5:27 PM Jun 30, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media.

To quote Prof. Reynolds, "You don't say."

1:22 PM Jun 30, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Tom Cruise bids farewell to Earth

"Farewell, earthlings," Mr. Cruise told the crowd. "My work here is done."

The actor then engaged in a twenty-minute kiss with his fiancée, Katie Holmes, whom he said he would "send for later."

Boarding the spaceship, Mr. Cruise delighted the crowd with the thumbs-up gesture he immortalized in the film "Top Gun," then told them, "I feel the need… for speed," before disappearing into the stratosphere.

Hee hee hee!

Pious gratitude to: Power Line (like they need the traffic!)

9:37 PM Jun 29, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Does Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice take a hard line with Iran because of an unhappy love affair in her past?

An Iranian MP says so:

"The reason that the US secretary of state attacks Iran is because she had her heart broken by a young man from Qazvin while they were students," a confident Shokrollah Attarzadeh was quoted by the ISNA agency as saying.

Because we all know how women are, right guys? Woman scorned, and all that.

It couldn't possibly be because Iran is a murderous thugocracy that sponsors terrorism. Nope, couldn't be that.

I expect next, he'll claim she's on her period.

6:02 PM Jun 29, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Peggy Noonan has a great column here, wherein she asks "Why are our politicians so full of themselves?"

This week comes the previously careful Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time magazine and explaining that he's a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better. "In Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat--in all this he reminded me not just of my own struggles."

Oh. So that's what Lincoln's for. Actually Lincoln's life is a lot like Mr. Obama's. Lincoln came from a lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.

Barack Obama, the son of two University of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family. He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in Bill Clinton's first campaign for the presidency.

You see the similarities.

Ouch! Read the rest. Both parties get poked, and rightly so.

I only have one question...

2:24 PM Jun 29, 2005by Rob Ritchie

...about this story:

Kenyan, 73, kills leopard with bare hands

NAIROBI - A 73-year-old Kenyan grandfather reached into the mouth of an attacking leopard and tore out its tongue to kill it, authorities said Wednesday.

Peasant farmer Daniel M’Mburugu was tending to his potato and bean crops in a rural area near Mount Kenya when the leopard charged out of the long grass and leapt on him.

M’Mburugu had a machete in one hand but dropped that to thrust his fist down the leopard’s mouth. He gradually managed to pull out the animal’s tongue, leaving it in its death-throes.

Is the brave and lucky Mr. M'Mburugu a monk, or a high-level commoner?

What he saw at Gitmo

11:49 AM Jun 28, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Charles Johnson has a link to this Frontpage article by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu.

After speaking with soldiers, sailors, and civilians who collectively staff Gitmo, I left convinced that abuse definitely exists at the detention facilities, and it typically fails to receive the press attention it deserves: it’s the relentless, merciless attacks on American servicemen and women by these terrorist thugs. Many of the orange jumpsuit-clad detainees fight their captors at every opportunity, openly bragging of their desire to kill Americans. One has promised that, if released, he would find MPs in their homes through the internet, break into their houses at night, and “cut the throats of them and their families like sheep.” Others claim authority and vindication to kill women, children, and other innocents who oppose their jihadist mission authorized by the Koran (the same one that hangs in every cell from a specially-designed holder intended to protect it from a touching the cell floor – all provided at U.S. taxpayer expense). One detainee was heard to tell another: “One day I will enjoy sucking American blood, although their blood is bitter, undrinkable….” These recalcitrant detainees are known euphemistically as being “non-compliant.” They attack guards whenever the soldiers enter their cells, trying to reach up under protective facemasks to gouge eyes and tear mouths. They make weapons and try to stab the guards or grab and break limbs as the guards pass them food.

Interesting. Read the rest.

Awesome cool!

11:05 AM Jun 28, 2005by Rob Ritchie

The trailer for Peter Jackson's King Kong is out! You can find it here!

Pious gratitude to: the Superficial

Be careful what you do in the Best Buy

7:00 PM Jun 27, 2005by Rob Ritchie

You Tha Man!

Pious gratitude to: fark

6:16 PM Jun 27, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

As I mentioned, last week I went to a sneak preview of Serenity, the Firefly movie. I'm not ready to review it, because frankly I can't say much about it except:

"Wow, what a great movie!"

However, Lynn S links to a good article about it:

The Browncoats Rise Again

Think of it as Star Wars, if Han Solo were the main character, and he still shot Greedo first.

Yeah, and if George Lucas had an ounce or two of writing talent.

5:23 PM Jun 27, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Boffins create zombie dogs

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years....

"The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor.

What could go wrong?

12:02 PM Jun 27, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

You know, I can't blame him:

A hostage held alongside Australian Douglas Wood in Iraq has hired bounty hunters to track down his former captors, promising to eliminate them one by one.

Swede Ulf Hjertstrom, who was held for several weeks with Mr Wood in Baghdad, was released by his kidnappers on May 30.

Mr Hjertstrom has since claimed he shared information with US and Iraqi troops about Mr Wood which led to the release of the 63-year-old Australian engineers two weeks ago, after 47 days in captivity.

Now, he wants to find those responsible.

"I have now put some people to work to find these bastards," he told the Ten Network today.

"I invested about $50,000 so far and we will get them one by one."

Go get 'em.

5:18 PM Jun 25, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Rightwingsparkle (love the name!):

I notice this in my blogging and reading of the blogs. I read leftie blogs that I totally disagree with or think they are completely wrong, but I never feel hatred toward the blogger. I may leave remarks that show my side, but I don't personally feel a need to insult them. There have been times on this blog when commenters have offended me so much that I have gotten angry and shot back something, but that was a reaction. Liberals don't even need a reason to hate us personally. They just do.

I usually get angry when someone says something personal or denigrates our country, military, or our President. But the liberal commenters here get angry over a simple post of my beliefs. I mean really angry. I cannot imagine myself sending a mean personal hateful e-mail to someone over a post on an issue, no matter how much I disagree with them. I just find that strange.

So I will go farther than Rove here. I'm speaking in general, of course, when I say that we may dispise what liberals believe, but they dispise us.

Prove her wrong, if you can.

It's been my experience as well; it's almost exclusively the libs who escalate the rhetoric to name-calling and spittle-flecking.

5:12 PM Jun 24, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

It's Friday, and that means another fine column by Victor Davis Hanson:

The Politics of American Wars
Islamists have proved adept at winning liberal exemption from criticism.

When Western liberals today talk of a mythical period in the days after 9/11 of "unity" and "European solidarity" what they really remember is a Golden Age of Victimhood, or about four weeks before the strikes against the Taliban commenced. Then for a precious moment at last the United States was a real victim, apparently weak and vulnerable, and suffering cosmic justice from a suddenly empowered other. Oh, to return to the days before Iraq and Afghanistan, when we were hurt, introspective, and pitied, and had not yet "lashed out."

If one examines the infomercials of a bin Laden or Zawahiri, or the terrorist communiqués sent to the Westernized media, they are almost all rehashes of the Michael Moore Left, from "Bush lied" to "Halliburton" to "genocide" and "Gulag." This now famous "Unholy Alliance" of radical anti-Americans and reactionary jihadists is really a two-way street: Islamists mimic the old leftist critique of the United States, and the Western Left hopes that they in turn can at least tone down their rhetoric about knocking walls over gays or sending all women into burka seclusion — at least long enough to pose as something like disposed Palestinians minus the Hamas bombs laced with feces, rat poison, and nails.

Need I say it? I do?

Read the rest,

4:48 PM Jun 24, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Well, I saw the Serenity movie last night in a sneak preview. The theater in Tampa was full of Browncoats, and the movie was TERRIFIC.

I'll write a longer, spoiler-free post about it when I have the chance.

Japanese robots to guard shops and offices

2:55 PM Jun 24, 2005by Rob Ritchie

In an idea straight out of science fiction, robots could soon begin patrolling Japanese offices, shopping malls and banks to keep them safe from intruders. Equipped with a camera and sensors, the "Guardrobo D1", developed by Japanese security firm Sohgo Security Services Co., is designed to patrol along pre-programmed paths and keep an eye out for signs of trouble

Of course, they're only one lightning strike away from disaster.

Pious gratitude to: Chris

6:33 PM Jun 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I'm going here tonight.

Starts at 10PM. There's a 90 minute drive home.

It's going to be a long night, considering I was up at 5:30 this morning.

Wouldn't miss it.

Tomorrow, I'll feel like %&#!!, though.

11:40 AM Jun 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Consider this terrible idea: House Approves Move to Outlaw Flag Burning

Then consider this list of "right-wing" blogs that are against this:

The Anchoress
Shot in the Dark

Granted, I don't visit every blog in the blogosphere, but I haven't yet found a single blogger who thinks this is a good idea.

Remember this when people start calling this a "right-wing" idea: the "right" ain't united behind it.

11:16 AM Jun 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

An LGF reader writes about Saddam’s Humanization:

Recently most of the mainstream media have been promoting a human side to Saddam. Poor old Uncle Saddam, as it were. If this goes on we will soon forget what this man has done. We must not forget the evil this man is and what he has done, lest we wish history to repeat itself.

Saddam Hussein has not a thread of humanity in him. Every act of his is cold and calculated with an end purpose in mind. That purpose being self-preservation and self-indulgence at the cost of all others and at what ever means possible. Saddam has been a thug since his teenage years. He was implicated and later convicted of attempting to assassinate Iraqi prime minister Abdel-Karim Qassem in 1958. Later he was implicated in the mysterious death of his Baathist predecessor Bakar after Baker retired. Shortly after Saddam became president in 1979, he convened a high level Baathist meeting during which he had close allies and friends escorted out of the meeting room and shot, just for being to close to him. Saddam then proceeded to rule Iraq with an Iron fist. He gassed the Kurds, bombed the Shiites, attacked the Iranians, attacked the Kuwaitis, sponsored terrorist camps, financed terrorists, (one of his personal body guards trained in Afghanistan at an Al Qaeda camp), murdered over 1 million Iraqis, maimed, tortured and raped many more for political reasons, orphaned his grandchildren. The list goes on and on.

I ask you are the above acts those of a human being?

Saddam is evil personified: a thug, a mass murderer, a rapist, a torturer. He is not a poor old man stuck in isolation, nor does he deserve any sympathy for his current condition. We must never forget what this man and others of his ilk have done to humanity, unless we wish it to happen again and again.

Lest we forget...

10:47 AM Jun 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

The Great One explains it all:

Q: What is Gitmo?

A: Contrary to what some suggest, it does not stand for "Git mo' Peking chicken for Muhammad, he wants a second portion." It stands for "Guantanamo," a facility the United States built to see if the left would ever care about human rights abuses in Cuba. The experiment has apparently been successful.

Q: Who's in Gitmo?

A: Operation Scoop Up The Little Lost Lambs plucked men from distant countries and brought them to Gitmo to beat them deaf for no apparent reason. There are between 400 and 30 million people at Gitmo, and somewhere between zero and 15 million people have died there.

Q: That's quite the range. Do we have precise figures?

A: Well, technically, no one has died at Gitmo. Metaphorically, millions have perished, since Gitmo is the spiritual heir to assorted thug regimes -- except Saddam's, of course. Think Nazi death camps. Did you know one of the Nazis' Middle East allies was the grand mufti of Jerusalem, a Hitler admirer who was a mentor to Yasser Arafat? Funny how history works. Not ha-ha funny, but Seinfeld-ironic funny.

It's kind of like one of those "Ask a Mullah" sites, but less likely to advocate packing your orifices with explosives and nails.

6:18 PM Jun 22, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Interrogation Log Using Durbin Rules Obtained


The detainee arrives at the interrogation lounge. His sunglasses are removed and he is seated in an overstuffed La-Z-Boy recliner with massage option. SGT A and SGT R are the interrogators. A DoD linguist and MAJ L (BSCT) are present. MS Z (Amnesty International) is present as an observer. MR H (ESQUIRE) is present as detainee counsel.


Session begins. Detainee is given a mocha latté grandé and offered a selection of croissants and pastries. Detainee sips mocha latté grandé and complains that it is too hot. Detainee spits mouthful (appr. 2 oz.) into SGT R 's face, calls him "infidel goat-lover". MS Z (AI) demands that SGT R check temperature of beverage. SGT R determines that the mocha latté grandé is five (5) degrees fahrenheit above optimum serving temperature and apologizes to detainee. MS Z (AI) states for the record that detainee is being abused according to the Durbin Conventions. MR L (ESQUIRE) states that a complaint of the "Nazi-like" treatment will be filed.

There's more. Go read.

Pious gratitude to: The Anchoress

4:44 PM Jun 22, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Gimme your pizza!

And your math homework....

Powerline has Kerry's Form 180s!

12:14 PM Jun 21, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Via the Freedom of Information Act, a reader obtained copies of the Form 180s that were recently signed by John Kerry to permit, at long last, the release of his military records. Here are the three documents that Kerry signed

Well, duh...

11:18 PM Jun 20, 2005by Rob Ritchie

You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Classical Liberal


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Pious gratitude to: Robert the Llama Butcher

11:58 AM Jun 20, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun Times:

Durbin slanders his own country

Just for the record, some 15 million to 30 million Soviets died in the gulag; some 6 million Jews died in the Nazi camps; some 2 million Cambodians -- one third of the population -- died in the killing fields. Nobody's died in Gitmo, not even from having Christina Aguilera played to them excessively loudly. The comparison is deranged, and deeply insulting not just to the U.S. military but to the millions of relatives of those dead Russians, Jews and Cambodians, who, unlike Durbin, know what real atrocities are. Had Durbin said, "Why, these atrocities are so terrible you would almost believe it was an account of the activities of my distinguished colleague Robert C. Byrd's fellow Klansmen," that would have been a little closer to the ballpark but still way out.

One measure of a civilized society is that words mean something: "Soviet" and "Nazi" and "Pol Pot" cannot equate to Guantanamo unless you've become utterly unmoored from reality. Spot the odd one out: 1) mass starvation; 2) gas chambers; 3) mountains of skulls; 4) lousy infidel pop music turned up to full volume. One of these is not the same as the others, and Durbin doesn't have the excuse that he's some airhead celeb or an Ivy League professor. He's the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Don't they have an insanity clause?

Monkish Humor

11:44 AM Jun 18, 2005by Rob Ritchie

There are some jokes that make you think, and others that make you run for a dictionary.

...I believe that my favorite instance of monastic humor came as I arrived for a schola [choir] practice during Holy Week as St. John's. As I took my seat among the other women, I noticed that the monk behind me, a friend, was gazing at the ceiling. I said, "Ooooh, a monk in rapt contemplation, something I have longed to see." He replied, "It was just an erotic fantasy, Kathleen." "Oh, is that all," I said. Another monk said, "What he means by 'erotic,' Kathleen, is what most people mean by 'eremitic.'" The schola director, more amused than impatient, waited for the laughter to subside. And then we began to sing.

from Monastic Park, page 345

10:44 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog interviews Michael Jackson supporters.

Weak with laughing....

Pious gratitude to: Andrew Sullivan

9:39 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Via Instapundit, Eugene Volokh has a very interesting discussion entitled "Is Evolution a Threat to Religious Belief?"

As usual, it is thought provoking and persuasive.

Short answer: no.

Long answer: read it yourself.

9:15 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Oral Surgury

4:38 PM Jun 16, 2005by Rob Ritchie

In a little while, I'll be leaving for an appointment with my dentist. He's going to put a crown on my tooth.

This is my first crown, and frankly, I'm nervous.

If I don't survive, this'll be my last post, and I want my readers (both of you) to know what happened to me.

I realize this isn't as interesting as the guy who wrote "there's a guy in my apartment who's really angry" and was later killed. (Now, that's obsessive blogging. Close the laptop and pick up a phone, dude!)

More later, I hope.

Later:  Well, that was much easier than I thought it would be. I have a doc who absolutely rocks, and that ain't the gas talking....

P.S. I realize that I'm a really crappy blogger, because I can't find a link to the story I referred to earlier about the murdered blogger.

4:23 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

James R. Rummel writes about something I've never thought about: the pros and cons of poisoning bullets.

His conclusion: Crappy Delivery System

2:46 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

In the limited and restricted circle in which this story may be found, this is the best news in the history of the world.

Firefly lands on the Sci Fi Channel

Fans of the cult-hit series Firefly will be pleased to learn that the show has been picked up by the Sci Fi Channel--just two months before the release of Serenity, a Universal Pictures film based on the series.

By-the-by, I'm attending a special screening of Serenity next week.

I am in geek heaven.

Update:  Hmmmm...a closer reading of the story, after the application of "seeing-what-you-want-to-see"-excluding filters, would indicate that Sci Fi has decided to replay the existing shows, not make new ones.

This is disappointing, but a good first step.

1:05 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Robert the Llamabutcher has an interesting meditation on the Left and Right sides of the blogosphere. Go give it a read, and also the comments.

And, no, there aren't any funny llama pictures on this post.

12:13 PM Jun 16, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Ann Coulter starts into my Senator:

I guess Bush should have backed Katherine Harris, after all. Sen. Mel Martinez, the Senate candidate Bush backed instead of Harris, has become the first Republican to call for shutting down Guantanamo. Martinez hasn't said where the 500 or so suspected al-Qaida operatives currently at Gitmo should be transferred to....

Martinez explained his nonsensical call for the closing of Guantanamo by asking: "Is it serving all the purposes you thought it would serve when initially you began it, or can this be done some other way a little better?"

I'm not going to defend Martinez; I already sent him an email telling me how displeased his statements made me.

Read the rest of the column, which isn't really much about Mel Martinez.

Especially her last paragraph.

Pious gratitude to: Michelle Malkin

9:49 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

As the Anchoress suggests, if you're only going to read one post today, go and read Fausta at the Bad Hair Blog.

Florence Aubenas, Guantánamo, and torture.

It's chock full of links and quotes, and is a marvelous summing-up of the whole business.

Seriously, you should read it.

8:39 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

From Lynn, I find these two cool Mars-related pictures.

The first is a frozen lake of water, which I suspect just zoomed to the top of the list of places NASA wants to send the first manned mission.

While there, the astronauts could perhaps pause to watch the sun set.

We live in a marvelous age.

6:58 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

What could go wrong? This!

Robots run amok at hospital

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Waldo, a robot that delivers medicines at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, went berserk.

"Waldo shot past the pharmacy and barged uninvited into the examination room in the radiation oncology department, where -- according to an anonymous caller -- a doctor was examining a cancer patient," the paper's columnists wrote. "According to the caller, Waldo wouldn't leave, and the startled doctor and patient felt obliged to flee the room."

6:48 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Gosh, who could have expected this:

A dozen prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay have returned to "the battlefield" to fight against the United States, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Wednesday.

"There are several people that we have released that we know have come back and fought against America because they have been recaptured or killed on the battlefield," he said after meetings in Brussels with European Union officials.

You mean, even after they promised not to, terrorists went back to try to kill people? That isn't nice!

Close Guantanamo!

6:08 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Overheard in New York is a very funny site. It's also dirty, so I won't link to it directly here.

I link to it over there so go look if you feel inclined.

It's a place that tests that old saying about evesdroppers never hearing anything to their benefit. It's hillarious, in a very, very crude sort of way.

Here's one I liked:

All I ever want to do is hang around my apartment. Nekkid. With money taped all over me.
Some days, I feel the same way.

5:49 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I'm so vain (and insecure) that I probably think this post is about me.

But it's not. I don't know how to do trackbacks....

2:23 PM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Dr. Sanity discusses Beautiful Indifference.

Pious gratitude to: Michelle Malkin

11:31 AM Jun 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Words no man wants to hear from an attractive girl:

"You smell like my grandpa."


6:46 PM Jun 14, 2005by Rob Ritchie

The question is, was it Robert or Steve?

5:58 PM Jun 14, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Outspoken Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci goes to trial soon for thought crimes against Islam.

Read all about it in this terrific Front Page story by Robert Spencer.

Fedex Ground Sucks

2:17 PM Jun 14, 2005by Rob Ritchie

This is a screen print from the Fedex on-line tracking site. It shows that a package was "Refused by Recipient", even though no one was home.

They even have my "signature" to "prove" "I" "refused" it.

USPS or UPS, baby.

Happy Flag Day

10:18 AM Jun 14, 2005by Rob Ritchie

7:11 PM Jun 13, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Floridacracker has some words for NY Post columnist Cindy Adams, who wrote of Mark Lunsford, father of murdered Jessica Lunsford, "Long hair, tattoos, this trucker from Homosassa, Fla., looks a little like a bum."

The universe has already taken its best shot against Mark Lunsford and connected, so there's nothing left that's going to hurt this guy. But Cindy Adams description of him was so rude and ignorant, she owes him a public apology.

And she's right.

6:38 PM Jun 13, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Cool! A better Etch A Sketch!

Pious gratitude to: Lynn S

Islam in America

6:22 PM Jun 13, 2005by Rob Ritchie

4:20 PM Jun 13, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I hope that Victor Davis Hanson is right when he writes:

As nations come to know the Chinese, and as a ripe Europe increasingly cannot or will not defend itself, the old maligned United States will begin to look pretty good again. More important, America will not be the world’s easily caricatured sole power, but more likely the sole democratic superpower that factors in morality in addition to national interest in its treatment of others.

China is strong without morality; Europe is impotent in its ethical smugness. The buffer United States, in contrast, believes morality is not mere good intentions but the willingness and ability to translate easy idealism into hard and messy practice.

Most critics will find such sentiments laughable or naïve; but just watch China in the years to come. Those who now malign the imperfections of the United States may well in shock whimper back, asking for our friendship. Then the boutique practice of anti-Americanism among the global elite will come to an end.

Pious gratitude to: mitch

10:50 AM Jun 13, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

You know, I suspect that if I gave myself over to my inclinations, I'd post a link to everything the Great One writes.*

But then, I'd be some sort of stalker. Don't want that.

However, I'll do one and risk it: go read today's Screedblog (now with permalinks!), where he's talking about the new Time cover story.

"The true horror of American Torture has been revealed. Let me make light of it."

*I'd appreciate it if you just went and read it all yourself; then I'd know we were all on the same page.

11:55 AM Jun 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Paul Mirengoff writes:

It's one thing not to have a plan to fix social security. But the Democrats don't have a plan for fighting terrorism. They clearly want Arabs to think better of us. But what are they prepared to do in pursuit of that goal? Do they want us to sell out Israel, as their panelist James Zogby would like? Do they want us to release all detainees? If not, where will put them when we close Gitmo, and why will this be better? If so, will we owe the released terrorists an apology? And do the Dems have any interest in actually obtaining information for high-ranking terrorists we capture? If so, how do they propose that we go about getting it? What tactics, if any, should we be permitted to use? Can we ask nicely? Or are we limited to the usual Democratic solution to tough problems -- magic?

Magic does seem to be the method preferred by many leftists, liberals and Democrats.

9:44 PM Jun 11, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Powerline directs us to a terrific Mark Steyn column: Piss and wind in the Spectator.

Here's a tiny sample:

I don’t know why Muslims at Gitmo are flushing the Koran down the can, and it’s hardly my problem. But, when three times as many detainees ‘desecrate’ the Koran as US guards do, it seems clear that the whole Operation Desecration ballyhoo is yet another media crock and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and all the rest are complaining about nothing. Or is Koran desecration one of those things like Jews telling Jewish jokes or gangsta rappers recording numbers like ‘Strictly 4 My Niggaz’: are only devout Muslims allowed to desecrate the Koran? No doubt that’s why the Egyptian foreign minister and co. had no comment on last week’s suicide bombing at a mosque in Kandahar, which killed 20, wounded more than 50 and presumably desecrated every Koran in the building.

6:53 PM Jun 11, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Captain Ed on the actual historical use of the Senate filibuster -- to stymie federal anti-lynching legislation:

Forget Capra films and Jimmy Stewart railing from a Hollywood set about corruption. This is the true legacy and historical purpose of the filibuster. Shame on those Senators who lined up next to Robert Byrd and proclaimed that protecting this rule from modification amounted to "saving the Republic". That ghoulish statement offended the ghosts of the people who met death at the hands of mobs while the Senate found itself held hostage to racist sympathizers who used that procedure to stop a nation from putting an end to that outrageous and disgusting practice.

4:19 PM Jun 10, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

As if more evidence was necessary about the perfidy of cats:

Kittens use fax as toilet, spark house fire

Investigators in the western city of Kobe have concluded that the fire in January was caused by a spark generated when the urine soaked the machine’s electrical printing mechanism.

The fire damaged the kitchen and living room before it was put out by the house’s owner, who was treated for mild smoke inhalation, said Masahito Oyabu, a fireman at the Nagata fire station in central Kobe.

The kittens quickly ran to safety, he added.

Of course they did.

Pious gratitude to: Klank

Screedy Goodness

10:44 AM Jun 10, 2005by Rob Ritchie

In the ScreedBlog, Lileks discusses this guy:

Got it? Modern life is barbaric. The plucked and shaved and moussed and hair-dyed fellow flouncing down the walkway with the Patented Serious Model Scowl is ready for some barbarism. Like what? Black belt with brown shoes? I am what I am. It worked for Popeye, as an unapologetic expression of being a short squinty sailor who stood foresquare against Blutoism. Here it’s an excuse for being a selfish fop who, without family or any other civilizing instincts, never considers that he might end up in some Clockwork Orange world having his teeth kicked out by some hooligans dressed in the height of modern fashion, sampling that delicious barbarism.

Click the picture and read the rest; it'll totally be worth it, man....

When is Lileks going to implement permalinks?

1:43 PM Jun 9, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Captain Ed discusses soccer riots, torture and democracy in Iraq.

Go read it right now.

More on metaphor

11:37 AM Jun 9, 2005by Rob Ritchie

I'll stake a claim to Revelation simply by saying that I like any story with dragons in it. But this is a somewhat guilty pleasure; in some circles you can be labeled a fundamentalist just by admitting that you like the Book of Revelation. I suspect that this attitude is evidence of the extreme literalism, the fear of metaphor that in some ways defines American culture. But it also reflects a curious symbiosis of fundamentalists and liberals within American Christianity, in which the liberals have tended to cede to fundamentalists the literature of apocalyptic vision.

The Book of Revelation confronts our literalism by assaulting our fear of metaphor head-on, defying our denial of whatever is unpleasant or uncontrollable. As a writer, I know how unpleasant, even scary, metaphor can be. It doesn’t surprise me that people try to control it in whatever way they can, the fundamentalists with literal interpretations of prophetic and apocalyptic texts that deny the import of its metaphorical language, the liberals by attempting to eliminate metaphoric images of plague, punishment, the heavenly courts, martyrdom, and even the cross – that might be deemed offensive, depressing or judgemental.

from A Story With Dragons, page 210

I think that Americans really do have a problem with metaphor, especially in the political sphere. This unfamiliarity leads to inept constructions like "Bush is Hitler", "Guantanamo is a Gulag" and "Iraq is as bad as the Holocaust".

These metaphors resonate with some people, but are nonsensical and offensive to others.

6:57 PM Jun 8, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Vagina Dentata

2:51 PM Jun 8, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Andrew Sullivan shares a Very Catholic Joke:

Leonardo Boff, Hans Kung and Benedict XVI all die on the same day. They arrive at the Pearly Gates and St Peter welcomes them and says that Jesus wants to see each of them individually. Boff is first to go in to see Jesus. After half an hour, Boff comes out, shaking his head, and muttering, "How could I have been so wrong?" Kung is next. Same deal. After a while, Kung too emerges, head in hands: "How could I have been so wrong?" Benedict is next. After half an hour, Jesus himself comes out and groans: "How can I have been so wrong?"

Andrew follows this with a lengthy discussion of gay marriage....

2:27 PM Jun 8, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Dean: Dem Poll Workers Can't Tell GOP Voters Apart

A spokesman for the DNC later clarified the comments, noting that, "Chairman Dean intended his offensive remarks to be heard only by party loyalists, not the general public."

Israel's Latest Anti-Terror Weapon

2:15 PM Jun 8, 2005by Rob Ritchie

This a Trencor chain trencher, used to dig deep, deep trenches. According to the Haaretz story linked on the picture, they will be used to bisect the numerous smuggling tunnels Palistinians use to bring candy and cookies into Israel, which they then distribute at daycare centers.

Or something like that.

Pious gratitude to: Tim Blair

Oh, what the hell...

2:50 PM Jun 7, 2005by Rob Ritchie

I guess it's true...

11:48 AM Jun 7, 2005by Rob Ritchie

...that Dubya is a dummy:

[N]ewly released records show that Bush and Kerry had a virtually identical grade average at Yale University four decades ago

If George Bush had the same grades as that dumb-as-a-post Kerry, then he's a lot less intelligent than I judged.

Of course, he wised up a lot after school, unlike his loser rival.

10:11 PM Jun 6, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Apropos of our discussion yesterday about the insertion of 'inclusive' pronouns into Liturgy, come these passages from The Cloister Walk, this time from the chapter entitled The War on Metaphor, pg. 154:

Poets believe in metaphor, and that alone sets them apart from many Christians, particularly people educated to be pastors and church workers. As one pastor of Spencer Memorial - by no means a conservative on theological or social issue - once said in a sermon, many Christians can no longer recognize that the most significant part of the first line of “Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war” is the word “as.”

Kathleen Norris laments the loss of metaphor from the language of many reformers, with drier phrases inserted to replace the richer language of poetry, giving as an example a version of the Lord's Prayer whose first line is Our Father, who is our deepest reality:

Metaphor is valuable to us precisely because it is not vapid, not a blank word such as “reality” that has no grounding in the five senses. Metaphor draws on images from the natural world, from our senses, and from the world of human social structures, and yokes them to psychological and spiritual realities in such a way that we're often left gasping; we have no way to fully explain a metaphor's power, it simply is. What I find offensive about some new bible translations is the way in which they veer toward abstraction and away from metaphor. The new Inclusive Language new Testament and Psalms published by Oxford is an egregious example. The translation committee omitted metaphors of darkness as being too close to “darkies,” and therefore racist. Thus John 1:5 is rendered, dully, as “The light shines in the deepest night, and the night did not overcome it.” The question this new literalism raises for me is what time of the night? 1 A.M., or 3? The fact that the translators imagine “night” to be an adequate substitute for “darkness” only proves that they have a seriously impoverished understanding of metaphor and the nature of language.

What these liturgical reformers need to understand is that by changing beloved hymns and prayers in what is so obviously a political way, thay are having the following effect: their attempts to make the litergy more inclusive works to make me, and many like me, feel excluded.

And I can't help wondering if that's their goal.

10:55 AM Jun 6, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Well, the Great One has joined the ranks of crass bloggery, and his initial offering discusses, what else: Piss Koran.

Stories like these must be told, of course, if only to show what the media finds important, and remind us how good things are going. I can imagine in late 2001 asking a question of myself in 2005:

What’s the main story? The smallpox quarantine? Fallout from the Iranian – Israeli exchange contaminating Indian crops? A series of bombings in heartland malls?

"Well, no – the big story today has to do with soldiers mishandling terrorists' holy texts at a detention center."

Mishandling? How? Like, you mean, they opened it up without first checking to see if it was ticking, and it blew up –

"No, they handled it in a way that disrespected it. Infidels are supposed to use gloves."

Oh. So we lost, then.

Not yet, but they're working on it.

8:31 PM Jun 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

The Anchoress names the idolatry of feminism:

I never was one to bristle if I heard a male pronoun instead of a female one in church or at a meeting.

On the contrary, even back when I called myself a liberal, I had no patience for the women who would bustle about the church or the choir striking out “he’s” and “his” wherever they felt they could get away with it. I had no interest in reforming the liturgy - or the world - to “gender inclusiveness” because I thought the women making a big stink about language were making all women look rather silly, as though we were too stupid to understand that “man” meant “all of us.” I hate it when I pick up something scriptural or meditative and I am confronted with the corkscrew language that is sometimes used to enforce this false notion that a male reference somehow diminishes women.

(This last also annoys Mrs. Agnostic, who similary feels that her intelligence is being slighted by such vocabularistic sleight-of-hand.)

But this is small potatoes; what has The Anchoress noticing the graven images?


WASHINGTON, May 31 /PRNewswire/ — A new edition of the Gospels of the Bible for the first time shows Christ as a woman, named Judith Christ of Nazareth, and God as female. In all other respects, the classic texts of the Gospels remain unchanged…

Read the rest.

Update:  I'd also like to point out that The Anchoress isn't calling for rioting or anything. Leave that to...uh, others.

Support Democracy In Iran

8:10 PM Jun 4, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Over on the right, you will see a new image that looks like this:

Please follow the link. They don't want any money. What they want is for the world to pay attention on June 17th when Iran "elects" it's next president.

What they want is a Free Iran.

That's something we all should want.

Pious gratitude to: Bogus Gold

4:40 PM Jun 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Great phrase courtesy of Tim Blair: "stagnant madness".


1:08 PM Jun 4, 2005by Rob Ritchie

All our hopes and prayers and good wishes go out to the baby and parents and siblings and grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins and...well, everyone.

11:56 AM Jun 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Charles Johnson links to this:

U.S. Confirms Gitmo Soldier Kicked Quran

...and comments "Consider, if you will, the untold amounts of money wasted on this utterly inconsequential, excruciatingly trivial story."

Update:  Not surprisingly, the good Captain has some thoughts of his own:

Short of ensuring that the Gitmo prisoners belong there and get treated humanely -- three hots and a cot and no abuse -- I couldn't care less about their reading material. If they get Qu'rans, fine. If not, fine. If their Qu'rans get wet, kicked, dropped, laughed at, or ignored, let the military deal with the disciplinary issues, but it isn't newsworthy. Why should we give a damn about it? What happened to our sense of priorities?

Beats me....

11:25 AM Jun 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Anti-American chicken-littles on the Left are properly exposed in this article by Hussein Shirazi:

How Wrong They Were

In addition to making dire predictions which failed to materialise, the Guardian described the Americans as being “trapped in a B-52 mind-set”, which reflects a common theme among supercilious Europeans resentful of US power. In this model of international relations, the US is a dumb giant which knows how to flex its muscles but lacks understanding of complex political realities and local cultures, resorting to brute force when more subtle methods are required.

  In a lecture on October 30th, 2001, Professor Sir Michael Howard, the eminent military historian, said that fighting terrorism by bombing Afghanistan was like “trying to eradicate cancer with a blow torch” and had put Al-Qaeda in a “win-win situation”. His comments received wide coverage in the British press, but were based on a lamentable misunderstanding of US policy. As Colin Powell had repeatedly stated in the fall of 2001, military action was just one element of the War on Terror, which would also be prosecuted through police work, intelligence sharing, cutting off sources of funding and – yes – diplomacy and coalition-building. The military campaign in Afghanistan was an essential and urgent action to remove the only regime in the world which was allowing its national territory to be used as a safe haven and training camp for Al-Qaeda. And as CNN terrorism expert Peter Bergen noted, the removal of this safe haven was a major blow against the terrorists.

You should read the whole thing.

Pious gratitude to: Perry de Havilland, who has trenchant comments of his own.

4:28 PM Jun 3, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Here's an undeniably cool site that "is intended to allow science fiction fans to get an impression of the true scale of their favorite science fiction spacecraft by being able to campare ships accross genres, as well as being able to compare them with contemporary objects with which they are probably familiar."

Entire post swiped from:: Lynn

4:10 PM Jun 3, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Jim Geraghty has an amazing conversation with an al Qaeda sympathizer in Turkey.

You really should read it.

2:41 PM Jun 3, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Andrew Sullivan calls for submissions:

Readers are invited to send me statements by Bush officials describing the insurgency as in its "death throes" over the past couple of years. Anything from Dick Cheney will be particularly welcome.

You can participate, but be sure to also include the "imminent quagmire" stories as well....

11:37 AM Jun 3, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Take a look at this story: Saudis Outraged Over Women-Drive Proposal .

It discusses the massive backlash against a politician in Saudi Arabia who proposes allowing women to drive in that Islam-ridden country.

I guess we all know how radical an idea it is for women to drive cars. Gosh, we resisted the idea in America for about fifteen minutes before we realized that women were, you know, people who might benefit from being able to drive a car.

Of course, that's the difference: we have this strange idea that women are people, as opposed to things.

I was struck by this graph:

"Driving by women leads to evil," Munir al-Shahrani wrote in a letter to the editor of the Al-Watan daily. "Can you imagine what it will be like if her car broke down? She would have to seek help from men."

And we all know how men are! They have no self control in the presence of a woman.

Honestly, this goes to the heart of what's different between them and us. (And I know I'm introducing a dangerous idea here in that I'm somehow drawing a distinction between ourselves and twelth-century Muslim fanatics.)

We think that men are people who, all things being equal, will be kind and decent to a woman in trouble; and that women can make their own choices with regard to their own lives and, let's be frank, sexuality.

They seem to think that women are little more than animals in heat, and that men are helpless in their presence and will rape them if given half a chance.

Hmmm....I wonder how they got that idea about their men?

Update:  Of course, this is a rhetorical question: the answer is, they got the idea from the Prophet Mohommed himself; his opinion of women (and his apparent inability to control himself in their presence) is well known.

Wow, disrespecting women and spouting mad rhymes: Mohommed was the first rapper!

Pious gratitude to: lgf

10:34 AM Jun 3, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I think Lileks is suffering under a misconception about his reader demographics:

Last day of Gnat’s school. They had a picnic outside with a band: a guy with a guitar and a guy with a bass. Nice patter and good musicianship, but they should tour high school and teach the kids a very important lesson. Look at us! We’re in our late forties, excellent musicians, skilled in the Path of Rock, and in the end it’s parties for four year olds. No doubt they enjoy their work; that's irrelevant. Point to young rockers: they are not living in a mansion with a limo in the bedroom with gold-plated champagne spigots in the backseat Jacuzzi; nor do they have a stable of foxy groupies waiting in the van. Maybe it’s enough to keep playing and enjoy what you’re doing – in fact, given that most who take up the Path of Rock fall by the wayside and foreswear the Axe, they’re ahead of the game. A gig is a gig. And the audience not only loved them, but was entirely sober, for a nice change. Still: if you young rockers out there think that the Path will lead to awesome debauchery for, like, forever: heed the Bear. It’s not all TV sets tossed off motel balconies. Sometimes it’s leading kids around a meadow making choo-choo sounds on your wirelessly miked bass.

It's a good point, but really, how many young rockers are reading his Bleats every day to get life pointers?

Ego and pride. That's all he is these days.

He does have a cool Nashville Cats allusion, though...except it's "clean as country water."

Feet of clay? I guess so.

10:50 PM Jun 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

To compound the idiocy of Amnesty International calling Guantanamo a "gulag":

Yesterday, I was at lunch in a restaurant that had CNN on. They had the sound down, and the subtitles on.

The picture showed Secretary Rumsfeld addressing the press, and denouncing the use off the term "ghoul log".

"Ghoul log???!!!!"

Wouldn't you think that the person hired by CNN to type in the subtitles would perhaps be familiar with the word "gulag" and be able to distinguish it in context from the far rarer phrase "ghoul log?"

I've heard of pecan logs, but...

It's a cheap shot, but I'll take it

11:05 AM Jun 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Beauty and the Beast

Update: Some people have commented on the, uh, outstanding features in the picture. But can you imagine how chilly it must be to stand right there?

10:45 AM Jun 1, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

There’s an iMac in my house, and I’m not exactly sure how it got there. I came home one evening, and Mrs Agnostic had set it up in her sewing room / video editing parlor.

“Honey, can we hook this up to our network? It has an Airport…”

Uh, ok, but we’ll have to get one of those wireless routers you said were too expensive….

“Ok, let’s get one this evening.”

So, off to Best Buy to buy a Linksys wireless router. I have a little trouble hooking it up, because the cable conglomerate that beams high-speed Internet access into my abode doles out IP addresses with a teaspoon at a frequency that would starve a llama.

(Wow, obscure jargon, mixed metaphors and general nonsense! This post is going great!)

So, anyway, we make connection between the iMac and the legacy desktop PC named Dickweed (who can already see which way the wind is blowing and is trying to make himself as helpful as possible) and we amuse ourselves accessing MP3’s in the shared folder on the Windows PC through the air and playing them on the iMac.

“Honey, why can’t I get to the Internet?”

Um, because we use AOL as our broadband provider, and AOL isn’t loaded on the Mac. I dig out my spare AOL disk and stick it into the iMac, and it installs just great. AOL tells me that it can see the cable modem, so I try to connect up.

And it doesn’t connect.

I reconfigure, being certain to tell it to use the Airport to find the modem.

And it still doesn’t connect.

OK, I’ll skip over the many additional reconfigs, the many minutes of cursing, and the seemingly-interminable time dealing with AOL tech support on the phone.

The upshot: AOL does not support high-speed access for Macs.

Go back and read that previous sentence again: I needed it repeated several times before I got it.

AOL. Doesn’t. Support. Macs.

Yesterday, I called up and cancelled AOL broadband support, and got Road-Runner. (I still have my old AOL account for email and spam collection, but I’m not using them to manage my Internet access.)

I come home at the end of a hard day (including approximately 90 minutes of on-phone time trying to explain to AOL and to the local cable conglomerate what I wanted to do), turn on the iMac and….

…get right out to the Internet as easy as pie. Through the friggin’ air!

My admiration for the iMac grows and grows. Soon, I’ll be as bad as this guy.