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    July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2005



    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





    "An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible." ~ Unknown

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    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    A Kansan asks "What's the matter with Harvard?"


    Well, not really. But he is a Kansan who writes for the Harvard Crimson about the stereotypes the Ivy League intellectuals level against the group they claim is responsible for relying on prejudicial stereotypes for their bigotry and dogmatism:

    My experience with people at Harvard is that they apply stereotypes to the Midwest in ways that they would be outrageously offended by if the same kind of simple-minded stereotypes were applied to people of a particular race or religion or what-have-you. For shame. Everyone knows that the South is where America keeps its imbeciles. I suppose the Midwest receives a lot of flak because of the notion that its inhabitants are close minded. What irony! The people who dis my homies from the Great Plains are the close minded ones. They claim to be cultured because they have studied abroad in Italy for a semester, but they neglect to accept that the Midwest has anything to offer besides wheat, boredom and fanatic Protestantism. In my art class, the lecturer mentioned that a particular painting was located in a museum in Kansas City and people in the crowd snickered as if the idea was preposterous. “Kansas City?!?! It must have been placed next to the cow patties and the photo of Dorothy and Toto.”


    Good stuff, read the whole thing


    posted by M@ at 11:27 AM   0 comments links to this post

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    The beast stirs...


    Hillary Clinton was mentioned in the New York Times yesterday. They are already trying to launch the good ship Hillary on its way to the White House in '08. Don't expect Hillary to say anything about it until after her re-election to the Senate in New York, as the article says. The RNC hasn't got anyone picked to run against her that I've heard. In the Senate race in '06, I mean. So sayeth the article:


    Finally, Democrats say that a danger for Mrs. Clinton is that if she is seen as the top contender at this point, her Democratic rivals have nearly four years to try to undercut her.

    But it is not just Democrats who will look to undermine her if she widely perceived as a leading presidential contender, political analysts say. It is also Republicans, particularly those in New York, who are certainly going to argue during her re-election campaign in 2006 that she is simply using the state as a launching pad for her national ambitions.

    "If she runs for re-election in New York, that will bring the inevitable question of whether she will serve out her full term in the Senate," said one person who is close to the Clintons.


    posted by M@ at 9:38 AM   2 comments links to this post

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    President giving one finger victory salute in press conference


    The President was in the Q & A period of his live press conference just now...He has been ribbing the press good naturedly, and showing that he is both game and unwilling to be bullied now that he's got a second term. At the same time, he is friendly and gracious. He seems to be respectful even as he points out the press violating the "one question rule". He points it out, and then answers the whole question. He's got breathing room now, and this time around is already looking different. There are several cabinet changes coming, and W seems to be setting up a front of unifying outreach, at least politically.

    Speaking of unifying...does anyone think Arlen Specter's "warning" was an unexpected slap at the president? No, I think it was a mutually beneficial political statement. Specter is one of Bush's bridges to the middle. The fact that Bush was a prime mover in Specter's political career, by most conservative accounts at least, tells me that they have some sort of prearranged agreement. I am not suggesting disingenuous behavior here, but I am suggesting political compromise that counterintuitively helps Bush by allowing for public display of both dissent from and tacit support for these so-called RINOs. Bush knows when it comes down to it Specter owes him but it helps Bush more politically to have an ally restraining him than an enemy, even knowing that his enemies will publicly use the dissent of the ally against him. He knows that allowing for the Specters and the McHaGar(lately just HaGar, but post-election look for McCain to reappear in the triumvirate) costs him no real capital, and creates a political buffer between himself and the people he *can't* make deals with. The second tier *can*, and he's already spoken to them behind closed doors about this, betcher bottom dollar.

    More on that later maybe, but just hearing that Arafat is dead! That's what the radio is saying, anyway. Nothing on Google news yet. No one knows really. Bush said "God bless his soul." in his press conference. French doctors are saying he is not dead, so it's up in the air.

    Anyway, that was a big gripe of conservatives during the election, right? Laura Ingraham was always angry at McHaGar, because they were being used against the Bush campaign. They seemed like traitors to her, especially after all Bush did for them! Well that's true on one level...it bugged me too. It's hard to watch that, and perhaps our rankling at it was part of the benefit of having three. The left ran with every quote from the dissenters, the ones who suddenly appeared to break with their party. But not one of them endorsed Kerry did they? In fact, that's why McCain had to disengage and support Bush. He was in it to build capital for a presidential run in '08, or get a Sec Def job in a possible Kerry presidency but he was too valuable to Bush, and had to take sides in the end. So now that he can't really hurt Bush, he can go back to building his credit for the primary in '08. Fair enough, and the Dems can keep howling all they want, if they want, that there is dissent in the Republican party. The fact is, it's political genius judo-chess.

    So on the Iraq war, the bridge people was McCain, Lugar and Chuck Hagel. On the judicial committee in the Senate, putting in a guy who owes Bush big and who first thing after a Bush win comes out and "slaps" Bush in the press on the abortion issue is such judo-chess! The premise is that whomever he appoints will be opposed most fervently by the Democrat minority. They will probably try to be mature about it this time around(It might get dirty but it will start out reasoned) but really this is the big fight coming in D.C., don't fool yourself.

    The big thing I saw at the RNC this year was the appearance of compromise between divisions. Lots of people showed willingness to show a big tent of reasonably conflicting points under a general ideological agreement around the middle of conservatism. I assumed this was mostly political expedience for the election campaign, and I still assume that. But looking down the road, and knowing that I'm certainly not the furthest sighted guy in the party I am also assuming that some of these compromises were made for after the election season too. There are real political divisions among these conservatives, and that's why Specter isn't being disingenuous, nor were any of the McHaGar triumvirate. But Specter won't be selling out the president when it comes down to it.

    Ah, and Specter is now compiling a transcript of what was actually said from a tape and is preparing a clarifying statement. Rush is saying this now on the radio, and is leading in to the tendency of the left to hail any sign of disunity. We'll see what he says...I agree with Rush when he says that he doesn't trust Specter to be a Republican. But that's where the Judo comes in, I think. If the Democrats present a responsible party to switch to, it's possible the Rhode Island Republican would turn for his own political interests. That's the game, but meantime Bush will be using him for the party as a strength that looks like a weakness. Very Sun Tzu, very Judo.

    I'm just sayin'


    posted by M@ at 9:30 AM   1 comments links to this post

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    Red/Blue


    This map here shows the red.blue breakdown by county. Red state/Blue state just doesn't cut it.

    And Yasser Arafat is in a coma. Hmm, this means Arafat could already be dead. Well how's about them apples...Right after Bush wins a second term...

    And the Belgravia Dispatch notes some sour grapes writing from Adam Nagourney in the NYT...I don't think this is the only example, but I'm not looking for the stuff. It's not all peaces and cream, post-jubilation. Still, amazing how a respected guy like Nagourney could have such a subtly misleading take on Kerry's concession. This kind of journalism won't rebuild any credibility, and it won't help the country move forward. But then, maybe that's exactly the intent.


    posted by M@ at 7:18 AM   0 comments links to this post

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    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    W stands for "Winner"


    I feel...SO good. All kinds of good news, and I didn't post once during what was likely a high traffic time. I am feeling great, but I'm also ready to move on.

    I'm also getting ready to move this weblog to a new domain, and was out all night watching returns. I'll be back around shortly, but I am taking a quick jubilant break so that I don't gloat. I feel more relieved than anything. The perspective I've got on the whole process is improved and I like the way I see my side acting, and encouraged at most of how I see the other side acting. We are two sides of the same country, and that's the most important thing.



    posted by M@ at 4:54 PM   0 comments links to this post

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    Monday, November 01, 2004

    I failed this quiz


    See how well you do on this "Who said it?" quiz


    posted by M@ at 11:22 PM   0 comments links to this post

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    Foomp went the Universe


    Universe Today has an article on new paper about an idea that's been floated around for a while, and is pretty interesting. I don't know how well the idea that entropy can be infinite will go over, but I'm not the guy that's gonna shoot it down. It was a cool idea when I read it in a Kip Thorne book, at least.


    posted by M@ at 9:25 PM   0 comments links to this post

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    Ah, that makes more sense


    I was not alone in my surprise that Slate listed Christopher Hitchens as having endorsed Kerry for president. And my surprise was well founded, it turns out. Hitchens leads off his column of today in Slate with an editorial correction by Slate apologizing for the mischaracterization:

    Correction, Nov. 1, 2004: Due to an editing error, Christopher Hitchens' entry in the "Slate Votes" survey was mistakenly classified as an endorsement of John Kerry. As Hitchens explains below, he did not intend his contribution as a statement of support for either candidate. Slate apologizes to Hitchens for this error. Click here to read the corrected survey.


    Of course, supporting neither candidate is not quite what I'd hoped for but you can also read this article at the Nation if you'd like to console yourself that he actually has endorsed Bush in print.

    (hat tip to Bitsblog and Michael Totten)



    posted by M@ at 5:21 PM   2 comments links to this post

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    Full of crow, and still smart


    Eject! Eject! Eject! was one of the bloggers that posted about being wrong that Osama was dead, and he has a final thought before the election tomorrow. He spells out some good reasons for voting Bush, not that anyone is around to have their mind changed by this point. Still worth a read, I thought:


    I will be able to live with a Kerry Presidency. But what tortures me is the thought that this country is no longer capable of doing hard, dirty work -- that we have reached the point where nothing difficult is attainable because the cost is something less than free.

    I believe, from a reading of the history and the very words of the leaders of North Vietnam, that John Kerry was instrumental in convincing them that if they were able to hang on and inflict enough American casualties, eventually we would tire and go home.

    I further believe that history shows that the Ayatollah Khomeini had our number in this regard, and I regard the start of this current conflict as the day they overran the US Embassy in Tehran, to which our response was...what?




    posted by M@ at 2:31 PM   0 comments links to this post

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    Think this is as divided as we've ever been?


    Jennifer Nelson pokes a hole in that balloon. In '84 Reagan v. Mondale, and in '60 Kennedy v. Nixon...we've seen this before. She even points out that Nixon lost due to obvious voter fraud in two key states, yet declined to challenge the results:


    That year, John F. Kennedy beat Richard M. Nixon by 113,000 votes out of 68 million cast. The two deciding states were Texas, where Kennedy beat Nixon by 9,000 votes, and Illinois, where he won by 46,000 votes. Reports of election fraud surfaced in both states, but, despite urging by his staff and others, Nixon refused to call for a recount. In his 1962 memoir, "Six Crises," he wrote that he did not challenge the result, because he felt that the nation would be harmed by the notion that "the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box."

    In November 2000, former Nixon White House official Pete Flanigan told John H. Taylor, executive director of the Nixon Foundation, "Within a couple days after the election, Nixon emphatically said he would not challenge the results. And he did more than that. He told all of us on the staff to have no part of any challenge, and he sent back donations, all of them unsolicited, which were sent to finance a challenge.


    And was there voter fraud? Oh yes...yes there was. The irony of Democrats claiming that Bush stole the '00 election or that he will steal this one is nothing more than infuriating to anyone who thinks Bush defended and will defend a victory against fraud. The fact is, those of you who don't like to hear the truth can look away now, it is the Left that has a history of stealing elections:

    "There was a cemetery where the names on the tombstones were registered and voted," Mazo told The Washington Post in 2000. "I remember a house. It was completely gutted. There was nobody there. But there were 56 votes for Kennedy in that house."

    Mazo also uncovered fraud in Texas and was planning an investigative series on the episode. However, Nixon found out about it and called Mazo, and later his editors, to squash the story. Again, Nixon believed fueling the fire of what many people thought was a fraudulent election would do more harm than good for the nation.


    I don't think we're seeing anything different this time around. Massive efforts at registration fraud by the left are already out there in the news. The Daly machine is humming right along, people. It might not end up being pretty but I'm not willing to let this keep going on and you shouldn't be either. Kennedy, sure lots of people were genuinely behind him but I'm just not going to buy that all of you are hot for a Kerry presidency. Bush may not set you on fire, but you know very well that Kerry is a convictionless panderer with an arrogant mean streak besides. Is this the guy you want to strangle your morals over? Think about it hard, because it's almost time to calm everyone down. You might have to make a hard decision after November 2. Are you going to support the legal challenges that are levelled to try to force the Dem's guy in? Are you going to be complicit in voter fraud ruining the legitimacy of the voting process yet again? Think hard, because it's a real possibility.


    posted by M@ at 12:36 PM   0 comments links to this post

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    Last call


    It's the last day to be undecided...and after reading the new translations of the Osama Bin Laden video, which now has him saying 'states that go for Kerry are safe, and states that go for Bush are asking for it' I want you to think about that when deciding. At least I hope you do. The guy is saying 'We'll leave the weak and cowardly alone'. So which are you? I live in a state that's going for Bush anyway, but this makes me wish even more that I lived in a blue state so that I could vote my defiance against OBL.

    This is a good opportunity to restate what we all said after 9/11: WE ARE ALL AMERICANS. Don't let them split us up like that...The message of this tape is clear, that after the election there will be more attacks no matter what. The only matter to be decided for Al Qaeda is in which states they will attack. When that happens it will be an attack on America, not Bush states. It's time to be an American NOW. The world is watching...


    Update: Jonah Goldberg has this point over at the Corner:


    FOR THE NOSE-HOLDERS [Jonah Goldberg]

    I have a lot of friends who are holding their noses when they vote for Bush. I have sympathy for their views, I really do. Much of what Bush has done -- and hasn't -- bugs me too. But I ask you folks to look at it from a slightly different perspective. If thinking in terms of who the better candidate is doesn't work for you, think of it in terms of which candidate's victory will cause the most happiness among the worst people. If Kerry wins some truly horrible people will be happy. Some perfectly fine and decent folks will be happy too, of course. But if Bush wins, Michael Moore won't be on the Today Show the next day cheering and hugging his friends. Katie Couric will wear black. Alec Baldwin won't give interviews. P Diddy will go away. Susan Sarandon will mope. Al Franken still won't be funny, but it will be easier to laugh at him. Jon Stewart will go back to comedy. Terry McAuliffe will go down in history as the most disastrous DNC Chair in modern history.

    But if Bush loses, all of these people will be gloating and skipping with joy.

    Vote your fears people.


    posted by M@ at 11:54 AM   0 comments links to this post

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    Glenn Reynolds tells the future


    Instapundit, run by Professor Glenn Reynolds, is one of the foremost contributors to the political blogosphere. His latest article for Tech Central Station has some good thoughts about where the whole thing is headed in the big picture. I think he's right as far as anyone can predict what the true impact of weblogs will have on our culture and society, and of course anyone who has spent much time fooling around with them probably considers most of this pretty obvious. Still, it's well said and lays it out for the uninitiated...worth a read I think:


    Over the next few years, blogs will grow both more and less significant. They'll grow more significant because more people will be reading them, and -- at least as important -- more people will be writing them. That will expand their impact considerably. On the other hand, they'll grow less significant, in a way, because they'll grow more ordinary. Like other communications media, from newspapers to email, they'll just become part of the background, and their particular thread of impact will be less noticeable.


    posted by M@ at 11:24 AM   0 comments links to this post

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