Here’s a good piece on their apparently incompetent strategists and ignoble recent history in South Ossetia pre-Rose Revolution.
Continuing on with the loathesome unions and their smarmy factotums in Congress, I give you unfree elections! That’s right, our Congress is giving serious consideration to amending the National Labor Relations Act to require that any vote authorizing a union be public. The Democrats want to remove your right to a secret ballot on union authorization votes. The unions can be trusted not to intimidate voters. Just ask Chief Panderer-in-Waiting Sen. Obama, who has vowed to sign such legislation if it comes to his desk, should the peons recognize in November that his is the Chosen One.
As Dr. Sowell notes in his article linked, when you can’t compete on the merits and are losing the game, change the rules. In this case, buy up members of Congress through liberal gifts of members’ dues to reelection funds.
I await a reporter’s question to Speaker Pelosi as to why she thinks it’s OK to remove a person’s right to the secret ballot. I expect one will not be forthcoming. Perhaps Speaker Pelosi can ask citizens of Cuba and Zimbabwe how the lack of secret ballot is working out for them?
March on, unions and your fellow travelers!
And there you’ll find corruption and un-American acts. ‘Puter will take a look at two separate items that recently caught his attention, one from his adopted dysfunctional home state of Nueva Jork (motto: “What’re you lookin’ at?”), and the other involving the universally beloved U.S. Congress.
First, New York. In order to deal with a looming budgetary crisis, Governor Patterson has called the legislature into special session to trim $600 million out of a $124 billion state budget to deal with a projected $6 billion budget gap, projected to balloon to $26 billion in the next three years. This is a half of a percentage point in overall spending, which has increased 5% this year alone, twice the rate of inflation, despite ominous projections prior to passage that revenue would likely not match spending. But to hear the union hacks tell it, we’re killing children and the elderly. To wit, from the New York Post,
“These are staggering cuts that would devastate New York’s health-care infrastructure and severely threaten access to care,” said Local 1199 President George Gresham and Greater New York Hospital Association President Ken Raske in a joint statement.
This request for a wee bit of fiscal restraint has caused the public workers’ unions, among the biggest lobbyists in Albany, to squeal like pigs. Mind you, Governor Patterson has not proposed spending less than last budget year, only a decrease in the rate of spending growth. The public workers’ unions nicely epitomize the greed summed up by John Fogerty’s anti-war anthem Fortunate Son, because “when you ask them, how much should we give, … they only answer more! more! more!”
Another union ploy to hang on to its ill-gotten pelf has been to fight a proposed property tax cap related to school taxes. The proposed tax cap has passed the Senate and awaits action by the Assembly. The Senate’s property tax cap restricts growth to 4% a year. However, taxpayers can vote to override the cap with 55% of votes for a budget exceeding a 4% increase. New York State United Teachers (proudly spending your money on contract featherbedding since before Tammany Hall) reacted with anticipated hysterics. As noted in the Buffalo News,
“The message is that the tax-cap legislation proposed by the governor and supported by the Senate would decimate our public schools, and we can’t ask our members to work for candidates who would take such an action,” said Richard
Iannuzzi, the union’s president.
Mr. Iannuzzi further explained that controlling spending by implementing a cap is a “moral issue.” I couldn’t agree with Mr. Iannuzzi more. Lowering property tax increases to a rate that doesn’t send young workers and businesses fleeing the state, and that permits retired citizens to remain in their homes, is a moral issue. I fear though that Mr. Iannuzzi was really talking about preserving his minions’ seven hour per day jobs with a 180 day work year, constitutionally guaranteed pension benefits, exorbitant health benefits and a job for life. No one thinks that teachers have it easy, but is it really immoral to ask teachers to feel the pain every private citizen is feeling? ‘Puter thinks not, and knows that deep in his heart, Mr. Iannuzzi knows it as well.
So, in sum, New York public sector unions think that taxpayers should continue funding their pet projects (primarily high salaries and benefits unrelated to merit) regardless of the sustainability of maintaining spending at such a level.
Perhaps all the state level union leaders should take a page out of Adam Urbanski’s book (president of the Rochester Teachers’ Association), who, when asked about the crushing tax burden on Rochester taxpayers is rumored to have responded “If you kill the cow, no one gets any milk.”
This post is already too long, so ‘Puter will save his wisdom on Congress’ kow-tow to the unions for later in the day.
Wow. Ukraine looks like they’ve realized that it’s on, and they’re trying to effectively lock up the Russian Black Sea Fleet. (Via Michael Ledeen @ NRO.) Good for them. As Krauthammer argues infra: we have cards; we need to play them.
According to Saakashvili at any rate:
For too long, we all underestimated the ruthlessness of the regime in Moscow. Yesterday brought further evidence of its duplicity: Within 24 hours of Russia agreeing to a cease-fire, its forces were rampaging through Gori; blocking the port of Poti; sinking Georgian vessels; and — worst of all — brutally purging Georgian villages in South Ossetia, raping women and executing men.
Russia will accuse him of lying, of course, but reports from the ground should settle these questions pretty quickly.
…Mr. Johnson, who’s evidently on the same page as the Œcumenical Volgi.
“The Russian invasion of Georgia is a damning indictment of Western, and especially European, diplomacy….If the Russian bluff is ever going to be called, it had much better be sooner rather than later.”
Whatever did we do in the benighted days when we didn’t have lawyers to protect us from evil malefactors? Why, we usually worked the problem out ourselves, without violence, and without need for judicial intervention.
But, to give our attorney brethren credit, they have fought to preserve our fundamental rights as Americans. Like this genius in Kentucky who is protecting a shrinking violet’s right to dress like a prostitute in public. Poor, poor Kymberly (note the one-step-from-pay-to-play spelling of her handle) was tossed out of a mall for wearing a skirt deemed too short by the local mall cop. Rather than simply calling the mall, registering a complaint against the mall cop and probably getting an apology and a gift certificate to the local Waffle House, Kymberly called a lawyer.
I’ve just about had it with Americans, who, when their feelings get hurt over a minor slight, hire an attorney, rather than sacking up and dealing with the issue.
And I wait, with bated breath, to see the magnum opus of a complaint that Eastern Kentucky’s legal solons can craft from this unholy mess of a fact pattern. My bet? Either intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. I hope Eastern Kentucky’s bench is saner than its lawyers, and the first judge who gets the case dismisses it and sanctions the filing attorney.
And, Kymberly, enjoy your skanky 15 minutes of fame. The rest of your dreary, unimportant, meaningless existence is ahead of you.
Lest we get too hung up about the looming destruction of the international system as we know it, here’s some really important news! Now, considering it’s Georgia, I’m sort of betting that this is some unfortunate hazing casualty at GorT’s old frat, but you never know…
More and more frequently we are seeing people leaping to conclusions without applying any reasonable amount of the scientific method. (I could provide a simple chart explaining it to those who need it, but I figure the readers could do some reading). Cases in point: global warming, diets, high heeled shoes causing schizophrenia, etc. What? You actually believe in one or more of these? Probably because there’s fewer people doing good scientific approaches to the issues and the mass media picks up on the early part of the story in their rush to be first on the scene. It’s rarely reported that this is preliminary or that people have dismantled a proposed theory (that’s assuming, of course, that the “scientist” has employed the Scientific Method and started with a theory).
Instead, it is becoming more easy for large groups of people to be led astray by the mass media and poorly executed “scientists”. Surprisingly, USA Today, has covered this here. Once you apply some more science, for example, global warming theories dissolve. Much of the health scares that are out there fade away, etc. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be smart about how we care for the environment or our bodies – but don’t attack those who question the early premises and propose some alternate theories and explanations — hopefully, with some hard backed data.
Note: no benches were damaged in researching this story.
On NRO’s Corner, John Derbyshire argues:
Either you believe the U.S.A. ought to commit — in writing — that we shall go to war on behalf of Georgia (Estonia, the Ukraine, etc.), or you believe we ought not.
Precisely backwards. It’s not the behalf of Georgia on which we will go to war some day—or at least not primarily so. Of course, we can’t be everywhere and catch every sparrow that falls—few Americans have ever heard of, much less called for intervention in, the Second Congo War which wiped out almost four million Africans between 1998 and 2003.
As I argued here, the reason one goes to war for a far-away people of whom you know nothing in a case like this is to hinder a powerful, aggressive, revanchist power from upending the international economic and political order by slaughtering its way to territory and imperial aggrandizement, all the while encouraging like-minded despots to do the same. If this becomes unchallenged precedent, and the West proves supine, authoritarian countries around the world will feel free to kill their way to their goals—many of which involve damaging the United States and its interests.
Consider Taiwan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, the Baltics, South Korea, Israel, etc., protectorates of necessity. It’s not them in their particulars that is in our interest to save, but the international order that keeps them safe that we’re attempting to protect: the idea of war as a last option, open trade between nations, and the promotion of consensual government. That is our interest. It’s partially practical, partially moral, as American foreign policy has always been forced to be. Israel is a tiny, democratic land established by international consent whose authoritarian neighbors have tried to annihilate it with some regularity. South Korea was a fairly squalid, if nominally pro-Western dictatorship when we saved it. Many Americans found a way to rationalize their distaste for the government of South Vietnam into a strategic judgment that we and the South Vietnamese were better off with their abandonment to the tender mercies of Hanoi and its Soviet masters. Taiwan has only become a legitimate multi-party democracy in the last few years, yet its liberties relative to the People’s Republic and its manifest desire not to be swallowed up by a totalitarian empire and its emergence as a mercantile power, have made it worth American efforts (however inconstant) to retain its independence.
In any event, we will not go to war against Russia in Abkhazia or South Ossetia. We can assist the Georgians with military as well as diplomatic aid, however, and we can punish Russia in various ways short of war. I would argue that it’s in our national interest to. Moreover, a credible threat of war (and whether we or NATO can make that threat credibly is a good question) can deter an aggressor. Si vis pacem, para bellum, as some neo-con once said; and you don’t always get to set the terms of every war in your interest.
I may be wrong, but to argue that the only reason to commit American power to the defense of countries on the periphery of a revisionist Russia—run by the people who ran the Soviet Union whose neighbors we were committed to defend—is the “behalf” of those countries about to swallowed up is near-sighted, if not deceptive.
Derbyshire’s Little America First myopia seems at least based a very narrow definition of American interests (and perhaps fatalistic indifference). Derbyshire’s friend Steve Sailer, whom linked to several times approvingly in connection with the anthrax investigation, here makes a smarmy anti-Semitic insinuation that somehow American sympathy for and interest in Georgia derive from an anti-Russian bias in American politics ultimately deriving from Israeli-influenced American Jews in media and politics. This is flatly despicable. Sailer plays cute and says, “Hey, this isn’t a conspiracy, just Jews being Jews,” like, one presumes, reflexively anti-British Irish-Americans in government are constantly undermining the Special Relationship due to their dual loyalties to the Emerald Isle. But there’s a reason one is careful and exact in speaking about the influence of prominent Jews* on public life—like 300 years of conspiracy theories accusing the Jews of manipulating gullible, innocent goyim governments for their own nefarious ends. Polite, careful frankness about ethnic groups can be praiseworthy and illuminating, but trading in this kind of venom is vile, especially in the utter absence of evidence—oh wait, there are some Jews in the Georgian government with ties to Israel, and, er, one part of the Israeli government has had ties to Georgia even though another wants to cut off rearming them.
Why would one small country menaced by its vastly larger neighbors be sympathetic to another in a similar position? Doubtless merely to rip them off on weapons sales. Just like John McCain’s full-throated denouncement of Russia must be due to his advisor who’s lobbied for Georgia in the past (named Scheunemann—Jew or No Jew, tune in to find out!), not an clear-sighted abhorrence of sleazy, warmongering tyrants earned in one’s dungeon. Sailer’s either too clever to state his obvious belief that Jews are at the root of much foreign-political evil, or too autistic to realize that that’s what he’s saying. Either way, it’s beneath contempt.
*Of whom there are many and whose opinions do carry weight and are often formed by specifically Jewish historical and cultural factors. No one disputes this, and while some Jews can be too quick to allege anti-Semitism, that doesn’t mean it’s always an overreaction.
Read ’em in full.
Having overestimated the power of the Soviet Union in its last years, we have consistently underestimated the ambitions of Russia since. Already, a great deal has been said about the implications of Russia’s invasion for Ukraine, the Baltic States and Europe generally. But few have noticed the direct strategic threat of Moscow’s action to U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Kremlin is not about to reignite the Cold War for the love of a few thousand Ossetians or even for its animosity toward five million Georgians. This is calculated strategic maneuvering. And make no mistake, it’s about countering U.S. power at its furthest stretch with Moscow’s power very close to home.
Let’s be clear: For all that US commentators and diplomats are still chattering about Russia’s “response” to Georgia’s actions, the Kremlin spent months planning and preparing this operation. Any soldier above the grade of private can tell you that there’s absolutely no way Moscow could’ve launched this huge ground, air and sea offensive in an instantaneous “response” to alleged Georgian actions.
As I pointed out Saturday, even to get one armored brigade over the Caucasus Mountains required extensive preparations. Since then, Russia has sent in the equivalent of almost two divisions – not only in South Ossetia, the scene of the original fighting, but also in separatist Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast.
The Russians also managed to arrange the instant appearance of a squadron of warships to blockade Georgia. And they launched hundreds of air strikes against preplanned targets.
Every one of these things required careful preparations. In the words of one US officer, “Just to line up the airlift sorties would’ve taken weeks.” …
I lack sufficiently powerful words to express my outrage over Russia’s bloody cynicism in attacking a small, free people, or to castigate our media for their inane coverage – or to condemn our own government’s shameful flight from responsibility.
Just as Moscow has reverted to its old habit of sending in tanks to snuff out freedom, Washington has defaulted to form by abandoning Georgia to the invasion – after encouraging Georgia to stand up to the Kremlin.
Reminds me of 1956, when we encouraged the Hungarians to defy Moscow – then abandoned them. And of 1991, when we prodded Iraq’s Shia to rise up against Saddam – then abandoned them. We’ve called Georgia a “friend and ally.” Well, honorable men and states stand by their friends and allies. We haven’t. …
For the democratic world, there will be no easy recovery from the chilling spectacle of Georgia’s 2,000 or so troops pulling out of Iraq to go join their own country’s desperate defense. The message so far is that America will ferry them home, but while Georgia rallied to the defense of freedom in Iraq, none of Georgia’s erstwhile allies will risk taking up arms to help the Georgians against a Russian onslaught. …
China’s Communist rulers, while basking in the glow of their Olympics bash, are surely checking the tea leaves for what this might presage about U.S. support for another U.S. ally: the democratic Republic of China on Taiwan. If the U.S. will not stand up to North Korea, will not stand up to Iran, will not stand up to Russia, then where will the U.S. stand up? What are the real rules of this New World Order?
Apart from Afghanistan and Iraq, the main rule right now seems to be that while anti-democratic bullies do the shooting, everyone else does a lot of talking and resolving. …
Diplomacy and soft power have their place. The U.S. cannot and should not go to war with every nasty regime on the planet. But when too many thugs cross too many lines and get away with it, the rules of the entire global game start to shift. The diplomacy that has been billed by the administration as such a prudent and successful means these past few years to deal with threats from North Korea, from Syria, from Palestinian terrorists, from Iran, as well as ugly moves from Russia itself, has paved the way for this Russian invasion of Georgia. If, with the exceptions of Afghanistan and Iraq, America no longer dares to unholster its guns to face down real threats, expect to see a lot more shooting, and a lot more casualties on our side.
In keeping with the Olympic fever (there’s only one cure — more cowbell!) sweeping our fine Nation, ‘Puter rushes in where angels fear to tread. That’s right, boys and girls, it’s time to set straight, once and for all, which events are sports and which are desperate cries for help masquerading as sports.
These web folks define “sport” as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.” Fools and incompetent morons.
Sure, sport involves athleticism, at least to some minor degree, and competition, but this definition falls short. What sport really requires is an objective measure of performance. If your event is “judged” or “scored,” you’re probably living in denial that you’re participating in a sport, regardless of the athletic demands of the event.
So, to provide some examples of sports: soccer, shooting, tae kwon do, baseball, bowling, curling, miniature golf, track and field events, horse racing and race walking.
Living in denial: figure skating (particularly ice dancing), synchronized swimming, cheerleading, gymnastics (particularly the rhythmic sort), surfing and diving (especially the synchronized kind).
“But ‘Puter,” I hear the collective moan, “Ice dancing is totally athletic, and, like, really, really hard!” No doubt, replies ‘Puter, but if you have to rely on the East German judge to win, you’ve already lost. If a clock, a goal line or a target are involved, there can be no argument as to the outcome. If Claudette, the Gitanes-smoking, brie-scarfing, Beaujolais-guzzling French woman (I use that term loosely), gets to decide how pretty your outfit is, and you get to win based on her assessment, you end up with Salt Lake City all over again.
To recap: Luge=sport. Freestyle Anything=Not A Sport.
On this, there can be no debate.
Sticking with our “what are they doing on vacation” theme, ‘Puter humbly offers up this synposis of the first portion of GorT’s vacation.
GorT claims to be on vacation in the Palmetto (Bug) State, enjoying peaches and fireworks. The remaining Gormogons, however, have learned that GorT has actually been in China (Hong Kong, to be specific), celebrating the Olympics in his own special way. (I already put the grimace in here, so you don’t have to).
He’s always had an affinity for cold, hard benches. I mean data.
Well, this would be nice, if it’s true and it sticks. It’s a welcome distance short of the deposition of the Georgian government I was expecting. If this holds, it’s because Russia’s made her point; now, the ball is in our court. Do we just look at our shoes and commend them for their restraint, or do we engage in some serious military-diplomatic maneuvers to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Admit the Georgians and Ukrainians to NATO, start distributing serious anti-tank weapons and artillery to countries along the Russian border, etc., send in a NATO force of, say, Turkish units and European spec-ops soldiers? There are a lot of different options. Let’s hope we choose wisely.
The title is an homage to my fellow blogger who quipped the above as what the South Carolina , my current blogging location, motto should be. Maybe I should stay here. Upon returning to Maryland, I’d have to validate the ‘Puters post and then deal with the O’Malley reduction of crime in Baltimore (which might bleed southward towards the GorT residence). I’m glad to see that Sarkozy is turning France around. He recently started to trim the size of the French government: He laid off half of the 165 physiotherapists at the taxpayer-funded National Baths of Aix-les-Bains. The pink-slipped masseurs warn that the country’s health will be at risk if people are unable to get the mud wraps, thermal baths and deep-tissue massages covered by national health insurance (along with subsidized transportation and lodging for the visits). In fact, 27 of the physiotherapists immediately went on sick leave for depression. Among Sarkozy’s other targets of government bloat, according to a July Wall Street Journal dispatch: figuring out why France employs 271 diplomats in India but more than 700 in Senegal.
I’ll have to just accept the sun and surf while eating peaches and shooting off fireworks. More mud, mademoiselle!!
…in today’s Wall Street Journal. Worth reading throughout. However, if you don’t have the time, just read this:
Reversing this course will not be easy, but it is absolutely necessary. At stake are international law, energy security, NATO’s future, and American credibility when it comes to supporting new democracies. It is also about resisting Russia’s openly hegemonic designs on its neighbors — including Ukraine, which Mr. Putin reportedly described as “not a real nation” to President Bush at their meeting in Sochi earlier this year.
What can the West do? The first step is for the U.S. and its allies to rush military and medical supplies to Tbilisi. […]
Next, the West should make use of Russia’s claim that its role in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is driven by the need to protect the populations there. If so, Moscow should have no objections to U.N.-sanctioned peacekeepers and observers […]
Over the longer term, it is essential that Russia’s stranglehold on Europe’s energy supplies be broken.
…for this film, it’ll be just fine. Seriously, no cover version. No thrash-metal version. The Queen one. Seriously. Don’t make me come out to Hollywood and bust heads.
…the shameful silence of the Left about the emergence of what looks like a stable, peaceful, sovereign, decently governed Iraq. Turns out making Dubya look bad is more important than actually giving a damn about the fate of thirty million people.
Instead of a series of incoherent responses to Russian actions, we should get out in front of this problem by defining it on our terms: a sovereign Georgia, a South Ossetia whose future is decided by negotiation and not force, a Black Sea whose security and accessibility for all is not held hostage by Moscow (critical to Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey), and a resources regime (e.g., oil) that enriches Moscow as much as anyone else, but does not put the region’s resources under Moscow’s exclusive domination.
Read it all. But it’s probably too late. That should have been our approach a couple years ago.
Over at NRO’s Corner, Punditissimo Jonah Goldberg wonders why the heck Obama’s response is to refer the Ossetian War to the UN Security Council. I’d have thought the answer was obvious: the left’s innate aversion to any sort of positive foreign policy not following “the international community” as embodied in the UN. See my intemperate diatribe about hippies and Darfur below. It kicks the ball down the street, avoiding any risk of failure and allowing for lots of ex post facto diplomatic chin-pulling and negotiating; plus, the only downside is a bunch of dead foreigners in obscurity. This is the Rwanda Gambit.
And I suspect Jonah’s reader is right about China. Pique about the Olympics will take second place to keeping Tibet, Turkestan, and Taiwan within the imperium. And honestly, in most places, has the war really knocked the Olympics off of anyone’s radar? I’m looking an airport TV with boxers from Ukraine and China punching each other out. The dead of the Caucasus, I hate to say, will likely be soon forgotten, while those supercool fireworks at the opening ceremonies will be on DVD forever.
Picture from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) via Wikipedia: “Deep gashes delivered by the killers are visible in the skulls that fill one room at the Murambi School. [Rwanda]”
Senator McCain whipped out his foreign policy and security bona fides again today in addressing Russia’s “peacekeeping” efforts in Georgia, warning the Russians of “severe, long-term negative consequences” involving a few tricks Senator McCain picked up during his time visiting southeast Asia back in the day.
Not to be outdone, The Good Junior Senator From Illinois had his Eisenhower moment (I know, wrong party) in addressing the Russian land grab, declaring that He will personally negotiate a solution to the entire crisis and liberate the Georgians from Russian (re)oppression, without the need for pesky force or threat thereof. “I shall go to Atlanta,” quoth The Blessed Junior Senator From Illinois.
Just kidding about Obama. But entirely believable.
Where’s your “no blood for oil” now? China’s got the frickin’ PLA in Sudan to protect its oil deals with the genocidal government, and you decide the best way to deal with the crisis is to go to the UN. Where China’s got a veto. Oh, but wait, you bought a fucking t-shirt. So that’s gotta help. Just like your Free Tibet bumpersticker. The Gormogons are all for an independent Tibet, but kids, the big ol’ question is “how” and short of either an enormous war or the collapse of the government of China, à la the USSR, it ain’t gonna happen.
And now? Oh, yeah, it’s just a coincidence that the Russian’s took a shot at the Tbilisi-Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, the sole conveyance for getting Central Asian petroleum to the West without going through Russia.
These are real wars for oil, you frickin’ idiots, just like Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. (Oh, wait, he was really concerned about Ottoman-era territorial integrity, right?) Get your head out of your ass and look at the real tyrants and malefactors around the world, instead of self-dramatizing play-acting in which you’re a brave resister to the dark night of fascism being brought down in America. Your college professors taught you to “question authority” and that America’s the greatest source of evil in the world. Question their fucking authority and realize that, however imperfect, we are the last, best hope of liberty in the world.
The Œcumenical Volgi has been on the road and, due to a dodgy wifi connection, unable to blog at any length. Ensconced in an airport with all the modern conveniences, he can finally address the horrific events in South Ossetia and Georgia. This vicious war is the West’s reward for treating Vladimir Putin as a trustworthy interlocutor and ostensible member in good standing of “the international community.” The revanchist, neo-Soviet imperialist writing has been on the wall for some time, and the West’s irresolution and wishful thinking has now cost Georgians lives, and possibly their nation’s independence. Having sent in the tanks, unless stopped, Russia will at the very least install a puppet government, or simply annex Georgia outright.
From Bush’s looking into Putin’s eyes to Merkel’s deciding that extending NATO membership to Georgia was too provocative, the West has done nothing but tell Russia implicitly and explicitly that we have no will to oppose them, but will try and appease whatever demands they care to levy. The Russian government, a bunch of Chekist gangsters, has been understandably emboldened, and flush with oil money to rearm their military, are now getting serious about avenging the wound to their pride from the dissolution the criminal empire they once served with bloody hands.
Georgia’s fate will be a bellweather. There are significant Russian populations in the Baltic states, in Kazakhstan, and above all in Ukraine—in the east and the Crimea—on whose behalf Putin can gin up “genocide” accusations like those spewn out this week. If Georgia falls to Russian might, she will start advancing on the “threatening” frontiers of the West elsewhere. Like Hitler building his Greater German Reich, Putin has a longer-term imperialist goal. If the West doesn’t find the stomach to face him down now, on behalf of the Georgians—a small, helpless democracy (however flawed) that has sent thousands of troops to Iraq out of idealism and solidarity with the U.S. and the West—we will see this again, and again, and again, and perhaps, as with Hitler, face an even greater, more horrible military confrontation down the road, or see the free peoples on the Russian periphery swallowed up by a tyrannical hegemon.
UPDATE: The Volgi forgot to mention Moldova. If you’ve got a bookie who’ll take odds on “What country will Russia go after next?” put a bunch of dough on Moldova. The Russians have perpetuated the same type of extraterritorial meddling in Transdnistria as in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moldova’s a poor, weak country with fewer friends and a lower international profile than Georgia. I suspect the Bear considers it low-hanging fruit. Is it in the U.S. interest to spend blood or treasure defending these faraway peoples of whom we know nothing? Many will say no, reasonably. The Volgi suspects, however, that it’s not the merits of saving Georgia or Moldova or Latvia per se that’s in the U.S. interest, but rather stopping the Russian-imperial revanchism which could result in bloody borders across eleven time zones and a massive and signal retreat from the general democratic-liberal trend in the world over the last twenty years of which we’ve been the greatest exponent and supporter. (Also, good luck in getting Russia to coöperate on Iran or anything else if she feels she can spit in your eye with impunity.)
The Volgi’s not saying American troops should go to Georgia—other than the Special Forces advisors who are already there. That’s a recipe for escalating this into a World War—perhaps finishing the unfinished (Soviet) business of the Second as the Second concluded the (German) First.
So it appears that NBC and the Chinese have done some things with the Olympic presentations that might be less that openly honest. First, according to various sources, the fireworks during the opening ceremony were faked at least for the TV viewers. Then NBC decided to alter the presentation of the procession of countries.
Traditionally, Greece marches first followed by the participating countries in name order according to the host country’s native language (I hope in future Olympics hosted by the United States we can use the English name order) and the host country marches last. But as I watched, it was obvious that it was edited so that the United States processed in later in the broadcast – holding the audience hostage to the broadcast and the advertising sponsors. Maybe this isn’t a big deal as it would be difficult at best to air the Olympics live to countries that are halfway around the world from the events. Some people online claim that they even saw the U.S. athletes on the field before the U.S. contingent processed.
I was able to log some time watching some of the swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball…so far my main critique would be that NBC should drop the inane interviews, particularly with the swimmers, after each event.
By now, everyone’s heard that the irrepressible Isaac Hayes, musician extraordinaire, and, most importantly, the voice of Chef, has died.
Maryland comprises a small portion of the Greater D.C. Metroplex, and yet is responsible for a surprising amount of the area’s political stupidity, which is really saying something, as the fine political sages running the District of Columbia are among Maryland’s competition.
Maryland citizens’ political betters in Annapolis are baffled by the following series of events, as noted by the Wall Street Journal.
First, Maryland’s getting a little short on cash, having dumped taxpayer funds into such revenue generating enterprises as supporting CASA, a private charity involved setting up illegal alien employment centers. (At least some folks seem to be opposed to CASA’s vision statement advocating “strong, economically and ethnically diverse communities in which all people – especially women, low-income people, and workers – can participate and benefit fully, regardless of their immigration status.” There’s so much wrong in all of this that it’s difficult to know where to begin).
Second, in order to offset this shortfall in revenue, Maryland decided to double its cigarette tax from $1.00 to $2.00 per pack and watch the revenue pour in. (Note also that Maryland raised taxes on lots and lots of other items and activities at the same time, to which GorT can surely attest).
Third, as noted in the WSJ linked article, the anticipated revenue tsunami has not materialized.
Fourth, Maryland pols are baffled at the idea that if you raise taxes on an item, people will use less of it, resulting in lower revenues. See generally, price elasticity. And, not coincidentally, widespread tax avoidance flows from poorly contemplated cigarette taxing decisions (buying out of state, from Indian reservations, or from criminal enterprises).
Lacking its planned revenue tsunami, Maryland’s Elected Betters undoubtedly will now dream up a new revenue stream (read tax increase) to extract additional money from the suckers — er, taxpayers — continuing to live in the Old Line State. Enjoy, Free Staters.
Great line and very appropriate with GorTechie’s Enigma post.. Y’all know where standeth the Œcumenical Volgi. But really, is anyone really surprised at all this “subtext” insanity? I mean, for God’s sake, the last two generations or so of students in the humanities (especially the English departments whence cometh journalists) have been taught that this is what informed analysis is: hunting down secretive motives that boil down to a will to power and usually closely tied to race, “gender,” and class.
Behold the fruits of the baby-boomers’ dodging the draft and hiding out in grad schools, and adopting wholesale semi-understood French literary movements!* Young journalists and politicos who think that this word-game bullshit actually relates to reality!
I don’t know if we’re on the Road to Ruin, but we’re sure as hell passing through Moronburgh, population: us.
*See, e.g., Camille Paglia’s “Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf,” Arion (Spring 1991), pp. 139-212.
…in September the Large Hadron Collider overseen by CERN in a facility near Geneva, Switzerland will go operational. Now they aren’t going to start splitting or smashing atoms right away but the conspiracy theorists are out there already. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, but I’m more in line with this professor from UC Santa Barbara (by the way, UCSB grabbed my intention in high school when I found out that they had dorms on the beach with twice a week maid service).
By the way, I always did like “The Black Hole” movie. No, ‘Puter, that movie doesn’t suck.
…to find this way, way out of line. The Volgi isn’t an end-the-drug-war guy, but he does think the increasing militarization of police tactics (cf. Waco, Ruby Ridge) is very worrisome. I recognize that these incidents have come about because police sometimes face a ruthless, heavily-armed criminal element (especially with regard to drug syndicates), but when officer-safety trumps public safety, there’s a fundamental distortion of the policeman’s job. The overcautious SWAT team at Columbine and these over-aggressive tactics in pursuit of a presumed pot dealer are two sides of the same coin. Let’s hope departments are working on ways to keep the boys in blue safe, while recognizing that their job sometimes necessarily involves exposing themselves to mortal danger on behalf of law, order, and the public—which is why they’re heroes.
St. Michael, patron of policemen, ora pro nobis.
Too cool….I spent 10-15 minutes today “geeking” out on this site. Too much fun.
Very funny story from David Frum.
Now I’m fired up. Canadia hates America? That’s like the fat boy in high school who couldn’t get a date to the prom and blamed all his personal problems on the jocks who had girls draped all over them like a flesh tuxedo. Wait, I was that fat kid. Nevermind. Where was I? Oh, Canadia.
After reading Notorious OEV’s linked article, I decided to set U.S.-Canadian relations back about to the War of 1812 level.
Let’s be honest. The national characters of the U.S. and Canadia are different because of the way the nations were formed. The United States told King George III to get to packing and then tossed England’s armies the heck out (with some help from the French), because we knew best how to rule our own danged selves, thank you very much. Canadia didn’t so much mind being toadies to the British Crown, and weren’t granted Dominion status by the British Parliament until 1867. Canadia still has allegiance to the Crown, and even has the comely lass Queen Elizabeth II on its currency.
In sum, America decides what it wants to do and then does it. Canadia waits for someone to decide what they should do, then waits for a ruler to grant them permission to do so. Or, even more succinctly: American individualism versus Canadian statism. That pretty much nails down the viewpoint differences between America and Our Northern Suburbs. And don’t even get me started on Canadia’s entertaining French as a language coequal with English.
Now, to be fair, Canadia has traditionally had an exceptional military, carrying more than its fair share of the burden in World War II. And, notably, fighting America to a draw in 1812. Also, as Ghettoputer understands, Canadia’s special forces remain exceptional to this day, particularly in sniping. And poutine rules. OEV knows far more about this sort of stuff than Ghettoputer, so Ghettoputer defers.
Also, your invading hordes of resident Canadia Geese are much appreciated by golf course water hazards and shopping mall retention ponds everywhere in America.
The one area in which Canadia clearly has America licked is in the national anthem. The Star Spangled Banner is well-nigh unsingable to anyone except trained musicians with its one-and-a-half octave range. Whereas O, Canada has great lyrics and is emninently singable.
So, good on Canadia, America’s Fifty First State! Motto: Slightly More Popular Than North Dakota.
…stop hatin’ on our land…
Ok, this is terrible, so I apologize in advance. But a website claims—based on God knows what, so I’m not sure that it’s true—that Bill O’Reilly’s wife (who apparently dated Ted Kennedy) was once, um, “romantically” linked to…well, check it out.
If true, that’s the single most surreal fact I’ve seen in a while. Man, New York must be a small town.
Also: Ghettoputer will have no end of fun with this woman’s last name. Because he’s evil.
On the melancholy anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, here’s a nice post by Roger Kimball drawing from a Guardian editorial and a Paul Fussell essay.
Also worth reading is the address of Dr. Takashi Nagai, a Catholic radiologist and mystic, given at a memorial for the victims of the bombing of Nagasaki, the center of Japanese Catholicism (who included his wife). It’s a hard piece, full of terror and awe, but worth pondering (especially for Catholics).
Pause to remember the souls of all who died and of Harry S Truman, the president who had to make the momentous choice to use such terrible weapons. Requiescant in pace.
St. Francis Xavier, patron of Japan, and St. Michael, patron of soldiers, ora pro nobis.
…goes to the idiosyncratic, sometimes dead creepily wrong, sometimes terrifically perceptive and funny Steve Sailer. And he’s right—a batshit insane scientist handling anthrax is probably your leading source. Plus, the anthrax DNA seems to be pretty conclusive. I’m still a little baffled though, as to the characteristics that UNSCOM guy cited. Hmm.
Mexico and the International Court of Justice a/k/a World Court again have their collective knickers in twist because the United States has dared to exercise its sovereignty. Our self-declared freelancing fourth branch of government, the State Department, should tell the Mexicans to cram their complaints in the nation’s tamale-hole. Mmmm. Tamales.
Unlikely human rights poster boy Jose Medellin (apparently, no relation to the Colombian Medellins) participated in the brutal rape and killing of two Texas teenagers in 1993. I say “participated in” rather than “is alleged to have participated in” because Mr. Medellin was convicted of these crimes by the people of the State (Republic) of Texas. Check out why poor Mr. Medellin ran into trouble with the fine folks from Texas, taken from the linked FoxNews story.
“[Mr. Medellin] and five fellow gang members attacked the girls as they were walking home on a June night, raped and tortured them for an hour, then kicked and stomped them before using a belt and shoelaces to strangle them.”
Mexico’s beef on behalf of the recently forcibly-departed Mr. Medellin is that Mr. Medellin did not get to contact the Mexican Consulate upon his arrest. These claims were considered and rejected by the United States Supreme Court.
Lost in Mexico’s whine are several key facts. First, although born in Mexico, Mr. Medellin had resided in the United States from age 3 through age 18, when he want on his rape and torture spree. The article does not state whether Mr. Medellin legally entered the United States. For the last 15 years, Mr. Medellin has resided on Texas’ death row, at the expense of the taxpayers of the State of Texas. Mr. Medellin does not seem so much a Mexican citizen to me.
Mr. Medellin was arrested for a brutal crime he voluntarily committed in the United States, had access to legal counsel and the most free and fair judicial system in the world, including 15 years of appeals, and yet Mexico still does not think Mr. Medellin got a fair shake.
“‘Only God has the right to take a life,’ said Medellin’s cousin Reyna Armendariz,” whining about Texas’ execution of a convicted child rapist and murderer, according to FoxNews. Perhaps if Mr. Medellin followed his cousin’s advice and let God decide when to take lives, then Mr. Medellin might still be living the good life in Texas.
The upmanship continues! The Volgi missed the mark as I was too young to have the HP-35. I do, however, own the HP-28S and the HP-48S. Maybe I’ll loan each out to my fellow Gormogons so they can work out the new scoring system to be used at the Olympics (believe it or not, I’m citing a NY Times story…hopefully, it’s accurate). I’ll just slide some beads on the abacus pictured. Apparently, even the Olympics suffers from grade-inflation. This won’t deter me from watching as previously posted. So, they need to go to 14 or 17 points? If or when I become a teacher, my grading system will adopt the grading system used by my high school AP math teacher, Fr. John Woodward, S.J. This learned man used a 60-point grading system. That might seem odd, but realize that 60 has one of highest number of factors for any number under 100, allowing for easy scoring of questions ranging from 2 to 30 points each with many variations in between.
So, GorT ain’t happy about the tire-inflation-as-better-than-offshore-drilling idea, eh? Well, unlike certain oneupsmanship-obsessed techies who are apparently too lazy to bust out their HP35s’es, this guy decided to do the math. In case you follow in Teen Talk Barbie’s footsteps, I’ll cut to the chase for you. Even accepting the 27%-underinflation estimate that GorT takes such umbrage to
…at most, four-tenths of one percent of all the oil we use might be wasted by under-inflated tires.
Quoth Emeril, bam.
Will someone please explain to me how this is not typecasting? Have you no shame, Mr. Tarantino?
Again, whoever’s minding Ms. Spears these days needs to be beaten for even having her mentioned in the same sentence with “killer lesbian stripper.” I mean, isn’t this where Ms. Spears clearly seems to be destined anyway? Why hasten the inevitable transformation?
And special thanks to GorT and his mad skills with all things electronic for the age progression of Britney Spears posted to the left here.
Not for nothing, but Ms. Spears is going to age into someone who looks an awful lot like another lesbian serial killer.
While this is an awful, apparently nationwide problem threatening to further unravel some of the most disorderly communities in America to the terrible detriment of the vulnerable and law-abiding, when we see that this story takes as its basis fair Baltimore, as Washingtonians we have to say, of course it does.
Please note the incredible fact that the City of Baltimore has its own witness-protection program.
Gotta love that flag, though.
Well, sounds like the FBI’s got some very convincing circumstantial evidence, but the fact the guy seems to have been a literally raving loon cuts both ways. On the one hand, perhaps he’d have had an insane motive for the murders, on the other, his suicide is much less likely the implicit confession of guilt it seemed at first and merely the final, self-destructive act of a deteriorating personality.
Still the UNSCOM’s guy’s question remains: if it was this super-sophisticated weaponized anthrax, where did it come from? If Ivins was the murderer, where did he get it? Did the CIA steal some from Russia to evaluate? It’d be nice to think they’re that competent, these days.
Fulfilling a promise made earlier, and sticking with GorT’s vacation travel theme, I propose that the single cruddiest stretch of “interstate” in the Northeast is I-476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
You put three guys together on a blog and there is some desire to “one up” each other. So, I’m going to submit the following as trumping the Volgi’s “post on Delusional Idiocy of the Week.
According to Sen. Obama, if we all inflated our tires properly, we’d save more oil than what we could produce from offshore drilling. While I’m paraphrasing that because the Senator decided to be sophomoric and made a quip about McCain insinuating to drill where Sen. McCain was standing, it is what the Senator and the lap-dog media outlets have communicated over the last day or so.
Really? All we have to do is inflate our tires? Hmmm, well my tires are inflated. My wife’s tires are inflated. My parents’ cars’ tires are inflated. Oh, but one might suggest not inflated enough? Nope. I checked. My tires are inflated to the proper PSI as shown on the tire. I checked my wife’s car (we’re getting ready for a vacation with a 600-mile drive) and we’re good there too. I would submit that someone is making an estimate (and probably not one based on any statistical merit) that some percentage of American’s are driving with poor tire pressure. Maybe I’ll get motivated enough to do so, and check all the tires in my office’s parking lot (that’s over 100 cars). I’d wager that the percentage of people with ill-inflated tires is pretty small. Trust me, I’m not against proper inflation and good conservation practices, but these do not make a good energy policy worth touting.
So, setting good science practices aside (much like we have to do while listening to Big Environment on the Global Warming deal), let’s buy into this for a minute. So, the next logical question to the 143-day-experienced junior senator from Illinois should be, “How does that help American become energy independent?”
You see that space just before the “You” at the beginning of this sentence and the quotation mark at the end of the last one? That’s his answer. Nothing. Zip. Instead, he’s off touting that it would take 7-10 years to get oil from offshore drilling and that it wouldn’t affect prices that much. Wrong. Economists have said that even the dialog about opening up offshore drilling has contributed to the recent $20+ slide in the price of oil per barrel. What the Senator from Illinois is doing is a nice debate trick of obscuring the issue. Gas prices are driven by oil speculators (and taxes) and if they perceive that the U.S. will increase domestic production in the future (hint, hint, speculators look at the future, not the present), then they will get out while their position is still good.
To really evaluate both candidates on this issue, it comes down to the question of “should we do something now to become more energy independent or not?”
It appears nature, red in tooth and claw, has again thrown a kink into the belief system of those who think that man and nature can peacefully coexist. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has noted the accelerating trend of predators becoming more brazen as their familiarity with man increases. See here and here, for example.
In the latest instance, a mountain lion entered a Colorado couple’s bedroom while they were sleeping and made a meal out of the couple’s 12 year old Labrador retriever, Scout. Apparently Scout did not live up to the vigilance his name implies. Mr. Darwin, call your service.
The phenomenon of folks moving into animals’ habitats, then being surprised that animals act like, well, animals, is not new. I think people who move to bear country who are surprised when Yogi and Boo Boo want to treat their trashcans like Ranger Smith’s picnic baskets are well meaning ignoramuses. They’re kin to those who move next to a cattle farm for the tranquillity, then moan that the flies and odors are bothersome. Or the geniuses who are shocked that their multimillion dollar McMansions with a stunning view of the 7th tee attract golf balls.
People, there’s a reason our forebears tried to wipe out large predators (and in large measure succeeded) like wolves, cougars/mountain lions, grizzlies and Demi Moore. These predators and man cannot peacefully coexist, particularly once the predators start to associate man with food. State and federal officials should cease reintroduction programs on predators, and allow aggressive management of predators through hunting and relocation, where possible.
And a freebie for the pictured Ms. Gibson. Check out her delightfully titled book on Amazon, if you’re a wannbe cougar. Or wanna be with a wannabe cougar.
Ok, I don’t read Slate outside of Hitchens much because, well, I’m not a pseudo-intellectual poseur. But this article was brought to my attention in which some jackass argues that mentioning Barack Obama’s thin build is crypto-bigotry. What genius detective work in uncovering that racist code! I mean, we’ve all heard backwoods southern cops commenting with dripping scorn about “that buncha skinnies on the corner.” And the Klan’s just constantly talking about “uppity skinnies.” His evidence that skinniness has always been a salient, virulent metonym for blackness in America? Some dialogue from a 1975 anti-racist episode of Happy Days. A searing indictment of Jim Crow in, uh, Milwaukee! Next week: “Homophobic subtexts in the depiction of ‘The Bicycle Man,’ a so-called “Very Special” two-part episode of Diff’rent Strokes. For God’s sake, take a deep breath and back away from the Macbook, you idiot.
I guess this is a sign of racial progress that genuine, naked bigotry is so rare that this sort of cabbalistic discernment of triple-secret crypto-bigotry is somehow deemed credible. A black man in America between, say, 1700 and 1950 would never have believed that this was the alleged invective hurled at his people. “Oh, he called him ‘skinny?’ Must be a lynching afoot.” This is idiotic white-guilt-upsmanship with one white guy trying to attack another white person for being a bigot, using Barack Obama—United States Senator, front-runner to be the next President of the United States—as a helpless, voiceless mascot who needs some webzine hipster to ride to his rescue to save him from the cross-burning hordes at the Wall Street Journal. Could this be any more absurd? Or condescending to black Americans? Notice to white people: next time you want to be an anti-racist crusader, ask a damn black person if you’re just smoking a big ol’ crack pipe of your own self-righteousness.
“…Nilotes…are markedly more restricted and dominated by extreme somatotypes than the distribution of the nationality samples.…The Nilotes are strikingly endomorphic, with many extreme ectomorphs.” Somatotyping-development and Applications: Development and Applications, J. E. Lindsay Carter, Barbara Honeyman Heath, Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 91.
Let me translate and apply to the present case: Half of Obama’s genes come from some of the skinniest people on Earth. Now, Luo aren’t quite as tall and thin as Manute Bol’s Dinkas or the Maasai. But, so? He’s skinny! End of damn story.
Want evidence? Go through this site.
The Volgi is going to call in Handy for this one.
Apparently, now you can be too fat to die, no matter what you’ve done. Thank goodness. Now Azrael, the angel of death, won’t have to come and harvest Ghettoputer’s corpulent self too soon. I’ve got too many good years of shoveling in Buffalo Bills themed ice cream and garbage plates (read the description — maybe the best bad for you food on the planet) before my cholesterol clogged arteries stop my heart.
Mr. Cooey, pictured here, has argued to our gifted judicial betters that his manly girth should prevent the Rust Belt State of Ohio (f/k/a the Connecticut Western Reserve) from putting him to death. Leaving aside for the moment his claim that he’s too fat to die, the gentle reader may be left asking what, in fact, did Mr. Cooey do that would lead the people of the Rust Belt State of Ohio to insist on his death.
Mr Cooey, a gentleman if ever there was one, was convicted by a jury of the fine citizens of the Rust Belt State of Ohio “for raping and murdering two female University of Akron students in 1986,” according to the good folks Mr. Rupert Murdoch employs at the U.S Branch Of NewsCorp, Fox News.
So, to get Mr. Cooey’s argument straight, the state shouldn’t deprive Mr. Cooey of his life because he’s too fat, regardless of his heinous crimes. But, Mr. Cooey can deprive two co-eds of their lives and their sexual congress without consent without commensurate penalty? Ghettoputer thinks not. For some crimes, Ghettoputer sympathizes with the State, despite Ghettoputer’s intense hatred and distrust of the death penalty generally.
Mr. Cooey should thank his lucky stars that Ghettoputer sits not on the Supreme Court of fine Rust Belt State of Ohio. Ghettoputer, presented with similar facts, should rule that indeed lethal injection is inappropriate in this instance, and that perhaps in lieu of lethal injection, the parents of Mr. Cooey’s victims should cover him in honey and bury him in an anthill until such time as Mr. Cooey succumbs to the natural process of death. From ant bites. Or dehydration. Or savage beatings about the head from the locals. Whatever.
Ghettoputer would pray that neither The Lord, nor His messenger Azrael, nor the fine citizens of the Rust Belt State of Ohio (nor the ants) should take Mr. Cooey too quickly.
And don’t forget Ahmadî-Nezhâd’s blog. Do check out the awesome “e-mails to Ahmadinejad” column at right. Some awesomely bootlicking e-mails of support to the Prez. Though, bless their hearts, they let through comments like Jack Meyhoffer’s rather blunt, “I hope someone puts a bullet in your head very soon.” Extremely entertaining.
Man, I think we may have to run a contest or something for blog posts from from famous dictators of history or something.
Interesting op-ed in the WSJ today from a former UNSCOM bio-weapons guy arguing essentially that the anthrax in the attacks was weaponized in such a sophisticated fashion it’s unlikely Ivins—or any individual—could have produced it. Which leaves state sponsorship (or sub-state, if al-Qâ’ida or the like was willing to spend millions on research and equipment). I know Iraq was looked at pretty hard in this context, but if there was this kind of innovative weaponization involved, the obvious culprit is the Russians, or perhaps the Chinese. But talk about motive-less crimes. Perhaps (the fairly obvious step of) closely looking at individuals formerly associated the downsized Soviet lab Biopreparat—which was the world’s most sophisticated producer of weaponized anthrax, if I’m remembering right—will reveal that someone walked out with a baggie of death dust. (And yeah, the Volgi knows there are conspiracy theories revolving around Qanatjan Älibekov/Ken Alibek’s involvement. Don’t bother mailing.)
In general, I think the nuttiness of the Islamic Republic is overstated—they generally comport themselves like most rational state actors. However, their rationality has led them to believe that aggression, particularly through proxy terrorism, is rewarding. Consequently, they’re one of the more destabilizing forces in the region. And having the relative feeling of invulnerability that nukes provide isn’t going to make them any more demure. And of course, Ayatollâh Rafsanjânî once said
If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world. [Tehran, Friday sermon, 14 December 2001]
Of course “the world of Islam” has had nukes for some time in the state of Pakistan without much problems for Israel (though not insignificant ones for India), but given that ideologically, the Islamic Republic is the vanguard of a pan-Islamic state, its leaders might believe that nuking Israel, whatever the price, is a “win” in their book, and whatever “damages” they take to be rationally justifiable costs.
St. Norbert the Peacemaker, ora pro nobis.
During my usual course of perusing various websites, I came across this story on Slashdot. I find it humorous on a number of levels: First, COBOL…seriously. Second, they only started to try to revamp the system 10 years ago (that’s 1998) when a number of “newer” programming languages were more viable 10 years before that. Third, they couldn’t migrate the payroll data into a modern payroll system that most companies, many municipalities, etc. use? Fourth, and totally non-technical, I applaud the Governator for doing this when the state can’t pass a budget. Fiscal reform NOW! Congress, states, etc. shouldn’t be blowing budgets when the American people can’t blow their own…oh, wait, apparently they can and we’ll just bail them out. Ok, note to self: GorT-land’s Constitution to prohibit fiscal irresponsibility.. The state controller described the state’s payroll system as “a computing relic on par with vacuum tubes and floppy disks”.
Amanda Peet is my new favorite actor, and for reasons other than the ones showcased in her photo. Since I generally detest actors, it’s really not that much of an achievement to make the list. However, Ms. Peet’s refreshing candor on the vacuity of Hollywood’s denizens and their mind-boggling stupid pronouncements earns full marks.
“It seems that the media is often giving celebrities and actors more authority on this issue than they are giving the experts,” Peet said. “I know it’s a paradox, but that’s part of why I wanted to become a spokesperson, to say to people, ‘Please don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to actors. Go to the experts.'”
Let me add my congratulations to GorT’s to Art Monk and Darrell Green, two of the emblematic—perhaps the two most emblematic—personalities of the first, great Joe Gibbs era in Washington. Both men were consummate professionals, utterly dedicated, profoundly humble, and incredible athletes. Not a little of this can be traced to their bedrock-solid upbringings and their deep adult religiosity, the latter reflected in the testimonies to their relationship to Our Lord that they spoke about at length—too much length for the Volgi’s taste, but chacun à son goût and they’ve certainly earned the right and will never have such a stage again.
On to football. Green was a shutdown corner before there was such a phrase, arguably the greatest ever to play the game in the modern era, as Thomas Boswell points out in the Washington Post with a comparison to the man usually held up as the ne plus ultra:
Go on, say, “But Darrell wasn’t Deion Sanders.” Maybe not. But both started on two Super Bowl champions. Green had 54 career interceptions, five in the postseason, to Sanders’s 53 and five. Green had eight defensive touchdowns, two in the playoffs, to Sanders’s 10 and none. Green averaged 15 pass deflections a season to Sanders’s 11. Green made seven Pro Bowls to Sanders’s eight. In his first dozen seasons out of 14 overall, Deion averaged 38 tackles a year. In the first 17 of his 20 years, the much smaller Green—who liked contact much more—averaged 64 tackles.
Deion picked his Prime Time spots. Then danced. Green played the whole game.
Green played cornerback—the position most demanding of speed and quick reflexes—for an unfathomable twenty years, almost uniformly at a stellar level. Green’s one relative fault was his hands. My brother once justly observed, watching Darrell break up an interceptable pass, “You know, if he could catch, he’d have the interception record by a mile.”
The real story was, however, the long-standing rejection of Art Monk by the Hall of Fame committee and their finally relenting and recognizing a career that was contemporaneously universally regarded as a mortal lock for Canton. An informal campaign of fans and sportswriters organized to press Monk’s case once it became clear he might not make it, notable among them the Post‘s Len Shapiro and Michael Wilbon in the latter group and Ted Jou and Tom Kerchival in the former.
What was the fuss about? For those who came in late, click here and enjoy Kerchival’s tremendous video demolition of the case against Monk’s induction. The featured testimonial video is very good, but the meat is in the Case for Monk series just below it, which specifically refutes the arguments publicly cited by committee members for rejecting Monk the first seven times around.
The four-minute four-second standing ovation Monk received was unprecedented at a Hall ceremony and an outpouring not merely of affirmation of his overcoming the admission committee’s long-standing standoffishness but of the love so many Washingtonians developed for Monk, a model football player, citizen, and man, over his lifetime around D.C., as was the sea of burgundy and gold which swamped the Canton stadium. Tom Jackson and Trey Wingo, hosting for ESPN, stated they’d never seen anything like it in all their years covering such ceremonies—including the huge turnout of Broncos fan for face-of-the-franchise-quarterback John Elway. Well done, Washington. And well done, Mr. Green and Mr. Monk.
Man, Ghettoputer is back and on fire with blogging ninjitsu. Truly he is a ninja and a pirate rolled into one. In an attempt to keep up the side, I’ve provided a new quiz to the left. Enjoy the question, “Who’s got the craziest monarchical cognomen?”
And to recap the last quiz (moved to the bottom):
Who is the most likely to identify the real Jack the Ripper?
We have a three-way tie: Encyclopædia Brown (doubtless in “The Case of the Disemboweled Doxies”), Real-Killer Hunter® O.J. Simpson (provided he can make the time), and one believing the wide-spread Fantasy Island/Ripper theory that’s only slightly less popular than Walter Sickert, holding that Hervé Villechaize had, in fact, identified the Ripper, but the secret died with him, God rest his tiny, lisping French soul. (“Mthieu Thcaramanga!”)
For more about Jack the Ripper, visit your local library. Reading Is Fundamental®.
Explain the post title, you demand? Mais bien sûr!
So didja know that Mah Nà Mah Nà was originally composed for a sauna scene in a ’60s Italian softcore “documentary” about sex in Sweden?
Taking the challenge of the Notorious OEV (forgive my lack of font knowledge), Ghettoputer took The Good Junior Senator From Illinois’ Constitutional Law exam over his Delmarva Vacation Extravaganza. The following is the text of his answers.
Under either a substantive Due Process analysis or an Equal Protection analysis, the answer of a Unites States Supreme Court appointed by Professor Obama would be the same.
“Ghettoputer, C. J., per curiam. The Constitution is a living, breathing document into which the hopes of each American is written. Therefore, we must interpret the Constitution giving heavy weight to the views of the appellants before us, as they are living, breathing Americans, not the dead white guys who devised the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. Since Richard and Michael want to get gay married, have babies and rent a uterus, who are we, as Justices of the Supreme Court, guardians of 230 or so years of American law, and over 900 years of English-derived common law to stand in their way, despite the fact that such arrangements have never, ever been deemed acceptable by neither a majority of people in our nation, nor their elected representatives? We are now a post-modern nation, and as such, the Constitution means whatever anyone thinks it means, including Richard and Michael. We must honor their differentness, regardless of any impact on society or its foundations. To do otherwise would negate their otherness. Therefore, without careful, considered deliberation by the people’s elected representatives, or input from American’s freely elected executive, this unelected, unrepresentative Court hereby holds that the Constitution should mean whatever anyone thinks it means. The state of Nirvana must not only permit Richard and Michael to gay marry, have babies and rent uteri, the State of Nirvana must hold a week long poetry reading, sit-in and drum circle session to celebrate Our Decision.
It is so ordered.“
PART II, Subparts A and B.
“Ghettoputer, C.J., per curiam. Anything that disadvantages any minority group, no matter how tangentially, no matter how small, no matter how rational the basis for such policy, no matter how equally any such test is applied to all racial groups (see, e.g., credit scoring to get a loan, standardized testing to secure a university slot, merit based pay), such thing is per se evil and bad. Therefore, meritocracy is hereby declared unconstitutional in the United States. Enjoy driving over bridges designed by subpar civil engineering students. Oh, by the way, banks must now loan to everyone who applies, regardless of past payment history or state ability to repay, or risk being shuttered by the FDIC or other appropriate regulatory agency. And the State of Utopia must hire everyone who applies, regardless of ability. To quote a great Obamanation Founding Father, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” If a person needs a job, Utopia must take one away from someone with ability and give such job to the needy person.
As Ramses II once said, according to the noted Constitutional scholar Cecil B. DeMille, “so let it be written, so let it be done.” (Shout out to noted Jewish minority and cigarette smoker (and stud) Yul Brynner).
It is so ordered.”
I hope I beat Professor Obama’s 12 page limit. Forgive the lack of proper margins. Ghettoputer awaits Professor Obama’s grade. Or the death of our Republic, whichever shall first occur.
Cab Calloway, a fellow Upstater born in scenic Rochester (motto – Made for Leavin’), wrote a song about the greedy and powerful public sector unions strangling my adopted state. He called it Many the Moochers. Well, not really, but were Mr. Calloway still alive today, he could well have done so.
New York’s “three men in a room” government — the execrable head of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, the namby-pamby accidental governor David Patterson and handpicked successor to the nearly indicted former head of the Senate Dean Skelos — recently decided that with 74% of New Yorkers favoring a property tax cap, they’d better get cracking on something.
From this article from the appalling nicknamed Rochester news paper The D&C (Democrat and Chronicle), it appears that our hardworking public officials have determined that the best way to lower property taxes is to continue runaway spending, but to shift more of the burden away from property taxes to income taxes. Way to go, geniuses! Forget about cutting back. Spend more instead, but attempt to hide your profligate ways by shifting the source of the revenue. Those stupid peons we “represent” will never notice, and we can keep our union masters happy.
As noted in the article, New York has the “highest local and state tax burden in the country, a major factor in the state’s population and job losses.” Note, however, that unionized state government jobs (health care, teachers, etc.) are actually growing, unlike the private sector jobs that support them. By way of example, in my part of the state, it is not unusual for a house assessed at $200,000 to pay over $8,000 each year in property taxes. This excludes the state income tax rates of between 4% and 6.85%, and NYC and Yonkers income taxes, if you are fortunate enough to live there. And don’t forget sales tax, which generally is between 7% and 8.75% depending on where you’re shopping.
These taxes all go to support an enormous unionized government workforce that has benefits significantly better than that of the private workers generating the tax revenue to pay these benefits. The New York State Constitution (Art. V, § 7) actually enshrines a right of current workers to their pensions, without change, regardless of the impact of state taxpayers. And who wouldn’t want one of these gold-plated pensions? A Tier 4 (pension classification for most current teachers starting after 1983) can expect after 30 years’ service at age 55, lifetime health care (not yet a Constitution right, but bills are pending to do so) and 60% of the average of the best three years’ salary for life. Guaranteed. This doesn’t count social security and any 403(b) contributions made. Oh, and the state pension is state income tax free (“Your retirement benefit is exempt from New York State income tax”). And New York’s political class can’t figure out why private businesses and residents continue to flee.
Maybe when the last private sector job leaves the state for the greener pastures of lower tax jurisdictions, New York’s politicians will finally come to their senses. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Pictured are two of the classiest guys to ever play in the National Football League and they were finally, formally recognized (one way later than he should have been) in Canton, Ohio this past weekend. Both speeches were moving, I invite you to read them here [Green] and here [Monk].
In case anyone is wondering, Darrell Green played 20 seasons at one of the NFL’s most competitive positions, cornerback, largely at a time when the NFC East was the most competitive division in the sport. He finished his career playing in 295 games with 258 starts. Green recorded a total of 1,321 tackles, 59 interceptions, nine forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. He also scored 11 touchdowns (eight by interception return, two by fumble return and one on a punt return).
Art Monk finished his career with 940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns in 224 career games. He was the first NFL player to catch more than 900 career passes and he retired as the game’s all-time leader in receptions. In 1984, he became the first NFL player to record more than 100 receptions in a season. (He finished with 106.) He also caught at least one pass in 183 consecutive games.
On a weekend when the Jim Zorn era of Redskins football starts with a Hall of Fame Game win over the Colts, it was great to have two Redskins inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
One word comes to mind with both of these gentlemen: classy.
In fact, Ghettoputer, no you’re not the first. If I’m remembering right, Jonathan Last had a cover story on it in The Weekly Standard.
Is Ghettoputer the only person who has noted that The Good Junior Senator From Illinois’ campaign staff seems to be taking style sheet lessons from the propaganda handbook of the most repressive, murderous and unfree world governments of the last 100 years?
Clearly, The Good Junior Senator is neither Communist, nor is he a mass-murdering thug like the evil Guevara (God willing, currently burning in Hell). However, The Good Junior Senator’s vacuous platitudes and his penchant for government control of the most personal details of Americans’ everyday lives, coupled with his choice of campaign art styles leave the humble Ghettoputer a little queasy about our prospects under our new self-proclaimed Oba-Messiah.
Come November, we may be left with Kent Brockman’s realization that “[we], for one, welcome our new insect overlords,” as The Good Junior Senator’s new programs further erode our freedoms.
After a week or so of vacation in the scenic Delmarva Peninsula (home of Frank Perdue (“it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken”)), Ghettoputer is back and ready for more of the same!
In spite of the heat and humidity, Ghettoputer managed to drag his pasty white carcass to the shore to bask in the sun and take the waters. Unfortunately, small children were frightened by the unnatural albedo of Ghettoputer’s skin, and the tan lifeguards (who get all the chicks), forced Ghettoputer off the beach and back to his rental hovel. Fortunately, in the Delmarva, drinking a whole lot is not only accepted, but encouraged. Ghettoputer highly recommends the Delmarva if you are looking for overpriced housing, lousy summer weather and ungodly traffic congestion (look soon for a post on Pennsyltucky and the singular evil of its traffic engineers). Although with its proximity to the DC/Balmer (hi, hon!) Metroplex, as well as Philthydelphia, the Delmarva shore has more than its fair share of well maintained haus fraus, which is nice.
On a lighter note, Ghettoputer visited a local farmers’ market while on vacation and had good fortune to purchase some of the finest peaches he’s ever had the fortune to cram down his many-wattled turkey neck. If ever in the Delmarva, take the opportunity to visit the fine folks at Bennett Orchards in scenic Frankford, Delaware. They may be the nicest folks you’ll ever meet, and the most hard working. Try their white peaches. So danged good. Especially after a hard day of watching the fine young (and well maintained not-as-young) women walking by on the beach. And, if you happen to be a fine member of the XX sisterhood, the men (excepting Ghettoputer) are well maintained, too. Or so I’ve been told.
*Wade-Giles is the official romanization of the Gormogons. But it’s guĭzi for those of you who can’t live without pinyin.
Picture is a Right & Harmonious Fist member from the Boxer Rebellion, 1900.
Hero of the Great Patriotic War. Hero-revelator of the Gulag. Hero of literature. Lover of Russia and Her church. Gone to his reward at 89. Да упокоится съ миромъ
(Pictured with Margaret Thatcher at Downing Street, 1983)
They’ve got 3,600 hours of Olympics on tap. And, as you say, maybe they’ll bother showing the shooting sports rather than thinking, in some bizarro leap of logic, “If people see shooters using $10,000 target pistols to punch holes in paper, they’ll be driven into a murderous frenzy, run out, buy guns, and start a-killin’.” Either that—and I’d never suspect this of them—that somehow the lawful, fun use of guns might make people think they’re less eeeeeeeeeevil, and we can’t have that.
I’m a big fan of the Olympics, I watch just about any Olympic event, yes, any…try me. Plus, it’s a great excuse to enjoy HiDef channels. Hopefully, NBC won’t disappoint by showing Law & Order:ReRun while there are plenty of Olympic events (they are already ruining it by the stupid and almost offensive interviews after the gymnastic and swimming trials (see, I watch ANYTHING Olympic)). Pictured, are the mascots for the Beijing Olympics…don’t stare directly at them…really. I’m sure they’ll try to avoid the Beijing Shooting Range CTF….”Aaaaahhhhh, GAI-JIN!!!”. As a shameless plug, tune into Dan Steinberg’s Blog (or Bog) to get updates (both real and humorous).
…good leadership? You mean just because the two major parties have nominated since 1996 a priapic narcissist, a cynical dealmaker, a political tyro of a governor with a familiar last name and a very loose handle on the rudiments of syntax, a messianic egomaniac feeling entitled to political power, a empty-suit empty-headed war hero most famous for libeling his comrades in arms as war criminals (and who pronounced Genghis or Chingiz [pictured] “Junjus”), an honorable but eccentric old coot who’s never thought about political philosophy for five minutes in his life, and a callow product of the Ivy League and the Daley Machine with no résumé but an attractive skin tone? How dare you, sir! It’s not like we’d nominate someone just because she’d been married to a previous president!
Oh, and I’d forgotten GorT’s fascination with, essentially, generational birth-order theory. I’m cool with being a Nomad, though. Apache, Crow, Mongol, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Akkoyunlu, Karakoyunlu, Saami, Pechenegs, Tibetans, Alans, Qashqa’is, Dzungars, Navajo, Maasai, it’s all good.
First, I think we’re in a dearth of good leadership (maybe it’s the cycle we’re in) in general and I’m not a big fan of how the American political system has created “politician” as a career. Second, maybe the execution by the GOP in this instance is a bit on the childish side. However, it’s about time that they get off their asses and start working for the public. If you screw up with bills like ones previously discussed here…at least you can keep working past 11:23am, you know, maybe until 5pm-ish ?? Read the details here.
Picture lifted from Kissing Suzy Kolber.
I forgot to mention it, but yesterday was the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola (né Íñigo Oñez López de Loyola), a patron of the Gormogons and arguably the most influential Basque in the history of the world.
We hope the great soldier-saint will inspire our attempts at pointing out today’s follies “without hard words or contempt for people’s errors.” Though we’re pretty sure we fall short most of the time. Which is why you probably won’t see St. Ghettoputer on your calendar of saints any time soon.
Well, lookee here. Seems they moved on to another suspect who promptly offed himself. Now, while that’s hardly a conclusive admission of guilt, it’s pretty darn suggestive. Did they finally break the case? If so, κυδος!
…seems pretty dubious to me, or at least a small factor in a much larger picture (since history records, e.g., Greenland’s being green). But the story GorT cites just reminds me of the old joke about the nuclear-launch error that was going to immanentize the eschaton* the next day.
USA Today headlines WE’RE DONE!
The Wall Street Journal: Markets to Close at Noon: World at Three
The Washington Post: World to End Today: Blacks & Hispanics Hardest Hit
All groan together.
*In the Illuminatus!, not the Vögelin-Buckleyan, sense.
Ok, the Œcumenical Volgi is among the world’s biggest fans of the The Mummy, Stephen Sommers’ excellently pitched action-horror-comedy. It’s feather light, immensely likable, and perfect popcorn-wolfing fun. The Volgi liked The Mummy so much that he was in the middle of drafting a screenplay for a sequel when he found out that not only had one been written, but it was already in production. And haste makes…crappy movies apparently, because The Mummy Returns was fairly lame. The Volgi’s script was really good, I tells ya.
Consequently, the ŒV has had some mixed feelings about the third installment. I want to like it, and if they do Shanghai in the ’30s or ’40s right, I’m a sucker for that—but I’m assuming the worst. The absence of the adorable Rachel Weisz’s (pictured, because duh) boded ill, methought. Alas, courtesy of Flava Last over at Galley Slaves, here’s the legendary Miss A. DuPont’s demolition of Mummy 3: Electric Boogalee, or whatever they’re calling it. Quoth La DuPont, in re problems with it:
There are Abominable Snowmen in this movie — three of them. At one point, one of them kicks an evil Chinese soldier over a goalpost-shaped piece of architecture. The Yeti behind the placekicker Yeti raises his arms straight in the air like a referee signaling “touchdown.”
Now I like yetis. I like ’em a whole lot. I can tell you that they’re called མི་རྒོད་—mekö—in Tibetan. But I can tell you this: they don’t watch the NFL. (They’re more cricket fans. Really.) So M3: Mummy Impossible is almost assuredly a special-effects-laden attack on the senses with a moronic script. I’ll probably go see it anyway, but…[sigh]
Call the Volgi*, Mr. Sommers, if you ever want a literate, funny script in the spirit of the original. I’ve done it before; I’ll do it again.
*At thenotoriousoev [at] me [dot] com.
…but I just don’t see how climate change (and I believe man has little impact on it – see here and here and here) is a racial issue but some people are trying to make it one. Isn’t this just pandering? Racism is a horrible thing, but inserting race into an issue (or maybe a non-issue) only prolongs or creates a division that isn’t needed in the first place.
It doesn’t say, and I’ll have to double-check the artist’s catalogue raisonné, but I’m pretty sure its title is Nicpiä Tonantzin Nican, or St. Juan Diego Says, ‘I got your BVM right here.’
Seriously! Dreadful use of perspective!
Move along, nothing to see here. Except it gives me another excuse to rail against stupid H.R.’s ripping out the communion rail. GRR!
Where’s my freakin’ intinctorium!
Some fun videos from MilitaryTimes.com.
For gun dorks, the H&K 416, which looks to be an distinct improvement on the M4 (the Kalashnikov-inspired gas piston is a particularly welcome upgrade), though I still don’t know if terminal ballistics are going to be lethal enough with the SS109/M855 round out of that short a barrel. Still, H&K’s XM8, FN’s SCAR Light, or the 416 would all make me feel better for our servicemen than the M4 at this point. This ain’t a bad idea, and you could open the field up to the Robinson XCR (pictured), the Bushmaster ACR, the Tavor, the FN F2000, the SAR21, the Beretta ARX-160, etc.
For Flava Last chained to the galleys over there, here’s some F-22 porn from Farnborough this year. Remember, F-22 pilots say that they haven’t yet reached the limits of the plane’s maneuverability—they literally don’t know what else it can do. Look on in envy, Sukhoi! (No disrespect to them. They build some awesome planes, including perhaps my favorite Russian plane, the Su-25 “Frogfoot”, their nasty equivalent of our sainted A-10 “Warthog” (which I love too much as well; pictured).
I may go catch an F-22 and/or V-22 demo at Oshkosh this weekend…
One victim, three-year-old Aleyna Çelik, was laid to rest in her parents’ hometown, the Aegean city of Amasya. Her mother, Melike Çelik, speaking at the funeral, said, “I died with her. Today (Monday) was supposed to be her birthday. Instead of celebrating her birthday, we are burying her.” The funeral was attended by her family and local and military officials. Aleyna and her four-year-old cousin Taha Yıldız both died in the same explosion.A 14-year-old victim’s, Murat Ağca, funeral was held in the Fetih Mosque in Güngören. Besides Ağca’s family and relatives, district official Gürbüz Karakuş, Güngören Mayor Şakir Yücel Karaman and Bahçelievler Mayor Osman Develioğlu attended the ceremony. Brigadier Gen. Bahadır Köse, from the 23rd Division, also attended the funeral and offered the family his condolences. Ağca’s coffin was carried among slogans. Ağca’s classmate, Furkan Şentürk, shared his fate as a victim of the explosion. Both had succeeded in the entrance exam to the Kuleli Military Academy and dreamed of becoming soldiers.
Başlarınız sağ olsun.
Ghettoputer, see how you would have done on Professor Obama’s con-law exam. My guess is…
For reason which must remain obscure, this is more GorT’s bailiwick than mine, but Stephen Colbert on the looming Anglican schism is pretty darn funny.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County investigators searched for three men who robbed a Roma’s Pizza Shop on Texas Avenue and Americana Boulevard (see map) Friday morning. Deputies said the suspects hit an employee over the head with a tire iron.
“It was real fast, came in demanded the money, took the money and went right back out, couple of seconds,” said Detective Jason Moorehead of the Orange County Sherriff’s Office.
Investigators said the suspects took off with around $400. Police said there were no surveillance cameras inside or outside of the store.
Deputies used dogs to try and track down the suspects, but did not find them.
Orange County police have been alerted to the whereabouts of the Ghettoputer.
Man, your Volgi seems to be carrying all the freight today. So, here’s one from the Wildly Entertaining file. The Volgi understands the feeling—oh, yes, he does—but dude, seriously, grab the reins and some perspective.
Hey, for the six of us who were lucky enough to get into Wonderfalls in its all-too-brief life on Fox (and enjoyed its DVD afterlife, which has more episodes than ever aired on TV), this last item is neat. And you should watch Pushing Daisies. Very clever show.
“On vacation.” But we really know he’s scouting out a cheaper place to live.
I’ll reserve judgement on its suckitude, and certainly for GorT’s sake, I hope it’s good. But what the hell is up with that title? I blame David Fincher or whoever came up with the idea of spelling Seven with a numeral. That went even further downhill to the proposed De2cent which has happily been changed. And now Tr2n? Wilco Tango Foxtrot? It’s 1337, which is lame enough, but there’s no visual correspondence between a 2 and an o! Not even close! Grrr.
END OF LINE
..this one hopefully won’t. I think you can safely sign up ol’ GorT for seeing this one.
I can’t see my man Silent Cal. But pretty entertaining. As with most things from JibJab, who have a right Gormogonical temperament about politics.