inherent in their statements. When a Hispanic supremist group called Mecha who is the exact counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan, and whose official motto is "Por la raza, todo; fuera de la raza, nada" (For the Race, everything; for those outside the race, nothing) publishes a Spanish-language newsletter advocating the takeover by force of the southwestern states in order to create a glorious new Mexican empire, the mainstream press remains silent.

However, when a pair of young, attractive white girls make money espousing what appear on first sight to be much milder sentiments regarding their own (white) race, the media immediately brands them as 'white nationalists" who are "preaching a message of hate".

Really? I would not argue that despite their attractiveness, songs praising Rudolf Hess are in questionable taste. However, consideering the media's claims for First Amendment protection for pornography and anti-Semite and anti-white speech, how dare these same people to paint these girls as racist without acknowledging their duplicity in failing to equally brand their favored groups as racist. Just more evidence of the MSM's bankrupt morality...

It seems to me that if one if black, or Hispanic, then the Media will follow along with no questions on your racist and often repugnant agenda. After all, white men are fair game. Along with Christians, of course! But if you happen to be a white person, then your every utterance is automatically suspect to the nattering nabobs of negativity. Who aree themselves mostly white too! i guess that if you are in the Press, your color doesn't matter. It is only the non-Press whose color makes their utternaces worthy or non-worthy of reportage. This merely confirms my view of the Press as morally and practically corrupt...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Video Updates for Mac

My friend Leo M has posted a fascinating and highly useful update on video codecs you might want to use on your Mac OSX box instead of Apple's proprietary QuickTime player.

Speaking as one who actually has the QuickTime Pro bundle, I must confess that QuickTime does have issues with some movies- especailly those which are large files. The pause functionality doesn't always work as designed, and the movies are big-time meory hogs. Check out Leo's list at Expat-Leo's Blogroll.

More Miers Missteps...

Well, if the President's news on Harriet Miers wasn't already bad enough, it just got worse. According to the excellent Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters, it appears that Miers is not only tied to some highly questionable sweetheart deals in Texas, but it also appears that Bush's campaign paid her an eye-popping amount of money during his campaign for Texas governor.

Bush is undoubtedly right on the One Big Thing of our times, as eruditely explained by Victor Davis Hanson, but I have come to the concludion that he is undoubtedly wrong on this Miers nomination. Not only does Miers lack strong qualifications, but she has a meagre paper trail, making it difficult at best to guess which wayn she might vote, and she apparently has some uncomfortable insider connections that make it even more difficult for me to endorse her for a postiion of such gravity and importance as Supreme Court nominations have unfortunately become.

With all this new evidence, I have reluctantly come to believe that it is best if the President withdraws her nomination. There are many far more qualififed onminees available (Luttig, Volokh, Brown, etc) and any one of them would be a fine choice for the Court. Miers is simply not in that category.

Hat tip to Captain's Quarters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

And More Streetwalkers Unite...

It appears that the push to unionize streetwalkers, as I commented on some posts back, has expanded past the streets of the base slums of South Korea. The Asian Sex Gazette is approvingly reporting that Australian migrant sex workers (read prostitutes) are pushing for work visas and a "union spokesperson" claims that most would continue working in the trade, given the choice.

The union (Scarlet Alliance) president, one Janelle Fawkes, goes on to claim that sex slavery is "largely a myth". She says that most of the migrant prostitues (who are apparently primarily from South East Asia) have come due to Australia's "improved working conditions". There's a great hook for the Tourist Bureau. "Come to Australia, where we even have better working conditions for prostitutes!" Of course, Fawkes also wants the government to give her union recognition and legalize prostitution. Along with work visas, of course. Funny how visas from poor countries to wealthy countries seem to be valuable despite the Asian World's well-publicized "better cultural traditions".

The Australian Minister of Immigration responded by comparing sex workers to fruit pickers as not having any special skills and said that Australian industry had no demand. No demand? Maybe not industry, but I find it highly doubtful that Australian individuals have no demand for exotic South East Asian prostitutes. Certainly their sisters in Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines have no problem finding clientele!

I find the entire episode amusing. Maybe they need their own version of Karl Marx. Das Kopulate? The Prostitute Manifesto? Hmmm....

Well, it Beats Gangsta Rap...

The Daily Mainichi, one of Japan's biggest newspapers, breathlessly reports that Japanese teens have formed their own variety of patois out of normal Japanese conversation. Words such as 忙人 (isojin= busy person) and カラコ (karako= color copy) are being created and then bandied around at an alarming rate and the adults aren't able to catch up. According to the October 18th edition of the Weekly Playboy (no relation to the U.S.'s better-known Playboy magazine), things have gotten to a point where the police have begun keeping a dictionary of teenage slang.

However, even the paper sees little value in adults spending time trying to learn this new patois. Like American gangsta rap music and the terminology re-invented by every new generation of US teenagers, it goes out of style very quickly as teens look for new and better ways to make their mark. Seems to me it is just another way of garnering attention, though it is fascinating from a linguistic standpoint. And it does beat the repulsive 'music' forced on us by supposed 'artists' such as the amusingly-named but untalented P-Diddy and Tupac Shakur.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ingrates in Inchon

According to Peter Brookes, the rising anti-Americanism in South Korea has led the forces of radicalism to want to destroy the statue of Douglas MacArthur standing at Inchon. For those who may not recall, MacArthur was the commanding general who liberated Korea first from the Japanese during World War II, then led the United Nations forces to defend South Korea from the invading Communists under Kim Il Sung, the despot of North Korea. Had that defense not occurred, and had 37000 US forces not given their lives to protect South Korea, the entire Korean peninsula would today be ruled by Kim Jong Il. Would these anti-American protestors prefer to live like the North, as opposed to their current comfortable lifestyles?

I am always amazed by protestors like this. They wish to throw the United States out, claiming that we are the Great Satan or some other disparaging epithet. Do these people really believe that life without the protection of the United States would be somehow preferable? Have they ever done anything to protect their way of life? And have they thought out the ultimate logic of their anti-Americanism? I remember during the Cold War that the constant song of the Left was that the US and the USSR were simply two sides of the same coin. Do these new radicals claim that in regards to China? But yet they forget that we Americans have fought and died in Europe, the South Pacific, Europe, North Africa, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq to protect people from enskavement. In many of these places, there was nothing at stake for the United States, yet we sent our precious soldiers to protect people who certainly had no love for us- see the still-ongoing events in Kosovo and the Middle East. Not to mention that it was Western willpower that finally ended the slave trade- a trade that Europeans did not begin, and in which they were not the main participants.

I would be the first to admit that the United States is not perfect. But has there ever been a more benevolent superpower during its heyday? Only Great Britain comes close in that regard- no one else can even be considered. Do these anti-Americans forget the horrific results of Muslim imperial expansionism? Have they mislaid the memory of the Chinese Empire's depradations on the rest of Asia? Would prefer a modern-day version of Genghis Khan, or perchance Tamerlane? And I further wonder, with whom do these protestors wish to replace us? The Communist Chinese? I don't recall that we slaughter our own citizens (Tianenmen Square, 1989)and jail dissidents on purely political charges the way the Chinese Communists do. If we did, neither Cindy Sheehan nor Jane Fonda would be at liberty. Yet both of these traitors are still openly shilling their repulsive opinions despite their clear breach of our own treason laws. Nor do we outlaw groups like the Falung Gong. Heck, we even let Muslims terrorist wanabes run their little mosques in the open, despite their constant attempts to kill us!

It has been written that power abhors a vacuum. If we were to withdraw, some other country would try to seize our empty place, and I doubt they would like the consequences from the likely applicants. They might want to consider that, for a change, instead of mouthing their mindless anti-American chants. But then that would require thought- something of which I doubt they are capable.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Cultural Decay in Japan?

Japan has long been considered the land of tradition, and the zealous cultural guardians, particularly those whose livelihood depends on it have been successful thus far in safe-guarding the tradiotions. However, things may be changing. According to the Daily Mainichi Shinbun, young Japanese are just as randy and as neglectful of their cultural traditions as are many of our own youth over here.

The article in question claims that young couples are engaging in noisy sexual escapades at traditional Japanese inns, and the article seems to be worrying about the effect on the coutry's traditions.

In yet another assault on Japanese traditions, it seems that young so-called 'office ladies' (girls in their late teens and twenties who work in companies as decorative fixtures until they marry employees) are apparently rebelling against the status quo. Wai-Wai reports that they are using methods like wringing dishwater into their boss's cups of tea to get back at their second-class treatment.

Well, well. The more things change, the more they stay the same....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Remember the Cole

It is a slow week for blogging here, due to the demands of my work, coupled with the needs of Baby Gankomon at home. If you happen to have a three-week-old baby, you know the demands of which I speak. I will get caught up once the current needs subside somewhat.

In the meantime, I may be belated, but Michelle Malkin had a wonderful tribute to the murdered sailors of the USS Cole. For those of you who do not recall (or who have deliberately forgotten), October 12, 2005 was the fifth anniversary of the attack on the destroyer USS Cole by Al Quaida during the Clinto Administration. The lack of response to this act of war was one of many signals that we ignored at our peril, and which eventually led to the events of September 11, 2001, according to Marc Genest, an associate professor at the Naval War College.

For a more detailed tribute, please see the Stars and Stripes, the official newspaper of the United States Armed Forces.

More Minority Smears

Apparently Louis Farrakhan is still parroting the discredited Loony Left/RaceMongerers line that the Katrina disaster was all a put-up job to kill blacks. reports that Farrakhan claimed a bomb burst the New Orleans levees, not the hurricane's winds. He claimed a member of the Army Corps of Engineers actually told him that there wer brun marks on the levee.

Interesting how all these so-called 'black leaders' are so quick to denigrate the feds' attempts to help their people. Whether it is claiming the federal government is out to destroy them (a job they seem to be doing quite well all by themselves) or blaming the response on racism, there is little attempt to rally their people to any sort of self-improvement. I guess it is easier to expect others to give than to actually put any effort into improving yourself.

One reads that the black population is highly religious. Yet whatever happened to the Biblical idea that help comes to those who help themselves? Charity for those in need is fine, but a culture of victimhood helps no one. Maybe Louis might want to think about that before he casts any more stones at folks who actually did help the Katrina victims - certainly more than he did.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Thoughts on Miers

Slow week for me, since I was out of town at a conference with little or no Internet access. Hopwever, I did manage to hear the big news regarding Bush's second Supreme Court pick. I have little knowledge regarding Harriet Miers, but based on the surface resume, I find myself agreeing with Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin and others on the Miers candidacy. Is this the best that Bush can do for a Supreme Court candidate? There have been some formidable names bandied about from the center-right on this, and the fact that none of them were chosen, does not bode well for conservaitve hopes of retaking the Court from the leftist activits.

And I have another question- why is it OK for an unabashed leftist like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be appointed with little or no brouhaha, but not even a clearely centrist like Roberts can be proposed by a republican administration without 'controversy'?

According to several of the center-right pundits, including Glenn Reynolds and those cited above, the center-right is outraged by this choice. It may be that Bush has at last done what I thought was impossible- lost the Republican Party the Congress as well as the White House. This decidedly underwhelming nomination, coupled with his lack-luster performance on border control, may prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back for many conservatives. Remember also that many of us are already outraged at Bush's lack of fiscal discipline.

However, I do have a question for the Press and the pundits. Since when did leftists become a majority of this country- depsite their overwhelming presence on editorial boards and in newspaper staff rooms? And why are the opinions emanating from the Left more valuable than those from the Right? Last time I recall a poll, more people self-identified as 'conservative' than did as 'liberal'. That really ought to tell the White House something about who voted for them and where their path ought to lie- expecially considering the possible opposition in 2008. Too bad they don't seem to be paying attention...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Gray Art?

Since at least the 19th century, there has been an undercurrent of illegal activity running through the market for Greco-Roman antiquities. Due to the fact that it was the Europeans and Americans who first made archaeology an accepted pursuit, and many wealthy Europeans and Americans who pursued the collection of ancient treasures while the Greeks and Italians were still busy scratching out an existence, many of the foremost pieces remaining from the ancient world reside in museums outside their areas of origin. For example, the magnificent Altar of Zeus from Pergamum is in the Berlin Pergamon Museum, and the equally inspiring Elgin Marbles are to be found in the British Museum.

Although at least some of these treasures were acquired legitimately (in the case of the Elgin Marbles, Lord Elgin paid the Greek government of the time for their removal) there has been ongoing controvery over who actually should have possession. Throughout much of the 20th century, Greece and Italy have conducted campaigns for the return of these treasures. And modern-day museums and collectors pay millions for pieces from sometimes less-than-pure sources.

Today, we are reminded of this undercurrent by the announcement here that the Getty Museum has agreed to return to Italy three works that are the subject of a criminal trial. These were part of a larger consignment that Italy and the Getty Museum have yet to agree on. In fact, Italy is trying the Getty's antiquities curator on charges of rconspiring to receive stolen property. I guess every field has its own share of illicit activity- particularly when dealing in art and sculpture.