4:16 PM Mar 31, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Bush Ad

1:28 PM Mar 31, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I haven't been posting much lately, for which I'm sorry. I found something pretty cool on Instapundit today, which is a Bush Ad that's created by a freelance group.

Take a look

And send it to a friend.

Paul Begala explodes...

7:18 PM Mar 27, 2004by Rob Ritchie

...and Hindrocket puts him back together...wrong.

In short, Begala's characterization of Rice as a "liar" can only be seen as a manifestation of crazed partisanship, and another sign of the decline of the Democratic Party.

7:41 PM Mar 26, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Now this is cool!

A presenter displaying the Mosquito, a micro drone equipped with a miniature video camera at a conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday. (AP)

Arafat begs for life, told 'Go to Hell!'

7:30 PM Mar 26, 2004by Rob Ritchie

PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's request for a US guarantee that Israel will not target him as it did Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin has been denied.

The request was made following remarks by IDF CoS Maj. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon and other senior Israeli officials that Yassin's fate could be shared by other terrorist leaders. The message clearly reverberated loud and clear in Yasser Arafat’s office (proving the old Taludic adage that "the hat burns on the head of the thief"). Fearing a similar fate, the Palestinian Authority Chairman issued a discreet request via the CIA, but was rebufffed.

7:13 PM Mar 26, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

By now you've seen this story about the Palestinian teenager stopped at an Isreali checkpoint with a bomb strapped to his body.

Hosni Abdo said he was furious with whoever persuaded his brother to strap on the bomb vest.

"The ones who sent him are stupid, because the army will give him two slaps and he will tell them who sent him," Hosni Abdo said.

Please note that: this poor idiot's brother is angry, not because some monsters pursuaded him to destroy himself in exchange for a few dollars, but because they chose a security risk!

Makes you feel all warm inside, doesn't it?

Also, notice how you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of to story before they reveal this gem. Personally, I think it's the nugget of the story, but AP decided to bury it.

It's Friday, so that means VDH

6:53 PM Mar 26, 2004by Rob Ritchie

We Are Finishing the War

We should remember that this war of barbarism against civilization is global and connected. Poor Mr. Villepin may ignore that his country's appeasement and profit-making in Iraq were helpful to Saddam Hussein's state-sponsored terrorism and he may believe that things are worse in Baghdad now. But he will learn that past French double-dealing, flamboyant anti-Americanism, and obsequiousness to Iranian theocrats will win him no reprieve from these purveyors of a new Dark Age. The extremists will be just as likely to murder French children over banning headscarves as they would have had three Gallic divisions fought in Iraq.

6:50 PM Mar 26, 2004

by Rob Ritchie


6:44 PM Mar 26, 2004by Rob Ritchie

This made me chuckle

5:53 PM Mar 26, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Yes, this is my daily experience in the South

Lileks puts it all together

10:05 AM Mar 26, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I know that just about every other blog will have this link, but I don't want to be left out. Lileks is terrific today. Go read him.

Update: Naturally, Glenn Reynolds has more.

10:14 AM Mar 25, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

6:58 PM Mar 24, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Via Dappled Things (a lovely Catholic blog that I'm remiss in not adding to my blogroll) I find this entertaining fisking of a editorial complaining about the return of a single Latin Mass in a single diocese.

The Long, Long Shadow of Sr. Margaret Flagrum and Her Six Foot Rosary Belt.

Bush pushes back, Hamas wets their pants

5:02 PM Mar 24, 2004by Rob Ritchie

The State Department told Americans Hamas had threatened revenge on U.S. interests after Yassin's death, urging them to leave the Gaza Strip (news - web sites) and advising against travel to Israel or the West Bank.

President Bush (news - web sites) told reporters in Washington: "Whether it be a Hamas threat or an al Qaeda threat, we take them very seriously in this administration."

But Hamas officials later sought to reassure the United States, Israel's chief ally, that they would confine their armed struggle to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

"It's not in our policy to target Americans or American interests," Hamas political leader Sayed Seyam told Reuters.

What other conclusion to make from this story?

Yassin's Passin'

10:48 AM Mar 24, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I realize that the whole world is acting exercised that that chair-bound monster was blown up by Isreal, what with the entire Religion of Peace umma pledging murderous, spittle-flecked revenge and Hamas promising all out revenge and French diplomats spoiling their dainties and all that.

I predict that in a month, when the cameras are turned to something else and the world's attention wanders, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth will promply cease. Everybody, and that probably includes Hamas, is glad this aged maniac is gone, and I'll bet whoever was responsible for giving him sponge baths is dancing a little jig when nobody's watching.

Richard Clarke

10:45 AM Mar 24, 2004by Rob Ritchie

You know, I'm just assuming that you, like me, have read all the critiques of Richard Clarke's accusations against the Bush administration; the inconsistencies, political timing, book promotion, etc.

But it occurs to me that everybody may not be as obsessed diligent as I am in following up on these stories on the Internet. If all you're getting is what's on TV and in the NYT, you may be missing some things that are important.,

Here is a recent Instapundit post on this topic.

I'll add some more as I find ones I like.

Update: Nancy reminds me of a recent Powerline post, which I blogged a couple of days ago.

Update 2: Fox News's website has a transcript of Clarke from 2002 that just about abolishes the idea that the Bush team "did nothing" to stop al Quaeda. Clarke's words in August of that year directly contradict what he says in his book. Why the discrepancy?

ANGLE: So, just to finish up if we could then, so what you're saying is that there was no — one, there was no [Clinton] plan; two, there was no delay [by the Bush Administration]; and that actually the first changes since October of '98 were made in the spring months just after the administration came into office?

CLARKE: You got it. That's right.

If you read nothing else, read this.

Another Update: JustOneMinute has a nice collection of Clarke links. Via Instapundit.

No surprises here

2:39 PM Mar 23, 2004by Rob Ritchie


I believe you belong in Pride and Prejudice; a world of satire and true love. A world where everything is crystal clear to the reader, and yet where new things seem to be happening all the time. You belong in a world where your free-thought puts you above the silly masses, and where bright eyes and intelligence are enough to attract the arrogant millionaire/prejudiced young woman of your choice.

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?
brought to you by Quizilla

As I say, no surprises. This is undoubtably my favorite novel ever.

2:26 PM Mar 23, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

When I posted about my taxes on Saturday, I didn't get any real response.

Of course, I don't have nearly the traffic as does Glenn Reynolds, who has posted on the exact same thing!

Advantage: Pious Agnostic!

11:03 AM Mar 23, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

What to make of a couple of strange factual omissions in recent LA Times news stories?

Hat tip: Instapundit

Update: More here.

Richard Clarke, busted!

6:00 PM Mar 22, 2004by Rob Ritchie

There you have it: Richard Clarke is a bitter, discredited bureaucrat who was an integral part of the Clinton administration's failed approach to terrorism, was demoted by President Bush, and is now an adjunct to John Kerry's presidential campaign.

This is, of course, the conclusion of this exposé.

Benedict Kerry?

2:47 PM Mar 22, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Mike received this letter, and asked me to check it out:

Senator John Kerry stated Bush is to blame for US companies outsourcing jobs to other countries. He calls CEOs who employ foreigners Benedict Arnolds.

H.J. Heinz & Co., the family business of John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry owns 79 factories and 57 of them are overseas!

According to its website, Heinz is making ketchup, pizza crust, baby cereal and other edibles in such countries as Poland, Venezuela, Bostswana, China,Thailand and India.

Hard to believe people would actually consider voting for this guy.

I found this story in the Times of India about these claims:

J Heinz & Co, the family business of Kerry and his wife Teresa, has spread its ketchup operations across the world. Of the 79 factories that the food processor owns, 57 are overseas. Heinz makes ketchup, pizza crust, baby cereal and other edibles in such countries as Poland , Venezuela , Botswana , Thailand , and most of all, China and India .

If I come up with more, I'll post it here.

Update: Well, that was easy. A visit to the Heinz website finds pages with the locations of all their factories. I didn't count, but there do appear to be plenty overseas. See for yourself.

Further comment: I'd like to state that I don't have an opinion one way or another on this subject. My opposition to John Kerry's campaign for president is, ahem, well known. However, the company built by his wife's family can do whatever they wish, operate plants in any country that makes economic sense and has a responsibility to look after the best interests of their shareholders. I don't buy into the "Benedict Arnold" hokum of Kerry's, as I see it as further evidence of his commitment to class warfare; and while I don't particularly like outsourcing, seeing it as a threat to my own employment, nevertheless I believe that any sort of government prohibition on the practice is anathema.

That being said, it's weird that Kerry is banging this particular drum, considering his own vulnerability in this area.

12:27 PM Mar 22, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Go read 9/11: For The Record by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice -- right now!

Not the face! Not the face! Glaven!

12:10 PM Mar 22, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Of course, I'm no athelete either, so I shouldn't throw stones.

However, I am a shrill partisan Internet hack, so I'm standing by my decision to show this photograph. The people have a right to see it.

Follow this link to Tim Blair's post on the brutal, personal attacks suffered by Kerry this weekend.

Useless idiots

11:27 AM Mar 22, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Today's Bleat is about the pro-Saddam (uh, I mean, anti-war) demonstrations this weekend:

These people want “freedom,” but only for themselves. Freedom to preen. Freedom to flatter themselves that they are somehow committing an act of bravery by Speaking Truth to Power. But they’re speaking Nonsense to Indifference. Pictures of Bush as Hitler sieg-heiling away would get them killed if this was truly the country they insist it is. Nothing will happen to them. They know it. They would be killed for doing this in Saddam’s Iraq, of course; they know that too. Doesn’t matter. Bush is worse than Saddam, in the macro sense.

Also on this post is a link to a site with over 100 photos, categorized by idiocy. Here's my favorite:

6:57 PM Mar 20, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Oh, That Liberal Media fisks an L.A. Times editorial on "the Justice Department's efforts to determine the medical necessity, or lack thereof, of dilation and extraction (a.k.a. partial birth abortion)."

Translation: in Stenberg, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled, barely, that states must allow late term abortions when it is medically necessary to do so. Now, following that reasoning, the federal government is trying to compile data that would help to determine when, or if, such a procedure is in fact medically necessary. Those bastards. Didn't they realize that they weren't really supposed to follow Stenberg? They were supposed to nod politely, sit down like good boys and girls, and passively accept the leap from "some women might need this procedure sometimes" to "all women who want this procedure should have a right to it upon demand."
It's recommended reading, not so much for the discussion of abortion per se but for the way it identifies and counters the ploys present in the editorial.


6:33 PM Mar 20, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I did my income taxes today, and I really noticed a positive difference due to the much-hated Bush tax cut.

I use Turbo Tax tax prepartion software (which I highly recommend) and one feature I like is that it compares last year's tax information to this year's, including differences in tax rates, and it indicates what your taxes would have been if there had been no changes in the tax law.

We're talking thousands of dollars difference, for me.

Sure hope Kerry doesn't screw that up, but he's pledged to pick my pocket (#8) if he's elected.

Yours too.

Now he tells me!

6:27 PM Mar 19, 2004by Rob Ritchie

According to Fr. Jim Tucker, Catholics are exempt from Lenten Friday abstinence because today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. (Follow his link to the appropriate Canon law.)

If only I'd know this a few hours ago, I would have had Chinese for lunch instead of a lame fish sandwich!

Update: Fixed grammatical error helpfully pointed out to me by older brother.

Where I live

6:08 PM Mar 19, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Another quiz! Find out where you live in Politopia!

Compare your location to others here.

What a sweet guy!

3:47 PM Mar 19, 2004by Rob Ritchie

His next trip down, a reporter and a camera crew were allowed to follow along on skis — just in time to see Mr. Kerry taken out by one of the Secret Service men, who had inadvertently moved into his path, sending him into the snow.

When asked about the mishap a moment later, he said sharply, "I don't fall down," then used an expletive to describe the agent who "knocked me over."

As Hugh Hewett says, he's a world class jerk.

Update: lgf has more details.

1:21 PM Mar 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

lgf asks: Separated at Birth?


1:04 PM Mar 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Irish Palm Pilot

Hat tip: Thanks Tom!

12:04 PM Mar 19, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Lileks has a particulary fine Bleat today.

Oh, we have it all today: pointless personal details about which no tinker could be convinced to part with a damn, reviews of products you’d never buy, obvious insight-free political remarks, and the application of a cheese grater to the shin of a New Yorker writer who would be vaguely amused to learn that a Minnesotan is critiquing his Times Square piece – on the internet, no less. Let’s begin.

I like the internet.

2:00 PM Mar 18, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Bush complies with Kerry's demand to "Bring it On!"

Update: More is brought

1:36 PM Mar 18, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

In an earlier post I mentioned this story about the UN finding a 10-year-old airplane black box in a storage area.

Apparently, examination of the box reveals that it might "not [be] linked to a 1994 plane crash that triggered Rwanda's genocide."

Of course, it might be too. Time will tell.

Full story here.

I know it's childish, but...

1:26 PM Mar 18, 2004by Rob Ritchie

"I hope nobody notices that I wee-wee'd on the tarmac."

Street Justice

1:19 PM Mar 18, 2004by Rob Ritchie

A man suspected of being involved in the Basra bombing and who got out of the vehicle shortly before the blast, was caught by passers-by and stabbed to death
I hope they got the right guy. Full story here.


5:09 PM Mar 17, 2004by Rob Ritchie

1:55 PM Mar 17, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Lee Harris at TCS writes about Puppet States:

Suppose that last week's attack had not been the work of terrorists, but the work of the United States. Suppose American jets had flown over Madrid on Thursday morning and dropped a scattering of bombs on the commuter trains, killing and maiming the exact same people who were killed and maimed in the terrorist's attack. Suppose, further, that President Bush had subsequently announced that Spain would be subjected to further attacks if the Spanish voters did not vote as he wished them to vote.

Had the Spanish people docilely obeyed such a brutal command, and voted as the United States bid them vote, the world would be left in no doubt who really ruled Spain. The election would have clearly been understood as an act of collective capitulation and an abject abandonment of all claims to national sovereignty. Henceforth Spain, with good reason, would have been looked upon as a puppet state of the USA -- in the exact same way that Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague in 1967 proved to the world who really ruled the Democratic Republic of Czechoslovakia.

If a foreign agent is permitted to interfere at will with the internal affairs of a nation, then that nation no longer possesses national sovereignty -- a fact that can be immediately grasped in those cases when the foreign agent is another nation state, as in the case of the USSR and its satellites during the Cold War.

But, strangely enough, the exact same abdication of national sovereignty is no longer obvious where the foreign agent that does the interfering is not a nation state, but a shadowy international terrorist organization. Yet wherein lies the difference?

There is no doubt in my mind that the results of the elections in Spain following the terrorist attack is a victory for the enemies of civilization. By choosing appeasers over fighters, the Spanish electorate has shown it's willingness to form their government along the lines desired by their enemies.

It is a terrible tragedy; but one that I'm glad has played out in a relatively weak parner. Perhaps when (not if) the terrorists attack again in a way designed to alter a nation's foreign policy, the people effected will remember Spain and do the right thing.

It is far less damaging for Spain to lose its nerve than for the U.S. to suffer a similar lack of confidence. But I feel for the nearly 50% of Spaniards that voted against the terrorists: for they will feel the pain equally with their more cowardly countrymen.

12:48 PM Mar 17, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Allah, creator of worlds and author of one of the funniest blogs out there, takes a moment away from instructing the muhajadeen to speak rationally about the claim going around that anger at Aznar's "attempt to politicize the bombing" is why the Party Popular lost power in Spain:

To my mind, the only important span of time here is the three days between the attack and the election. The proximity of the two is reason enough to think the "anger at Aznar" theory sounds like a post hoc rationalization. Am I really to believe that after suffering the worst terrorist attack since September 11th, Spaniards went to the polls 72 hours later with their minds on what the prime minister said during the first few hours after it happened? If you were voting, is that what you'd be thinking about? Isn't it more likely you'd be thinking, "The fact that terrorists just bombed the shit out of us makes me think terrorism is important. Which party's approach to terrorism should I support?" I have no reason to believe Spanish voters are any different from you or me in that respect, and we see now which approach they preferred.
Read the whole thing.


11:08 AM Mar 17, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I archive my posts periodically so that only those posted in the last couple of weeks actually show on the home page.

However, you can still see them by selecting a category from the list to the right. Not all posts are categorized, however, but you can see them by choosing the 'Uncategorized' category (if you get my meaning).

Archive search is on the radar, but work's been way too hectic for me to want to do any programming at home.

12:05 AM Mar 16, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Blogger killed in Iraq

10:32 PM Mar 16, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Glenn Reynolds reports that military blogger Bob Zangas was killed last week in a roadside ambush in Iraq

His last entry is here, and there are photos.

6:41 PM Mar 16, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Truth in advertising

5:31 PM Mar 16, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Rich Lowry on Al Franken's Lying Liers book:

Al Franken's liberal populism is a noble political tradition, which is why it's such a shame that he can't put up a better representation of it, making it seem so angry and noxious. Franken's hero Paul Wellstone was, in contrast, a happy and honorable warrior. If you're on the left, my advice is: Read this book. Enjoy it. Just don't believe it or take it too seriously. Then wash your hands.

2:31 PM Mar 16, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Kerry's Foreign Supporter Found

As the imaginary leader of a foreign nation who supports your candidacy, I’ll play along with you with whatever you want me to say. If you want to tell some pesky Republican who calls you out at a campaign stop that I support you, I’ll back you up. If you want me to claim that Bush has ruined the reputation of the United States, I’m up to it. Just like you, I’m willing to say anything it takes to get you elected, I won’t mean a bit of it, and I'll change my stand on the situation when it is politically convenient.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Update: eBay has taken this entry down. For those of you who didn't follow it earlier, this was an eBay "auction" for an Imaginary Leader of a Foreign Nation, who would help you out of a political jam if you happened to get yourself into one. Too bad it's been deleted.

5:49 PM Mar 15, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

4:41 PM Mar 15, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

“No leader would obviously share a conversation if I started listing them,” Kerry told reporters. "Let's face it, I'm the weird kid nobody wanted to sit next to at lunch time, lecturing them about inter-school cooperation. And while many Europeans are all in favor of marrying rich, they get a little uncomfortable thinking too much about being a kept man. Plus, my face is really, really long. I mean, another five years and I'll be able to scratch my knees with my chin. That's long."
From a comment on an LGF thread discussing this story.

Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ

3:58 PM Mar 15, 2004by Rob Ritchie

12:06 AM Mar 13, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Winds of Black Hate

Hat tip: Instapundit

We love books!

11:10 PM Mar 13, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Today, we drove to St. Petersburg to go to the 23rd Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It was an absolutely beautiful day.

The book fair is held in the Coliseum.

From the balcony, looking over all the book stalls. We could hardly wait!

But we were hungry, so we had lunch.

The view on the ground.

One of the things I was looking for is an original edition of 'The Hobbit'. Here is the first American edition, sans dust jacket. $1000.00 was too steep a price, but I did get to hold it and ruffle through the pages, and read the original ending to 'Riddles in the Dark.'

Later, I saw a copy of the first British edition of 'The Hobbit'. Note the price. They didn't let me touch it.

After a long day wandering the aisles, we stopped at the Branch Ranch on the way home for supper. Sorry, no pictures of our dinner this time.

Kerry wants these guys in charge

6:05 PM Mar 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

U.N. finds black box from '94 Rwanda crash

In what Secretary-General Kofi Annan called a ''first-class foul-up,'' the United Nations said Thursday it has discovered a black box sent from Rwanda after a 1994 plane crash that unleashed a genocide in the east African nation.

The device was found Wednesday in a locked filing cabinet in the U.N. Peacekeeping Department's Air Safety Unit.

Hey, it's about 'Peacekeeping' not 'Box-keeping.'

5:58 PM Mar 12, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

I recommend a new name: Urectum

It's Friday, so that means VDH

5:43 PM Mar 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Thicker than Oil

Let's examine, instead, what really happened. While fellow Arabs did little or nothing to free the Iraqi people — but apparently both cheated on and profited from the U.N. embargoes — Americans set up a consensual government. And for our part, American casualties so far mirror roughly the racial make-up of our general population. So much for the old Vietnam-era myth that people of color always die in disproportionate numbers fighting rich people's wars. Our three top officers most visible the last year in Iraq — Generals Abizaid, Sanchez, and Brooks — are an Arab American, Mexican American, and African American. The national-security adviser and the secretary of state are minorities as well. And so on. This was a war about values — not race, class, or ethnicity.

International Man of Mystery

2:36 PM Mar 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Kerry fails to back up foreign 'endorsements'

Aides and supporters of Mr. Kerry have said providing names of the leaders or their countries would injure those nations' ongoing relations with the current Bush administration.

How do you mess up relations with countries that don't exist?

1:04 PM Mar 12, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

This one is shooting fish in a barrel, since everybody looks like a dork in pictures taken 30 years ago, but what the heck, we're the most lying, crooked folks in the world.

Hat tip: Bill

Charley's Steak House

10:20 AM Mar 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

A fine time was had by both.

6107 S. Orange Blossom Trl · Orlando

Yum! Vodka martini with
blue-cheese stuffed olives

13-oz filet, medium rare.

Then, the batteries in the camera ran out. We didn't order dessert, though, so you haven't missed anything.

4:37 PM Mar 11, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Crooked, Lying, redoux

11:57 AM Mar 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Hugh Hewitt has more to say about Kerry's remark yesterday:

Incredibly, Reuters joins the cover-up by refusing to report the Kerry outrage without spin. A true lead would state that, "Leaving a campaign event, and upon being encouraged to keep smiling by a supporter, Kerry lowered his voice and went on a tear:'Full quote.' Upon being challenged as attacking the president and vice-president, Kerry spokesmen first stated that Kerry was referring to talk-show hosts like Hannity and Limbaugh. The transparent silliness of that spin gave way to a broader fudge that Kerry was referring to "Republican critics" and the Republican attack machine." But the president's supporters were having none of this, and insist that any fair interpretation of the remark clearly conveyed Kerry's meaning.

C.S. Lewis on Marriage

10:28 AM Mar 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Andrew Sullivan, noted gay-marriage advocate, quotes C.S. Lewis today:

"Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one; the other is the quite different question -- how far Christians, if they are voters or members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for everyone. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not."

Kerry: GOP Critics 'Crooked, Lying Group'

6:09 PM Mar 10, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) on Wednesday called for deeper tax cuts for the middle class than proposed by President Bush (news - web sites) and described his Republican critics as "the most crooked ... lying group I've ever seen."

He then sang "I'm a Little Teapot" in a high falsetto voice, and claimed to be the King of Palau.

Note: Palau is a constitutional republic, and has no king.

Kerry and the Death Penalty

4:29 PM Mar 10, 2004by Rob Ritchie

In this story we find that John Kerry, a long-time opponent of the death penalty, makes an exception for terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

Personally, I am a grudging supporter of the death penalty for capital crimes. I am not enthusiastic about it, but I believe that this sort of justice is called for in some cases. I realize that, by espousing this, I am at odds with the official teaching of the Catholic Church, but this is the way I feel.

I can see the arguments on the other side. If you have an unflinching belief that the death penalty is wrong, then it is wrong under all circumstances, even if the criminal is a terrorist.

However, even many people who are opponents of the death penalty realize that in war it is a necessity to kill your enemies. That's the difference between war and crime.

John Kerry, however, changes his opposition to the death penalty to include terrorists in a rather transparent attempt to retain his cake while consuming it: he realizes that most Americans viscerally want bin Laden dead, but how to square that with his proposal to stop the War on Terror and put it back on a "law enforcement" footing? Ah! Make an exception to your core belief!

Simplisme! N'es pas?

I give you permission

7:00 PM Mar 8, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Last week, when the new Bush ads were released, they were roundly criticized for containing images of the 9/11 attacks.

While Bush defenders (me included) rushed to excuse the Presidents right to run on his own record, others claimed that he was "politicizing" the attacks for his own personal gain.

I hereby give the President's opponents permission to use any 9/11 imagery they wish in their own ads. Let them run on thier own record(s) with regards to 9/11, or attack the President's behavior. Whatever they wish, I give them permission.

For all the good it'll do them.

5:29 PM Mar 8, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Introducing the Kerry Doctrine

There you have the Kerry Doctrine. Wherever people struggle against a corrupt and unjust kleptocracy, President Kerry will give them two days to knock it off, or he's sending in American soldiers to shoot them.

Do We Want to Go Back?

6:34 PM Mar 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Victor Davis Hanson has another great article:

The United States is waking up from a serious malady. Once upon a time state-supported terrorism was seen as a criminal problem, not war, requiring yellow police tape, not GPS bombs. Afghanistan was turned into an anti-American terrorist base. Saddam Hussein required never-ending patrols to "box" him in. Osama bin Laden was too "hot" to be apprehended when offered up by potential captors. Pakistan and North Korea went nuclear — the greatest failure of many of the Clinton administration. Iran and Libya bought arsenals with impunity. Yasser Arafat systematically destroyed twenty years of economic progress on the West Bank and violated every accord he signed. Anti-Americanism grew in Europe without rejoinder or consequences. Saudi Arabia expected protection while our own female soldiers on patrol there hid their faces and arms — and promised not to drive. Terrorist funds flowed freely throughout the globe, as anti-Semitism and Islamicist-inspired hatred of Israel became the new pillar of trendy left-wing thought. All that has at least been recognized, checked, and is well on the way to being stopped.

11:10 AM Mar 5, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Lileks, of course, has something to say about the furor over the Bush ads. Go read it.

Back? Here's something I thought about this morning:

It's pretty obvious that there was a pre-canned "reaction" to these ads waiting to be unrolled to the media long before the ads were presented.

I mean, there are what, six or seven 9/11 victim family members who are "outraged" over the one-half-second shot of the flag flying before one of the bombed-out WTC buildings. Gee, they sure stepped forward quickly! It's almost as if they were...waiting...for Bush to remind folks of his record, so they could jump up and weep piteously before the camera. The fact that many of these people are politically active, stumping for anti-war and anti-Bush causes isn't suspicious in any way, is it? These saints aren't politicizing the deaths of their loved ones when they stand up on stage next to Susan Sarandon, are they? Feh!

Then, the complaints of some Firefighters' union over the equally short shot of a fireman in the ad. "We support Kerry!!! Get that shot out of there!!!" It's almost as if they were anticipating a more meaningful shot, of Bush standing on the rubble at the WTC site with the bullhorn, surrounded by a thousand cheering firemen. That's the image they really don't want shown, and they are trying to keep it from being shown, because people will vote for Bush if they are reminded of what he did for us in the face of the worst attack on American soil in our history.

They want the country to forget about 9/11, because if we remember it and think about it, then we'll be forced to remember the strong leadership that Bush gave us when we needed it.

Update: There's a good roundup of thoughts on this over at Instapundit. (Where else?)

Further Update:Well, according to this post over at lgf, it appears that "Peaceful Tomorrows", the anti-war group that's got their panties in a wad about these ads, is closely tied to...wait for it...Teresa Heinz Kerry!

Surprise, Ann's right!

10:37 AM Mar 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Ann Coulter's take on the 'Passion' passion, when you pare away the rhetorical flourishes, is 100% correct:

In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It."
Her characterization of the complaints about this film are spot on: because so many people don't understand Christianity, or more probably, willfully misunderstand it, they don't get what the movie is about.

I haven't seen the 'Passion of the Christ' and frankly I probably won't (please don't write urging me otherwise). But complaints about the movie by cultural elite in this country ring hollow considering their open-armed support for 'Piss Christ' and 'Dogma.'

10:33 PM Mar 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Some 9/11 Relatives Angered by Bush Ads

With all due respect, the family of 9/11 victims do not own the outrage over the attacks. Their concerns may be valid, but then so are mine. While they may be closer to those who died, this attack was just as much an attack on me as it was on them, and I resent it when anyone "pulls rank" on something like this.

Yes, their pain is stronger than mine; but perhaps I can see more clearly for that. And I think that the American people need to be reminded of what happened that day, who did it to us; and who helped us get through those awful days following, and who took the fight to those who did it.

Plus, lgf has some more information on the agenda involved here.

Hoody Hoo!

8:23 PM Mar 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Whedon's 'Serenity' greenlit

Take my love
Take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care
I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me

Hat tip: Thanks Frank!

5:09 PM Mar 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Michael J. Totten on why he'll vote a split ticket.

I hope the Democrats spend the next several years, whether in the White House or out of it, getting themselves a serious foreign policy. Right now they don’t have one. Some individual Democrats are exceptionally sharp on this subject. But the party as a whole is lost. It hasn’t always been this way, and there is no reason to expect it to remain this way forever. I may very well support the Democratic candidate in 2008. It depends on who they nominate, and it depends on what happens between now and then.

Totten is one of those principled people who's opinion I respect, even if I don't always agree with it.

Update: from a comment on this post:

A presidential candidate who draws support from people who believe that law-abiding, believing Christians are as dangerous as fantatical Islamic murderers cannot be trusted to protect America.

11:27 AM Mar 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Where can you see lions? Only in Kenya!

I'm not worthy

10:57 AM Mar 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

You know, some times (most times) I think that my offerings here are insubstantial, in that I rarely give any analysis of my own on a particular issue.

I read the blogs on my blogroll, like Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan and USS Clueless and the rest, and they have links, sure, and quotes but then they analyze what they've read and add something to it. (Even if it's only "Indeed!")

That being said, I urge you to link on the blogroll to the lower right and visit them for actual value added content that's better than anything I can do given the limited time I have to do it.

My feelings exactly

6:05 PM Mar 2, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Holy Hypocrisies

1:29 PM Mar 1, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Richard Corlis on 'The Passion of Christ:'

Liberals—and being a member of the media, I of course count myself among them—can be a pretty funny bunch. When we are sympathetic to a controversial work of pop culture, we invoke the artist?s right to create in an climate of total freedom, whatever feelings of outrage the work may stoke among the ignorati. (That is: other people.) When we disapprove, we talk about his responsibility to the sensitivities and sensibilities of good people. (That is: us.)

Hat tip: Tim Blair

10:24 AM Mar 1, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

A recent cold snap following several days of drenching rain have caused the azaleas to begin blooming out back, and they are beautiful.

I can take no credit for this, as I ignore them all year long. This is God's work.