Monday, April 30, 2007

Away For A Bit, New Posts Coming Straightaway

I've been getting behind with consistent blogging, but I'm planning a lot of new stuff starting today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Imus as Lefty Scalp?

There's an interesting twist to the Imus controversy brewing. Tammy Bruce argues that Imus was merely a target of the far-left, because Imus represents the centrist wing of the Democratic Party, and the hard-left has placed anyone to the right of them (liberal hawks, Lieberman, DLC, et al) on their hit list. Frankly, I find the assertion that Imus was sacked by the anti-war, activist Left kind of dubious. Don't get me wrong, I count myself as a loyal member of the centrist, Lieberman-Harold Ford-DLC wing of the Party, and I am well aware of the machinery of attack dogs on the Left (as well as the Right, BTW) that have committed themselves to marginalizing and destroying anyone who dares hope for victory in Iraq, doesn't think Bush is pure evil, or dissent from the MoveOn-Kos party line. The civil war is indeed on, and I've felt the wrath.

The thing is, I just don't see Don Imus fitting in to this.

First off, we can debate whether his punishment was too harsh, but it's not as if Imus is the victim here. I fail to see how calling the Rutgers team "nappy headed hos," makes him a standardbearer of the sensible wing of the Democratic Party. FRankly, I find that insulting. Truly, Harold Ford and Imus are friends, and Harold Ford certainly represents the center, but Imus? I just don't see it. Besides, Imus wasn't so much a foe of the liberal elite--in many ways he provided them a forum. All the major Democratic candidates have been featured guests. Even John Kerry just said Imus shouldn't have been fired, and would've have gone back on the show if asked. Kerry isn't exactly a member of the Lieberman camp, is he?

Oh, and Tom DeLay and Ann Coulter as victims? No, I'm not buying that either.

The larger Imus controversy is a story for another post (coming soon, I swear), along with a post on the neccessity of Lieberman Dems. This point was interesting, though:

Relevance: Media Matters had a staffer whose job was to record Don Imus and listen for gaffes. He found one, alerted the media, and the rest is history. For icing on the cake, the Soros-funded group tried to convince everyone that Imus is a conservative. Imus is to Media Matters’ political right, but then again so is the entire country.

Yeah, that's true.

P.S.: The SCOTUS just upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion. You wanna see lefty outrage and hysteria? Follow this story.

See? I told you so.

UPDATE: Imus may not be a lefty scalp, but Jason Whitlock makes a serious case why he's just a sacrifical lamb upon the altar of politics, in order for some black leaders to feel good about themselves, while ignoring the real problem. Let me say this: If Imus' firing was a part of a sincere campaign to redeem the culture, than I'm cool with that, but if were going to stop with him, and this was all a stunt, then Imus needs to get his job back, and this really has been one big sham. I sure hope not.

Further Reflections

Continuing to reflect on the wholesale tragedy of the massacre at Virginia Tech, in case you didn't know, the sooter has been identified as 23-year old South Korean Cho Seung-Hui, a senior and an English major, whose writings reveal a man thoroughly disturbed. He was a loner, and kept to himself. He had submitted screnplays so disturbing that his professors referred him for counseling. He apparently felt isolated, and decided to resolve his issues with mass murder. God help us.

The convocation and candlelight vigil were yesterday.

Predictably, there have been knee-jerk reactions, with many blaming the guns, and violent video games. As far as the supposedly culpability of the gun culture is concerned, I think MIke Silverman covers it well:

To summarize, although people on both sides of the gun issue will certainly try to make hay out of this event, the fact is that both sides really have nothing useful to add. The shooting today was an outlier, and a tragedy, and you don't make public policy choices based on outliers.

As far as blaming video games, that train seems to never want to derail, as self-important "crusader" Jack Thompson couldn't even wait for the victims to be ID'd before he piled on.

God help us, and go Hokies.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragedy at Virginia Tech

In case you haven't heard, there's been a mass shooting at Virignia Tech, with over thirty dead, including the shooter. They're calling it the worst shooting in U.S. history. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims. God be with them, and us all.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Well, It's A Start, I Guess

Although this has the appearance of being a drop in the bucket. A really big bucket

It's Over

CBS has cancelled Imus' show. My thoughts on this are coming later.

Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

We've lost a true literary icon. The story is here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A General Theory of Blogrolling

Well, not really. There's an interesting discussion going on around the blogosphere, about the function of blogrolls, the idea of blogger communities, and the differences between righty and lefty blogs in that regard. There's a real concern about smaller, lesser-known blogs not getting the traffic that bigger, more A-list bloggers get. One part of this involves a bit of well-intentioned, but ill-executed nonsense called Blogger Amnesty Day, started by Atrios, who runs A-list lefty blog Eschaton. I could explain what happened, but I'll let Jon Swift do it better than I can:

But the more I learned about this Amnesty Day, the more I realized that it was a very strange amnesty indeed. The amnesty he granted turned out to be amnesty for himself. He wanted to assuage himself of the guilt he might feel at kicking blogs off his blogroll instead of granting amnesty to others to swarm across the border into his domain. "Everyone feels a wee bit guilty about removing blogs from their blogroll, so they're hesitant to add new ones to an ever-expanding list," he explained. So Atrios deleted his entire blogroll and disappointingly repopulated it for the most part with the usual suspects. Then others in the liberal blogosphere followed his example, including Jesus' General and PZ Myers at Pharyngula, who already takes a very Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest approach to blogrolling (see updates below). Then Markos at Daily Kos joined this ruthless bloodletting. "It sucks and it feels bad," he said, daubing the tears from his eyes as he typed. So the end result of Atrios' Amnesty Day was to make some blogrolls smaller and even more exclusive than they already were.

Not exactly how it was supposedly to work, huh? Now it's clear that I run a small and little-known blog, and I am but a Lowly Insect on the TTLB Ecosystem. I think, as Swift does, that it helps to link to lesser-known blogs, and that bigger blogs really ought to expand their blogrolls beyond just the inner circle. My blogroll serves as a list of blogs I like a lot, and many others that are interesting. My links cover the whole spectrum, although I try to stay away from the excessively hostile. I don't hang out at the swamp of LGF at all or Kos for that matter, and I've wondered if I should delete Kos from the roll for balance, but I'll peek there once or twice, and to be honest, Kos bothers me less (only slightly) than Charles Johnson's domain.

Oh, and Jon, I've added you to my blogroll. You do good work.

On a side note, I plan on posting on Imus, the Duke rape (well, non-rape) case, and the British sailors soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

At Last, The Decision Is In

In the minds of many, it has been the most critical question of the last few months. Based on the news coverage, the lives of billions are affected. Well, the verdict is in. Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole's baby.

No, I don't really care either.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Principled Anti-War Criticism That Leaves You Speechless

I'm of course talking about this breathtaking piece by Tish Durkin, over at the Huffington Post. I'm a war supporter, so I probably wasn't in her target audience (even though I'm a liberal), but Durkin offers up some of the most principled criticism of the Iraq war that I've read. You must read the whole thing, but I'll excerpt a few bits:

Don't get me wrong. If I felt that this post were going to be read by a bunch of war apologists, I would take them angrily to task for the manifest, manifold failures in Iraq, and the criminally self-indulgent fictions on which those failures were based. But since this post is presumably being read mostly by war critics, I will devote it to challenging anti-war activists on their apparent belief that everything they say about Iraq is, always has been, and ever shall be true.

It is not, for instance, true that it was the American-led invasion that opened season on the slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians. Whatever else the Bush administration made up about Iraq, the rank murderousness of Saddam Hussein was not one of them. Amid the gunfire and giddiness of Baghdad right after its fall in April 2003, it was common to find people converging onto bits of infrastructure, manically fueled by the rumor mill: someone had said that there was a torture chamber underneath this stretch of highway; a secret prison built into this wall. People had no time to be interviewed; if they talked at all, they'd keep going as they panted: "My husband/brother/son disappeared twenty odd years ago; he could still be alive; I have to get him out." I remember going to a mass grave; a "minor" one, not far from Hilla. People were digging there, too: for bones, which were piled everywhere, a sickening canine bonanza. Close by there still lived a man who had seen what had happened there in the days after the war with Kuwait, but kept his mouth shut for years: busloads of innocent Shi'ites, screaming 'God is Great' at the top of their lungs, had been unloaded, rung around pre-dug graves, and shot.

And this one, which ought to be put on a t-shirt, and passed out at every anti-war rally in the country:

Finally, what depresses me, and makes me despise so much war criticism even when I agree with it, is that so many of those positing it seem so happy about what's gone wrong. They seem to relish the probability that Iraq will get worse and worse so that they can be righter and righter.

Like liberals - and thinking conservatives, and sentient beings -- everywhere, I gravely doubt that the troop surge - so little so late -- will do anything to save Iraq. But for the sake of the Iraqi people, I sure hope it does - even if that helps the Republicans.

This may sound crazy, but if the only path to victory in Iraq and the larger GWOT meant a hundred years of GOP victories, I'd pay that price, and I'm sure Durkin would too. Of course, most of us know that such a trade isn't even remotely neccessary, or helpful for that matter. Such fairy-tale either/or dilemmas exist only in the minds of party-line partisans. We don't need to elect Republicans to succeed in Iraq and the GWOT. We just need those in both parties to get their heads on straight.

Hat tip: Instapundit

More on the Wealthy Elite

In this case, regarding Edwards' elitist reputation. Apparently, Elizabeth Edwards has a real problem with her gun-toting, hardcore Republican neighbor, whose house, which is considerably less lavish as the Edwards' palatial abode, she considers an eyesore.

To be fair, she herself never said specifically it was a money issue, and rather sees Johnson as something of a mean, unapproachable bully. You know how this looks, though. This is one of those "perfect fodder for one's enemies" moments. Al Gore has had a similar problem as of late as well.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's Mostly A Non-Issue, But...

A lot of hubbub and borderline hysteria has risen around the not-that-big-of-a-deal story of Nancy Pelosi's diplomatic trip to Syria. At the end of the day, there's no scandal here, because it's not as if Pelosi will be promoting anything else but the American foreign policy consensus concerning Syria.

I don't think the trip itself sends mixed signals, but I have to agree that this sure as hell does.

HT: Instapundit

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bush: Crusader for the Common Man?

I felt the need to reflect on something I just heard on C-SPAN a few minutes ago. I was watching the tail end of a Q&A interview with Michael Gerson, Bush's former speechwriter. He and Brian Lamb were discussing Bush and his reading habits, and and the conversation led to a point in which Gerson commented the Bush was not anti-intellectual, but anti-elite, and opposed to the contempt elites have for the common man. Bush was lauded as a regular guy, with a common man's disposition. Now, some may accuse me of predictable Bush-bashing, but I find that declaration dubious. Bush is a man born into the patrician elite, and has reaped many of the privileges of his wealthy upbringing. He just hides it better than say John Kerry, who is actually less wealthy, but still gets painted as a Brahmin (which he is). What is it about Bush, who is just as much a product of wealth as Kerry and Gore, that allows him to pass as a regular guy? Is it because he's legitimately more likeable, as those who've met him attest? Kerry comes off as an emotional black hole, and Gore has his issues, but how is Bush any less of an elitist? Keep in mind, that I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with wealth.

Take a guy like John Edwards, who started off from poverty, and worked his way up to wealth, and now wants to give back through policies he believes will help the poor. Truly, many may disagree with his policies, but what is it about Edwards that garners so much contempt from some? What I'm asking is, why is wealthy Bush the everyman, while wealthy Edwards is a self-righteous elite?

Am I missing something? What I'm asking is, how is Bush different?

At Last, The True Upgrade

Well. I'm going to finally buckle down and fully upgrade the blog to the new format. It'll take some time to port everything over, but I think it will be better in the long run.

Yeah, I think Mike Silverman has the right idea.