Sean LaFreniere

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Sean's Political Dictionary
So that YOU know what SEAN is talking about when he opens his big mouth:

 

Conservative:

Date: 1831. From Latin conservare, for "to keep", "guard", or "observe". A Conservative relies upon family traditions and figures of authority to establish and maintain values. 

A Conservative puts group security above personal freedoms. 

A Conservative believes that successful use and maintenance of power proves God's favor for the government. 

A Conservative believes that social values, religious rules, and forms of governments may only be altered gradually. 

Stability and continuity are the goals of government.

 

Liberal:

Date: 1820. From Latin liberalis for "free". A Liberal uses reason and logic to set personal, social, and religious values. 

A Liberal places personal freedom above group security. 

A Liberal believes that governments rule by the consent of the governed. 

A liberal believes that governments may be changed or removed at the will of the people.  

A Liberal supports rapid change in the pursuit of progress and reform.

Freedom and Justice are the goals of government.

 

Note: a nation, and an individual, may move back and forth between these positions often. They rarely sum up a personality completely. And they should never be permanent blinders for anyone to view the world.

When a people succeed in a Liberal revolution, for instance, they often find themselves in the Conservative position protecting these gains. Similarly a person might have a Liberal view on public financial assistance and then move into a conservative position once these demands are met.

One might say that Affirmative Action is a prime example. At one point instituting Affirmative Action was a Liberal position, it was needed to reverse decades of discrimination following the end of Slavery. However, today the Liberal position might well be the ending of Affirmative Action, as it has largely completed its task and now stands as a stumbling block to truly moving the nation beyond race as a discriminatory trait. Meanwhile, the position of defending AA is now actually a Conservative stance (whether its so-called "liberal" defenders realize it or not).

Another way to think about this is that these terms describe a way of thinking about issues, not the positions on those issues. That is a Conservative might support a war because politicians they respect urge it, because the enemy scares them, and ultimately because it just "feels right". A Liberal might also come to support the war in spite of the position of authority figures and celebrities, not because it feels right, but because hours of research and consideration support the cause.

Neither is a "better way" of coming to a position, necessarily. Sometimes too much thinking interferes with a solid moral judgment, such as on the Abortion issue. And then other times only rational examination can skip over the emotional baggage and come to the most reasonable decision, as we see in the Abortion issue.

I realize this might be difficult for some people to accept after a long time of hearing party dogma on the issue. Personally I find value in BOTH positions. On some issues I am myself rather Conservative and on others I am quite Liberal. The same with the terms Radical and Reactionary, noted below. I found that stepping beyond these labels opened up my thoughts and cleared my head of a lot of bs.

 

Reactionary:

Date: 1840. From Latin reagere for "to act". A Reactionary uses government pressure as a means of containing and responding to changes in society.

 

Radical:

Date: 14th century. From Latin radicalis from radix for "root". A Radical supports social movements and political pressure groups as a means of affecting change in government.

 

The Right:

Date: early modern. The term comes from  English Parliamentary Rules; which place the party in power on the right of the Speaker. As the Conservatives held sway for a long time, the term Right came to be associated with the "Establishment" and thus with Conservative politics.

 

The Left:

Date: early modern. The party in Opposition sits on the Speaker's left. The Left came to be associated with labor movements, the lower classes, and socialist politics. It has also come to be associated with Liberalism. This was useful for Conservative politicians, and Socialists as well, during the 60's. But I find this to be a big intellectual and political mistake.

 

Capitol Goods:

Date: circa 1639. From the French from Latin capitalis for "top", used in French for "principal" or "chief". (1) : a stock of accumulated goods; especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period (2) : accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods (3) : accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income

 

Capitalism:

Date: 1877. An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

 

Socialism:

Date: 1837. From Latin socialis for "friend" or "companion" or "associate". Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods; usually there is no private property; in Marxist theory this is also considered just a transitional stage between capitalism and communism and it is distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

 

Communism:

Date: 1840. From French communisme, from Latin communis for "common". A doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed. It is the final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably. In its only examples of practical application, in the USSR, China, and Cuba it became a totalitarian system where a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production and the people are enslaved in production geared to support the power of this party.

 

Note: in Marxist theory these three systems represent a sliding scale, with Capitalism on the Right, Socialism in the middle, and Communism on the Left. A nation was supposed to move from one to the other over time. However, in practice few systems in the world have ever been purely one or the other. Most national economic models employ some of all three.

While the US and Europe are considered the paragons of Capitalism, they both retain many Socialist elements. Both the US and Europe offer state sanctioned monopolies of public utilities. The American Postal Service is a state owned enterprise, as are the European aerospace entities. Europe offers state run healthcare, as do many American states, and both regulate the health industry heavily.

Through out history Europe and the US have also held some Communist elements. The common grazing lands of town centers and the great unfenced Western plains were both representative of these traditions. One might say that Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Dole are also holdovers from our more communal days.

On the other hand, while China has long been a paragon of Socialism / Communism, it still has many elements of free enterprise. They allow small farmers and craftsmen to sell excess production on the open market, they have private telecoms and industrial companies, and now they have a stock market, the ultimate symbol and apparatus of Capitalism.

When one system or the other fails to serve a nation, many proponents argue that actually the system simply was not implemented purely enough. However, attempts to purify these systems require a heavy hand in government, education, and economic practice. And this has led to oppressive regimes and brutalized citizens.

 

Democracy:

Date: 1576. From Greek dEmokrati, from demos "people" + kracy "rule". A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections; usually accompanied by the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.

 

Republic:

Date: 1604. From Latin respublica; from res "thing" + publica "of the people". A government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who is elected by popular vote.

 

Note: that the root of the word Democracy is Greek, while the root of the word Republic is Latin. These terms are NOT antithetical, they do not even derive from the same language.

In common use they both have come to describe types of Liberal governments, specifically the one is a type of the other. It is possible for a nation to be a Democracy, but NOT also a Republic. However, a nation that is a Republic is ALWAYS also a Democracy. A Republic is a TYPE of Democracy.

The UK is a Democracy, but not a Republic, because of the Queen. Ireland became a Republic only after it dropped from the Commonwealth and replaced the Queen with an elected President

 

Fascism:

Date: 1921 From Latin fascis for "bundle" or group. Last, but not least, is this term, which actually combines the economic system and the political system entirely. In this system the state and large corporations merge, the rights of the individual are subordinated to the glory of the State, and all dissent is suppressed. It often utilizes a racial or religious cause to motivate the people into giving up their rights in the first place. These states usually rise out of an economic collapse or hardship with high inflation and unemployment.

 
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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Totalitarian Art

Many people have noticed that some extremely powerful images and forms rose with the fascist and socialist states. To the most aesthetically and morally sensitive this confluence of great art with evil ideology can be very disquieting. Their concern is well justified and to the extent that our post-modern society has begun to move past this era we can all take a sigh of relief.

The highly regulated and rather stultifying Victorian Era (late 19th century) led to a backlash in the following century. Modern artists disdained the old forms and methods, the metaphors and expectations of the past in favor of developing new, more honest, ways of representing and creating the world. Modern art and architecture discarded evolution and history for revolution and originality.

Another shift of modernism, less noticed and discussed by theorists, was from the work of a group to that of an individual. In previous eras an architect was assisted by a host of master-craftsman. His single vision for a building, his use of metaphor on a large scale, was joined and mitigated, by a host of other viewpoints.

When modernism stripped ornament and artifice from structures it also fired the carpenter, sculptor, and painter. When the architect took over furniture design, flooring, and drapery (as with Alvar Alto or Mies Van Der Rohe) he became an awesome, and total, power over the design program and the effect that it would have upon a visitor. The same can be said for the creator of propaganda posters and films.

“The despot is not a man. It is the . . . correct, realistic, exact plan . . . that will provide your solution once the problem has been posed clearly. . . . This plan has been drawn up well away from . . . the cries of the electorate or the laments of society’s victims. It has been drawn up by serene and lucid minds.” Le Corbusier (French/Swiss Modernist)

Art and architecture became "totalitarian" at the same time that the German and Russian states also fell under the power of singular men of vision. These men admired dominance and were driven by the need to effect others. As it turned out, they employed similarly powerful people to express their ideas in art.

Although it may be easier to create and communicate a single idea from just one pen, "art of the people" really must be done by and for those people. One of the primary qualities of a liberal society is the free expression and interchange of ideas (including art). For this reason we should welcome the return of ornament, style, and more traditional craftwork in art and architecture.

Here is a dense, but worth it, examination of the relationship of modern art and totalitarianism.

Sean: Thursday, September 30, 2004 [+] |
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004
To Vote For Kerry, Or Not?

The conservative case against Kerry.

[Al]though he indeed served valiantly in Vietnam, his service wasn’t... celebrated immediately at the time for its own sake. Rather, Kerry’s Vietnam valor became important only as a... a bona fide that gave weight to his true debut on the public stage: as the galvanizing figure of Vietnam Veterans against the War — not so much a war hero as an anti-war hero.

To be fair, Kerry was indeed in charge on the Navy swift boat in Vietnam and he did make combat leadership decisions. But he didn’t return stateside as a commander offering advice on how to win the war. Instead, he captured the nation’s attention with his question, asked rhetorically in Congressional testimony: “How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?” Was the mistake to fight the Communist North? Or was the mistake one of strategy and tactics? A forthright stand either way would have marked Kerry as a leader. Instead, he adopted the mantle of mere protest.

Kerry’s protest stance is no mere footnote to his biography; it has defined his political career, lies at the heart of his appeal, and constitutes a crucial flaw in his fitness to lead. It is a flaw that his generation (my own) has struggled with, often unsuccessfully: recognizing that it is long past time for us to outgrow the self-righteousness of protest and, instead, make the difficult decisions of adult leadership. Kerry’s career offers little assurance that he is ready for the heavy responsibility of the White House.



The Conservative case for Kerry (or at least, against Bush).

Utopian social programs rarely work domestically, in circumstances in which the architects of social engineering share a language and culture with their subjects and in which the surrounding society is stable and prosperous. How can we expect a radical experiment in social engineering to succeed in a foreign country with a radically different culture, and in which distrust of the United States is imbibed with mother's milk? I don't want to hand another four years to a man who brought us unnecessarily into this predicament at such great cost and who waged this war so incompetently.


The Liberal case for Kerry.

To see the benefits of a Kerry Administration you have to look past Kerry himself. If he is elected a critical cultural and political shift will dramatically change the way the Democratic Party behaves no matter what he actually does while in office.


The Liberal case against Kerry (really, it's a Fisking of Kerry).

It's not fair to expect brilliance from politicians. It's not fair to expect them to be charismatic, or to electrify the hall with their speaking skills. It's not even realistic to expect them to tell you what they actually think about things.

But it is fair to demand that they at least make an honest attempt to tell us something about something. Give us some kind of plan; explain something to us. John Kerry has had a front-row seat to the inner workings of the highest levels of the U.S. government for nearly 20 years. He knows more about how the world actually works than all but a handful of people in this country. He has something to tell us.

But what does he do? He climbs up a mountain of cliches, shouts "Think Positive!" from the summit and then calmly skies down into a sea of champagne and confetti with a toy M-16 draped over his shoulder. That is a gross insult, both to our intelligence and to our natural human desire to have some kind of active role in the management of our own affairs—and we all ought to be mighty pissed about it.


I truly dread having to make a choice in November... kinda along the lines of "Prostate exame, or root canal?" Ooh, you mean I get a choice? Yeah.



Sean: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 [+] |
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Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Jihad Chic

Dark Towers of France

Democracy Works, and It's Spreading

Sean: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 [+] |
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Monday, September 27, 2004
The Hitch Revisited

Johann Hari interviews Christopher Hitchens for the Independent.

On Terrorists:

"Inequalities in wealth had nothing to do with Beslan or Bali or Madrid... The jihadists actually prefer people to live in utter, dire poverty because they say it is purifying. Nor is it anti-imperialist: they explicitly want to recreate the lost Caliphate, which was an Empire itself. [Nor is it about Israel], does anybody really think that if every Jew was driven from Palestine, these guys would go back to their caves? Nobody is blowing themselves up for a two-state solution. They openly say, "We want a Jew-free Palestine, and a Christian-free Palestine.' And that would very quickly become, "Don't be a Shia Muslim around here, baby.'"

On Neocons:

"I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstitution of torture and rape as acts of policy... That's when I began to first find myself on the same side as the neocons. I was signing petitions in favor of action in Bosnia, and I would look down the list of names and I kept finding, there's Richard Perle. There's Paul Wolfowitz. Before, I had avoided them like the plague, especially because of what they said about General Sharon and about Nicaragua. But nobody could say they were interested in oil in the Balkans... and the people who tried to say that - like Chomsky - looked ridiculous."

On Policy:

"So that interest in the neocons re-emerged after September 11th. They were saying - we can't carry on with the approach to the Middle East we have had for the past fifty years. We cannot go on with this proxy rule racket, where we back tyranny in the region for the sake of stability. So we have to take the risk of uncorking it and hoping the more progressive side wins." He has replaced a belief in Marxist revolution with a belief in spreading the American revolution. Thomas Jefferson has displaced Karl Marx.

On the part of the Bush Administration that he likes:

"The thing that would most surprise people about Wolfowitz if they met him is that he's a real bleeding heart. He's from a Polish-Jewish immigrant family - Kennedy Democrats - some of the family got out of Poland in time and some didn't make it. [They were] civil rights marchers. He impressed me when he was speaking at a pro-Israel rally in Washington a few years ago and he made a point of talking about Palestinian suffering. He didn't have to do it... and he was booed... [and] he knew he would be booed.

After his interview Johann laments:

"Nobody was a better fighter for left-wing causes than Hitch. Nobody makes the left-wing case against Islamofascism and Ba'athism better than him today. Yet he undermines these vital arguments by backing Bush and indulging in wishful thinking about the Republicans... He might be dead to the likes of Tariq Ali but there is still a large constituency of people on the left who understand how abhorrent Islamic fundamentalism is. Why leave us behind? Come home, Hitch - we need you."

Rabid lefties often lash out at "heretics" like Christopher Hitchens. And they usually act confused and sad about the loss of their comrade. They always read it that way, that their comrade left them. What they don't understand is that the Hitch hasn't changed, his values have remained solidly Liberal, instead the left left him.

Sean: Monday, September 27, 2004 [+] |
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Friday, September 24, 2004
Date Night: Hero

Last night my wife and I finally got to see a movie, sans baby, before I head back to grad school on Monday. I put together some home-made salsa and some chicken fajitas, then it was off to the theatre. On the ticket was the newly released in America Jet Li film: Hero.

The movie is set in China around 200 bc., the Warring States period. At this time China was divided into six (seven) kingdoms. One of the Kingdoms, Quin, is lead by a ruthless tyrant with an unbeatable army. As Qin subjugates its neighbors the king makes many enemies.

Several of these would-be assassins are the stars of this film, while Jet Li is a prefect, or sheriff, from a lowly province in Qin. Known as "nameless", Li's character earns a private audience with the king. During the interview he learns just how crafty the king of Qin is and comes to appreciate the role that he might have in uniting China.

This is a visually stunning film. Each and every scene is worth watching. At one point my wife realized that she had not blinked for many, many minutes and no one left to use the restroom in two hours.

The natural scenery is gorgeous. After watching this movie I am determined to make a trip to central China. I need to see the deserts, mountains, and lakes first hand. I need to visit a temple or two and I need to walk alone in the woods.

The armies and castles are splendid, with exotic armor, weapons, and flowing banners. The martial arts are very stylized in a manner that is just becoming accepted in America, ala Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And the sound effects and musical score compliment the action wonderfully.

I would offer one cautionary side note... Don't let yourself get to caught up in the film's "message". At one point I nearly laughed outloud when the King of Quin dropped a solitary tear and gushed that his selflessness as a tyrant had finally been "understood" by one of the assassins. This film is a not so subtle commercial for the Chinese Communist Party and an utter rejection of the individual and free-will.

Sean: Friday, September 24, 2004 [+] |
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Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Beheadings

CNN reports that British hostage Kenneth Bigley recorded a video plea to Tony Blair to meet the terrorists' demands for his release. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Wednesday said his heart went out to Bigley and his family, but he reiterated that the government would not negotiate with terrorists.

"We can't get into a situation of bargaining with terrorists because this would put many more people's lives at risk, not only in Iraq but around the world," Straw said during a visit to the United Nations. "The only people who can release Mr. Bigley are the terrorists who have captured Mr. Bigley, these evil men who are perpetrating this evil," Straw said.


This is a horrible situation. But Mr. Straw is absolutely correct. If the British were to pull strings, and get the US to comply, who doesn't think that every immoral thug in the region would grab themselves a hostage or two? No Westerner would be safe anywhere in the world.

As sad as it is, we should probably simply hold funerals for hostages as soon as the terrorists prove they have them and then block all further news reports regarding their fate. Strictly held to, such a policy might indeed end all further hostage taking.

And yes, I still blame the Spanish for giving in to terror.

I also hate the phony-baloney solemnity with which the news programs broadcast lists, pictures, etc. of dead soldiers. They only do this to remind you that soldiers are dying in the hope that you will turn chicken and turn against this administration.

This is stupid. You should turn against this administration because of the environment, your lost job, or their so-called "judicial reform" plans. Soldiers dying in combat during wartime is sad, but not "tragic" as the newsmen tell you.

We need to get over this idea that soldiers are "children" and are dying "tragically". No, they are adults, who volunteered for the job. The question is whether the job is worth doing.

What is truly tragic, and deserving of a nightly roll call on PBS or CNN, are the deaths of men like Berg and Bigley - and Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, the two Italian women working for Bridge To Baghdad.

These people most assuredly had no "imperial" or "colonial" designs on the Middle East. They where just there to help the people, which is more than can be said for these jihadists.

Yes, the job of taming and democratizing the Middle East is worth doing. The deaths of those doing this job, both soldiers and civilians, should be pressure upon every Westerner to stick to the finish.

Did you notice the accidental halo round Mr. Bigley's head? Maybe it is time for terrorists to worry that they are creating Christian martyrs?

Sean: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 [+] |
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Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Hitler As Man

Added a new blog to the blogroll... a rarity. Please check out Turnspit and read the post on the Hitler film.

Maybe we fear the humanity in such evil because we are then forced to recognize that we are related to it. By branding Hitler, or even Osama bin Laden, as inhumanely evil, we're given the ability to cleave them from ourselves... Our enemy isn't "evil" or "terror" per se, it's men and women who are capable of producing evil and terror. It's a much more difficult thing to fight. After all, they look just like us.

This is a group blog w/ forum that focuses on religion and politics, humanity's two greatest sins and two greatest virtues. Welcome turnspit.



Sean: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 [+] |
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Monday, September 20, 2004
The Man Who Would Be King

Searching for a new copy of Rudyard Kipling's Under The Deodars (1890) and The Phantom Rickshaw (1888) at Powell's I came across a special find, a great new book! Read this review by "Bookslut" for Ben Macintyre's new book, The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan. Put it on your Christmas wish-list.

Sean: Monday, September 20, 2004 [+] |
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Saturday, September 18, 2004
Bush Lost The Wagon

Here is a clip of the President as a happy drunk. Also, notice in the picture above that all G8 leaders are drinking... is that a beer in front of the Prez? Wagon, what wagon?


Sean: Saturday, September 18, 2004 [+] |
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Friday, September 17, 2004
Democrats Make Girl Cry

Drudge reports this horror:

Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards made a brief stop at the airport as he concluded his two-day bus tour to locations in West Virginia and Ohio. (AP Photo/Randy Snyder)


It's this kinda crap that has me so upset this year. I was raised a Liberal Democrat. I learned to expect priggish behavior from redneck Republican Neanderthals, while Democrats were all tweed wearing peacenick professors with a yearning for Communism. And I liked it that way.

The folks who began destroying this dream world were not Republicans, but Democrats. People who I expected to be morally and culturally relative refused to discuss the issues with me, called me a Neocon, and walked away. People who I expected to save bunnies from evil test labs beat up cops, tore up signs, and hurled the worst insults at the opposing side.

When I heard about the "Shut It Down" campaign by Dems to disrupt the GOP convention in NYC I was sick again. Listen... Despite violating the civil rights of half the nation it is also simply unclassy to take this no-holds-barred view of politics. I learned that much, at least, playing highschool football.

The other side of the coin is that some Dems are no-neck union workers and some Republicans are sensitive family men. Some Dems are shallow, self-righteous, vegan tree-huggers, and some Republicans are smart-dressed stockbrokers who dodge their taxes every year. And some Professors teach Economics. Stereotypes have their limitations.

I realize that y'all hate Bush. But your anger over having run Al Gore - a loser (I guess I do need to remind everyone that every attack add or bogus CBS news story that you hear this election, that you didn't hear last election, shows how much the Gore campaign sucked) - does not, in fact, excuse all crimes. Can we please lay off the toddlers this election cycle?

UPDATE Oh my gawd, I've been "rathered"! Some brave bloggers have uncovered that this "little girl" story might be bogus. But let us keep in mind Dems... this event might not actually have occurred as reported, but we shouldn't let this distract us from the REAL issue... which is that the story felt accurate. Too many instances like this have actually happened (to myself and Michael Totten, in fact). So, let's get back to the issue... why are the Democrats so mean to little girls?

SECOND UPDATE: Union admits this did happen as reported, apologizes, and promises to take action.

FINAL WORDS: The "debunkers" are relying upon the "evidence" that this man has reported similar attacks in the last two election cycles and that a photo of his family shows a white male (his son) who looks just as white and male as the union thug in the crying girl photo.

Well... as others have said, it is difficult to get a young girl to cry so violently at the antics of her older brother... So I don't think it was staged. Meanwhile, attending the rally of one's opponent, and voicing or displaying one's own political opinions, is Constitutionally protected behavior.

No matter how bogus you find the story, the underlying truth really is the issue, as Dan might say... we all (Dems, Republicans, and "others") need to remain civil during these trying times.

LAST UPDATE: Person on this forum claims to be a classmate of Philip Parlock (crying girl's brother) and he denies absolutely that this was a set up in anyway. He says that the Parlocks have 10 children, 4.0 students, poly-sci majors in college, National Guardsmen, etc. Says that family attends every rally or function of either side in every election year and make their positions known as a matter of course, and of political participation, and they often have to deal with uncharitable opponents. So, let's drop the conspiracy theories after all and attend to the issues (right Dan?).

Sean: Friday, September 17, 2004 [+] |
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Thursday, September 16, 2004
Germans Cant See The Boobs In Front Of Them

Many Americans (usually, on the Left) fall into the trap of believing that the Europeans are better than us. They are so much more sophisticated than us. They are smarter, more peaceful, and have better health care.

Well, it's a sham. Are European cities more attractive? Well, on the whole. But only because they are older and we tend to build ugly crap these days, all of us. The Pompidou Center and that damned pyramid at the Louvre prove that Americans do not have a lock on crappy architecture.

(Do I need to remind us all about the cross polination of our global world? The WTC was designed by an Asian architect, many buildings in Chicago were done by Europeans, and Frank Lloyd Wright went to Germany in 1909.)

When it comes to peace and politics all we need to do is ask Grandpa about Europe. These are the people who gave us two World Wars and sucked us into the Cold War. Heh, I'm not blaming them per-se, but we should realize that human nature is what it is and we all have it.

How about their socialized government? Bankrupt and shoddy. In Germany they can't seem to keep the books balanced, the French are always on strike, and the British have a long backlog of political inquiries into their state medical system. Even Scandinavia, that workers' paradise, has had to revamp their market policies to remain competitive.

How about the people themselves? Are they not a cut above the American consumer herd? Not according to this story. In fact, they appear to be even more jaded than ourselves.

When executives of the Innova appliance mart at Alexander Platz in the heart of Berlin opted to have topless hostesses greet customers at the door, they assumed they had hit upon a novel gimmick...

When the sale opened and a young woman - naked from the waist up - handed out sale leaflets to customers at the door she elicited no visible response whatsoever.

She stood there all morning, smilingly covered in goosebumps in the draft every time the glass doors slid open. Customers unsmilingly took her leaflets and looked anywhere but at her upper torso.

Pundits speculated that Berliners have become inured to nudity thanks to topless nightclubs, front-page nudes in the tabloid press, nude sunbathing and free-wheeling late-night German television.

"People are used to seeing outrageously enlarged breasts and pierced penises on TV," noted Berliner Zeitung. "A wholesome-looking but topless young woman at an appliance mart just cannot compete with the shocking fare people see in their own living rooms."

"We thought this was going to create an uproar," a store executive told Berliner Zeitung newspaper. "We thought there would be crowds clamouring to gape at her. Or that women's rights protesters would turn out to demonstrate and give us even more publicity. And now it has turned out to be a fizzle."


At least Americans can still be shocked into shopping by BOOBIES!

Sean: Thursday, September 16, 2004 [+] |
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Memogate

Memogate bored me yesterday, but today it annnoys me.

As Michael Totten pointed out... Just like Clinton and his floosies, we knew Bush was the scion of the elite when he was elected. These memo's were never going to get my gorge up anymore than it was.

But the Dem's don't seem to care about being tied by the neck to a liefest. On NPR today they said that even if the memos were forged they bring up a real issue. I didn't expect to hear such "ends justifies the means" b.s. from the Left.

Watching the Left crumble into dishonesty and moral equivilency since high school has been very depressing. I am no more impressed with the Right nor willing to forgive them their still enormou$ flaws. But I again realize that I have no refuge and no representation on either side of the isle.

Meanwhile most of America is more interested in the fall colors.

Sean: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 [+] |
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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Alien in 30 Seconds(As re-enacted by bunnies)

Ok, I have to thank Andrew Sullivan for this one... thanks.

Sean: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 [+] |
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Monday, September 13, 2004
Clowns Without Borders

Who Knew?

Sean: Monday, September 13, 2004 [+] |
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Sunday, September 12, 2004
North Korea Nuclear Test/Accident Detected

The "authorities" can scramble all over themselves trying to cover up and deny these reports... (we might not want to admit N Korean capabilities directly, makes the Iraq adventure look misguided and makes current "six-way" negotiations a bit tougher) But trust me, we have all just witnessed N Korea testing/or tripping over its first nuclear weapon.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency is reporting a huge explosion shook North Korea's northernmost province on Thursday producing a mushroom cloud over two miles (4 km) wide.

The blast coincided with the anniversary of North Korea's founding on September 9 when various military activities are staged.

AP reported the explosion happened in Yanggang province along the Chinese border, the site of Yongjori Missile Base -- a large facility with an underground missile firing range.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that U.S. President George W. Bush and his top advisers recently received intelligence reports that could indicate North Korea is preparing its first nuclear test, citing senior officials with access to the intelligence.


Happy 9-11... Have a nice nap America? While we all bicker about which corporate stooge to put in office Rome is burning! Can we PLEASE get serious about finishing off "the list"? Let's roll! Come on, come on, Iran is next.

UPDATE: Man, government officials really think that we are stupid... "The U.S. official said the cloud could be the result of a forest fire." Um, forest fires don't register on the Richter scale.



Then again, USGS does report a slew of earthquakes near Japan (which would also be near Korea) this last week.

And, in fact, it turns out that some fires can indeed produce (small) mushroom clouds...


This one is a forest fire near Kamloops, B. C. on August 5th 2003, but it is no where near 2 miles across.

Then again, forest fires don't leave craters either.



Others might point out that we have USGS stations world-wide watching for evidence of a nuke test blast. Then again, these stations did not detect the Chernobyl disaster and they missed the second day of tests for both India and Pakistan's small yield experiments.

And for those of you how might question whether a nation as small as N Korea would even test a nuke on themselves... Let me point you to the "Port Chicago" incident in the Bay Area during WWII. Turns out fallout can be minimal and the incident easily explained away as a conventional explosives accident.

UPDATE: BBC reports that N Korea has finally explained the mystery... The Hermit Kingdom claims to have "blown up a mountain" as part of a hydroelectric project in the northern mountains along China's border.

For my money I am guessing that N. Korea had an "accident" and enjoyed the two days of ambiguity to stir up everyone's nerves ahead of upcoming talks on its nuclear ambitions. In fact, Kim Jong Il was probably ambivalent about coming out with a standard cover-up story or actually laying claim to the nuke test idea.

Crazy, like a fox.


Sean: Sunday, September 12, 2004 [+] |
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Saturday, September 11, 2004
My Summer Music Find

The Killers, as recommended by NPR this summer, yes, NPR.

Klick Here.


Sean: Saturday, September 11, 2004 [+] |
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Thursday, September 09, 2004
Terrorism And Its Discontents

Terrorism is not a new tactic. As defined by Webster's, terrorism is violence committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands. This tactic has been with us from the Greeks and Romans to the American Revolution. However, it doesn't always work and it is not always worth the costs. Today, many people who once held sympathy for terrorism are beginning to become disillusioned.

The latest round of terrorism, from the 1970's until today, has largely been committed by Arab and Islamist extremists in a bid to harm Israel, drive Westerners out of the Middle East, and inspire Muslim followers - if not create a new pan-Islamic superstate. Its targets have been other Arabs and Muslims, Europeans, and lately the United States.

But these attacks have not succeeded in destroying the "Zionist entity". They have not ended US involvement in the Middle East, but have increased it. The US, Britain, Italy, Poland, etc. now occupy the hub nation of the Middle East, Iraq. Furthermore, the economies of belligerent nations such as Lebanon, Libya, Iran, and Iraq have all been decimated, while the economies of friendly nations such as Israel, Kuwait, the Gulf Emirates, and Egypt have been the beneficiaries of billions in aide and investment.

Terrorism and other religious violence clearly costs Muslims everywhere. In Britain, Muslims note that any movement towards integration, or even cohabitation, was destroyed by backlash to the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Beirut, Lebanon, once a center of tourism and international culture in the Middle East, was largely destroyed by religious violence. Yet today the city is enjoying a resurgence as terrorism damages the reputations of its neighbors.

The latest terrorist actions... hostage taking against France in a bid to overturn a ban on religious symbols in schools and the attack on the Russian schoolhouse in Beslan in an attempt to spark a war in the Caucuses... have resulted in widespread repudiation and horror by Muslims around the world. Even the supposed architects of such attacks, such as Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov, have passionately denied their own involvement.

The NY Times reports that many French women and girls openly defied not the French government, but the Islamist terrorists.

France's five million Muslims have never felt as strongly that they are Frenchmen and "citoyens" of the Republic than during this crisis... For the first time, French Muslims felt that they had been "taken hostage and profoundly hurt" by their extremist fellow Muslims.

Even the most radical movement among France's Muslims, the Union of Islamic Organizations (UOIF), which sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood and vehemently opposed the [French headscarf ban], is cooperating. It called upon the girls to "behave in a civic manner."

In fact, the feared cultural clash that had threatened to erupt when classes began last Thursday never materialized. Many female students, who had initially seemed determined to demonstratively flout the law, now opted to exercise restraint. Under no circumstances did they wish to create the impression that they were playing the extremists' game.

17-year-old Anissa, from Morocco, arrived at the Lycèe Joliot-Curie in the Paris suburb of Nanterre wearing a veil that reached almost to her ankles. She is still outraged by the law, but she removed her veil without hesitation outside the school gate. "My studies are more important to me," she said, "I want to be integrated."


The NY Times also reports Muslim criticism of the Russian attack is widespread and even institutional.

"It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims," Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the widely watched satellite television station Al Arabiya said in one of the most striking of these commentaries.

Writing in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat, Mr. Rashed said it was "shameful and degrading" that not only were the Beslan hijackers Muslims, but so were the killers of Nepalese workers in Iraq; the attackers of residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar, Saudi Arabia; the women believed to have blown up two Russian airplanes last week; and Osama bin Laden himself.

"The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim," he wrote. "What a pathetic record. What an abominable 'achievement.' Does this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?"

A columnist for the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Siyassa, Faisal al-Qina'I, also took aim at Sheik Qaradawi. "It is saddening," he wrote, "to read and hear from those who are supposed to be Muslim clerics, like Yusuf al-Qaradawi and others of his kind, that instead of defending true Islam, they encourage these cruel actions and permit decapitation, hostage taking and murder."

In Jordan, a group of Muslim religious figures, meeting with the religious affairs minister, Ahmed Heleil, issued a statement on Wednesday saying the seizing of the school and subsequent massacre "was dedicated to distorting the pure image of Islam.''

In Beirut, Rami G. Khouri editor of the Daily Star, wrote "all of us today are dehumanized and brutalized by the images of Arabs kidnapping and beheading foreign hostages."

A Palestinian columnist, Hassan al-Batal, wrote in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al Ayyam that the "day of horror in the school" should be designated an international day for the condemnation of terrorism. "There are no mitigating circumstances for the inhuman horror and the height of barbarism," he said of the school attack.

In Egypt, the semi-official newspaper Al Ahram called the events "an ugly crime against humanity."

In Saudi Arabia, under the headline "Butchers in the Name of Allah," a columnist in the government daily Okaz, Khaled Hamed al-Suleiman, wrote that "[Islamist terrorists] turned today's Islam into something having to do with decapitations, the slashing of throats, abducting innocent civilians and exploding people,'' he said. "They have fixed the image of Muslims in the eyes of the world as barbarians and savages who are not good for anything except slaughtering people."


The latest sign that Terrorism has finally lost its blush may be that the long time US adversary, Russia, has finally had enough... Reuters reports a severe loss of irony and humor on the subject:

Ivan Shapovalov, the impresario behind lesbian pop duo Tatu, is courting controversy again by promoting what media are calling the "Little Suicide Bomber". Her first Moscow concert is slated for the third anniversary of the plane attacks on US cities that killed around 3,000 people. "This is sick. That man is sick. The producer should be jailed for doing that after so many people died across Russia in the past weeks," said Nastya, a 25-year-old Muscovite.


To quote Christopher Hitchens: "There used to be a saying among the hard-bitten Left, or rather a question asked knowingly among them, to the effect of "When Was Your Kronstadt?" In other words, at what point had they broken decisively with "The Party"? The best answer on record comes from Daniel Bell, who would reply that "Kronstadt was my Kronstadt".

Many Arabs, Muslims, and their sympathizers in the West are now beginning to see Islamist terrorism for the failed ideology that it is. In the years to come we may hear generations whisper... "Beslan was my Beslan".

Sean: Thursday, September 09, 2004 [+] |
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Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Willfully Obtuse

I grew up believing that Republicans were cheats and liars. But I can't help noticing that currently it is Democrats and Lefties who blatantly distort the truth and beg out of serious discussions. Those on the right, for whatever reasons, have been more willing to talk - and more polite about it.

Last night Jim Lehrer interviewed former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and Henry "The Killer" Kissenger. In many ways I have always admired Secretary Albright, a woman and a democrat and the Secretary of State! But last night she proved not to be immune to the latest Democratic/Leftist disease... she was willfully obtuse (and only slightly clever in her use of Kissenger's first name as an insult).

Sec. Albright:

I think the major difference is that Senator Kerry has made it clear that we don't want to have bases in the area.

For one, not leaving bases in the area, as a political stump, is idiotic. One of the major benefits of fighting these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was to remove the last bits of Soviet detritus from the Cold War and firmly ensconce our own presence and influence upon the region. Moving our troops from Europe to Asia is the natural conclusion to the last war and a necessary preparation for the next one.

And the other major difference is that the things that are now in some way being done in Iraq are things that Senator Kerry suggested a year and a half ago: Making sure that we have-- are actually training some of this military, trying to get ready for elections.

It is silly to suggest that only Kerry wanted to retrain an Iraqi military and hold elections. I could say more, but why? We all know what a successful conclusion to the second Iraq war means and what it takes to get there, a civilian controlled military and free elections are only a start, the only start, duh.

But I think the thing that has to be pointed out here is Senator Kerry is not conflating Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a different war, and we cannot and should not be persuaded that what we're doing in Iraq is fighting the same kind of terrorism that caused our Twin Towers to be destroyed. But I believe that, in fact, this was a war of choice, not of necessity and that we should have been paying much more attention to what happened in Afghanistan, because, after all, those who attacked us, did not come from Iraq, they came from Afghanistan.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

As Elizabeth Farnsworth pointed out in February of last year on the Lehrer News Hour: "Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers of September 11th were Saudis who cited their religion as justification for what they did."

Al Queda is the rump of a much larger Pan-Arabism from the 1970's conflated with radical Islam of the 90's. Al Queda plots have been uncovered in Asia and Africa... 10-20 of the "Chechen" terrorists who attacked the Russian school were Arabs.

We know for a fact that money, men, and material traveled freely through Iraq to supply Al Queda wherever they were. Abu Nidal, a top associate of Bin Laden, was headquartered in Baghdad. Medical equipment labeled for shipment to Al Queda in Afghanistan was found in Iraqi warehouses. And a major training and operation arm of Al Queda, Ansar-Al-Islam, was based in northern Iraq until our invasion.

I think that is what is very clear is that [Kerry] would be in a position to get a wider group of people to help us, not just the NATO allies, but go into other countries to help so that the coalition would be greater.

He has also said that he would let those in the region or invite those in the region to be part of the discussion, to have them at the table, a contact group so to speak, or try to bring them in also.

The U.N. in order to do its job needs to have security. In order to have security, some forces other than the Americans have to be there to protect the U.N. -- and so it is vitally important that we get some international help for this.

As Henry "The Killer" Kissenger pointed out... the only nations not on board our coalition were France, Germany, Russia, and China. These nations have all, by the way, led military efforts to conquer their neighbors and the world, have had fascist or commie totalitarian governments (or both), and currently are guilty of selling arms and negotiating on behalf of tyrants and dictators.

Invite others from the region to the table?! Do you mean Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia? Or maybe one if the gulf state autocracies, or a particularly powerful Shiia or Sunni warlord, or one of the radical clerics from Egypt or the West Bank?

The UN? Are you serious? The UN being the same organization that shone spotlights (so that Serb snipers could shoot them in the back) on fleeing Muslim refugees in the Balkans? The UN was offered US security during the early stages of the the Iraqi operations but refused, was bombed, and then pulled out. Who should be sent to protect them now, the French?

Com on, Madame Secretary, would we really have gained anything that we needed from having these players "on board"?

Well, I personally do not feel safer. I think that the people of Iraq are probably-- I'm glad that Saddam Hussein is gone... And I do think that Saddam Hussein was awful and I personally did believe he had weapons of mass destruction programs... But I did not think it was an imminent threat and I do think that we had other things that we should have been working on, which was Afghanistan.

Again with the Afghanistan feint. Do these people think that we forgot that they were against that war too? By the way, nice slip of the tongue and inadvertent admission there... so, Madame Secretary also believed that Saddam had WMD, so was Bush lying or not? Also, note that Albright also believes that the people of Iraq are better off with out him.

When the president says that we have destroyed three quarters of the known al-Queda leadership or terrorists, how many more have been created? Those are the questions, and the extent to which Iraq in many ways is a training ground or a magnet for everybody who hates us.

Way to answer your own question. Do you really doubt that you are safer? How long ago was 9-11 and when was the latest follow up attack on US soil? Uh huh. I thought so. Maybe having all the thugs in one place, facing US armor instead of stockbrokers, is an alright alternative?

And the other part here is I fully believe in democracy and in the fact that everybody in the world would prefer to make choices about the way they live. But you can't impose democracy. Imposing democracy is an oxymoron. You have to offer it.

Offer it to whom? To Saddam, to Osama? What is this fetishment of Democracy lately? Do we Americans really believe that the 13 colonies were uniformly behind self-government in 1776?

Let's not kid ourselves here... Democracy was a radical form of government which most autocrats feared and most citizens knew nothing about. Democracy was forced upon us by our forefathers and it was forced upon Germany by the Allies. Sometimes it is "ok" to be a little "culturally imperialist". Real Liberals used to understand this in their bones, and if Kerry or Gore had been the one forced to respond to 9-11 we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Maybe the Democrats are running scared and are willing to accept whatever means, even lying and hurling insults, to reach their end of "getting George Bush out of the Whitehouse". But wasn't that a Republican foible, the "ends justify the means", what are the Dems doing with it now? It has been rightfully pointed out that Liberal and Conservative are not political designations but tactical descriptions, when Liberals win the revolution they naturally become Conservative defenders of the new political order. Mmmmmm....

UPDATE: Still think that these are separate battles, wars of choice? Ask Russia, but first read this.

UPDATE: If you forgot about the strident Leftist warnings against the war in Afghanistan, browse this list as a reminder. Example: The Wrong Battle Plan, Robert A. Pape, Washington Post (10/19/01). "Bombing rarely convinces or coerces, just angers; just as US has been angered by 9/11 attacks".

UPDATE: Madeliene Albright once said "we will act multi-laterally when we can, and uni-laterally when we must". She was talking about our bombing of Kabul, Afghanistan... but she might as well have been referring to the Balkans, Clinton bombed Slobo with out UN approval. It seems that it is important to be "multi-lateral" only when Bush isnt.

UPDATE: And When asked on US television if she thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children (due to sanctions, instead of outright war) was a price worth paying, Albright replied: "This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it."

How can one take Mdme. Secretary as a moral authority on this war after those two priceless quotes?

Sean: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 [+] |
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Monday, September 06, 2004
Interesting Films upcoming

Digging around the internet for for a trailer to the new Exorcist prequel I actually found several other promising films... here are ten of the more interesting.

One.

Robbin Williams plays a man of the future who makes digital autobiographies from memory-implant recordings and sees something that he shouldn't.

Two.

Tim Robbins plays a man of the future who can read minds and falls for one of his interrogation suspects.

Three.

Clive Owen plays a "hard man" who tracks down his brother's killers and...

Four.

Ben Kinglsey plays an FBI "distance viewer" who sees serial crimes and then hunts down the killers and...

Five.

James Coburn plays a man who tracks down his daughter's killer to find a surprise... um cliche again?

Six.

Michael Cain and Christopher Walken play father and son in a family drama that might transcend the cliche.

Seven.

Dustin Hoffman, Jude Law, and Marky Mark star as existential psyche nerds in this ensemble comedy about philosophy and, uh, stuff.

Eight.

Paul Giamatti plays a man who takes his friend, played by Thomas Haden Church, out for a final fling before marriage...

Nine.

John C Reilly and Diego Luna play con-men in a diamond heist... right, cliche.

Ten.

The Southpark boys bring us another irreverent comedy, this time about the New World Order.

Yeek gawds! As I wrote out the synopsi I was overcome with how overdone, cliche, and similar these plot lines are. Well, I guess everything has been done already and all that we have left is to see if anyone can put an original spin on the same old tales. Did Hemingway feel this way?

Sean: Monday, September 06, 2004 [+] |
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Friday, September 03, 2004
Heart Of Darkness

Yahoo and CNN report on the Russian hostage crisis.

Commandos stormed a school Friday in southern Russia and battled separatist rebels holding 1,200 hostages, as crying children, some naked and covered in blood, fled through explosions and gunfire. An official said the death toll could be significantly higher than 150.

The hostage incident began two days ago when an armed gang of Chechen rebels took hundreds of children, parents and teachers hostage on the first day of school in Beslan, located in North Ossetia, near Chechnya, where rebels have been fighting Russia and demanding independence for that small republic.

Aslanbek Aslakhanov, Putin's top aide on Chechnya, said security forces did not plan to storm the building, but were prompted to move by the first explosions. Witnesses said the militants opened fire on fleeing hostages and then began to escape themselves.

Russian forces had held back, perhaps remembering the deadly outcome two years ago when security troops used nerve gas before storming a Moscow theater where Chechen terrorists had taken about 800 hostages. The nerve gas debilitated the captors but also was the cause of most of the 129 hostage deaths.

Valery Andreyev, head of the local branch of the FSB intelligence service, said 20 hostage-takers had been killed, 10 of them from Arab countries, after Russian troops stormed the school earlier Friday.

The standoff followed a bloody week in Russia, in which a female suicide bomber Tuesday killed nine people outside a Moscow subway station and two airliners were downed by two suspected Chechen female suicide bombers on August 24, killing all 89 people aboard the planes.

Russian officials have said the new wave of attacks is an attempt at revenge for last weekend's elections in Chechnya in which a Kremlin-backed candidate won the presidency.


These actions are unconscionable. Taking children hostage over the politics of adults is disgusting (and women taking children hostage seems utterly inhuman). Any goals of the militants should be strictly opposed by the world community.

As tough as a decision as it might have been, the Russian security forces probably should have stormed the building right away... with out letting the attackers become entrenched and limiting the suffering of the hostages that resulted from the long stand off. Swift and firm opposition to terrorism is the only possible response.


Injured girl


Victim clutches religious symbol


Special Forces rescues girl


Special Forces rescues boy


Mother and Daughter


Father and Son


Women took babies hostage?!!


Crying Women


Crying Man


Rescuer wears a stars and stripes t-shirt


Destroyed school building

It was the first day of school.

This event is a tragedy. It should not be forgotten that Russia recently faced a similar standoff at the Moscow Opera. In fact, Russia has been under constant terrorist attack - from bombed apartment buildings, random hostage takings, and suicide bombers - since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Russia is another front in the WoT and this might well be their 9-11.

Russia has much in common (while also a great deal of difference) with the US. Both the US and the USSR were attempts to form universal, secular political orders to meet the needs of "the people". Both cultures respect the fine arts, music, dance, and athletic achievement. We have each had our share of rebel movements... the Whiskey Rebellion, the Civil War, Chechnya, etc. And now we both face general, constant, low to medium grade warfare from Arab and Muslim thugs who envy us our successes.

US soldiers have long respected their Russian counterparts (until recent poverty led to systemic degradation). Bush thinks Putin is an "alright guy". Maybe Russia should stop playing with France and Iran and reconnect with its onetime rival?

The White House branded the hostage-taking "barbaric" and "despicable" and said responsibility for dozens of lost lives rests with the terrorists. "The United States stands side-by-side with Russia in our global fight against terrorism," spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Izvinite.

UPDATE: Brutal first hand accounts...

UPDATE 2: suspect admits hostage plot was ordered by Chechyan rebels Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev, was attempt to "start a war across the Caucasus."

Sean: Friday, September 03, 2004 [+] |
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Thursday, September 02, 2004
Hostages and Headscarves

CNN updates the story about Arab terrorists holding two French journalists hostage in an attempt to force France to change a law that forbids conspicuous religious signs or apparel in public schools - including Jewish skull caps and large Christian crosses.

However, NPR reported today that many Muslim girls now say that they will continue to go to school bare-headed even if the French government drops the ban... it turns out that they don't want thugs in Iraq to speak for them or to see terrorism triumph over secular French governance.

The truth is probably that few of the current batch of Iraqi thugs are true terrorists in the 1970's Achilli Lauro sense. One gets the feeling that these guys are getting off on the air time and the sense of power that their hostage taking gives them... and any cause will do.

Sean: Thursday, September 02, 2004 [+] |
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Wednesday, September 01, 2004
City Blogging

Fellow blogger Michael Totten and I just completed an 8 day 5400 mile roadtrip to Chicago and back. Mike covered most of the natural scenery... so here are some city shots.

Minneapolis

Minneapolis skyline

Inside Minneapolis

Target Tower

Wells Fargo tower

US Bank Tower

Commie Bank

Minneaoplis streets

Minneapois Houses

Saint Paul

Saint Paul Skyline

SP Catholic Cathederal

Saint Paul nieghborhood

Chicago

Chicago river - south view

Chicago river - north view

Chicago Public Library (it's brand new, circa 1995)

Borg Prison Complex

Michigan Ave

Sears Tower

Frank Lloyd Wright's Heller House

FLW's Robbie House

University Of Chicago

Hyde Park

Denver


Highway Views

Salt Lake City

Mormon HQ

Sean: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 [+] |
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