6:03 PM Nov 30, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Some pickup lines will land you in jail.

In case you were wondering...

4:43 PM Nov 30, 2004by Rob Ritchie

... this is what suppression of dissent looks like:

Reporters Without Borders has strongly protested against the Iran's relentless efforts to stifle free expression online after the arrest of five webloggers in less than two months, the latest on 28 November 2004.

h/t: Michelle Malkin

Why Condi's Nomination Angered the Left

4:27 PM Nov 30, 2004by Rob Ritchie

From Donald Luskin, I find this terrific post by Astute Blogger. It's very good, and I recommend you read it all.

To the Left, people behave in ways that are infoirmed by their race and gender and class – if they are “authentic.” When people go against that – do whatever they want to do based on who they are as individuals - they’re “selfish” and they violate their membership and status in their group(s); they are inauthentic traitors.

7:07 PM Nov 29, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Jeff Soyer's "Weekly Check on the Bias" is up, with special attention to the "Tree Stand Shooting"

Whither piquant sass?

5:43 PM Nov 29, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Rachel Lucas is going undercover:

The other five e-mails, though, were a little frightening, and it seems I may have what can only be called a stalker. Of sorts. Suffice to say some Michael Moore fans hate me more than I hate Michael Moore. Which is kind of flattering but also really scary. John has been telling me for years to stop blogging under my real name, and you know what? I think it's time. I want to blog but I haven't felt free to truly express myself in a long, long time because of the hate mail and creepy folk who know how to do people searches. I don't live in a swanky apartment building with a doorman and security like Michael Moore does, that fat pig of a loathesome scumbag.

So I'm going to go anonymous, with a new blog. How will you, my loyal readers, know that it's me? I don't know. I'm sorry. But I'm guessing, and I know it's a correct guess, that 99% of you understand completely and will support this change wholeheartedly because you probably don't want my doorbell to be rung by some psycho hippie who thinks Fahrenheit 9/11 is the greatest truth ever told.

Rachel was one of the first blogs I started reading on a regular basis. She's been really, really sketchy lately (for some very good reason) but I've always dropped by every few days.

I'll miss her. Thanks for intruducing me to blogging, Rachel.

1:27 PM Nov 29, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Gott-dammit, this story makes me mad!

New Robot

12:59 PM Nov 28, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Thanks to Sean Gleeson, I introduce the Autorantic Virtual Moonbat on my side-bar (to the right).

Because we can never get enough of the leftist hate.


10:50 AM Nov 26, 2004by Rob Ritchie

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Here are a few pictures from the day.

Here I am demolishing the bird to the best of my ability.

Donna shows us the secret ingredient in her delicious southern dumplings. (click to enlarge - "Made with Love")

And here's the result. Thanksgiving isn't the most beautiful of meals, but probably the most tasty.

Click Image for a Special Message

1:06 PM Nov 25, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Completely Pointless

6:35 PM Nov 24, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I can imagine few things more pointless than this news article:

A new study shows the state is home to 920,000 ''snowbirds,'' seasonal residents who flock to Florida during winter. They are usually from New York, over 55, and wealthier than retirees who reside in Florida year-round.

Quick! Somebody let Florida Cracker know!

5:49 PM Nov 24, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

In this OpinionJournal column, Bridget Johnson discusses Hollywood's shyness about presenting Arabs as bad guys in the movies (or, really, anywhere at all). She specifically mentions the famous case in the Tom Clancy movie The Sum of All Fears, where the Palestinian terrorists in the book are changed to neo-Nazis.

In a recent conversation with a struggling liberal screenwriter, I brought up the Clancy film as an example of Hollywood shying away from what really affects filmgoers--namely, the al Qaeda threat vs. the neo-Nazi threat. He vehemently defended the script switch. "It's an easy target," he said of Arab terrorism, repeating this like a parrot, then adding, "It's a cheap shot."

Uh, ok. It's cheap and obvious when you make the villians Arab terrorists, but it's somehow brave and challenging to make them friggin' Nazis!?!?!?

Got to stick it to those Nazis, man! Got to take them down a peg!

'Cause, like, nobody'd expect the bad guys to be Nazis!

5:35 PM Nov 24, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

World on Fire

What would you do with $150,000?

Pious gratitude to: Kathy

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

5:28 PM Nov 24, 2004by Rob Ritchie

It is very likely that I won't be posting anything tomorrow, as we will be having family over to the house for Thanksgiving, and it seems rude to be blogging while the house if full of folks.

So, I'll take the opportunity of wishing everyone a happy and meaningful Thanksgiving. Remember the reason for the day.

And I mean more than turkey, though that's certainly something to be thankful for!

Update:  If you're hosting your Thanksgiving dinner, you might wish to consider this.

2:44 PM Nov 23, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Jeff Soyer's Weekly Check on the Bias is up.

12:07 PM Nov 23, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Here's some good advice:

Jail isn't supposed to be the Hilton, which is why people should avoid behavior which lands them there.


5:29 PM Nov 22, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Please think very carefuly before you follow this link.

If reading it doesn't make you squirm, you probably aren't a man.

5:24 PM Nov 22, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Lynn S. has an idea for a reality TV show:

Pick a small group of students - say, two male and 2 female - from Berkeley and two male and two female students from Oral Roberts University and have them switch places for a whole semester. Pick only juniors and seniors so they would already be fully immersed in their own school's culture. I'm halfway serious about this. It would be entertaining and educational.

I'd probably not watch it, because I loath reality shows, but it is an interesting idea.

1:46 PM Nov 22, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Burning Cross Left at Home of Interracial Couple on Long Island

Awakened by a loud bang and the ring of their doorbell, an interracial couple peered out the front window of their Long Island home at 3 a.m. yesterday and saw a cross burning on the front lawn.

Dang, those racist SOBs had a long trek from the Red States! As Tim Blair says, "the Klan is apparently active in non-Jesusland."

1:38 PM Nov 22, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

At Power Line, Dafydd ab Hugh offers an interesting perspective in What happened in Santiago?

Judging from your comments, I don't think you guys realize the seriousness of what happened in Chile. Let me put it into perspective: the president has been marked for death by hundreds of terrorist groups; he is in a foreign country, one where there have been near contintuous riots against America and against him, personally, over the Iraq War; as he's walking into a banquet hall, the local police intentionally cut him off from his security detail.

If the first thought that popped into your mind when you heard about that was not "assassination," then your mind is still laboring in a pre-9/11 world.

It's entirely possible that rather than "rescuing" his detained Secret Service detail, Bush in fact saved his own life. If there was a plan, if this wasn't just a random act of rudeness by the Chilean police (why would they do that?), then Bush's quick thinking may have forced the would-be attackers to abort the operation.

This little incident needs a thorough and complete investigation by Chile, as well as by the CIA. The incident the next day -- where the Bush team demanded everyone at the next banquet pass through metal detectors -- shows that they had the same thought I did (and we all should have had); the fact that Chile refused, even to the point of scuttling the party, is troubling, to say the least.

There are a lot of people out there who want to see George W. Bush dead; alas, there are a lot of heads of state who would not shed a tear. In this day and age, when armed local cops intentionally cut the president off from his security detail, that should be taken as no less a violent act that when an anti-aircraft missile battery "paints" an American plane with fire-control radar.

12:46 PM Nov 22, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

According to this story, the Iraqi elections will procede even in those areas still under partial control by anti-government forces:

Farid Ayar, spokesman of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (news - web sites), said voting would push ahead even in areas still wracked by violence — including Fallujah, Mosul and other parts of the volatile Sunni Triangle....

Ayar insisted that "no Iraqi province will be excluded because the law considers Iraq as one constituency, and therefore it is not legal to exclude any province."

It seems to me that this question must have been asked and answered during the American Civil War, as the Confederate States certainly weren't included in the election of 1864.

7:25 PM Nov 20, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Fr. Jim Tucker shares this poem:

On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness
by Arthur Guiterman

The tusks that clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is ferric oxide, known as rust.

The grizzly bear whose potent hug
Was feared by all, is now a rug.

Great Caesar's bust is on my shelf,
And I don't feel so well myself.

6:21 PM Nov 20, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Jeff Goldstein:

It’s worth remembering that Martin Luther King, Jr., a Christian civil rights advocate (and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from its founding in 1957 to his death in 1968), would today be pilloried by the progressivist left as a red state Uncle Tom—an inauthentic Black Bible thumping creationist who’s dream that people be judged not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” would be dismissed as anti-Black “code”—or rather, as the right’s usurpation of the language of “fairness" to keep minorities permanently oppressed by removing from the social equation historical contingency. Which critique, of course, is a big steaming load of self-serving horseshit.

5:31 PM Nov 20, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

My nephew Dave Pokraka is in town on business,
and we had supper together last night. Much fun was had, and much juicy, corn-fed beef was consumed

2:05 PM Nov 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Before reading it, fully confident that it's worth recommending, I provide this link to Victor Davis Hanson's lastest offering:

The Real Humanists

12:49 PM Nov 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

The Big Trunk writes:

In searching for reports on Fallujah's human slaughterhouses, I have come across reports that the torso of the dismembered woman discovered in Fallujah appears to be that of British aid worker Margaret Hassan: "DNA tests to reveal if body is Hassan."

The most recent news reports that I have been able to find on Fallujah's slaughterhouses are dated November 10. See, for example, the Telegraph's "US finds Fallujah 'slaughterhouses.'" The media's lack of interest in the most graphic evidence of the meaning of the war in which we are engaged is dumbfounding.

11:32 AM Nov 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

On Fridays I frequently treat myself to a latte from Starbucks before work, and while I'm waiting for my triple-shot 2% to be skillfully assembled, I look over the front page of the New York Times for articles of interest.

As a general rule, I don't have much time, as the employees are quite efficient at sloshing the joy-juice together, so I don't get much beyond the first couple of paragraphs before they are calling my name. However, even in that brief time, I usually see something that grabs my attention. Thus is the reputation of the fabled Gray Lady maintained and enhanced....

Today, however, the first paragraph of this story had me reeling with disbelief by the end of the first sentence:

While assembling a new national security team, President Bush is confronting what could become the biggest challenge of his second term: how to contain Iran's nuclear program and what some nuts in the administration believe to be Tehran's support of violence in Israel and insurgents in Iraq.

Ok, the word 'nuts' wasn't really in there, I added it, but it's certainly implied, isn't it?

Jeeze, I had thought that more than simply some in the Bush administration had suspicions about Iran's support for terrorists in Israel and Iraq. The front page of the NYT makes it sound like this is in doubt, like global warming -- oops, sorry, global warming isn't in doubt at the NYT -- uh, like Bigfoot, or something.

11:14 AM Nov 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Long Live Free Fallujah!

With the liberation of Fallujah and the fall of the jihadist regime in the town, it is apparent that American media intend to keep their story on message: the message being that the U.S. military operation there has failed and that Fallujans, and Iraqis in general, still hate the intervention forces.

At the same time, other reports tell a more significant and eloquent story: the jihadists had set up a Taliban-style dictatorship, in which women who did not cover their entire bodies, people listening to music, and members of spiritual Sufi orders -- that is, ordinary Fallujans -- were subject to torture and execution.

The Fallujans have learned the same lesson the Shias learned before them, and the Afghans before them: U.S. boots on Muslim soil may be onerous, but American military action is preferable to the unspeakably vicious criminality of Islamist extremists financed, recruited, and otherwise encouraged by Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia.

Go read it all.

3:46 PM Nov 18, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

2:15 PM Nov 18, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Hee hee hee!

Look, between hyping Joe Wilson and Richard Clarke, ignoring the Swift Boat Vets, to the CBS memo from Burkett, to the New York Times munitions report that only told half the story, to the exit polls that were catastrophically wrong, the mainstream media's performance over the past year resembles the Hindenberg crashing into the Titanic.

Oliver Willis has inspired me!

1:39 PM Nov 18, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Pious gratitude to: SitD

Protest singer's singin' a protest song

12:37 PM Nov 18, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Sparsely attended peace rally hearkens back to Vietnam era

A folk-singing icon of the 1960s who performed at Woodstock took centre stage at Gazebo Park on Saturday and wondered where the rage has gone.

I don't know. Maybe it's a-blowin' in the wind.

Country Joe McDonald stood in the Gazebo near Whyte Avenue, strummed his flat-top guitar and sang an antiwar protest song.

I'm shocked, shocked to learn that a folk singer from Woodstock might sing an antiwar protest song. Alert the media! Oh, wait, they're already here.

McDonald brought hundreds of thousands of young people to their feet in 1969 to jeer the Vietnam War at the Woodstock festival.

Oh, so he was responsible for the Brown Acid.

On this sunny afternoon, his presence attracted about 120 people to decry the American assault on Fallujah and the ongoing Iraq war.
It could be the quality of your music...
Like Jerry Hill, the majority of crowd members were middle-aged. Many were admitted old hippies.

Old hippies in Canada? I wonder how long they've been there....

"Do we need a draft again to inspire political protest?" asked Hill, a recently retired investment broker.

Why, yes, Hill, a draft would go a long way to inspire political protest, which is exactly why some House Democrats proposed it.

"There certainly is a great deal of apathy among the younger people."

Kids these days! Why, in my day, we were marching in the streets by day, and sprinting for the Canadian Border at night.

Eh, there's more, but why read it?

About that Fallujah Shooting...

12:04 PM Nov 18, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Via lgf I find this post over at Froggy Ruminations:

They're Called Security Rounds

I have looked around the web, and many people get this concept, but there are some stragglers. Here is your situation Marine. You just took fire from unlawful combatants shooting from a religious building attempting to use the sanctuary status of their position as protection. But you're in Fallujah now, and the Marine Corps has decided that they're not playing that game this time. That was Najaf. So you set the mosque on fire and you hose down the terrorists with small arms, launch some AT-4s (Rockets), some 40MM grenades into the building and things quiet down. So you run over there, and find some tangos wounded and pretending to be dead. You are aware that suicide martyrdom is like really popular with these kind of idiots, and like taking some Marines with them would be really cool. So you can either risk your life and your fireteam's lives by having them cover you while you bend down and search a guy that you think is pretending to be dead for some reason. Also, you don't know who or what is in the next room, and you're already speaking english to each other and its loud because your hearing is poor from shooting people for several days. So you know that there are many other rooms to enter, and that if anyone is still alive in those rooms, they know that Americans are in the mosque. Meanwhile (3 seconds later), you still have this terrorist that was just shooting at you from a mosque playing possum. What do you do?

You double tap his head, and you go to the next room, that's what.

What about the Geneva Conventions and all that Law of Land Warfare stuff? What about it. Without even addressing the issues at hand you first thought should be, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6." Bear in mind that this is a perpetual mindset that is reinforced by experiences gained on a minute by minute basis. Secondly, you are fighting an unlawful combatant in a Sanctuary which is a double No No on his part. Third, tactically you are in no position to take "prisoners" because there are more rooms to search and clear, and the behavior of said terrorist indicates that he is up to no good. No good in Fallujah is a very large place and the low end of no good and the high end of no good are fundamentally the same... Marines get hurt or die. So there is no compelling reason for you to do anything but double tap this idiot and get on with the mission.

If you are a veteran then everything I have just written is self evident, if you are not a veteran than at least try to put yourself in the situation. Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a week? It is not easy, and if you have never lived in NOW for longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for war crimes.

5:25 PM Nov 17, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

The other night we rented a bunch of movies we'd been meaning to see but hadn't, and also one that we had never heard of: Shoot or Be Shot, starring, of all people, William Shatner.

Shatner plays an escaped mental patient with a screen-play, who takes a film-crew hostage and forces them to make his movie. I can honestly say, without irony, that this is the best role I've ever seen Shatner in. He's completely believable.

This is a very funny, neat little movie with some terrific performances, and I recommend it if you enjoy movies about movies, and actors who don't take themselves too seriously.

1:31 PM Nov 16, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Hindrocket asks

Whatever happened to the left? When did it give up on the cause of freedom? I don't know. But the American left's abandonment of the cause of liberty is one of the saddest facts of modern history.

That's easy.

When left-leaning groups in this country were infiltrated by Soviet agents during the 60's and their ideology warped so as to equate 'freedom' with Communist slavery, and struggles against such slavery by free Democracies as 'Fascism' the left stopped being interested in the 'cause of freedom.'

And they've never been able to get it back. And they won't until they actually wonder if the previous paragraph just might be true.

11:22 AM Nov 16, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

What does it mean when someone says they've found Atlantis?

"We have definitely found it," said Sarmast, who led a team of explorers 50 miles off the south-east coast of Cyprus earlier this month.

Deep water sonar scanning had indicated man-made structures on a submerged hill, including a 3-kilometer-long wall, a walled hill summit and deep trenches, he said. But further explorations were needed, he added

Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that his deep-water sonar scanning has actually found something under the waters of the Mediterranean.

Does it follow that this exact place is the exact same thing as the utopian society described by Plato?

Or that it was the inspiration for Plato?

Can the concept of Atlantis be entirely divorced from the legends described by Plato? Of can any underwater place be called Atlantis if it allows you to call a press conference?

In the article, they describe a 'deluge' that effected the Mediterranean basin about 9000 BC. How reliable is this? Is this an event generally known and agreed-upon by geologists?

Any geologists out there care to comment?

Anyone? Anyone?

Update: Ugh! Can't spell in the morning. Numerous embarrassing typos fixed.

Sec. of State Condi Rice

11:02 AM Nov 16, 2004by Rob Ritchie

As part of this Instapundit post, reader Brian Crouch writes:

The media is overlooking something. Not only is Rice the first female black Secretary of State, she’s the first black person to replace another black cabinet official of any gender.

And do I need to mention this is the first administration to have two black Secretaries of State?

Thank God for the GOP’s affirmative action stance. Namely, “may the best person win.“

Later, "the more cynical Rand Simberg" responds:

Actually, the fact that it's not being hyped (overly or otherwise) by the press is an indicator not of progress on America's racial front, but an indictator that she was appointed by a Republican (you know, the Party of Lincoln), rather than by a Democrat.

To coin a phrase, 'Indeed'.

Back, sort of.

5:32 PM Nov 14, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Problems with my server caused this site to be psycho over the weekend, but I think it's fixed.

However, email is still AWOL, so if you send me something and it bounces [that is, it comes back to you with an error] then try leaving a comment on this post if you need to get in touch with me.

I'll post here when email is back on-line.

Update:  OK, email's back up.

Moral Values?

11:49 AM Nov 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Captain Ed has a post discussing the analysis of exit polling data concerning "Moral Values." It appears that voters didn't mention MVs unless they were given it as a choice; that if they were simply asked what issues were important to them, they didn't mentions it with much regularity.

I've been wondering why the term "Moral Values" has been interpreted by the MSM and anti-Christian leftists as a code-word for "Christian Fundimentalism." Presumably, Democrats who voted for Kerry believe in some sort of moral values; the term seems fairly neutral and it's interpretation subjective.

By way of example, let's look at the people who said that the Economy was a big factor in their vote. They could mean "The economy is awful, so we need a change;" or they could mean "The economy is wonderful and we need to stay the course." Since either motivation could be behind someone casting a vote based on "Economy" concerns, what exactly do the results mean?

Similarly, with "Moral Values." Does a person who says that they are an important factor in how they cast their vote mean "Bush is a big, fat liar, and thus immoral, and my concerns with Moral Values compells me to vote against him"?

I don't claim to be any sort of poll expert. Can anyone explain this for me?

Belly up, at last

1:31 PM Nov 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Update:  Power Line has a few items Omitted from Arafat's AP obituary

Update 2:  No, 'e's stunned!

Still more: Donnah tells us:

In lieu of burial, Mr. Arafat has asked that his body be exploded in a crowded Israeli marketplace, as is the custom of his people.
Meanwhile: My favorite Cake Eater provides a lesson in theology.
I hate to tell y'all this, but Arafat was a Muslim, hence he can't ever go up for canonization. I'm no imam, but I'm pretty sure they don't have saints in Islam.

Piling On:  Max Boot calls Arafat "...the pathetic embodiment of all that went wrong in the Third World after the demise of the European empires."

It's hard to disagree.

Something fun

12:28 PM Nov 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Click on the Bears

Happy Veterans Day!

11:11 AM Nov 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

A Proclamation

Americans live in freedom because of our veterans' courage, dedication to duty, and love of country. On Veterans Day, we honor these brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces and defended our Nation.

Across America, there are more than 25 million veterans. Their ranks include generations of citizens who have risked their lives while serving in military conflicts, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the war on terror. They have fought for the security of our country and the peace of the world. They have defended our founding ideals, protected the innocent, and liberated the oppressed from tyranny and terror. They have known the hardships and the fears and the tragic losses of war. Our veterans know that in the harshest hours of conflict they serve just and honorable purposes.

Through the years, our veterans have returned home from their duties to become active and responsible citizens in their communities, further contributing to the growth and development of our Nation. Their commitment to service inspires all Americans.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2004, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 7 through November 13, 2004, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I urge all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.


10:42 AM Nov 11, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

By now, I'm sure you've seen the Sorry Everybody site, where mewling crybabies post pictures of themselves "apologizing" to the world for the collective sin of failing to block the reelection of George W. Bush.

But I wanted to point out the genius pictured above. He points to a sign on the wall that reads "Politicians prefer unarmed peasants." The irony of this fine sentiment, which I suspect Jeff Soyer and Wayne LaPierre both have adhered to their respective bumpers, is no doubt lost on this moron.

I'm sure that when he's old enough to vote, he'll stay home on election day huffing NO2 like the rest of his peers.

Update:  Of course, not everybody's sorry!

4:06 PM Nov 10, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

From SitD I learn about America's First War On Terror (by Paul Fallon)

Well recommended.

11:57 AM Nov 10, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Florida Democrat P*****s Seek Aromatherapy, Counseling

Shocked supporters of defeated US presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) are seeking help from psychologists, who refer to their condition as "post-election selection trauma," it was reported.

Oh, hell, go back to New York, already!


7:18 PM Nov 9, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Ground Zero Suicide Driven by Election

NEW YORK — A 25-year-old man from Georgia who was apparently distraught over President Bush's re-election shot and killed himself at ground zero. Andrew Veal (search)'s body was found Saturday morning inside the off-limits site, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. A shotgun was found nearby, but no suicide note was found, Coleman said.

Veal's mother said her son was upset about the result of the presidential election and had driven to New York, Gus Danese, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, told The New York Times in Sunday's editions.

Friends said Veal worked in a computer lab at the University of Georgia and was planning to marry.

"I'm absolutely sure it's a protest," Mary Anne Mauney, Veal's supervisor at the lab, told The Daily News. "I don't know what made him commit suicide, but where he did it was symbolic."

Police were investigating how Veal entered the former World Trade Center site, which is protected by high fences and owned by the Port Authority.

Let's not rule out "cold feet."

Update: Hmmm...sadly, I was pretty close. WTC SUICIDE NOTE

Goomba Goom!

5:51 PM Nov 9, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Blogdom's new triumphalist war cry!

4:48 PM Nov 9, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Captain Ed writes about Kerry's hopes for 2008:

John Kerry at least can convince himself that he fell short because Americans don't dump a president in the middle of a war, but he's living in denial if (a) he thinks that the Democrats will trust him with the keys to the car again, and (b) that he inspired any significant segment to support him rather than hate George Bush. And George Bush won't be running in 2008, which eliminates his primary qualification for his candidacy.

If Kerry were to enter the Democratic Primary against, say Hillary Clinton, expect the Main Stream Media to suddenly rediscover the Swift Vets and this time tell their story to a wide audience.

If we thought that the media pulled out all the stops for Kerry, wait to see what they do for Hillary! They'd stomp all over Kerry if they think he stands in her way.

10:53 AM Nov 9, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Glenn Reynolds writes:

I'm watching Meet the Press rerun on CNBC, and Maureen Dowd looks absolutely terrible. It's like she's aged ten years since I last saw her. Her manner is subdued, and bitter, too. I guess that explains her post-election writing. It's striking to see a pundit taking the election so hard -- most actual Democratic politicians seem to be maintaining more personal distance.

I suspect that a pundit such as Dowd, writing for the New York Freakin' Times, has a somewhat inflated opinion of her own importance in the political scene; finding out that she isn't as influential as perhaps she thought can be pretty sobering.

One can only hope it is also humbling.

Another via Instapundit: The Sore-Loser Party 

5:23 PM Nov 8, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Mitch at SitD talks about Projection

This friend-of-a-friend had had a dream - her husband was being hauled off to a re-education camp out west somewhere.

"I think she's projecting her own beliefs on us".

That rang a bell.

It rang a bell with me, too. Go read this post.

11:55 AM Nov 8, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Indians have a long history of confronting Islamic terror. I have an friend who is Indian, and she says that there is a saying in her district:

"When you are going down a path, and you see a snake and a Muslim, kill the Muslim first."

No doubt Muslim concerns about Palistine are at the source of this distrust.

Well, naturally

11:21 AM Nov 8, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Mark Steyn tells Europeans,
Believe it or not, it wasn't just rednecks who voted for Bush

Bush's incontinent rednecks are everywhere: they're so numerous they're running out of sisters to bunk up with.

Hee hee hee!

6:25 PM Nov 6, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

As part of this post, Captain Ed writes:

Memo to Democrats: in order to support democracy, you have to accept its results, even when your side loses. If you can't do that without threatening to move away, kill yourselves, or commit violence, then you don't believe in democracy at all. You only want democracy as a cover to impose your beliefs on others, even when the majority disagree with you.


4:20 PM Nov 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Last night I went and saw the new Disney / Pixar movie The Incredibles.

I went in thinking it would be a cute, kids movie, like Shrek.

Let me tell you, this isn't Shrek.

It's the finest animated feature film I've ever seen. It blows EVERYTHING else away.

It's the most exciting Action / Adventure movie I've seen in many years. In style, it borrows much from some of the early Bond movies, but it's better than any Bond film I've EVER seen.

It's at least as good a super-hero movie as Spiderman 1 or 2, and blows both the X-Men movies out the door.

And, as a movie about a loving family that has problems but works through them, it's very, very good; amusing, and for the genre, surprisingly realistic. The movie has emotional highs and lows that are neither cheap nor cartoonish. Plus, it's funny as heck! Simply amazing.

I just can't say enough about this movie. If you were planning on seeing it, move your plans up.

If you weren't planning on seeing it, reconsider. You won't be disappointed.

Fall Fiesta in the Park

4:07 PM Nov 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Today was the annual Fall Fiesta in the Park and Donna and I decided to go down to walk around, because it's an absolutely beautiful day, the year's first real Autumn day here in Orlando.

The event is one of those things where "artists" and "craftsmen" sell their "art" out of tents lining the streets surrounding the lake. Your view looks something like this:

...or maybe this:

The place is absolutely crowded, but it's fun and they sell hot dogs and kettle corn and funnel cakes. Everyone who can brings their well-groomed dogs and puppies down to be petted and admired.

They hold it down at Eola Park, which is home to a few black swans:

Here's a nice shot of the fountain, and the skyline. That's the courthouse on the right, and the Ghostbusters building on the left.

Is this gloating?

4:05 PM Nov 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Ah, this is what I've been waiting for

6:33 PM Nov 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Victor Davis Hanson

American Exceptionalism
The message of Tuesday's verdict

Want some more?

5:43 PM Nov 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Jeff Soyer has a great post explaining why They Just Don't Get It!

The left, Left, "left", whatever you want to call them, just don't speak to me. I can't hear them for all their hysterical shouting. And the odd thing, as I've said before, is that there are some issues where I might agree with them, at least partially. But their more reasonable messages aren't getting through the rest of the "noise".

5:04 PM Nov 5, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Say, is this considered gloating?

Thanks: Bill

4:07 PM Nov 5, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Jim Geraghty is Assessing Tuesday, and he thinks about the future:

In a short while, we're going to have to get back to the real world. That bearded punk quaking in a Pakistan cave who decided to play pundit last Friday — we're gonna dismantle him the way we've dismantled his organization. Yeah, we noticed no attacks in the U.S. between 9/11/01 and 11/03/04 — that didn't happen by accident. It happened because we're winning, and we're not going to let up until the word "al Qaeda" is as distant and meaningless as "Barbary pirates."

But before we modest folks — sitting at our laptops and our computers, just doing what we can in our corner of the world, and enjoying a particular political website — return to the vital world outside politics, let us relish this moment.

Victories like this one — decisive, complete, powerful, and echoing around the globe — don't come along all that often.

And there's plenty of credit to go around. Take a bow. You, me, and about 58,882,918 or so of our closest friends helped set the course of this nation for the next four years.

My feeling exactly

1:07 PM Nov 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

In an altogether though-provoking post about the embarassing intellectual decline of a favored author, Hindrocket concludes:

As a Republican, maybe I should be glad that the Democrats are making fools of themselves. But as an American, it saddens me that the party of hate would rather nurse its bizarre grudges, prejudices and hatreds than make a serious attempt to restore itself as a constructive political force.

Another D&D Monster Siting

11:56 AM Nov 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Last week, I wrote about the use of the term homunculus in a column, and pointed out its use in the d20 D&D game.

Well, here's another one, from CQ:

The stone golem of the 2000 election was the hanging chad, and this time around it looks like exit polling. Two reports out today continue the post-mortems on the National Election Pool, one discounting allegations of conspiracy theories and the other boosting them.

According to the d20 SRD, a Golems are described as:

[M]agically created automatons of great power. Constructing one involves the employment of mighty magic and elemental forces.

The animating force for a golem is a spirit from the Elemental Plane of Earth. The process of creating the golem binds the unwilling spirit to the artificial body and subjects it to the will of the golem’s creator.

In addition:

A stone golem is 9 feet tall and weighs around 2,000 pounds.

Its body is frequently stylized to suit its creator. For example, it might look like it is wearing armor, with a particular symbol carved on the breastplate, or have designs worked into the stone of its limbs.

Yes, I truly am a geek. Expect more of this giddiness now that the election is over.

I'm talking to you, Kathy!

Michael Moore's Underpants

4:07 PM Nov 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Throughout this campaign, Mark Steyn's has been an eloquent and entertaining voice.

He doesn't disappoint today either.

Some Election Results

1:55 PM Nov 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

This will probably only interest a few people, but here are the presidential election results (source here) for Orange County, Florida:

385,547 ballots cast out of 533,573 eligible voters or a 72.26% turn out

Bush/Cheney REP 191,389 49.64 %
Kerry/Edwards DEM 192,030 49.81 %

So, the margin of difference between Kerry and Bush was 641 votes; this doesn't take into account Absentee Ballots, so we may yet swing Red.

I have my hopes.

The real reason for the Bush victory

1:44 PM Nov 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Like Ambient Irony, I saw this referenced in a comment over at LGF yesterday, but didn't take the time to excerpt.

Luckily for all of us, she posted a link.

Magical Election Tampering: SHUT IT DOWN!

Gods-damn it! The f*cking Republicans have got Magical help pumping out a clear, unified, focused broadcast, and you can be sure, every sensitive is picking it up. These are the people most likely to vote Kerry, and I'd like to think they are resolute enough not to be swayed by telepathic subliminal advertising, but it's such a rarely-done thing, and so few people are properly trained these days, that I fear it will be more effective. Just watch and see who says "I was going to vote for Kerry, but for some reason I changed my mind at the last minute."

No, this is not a joke.

12:36 PM Nov 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Palestinian Official Says Arafat in Coma

Not to put too fine a point on it, but all in all I'd rather Arafat bled out in a dirty street.

Update:  Arafat speaks!

A Country Divided?

12:25 PM Nov 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

12:17 PM Nov 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Unhappy Democrats Must Wait to Get Into Canada

Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.

"Let me tell you -- if they're hard-working honest people, there's a process, and let them apply," Immigration Minister Judy Sgro told Reuters.

Ms. Sgro, "hard-working honest people" don't decide to emigrate just because their guy didn't win the election; whiny hysterics do. People with jobs and community ties don't flee; unkempt loners do.

Don't expect these people to follow your immigration laws.

12:10 PM Nov 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Via lgf, here's Iowahawk's advice to Lefties on how to handle their disappointment:

First, keep in mind that this was a very narrow defeat, and could have gone either way with the right breaks. John Kerry would be planning his inaugural today if his campaign had not made a couple of strategic blunders, such as not getting people to vote for John Kerry.

Next, you've got to stop all this crazy talk about "suicide" and "that's it, I'm moving to Canada." C'mon people, just stop it!. Why? Because you are Americans too, and Americans are known for action, that's why! If you ever expect other Americans to treat you as a serious political force, you've got to get up off your duff, can all that jibber-jabber, and get cracking on the U-Hauls and tragic carbon-monoxide incidents, Mister Big Talk.

Go read the rest of it.


11:36 AM Nov 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Megan McArdle, in one of her last posts as a guest-blogger on Instapundit, expresses something that I want all of us jubilant Bush supporters to take to heart:

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS is to be responsible for their vote. Now that Bush has won, to my frank surprise, I've been denied the pleasure of being in opposition, which is to say the pleasure of disclaiming responsibility for any stunts the president may get up to in the next four years.

What's more, those of us who voted for Bush, warts and all, haven't even the excuse that Kerry voters would have, which is to say declaring they had no idea he'd do that. Bush voters walked into his next term with eyes wide open. Even if we voted not so much for Bush as against Kerry, we still have to be willing to accept that if he screws up, we put him in a position to do so knowing exactly what he was like.

That gives us, I think, a special responsibility not to gloss over his policy flaws, but rather to hold him to account as much as possible, to make sure that we can be proud of our choice. That means getting on the phone to the white house, congressmen and senators to block bad legislation. That means being honest about his mistakes, rather than trying to gloss over them in order to make ourselves look better. It means, in short, thinking about what's best for the country, rather than What's Best for The Team.

That's the responsibility of anyone who voted for the guy in office, whether he's a Democrat or a Republican. It's the responsibility of the people who voted against him, too, but they generally don't need reminding. We've put all our eggs in one basket, guys--so in the words of Mark Twain, let's watch that basket.

I agree with her 100%. I've always felt that when your guy screws up, or betrays your values, you have to answer for it personally, since he is in that position only because you voted for him. The people who didn't vote for him get the right the bitch; we have to make it right by keeping him honest.

Thank God!

4:49 PM Nov 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Update:  Thank you Senator Kerry for doing the dignified thing. I must say you surprised and delighted me in a way you never did during your campaign. Part of my great concern about the possibility of your presidency is that I considered you the kind of person who would not bow to reality, but would in fact drag the election, once again into the courts.

Thank you for proving me wrong. God bless you in the future, and I hope that your future career in the Senate may make people forget your failure in this area.

12:34 PM Nov 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Via Michelle Malkin I see this:

Florida Voting So Smooth, Michael Moore Packs Up, Leaves

In what Gov. Jeb Bush interpreted as a positive comment on a smooth Election Day, filmmaker Michael Moore, in South Florida on the lookout for election problems, packed up his crew and headed to Ohio.

And here I thought the wind had shifted away from the stinky piles of hurricane debris.

11:03 AM Nov 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Rattle, rattle, rattle...

10:32 AM Nov 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Yesterday I wrote:

Well, the die is cast. I hope it isn't too long before it rattles to a stop, but I suspect that the election will be tied up in courts for a while. I just hope it's not in Florida.

The die seems about as rock solid as it can be, but it looks like Kedwards is bumping the table, hoping it'll roll their way. That's about what I would expect. I'm just glad that it's Ohio this time and not Florida, but even there, those provisional ballots in all probability won't give Kerry the win

I went to bed last night exhausted and in misery from anxiety. What would Florida do? Bush seemed ahead, but the networks, profoundly cautious of a flame that had burned them so thoroughly last go-around, refused to declare the state one way or another. The exit polls had been so overwhelmingly in Kerry's favor, it seemed impossible that Bush could actually win.

One fitfull night's sleep later, I was up at 5:15 AM to micturate and check the status. The Electoral Vote count is all over the board, depending upon which network you watch. Florida went for Bush (yay!) but my particular county went for Kerry (boo!).Those disheartening exit polls had been proven wrong. It looks like a definitive Bush win in the Electoral and (psychologically important but Constitutionally insignificant) popular vote.

I won't pretend that this is over. Those 10,000 Democrat lawyers have to earn their money somehow, and if Kerry concedes within a week, I'll be very surprized.

But I'm still cautiously hopeful.

Good News!

9:45 PM Nov 2, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Tonight, many popular blogs and web sites are experiencing unprecidented traffic problems, due to the sheer number of people trying to access them, all at the same time, to get the latest information on the election.

I'm glad to say that we don't have that problem here at the Pious Agnostic blog.

Pious Agnostic: we got bandwidth to spare!


7:00 PM Nov 2, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Statement From RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke On Anticipated Kerry-Edwards and Democrat Election Day Litigation Strategy

5:39 PM Nov 2, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Kathleen Nelson is correct; she lists many British slang phrases, then opines:

Personally, I'm of the opinion that when an American uses any of these words it's pretentious as hell. We don't use "bloody" as a descriptor. We just don't. That word, in that usage, is strictly a British thing. If you do happen to be American and happen to use that word, well, you sound as if you a. want to become Bridget Jones or b. are watching too much BBC America. I will admit, they have better slang than we Americans do, but still...

What does this have to do with the election? Well, nothing says it has to, but here goes...

We broke away from England so we wouldn't be forced to use their slang, right? And voting in our election underscores our rejection of the tyrannical imposition of language by an unjust foreign crown.

Or, something.

Plus, the people I know that actually use "bloody" probably won't be voting for Bush today, so I'm miffed at them.

4:42 PM Nov 2, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Election Day

3:26 PM Nov 2, 2004by Rob Ritchie

For lunch, I met a friend at Jose's Sandwich Shop on East Michigan for a Cuban sandwich and some plantain chips. As usual, the sandwich was excellent.

On our way out, a man was coming in who looked familiar to me: it was Mel Martinez! I shook his hand and wished him luck today.

He was just there to get some lunch. No staffers, no press. Just a man who, like me, knows where to get some quality pork products.

11:23 AM Nov 2, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Well, the die is cast. I hope it isn't too long before it rattles to a stop, but I suspect that the election will be tied up in courts for a while. I just hope it's not in Florida.

My wife and I were there when the polls opened this morning, and there was a long line ahead of us. As we waited, schoolbusses full of kids passed, yelling "Vote Kerry" and "Vote Bush", which amused us.

Voting is a right, but casting an informed vote is a responsibility. If you're going to vote today, please consider all the terrific reasons to vote for George W. Bush, and against John Kerry, linked to on this page, and on the pages to the right.

12:05 PM Nov 1, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Mitch has (approximately) 100 reasons he's voting for Bush.

They're some pretty good reasons.

Pious gratitude to: silver