Republican hotty #5693034

7:07 PM Aug 31, 2004by Rob Ritchie

12:05 PM Aug 31, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

No doubt you have read about the French journalists being held captive by Islamo-Fascists in hopes that France will rescind its ban on head-scarves in their public schools.

I keep coming back to something that Charles Johnson wrote the other day on this subject:

Please note: the promotion of hijab and other forms of restrictive dress for women is a very important strategy of radical Islam. This story makes it clear how important. They will kill for it.

11:47 AM Aug 31, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Second Toy Found In Candy Appears To Depict Osama Bin Laden

The bags contain a toy that looks like a plane flying into a building and, we found, a second toy that looks like Osama Bin Laden suspended between the two buildings.

You may have read the earlier story about the candy-and-toy filled bags containing these toys. In today's story, the company explains their origin:

The manager of Lisy Corporation says the candy was originally purchased sight unseen
Yum! Candy of unknown provenance! Let's give it to the kiddies!

h/t: lgf

Republican hotty #45633

6:58 PM Aug 30, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Pious gratitude to: The Fraters

Does she know something?

6:52 PM Aug 30, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Probably not...

Update:  Duh! I just figured out that Communists For Kerry is a parody site. I should have known by the attractiveness of the sign-holder.

But what does it tell you about the nature of the protests that you can't tell a parody from what they are parodying?

The Democrats' Patriotism Problem

6:33 PM Aug 30, 2004by Rob Ritchie

James Taranto has a terrific article in the WSJ:

Surely it is fair for any politician to take issue with his opponent's official acts. And if those acts were motivated by something other than antipathy toward America--as any fair-minded observer must presume they were--they could have been defended on their merits. Instead, Democrats themselves raised the issue of patriotism by defensively denying that they lacked it. A cardinal rule of political communication is never to repeat an accusation in the course of denying it ("I am not a crook"). These candidates "repeated" a charge no one had even made.

Contrast this with the way Republicans responded during the primary season when Democrats did question their patriotism. "I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve [in the military] when they had the chance," Mr. Kerry declared in April. Earlier, Wesley Clark refused to renounce a supporter's claim that Mr. Bush was a "deserter." And Howard Dean flatly stated: "John Ashcroft is not a patriot."

Republicans didn't care--and why should they? No one seriously believes Messrs. Ashcroft, Bush, Cheney and Rove are unpatriotic. When Messrs. Clark, Dean and Kerry question their opponents' patriotism, it has some mild shock value but carries no real sting, like a child trying out a naughty word he's just learned.

11:10 AM Aug 30, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Go read the Bleat.

Yes, I know I always say that, but there's something sort of wistful and undefinable about it today. Not political, not by a wide margin (unless the mention of conservative talk-show hosts makes your Spidey-senses tingle); but interesting and thoughtful. Plus, Michael J. Nelson is mentioned.

1:25 PM Aug 29, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

We went out to supper with a friend yesterday evening, and when we returned, we had CABLE! Sweet, sweet cable!

Now we can again enjoy the distractions of television and keep ourselves from the uncomfortable silences of actually, you know, being with each other!.

I'm just kidding. We had DVD's for that.

10:52 AM Aug 27, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

John O'Neal answers some tough questions in this on-line inteview in the Washington Post (registration required).

I highly recommend it. He was able to select the questions he wished to answer, and took on the toughest his critics can muster; and he acquits himself very well.

5:38 PM Aug 26, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

OK, this is just pathetic:

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach County has introduced an absentee ballot that requires voters to indicate their choices by connecting broken arrows, sparking criticism that it is even more confusing than the infamous "butterfly ballot" used in the 2000 election.

We have this exact type of ballot in Orange County, Florida, and have never, ever had any difficulties with it.

I no longer believe that the much-maligned "butterfly ballot" was ever a problem in the 2000 election. I now believe that the voters of WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA are idiots. Pure and simple.

If I ever become so old and feable that I cannot understand and operate a voting instrument, I hope someone will explain to me that I can no longer be trusted to make an informed opinion.

I report, You decide!

1:56 PM Aug 26, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I was asked to snap some pictures of the piles of collected debris that are being stashed at various places around Orlando as we clean up from Hurricane Charley.

As luck would have it, one such site is located near where I work. The land is a vacant lot owned by and adjacent to First Baptist Church of Orlando.

Your intrepid reporter stopped his truck and advanced through the muck to survey the site from the platform shown below. He was told that there are four or five such sites being operated by the City of Orlando.

Trucks full of branches, boles and other tree parts drive up to the platform, which is situated so that occupants can speak face-to-face with the drivers. From there, they are directed to dump their loads in one of two or three locations. A chipper is then used to grind the stuff into mulch, which is then piled in the center of the lot.

The mulch is eventually destined to be burned at some other site.

The Platform

Debris Pile


12:38 PM Aug 26, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

11:55 AM Aug 25, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Mark Steyn writes:

How cocooned from reality do you have to be to think you can transform one of the most divisive periods in American history – in which you were largely responsible for much of the divisiveness – into a sappy, happy-clappy, soft-focus patriotic blur without anybody objecting? Most Vietnam veterans of my acquaintance loathe John Kerry, and, if he wasn't aware of that, he's too out of it to be President.

Back up those servers!

10:49 AM Aug 25, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Here, I'm talking to any of you out there who are responsible for the data centers of any organization of any size anywhere.

Just because you do not personally have anything to do with a particular server on your network; and just because you personally don't work with that server; and just because a server was deployed before you were hired; and just because you suspect that a server doesn't host live, vital production data: BACK IT UP ANYWAY!

Because you will probably be wrong, and when that server crashes (as all servers do) and it is discovered that you don't have a backup of that server, people will be very, very upset with you.

And they will spend the whole day trying to recover their work, and won't be able to blog.

No phones, no lights, no motor-car

5:02 PM Aug 23, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Well, we didn't have lights, anyway, and still don't have cable. I've been out of the loop for quite a while on the implosion of the Kerry campaign, so this useful chronology of August events was helpful in getting back up-to-date.

We're back!

11:23 AM Aug 23, 2004by Rob Ritchie


Thanks for your prayers and thoughts and calls during this difficult time. Our disaster recovery continues apace, and for the first time, we are getting back to normal. While we still do not have cable, and thus no internet access at the house, we have electricity for about 12 hours at a time, our phone works, water supply is good and the tree has been removed from the back yard. I’ve started to demolish the shed (actually, the storm did that for me!) and seeing to repairs to the garage and driveway.

While Orange County Schools have been closed all last week, they reopen on Tuesday; however, Donna’s office has been open all last week, so she was able to occupy her time with the normalcy of the work regimen. My office didn’t reopen fully until last Friday, and even then the air conditioning was pretty sub-standard. Today, however, things are cool and pleasant so perhaps we can return to normal here as well. And, as some of you have found, the office where my web site and email are hosted had power restored over the weekend so I can now post some pictures of the storm and aftermath. Here is the link.

I have really come to understand how important the people in my life are during this time. Donna’s family in town were an incredible help, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. My friends were all wonderful, even those who were, like us, without power and other necessities / conveniences all pitched in to help out. I came to know my neighbors much better and was able to help them out with chainsaws and errands and small tasks. And, of course, we couldn’t have done any of it without the prayers and support of you all.

The gas stations all now have gas again; the grocery stores all have ice; the power is (finally) back; the air conditioning works; the tree is cut up; and the stump grinder comes by today. I have calls in to carpenters to try to patch up the roof. I’ll worry about the fences sometime later on.

I was really impressed with the emergency response from the state and the public utilities. While I certainly did my share of complaining while sweating through 100+ degree Florida summer days and nights, I have no complaints about the utility crews, who came from as far away as Illinois and Ohio to put us to rights. When ice became unavailable at the local grocery stores, the state stepped in and distributed bags to whoever asked. Information was available on the radio. Plenty of people knock this country (*cough* Michael Moron *cough*) but if there’s one thing we do well, it is respond to emergencies. On the Thursday before the storm even made landfall, 6000 utility crews were streaming into the state, as well as tree removal teams, and the necessary catering services to feed them all. I’m sure that semi’s full of port-o-lets made the trip as well. The amount of organization needed to make this work so well, to get our city back on its feet so quickly, is amazing to me.

I finally heard on the radio today what I had suspected from my own observations driving around town: our area, Conway, was among the worst hit areas in Orlando, though there were several other neighborhoods that also suffered extensively. However, places like Punta Gorda on the coast were much more badly hit, mostly due to the, err, temporary nature of many of the structures there. Many of those people lost everything, and we are very grateful that through God’s grace we were able to come through the storm so relatively unscathed.

- rob ritchie

10:00 AM Aug 13, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

If Lileks can take a few days off, so can I.

Say a non-denominational prayer to the deity or deities of your choice that hurricane Charley doesn't ruin our travel plans.

Where are we going? Here's a hint.

11:17 PM Aug 12, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

From LGF I learn, surprise, surpise, that "the world’s Shi'ite Muslims are seething with rage over US military actions in Najaf."

World's Shiites Warn That U.S. Is Treading on Sensitive Ground

You know what? They'll get over it. Or not.

Winnie-the-Pooh Is My Co-worker

6:45 PM Aug 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Maureen brought the new guy around who's going to be working in our group. After the Jason fiasco, we really could use someone with a little bit of a brain who can keep up on things. This guy's named Winnie and, I don't know, I just have a bad feeling.
Really, really, funny. Go read. Sounds like some people I work with.

Kerry's One-Point Plan for a Better America

6:24 PM Aug 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

"Schools do not have the resources they need to succeed," Kerry said. "One million students are dropping out of high school every year. John Kerry and John Edwards have a plan to ensure that all Americans can make the most of their God-given talents: Get George Bush out of the White House."

The new message is resonating with registered Democrats.

"John Kerry really spoke to my dream, my hope, and my aspiration for this nation," University of Kansas sophomore Jason Brandt said. "He sees the world as I do."

Pious gratitude to: Rachel Lucas

2:38 PM Aug 12, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

A Pony-Car!

11:54 AM Aug 12, 2004by Rob Ritchie

6:52 PM Aug 11, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

The Dork responds; Kerry Campaign Advisor Jeh Johnson explains:

John Kerry has said on the record that he had a mistaken recollection earlier. He talked about a combat situation on Christmas Eve 1968 which at one point he said occurred in Cambodia. He has since corrected the recorded to say it was some place on a river near Cambodia and he is certain that at some point subsequent to that he was in Cambodia. My understanding is that he is not certain about that date.

So, the memory that was "seared-seared" into Kerry was that he was somewhere where he was shot at, at some point in his military career, possibly in Viet Nam, possibly in Cambodia, but that he's not exactly sure when it happened or if there was anyone strange (such as a CIA man) on his boat.

My seared memories are more specific.

5:29 PM Aug 11, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

The inestimable Lynn at Reflections in d minor points us to a story on The Most Untranslatable Word In The World, as ranked by "a thousand professional translators and interpreters:"

But the most untranslatable word in any language, reckon the translators, is ilunga, a word in the Bantu language of Tshiluba for a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time; to tolerate it a second time; but never a third time. And I suppose we all know that kind of person.

I certainly can't think of a similar concept in the English language for this.

The phrase "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" comes to mind, but this is obviously not what we're looking for.

We know people like this, and in fact I suspect that most people fall into this category in some areas of their lives or another. But it's interesting that the Tshiluba have a specific term for this sort of easy-going person with a limit to their easy-going-ness.

I wonder if they have similar terms, say, for someone that is unwilling to forgive the first abuse; or who will give you a pass the first time, but not any further.

If they have a word that means "somebody who forgives any abuse" then I suspect the proper English word to translate this concept is "doormat."

Kerry’s Troopers

4:15 PM Aug 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Tim Graham in National Review Online

Why would the media approach the swift-boat vets opposing Kerry by completely changing the subject instead of engaging the battle on the turf of Kerry's record? If they're so confident Kerry is unassailable and the vets are politically daft, why not demand Kerry's records to shut it down?

Why indeed?

2:22 PM Aug 11, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

According to this story

Most U.S. high-school students believe the government will restart the military draft during their lifetimes

Of course, most U.S. high-school students can't locate Canada on the map, can't name the Vice President, and wonder if anybody really likes them. Why are they being asked questions again?

No Shit!

2:04 PM Aug 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Deputies were unaware that the seven [911] phone calls would be followed by the mass murders, according to the report.


12:37 PM Aug 11, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I added a new site to my sidebar a week or so ago, which I highly recommend.

Sheila A-Stray's Redheaded Ramblings

Red writes beautifully about the things she loves, which has lately mainly been Cary Grant movies.

She rewards a daily visit.

7:53 PM Aug 10, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Sean Hannity is interviewing the Swift Boat Vets for Truth guys about "Unfit for Command." I must say, they come across as credible and genuine. Oops, it's back on. bye.

OK, Something's new...

2:30 PM Aug 10, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Pious gratitude to: Florida Cracker

My last post on this subject...

10:47 AM Aug 10, 2004by Rob Ritchie

...until something new happens.

Via Instapundit (who has lots and lots on this), we find this useful summary of Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" claims.

A nasty little secret...

4:56 PM Aug 9, 2004by Rob Ritchie

The Democratic Party's anti-Semitism problem

Among the victors in the July 20 Democratic primary in Georgia was Cynthia McKinney, who served five terms in Congress before being defeated in the 2002 primary by Denise Majette. Like many other inhabitants of the fever swamps of the Democratic Party, McKinney believed and said that President Bush knew in advance about the 9/11 plot but allowed it to proceed in order to line his pockets.

She also, as The New York Times said in reporting her victory, had made "a series of other incendiary, often racial comments." This is The New York Times' delicate way of alluding to the stridently anti-Semitic character of McKinney's 2002 campaign, in which "Jews" were repeatedly blamed for her faltering in the polls and for her eventual defeat. Her behavior did not deter House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, then the Democratic whip, from backing her to the hilt.

In case you are wondering where this could possibly lead, consider this story of a nation that ignores the anti-Semitism in its midst: Jewish students attacked at Auschwitz

Pious gratitude to: lgf

Viet record ripples

1:51 PM Aug 9, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Mark Steyn unloads:

The one thing the Democratic Party owed America this campaign season was a candidate credible on the current war. The Democrats needed their own Tony Blair, a bloke who's a big socialist pantywaist when it comes to health and education and the other nanny-state hooey but believes in robust projection of military force in the national interest.

John Kerry fails that test. If you wanted to pick a candidate on the wrong side of every major defense and foreign policy question of the last two decades, you would be hard put to find anyone with judgment as comprehensively poor as Mr. Kerry: total up his votes and statements on everything from Grenada to the Gulf war, Saddam to the Sandinistas, the Cold War to missile defense to every major weapons system of the 1980s and '90s. He called them all wrong.

But that's not how the Democratic Party muscle saw John Kerry. Since the notion of a credible war president wasn't important to them, they looked at the war on terror merely as a Bush wedge issue to be neutralized. And they figured their best shot at neutralizing it was Lt. Kerry on a Swift boat.

11:29 PM Aug 8, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Michael Savage outlines the bleeding edge of the world:


5:10 PM Aug 8, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Power Line writes about the Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" lie:

Those who think this story doesn't have legs are wrong. Kerry has made his service in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign, for reasons I can't understand. In contrast, his nineteen years in the Senate are a well-kept secret. So he has obviously opened the door to scrutiny of his record. Yesterday, we spent most of the first hour of our radio show talking about the Swift Boat Vets' charges. The response was unbelievable. The phones were ringing off the hook; we've never gotten so many calls. One Vietnam veteran was in tears as he talked about an upcoming family reunion, and wondered whether his nephews and nieces would think he was a war criminal, because of Kerry's slanders. Two Democrats called and tried to argue with us. A mistake.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth need your help to get the message out. I contributed. Will you?

11:57 PM Aug 7, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Sheila asks:

If you had a time machine - and could visit 5 separate times/places - what would they be?

I’ll avoid the purely personal, for fear of incurring the inevitable time paradoxes that would result.

1. September 27, 1066 / Hastings, England to witness William the Conqueror defeat Harold Godwinson during the Norman Invasion.

2. November 19, 1863 / Gettysburg, PA to witness Lincoln deliver the Address

3. 1804 / Midwest – I would love to see Lewis and Clark encounter their first Grizzly Bear.

4. 537 AD / Constantinople– To see Hagia Sophia when it was new, before it was sacked by Crusaders and Turks

5. July 4, 1776 / Philadelphia – to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

No particular order.

11:12 PM Aug 7, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Donna and I saw De-Lovely this afternoon.


A-mazing. It’s so wonderful I won’t spoil it by attempting much of a review. The music is terrific, the love story true and heart-breaking and inspiring. Sets, costumes, hairstyles, all beautiful. Ashley Judd is breathtaking; Kevin Kline is fantastic.

I will say that seeing Kline’s portrayal of an aged Cole Porter was stirring for personal reasons. Seeing his heavily-veined, slightly shaking hands on the piano brought to mind my own father, whose music has been silenced for more than twenty years, and whose repertoire certainly consisted of Porter tunes.

There’s sadness in this movie of a kind that I simply can’t stand; I love it, but I can’t stand up to it, and I end up bawling. Oh, well, sue me.

What's that smell?

4:46 PM Aug 7, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Charles Johnson writes about the UNITY Conference's reception of President Bush:

Absolutely amazing undisguised bias was on display today at the UNITY Conference, as some journalists in the audience actually booed President Bush, after giving John F. Kerry standing ovations and softball questions the day before: Bush Defends Terror Alert, Challenges Kerry.

I have never seen the leftist bias of the media so blatantly revealed. It was so bad that even CNN’s Paula Zahn was forced to acknowledge it on her show tonight.

Is George Bush a Coward?

10:15 PM Aug 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Short answer? No.
There's a longer answer, too, and it's really good. I agree with every word.

6:27 PM Aug 6, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Via OTLM I learn that John Kerry is peddling an old chessnut:

In one of his biggest applause lines, (Kerry) also said every black vote would count in future elections. In 2000, many black voters were denied the right to vote as a result of breakdowns in the registration and vote-counting systems. "The harsh fact now is that in the last election more than 1 million African-Americans were disenfranchised in one of the most tainted elections in history."

This claim is debunked here.

Victor Davis Hanson

5:55 PM Aug 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

A Return to Childhood

I would never have imagined that journalists, academics, actors, artists, and the intelligentsia in general would have so opposed the end of dictatorship and promotion of democracy abroad. And who would have thought that Vietnam would become the source for Democratic nostalgia, rather than the usual recrimination? Did anyone think the appointment of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, promises of $15 billion in grants to combat AIDS in Africa, and lectures to the politically powerful Arab world to cease the genocide of black Sudanese would earn George Bush slurs evoking the Taliban, the old Confederacy, and fascism? Have we become children who live in a world of bedtime stories, afraid to face the cruel truth around us?

10:53 AM Aug 6, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

More bloggy furor about the shirt (which should surprise no one). I found the image above, and it reminded me of a scene from that wonderful Western Silverado.

In this movie, Mal Johnson (Danny Glover) travels to his father's farm in Silverado to help out, only to find that the farm has been burnt out and his father (Joe Seneca) has been driven into the hills. He's been persecuted by the evil rancher (Ray Baker), who wants his land to graze his cattle, and his men are pretty much your typical redneck racists; but the only thing that keeps poor Ezra from being killed is his skill with a rifle.

So, at one point, Ezra goes down to the river to get water, puts his rifle down to wade in with a bucket and, you guessed it, gets plugged by the no-account ornery cowpokes. If only he could have gotten to his rifle in time!

But, if he had, then Danny Glover wouldn't have joined up with Emmett and the boys to take down the evil bad guys of Silverado.

Did I mention I love this movie?

10:42 PM Aug 5, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Cold Fury has a transcript of a Press Conference I'd love to see.

Press: “Mr. Ridge, how do you respond to charges that this security alert is really a scare tactic being used for political purposes by the Bush administration?”

Ridge: “Christ almighty, what is it with you people? You’ve spent a couple of years asking why we didn’t prevent 9/11, calling for an investigation, asking ‘how much did Bush know and when did he know it?’ You blamed us for something we failed to prevent after eight months in office, and yet to this day you give the Clinton admin a free pass, even though he had eight years—eight fucking years, people—to do something about al Qaeda and didn’t do one goddamned thing.

“You finally get your investigation, the results of which confirm most of what we’d been saying all along, but you don’t want to hear that any more than you wanted to hear about the fact that one of the Democrat commissioners, Jamie Gorelick, was responsible for the so-called “wall of separation” prohibiting information-sharing between the FBI and CIA, which nearly everyone now acknowledges was one of the biggest problems preventing any effective defense against terrorist networks. You do deign to acknowledge that problem, but the part you originally claimed to be most interested in—who was responsible—is suddenly not so interesting anymore the moment you realized you couldn’t reasonably blame us for it.

“You insist that Condi and Bush must testify publicly to the commission (even though Condi had already testified once), but it doesn’t seem to bother you when Clinton gets to testify behind closed doors. You laud Richard Clarke’s and Joe Wilson’s credibility, but when it’s clearly shown that they’re liars you don’t seem to want to bring it up anymore. You hint at all sorts of sinister skullduggery on our part, but when Sandy Berger openly admits to stealing classified documents for God only knows what reason, you couldn’t care less.

“Meanwhile, al Qaeda continues to plot and scheme, and we all know that these major attacks aren’t something that Osama and a few others cobble together over tea and crumpets on Wednesday afternoon and then perpetrate the following Friday lunch. We go to no little trouble to get what information we have out there in hopes that people will be more alert and perhaps be of some help in their own defense, and also in hopes that al Qaeda will know we’re awake to the threat and will possibly cancel out. And damned if you people don’t find some way to bitch about that.

As Kathleen the Cake Eater says,

Man, that was more satisfying than a ciggie after sex.

I'll have to take her word for it.


5:30 PM Aug 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

James Frederick Dwight over at Soxblog has a tightly reasoned theory that John Kerry is as dumb as a box of rocks!

One of the axiomatic dynamics of this presidential race has been that Bush is a dolt while Kerry is highly intelligent. But if Kerry is so bright, where has he been hiding his allegedly fearsome intellect? Does “I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it” sound like the workings of a brilliant mind? And yet the Adam Nagourneys of the world continue to insist that Kerry is remarkably “complex” with an uncanny sense for nuance. But I’ve come to a conclusion: He’s not particularly smart.

Part Deux is here.

It’s a well known trope that much of the Democratic Party coalesced behind Senator Kerry because of his perceived electability. There’s no doubt a lot of passion on the left, but the passion is for defeating Bush, not electing Kerry. But part of the subconscious deal the left made with itself when it swung behind Kerry was to decide that Kerry was everything that Bush was not: Heroic, selfless, nuanced, and super-intelligent. Hey, cheer up left-wingers, one out of four ain’t bad.

Great Hanes Robbery

5:14 PM Aug 5, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Ann Coulter takes on a little trip down memory lane to discuss a scarcely-reported story from a few weeks ago: Sandy Berger's pilfering of top secret documents from the National Archives:

These people think if Dick Cheney uses a word with the letter "H," it's a secret code from the pope proving a conspiracy with Halliburton. But they can't see what all the fuss is about when a former national security adviser comes under criminal investigation and a search warrant is executed on his office and home after he pilfers top-secret government documents. Or at least it's not nearly as consequential as the question of who leaked the story

12:09 PM Aug 5, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

I read this post on Instapundit with interest, because I actually own the shirt under discussion, and wear it on occasion.

I recently wore it to the grocery store, not as any sort of political statement, but as something to cover my pasty flesh while shopping for stuff. A small woman with a lovely French accent stopped me and asked me what the shirt was about.

I told her that it was a satirical look at the whole "Celebrate Diversity" idea, pointing out how advocates of this slogan invest and limit the meanings of the words with their own political frieght, while contradicting the very meaning they espouse by rejecting people whose diverse views they disapprove of, namely, gun enthusiasts; and that a secondary understanding points out that these gun enthusiasts actually do celebrate the diverse models and experiences to be had by firing different types of guns. I further explained that the shirt was tacitly pro-2nd Amendment and that, by it, no harm was meant to anyone.

(Actually, I was much less articulate and much more tongue-tied; after all who, while standing in the tissue aisle, can muster a cogent thought besides "What exactly does double-ply mean, and do they have quilting-circles at the toilet-paper factory?" But I think I made a good-enough explanation; I also told her that I, personally, do not own a gun, but that I support the 2nd Amendment right to do so.)

She was very polite, but as we parted (we'd only been together about 30 seconds) she said "Don't shoot me!"

I didn't get the chance to tell her that not even the most determined of criminal could have shot her with a picture of a gun.

11:30 AM Aug 5, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Revenge of the Swift Boat Vets!

More on this here

11:41 AM Aug 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

I've found this New Yorker article by Lawrence Wright highly recommended in several places. It's long, but amazing and disturbing. Read it all.


6:30 PM Aug 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Mark Steyn is on a roll:

At the convention last week, Ted Kennedy urged Americans to make sure that, this January, John Kerry has a "nice new home". But, thanks to his wife's first husband, he already has five multi-million-dollar homes, including a 15th-century stone barn dismantled and shipped over from England to serve as their ski chalet in Idaho.

6:10 PM Aug 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

According to Captains Quarters, Kerry's campaign get's it's message out:

The overriding image of the Kerry campaign out of this convention has been his wife telling a reporter to "shove it" for asking a completely reasonable question, and of her husband telling reporters essentially the same thing when asked to explain his secret plan for winning the war or the deals with foreign leaders that comprise such a critical part of it. "Shove it" may be the epitaph of the Kerry/Edwards campaign, a perfect synopsis of the Democratic approach to the Deaniacs at its disaffected base and the swing voters who want more explanation of how Kerry plans to do anything differently on the war.

Kiss Me, Kate!

6:03 PM Aug 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

The expression "Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face" absolutely pales in comparison to this story:

A migrant worker from Myanmar cut off his penis on Friday after drinking himself into a rage when his wife refused him sex, Thai police said.

Po Dong, 29, a dock worker at the Thai port of Samut Prakan, attempted intercourse with his wife, Kate, on Thursday night.

When she refused he stayed up all night drinking whiskey and made another attempt on Friday, Samut Prakan Police Major Narong Simsawat said.

When this attempt at intimacy also was rebuffed, Po Dong flew into a rage and severed his penis with a pair of scissors. He then cut the severed member into several pieces and stabbed himself in the stomach while screaming abuse at his wife.

That'll show her, Po! No more sweet lovin' for her!

I'm not sure I'm actually glad I found this story via: protein wisdom

5:55 PM Aug 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Colin McNickle (the fellow would-be First Lady Teresa Heinz Kerry , calling for civility, told "Shove it!") tells what's happened to him since:

"I hope you burn in hell," read one e-mail. "You're a (expletive) Nazi," went another. "Teresa should have told you to go (expletive) yourself," another friendly e-mailer offered. And these were among the milder communiques; those that included death threats will be forwarded to the senders' respective hometown police departments.

One of my daughters back in Pittsburgh was brought to tears by a caller to our house. The clever woman identified herself as a Washington reporter seeking to interview me but then embarked on a filthy tirade. It seems a member of the Heinz Kerry Civility Enforcement Patrol posted our home address and telephone number on the response part of my convention blog.

Mark Steyn on Kerry's DNC Speech

11:31 AM Aug 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

"...verbose, shapeless, platitudinous, complacent, ill-disciplined, arrogant, and humourless."

But this column is more than a review...

The Kerry campaign seems to be the political equivalent of what they call on Broadway a "snob hit": the longer it is, the more boring it is and the worse time you have at it, the more you feel it must be good for you. To his numbed, buttock-shifting listeners, the great sonorous self-regarding orotund bromidic banality of Senator Kerry and his multitude of nuances is proof of how much more serious he - and therefore they - are. This is a profoundly un-American attitude and, from the so far bounce-less post-convention polls, it doesn't seem to be resonating with "swing voters".

There's more...

His default position is the conventional wisdom of the Massachusetts Left: on foreign policy, foreigners know best; on trade, the labour unions know best; on government, bureaucrats know best; on defence, graying ponytailed nuclear-freeze reflex anti-militarists know best; on the wine list, he knows best.

It's terrific. Read it all.

Not his Band of Brothers

12:48 PM Aug 2, 2004by Rob Ritchie